Dublin and proper

The trip is off to a wonderful start. After our first full day in Ireland, we got to sit down to a proper Irish supper, complete with cabbage and Guinness for those who wanted it. The next morning it was off to the city Of Dublin to see the Book of Kells and St Patrick’s cathedral. Liam was rarin’ to go, and almost climbed the fence to get in. And, at the same time, one of our professors, sculptor Chris Slatoff, can be seen giving one of his nearly continuous talks. He has us wrapped around his finger. When we are in public, we tend to gain a few extra members to our group, as tourists find his thoughts as enthralling as we do.

Tonight we will begin Praying the Hours, which is an ancient monastic tradition. While I normally would not relish the idea of getting up several times in the night, I am looking forward to it–and I believe that my classmates are as well. Tomorrow we are on the road again. It is my hope that at some point during the trip I will have a chance to post more for you, in the meantime, I will make a point to continue offering you glimpses.

Have a blessed day!








Greetings from Ireland! For the first half of our trip we will be staying at the Glencree center for peace and reconciliation. Here are some photos. More are surely to come!








Saint Patrick’s Breastplate

Today’s Monday Inspiration comes in honor of the country I arrived in this morning. This is an Irish blessing attributed to St. Patrick. (It may look long, but its a quick read)Be blessed today!

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession in the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarch,
In prediction of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightening,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Though God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and soul
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lay down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me,

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Ireland or Bust

I interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to share with you a new summer adventure:  In a couple of days I will board my first-ever trans-atlantic flight and fly to Ireland.  With the exception of the occasional jaunt into Mexico (and, really who counts the occasional jaunt into Mexico?) I have never really been out of the country.  This is in spite of the fact that I am considered one of the jet-setters of my family.

As a result I will be taking Faith Unscripted off the rails between now and when I return, the first week of July. Expect anything but our regular conversations while I am away.  I do not know how much time I will have to write, or when I might have access to the internet.  But when I do, I will probably be posting thought, pictures, and whatever else I can during the trip (maybe even a video?).  Also keep an eye on my twitter feed (see the feed to the right of your screen on most browsers, or follow me at twitter @nickybarger). We’ll return to Monday Inspirations and “thoughtful thursdays” as they normally appear in early July.  For now, this trip is sure to be both inspirational and thoughtful.

Why Ireland? Well, for one thing, why not Ireland?  Simply speaking, the Brehm Center offered two courses there this summer, and I was determined to go.  The more complicated answer is this: this is what I came here for.  I recently sat in an office with an advisor trying to work out my schedule for the rest of my time at Fuller.  Though my time with her was productive, and her services helpful,  it seemed apparent to me that she thought that my choice to go to Ireland was a waste of time and money.  “You have no more electives, you realize these won’t count, don’t you?”

Bless her, it was her job to point that out to me.  But frankly, in that moment, all I could see was someone who just didn’t get it.  You see, I am not on an specific pre-planned/known-to-me career-path that required me to get and MAT in order to advance professionally.  But, let’s be clear, my degree is more than mere “personal enrichment”.  I am confident of my call to Fuller, and despite my ignorance of God’s plan, I have no doubt a plan exists.  I am in the rare but not unique position where I have to pick and choose the education I get, because on one hand I need to fulfill the requirements set before me to graduate.  But I also need to get in the classes that resonate with that cord God plucked in me that made it clear God was moving me to Fuller for a reason. Without a doubt, the courses I am required to take have value, and I do learn from them.  But, just the same, I have to keep an eye open for those classes that I suspect have more to do with God’s plan for my life, than the Registrar’s plan.

So, then.  Ireland.

For now, my parting gift to you is this recent satellite image of IRE, where the entire island was briefly exposed with no cloud cover whatsoever.  This is a rare shot of the Emerald Island.  Enjoy. 

Exhale so you may Inhale

photo by Suse Sternkopf, used with permission

It feels like it is time for things to be at an end.

Don’t you think that the world seems a little weary lately? Perhaps it is simply because I am in school, and we are bearing down into finals season of the Spring quarter. In the midst of a flurry of end-of-year and beginning-of-summer activity, many of the faces I see around me seem sallow, overtired, and under nourished. Continue reading “Exhale so you may Inhale”

Some thoughts

Sitting in our morning lecture, and I have a whole train of thoughts competing with, and in response to, what Todd Johnson has to share this morning.
I got to thinking about what kind of theatre I might want to do and I returned again to the idea of shows with questions, ideas and topics that stir people up into conversation and even to action.  Seeing theatre as a potential catalyst for the community, for the church. And then I heard the naysayer in my head.  “Bleeding heart” Continue reading “Some thoughts”

Questions from NYC ala Brehm Center

You may remember a few months ago I posted some questions for your consideration.  This week, as we went around the group to introduce ourselves to one another, I couldn’t help but really stand on that leg for a moment.  I want to know what the questions are, specifically for people who are in my position, or positions similar to mine.  What are we dealing with?  Struggling with? What have we learned the hard way, and what were we graced to know without having to pay a costly price to learn? Continue reading “Questions from NYC ala Brehm Center”

California Girl

What follows is an approximation of an actual conversation between a friend and myself in the recent past. It should be noted that  ever since I decided to come to Fuller, my friend has been pessimistic about the prospects of my ever returning to Idaho. Here, she was trying to determine the chances of my return: 

My friend: So, are you a Californian yet?

Me: Well, I was forced to get a California license. Does that count?

My friend: not especially.  What else?

Me: Well, I have lived here for several months and I really do like it. Oh, and I also wear really big sunglasses now.

My friend: ok, what else?

Me:  Um, lets see.  I’ve taken up yoga, and I only drink soy lattes now.

My friend: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

41 blessings in one day

1. I woke up on time (yes, on a day like today, undoubtedly a blessing)
2. I managed to get to my 8 am class on time
3. before I got to class, I actually had time to grab a cup of coffee.
4. and before that, I managed to eat a decent breakfast (this will be even more important in a moment)
5.  I had finished my scholarship application the night before, and was able to head right out to the post office
6. made it to the post office in time to send scholarship materials via priority mail instead of express mail, at a savings of ten dollars
7. because of some very lovely friends, I had my bicycle here in Pasadena, which was a nice alternative to driving my car around town all day wasting gas that I can’t afford to buy.
8. had first dental check up in over two years (thanks to my new handy-dandy dental coverage) and have no “problem spots” or cavities
9. I have dental insurance for the first time in years, and because of this, I did not have to pay for my e-xrays or check up.
10.  the bike ride on to my next stop, the DMV, had light traffic, and was mostly downhill.  Yay for coasting.

11. I made it to the DMV to get a shiny new California drivers license just a few minutes before a ton of people, and ended up in a long line, instead of a LONG LONG horrible long line.
12.  Happened to be in line with a lovely lady for about two hours who was very nice, had great stories about her family, and was a pleasant waiting companion.
13.  got inside into the air-conditioned shade of the DMV in under an hour and a half (again, you might not think that this is a blessing, but people behind me in line waited longer than that)
14.  once I got my number inside the DMV to wait my turn, I was told that I should expect another hour and a half wait until my number was called.  It was less than half that time.
15.  the creepy guy who sat next to me in the waiting room, who kept talking to me, was called in first
16.  the nice looking biker setting behind me gave me the “do you want me to take care of the creepy guy?” nod.
17.  I didn’t have to tell him yes
19.  every DMV employee I dealt with was actually very nice (well, except one, but she only took my picture, so she hardly counts) despite the fact that the place was crazy busy.
20.  One of those very nice employees yelled at creepy man when he tried to make a pass.  

21.  I managed to actually get some reading for class done while I waited in various lines today
22.  Although it did not occour to me that I should be spending that waiting time reading the California driver’s handbook in case they have some crazy laws I don’t know about, I still passed.  And yes, there were questions about crazy California laws that I didn’t know about.
23.  I realized near the end of my DMV experience that I had not eaten since 7 am, and was gratefully only mildly hungry.
24.  SOMEHOW I was patient through the entire process.
25.  the cute elderly couple I got to watch go through the process of getting ID cards together.  They were easily 500 years old, each, and still twitterpated.
26.  my bizarre temporary paper license that I can send a copy of to Idaho, and will end my woes with the Idaho State Jury Commissioner.
27.  Somehow, I managed to get through the whole DMV process before they closed at 5, thereby avoiding the need for a return trip.
28.  Upon returning to where I had left my bike locked up, it was still there, with nothing missing, and was not boiling hot.
29.  the target store that was close to the DMV:  by now my body was mad at me for not having food or more water (I’d had my water bottle with me, but I’d long since finished it off) so I could go in for more airconditioning, a snack and some water
30.  target carries baskets that will attach to the handle bars of your bike (and man, my backpack was at least 20 pounds.  seriously.)

31.   The security guard at target went out into the parking lot with me and attached the basket to my bike for me since I did not have the necessary tools.
32.  In the TEN MILES that I rode today on my bike (well, it’s a ton for me.  don’t judge) there were no scary incidents with any other solid objects, moving, stationary, or otherwise.
33. as I pathetically continued to peddle myself home, way too exhausted, sunburnt and dehydrated, somehow I made it home to a big piture of water, and a nice, long, cold shower.
34.  I didn’t have to heat up a dinner, I don’t think my body would have accepted it.
35.  I was able to stay home once I got home.  I don’t think I could have gone out again.
36.  the aloe that I keep in the fridge
37.  the light ice cream that was in the freezer. 
38.  the last of my stock of lactaid that was enough for me to eat that ice cream.
39.  I have lovey friends who would care enough to let me tell them about my crazy day in a list of 38 things that turned out to be blessings.
40.  I can recognize that God blessed me in at least 39 ways today, and I wonder how many more that I didn’t notice.

I think some of the circumstances I encountered today could have given me a really bad mood, and then today would have been the worst.  Instead, I kept looking for something lovely, for ways that things went right instead of wrong. 

41.  God blessed me with the perspective today that enabled me to see a busy, stressful day as an adventure full of blessings.  There’s no way my human self would have seen it that way if He hadn’t of  helped me to.

Doing things out of order?

Ok, so I know that the blogosphere loves Pics. I know this. Yet do I ever post any?

So, here are some over due pics of the move to fuller. Enjoy (sorry, many of these were out of focus, I forgot to change my camera to night setting before passing it around, my bad)

Sadly we only managed to take one picture in Vegas. In our defense, Jen and I were very tired.

Getting used to seeing these everywhere. Love it.

Had to go to the beach while the girls were still here.

and maybe just a little of the touristy stuff…

How do you distract yourself when you’ve moved to a place you don’t know and feel overwhelmed with every thing you have to do? Assemble your furniture.
and enjoy the view from your bedroom window