7:52 PM

No More, My God

no more, my God, i boast no more
of all the duties i have done;
i quit the hopes i held before
to trust the merit of Thy Son.

no more, my God,
no more, my God,
no more, my God,
i boast no more

now for the loss i bear His Name,
what was my gain i count my loss;
my former pride i call my shame,
and nail my glory to His cross.

no more, my God,
no more, my God,
no more, my God,
i boast no more

yes and i must, i will esteem
all things but loss for Jesus' sake;
may my soul be found in Him
and of His righteousness partake.
amen, amen.

the best obedience of my hands
dares not appear before Thy throne;
but faith can answer Thy demands
by pleading what my Lord has done.

no more, my God,
no more, my God,
no more, my God,
i boast no more
i just really like this song. favorite parts include: "my former pride i call my shame and nail my glory to His cross" and "yes and i must, i will esteem all things but loss for Jesus' sake; may my soul be found in Him..." (which, of course, is about losing your life to find it). i am so wowed right nowby the doctrine of our union with Christ.

11:56 PM

A New Hymn

i don't think i've blogged on this one before... forgive me if i have... (it's another sandra, ps)

Jesus, the Lord, My Savior Is

Jesus, the Lord, my Savior is,
my Shepherd and my God,
my Life, my Strength, my Joy, my Bliss,
and i His grace record

whate'er i need in Jesus dwells,
and there it dwells for me.
'tis Christ my earthen vessel fills
with treasures rich and free.

mercy and truth and righteousness
and peace most richly meet
in Jesus Christ, the King of grace,
in Whom i stand complete

as through the wilderness i roam,
His mercies i'll proclaim.
and when i safely reach my home,
i'll still adore His Name.

"worthy the Lamb" shall be my song,
for He for me was slain.
and with me, all the heav'nly throng
shall join and say "amen."

mercy and truth and righteousness
and peace most richly meet
in Jesus Christ, the King of grace,
in Whom i stand complete.

Jesus, the Lord, my Savior is,
my Shepherd and my God,
my Life, my Strength, my Joy, my Bliss,
and i His grace record.
i love all the intimacies this song talks about - all these different ways in which Jesus is ours and we are His. the song is so packed with them i feel like i have to listen to/sing it over and over to really let it sink in. my favorite part, though, is the chorus. i imagine it like a venn diagram - mercy, truth, righteousness, and peace (which is an unfathomable combination of perfection, ps) are all their own circles, but somehow the overlapping part is spilling over with gold and jewels... kinda typical pirate fare, if you will. in other words, it's not just that Christ has these characteristics, but that in Him they find their fullest, most glorious explication and display. i just think it's beautiful. it makes me think about the beauty of Christ.

i also am just crazy about the idea that Jesus is my Bliss. that is just so awe-inspiring. Almighty God is my deepest happiness. where in the world did that come from??? [in case you can't tell, i'm in full-on 'holy cow the gospel is earth-shattering!' mode right now...] it just is so exciting to me - i can't imagine anyone wanting to be my bliss, let alone die to make Himself so forever!

tomorrow i'll do a bit on "no more, my God" unless someone wants to chime in and tell me i did it already...:)

11:39 PM

RUF or BUST, Baby!

so ruf was tonight, and i finally feel like a real semester has started. i never feel like i'm home until i go to church; i never feel like i'm back at school until ruf starts. but start it has, and i finally feel like i'm in my niche. i'm finally home. finally at rest. i'm like "whoohoo, i'm ME."

i'm so odd.

12:09 AM

The Fact of the Matter Is...

...joel osteen freaks me out.

2:10 AM

Some Stuff I've Been Thinking About

so you may have noticed that i am suddenly all philosophical again. weird, isn't it? i have no explanation whatsoever. it's just happening. deal with it.

trusting God is alot harder than trusting, say, my friend ruth ann. today we were driving to go tubing, and she had the directions. i said, "i trust you implicitly, so tell me what to do and when. i have no idea where we are going." so ruth ann studied the directions, sang along with my cds (which of course i was doing like the whole time because it's who i am), and chatted it up with the chicks in the back seat. we drove and drove and drove. guess what - we went too far. guess what - turns out the directions were wrong, and we were supposed to be taking the highway south instead of north. turns out we were now more than an hour and fifteen away from where we were supposed to be. everyone else in the larger group we were going with (RUF - shocking, i know), was also lost, since the directions were wrong. and the funniest part was that the exit we were supposed to take was one exit south of the one we got onto in the first place. meanwhile we're gallavanting across northern north carolina, passing all sorts of increasingly smaller towns. whoohoo! [actually, we had loads of fun.]

now, there is a point to all of this, but you will have keep tracking with me. suppose ruth ann had written those directions (she didn't, ps). after about an hour or so, i would have started to wonder about her and those directions. i would wonder if she'd gotten them right, and probably ask her if she's sure she knows where we're supposed to be going. after all, it stands to reason that if a drive is supposed to take about 30-45 minutes, and after an hour you haven't gotten off the highway yet, you're going the wrong way. and though that reason is awfully handy to have around, it also is very easily something we use improperly - to evaluate God.

the act of trusting God demands more of me than trusting my copilot ruth ann, because it demands that i trust someone more than i trust myself. trusting God requires that i believe Him when He doesn't make sense to me. it requires that my assumptions become conformed to this guiding principle: God is always right.

the best example of this i can think of is scripture. (incidentally, this is where the trust-issue has been cropping up most frequently of late.) when i'm reading the gospels (which i am at the moment actually), and something Jesus says doesn't make sense to me, and i think about it and chew on it and try to pick it apart, and i can't, i find myself trying to shove it off. as if my puny little brain could compete with God Almighty, or catch a mistake He made. how ridiculously vain can i be?

you know that saying that comes up in movies and tv shows that goes something like "when i say jump, you say 'how high?'" i think that's where our hearts should be in relationship to God. not that we don't think, and not that we don't wrestle with tough stuff, but that we do both of those things operating from a baseline: God is always right. the kind of life that would inevitably lead to would be ridiculously wild and crazy, but also the safest place for us to be.

our trust should be just that - TRUST. trust comes in relationships - deep, intimate relationships. trust is about two things - love and reliability. we have a God Who epitomizes love and is always right. this kind of faith - which, ps, leads to obedience - is unlike faith we put in anyone or anything else. my directions failed me this afternoon - big time. everything else in life does the same eventually - except our God. because of that fact - that He Who He is, that He is always consistent in character - really trusting Him means all the tools we have at our disposal rest underneath Him, not over Him. there is no judging God.

11:50 PM

A Thought

so i'm reading "a house of pomegranates" (a collection of short stories), by oscar wilde. i came across this story in "the birthday of the infanta" which i think in large part expresses how we feel when facing the law. here's your background: a really rather hideous dwarf dances for the young princess of spain, and she tells him she loves him and gives him a beautiful rose. soon after, he wanders the palace looking for her, and finds a mirror. it takes him a while to figure it out, but this is the conclusion he reaches:
"so it was he who was misshapen and hunchbacked, foul to look at and grotesque. he himself was the monster, and it was at him that all the children had been laughing, and the little Princess who he had thought loved him - she, too, had been merely mocking at his ugliness, and making merry over his twisted limbs. why had they not left him in the forest, where there was no mirror to tell him how loathsome he was?"
the catch, of course, is that in this story, the Princess really does laugh at his expense. she is totally self-absorbed, and when the dwarf dies of a broken heart, she responds, "for the future let those who come to play with me have no hearts."
so often i think even we Christians believe that the mirror of the law exists to demonstrate to us our wretched sinfulness - that that demonstration is the end goal. oh, how we hate that! but in romans 10:4, we learn what the true purpose of the law is - "Christ for righteousness to everyone who believes." the final purpose of the law was never to make us behave a certain way, or to make us feel guilty even, but rather to prostrate us before the throne of grace and there find the covering of the blood of Christ. not that we aren't to obey (duh), but that in the end, the law is about Jesus, too.
pretty sweet, right?
seriously, my oscar wilde professor will not know what to do with me. i daresay he's never taught a mind like mine before - so ridiculously all over the place!

1:09 AM

The Saga of Lauren's Back

17 years ago

four year-old lauren wakes up in the middle of the night. her bad dream sends her racing into mom and dad's room. laying her head on the foot of the bed seems like a good idea, until something pops in her neck and she is both in signficant pain and unable to move. this state continues for about 24 hours. her body then returns to normal, though she is occasionally plagued by sharp pain in the neck when she turns her head.

7 years ago

playing volleyball in the front yard with sister katie, lauren turns her head to watch the ball go flying past her and something snaps in her neck. she moves her head back to a resting position but is in excruciating pain. so begins the hardcore suffering.

she can't sleep at all unless there are pillows strategically placed under random parts of her body. by the time she goes to school two days later, she is hardly able to hold her head up and in blinding pain.

lauren's mom, being the good mom that she is, comes to school to pick her up and take her to the doctor. several prescriptions are written, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon is recommended, and she is told to wear a towel around her neck for additional support.

the orthopedic dudes (who turn out to be plural, as you can see) prescribe different drugs, do x-rays, and make fun of her behind closed doors (but not so closed they are not audible to lauren and her mom), insisting even to her face that she's making all this up. they can't figure out what's wrong, so at mom's insistence, they recommend a pediatric neurologist. this is a good 2-3 months after they started seeing her.

during all this folderal, lauren can't participate in athletic activity, can't carry her own backpack, and can't get stuff out of her locker, which is of course a bottom locker. she is (thanks to those orthopedic dudes) also on amitryptaline (spelling?), which was approved by the fda as treatment for depression, but which they prescribed to cut the pain. that presented a whole nother slew of problems, as you can imagine. it's just not a good idea to give people drugs to do things other than what they are supposed to do.

anyway, so next is the neurologist, who is nice. he is also old, and he ups and retires soon after the first consulation. so the "replacement," who is also very nice, suggests an mri. yay for mris. of course, she couldn't find anything wrong either. but lauren did learn that it comes in handy to be able to read upside down. the technician almost drugged me and put me in a cat scan instead of the mri because he misidentified me. fun, eh?

anyway, so the neurologist sent me off with a "have fun and don't hurt yourself," which is always nice to hear from a doctor. i quit taking that nasty drug when the pain came back full-force, but by that time it had done its damage already. i was also sent to a physical therapist with an excellent reputation in town. after her attempt at calming the muscles and nerves in my back, she refused to ever touch me again. apparently blacking out, hot flashes and chills across the back, and tingling in the arms is not normal after heat therapy. who knew?

up until present day

pretty much i've had to learn my limits, be careful, and try to stay out of the er, which is alot easier said than done. its easy to despise my physical limitations, to push myself too hard, and to wind up prostrate for days. i've had some nasty flare-ups, the scariest of which have occurred recently and for no apparent reason. whatever the heck is wrong with me is still undiagnosed, but anyone who is accustomed to what back muscles are supposed to feel like can tell there is something wrong with mine.

i can do alot of normal things you wouldn't expect, like play volleyball and work at barnes & noble and drive for 14 hours in a day. but i have weird things i can't do, and sometimes i lose feeling (or gain bad feelings) in my left arm and/or shoulder. it's not fun. but i have learned already in so many ways about God's provision, and how it not being what i expect or want doesn't make it inferior - in fact, often that very fact makes it superior. what i want or expect is so much shallower and thinner and weaker than the deep, robust, glorious grace i receive. so as much as sometimes it is hard as all get out, i wouldn't trade this history for all the chocolate in the world.

funny how what breaks you can make you, too.

*** yes i did just write about myself in the third person. less melodramatic that way. ***

11:46 PM

Church Sign


1:45 AM

I MUST Be Presbyterian

i have discovered a wine i like - and it's not even sparkling!

4:46 PM

Happy House

i must confess that things are shaping up quite nicely over in the new digs. i am totally in love with the place and the fact that it is not made of cinderblocks and that it's beautiful and that it's mine and emily's, not the school's. it's huge to me. i LOVE it.

in case i didn't mention it before, my cousin and my best friend are engaged. it happened way earlier in the summer, but now that i'm living with her again, wedding plans and such like will become everyday life and thus fodder for the fun and exciting world of blogging. you have been forwarned.

a few weeks ago when i posted my list of cds, i neglected to mention the category best cd to listen to while getting an mri. the answer, of course, is out of the grey's album "(see inside)."

12:21 AM

Pot Nug

so i'm watching top gun right now, which is not what i expected. the chick keeps trying to be grace kelly. yeah, sweetheart, good luck with that.

a TON of progress on the moving in/organizing front today. i am happy to report that almost all of my clothes are fitting in my dresser and in my closet. it has taken an insane amount of creative thinking to make that happen, which is due largely to the fact that i am a clothes nut. you probably knew that already though.

i love various forms of decorative creativity - wrapping presents, writing notes, creating stationery, putting stickers on everything (not literally), photography, and (my favorite) interior design. it's not like i'm good enough at any of those things to be noteworthy, but i really enjoy them. this could explain my large box of stickers or my signficiant marker collection.

tom cruise was never particularly attractive, was he? and then his mind went and so did all the poor guy's potential. at least he had some talent at one point or another.

i have been listening to lots of skip ryan sermons and a couple of john piper sermons. it's good times.

i am so weird. :)

12:46 AM


i really like my apartment. i like my couches and my shower curtain and my laundry room and my dining room table and my chairs and my carpet and my lampy-poos and my room and the bookcase i just built and all the books i just put on it. it's happiness and flowers.

just so you know the lineup of what classes you'll be hearing about, this fall's schedule includes:
jane austen
20th century american poetry
russian masterworks in translation
oscar wilde directed reading

pretty sweet, right?

9:29 AM

Nope, I'm Not Dead

... but darcy, my lovely school-issued laptop, has died. at least insofar as the system board is concerned. this explains my absence of late. but spaz thou not, i am back.

2:14 AM


so i haven't written lately, and it's because i've been exhausted/working/sick/had nothing to say. i still don't have much to say, but i have to say something because it's been a few days. so i'll tell you a few fun things.

thing #1: my favorite food in the whole entire world is salmon, the way they make it at the hanover inn. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm good.

thing #2: my favorite vegetable is asparagus. see above for cooking style.

thing #3: when i throw up, sometimes the bloodvessels in my face do something weird and i get resultant spots all over my face and neck.

thing #4: if i could wish any superhero into actual existence, it would totally be batman.

thing #5: i was afraid of the dark when i was very small. i became a christian in the dark because i was scared. now i really like the dark.

thing #6: i newly have decided i like the x files.