Friday, September 17, 2010
"The church is so cold that when people finally reach room temperature, we think they're on fire."
"It's not supposed to be that you come as you are and then leave as you were."
"God wants us to be the ones jumping out of our seats, yelling "PICK ME! Pick me...send me; I will go!'"
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been CLEARLY SEEN, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (NIV)
"John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "'his was he of whom I said, "He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me."'" (NIV)
"John pointed him out and called, 'This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.'"( The Message)
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory."
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
9 He said, "Go and tell this people:
" 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes. [a]
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed."
11 Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?"
And he answered:
"Until the cities lie ruined
and without inhabitant,
until the houses are left deserted
and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12 until the LORD has sent everyone far away
and the land is utterly forsaken.
13 And though a tenth remains in the land,
it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
leave stumps when they are cut down,
so the holy seed will be the stump in the land."
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Is that a bit much? I don't think you truly believe me...and, because of that, I am going to provide with a list of things I would RATHER do than work on a group project:
1. Write a 50 page research paper.
2. Get bitten by wolf.
3. Stare at a wall for 12 hours.
4. Sit in a hole in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain for 3 days...with no food (and you know how much I love food).
5. Watch a bullet go through my leg.
6. Eat cheese.
7. Be temporarily transformed into an insect.
8. Swim in pure peanut butter until I've completed 20 laps in an Olympic-sized pool.
9. Go without a cell phone for a year.
10. Try to get an elephant through a window in a top-floor apartment in New York.
Do you get the picture? I really, really, really, really hate group projects. They are the bane of my existence.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I think that's a question we won't ever forget how to answer. For those of us who were old enough to remember and to understand what happened, it's a memory that will forever cut deeply into our hearts and minds...a memory we will be able to vividly share with our loved ones in generations to come.
I was in school at the time. 5th grade. I was sitting in Mrs. Henesy's class and someone was talking to us about getting involved with school banking and helping with the school store. That's when the news was passed that something terribly wrong was happening and we were all getting sent home. I went to my homeroom and sat at my desk, crying. I remember there were kids just messing around and yelling in excitement because they got to leave school, but I was scared out of my mind. I knew my dad was away at a re-enactment and, when Aurielle and I got on the bus, all we could think was, "What about daddy? He doesn't know! They don't have TV or anything there and phones don't work...how will he know? Is he okay?" We bawled the whole way home. But when we ran inside with tear-filled eyes, there was our dad, watching the news with our mom. Our parents told us everything would be alright and told us to go upstairs and watch TV and eat our packed lunches (that we obviously didn't get to eat at lunch). I will never forget the fear I had for my dad who wasn't at home...and, knowing that he was in a place that was not even struck by this disaster, I can't imagine how anyone must have felt who had loved ones in New York...in the two towers.
And then, for time to follow, I was scared to go outside. A lot of us were afraid. But I was told that we had to show them we were strong and we hadn't been defeated...so we were told to go outside, to play, to come together and never let something like that tear apart ourselves or our country.
Today will be a day of heavy thoughts and prayers for all of America. We won't forget.
Where were YOU when the world stopped turning?
Friday, September 10, 2010
1. What the heck does "dougie" mean? "Teach me to dougie" is what I hear...someone please explain to me what that is. It does not make any sense. I think it is a kind of dance. If this is true, who suddenly decided it was going to be this cool dance to do? It's like "jerk" or the "stanky leg" or whatever you people do these days (I don't even know I'm referring to those correctly)! I mean...what are these things and why are they cool? I'm confused. And completely challenged in the realm of dancing.
2. This stupid "Love the Way You Lie" song that you people all love. I don't get it. First of all, I don't like when people lie...and I surely don't love it. And I'm pretty sure that song is about a guy abusing his wife and then getting mad because she wants to leave and deciding he's going to tie her up and burn the house...then watch her burn as she cries. So, why do you people obsess over this song and quote it all the time?
3. Why are songs appealing to you when they talk about sex? All these stupid lyrics about what you guys want to do to the girl in the club and how sexually attracted you are to her. Not to say that only male artists sing songs like that...just my example. I just think they are disgusting. I think sex itself sounds gross though, so maybe I am more inclined to think in that direction. Any thoughts here?
I'm interested in your responses, so bring it on now.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I might also mention: they are just so cute and perfect and yummy-looking. Tiers of cupcakes...it's like a dream world where you bounce from cloud to cloud and all the clouds just happen to also be delicious.
Check out these "cakes!"
This is so simple and yet so elegant and flawless to me.
What? Not detailed enough for you. Fine, check out the attention to detail on these cuppycakes from Le Cupcake:
Now, how fun would this be??
Sooo, who is going to have cupcakes at their weddings now? I will totally come.
I used to have these awesome Christmas pajamas that I called my platypus pajamas because they had the most foot space I had ever seen in my entire life sewn into them. Seriously, I probably could have hidden a small child or a stash of juice boxes or something in each foot. No one would have noticed. This extra foot space, though, made me feel like a platypus. I don't think a platypus would have liked them--or tripped in them as much as I did just walking through the house--but they were still, and will forever be, platypus pajamas to me.
I wonder if I still own them.
I wonder if I can still wear them.
I wonder if I will look for them next time I am home. :)
P.S. If I was a platypus, I am pretty sure I would drink apple juice and eat cupcakes. Just saying.
Today, Chrissy posted the following status on her Facebook page:
"Christina had a very proud 'Mom moment' this afternoon when Phil told me there was a boy at school saying 'white kids are better than brown kids' (to one of Phil's friends)... and Phil and some other kids stuck up for him and told this boy how ignorant he was. One of those times I feel like I must be doing something right raising these kids."
I'd be a proud mom, too, Chrissy (you know, if I actually had kids and was able to have said "Mom moments"). You know, people always talk about child-like faith, but they forget about all the other beautiful things about kids. I mean, kids have such innocence and naivety, imagination and wonder...they are such dreamers and they know how to believe and to trust...yet, their inquisitiveness and curiosity and readiness to explore the world is just incredible. And, on the current subject...their color-blindness.
It is sad to think that there was a child at school who has grown up in a home where that kind of value is instilled in him: to think that any color of skin is better than another. Does the color of your skin define your heart and your soul, your personality, your intellectual capabilities? No, not at all. Nothing about any of the aforementioned are pure reflections of a person's color. You don't look into a mirror and see a person's intellect or a person's athletic ability and favorite food...nuh-uh, doesn't work that way. So what is the point of judging someone based on that?
If we decided to judge based on color alone, we should just go ahead and judge people based on their height, their eye color, and how fast their wisdom teeth come in (sorry, guys...if you don't have any wisdom teeth, guess you just get rejected from the world completely). These are all things we don't decide for ourselves. Sure, we can wear high-heels and we can get colored contacts, but these are all, in retrospect, ridiculous indicators of who people are. We don't decide that someone 6 feet tall is probably studying biology and someone 5 feet tall is most likely studying psychology. We don't see a blue-eyed girl and a brown-eyed girl and automatically know what sports they play.
Now, onto this quote. Hatred is blind...obviously. It's blind to the heart. Love is blind to a lot of things, arguably, but especially to appearance. Love has the power to cross all kinds of borders and barriers...it's almost like nothing can stop it sometimes (and, of course, we hate it sometimes for that), but that's the beauty of it: Love can't see what we see. Love sees what we feel and then it creates its own door into our hearts and pushes its way inside until it completely consumes us. Alright, sometimes we let it in through the door that's already there, but not all the time...even though we should just let it in there after the first knock because it will eventually find its way inside either way.
My point is this: God made us all beautifully and wonderfully. By saying one color skin (or eye or hair) is better than another, we are assuming that God made a mistake when creating an individual...when we know that's not true. Our God doesn't make mistakes. He designed each one of us individually and took His time to create us in His own image. If He thinks we are beautiful and perfect masterpieces, then we need to believe that, too...and we need to look at others and know that they, too, are wonderful masterpieces from a wonderful artist.
Besides, we all have heard this verse before:
"...For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'” (1 Samuel 16:7)
It doesn't matter how we look; that's just what we see at first glance. But if we would take the time to look at the heart and be like Phil, with a heart of color-blindness, then we would more easily see the hearts of other people and learn to recognize the important things...WHO we are, not WHAT we are.
Oh, this would be a good time to use one of my favorite verses of all time (sounds best in the Message, I think):
"Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original." (Galations 5:25-26)
I want to be like little Phil. Who do you want to be?
What else about children triggers your heart?
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I know this is going to make me sound incredible lame, but I totally miss nighttime Walmart adventures. There is just nothing like grabbing a friend and driving to Walmart in the middle of the night just to get a pizza (Walmart specific pizza, to be exact) and oddly flavored juice (blue juice that is actually citrus-flavored?) to go with your movie, which is almost always "Matilda" or an animated children's movie of sorts.Oh, is this not normal to you? Hmmm...maybe I'm mistaken. It's normal to me.
P.S. All the Walmarts here already have the updates the H-town one is currently undergoing...so if you want any hints on how it's going to look, I can tell you so you don't have to be left wondering. Yes, I know it totally bothers you that you don't know what Walmart is going to look during your next visit.
I miss seeing cows in the middle of the road and "Missing Pig" signs (marked "Do not eat it"). These are getting closer to the Clear Spring end of Hagerstown though.
And then there's Uncle Louie G's Italian Ice. I don't know how many people have actually been there, but it is so good that I never even think about Rita's anymore. "Hey, wanna go to Rita's?" "Ummm, no, I don't like Rita's. Let's visit my favorite uncle." Ok, he's not my real uncle and I am not Italian, but I would gladly claim this man as my biological relative if it meant Italian ice for the rest of my life.
I miss drives. At night. With amazing people. Blaring country music (I like country music...go ahead and make your comments). And sticking my head out the window. Oh, and kidnapping my sister from her boyfriend's house, tying her up in the back of the car (stopping so Joey can make sure we have on our seatbelts), and pushing her out of the car onto her boyfriend's front yard as I call said boyfriend with a manly voice...just to watch him come running after me with a paintball gun.
I miss my mommy and daddy. Dude, getting locked out of my house or my car was a lot more reasonable when my parents were there to save me. Not to mention they are just wicked awesome parents.
Guns. 4-wheelers. Dirtbikes. Anything fun and outdoors-ish. That stuff isn't too common out here. It was nice to walk out my door with my dad and just go shoot in the woods...or go 4-wheeling with friends...or learn to drive a dirtbike in the BCA parking lot.
And swinging. I just love playgrounds and parks and swinging. I was told there is a park here somewhere and I don't know where it is or if it's a fun park, but I am bound and determined to hunt it down and force it to be my new best friend. I will find a swingset...hopefully I won't have to break into a fenced elementary school playground and get arrested or something in the process.
And all of you. Come on, guys! You KNOW I miss you. I miss everything about you...we've had some good times in good ol' H-town. Nothing can replace those days.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Sure makes one think, doesn't it? What do I fear? What places hold my fears? How challenging is it to visit these places, face these fears one-on-one, and battle something I've never even wanted to see?
And I realized that these "places" can be almost anywhere. They can (of course) be physical places, foreign countries, or even doctor's offices! You're afraid to travel via airplane? Ok, go get on an airplane and fly so far that you have no choice but to stop thinking about the fact that you're on a plane. You're afraid of the water? Go on a cruise and have fun! Alright, alright, I get it...you don't want to waste your vacation time trying to overcome a fear. Fair enough. ;) But there are smaller things you can do, and smaller fears you can tackle just by thinking about the places that scare you. Maybe churches scare you...go to a Sunday morning service somewhere. Try more than one church and see which ones make you feel most comfortable. I don't know; I'm just throwing examples out there, but everyone has their own personal scary places they are probably more ready to handle than they think!
Now, these "places" can also be mental states, feelings we don't want to confront, and pieces of the past hidden in our minds and hearts that we don't even consider revisiting. We've all been asked questions to which we answered "I just don't want to talk about it" or "It's too painful to talk about right now" or something similar. We have those memories we wish could just be erased from the past or throw into a black hole. We remember something and we just start to cry or we get mad...and then try to shove it way back down into the deepest parts of our heads again so we don't have to think about them anymore.
But what if we did?
What if we challenged ourselves to journey into those deep places of our hearts and those corners of our minds where secrets lie? What if we decided to really think about those moments and how they made us feel and even talked about them? [Just a side-note here: If you need to talk about something, I, Anjoli, am here for you with a ready ear and a willing heart] It's hard to talk about those things sometimes, I know...but it's true what people say about talking through our problems: it helps. We feel more at ease when someone else actually knows what's happening and how we feel. And it's also easier for some of them to be there for us when we are open with them. Maybe you have something even more serious in those secret spots--something you know you need to take to a professional. Is that your fear? Are you afraid of seeking help for a problem? That's not something to cause shame; that's something that should make you proud...you know how hard it is to tell yourself you need help and then to ask for it. It makes you a stronger person to be able to say "I have a problem and I need to fix it before I really get hurt."
Or maybe you're afraid to love. A lot of people get scared when they start to like someone of the opposite sex too much...and it's not usually that they are afraid of falling IN love; they're afraid of falling OUT of love; they're afraid of getting hurt...or they're afraid of something, anything (it's different for everyone), that comes with the commitment, the attachment, or the future of that relationship. You know it's a common feeling. But if this is you, I hope you know that you DESERVE love. You deserve happiness and fulfillment and, trust me, God is writing your love story...and, if you trust Him, He will fill in those blanks and give you those missing puzzle pieces. And remember: "For every girl with a broken heart, there's a boy with a glue gun." :) This goes vice versa for you guys out there, too!
I found a shirt recently that ties in with this. It said "FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real" and had the perfect verse attached to it.
2 Timothy 1:7: "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
So find your fear...and then challenge it. Go to the places that scare you. And then find out that fear has not overcome you. You have a God of power and love on your side!