Monday, January 29, 2007

My Newest Theory

*This is post 100!*

As I have said in the past, I am an Old Testament junkie. There are times that I think I could make a good Jew (except that I believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah - that could be a problem). I LOVE what the Old Testament holds in it's pages. I could go on for quite a while about the beauty of it but I'll cut to the point.

How often do we, New Testament Christians, take time to study the Old Testament? How often do you hear a whole sermon spend the majority of it's message in the times before Christ? I have a new theory. I think that as New Testament Christians, we have taken the idea about not following the old law to a very sad extreme. The thought that has popped into my mind is that we view the Old Testament as a series of books that proves Christ's deity and miracles. I agree 100% but, truth be told, that we have missed a huge point.

The Bible is a compilation of 66 books. Only a third are New Testament. So why did the Holy Spirit include the other two thirds to be added to our scripture if we are no longer under the Mosaic law? I believe that it is so we can see God. We know that God never changes. From Genesis chapter 1, we are introduced to who God is. We have 39 books that show us who God is and what He desires most. We see all of God's emotions - from heartbreak to jubilation, grace to mercy, friendship to enemy. We see how God and man interact and how those relationships are either forged stronger or separated.

I believe with all of my heart we need to get back to the heart of God. We see him in Christ through the Gospels. We are told about him in the letters. But to actually encounter HIM? Look were He spoke, acted, and felt. Look at the God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Look in the pages of Genesis, Judges, the Prophets, the Kings, the wanderings, and the conquerors. As you read, you may find yourself there. You will find God.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Night and Day

Today I was making copies and some coworkers were discussing their anxiety about the upcoming writing test. They discussed what they have been doing and how exhausted they are. One made the comment that she would pray to God if all else failed. I just stared at the papers coming out of the machine. What a HUGE difference between the two of us. All I could think about was how she had inadvertantly made prayer and God a last resort. I've been praying all year. My mindset set is that I pray because I know all else will fail. He is the only one who can carry my anxiety and weaknesses. How sad for her!

Faced Fears

Why is it so hard to face your fears? Especially if they are so silly. Put me in front of a crowd to talk - no problem! Perform - different story. I am getting better but dumb is it? I was with some girls tonight and Sugar and Spice came up. Next thing I new, officers and the director are being SO encouraging and sweet. They are doing a FUN set this semester. I really want to do it but I am nervous. I've been told that the more you perform, the easier it is. The one time I did it, I really enjoyed myself (besides the fact that I couldn't stop shaking). I guess we will know in a week and a half if this is going to happen for me without chickening out. Time to put on my big girl panties and have a go. Cross your fingers!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What Do You Dream About?

I love to dream. 90% of the time I remember them. Sometimes they are way off in left field and other times they are so vibrant. There are dreams where all five senses were fully activated. I know they say that can't happen in a dream but I have actually smelled and tasted things. Half the time I am left wondering if something happened in real life or just in my subconscious. The other half of the time I feel like I have just walked through a Tim Burton movie (think Big Fish). Seeing that I am procrastinating getting some work done, I thought I would share a few of my personal favorites. Get ready...they're a doozy!
  • The Pleasanton church decides to install a water slide instead of a baptistery in order to attract more people to the services. Johnny Rosenauer dresses in a straw hat, pink and white striped pants, and a green Hawaiian shirt to unveil the slide. The whole time, he is speaking in a Jamaican accent.
  • We are on a family vacation on the set of Star Trek (thanks, Dad). We go through a door and find that we weren't on a set but were on the Enterprise. We discover this because as we go through the door, we are walking on the hull of the ship (wearing gravity boots, of course). I walk to the edge and look over. All I can see from all around me are stars in EVERY direction. I get really dizzy but thanks to the boots, I don't fall over. We "play" with the the fact that we don't have gravity.
  • I am in HEB with a friend. We get tired and walk to the back of the store. We remove all of the milk (don't remember where it went) and lay down on the bottom "shelf". We talk for a while and then take a nap.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Handing it over

Jeff has decided to give the world of contemporary Christian music a chance so I offered to lend him a few cds. As I was putting them in a bad this morning, I started getting a little panicked. I know this may sound quite silly to some of you but give me a chance to explain.

When someone asks to hear a type of music for the first time, you want to give them the best. First impressions are so important! For me, the best are a very valuable set of songs. They are songs that have expressed the groanings of my spirit. They had flooded my eyes with tears of joy and tears of repentance. They have brought me to my knees. They mark milestones in my faith where there was growth or renewal. If these songs can touch me as they do, they might do the same for him. So I sucked it up and put them in the bag knowing full well that I will get them back. In the end, I handed over Bebo Norman, Nichole Nordemon, Caedmon's Call, Chris Tomlin, and Chris Rice.

Jeff got the best of the best.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Recommendations, Please

Over my unexpected break, I got to do something that I haven't had time for in the past few months - read. I finished the newest Gregory Maguire book (Thanks Jenn!) and then I did something the next night that I haven't done in quite a while. I read a whole novel in one sitting. I got so wrapped up in the story that, the next thing I knew, I was finished and it was 4:15 a.m. It was SO nice to get so engrossed in a story without interruptions! The flow was there and nothing broke the momentum that the author created.

One of my goals for this year is to read a new book every two weeks. I figure this allows some room for work to come in and take over but still accomplish a decent book (no War and Peace, grant you). Here is where my "problem" lies. What do I want to read? Here is where you come in. What do you recommend? I like all kinds of books except sci-fi. I prefer lighter, more enjoyable texts during the school year but I can handle some deeper ones along the way too (just not around TAKS). Let me know what you think is good and I'll start the reading list. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Drumming my Fingers

School has been called off for the past two days. That means that I have been in my apartment from Monday night until tomorrow morning. I have really enjoyed getting the apartment clean, painting, LOTS of reading, and doing several other fun things. I have also noticed several things. For example, freezing rain sounds like pop rocks. A sheet of ice falling from a two story building sounds like a blackcat firecracker. Ice from a car sounds like breaking glass when it hits the road. A pot of boiling water is a great homemade humidifier. And the waiting. I have spent a lot of time waiting. Waiting for the phone to ring about the next day. Waiting for the rain to hit. Waiting for the ice to melt. Waiting for the kettle to boil. Waiting for a chance to run errands. Waiting to hear from a friend. Waiting........

Why is waiting so hard? What is it about anticipation, good or bad, that makes us so antsy? And what can we do in the meantime? Nothing. All we can do is sit and drum our fingers or distract ourselves with both necessary and fun things. I think it is the idea that everything is out of our hands. Mine are small and can't hold on to much anyway so why should the idea of waiting be such a big deal?

One thing I have noticed.....with waiting comes relief. Relief that things are done. Relief that you know what is ahead. Relief that everyone is OK. I guess the key to it all is to not watch the kettle. It will boil when it's time.

I am going to sit by the phone to wait for a call about tomorrow. Who knows, maybe we will have a delayed start or maybe even have a semi-normal day. Guess I'll just have to wait and see.....

Sunday, January 14, 2007

On my knees...

I wish that I were exaggerating about being on my knees I am as I type this blog (figuratively, not literally). Tonight, services were canceled due to our fun weather so I thought I would check out the series on Both/And churches that Jeff has been raving about. Now it is my turn. I am on my knees begging you to watch these sermons. They are about an hour each and the link is on Jeff's blog (link to the left). I know that many of you have heard about Richland Hills adding an instrumental service on Saturday nights. I saw the reaction when the news was shared and received. The sermons discuss the scripture that led to this decision as well as the reasoning for the addition of service. I cannot tell you how strongly I feel that this discussion be had. In the second half of part three, he goes into some very real statistics that the church is facing as well as some of the reasons that I attended Oak Hills for a while. You cannot understand that last 25 minutes until you hear the first two and a half parts. Seriously, listen or watch this series. I really want to discuss it with you but I can't discuss alone. This is more than a matter of music.

Thanks Jeff.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I am an Old Testament junkie. I love the New Testament because it tells the story of redemption and what that now means for me. However, I would rather listen to an Old Testament sermon everyday of the week. I think it is where we see ourselves. We see how actual people wrestled with and loved God. We see ourselves in the people who meet and interact with God. We meet God there in a more "tangible" way. It shows up were we have been and allows us to hope when we see how far we have come. When tied to the New Testament, I think that we have a deeper understanding and relationship with God and what he wants us to know about him.

One person who is held up in the Old Testament is Daniel. There are a few stories about him that we know by heart but the most famous is that of the Lions' Den. This has been brought to mind SO many times in the past week and a half.

Daniel was a man who was right with God when the world tried to silence him. At the point of the lions' den, many were trying for his life. Despite what was going on around him, Daniel was saved from death and his rescue brought a king to believe in God. This then resulted in the acknowledgment of God throughout a kingdom. How much more powerful can you get!? His story gives me great hope.

What gets me about Daniel's story is that I find myself in the same boat. I Peter 5:8 warns us, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." The way I see it, if God will literally close the mouths of lions to physically save a man from death, he will most certainly close the mouth of the one who whispers lies in my ear daily. He will starve the one who craves to crush my spirit and destroy my soul. My lions are not literal but everyday, I fight to keep priorities straight and my eyes where they will find true joy. Don't we all?

Daniel's life had a purpose. So does mine and so does yours. I pray today that whatever lions you face, the God who saved Daniel will close the mouth of the devil to save you as well.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Generation Huh!?

I was driving home from church tonight and John Mayer's Waiting on the World to Change came on. Somehow, it triggered this chain of semi-deep thoughts about my generation. Just bear with me while I try to untangle my mind.

We see in Bible history that generations would cycle in their obedience to God. Generations cycle. It's a fact. But why? I've noticed it in several areas. Read on.

What is it that forms the views on war that a generation holds? I know that current events and the culture around us play a role but a whole generation? Think about it... What made my grandparents' generation fight World War II on the lines and at home? What made the Vietnam generation protest as it did? What makes our generation feel so torn concerning the war that we are in right now? It is the same age group, same problem (war), and yet, very different reactions. Why?

At church, Jeff and I were having a brief discussion on church and views as our individual faiths grow. What molds each generation in their views on God and his word. While the foundations and scriptures do not change, what made one generations focus on his wrath and one on his grace? What made the one generation focus on the "book knowledge" of God and another on the relationship aspect of God? In most generations, there tends to be both but one prevails over the other. Again, same age group and same basis but different reactions.

What makes one generation of parents spank their children and another refrain from the same practice out of fear for their child's self-esteem?

What molds a generation?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Free Advertising

My friends, Jeff and Alissa, are definitely two of the strongest reasons I go to church at Southern Hills. Besides the fact that I can count on them holding me accountable for being there, they make me smile and laugh every time I see them. Jeff is the associate minister at the church as well as doing social work. Alissa is a mom and works part-time in the Hays District in a pre-school class. They are great friends, models of Christan faith, and wonderful parents. Both have blogs and are linked off to the side under my picture.

The reason that I bring it up is to not only brag on my fabulous friends but also to ask my Pleasanton family to check out Jeff's blogs. There is a HILARIOUS video that I know Jenn, Erin, and Jamie will laugh at for sure. More than that, I would be really interested in hearing what some of you have to say about his "Ideal Church" blogs. I would love to hear everyone's thoughts but especially Jackie and Dad. It's pretty thought provoking.

Anyway...check it out. It's very good stuff!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Addiction

I have been sucked in. I was given a nano for Christmas and am spending WAY too much time playing with iTunes. Seriously! It is official, I am addicted. I've heard about how great it is but now I cannot roll my eyes anymore. I'm one of those people. I drank the kool-aide. It was good...

One thing that I have really enjoyed is finding new artists. Some that you may want to check out are Foy Vance, Mindy Smith, and Kendall Payne. You may already know about them but if not, you should. My newest favorite is a girl named Erin Bode. Besides her fabulous name, she is AMAZING! She is kind of like Jane Monheit but she does really beautiful remakes as well. She redid Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time with a male backup. It may sound weird but WOW! It is SO lovely! Nothing 80's about it at all. If you can find it, take a listen. She's worth the time!

And Erin, I am finding some car dancing, dusting the living room music! Good times!

Have a great week!

Friday, January 05, 2007


One thing that I have realized since coming back from the break is that my apartment is VERY quiet. I can hear my neighbors from time to time but overall....very quiet! I was spoiled over the past two weeks by having someone to talk to. I don't mean only the huge, in depth conversations but also the little chatting conversations that tend to arise. It has been SO hard not to turn on the TV or radio just to fill the room with the presence of something (or someone) else. It's easy to take for granted the "Good morning! How did you sleep?" or "How was your day?" comments. The being still is good but very, very quiet. Don't be surprised if your phone rings. Just trying to fill the silence of home.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My Jenn

I am back in San Marcos after a MUCH needed break. I'm nowhere near ready to be back but the past two weeks have left me feeling loved. Many people made that happen but one that I am SO thankful for is my Jenn.

Everyone deserves a friend like Jennifer. She loves me unconditionally. She never leaves me in doubt of her opinion or feelings. She is brutally honest with me in the way that only a true friend can be. She laughs with me and cries with me all at the same time. She validates me and makes me question when need be. She slaps me upside the head when I need it most and then holds my hand through the pain. She holds me accountable and sets her standards high having full faith that, one day, I will meet them. She has a tender heart and a sweet spirit. I know that God smiles on her daily.