Seneca Rocks Hike and Reflections.

I took a trip to Seneca Rocks on my Sabbath Day and I reflect on what I’m learning so far during my internship.

Tour of my Internship Site

Enjoy the Tour of the parsonage and Grace Lutheran Church in Petersburg, WV.

 

A Transformational Year

The transformation of what I think I am Consciousness is the witness (and the source) of my toughts</a>HKD</p> <p>Dieses Bild veranschaulicht den Wandel meines Denkens bezüglich dessen, was ich bin.</p> <p>Anfangs die materialistische Einstellung: Materie erzeugt Geist. Diese wechselte in Geist über Materie und endet schließlich im Prinzip des Bewusstseins welches alles ist, Geist und Materie.</p> <p>Das Licht in diesem Bild steht als Platzhalter für Bewusstsein. Das Bewusstsein als solches oder die eigentliche Quelle der Wahrnehmung, der „Geist“ kann nicht bestimmt werden. Wie der Begriff des Tao bleibt er ohne letzte Definition, denn er ist alles und nichts gleichzeitig.</p> <p>HKD</p> <p>Transformation for me is a very important meaning of my life.</p> <p>HKD</p> <p>

Transformation

Originally uploaded by h.koppdelaney.

As I reflect on the fact that I have now spent 29 years on this planet, I have realized that my life has been anything but boring. I am at the point in my life where I can see where I’ve been and imagine what I want my future to be. I have my share of regrets and but overall I’ve accomplished quite a bit. I’ve graduated from high school, earned a bachelor’s degree. I’ve spent 3 years living and teaching in Slovakia. I’m 2/3 through my master’s of divinity program (I didn’t even think grad school was for me). I am spent a year working as a Chaplain and I’m off to start my internship with Grace Lutheran in Petersburg,WV. I’ve been able to meet people and go places others have only wished about. I am truly blessed.

There are still things in life I want to do. I want to travel, I want to have a family, most important I want to know I’ve made a mark in the universe. I am looking forward to completing my training as a Lutheran pastor. I look forward to sharing my life with somebody and being a father. I look forward to having a legacy.

As I look back on the year in particular, It has been marked extraordinary transformation. I feel my eyes have been opened. In my ways I’ve feel I’m finally a man, rather than a scared little boy. I’ve had quite a few bumps and bruises as I’ve spent the year looking at my self. Coming to terms with the flaws of my family, the flaws in myself. I have learned to embrace myself as a flawed man striving for God. I’ve had to learn to love me as God loves me and reclaim what I want for myself as a man.

This revelation has been because of 2 things, my work as a Chaplain in my CPE residency and the break-up of a significant relationship.

My work as a Chaplain at Palmetto Health has been very demanding. I have experienced pain, suffering, joy and sorrow that most people never get exposed to. I’ve seen people die in the trauma bay, I’ve been with families as loved ones die, I’ve walked with patients who were critical and now are healed. It has been basically an emotional rollercoaster. It has been an exhausting year. My work as a Chaplain is in coordination with a chaplain training education CPE. This process involved intense group work that digs deep into understanding who you are to better serve and be with patients. There have been moments this year where I have discovered things about myself I didn’t like. I have had to learn to love parents as flawed humans being rather than the perfect examples of life I have held them up to be. I think the biggest thing I’ve had to do is dig deep and learn to love me for who I am rather what everybody else says. I spent the first half the year living into patterns of self-sabotage. Allow myself to live in shame and fear. I don’t want to do that anymore. I do have a choice and I’ve learned to recognize those patterns in my life and now I can do something about it. I can choice who I want to be rather than blaming my parents or my circumstances.

The second thing this year that has had major impact was the break-up with my girlfriend. I was in a very emotional place when she decided to end our relationship. She was a source of strength and joy especially as I was trying to rediscover who I was and coming to terms with understanding myself. I was devastated. I can blame her for a lot of things (which is unfair on my part) but in many ways her ending our relationship was a catalyst for me to figure out who I really am and learn to love myself rather than relying on somebody else. I went through anger, sorrow and feeling like I was unloved and unlovable. For a while I resented her but I figured out it was easier to continue loving her from a distance than to hate her. I still care for her deeply. Despite her reasons for ending our relationship, I still think we could have had something great. I know I’m flawed but I know she made me a better person. I think about her most moments of the day. I still love her more than she’ll ever realize but maybe my love wasn’t enough for her. I’m still hoping she’ll figure it out. I hope she can learn to lower her guard and let somebody’s love be enough.

God has used this year despite all its deep valleys to make me a stronger person, to mold me into a man who is ready for the challenges the rest of my life will bring.

Zombies, Star Trek and Jesus


#zombie #startrek
Originally uploaded by Arrian Wells.

The other day I was watching an interview with LeVar Burton, Bill Nye and Larry King. The were talking about the future of education and what it means. They asked him about what Star Trek means He mentioned that with all the popularity of dystopian future, Star Trek was a beacon of hope that our future might just look a little better than it is right now. Then Bill Nye mentioned Zombies.

Anyway, this thought connected well what I have been reading in “To know as we are known.” In the book Park J. Palmer talks about how young people are increasingly optimistic about their own personal futures but pessimistic about the world around them. He states “They believe as, I once did, that they can ‘win’ whole everyone around them is losing.” In terms of Zombies, If survive a zombie hoard what’s the point if I end up alone, I’ll end up a zombie anyway. There are numerous sources that state the Zombification of America is a result of the over commercialized, materialistic and consumeristic culture. We have become self absorbed and self obsessed. The Zombies are meant to be a metaphor for modern society. What do you think? Maybe that’s why it is so popular and people relate to it. It is no longer a metaphor but a reality. The problem with our obsession of a Zombie apocalypse is that we slowly begin to dehumanize one another and start to see each and every person as less than human. Frankly I want to obsess about a future in which every person is more human not less.

In the United States, I think we are at a crossroads between a future in which we dehumanize each other like zombies in hopes of surviving the mess and in the end becoming zombies ourselves or; we choose to live and support one another for a better future. Gene Roddenberry describes this idealized vision of the future.

Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. […] If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.”

Roddenberry’s vision for the future was one in which we acted as a community to celebrate similarities and differences to solve problems. We took delight in one another rather than fight or hate each other. Star Trek however is a fictional utopia. I can only hope it is possible. It is a hopeful future but I place my hope in Christ and the future he has planned for us.

When we look at the Resurrection of Christ, we need to realize that his Resurrection what not just a bodily resurrection but a spiritual one. Christ was no Zombie. Christ was fully human and fully divine. He lived fully and was resurrected fully. The zombie virus is not just physical, it is spiritual. When we look at zombies, they have lost touch with their humanity. They have no ability to connect and relate to others. They have lost their spirit, they have become soulless. They are physically there, but spiritually dead. Maybe that sounds familiar. The Christian message of hope is that as humans we are meant to live in community. Community with God, with one another. In baptism, we participate in Christ’s death and Resurrection. We longer die alone or live alone; we are with Christ, forever! Because Christ died we can live.

Through Christ we are restored to the “Image of God” we were originally created to be. If there is a cure for the Zombie virus, Christ is It. His example of life, love and sacrifice draws all his disciples together in love to do as the Lord’s prayer  tells us to Let God’s Kingdom Come, on earth as it is in Heaven. A future we do not have to fear of is a Zombie Apocalypse because Christ is the victory. The future we hope for is not Star Trek but God’s Kingdom on earth.

Amen!!

 

DIY Outdoor Lamp

BeerBottle LampSo, I had this random idea that it might be nice to have some soft lighting outdoors that was waterproof and low maintence. So I bought a cheap walkway lamp with solar panel and led light, stuck it in a beer bottle and there you have it.  I think it is pretty cool. What do you guys think. Obviously it looks kinda of redneck but it is functional and achieves both my goals. It’d be great for a campsite.