Saturday, October 31, 2009

1984 by George Orwell

This book was fascinating and frightening, depicting government that has such complete control over people--citizens (who have no rights) are constantly reminded by posters all over that "Big Brother is Watching." Even in a person's own apartment, he is monitored by the government and can be punished for words, actions, even thoughts that would dare to contradict the ruling party. If new information or news contradicts anything the ruling party has said, history is rewritten so that there is no contradiction. The book focuses on a man living in this society named Winston Smith. Not a happy go lucky book by any means. But it is a book that draws you in and keeps you reading to see what happens to Winston. Fascinating and scary stuff.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

John 3:14-17

14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Gospel in a nutshell. Sweet, sweet words that bring us comfort, joy, and peace.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games

What an awesome Wii game. You can choose from various characters like Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, or the various Sonic characters and then do events like running, hurdles, fencing, high jump, archery, swimming, etc. The dream races are cool--it's like Mario Kart where you can get different items to use against your opponents. It's a fun game, and it's fun because it celebrates the Summer Olympics that took place in 2008.

Baptism Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics by David P. Scaer

This is an incredible theological work on Baptism. Topics include: Baptism as the remedy for original sin, the biblical origins of Baptism, the efficacy of Baptism, infant baptism, etc. The book beautifully conveys the significance of Baptism in a straightforward way.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cubs Clubhouse

I love going to this store and being surrounded by all Cubs stuff--lots of clothing and pretty much anything else imaginable with a Cubs logo on it. Another store that tempts me to spend money!! There are Cubs Clubhouse shops located at Water Tower place in Chicago and at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL.


It has been so cool to get to know Jamie (or JB as I call her) since she started working at Holy Cross. Jamie has a flair for the dramatic, so she is a good story teller. She makes me laugh often. When she does something she does it all the way--she is completely dedicated and committed to doing a good job. She is a blessing to have around!

Luke 19:10

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

Thank God because we were ALL lost.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tootsie Roll Pop

This delicious lollipop has a tootsie roll center with a hard candy coating around it. I like the tanginess of the candy coating. Raspberry and grape are my favorites. And who can forget the beloved tootsie roll pop commercials where the owl is asked "How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Music Quote--Martin Luther

"Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise."
--Martin Luther

Luther loved music. This quote from Luther, the great theologian is certainly high praise. He really saw that music could be an instrument of the Holy Spirit. Luther of course made a lot of musical contributions in writing powerful hymns like "A Mighty Fortress."

P.S. I Love You Score

I loved the movie P.S. I Love You, and as I watched the movie, I noticed how beautiful the music was. I was glad the score was available on CD. I could listen to this all the time! It is great music to write to or work to. John Powell is a talented composer. If I was making a movie, I would definitely want him to do the score!

Baptism Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics (p. 162 Faith and Baptism)--David P. Scaer

"While faith is necessary, it is not necessary in the sense that it has anything to offer, but only because it takes what is given in Baptism. Faith has no substantive meaning in itself, but its total value is given it by Christ, who is presented to the believer in Baptism."

Abundant Life Quote--Rev. Dr. Lames I. Lamb

"The abundant life doesn't necessarily mean a life of abundance."
--Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb

Lamb said this during his sermon in the opening worship of the 2009 Lutherans for Life Convention speaking of John 10:10 where Jesus says," I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." Being a Christian doesn't guarantee a life of health, wealth, and prosperity as some of the theology of glory preachers out there will try to convince people of. But being a Christian does mean God has given us everything we need. He's given us salvation, forgiveness, and the promise to be with us always, straightening, refreshing, and upholding us. In Christ we have the abundant life.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

P.S. I Love You

I LOVED this movie. It is about a woman who grieving after her husband's death, but is helped by letters he wrote and has arranged to send her at various times within the first year after his death. In the letters he guides her, gives her specific things to do that he believes will help her, and always affirms his great love for her. Though in one sense the movie is sad because this woman has lost her husband, her true love, it is just an incredibly beautiful depiction of what true love is which I find inspiring and powerful. There are also some humorous moments in the film as well. Lisa Kudrow and Harry Connick Jr. are great in their supporting roles. Beautiful music in the film too.

Luke 15:20-24

20So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.[a]'

22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

This is part of the parable of The Lost Son. The son has squandered his wealth, knows he's messed up and finally decides to come home. While he was still a long way off the father runs to him. The father is compassionate, loving and forgiving toward the son. As sinners we were a long way off. God had mercy on us and did all the work of restoring the broken relationship that came about because of sin by sending His Son to suffer and die for us. I love this parable because it presents such a wonderful picture of the loving, forgiving Father we have.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Baptism Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics (p. 49 More than a historic moment)--David P. Scaer

"Baptism is more than an historic moment in the believer's life: it is the reality in which he lives. The baptismal assurance that sins are forgiven is not the memory of a past act, but a description of the believer's current situation."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Olive Garden

This famous Italian restaurant has yummy salad, garlic breadsticks and pasta! Even though Olive Garden has done away with a couple items I used to really enjoy such as the Italian Nachos and Cannelloni, there is still plenty of great stuff to choose from. One fav is the Ravioli di Portobello (pictured above). Lasagna is also great. And the desserts, especially the Tiramisu are pretty incredible too!

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Picoult once again takes an issue and explores the gray area. This novel is about a teenage girl who had been conceived to be a donor for her sister who suffers from leukemia, and sues her parents for the right to make decisions about her body when she is expected to give her sister one of her kidneys.

Picoult really paints how one family member's illness has affected everyone in the family. The book is so engrossing and really gets the reader thinking about these complex issues.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Luke 12:32

32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom."

I just love the comfort this verse brings. So many things can make us afraid, but God lovingly reminds us He has given us everything, and we really have no reason to fear. I always hear the hymn "Have No Fear Little Flock" in my head when I read this verse.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Twilight Zone

This anthology series aired 1959-1964 had elements of science fiction, fantasy, and suspense. Sometimes the episodes dealt with fears people had; sometimes the episode was like a parable or fable in the message it conveyed. Years later, the show still has the ability to keep people fascinated.

Some interesting episodes include the one where a little boy terrifies people by his ability to make bad things happen to those he doesn't like, or the one where a couple steals a camera that takes pictures of things that occur five minutes in the future; or the one with the dying man who gives his annoying relatives masks to wear that show their true personalities. For me some episodes are definitely better than others, but there are plenty of great episodes. It seems the last several years the Sci-Fi channel has run Twilight Zone marathons on News Year's Eve/Day and Fourth of July Even/Day. Great for getting a nice big does of the supernatural.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baptism Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics (p. 15 Saint and Sinner)--David P. Scaer

"God's universal judgment of the world for sin and his corresponding universal verdict of justification are individualized for the believer in Baptism, in which rite he recognizes himself first as a sinner and then as among redeemed. He is buried and raised with Christ, and so he is both condemned and released. Baptism occurs once, but it provides the foundation for all of the Christian life and is coterminous with it. The baptized in the act of Baptism confesses himself as sinner, and in turn God acknowledges him as saint, simul justus et peccator."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Persuasion by Jane Austen

This was Jane Austen's last completed novel. I really enjoyed it--I think it's up there as one of my favs of Austen's work. It is about a young woman, Anne, who is overlooked by her family. Anne had fallen in love years before with a man who was deemed as not distinguished or wealthy enough by her family and close family friend. Because of their influence, she had broken off the engagement. Now years later, she is visiting with family and comes into contact with him again. It is really interesting to see how things play out and to see the interactions of various other characters in the book. Austen writes beautifully of true love.

"Over My Head (Cable Car)" The Fray

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I didn't really pay much attention to this song when it first came out, but recently as I started listening to the Fray more, I realized I really dug this song. It has a catchy melody, and was described by Billboard as, "a timeless pop-rock smash that soars with lightness and ease."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Treasury of Daily Prayer

What a valuable devotional resource for the Christian! The Treasury of Daily Prayer has for each day--Scripture readings, prayer, hymnody, etc. Lots to be fed with!

From the Introduction: "Treasury of Daily Prayer is designed to meet the needs of the Christian who wishes to follow a disciplined order of daily prayer centered in the Scriptures. It employs the rich resources of liturgy, hymnody, prayer, and writings from the Church Fathers and the Confessions. And it is designed so this period of devotion can be part of any schedule."

This has been a wonderful resource for me personally. It has helped me to take time to be in the Word and in prayer.

Mark 1:35-39

35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"

38Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." 39So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

This passage speaks of Jesus preaching the Good News, but it also speaks of something else significant--Jesus took time to be by Himself and pray. Jesus, true God and true man, made time to get away from it all and talk to His Father. We of course need to make sure we are doing this--getting away from the chaos and busyness of our lives to talk to God. We need to be intentional about carving out time to do this and finding a place that is conducive to being able to focus when we pray.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Coldstone Creamery

What an awesome ice cream place! Their signature creations are really good, often combining things I wouldn't have though to combine. Some of my favs include Mud Pie Mojo (Coffee Ice Cream, Oreo, Peanut Butter, Roasted Almonds and Fudge), and That's How I Roll (Cake Batter Ice Cream, Cinnamon, Yellow Cake, and Pecans). Of course you can create whatever combos you want--I recently did the Butterscotch pudding ice cream with Oreos and whipped cream. And their shakes are great too like the The Lotta Caramel Latte. I have to resist temptation to go here like all the time!

Unconquerable Gladness Quote--FDR's Motto

"Let Unconquerable Gladness Dwell."

--The motto Franklin Delano Roosevelt had posted in his office

I was recently reading an article that talked about how this was FDR's motto, and thought it was awesome. What a great thing to look at and remember. Obviously FDR had a hard job--tough decisions to make, criticisms and negativity he encountered. So I think it was pretty cool this was what he looked at as he led our nation.

For me as a Christian these words have deep meaning. Though Christians face great troubles and difficulties in this world, this is really our motto because of Christ. No matter what happens in life, because of the forgiveness and salvation Jesus won for us, we can say, "Let Unconquerable Gladness Dwell."

Bath and Body Works

Another dangerous store for me! I love the lotions, body washes, sprays, etc. that they have at Bath and Body Works. My favorite scents are Vanilla Bean Noel (available only at Christmas), Warm Vanilla Sugar, Rice Flower and Shea, Coconut Lime Verbena, (and really any of the coconut scents). I also dig the line they have that have products bearing names "Energy," "Stress Relief," and "Sleep." The Sleep products some of which are chamomile, and some lavender vanilla are supposed to relax you and help you get a good night's sleep. They even have a pillow mist which I have used and love. Lots of great stuff in this store.

Friday, July 3, 2009

"The Love You Save" The Jackson 5

Since Michael Jackson's death last week, I have been thinking of his music. Though I liked some of his solo stuff, I really dig The Jackson 5 stuff. "The Love You Save" for me, is right up there with "I Want You Back." Distinctive and fun melody, a lot of fun to listen to.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Matthew 11:28-30

28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Such comforting words from Jesus to us! We can rest easy in Him.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rainbow Cone

The Rainbow Cone is the signature dessert of Original Rainbow Cone, an ice cream place with several locations in the Chicago area. It consists of chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, and Palmer House (cherry flavored ice cream with chunks of cherry and walnuts), ice creams and orange sherbet. Original Rainbow Cone has a booth at the annual Taste of Chicago too, so that is a great place to try the Rainbow Cone. Incredibly yummy!

Jewel Quest Mysteries Curse of the Emerald Tear

This is a great hidden object game for the computer--the scenes are beautiful. And there are puzzles plus jewel quest games at different points. It's a lot of fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Zechariah 3:1-5

Clean Garments for the High Priest
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"

3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you."

5 Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.

I love reading this because it brings to mind how we were all in filthy rags, but God has been merciful to us, and we are clothed in Christ's righteousness.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I had heard a lot about Twilight and know some people who were very into it, but I honestly thought I wouldn't really be into it--reading about vampires isn't really my thing. But then I found I wanted to read it since there was so much hype about it--I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. My friend Melissa gave me Twilight, and I found I really enjoyed it. It is about Bella Swan, a high school girl who moves to Forks, Washington and ends up falling in love with a vampire. The romance is cool, and the characters (including the vampires) are fascinating. I am reading the other three books in the series too. Something I think is really cool about the whole Twilight phenomenon is that it has gotten so many young people excited about reading.


This was a great cop drama. It was a great show because it didn't just focus on trying to catch bad guys (although is was cool watching the investigative work), but it also really focused on the character's personal lives--their relationships, their struggles, the challenge of trying to balance "the job" with family. And through the years, as new characters were added, those characters were just as engaging as characters in previous seasons who had left. Andy Sipowicz is an especially interesting character--kind of gruff and sometimes offensive, but really a teddy bear on the inside who struggles with insecurities. Brilliant show.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I had heard a lot about this movie and was glad to finally see it. I was deeply moved by the film. It shows a young married couple who is struggling and seems to be on the brink of divorce. The husband, a fire captain, lives at work by the motto, "Never leave your partner behind," but at home finds it hard to care for the woman he once loved. His father then challenges him to read and follow a book called "The Love Dare," that gives a challenge for each day (for example, the first one is to not say anything negative to your spouse). The father also speaks to his son about Jesus Christ and His great love. This ends up transforming his son, and ultimately the struggling marriage. I think this movie can really have a positive impact on marriages.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

This is a fascinating, thought provoking novel by Jodi Picoult about a woman who works in search and rescue who discovers she was kidnapped by her father when she was a child. As in other Picoult books, the story is told from different character's viewpoints, the chapters alternating in different characters' voices. This is an effective technique as it brings out different sides of the situation. This was a suspenseful book, waiting to find out more pieces of information regarding what happened and why characters made the choices they did.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.

When I read this passage, I think about the distinction between happiness and joy. Happiness is a mere feeling and is a fleeting thing. One minute I can be happy, and then in the next minute something can happen to take that feeling away. As circumstances in our lives change or things become difficult, the feeling of happiness can leave us. But joy, the joy we have as Christians, is something much deeper. The joy in knowing what Christ has done for us, that we are saved by grace is something that remains even though everything else in our lives may change and we may be faced with some difficult trials. We can always rejoice in our Savior.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rock Band 2

I love music, but don't really have any musical talent. So I was pretty excited about Rock Band. I can at least pretend to be a musician, playing guitar or drums or singing songs. My fav is definitely playing the drums. Yes, I'm unleashing my inner rocker. Lots of fun!

"Dream On" Aerosmith

This song, sometimes described as "a blues-influenced power ballad," was on Aerosmith's debut album, and has appeared on several of their greatest hits albums. I love this song, especially how the music builds and the song gets more intense as it goes on.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Stone Hill Concord

This is a delicious sweet red wine. Stone Hill Winery is located in Missouri and has lots of fabulous wines such as this one.