February 3, 2012
1. Apparently it’s the storm of the freaking century outside. It hasn’t snowed in Colorado pretty much all winter, but the day that Jaci and I were going to drive up to Vail and stay at a fancy hotel and pretend to be rich is of course the one day that there is a momentous blizzard of death that closes all roads and mountain passes. Boo. So, you guys, it’s not our fault that we’ve watched so much Lost. Nature made us. The island wanted us to. It was our destiny. We want to avoid going stircrazy/being eaten by the Smoke Monster, though, so if the roads are good enough today, we’re going to head to the spa!
2. Exciting news: I am having a giveaway on the bloggy next week! I’m still working out what’s for grabs, but it will probably include awesome things like gift cards, books, vintage treasures, and Jewish stuff. So, make sure to be back Monday for giveaway details!
3. Jaci and Ashley and I visited the American Girl store here in Denver yesterday. It was wonderful. We both grew up reading the books and yearning for the dolls. Neither of us ever got any of the dolls because our moms were mean/the dolls were ridiculously expensive. But we’d get the catalogs each month and wish and wish, pretending we could get a doll and pick out her outfits. Being in the store today brought up feelings of sweet nostalgia … and a tiny bit of bitterness toward our mothers. But we forgive.
Do you see Kit’s darling little ringer washer? I learned so much about different historical eras reading those books. I learned about Colonial times and rationing during World War II, and the Underground Railroad and Victorian treats and pioneer living. You guys, no wonder I always wanted to live in an earlier era — it’s all I read about as a kid. I was into American Girl back when there were just three girls — Kirsten, Samantha and Molly (I wanted Samantha). Now they have these silly modern-day dolls that you can make to look like yourself. What do you learn about history from those dolls?! Bah hum bug. They have added a lot more historical girls, though. A Native American girl (probably should’ve been the first one anyway), two girls from New Orleans (they wear real hoop skirts!), a 70s-era girl, and a Jewish girl from New York, you guys! She has a tiny menorah! I need to read her books!
American Girl was a such big part of my life growing up. I even had a story published in their magazine when I was 12. They did not give me a doll, though. I got a stupid watch. OK, let’s move on. I’ve spent way too much time talking about dolls…
4. Umm, I think this is awesome. Because it is true.
5. Yesterday I was reading Job 1 in the Bible. Job has lost his possessions, children, everything. He is ruined. Satan has caused him unimaginable pain, and he is devastated. When he hears the news of his children, he falls to the ground in worship and says, “Yahweh gave and Yahweh has taken away. May the name of Yahweh be praised.” How? How did he do it? My prayer today is for the Lord to give us strength to praise him in the difficult times and bring comfort and peace and joy to those who need it today.
6. How do you solve a problem like Maria?
7. (This is Jaci) Clearly, Denise ran out of things to say at number 5, but she continued on with her list anyway and then handed the computer off to me. I don’t actually have anything to say, but am being “forced” into contributing. Sorry. I love reading Denise’s blog every day though, and I always check back late in the day to see if there are any clever/interesting/fun comments, but I don’t know who a lot of the commenters are, so let’s do an experiment. If you read this and if you ever comment, I would like you to tell me who you are. How do you know Denise? If you don’t know her, how did you find her blog? It’ll be a fun, like a get-to-know-you game that doesn’t involve choosing a fruit or animal or super hero. Please play along. (Aren’t you glad Denise ran out of things to say and let me write number 7?)
OK, have a lovely weekend, friends! Make sure to hustle back on Monday to enter the drawing for the Awesome Giveaway of Awesome Awesomeness!
November 3, 2011
That title is probably kind of sacrilegious.
I would like to start out by saying that some people named Chad (names have been preserved to expose the guilty) think it’s pointless and sad to blog about things like Friday Night Lights. Also, some people named Chad will probably get beaten up by Tim Riggins and The Smash. Just. Saying.
Well, how is your day? Yesterday I left my house one time to go to dinner with my sweet friend Martine. The rest of the time I was inside, wearing sweatpants, drinking coffee, and looking at the snow. I also managed to squeeze in about 4.2 minutes of work. It was so nice not to have to go anywhere though, you guys! Sometimes I really like not doing things.
So, here are some things my professor talked about in Hebrew the other night. Jehovah isn’t a word. Surprise!
Vowels aren’t original to Hebrew — they were added later to help with pronunciation. Also, vowels in Hebrew look like little dots and dashes under or over the consonants. And yes, it is terrifying when you’re in your first semester of Hebrew and you look at the Bible and all the insanely foreign letters are surrounded by Morse code.
So, a group of Hebrew scribes called the Masoretes were super detailed and good at transcribing. They’re the ones who put together the Hebrew Bible I use in my classes today, and it is their Hebrew text that we base our English Bible translations on.
Anyhoo, the Masoretes (along with the rest of the Jewish people) had a great reverence for God’s name, first revealed to Moses at the burning bush. We pronounce this name as “Yahweh,” although no one is exactly sure how it should be pronounced (because the vowels aren’t original). In our English Bibles, any time “Yahweh” is used, we see LORD in all caps instead.
Because God’s name is so holy, the Jewish people don’t pronounce it. The Masoretes wanted to make sure that people didn’t accidentally pronounce God’s name, so when they added vowels to the biblical text, they used the vowels that you would use to pronounce the word “Adonai” or “Lord” around Yahweh. This way, when people were reading and came to God’s name, they would see the consonants for Yahweh, but because of the vowels around them, they would know to pronounce it as “Adonai” out of respect for God’s name.
Is this making any sense? Are you sleeping? Rude.
Anyhoos, this is consistent through the Hebrew Masoretic text. But then someone like me — someone non-Jewish and not familiar with what the Masoretes were trying to do — came along and tried to pronounce the name of Yahweh according to the vowels. They didn’t know that those vowels were there so that you would say “Adonai” instead. They just started sounding out the word according to both the consonants and the vowels.
Seriously, any sense at all? Wake up! I’m almost done.
When you sound out the consonants and the vowels in the Hebrew text, it sounds like Ye-ho-vah. Jehovah.
So that’s where it comes from, but really it’s not a word — it’s just a mispronunciation of Yahweh according to the vowels that were put there to make sure you didn’t try to pronounce Yahweh. I guess it didn’t work. Poor Masoretes. They tried so hard.
As my professor pointed out, this is bad news for Jehovah’s Witnesses. And for all of our songs about Jehovah Jireh.
Why yes, you are very welcome for this fascinating Hebrew lesson!
Whew. That failed attempt at teaching I just did wore me out. I had better get back to not doing things. Talk to you soon!
October 28, 2011
Yay — it’s Friday! It is nearly the freakin’ weekend, you guys. I think Friday is a good day for randomness, so let’s get our list on:
1. Last day to enter the drawing for the prize package of a book by Lauren Winner, a DVD by Ray Vander Laan, a vintage Hanukkah card and a gift card to Chick-fil-A! Make sure to leave your comment and tell your friends! The contest closes tonight at 11:59 p.m. MST.
2. How about those baseball-type people, huh? Crazy game last night, but such a good World Series! I’m cheering for Texas, mainly because every single time anyone on the Rangers does a good job, their manager jumps up and down and hugs people. I love that guy. He’s so cheery.
3. My friend Brad is having a Sabbath dinner tonight. (I didn’t even force him to do it; it was all his idea! I love when people get weird like me!) I am forcing us to light Sabbath candles, though, and to say the blessing in Hebrew. Which means I need to learn the blessing in Hebrew, right quick.
4. I am spending some time with my favorite young men this weekend (ages 5, 3 and 9 months). I’ve heard rumors that they always play quietly, get along, don’t jump off furniture, go to bed within five minutes of being asked, and never get up during the night. Or maybe I just made those things up. Either way, I’m looking forward to hanging out with my guys.
5. Do you all watch Psych? Shawn and Gus are my heroes — you know that’s right. I heard their latest episode was really funny, so I went to Hulu to watch it yesterday and it was not on Hulu. Excuse me, Internets site that I don’t pay for — where is the latest episode from the network I don’t pay for that I would like to watch without paying for it? Rude.
6. I found this on Pinterest. It sums up 1) awesomeness, 2) the horrible things I will do to my child if I ever have one, and 3) how I feel whenever I have to go to my Monday night class that doesn’t get out until 9:15.
7. Ahh, number seven. Numbers are very important in the Bible — not in a mystical, weird way, but in a way that helps us better understand what’s going on. Oftentimes they tell us something about the story — so, if you see a number in your Bible reading, don’t just skip over it. It’s probably there for a reason. For example, in the feeding of the 5,000, we see the numbers 5, 2 and 12. These numbers were all symbolic of Israel — there are five books in the Torah, two tablets of the Law, and twelve tribes of Israel. This event happens near Bethsaida, a Jewish town, and so the story tells us — through the numbers — that Jesus came to feed the nation of Israel. However, in the feeding of the 4,000, we see the numbers 4 and 7. Four was a number associated with Gentiles, and seven is a number of completion and wholeness. This miracle was done in the region of the Decapolis — where Gentiles lived. Now we know from this story that Jesus came to nourish the Gentiles as well.
These accounts are not the same story with a couple of authors who just messed up and got the numbers wrong. These are two different stories that share two different messages. Jesus, the bread of life, came to satisfy the hunger of the Jew and the Gentile. Salvation is available to everyone — Jesus is willing to share it with any who believe. Pretty awesome.
So, watch the numbers when you’re reading. Pay attention to the locations mentioned in the Bible stories. They might be trying to tell you something!
OK, have a good weekend, friends! Come back Monday and I’ll announce the winner of the prize package! Shalom!
March 1, 2011
I don’t know what that blog title means.
You guys, I feel as though I have discovered this new thing called the Internet! You can write letters to your friends on it, you can randomly ramble on a blog and strangers might come read it, you can tweet like a bird, and you can update every moment of your life for Mark Zuckerberg to see. It’s wonderful!
Seriously, though, the past couple days I have been a social networking fool. It all started when I happened to be at home studying the night of the Oscars. A good studier always has the TV on and their computer at their side (I’m starting to understand why my Hebrew midterm didn’t go as well as hoped), so whilst I watched the Oscars, I was also on Twitter. It was so lovely. Everyone was making comments and being hilarious and wondering about Franco’s drug problem and Christian Bale’s bright red beard, and it was so entertaining!
So, I am currently addicted to Twitter. (p.s. I usually remember Twitter once every couple months, participate like a mad woman for about two days, and then forget about it again. I don’t expect this time around to be any different. Except for the fact that I realized my poor friend Alecia is somehow signed up to get a text message every time I tweet, and she has also forgotten her Twitter password, so she can’t get into her account to change that function. And it’s kind of fun to know I can
annoy encourage her with my informative tweets. ALSO, I tweeted Dax Shepard, the guy who plays Crosby on Parenthood, the other day and he tweeted me back, which means that we are now LIFELONG BESTIES and he would probably be super sad and heartbroken if I left Twitter. So, for these reasons maybe my Twitter kick will last a little longer this time.)
That was the longest parenthetical statement ever.
What else? It is a lovely day here in Colorado, and the morning should’ve started out lovely because I got up in plenty of time to get ready and get a few things done before I left for class. However, since Kendi Everyday has inspired me, I felt like I should wear something cute, but of course, nothing looks cute when you try it on and realize that everything in your closet is awful, especially when paired with your split ends, short eyelashes and wide shoulders (who knows why those were my focus of insecurity this morning). So I tried on about 90 different outfits, ruined the once-neat state of my bedroom, and finally ran out the door wearing sackcloth once I realized I was about to be late.
I really am a bit more dramatic in print than in real life, you guys. Kind of. Probably not really.
Switching gears and gaining some perspective: My small group is going through the book of James. It has been so refreshing to me for a few reasons. First of all, when you’re in seminary, you tend to have to look at every text from an academic perspective, so it’s really nice not to have to do that at small group. Secondly, James was a smart, practical dude. He was talking to a community of believers who were suffering persecution, and he tells them to consider it joy because the testing of their faith will make it stronger. So, this has made us wonder what James meant by “joy.” Are we supposed to be happy during troubled times? Or does the joy come from the fact that we know we’ll be closer to God by the end of it all?
And what does it look like to not immediately clamor for God to rescue us? What if we decide to take up an attitude of perseverance because perhaps — just maybe — if we follow God’s advice, things turn out better. If we ask Him for wisdom (literally, a listening heart), and we hear what He has to tell us in the midst of our circumstances, we’ll grow closer to Him, become more like Him, learn how to better walk as He walked.
It’s tough to do, but it’s good food for thought. It is making me look at my current situation a bit differently.
Anyway, I have a paper to write. And some tweets to send Alecia’s way. Have a sweet day, folks. Consider it pure joy.