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!

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Tragedy in iPhone Form

March 26, 2012

Well, you guys! How was your weekend? I’m on Spring Break this week! Unfortunately this is synonymous with Write Your Thesis Proposal, Seriously Denise, You Have To Get This Done Week.

How are you all feeling about the Final Four? Kentucky is looking so good; I’m feeling like they might win it all. I’m going to cheer for Ohio State, though.

So I decided to be an exerciser this weekend. On Saturday I went for a walk/run/walk/a lot of walking/running is so very miserable. It was so awful. I hadn’t run in awhile, and I was immediately reminded of how much I hate it. I wish I could love it. But after two half marathons and numerous other races, I still hate running more than anything else. Luckily it was a beautiful day and I had some “Jesus Freak” playing on my iPhone, so I managed.

Then on Sunday some people from my small group had a picnic and went on a hike. I whined a lot because of all the nature and uphill climbing. Also, I was wearing some wussy Nikes that were more designed for fashion than athleticism, and I forgot my socks in the car. So clearly, a lot of whining. It was lovely to spend time with good friends, though, and the view was beautiful.

After the hike, we drove home and as I was getting out of my car, tragedy befell me. Because this happened.

Tragedy. So now I’m going to need to get the screen replaced on my brand new phone. Also, what is the point of having a case for your phone when it does absolutely nothing to protect your phone? Finally, this means no Draw Something for awhile, you guys. I would play, but I risk shards of plexiglass in my hand every time I turn my phone on. Sobs. Luckily it’s only $1 million to get your screen replaced, so that’s lovely.

Anyhoos. If you’d like to hang out, you can find me in the library not making any progress on my thesis proposal. Also, please want to hang out with me. I don’t want to do any work.

Loves!

This was my view pretty much the entire weekend. Not kidding.

From Thursday to Sunday, Diana and I were each on our own couch, watching March Madness. Neither of us are doing very well in our brackets, but that’s OK because we end up cheering against our brackets because we always want the underdogs to win. That was our weekend. Basketball. Occasionally we would stop to eat.

We’re eating those egg, cheese and hashbrown cups, and they were pretty good. Although, I think I overcooked the eggs. I’m still working on liking eggs, you guys. It’s a process. We also ate baked pancake squares, and they turned out pretty well. I liked just making the pancake batter and then baking it — much less work than making individual pancakes.

So, that was the bulk of my weekend. Yours?

You guys, the best new game ever is Draw Something on the iPhone. Come play with me! I’m so very, very bad at drawing, but it’s fun. My friend Heather is amazing at this game. She should be a cartoonist. For real. Also, when you get a word, do you ever do a google search for “how to draw a cat” or “how to draw a rhino” or “how to draw a cyclops”? Oh. Me neither.

I was supposed to spend a lot of time working on my thesis proposal yesterday, but I was at the library and I couldn’t concentrate. So I went home and took a nap. I concentrated on that much better. I have to be on it today, though. I am running out of time.

OK, I am boring. I will let you go now. Also, Kendi Everyday keeps wearing blazers all the time. What do we think?

K, bye!

Back At It

March 15, 2012

Y’all I am back at it. Charles in Charge is home in Minnesota and I have returned to translating Aramaic and whining about translating Aramaic. All is as it should be. Except that it would be nice if my dad were here every day to hang out and chat and buy me things.

Bad news update: My burn is healing and the scab is coming off, but the letters aren’t going away. What am I supposed to do?! No one will want to marry a girl with a curling iron brand on her leg, right? This is dire.

Weird news update: My apartment complex keeps shutting off our water for the entire day. Seriously, they had it off from 8-5 yesterday and they’re doing it again today. So hopefully no one has to shower or wash their face or make a meal or use the toilet or drink a cool, refreshing glass of water because it is apparently not allowed where I live. Also, this has made me realize, yet again, that I would not have done well on the prairie. They had to lug buckets of water from a well just to brush their teeth or make coffee. I complained today as I turned on the tap (before eight of course) to fill the teapot in case we needed some extra water during the day. It’s a tough life.

Good news update: Axis had its very first banquet last weekend and it was so great. More than 250 people came, and I felt so honored to be there hearing about all the great work they’ve done in the last few years. A bunch of my good friends came to the banquet to support Axis. My Springs crew and my Denver friends both came out, and I was so grateful. After the banquet, a few of us went to the Broadmoor since we were all dressed up anyway.

Best news update: March Madness starts today!!!! I do not give a thought to college basketball until this very moment. And from this very moment until the end of March, I will care about college basketball more than anything else in the world. Did you fill out a bracket? Who are you cheering for? Minnesota is not an option because they are awful at playing basketball. But Colorado has two teams going to the big dance (that’s what we basketball lovers call the tournament, you guys).

Bible news update: So, in case you were wondering, I am taking Aramaic because small parts of the Bible were written in Aramaic. Mostly chunks from Ezra and Daniel — those books took place around the Babylonian exile, and Aramaic was the language of the Babylonians. So, we have portions of our Old Testament that are in Aramaic instead of Hebrew. Aramaic is pretty similar to Hebrew — the same alphabet and pronunciations. It’s the vowels and suffixes and prefixes and some of the vocabulary that are different. We’ve been translating Daniel 2, which is the passage where Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that no one is able to interpret. This upsets him a tiny bit so he decides to have all the wise men of Babylon killed. But Daniel saves everyone because he is able to interpret the dream.

Yesterday, I translated the section about the dream — it’s that big statue with a head of gold, a chest of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay. Daniel interprets the meaning of this statue — it is a line of kingdoms that will reign and rule. But a stone would come and smash the statue — a great stone that would turn into a mountain and fill the whole earth. That stone, Daniel said, would be a kingdom that would endure forever — long past Babylon, Greece, Persia, or Rome. When Nebuchadnezzar heard that interpretation he fell on his face before Daniel and he said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries.”

As I translated that passage yesterday, I was so grateful that our God reveals mysteries, that he knows the future, that he has a plan for how things will turn out. He is God of gods, and his kingdom will endure forever. Pretty sweet.

K, you guys, please quit distracting me. I have so much whining to catch up on and a lot of basketball to watch! Talk to you tomorrow!

Sorry, No Pictures.

March 23, 2010

Hi friendsies!

Well, I have heard through the grapevine that the president would appreciate it if everyone went to the doctor for a physical. Or something. I’m not quite sure of all the details.

Oh man. People are in a tizzy. Tizzy.

Now, here’s the thing. I really don’t know enough about the details of the health care bill to have an informed opinion that you should care to listen to. (And neither does anyone else, since no one has actually read the bill.) But I’m an American, dang it! And socialist America or not, I still have a right to give an uninformed opinion along with everyone else writing in to Fox News and MSNBC.

And since everyone over on the Facebooks has been really quite timid about expressing either Opinion 1) Praise to Messiah Obama of Light and Joy who is bringing healing to all or Opinion 2) Hatred for Satan-loving Satan Obama who is forcing everyone at gunpoint to go to his Satan doctors of Satan, I figured it is about time that someone speak up.

So, here are the three thoughts I do have that really don’t even relate directly to the bill. They’re more based on what I’ve noticed since the bill was passed. And they’re more related to my personal soapboxes. So, good luck with that.  

1. I think what would’ve maybe been a better, cheaper and more permanent fix to the healthcare issue would’ve been to do something to make drug companies lower their prices — ideally by allowing for more competition. But both Democrats and Republicans receive so much money from the drug companies, that they were wholly unwilling to even consider that option. Or, there needs to be some caps on medical liability insurance — everyone is so afraid of getting sued that prices go sky-high. But of course neither of those things were considered because the root of all evil rules our country. So boo to politicians. Boo to greed. And boo to what sin does to people.

2. The United States of America is not (and never has been) the ancient, God-established nation of Israel. So I don’t always think it’s right to use Scripture directly related to the ancient, God-established nation of Israel when referring to America’s policies. The policies of America certainly may be wrong or right, or may be pleasing or non-pleasing to God. But all of that gets into issues of personal versus national judgment, and it really gets quite complicated, theologically. All that to say — sometimes we take Scripture meant specifically for the nation of Israel out of context. And, in my opinion, that isn’t useful, good or correct.

3. Since this bill passed, I’ve read a few blogs and, in the comments, I’ve read people actually threatening one another with bodily harm because their opinions about this bill differ. I’ve seen extreme vitriol (don’t you love the word, vitriol? I just really like it. Vitriol.), and ridiculous threats. Whether this healthcare bill is right or wrong, people need to calm it down and show some kindness. Listen to one another. Do what you can to change the bill or support the bill, but don’t actually threaten people with murder. Honestly.

So those are my non-thoughts. I don’t know — perhaps I should be more partisan about things, but I just can’t stand it when people can’t listen to an issue without being clouded by already-decided Democrat or Republican leanings.

And, honestly, the more I read Scripture, the more I am completely convinced that God has such a big and supremely awesome plan in place. I am writing a curriculum in which we purposely focus every lesson on what it teaches us about God’s character. We look at Scripture as a whole, and we see this grand plan — this big story that He is telling. Yes, you and I are characters in God’s story, and some of us have larger parts than others. America is also a character, but certainly not the main one. And in the grand scheme of things, you and I and our healthcare providers are not what it’s about. This story — from Genesis to Revelation — is about God. About God alone. Obama making you get your yearly checkups is so not what God’s plan of salvation is about.

Anyhoo, that’s really all I have. I know it’s much more complicated than all that, and I should perhaps be more concerned with politics. And I’m quite aware that people have opinions galore. But those are my lame thoughts. And if anyone starts fighting about healthcare in the comments, I will threaten you with bodily harm.

MOVING ON.

Passover is next week! I am hosting a seder. Ever done one? You should. You learn so much more about Easter and what was going on at the Last Supper, and what God has done for His people. Also, you get to eat a lot.

I’m sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. There are no funny pictures to illustrate healthcare or liability insurance. I checked.

I would talk about March Madness, but both of the teams I picked to go to the finals were out by the second round. So there’s really not much to say. Now for some crazy reason (my dad), I picked Villanova for the finals. Admittedly not the best choice. But really, Kansas? You let some farm kids from northern Iowa beat you? I mean, that’s your prerogative, I guess. I’ve just got to say that I’m a little bit disappointed.

In conclusion to this fascinating, pictureless post about nothing and non-opinions, I am reminded that no matter what my country does, I am called to try to walk as Jesus walked. So I will try to do that today. I am also reminded that in spite of the healthcare bill, the system doesn’t own me. I’m an adult!

March Craziness

March 19, 2009

It’s the March Times of Crazy Craziness or “March Madness” as some call it. I forgot to do brackets. Or, actually, I forgot that it might be fun to do brackets until I started watching the first game this morning. I do that every single year. I see all the teams forming and get all the bracket invites on Facebook and I’m like, “boring!” And then I see the first few games, get all excited about college basketball, and realize it’s too late to fill out a bracket. Whatever.

Minnesota is playing Texas tonight. I’m not thinking the Gophers will get too far, but they have a bright future. Their team is young and they’ve got a great coach in old Tubby. They’ll be back. Also, little North Dakota State University is in the tournament for the first time! I don’t really have any special desire to see them win, but my aunt did go there, and I have spent a lot of time in Fargo. And as my friend’s dad put it, “They’re probably the only team with five white guys as starters.” Hah! It’s true.

“Lost” was probably my least favorite of the season last night. I mean, it was fine, but nothing really happened. Kind of dull. And Christian was kind of very creepy. And Kate better stay away from Sawyer and Juliette! Also, Sawyer was a bit harsh, but I did like him telling Jack to back up off.

I felt very grown up yesterday, because I started a second savings account so that I could set aside the taxes I will owe on any freelance dollars I make this year. I’m putting away 30 percent from each check. That is a lot. You better do something useful with my money, government!

I’m thinking of hiring a hypnotist to convince me that I love running. Do we think it’ll work?

I’m reading a cute little book called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. What a name, eh?! My roommate recommended it and I’m loving it. It’s a novel about a series of letters written back and forth right after World War II. I’m interested in that time period anyway, but it helps that the writing is really clever and funny. While reading a book with a name like that, I feel like I should be reading something more scholarly as well. I have lots of options — many of them in the basement, where I put all of my stuff when I had to move out of my cubicle — but I just don’t wanna. I wanna read about potato peel pies.

Our little tomato and pepper seeds are planted and sitting by the south window. We’re keeping them watered and hoping that the sunlight keeps them warmer than the 42 degrees that the rest of the house is at. I hope they grow!

I got a letter from my Compassion child yesterday! She lives in Ecuador. Sometimes I write to her in Spanish — poor translators. They probably have to try to figure out what I’m saying and then re-write it.

OK, I’ve got to be out. Go, Gophers, go!