March 27, 2012
If you came here looking for hilariousness, you are in the wrong place today, my friends.
Today I feel sad and disheartened and sickened. I am tired of what sin does to us — how it divides and breeds hatred, fear and accusations. I am disappointed with how I contribute to this evil through my thoughts, words and actions. I am frustrated with the lack of compassion in my life and in the lives of others — we are so slow to listen, quick to speak and quick to become angry. We hurt one another, and in a desire to protect ourselves and our own interests, we allow ourselves to spew hatred and fester in bitterness.
Non-Christians do it.
Christians do it.
We all do it.
In this past week I’ve heard and read and seen things that make my heart ache. The topic really isn’t that important because the source is all the same.
We are ruined by sin.
It overtakes and lies and controls.
What is most painful in my own life, and what is the most disheartening when I see it in other believers is that we so often allow sin to devour. We see the enemy, prowling, waiting for a chance to pounce, and we call him over with glee. Instead of rejoicing that Jesus has freed us from sin, we snuggle up with heavy chains, shackling ourselves back into a life of slavery. The things we know we shouldn’t do, we do. The things that we know we should do, we reject.
We are just like our ancestors. We always resist the Holy Spirit.
What wretched people we are.
Liars, thieves, murderers, accusers, idolators. We are prideful, judgmental, arrogant, condescending, rude. We justify, complain, defend. We are bitter, angry, hurt, frightened, abusive, dangerous.
But by the grace of God. But by the grace of God.
We have been washed, sanctified and justified — so let’s live like it. The Spirit of the Living God — the God who raised Jesus from the dead — is at work in us.
The God who raised Jesus from the dead.
You guys. Let’s not grieve Him. Not with unwholesome talk, not with bitterness, rage, anger, slander or malice.
We are children of the Most High. Adopted, bought, heirs. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify. Let’s share the shalom of our God. Let us hear together:
Yes, I am disheartened and saddened by myself, by others. But even in the midst of this, my heart skips a beat.
He will make all things new.
He will restore and heal and bind up. He will redeem what we have broken. He will invite believers in Yeshua to dwell with Him. We will be His people, and He will be our God. Every inclination of our heart will be to worship Him in purity.
And we will no longer be ruined by sin.
Because He was ruined for us.
And until then, sanctify us. Teach us to obey. Soften our hearts.
Help us to love you, Lord God, with all that we are. And to love our neighbors as ourselves.
March 21, 2012
I don’t have much to report on today because all I ever do is play Draw Something. Oh, and I also check books out from the library in hopes that they will help me with my thesis, but they do not. Then I throw those books at people in the student center. I am a treat.
I guess Denver has some new quarterback no one has ever heard of.
So we’ve been translating Joshua in Hebrew. Like I mentioned before, it’s kind of a tough book because Israel is on the warpath and they kill a lot of people. Joshua 10 and 11 talk about the Israelites systematically going through the southern part of the land and then the northern part of the land — attacking towns and killing everyone in them. Over and over again it says things like, “they left no one who breathed” and “they utterly destroyed everyone in it.” But what’s interesting is that they did not kill everyone. A couple chapters later in Joshua 14, Caleb is receiving his inheritance and he talks about how he’ll need to drive out the Anakim who are in his land. Well, in Joshua 11, it says that they killed all the Anakim in Caleb’s land — there were none left. In Joshua 17 and 18, we see that there are still Canaanites in the land that work for them — Canaanites that had supposedly all been killed a couple chapters ago.
This is where it is important for us to recognize that the Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) mindset was different than ours. They were not concerned with direct quotes or precise numbers like we are today. We’ve created a system of journalism and reporting history that is very precise. It is our standard, but it wasn’t theirs. It just wasn’t their thing — which doesn’t make it bad, just different. You can look all over ANE documents, and you see the kind of language that’s in the Bible. When Joshua says that the Israelites killed any and everyone, it means that they were now the ones in charge in the land. They took it over, they took down their kings, they defeated the strongholds of the towns around them. It’s hyperbolic language that is used to talk about how Israel was successful in taking over the land. In the Hebrew we see the repetition of words like “all” and “completely.” The author is making a point — they hadn’t killed everyone, but they were successful in taking over the Promised Land. It does not at all make the biblical text in Joshua untrue. It’s just their way of writing about it — it would’ve made complete sense to the ANE mindset.
A lot of times when we study the Bible, we impose our modern, Western sensibilities on it. But it was written by ancient people with an Eastern mindset. So we don’t read those passages and think that they are false or wrong or untrue. We read those passages and try to understand what the writers meant, how the readers would’ve understood the text, what the author was trying to communicate. Yes? Yes.
OK, I hafta get back to drawing stick figures on my iPhone. C-ya!
February 24, 2012
Fri! Day! List! Day!
1. My back, you guys, has given up on life. It’s been hurting all week and last night at kickboxing it decided to quit working. So I’ve been icing it and lying on the couch and whining a lot.
2. I love this tiny little duck. He is on a very important mission. He is probably quacking a case. He’s specquackular. I really think his detective skills are all they’re quacked up to be. You guys, I’ll be here all night. Seriously. I can’t get off the couch cause of my back.
3. So, I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I will say it again. You should start watching the sitcom Happy Endings. It’s on Wednesday nights on a channel. Maybe ABC? Anyway, it kills me. Last night they called one of the characters “Tuppence a Bag” because he attracts birds. Mary Poppins plus clever nicknames? Exactly. Start watching.
4. When you have a dog who’s been rescued from a tsunami, you have to fill his water bowl in a special way.
5. Laura and the fam are living in the surveyor’s house for the winter. It is the largest, grandest place they have ever lived. It has three rooms. And a pantry. Pa made a checkers board and he and Laura play. Ma doesn’t care for it.
6. For some reason, these bacon and corn griddle cakes look so good to me. But they are filled with fat, so I’m not going to make them. Until a day that my resolve is weak. So someone make them and report on the deliciousness, please!
7. Landon Pigg is a musician who is dating Mae Whitman (Amber on Parenthood). He has a new song and the Parenthood cast made the video for it. They’re very bad at lip syncing, but it’s super cute.
Okey dokes. I’m going to try to get a massage. Have a great weekend!
February 22, 2012
No I’m not. I’m totally not.
Wednesdays are the worst this semester. They make me very complainy. Do you know what makes me less complainy? Knowing that my dad is coming to visit in a couple weeks and we’re going to pretend we are rich at The Broadmoor! The Broadmoor is the most beautimous hotel in all the world/Colorado Springs. It’s very fancy and gorgeous and way more sophisticated than we are. We are going to eat brunch in here. I will smuggle you some crepes.
Ok, y’all, let’s just calm down and have a moment of silence. Please show some respect. Jack, the Ingalls’ trusty bulldog … has died. He was such a good dog and always trotted faithfully under the wagon — from Wisconsin, to Indian Territory, to Minnesota. He protected the family, and he swam an overflowing creek in order to stick with them, and he helped herd cattle, and he was always there to greet Laura when she got home from school.
I may or may have cried the other night when he died, you guys. It was emotional. I don’t even like animals.
Speaking of emotions, I love Parenthood! I felt so sad for one couple and so happy for another one last night. I mean, Zoe and Julia killed me. But then Crosby and Jasmine made me feel all better. Also, I felt mostly just perplexed when it came to Sarah and Mark. What is their deal? They’re going to have a baby and then run off to New York right quick and pretend Sarah doesn’t have two other children and that Mark doesn’t have a creeper mustache? Is that their plan? Maybe they just want to hang out with the Hasidic Jews too.
So Lent starts today. Is anyone observing it this year? I’ve done it for the past few years, and it’s always a good learning experience for me. I like this season. There’s Lent and Passover and Easter Sunday. What I’m trying to focus in on for my thesis is the ways God asked his people to remember what he’d done through the holidays that he commanded. He didn’t just tell them to remember, he gave them celebrations and things to do, build, eat, not eat as ways of reminding them of his goodness. For some holidays you blow trumpets, and for others you eat unleavened bread or bitter herbs. Sometimes you fast and other times you eat and eat. These tangible things that God commanded are interesting to me. I like that God gives us ways to remember him. For me, Lent is one of those ways. I won’t talk a ton about it here, but I did blog about it over on Boundless this week if you want to learn more.
OK, I’ve got to go be crabby to everyone because it is Wednesday. See you tomorrow!
February 21, 2012
You guys, in my ranting yesterday I forgot to give you a Little House update! Why didn’t you tell me how disappointed you were?! Don’t worry, I’ll fix it now.
So, the Ingalls family left the prairie of Kansas and moved to the banks of Plum Creek — in Minnesota! No bigs, but I’ve been there. Whatevs. This location is where they based the show. In reality, they only lived there for awhile before moving on to South Dakota, but in the show, they stay there forever. Anyhoo, they live in a sod dugout for awhile, which was basically a house that was cut into a hill. Cozy, right? Ma swept the dirt floor a lot. This is how pathetically obsessed I was with the olden days when I was young: I would’ve given my right arm to spend the night in a sod house. Or my best bonnet.
Don’t worry, though, Pa built a beautiful house out of boughten (that’s what they call it) wood, and it was so spacious and gorgeous. (It was probably the size of my living room.) Pa got the wood on credit but the wheat crop was going to pay for it all. Was, you guys. Because then the grasshoppers came. Millions of them. They chewed and chewed and chewed and ate up all of the wheat and Pa had to walk 300 miles in his patched boots to find work. It was quite tragic. Also, I lived in Minnesota for a long time, and I don’t feel like I ever saw grasshoppers. They’ve been replaced by mosquitoes.
Shall we move on? We shall.
Ben the Bachelor is the biggest dummy I have ever seen in the history of all the things I have seen. Ever.
So Diana and I spent yesterday working on our thesis proposals and it did no go well. We’re behind and it’s so hard to figure out a thesis statement and find research related to what you want to do, and overall it’s awful and we are probably going to quit school. I’ll make a career out of blog rants. I think it can be done.
Also, my mom (and yesterday a blog commenter) told me that Oprah went and spent the day interviewing Hasidic Jews in New York. I watched the videos on YouTube, and it was super fascinating to learn about their customs. And guess what else Oprah found in New York? Black Hasidic Jews! You guys, have I found my people?!
OK, enough. If you like, you can pray that I come up with a coherent topic for my thesis. I suggest prayer, because if I don’t come up with a topic, there will be so much whining and ranting and raging and rampaging. It’s really in your best interest.
Have a good Tuesday! Shalom!
February 20, 2012
If ever I tell you that I need to go shopping, please tell me that I am a liar who has deceived myself and the truth is not in me. My friend Siobhan invited me to go shopping with her on Friday because she had birthday money. I did not have birthday money, but what harm could it do to go have a look around old Park Meadows Mall, am I right? Harm. A lot of harm.
For some reason, I was reminded of these commercials this weekend. You are welcome.
Each strand gets individual attention.
The holiday of Purim is coming up in a couple of weeks, friends! I’ll talk more about it closer to the time, but in case you want to celebrate, I thought I’d let you know. (You should want to celebrate. You mostly just eat food, so it sounds pretty awesome to me.) I’ve started a board related to stuff I find on the Biblical holidays over on Pinterest if you want to follow me and check it out.
OK, I am about to get on a soapbox. Ready, set, go.
So last week I was in a group and we were discussing theology type things. A line in the Apostles Creed says that, when Jesus was crucified, he descended to hell. It’s obviously kind of a weird line, so we were discussing where the idea comes from and if we think it’s true. People were bringing up different theories — maybe Jesus descended in order to proclaim good news to those who had never heard of the true God or maybe he went down to tell Satan who was boss. Someone thought that none of the Jews were saved before Jesus came, so he had to go to hell to offer salvation to them.
This last one I did not agree with. At all. In fact, it upset me a lot. I (hopefully) kept cool and appeared calm, but inside I literally felt like crying. (And I’m not even exaggerating as much as normal, you guys.) This idea — the thought that none of the Jews had been saved before Jesus came — broke my heart for a couple of reasons.
First of all, I just don’t believe it’s true at all. The Old Testament — before Jesus – talks over and over and over again about the joy of God’s salvation. He is their hope, their deliverer, the one who saves them both spiritually and physically. In 2 Kings, Elijah goes up to heaven in a whirlwind. Moses died as a man who knew God face-to-face. Both Moses and Elijah show up in the New Testament, chatting with Jesus like they are old friends. The “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11 is made up of entirely Old Testament Jews who were commended for their faith. Most importantly, what was the point of God’s covenants with the Jewish people if there was no salvation? God chose these people as his own. In Genesis 12, he picked Abram and decided to make him into a great nation. God walked with these people, talked with them, rescued them and provided for them. He calls them his wife, his children. They call him their Father. These were God’s people, and if they believed in him and were faithful to him, and looked forward to his promises (ultimately fulfilled in Jesus), I fully believe they were saved.
What is beautiful about Jesus is that he was the final sacrifice — the sacrificial system was no longer needed. Secondly, what Jesus did opened up salvation, finally, to all of the world. This special relationship with God was no longer just for the Jews, but for everyone who believed on the name of Christ, Jew and Gentile alike. For God so loved the world — not just the Jews — that he sent his one and only son. Jesus was the creator of the new covenant — a covenant that continued the line of covenants God had already created with his people. It was cut in his blood, and through him a light has dawned for the Gentiles. Because of Jesus, all of humanity has now been invited into the intimate relationship God previously held only with his chosen people.
The thing that really broke my heart, however, was that I think this is the attitude many Christians have about the ancient Israelites and the Jewish people in general. There is a disturbing history of anti-Semitism in the church, and many of us have unknowingly picked it up. We do not understand that we do not support the root, but the root of God’s covenant people supports us. We do not grasp the importance of understanding God’s relationship with his people before Jesus, how it adds to the story he’s telling of his great salvation and love. It is not malicious on our part, but I think it’s a great mistake that needs to be fixed.
So, I felt sad that night because I think there’s so much that is misunderstood, and it seems like such a challenge to bring about a correct understanding of the Hebrew roots of Christianity. And because of this I will stay on my soapbox and keep talking about Jewish things, and keep attempting to further my understanding of God’s relationship with the seed of Abraham. Because I think it is crucial for our understanding of God and our gratefulness for his plan and purpose through Christ.
OK. I’ve stepped down from the soapbox. Remember a few paragraphs ago when I was just showing you funny videos of Will Ferrell? Don’t you long for those days?
OK, I’ll leave you in peace. I rant out of love for you, pumpkins. Have a good day!
February 17, 2012
Friday Listday (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap). It works in my head.
1. Tomorrow is Saturday, and this is my plan.
2. Yesterday my friend Travis said that Carrie and me are his TV life coaches. (I made up the life coach part, but I think it’s a title that I would like to hold). Basically, he said I have good taste in shows. I agree! Some people feel like TV is bad and are ashamed of watching it, but not me. I love TV shows that tell good stories! So, in case you are needing some TV advice that I may or may not have already given you, I recommend the following shows: LOST (duh), Friday Night Lights (I’m not sure that I’ve mentioned this one on the bloggy before. Oh, wait. I mention it every day.), Parenthood, BBC’s version of Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Psych, and Parks and Recreation. I like all of these shows because they either tell really good stories and/or they are clever. I love the clever.
3. Pa built a house. And a door. And a roof. And a floor. And a stable. I spray painted a picture frame once.
4. Again, I just would not have survived very well on the prairie.
5. This absolutely killed me because it is so true. I have a 16-year-old cousin, and so many of his Facebook threads are this dramatic.
6. I think I am going to attempt to make these whole wheat tortillas this weekend. The problem is that I don’t have a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook. This means you should probably get me a KitchenAid.
7. This last video is sobering, but it’s one of the most powerful videos I’ve ever seen. Axis plays it during their presentations, and it gets me every time. It’s Johnny Cash’s final video — a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.” Johnny is reflecting on his life — the things that have mattered and the things that haven’t. Watch it.
I get really caught up sometimes in creating an empire of dirt. It’s so silly. It’s not what matters.
Have a good weekend, friends! I loves you lots!
February 16, 2012
Hi, you guys!
This post is late today because last night I was so tired and it had been such a long day, and I mostly just wanted to complain. So I decided not to blog until I was in a better mood because you hear enough of my whining on a daily basis.
But now I am cheery again because I have finished Little House in the Big Woods and moved on to Little House on the Prairie! (Aren’t you excited that I did decide to blog today?) Now I did skip reading Farmer Boy, which is the second book that Laura wrote when she started the series. It has nothing to do with the Ingalls family because it’s all about Almanzo (Laura’s husband) and his family when they were little. I’ll probably read it later, but I didn’t want it to interrupt the flow of Laura and their prairie adventures. (Also, did you know that Almanzo is pronounced Al-MAN-zo not Al-MON-zo like they pronounce it on the show? Me neither! I learned it from my Wilder Life book, Jaci.)
Anyhoo, Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura and Carrie have left the tiny house in the big woods of Wisconsin to head to the prairies of Kansas because Pa basically can’t stand to have neighbors within 80 miles of him. He feels crowded. So they “all went away from the little log house. The shutters were over the windows, so the little house could not see them go.” Sad.
They finally make it to Kansas, and they thought they lost Jack the dog in a creek crossing, but he found them, you guys! Also, my mom reminded me of this and then I read it last night. While they are traveling in covered wagon, Ma does the wash and then irons all of their dresses. They are literally not going to see anyone for the next billion years. They are on a prairie filled with gophers and wolves.
If I were traveling across the country in a covered wagon, everyone would be lucky if I brushed my teeth. People are lucky if I brush my teeth now. I literally felt all proud of myself the other day because I sprayed one of my shirts with Downy Wrinkle Release before I hung it up in the closet. I told myself what a good homemaker I was. Again, confirmation that I would not have survived in the olden days.
OK, we can move on, but just remember that I warned you about all the Little House talk you would be enduring.
Here’s a thing that you should do: start watching Happy Endings. They use so many abbrevs and they wear indoor scarves.
Today I have to tutor some poor Hebrew students who have been tricked into thinking I know any Hebrew. I expect a mutiny around the time they take their midterms.
So we’ve been translating the book of Joshua in Hebrew. It’s kind of a tough book because the Israelites go in to take over the land of Canaan and they end up killing a lot of people. There are seven groups of people in Deuteronomy that God commands them to wipe out completely and others that God doesn’t even mention getting rid of (like the Philistines). There are all kinds of comments and interpretations as to what this meant, because even after God tells them to wipe all these people out, he goes on to say that they must not intermarry with them. How can you marry people you’ve totally gotten rid of?
Either way, people died. They went in to Jericho and they devoted the city to the ban, the word “raham,” which means they were set apart completely. Rahab the prostitute was saved because she had hidden Israelite spies and switched her devotion to Yahweh God. It’s a tough but interesting book, and it helps me to continue to realize that I cannot always impose my modern sensibilities on the mindset of the Israelites. Have you guys studied Joshua? What do you think of it?
OK, I’m off to tutoring. I’ll have more Little House updates tomorrow so look forward to that!
February 14, 2012
Seriously, I am ready for summer.
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Please bring me some chocolate. Also, my back is killing me. Please send me a gift card for a massage. Post haste.
Guess what arrived in the mail yesterday?!?!?!?!
You guys do not even know how happy I was to receive these books. I don’t know where our old copies went (my mom probably got rid of them in an organizing spree), and it’s been so long since I’ve read these books. Can faces light up? Because if so, mine did when I opened this package. (Also, I had just worked out, so post-work-out sweat combined with a lit-up face was probably frightening. I’m glad no one was around.) I am literally smiling right now just looking at the covers. I think I used to love the Little Town on the Prairie cover the most because I liked their dresses. And that tiny kitten blind old Mary is holding. Sorry if I don’t blog for the next few days — I will be hanging out with Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura, Carrie and little Grace. Don’t bother me.
So I’m trying to get back in shape and it is rough. By this I mean that it is very difficult to have to look at my arms in the mirror while I do kickboxing punches. My diet is actually already pretty healthy, but I’m wondering if certain ways of eating have worked well for you guys — not necessarily for weight loss but for feeling energetic and healthy. Paleo, gluten-free, high-protein, all-natural, vegan — there are so many ways of eating out there, and lots of opinions. Do you follow any type of eating plan?
I was reading Our Father Abraham yesterday, and I was reminded that to the Hebrew mind, everything is spiritual. The Jewish mind — the mind of the Bible — recognizes that God is involved in all areas of life. There is no separation of secular and sacred because there is a recognition that God is involved at church, at work, in our eating, in our sleeping. That is why in the Scripture we see David praise God for his protection and love, and also why we must accept that Job praises God even after his life fell apart. God is in control. And he is at work and he is good no matter what is going on.
OK, I am going to go read about some prairie adventures, you guys. Hopefully Pa will keep the wolves at bay with some cheerful fiddle tunes!
February 13, 2012
Oh my, so many winners! And on a Monday, even!
Here are the random results from last week’s natanaway. (I tried to match people with the prizes they wanted, but it wasn’t possible for everyone.)
- Ange: Mezuzah and vintage card
- Elizabeth Butler: Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus
- Samantha Nicole: Starbucks gift card
- SaraLouHarriger: Secondhand Jesus
- Kendall Davis: The Promise
- Stephanie K.: Amazon gift card
Congrats, you guys! Email me with your address and I’ll get your prize to you. Thanks to everyone for entering, and I’m sad that I couldn’t give every single one of you a present. If you didn’t win and you are sad, here is a video to cheer you up.
What did you do this weekend? I mostly spent time sleeping, working, hanging out with friends, churching (yeah, I said it), and studying. Also, I saw The Vow. It was OK, but not awesome. Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams were not all that good at being actors. The story itself is pretty good, though.
Whitney Houston died, you guys. This makes me sad — she was only 48, she has a young daughter, and it seems like her life had just completely fallen apart starting with bad decision #1: Bobby Brown. I loved Whitney’s music growing up. We taped The Bodguard off of TV (less cussing) and I would watch it over and over again. Who knows how many times my parents had to hear me screeching I Will Always Love You as I swished through the house in my hoop skirt and bonnet. (I was multifaceted as a child. Slash, crazy.)
Here she is performing at the Grammys in 1994. This is how I remember her.
Umm, will someone please do the work in this book for me? Kthanx.
Oh, I also watched the Grammys yesterday. I liked it more than I thought I would. LL Cool J prayed, and Bruno Mars was awesome, as were the tributes to Etta James and Whitney. Love Adele. Nicki Minaj is apparently completely insane. Did you guys watch the Grammys? What stood out to you?
OK, I hafta go. I’m apparently a guest speaker in Kristy’s class at Colorado Christian University on Tuesday, and I’ve done zero things to prepare. So I’m gonna get on that.