Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I'm in Louisville right now for the North American Christian Convention, which is quite an interesting time. Fun, but also can be boring, and somehow tiring. This Christian Church/Church of Christ world is such a funny little network. Everyone knows everyone somehow.
Tonight instead of going to the main session I skipped and walked down to Waterfront Park where the Gabe Dixon Band was playing for free. No one else wanted to go, but it was kind of fun to just walk down the river by myself and people-watch and enjoy good music. I love a good people-watching place and love a good band. And if I could figure out how to post video clips on here, I'd post you the clip that I taped from afar of this guy dancing in the crowd. Let's just say there were some free-spirited people there that were pretty interesting to watch. He had about 3 moves that he chose throughout the night...including something similar to the robot.
I'm enjoying the view of the Ohio River from our 18th floor room, and I think tomorrow morning I'm going to take a nice walk down the river when I get up. Have I mentioned that I just love being in the city where there is actually life at night? However, somehow I am still in my hotel room while the rest of town is out and about, probably partying it up at 4th Street Live somewhere...except for all the NACC goers, I'm sure. I should probably get some sleep so I'm rested and rarrr-ing to go in the morning.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
- It makes me want to live in NYC.
- It makes me want to visit NYC in the spring or the fall. ("Don't you just love New York in the fall?")
- It makes me want to sing that song they sing around the piano at Christmastime with my family and friends.
- Meg Ryan is wonderful. (sidenote: I wish she wouldn't have had so much work done on her face...she used to be so darn cute and now she just looks different.)
- It has a superb soundtrack filled with Harry Nilsson, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, The Cranberries...
- All of their conversation about what 'NY152' means...
- Great quotes like:
"Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway and today - I saw one! It got on at 42nd and off at 59th, where, I assume, it was going to Bloomingdale's to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake - as almost all hats are."
"I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."
"The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make 6 decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall! Decaf! Cappuccino!"
"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable but small. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?"
"If I ever get out of here, I'm getting my eyes lasered....WHERE ARE MY TIC-TACS?!?"
or, the all-time best part, of course
"I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly."
Ahhh... I love this movie. It's so comforting to watch a movie you know the whole way through and love no matter how many times you've seen it.
Monday, June 19, 2006
(please note: the title is "The Bear Who Found the Best Present Ever" and I wrote next to it this message--"December 14, 17, 18, 1990, keep so I can read it to my kids"). Clearly I'll be reading this story to my children someday.
(above) the thought bubble says this: "Maybe someone will buy me for Christmas!" Wow, I was creative.
(above) somehow I was bright enough to draw this illustration from the inside viewpoint of the toy store so that the name on the window appeared backwards. Genius, I tell you.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
(above) Notice that I crossed outo a word and rewrote it. Very professional. I know this book is going to be published someday.
i think Ashley used to be my favorite name for some reason, so of course the girl was named Ashley.
Oh yes, this is the happy ending. What a conclusion, right? I think I ran out of ideas, because following this page there were 4 pages left blank but with page numbers on the bottom. I must have planned to be more creative than I was. Nevertheless, look for this book to be published sometime soon. Coming soon in a Barnes & Noble or Borders near you...
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
If I haven't talked enough about it before, you need to know about Invisible Children.
On April 29 this year, thousands of us gathered worldwide to give up a night of good, solid, comfortable sleepfor a few reasons:
1) to try to understand what the Invisible Children in Northern Uganda experience every night. This event, the Global Night Commute, was hardly comparable to the nightly commute that children in Uganda make daily to avoid being taken by the Lord's Resistance Army to be forced to fight for a corrupt leader.
2) to draw the world's attention to something bigger than people gathered in a park or on a sidewalk or in the center of a city--a war. This is a war taking place against the LRA in Uganda that is basically a giant act of terrorism within their own country and largely affecting their own children.
3) to write letters to political leaders concerning this war in hopes that America can help the people of Northern Uganda experience freedom like we do. It's unfortunate that we so often forget the freedoms we have...like the fact that we don't have to hide our 4 year old children at night in fear that they might be taken, be handed a knife or a gun, and be forced to kill.
I don't write about this to make you feel guilty, but I'm writing to remind people--including myself--that there's a great need that cannot be ignored. Honestly, I feel awful b/c since April 29th, I haven't thought much about Invisible Children. I played my part. I went. I didn't even stay overnight because I had a long day the day before. I showed up. I wrote letters, created art, and left at 2 a.m. I don't deserve recognition for having gone, that's for sure.
Nevertheless, my heart beats for this organization and more importantly, for the people in Northern Uganda. They are our brothers and sisters, our neighbors...not unlike the people we talk to every day aside from some cultural and physical differences.
Today they just released this new video that re-ignited my passion for what they do. I hope you watch it and I hope you and I will both remember to pray for the Invisible Children in Northern Uganda. Check out the rest of Invisible Children's website and if you can get involved in any way, please do. Not for your own good, but for the Greater Good.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Because everything else today has been random, so will this post. After weeks of having no visits scheduled at the school, today we had FOUR show up! Crazy! So, it was a random day, but good! In honor of that, other random things...
1. I wish it was Thursday so I could watch So You Think You Can Dance tonight.
2. I can't stop listening to Jackson Browne and Frou Frou and Imogen Heap and the old Starfield CD lately. Random? Yes. Couldn't be a more varied music selection. Copied Dad's Jackson Browne and Jimmy Buffett and Bad Company CD's last week on our trip back from Chi-town. Thanks for the good tunes dad!
3. Kate is married! (pictures to come) It's crazy! It's not real to me that one of my closest friends is now married and will be living halfway across the country soon. At least I have a reason to visit Baltimore now. Note: I will be honest--I was a darn good CD maker for pre-wedding, post-wedding, reception, and honeymoon car ride mixes for her. ;-)
4. Even though technically I am a member at Eastview, I am feeling churchless as of late. It is so hard to find community there when I live here and feel like my community is all over the place.
5. I'm not happy that my neighbors enjoy playing loud techno music at 3 a.m. I don't live in a college apartment, so this is not acceptable. I also don't appreciate when one of them leaves his laundry in the washer or dryer for 6 days at a time. Sick.
6. I want to go on a vacation. Really bad.
7. I have 3 weddings left this summer. That's not bad considering I had like 9 two years ago.
8. We are doing a fiesta-themed booth at the North American Christian Convention for the Bible Bowl Nationals. Dorky, I know, but you gotta do what you gotta do. It's Bible Bowl, people...need I say more? (I like to pretend I didn't do Bible Bowl for 2 years in Jr. High...but I won't lie; I did.)
9. I think I'll go for a walk tonight. AND get an ice cream cone. OK so instead I had strawberries and chocolate pudding. But I did go for a walk.
10. I'm really wanting to take a spontaneous road trip soon...maybe this matches up w/ #6.
11. I don't think I will ever see the movie The Omen. The previews are enough to give me nightmares.
12. I do, however, still need to see The Breakup despite my brother-in-law's negative response.
13. CIY starts this week all over the place. I'm jealous. It brings back sweet old memories from the BCG's and from adventures w/ Amanda in high school and a million other things that ever happened at CIY.
14. I'm so glad Missy finally posted that they're having a baby so I can express my excitement! Yay! Steph and I vote it's going to be a boy; Alli and Heidi think it'll be a girl. My tiny little old roomie is prego! :-)
15. Currently I'm watching ABC's new show How to Get The Guy...and wondering if I need to be on it. J/k. Well, maybe...
16. How is it that when I go to Kroger with the intention of only leaving w/ some fruit, I end up with half of the store?
17. I love popcorn.
18. I need a haircut.
19. I have too much time on my hands, clearly. Next blog will be something of substance. I promise. Pinky-swear.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Disclaimer: As you consider my words, Church, please don't think that I harbor anger or bitterness against you, as many sometimes do, because I dearly love you. I love the Body of Christ and how each part is different yet plays a crucial role in a greater purpose. I love the variation and the beauty of uniqueness within God's creation. I love how each of us reflects the Father's image in a different way. I love that it is a place where all are welcomed and all are loved, and I love that the Church is made up of imperfect people who are simply set free...free to love and to give and to serve...within and around the world.
I'm writing you out of concern that we might be missing the point on a few things. After a considerable number of congregations have begun to debunk The Da Vinci Code through 4-week or even 5-week sets of sermons, I have begun to question this as a necessity. Dan Brown's fictional piece has been out for 3 years now, and only the fame of the film's recent release has brought on this phenomenon of Christian defense. If the book alone contains the falsehoods we're now decoding, why has it taken us so long to do so?
It is claimed that 45 million American adults have read this book and that, out of that number, a large percentage have probably believed statements that are unbiblical and nonsensical. False teachings are everywhere in Brown's writing. Are they not everywhere in fictional work? Are they not everywhere in the world? Dan Brown's bright ideas may appear to be different, but in reality they are nothing new. Why didn't we argue the Left Behind series in a similar way? Why have we left alone the millions of other false teachings that permeate our culture? The Barna Research group, in fact, concluded that "The Da Vinci Code confirms rather than changes people's religious beliefs." If it is already confirming rather than changing beliefs, then why are we taking so much time out of our Sundays to argue Brown's fictitious story when we could be preaching a 5-week series straight from scripture--perhaps 1 Timothy 1:3-11--about false teaching?
I realize that I, having completed Bible College (though I still feel like I know very little), may be more grounded in my beliefs than some believers. If I were to read Brown's book (which I have not yet done, simply because I just haven't) I would probably recognize and be able to separate truth from fiction quite easily. There are some who may not be able to, and that is probably why we're taking such a strong stand against The Da Vinci Code--to help those brothers and sister decipher what is true. However, I think we're misplacing the blame--it isn't necessarily the fault of Dan Brown that some may be led astray by fictional truth.
Might it be the Church's fault? Can I even make mention of such an idea? Is it possible that the Church is at fault for failing to teach basic foundational truths about Jesus? Perhaps a stronger emphasis on solid Christian beliefs, a better foundation on truth, or further discipleship and follow-through with young believers might be the answer. When that begins, the Christian worldview can be formed and nurtured, and then a believer can look through the eyes of Scripture and into things like The Da Vinci Code, the latest Kanye West album, American Idol, the AIDS crisis in Africa, or Brad Pitt and Angelina's relationship. Having a Christian worldview is the starting point.
One of the best things about the Church is that it's a place where believers and seekers can be taught the truths about Jesus and the Bible in a corporate setting. The reason for this is so that conversation and action happens; truths are not only taught, but they are talked about and, in turn, lived out. Wouldn't it be a shame if, right now, a seeker came to one of these Da Vinci Code-Decoding services and saw how argumentative and defensive we seem to be? That is my fear in all of this--that we might lose many on account of prideful defense (or in this case offense). Just this morning I could sense an argumentative nature that should probably have taken place between the preacher and Dan Brown rather than between the pulpit and the pews.
I appreciate and am thankful for the decoding of fiction that is happening for those who may not have been able to discern what was true and even for my own knowledge. However, I simply feel it has been drawn out too long and we are missing the point. We are beginning with culture and going back to Scripture to find a strong defense. Shouldn't we begin with Scripture and simply learn and study and understand so that then we can view culture?
These are just questions I've pondered throughout this series and as I've discovered the growing number of churches covering this fashionable topic for varying numbers of weeks. I am not a leader in a Church, I realize, so my words may mean very little. But I am, however, one of the many who sit in the pews on Sunday morning and crave spiritual food that will help me to understand my God and His Kingdom and His creation more. I would love it if we began with His word.
Thank you, and I look forward very much to the next series to come, whatever it may be.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
-watching So You Think You Can Dance that I taped while I talked to Faith on the phone earlier.
-emailing another friend
-yelling at the teenagers who, currently, have their cars parked outside on the street with loud rap music blaring and they're literally dancing in the middle of the street. (I'm not actually yelling at them except for once in awhile screaming "Shut up!" at a volume they probably can't hear, but hoping they do...)
-filling out the U.S. Census I got in the mail today. Kinda fun, but definitely didn't realize we still had those since the days of Caesar Augustus and such. I remember asking my parents when I was little how they counted populations and they always told me there was a census, but I never quite believed it till now!
-eating frozen peaches from grandma & grandpa. yummy...
-uploading songs for kate's wedding CD's that i'm working on.
I should probably find some more things to do because I'm clearly not doing enough.