Thursday, January 31, 2008

John 16:33

33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

I love this passage because Jesus is so honest--we will have trouble. So many today try to say that a Christian can have this happy, problem free life if they have enough faith. But Jesus is straight in saying Christians do have trouble. We face trials and suffering and pain. We can expect that. But there is great comfort from Jesus here too. He has overcome the world. He has defeated the powers of evil in this world, and as believers in Christ, that victory is ours too. So that is why we can have peace as we live our daily lives in this troubled world. Though everything around us may be chaotic, scary, overwhelming, etc, we have peace in Christ.

Lotawata Creek

Lotawata has a fabulous menu. However, I love the quesadillas so much, I usually always end up getting those. I think they are the best quesadillas you can get in a restaurant. Their cheese fries are great too! I need to try some sandwiches there. Great place, and very generous portions.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"I Want You Back" The Jackson 5

This is such a fun song, and one of my favorite Jackson 5 songs, and probably one of my favorite Motown songs in general. Whenever I hear this, I can't help but start moving and singing along to this song.

Large Catechism, Third Commandment--Martin Luther

"God's Word is the sanctuary above all sanctuaries. Yes, it is the only one we Christians know and have. Though we had the bones of all the saints or all holy and consecrated garments upon a heap, still that would not help us at all. All that stuff is a dead thing that can sanctify no one. But God's Word is the treasure that sanctifies everything (1 Timothy 4:5). By the Word even all the saints themselves were sanctified (1 Corinthians 6:11). Whenever God's Word is taught, preached, heard, read, or mediated upon, then the person, day, and work are sanctified. This is not because of the outward work, but because of the Word, which makes saints of us all. Therefore, I constantly say that all our life and work must be guided by God's Word, if it is to be God-pleasing or holy. Where this is done, this commandment is in force and being fulfilled."

Monday, January 28, 2008


This 1965 movie is very Hitchcock like. Gregory Peck plays David Stillwell, a guy who realizes he has amnesia. People are coming after him, and he is trying to piece together what is going on. I saw this movie years ago, and for some reason it always fascinated me. I have this movie--taped when it was on TV once. But I really wish it would come out on DVD some day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Avocado of course is the main ingredient in guacamole. Adding tomato, onion, and maybe some cilantro and peppers is good. But a key to really good guacamole is lime juice. I can make some decent guacamole. And Casa Gallardo makes an outstanding table side guacamole. Oh, and Trader Joe's sells a great Guaca-Salsa!

Cops and Robbersons

This is a really cute and funny movie. Chevy Chase's character Norman loves cop shows. Jack Palance's character is a cop, and he and his partner come and stay with Norman and his family so they can stake out the house next door. Chase plays a well-intentioned but bungling character and there are all sorts of amusing moments. Favorite scenes include when the rest of the family realizes the cops are staying there (Norman didn't tell them ahead of time, and the family awakes to find these strangers in the house), and in the end, there is a great scene with Dianne Wiest, the wife and mother in the movie, where she gets ahold of the gun and aims it at the bad guy, and he goads her saying, "Come on Mommy, you shoot," and the way she responds to him and handles herself is so funny.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Large Catechism Longer Preface--Martin Luther

I love how Luther speaks here of the importance of continuing to study and learn from the catechism.

"But for myself I say this: I am also a doctor and preacher; yes, as learned and experienced as all the people who have such assumptions and contentment. Yet I act as a child who is being taught the catechism. Every morning--and whenever I have time--I read and say, word for word, the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Psalms, and such. I must still read and study them daily. Yet I cannot master the catechsim as I wish. But I must remain a child and pupil of the catechism, and am glad to remain so.

...the Holy Spirit is present in such reading, repetition, and meditation. He bestows ever new and more light and devoutness. In this way the catechism is daily loved and appreciated better, as Christ promises in Matthew 18:20, 'For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them.'

Besides, catechism study is a most effective help against the devil, the world, the flesh, and all evil thoughts. It helps to be occupied with God's Word, to speak it, and meditate on it, just as the first Psalm declares people blessed who meditate on God's Law day and night (Psalm 1:2). Certianly you will not release a stronger incense or other repellant agsint the devil than to be engaged by God's commandments and words, and speak, sing, or think them (Colossians 3:16). For this is indeed the true 'holy water' and 'holy sign' from which the devil runs and by which he may be driven away (James 4:7)."

Psalm 139

Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1 O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,"12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22 I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

23Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

God created each person's inmost being. He knit each person together in his or her mother's womb. Each child even before he or her is born, is known by and precious to God. It is especially fitting to think of this Psalm as we celebrated Life Sunday this past Sunday.

And what a comforting thought to know that the LORD does know us so completely and loves us despite all our sin and weakness. We cannot flee from the LORD; He is everywhere. God is awesome!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

White Deer

Living in the Midwest, seeing a deer becomes pretty common. The house I grew up in has a forest preserve right behind it, so often I could look out our huge windows and see 15 deer at one time out in the backyard. Other people who came over might have been fascinated, but I just got tired of cleaning up the mess out back if I wanted to play badminton or something! But recently my dad told me that he saw a white deer. I thought he meant it was just a lighter shade. But then I saw it--it is really white--like blend in with the snow white. And I was fascinated. I had never seen a white deer before and I found it to be beautiful and kind of weird at the same time. The one time when I was visiting my dad, I saw the white deer but was unable to snap a pic before it took off. But this past time visiting, I saw it and grabbed for my camera and snapped a couple pics. The white deer is cool!

Monday, January 21, 2008

White Cocoa

White Cocoa is so good. Sweet and soothing. Caribou Coffee has a good White Cocoa and Kaldi's in St. Louis also has a good one.


Quesadilla--tortilla with cheese melted inside. Such a simple concept, but so delicious. I like lots of stuff in a quesadilla. My mom makes the best ones and puts cheese, bacon, onion, cilantro, and tomato in them. Then it's topped with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. Second to my mom's quesadillas are the ones at Lotawata Creek, a restaurant in the area. Those are pretty yummy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

American Idol

I love music so I guess it's surprising I didn't get into this show longer ago. But really last season was the first one I watched straight through. I like watching the whole progression--the auditions which can be pretty funny, and then the whittling down of all these people till finally the best (or at least the person those who vote think is best) is left. I like hearing the various songs performed, and seeing the celebrities that help coach the contestants. And there's something exciting about seeing some of these people who will probably go really far get started. Idol is music, it's fun, and it's something mindless to watch at the end of the day which is often exactly what I need. I enjoy it. My favorite Idol contestant thus far--probably Melinda Doolittle from last season. In addition to having an AMAZING voice, she was down to earth, sweet and sincere, and seemed to live her faith.


Rainbows are beautiful. But in addition to a rainbow being this beautiful thing God made, it is meant to be a reminder. Genesis 9:13-17 says:

13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
17 So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."

The rainbow is an awesome reminder of God's promises to His people.

The Two Natures in Christ "Teaching the Doctrine of the Hypostatic Union" (Descending to Humble State)--Martin Chemnitz

"...for it is an article of faith that Mary did not beget a man in whom God dwelt in the way that Elizabeth bore John the Baptist, in whom the Spirit of God dwelt. Rather she bore the only Son of God by receiving His flesh, as Augustine says, 'He was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary who for this reason and in this sense is correctly called the God-bearer.' If reverently considered, this act produces the most comforting thoughts. For the Son of God embraced the human race with such great love that He did not shrink from descending to such a humble state that He not only did not assume a man who was already formed and born, but rather united to Himself personally an individual human body in the very moment of conception and made it His own. Thus the Son of God in assuming His own flesh, but without sin, also endured those things which commonly befall man in conception, pregnancy, and birth (as the fathers of the Council of Ephesus said), so that from His very beginning, rise, and as it were, root, He might first restore in Himself our depraved nature and so cleanse and sanctify our contaminated conception and birth that we might know that Christ's salvation applies even to man's fetus in conception, gestation, and birth."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This is such an great scent. I love drinking coffee, and I love too just walking into a room where there is coffee and breathing in that awesome aroma. Mmmmm. I think even people who don't enjoy drinking coffee enjoy the smell of it.

The Born Loser (1/15/08)

The Two Natures in Christ "Teaching the Doctrine of the Hypostatic Union"--Martin Chemnitz

"In the Logos or the divine nature was life (John 1:4). He is the very fount of life (Ps. 36:9). Because of sin the road to the tree of life was obstructed for us (Gen. 3:24). We were alienated from the life of God (Eph. 2:12), for our sin separated us from God (Is. 59:2). Therefore, Christ our Mediator in the incarnation so united His divine nature with the human that He placed the whole fullness of the Godhead as a treasure into the human nature which He assumed. And He did this in order that the grace, truth, life, and salvation from which we had been alienated might be brought near to us and bestowed upon this human nature of ours, which the Son of God assumed; and that from this nature, which is akin to us and of one substance with us, these things might be given to us, and thus we might receive from His fullness grace for grace (John 1:16). This is what Paul means when he says: 'The whole fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Christ [Col. 2:9]. Therefore, we must not think in a cold or irreverent manner about the hypostatic union of the divine and human natures in Christ, as of two boards or two stones which have had their edges glued together."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Coat of Many Colors, Lord of All by Thomas Blackshear II

This is such an awesome painting, reminding us Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of the nations. He came for ALL people.

Blackshear says this of his painting:
"According to the Word of God, Jesus was born into the Jewish race. Jesus Christ is now the Risen Lord. We can have no concept of how He actually looks; therefore, I have not clearly indicated His features in Coat of Many Colors, Lord of All. Because He is Lord, He represents all the people of the world. On His coat are flags of the nations and fabrics of the cultures of the world. All the colors of the coat represent the sin that He took on Himself on our behalf. The white robe under the coat represents His pureness, His being totally without sin. The golden sash is referred to in Scripture as being worn by royalty. He is truly Lord of All!"

Genesis 16:13

13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me."

When I read Genesis, this verse always stands out to me. Hagar, pregnant with Abraham's child, has fled Sarai because Sarai was mistreating her. But she can't flee God. He speaks to her and gives her a promise. Hagar then names the LORD, and I just think it's a cool name, "You are the God Who sees me." God does always see us. There is no place we can go to flee from Him. God sees us--sees us when we're experiencing all our joys and when we're experiencing pain and sorrow. He sees, He loves, He forgives, and He reminds us of His many promises to us. He sees the real us, He sees the stuff we want to hide from everyone. And He keeps on loving us.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Arlington Road

This is a suspenseful movie dealing with terrorism. Jeff Bridges character, Michael, begins to suspect his neighbor Oliver, played by Tim Robbins, is a terrorist. And because of what has happened to Michael's wife and his obsession with terrorism, it seems at first he may just be paranoid. This movie is shot really well, and honestly is a bit disturbing because these issues are so real.


This is a show I really enjoy. I think it's incredibly funny. And it's about friendship so of course I dig it! I think this show did a good job of developing the characters throughout its run and showing the growth of relationships. Monica and Chandler's relationship which led to marriage was pretty cool. I think Monica is my favorite character--she is very competitive and has to have things a certain way. I can relate (although maybe I don't relate so much to the obsessive cleaning!). I have all 10 seasons on DVD and watch the show regularly. A few favorite episodes include "The One with All the Resolutions" where Ross wears leather pants and has issues with them while on a date, "The One with Ross' Tan," "The One Where Joey Speaks French," "The One with Rachel's Other Sister," and pretty much any of the Thanksgiving episodes and episodes where there are flashbacks of the gang when they were younger.

Monkeys and Chimps

Monkeys and Chimps are my favorite animals to see at the zoo and some of my favorite animals overall. They are entertaining and interesting to watch. And I find them cute. Awesome creatures!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Lindt Lindor Truffles

These are awesome chocolates. That smooth, melty center is incredible. I like the white chocolate ones, the dark chocolate, the peanut butter. Yeah, pretty much I like all the varieties.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Orange Mocha Latte

This has been my favorite drink to get at Starbucks lately. Espresso with chocolate and orange flavors. Chocolate and orange are just so good together. Very delicious!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I have always loved to take pictures, and scrapbooking is a really fun way of creating a book of memories. I have done a few scrapbooking type projects for friends, but my biggest project has been scrapbooking the trip to DisneyWorld that my mom and I took in 2006. I took over 500 pictures, and my mom took quite a few pictures too. And with Disney, there are so many special Disney papers, stickers, etc., it is really a lot of fun. I am almost done with my second scrapbook of that trip, and will probably do a couple more scrapbooks of that trip. I do not really consider myself a crafty, artsy person, but scrapbooking is a way I can be creative, and I really enjoy laying everything out and later looking back on completed pages.


I love cheese--all kinds including American, Swiss, Cheddar, Muenster, Edam, Blue, Gorgonzola, etc. I like cheese by itself (or with crackers), and also like it on burgers, sandwiches and so on. One of my favorite cheeses now is Gjetost, a Norwegian cheese ("nuts, caramel, and a hint of sweet"). Good stuff. My grandma didn't like cheese, and I never understood that. How can you not like cheese??

Hebrews 13:5 content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

It seems people are always promising something. Politicians make promises to us. Ads make promises to us that if we use this or that product, we will be a better person. We find out pretty quickly that these are often empty promises. We see too how people in our lives promise us things and don't always deliver. And we too promise things to ourselves and others that we don't carry through with. Sometimes it seems like a promise doesn't mean anything. But when it is our Lord who makes the promise, it is different; we know we can trust His promises. He always delivers! In the difficulties of life when we are looking for something to cling to, we only need look in Scripture to see the many promises God has made to us. I find this promise in Hebrews so comforting. God will never forsake His children! Though other people may forsake us or leave us, God never will. We can always hold on to that.

Monday, January 7, 2008

"O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright"

O Morning Star, how fair and bright!
You shine with God's own truth and light,
Aglow with grace and mercy!
Of Jacob's race, King David's son,
Our Lord and master, You have won
Our hearts to serve You only!
Lowly, holy,
Great and glorious, All victorious, Rich in blessing!
Rule and might o'er all possessing!

Come, heav'nly Bridegroom, Light divine,
And deep within our hearts now shine;
There light a flame undying!
In Your one body let us be
As living branches of a tree,
Your life our lives supplying.
Now, though daily
Earth's deep sadness May perplex us and distress us,
Yet with heav'nly joy You bless us.

Lord, when You look on us in love,
At once there falls from God above
A ray of purest pleasure.
Your Word and Spirit, flesh and blood
Refresh our souls with heav'nly food.
You are our dearest treasure!
Let Your mercy
Warm and cheer us! O draw near us! For You teach us
God's own love through You has reached us.

Almighty Father, in Your Son
You loved us when not yet begun
Was this old earth's foundation!
Your Son has ransomed us in love
To live in Him here and above:
This is Your great salvation.
Christ the living, To us giving Life forever,
Keeps us Yours and fails us never!

O let the harps break forth in sound!
Our joy be all with music crowned,
Our voices gladly blending!
For Christ goes with us all the way--
Today, tomorrow, ev'ry day!
His love is never ending!
Sing out! Ring out!
Jubilation! Exultation! Tell the story!
Great is He, the King of Glory!

What joy to know, when life is past,
The Lord we love is first and last,
The end and the beginning!
He will one day, oh, glorious grace,
Transport us to that happy place
Beyond all tears and sinning!
Amen! Amen!
Come, Lord Jesus! Crown of gladness! We are yearning
For the day of Your returning!

Text and Tune: Philipp Nicolai

This hymn has been a comforting one to me for quite some time. And I was reminded again Sunday when we sang this how much comfort this hymn gives us. Last week I found out a friend and coworker of mine was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I have thought a lot about my friend, and this has weighed heavy on my heart as it has for the rest of the staff, and especially for her and her family. So singing verse 2 about how earth's deep sadness perplexes us and distresses us really hit home. But that verse ends with, "Yet with heav'nly joy You bless us." With Christ there is always hope; with Christ we always have something or I should rather say Someone to cling to in our sadness. Verse 5 has always been my favorite, especially the part that says, "For Christ goes with us all the way--Today, tomorrow, ev'ry day! His love is never ending!" That right there is everything we need. We live in a fallen world and see the effects of sin all over the place. Sometimes those effects really hit us especially hard and we experience much pain and sadness, but Christ is with us--ALL THE WAY, ALWAYS. That brings such joy and peace to my heart. His love is never ending; and we have so much to look forward to when we are transported to heaven, the happy place beyond all tears and sinning. That's what we cling to in this fallen world.


I love it when guys wear Drakkar. It is definitely my favorite cologne for a guy. I remember one time back when I was still going to Columbia and commuted by train, there was some guy on Michigan Ave. wearing this and I walked as close to him as I could without being stalker like so I could smell that awesome cologne. Don't worry, it isn't something I do often (sniff random guys).

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Secret Window

This is a great psychological thriller based on a novella by Stephen King. It is very suspenseful leaving you to wonder what is really going on. Johnny Depp does an excellent job portraying the main character, Mort, a writer whose wife cheats on him and then wants to divorce him.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Twizzlers (Strawberry)

I despise black licorice, but absolutely love Twizzlers strawberry licorice. Twizzlers are so tasty and extremely addicting! This is probably my favorite non-chocolate candy.


This is an awesome play that tells the story of the early years of the witches of Oz and the events that happened that led to how they ended up the way they did. I thought it was very creative and funny and touching in parts too. It really makes a point about people and things not always being what they seem, and how people can make judgments and jump to wrong conclusions based on only half truths (or in some cases on flat out lies). The music was really good. It makes me want to watch The Wizard of Oz again, and I don't think I'll view that movie in quite the same way. Really glad I got to see this after hearing a bunch of people rave about it!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Two Natures in Christ "The Human Nature in Christ" (Holy Supper)--Martin Chemnitz

"Moreover, in His Holy Supper He joins Himself to us in that flesh, so that we may be strengthened by this most certain pledge of the salvation and glorification of our nature; for He does not blush to call us brothers. Therefore, because we are such, He also joins Himself to us in that flesh and blood (Heb. 2:14). Flesh brought death into this world and, again the flesh of the Son of Man was given for the life of the world in order that he who eats the flesh of Christ may have eternal life (John 6:54)."

Betty (1/2/08)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

I think I'd say this is my favorite of the National Lampoon Vacation movies, and this is definitely one of my favorite Christmas movies. Once again Chevy Chase's character, Clark Griswald, is well meaning, but goes overboard as he hosts a fun old-fashioned family Christmas. From all the lights on the house that cause the electric meter to spin around rapidly, to uncouth Cousin Eddie and his family unexpectedly showing up, to the squirrel who gets in the house and freaks everyone out, to Cousin Eddie kidnapping Clark's boss and delivering him to Clark with a big bow, this movie has so many funny moments. I laugh every time I see it!

The Two Natures in Christ "The Human Nature in Christ"--Martin Chemnitz

"And it is the sweetest comfort that sin, which made its habitation in human flesh, was condemned in the same human flesh, in the person of Christ. Our body is the body of death, but in that same body of ours which the Son of God assumed from us, death was again destroyed. Although our sins have separated us very far from God (Is. 59:2), so that we have been alienated from the grace, righteousness, and life of God (Eph. 2:12), yet the Son of God has brought very close to us those heavenly blessings which had been removed far from us (Eph. 2:13-19), laying them before us through His incarnation in the flesh which is of the same substance with out own, so that of His fullness we have received grace for grace (John 1:16). This is the most comforting and salutary exchange, that the Son of God has received from us a human nature and sanctified and blessed and exalted and glorified it in his own person."