Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Where the Story Ends" The Fray

I stumbled across this song when I was listening to other music by the Fray. I am finding I like more and more songs by the Fray. I like this version of "Where the Story Ends" which has the piano as the only instrument played on it. The other version is good too, but this one for me evokes a lot of emotion and is very powerful. You can download it on iTunes.

Worry Quote--Michael J. Fox

(Answering a question about if he is embarrassed by his Parkinson's disease)

"I'm really free of worrying about what I look like, because it's out of my shaky hands. I don't control it. So why would I waste one second of my life worrying about it?"
--Michael J. Fox, actor and Parkinson's activist

When I was reading the Time magazine piece where Fox was responding to questions people had written to him, his response really made an impact on me, especially because of difficulties I am facing right now. He is so right--why waste one second worrying about things out of our control? It is the human nature to do so though and we all need to constantly remind ourselves of these words. And for me as a Christian, I need to be reminded it is God Who is in control of all things.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Daniel 3:16-18

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

I love this passage because Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego proclaim their strong trust in God. They are confident that God can save them. But they also accept whatever God's will is in the situation. Even if it means their death, they will continue to trust in God and serve Him only. God kept them strong in their faith. He will keep us strong in our faith too. Through His Word, and through His very body and blood, we are strengthened and can face anything, even death, for Him.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dance Dance Revolution Disney Grooves

Though I an not a good dancer, I love this Wii game. You use a mat with arrows, and have to hit the right steps with your feet and in addition move the remote and nunchuk for the correct hand movements. This Disney version of Dance Dance Revolution features various Disney songs/remixes including, "It's a Small Word," "The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room," "Cruella De Vil," "Hakuna Matata," "Spoonful of Sugar," and one on my favs, "Colonel Hathi's March." There are 40 songs total, many of which must be unlocked in the Groove Mode. You also open different stages, and outfits/Costumes for your Mii (Like a Mickey Mouse costume, Stitch costume, etc.). Since I am such a Disney lover, I thinks it's really cute and enjoy dancing (or my version of dancing anyway) to these songs. It can really be a good workout!

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Movie)

This is a powerful and intense film based on the book by John Boyne. The description from the IMDb website says, "Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences." It is very interesting to see this from a child's perspective. Bruno, not knowing what the concentration camps is, calls it a farm, wonders why the people there wear pajamas all the time, and wonders what they are burning that smells so horrid. The friendship between Bruno and Shmuel is very touching.

Though movies like this can be difficult to watch, I think it's really important to watch them because we must never forget how horrible the Holocaust was. The movie is very well done, and I definitely want to read the book.

Emma by Jane Austen

I really enjoyed this novel. Emma is a fascinating character. She likes to play matchmaker and is kind of a know it all. She then gets blindsided several times as she finds out people and their feelings were not as she supposed them to be. Jane Austen said of her character Emma, "I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will like much." Like her other novels, Emma is about romance, friendship, and family, and features some amusing characters.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bedtime Stories

This is a fun family film starring Adam Sandler who plays Skeeter, a handyman who ends up watching his niece and nephew for several days. Amazingly what happens in the bedtime stories he and the children tell at night (with Skeeter as the hero) seems to then occur in real life. Skeeter tries to use this to his advantage to secure the job of manager of the hotel his father told him would run someday. This movie is a lot of fun.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ezekiel 33:11

11 Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'

This verse speaks of Who our LORD is. He is love, desiring all to be saved.

"Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing"

Jesus, grant that balm and healing
In Your holy wounds I find.
Ev'ry hour that I am feeling
Pains of body and of mind.
Should some evil thought within
Tempt my treach'rous heart to sin,
Show the peril, and from sinning
Keep me from its first beginning.

Should some lust or sharp temptation
Fascinate my sinful mind,
Draw me to Your cross and passion,
And new courage I shall find.
Or should Satan press me hard,
Let me then be on my guard,
Saying, 'Christ for me was wounded.'
That the tempter flee confounded.

If the world my heart entices
With the broad and easy road,
With seductive, sinful vices,
Let me weigh the awful load
You were willing to endure.
Help me flee all thoughts impure
And to master each temptation,
Calm in prayer and meditation.

Ev'ry wound that pains or grieves me
By Your wounds, Lord, is made whole;
When I'm faint, Your cross revives me,
Granting new life to my soul.
Yes, Your comfort renders sweet
Ev'ry bitter cup I meet;
For Your all atoning passion
Has procured my soul's salvation.

O my God, my rock and tower,
Grant that in Your death I trust,
Knowing death has lost its power
Since You crushed it in the dust.
Savior, let Your agony
Ever help and comfort me;
When I die be my protection,
Light and life and resurrection.

Text: Johann Heermann
Tune: Johann Balthasar Konig

I don't remember singing this hymn in the past, but this Lent when I sang it in church, I was struck by these powerful words. It speaks of how we are assailed by the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh, but how in these times, we can cling to Christ and draw our strength from Him. I love the line, "Your cross revives me." In Christ, we are victorious and need not fear anything.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Romans 7:14-25

14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Paul speaks so honestly here of his struggle with sin, something we can all relate to. It's a struggle we have all our earthly life. Paul and all of us draw our comfort from the fact that Christ has rescued us. There was certainly nothing we could do to rescue ourselves. We rely solely on God's grace.

Taco Fresco

My friend Cassie told me awhile back I had to try Taco Fresco. This is a chain in the Chicago area, and I finally got to visit a location in the Chicago 'burbs. I was impressed! Great tasting food with very fresh ingredients. The burrito was great as was the enchilada and tamale. And I love how they have a salsa bar. You can select what salsas you want to put on your food. Can't wait to go back!

God Loves Life Quote--Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb

"God loves life from the moment of conception. How can we not? However, our love cannot stop there...Standing up for the value of human life must be more than being against abortion. It also means loving 'all of everybody.' It means being 'For Life' in all stages and conditions."
--Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb, Executive Director of Lutherans for Life

Monday, April 6, 2009

Family Christian Stores

This is definitely one of my favorite Christian bookstores. Most Family Christian stores I've been to have great music and book sections. There are also many wonderful gift items (pictures, plaques, crosses, etc.) I can easily spend a lot of money in this store!

"Go to Dark Gethsemane"

Go to dark Gethsemane,
All who feel the tempter's pow'r;
Your Redeemer's conflict see,
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn from Jesus Christ to pray.

Follow to the judgment hall,
View the Lord of life arraigned;
Oh, the wormwood and the gall!
Oh, the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suff'ring, shame, or loss;
Learn from Him to bear the cross.

Calv'ry's mournful mountian climb;
There, adoring at His feet,
Mark that miracle of time,
God's own sacrifice complete.
"It is finished!" hear Him cry;
Learn from Jesus Christ to die.

Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid His breathless clay;
All is solitude and gloom.
Who has taken Him away?
Christ is ris'n! He meets our eyes.
Savior, teach us so to rise.

Text: James Montgomery
Tune: Richard Redhead

This is probably my favorite Lenten hymn, or at least one of them. As I read the words, I picture in my mind what the Lord went through--the Garden, the trial, the cross. Then the last verse speaks of Christ's Resurrection, and we are reminded we too will rise. I've always loved the melody of this hymn.