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I’m moving. Again. Back. To blogger. RIGHT HERE. Sowwy for the ole prolonged bait and switch.

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…to be better than the day before.

Yesterday I tried to explain to the new guy, Tom, what it is that I…do. I began to tell him that I wasn’t in college, and then I just sort of stopped trying. It’s too hard to explain without babbling on about how I actually am busy, and am doing constructive things with my time. Why should I care what the new guy thinks of me? If he wishes to assume I’m “a woman of leisure”, so be it.

I’m sure you’re as tired of hearing things like that as I am of telling them, so let’s move on.

Today I read John 21, and was really curious about the whole “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”. For some reason I hadn’t even remembered that conversation existed, and the child in me was giddy upon reading it. Sure, that doesn’t necessarily mean at all that John is still alive…but just the fact that Jesus said that…made me happy. A little part of me still longs for the fairy tales and fantasy world of Narnia or Harry Potter. I still love the idea of inexplicable things and worlds and magic.

Oh, also, the end of John is so wonderful: “25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” Isn’t it so easy to think we know everything Jesus did? But no, the amazing things he accomplished on Earth could never be exhaustively recorded.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

In about 20 minutes I’m headed off to Burke for the first day of Good News Club. I’m trying to remind myself of all the times I’ve dreaded something and then enjoyed it, but it’s not helping a whole lot. I know I’m apt to exaggerate my problems in my head, but still it doesn’t change my attitude. In fact, a lot of the things I’m doing have begun to lose their…shine. I hope it doesn’t stay like this. Hopefully I’m just going through an enthusiasm dry patch, and things will change soon.

Well, I have no way of wrapping this up, only that I have to go. Until next time, keep each other safe, keep faith, goodnight. ;)

“These fellow-mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, nor rectify their dispositions…”

“For the first time in several minutes, I glanced around at the tiny elderly man with the unlighted cigar. The delay didn’t seem to affect him. His standard of comportment for sitting in the rear seat of cars – cars in motion, cars stationary, and even, one couldn’t help imagining, cars that were driven off bridges into rivers – seemed to be fixed. It was wonderfully simple. You just sat very erect, maintaining a clearance of four or five inches between your top hat and the roof, and you stared ferociously ahead at the windshield. If Death – who was out there all the time, possibly sitting on the hood – if Death stepped miraculously through the glass and came in after you, in all probability you just got up and went along with him, ferociously but quietly.”

“You know that song ‘If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye’? I’d like — ”
“It’s ‘If a body meet a body coming through the rye’!” old Phoebe said. “It’s a poem. By Robert Burns.”
“I know it’s a poem by Robert Burns.”
She was right, though. It is “If a body meet a body coming through the rye.” I didn’t know it then, though.
“I thought it was ‘If a body catch a body,'” I said. “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.”

“I don’t know. Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They’re always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions”

Delighted. Poetry.

Bannanafish.

Last night, in the middle of Awana, Brandon came to me, a grave expression on his 7 year old face. He leaned over and whispered in my ear, “I have a secret. But you have to PROMISE me you won’t tell anyone. PROMISE.”

I nodded, a little worried. You never knew what this kid was going to say. He has a little problem with discretion, so I was doubly concerned over this, something he was taking care to let no one else overhear.

He hesitated then sadly whispered, “I don’t know how to dance! But DON’T TELL ANYONE!” Agony scrunched his face together.

It was ALL I could do not to laugh outright, and even then there was glee in my voice that I couldn’t hide as I tried to console him.

It probably sounds like I’m not trustworthy with secrets now, but as he told everyone else a few moments later, I think I’m safe in breaking my promise. :)

EDIT: [I was talking to Hannah about this post, and she was so confused as to why it was such a great day…and to be honest, I can’t explain it! So I guess this post is mostly for my own fading memories — for whatever reason I have happiness associated to this day, and it’s nice to look back on it. :) ]

I don’t know how much I talked about my Wednesday in Marantha last month (to the – stormy – day), but…it was probably my favorite day.

It was wonderful.

We woke up early for practice, and shuffled silently through the mist to the Tabernacle. Since it was severely early (ok, 6:55), we girls (Vienna, Cami and I) were in our pajamas, with little to no makeup on. Collin and Alex had beat us there, and were stretched out on the stage step and a pew, respectively. One of them (I think it was Collin) was wrapped in a yellow blanket with a soccer ball pattern.

No one really said a whole lot…we were just waiting for Josh, who was leading the worship that night, to arrive. Collin muttered from the step, voice slightly muffled from under his hoodie, “I bet you anything he’s still asleep.”

To make a long story short, he was. In his defense, Josh and his phone had been thrown in the pool the night before, and the phone didn’t recover as well as he’d hoped, so his alarm didn’t go off.

We plodded our way through the practice, morning voices and all. Everyone was happy, though, in a groggy sort of way. Though I didn’t know half of the songs we would sing/play that night, I really began to love them. The theme of the night would be Jesus’ blood and sacrifice — we sang Jesus Messiah, Jesus’ Blood, Jesus Paid it All, and at the end, The Stand.

“Oh no,” Cami groaned as we wrapped up and headed toward the doors. “It’s pouring now.” We all looked in different directions out the screened windows and doors.

“You know what, I’m just going to go back to sleep.” Vienna said, and Josh agreed.

“I think I’m going to go get breakfast first.” Cami said, and looked at me. “You want to come?”

I nodded and we steeled ourselves for the run to the dining hall.

“Okay, ready?” Alex asked.

We all grinned at each other, and Collin shouted “GO!”

Cami and I fell behind the boys, screaming every once in awhile when we stepped in an unforeseen puddle.

Collin opened the door for us with a flourish, and we stepped into the air-conditioned building, shivering.

Cami got back to the table first, and Alex and Collin swiftly sat on either side. I grinned at her as she cast bemused and slightly concerned glance at each of them in succession.

“So, Cami.” Collin began. “How about once we get back to Lebanon you cuddle with Alex and I and take a nap.”

Cami stared at him, disgusted, and then she and I exchanged amused looks. “No.” She said firmly.

“Oh c’mon.” said Alex, sipping his coffee with a distinguished air. “You know you want to.”

“Yeah. Your words say no, but your body language says yes.” Collin adds, one eyebrow raised.

Cami is utterly disgusted, but still laughing. “Collin, you’re 17! I’m seven years older than you. It would be illegal for me to date you.

I can tell that both Alex and Collin are loving how uncomfortable they’re making Cami, so they carry on. “So what you’re saying is you’ll wait for me!” Collin looks delighted.

“Oh that’s so sweet!” Alex exclaims, mock seriously.

“No!” Cami laughs, eyes screwed shut, mouth both frowning in disbelief and smiling at the corners from the absurdity.

When breakfast was over, we raced back to Lebanon. Though we all said we would go right to sleep, a couple people decided to watch Two Towers, and no one else wanted to miss it (we are such nerds, haha). I grabbed my blanket and pillow, and we each picked spots to watch. We snuggled (SEPARATELY, haha) on the couches and beanbag chairs.

About half-way through, Gary came in. “You guys are watching Two Towers without me?!” This was a running joke, since there was always at least one person, it seemed, who wasn’t there when we watched either LotR or LOST.

“Sorry,” several of us mumbled, not paying him too much attention. He grabbed whatever he’d needed from his room, and went back to attend to his Teen duties.

I was horizontal on the couch, and at some point I drifted off. I woke up when one of the battles started, however.

“Oh, look, she’s awake again!” Josh said a few minutes after I’d refocused on the movie.

“Oh, you noticed that…” I said, hoping I hadn’t been snoring or something. I wasn’t brave enough to ask if I had, though.

When we finished the first disc of the extended edition (yes, yes, nerds), no one moved to put the next DVD in. It was quiet for a minute, sounds of the rain drifting in from the open windows.

“Nap time!” Collin said, breaking the silence.

Everyone happily agreed.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was. It was…perfect. A cool breeze, a warm blanket, rain lulling you to sleep.

About an hour later I woke up to Jarod coming in. “Whoa.” he said, and my eyes slowly opened. “Is it nap time in here?”

“Yeah,” Gary replied from the wall behind the couch I sat on, clacking away on his laptop. “I came in awhile ago and they were all knocked out. It’s the music staff, and they all had to wake up early because of Women’s Breakaway.”

“Gotcha.” Jarod said.

Everyone slowly sat up and looked around. I sat up, yawning, and noticed the sun had come out.

“You know, there’s a whole bunch of box lunches leftover, and they’re going to go bad. They need someone to eat them, so if you guys just go pick some up, you can have ’em.”

To our delight, a younger guy, I can’t remember his name, went with Alex (or maybe Collin…or both? I can’t remember) and picked up the lunches for us. We basically stuffed ourselves.

“This has been the perfect rainy day.” Cami said, summing the morning up perfectly from the beanbag behind me. “I feel so lazy, but it’s wonderful.”

:)

The rest of the day was awesome, too. While half of the group went on a ride in a small airplane, I had my devotion on the beach. The night of worship was just wonderful, and the message was the sketchy pastor’s best. We had a devotion that night, led by Charly, and ended the night perfectly with LOST.

It was so wonderful.

…I miss all of them so much.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your fathfulness!” Lamentations 3:22-23

God loves, even when we hate.

God is merciful, when we are bitter.

Great is His faithfulness!

Oh, read it, dear ones. It’s so encouraging.

Hebrews 12

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and(A) sin which clings so closely, and(B) let us run(C) with endurance the race that is(D) set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,(E) who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising(F) the shame, and(G) is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary

3(H) Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or(I) fainthearted. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

(J) “My son,(K) do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6For(L) the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”7It is for discipline that you have to endure.(M) God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8If you are left without discipline,(N) in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to(O) the Father of spirits(P) and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good,(Q) that we may share his holiness. 11(R) For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields(S) the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12Therefore(T) lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and(U) make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint(V) but rather be healed. 14(W) Strive for peace with everyone, and for the(X) holiness(Y) without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one(Z) fails to obtain the grace of God; that no(AA) “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16that no one is(AB) sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17For you know that(AC) afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

18For you have not come to(AD) what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19and(AE) the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words(AF) made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20For they could not endure the order that was given,(AG) “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21Indeed,(AH) so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22But you have come to(AI) Mount Zion and to the city of the living God,(AJ) the heavenly Jerusalem, and to(AK) innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to(AL) the assembly[a] of the firstborn who are(AM) enrolled in heaven, and to(AN) God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus,(AO) the mediator of a new covenant, and to(AP) the sprinkled blood(AQ) that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.25See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For(AR) if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26At that time(AS) his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised,(AT) “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates(AU) the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore let us be grateful for receiving(AV) a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus(AW) let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29for our(AX) God is a consuming fire.

…how can you not be changed after reading that?

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