Wednesday, August 31, 2005

on Katrina: “This is a nightmare,” Blanco added, “but one that will give us an opportunity for rebirth.”

I feel helpless.

I'm journaling about this on here, because I feel like I have to get it out in some way. I'm distraught about this hurricane, which before last night I didn't seem to care a bit about. I'm thankful that God opened my eyes to see the tragedy that is happening just so He can teach me a few things through it.

It's sad that it often takes a tragedy to teach us things we should've known before. And people question why "God allows this stuff to happen." I'm not saying I've never questioned that before, but I don't doubt that He's working in the midst of it, that's for sure. If He's teaching me here in IL where I'm physically unaffected by this storm, then I can't imagine how He's working where people are actually facing the effects of Katrina physically.

I've watched the news and slideshows of pictures from the storm, and I can't stop thinking about how it must feel to have no escape. How humbling. How reliant and dependent on others you'd have to be right now. No food. No electricity. No clean water. No transportation. No rules, really. And no escape. If I'm ever without food or clean water, it's not like I can't just drive somewhere or walk down the road and find it. These people have absolutely nowhere to go. And the funny thing is, this is daily life for some in other countries.

I read on an MSN article today about people swimming through water, having to push floating cars out of their way just to get through and swim along with the current. They're forced to ignore the dead bodies because there are survivors who need to be the main priority right now, so they swim right past floating carcasses. It sounds sick, but what other options do they have?

I can't figure out what you'd do w/ babies and little children...the elderly who need to be hooked up to oxygen tanks, diabetics who need their insulin shots, people in hospitals or at home who need prescriptions.

And all the while I can't figure out how people go through this life claiming to be faithless. They don't believe in anything, or they'd rather suggest that there are many different belief systems that one can choose from that will lead to the same place. I beg to differ. Isn't it obvious that people who claim to have no faith really do have faith? Isn't it obvious that there's something beyond this world and the temporal things we see?

It's a city in ruins. And it's not anything new or different. It happened thousands of years ago, and it is happening today. We have to realize we're not indestructible. We're not unbreakable. And in situations where it seems there is no escape, that is our only escape--to realize that we are not the center of it all.

What are you putting your hope in?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005



i'm a student again?

i'm jumping into a Photography class that Scott Sarver is teaching here this semester. They started last Tuesday night but I found out about an opening and I have class tonight! I'm excited to learn a lot more about it. however, b/c my camera is not the coolest, and it doesn't have a manual setting, i may have to borrow for some assignments.

can't wait to sit w/ my fellow staff buddy sheri!

oh--and i just remembered this...serena requested in my comments section a review of Bethany Dillon's new CD...that will be soon to come.

new bloggers

I just want to bring your attention to some of the new bloggers now added to my "friends, family, and strangers" links. I've added several recently.

However, Rachel's is the newest, and no offense to everyone else, but it's the one I'm most excited to read daily! this girl is where i learned the skills of sarcasm from. she's freakin' hilarious. i love you rach! :-)

Monday, August 29, 2005

a smorgasboard of things

I love to use the word smorgasboard for some odd reason. I think it's funny.

Reminder: check this out. Matt Wertz @ LCC w/ Rob Blackledge. Time change: concert is now at 8:30 p.m., doors will open @ 7:30 p.m.

I have my first chiropractic appointment tomorrow morning at 10:20 a.m., thanks to my annoying lower back pain that seems to persist and haunt my existence.

Bethany Dillon concert on Friday night--amazing. As Courtney said during one of her songs, "I could hardly breathe during that song..." that's how much Bethany blows me away with her wisdom. I am amazed at her talent all the time, and I'm amazed even more at how God uses music to draw me closer to Him.

I have a giant bruise on my left leg..."from what?" you ask. Well, yes, it's from playing hide-and-seek in the dark w/ 20 people at the Hornbrooks' house this weekend for our Fuel Leadership Advance (not retreat...). It hurts real bad.

We have some great food in our office today b/c of Jen & MK's birthdays. Yummy. I made some taco dip that is the easiest thing in the world. Want the recipe? Here it is: 8 oz. cream cheese, 16 oz. sour cream, 1 pkg. taco seasoning. that's it. If you want to decorate it like I do, you can cut up grape tomatoes and sprinkle some shredded cheese as a garnish for the top. :-)

I have the cutest niece in the entire world. Please see below.

I told you she was cute! I aint lyin'!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

some of the things floating around in my head

--anxiously awaiting: seeing bethany dillon tomorrow night in indy, getting a massage at the spa in bloomington saturday, the matt wertz concert on the 15th here @ the warehouse

--nervous about: above stated massage @ the spa--thanks to my sister booking it w/ the guy masseuse. might be a little more awkward than relaxing.

--energized: by the new freshmen still...i love hanging out w/ them! they are so much fun!

--tired: somewhat ironically, b/c I was out so late (till 12--two hours past my bedtime!!!) hanging out w/ students @ the bonfire after Focus last night

--looking fwd to: sleeping in tomorrow, thanks to the 4 hours of vacation i'm taking and the afternoon Lynn gave us off!

--reminiscing: on all the memories from freshmen year, i miss it! in an email to rach i just realized something...I think freshman year is so exciting because you can be whoever you want to be, because it's new, and it doesn't matter! Then later on we start to trick ourselves into thinking we have to have it all figured out, when we really don't have to. i'm going to be a freshman again...mentally. well, sometimes. not all the time.

--annoyed: w/ certain celebrities...Gwen Stefani--i know you're boycotting the VMA's b/c you weren't invited to perform. Well, get over it. It's probably because you ruined your chances by that hideous outfit you wore on the Teen Choice Awards, and because you pretty much yell in your songs now instead of singing. Snoop dogg--i know you think you're cool and still wanted b/c you're on some Chrysler commercial (or some make of car) w/ your -izzle lingo. I'm pretty sure that whole dizzle has fizzled. for shizzle.

--loving making fun of: Snow on So You Think You Can Dance? can you really call that dancing? I think it looks more like frolicking. I really wish I could videotape myself imitating her in my living room and attach it to this post, but no such luck. if you see me soon, ask me and i'll do it. she looks like a freak. and also, sidenote on the show, i'm super annoyed w/ the host Lauren and the idiot audience that hollers at every true statement the judges say. i hate it when people who don't know how to dance get mad at the judges (who DO) for making honest judgments. ugh.

--still crushing: on dan karaty, hot judge on above-stated show.

--currently: listening to rascal flatts, awaiting the next 28 minutes to go by quickly, and looking fwd to chilling out on a rainy gray day. i think i'll rent a movie. hm...what will i get?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


This weekend has been a fresh, new start for so many. Not just for the freshmen and transfer students who have moved in to start what could be the best 4 years of their lives thus far, but also for me. This weekend, including move-in day and all of the madness of freshmen orientation, has been the culmination of an entire year's worth of work. It's why I'm here. It's the reward.

You can't imagine how exciting it is to see students move in here whom you've met along the way. I remember giving tours to some, sitting down and actually "counseling" some, eating lunches with some, hanging out with some at camps or CIY's, talking to some on the phone, writing or e-mailing with some, and so on... but it's an exhausting excitement. My spirit is energized by seeing everyone here, but physically and mentally I'm exhausted from all that's going on.

We've each led freshmen small groups during orientation, and in the past these have proved to be a failure. They've felt like church camp family groups or d-groups most of the time, and this year wasn't completely different. But we didn't just sit around and discuss. Instead we had "The Amazing Race" on Sat. night w/ our group and some other games (including 4-square, which I hadn't ever played until then) on Sunday afternoon, and service projects yesterday. Our group instantly bonded in The Amazing Race as we ran across campus to get our clues, were sweating all over each other in the cheesy-as-ever-but-still-good-team-building "Human Knot", and as we ran screaming "No man left behind!!!" to make sure we all stuck together. I love my group. These freshmen are awesome.

It just takes me back to when I was a freshman, which seems like soooo many years ago. Melissa and I moved into our room, Rachel was across the hall, and we were each nervous and excited the first day. We met Allison, who was sitting at her computer by herself in her room next door to us, and later we met Steph and her crazy roommate from upstairs. Steph, Alli, Rachel, Missy, and I started hanging out all the time on the tennis courts at night, looking up at the stars and laughing till it was curfew time. I remember how loud and obnoxious we must have been to everyone else. I remember taking the ol' Bible Knowledge Exam and freaking out. I remember getting an orientation "crush" on someone whom I still now know, and I can tell you exactly where we were sitting in the Chapel that night when we met (and probably even what he was wearing). I remember going to Dairy Queen later that night w/ the girls and that boy and another boy from the Hole, and that's the night Rachel named my car Snaggy Magoo. I remember meeting certain people who would just walk right up and introduce themselves, and it was overwhelming b/c I knew I'd forget their names! I remember finally getting the wishbook and looking through to memorize names and faces of all the upperclassmen and other freshmen. I remember Steph saying something to me about my clothing one time b/c I was wearing a spaghetti strap tank top and shorts, and apparently I didn't think that was immodest attire. (I realized later on that it wasn't really appropriate at LCC, but I had no idea.) I remember crazy Megan Snyder who was on our floor and who pretty much brought upon us endless unnecessary stress and chaos. I remember going dancing at Rocky's in Bloomington (yuck) and feeling like we were in trouble from our dorm mom b/c we weren't supposed to be going. I remember thinking I would never be friends w/ all the Lincoln girls who were prof's daughters, even though now I'm really good friends w/ Lindsay Clark (Jones) and Ashleigh Mauhar (Ray). I remember lots of good things, funny things, bad things, things I wish I hadn't done, things I wish could still be going on.

Oh, the memories of freshman year. I miss it, but I don't. I'm glad to be where I am now and to see these new faces come into the newness I once experienced here. It's a new start, and that's what I remember being most exciting about coming to LCC. It's a beginning. And I'm excited to see the end results...which isn't their graduation, but the ministry that happens while they're here and far beyond their days here. Sounds cheesy, I know. But really this whole place is just their orientation to life, isn't it?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

a little media enlightenment

(left): Bethany Dillon's new CD. Buy it. only $9.99 at Target, $14.88 at Wal-Mart.

(below): have you seen the new Hummer H3 commercial? Somebody has an amazing ad agency...

(below): Dierks' song "Come a Little Closer" gives me chills every time I hear it. all I have to say is h.o.t....

(left): tomorrow night I'll be enjoying the presence of this country fella. I hope he brings his wife Kimberly!

(below): Velvet Elvis. Rob Bell. new book. let's love this book but not to its death, much like Blue Like Jazz. i love donald miller, but he's not jesus. let's not worship him like some seem to. same w/ rob bell. but dang, he is a good communicator.

say what you wish

but you can guarantee I'm going to defend The Second Summer of the Sisterhood as well as its predecessor. This series of the Traveling Pants is quite amazing to me. Ann Brashares has got me hook, line, and sinker. She has these 4 girls' characters developed in such a way that you can relate with different characteristics of each. It reminds me of who I used to be when I was their ages and even who I am now. However, my favorite thing about the books are the quotes that begin each chapter. I wanted to share some of the ones that resonate with me, so here you go:

  • "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." --Nelson Mandela
  • "On the other hand, you have different fingers." --Jack Handey
  • "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." --Winston Churchill
  • "Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed." --Michael Pritchard
  • "If you scatter thorns, don't go barefoot." --Italian proverb
  • "There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it." --George Bernard Shaw
  • "What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the words I have read in my life." --Walt Whitman
  • "He made the world to be a grassy road before her wandering feet." --W.B. Yeats
  • "There is no remedy for love but to love more." --Henry David Thoreau

And that's as far as I am. I don't want to peek into the next few chapters, because it's my favorite thing to get to a new chapter and read a new quote. I love this book.

Like I said, say what you wish and make fun of me if you'd like, but I'll defend myself and the book!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

save the date!!!

This is your official notice to save Thursday, September 15th to see my boy, Matty Wertz, play here at LCC in The Warehouse. I'm so pumped. Tell your friends and tell them to tell their friends. If you don't know who he is, you need to. I guarantee you'll love his music.

omg...I can't believe I've forgotten to blog this for the past couple weeks that I've known about it! Email me or comment if you have any questions about it...other than that, here's the facts:

Thursday, 9/15 @ LCC Warehouse
7:00 - opener
8:00 - wertz

and also, here's the inside scoop: we're getting him to do some Q & A time during the morning or afternoon on campus as a part of our monthly Theological Coffeehouse. sweet deal, huh?

And in other music news, TODAY is the big release for Bethany Dillon's new CD Imagination, which I'm already listening to. Check it out. She's amazingly talented.

Monday, August 15, 2005

in between the weeks

here are some of the happenings of the past 3 days...

-i woke up early this morning (4:30 a.m.) feeling like i might throw up (which i'm absolutely terrified of), sweating hot, w/ cramps and a stomachache and unable to fall back asleep. miserable. i'm better now, thank goodness. thanks to just putting a wet washcloth on my forehead, i was able to fall back asleep around 6, only to get up at 7 for work.

-i am very proud of my recently completed art project--the fake window that was on my office wall. it was just antique looking plain old wood. now it's painted black, and i have some sweet 3 x 5 pics from London that I took and had printed w/ a white edge hanging in each section of the window. i'll have to take a picture and post it later.

-fuel was great last night. well, chris's sermon was great, considering it was supposed to be brandon preaching, but he's stuck in south africa b/c of the british airways strike! Revelation 3:16, yo. kicks my butt every time. another time i'll post a long entry about it.

-i saw the hottest guy i may have ever seen in person yesterday at the mall in bloomington...with his girlfriend, of course. maybe it was b/c of the way he was dressed, but oh man...he was absolutely gorgeous. i know you care to know that. kinda reminded me of the way Brad Pitt looked in The Mexican. sizzling.

-this week we're gonna have to kick it into high gear here in Admissions. move-in day: this saturday (for freshmen)= lots of stuff to be prepared for!

-helping w/ seminary registration for new students today...+ free lunch b/c of that. gotta be thankful for that!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

thoughts on World Hunger

What is it about today that is totally catching my attention about world hunger?

Is it the pictures on about the famine in Niger? Is it the fact that it was just a headline on msn about 4 hours ago and now it's gone, while the headilne "20 Essentials for Back to School" has been there all day as if it's the most important thing in the world? Right there along with, of course, "The Allure of the Bad Boy Biker"

Is it the fact that a majority of our lunch conversation with a prospective student and her mom today had to do with corrupt politicians and the need for ACTION rather than just AWARENESS in other countries?

Is it the fact that I just read the comments on Joolz's blog and someone posted something about and my above concern for ACTION beyond AWARENESS?

I spent a few minutes today just looking at some websites for places like UNICEF and Compassion and Save the Children to see what each is about. I'm frustrated, because I want to help, but it's hard to know which place to go through. How can I make the most amount of big-picture difference in someone's life? in an entire country? with the little money I have to offer?

And then I look at American culture and how much we selfishly consume. I eat food like it's going out of style. I have two walk-in closets of my own that are full of clothes, half of which I don't even wear. I can't even begin to count the number of shoes I own.I have food in my refrigerator and cupboards that goes to waste b/c I don't eat it in time. I pay for cable, which I could easily live without. I have an awesome apartment that is probably above and beyond what most people live in. Others in our culture live in enormous homes that they can't even take care of without hired help. They drive cars that cost more money than I'll ever see in a matter of a year, or even 5 years probably for that matter. They throw money down the drain for even a tank of gas for their unnecessary Hummer H2 or the next level of some high-tech gadget that they "need." And we call ourselves "blessed?"

I don't think blessed is it. It's not that God chose to "bless" us w/ material possessions and chose not to bless those people. We have just become a selfish nation. We ignore the idea of wealth distribution...or, actually, we just distribute it quite unevenly. I'm not saying sell everything you own and send the money to Ethiopia...although, maybe that's not a bad idea. I John 3:17 is ringing pretty loudly in my ears right now: "If any one of you has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in you?"

I'm frustrated right now. I'm struggling to figure this out. But it's a good struggle. And what will I do? I have no idea. Probably write this and then tomorrow think nothing of it, as I've done in the past and as many of us do every day. It's so much easier to raise awareness and become aware ourselves and then choose to do nothing and go about our comfortable lives. I don't want to be careless. I don't want to be selfish. But how can we help?

Read Matthew 19:13-30 if you get a chance. It's another scripture ringing in my ears right now. Struggle with this. Wrestle with it.

Let's figure out something.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

check this out

if you get a chance today sometime, check out Dustin Bagby's newest article on Relevant at the link below. Hilarious. It's about country music. Although I have to give my boys Dierks, Brad Paisley, and the Rascal Flatts (as un-innovative as they may be) some credit.

And if you don't know Dustin, he's a cool guy who went to LCC w/ me, moved to Manhattan to do church planting, and just got married last weekend in Florida and will now live there w/ his wife Kelli who also went to LCC. Alright now that you have his bio, read the article!

Monday, August 08, 2005

by the way...

...Motownphilly's back again.

It was too hard to say goodbye.

Yep! You betcha. I saw Boyz II Men on Saturday night. I think I may have laughed the whole time I was there...especially loud when they said "And now this hit from 1991" and I realized I was freaking 9 years old! Holy crap they're old!

good times at the Decatur Celebration.

me and morning

It's a love/hate relationship we have. When the alarm clock/radio comes on, the second alarm buzzes, and the third alarm on my cell phone goes off, the waking process begins. These are the moments I hate most. Very little can entice me out of hitting the snooze button every morning. When you sleep in a really comfortable bed with several pillows in a dark room that has no windows, it is extremely hard to get up in the morning. This is my daily struggle.

I force myself out of bed, at least 30 min. after the snoozing began, and head to the shower for the real wake-up call. After the shower I'm finally awake and have come to terms with the day. Morning has won me over, though I'm still somewhat reluctant and secretly wish to crawl back under the covers. Nevertheless, I carry on with the decisions of the morning: what to wear, whether to scrunch my hair or straighten it, what to take w/ me for breakfast, black or brown eyeliner, etc. (you know, the important stuff!) All the while, I have the 104.5, Springfield's country station, playing, and it's almost daily that I'll get frustrated w/ one of the annoying DJ's or an overplayed song and turn it off. And then, with about negative 5 min. to spare, I head off to work.

One of my favorite parts of the day, however, is the few seconds that I'm outside between my apartment and my car, my car and the office. I love the sunlight in the morning. I love the fresh, crisp air that awakens me and makes me think, "Gosh, I wish I would've been up earlier to enjoy this!" I love the quiet sound of the whole world waking up. I love the smell. I think these are God's whispers.

These are the moments I wish I had more of, but I don't know how to get them. I would wake up much easier if there was sunlight pouring in the windows or if there was someone else waking up with me. Though I know that hitting the snooze button makes you more tired, I can't get enough of it. I'm going to slowly wean myself off of it, if at all possible.

And then I get to work, where usually I start my day w/ about 15 min. of checking my email and hopefully finding a treasure of a real message in the midst of all the junk mail. And usually, a few minutes of reading the blogs of a few who inspire me, make me laugh, or who I just want to catch up with. And I turn on my music and jump into the day...

Today, I threw in a Caramel Hazelnut coffee from Einstein's, just to do something different. I like to throw myself off some morning just by going out of order, breaking free from any routine, but it's hard to do. Sometimes routine is just what I need.

That's the story of me and morning. Sometimes it's a different story, but that's how you'll see it on most days. Like I said, it's a love/hate relationship. In this very moment, I'm loving it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

comments on strange things and also "So You Think You Can Dance?"

-Is it weird that Cruel Intentions was playing on ABC Family last night? I love the movie and all, but does it really belong on a family channel?

-My mom had to call me back last night after she was driving to Kroger and one of the guys she works with saw her and had her pull over b/c there was a drunk guy laying in the ditch b/c he tried to ride his bike carrying a 12-pack of beers with him. apparently he tried to drink 6 of them to lighten his load, but it didn't work so well. so, he ended up in the ditch. weird. that's not a normal occurrence on the way to get groceries!

-Is it strange that Martha Stewart's punishment is home confinement? That's like her favorite place to be! I still just don't get it!

-I woke up to stormy weather this morning...storms are always weird to me when they happen in the morning. I prefer nighttime storms.

-Whoever lives next to me now (new neighbors) has two cats in their apartment...which is not allowed. However, the landlord knows about it and it happened to be a miscommunication before they signed the lease. Anyways, I hate cats big time. And I'm allergic to them. Last night my eyes were itching really bad in my apartment. Is it possible that the cat dander (a.k.a. nastiness?) floated over to my apartment through the doors? Just wondering. I cringed this morning when I heard them meowing. Sick. Our apartment building is going to turn from cool-coffee-shop-loft-living to old- lady-with-500- cats-living.

-I found the local TV channel last night on TV and behold--it was the Logan County Fair Queen pageant. Much to my surprise, these girls actually still participated in a pageant that has a swimsuit category! And I can't believe the judges made them turn 1/4 turn to the right and left. I'm sorry...isn't that degrading? Let me compare what your butt looks like to the girl next to yours...

-I have a new roommate, but I haven't lived w/ her yet. (Heidi) She's at CIY this week sponsoring her youth group.

"So You Think You Can Dance?"
-Yes, apparently they do. I'm SO glad they cut out those freaks who couldn't dance and thought they were amazing.

-Now the next to be cut? Blake McGrath. Please go home. You're cocky and you already have a dance career. Plus, you bashed the hot judge and said you were better than him. Plus, you were already featured in Dance Spirit magazine. Get over yourself. Goodbye.

-Dan Karaty, one of the choreographers/judges, is actually pretty dang hot. I hope he's straight.

-I really really really want to take a hip-hop class and a salsa class. Why in the world aren't these offered more? I guess I need to live in a city.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

stupid mistakes

Ok so I made like the dumbest mistake in the entire world, and I'm REALLY sorry for it. Don't you hate when you do something, not really thinking it will be a big deal, and then later on it becomes this big issue that really shouldn't be a big issue? Maybe I should have been smarter to begin with...

gosh I hate how guilty I feel after doing something dumb. it's no wonder i'm like one of the most cautious people you'll ever meet. i'm not very risky or fearless to begin with, and the one time I do something that isn't even really in that category, I face the guilt of it.

So, I'm an idiot. But we all are at some point or another, right?

Monday, August 01, 2005


Hello all! I'm back again. This time from CIY @ SIU in Carbondale. it was great fun. as to be expected.

so now, time to get filled in like a jelly donut, ya'll.
here's the latest, along w/ some pics:

-I got my hair cut. Very rarely will I straighten it now until I get a ceramic straightener.

-I am obsessed w/ Vietnamese Coffee from a hippie coffee shop in Carbondale. Best $3.50 ever spent. three times. maybe.

-also obsessed w/ a Thai restaurant in Carbondale. who'd have thought carbondale might have good places to go such as these?

-my summer feels like it's over, which is sad, but i'm excited for the next month to go by quickly so i can find out a few things that may give me some direction

-I got my Pampered Chef stuff better believe I'll be cookin' it up trying to experiment in the kitchen. what should i make?

-I bought two of the cutest shirts ever last week @ the Gap for $5 and $7 apiece. I look forward to wearing them.

-I'm digging into Anne Lamott's Plan B. so far so good.

-also loving Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak. it's right where i'm at.

-on the docket: spa day w/ mom & cory this saturday. manis/pedis @ 8:00 a.m. yay!

-i think it's weird to call them manis & pedis, as i told my sister today in an email. but i have no problem calling donuts "doneys." that's my favorite word i think.

-Jon Weece might be one of the most effective preachers I've heard for quite some time.

(below left) - me & Rachel from CCU--i think we're long-lost friends. we were roomies this week @ SIU.

my new favorite picture...from one of my favorite places. the steps of Shryock Auditorium @ SIU. why? lots of memories being the thursday night concert that was held there one night 6 years ago while we had Celebration inside. When we came outside the campus was pretty much trashed like some big frat kegger was just held there and that's how I decided to come to LCC. long story made short.

above left: the biggest CIY yet. it was pretty cool.
above right: the toughest girls you'll ever find in a water-gun Capture the Flag game.
below: Nicola, Rachel, and I after our new haircuts. Isn't this presh?