Friday, June 27, 2008

Cultural Oslo

When one thinks of Norway, most people have visions of Norwegian sweaters, lutefisk, lefse, and tall blonde haired people. Well, in the past couple weeks I have encounted and lived in a Norway that is anything but this stereotype.

A couple weeks ago, on a bright sunny day I was walking downtown when I heard some drumming. What is that? I wondered, and wandered across the street to check out the commotion. It turned out to be a Korean Drum and dance group. They were fantastic.

I was quite impressed with the man wearing the hat with the streamer out of the top. To make it swirl he both moved his body and his head. Oh my dizzy!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Not Nothing

I was on the phone with a friend the other night, and he asked what was going on my life. I responded with my usual response, "oh nothing all that exciting. Its just life as normal."

Naughty naughty. If I ever give you this response on the phone, I give you permission to laugh at me, or shake your finger at me.

I realized after I got off the phone that much is going on in my life, I just tend not to remember it when I'm on the phone. I suffer from the little known problem of 'phone freeze'. Whenever I'm talking on the phone, I forget everything else going on in my life except the current conversation. A good listener I do make, but not a good conversationalist. This may be why the phone is not my favorite piece of technology.

So, what has been going on in my life?

Well, as you can see from previous posts:
*my parents came to visit
*I celebrated my 29th birthday

*I rejoiced upon learning that a good friend from home is pregnant (causing me to also freak in realization that we are supposed to be honest to goodness adults - i'm almost 30!!)

*I smiled when a good friend was honest and true

*I attended a meeting with the Norwegian State Church to help them understand the real lives and real faiths of assylum seekers from Afghanistan living in Norway

*I preached a not-so-fabulous sermon

*I went to an amazing concert at the music high school here where one of the youth at church sang an amazing song she wrote

*I am learning to pray, honestly

I can't remember any more right now. But never fear if you think your life has no exciting bumps. You might be suffering from brain freeze!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gratulerer med dagen!

I turned 29 today. I'm not sure what to do with this age.

Am I supposed to freak out?
Am I supposed to begin feeling like an adult, since I will soon be 30?
Am is this my free pass year, to live it up since this is the last year of my 20s?

I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do with myself.

Guess I'll just be the me that was created on this special day!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Cowardly Lion

I wore my collar all the way home from church on Sunday.

I was nervous. I was paranoid. I was a little brave, to me.

Gasp!! "What is so special about this?" You might say. "Did something traumatic happen?"

No, it is not special, no nothing traumatic happened. I was just not such a coward as usual.

You see, I normally take the little plastic collar part of my clerical shirt that identifies me as a pastor off either before leaving the church building on Sundays, or when I'm partially down the road. I am scared to wear it in public. (That was me, in the back row, breast pleats and all...)

I have yes, worn my collar in public before. During my chaplaincy summer, my friend and I made sure to wear our collars in public for a week. We even went to Target. All to conquer or learn from our fear of the pastoral collar.

So, while I have been wearing my clerical collar on Sundays and at all 'official' type gatherings, I tend not to wear it in public. I'm a wuss.

In the States, when you wear a clerical collar in public people either stare at you (for a long time), stop to talk with you, sometimes confessing all that is wrong with their life, or look away quickly, as if I wield some sort of sin detection laser beam. But here in Norway, no one even looked twice. It was so strange. Maybe people couldn't identify the clerical collar. Maybe people didn't care. Maybe I am paranoid. But it was strange to me.

The one difference I noticed is quite subtle, so maybe it wasn't really true. But, usually Norwegians won't really look at you in the street. Instead, they seem to look at you in appraisal, checking what you are wearing, doing the summary glance. But on Sunday, people just seemed to move casually by. I think I was just paranoid though.

We'll see. Now that its nice out and I can't cover the collar with a scarf, I'm going to try to be brave and wear my collar at least to and from worship on Sunday morning. If nothing else, maybe it will remind people that communal worship occurs every Sunday morning, not just on Christmas and Easter.

Your friend the cowardly lion.