Monday, December 31, 2007

Pop Culture Quote Monday

This one comes with a visual hint!




We have a piper down, I repeat, a piper is down!

2007 - a look back

What I learned in 2007... HT to Barbara for the idea.

I learned that God can change me, even when I least expect it.

I learned that forgiveness isn't about excusing the sin, it's about saying the sin mattered, it hurt, and that I have to move on for my own mental health.

I learned that courage is directly tied to faith. (I really already knew this, but I learned to look at it in a different way.)

I learned how much I missed my friends from college once I joined facebook and they all came out of the woodwork.

I learned I'm way more liberal (politically) than I originally thought I was.

I learned that ice storms are particularly scary.

I learned that Iron Chef America is the single most delightfully ridiculous 1 hour on television.

I learned that ministry is something I not only enjoy, but need to have in my life.

I learned, most of all, the importance of our connection to one another.

Best Posts of 2007

I'm doing a twist on my "best of list" this year. No more pop culture lists - just a ego post. Some are my favorites, some get a lot of hits off google, some are just good lessons God taught me.

I started the year out with two heavy-hitting posts:
Top Ten Myths about Christians - Part 1
Top Ten Myths about Christians - Part 2
I loved writing these two posts.

The Death of Good Coffee I get tons of google hits off this one.

I Almost Ran Over Derek Webb One of my favorite memories of the year, and another post from which many, many google hits come.

The Dichotomy of Country Music By far my most popular post of the year. The Tick Song was huge on country radio this year (I think it even won a CMA) and rarely does a day goes by where I don't get a hit on this post. Google "tick song country" and I come up third. Unbelievable.

Wounds Not an easy post for me to write. But I'm glad I did.


Small Victories
The best moment of 2007 for me (except for when I found out the size of the scholarship Covenant gave me.)


And most recently, Growth , for which I still have some pondering to do.

Hucka-wha?




Huckabee's Remarkable Play

My cousin over at confession of a slacker mom made her decision a while back to support Huckabee in the coming election, and I had the chance to hear her reasons why over drinks at Christmas time. (The only time I stand to talk politics. The drinks part, not the Christmas part.) I still haven't made my choice yet, but I found this turn of events rather interesting.

Brilliant play or strategic political savvy? I'm leaning towards the latter - maybe I'm just too cynical to believe he really had a change of heart.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Theological Worldview









What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Emergent/Postmodern

You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.


Emergent/Postmodern



86%

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan



75%

Neo orthodox



71%

Classical Liberal



50%

Modern Liberal



39%

Charismatic/Pentecostal



36%

Fundamentalist



32%

Reformed Evangelical



25%

Roman Catholic



25%

The only thing I disagree with here is where is says I don't think older churches connect with modern churches very well. While I do feel alienated from the older generation at times, I believe in the older church's importance in the church culture. We have much to learn from them and too many people in my generation brush them aside as if they do not matter. But they do.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Underrported Humanitian Stories

Doctors without Borders listed their top 10 underreported humanitarian stories of 2007. (Below is a picture in Somalia, where the civil war there has left many without food, water and medical treatment.)


Read the rest here.

HT to Ariah, who also has a great post about global warming today.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Confession


I'm a total geek, I must confess.

I was baking Christmas cookies at a friends house and he had a mixed CD of Josh Groban Christmas songs playing. "O Holy Night", the best traditional Christmas song ever written in my opinion, was on the CD.

And it made me cry. I'm such a geek. I actually like a Josh Groban song. I just can't blame it on hormones or sugar or anything else in that realm. I just liked it.

Let the heckling commence.

(I will put "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" right up there on my list of best traditional Christmas songs. I am a sucker for Longfellow.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bad Nativites

I think every year for the last few years someone reminds me of this website: Cavalcade of Bad Nativities. It is truly the best of the tacky...which is why I love it.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Yee-Haw!




The Alien Angels


Look out, I gonna jump!



And my ultimate favorite:

Woo-Hoo! Rock on! I think I won something!



Hee.

Pop Culture Quote Monday

If I live to be 100, I'll never forget that big snow storm a couple of years ago. The weather closed in and, well you might not believe it, but the world almost missed Christmas. Oh, excuse me, call me Sam. What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a talking snowman before?

What movie is it from and who plays Sam the Snowman?

Friday, December 14, 2007

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

Hee!

O Christmas Tree



This is the first year I put up my Christmas tree since my grandmother died. Every year for 10 or so years, she gave each grandkid an ornament for Christmas. They were never my style, but I kept them, for a tradition like that is to be cherished. So when I put my tree up last week a mix of sentiment and sadness came over me as I carefully unwrapped each shiny glass ornament she gave me, that clash with all my other ornaments. But I don't care. I love Christmas trees... I love the memories attached to ornaments... I love what it all represents. I'm a total sap, I'm a total romantic. I make no apologies.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Growth

Growing up is a funny thing. I remember my mom lecturing me as a teenager when I would complain "life is hard". "Compared to what?" she'd ask. Then there was "your brother will grow out of this need to torture you" or my personal favorite, "you'll understand when you're older".

(My brothers and I are close now, but we hated each other when we were kids. "Hate" is a pretty strong word, I guess, but it is an accurate description of my feelings at the time, though God knows I didn't really mean it.)

Growing up into adulthood isn't all that different from growing spiritually. You go into it all giddy, thinking you are prepared for it. (i.e. ooo! my first credit card!) Then when when it "growing" and "stretching" happens, you start squirm a little, wishing things were the way they used to be. (you mean I have to pay this bill?) And ultimately, we can look back and see the lesson learned, why it happened, and how we are better for it.

But here's the thing I've wondered about spiritual growth: how can we be sure we've grown or if maybe we've just gotten more intelligent about spiritual things? I can read book and after book, consult scripture, spend time in prayer and ultimately come out thinking "I'm good. I know what I'm talking about". I can put a name on my struggle, I can maybe even find the root of it, and then once again be at the foot of the cross asking for forgiveness. Then I just can't help but ask myself, "Have I really grown? I'm right back where I started."

My friend Landon recently said "I've always found the naming to be the most powerful piece of growth for me. Once I name it, it has no control over me. Now that I've named that a piece of me is scared, I'm no longer subconsciously controlled by that." I've never been able to articulate that about myself, but I find it's absolutely true for me as well... just as there is power in finding the root or reason for the struggle, there is power in looking back and seeing a lesson learned. But if it happens again and again, do I just "know" more about the struggle and more about myself?

Sometimes it feels as though I am cloaking my so-called growth in knowledge, that I am masking it all with "the smarts". (This is feeling very Romans 7-like to me.)

Something to think about, anyway.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pop Culture Quote Monday

Happy birthday, Jesus - sorry your party's so lame.


I am attending the office Christmas party tonight, so I had to do it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

To Be a Child...



This little boy is from Nebraska, and he called into a radio show in Houston to share this story.

It's sweet and wonderful. It's even a little cheesy, but sometimes we can all use a little cheese.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Redemption Has Stories to Tell


Me and the trees, losing our leaves
Falling like blood on the ground
I want to be evergreen
Everything dies, I know last night
Part of me wasn't around
I want to be evergreen
Yeah, evergreen...

Waiting, and listening
Hoping and missing all of our time left alone
I'm the one cutting the rope
Frostbite in winter, 'cause like a splinter you come and follow me down
I'm the one cutting the rope

Holiday end, I'm here once again, and I'm left alone on the bus with my
head on the ground, in hopes that I'm found by you
this time around

The sun will rise soon and tackle the moon
Chasing it still in the sky
All that I've got is tonight
Excuses and reasons, and now tis the season
For all that I never got right
All that I've got is tonight

Holiday end, I'm here once again, and I'm left alone on the bus with my
head on the ground, in hopes that I'm found by you
this time around

The night is a crow, saying come hold me
All that I know is that I've been lonely for thee
All that I knew and all that I know, I found myself under your rain
I want to be evergreen
I want to be evergreen

Holiday end, I'm here once again, and I'm left alone on the bus with my
head on the ground, in hopes that I'm found by you
this time around
I want to be evergreen..

I want to live all year round
- "Evergreen" Switchfoot

For the past ten years, a strange little group out of the California surfer scene has been in my life. I found them by accident, one day wandering into an equally strange little music store in Colorado Springs. The owner shoved "The Legend of Chin" into my hands and I was hooked. Their music is weird, strong and wonderful, the lyrics poetic and insightful and dead on. They went mainstream two years ago and what I like seeing is a constant progression instead of just churning out the same old stuff.

Now that I'm down waxing philosophical on music, I wanted to share these lyrics of their with you - it's a rare song from them, on the first volume of the Happy Christmas albums from Tooth and Nail records. It's classic Switchfoot - thoughtful lyrics with a great bass line. And it's yet another song of theirs that's affected my heart in an unexpected way. (24, Dare You to Move, This is Your Life, and Awakening are on that list.)

Evergreen trees are amazing creations. It seems no amount of hot or cold kills them and they remain green all year along. The definition of an evergreen according to Answers.com? "Perennially fresh or interesting; enduring."

I want to be evergreen.

I don't feel fresh and interesting. I want more than anything to be enduring. But above all that, I want to live all year long. Not just exist. Not just go through the motions. I want to live out the passion that burns deep within my heart. The passion that comes with living out a purpose and being someone who matters. It's been a common theme for the last few years of my life - this idea of inspiring others and myself to "be the change they seek" (to paraphrase Ghandi).

This December night, with snow on the ground and a chill in the air, I find myself not wanting to lose my leaves, not wanting to follow the earth's movement into the death of winter. Instead I long to awaken the parts of me I've allowed to die and rediscover life.

I'm afraid it's been too long to try to find the reasons why / I let my world close in around a smaller patch of fading sky / But now I've grown beyond the walls to where I've never been / And it's still winter in my wonderland

Monday, December 03, 2007

Pop Culture Quote Monday

I'm sad no one got either of these... The first one is from the movie Elf. If you haven't seen it, drop what you are doing and rent it. Now. Or call me and I'll mail you my copy. Yes, it's that good. It has Zooey Deschanel, and almost everything she's in is awesome. Plus, it's directed by Jon Favreau. Really? How can you go wrong?

And the second is an absolute CLASSIC. John Cusack to Jeremy Piven in Say Anything.
______________________________________________________________

"I'm sorry I ruined your lives, and crammed eleven cookies into the VCR."

From one of the greatest Christmas movies ever.

And I have to give you a second one.

"YOU MUST CHILL!! YOU MUST CHILL!!!"