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Showing posts from 2008

A Fragrance

Everyone has their own fragrance

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1

We had a bridal shower for one of my roommates last month. One of the things we did in lieu of cheesy bridal shower games (Megan hates them, and she is, after all, the bride!) was write a note of encouragement or prayer to her. We all shared ours, then rolled them up to put into a wine bottle, for her to keep.

As I was contemplating what to write to this woman I've only known for a couple of months, I was drawn to this verse in Ephesians. Not just because Megan is an imitator of Christ, but be because of what it's like to be in her presence. She is the epitome of what it means to have a breath of fresh air comes into the room. And I started wondering if everyone has their own fragrance. Not in an actual way... in more of a metaphorical way.

Maybe your best fr…

Soggy Bottom Boys and Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani and John Turturro in the same video. Did I just see some pigs fly past the window?

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

My favorite Christmas song...

In the bleak mid-winter, the frosty wind did moan
The earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone

Snow had fallen softly, snow on snow on snow
In the bleak mid-winter, oh so long ago
Our God, heaven cannot hold Him nor the earth sustain
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign

In the bleak mid-winter a stable place sufficed
For the Lord almighty, Jesus Christ

Oh what can I give Him, woeful as I am
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb
If I were a wiseman, oh I would do my part
Yet, what can I give Him -- I will give my heart
Oh what can I give Him -- I will give my heart

Anytime good poetry (thanks, Ms. Rossetti) is set to music as haunting as this, it's a winner in my book.

Sponsor An Executive

Why I Am Not A Baptist

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Sad

Yet another reason to hate Wal-Mart. I hate what "stuff" does to this country.

Go Out in Joy

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower
and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth;
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy
and be lead forth in peace;
the mountains and hill will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

-Isaiah 55: 10-13

More on this later. Just wanting to leave you all with this beautiful word as we enter into the Thanksgiving holiday.

On the Road to Beautiful

Play this while you read.



A lot of people warned me that seminary would be less about learning than I would expect or would maybe even want.

Expect lots of reading, expect messiness, expect needy people, expect to be broken. I knew that going in. I promise I did.

I crumble at Your kiss and grace
I'm a weakling in the dust
Teach me how to cling to You
With all my life and all my love

I think over the years, I've managed to forget what it means to be on a journey. I've always been well aware that the life of following Christ is a work in progress, something where I'm always stretching and growing. But it's different here. The journey is very different. There are a lot of rocks in my road, sometimes boulders I can't move. The bag I'm carrying is heavy and burdensome.

Father come to me, hold me up 'cause I can barely stand
My strength is gone and my breath is short, I can't reach out my hands
But my heart is set on a pilgrimage to heaven's own bright King
So i…

What Happened Tonight

No matter who you voted for, not matter how much your heart is breaking or how much your heart is celebrating, let us remember:

God is sovereign.

As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD ?
And who is the Rock except our God? -2 Samuel 22:31-32
It is vital we pray for President-Elect Barack Obama. This man has his work cut out for him.Father,Protect Barack Obama and his family. Make him an instrument of your will. Draw him closer to yourself and give him the wisdom he will need to lead this country for the next four years. You have placed him in this position for a reason, Father, and we trust in your good and pleasing and perfect will. Amen.

Heartbreak

I am really homesick. Really and truly.

Sitting at the table in a kitchen conversation
You spilled the words you read just yesterday
He said, "Be perfect, perfect as I am"
"How can this be done," you ask, "when every time I try to be
Someone with such a mastery, I see how weak I am"
I said, "See the sweet dichotomy
Mercy mirrored in the face of impossibility"

The weight of the words
Can crush you, they can break you
Or they can heal and they can take you to the throne of grace
The weight of the words
Will lead you like a beacon
When your strength is finally beaten by the weight of the words

And so the constant struggle to remind each other of the fact
That the rest is easy on the shoulders of the One who came
To pay for what we lack
Now our welcome burden is to strive with humble gratitude
We cannot take lightly what He carried on His back
Can you feel the gravity
Compelling mystery
Life for those who will believe

The weight of the words
Can crush you they can break y…

Grrrr.

In Concert

TWO hours away from me and they have to do it during midterms.

John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel

Heartbreaking. But the truth usually is.

Living in Grace

There is nothing that shows me God's grace more that old reformed hymns. "Jesus Lover of My Soul" "Friend of Sinners" "Pensive Doubting Fearful Heart". I love how they shows my need for grace as it reveals the sin in my heart. They reveal my incapability to do any good on my own, and reminds me to whom it is that I belong.

I was part of a group in college that took a spiritual gifts test before we left to travel in a van together for the summer. We learned not only how our gifts manifest themselves, but also the misuses of the gifts. What was so remarkable about doing this study together is that when we saw a misuse of a gift, it allowed us to give more grace to the person. Not that their sin was any less of a sin, but it helped us understand where that person was coming from. This intense study in my Spiritual Ministry Formation class has done the same for me here at Covenant Seminary. In my understanding of how introverts and extroverts work, and how…

Performance

Before I arrived at seminary, I came from a very performance-driven life. Deadlines to meet, worship services to churn out (forgive the crudeness of the term), songs to learn and teach, bible studies to work on, bible studies to lead, projects to finish...

I have no clue where this performance-driven life came from. I'm sure I cultivated it myself in some small way, just as I am sure that others contributed to it as well. As a child, there was a a lot built up in performance for 4-H projects. I caught the bug the first time I received the big, fancy dark purple ribbon. (Light purple was reserve champion... but dark purple was champion.) I got a taste of success around age 8 or 9, and the rest of my 4-H career was delighting purple ribbons, big silver trophies and how many times I could get my picture in the paper because of said ribbons and trophies.

My mom and dad both made sure that projects were done completely, heartily and to the best of my ability. If it wasn't done right,…

How Long?

Psalm 40 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.
...
Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;
may your love and your truth always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails…

Blog Action Day

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All kingdoms fall, said one of my seminary professors a month ago. "Even the United States."

Then the Dow went down. And down. And even further down.

We are not a nation in poverty. We are a nation of gluttons - high on credit, Dolce and Gabanna shoes, Kate Spade bags, iPhones, bluetooths and SUVs that are bigger than my living room.

We are not in poverty. We spend what we don't have, and that credit was given to us carelessly. We think we need a new car, a new home, and new furnishings at age 23. Whatever happened to saving before you buy? Those days are gone in lieu of inflated prices where the man with deep pockets keeps getting more and more.

We are, however, a nation that is poor in heart.

A nation that often turns a blind eye to real poverty, sickness, and despair. And nation that all too often refuses to cry out to the man with deep pockets and demand that he help the woman in Darfur who lost her family in a recent surge, the orphaned child in Kenya who sells recycled …

Tagged

This one is fun.

Answer these questions using ONLY ONE WORD: (not as easy as you might think)

1. Where is your cell phone? dresser

2. Your significant other? unfound

3. Your hair?disaster

4. Your mother? lovely

5. Your favorite thing? love

6. Your dream last night? forgotten

7. Your favorite drink? coffee

8. Your dream/goal? obedience

9. What Room you are in? cold

10. Your fear?darkness

11. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy

12. Where were you last night? friends

13. Something that you aren't? unloved

14. Muffins? memory

15. Wish list item? books

17. Last thing you did? read

18. What are you wearing? sweatshirt

19. Your TV? storage

20. Your pets? none

21. Friends? missed

22. Your life? changing

23. Your mood? effervescent

24. Missing someone? always

25. Your car? worn

26. Something you're not wearing? shoes

27. Your favorite store? container

28. Your favorite color? red

29. When is the last time you laughed? evening

30. Last time you cried? heartache

A Path Laid Out Before Me

One of the best things about Covenant Theological Seminary is the Spiritual Ministry Formation class. It is here where students in the MDiv and MAEM programs are subjected to personality test after personality test, then a serious amount of personal reflection in order to figure out and understand how God made you.

Wednesday was the culmination of a 10-page paper with the results of all those tests and self-reflection in a 1-hour meeting with the professor. He meets with each student in his class for 1 hour to go over the paper and to give you ideas for your future ministry and resources as you develop your gifts.

Here are some interesting results about my testing:

My highest scoring spiritual gifts are teaching, shepherding and wisdom. I did not expect that.

My Meyers-Briggs is INTJ, but I am only one point into the T. (Introverted-Intuitive-Thinker-Judge.) Being only one point into the Thinker side means I have just as much Feeling in me than I do a Thinker. I poured over and over b…

Flow Chart

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I didn't get a chance to watch the VP debate because I was listening to a lecture on St. Patrick and Anselm. Most of the people I talk to think their candidate won, so that tells me nothing. I did, however, find this little gem courtesy of Steve over at razzle dazzle rose.


I'm That Girl

I'm that girl who won't leave the house without her makeup, for fear someone will think less of her.
I’m that girl who is ashamed of most of the clothes she wears.... because they aren't expensive or nice.
I'm that girl who judges people who don't have nice or expensive clothes.
I’m that girl who struggles with being real with herself, others, and God.
I'm that girl who will do almost anything to get people to like her.
I’m that girl who lost a job 10 years ago because of a big stupid mistake.
I’m that girl who could lose almost everything if she thinks she’s beyond a stupid mistake.
I’m that girl who feels like a sham because everyone comes to her for advice when secretly she's thinking "Who in the world am I to be giving anyone advice?"
I’m that girl who loves to check her stat counter because she feels like it means she is important and has something to say.
I’m that girl who thinks that if she does everything perfectly people won't notice how scare…

Aaron Sorkin... still writing

Maureen Dowd's column from this Sunday is quite entertaining... it's a script between Obama and ex-president Bartlett (from The West Wing). Obama seeks his advice because of his failing campaign. Here's a taste:

OBAMA I’m interested in your advice.BARTLET I can’t give it to you. OBAMA Why not?BARTLET I’m supporting McCain.OBAMA Why?BARTLET He’s promised to eradicate evil and that was always on my “to do” list.
Read the rest here.

My weekend plans

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So I get to sing in a wedding for these two lovely people this weekend. The one on the right is my dear friend Suzie and her fiance Kurtis is on the left. They are one of eHarmony's success stories. Love Song by Third Day with just me and my guitar. Then other song is... well, it's by Charlotte Church. Let's just leave it at that.

Then I get to see two of my favorite people in the world.


I know Lex and Angela from college, although we were never students at the same time. I know Angela from this experience:

Yep, that's me in the middle in the bad outfit. (White shorts... seriously?) Angela is next to me in black. She is seriously one of the best people I know and I love her husband to death. Her children Landon and Lynae are all grown up and probably won't even remember me. :( It's been too long since we've seen each other, and I absolutely cannot wait to see them all again.

It's worth the 7 hour drive just to give them a hug.

Life is good.

Gretel: The Meteorite Video

The singer is a friend of mine from college. Enjoy.

William Lobdell

Ever heard of William Lobdell? Probably not. But you should now, because I found this article wonderful and fascinating.

Lobdell is the author of Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America — and Found Unexpected Peace

Some of you may be wondering why I am reading articles and books about a guy who lost his Christian faith. I am a seminary student, right? How is this article going to strengthen my faith? Well, it's not and it didn't. But what it did do was offer me insight into what those who've lost their faith go through, and that's always a fascinating topic. And the subject of our broken and fallen world is always an interesting topic, especially regarding the Catholic Church abuse scandals. Lodbell had the religion beat at the LA Times when the stories first broke.

The article is long, but absolutely worth it. Here's a taste:
In late 2001, I traveled to Salt Lake City to attend a conference of former Mormons. These people lived most…

Pop Culture Quote... Tuesday?

I don't know how much regular blogging I'll have time for in the coming months, but I was reminded today of a great pop culture quote, from a show canceled before it's time

I'd rather be dead in California than alive in Arizona.

First Thoughts

There are so many thoughts accumulating as I've entered this new life. So many. But I will start here:

In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest:

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the LORD's house to be built.' "

Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?"

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give ca…

Reason #5 Why I Love Nebraska

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Because it's home.

Promise

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Wednesday night on my way to church for my last praise team rehearsal, I accidentally took my usual route, forgetting that two weeks ago my usual exit was closed for construction. So instead of taking an alternate route I ended up having to drive about 4-5 miles out of my way. And as I turned the corner and drove down this strange road I realized why.



I was overcome with emotion. (That tends to happen when I'm driving.) I had to pull over, pause, take a picture and let my heart be filled. I don't think I've ever been so scared and so worried about anything in my life as I am about moving to St. Louis, starting a new job and beginning my seminary education. I'm not having second thoughts; I'm not even worried that I might have made the wrong decision. I'm worried about how I will adjust, and how I will make a new and completely different life for myself. I will be desperate for my home, my friends, my family and the comfort my current life provides. I am worried …

Boys Town Gang

Can't Take My Eyes Off of You



This was the best 4 minutes of my day.

Pop Culture Quote Monday

I brought you in the world and I can take you out.

Reason #4 Why I Love Nebraska

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The corn.

The picture was my view as a child. I grew up on a farm, and spent my summers irrigating with my brother. I'd pick up irrigation socks, watch him fix pivots, and driving through corn fields like this one.

When the sweet corn was tasseled out and ready to be "put up" as my grandma would say, we'd gather all the neighbors' kids and whatever cousins would be staying with us for the week and hop on the back of my dad's truck with huge Rubbermaid trash cans. He'd set us loose in the field, with the object of filling up the trash can and dumping it in the back of the truck until it was full. Back and forth we'd go, racing to fill up the truck. Foxtails would stick to the bottoms of our jeans and socks, mud would cake our shoes, and the early morning breeze would keep us cool... but not clean.

I remember the smell of raw sweet corn... sweet and juicy. But the smell of the cornfield always made me sneeze and by the time the back of the truck was full I…

Pop Culture Quote Monday

There's a song that they sing when they take to the highway
A song that they sing when they take to the sea
A song that they sing of their home in the sky
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep
But singing works just fine for me

Dark Knight

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I've never been one for the comic book movie. But after all the raves and all the friends who'd seen the latest Batman installment, when the chance to go this afternoon popped up, I decided, "why not?"

What I didn't expect was to really be moved, and aside from being moved also see so many spiritual themes. The battle between good and evil is an obvious one, but this movie takes it to a deeper level, exploring the human condition, the state of our hearts, and rising to find the much-needed hope of a community of people.

It was hard for me at times to not stop and appreciate the genius I was seeing on screen. Heath Ledger as the Joker really is definitive. Horribly creepy and unsettling. He makes your skin crawl. The constant flicking tongue, the haunting eyes, that voice... had I not known it was Ledger I'm certain I wouldn't have recognized him. Gone was the signature husky voice and the twinkle in his eyes... it was replaced with a slow, deliberate cade…

Reason #3 Why I Love Nebraska

I get to openly mock this:



Because it rightfully deserves to be mocked. Mercilessly. Seriously, the crazy finger-pointing alone is worth 10 minutes of mocking.

Four Truths I Must Remember

You have control over only two things:

How you treat yourself and how you treat others.

_______________________________________________________________


There are two things you cannot control:

How others treat you and how others treat themselves.

... passed on to me from my pastor. Good stuff.

Pop Culture Quote Monday

First of all, I must say Mamma Mia! was incredible. Really. Just as good as the stage show. Meryl Streep rocks my sauce... girl can belt it.

This is not an easy one, but anyone with a twisted sense of humor adores this movie:

Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who.

Two Words

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Yeah, baby!

Reason #2 Why I Love Nebraska

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This town: Kearney. It's where I've lived for the last eight years, and the place I will say goodbye to in four short weeks. Many things about this town drive me crazy. But many things don't. I choose to focus on the things that don't.

1.) You can talk to a complete stranger for 5 minutes while waiting for pizza at Valentino's, and it doesn't feel weird. (Just did that tonight.)

2.) Everywhere you go takes 15 minutes.

3.) I love that I found a place to live within walking distance of where I work, walking distance of my grocery store, AND walking distance of a recycling center.

4.) Barista's Daily Grind. Yum.

5.) Redmond's, the best shoe store ever. So small and old school they don't even have a website.

6.) When we have a tornado it's all we talk about for the next 3 days. And 15 people call you to see if you are okay.

7.) I don't know why I love this so much, but I love that my dumpster gets blown away every time it's windy and storms, and my…

Pop Culture Quote Monday

You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is: "Never get involved in a land war in Asia." But, only slightly less well known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line!"

Reason #1 Why I Love Nebraska

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Legacy Milk comes out of Hallam, NE. They use glass bottles that you can return to the store (Environmentally-friendly! Yea!), they have crazy-fun flavors like Cotton Candy and Root Beer. You pay a little extra, but it completely worth it. They don't use any growth-hormones, and it just tastes good.

Derek Webb- A Savior On Capitol Hill Video

Awesome. Just... Awesome.

Infliction

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The troubadours wrote songs and poetry, mainly centering around the themes of love and chivalry. One theme that has always struck me was their idea that the wound a person suffers can only be healed by the one who inflicted it.

Richard Wagner, a German composer, eludes to the idea that the only way to right a wrong is go back to the time when the wrong decision is made and thus, make the right one. In his opera, Parsifal, Wagner composed a song, probably based on the troubadours theme, called "The Wound Is Healed Only by the Spear That Smote You".

The idea that a wound can only be healed by the inflicter makes logical sense to me. I'm a fan of logic, for even in the most grey and philosophical area logic helps my mind organize everything. But is there truth in this statement? I imagine there would be plenty of Christians shouting "no!" to this idea, because of the truth that God heals our wounds.

But is it really that simple?

Last summer I was able to sit acro…

I'm frustrated!

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I've been to a lot of sporting events and a lot of ceremonies where the American Anthem was played. Not once did I place my hand over my heart. I haven't done that since I said the pledge of allegiance in high school.

I guess that makes me an unpatriotic Muslim running for president.

In all seriousness, I am SO tired of getting emails about Barack Obama. The ignorance with which it is forwarded drives me crazy. It makes me want to make up an outlandish story about someone then forward it to all my friends as if it were gospel, just to see how long it takes to get back to me.

I love this country and the people in it, but man... we are ignorant sometimes.

Pop Culture Quote Monday

When you're down and out
When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

Reasons

An appropriate post from Jan at the view from her (I'm particularly fond of #5, #8 and #14):

Reasons I love living in the U.S.A. on our 232nd birthday:

1. The 4th of July. Barbecue, parades, sparklers, fireworks.
2. We have the prettiest flag.
3. You can drive anywhere without asking permission. Even across state lines. And stay as long as you want.
4. Blue jeans.
5. You can love or hate books like The Shack, or The DaVinci Code, but they're not forbidden.
6. We have real cowboys.
7. And Indians.
8. You can freely mock the President. I think we take that for granted.
9. The Freedom of Information Act. Our government will actually give you information about itself.
10. You can send a letter to any one of over 111 million homes, and it will be delivered to precisely the right one in only about two days, for just 42 cents.
11. New England clam chowder.
12. Alaska and Hawaii.
13. You can have as many children as you want.
14. Libraries. All the free books you can read. (6 at a tim…

Pop Culture Quote Monday

No, no, he didn't slam you, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you... he rubbed you. And rubbin, son, is racin'.

Meredith - if you don't know this one, we've got a little cousin that won't think you are a very good family member!

Setting it Down

I've been making my way through Season One of Joan of Arcadia on DVD, an amazing show that ran on CBS from 2003-2005. And it's cancellation is the reason I won't watch CBS anymore. (Unless Bright Eyes is on Letterman... I gave in for 10 minutes just once. I've also really come to love How I Met Your Mother, but luckily there are several Chinese websites where I can watch it.)

Anyway, Joan of Arcadia is one of the few shows I liked enough to buy the DVD set. I haven't seen the episodes since I first bought the set, so seeing them all again is just a reminder of what a great writer Barbara Hall is, and what a great cast it had - Mary Steenburgen, Amyber Tamblyn (daughter of Russ Tamblyn from West Side Story), Jason Ritter, Becky Wahlstrom.

Joan sees God. He comes to her in different forms - Lunch Lady God, Cute Boy God, Little Girl God, Goth Guy God. He asks her to do things. He never tells her why, at least not in a straight-forward manner. He just tells her what to …

I've been a bad blogger...

I have 8... count 'em 8 posts started and haven't finished a single one. Too much going on and not enough time to write. That's frustrating! Bad blogger.

My friend Shannon convinced me to join facebook a while back and it seems like everyone and their dog is there now. A bunch of friends from college I'd lost touch with have found me right and left, which is good. And bad, in a way. Because it makes me all sentimental and weepy.

Anyway, I received a facebook message from a good friend from those college days. She was hurting, and I could tell. So I sent her a message and I got a reply tonight. In my reply, I wrote: "All the ups and down never seem to go away, do they? I thought once I become a real adult that things would be so easier to figure out."

I've experienced a lot of ups and down lately. Joy and fun with friends and family. Sad goodbyes that have started already, and I'm not even moving until the middle of August. But more than anything there…

Pop Culture Quote Monday

Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus.

DANCE...DANce...DAnce...Dance...dance...

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Two summers ago I discovered what a reality show junkie I could be when I discovered So You Think You Can Dance. (Incidentally I haven't watched American Idol in two years... so does that mean it balances out? I think it's been two years. I don't know. I stopped watching when Taylor Hicks won. And I actually kinda liked him. I know... *shame*)

The format for SYTYCD is like this: the show producers and judges choose a top 20 after auditions - 10 guys and 10 girls. Then get paired up making sure that none of the couples together specialize in the same type of dance. Each week they draw a style from a hat, then have two days to learn a dance in that style.

Many of the couples this year are really, really good. But I do have two favorite couples so far. Couple 1 is Josh and Katee (Josh specializes in hip-hop dancing and Katee is a jazz dancer.)





The second couple includes a popper and a contemporary dancer, Kherington and Twich.

I'm sorry for the Celine Dion music. My ears are …

Teen Pregnancy in Gloucester, Massachusetts

Holy Crap

I would not normally used such an unrefined phrase, but I must say this calls for it.

HT: Shane

The Intimacy of Truth

I'm not usually a supporter of the repeated line in contemporary worship. It is an often over-used element in the cycle of a song, and tends to frustrate several people - in particular those who are fans of the traditional hymn, young or old in years. But there is a time when a repeat has it's place. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, &qu…

Pop Culture Quote Monday

You're gonna need a bigger boat.

Pop Culture Quote Monday

Answer: Friends "The One After Vegas"
______________________
"This is not a marriage -- this is the world's worst hangover!"

Struggling

For most of my life I've struggled.

Emotionally.

I have a family who loves me and I grew up in a very happy home. I didn't struggle that way. (And I feel a little guilty for even calling what I experience every day a "struggle" when I know that struggle is simply a relative thing. I have no idea what real struggling is - I only know what struggling feels like for me.)

The reason I "struggle" all boils down to one thing: all I want to do is live my life as God wants me to. Why is that a struggle? Because it seems like that's not how I'm built. I realize what a great case this makes for not believing or trusting or following God... after all, if we were meant to follow him, it wouldn't be difficult, would it? It wouldn't go against our nature. Those are valid points, and points I will gladly address in the future if anyone wants me to, but they are not the point of my post.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,…

More Pop Culture - Swingtown

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I stopped watching CBS a few years ago (call it a boycott if you will) but I am not immune from the commercials they air on other channels. I'm a Bravo watcher through and through, and a little fanatic about Top Chef. Last night during part one of the Top Chef Season finale I saw an ad for a new CBS show, Swingtown.



All I can say is... yikes. Has it really come to this?

I'm in a pop culture mood this week...

I heard Coldplay was making a "comeback" (the quotation marks are tongue in cheek ... doesn't it seem like all albums are comebacks?). I wondered if Gwyneth was yoko-ing the group, or if there was something else was going on.

I have a love/hate relationship with Coldplay. Some of their music I dig. And I dug it before they got really big. Yellow rocks my sauce. Fix You indulges the co-dependant in me, and I looooove "The Scientist". But Clocks was overdone and Don't Panic just bugged me. The bigger they got, the more they felt pretentious. Then their music felt pretentious... so I stopped listening. Who knows if I'll start again. Here's here the point of my post:

Has anyone seen this commercial? Viva La Vida?



I'm getting this epic feeling... like they are going to hit U2 status. Which frightens me a little, because you don't mess with my U2. No one is a good as them. (Maybe it's just the commonality of the itunes endorsements). But Viva La …

Pop Culture Quote MOnday

Update:
Hint: This movie has an all-star cast including Madeline Kahn and Tim Curry.
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[snip]... you were once a professor of psychiatry, specializing in helping paranoid and homicidal lunatics suffering from delusions of grandeur.

Yes, but now I work for the United Nations

So, your work has not changed.

If this doesn't scare you a little...

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... not much will.



When the tornado is at 10 o'clock, they are approximately 6 blocks west of where I live.

Here's photo of the storm itself:

Tornadoes in Kearney

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Tornadoes in My City

Video of One of the Tornadoes (Storm chasers are crazy!)

Video Footage of the Damage

I'm alive. Maybe a little worse for the wear. Yes, train cars did get derailed and cars did land on top of one another.

Here's a video of the photos I've taken so far.



Pop Culture Quote Monday

Hint #1: Won 5 Oscars in 1979.
Hint #2: The character who said this was played by Dustin Hoffman.
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"Daddy, you've really lost a lot of weight", he looks up at me and he says "And it's all gone to your nose."

Living Life Without Expectations

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Photo courtesy of Lola Rodriguez over at stock.xchng.com

For my new series on expectations, click here
My cousin over at in progress recently posted some questions about expectations... living with them, living without them, and all the frustrations that go along with a disappointment because of an unmet expectation. This issue occasionally pops up in my life in various forms, and I've never taken the time to really work out my feelings on the subject. So here I go. We'll see what comes out.

I googled "Living Life Without Expectations" and found the following quotes worth repeating here:

I settled for living life without expectations and often without fulfillment.Then this...

Through the weekend, a friend of mine reminded me to cherish every moment that I spent with Kyla. I just wish I had more time. That same friend reminded me of the importance of living life without expectations... and I agree. The greatest thing about life is that none of us can predict where i…