Showing posts from 2006

Best of '06 - Movies

It was a rough year for good movies...

Little Miss Sunshine

I love Toni Collette and adore every movie I've seen her in. Then you add Steve Carell, Alan Arkin and Greg Kinnear? This tiny little independant movie was the most enjoyable thing I saw from the silver screen all year.When all the critics starting raving I was skeptical - because I always am. But this time I agree with them. This movie was an absolute delight from beginning to end, and if I don't see it showered with awards I will be bitter. It has the one of the more unique story lines in independant film that actually reflects real life without being dull or pretentious. You know how hard that is to come across? It is for this reason, I call Little Miss Sunshine the stand-out movie of the year.

Others worth mentioning (or not):

Comedy: Talladega Nights

Best Title: Kinky Boots

Best Animated: Cars

Biggest Surprise: Click

Who the Hell Thought That Would Ever Make a Good Movie?: Snakes on a Plane

Wondering What All the Hype Was…

Once Again...

...I'm so proud of my state.

Flatulence Allegedly Sparks Jail Fight

It doesn't get much worse than this.

Dang, it's good to be a Nebraskan.

Best of '06 - on the Pop Culture Realm


Best Ad Campaign: Apple Computers. (Like I would say anything else.)

Best New TV Show: Heroes, without a doubt. I also really love The Nine.

Best Season Finale: Grey's Anatomy. The Office runs a fairly close second, but only because I discovered the show late.

TV Series I'm Glad to See Go:Charmed

TV Series I'm Most Sorry to See Go:Alias, but only in the Season 1 & 2 state, not present state at the time of the finale.

Annoying "News" Item of the Year: Tom and Katie

Best Reality Show Personality that Keeps Getting Better:Tim Gunn


Funniest Idea that Emerged: Recutting classic movie trailers into creepy horror movies and vice versa on YouTube. (The Shining is my favorite so far.)

Guiltiest Pleasure: So You Think You Can Dance

Funniest Political Moment that Shouldn't Have Been Funny: Cheney shooting his hunting "buddy".

Most Shocking Death: Coretta Scott King

Really Going to Miss Them: Robert Altman and Paul Gleason


Best Worship Albu…

Merry Christmas

And Happy New Year.

What a Difference a Rain Makes

These branches are littering my backyard.

Poor little tree.

Still no snow. It's December 21st and still no snow. This irritates me. A lot.

Better rain...

 the kind at a husker game in September. Only the die hard fans stay... especially when your friend Angie (pictured here) has never been and loves the Huskers as much as you.

Domesticated steph

The week of Christmas fell swiftly upon us and without much fanfare. I have several family celebrations to attend this weekend, which means I am in the kitchen this week. A lot.

My dad's side of the family doesn't have any cooks, which is a little scary. I actually have one aunt and uncle who do not own an oven. (Luckily this is not the aunt hosting our Saturday get-together) My mother has two celebrations at her house so I am baking and cooking what I can to help her out. Tonight I found myself elbow deep in powered sugar.

It's become a tradition for me to bake a classic French dessert, the Bûche de Noëleach year. It started with my brother taking French in high school... and I followed in his footsteps. I don't remember the specifics, but most likely our French teacher brought the dessert during a Christmas party. My brother ohhhed and ahhhed over it so much, that I made a point to get the recipe while I was taking classes from the same teacher. Tonight I remembered…

Change: What is it Good For?

Ever have one of those days where you promise yourself it will be different than the last, only to fall back into your normal routine and fail at that fail miserably (and let's face it, somewhat deliberately)?

Case in point: I've had a book on my shelf for...well, I'm actually a little afraid to admit how many years, entitled I Really Want to Change - So Help Me God by James MacDonald. I remember being so excited about the book when I first purchased it, but here it is years later and I haven't so much as attempted the first chapter.

The biggest change I've been part of the last few years is the change in worship style at my church. Which, admittedly, is a big deal, but it seemed to take forever and once it happened, it didn't really feel like much had changed. Probably due to my gradual introduction of new songs and other instruments accompanying those songs. But is change best when it's gradual? Or is it best to go the whole way, to the fullest extent, imm…

You've Got to be Kidding Me

Open your iTunes and listen to Relevant Magazine's podcast from 12/15/06. You won't regret it. Besides having a great live mini-show from Andrew Peterson, Jill Phillips, Sandra McCraken and Derek Webb, there is a great story in Slices about the Orlando Magic's mascot boxing a live kanagaroo for the half-time show last week.

You've got to be kidding me.

Discovering a Little Christmas Spirit

It's rare for me to have a Sunday off. I actually looked back to count and I only missed leading worship three Sundays this last year - and one was due to illness. But today was the Sunday School Christmas program and the children's music program is not something I've had time to be involved with at the church for 4 years now. So I took the oppourtunity to not drive the 30 miles to church and instead finish up my Christmas shopping, do laundry ... and watch two Christmas movies. I feel do decadent.

The reason I find Will Ferrell so funny is because of this movie. Maybe Bob Newhart makes him funny (because Bob Newhart rocks), maybe it the way he claps at the excitement of seeing Santa, maybe it's because he's gets the crap kicked out of him by a little person...I don't know. But it's freakin' funny. Even Roger Ebert liked it. He said, and I quote, "This is one of those rare Christmas comedies that has a heart, a brain and a wicked sense of humor, and…

The Perfect Christian

When a high-profile evangelical Christain leader has a high-profile failure, we all respond differently.

I've been reading about Jay Bakker, son of the Jim and Tammy Faye, who's the pastor of a church called Revolution. It's a small church that holds a casual service in a Brooklyn bar. He started filming a reality show called One Punk Under God airing on the Sundance Channel. His show and his views are another post... but as I read a little about his father's problems back in the 80s, I was reminded of other famous scandels in the evangelical community. Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts... and more recently Ted Haggard and Paul Barnes, these are leaders of large organizations and churches who in one way or another, were exposed for fraud, cheating, etc. And don't even get me started on Falwell or Robertson.

The list goes on... leaders in the evangelical community fall. So do I. So do you.

But this post isn't about those leaders. It's not really even about me.…


Many, many people wax philosophical about the anonymity of the internet. Is it bad or good? Helpful or hurtful? Does it make us more bold than we ought to be? Does it force us inside our home offices, destined to spend our lives in front of a computer, instead of going out and experiencing the world?

That's a debate I'm not at all interested in starting here. But this blogsite is one that makes me ask these questions.

Submit a postcard size image - with a secret. A regret, a sadness, fear, desire... anything, as long as you've never told anyone before.

This is a way the "anonymity" of the internet doesn't draw us further into that anonymity. No. For me it's a reminder that each of us have real and honest emotions we are afraid to share with those around us. We may be strangers, but we are all still connected simply by being human.

PostSecret is really a beautiful thing.

A Late Discovery

Love it. I want to take Hiro home and keep him as my pet.

True Christmas Spirit

Want a true worship experience this Christmas? Sufjan Stevens' 42-song collection of chrimstas songs old and new, mixed with some classic hymns like Amazing Grace and Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing had me in tears and truly worshipping.

And, come on, how could I not like a artist who's record label is called Asthmatic Kitty?

One of the posts I've been avoiding

My brother had the distinct pleasure of attending the Big 12 championship game at the lovely Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. And he was kind enough to email me pictures of his experience.

He sucks.

Guess the Song Title

Some say the face is unforgettable
I'm sure I've seen it many times
Ah, but you know me, I forget so easily

I thought I saw you in a Sunday crowd
But then I lost you, in blur of color, watercolor clouds
Like deja vu
Was that you?

They say someday I won't need to seek you out
But for now won't you come and wrap me up inside your presence?
We can celebrate if you stay

I know you make your home in many given lots
Your vision is so clear you don't see what is not
When I find you will I catch the cure you've got?

Surely you're not in some distant land?
Maybe down the block
Even 'cross the street
Have you always been near to me?

An obscure artist... and even more obscure song. The lyrics really only make sense once you know the title of the song. Hint: It is related to Advent, in a roundabout way.

Any guesses?

What Are You Waiting For?

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." (Matthew 1: 22-23)

It’s Christmas time… a season we equate with so many “things”. Lights, trees, the colors of red and green, family gatherings, Santa, gifts, just to name a few. I love Christmas. The air turns brisk and cold, I wait in anticipation for snow to blanket the earth, and hope fills my heart like it does no other time of year. Why do our hearts hope at Christmas? Because we know what is to come.

The season of Advent is about that hope for what is to come. In a way, we celebrate the art of waiting for Christ’s return. O Come O Come Emmanuel is a classic 9th century Latin hymn that beautifully illustrates this season of anticipation. The song is a plea to release Israel from the longing they feel for the Messiah to arrive.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captiv…

The Joy of Celebration

It's quite cold here in the central part of the state. The wind is biting and chilling us to the bones. I've finally dug out my winter coat and searched in vain for my hat this morning. It's just as well... my hair looked too good to cover up anyway. Hee. It's now the first day of December and we still haven't had snow.

This time of the year usually offers a different kind of reflection for me. Part of it's the season of Christmas, and another is the wintery weather. But the biggest part of it, I think, is the busyness. We equate this time of year with rushing... through stores, to work, back home, at rehearsals, to church, to get-togethers and parties, to bible study... It is a busy time of year - but why is it busy? The most obvious answer is because we make it that way. Our choice lead to busyness. But for me, it's more than that. My reason for busyness is a little bit of a paradox.

The most hectic part of my life this Christmas season is my work at the …

Laughter at the Office

I got laughed at today. Hard.

It's not really embarrassing. A co-worker laughed at me. To the point where he nearly fell off his chair.

I love Jay. He's a 40 yr. old man in a 24 yr. old's body. (The little brother I never had, I tell him). He's the picture of professionalism, very good at his job, yet usually isn't afraid to have fun. Today he had fun because he laughed at me. I don't remember all the details (it wasn't that interesting) but I do remember that he said something to me that made me think of a sarcastic and mean comment. I bit my tongue and said nothing. He could tell I wanted to say something, so he called me on it. I told him I wasn't going to say what I was thinking because I was simply working on being a nicer person. So he thoughtfully and sincerely asked "What brought this about?" to which I replied. "I hate people."

This is where the laughter began. Incessent, non-stop laughter. For a looooooong time. So long tha…

25 Things Most People Don't Know About Me

1.) I’m addicted to Orbit’s Sweet Mint gum.

2.) I am the most like my dad, but I fear I am turning into my mother.

3.) The crock pot is my favorite invention (next to the DVD player).

4.) I think The Office is one of the funniest shows on the planet.

5.) I have an aversion to the name “Robby” for an inexplicable reason.

6.) My favorite place to go is the beach - or anywhere near the ocean.

7.) Last year, for my dad’s birthday present, I surprised him by playing a guitar solo for the first time during a communion service. I played his favorite song Amazing Grace and he cried. I won’t ever play that song for anyone else.

8.) I hate Wal-Mart (for all the reasons you’d think).

9.) I hate K-Mart (but not for the reasons you’d think).

10.) I loathe JJ Abrahms. And Alias was one of my favorite shows (until Season 3).

11.) The cars I’ve owned are red, white and blue. (Not all at the same time and not on purpose.)

12.) I have an embarrassing weakness for Chick Lit.

13.) I hate the smell of vanilla, co…

The Huskers and OJ

The Colorado/Nebraska game is this Friday. I cannot even remember a time when we didn't play this team the day after Thanksgiving, nor can I remember a time when they were acually a team I enjoyed watching play the Huskers.(Be gone, oranges on the field!)

One of the benefits of reading some Nebraska blogs is they often link to other blogs, one I hadn't crossed before. Read this joke to enjoy a good poke at the Buffs. Warning: offensive language. The joke is funny enough for me to still link to it, though.

That being said, please don't read anything else on the blog. It makes us Nebraskans look...well.. ignorant.

On the pop culture side - what the heck is OJ thinking? What an idiot.

Focusing on Christ

I had a professor in college who once said, "Jesus will never ask us to do something he hasn't done himself."

The process of restoration that I began nearly a year ago is still with me, if only in small pieces. I can happily say that God restored my heart this last year. Maybe not completely, for I am not sure that could ever happen on this earth, but it is restored enough so the sin that broke it down is no longer controlling it, but allowing me to move on. My heart is the epitome of Galatians 6:1. I was restored gently.

A by-product of this process is that I often find myself focusing on me, me and then me again. I fear my own selfishness is simply compounded by my joy that I am set free from the junk that's kept me bound for so long. To focus on what's happened to me instead of who's happened to me places me in where I shouldn't be - at the center.

Who is Jesus? His character is one of huge mystery to me. There are so many things he said that I don't…

Songs to Do Next

One of the overwhelming things about being a worship leader is deciding what new songs to tackle next. There's a lot of great stuff out there, but there is also just as much junk. The basic stuff I look for when choosing new songs are 1.)Does it honor God? 2.) Is it theologically correct? 3.) It is singable by most non-musicians?

Once a song passes that test, the hard work for me begins. I have a keyboardist who won't just play chords; she needs sheet music. So my next hurdle is finding written-out piano music for her. If I overcome that hurdle, the next is finding it in a key that most everyone can sing it in. This is the part of my job makes me tear my hair out each time.

A message to all the male, tenor worship leaders out there writing all that great music: If you are going to write it in such a high key, please make it available to us in a normal key.

There are a lot of great websites that allows you to transpose the sheet music down, but I often find myself struggling to f…

I guess I'm... surprised?

Haggard Resigns from New Life Church

I am surprised. But at the same time I'm not. Nothing much surprises me anymore. We live in a world where anything and everythings happens to anyone and everyone. I think I would be more shocked if Donald Rumsfeld did something like this... okay, maybe not.

Timing is everything, isn't it? Should it make me question the escort's motivation with election day 3 days away with a ban on gay marriage on the Colorado State ballot? It does, a little. But at the same time, I see his point. If Haggard was outspoken in his support of the ban and if Haggard did what the escort claims, it would make me want to come forward too.

I've been to New Life Church. It was one of the first churches I tried out when I moved to Colorado Springs. Strangely, I remember liking the church, but not liking Haggard and his preaching style. The church is huge - and I really felt out of place and overwhelmed. So I kept looking for a church. I might feel different abo…

My Fight for High-Ability Learning

Back in high school, I suppose I was what most people would call a "nerd". Not because I was ridiculously smart - I'm not - but because of other gifts I had. Attending public school in a town of less than 400 residents, there weren't many options for advanced placement or "gifted student" classes. But my educational service unit offered something incredibly unique: a two week program in the summer with the chance to study with a renowned scholar in fields such as art, computer science, logic, statistics, social science, medical science, and the like.

I had the pleasure of attending this program for four years. The competition was stiff - only the top ten students were accepted based on test scores or portfolios. With a little over 100 students accepted, around 400 applied. I think what these numbers say about the program, is not only that it's popular, but that public school just isn't enough, especially for gifted students.

For several years in a row…

Lego Thriller

Happy Halloween...

I have no idea how they got them to dance like that. But it's hilarous.

Little Reminders

Every guitar player has their favorite pick. Not one actual "pick" but the one brand, texture, and thickness you found that fits you. I am no different.

When I first began to play, I sought the advice of professionals at one of our local music stores. He directed me to a blue one (which I love, my favorite color) that was fairly thick. I can't recall the exact measurement of thickness, but it's a lot thicker than what I use now. The logo and words on it rubbed off after a few months or so, and once I'd moved past finger-picking to chords (which is completely backwords for worship leading, if you think about. But I never do anything the normal way) I needed something thinner. So I just grabbed different kinds and tested them. I eventually landed on the perfect pick for me. The only problem? It's pink.

I don't do pink.

Why am I writing about very uninteresting part of my life? Well, the other day I was searching through my purse and as I was digging at the ver…

In Honor of Friday the 13th

I decided to watch one of my all-time favorite freaky movies - The Village. I will not spend the whole post waxing philosophical about the greatness that is M. Night Shyamalan. I'll let my friend Rocky do that for me here, here and here.

For me, pop culture is like dessert. I so look forward to it before it happens and after when I'm done I feel both satisfied and sick from the sugar. With certain entertainment venues, I pick apart the annoying unbelievably issues, continuity errors and character assassinations over and over. (Perhaps that's why so little of what's on TV right now interests me. Perhaps I'm secretly afraid I'll get an ulcer.) But with movies, I tend to simply let them wash over with with joy (unless they suck, that is.) The Village is no different. (not with the sucking, of course, but with the joy...)

So my desire to simply let movies wash over me is probably why I had no idea the surprise that appeared was once Ivy climbed over the wall. Call m…

The rest of my trip

My aunt and I spoke for quite a while more - an opportunity I'd been praying for since we decided to go on this trip together. Thankfully it was given to me: the chance to share with her God's never-ending love no matter the sin. The love that spurs me to gratefulness - away from sin not towards it. I shared with her from Galatians 3 "Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit." I even told her about Martin Luther, the 95 Theses, the birth of the reformation and told her that reading Roman…


Last week I traveled to Kansas City and then on to St. Louis to visit two very interesting and two very different seminaries.

Why seminary? Well, it happened sometime after this. I remember glancing through church job descriptions in order to make sense of this "thing" that was burning inside me, and I realized that every job that looked really great required a master's degree. So thus began the research.

St. Paul School of Theology intrigued me for two reasons: the urban setting and the diversity of the student body. Both were confirmed after my visit. The school itself is very nice - the campus is lovely and well-keep (and quite small), the buildings are beautiful, they have the very latest in technological equipment in each class room, yadda, yadda. That is all very nice. But what I really loved was the dynamic range of ethnicity, age and background of the students on campus.

I had lunch with two really great people - Laura and Joel. Current students both extremely invol…

A Look Back

I think it might be...

...a step in the right direction.

Pope Benedict XVI is expected to cast aside the concept of limbo..

Maybe those old Catholics can change after all. :)

Happy Birthday To Me

Today, I am offically one year old on

I look back over the last year and I feel as though I've come full circle. Let me explain...

A few months ago a young girl from my congregation approached me and asked me to mentor her. She is 19 and chose not to go to college after she graduated. She is currently teaching dance at a local studio and trying so hard to figure out how to be happy. She and I are reading Captivating by Staci and John Eldridge and today I was typing up the question on the chapter 6 "Healing the Wound", remembering what I went through about a year ago on the subject of restoration. I am now realizing just how much healing God gave me in the last twelve months.

I am not brand new. I am mended. And I think that's much better. Never thought I'd say that, but I am. I am mended - tattered and torn. But like the velveteen rabbit, I was made real by love. Not perfect, but real nonetheless.

How could I ask for more?

A list of my favorite posts co…

Has Blogger gone Mac only?

My page looks like crap from a PC. The type is too large and for some reason the bottom half shows all the text being centered.

Per usual, it looks fine on a Mac.

I've seen some other blogger pages and they also seems to be acting weird.

Has blogger gone Mac only? Please say it's true.

My New Favorite Podcast


Yes, I'm a pop culture junkie. I make no apologies.


I haven't had much to say this month. I've spent more time reading blogs than posting my own stuff. I am leaving Tuesday and will be gone for the rest of the week. (Hoping that one or both of the seminaries I am visting will give me some perspective. Maybe that's why I don't have anything to say...)

These blogs I enjoy reading on a semi-regular basis. (And they all pretty regular in their posting, which is nice.) Hope you enjoy as well:

On Worship:
Worship Matters
Eric Coomer
Common Saints

On the Emerging Church Movement:
The Oooze

Other Good Stuff on the Church:
Growing Edge Buzz
Every Thought Captive
The Merge
the church and postmodern culture: conversation

Heavenly Heartburn
An Eye for Redemption

In other random thoughts: why are most bloggers men? I have yet to finda great blog by a woman. Weird.

...Although I do sometimes find this one amusing.

I'm a Dead Poet...okay, not really

You are Arthur Rimbaud - a vital, cannon-changing poet with a flare for tantrums. You tend to write in a fever, and have a liking for the disordered mind. Do't expect people to understand you, for you are ahead of your time.
Take this quiz!

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code


America is the culture of overchoice. When faced with what should be a simple decision, the amount of time we spending weighing the pros and cons of each option is rarely worth the ulcer we got in the meantime.

Tall or grande? Non-fat or low fat? Quality or quantity? Chicken or fish? DSL or Wireless? Mac or PC? (don't even think of saying PC) Digital cable or satellite? Destktop or laptop?

Having so many choice to make in our everyday lives can make us feel entitled to having just as many choices with the major decisions in our life. I guess there is nothing wrong with having so many choices in those major decisions, but for me it often serves nothing more as an excuse to put the decision off.

I am looking at five different schools right now. I'll be visiting two next week - one in KC and the other in St. Louis. Neither I'm that excited about, because the other two have the better degrees I want. But they are far, far way from home. So I have a choice: What will make me happi…
God determines who walks into your's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.

Wish You Were Here

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange
a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl,
year after year,
running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears,
wish you were here.

I'm sad.

EFCA Statement of Faith

My denomination is going through the process of revising the Statement of Faith. As with anything in the church, it's been a long and complicated process, with everyone putting their two cents in about the first and second drafts changes they've made thus far. Click here if you'd like to see more of this discussion happening online.

#1 Statement in the current SOF:

We Believe:
The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life.


Here is the proposed revision:

We Believe:

1. God's gospel originate in and demonstrates the holy love of the eternal, triune God -

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three uqually divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. …

5 Things

The 5-things-in-various-places survey

5 Items in my Fridge:
1. Diet Dr. Pepper
2. Cream Cheese
4. Lettuce
5. 2 eye gel masks

5 Items in my Closet:
1. A dresser
2. My laundry basket
3. Empty shoe boxes
4. Shoes (duh)
5. Hangers (duh)

5 Items in my Car:
1. Cds, Cds, Cds
2. Lotion
3. A cute little red flashlight
4. Headset for my cell phone
5. Music books

5 Items in my Purse:
1. Wallet, checkbook combo
2. 2 Tubes of chapstick, 1 lipgloss and two tubes of lipstick. (I know...)
3. Cell phone
4. Pens
5. Keys

5 Items on my Desk:
1. Lamp
2. Pencil cup holder
3. Papers, bills, etc
4. Computer
5. Assorted Cds

5 Items in my Bathroom Vanity:
1. "Creative Genuis" hair gel
2. "Lucky" perfume
3. Lemon flavored toothpaste
4. Home-made soap my friend Dixie's mother made
5. Nailpolish

Boundaries - Part 2

A little over a week ago I made brief mention of Saddleback Church's new rules for maintaining moral integrity. Part 1.

Perhaps the 15 rules set by Saddleback really is about removing temptation from the staff, and if so, you got to do what you got to do. If it's needed for their church, I'm glad something's being done. My main concern is that this list is somehow about what people's perception may be about the interactions mentioned in this list.
Perception. It sometimes becomes synonymous with the word gossip.

A while back a Sunday school teacher I knew was asked to step down from her position. (No, it wasn't the famous one). She was asked to step down because some people in the community saw her playing golf with a man who was not her husband. She and her husband are separated (and were at the time all this happened) and a rumor began that she was cheating on him. The only foundation for the rumor was the golfing incident.

This Sunday school teach had a right to…

Warm September Rain


The Pursuit of Happyness

I'm all giddy.

Here's why.

Autumn is Coming

I can smell it. Cool, fresh, tingly, wheaty. Fall is coming. Chasing after the warm sun on the horizon as each day is shoter and shorter as the year approaches a close. I smell the silage being cut, the ground staying moist, the pollen shedding, the impending harvest of corn. The blessing of rain in the last few weeks served to make my sense more aware. Fall is coming.

As the earth dies I am not only reminded of the beauty thats found in death, but of the promise of life given in the spring. The brillent reds, yellows, oranges, browns explode across the landscape in my vision and once again I am reminded of God's creativity. Of his love for the land, for us. For what other reason would he want to show us those colors, that beauty? To remind us that with every death there can be new life. And we must find the beauty in both.
When I'm cold and alone
All I want is my freedom and a sudden gust of gravity
I stop wailing and kickingJust to let this water cover me, cover me
Only if I rest…

Victor Wooten "Amazing Grace"

Victor Wooten

If you aren't in tears by the end of this video, be afraid... you might not have a soul. *sniffle*

Of Selfishness and Wine-Tasting

I spent the evening with two co-workers tonight. We brought wine, talked and watched a stupid movie (I won't embarrass myself by saying what it was. I've already embarrassed myself enough today.) And for some reason, when I arrived home I started to think about selfishness.

The wine we had wasn't very good. Shame. I had high hopes, but I'm such a wine-snob that at times it's hard to please me. Am I that way in the rest of my life? Probably.

My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away.

-Psalm 38:11

Am I so wounded that people stay away? Is it selfish of me to ask them to stay?

Whenever I asked myself these questions, I try to ask myself if I had a friend who acted like I do, would I stay? Fight or flight? Would it be worth it? (That alone is a selfish question.)

It is hard to please me. And the selfishness in me simply asks, "So? Why is that so bad?" I hold myself to a high standard, why is it so bad to do the same for oth…

Double Hee

I'm slightly amused that I actually get this pop culture reference. It makes me feel really, really old. If memory serves this line is from a TV show that takes me back to my high school days and the episode somehow involved brightly-colored spandex body suits.

Tiffany Amber-Theisen, eat your heart out. I bet none of your lines ended up on a T-Shirt I just paid $22 for.

This is just all kinds of embarrassing.

Boundaries - Part 1

In an effort to curb sexual temptation among the staff at Saddleback and other churches, Rick Warren established 15 rules for Saddleback staff standards in order to maintain moral integrity:

- Thou shalt not go to lunch alone with the opposite sex.*

- Thou shalt not have the opposite sex pick you up or drive you places when it is just the two of you.*

- Thou shalt not kiss any attender of the opposite sex or show affection that could be questioned.*

- Thou shalt not visit the opposite sex alone at home.

- Thou shalt not counsel the opposite sex alone at the office, and thou shalt not counsel the opposite sex more than once without that person’s mate. Refer them.

- Thou shalt not discuss detailed sexual problems with the opposite sex in counseling. Refer them.

- Thou shalt not discuss your marriage problems with an attender of the opposite sex.

- Thou shalt be careful in answering emails, instant messages, chatrooms, cards, or letters from the opposite sex.

- Thou shalt make your secretary your…