Stop reducing Pope Francis to a “nice guy”

There is a lot of news floating around about Pope Francis, so I wrangled some of the articles I thought were topical and important, posted them here, and summarized them for you all, because I love you all.

1. Pope criticizes church emphasis on abortion, gays

So essentially Pope Francis reminded everyone that the purpose of the Universal Church is to love as Jesus loved, and to lead all souls to Him so we can all be with Him in Heaven. He followed that up with the fact that throwing doctrine at people and condemning actions leaves little room for love.

Which is all true.

He isn’t saying the doctrine is wrong, that it needs to be changed, that it is no longer relevant, or that it isn’t important. We need to love like Jesus. How did Jesus love? He called everyone, he embraced everyone, he taught everyone, he told everyone to repent, he told everyone to follow Him (which includes His Church and His doctrine) in order to receive Eternal life.

All of Pope Francis’ quotes are taken from this awesome interview that is real long but so, so, so important:

2. A Big Heart Open to God

This is real good. I’m not going to summarize it because I want you to read it.

3. Is the world making an idol of Pope Francis

Short answer: yes. He restates Church doctrine and the news spins it in their favor. You should also read that article because it is so good and really breaks down how we turn people into idols.

Overall here are my thoughts; perhaps it’s good for us to take a step back and re-evaluate if we are living as Christ is calling us to live. When Pope Francis essentially summarized the Catechism about the Church’s stance on homosexuality and the media freaked out and said, “Pope says don’t judge”, maybe we need to look deeper and ask ourselves if we are really living that out.

Because, yes, Pope Francis says “Don’t judge” just like Jesus said, “Is there none to condemn you? Neither do I.” But they both finish it up with, “Sin no more”.

So in case the world thinks the Pope is a mellow, free-wheeling, doctrine-changer, who follows a relativistic approach to life, please read this portion of the interview (#2 from above):

I ask Pope Francis point-blank: “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” He stares at me in silence. I ask him if I may ask him this question. He nods and replies: “I ​​do not know what might be the most fitting description…. I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”

Pope Francis is not a “nice guy”, just like Jesus wasn’t/isn’t a “nice guy”. We shouldn’t strive to just be nice in this world. We need to love boldly and completely like Jesus taught (and the Pope continues to teach) so that we can love and serve in this life and be with Jesus forever in the next.


Sweet Transition

I think a big problem we have as a society, especially 20-somethings is our inability to enjoy the present moment and becoming wrapped up in the future.

We are so wrapped up in imaging what we will do once we get into the “real world” that we forget that this is our world now…which is real.

There’s a great section in Jeremiah where the people of Israel are in exile and they are all mad about it (understandable) and they are pining and lamenting for their return to the promise land. Instead of doing anything in their temporary homes, they had their eyes fixed on the future alone.

So the Lord tells them:
“Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce…But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:5,7

Essentially, do something! He’s placed you here for a reason. Bloom where you are planted.

Be fruitful in this time of transition, waiting, learning, and discovering. Don’t waste this time that the Lord has given you, even if you feel like you are in “exile” and are just waiting for the next part of your life to start. Use this time to do something more productive than burning through an entire series on Netflix or playing 50 games of Spider Solitaire. Or Temple Run. What games do kids play these days? Enjoy those things in moderation, but don’t get caught up in them because it’s an easy fix for being bored.

"Go outside. "

“Go outside. “

The musical group Dawes has a great line in their song “When My Time Comes” that goes:

And if Heaven was all
that was promised to me
why don’t I pray for death?

Praise God that the Lord came so we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). We can eagerly anticipate Heaven, but we can also strive for holiness in this life.

So yes keep your eye on the prize (ultimately Heaven) and all the smaller prizes along the way (graduation, grown up jobs, vocations, etc) but also remember that this time is a gift and that we need to invest in it now.

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11


(Obscure title is a reference to this song: Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap)

Fingernails, siblings, Syria, etc

I really missed writing but I was coming up dry when I was brainstorming topics. Thankfully, I have facebook and exciting friends who were kind enough to offer ideas.

But instead of making a bunch of post, I’m making one big one. SO GET EXCITED.

Evolution of painting fingernails

I finally found a semi-respectable web source that confirmed an interesting factoid I heard many moons ago about fingernails. There are very specific rules about the treatment of fingernails in Jewish tradition which, according to this website, is because “according to kabbalah, Adam was created with a hard shiny membrane covering his whole body. When he ate from the forbidden tree Adam lost this covering, but it remained on the tips of his fingers and toes.

(Oh, happy fall! ALSO, have you listened to Audrey Assad’s new album? Stop reading this and go do it, and then come back and finish reading this post).

Apparently women have been painting/tinting/artistically enhancing their nails since as early at 3000 BC in China. But it didn’t hit the US until automobiles started getting painting and then women were like, we should use that for our nails (feminine genius). Fast forward, Rita Hayworth made it popular and then young people jumped on board and, voila, modern day nails are a normal fashion.


Joel is my youngest brother, he just turned 12 and he is adopted from South Korea. He is 100% the best part of our family and everyone agrees with me.

Here are some quotes from Joel:

*A text message from Joel via my mom’s cell phone*
“I don’t get why Aragorn is always wet. Is he old or just sweaty?”

*Another text*
“I’m really good at kick the can because LOTR helped at my tracking skills”

*Talking about his new teacher*
“She’s cool, she knows how to lay it down”

*Talking about my friend from Vermont*
“She’s cool in a jazzy kind of way. Like…smooth and jazzy”

He also wanted the school uniform to be cassocks.

He won an award at school for Model of Christian Charity, which we aren’t sure what that means.

He once shouted in a grocery store and asked my Mom what oriental meant (on a package of Raman noodles) and then my Mom cried because she thought it was so hilarious.

He’s the best.


In a shocking turn of events, I do not know much about Syria because I am an uneducated college student who detests the news because I can’t read something that isn’t biased (either way) and it makes me raaage.

But here’s a semi-unbiased article about Syria: 9 Questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask

But here is my opinion: I dislike all this drone nonsense that the Obama Administration is all about, I have always disliked it and will continue to. I need more time to read and learn, but if you tell me in comments that you’d like me to write a post about Syria, I will do that.

Feel free to submit suggestions in the comment section.