Monday, December 31, 2007
This is such an awesome verse to cling to! Everything else around us changes. Jobs can change, relationships can change, situations in the world can change. But our Lord NEVER changes. We can always count on that. The great I AM, our loving and forgiving God stays the same always.
"And since it is the greatest and sweetest consolation for us that, although our wretched human nature because of sin has been torn away and alienated from God, who is life itself (Eph. 4:8, Is 49:8 ff.), yet His physical body, which is of the same substance with us, is most intimately joined and united with the divine nature in the person of the Son of God because of the hypostatic union, that in this way the restitution and reparation of it [our human nature] becomes surer and more certain, and thus we in turn are made participants of the divine nature in Christ (2 Peter 1:4), and thus also receive fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the holy Ghost. (1 John 1:3)...Paul in Col 2:9...states the foundation of all our comfort is the fact that the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily in Christ."
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I have been unfaithful
I have been unworthy
I have been unrighteous
And I have been unmerciful
I have been unreachable
I have been unteachable
I have been unwilling
And I have been undesirable
Sometimes, I have been unwise
I've been undone by what I'm unsure of
But because of you, and all that you went through
I know that I have never been unloved
I have been unbroken
I have been unmended
I have been uneasy
And I've been unapproachable
I've been unemotional
I've been unexceptional
I've been undecided
And I have been unqualified
Unaware, I have been unfair
I've been unfit for blessings from above
But even I can see the sacrifice you made for me
To show that I have never been unloved
This is one of my absolute favorite songs! It is a song that as many times as I've heard it can make me want to cry because it reminds me of my sinfulness and unworthiness, and of God's great love and sacrifice for me. That love is so amazing, and it blows me away when I hear this song and ponder that again.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Handel was so incredibly talented. I love listening to the Messiah. It is so powerful. It is awesome how Handel created this music to go with Scripture. Often when I read certain sections of Scripture, I hear the Messiah, for instance when I read sections of Revelation, I hear the "Hallelujah" chorus. In addition to "Hallelujah" other parts of the Messiah I really like are "And the Glory of the Lord Shall be Revealed," "For Unto Us," and "Glory to God."
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Secondary to that is enjoying time with family. We worship together and spend time talking and enjoying each other's company. And my family is big on gifts. I love giving gifts to people, finding something I know each person will like. My mom is very generous and I get my love of giving gifts from her. We maybe go a little overboard, but I don't think that's a bad thing because we know what the real meaning of Christmas is and celebrate that first and foremost. Then we have fun giving gifts to each other.
Christ the Savior is born! Alleluia!
Monday, December 24, 2007
The Shepherds and the Angels
15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." 16And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
21And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heav'nly hosts sing, Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.
Text: Franz Joseph Mohr, tr. John F. Young
Tune: Franz Xaver Gruber
Such a beautiful Christmas hymn, telling simply of the Savior born for us. It's awesome singing this hymn Christmas Eve by candlelight.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
"You'll shoot your eye out!"
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspires your heav'nly song?
Gloria in excelsis Deo;
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the newborn King.
Gloria in excelsis Deo;
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Text: French, translator James Chadwick
Tune: French; setting: Edward S. Barnes
I have always loved this Christmas hymn. I have great memories of singing this when a group from my home church would go caroling. My mom and I would do a descant thing on it, and it was cool. It's awesome to ponder these lyrics and think of how amazing that must have been seeing those angels fill the sky, and hearing the message they proclaimed!
I like cats that aren't standoffish, cats that are affectionate and will come sit in your lap or play with you. The cat in the top picture is my dear friends Cassie and Berto's cat named Snickers. Snickers always comes to me when I'm at Cassie and Berto's house and jumps up on my lap and lies there for awhile.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It is fun to create something. My favorite part is playing out scenes in my head. Wherever I am, I can have a little movie in my head whenever I feel like it, playing out scenes, fine tuning dialogue and so on. The physical writing or typing is difficult sometimes, especially because I am a perfectionist. And I love writing dialogue, but descriptions are challenging for me. Writing is pretty cool, and I hope I can press on with my novel. I already have ideas for other works too!
Monday, December 17, 2007
I think the first time I met Pastor Fred was when I was moving some stuff into my office at church. I think actually I was storing some things there till I got a place, and Pastor E. and my mom were helping haul some things. Pastor Fred had come up to church and ran into us and he said he was just in time to help and started carrying stuff in. I think I always remember that because as I've gotten to know him more in my years working at church, I've seen over and over again that that's just the kind of guy he is--glad to help, friendly etc. A few years ago, he got some chairs for my office and put them together which I appreciated so much--he knew it was something I had wanted and just went out and got them for me. His laid back, easy going personality is good for me to be around. Pastor Fred is a faithful shepherd to God's people, and a kind hearted person. Also, he has a great sense of humor!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
By Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Best Video Codes
I really dig this song musically. As far as the lyrics go...well, RHCP are interesting in that department. I don't always fully get or like their lyrics, but I will listen to certain songs over and over again because musically they're so good. I love in this song how the music keeps building throughout. The lyrics basically are about struggles with drug addiction. Something foreign to me, but it is interesting to get a glimpse into what that's like for someone. The lead singer of RHCP and others in the band have struggled with drugs. The video to this is very unique. "A cartoonish story line is juxtaposed upon the song; that of a young man's dream sequence. The band members appear dressed in black in unusual locations, with props intended to appear as surreal instruments. Throughout the video Anthony Kiedies with his short, platinum hair is seen in a castle tower. His stage persona is different and quite dark when compared to his more energetic performances in other videos. John Frusciante plays a rope down a long corridor as if a guitar, although reluctant wanting just to play his guitar normally. Flea is hanging on telephone wires and playing them as if they were a bass guitar, and Chad Smith is up on a tower with a rotating medieval clock that serves as his drum kit."
If the video isn't working properly, you can go here to listen to an audio clip:
Having to make that face to people in the hallway at work that implies "Hey."
Restaurants with indistinct figures, like a rooster and a chicken, indicating which restrooms are for men and which are women.
Finding a rusty AA battery, old packets of mild Taco Bell sauce, and a picture of your aunt and uncle tossing a Frisbee, as you frantically search your glove compartment for your registration while the state trooper grows impatient.
When a woman calls out "Thanks a million!" and waves as her car pulls away, and you realize you just gave her totally wrong directions.
When your thigh rubs against a leather chair, emitting a loud, ripping noise, and every time you rub your leg against it again, in an attempt to make the same noise to prove it wasn't a fart, it sounds nothing like the initial noise.
When the driver pushes the unlock button, but you pull the handle at the same moment, and you remain locked out.
When you've accidentally broken something in someone's home, and the host doesn't try to comfort you by saying, "Oh, it was already broken" or "It does that all the time."
When the person you are waving hello to doesn't see you waving, but then catches you awkwardly retracting the wave.
Stumbling over something in front of strangers and immediately having to decide between two options: (a) ignore your misstep and try to walk nonchalantly onward; or (b) look over your shoulder while making a slightly exaggerated look of annoyance at the thing that cause you to stumble, as if to imply, "They really ought to fix that!"
When an audience claps to a song out of rhythm.
When the person you're eating with aggressively wipes his mouth causing you to wonder if he's hinting that you have a glob of something dangling from the corner of your mouth.
People who stop telling a story "because it's too disgusting to tell during dinner," leaving you to try to envision what was so disgusting about it as you continue eating.
Waking up with your arm numb and thinking, This time it's paralyzed.
High fives that don't quite come off right.
The white thread your vacuum won't pick up no matter how many times you run over it.
When movie characters make out after sleeping all night and not brushing their teeth.
When you have to cancel plans because you're sick, but you don't sound sick.
When the person holding the camera can't locate the right button, forcing you to stand with a fake grin frozen on your face.
People who say "Let's grab some din-din."
Bending to pick up the subscription cards that fell out of the magazine you're holding.
That the most intense laughter you have usually comes at the least appropriate time.
Not listening when someone tells you her name as you're being introduced, causing you to obsess about whether her name will be repeated, leaving you unable to follow the conversation.
I love the name Immanuel which means "God with us." It is awesome to ponder God taking on flesh to dwell with us. And of course He is always with us.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Let earth receive her King;
Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room
And heav'n and nature sing, And heav'n and nature sing,
And heav'n and heav'n and nature sing
Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ,
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found,
Far as, Far as the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love, and wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders of His love.
Text: Isaac Watts
Tune: George Frideric Handel
Though I enjoy so many Christmas hymns and songs, this is one of my favorites. I have bought many different versions, arrangements etc. of this hymn. It truly is a joyful hymn causing us to ponder how awesome our God is and all He has done for us. True joy is ours because of Christ coming into the world to save us.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The Ewoks are characters that are featured prominently in Return of the Jedi. They inhabit the forest planet Endor where Han, Leia, and Luke come on their mission to destroy the shield generator of the Death Star. The Ewoks end up being heroes, fighting the Imperial troops and enabling Han, Leia, and the other Rebel forces to succeed. The Ewoks are so cute. I still have my Ewok action figures.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
The Hammer of God Section 3-On This Rock "A Heart of Stone and a Rock of Salvation" (Conscience)--Bo Giertz
"It becomes a matter of conscience."
"It means, then, that the conscience is the highest authority. No thank you! Then both you and I are lost. The conscience does indeed know quite a bit about the law, but it knows absolutely nothing about the promises of the gospel. Can the conscience tell you whether Jesus was crucified? Can it say whether He died for our sakes? Can it determine whether He rose again? Can it know that He is to return again to judge the world? These are the chief truths of the gospel, and no man would have the faintest idea of this, if we could not read it in the Word. Christianity must therefore cling to the Word to the end of the ages, or it must cease to be Christianity, since it would no longer have the gospel of Christ to proclaim."
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Torvik would certainly have made objection if Britta had not said something like that just the other day. Instead, he simply asked, "What, then, shall I do about it?"
"Read the Bible, of course."
"I read the Bible every day."
"I believe that. But how do you read?"
"You mustn't be so critical, Olle, of everything a poor fellow does. I try to read devotionally and for edification, so that I take to heart that which I feel is meant for me."
"Feel, feel! That is just what is wrong. Don't you believe the Bible is God's Word just as truly, no matter how you may feel? Don't you see, Brother, that this won't do? Here you are with your sore conscience and your awakening by the law, and you are as sensitive to every threat of the law as a sore tooth to ice water. But since the conscience is dead as clay toward all the gospel promises, you feel nothing when God's Word speaks about Jesus, who died for us sinners, and about the righteousness that comes from God and which one way believe in spite of every accusation of one's conscience. Because you make your feelings your barometer, you pass by the gospel and are held fast in the law. Look in your Bible and see if the passages you have especially marked are not just those that speak of what you shall do. But you have not given half the attention to that which tells what Christ has done through His atonement."
Torvik gave inward assent to that. It was true, completely true. but he said nothing.
"We are in the midst of Lent, Brother," said the rector. "Read God's Word now as God's Word, without skipping anything. Underline heavily everything about what our Savior has done for us. And if you like, write 'For me' in the margin. You need this yourself, and it is your duty to preach it to your congregation, as well."
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan-
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian's defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
It is so awesome to read prophecies in the Old Testament that point to Christ. Isaiah has a bunch of them. We would all remain in the darkness, under the oppression of sin, death, and the power of the devil, if it weren't for the Savior born for us. The Light shines in the darkness, and we rejoice! Prince of Peace is such an awesome name for Christ. It is only through Christ's death for us that we have true peace, a peace the world cannot give, a peace that transcends all understanding.