Sunday, March 28, 2010

Believing

I've spent a year away from church. Whenever I go back, on the odd occasion, I get asked a few questions. Where have you been? What have you been doing? Which church have you been going to? Why aren't you coming here anymore? You don't go to church at all?!!! Gasp!

Anyway today a person I respect and care about said:

Person: How are you?
Me: Good.
P: Where do you worship?
M: Nowhere.
P: Oh. Are you part of a small group or Bible Study?
M: No.
P: OH!

I then told him that it was not so bad and that he should not worry. Some desert time is helpful. I'm happy. He nodded.

A couple of days ago I sat alone at home eating my dinner. Somehow I played an imaginary conversation in my head between me and my colleagues. And as it has come up now and then even in real life, the topic was religion. And as I talked I came down to saying, "I don't understand everything about Christianity. I don't understand why there is so much hunger and sadness in the world. I know most Christians can be very putting off. But I cannot deny God because I have known Him. I cannot deny Jesus because I have met Him. I cannot deny God and the plain fact is, I may not be able to explain everything but I believe. I believe in the virgin birth though it seems so improbable. I believe Jesus died and rose again. I believe that He will come back. I believe He loves me and has never ever left my side even though I have tried to run away from him."

And... just like that. I believed. There was no great shining light or miracle of healing or descending of dove. I just knew I believed. I knew that I still had questions but somehow now I can approach them differently. And I wasn't trying! I wasn't trying at all. It was just there. I had just become a believer!

It's been a difficult year but I needed it. I had consciously kept all things "christian" at arms length. I felt that if I did allow the worship music, the preaching, the praying, the literature into my life they would condition me again. So I almost ran away or blocked it out. I've had quite a few of these times in my life but this time was different. I was honest with myself. I realized that I didn't really know if I was a believer. I didn't really know if I was Christian. So many years in church and Sunday school and seminary even but did I really know this Jesus I was supposed to be following?

I wanted to really know who Jesus is. I wanted to meet him in the raw stripped of all the jargon that normally goes hand in hand in understanding who He is. I think what might have helped is actually some editing work I did for VBS this year. The teachers at my church worked on their own curriculum and I had to edit the lessons for the younger classes. I supposed I was forced to think about what we were teaching the children and how we were doing it. Maybe that made me think again.

Or maybe it was that night before when I felt utter and complete disillusionment and wept and wailed and finally confronted God and screamed and told Him he had been unfair. Maybe it was when I couldn't keep God at arms length and really just reacted as if He was in the room... and like a hurt child yelled and bawled. Maybe it was this... I don't know.

All I know is on a regular, mundane day, when I was doing a regular mundane thing, I came into the knowledge that I believe in Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quilting

I found some cool sites on quilts today.

This site: The Alliance for American Quilts has a lovely pattern by Yvonne Porcella and Karen Musgrave. It's so bright and colorful. Makes me happy.

I also found the International Quilt Study Centre and Museum, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. They actually have graduate and undergraduate courses in history of quilts and textiles, a solid research department, arts quilts, quilt stories... I didn't know there was so much happening with quilts! It can be a business, a passion, a hobby and now... an academic pursuit. This is amazing!

So I wanted to know the history of quilting in India and came across Henry John Drewal and his exhibition of Siddi quilts. Check that out here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Getting quilting basics

I’m teaching myself how to quilt from the internet. About.com has some great tutorials and videos. So you can actually see what people are talking about. It’s great. Also, I just found quiltuniversity.com!!! It’s an online quilting course! You have to pay for this but you can learn to be a pro on that site.

Of course the material available on the Internet is written by Americans or Canadians so I need to find equivalents or substitutes to what they are talking about. I have found sites where people are exporting Indian quilts so there’s a lot of quilting happening here too but more commercially.

Hmm. Big mountains to climb. I need to find good fabric. On my trip to Raja Market I did not really find much. They said I’d get stuff on DS lane but not the kind I was looking for. I guess more exploring is necessary.