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.