Hi, folks!

I’m just here in Colorado. In the United States of America. As usual.

It’s gotten bad. I’ve started talking to myself.

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Today is October 23 which means that it is my Jaci’s birthday!! I haven’t seen Jaci in a year and a half, which is quite tragic. Jaci and I lived together for some years. Two maybe? Three? Jaci, how many? Anyway, we did all the things together, and would even check in on each other to say goodnight every night. She made me read so many good books, and we once planted a victory garden (that was not very victorious). If anyone would like to buy me a plane ticket to Washington D.C. so that I can go see her and take more pics like this, it would be appreciated. Happy Birthday, Jac! I miss you.

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Umm, Japan has created a wine for cats, obviously. It is for pet owners who want to celebrate birthdays or Christmas with their cats. You know. That’s what they want to do. They need some celebration drinkies.

Last week I got to spend some time with these fine gentlemen.

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We spent some time creating paper airplanes, racing them, having a dance party, playing Connect Four and writing a piano book. This all took place in a span of about an hour and a half, so we were quite productive.

Here’s Jonny’s plane. (It didn’t fly so well.)

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Here’s my plane. It also didn’t fly so well. (Photo by Elijah Shaky Hands.)

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I hung out with my friend Sonya yesterday, which was super fun for a couple of reasons. First of all, she asks good questions and pretends to be interested in all of your whining. Secondly, her house is super cute and it’s the exact same floor plan of my old house, Cherry Springs Wonderland! I felt so at home — maybe she felt I was a bit too at home when I went and took a nap in what would have been my old room…

Guys, I’m just kidding about that last part. It’s hilarious.

Are there any new shows I should be watching this fall, you guys? I watched the first couple episodes of The Blacklist, but then I forgot about it and now I’m far behind. I pretend to watch the Michael J. Fox show sometimes, but I really don’t. Anything good out there? Let me know.

The other day, I was reminded of my thesis (yuck). But then I remembered all the cool things it taught me about God and his character. I mostly focused on the exodus, and from Genesis to Exodus, it was amazing to see how God worked in the story to show the Israelites his character. He made promises and then kept them. He showed up when he said he would. He proved himself faithful. He let them know that he could be trusted. He was patient throughout the whole process. If you read through the first two books of the Bible and notice the things God says and does, notice the way people talk about him and how their understanding of him progresses, it’s quite amazing. Our God is quite amazing.

OK, hafta go! (I don’t really, but I’m out of things to say.) Have a good day, friendsies!!

 

Preparing for Passover

April 4, 2012

It snowed all day yesterday.

And my sinuses hurt.

And I have to teach a class today at school that I am woefully unprepared for.

And I like to whine.

Yesterday’s photo of the day was “mail.” My mail was pretty boring, so I took a picture of a cute, old mailbox that I keep in my room. It’s called creativity, you guys.

Also, retraction. Apparently Diana did not win the bracket, but Matthew did. (Clearly I didn’t actually look at the bracket before pronouncing it on my blog. I’m not good with the fact checking. Apparently you shouldn’t believe much you read here.) Anyway, congrats, Matthew! Your gift basket of Toby Mac CDs and broccoli is in the mail!

So, Passover is on Friday. It’s the first holiday God commanded his people to celebrate in Exodus 12. It is the night of the final plague in Egypt and the Israelites are finally going to be set free from the yoke of the Egyptians. Pharaoh has hardened his heart numerous times, but this last plague will leave him devastated and he will finally allow the Israelites to leave. Moses has warned Pharaoh of what is about to happen, and God has given instructions for the meal Israel is supposed to eat as they prepare to leave. They are to dress in traveling clothes, eat a lamb, eat bitter herbs, and avoid leaven. Most importantly, they must take hyssop and spread the blood of the lamb over their doors. The Lord is about to pass over Egypt, and he will smite the firstborn of anyone who does not have the blood of the lamb upon their doorposts.

The Lord provided a way for people to be saved from the destroyer—it was a monumental night in the history of Israel, and he wanted them to remember what he had done forever. God gave them tangible ways to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt — lamb, herbs, unleavened bread. This meal would forever remind the Israelites that God passed over them and brought them freedom. It is also important to note that the Israelites had a task to do. In order to be saved, they had to put the blood of the slaughtered lamb over the doorpost.

God told them to celebrate the Passover — to remember the Exodus — every year on the 14th day of the first month. So, they did. Sometimes they sinned and didn’t do it. But then they would remember again. Jesus celebrated it — it is where communion was first instituted.

Tomorrow we’ll chat more about the details of the Passover seder. It’s pretty awesome.

Have a good day, friendsies!

Aramaic and Zombies…

March 22, 2012

…a match made in heaven.

How was your Wednesday? Mine was incredibly long as usual. But now it is over.

You guys, it’s supposed to be 78 degrees here on Saturday! What?! You know that’s right.

Happy birthday, Alecia-poo! Don’t worry, I’m on my way down to the Springs to celebrate your very special day!

I read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace in Aramaic yesterday. That’s something I never thought I’d say. Also, did you know that the fiery furnace story was written in Aramaic and not Hebrew? Me neither. Why don’t they teach you these things in Sunday School? (They probably do in Rio’s Sunday School curriculum. It was written by people who think they are Jewish.)

This was Heather’s drawing of a zombie yesterday. Even when I know what the word is, I wait until she’s done because it’s fascinating to watch her be the best artist ever.

The other night I dreamed that I was moving into a house with the very same layout as the first one I ever lived in on Dupont in Minneapolis. It was a huge Victorian, and I was going to get to decorate it. I was so very happy in this dream. These are apparently the secret wishes of my subconscious — arranging furniture and picking out paint colors.

Why is this blog post still going on? Anyone?

Yesterday my friend Rebekah and I were going over edits on some curriculum lessons I wrote awhile back. We looked at the story of Moses and the burning bush — God had long ago made a promise to Abraham, but now over 400 years have passed, and Abraham’s descendents are slaves in a faraway land. They cry out and God hears them — he remembers his promise. So he calls to Moses out of a bush, and the plan of the Exodus is put into motion. It’s so cool. And it reminded me that God’s timing is not our own. It was a long time (for us) in between God’s promise to Abraham and the Exodus. But God knew. He remembered. He was faithful. He always is.

OK. Until we meet again!

Stop, Thief!

January 11, 2012

Is it stop, thief or stop thief? It’s with a comma, right? You’re calling out to the thief, yes? I’m confused. Don’t judge me and my commas, OK?

Yesterday I tried to go to the Target by my house but when I got there, police cars were everywhere and the whole building was taped off with that yellow police tape that informs you that someone has been murdered! Is it bad that I just mostly felt annoyed that my Target was inaccessible and less worried about the possibly murdered person inside? After writing that out, I realize that yes that is bad.

There were even news vans outside the store, so I knew this was a big deal. Luckily I have an iPhone so I immediately looked up the news and discovered that no one was murdered but people had been shoplifting  video game systems from Target. Apparently these thieves had been casing Targets in the Denver area. They ran out of the store with their loot, sprayed a bunch of pepper spray, and they got away! The store had to be evacuated because of all the pepper spray residue. So, be on the lookout for three thieves playing video games. They’re driving a Kia with Florida plates. Dummies.

Can you think of a worse tragedy than your very own Target being shut down? Me neither. So, I drove over to Highlands Ranch to their Target. Now, Highlands Ranch is where all the rich people live, and their Target shows it. It was fancier than mine. The aisles were wider, the lighting was warmer, the vegetables were fresher. I’m not sure if any of that’s true, but it felt like it. Also, guess what I found?!?!?!

Target has teacup piglets, you guys! My friend Lindsay had informed me of this magical miracle, but now I saw it for myself. Here’s what’s puzzling: they’re on clearance. How are they not the most popular toy in the store? How did those Target thieves miss these babies on their shoplifting spree?

I almost got one, but then I realized that it talked. You could push its nose and it would say things like “hi, best friend!” Now, wouldn’t mind having a talking teacup piglet, but I felt that if I bought it I might be teased even more mercilessly than I already am. However, even if I don’t have a teacup piglet toy, I do have a 2012 teacup piglet calendar from Micah!

January is rodeo month, y’all!

So after all the Target adventures, I went to the gym. Then my friend Courtney and I had dinner and watched Parenthood. For the first time in forty years, it didn’t make me cry, you guys! I did get close when Adam and Crosby made up, though. Brothers.

I was reading Exodus yesterday and God was giving instructions for the building of the tabernacle and for all the priestly garments that were to be made. There was gold plating and fine linens and weaving and carving to be done. In Exodus 31, God says that he has chosen Bezalel to make artistic designs, to cut stone and work with wood. Bezalel was filled with the Holy Spirit and given wisdom and understanding specifically for these tasks. All of the workers who would assist him were given skills by God as well. This was fascinating to me because  in the Old Testament, not everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit like all believers are today. The Spirit came upon certain people — usually “big name” people like Saul or David or Elijah for certain times and tasks. God thought the artistic work of the tabernacle and priestly garments was so important that he sent his Spirit to fill Bezalel. Bezalel was one of the chosen few who was filled with the Holy Spirit for the his artistic tasks.

Not only does this confirm that God can use our skills and gifts and artistic abilities for his glory, but that he sometimes fills us for just that purpose. Kind of awesome.

Well, I best be off. I bet you’re really glad you stuck around for this post — Target and teacup piglets and tabernacle. These are the things that keep me going. Thanks for visiting!

The Bird Shoe

January 6, 2012

Cause it rhymes with “the bird flu.” Get it? Get it?

Did you even know that it’s Friday?! It is. It totally is, you guys. I think that deserves a list.

1. I spent a lot of my week reading this guy’s recaps of The Bachelor/ette. I know I should be embarrassed that I watch that show sometimes, but these recaps take all that shame away. In fact, they make suffering through two hours of The Bachelor so totally worth it. I was literally crying as I read the recaps of Ashley’s Bachelorette season. Tears of pure joy. Please read them. They are the best thing that happened to me this week and I am not ashamed to admit it. Ashley, I am forever indebted to you.

2. This video killed me.

3. I got to spend time with my friends Diana and Karen last night and it was so fun. I like having a break from school, but I miss hanging out with everyone all the time. We talked about thesis/project topics, read Bachelor recaps, discussed The Hunger Games, and spent a lot of time being awesome.

4. My friend Trevor posted a link to this on my Facebook wall this week and I nearly died. This goose is wearing sandals!!!

This tiny kitten is in a tiny cup! It’s tiny!

This pug is wearing slippers … pug slippers!

There’s more where that came from. Visit the site, you guys. Visit. It.

5. I found this recipe for cauliflower fried rice on Pinterest this week. The trick is that instead of rice you use cauliflower. (Also, I had no clue how to spell cauliflower until I wrote this.) I bet it actually tastes pretty good because of the soy sauce and all. I may try it this weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes.

6. When I was home for Christmas my cousin showed me this video and I now love him so much more than before. It is my new favorite thing ever. It’s a spoof based on the movie, The Box in which a couple was faced with a choice: if they opened the box that appeared on their front doorstep, they would receive $1 million, but someone they didn’t know would die.

If you do nothing else today, watch this video. Then thank me for showing it to you.

7. I started reading the book of Exodus the other day. I love how God remembered his people, remembered his promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He gave Moses his name, Yahweh, so that his people would know it was him, the God who is who he is, the God who keeps his promises, the God who would defeat Egypt and rescue his people from their slavery. He remembers; he is always faithful.

Have a great weekend and keep it real. Loves!

Rescue

July 30, 2010

So, I have been very busy and kind of stressed out lately. There are a lot of changes that lay ahead (which I’ll explain later), and I have many different things going on and a lot of tasks to get done. But what is most heavy on my heart is that today is going to be a tough day for many of my friends. Some of  my them are going to go through a time that is scary and challenging and sad.

It just feels like a heavy day.

I am working on writing a Sunday school lesson about Pharaoh and the Israelites. Pharaoh is upset with the Israelites — his slaves — because they want to take a break and go worship their God in the desert. His plan to stop an uprising is to require them to make bricks without providing them with any hay. He screams at them, telling them they are lazy and trying to get out of work. So, he says, they have to do the same amount of work as always, but they are not to be given any supplies.

Well, this does not work out well for the Israelites. They just can’t meet their quota because they’re scrambling around their houses and around the city, looking for hay when they should be making bricks. The Israelite foremen are beaten for not meeting the quota. Understandably, they are upset, and they go find Moses and Aaron and tell them that they are the ones who brought all of this trouble. You see, Moses and Aaron had recently come to the Israelites and told them that God wanted to rescue them out of slavery — out of the bondage they had experienced for the last 400 years. But since Moses and Aaron have shown up, the Israelites have not been freed. They’re still slaves and, in fact, they are slaves who are being abused and worked more than usual.

Moses is confused as well. He knows that God appeared to him in a burning bush and told him that rescue was on the way. But this doesn’t seem to be happening. In fact, he says to God, “Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”

God, you have not rescued your people at all.

But God responds to Moses with this:

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”

God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.'”

God had a plan. He is Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He made a covenant with them long ago, and He had every intention of keeping it. He had heard the groanings, the cries, of His people who were enslaved, and He was on His way to rescue them. With His mighty hand, He would show Pharaoh who was God. In fact, Pharaoh would go from refusing to let the people go, to driving them out of Egypt. God apparently had something big in store.

The Israelites would have to remain enslaved awhile longer. They would have to work and suffer and wait. They may not have understood why they had to go through difficulties or how God was going to redeem the situation. But the why and how didn’t matter. God was on His way. God’s redeeming outstretched arm and His mighty acts of judgment would bring freedom that they had never ever known.

The same is true with us. When life is difficult, when we don’t understand, when our hearts are heavy, God is still on His way. His mighty hand is at work; His outstretched arm is redeeming and making all things new.

Today may be a tough day. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have hope for tomorrow.

Reading Adventures

January 16, 2009

Hola mis amigos. ¿Que tal?

I’m sitting at a coffee shop as I write this. Going out places with my computer is great for the following reasons:

1. I am “getting work done” (also known as “checking Facebook”) in a more honorable way than sitting on my couch.

2. People see, and are jealous of, my spiffy, green computer.

3. I get to drink coffee in a trendy environment.

4. I can look at people and eavesdrop on conversations.

5. That is all.

Who saw “The Office” last night?! Dwight and Andy’s “fight” cracked me up to no end. Hilarious. (What is my deal with quotation marks today? I’ve used like seventy already.)

Did you know that it’s Friday? It is. No work for an entire two days … or more, for some of us. Some of my friends are going on an adventure this weekend! They will be camping and freezing and getting their Moab on. I am not going on an adventure, but I am going to a wedding and serving coffee at my church. That’s about as adventurous as I get.

I’ve had a lot of free time recently, which means that I get to read good books! I’ve been reading Exodus (you know, in the Bible) and learning about plagues and Pharaoh’s hard heart and Moses’ encounters with burning shrubbery. (I also have a sudden desire to watch The Prince of Egypt and The Ten Commandments.) Exodus brings up a lot of interesting questions about predestination vs. free will (does Pharaoh harden his own heart, or does God to it?). I’ve heard that each of the plagues God sends on the Egyptians is related to a different god that they worshipped. God strikes down the Nile god or the god of livestock and shows that he is God over all. 

I heard a really cool lesson once about Exodus 8:19 where Pharaoh’s magicians say “This is the finger of God.” As in, “look at all of these horrible plagues, and this is just His finger. What if He puts an arm or leg or torso into it?!” That’s right, Pharaoh. In your face. My God is awesome.

I’m also reading Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning, which is pretty awesome so far. I’m realizing that I’m good at saying I trust God, but I often forget to live like I do. So far, I’ve really enjoyed the chapter on gratitude. People who are grateful for the little things often have an easier time trusting God, probably because they’re more focused on the blessings around them and less focused on themselves. As Manning says, “Grateful people are a delight to be around, and their spirit is often catching. It is simply not possible to be simultaneously grateful and resentful or full of self-pity.” New goal: work on being grateful.

And finally, I’m re-reading Sex God by Rob Bell. I had remembered liking it, but I had no idea why, so I picked it up again. That Rob. Don’t agree with everything he says, but definitely some interesting points. Good stuff, overall.

Aight. I should be out. I hope you have a great weekend and buy me a present!