Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The novelty of eating well is wearing off.
I need scandalously delicious recipes to entice me to continue on this journey to better health.
So far I've discovered a love of grapefruits and sliced & baked sweet potatoes.
Wait - is it grapefruit, or grapefruits?
Anyhow, since I opened my Christmas stocking from Jamie and it was full of delicious morsels like ferrero rocher, hershey's chocolate mint 60 cal sticks (they're only 60 cals if you only eat one!), and Terry's Chocolate Orange, I've definitely been enticed to sneak a taste (or more than just a "taste") a few times.
My sweet tooth is just too much for me sometimes.
Monday, December 18, 2006
It's a silver tray. I'm quite pleased with it. Just in time for the Christmas season of taking Christmas cookies to and fro to friends and relatives.
I also debated buying a scandalous green dress.
I decided against it because ... well, basically I would never wear it in public. And that would be a waste of money. Let's be honest, here.
Here are mine:
*Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (just because there aren't any words doesn't mean you can't sing along to it!)
*O Holy Night
*Do They Know It's Christmas? (when it's sung by The Barenaked Ladies - the live version!)
*All I Want For Christmas Is You - sung by Mariah Carey of course
*Baby It's Cold Outside
*Christmas Time All Over The World
*Joy To The World
And one I wish I could sing and mean it: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - only because there's no snow. :(
What are some of your Christmas faves?
Sunday, December 17, 2006
It was a truly festive evening as I sat on the couch with my hot chocolate and mini marshmallows and watched this old Christmas favourite.
And this afternoon I discovered the amazing smell of boiling a stick of cinnamon and orange peel with a bit of water. My apartment now smells incredible! And very festive. :)
I baked like a mad woman yesterday; I made Chewy Molasses-Spice cookies (my favourite of the bunch), Bittersweet Shortbread (made with huge chunks of bittersweet chocolate and pecans) and Peppermint chocolate cookies (which taste good but were extremely sticky and difficult to work with).
So it turns out that Martha (that's Martha Stewart of course!) really DOES know a thing or two about recipes - and Christmas recipes especially!
The Chewy Molasses-Spice cookies recipe I got from her website and you can get it too right here!
So enjoy and happy eating! :D
Sincerely - The Baking Goddess
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Oh how I love the whole Christmas season.
Tonight I watched Bing Crosby in White Christmas, sipped warm milk with cinnamon and wrapped a plethora of presents.
I realized something today - or at least during my preparations for Christmas;
I love giving gifts. Receiving them is (are? Beth...help me out here) nice, but I really do love giving gifts. BUT...when you start buying presents for people for the sake of buying presents for them - then I feel...frustrated with the sense of obligation that I feel - and don't WANT to feel.
On an entirely different note:
While browsing facebook I found a wall-to-wall with Priyanka and Jenn about tv addictions and Pri left a link to a site where Jenn could get addicted to Heroes. This show looks interesting to me so I clicked on the link (cue foreboding music now) and watched the pilot episode.
It was good.
I might watch a few more episodes...*famous last words*
Saturday, December 9, 2006
My time in Tanzania has come and gone and I'm left with (among other things) a slight glow of a tan.
Actually the shepherding trip to Tanzania was encouraging for both myself and the STINT team. It was really good to catch up with the girls and to see their place, meet their disciples and the other girls they work with and get a reminder of African culture.
Someone asked me when I returned if it made me more excited to go on STINT next year.
My answer is definitely no.
It was more of a reality check - which is a good thing. I think it's good that I know and have a better idea of what I'm walking into, what I'm committing a year of my life to and the kind of living conditions I'll be living in.
Anyway...so this trip was good for me to rethink through my reasons for going next year and if it's the best decision for Jamie and I.
Oh and lying on the beach was also pretty incredible. :)
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
As usual, I haven't started packing yet. Speaking of which - I need to switch my laundry.
Alright. Laundry switched and a tentative laying-out-of-clothes to be packed.
So we leave tomorrow.
I'm excited, actually. It'll be really good to see the gang and I'm looking forward to being able to encourage and minister to them. I feel like this is a time when you get tired and just want to slow down and so I hope that God will use me to bless and lift up the STINTers.
It's kinda funny to be getting out my shorts and tanks and t-shirts and thinking that in a few days I will be sweating my brains out.
Apparently it feelsl ike 40 degrees in Tanzania right now.
Celebrating Christmas in the summer is an interesting experience. The last time I did that was in 2000 when I was in Australia with some friends. It was much more laid back and much less commercial. We went surfing on Christmas morning. So bizarre!
I'm excited to surprise and delight the STINTers with some gifts and letters that will hopefully encourage them greatly!
I'm also glad that I had this past weekend to relax and just "be" so that I could let God minister to me after being so busy for the past 3 months.
All in all...I'm excited to be going to Tanzania tomorrow.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I was just about to down the rest of my 1% milk after finishing an oh-so-healthy dinner of mac n' cheese (extra cheesy) when the blaring sound of the fire alarm interupted me. I looked up at my husband and he looked at me and we both shrugged it off as a false alarm (after telling this to Kirsten she smiled and said "And that's why people die in fires." True enough). Then we heard the sound of footsteps and yelling so we peeked outside and saw people running out the back door. Jamie asked if there really was a fire and a man said "Yes, it's in my apartment!"
The moment of truth came upon us.
What would we take with us?
We both put on our jackets and shoes and Jamie mentionned that he wanted to take our tv with him. I said no dice.
So we walked out the back door and looked up to the third floor (our apartment is on the first/bottom floor). We could see a glow of amber from the blazes coming through the kitchen window. Black smoke was seeping out of the first window and one of our neighbours was standing in her pajamas holding a baby talking to a 911 operator.
And now I must say that I have the utmost respect and admiration for (as Jamie says) our city's finest (aka our firefighters). Within 5 minutes of that phone call there were 3 fire trucks, 2 ambulances, 1 pick up truck with flashing lights (I'm not entirely sure what it was) and a cop car! Mercy!
Those brave dudes tromped upstairs and put out that fire. By this time, all 4 windows of that apartment were black and even more smoke was seeping out. The firefighters opened the balconey door and windows of the bedrooms and black smoke just billowed out. It was quite amazing. For a moment...I felt a wave of fear and sorrow. I'm not sure why...I think it was because I felt compassion for the man and all his belongings
One little girl was scared - or so I thought. Turns out she was crying because she thought all her books would get burned up. Hoorah for education.
All in all, our apartment was fine (and so was our cat - we actually didn't go back in to get him...is that bad?) but I have no idea about the apartment with the fire. I assume it was pretty bad.
So that was my little bit of entertainment for the evening/week.
- I should definitely consider getting renters insurance
- I liked that I got to meet some of my neighbours. What a way to bring the community together.
- I think being a firefighter would be scary. Full of risks, the unknown and dangerous situations.
- Despit not taking any material possessions with me, I would have been really sad if my things had been damaged/destroyed.
- I like having a "story" to tell.
I tried to post pictures but blogger isn't co-operating, so I will try and update this post again maybe tomorrow with pictures.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Here are just a few reasons why I love Christmas:
- the traditions eg. Christmas baking and all the delicasies I get to make, Christmas stockings!!!, Christmas morning brunch with my mom's amazing sticky buns
- seeing family and friends that I don't often get to see
- all the good food!
- Christmas tunes
- Christmas movies (oh yes...the Grinch!)
- taking time to think about and remember the Christmas story
- Christmas Eve services
- I used to like lounging around on Christmas day, but I now have to split up Christmas day between 2 sometimes 3 different gatherings (but that's ok too)
Saturday, November 11, 2006
It just gives me warm fuzzies looking at it.
Props to Becky for taking this picture of both herself and the 7 other people in this pic! I think that's gotta be some kind of record!
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Today has not been a very spirit-filled day for me. I have lived carnally and felt like cuddling up in bed and not getting out.
Do you ever have those kinds of days?
In the meantime, I dream of one day owning a PVR - which is like a Tivo. Which basically tapes all your programs without the hassle of tapes and silly buttons. But I am sure there are other hassles/electronic frustrations.
Sunday, November 5, 2006
Even just having a tidy house feels nice.
After being busy for the past couple months (like really busy!) and sick for a couple days this week I finally got around to scrubbing down the bathroom and even having a serious go at the kitchen sink.
A home is a place where you can rest.
It's a place where you can be at peace, no matter what's going on "out there".
It's a safe place. Somewhere to have friends over and entertain. Somewhere to relax on a Saturday afternoon with a good book.
I like my home.
Recently I've been thinking about next year and what my "home" will be like in Tanzania. I have mulled over the comforts I won't have there (like constant electricity, water, bug-free"ness", etc.) and I found myself facing all the same questions that I feel like I've been through many times before;
Will it be worth it?
Can I handle it?
Am I that shallow that mere "comforts" are causing me to hesitate?
And then there's the thoughts about whatever comes after Tanzania.
Where will we live? Will we be able to settle down? Who will we work with? What about starting a family?
But then, something Corrie Ten Boom said rushes into my mind like a flood: Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
So true. So true.
Friday, November 3, 2006
I just have to post about this fabulous website since no one else has - but it seems like quite a few people know about it!
It's called Pandora and it's a website (www.pandora.com) and you type in the name of an artist or a song and then the program generates a music station based upon that artist or song and plays other songs and artists that it thinks you might like.
It's a really fun way of finding new bands that you might not think of!
I likes it. Yep. Yep I do.
Well, good commercials.
Commercials make me laugh, chuckle and even sometimes cry.
One commercial recently brought me to tears. It's for the Sick Kids Hospital and it's different shots of kids in the hospital (with broken arms, getting an MRI, etc.) singing "Lean on me".
And then just now a commercial for tostitos came on. It was a group of people sitting in an airport lounge and upon hearing their flight is delayed they all start talking and sharing tostitos and salsa. Who just happens to carry around not only a large bag of tostitos, but also a jar of salsa?
Sometimes I just don't get commercials - or at least the people that write them.
Monday, October 30, 2006
What a blessing it is when you get to see such a beautiful uniting of man and wife in marriage.
This past weekend I got to attend a wedding (as the date of my sister) of a childhood friend from growing up at the same church.
It was such a beautiful wedding and so very God-centred. I cried numerous times.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I was really looking forward to 2 beautifully thick slices of banana bread from the UC cafeteria. The first couple bites were delicious. I did, however miss the lemon glaze that my mom used to brush on the top of the banana bread just as it came out of the oven. The lack of lemon glaze (pretty much consisting of lemon juice) was not my ultimate letdown. It was the slightly disconcerting taste of onions that pervaded not 1 slice, but both of them. Onions? I swear it was onions. Maybe they need to clean out their pans a little better after using them to make...onion loaf?
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
This (but not shampoo - the body wash) was one of the glorious things that made me happy today. After a good workout at the gym I hopped into a borderline-scalding shower. As I lathered up with my new honey & nut body wash that my sweet mother gave to me for my birthday I couldn't help but smile. What an incredible smell.
It made me happy.
This also made me happy:
What a sweet, sweet laptop. My hilarious husband thought it would be funny to call me and tell me he had to go speak at a small group when REALLY he was picking up my laptop from the post office.
What a tricky, tricky husband.
But how could I be mad when he smiled his cute little smile and in his hands held the beautiful package I've been waiting for!
Hoorah for little laptops!
Monday, October 23, 2006
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That's right. I finally succumbed.
Now all you facebook junkies can search me out and add me.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Yesterday was my birthday and since it was also a Saturday I was able to celebrate with my friends as well!
It was a great day and I really enjoyed every part of it;
- waking up to the delicious smell of bacon
- enjoying breakfast in bed with Jamie as we watched last week's episode of Lost that we had previously taped
- lounging around the house and then going out for lunch with Jamie to a "surprise" location
- the "surprise" location was a fantastic little cafe in Rockwood where we each enjoyed amazing rib-eye steaks and veggies
- getting ready for the big birthday bash and getting to try out new recipes
- seeing tons of friends (but not too many for our apartment) and playing games, chatting and enjoying some fantastic live music at Pablo's
This was one of my favourite birthday parties. What a great day!
And I found out that my laptop will probably be here in the next couple days instead of in a week from now!
Today I was treated to lunch with my family in Toronto and also got some beautiful pashmina scarves from my Mom (thanks Mom!).
What a blessed woman I am to have all these wonderful people in my life.
I look forward to the next 25 years and whatever is in store for me!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Now I have much more to blog about than some freak snowstorm (which is significant in it's own weathery-type category).
This past Friday was our staff day for evangelism. All the staff came to Guelph and we paired off and went into all the popular hang-out spots at the U of G to go "sharing".
Now in the whole gamut of feelings toward doing initiative evangelism (from those who just LOVE it to those who HATE it) I fall somewhere in the "I love it" category but still don't find it incredibly easy to do - or at least I struggle to get out there and do it. Once I'm doing it, I love it...it's the whole momentum thing I struggle with.
But I do love doing it and I do love going with people I haven't gone before. In the morning I went out with MC and we approached and spoke with several girls. They were all really good conversations and 2 of the 3 conversations were longer than 30 minutes. Good, solid conversations where the gospel was presented.
In the afternoon I went out with Sean and we talked to this one guy for about 45 minutes. I was so encouraged by this conversation. Here was a guy in philosophy and was captured by guys like - I'm totally drawing a blank here - crap. Basically, he was captured by the Christian philosophers that he was studying. Here was a guy who was well informed, logical and asks himself the "big" questions of life. He was open and honestly seeking.
And then came the most incredible conversation with these two guys. This time I was sharing with Allan. These two guys and Allan and I talked for over an hour and a half about everything from the historicity of the Bible, to the claims of Jesus to absolute truth, to heaven and hell and everything! It was awesome and heated and full of debate and listening and talking and opinions and questions and ultimately was all about Jesus. In the end my heart broke for these guys who think that there is nothing more than this life. One guy even said, "I am my own god."
Wow. I can't even imagine the anger/sadness/grief that is felt by God as so many people either say that statement verbally or communicate it by their actions.
But I was so pumped afterwards. We even had to cut the conversation so we could get our rides.
Who says people don't want to talk about about their spiritual beliefs?
In a span of around 4-5 hours I only spoke to 7 people! That means that I either hung out in the bathroom a lot (which I didn't) or that the people I spoke to were really interested and the conversations just lasted longer than 5 minutes.
I've said it before, but I'll say it again, I love my job.
Monday, October 9, 2006
4 Thanksgiving dinners later and I'm literally as stuffed as one of the feathered friends I ate!
Ok, so I'm obviously not LITERALLY that stuffed (cuz I'd be dead if I were) but I vow to the blogging world - I, Vanessa, will never again eat 4 Thanksgiving dinners in one weekend ever again.
But it was a good time with many different families and friends and those are the memories that I will take away with me (and hopefully not this horribly bloated feeling) and remember for many years to come.
It's also a Thanksgiving that comes (or ends) with the announcement of new life - nope, it's not me who's pregnant - and the tumult of emotions that I now feel as I think of my dear friend and the precious life that is miraculously growing within her. What a new phase in my life! No one I've been close (in both relationship and age) to has started to have babies and now it's upon me. A brand new phase in my life - one that is similar to the phase when my friends started to get engaged and married. And this new phase is having a similar effect on me. I become introspective and look at different things in my life but ultimately I come before Jesus Christ with my life and my hopes and dreams and wishes and goals. I know that I want what He wants for my life - more than anything else I want what He wants. There is an increased effort and submission to Him in prayer because in all of this I realize how little I know about life but an eventual increase in peace knowing that HE knows EVERYTHING about life - and everything about MY life. My past, my present and my future. What a relieving and comforting thought.
Oh God how I praise you for your omniscience. For your Sovereignty and for your supreme wisdom and power.
I echo the words of a song:
Lord, reign in me.
Sunday, October 8, 2006
Saturday Jamie and I drove to Toronto for Thanksgiving with my family. It was a goregeous day so we went to the Lakeshore to walk on the boardwalk and play bocce ball.
I love how family dynamics change as you all grow old enough to hang out together as "adults". Even Bear (our dog) behaved!
We had an incredible dinner together and each shared things we're thankful for - focussing on the past year and things that have happened. It was so encouraging to hear of how God is working in and changing my mom's life. It really brought tears to my eyes and made me so thankful that He really is the Great Physician and He definitely binds up the brokenhearted.
I am thankful for Family.
Sunday, October 1, 2006
Summit was incredible. God is incredible. Over 400 students came to Camp White Pine this weekend for our Campus for Christ Retreat - my buzzer just went to change the laundry - Mm...fresh laundry. Where was I?
Right. Summit. 400 students.
My heart is so full of joy and amazement that despite the fact that this year our campuses split off (and there were only 8 campuses instead of the usual 12 or so) that we had MORE students from LESS campuses turn up. Wow!
Friday night was insanely cold; minus one degree to be exact. At least, it was cold for September 29th. Despite the cold we all gathered in the Pintages for school spirit (Guelph...I'm so proud of you and I am so blessed to be working with all of you - and Mac...the fact that you had over 130 students show up is honestly a testimony of God's grace and power - it's true...even if you were a little obnoxious. :P) incredible worship and both hilarious stories and words of truth from our speaker, Alex Philip.
I also appreciated the drive up north - the colours of the trees are mind-blowing! I just soaked it in while listening to a fantastic sermon by Mark Driscoll. I love nature. That aspect alone of the weekend was a blessing in itself.
And God showed up. He truly did.
Saturday was such a great day. Worshipping in spirit and in truth, playing some great games, talking with new friends, old friends and even recent friends...my heart was just so blessed from this weekend. I think because I remember my first few Summits when I didn't know anyone and felt extremely out of place and struggled to get to know people. Now when I come I see familiar faces who know me and love me and we are labouring together for Christ - and I love that!
Saturday night was my favourite session. Alex talked about sin and its affect in our lives and its destructive nature. I was scribbling notes like crazy as he talked about Joshua from the Bible and how when one of the Israelite's committed a sin God took it so seriously that it was not only that particular person's sin, but the entire nation of Israel's sin! Sin is serious. And another point that stuck out to me is that sin is not disconnected from God. It is intimately connected to who God is and is an affront on the character of God. THAT is why it is so serious and that's why the reprecussions of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23)
Today I woke up with the worst migraine I think I've ever had so much so that I felt sick to my stomach. This was discouraging as I wanted to participate in the day's activites. I'm not sure why this happened but I know it wasn't random. So today was hard...and not my ideal way to end a great weekend, but as we drove home I started to feel better, which was really great.
I'll end with this link to a fantastic article by John Piper. It's called "The Greatest Thing in the World is to be Saved". Check it out.
Oh and you can check out my pictures from Summit at my picture blog and some videos at my video blog.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
After months of hearing "Save your scissors" on tv or the radio I've finally gone out and got the entire cd by City and Colour.
I really enjoy this album by Dallas Green (City...Colour...clever, eh?) the former lead singer of Alexisonfire.
Green's heartfelt vocals and incredible acoustic guitar make for a solid first album on his own.
That's my recommendation.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
*holding blogging etiquette in my hand near an open window*
For now, I am throwing blogging etiquette out the window.
I am unsatisfied with my current blog template. All that work for naught. I can't put my finger on it. Too girly? Not me?
I also don't like how it doesn't load up properly.
And I'm secretly jealous that Terra's choice of blog template is just as wicked-awesome as I had envisioned it to be when I realized (or thought I realized) that it didn't allow for comments. But alas. My gifts of observation must have been rusty or I would have noticed that indeed...it does allow for comments. But I chose this template instead. No doubt I will probably change it again some time tonight.
Simply because it is bothering me.
And I don't like the name.
Yesterday I attended Uche and Melissa's wedding in Buffalo.
- this is the third wedding I have been to/seen this summer where the bridesmaids were in rich, red dresses. It looked nice...it's just a funny observation.
- the message in the service was really good. The pastor used Ephesians 5:22-33 as his base and he expounded it so beautifully and richly as well as applying it to their specific situation and personalities.
- the reception - oh the reception! It was held in this goregeous mansion where we were wined and dined with all the best appetizers, dinner, dessert and great service. The speeches were meaningful but not rambling and there weren't five million of them - thank goodness!
- Chris Shipley's prayer of blessing on Uche and Melissa during the ceremony was the most beautiful wedding prayer I have ever heard. God has so clearly gifted him with an understanding of what prayer is and how to pray...it moved me to tears.
- seeing old friends was great
- shopping at the outlet mall on the way home was also great as I FINALLY found a fall/spring jacket (incidentally the same one as Jenna had picked out ... first the vest, now the jacket)
Babies. I was at a baby shower today for someone in the family (sorta - like a step-cousin-in-law...does such a thing exist?) and it was very...thought provoking.
First: I am fully and completely amazed at God's grace for giving me such a husband who loves me, respects me, cherishes me as well as someone who has a deep relationship with God.
"How is this related to babies?" you might ask.
Well after cringing inwardly at the behaviour and words of one of the men there and bearing witness to his lack of respect for his wife and their first child I was overwhelmed with a sense of relief and thankfulness to be with a man who does respect me and to know that I have no doubts that he will be the most amazing father - full of love and care, discipline and wisdom towards our children.
And then began the comments about Jamie and I and our future children. I don't really mind the comments so much. I look forward to the day when we have kids. And Jamie and I have talked about tons of things concerning our future and we are confident that when we have kids it will be at the right time for us - not our families or friends, but for us. So...in the meantime I will smile and accept their comments knowing that they are probably just as excited (maybe not quite as excited) as we are about bringing new life into this world some day.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Today was a good day for many reasons but one lovely trip down memory lane was perhaps my favourite. It was my favourite because of how unexpected it was.
The story goes:
After dinner tonight Jamie and I traipsed off to the grocery store. Zehrs.
I love Zehrs. Now mind you, it wasn't the amazing Imperial Zehrs but any Zehrs is better than Price Chopper or Food Basics.
Ok, so I'm a food snob. I like my frills!
Leaving the rabbit trails behind...
So we're slowly making our way. Up and down each aisle. Perusing. Looking at all the fantastic and strange fruits and vegetables.
When just as I'm about to grab some Soup To Go, I look up to see a familiar face talking to Jamie.
From the summer camp Jamie and I worked at 7 years ago.
The same summer we started dating.
So it turns out that Jared and his wife life a few houses down from the Zehrs. And he invited us over for dinner! Did I mention he's a trained chef?
Maybe we'll be couple friends!
It's little reunions like this that make me smile on the inside and on the out.
Such a little, silly thing and yet...God knew exactly what He was doing when he put us both in Zehrs.
Thanks God...for the many blessings you pour out on me - they are raining down on me and I am jumping in the puddles.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I forgot how much I really enjoy hockey.
And live sporting events in general.
Jamie and I went to see the Leafs Blue & White game.
This is an annual event before the first pre-season game where all the Leafs suit up into two teams - one team wears their blue jerseys and one team wears their white jerseys.
Then no matter what happens - the Leafs win!
An idea situation if you ask me.
I'm looking forward to this hockey season and one that ends with the Leafs hoisting that silver cup in the air.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
It's like a little miracle (I know, I know...not coherent with the exact definition of a miracle according to Dr. A. Scholes - I took Doctrine Survey...but I suppose I use the term loosely) that happens inside someone. It's incredible.
For those who don't know, my grandfather passed away this past Wednesday and there was much strife and tension between certain extended family members.
I expected huge drama and even a public scene.
Instead there were tears and hugs and apologies and humble hearts.
Thank you to those who prayed.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Those were the combined smells I inhaled when I walked out my front door into the apartment hallway.
I hate weird-smelling apartment buildings.
It used to smell nice in there but now it seems as though someone has discovered onions and is using them in every meal possible.
That's too bad.
At least it doesn't smell in my apartment.
Saturday, September 9, 2006
- a glorious sleep-in
- Rolo Ice Cream for lunch
- getting to spend time with my sister
- my sister getting hooked up with Western C4C
- tv shows on DVD
- "down" time
- left-over candies from East Side Marios
- chasing Jamie around the house
- reading a bit and listening to a sermon on being filled with the spirit
- going to bed...well, it will make me happy!
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Today I am in the middle of the first of 25 weeks on campus this year.
What will God do in 25 weeks? What will He use me to do?
How will He change me?
Whose eyes will He open? Whose heart will He soften?
How will I grow? What will I learn? What friends will I make?
Only 25 weeks.
Oh the things He can do!
- made hundreds of snow cones
- had probably 15 bees swarming me (and landing on me) as I attempted to "flavour" the snow
- discovered that I enjoy ultimate frisbee
- met some great people (including a girl who knew Carmen from Carleton)
- set up another followup meeting for this week (we're at 5 and counting, folks!)
- took a ton of pictures of people playing sports (and I am attempting to attach them in an email to rmitts)
- ate "real" Chinese food (so good - thanks Becky!)
- played "the bowl" game with some awesome peeps (and we won - oh yes...)
- watched 4 episodes (back to back) of Lost Season 2 with the hubster
- had a scalding hot shower - it was "delicious"
- marvelled at God's faithfulness and sovereignty in the midst of chaos and uncertainty
...did a whole bunch of other things that are probably worth mentionning but not worth reading.
Monday, September 4, 2006
And I love it.
Last night I danced my little heart out on the field along with hundreds of first years and learned my favourite new dance move, The Toy. Good times.
Today I scooped and gave away over 400 free snowcones.
Although I didn't get to chat with too many first years, I did notice a girl sitting by herself in the cafeteria reading "Would you like to know God personally?" that she had received for free from our C4C booth. I decided to go over and chat with her.
I don't know what will come of the conversation but I look forward to many more conversations in which to talk about the one person I love the most - Jesus Christ.
I followed up with a ton of girls who left their info and hopefully will be meeting with at least 3 of them this week.
I love my job.
Saturday, September 2, 2006
We made a Summit video and to add randomness included a chicken in it. Mostly Jamie was the chicken but since he was the groom for one shot I had to be the chicken.
It was hot and slightly claustrophobic.
On an entirely different note, I started a new blog for myself to write about the books I am reading so as to remember and process them. You can check it out here. There's also a link on the sidebar.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I am currently re-reading the first book in the Mark of the Lion series called A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers.
She is so descriptive and honest with her characters; in how they feel, what they do, what they think.
There is something about good, Christ-centred fiction that sweeps me away and causes me to think about who I am and (especially with this book) how I am being changed by God (or how I am hindering Him from changing me).
I heartily recommend it.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
And this month's treat pick of the month is.....
Chocolate Covered Cranberries!
I've been enjoying some delightful dark chocolate covered cranberries (courtesy of the bulk section at my local Zehrs) but I'm sure that they are tasty when covered with milk chocolate.
With the weather changing (yes, autumn is coming...sorry to be the one to say it) cranberries just seem like the perfect choice for a season in-limbo.
And really....chocolate covered anything sounds like the perfect treat to me!
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I watched 1/3 of it before deciding that;
a) the celebrities aren't nearly talented enough - this would explain why they are actors/gymnasts/comedians instead of singers, and;
b) the judges aren't nearly mean enough, and;
c) Wayne Brady should be IN the competition, not hosting it.
And now many of you will look for it on tv and watch it just to see if I'm right.
Monday, August 28, 2006
I dreamt that I had a baby.
And in the dream that wasn't the disturbing part. In the past when I have dreamt that I was pregnant or had a child it was the most frightening dream - mostly I just felt ill-prepared or mad (for mainly selfish reasons like I couldn't hang out and do non-children stuff anymore).
This baby grew quite quickly and I think I was the most concerned that I wasn't going to be able to feed him properly. I couldn't quite figure out the whole breast feeding thing and was frustrated that he wanted to drink formula over natural breast milk.
There were other disturbing aspects to this dream which I won't elaborate...but it was strange and definitely got me thinking about parenting and all the wonderful and strange things that accompany having a child.
I did look into breastfeeding (the wonders of www.google.ca) and different styles of parenting (such as Babywise and Attachment Parenting)...it's all very interesting.
It will be interesting when I enter that phase of my life and figure out what's nice to read on the internet and what is actually practical and in the best interest of my child(ren).
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
However, I managed to win 4 free Blue Jays tickets to Monday's game against Oakland.
It was a great game. At one point we were winning 8-0. We were proud Jays fans. We cheered and clapped like trained monkeys and we had a grand old time.
And then Ted Lilly decided to let in 10 runs. And he dropped an F-bomb when he was pulled out of the game. Who does that?
And then the boo-birds came out.
Some other blog-worthy things happened during the length of the game.
Kirsten giggling for pretty much the entire game at the thought of me as a snack girl. You know, the person that walks up and down the aisle yelling "Peanuts! Popcorn!" Or "Ice Cold Beer! Get your Ice Cold Beer!". It is a pretty funny thought, though. I think I'd like to be the slushy girl. Or ice cream girl.
The two teenage girls in front of us pretending to take pictures of their mom, but they were really taking pictures of Jamie and our friend John. It was pretty obvious, I thought but I just rolled my eyes and laughed. Oh Jamie...you've still got it. :)
The really big Diet Coke that Kirsten got. I thought it was funny but she did a good job of pacing herself.
Jamie waving like an maniac across the stadium to Tim who is blind (but not really) and couldn't see the tall, white guy waving like a blade of grass in a hurricane.
There are probably other things but I'm feeling quite tired and forgetful at this moment.
It was a good game and I'm glad I won those tickets. Hooray for free stuff!
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Here is part of Carolyn's response:
The finish line is not the marriage altar, as good and right as marriage can be. The finish line is seeing your Lord and Savior face to face, in glory. Don't forget that when temptation comes around. You must remember that you are keeping yourself pure because it's your spiritual act of worship and praise (Romans 12:1-3)--not just because of the hope of a future husband. If you get married, your husband will no doubt praise you for your self-control and the gift of your purity to him. But your primary motivation must be to please your Savior, marriage or not.
Sometimes we forget that our primary reason for doing anything or pleasing anyone should be to please our Saviour. Any other reasons are secondary.
Thanks to Carolyn (also an older, single woman) for keeping things in perspective.
(Also check out this article she wrote about sinful judgement - I'm halfway through and it's enough to cause me to recommend it!)
It's so great to spend time with good friends.
When I was younger and thought about one day when I was married and I would hang out with my married friends I definitely thought of myself being older - or at least feeling older.
It was so great to spend time with Regan and her husband (of one month!) Steve as well as our good friends Elisha and Mike who are back from the Dominican Republic for a month.
We visited Regan and Steve in Windsor and though it was a whirl-wind visit we managed to have a delicious picnic by the river, play frisbee, see Steve jump in the river to get the frisbee, see their house-in-process (a lot of renovations and fix-ups), see Talladega Nights, look at wedding pictures and just have some great conversations.
I had such a great time. I truly treasure these godly friends and feel so blessed to have each one of them in my life.
Wednesday, August 9, 2006
It was a great book full of witty and sarcastic remarks as well as deep insights on how he (Mark Driscoll) started a church of 40 people which is now a church of over 4000.
I've included some quotes because some of them made me laugh out loud and some of them made me stop and reflect.
"The only way to have healthy community is to pursue God's mission of reaching lost people because community is an effect of mission, but not an effective mission."
Think about it. That one's a goodie.
"Leaders must frequently decide between offending Christ or a Christian, and Ghost-guided biblical conviction alone must determine the duties of church leaders. Otherwise, church leaders will waste their time washing dishes while their church sinks."
Another clever, yet oh-so-insightful comment.
"It is vital to name with brutal candor the people, programs, structures and ministry philosophies that are dogs needing to be shot. Be sure to make it count and shoot them only once so that they don't come back and bite you."
(the dogs he refers to are "the idiotic ideas, stinky styles, stupid systems, failed facilities, terrible technologies, loser leaders, and pathetic people". Don't ya just love people to give it to you straight?)
"Can you wield a sword and a trowel? In the days of Nehemiah, when the Israelites' mission was to rebuild the wall, Nehemiah had his people carry a trowel in one hand to build and a sword in the other to defend their work. As we build our churches in a culture no less hostile than that of Nehemiah, we too must learn how to both build a missional church and defend it from Satan, demons, and evildoers."
"The upstairs room at the fundamentalist church (where the first church he planted first met) was so hot that everyone was sweating like Mike Tyson in a spelling bee. During one service, a pregnant lady simply passed out and fell off her chair. This would not have been so traumatic if I were trying to plant one of those shake-and-bake, holy-roller churches where I smacked people on the nugget in Jesus' name so they could lie on the floor and twitch like a freshly caught trout on a dock and call it the work of the Holy Ghost."
Oh so classically brutal. I love it!
"Our rotating cast of worship leader tryouts ranged from screaming punk rockers - to this day, I have no idea why they were so dramatically depressed - to the kind of happy-clappy Christian praise musicians that you would expect to find playing on a karaoke machine at a Christian homeschool co-op reunion for kids whose moms made their clothes."
"In the end I realized that we labour with the exalted Christ, which gives us authority to proclaim the gospel of freedom. And we labour like the incarnated CHrist, which gives us humility and grace to creatively demonstrate and proclaim the love of Christ to fellow sinners in our culture."
"Jesus never sinned and, therefore, never repented, but because we sin, we must continually repent if we are to be faithful missionaries."
This one may be a bit long and slightly offensive to some but I think it rings of truth and irony so here goes:
"While visiting the various church services in proximity to our church, it struck me as curious that although all the congregations claimed to be Christian, they were clearly all on very different missions. One church was particularily confusing. They promoted homosexuality but made me take off my ball cap upon entering the church. It may seem odd that a male greeter who had likely had sex with a man before church chastised me for wearing a hat in church because I was disrespecting God.
The woman of this church, wearing a very nice, flowing, cutting-edge-of-1536 robe, talked about rainbows for twenty minutes while sixty or so very old people who were former classmates of Noah and eyewitnesses to the covenant rainbow sat scattered among one thousand seats or so and napped in Jesus' name. Between her sermonette, the written literature I picked up that told me how to bequeath my estate to the church when I die, and looking around the room at the equivalent of a Viagara before-photo of lifeless geriatrics, I truly could not discern why that church existed.
Down the street, another woman pastor and her gay male associate pastor with a lovely rainbow on his elegantly sassy robe both spoke passionately about the need to get rid of our nuclear weapons. Their message did not connect with me because I did not have any nuclear weapons. So I left early."
"I am intense biblical literalist who believes that the man is the head of the home, that the man should provide for his family, that children are a blessing, and that we would not have so many deceived feminists running around if men were better husbands and fathers because the natural reaction of godly women to godly men is trust and respect. For some, this theological instruction was as popular as a fart in an elevator, and they left our church."
"Many Christians wrongly think that hospitality is the welcoming of fellow Christians into their home and church for friendship. But that is fellowship. Hospitality is when Christians welcome strangers especially non-Christians, into their homes, lives and church."
Ok, so this was a mother-long post, but it was a good book - very challenging - and I would recommend it.
Monday, August 7, 2006
It's a good feeling to be home.
I wish I had blogged a long time ago - now there's too much to write and I'm uncertain as to where I should begin...or if I should begin at all.
I feel perfectly content right now.
I just spent 2.5 days camping up north with some friends.
It was great.
I didn't shower at all and felt extremely grimy.
I am clean now.
It feels delicious.
Most of all I feel overwhelmed. I didn't realize how many blogs I check and interact with until I stopped checking for 2 months and now I'm all behind on people's summer adventures, lessons, poetic rhymings and rantings.
But it's ok.
Because I'm on a vacation and I can check blogs for 3 hours if I want to.
It wouldn't be a good use of my time, but if I wanted to, I could.
And for a summary of the past 1.5 months:
After 4 weeks in Florida and 2 weeks in Whistler I feel - well...I guess I feel extremely built up. And peopled out.
I discovered that 5 minutes into the camping trip.
I feel ready for some alone time, quiet time, running time, sleep-in time.
In these next two weeks I want to let myself be pulled back like a sling shot. Pulled further and further until the tension is so tight.
I want to spring forward out of the gates into Frosh week and September and Summit and evangelism and discipleship and relationships and laughter and excitement and prayer and pouring out.
It's good to be home.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Tomorrow is my last day of classes and my last exam for IBS (Institute of Biblical Studies).
I'm writing this as a "break" from my reading/studying binge.
Reflections on Florida, my time spent in Florida and the US at large:
- it's hot
- I've seen more cops here than I ever have - possibly in my life
- the food portions in restaurants are generally gargantuan
- it's common to crank up the a/c to ensure that you will get sick from the outdoor/indoor temperature extremes
- I like eating out
- people drive slower
- people drive slowly in the fast lane
- Americans know how to shop!!!
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary seems like a great place to study and get solid theological teaching
- Fuller Theological Seminary doesn't hold to the inerrancy of the Bible
- having a/c in your car is generally preferable
- Disney World is not just a park; it is literally it's own little world - Magic Kingdom is the park!
- Timeshare presentations are tricky and persuasive
- don't assume the sunscreen you put on 2 hours before sweating in a car is going to protect you for 4 hours at a beach on a goregeously sunny day
- I hate toll roads
- if you run a toll a blaring siren goes off, but no one comes after you with guns blazing
- God is so very gracious
- Panera Bread is quite possibly my favourite place to chill - it's better than Starbucks (in my opinion)
- reading Systematic Theology takes longer than I usually anticipate
On that note I need to get back at it!
Sunday, July 16, 2006
My eyes soaked up all the pastel colours fading into each other on my left.
Turquoise, indigo, violet, lavender fading into aquamarine, mint green and buttercup yellow. Burnt sienna, pale salmon and peach all sandwiched in the middle.
To my right the masterpiece is filled with grand strokes of light and large, plump clouds.
As if making a mark, a harsh line of gold, zigs and zags between the horizon and clouds above.
The sky is filled with enough pinks and peaches to satisfy an 8 year old girl.
There is one huge puffy cloud, it's edges are kissed with a bright pink.
There is another long, dark, slightly ominous-looking cloud. It too is kissed with edges of pink. Such a dramatic difference. The darkness combined with hints of a flirt.
And then...it was all gone. The sky wiped clean for a new, and just as glorious masterpiece today.
I cannot do justice with my words to your brilliance and majesty O Lord.
"Every blessing you pour out I'll turn back to praise."
Friday, July 14, 2006
At the mall I finally saw the much talked-about Mary Jane Crocs.
I tried on a pair.
I didn't really like them.
I think they would be better if they didn't have the two straps - just like a slip-on ballerina shoe. If they had been like that I probably would have bought them.
But I didn't.
Hooray for crocs!
Well, if there's anything that can cheer me up it's treats!
So here's July's treat pick!
Now I know that many people don't like these, but if you're a lover of sugar and marshmallows than you should agree with me that marshmallow peanuts (or as I've recently heard them called, Circus Peanuts) are delicious! You could also go with the marshmallow bananas. Mmm...I love these sugary delights. So soft and chewy and even better a day or two of exposure to air - stale Circus Peanuts. Does it get any better?
Thursday, July 13, 2006
I never knew such a thing existed as a Fondue Restaurant.
Let the drooling begin.
We invited Dawn & Eric to "fellowship" with us at The Melting Pot. It all started with "The Big Night Out" beginning with a sharp cheddar cheese fondue with bread (white and pumpernickel), veggies, chips and granny smith apples.
Next was salad - I wasn't too impressed with my slimy oniony strawberry almond salad. But that was ok since you don't go to The Melting Pot for salad!
After the salad was the Fondue Feast - MEAT! We had tiger shrimp, chicken, teriyaki beef, tenderloin, pork, and ravioli (It was good!). Oh and a whole plate of veggies: potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, zuchini. Not to mention all the different sauces you could combine and add to the deliciously cooked meat...blue cheese, teriyaki, bbq, chipotle, curry, and a delicious buttery/cream cheese and herb thing to melt over the veggies!
We stuffed our faces and our bellies to overflowing.
And the piece de resistence was the coconut chocolate fondue with brownies, strawberries, cheesecake, poundcake, bananas, marshmallows and pineapples to dip to our hearts content.
We left after 2.5 hours having laughed a lot, talked a lot, ATE a lot and created a great memory with our good friends.
Yay for new friends!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
It was really great to just dialogue and discuss things from the roles of men and women to the roles our intellect and our emotions play in learning and studying. When Jamie referred a book to David, he went on to John Piper's site and found the "quote of the day" from his palm pilot. It was so applicable to what we were talking about (in regards to intellect and emotion) that I was just struck by how God was just giving us all a reminder about the ultimate aim of study and learning in regards to theology and Christianity. Here's what the quote was:
"The task of all Christian scholarship--not just biblical studies--is to study reality as a manifestation of God's glory, to speak and write about it with accuracy, and to savor the beauty of God in it."(Pleasures of God, pg. 298)
To study reality as a manifestation of God's glory. To savour the beauty of God in it.
That's what I'm here in Florida to do. My seminary courses should cause me to savour the beauty of God in all that I learn and study. The things I learn with my intellect should flow to my emotions and actions.
Doing flows from Being.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
"In all of these situations (understanding more than fellow Christians or those in leadership even) it would be very easy to adopt an attitude of pride or superiority toward others who have not made such a study (the study of systematic theology). But how ugly it would be if anyone were to use this knowledge of God's Word simply to win arguements or to put down a fellow Christian in conversation, or to make another believer feel insignificant in the Lord's work."
and this is where I felt conviction; "James' counsel is good for us at this point: 'Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God' (James 1:19-20).
Learning and understanding more and more from the Word should not puff me up, but should lead me to humility and love.
How grateful I am to God that He has given me His Word and that it is indeed "living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Heb. 4:12)
And what a privilege it is to be taught under people who love God and love His Word and desire to help me to understand what His Word says so that my life may change to reflect more and more of Christ and His Glory.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Our new "semester" just started today and the class we (Jamie and I) are taking is called God, Bible, Holy Spirit and our prof is Bruce Ware from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
What a great speaker! I was totally captivated and the two hours felt like 30 minutes.
The way he communicates really pumped me up and helped me to understand some of these more complex doctrines.
Today we learned about Revelation. I really enjoy learning the meanings of words and how they came to be. My favourite word that we learned about today was Inspiration. Inspiration comes from the Greek (?) word theopneustos. Theos meaning God and pneumo meaning spirit/wind/breath. So "inspiration" literally means God-breathed. I think I knew that before but to just go through it so carefully and extensively really hit the meaning home for me.
I also appreciate when speakers are passionate about what they are teaching. It means a lot to hear that what he's speaking on for the next two weeks are his favourite subjects to speak on and learn about.
And one thing that I will need to keep in the forefront is something called Verbal Plenary Inspiration. The reason I find this so important is with all the emergent literature (Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, etc.) and so many doctrines being shoved by the wayside in favour of being politically correct or catering to people who find the gospel offensive (...umm) Verbal Plenary Inspiration is something important to hold to. Verbal meaning the actual language of the Bible (words, grammar, syntax, etc.) and Plenary meaning all of the Bible. The whole phrase means that all of the Bible in the exact language in which is was written is inspired.
Ok...so that's my educational rantings for today.
To sum up: I'm really excited about the next two weeks and I look forward to growing in my knowledge of the Bible and Christian doctrines. But more importantly I look forward to growing in my faith and confidence in the Bible and in God.
Tuesday, July 4, 2006
I could not believe how many people were there - apparently 150,000 were gathered for this early celebration of Independance Day!
Well, I was not disappointed. The fireworks were probably the best I've ever seen - in my life.
I heard Americans know how to do fireworks and it's true.
And after all was said and done and we all had a bit of patriotism infused into our very being we made our way back to our hotel.
Jamie remarked that it made him think of the Exodus of the Israelites.
As we all crowded down the streets that went up and down hills you could see the "mass of humanity" all walking to their cars. It was pretty incredible to think that what we experienced was similar to what the Israelites went through.
Well...minus the paved roads.
And the lights.
And the bikes.
And plus a few animals.
Well, more or less the same thing.
Another thought that was discussed by the four of us was how much money the US pours into things exactly like the 4th of July fireworks (I would guess millions - country-wide), and all the space exploration (easily billions of dollars) that NASA does...it's pretty crazy.
Speaking of NASA, we were actually able to see the Discovery shuttle launch today. It was from a distance and through some clouds, but still...to see that little rocket with a blaze of bright orange fire behind it was something. Even if it's just to say that I was there for the shuttle launch.
Ok. So those are my thoughts.
I would post pictures (there are some great ones of the fireworks) but unfortunately we forgot the USB cable for our digital camera at home and so I will have to post some pics in a few weeks I think. Stay tuned for a link to my photo blog when I get the pics up.
Today Jamie and I carpooled with Dawn and Eric (some fantastic staff from UWO) and on our way home from dinner (a fantastic free bbq) we pulled into a gas station. Just as we did so, a cop in front of us had put on his lights to pull over the car in front of HIM.
So as we drove up the driveway of the gas station, we watched the car signal right; turn right but not stop. The driver just kept going at a somewhat slow pace. He/She then proceeded to do a u-turn and then SPEED off, make an illegal left turn and try and outrun the cop! The cop, of course, sped after the fiend and we didn't see what happened after that but it sure was exciting!
I've never seen someone try and get away from a cop!
What a fool.
We mused as to what this person's crime might be.
a) since it was July 4th this person might have been drinking/under the influence
b) they might have had drugs
c) they might have been speeding (but honestly...take the ticket and be done with it...you'll get it far worse trouble if you avoid arrest!)
Either way, it was pretty entertaining. I wanted Eric to follow them, but he was out of gas. Too bad.
Oh Florida...what more can you hold for us?
Sunday, July 2, 2006
Fiasco number uno was probably wrong-way-on-the-highway fiasco.
Oh wait a second...we have to pay a toll. Stink.
So there we sat in the little green civic for about 3 minutes just laughing and saying to each other, "What are we supposed to do?" There was no one in site. No other cars. No people, not even any animals (not sure what they would do for us...)
Nope. They were fine. HOWEVER...the big red STOP light started flashing and a loud siren went off - kind of like when convicts escape from prison.
So I did a u-turn and got on the ramp to get on the 528 East. And of course, another toll was required to get ON the highway.
Another red flashing light and a loud convicts-are-escaping siren and we were back on our way to Cocoa beach.
A normal 1 hour trip on the way there (minus the wrong-way-on-the-highway fiasco) took 3.5 hours to get home.
Especially while driving a standard car.
In 90 degree heat.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
It's hot, but you get used to it.
Every day without fail there is a thunderstorm.
Spectacular thunderstorms with massive bolts of lightening and pitch black skies. It's pretty dramatic.
Classes are well under way and I'm a quarter of the way through the first 2 classes. Pretty crazy. It's a fast pace and I'm already working on my second assignment which is due tomorrow.
Well, right NOW I'm not working on the assignment because I'm writing this blog.
But the profs are great and even though the classes are from 8-12:30 every morning (and often my eyelids are extremely heavy!) I'm really enjoying what I'm learning and especially as we go deep into Ephesians in my Bible Study Methods class.
It's going to be a great 4 weeks!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Lately I've been having that (mostly with things I smell) but just know I heard this wailing/singing voice and it made me think that it was the 5pm Call to Worship that I so often heard in Tanzania but the nearby mosque.
Oh wait - it's just someone's really loud music from their car. And it's 7pm.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Just as I was getting "sorta" sleepy while lying in bed, Stanley (my idiot cat) starts these lonely little "meow"s.
*shaking my head in disgust* (Be a normal cat, already!)
You'd have thought he'd be thrilled and completely catlike in his contentness with Jamie (his main "sugar daddy" - and by that I mean, the only one who really gives him affection) being home, but nope. He decides now is the perfect time to bemoan his sad, sorry existence.
And then out of nowhere I hear a wretched cat yell - like two cats in a fight or something. I figure there was a cat outside and Stanley went nuts at the window screen.
So here I am in the living room, fully disgusted with Stanley and completely wide awake.
And Jamie sleeps like a baby.
I guess that's jet lag for ya.
Unlike Stanley, I am thrilled the Jamie is back - what a fantastic husband.
Meanwhile, this week begins our mad summer craziness...travelling around and whatnot.
On Wednesday I take Stanley to his "summer camp" as I like to call it. He'll be staying with my cousin who also has a cat. It's going to be interesting to see how the two "only child" cats get along with each other. Stanley will be thrilled to have a playmate, but I'm not so sure how Harley will react.
Friday Jamie leaves for Florida and I'm busy with wedding stuff for my friend; Saturday is the wedding and Sunday I fly to Florida for 4 weeks.
I'm really looking forward to Florida (I'll be taking 4 seminary courses there) and so thankful for the opportunity I have to go places and do the awesome things that I get to do!
Anyway, so that's my late-night-I-can't-sleep post.
Friday, June 16, 2006
- driving on long, country roads with the windows down
- blasting music in the car
- driving or walking through quaint little towns
- walking barefoot on grass
- real juice popsicles
- good conversations with awesome gals
- laughing so hard my stomach hurts (haven't done that in a long time!)
- a sense of accomplishment
- people watching
- people watching at the airport
- commercials that make me laugh
- commercials that make me tear up
- the smell of a camp fire
- getting snail mail
- being deeply moved by a worship song - especially while driving down a long, country road!
- african art
- making lists
- Thai food
- the new Pride & Prejudice
- fresh berries
- cooking & trying new recipes
- the sun
- rainy days
- trying new things
- comfy sweaters
- my crocs
- hanging out with people
- being a tourist in your own city
- reading blogs
- wedding stuff
- dressing up
- being pampered
- ikea ice cubes
- when the rim of a drinking glass is covered in sugar
- clean feet
Things that bug me:
- cat litter strewn about
- cat litter
- when my cat is ridiculously clingy (for goodness sakes! be a cat!)
- when people turning right cut you off and go really slow
- zits - especially ones that hurt
- "fat" days
- going to do something or get something and then forgetting what I'm doing or getting
- bad drivers
- drippy taps
- clocks that make ticking noises
- hang nails
- itches that I can't reach
- whiney people
- cat/dog hair
- unruly eyebrows (as mine too often are
- when my computer randomly shuts off for no reason
- technical problems
- doing nothing
- long nails
- french pedicures
Monday, June 12, 2006
I have a problem.
Here's the situation:
I have a cat. He has a little box. But even though we have one of those mat thingies that's supposed to collect the litter from his paws, the litter is still all over the place! The trail of litter extends to about 1 foot after his mat! It drives me crazy and I don't want to haul out the vacuum every 5 hours to vacuum up the little gray bits that give me the heebie jeebies when I walk on them!
On a side note, I have just tried out a new enviro-cat litter. It's brownish (so already that makes me feel like it's more naturey) instead of gray and it weighs a lot less!
Anyway, I need help since I don't have some crappy room in a basement to stick the litter in - just a small apartment and a couple rooms (currently it's in the spare room/office) so I'm trying to make it as inconspicuous as possible.
"For many, "devotions" is a mixture of legalism, Keswick experience, a reading of any portion of scripture (like going to the scriptural drugstore of God's Word and trying on any remedy on the shelf), and just plain hope that something will spring off the pages to make them spiritual.
For some, having "devotions" is more sacred than other parts of life; somehow worship and thoughts about God can only occur at this time.
For many, it cannot be a time with study aids - commentaries, language helps, Bible dictionaries or concern for right hermeneutics.
And for some strange reason, it can never include a passage you are studying for your Bible or theology classes or for a message you are going to preach. Instead many believe there must be a time in prayer and an open Bible where, without any stab of accurate interpretation of the Word of truth, the participant does an end run around all study aids. (There cannot be any work involved - after all this is "devotional".)
The common idea of "devotions" also rests upon a type of legalism and a meritorious benefit. Because of it I am now worthy and capable of serving God and winning all of my battles today.
The fact is, merit only comes by grace, and my ability to serve only comes as I apply and obey accurately interpreted Scripture. Worship of Christ can take place during any Bible study I am doing or during any service for Him where I am consciously applying His Word.
Let me close with these important truths. I am in such desparate need of God's truth that every time I go to the Bible I must always hear, ready, study, memorize or meditate looking to know Him, praise and thank Him, or honour and obey Him. All times are sacred. I must be careful to accurately interpret the Scriptures at all times. Therefore, there can be no reading without study nor intake without thought of how to apply.
God's Word is the only means of knowledge and awareness of Him and How I can please Him. There are no end runs around thoughtful, purposeful, careful study of His Word. His Spirit who gave us His sword always uses the mind (1 Cor. 14:15) and invites our regular careful search that we may learn of His ways in order to know Him, praise Him, change and grow in His likeness.
If this English word "devotions" has taken on wrong connotations for you, it would probably be helpful to return to Biblical terms such as hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, worshipping, honouring, and obeying God's Word.
God grant us a hunger and thirst for His likeness so that we prayerfully and thoughtfully approach His Word to know Him, praise, honour, thank and obey Him.
So that was a large portion of the article but something that I've often thought about and sometimes struggled with. The whole idea of what Goode talked about, the legalistic idea of devotions, like they are some magical spiritual act that we think will give us merit in the eyes of God. Obviously we don't think that outright, but that is the underlying purpose with which we approach the Word of God. How callous and foolish that is of us....of me.
I really like his idea of approaching the Word of God to hear, study, read, memorize, honour, obey and apply what we read and interpret from God's Word - as opposed to simply doing my "7 minute devotion".
Oh God, let me not take your Word so lightly and callously that I would think to approach it without the intent to study and correctly understand it and then to apply it.
What a gift you have given to me - your very own Word.
Help me to, as Goode prayed, hunger and thirst for Your likeness so that I approach Your Word with the right intents and motivations.
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Today as my husband and I were in Tim Horton's eating lunch I noticed a group of men sitting by the entrance. Most of them were older, a few gray hairs and one younger looking guy. Anyway, all of a sudden I noticed the young guy jump out of his seat and run to the front door to open it. I looked to see who was coming in - it was a young mom with a toddler in one hand and a baby carriage in another.
It's so nice to see guys - especially YOUNG guys going out of their way to help out us women.
I wonder what the older guys said.
And on another entirely different note, as we stopped off in Zellers to pick up a few things we split up to get different items and when we came back together at the check out, Jamie told me of how he was passing by an elderly woman in an aisle who was using a walker. As he went past her she said she was looking for a comb. Jamie thought for a second and said, "So you're combing the aisles for a comb?" Apparently she let out a huge laugh and when I heard I laughed just as hard (actually, he said we both had the same reaction).
Oh my dear, dear husband and his love of cheesy puns. He really cracks me up.
Well, my husband leaves tomorrow for a week and a half to Tanzania.
I can't remember, but I think this may be the longest we've been apart from each other...hmm...let me think. Well, since we've been married. When we dated we were apart from each other quite a bit.
But it's different when you're married.
I'm gonna miss him.
It's so great to still be so in love with him after almost 2 years.
What a blessing he is to me!
Friday, June 2, 2006
Anyway, in preparation for the 4 seminary courses I will be taking starting June 26th I've been trying to read and take (good) notes.
In doing this, I have rediscovered my ability to be a horrible student. Oh the slacker in me is being unleashed...("Down boy! Sit. Lie down. Stay.")
One of the books I'm reading (ok, so I'm only reading 1 book from the list of books to read for seminary right NOW...but I'm trying to give it my all) is called The Artful Dodger and it's about one man's journey from non-believer to follower of Christ. Each chapter addresses different questions that a lot of people have (both Christian and non-Christian). But what I found intriguing is that he becomes a Christian in...like the 3 chapter or something (there's a lot of chapters).
Ie. What he found out about sin and Christ and mankind was evidence enough to cause him to put his faith in Jesus Christ - even though he still had questions! The rest of the book goes on to address things like the Bible (is it trustworthy?), Evolution (is it really a scientific theory?) and some other really interesting topics.
Needless to say, we don't need to have all the answers to see who we really are, our need for a Saviour and the possibility of relationship with the Creator of the universe.
It's exciting to know that our journey of knowledge and intimacy with Jesus Christ is never ending. At least I think it's exciting.
Maybe I am a keener after all.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
It only took me about 10 minutes to get right back into the swing of things.
So I've decided to make an afghan. However it's starting to buckle and I think that's because my foundation stitches were much tighter than the rest of the stitches are.
I don't want to pull it all out because I've already done so much on it and I think it'll be ok once it is full sized. Oh well...my first afghan.
My next one will be much better.
I'm going to put cream coloured stripes in it.
I'm also going to try (on my next afghan) a different stitch that is more stretchy and has more 'give' to it.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Once I'm past the hurt and anger (which I'm trying to release to Christ as soon as I recognize it) I turn to Christ and to His Word to help me.
Some points I've recognized:
- My dependance needs to be upon Jesus Christ. Not others. Jesus will NEVER let me down. When I look to others and when the source of my dependance is others I will undoubtedly be hurt and angry. When I depend on Christ and others let me down I will continue to cling to the cross and find my strength and find the power of forgiveness in Him.
- I deserve nothing less than the fiery pits of hell. In all things I need to recognize the grace and mercy that has been lavished upon me that I would be granted the attention and love of the Creator of the Universe.
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
- I love the solid, Biblical truths of the hymns. (A off-the-track point, but a valid one. When I find myself with a wrong attitude, it is often the reconciling ministry of music that brings me to my knees in front of the cross.)
One hymn/song (even though it is modern day) I absolutely love for its truths about God is In Christ Alone.
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand
O Lord, let me stand in your power and your love. Let me remember that in YOUR death I now live and that it was YOUR precious, precious blood that bought me from the clutches of Satan.
Help me to love others when they hate me.
Help me to turn the other cheek and be willing to walk not one, but two miles with someone.
Forgive me for my anger towards another child of God.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
I have a tummy ache. I like saying that better than a stomache ache. Mostly because I feel it gives me cause to pout. *shrug* Oh well. I wonder if it was something I ate?
Support appointments are so good. Tonight we met with a group of people. I felt a bit rusty. But it was still good. A younger crowd of people (mostly in their mid 20's I would guess) but it was good to "get to know" some new people. I put that in quotations because I always do much more of the talking than the listening - but then I guess that's what the appointment is for. Me to share my heart. But I always feel like I wish I could hear more about what is going on in their life, what God is teaching them, what are their struggles. And it's always harder in a larger group anyway.
But one of the girls who was there was a girl I met through one of my close friends! I love when that happens! So funny!
And lastly...man. All I can think about is how much my stomache hurts. By the way...is it stomach or stomache?
Hmmm...now they both look wrong to me.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
For instance, I recognize a tough decision that my husband and I were faced with and we CHOSE one of the options. We looked at our options, weighed the pros and cons and proactively chose to do one thing and thereby chose NOT to do something else.
It causes me to realize how responsible I am for my life and the decisions I make.
Even if they are tough to make.
I am also recognizing the word choices of other people. When they say that "have" to do something...they don't HAVE to do something (or have to NOT do something), they are CHOOSING not to do something.
Anyway, it's all very interesting.