Posted by: brittany marie | September 14, 2008

el león de san marco

I began the day at the UNF Aquatic Center. My swim reminded me once again that I am not in peak condition…and the mother and daughter with whom I shared my lane also reminded me of that fact. Later, I and one of my roommates fought to get our laundry done…if it wasn’t the lack of empty machines, it was the broken card reader or the search for quarters…but in the end we finished two loads.

 

Around two o’clock we headed to San Marco to meet up with some friends who had left earlier. Our adventures in the laundry room had waylaid us but we didn’t miss much besides overly grand houses by the river. Our time in San Marco revolved primarily around the San Marco Bookstore. There was a beautiful collection of books there, from different decades and centuries. I even wandered upon a book from the mystery series staring Judy Bolton. I remember checking out those books from the Baptist church my family attended in Alabama years ago.

 

I desperately wanted to grab up dozens of books, but the price of each book I found averaged around twenty dollars and as a college student, that’s a ridiculous splurge. The day winded down fast and ended back at UNF in our dorm room around nine. A good friend of ours headed back to Orlando…and everyone else split to run errands and get a bite to eat. That left me here in the dorm…a very quiet dorm.

 

Silence has grown eerie again. But the sky was so blue today.

 

 

 

Posted by: brittany marie | September 11, 2008

same old dance and song

I have returned to the campus of the University of North Florida. I am enjoying each moment, whether relaxed or stressed. The very fact that I am back among people and maintaining some sort of purpose is really uplifting. The classes I am attending are going well…even the upper level Spanish classes I am taking. I understand my teachers and while I am not acing every assignment, I am not failing them either.

 

The time outside of class has proven the most interesting though. I was able to see the partnership of two campus ministries and in the beginning it appeared fine…not even that. It appeared amazing. The groups merged well and new friends were found. I found refreshment and acceptance as well, from people I began to consider siblings in our faith. For about a week I was convinced that the anomaly of the Acts church was quite possible on our small campus.

 

However, time progresses and the true nature of each person are eventually revealed. It is not that I am looking for perfection. That is an unreal and naïve hope. But I am looking for the “fruit of the spirit.” That is usually a pretty good signal of a community’s health and walk with the Lord. I am also looking for grace and for peace. I am not finding them. In small ways, discord has already risen among a few.

 

Perhaps it comes from the different visions of the groups. One is consumed by a call to prayer, the other by the need for the knowledge of the Word among students and a need for discipleship. These do not oppose, they merely take different paths to a similar goal. The kingdom of heaven on earth.

 

The problems could also be the narrow minded view of certain leaders. They have been called to prayer and they interpret a private call publicly, placing pressure on others to join them is this, “the best way.” I can deal with conflict. The community I am apart of is no stranger to it. But recently, another issue emerged and I am not sure where I stand.

 

I was recently informed that prayer is neutral ground. This was by the leader of the partner group. I am still not sure how to respond to this. The statement implies we are at war as ministries…that we lack any other common ground. That there has to be an “us” and “them.”

 

What about unity as ONE body, with ONE spirit, ONE God…what about the pursuits of God’s heart: forgiveness, people, justice, right living, peace, compassion, reconciliation…the imitation of Christ? I know these are pursued in differing manners, but that is no cause for division, rather a call to discourse, understanding, and humility.

 

This very idea of neutral ground and the demand to choose a side is causing frustration for new students who have found community among both groups. I am not sure what to do. Do I confront the leader and his ideology…with grace and peace? Do I remain quiet? Do I wait? What course of action will result in mutual respect, brotherly love, and a unified vision of the Kingdom of Heaven brought to earth?

 

This would be a downside of youth…the lack of experience and wisdom that is too often suffered.

Posted by: brittany marie | August 18, 2008

pass the roseart please

I find that I really enjoy using markers as media. The end result may not appear as fine art but I enjoy the process and the finale. I also like using the finished product to change the front of my planner and sketchbook. For the bible though, I made a collage with photographs, old drawings, and magazine cutouts…and duct tape.

Posted by: brittany marie | August 12, 2008

starland at 40th and whitaker

In less than two weeks I will be back in Jacksonville, Florida. Sadly, I fail to truly appreciate Savannah until my time here is almost over. But this past Saturday I had an opportunity to explore some fun parts in this city with my younger sisters.

 

We headed down to Whitaker and 40th to the Starland Farmer’s Market. It takes places Saturday mornings from about nine to noon. The vendors and artists who make appearances vary by weekend. Sometimes there are big weeks and than other weekends the participants are a little sparse. But it is fun nonetheless and worth visiting. It smells of local creativity, fresh vegetables, and fertilizer. Seriously, there was a man selling fertilizer out of his truck. There is an underlying theme of “going green” at this event with a small booth where more information was made available.

 

Before exploring the market and surrounding area, my sisters and I stopped by Back in the Day Bakery. It’s right off Bull Street and the market is right behind it. As their website puts it the shop is an “independent artisan bakery, coffeehouse and sandwich shop with free wireless internet access.” It is an awesome place to grab a snack or meal…and they have a cupcake schedule. I can vouch for the cupcakes. They’re amazing.

 

My sisters and I made a time of it all and went further down some back alleys. I can’t suggest this as a safe pastime in Savannah, or anywhere for that matter. We were careful however, and in the end stumbled upon some fun graffiti.

 

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