1:01 AM

FOOD

I "catered" my brother's dinner party. I took pictures of the food so you can drool over them. It was a bit of an abnormal lineup. :)



This is the famous carrot souffle. It's one of those dishes that usually vanishes faster than the cake.

Lasagna, but with spaghetti instead of normal lasagna noodles.

A staple for sure - green beans with toasted almonds.

Edamame! This is not my favorite way to serve (or eat) them, but this is what the Bug wanted, and since I was the employee this time...

Typically, this dip goes about as fast as the carrot soufflé. Unfortunately, I think the different brand of taco seasoning threw it off... we still have this much left. :-(

Yellow cake slathered with chocolate fudge icing.... Yum!

Strawberry pie from the Biltmore House Cookbook.


The dining room table... We were supposed to have 8, but then that didn't work out... and so we set the table for 6, but we wound up with 4. :-( That makes seven diners total. Suffice it to say, we have leftovers.

12:40 AM

Pick Up Lines IV

These are a few "Christian" pick up lines. I would love to know if any of them *EVER* have worked...

22. When God made you, He was showing off. [Seriously? Any girl worth her weight in Calvin's Institutes volumes is going to think this line is ridiculously obvious. The same could be said of pine trees or lice.]

23. Do you need help carrying that heavy Bible? [Brilliant.]

24. You don't have an accountability partner? Me neither. [Who is this dumb? WHO??]

25. Would you happen to know a Christian woman that I could love with all my heart and wait on hand and foot? [Wait, remind me why you're asking for a recommendation from a PERFECT STRANGER?]

26. Excuse me, I believe one of your ribs belongs to me. [WHAT?? What does that even MEAN? Wouldn't it be a more biblically accurate allusion to say, "Excuse me, I believe you were made from one of my ribs..."? But who would say that? Geez, this one is just awful.


Ok, now for some that deserve a little credit for being clever. [Note: this is NOT the equivalent of a recommendation of usage.]

27. You're so beautiful you made me forget my standard pick up line. [Downside of this sucker is that it sounds like you go around picking up chicks all the time. Then again, maybe you do.]

28. Your good looks don't intimidate me. [If you have to use a pick up line, this one is a good option for several reasons. First, you get the "you're beautiful" out of the way. Second, you establish yourself to be strong and confident. Third, you establish that you have enough bravado to whip out a line like this and enough humor to at least capture her interest. Unless you fall flat on your face.]

29. I'm a Love Pirate, and I'm here for your Booty! Arrrrrrrrrr... [Ok, so this isn't exactly wittiness at its finest, but it's HILARIOUS.]

30. Excuse me, but I DO believe it's time we met. [Simple, direct, and to the point. I actually do endorse the use of this one and variations on the theme, depending on personality. Simple, direct, and to the point is a recipe for greatness in dealing with women - you might strike out alot, but you're striking out because she's not the right girl, not because you're being retarded.]

1:28 AM

Pick Up Lines, Part de Trois

Here are a few nice and sleezy lines. Using these may result in the need for a body-cast.

14. Does my tongue taste funny to you?

15. Can I lick that film off your teeth?

16. I think I've just found the angel I'd like to be touched by.



And here are a few that deserve a "huh?" I can't figure out how they are supposed to do the speaker any good whatsoever.

17. What's the name of your perfume? "Catch of the day?" [Oh, great, so you're telling me I smell like fish?]

18. So, you're a girl, huh? [Need I say more?]

19. You know, if we cut off your arms you'd look just like the Venus de Milo. [Fantastic - I'm being hit on by an axe-murderer.]

20. Hi, do you speak English? [Yes.] Oh. Me too. [??????]

21. You are not a woman; you are an essence. [What does that even mean? What if I'm the essence of cow poo? Or melty crayons? Seriously, this is retarded.]

12:30 AM

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Ridicule of Pick Up Lines...

... to link to this blog post. Though this woman is not a Christian, and though I don't agree with every word she says in this post, I think she's on to something huge.

I, like Heather, will likely be on some sort of prescription anti-depressant for the rest of my life - my doctor once said he thought my body got screwed up too early for it to figure out normal.

I'm not saying drugs fix everything, or that a drugs-and-counseling combo will either. But part of the "T" in "total depravity" is the idea that it's not just sin and cancer and war that reflect the bruised, brokenness of the fall.

Humility often means being willing to acknowledge that you are even more screwed up than you thought - to yourself and to God.

Just in case anyone needed to hear that, I thought I'd share.

2:04 AM

Pick Up Lines, Part Deux

Ok, these are just cheesy. Don't waste your breath on them.


7. Wouldn't we look cute on a wedding cake together?

8. So there you are! I've been looking all over for you, the girl of my dreams!

9. Stop, drop, and roll, baby. You are on fire.

10. Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?

11. You look so good, I could put you on a plate and sop you up with a biscuit.

12. Are you lost, ma'am? Heaven sure is a long way from here.

13. Baby, you're the next contestant in the game of love.


I mean, seriously. There has GOT to be better material.

Like what I'll post tomorrow.



[PS I am SO done with the semester.]

5:59 PM

Pick Up Lines, Part One

I'm not pulling sketchy ones in, and I'm not advocating hitting on random girls. Also, I am not advocating random girls replying to pick up lines in a sarcastic and harsh way. On the other hand, if you're using most of these, you deserve it. And if you don't know anything about her, you sure as heck shouldn't be trying to get a date. Pick up lines are typically most successful when she's already your girlfriend, fiance, or wife. From what I know.

Oh, and these are with commentary, advice, and usage tips.

1. "I'm new in town. Could you give me directions to your apartment?" [Downfall of this line: It kinda sounds like you think she's a hooker, or at the very least the sluttiest slut in town, if EVERYONE knows her address and it's something they hand out to new people.]

2. "You look a lot like my next girlfriend." [It seems like it would be way to easy to slip up and say "last girlfriend." Which, unless you're trying to seduce a woman using only themes found in songs by The Killers, would be a bad call. Furthermore, the set up for the smack down is really putting you in a dangerous position - she can easily shoot back "You look like the creep who hit on me while my boyfriend is in the bathroom" or "You look like my uncle" or "You look like my old philosophy professor" or pretty much anything...]

3. "You're so fine you make me want to go out and get a job." [Need I even say a word? Gentlemen, it pays with the ladies to be gainfully employed or en route to such gainful employment.]

4. "If we were at McDonalds, and you were a hamburger, you'd be the McGorgeous." [Ok, any man who uses this line should be shot, then tried in absentia on CNN so the world can see how incredibly stupid he is. Women do not equal meat. Any analogy or reference connecting the two, except by mastication and digestion, should be eschewed until she's so in love with you she won't leave. And even then, only as a joke.]

5. [In the same vein as #4,] "If you were a laser, you'd be set on 'stunning.'" [Women are not toys. They also do not make people go blind, or make fine cuts in glass, or guard diamonds. Ok, so maybe they guard diamonds. But you need to give her a diamond to guard before you can make that joke.]

6. "Where have you been all my life?" [Now, there are a few rare cases in which this line could be pleasantly disarming - like if you've been hearing about this girl and how perfect she is for you from you best friend and his wife for weeks and you finally meet at a mutual friend's wedding/party/rehearsal dinner/etc. Actually, that's the only time I can think of this line is appropriate, and even then it's risky. She can always shoot back one of the following:

if she's bitter about being single: "Waiting for you; where the heck have you been?" - This one actually could be a good sign. Depends on the concentration of venom laced in her words.
if she's taken: "Watching Jim prepare for the big prize fight on Saturday."
if she's sarcastic: "Learning to laugh at crappy pick up lines like that one."
if she's older than you look: "Well, how old are you?"
if you creep her out: "Successfully avoiding you.... till now, apparently."

The worst thing about this line is that there is no good response for her to give, except to improvise ("Well, let's see, I did spend 12 years of it being a kid and then 7 being a teenager; and then there was college...").]

1:32 AM

I Am Sure I Have Posted This Before...

but since i am newly and thoroughly obsessed with this hymn, so here we go again.

(ps - buy the version by jaime jamgochian on itunes asap. tis phenomenal.)

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
come, Thou long-expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free
from our fears and sins release us - let us find our rest in Thee
Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art
dear Desire of ev'ry nation, Joy of ev'ry longing heart.

born Thy people to deliver, born a Child and yet a King
born to reign in us forever, now Thy gracious kingdom bring
by Thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone
by Thine all-sufficient merit raise us to Thy glorious throne
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
i think my favorite thing about this hymn is the joyful hope here, because it is entirely appropriate. the Lord Jesus deserves our heart-pounding anticipation of His coming, and i love that this song captures that.

i also love the final line: "by Thine all-sufficient merit raise us to Thy glorious throne." it's beautifully true. the only way we stand before the King is by the all-sufficient merit of Christ.

5:58 PM

Breathtaking...

go see the prince caspian trailer. now.































GO.






i'm soooooooo excited!!!

12:49 AM

Pretty Sweet, Right?

I am so proud of my Daddy.

12:07 AM

tell me what you think...

i think i may have stumbled upon an easy, honest, and easy-to-remember summary of the middle 3 points of tulip (well, arguably also point 5). what do you think? (i have left it in its original context, but bolded the summary itself.)

dude: just curious what is a calvinist
me: haha
me: i think what stands out most about us is we believe in predestination
dude: I see
dude: as in heaven or hell
me: yeah basically
me: we believe that the way people are saved is totally God's work and not at all ours
me: you know, even faith is a gift, etc
dude: ahhhhh
dude: anyone can be saved though
me: well, that depends on what you mean by that
me: only the people who God chooses will be saved
me: and all the people God chooses will be saved
me: but those people could be anyone
dude: Yeah I got it

12:55 AM

Announcements

#1

I ran a mile in 9:20 yesterday on the elliptical at physical therapy. This is very exciting. I haven't run a mile in that fast in a LONG time - I've never been much of a speedster. My fastest time on record was like in 4th grade and was like 7:45 or something. I'm kinda like yay! :-D


Now, when I run 3 miles (as has been my recent workout strategy), they don't come that fast, but I figure that's ok because I am, after all, running 3 instead of 1.

#2

i wrote an article for a new periodical at Wake, and my old philosophy professor (remember him?) Charles Lewis, apparently does not agree with my position on the New Perspective on Paul. as soon as the website is up and running again (they appear to be revamping it), you should check the article out. despite his criticism, it was quite a flattering letter. then again, it's flattering that he would take the time to publicly disagree with me as an equal, which he does. he may be chock full of heresy, but the man has seen and studied at least 3 times more than the years i've been alive. so hmm.

#3

i have decided that, since none of you people who regularly read this thing (at least as far as i know) read my old xanga, i'm going to steal some old material from there and republish it here. it's random silliness, but it beats finding, for example, all those ridiculous pick-up lines again. so brace yourselves - the posting will be up in frequency and up in humor. and hopefully, you'll find it moderately interesting.

10:43 PM

Oh how the mighty have fallen

let us all pity poor elijah wood. at least he looks pretty cute with the beard.

11:28 PM

Just Because I Like Chuck Norris...

12:57 AM

Currently I Am Digging...

... dawn eden's thrill of the chaste.

11:07 PM

I Swear Things Will Be Different...

the truth is that i'm way too busy doing things that either are just too much for me (i.e., 14 hours of classes) or are my mundane attempt at making up for how hard i'm working and how crazy my life is. between surprises like physical therapy twice a week for my knees and my grandfather's death and funeral last week, i haven't been able to catch a breath sizable enough to write something. but i will say a few things now.

firstly, i'm now 23. my birthday was last monday. it started off not so hot, as my grandfather had died saturday morning and i was just generally having a crappy day, but it got better. suffice it to say that i like people.

secondly, i'm grateful that my grandfather is with Jesus now, and that he's more alive now that we are here.

thirdly, i'm switching degrees (MDiv to MABS) in order to preserve my sanity (fewer classes at a time, and still graduating 1/2 a year to a year earlier than i would have in the MDiv) and give me the opportunity to do other things - like join a book club, babysit, and really develop some friendships here in charlotte.

fourthly, look at this. it's really funny.

so i hope to write more regularly once the insanity of my life slows down, and i'm thereby able to do things interesting enough to write about. or think things interesting enough to write about. or, heck, to think things at all. in the meantime, please bear with me.

11:12 PM

This is an except from my Gospels' notes. I came across it studying for the exam I have to take tomorrow. It refers to the currently-chic academic position that the Gospels are unreliable sources of information because of the obvious bias of their authors. Thought it was interesting.

Oh, and the part in brackets is definitely still notes from the lecture.

Because there’s a theological agenda there can’t
be real history [Says who? This is a false dichotomy!! You cannot make claims like that without interposing your own suppositions about reality into the very argument. The idea that you can witness this kind of stuff and not have an opinion is ridiculous. To say that you can’t trust a person with an agenda is to say that you can’t trust anyone, ever, including yourself. Compare this to the way we do history now – like the Holocaust, for example. The assumption that if you are intimately involved in the events themselves and therefore have an emotional opinion about it necessarily means that you must be untrustworthy is quite absurd and unhelpful.]

1:24 PM

Boo

no, that was not a reference to halloween. it was, rather, a reference to the fact that i haven't been around much.

this is due to a number of things, not the least of which is my utter exhaustion due to near constant activity and extremely large quantities of homework. but the fact of the matter is that today is the sabbath, and on the sabbath i relax, rest, and soak up time with God's people, and today i'm not so exhausted that my relax and rest time must be absorbed by a nap. so here i am, finally able to blog again.

i spent pretty much all day yesterday (well, i slept in late, but i stayed up late too, and i worked out when i first got up) writing 2 papers that are due early in the week this week. one of them was on the book degenerate moderns, which i've just discovered you can read online here for free. now i feel stupid for ordering it. anyway, despite the author's highly catholic tendencies, i recommend the read. it's not perfect, but it is worth your time. particularly helpful is the chapter entitled "liberal guilt cookies."

i have discovered that i am kid-deprived. this will probably lead to further insanity, such as babysitting jobs. seriously, my life is ridiculous, and i have no idea where i would fit said babysitting jobs into it, but i'm going into withdrawal here. not good.

i joined the church today, and when lindsey williams (the pastor who does all that new member business - don't worry, he's a he) introdcuced me he read out that my hobbies are "reading, volleyball, and blogging." for the record, i am confident that i put a much longer list, including watching movies, cooking, singing, napping, and especially hanging out with people. but those are the three that got read. and i was like "crap, i haven't blogged in forever." well, it turns out "forever" is a mere 9 days, but still...

i'm going to visit my not-so-little sister next weekend, which should be wonderful. i'm really excited to hang out and lay low. and get my eyebrows waxed again - her place she goes hardly hurts at all!!

has anyone ever heard of massage envy?

1:32 AM

So the biggest reason i haven't posted yet...

...is that i know y'all were excited about hearing about the frame class. and i dropped it. because i got way overwhelmed. please don't be mad.

the one class i sat in before i freaked and dropped was really good. actually, you can listen to his whole lecture series on the topic for free - iTunesU, baby.

the rest of the news is random. here are the basics:

1) i'm joining my beloved church next sunday.
2) i'm loving clinique's 15-minute-facial.
3) i'm going to winston for the weekend to hang out with my best college buds. :)
4) i'm wracked with guilt because i don't know how to contact my beloved cousin leslie, who commented here a few weeks ago and called me. i'm hoping she comes back and emails me or something. {webs - my email is, sans spaces, l k p johnson @ g mail . com}
5) i miss my sister. i miss the rest of my family too, but i've seen them recently.
6) i hate food poisoning. be glad there isn't something like a picture for me to show.
7) seminary is hard.

1:14 AM

This Week

is australian. i hope to post this coming weekend sometime, but at the moment i'm barely keeping my head above water.

countdown to frame class: t-6 days.

12:45 AM

I love milk.

and House. and Heroes. and Law and Order.




and i am learning to love the office.




and my knees hurt. especially the left one.

12:16 AM

I Will Glory in My Redeemer

i will glory in my Redeemer
Whose precious blood has ransomed me
mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails
and hung Him on that judgment tree
i will glory in my Redeemer
Who crushed the power of sin and death
my only Savior before the holy Judge
the Lamb Who is my Righteousness
the Lamb Who is my Righteousness

i will glory in my Redeemer
my life He bought, my love He owns
i have no longing for another
i'm satisfied in Him alone
i will glory in my Redeemer
His faithfulness my standing place
though foes are mighty and rush upon me
my feet are firm held by His grace
my feet are firm held by His grace

i will glory in my Redeemer
Who carries me on eagles' wings
He crowns my life with lovingkindness
His triumph song i'll ever sing
i will glory in my Redeemer
who waits for me at gates of gold
and when He calls me, it will be paradise
His face forever to behold
His face forever to behold.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

this song is particularly beautiful when a large group of women sing it.

3:00 AM

Sorry About the Long Silence...

a lot of stuff has happened, but mostly it hasn't changed things. i went to dallas to hang with the fam. i came back. i've done a lot of homework. i went to portland, or for a friend's wedding. i came back. i got jetlagged. i got sick. i missed class. i did a lot more homework. i'm swamped. seminary is insane.

but i love it.

more later - the soon kind of later. scout's honor.

11:48 PM

I Bake

for you to moo...

they're here, ladies and gentlemen. eat your hearts out. or go get your own. or download them on itunes. or something.

5:05 PM

Rethinking the Role of the Church

"So I would lay down as a basic proposition that the primary task of the Church is not to educate man, is not to heal him physically or psychologically, it is not to make him happy. I will go further; it is not even to make him good. These are things that accompany salvation; and when the Church performs her true task she does incidentally educate men and give them knowledge and information, she does bring them happiness, she does make them good and better than they were. But my point is that those are not her primary objectives. Her primary purpose is not any of these; it is rather to put man into the right relationship with God, to reconcile man to God....It has come into the Church and it is influencing the thinking of many in the Church - this notion that the business of the Church is to make people happy, or to integrate their lives, or to relieve their circumstances and improve their conditions. My whole case is that to do that is just to palliate the symptoms, to give temporary ease, and that it does not get beyond that." D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preachers and Preaching, p. 30

1:03 AM

Church Update

I turned in my application today to join the church I fell in love with.

Saddle up your horses. The adventure begins with commitment.

9:50 PM

Quote from the Files of Donald Fortson

"He who takes himself for a master becomes himself the disciple of a fool." - Bernard of Clairveaux

3:44 PM

Misc

item #1: despite my love for bush, i think this is hilarious - "Donald Rumsfeld briefed the President this morning. He told Bush that three Brazilian soliders were killed in Iraq today. To everyone's amazement, all the color ran from Bush's face, then he collapsed on his desk, head in his hands, visibly shaken, almost whimpering. Then he composed himself and asked Rumsfeld, 'Just exactly how many is a brazillion?'" (thank you, funny2).

item #2: how worried should i be about this mold growing above my roommate's door? like, should i be calling daily to try to get them to come fix it?

9:26 PM

Lo and Behold!


Ashley and me, the auditioners from Uptown Church

Ok, this is from the line out front. We had to show up sometime between 5 and 6 in the morning to get in line... and wait. We were out there until 8ish. It was a LONG time, and Charleston is so freakin' humid that we were all pretty nasty by the time we made it inside. Thankfully, we were lucky ducks - the A/C was going full-throttle inside the coliseum.


Ashley, Julie, and me (Julie came as Ashley's tag-along)

We had registered already, and when we registered they gave us tickets with seat numbers on them. So once we got inside on Saturday, we split up to find our seats. the concession stands were open all day, which was good because when the day starts at like 4, you are hungry for lunch at like 10 am. Anyway, where we sat was what determined our audition order, but first came all the group things and announcements. We had to sing our group song ("Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas) about 10 times, some a cappella, some with the music, once with jumping during the chorus. It was a good way to keep in mind that American Idol is first and foremost a television show, and only secondarily (very secondarily) a talent show. Which is fine.


There were an awful lot of folks there. Supposedly there were somewhere between over 8,000 and over 9,000 people who auditioned. The coliseum seats 14,000, and we certainly were concentrated, as you can see by comparing this picture with the one below it.


This was the basic set up. Thirteen, then twelve (they cut one) tables and booths were lined up like this. When your section was "on deck," you filed down to the floor and were divided into groups of four. Each group of four was sent to a line in front of one of the booths, and you got called up one by one to sing. The judges put up a hand when they wanted you to stop, and they usually gave you between 15 and 30 seconds, though I saw more and less done. Sometimes they stopped you after 5 seconds. Sometimes they asked you to sing another song. Or two. And then sent you home. Very rarely they sent you on. And the fact that there were people singing all around you definitely wasn't helpful to your performance - singing under plenty of pressure.


Leonard, Holly, Maddie, and me

This was my group of four. None of us made it past the first round. People with my level of talent were a dime a dozen - from a human perspective, it was sheer luck -} which judge(s) you got, what they were told to look for, when you hit them in the LONG line of folks, what you picked to sing, whether your smile annoyed them, how outrageous you were, etc. It was fun though, and I'm really glad I did it. I might even do it again... :-)

9:19 PM

Auditions

hey y'all! well, we didn't get our wish - i didn't make it to the second round. the judge did let me get through about 30 seconds of "he's a tramp," which counts for something since she had no problem shutting people up pretty quick. to be honest, i'm not sure she was allowed to let people through at all. there were supposed to be two judges at each table, but there was only one at ours. and she hadn't let anyone through for at least an hour. and she was in a generally bad mood.

i had intended to give you the full play by play, with pictures, but blogger won't let me upload pictures right now. so you'll have to wait.

hopefully it won't be long.

it was worth it, though - i enjoyed the experience, and though it was thoroughly exhausting, i'm glad i did it.

9:18 AM

And the Verdict Is...

we're going with he's a tramp and there's your trouble. :)

this is so weird.

i'll let y'all know how it went when i get back. i'll take good notes. : )

10:16 PM

So

i haven't decided yet what i'm singing. some possibilities are the following: he's a tramp, there's your trouble, some days you gotta dance, findin' a good man, landslide, the first cut is the deepest, and leave the pieces. the decision is mostly dependent on the opinion of my friend sarah. and whim.

i thought i'd fill y'all in on my fall schedule. the real semester starts in about a week and a half, and i'm really excited about my slieu of classes. and that will probably be evident in my posting very shortly, so you'd best be apprised of what exactly i'll be rambling about.

Mondays 1-4 Greek II (Dr. Mike Kruger is my favorite professor so far, and i get to take him twice this fall)
Tuesdays 8-12 Intro to Pastoral and Theological Studies (Dr. Douglas Kelly)
6-9 Gospels (Dr. Kruger again)
Wednesday 8:30-10:30 Intro to Preaching (Dr. Richard Belcher)
Thursday 6-9 History of Christianity I (Dr. Donald Fortson)

then during the week of fall break, i'm taking this lovely week-long class called The History of Philosophy and Christian Thought, being taught by RTS-Orlando professor Dr. John Frame. doesn't that sound like wayyyyyy too much fun to be legal?

10:47 PM

This Is Me, Announcing Here First

as far as public forums go, for you faithful readers (all two of you) deserve to hear it here first.

i am trying out for american idol. next weekend. in charleston.

get excited.

11:33 PM

watch this

it's hilarious

11:02 PM

I'm Sick

like missed class yesterday, went to the doctor, hacking like a smoker, super-congested, z-pack for 5 days, having trouble hearing, headachey, gross sick. i don't recommend it. in fact, i recommend avoiding it if possible. it's MIZ-ER-A-BULL. yelch.

i found out today that a miracle is occurring: my mother is reading harry potter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is unbelievable. she freaked when i read the first one last christmas or summer or whenever it was.... but now she's reading them, i guess to see what she thinks. her biggest issue with them so far has been the lying i think. but we'll see what her verdict is after she finishes the last 3 (she's on book 4 right now).

speaking of book 7 (sorta), i loved it. L-O-V-E-D - the wish i was a songwriter so i could write a song about how much i loved it kind. it was beautiful. the overall plot, the coherence and continuity of the story, the love and selflessness, the personal growth, the sacrifice, the appreciation of the gravity of hard things, the war between good and evil, the complexity of the human soul, the responsibility of each individual for his or her choices, the importance of standing strong against evil even when there's no reasonable hope of victory, the power of friendship, the strength that is garnered from accountability and togetherness, the fact that there are plenty of things worse than death... this was good stuff, folks. i'm not saying we should pass it out to every 9-12 year old kid, or that it doesn't have its issues, because it does. i'm all into being careful about what your kids read - and KNOWING what they read is kinda an important part of that, as is knowing your kid. but i do think that rowling has offered here a lot of truth and meaningful value - a heck of a lot more than you would find in the vast majority of tv shows, movies, and books in general, let alone produced for that age range.

one great thing about the psychology of the harry potter books is that it's not fairytale-like. no one is idealized in the series - no one is perfectly admirable or worthy of utter emulation. it works the same way with people - heck, it works the same way with theologians!!!

the big debate for the characters in the deathly hallows is one of taking sides: will they side with good or evil? there is no middle ground - there is no sitting on the sidelines and watching - you have to pick. if you don't, you're as good as evil (don't think about that too hard because it's a horrible sentence). funny how we don't treat our SIN, which is waging war against us from within our own BODIES, this way........

10:53 PM

A Post a Day Keeps Micah... from Logging Complaints



me and my sister at my friend emily and cousin wade's wedding (yes, the couple i set up). i'm the short one in this picture.

11:06 PM

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words




so hopefully these will make up for my lack of posting lately. i will remedy that soon.

10:35 PM

Update

harry potter and the deathly hallows = brilliant

my best friend's wedding = this weekend

my computer = rather sick and acting weird

details to follow in about five days

3:23 PM

Harry Potter Book Release

it's happening at midnight tonight. i am so excited i can't concentrate on my homework and i dreamed about it last night and my roommate and i keep talking about it. i swear, i'm not normally obsessive like this...

10:49 PM

Too Picky

i think i'm too picky to buy strawberries. i bought some today and then i cut off the bruises and such and DUDE i threw out a lot of them... growing white fuzzy things and weird stuff...

7:31 PM

gross moment of the day: i came home from running errands all excited to eat a salad for dinner because i have this great new balsamic vinaigrette dressing that you kinda make yourself and it's SOOOO yummy and so i'm pulling out the lettuce and the chicken and the carrots and the black olives and i reach into the back for the dressing and... it's FROZEN SOLID. it looked NASTY. so i put it in the microwave to defrost it - after all, it was in a glass bottle. that worked, but then it tasted weird. there are a couple of noises i would associate with it that are hard to spell, but "yelch" and "luh-aau" kinda get close.

11:12 PM

i have started sleeping with a sleep mask. you know, like the kind jennifer garner wore in 13 going on 30. it's comforting to have that over my face, and since there's a huge window by my bed, it's nice to have the light eliminated. but i feel slightly silly and very prissy wearing it, which is probably ridiculous since it only says "sweet dreams" on it and i got it at bed bath and beyond, for crying out loud. still, i grin sheepishly in the dark whenever i put it on. and i think i'd die of embarrassment if someone saw me sleeping in it.

is that stupid?

12:25 AM

i think i'm in love. i think i've gotten to the point where i don't need to look around anymore, i don't need to "know what my options are" - i need to commit.

it is such a privilege to have churchES to visit and to be able to choose one that isn't merely the best of your options, but actually one you're crazy about. i'm sure it has plenty of issues, and i'm sure i'll find them all in due time, but boy am i thrilled to have found it at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the next membership class is in a little over a month. i'll be in it.

meanwhile i'll be hunting down my niche.

*sigh of relief*

10:58 PM

i have decided to stop titling things unless i have a really rocking title in mind. i cannot count the number of times i have not posted because i couldn't come up with a decent title. i have since decided that this is stupid.

i think a part of my brain is dead. i haven't had a good joke on here of my own invention in soooooo long i'm starting to worry me. "like the cheese." - do they get any better than that? i miss the days when my wit was keen and my fingers quick, like butter on a bald monkey.

that one was for rex and ruth ann, neither of whom read this blog as far as i know.

it's weird living in charlotte. people talk about different things. maybe it's because i'm now an "adult" who listens to local talk radio as she runs errands, but it seems like the local news is more dramatic here. jim black, who apparently was the speaker of the nc house, was sentenced to like 63 months in federal prison for a weird, chiropractic, civil version of simony. (63 months? how random is that!?!) i mean, this stuff doesn't happen in texas... probably because if it did, someone would pull out a shotgun and the federal prison would have an extra slot for international drug cartel lads.

has anyone noticed the plethora of fantastic movies out this summer? who wants to buy me movie tickets??

i joined the folks over at rocksmyfaceoff.net. yay.

sandra and derek's baby was born july 4, and his name is rhodes. you can see a pic on sandra's peg board page at rmfo.

12:05 AM

do you ever work really hard to craft the perfect sentence, mulling over in your head time and again the words, tweaking and changing and altering them until you forget the thought that got you going to begin with? i've been doing that alot lately.

i just finished reading a book called the historian, which was extremely bizarre and also one of the best books i've read in a while. if i were to list the best books i've read that were written in the past century(adult - you know my thing for kids books, but i think a respectable number of books in children's lit were written in the last century), it wouldn't be terribly long, but this book would definitely be on it. maybe i should do that sometime...

anyway, the historian is on sale right now at bn.com, so i'd head over there if you're interested in a $5.00 book. it's about 650 pages, but i read it in basically 4 days (while doing lots of other things, of course). the story is about vampires and dracula and all sorts of weird stuff like that, but it's also not at all. it occurs across many times and involves many "historical documents." the literary value of the novel is positively delicious. good times, eh?

9:01 PM

Ethics, Weddings, and Harry Potter

so my first seminary class was, as promised, like drinking from a fire hydrant. most of the days were spent 8ish hours in class and the rest of the time trying to recover - an entire three-hour class in one week is kinda insane. it's utterly exhausting.

the class was great though - mark ross, a professor visiting from erskine theological seminary, is hilarious and effective as a lecturer, particularly notable given the length of the class each day. he reminded me alot of some bizarre cross between jack mccoy and dick van dyke. it was a blast.

so one of my best friends is married as of this time last week, and another is marrying my cousin a week from today... i'm in the midst of a very wedding-saturated summer. crazy, but true.

i'm rereading Harry Potter again to be prepared for book 7, which i await with baited breath. it's been a great break from all the reading i've been doing for class - john murray in particular is nigh impossible to read straight through.

other things that have happened of note include -
the viewing of pirates of the caribbean 3 twice, both times evoking tears. i LOVED it on a number of levels. maybe i'll post a big long review of it sometime soon, but i'd rather wait a wee bit longer so that i can make sure everyone has seen it who's going to. really, in the end, i'd rather not spoil it - it's great. : )
adjusting to the new roommates and new house and new city and hanging pictures and decorating and doing plenty of other fun things, from visiting churches to trying new restaurants. all of these are going great. it's like yay. : )
i have DVR and can record as much law and order and without a trace and such as i want. tv on my schedule, which is quite bizarre. (do i sound enough like a commercial?)

ok, so that's it for now. not much deep thought ready to spill out onto the pages yet.

11:43 PM

The 5 Interview Questions

Thanks to Micah, here's a short interview of me. If you care to play, follow the directions at the bottom.

1. What person, living or dead, whom you have never met, do you identify with most? Why?
Hmm, that's a toughie. I don't know if I really understand the question, but I think maybe Elisabeth Elliot or Tzipporah (Moses' wife). EE because we have similar writing styles, very similar theological tendencies, and somewhat similar hearts (if you can tell that sort of thing from her books and talks - and the fact that she is much more mature than me does not escape me); Tzipporah because of her urgency to please and satisfy God's righteous requirements during that whole circumcision escapade (which is something I guess we all want to do - be justified before God). But I'm sure the fact that I spent 8 hours in class today has something to do with my inability to think of anything else but Margaret Thatcher, of whom I know very little.

2. What book, other than the Bible, has had the biggest impact on your life?
That is a really hard question. It's like asking which math book I ever used taught me the most about math. I think there are probably 3 decent answers to that question: Redeeming Love was instrumental in demonstrating to me the extremely dysfunctional attitude I had toward God; God's Passion for His Glory, my first introduction to Christian hedonism; and Holiness by Grace.

3. What is your fondest childhood memory?
I'm going to be arbitrary and pick the day after my parents told me and my sister that we were going to have a baby sibling, because it had finally sunken in and I was thrilled to plan and prepare for the new baby that I had wanted and prayed for soooo long.

4. What is your worst habit?
Undoubtedly picking dead skin off my fingers. If you think it's not a big deal, you try quitting.

5. What actress should play you in the movie based on your life?
Hahaha... if we're going by similarity to my appearance, voice, and mannerisms, there's no contest: Julia Stiles. But if she's busy, you could cast Kirsten Dunst (think Elizabethtown) as long as everyone else is short to make her look tall, as I am rather tall indeed.

Directions:
1. Leave me a comment that says "Interview me."
2. I respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you ask them five questions.

11:51 PM

Still Kicking...

let's see, since i wrote last, i have...

gone to RUF summer conference

moved into my apartment in Charlotte

graduated from college

hung out with my sister in my new town

gone to Chicago to attend a cousin's wedding

family vacation, including a drive from Chicago to Myrtle Beach, stopping off in Pennsylvania to visit my grandfather en route

tomorrow is my first day in seminary.

whoohoo, eh?

i'll be back more now that my life has settled down a bit, and i'll keep you posted.

first class up: pastoral and social ethics. should be fun.

1:10 AM

Greetings, Earthinglings

wow. i can't believe it's been 20 days since i last posted. they have been a pretty crazy 20 days, so i suppose it's justified, but holy smokes. sorry about that.

college is wrapping up pretty quickly - one more day of class for me (3 for everyone else), one ten page paper, five discussion questions, and two exams are all that stand between me and the end of the academic year. then it's off to ruf summer conference, then back for graduation and moving, then settling into charlotte before classes start on june 11. i promise to update further and talk about the kingdom as promised, but i am completely at the end of my rope and there's no way i can write more now.

so sorry for being a slacker. :)

1:17 AM

The Natural Result of the Supernatural Love of God

so we just partied hearty because of the radical meeting of love and mercy in the Person of Jesus Christ. what's next? falling head over heels in love with Him again. i mean, we all love cinderella for a reason: the prince falls for the servant girl and marries her; Jesus sees us in our squalor and sin (wayyyyyyyyyyyyy more of a disadvantageous match than cinderella for the prince) and loves us, choosing to unite Himself to us in an irreversible way. the basic fairy tale is the story of our lives as christians. (no wonder cs lewis and jrr tolkien and george macdonald and stephen lawhead and their ilk weave such fabulous stories - they are echoes of truth!)

so that's why this last installment is appropriate i think.

next we'll talk about the kingdom of God. i think twill be fun. :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Be Thou My Vision
be Thou my Vision, o Lord of my heart.
naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night;
waking or sleeping, Thy presence my Light.

be Thou my Wisdom and Thou my true Word,
i ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father; i Thy true son.
Thou in me dwelling, and i with Thee one.

be Thou my Battleshield, Sword for my fight.
be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight,
Thou my soul's shelter, Thou my high Tower.
raise Thou me heavenward, o Power of my power.

riches i heed not, nor man's empty praise.
Thou mine inheritance now and always.
Thou and Thou only first in my heart.
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won!
may i reach heaven's joys, o bright heaven's Son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
still be my Vision, o Ruler of all.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
interesting thought, isn't it, to ask God to be not just what we see ("fix your eyes on Jesus") but how we see what we see...
stanza 1 - ok, so we start with the basics: very lovey-dovey language about God being the "Lord of my heart" and nothing else mattering except Him and thoughts of Him being the best thoughts we have ever and all that. it's really quite superb, actually, and all entirely called for. but then we get this funky twist - "waking or sleeping, Thy presence my Light." i think what we're seeing here is the lyricist's attempt at demonstrating to us the constancy of God to hold our hand and lead us down the way we are going, whether we are awake to appreciate it or not (i'm thinking abraham and the whole convenant thing a la genesis 15). while clearly metaphorical, i don't think it's purely metaphorical, and for those of us who have awful dreams, it certainly is reassuring to know God is present and shedding His Light on us.
stanza 2 - four aspects of my relationship with God: a) what He brings to the way i think about things comes from the second part - His Word; b) God has eternally bound Himself to me - we are now inseparable (but not indistinguishable - it's more like best friends and less like hinduism); c) i am adopted into the family. i don't just get treated like His child - i am one; and d) the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in my heart (close connection to b, particularly in the form of manner and means).
stanza 3 - i think it's interesting that we never sing this one in churches anymore. i guess it's too militant for most people's comfort levels to allow. still, i think it's beautiful. not only is God here depicted as our defense and our offense, not only as a place to run and hide when we are routed or defeated or need to rejuvenate and rebuild, but also as our "Dignity" and "Delight." are there two more misunderstood concepts in contemporary american society? i guess "love." anyway, when God is my Dignity - when Jesus is my Righteousness, in other words - that makes me radically confident. when God is my Delight (in piper-speak, when God is my joy), i am radically unshakeable because my hopes to be fulfilled rest on Him. and the last line? i think we're asking about God bringing us closer to His heart and acknowledging Him as the Source of our power.
stanza 4 - with a God Who is our Dignity and our Delight, who needs to freak about cashflow or street cred? especially when He is also our Inheritance. (check out the whole "levites get God as their portion" thing in numbers and deuteronomy. seeing as we are now priests before God, that would be foreshadowing the same relationship between God and us!) with all this laid out before us, it is easy to see the progression - that God is my treasure, and that mammon doesn't even take a backseat to God (it's freaking hitchhiking at this point) - makes perfect sense.
stanza 5 - thanks to stephen lawhead, now i think of king arthur every time i think of the "high King of heaven" because his arthurian novels talk in that language. given that this song came from that sort of gaelic culture, i'm assuming that there is a valid connection: the high King was the absolute head guy - his the first and last word on every issue; his the heart that bleeds for all the people under his care; his the responsibility for shepherding them in every aspect of human life. sounds an awful lot like Jesus, eh? and then to think that this Person Who is so important and responsible would be the One to obtain victory for me... blows the mind to say the least.

how can we not prize Him more highly than anything? how can we not be utterly loyal to Him? how can we not willingly follow Him anywhere, in awe that He's still walking with us, hand in hand, leading us where He wants us to go?

this is the call of the gospel - be bound to God forever in the most epic of romances and battles and adventure stories.

1:36 AM

Christ Is Risen! The Lord Is Risen Indeed!

From the Squalor of a Borrowed Stable
from the squalor of a borrowed stable,
by the Spirit and a virgin's faith;
to the anguish and the shame of scandal
came the Savior of the human race.
but the skies were filled with the praise of heav'n,
shepherds listen as the angels tell
of the Gift of God come down to man
at the dawning of Immanuel.

King of heaven now the Friend of sinners,
humble servant inn te Father's hands,
filled with power and the Holy Spirit,
filled with mercy for the broken man.
yes, He walked my road, and He felt my pain,
joys and sorrows that i know so well;
yet His righteous steps give me hope again:
i will follow my Immanuel.

through the kisses of a friend's betrayal,
He was lifted on a cruel cross;
He was punished for a world's transgressions;
He was suffering to save the lost.
He fights for breath; He fights for me!
loosing sinners from the claims of hell;
and with a shout our souls set free:
death defeated by Immanuel.

now he's standing in the place of honor,
crowned with glory on the highest throne,
interceding for His own beloved
till His Father calls to bring them home!
then the skies will part as the trumpet sounds -
hope of heaven or the fear of hell;
but the Bride will run to her Lover's arms,
giving glory to Immanuel.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
this is a newish one for me - and not surprisingly, i love it. i love the way it covers Jesus' life and death both as aspects of our justification: that His righteousness is imputed to us and our punishment is borne by Him. i love the triumphant Hero language of revelation. i love the vividness of words like "scandal" and phrases like "loosing sinners from the claims of hell."

has everybody read piper's 50 reasons why Jesus came to die? i'm working on it right now - read 10 chapters last night - and so far it's fantastic. now i just have to wrestle it away from daddy before i hop on a plane to go back to school tomorrow.

ok, one more today... and then a bonus one tomorrow. :)

note the similarities between this song and the one above, both thematically and in terms of the types of language used
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Rise and Shine (by andrew peterson)
i remember how the snow fell in december,
the angels flew in pageants and in dreams.
and i came in at 6 o'clock from a long, hard day of playing
to the warmth of mama's cooking,
or was it the warmth of mama's love?

there were cardboard pirate ships and mud-puddle seas
and the backyard was a battleground for cowboys.
when daddy drug me out of bed on early sunday morning,
i remember how he smiled at me and said,

he said, "rise, rise and shine.
the day is coming on
and you know the night is gone
so rise."

i remember how the shepherds lay in slumber
and the angels came and broke them from their dreams;
and mary raised her weary head
and joseph stood there grinning
when the world awoke to the coming of a King

but there were haystacks in His palace,
and a manger was His throne
as a hush fell on the little town of david.
the hillside never shined so bright
as early christmas morning -
you could almost hear the very heavens sing.

they sang, "rise, rise and shine.
the sun is coming in
and the morning light is shining in
your eyes; o, rise and shine.
the day is coming on
and you know the night is gone
so rise."

i remember how the sunlight turned to thunder
and people ran for shelter from the rain;
and the curtain tore and the saints awoke
and the whole earth seemed to tremble
from the fury of God's anger,
or was it the fury of His love?

there were shadows on the tomb there in the garden
and the mist was rising slowly through the trees;
and when mary saw the silhouette on early easter morning
i remember how He smiled at her and said,

He said, "rise, rise and shine.
the sun is coming in
and the morning light is shining in
your eyes; o, rise and shine.
the day is coming on
and you know the night is gone
so rise."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
y'all, the night is gone. hallelujah!

1:23 AM

:-D

my favorite smell right now is smoke from burning wood. it's all in my hair right now and it's the most wonderfully comforting smell i can think of. :)

Amazing Grace
amazing grace! how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
i once was lost but now am found; was blind but now i see.

twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.
how precious did that grace appear the hour i first believed!

through many dangers, toils, and snares i have already come,
tis grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.

and when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
i shall possess within the veil a life of health and peace.

when we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun
we've no less days to sing God's praise than when we'd first begun.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
can't believe i waited this long to get to such a song!
ok, so everyone needs to see the movie amazing grace. it's awesome. :)
i won't dwell on what most people do - "wretch like me," the supremacy of grace throughout the christian life, etc - because instead i want to focus on the last stanza. it totally blows my mind. this was the first exercise in thinking about eternity i ever had - singing this song in like 4th grade i started thinking about what it would mean to have time be something so endless. i mean, think about it this way: what if you went labor day weekend to the beach. you left on friday, got there friday night, and saturday morning you got up and went for a jog on the board walk, had breakfast with your friends or whoever you were with, went to the beach to play volleyball, jump waves, and sunbathe, and then went home to shower and change before dinner out. you went to dinner, and then went back to the hotel/house to play cards and laugh till 1 am... and then when you woke up the next morning, labor day had been moved to tuesday and you had off monday also! and what if that happened every day?! i mean, it's a childish example, but it works... and it's soooooooooooo weird, but quite relieving at the same time to know that at some point we'll stop counting days because they won't run out!
[lots of exclamation points today, sorry about that.]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Saved By Grace (shane & shane)
just a'singing a gospel song today
getting ready to send the years of guilt and shame away
years of failing, years of nailing of yourself to a cross you can't bear
that's why He's there

what a beautiful day
when He washed our sins away
what a beautiful day

by grace you have been saved
by grace you have been saved
by grace you have been saved
by grace, through faith, through faith

and even the faith i have to sing
'alle, alle, allelujah" to my King
is freely given, that i might not boast in myself
but Him

what a beautiful day
when He washed our sins away
what a beautiful day

by grace you have been saved
by grace you have been saved
by grace you have been saved
by grace, through faith, through faith

i can't sing it enough, say it enough, play it enough, when will i get it?
o, i can't earn it, and Lord i don't deserve it
i can't say it enough

by grace you have been saved
by grace you have been saved
by grace you have been saved
by grace, through faith, through faith
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
this song is a good way to say it more often - these guys are right: this is a hard thing to remember. i can't help but think about what martin luther said when he was approached by a parishoner. "pastor," the guy said to luther, "why do you keep preaching to us, sunday after sunday, about justification by faith alone?" luther replied, "because every sunday, you've forgotten it again." that's me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds
how sweet the Name of Jesus sounds in a believer's ear!
it soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear.

it makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast;
tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest.

dear Name, the rock on which i build, my shield and hiding place,
my never-failing treasury, filled wiht boundless stores of grace!

by Thee, my prayers acceptance gain, although with sin defiled.
satan accuses me in vain, and i am owned a child.

Jesus, my Shepherd, Brother, Friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King,
my Lord, my life, my way, my end - accept the praise i bring.

weak is the effort of my heart, and cold my warmest thought,
but when i see Thee as Thou art, i'll praise Thee as i ought.

till then i would Thy love proclaim with every fleeting breath,
and may the music of Thy Name refresh my soul in death.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
why is all that true? how is it possible that a just God should be our hope and balm and joy?

ladies and gentlemen, happy resurrection sunday!

4:54 PM

How Firm a Foundation

how firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
what more can He say than to you He hath said, to you who for refuge to Jesus hath fled?

"fear not, I am with thee; o, be not dismayed, for I am thy health and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

"when through the deep waters I call thee to go, the rivers of grief will not thee overthrow,
for i will be with thee, thy troubles to bless, and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

"when through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee - I only design thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

"the soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I will not, I will not desert to his foes.
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to break, i'll never, no never, no never forsake."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
this song is so amazing when its words are contrasted with the passion. God says all these things to us because He did not do them for His own Son that day when the fury of God's wrath was visited upon the only Person Who didn't deserve it. and because of that event almost 2000 years, we are safe in the arms of a just and merciful God Who has sworn by Himself and the death of His Son never to forsake us as He did Him.

1:29 AM

Arise, My Soul, Arise

arise, my soul, arise - shake off your guilty fears.
the bleeding Sacrifice in my behalf appears.
before the throne my Surety stands
before the throne my Surety stands:
my Name is written on His hands.

arise! arise! arise, arise my soul arise!
arise! arise! arise, arise my soul, arise!
shake off your guilty fears and rise!

He ever lives above for me to intercede,
His all-redeeming love, His precious blood to plead.
His blood atones for every race
His blood atones for every race
and sprinkles now the throne of grace.

arise! arise! arise, arise my soul arise!
arise! arise! arise, arise my soul, arise!
shake off your guilty fears and rise!

five bleeding wounds He bears, received on calvary;
they pour effectual prayers, they strongly plead for me.
"forgive her, o forgive!" they cry.
"forgive her, o forgive!" they cry,
"nor let that ransomed sinner die!"

arise! arise! arise, arise my soul arise!
arise! arise! arise, arise my soul, arise!
shake off your guilty fears and rise!

my God is reconciled; His pardoning voice i hear.
He owns me for His child - i can no longer fear.
with confidence i now draw nigh
with confidence i now draw nigh
and "Abba, Father, Abba" cry.

arise! arise! arise, arise my soul arise!
arise! arise! arise, arise my soul, arise!
shake off your guilty fears and rise!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
so this goes nicely with "and can it be," especially given the "with confidence i now draw nigh." that was an unintended parallel, but it works really well, which is cool. :)
i love all the hebrews language, focusing on Jesus' constancy as our mediator, who "ever lives above for me to intercede."
i put in the "her" instead of "him" because i sing it that way unless i'm leading. it makes it more personal for me. and the truth of the matter is, i need the gospel to soak into me as much as possible. it is so helpful to be reminded so richly of what Christ's sacrifice means for us. :-D

12:04 AM

A Couple More Hymns

sorry that this will be brief, but i am quite ill.

And Can It Be

and can it be that i should gain an interest in the Savior's blood?
died He for me, who caused His pain? for me, who Him to death pursued?
amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father's throne above, so free, so infinite His grace,
emptied Himself of all but love and bled for adam's helpless race.
tis mercy all immense and free, for, o my God, it found out me!

amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

long my imprisoned spirit lay, fastbound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray; i woke; the dungeon flamed with light!
my chains fell off; my heart was free; i rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

no condemnation now i dread - Jesus and all in Him is mine!
alive in Him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine,
bold i approach the eternal throne and claim the crown through Christ my own!

amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
love this song. highlights include the monergism shout out in verse 3 and the idea that we can approach the throne of God Almighty "bold" and wearing the righteousness of Christ.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Jesus, I Love Thee
my Jesus, i love Thee, i know Thou art mine.
for Thee all the follies of sin i resign.
my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou -
if ever i loved Thee, my Jesus, tis now.

i love Thee because Thou hast first loved me
and purchased my pardon on calvary's tree.
i love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow.
if ever i loved Thee, my Jesus, tis now.

i love Thee in life and i'll love Thee in death;
i'll love Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
and say when the death-dew lies cold on my brow:
"if ever i loved Thee, my Jesus, tis now."

in mansions of glory and endless delight
i'll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
and sing with a glittering crown on my brow
"if ever i loved Thee, my Jesus, tis now."
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ok, so i'm completely dead. i have nothing to say. we're lucky these are actually complete sentences... i hope my essays for my exam this afternoon had mostly complete sentences.

2:38 AM

Hi

after friday night's campus-wide dance party, i was incapable of developed thought. then i went to raleigh with a friend to visit her family. so i'm now resuming the hymn series. can't believe easter is so close! this is my favorite time of year.

oh, btw, check out psalm 112, particularly vs. 6-8.
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Beneath the Cross of Jesus
beneath the cross of Jesus i feign would take my stand,
the shadow of a mighty Rock within a weary land,
a Home within the wilderness, a Rest upon the way
from the burning of the noontide heat and the burden of the day.

upon the cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
the very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;
and from my stricken heart with tears two wonders i confess:
the wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.

i take, o cross, thy shadow for my abiding place.
i ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face,
content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss.
my sinful self my only shame; my glory all the cross.
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isn't that just so beautiful? i love that we are confessing the "two wonders" together: that is so healthy! it's not "boy do i suck" or "yay i'm a child of the King, holy and dearly loved" - it's BOTH. at the same time. always. isn't that cool?
i also love the line "i ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face," because that kind of solidarity and joy in the Lord is what i want. so precious to be so deeply rooted in the "rich and free" love of Christ.
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Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
come, Thou Fount of every blessing - tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above.
praise the mount, i'm fixed upon it, mount of God's redeeming love.

here i raise my ebenezer; hither by Thy help i've come.
and i hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger wandering from the fold of God.
He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood.

o, to grace how great a debtor daily i'm constrained to be!
let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.
prone to wander, Lord i feel it; prone to leave the God i love.
here's my heart, o, take and seal it; seal it for Thy courts above.
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another gorgeous hymn and one my RUF minister is pretty much obsessed with, so we sing it alot. i love the cause and effect connections drawn in this song: the never-ceasing "streams of mercy" veritably shout out, "you need to praise God for this!"
and we (the Church) should totally be "fixed upon" the "mount of God's redeeming love," which is wayyyyy bigger than mount everest and wayyyyyyyyyy cooler than mount rushmore. reminds me of "Thy Mercy" - "Thy mercy, my God, is theme of my song, the joy of my heart, and the boast of my tongue."
in case we don't all know what ebenezers are, they are monuments constructed in the old testament to memorialize a time God powerfully showed up and provided what was needed. i believe the first time that word appears in the bible is when the israelites cross the jordan into the land of canaan and God has them build an ebenezer to remind them for all time how far and through what He'd brought them. what's interesting is that this was intended to prompt children to ask their parents about the big heap of rocks... the story was meant to be told over and over again. no hiding what God has done under a bushel or anything like that...
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this last one is an andy peterson song (again, i know). it's a cool one: Jesus is the cowboy-gunslinger-hero and who gets kicked the heck outta dodge? the "wages of sin," of course! (added my notes in brackets cause with this song it's easier that way)
High Noon
high noon in the valley of the shadow, [battle/dueling time; psalm 23: '...of death']
when the deep of the valley was bright, [because of Who's there]
when the mouth of the tomb shouted, "Glory!
the Groom is alive!"
go on, you wages of sin;
go on, don't you come back again:
i've been raised and redeemed;
you've lost all your steam to the Victor of the battle
at high noon in the valley,
in the valley of the shadow.

now the demons, they danced in the darkness
when that last ragged breath left his lungs,
and they reveled and howled at the war that they thought they had won.
but then, in the dark of the grave, the stone rolled away,
in the still of the dawn on the greatest of days

it was high noon in the valley of the shadow,
when the shadows were shot through with light.
Jesus took in that breath and shattered all death with His life. [how cool is that!!!!]
go on, you wages of sin! go on, don't you come back again:
i've been raised and redeemed;
you've lost all your steam to the Victor of the battle
at high noon in the valley
in the valley of the shadow.

let the people rejoice.
let the heavens resound.
let the Name of Jesus, Who sought us
and freed us forever ring out.
all praise to the Fighter of the night
Who rides on the light
Whose gun is the grace of the God of the sky.

high noon in the valley of the shadow
when the shadows were shot through with light
when the mouth of the tomb shouted, 'glory!
the Groom is alive!"
go on, you wages of sin,
i said, go on, don't you come back again:
i've been raised and redeemed,
all praise to the King,
the Victor of the battle
at high noon in the valley,
in the valley of the shadow.

all hail the power of Jesus' Name...

1:34 AM

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

o Love that will not let me go,
i rest my weary soul in Thee.
i give Thee back the life i owe,
that in Thine ocean depths its flow
may richer fuller be.

o Light that followest all my way
i yield my flickering torch to Thee;
my heart restores its borowed ray,
that in Thy sunshine's blaze its day
may brighter, fairer be.

o joy that seekest me through pain,
i cannot close my heart to Thee;
i trace the rainbow through the rain
and feel the promise is not vain
that morn shall tearless be.

o cross that liftest up my head,
i dare not close my heart to Thee;
i lay in dust, life's glory dead,
and from the ground there blossoms red
life that shall endless be.
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hopefully y'all know the story behind this song. if you don't, read the explanation on the bottom of this page. it's really really really worth reading.
i'm tired and needing to go to sleep, so i'll just say this: the fact that i can "feel the promise is not vain that morn shall tearless be" is indicative of the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, not some trumped up emotionality...

2:10 AM

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

o the deep, deep love of Jesus -
vast, unmeasured, boundless, free -
rolling as a mighty ocean
in its fullness over me.
underneath me, all around me
is the current of Thy love
leading onward, leading homeward
to Thy glorious rest above.

o the deep, deep love of Jesus,
spread its praise from shore to shore!
how He loveth, ever loveth,
changeth never, never more!
how He watches o'er His loved ones,
died to call them all His own!
how for them He intercedeth,
watcheth o'er them from the throne!

o the deep, deep love of Jesus -
love of every love the best!
tis an ocean vast of blessing;
tis a haven sweet of rest.
o, the deep, deep love of Jesus:
tis a heaven of heavens to me.
and it lifts me up to glory,
for it lifts me up to Thee!
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this song is so exclamatory it'd be ridiculous if it wasn't so warranted. the thing that gets me about it is that the traditional way it is sung is ridiculously inappropriate given the words. the indelible grace version is wayyyyy faster, which i think gives the tune the energy that the words have.
as a single woman who very much wants to get married, i find particular resonance with this song. i'm sure married people can say the same thing, but i'm not one, so here's what i think: i think this song shouts from the rooftops, "i have the greatest thing imaginable, the ultimate gift - a loving relationship with God Almighty! God does not withold Himself from me; instead, He wraps me in His love and gives me rest!" alot of things i want - to love what i do, to work with RUF, to make a difference, to lead people to Christ, to have awesome friends, to get married and make babies, to write a novel, etc (i could just keeeeep going) - are great things, but i have the best thing already. that doesn't make the things i want irrelevant, but it does change the way i look at them. it's like being given lots of fun presents - books, music, a new set of speakers for the living room, a puppy - when you've already received a heart transplant. it changes the way you view and relate to the other stuff to have something so huge, so monumental, given to you. and since all good things come from God, we know that must include the good things we do, especially since it says so here. pretty trippy, huh? God must love us an awful lot to give us things to do that actually help extend His kingdom. despite the total mess we make of things, i think it's cool that He uses us - and that it's all Him when something actually goes right. :)

2:54 AM

Psalm 130 (martin luther style)

from the depths of woe i raise to Thee the voice of lamentation.
Lord, turn a gracious ear to me and hear my supplication.
if Thou iniquity dost mark, our secret sins and misdeeds dark,
o, who shall stand before Thee?
o, who shall stand before Thee?

to wash away the crimson stain, grace, grace alone availeth.
our works, alas!, are all in vain; in much the best life faileth.
no man can glory in Thy sight; all must alike confess Thy might
and live alone by mercy,
and live alone by mercy.

therefore my trust is in the Lord and not it mine own merit.
on Him my soul shall rest; His Word upholds my fainting spirit.
His promised mercy is my fort, my comfort, and my sweet support;
i wait for it with patience.
i wait for it with patience.

what though i wait the live-long night and till the dawn appeareth,
my heart still trusteth in His might; it doubteth not, nor feareth.
do thus, o ye of israel's seed, ye of the Spirit born indeed,
and wait till God appeareth,
and wait till God appeareth.

though great our sins and sore our woes, His grace much more aboundeth.
His helping love no limit knows - our utmost need it soundeth.
our Shepherd, good and true is He Who will at last His israel free
from all their sin and sorrow,
from all their sin and sorrow.
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i love all of the verses. i love to just swim around in them, because they are scripture and obviously thus they are true. right now my favorite verse is #4. it reminds me of that rich mullins song (my Deliverer) from the Jesus record with the fantastic line: "He will never break His promise, though the stars shoulid break faith with the skies." goes back to that penelope/odysseus metaphor - we are waiting for the Groom Who is assuredly coming, Who is definitely listening and will answer us, even if we have to wait. and all our needs, no matter how messy and gross they get, are fully met by His love. hallelujah.

oh, and i can't wait to be free from all my sin and sorrow.

1:24 AM

While We're On the Topic of Suffering...

Be Still, My Soul
be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side.
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
leave to thy God to order and provide;
in every change, He faithful will remain.
be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
to guide the future as He has the past.
thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
be still my soul: the waves still know His voice
Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

be still, my soul, when dearest friends depart,
and all is darkened in the vale of tears,
then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
be still, my soul - thy Jesus can repay
from His own fullness all He takes away.

be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever with the Lord.
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
be still my soul, when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

be still, my soul; begin the song of praise
on earth, believeing, to thy Lord on high;
acknowledge Him in all thy works and ways,
so shall He view thee with a well-pleased eye.
be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.
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i want to "better know His love, His heart, Who comes to soothe [my] sorrows and [my] fears."

i love the way this song puts us in the position of talking to our own souls - of preaching the gospel to ourselves. very psalmist-like.

i'm especially glad that all these things are true given that i'm graduating and moving to a new city. in a matter of months.