Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Thing You Never Did.

You know how some people have those skills that make you think you have done nothing of worth in your life because you haven't done that . . . ?

Take a look at this.

video

This is my friend Eve. When she wanted to start taking music lessons, her mom decided that the harp was cooler than the piano. Thus, she has this incredible skill. Keep in mind she's only 16.

This is the thing I never did. Especially when I think of that scene from In the Good Old Summertime, when Judy Garland sells the only harp in the music store and claims that anyone can learn how to play it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Best Thing Ever.

These are my parents.
My father is currently in Mexico. Building something, I think.

Today he called, and we missed it.
My mom cried. And though she's now fidgeting with things to keep herself calm, I can tell the only thing she wants to do is cry over how much she misses him.

Marriage is the best thing ever.

Fortune Cookie Fail.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Toe Seizures.

I discovered the other day that I only have canvas shoes.
What caused me to realize this was two inches of snow and -10 degree weather.

When I wear my canvas shoes in the cold, my toes seize and send sharp shooting pains through my foot. Remedy? Solid, warm, Canadian winter built shoes.

Where would one discover this remedy?

Not in Moose Jaw.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

SO better than Christmas.

I'm really attached to Thanksgiving. Really attached. I begin to anticipate its arrival as soon as school starts. I bring as many people as possible home with me, so they too can enjoy the beauty that is Thanksgiving.

I love this holiday so much that I've started telling people it trumps Christmas; which it obviously does. My reasons for this are valid. Let me explain.

Thanksgiving is way more chill than Christmas. There's hardly any hype. We still get time off, we're not expected to work (other than homework), the food is all the same and we cherish the time spent with friends and family. Because of these purely personal preferences, I've begun to question why we as Christ followers prefer Christmas; and I think I've come up with the start of an answer.

I posted a blog about a year ago regarding the Christmas season. Here's a little excerpt.

. . . we see the wreath hanging on our door and the lights from the tree on our desk and the hope we once had fills us again. It's going to be okay.

It's going to be okay because love came to earth to save us from the plights we had gotten ourselves into. Jesus Christ came to save us. And though it happened in the past and we still have to 'suffer' through our [lives] now, he came; he lived; he loved; he died; he saved.

It's going to be okay.

We're going to be okay. What a relief, we say, and we settle into the peace and relaxation of Christmas. Don't get me wrong, this isn't even close to a bad thing. But what we fail to realize is that two months before that, we are presented with an opportunity to recognize with thanksgiving the beauty of what is to come - Christmas.

We have a tradition in my house that before we begin thanksgiving dinner we all have to say what we're thankful for. Too many times I've had to scramble for an answer. Not because there's nothing to say, but because I haven't tuned my attention to all there is to be thankful for.

Christmas comes and presents us with something - peace, grace, salvation and usually a lot of stuff. Thanksgiving comes and expects something from us. Something that we, as North Americans, aren't always ready to give - thanks. Thanksgiving is hard because it requires us to be intentional. It requires us to turn our eyes away from our selves and up to the One who provides; to humble ourselves enough to feel small and open our hearts enough to accept the blessing.

May we today, in the midst of rest, homework and turkey, feel small and become aware of the immense gift we have been given.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Joy of NBC.

Like most of North America, The Office, brings me great joy.

This is one of my favorite scenes of all time.


Michael: I’m gonna toss the ball, and when you catch the ball, I want you to say the name of somebody. Somebody really important to you, somebody really special who died. And you may cry, if you like, that is encouraged …

Pam: Let’s see. I had an aunt that I was really close to. She was this amazing female boxer. Anyway, she was injured in a fight and she was paralyzed. So you can imagine how upset I was when I found out that she asked her manager to remove her breathing tube so she could die.

Michael: Wow. If you want to cry, that’s ok.

Ryan: A few years ago, my family was on a safari in Africa, and um, my cousin Moufasa was, um, he was trampled to death by a pack of wildebeasts. And, um, we all took it really hard. All of us, kind of in the audience of what happened.

Michael: Do you want to talk about it anymore?

Ryan: Oh, it would probably take another hour and a half to tell that whole story.

Kevin: Me me me me me. YES. Ok, I was trying to throw this party with my friends and everyone was over for the weekend. And then my uncle Bernie died so me and my best friend, we had to pretend like he was alive.

Michael: Wait a second. That’s weekend at Bernie’s.


This is taken from Season Three Episode Four, if you'd like to watch further.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Babies Having Babies.

Last Monday, my baby, had her babies. What a blessed event.
I got to watch the whole thing, which, gross as it may sound was amazing.

So this is the first baby. I thought she was black but turned out to be stripped
just like her daddy. Cute.

There are two stripped ones and I am unable to tell the difference. Either way, Duckie is extremely protective of all of them.

They especially enjoy using each other as headrests and blankets while sleeping. This pic features the black male kitty.

This is Olive, she will be Ben's baby. She is definitely the runt of the litter. Her size is hilarious and she's feisty so she's not afraid to fight for prime placement on Duckie's belly.

Here is me and the proud Mama. She's good to her babies.

Neither Duckie nor the baby were very happy about this picture taking place,
but it had to happen sometime.

If you're interested in a kitty let me know. I'd be happy to supply you with one.


Psychological Dissociation.

I experienced some psychological dissociation last weekend, while driving the long, dark road home from Hudson Bay, SK. Just as an aside, never go to Hudson Bay, SK.

It was around 12.30 and we'd been on the road for about two and a half hours. My mind kept telling me that the road was about to curve when it clearly was not. I began to feel more and more like someone else was driving the car I was in control of.

Then, I saw a sign telling me that the road was in fact about to curve so that I could prepare for it. As I snapped back to reality and into control of my vehicle I began to think about the fact that no matter what road I am on, be it a major highway, minor highway, gravel or dirt road, there will always be a sign telling me that the road is about to curve.

What a wonderful aspect of American travel. As I thought about this, I began to feel an imense amount of gratitude for the men who, decades ago, put up every one of those signs. I began to wonder who they were; why they were hired for that task; if they belonged to a union of highway workers that simply got stuck with the job. Perhaps it was a make work project during the thirties. Who will ever know?

So next time you're driving in the early morn and you're not sure what exactly is ahead of you, be grateful for the assurance that at least regarding the road, you will always know what's coming.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fight Club . . . a little too far.

There are support groups for everything. Anyone who has seen the beginning segment of Fight Club knows this. Sincere meaning can easily be found within these groups.

Some groups exist appropriately. AA is one of the most (if not the most successful) anti drug/alcohol programs in the world. It's statistics do not produce an unsatisfactory emotion in anyone.

However. Upon examination of the University of Montreal's website an Anglophone support group was discovered. A support group for speaking English?

I wonder why I didn't know this was available to me. I could use a group of people just like me to relate to.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The New Two . . . or Do.












As the likelihood of me ever styling my hair again is very small, I have cut it off.

Why I didn't do this years ago I will never know.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Waiting for my turn . . .

I just witnessed a mother with her three daughters.

One was less than three. One was around seven. The third had Downs Syndrome.

My feelings as I witnessed the complexity of this level of motherhood consisted of fascination, love and . . . jealousy? How unusual.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Up there on the list.


The Soloist would easily be named as one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. It's up there on the list with Doubt and Rachel Getting Married (which, despite the language I challenge all to see, at least for the family/relational dynamics).

Jamie Fox plays a schizophrenic homeless man, Nathaniel, who happens to be a brilliant musician. Nathaniel grew up in the midst of 60's black degradation and through this was exposed to a lot of social turmoil and violence. Music became his livelihood and escape fro mthe terror he was experiencing. Discovered in a city square forty years later by Robert Downey Jr., journalist Steve Lopez, the two become friends and form an unlikely bond.

Committed to bettering his life, Steve takes Nathaniel to a homeless shelter called Lamp. Here the viewer is given a powerful image of the forlorn state of the homeless in Greater LA. Beyond this, the viewer also pexperiences a powerful image of the injustice of the law regarding the homelss. It would seem that to those with power, the homeless are simply of no consequence. Though they have no where to sleep at night, these men and women are removed from any place deemed 'unfit' for them to lay their heads.

The owners of Lamp welcome Nathaniel, as they do most, and work with Steve to bring him back to his musical history. As a result of this relationship, Steve becomes a sort of God to Nathaniel. And though he is convinced he can fix this for Nathaniel, Steve is constantly aware of his inadequacies and inability to provide a solution. He works to get him into the health system; to get him diagnosed and on medication but is told that being who he is, the last thing Nathaniel needs is another diagnosis.

A revelation of grace occurs for Steve. By witnessing Nathaniel's humility and courage, he is able to learn to live without question. He is able to committ to being Nathaniel's friend and instead of providing a solution, providing love.

This is the underlying message given; the homeless are not scary, disease ridden or to be avoided. They are just lacking in hope; forlorn. What is needed is not the ability to provide a solution but simply to love and care and provide friendship. And perhaps along the way food and clothing too; but that must not be where it ends.

Those who live and view this film are left with a profound understanding of the need to love the homeless and I am personally grateful for the inspiration that has transpired as a result of it.

The Shoes of My Life


These are the Shoes of My Life.












Bought by my dear friend Laura at Value Village for a mere $10.



Shipped to me for my birthday for a ridiculous $12.








Even Duckie adores my shoes!















And to my dismay . . . they do not fit.









Don't ask me how.
My feet are microscopic.

Alas. They will go on display somewhere special in my house. Place is yet to be determined.

I love you Laura!

Monday, July 20, 2009

That which is pure is desirable.


We all have names to live up to. Maybe our last; or perhaps our first.

The Ephesians had a cultural name to live up to. Ephesus means desirable. We won't discuss what could have been considered appropriate for the general population to ensure they were living up to this name but this is especially interesting for the church in Ephesus. They knew what was required to be desirable. Having been a part of the Christian faith for quite some time now, they knew that to love and to be pure in that love was desirable. This is what was required of them.

John in his writings in Revelation 2, he writes to this church and admonishes them to return to the love they had at the beginning of their faith. They are reminded that they have a name to be living up to.

That which is pure is desirable.

The implications of this reach much further than living up to a name sake. It has implications for our relational lives; our evangelistic lives; our romantic lives; our spiritual lives. That which is pure is desirable. Thus, if we intend to be desirable in any one of these ways we must understand what it is to be pure.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mosaic.


This is my photo mosaic. 

To discover yours . . 








Fill in your response to these words:
-Fortune: unnecessary
-Fame: futile
-Love: sought after
-Family: golden
-Health: valued
-Creativity: useful
-Wisdom: coveted
-Journey: bright
-Friends: goodness 

mosaic.php  Change the dimensions of the mosaic to 3x3.  
Then do a flickr search on each of your words.  Pick the first one.  You'll need to open a separate window for this. Make sure to keep the order.  It's more interesting that way.

How exciting to see what comes up! 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Music that will make you dumb.

I discovered an article online today that confirmed all of my beliefs regarding the music industry today.

Please read on . . . 

"Beyonce Knowles' fans are dumb.

Admirers of the 'Crazy in Love' singer came out second from bottom in a 'Music That Makes You Dumb' study in the US, which compared students SAT results - a standardized test taken by all students hoping to go to college - with their favorite music.

US rapper Lil' Wayne was the only artist whose fans scored a lower average in their SAT tests according to the poll, while classical fans scored higher than anyone else.

Fans of indie music were credited with above average intelligence with fans of bands like Radiohead, Counting Crows and U2 scoring highly in their SATs.

Virgil Griffin, the creator of the 'Music That Makes You Dumb' study and its accompanying website, said: "I've listened to artists and afterwards thought to myself, 'Wow... loving this rubbish says a lot about someone and how much they've got going on in their head.'

"Could one's musical tastes say something about intelligence? How about SAT scores? Well, like any good scientist, I decided to see how well my personal experience matches reality."

Although the results put mainly urban artists at the bottom, fans of rock bands such as Aerosmith, Nickelback and The Used all scored low in the graph.

Music fans can see the full results at www.musicthatmakesyoudumb.virgil.gr."

I knew it.  I just knew it.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I love the libs.

I love the library.  I love the environment it affords.  I love the community that can be created around the connection of homework.  But most of all, I love the hilarious printed materials that one, who spends enough time there, can find.  
I must confess that I didn't actually find these texts.  My friend Priscilla found them; and let me tell you how indebted to her I am.  
So here's a picture of the books I am relishing in right now.  

A Short Life of Christ and A Shorter Life of Christ.  Next to each other, on the library shelf.  Yay!  Just in case you were wondering, Christ's life was apparently short and furthermore, it can be made shorter.  
Olivia Boyda said, in her brilliance, "So it's like, is your paper due next week, or tomorrow?"
The best part of this whole deal is that The Shorter Life (clearly the superior text) is published by Zondervan, whereas the The Short Life is published by the obviously inferior Eerdmans.  

That's irony at its best.  

Here's also a cool pic of the Zondervan print inside the book.  I should probs send it to them.  Jk.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pharisaism Exposed.

We sing this song at camp.  It's been a favorite of the younger ages for a long time.
One of the verses sings, "I don't want to be a Pharisee (x2).  Cause they're not fair you see."  
Mostly, I think we sing this song literally.  Translation then: "I don't want to be a Jewish teacher of the law."  My response then: "Sweet, I'm not.  Nor do I ever see myself being, thus I am exempt from the message of this song." 
Amidst my realigning this morning (that's for Laura), I was reading Matthew 23 and 24.  This passage discusses the errors of the actions of the Pharisees.  As I read the condemnation of the actions of the Pharissees I realized that when not taken literally, I am far from exempt from the message of that song.  
I am in fact a Pharisee.  
The text discusses at length, with many different metaphors, how the Pharisees spend all of their time making sure their outward appearance is clean and shiny while their hearts are thick with mud.  
Jesus accuses them of being double minded.  Their actions fit the bill but their motive is highly impure.  Jesus calls them on this, damning them at the same time.
I've been recently convicted of my motive behind ministry.  I've never gone so far as to view it as an avenue into heaven, but it has become automatic for me.  
I've been a part of ministry all my life.  Daughter of a minister since day 1.  As time went on opportunites arose for me to become the minister.  Children's ministry, youth ministry, camp ministry, music ministry were all at my disposal.  Since I was naturally gregarious, I partook and I fit the part well.
Only now, through my regular children's ministry and academic study of such, am I realizing that there is responsibility that goes along with ministering.  The spiritual well-being of these children is daily and weekly being placed in my hands.  Is there ever a point at which I can take that lightly?  Some might say no but I did for 8 years.  Never once did I think there was more to what I was doing than filling the time and sending them home.  But I was good at it and I looked good. 
Now however, as I realize the incredible responsiblity I have to spiritually guide, nurture and love these children, I feel sick whenever I have to do so.  Lucky for me, I am, at the same time, understanding the grace that goes along with God asking you to do his work.  He realizes that you are weak and small.  He never asks you to be able to spiritually guide, nurture and love anyone with your own strength.  That's the point.  It's not me.  
What a relief.  
I don't want to be a Pharisee.   But I am.  Thanks be to God, though, I can get out of it.  
At the end of Matt. 24 he writes, "Who is then the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at he proper time?  Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes."  
I believe that this is what God has asked me to do.  By his grace I will do it until the day he comes and finds me fulfilling his will.  
By his grace I will hear, "well done."

Friday, February 6, 2009

My four year-old post-modernist.

This is my four year-old post-modernist.  

I spent the entire morning learning the history and characteristics of post-modernism.  After doing this I realized that my four year-old is a post-modernist.  

Post-modernists aruge that the beliefs a person holds are unto themselves and the beliefs of those around them have no affect on 
their beliefs what-so-ever.

So Bekah and I had had a rough morning, one day as I took care of her while her mom was at work. We were clashing at every point.  So I told her sternly to get a shirt on so we could finish getting ready to go to daycare.  She stomped off to her room and came back with her shirt on inside out and backwards.  I said to her, "Bekah, your shirt is on wrong."  She looked at me and said with distain, "It's only wrong to you."  

So there we have it ladies and gentlemen, post-modernism has pervaded every aspect of our lives.  
Even our toddlers.  

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Meaning of Everything.

So the two weeks prior to this one I clocked 35 hours in the Library working on the biggest paper of my bachelor.  Yeah.  While I was there however, I discovered a lot of amazing books. 
One of them, for instance, was entitled The Meaning of Everything. 
What a treasure. The literal meaning of everything can be found in the Archibald Library at Briercrest College, Caronport, SK Canada.  
The best part of this book is that it's only 237 pages.  The meaning of everything can be summed up in 237 pages.  Here's a glimpse for evidence.  

What's more, is that I also came upon a book called Freshwater Fishes of Canada.  Here's a picture of it in comparison to The Meaning of Everything to help you understand why it is significant.  

If you didn't notice upon first glance, it's three time the size of The Meaning of Everything.
This leads me to question why anyone would write a book that size about freshwater fishes of Canada when they could read about the meaning of everything in so much less time.  
Here's a picture of the front of Freshwater Fishes of Canada.  Note the multi-colored map of Canada with the fish hidden inside.  Perhaps the multiple colors are supposed to represent the fresh water.  

It's just so ironic.

Friday, January 30, 2009

awkward . . .

So my friend, who I will call here Flaura had this amazing convo with her friend, who I will call here Cordan. Their interaction with each other is always awkward. My life is made better because of it.
So a couple days ago she came to me and said,
"So I was in the entrance way to the caf. and one of the coat racks was missing. So Cordan walks up and I say, 'there's a coat rack missing.'"
And he says, "Hey I'm good. How are you?"
"I'm good. There's a coat rack missing."
"Oh. So how are you?"
"I'm good."
"Is that what you said?"
"No I said, there's a coat rack missing."
"Oh. Okay, well see ya."

Does that not just fill your heart with happiness and gratitude? Gatitude to Cordan for being so wonderfully socially awkward.

Then today in Apologetics class I turned to my friend Lindsey and asked "So where do you live in Regina?"
And she said, "North."
"East?"
"North."
"East."
"North."
"Not north east?"
"No. North."
"Oh."

Please allow this delightful awkwardness to make your life a little brighter.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

To the Left . . .

To the left of this post was a video bar. I only wanted the one video but I didn't know how to download it directly to my post. My brilliant roomate however, discovered how and thanks to her, you can now watch the video below.
So watch it. Gather your thoughts and then read on.

video

So I'm taking Apologetics this semester. I am beyond excited. I've wanted to take this class for about 2 years now, so I'm pumped it worked out for me to take it this semester.
For those of you who don't know, apologetics is the defense of the faith; in Christian terms anyhow. Did you know that an apology, is not the act of saying sorry, its actually the art of making a defense. So as a Christ follower seeking to expand the kingdom, I am going to learn how I can more profitably defend my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ so that others may also come to believe.
Tyler Oakley, who I have loved from the moment I heard him make this claim, puts down an incredibly valid arugment. The argument that Christianity sounds insane. We have to admit this. Especially to those who don't believe. But the other reality is that, as believers, we have found hope in this thing we call Kingdom life. Hope that keeps us going and helps us live life to the best of our ability. The writer of the book of Hebrews calls us to always be able to give account for the hope that we have. So for those times when I inevitably encounter people like Tyler, I'm going to need to be able to do that well.
So here I go. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A life well lived . . .

I don't visit my Grandmother very often. She doesn't really know who I am and mostly speaks to me in German. And she lives six hours away.
But one time, a little over a year ago, I did go visit her. It was also around this time that I realized my love for Senior Citizens. My realization came almost completely from my interaction with one Lady.
We were hanging out with Grandma . . . I showed her my iPod. We talked about Christmas . . . well I talked about Christmas. Then we wheeled her over to a different area where there was this very elderly woman, whose name I don't know. This woman was nearing her time to go home to Jesus and the evidence of her longing to do that was clear. This woman could barely raise her head. So she took the time she had with her head bowed to pray. I was just standing there, aimlessly, when I heard the low rumble of this woman's voice. She was praying outloud. So I sat down in front of her. She prayed ferverently to God in a way that made it seem as though this interaction with him was the most natural thing in the world for her. She praised Him unendingly. Then when she would stop she looked up at me (kind of) and spoke of his blessings; and as she spoke of his blessings she fell back into prayer.
As we were leaving I leaned in and told her that her soul blesses the Lord. I had to repeat it three times because she couldn't hear me. Once she did, though, she stated how much she truly loves him and began to pray once more.
I left changed.
The next morning we went back and I saw her eating breakfast. She could barely consume a banana. I prayed that the Lord would take her home soon; as that was clearly the greatest longing of her heart.
I want to be like her. I want to live to speak and praise God. And I'm convinced that her ability to do that didn't come from her age. It came from a life lived in that fashion. I want to live like her.