Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

My mom and mark requested that I go with to their Messianic church this morning. Originally, I was not very keen on the idea, but as I came to see the idea more as a cultural immersion, rather than a forced exposure, I became more enthusiastic about attending.

I walked into the church and was overwhelmed by the amount of Hebrew written all over. Messianic people are Torah Aware Christians. They celebrate much like the Reform Jewish faith does. I felt as if I was back in fourth grade as a little village girl in Fiddler on the Roof. They had a group of dancers that would dance traditional Jewish praise dances and then they would follow the Torah around the room 3 on each side. It was as if it was straight out of the bible.

They then opened up the Torah and said a prayer as well all reached our hands out to the Torah. My mom said that the prayer we prayed was to give us the Torah/take the Torah and carry it to the world. Someone then pics up the huge Tabernacle and the Torah and carries it around the room so people can touch it while everyone sings in Hebrew again.

They then got into the sermon which had some interesting points to me. One of which was the idea that the enemy is the current ruler of the world, which, as you think about it and think about the greed of even the Church itself this statements seems to be held true, but there are still Christians everywhere who still help to carry out the light of Christ (or Yeshua as the Messanic people call Him) One of my favorite points brought up in the sermon was one that I am a firm believer in. They brought up the idea that the Torah is not our guideline, Jesus/Yeshua is. We should follow Christ. The Torah/Bible is only there to keep us from crossing the boundry into the enemy's territory.

If there was one thing I really took out of this Shabbat Shalom, it was that music really is a universal language. I do not understand Hebrew and most of the songs were in Hebrew, but I did understand the feel of the music. The notes carried me right up to God until I found myself closing my eyes and just humming along while tapping my hands on the pew in front of me.

God works in many marvelous and amazing ways. I cannot see what adventures he has planned for me as I drive home tomorrow. My camera is packed away so I will have to upload pictures later.

Until next time!
McConnell out

We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. --Romans 12:5-6

Friday, November 27, 2009

Old, But New

My day started rather late again today. Although I woke up around 0500 to go for a run, I then returned to my nice warm bed and slept until 1100. I took a shower when I woke up then did my favorite lets wander around the house in a bathrobe routine as I was entirely too lazy to get dressed. (I'm a college student on break, leave me alone!)

Eventually Clare finally got a hold of me and we decided to st
art an epic adventure. (It always is an adventure when Clare and I hang out) About a block away from my house we had to pull over and take a picture with the world's most pointless sign placement ever; located in the middle of Steepleview Rd in Woodbury, MN.
Oh how I love Woodbury... Anyways, So Clare and I first made a random run to Cub foods where we ran into my Aunt Cammie who invited me to the family's annual Nouveau Beaujoulais party (i'm excited) and we bothered Mitch at work for a bit. I was labeled as 'specia,l' we clipped some of the carts together, then started making plans for after he got off work at 22:00. The debate was first between movies that were showing, but nothing good was showing late enough, and Mitch really wanted to go to Applebees... it was all just a confusing not planned plan; it didn't help that we couldn't get a hold of any of the other guys to help plan. Clare and I decided to run errands until we could get a hold of everyone else.

Errands ended up being us making a random run to the dollar tree, buying junkfood, a horsehead on a stick (Connie would be proud) and epic glowstick swords. We couldn't resist testing out our new purchases. We drove to the playground by my house and tested out the versatility of our new glowing toys. Let me tell you, as much fun as they were, they did not last long. We made sure to get some fun pictures! We tried to take one timed picture on these moving... suspended... block things (yeah I do not have a clue how to describe them...) and I was sprinting to get on one of them before the camera took the picture, while Clare was struggling to stay on top....well she failed at that and fell right on her ass. It was, to say the least, hilarious.

Anyways, we drove around for a bit doing this and that from one end of Minnesota to the other then met the guy sat Tim's house. It was like a reunion. Practically my whole group of guys from high school hanging out in one place at the same time. We went to applebees and squeezed 10 people in a single corner booth. The amount of water cups at the end of the night practically took over the entire table.

The night continued with us deciding to do our favorite activity: go to Blockbuster video and find the
worst looking movies possible. It was a close call between YoYo Girl Cop and Megashark vs. Giant Octopus. In the end the latter won. Think of the worst movie you have ever seen in your entire life; add in the worst special effects ever (apparently done by 'tiny juggernaut'), a dash of extremly predictable moments, and top it off with a pinch of an utter fail at a plot line and you have Megashark vs. Giant Octopus. The best part of the entire movie was when the shark jumped out of the water and ate a the plane.

Overall, another wonderfully successful day!
Until next time,
McConnell out.

"We can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God"
Romans 5:100

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Discovering a Dream

It amazes me just how often the average college student switches majors. In high school, I used to stand by and watch as all of my friends seemed unable to to stand fast on any of their decisions. They would bounce around all sorts of majors, switch from one college to another, change friend groups, and never seem able to simply settle on one big picture. I would laugh at these indecisive friends of mine and never imagine such a difficulty ever happening to me. I was a French and Music major at Northern Michigan University until the end! I would never change!

Well, one semester of school and one trip to Haiti later and I am a biology-physiology premedical major with a minor in French. Two semesters of pursuing this decision later and I discover that this really is not exactly what I want. I hate science. I want to be a doctor and help Haiti, but I don't want to get my bachelors in this!

I now faced a problem, what the heck did I want to do with my life? I wanted to see the world; of this much I was certain, but how to go about this? I was sick of the average college life; sick of school and the drudgery of studying. I talked with my dad at some length about what I wanted out of life and discovered I am so similar to him that it is almost frightening. I spent days stressing over how to get what I wanted out of life with whatever I got my bachelors degree in. Were there a degree in 'world traveler' I would go for that in a heartbeat, but sadly there is no such thing. I also could not just pack up my bags and go on a random trip, as that requires money that I did not have. (Even with a dad working for Delta airlines, traveling is expensive; the plane rides themselves just are not)

I went out to eat with a good friend of mine from high school named Brent who had just returned from a year and a half deployment to Korea with the Air Force. We were talking about the future and how I was thinking about transferring back home to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities ("I would never leave Northern Michigan University," guess we all have figured out by now that I'm just like everyone else!) and joining the Marine Corps ROTC program offered there. We talked at length about my past year in the Army ROTC and how I loved military life and then we went on to talk about what I would do if I were to enlist in the Marine Corps. I had been doing research on different MOS and had found that Combat Camera seemed to interest me quite a bit. Brent asked what that was and I told him it was rather similar to photojournalism.

Photojournalism. That word rang in my head over and over again as if an echo trying to find its way through the maze of my hemispheres to a specific lobe of my brain. photojournalism ... photojournalism ... photojournalism.

Shit. I'm a dumbass. My eyes widened and I couldn't help but blurt out, 'I finally figured it out!' Which, needless to say, completely confused poor Brent. I didn't care, I had figured out what I was going to do with my life. (I did eventually explain to him why I had suddenly frightened the poor kid. He was not that worried, he had dealt with my A.D.H.D. all throughout high school choir.)

Photojournalism, what an amazing word! I had always loved taking pictures throughout my whole life. When we would go on trips to my cabin or as a family to various parts of the world I would always be that person who always had a camera with them. I would have so many pictures when we returned that they wouldn't fit on the maximum 5 target photo CDs. English had also always been my strong point in high school and I thank my sophomore year English teacher, Mrs. Meysenberg, for this one as well has Mrs. Dow who had always tried to get me to read one of my poems for speech team, but never succeeded in getting me to join. However, she was always the first person I brought a new poem to, because I knew she would take as much excitement in reading it as I had in writing it. I love writing!

Northern Michigan University does not offer photojournalism as a major, but they do offer an extremely strong photography program. I am going to finish up my sophomore year at NMU as a declared photography major (I get a Macbook computer now!) then I will transfer back to University of Minnesota Twin Cities and finish up with a photojournalism degree. I will travel the world for a few years and do whatever I can with that degree, then come back and go to medical school. I am so excited I cannot even begin to describe it. I love knowing what I am going to do with my life!

"I was a French and Music major at Northern Michigan University until the end! I would never change!”
I guess we have proven that statement not to be true! I am pretty set on my current life decision, but you never know. However, for now, I am going to try my best to at least weekly (and then daily as time allows) keep up a blog here just to let the world know where God has taken me and my camera. (I need a new camera…) I am not expecting it to be anywhere exotic right off the bat, but for now I am satisfied with opening my eyes up more to the world around me and finding the beauty and inspiration in what God has given me.

Until next time!
McConnell out

The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
-2 Corinthians 5:17