Hello there kids, and welcome to a special (post)Thanksgiving edition of “Talk Into the Phone” with our special guest- that most Hogwartsian of seniors, the one and only Abbi Carlson.
What is your spirit thanksgiving food?
Why didn’t you let me prepare this?! I would say green bean casserole because it’s simultaneously healthy, because vegetables, but also saturated with good flavor. It’s got substance, but also a little interesting, enjoyable.
How did you find Agape?
I went to the org fair and I signed up on an email list, and I took a post card. I got home with a pile of post cards from the all the tables, and a few days later, after the org fair, I put them all on a calendar, like, which ones were which, where did I want to go, because it was a little overwhelming. So, I tried out lots of different clubs, but I liked Agape and Ecclesia because of the twice a week thing, and I really felt like I got to know people there, and it wasn’t like I was just there and then I left. All the frequent events sort of drew me in.
So, you sort of began to answer this, but what draws you into this community?
I feel like a lot of the people here genuinely care about each other, and not just like “oh, we gotta keep our numbers good,” but like, I go there and people are excited to see me and see other people and catch up on your lives and pray for each other, so the connection there.
Why are you a Christian?
Um…I’ll skip the “how I became a Christian” and go into “why am I still a Christian.” I guess I would say that I am confident that God is with me always, and that’s a comfort in the stress of life, that I know that I’m not doing this alone. A more powerful and “forever” thing, beyond everything else in this life is that I’ve got God on my side.
What draws you to Jesus?
His presence and comfort in parts of my life is definitely what brought me into a personal relationship with him.
So, what about his story sort of captures your imagination?
I liked that Jesus was kind of a rebel; he was in that “social justice” thing, not just following authority, but he cared about the poor. He loved people regardless of what they had done. I love that he talked back to all the priests and whatever, and spoke up for God’s heart for everybody and not just the law and strictness of the culture.
What feeds your soul- what sorts of things give you life?
I think I’m passionate about a lot of things- earlier this semester one of my nursing professors asked us what we were passionate about for our community teaching project, and I just had so many things. And some of them applied to nursing and public health things, and some applied to community and Christian things. I really love helping people be themselves, and so with the community at Ecclesia, and leading people into worship is life-giving to me. Also, running the Nerdfighter things, and helping people find other nerds that aren’t going to judge them about being excited about science or whatever, so in that form, I’m filled up by seeing people in their own element.
What book would you recommend?
I’d say Harry Potter, even though I’m sure that a lot of people in our community have already read it. But the more I’ve reread it, the more I believe it’s such a great book. Like from a literary standpoint and what John Granger talked about- kind of sneaking the spiritual significance of the faith journey and all this stuff into pop culture. People are really hungry for that spiritual stuff, but they are resistant. Sort of like the Narnia books.
Any final words?
I think just remember to be grateful, because there is so much to be grateful for in our lives.
You could even say they should be thankful.
It’s a little cheesy- I was trying to be a little more subtle, but I genuinely believe that our families, our roommates, our community, our education- a lot of people in the world don’t get that.
What are you thankful for?
This year I’m really thankful for my family, and I’m really glad I stayed close enough to go home and see them. I get late night catch-up sessions with my parents when I go home for work, and I can tell they support me and are proud of me. Also, I got to see a lot of my extended family last week for our birthday tradition, which was lovely.
And stuffing, I’m thankful for stuffing.