Saturday, December 16

Lessons learned from Hallmark

  • Good always triumphs over evil
  • Bad guys smoke (usually cigars, but sometimes cigarettes)
  • The daughter of the bad guy will inevitably be used to frame the naive, attractive son/brother of the protagonist.
  • The protagonist will win, and the antagonist will admit he needs God.
  • The conflict will be resolved in 15 minutes
  • Bad guys always have an evil chuckle and use words like, "Sonny"
  • OH! But the daughter will return and cry and the Bad Guy will be hurt and surprised!
  • Young love conquers all
  • The Friend/Friend's Wife will go into labor within the last 5 minutes (Happy Addition)

Monday, December 11


Here are "my" results

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
North Central
The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

But I embarrassingly have to admit that I took in really fast last night (and I KNOW that's why) and I came out...


NOooooo, oh, the horror!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: North Central

"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.

The West
The Midland
The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Wednesday, December 6


Dennis Miller: So I see that Hilary has thrown her hat into the presidential ring for 2008.
Jay Leno: Yep
DM: Some People like her. I don't know. I read her book - I got to the part where she says she didn't know Bill ran around on her. Alright. Then I'm pretty sure you're not smart enough to be my president!
Because that was a Macy's-parade-balloon-sized tea leaf you couldn't read there!

Thursday, November 30

New Blog

I've started an additional Blog - My Movie Blog ( I still haven't decided whether I should just merge it under Soul's Expression, and label the reviews, or if I should keep it as a seperate blog. I'll make that decision as time goes by.

Check out my new review of Casino Royale, which LSG, GPB, BLB, LSG's doubles tennis partner, and I viewed on Black Friday.

Hopefully the short comment format is helpful (vs. an overview of the plot, blah blah blah, which you can check out on various websites and in newspapers)

Wednesday, November 29

With Or Without You. But mostly "With."

Another Bono moment. Again, this man is NOT a fundy American Christian. I'll post a quote from him later on.

And yes, I'm just the littlest bit jealous of the girl.

{Napoleon: "Luckkeey!"}

Tuesday, November 28

Thanks, ItsaJoy!

Andrea, I'm stating for the record: your fiance rocks! Thanks for the countdown code. :)

Sunday, November 26

I'm a

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader

Book Snob

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Monday, November 20

It's not you, it's me

I hate Monday mornings. Today's was especially atrocious. This morning was the kind that makes you feel that washing your face is a feat of humanity that ought to be submitted for the Nobel Prize in Physics.

There was no alcohol involved, no late night last night. Just the Run-of-the-Mill-More-Difficult-Than-usual Monday morning.

And when these days come, I hide in my gopher cubicle. I do Database work. I copy and Paste things. I do as little logical thinking as possible. Talking makes my head hurt, and blood runs from my ears. Please don't talk.

I'm sure I offended a few people with my less than enthusiastic monotone replies to weekend questions. BUT, I could truthfully say, It's not you, it's me.

Sunday, November 19

"Never wear mauve to a ball." "Or Pink." "Or open your mouth."

We pulled out a movie we hadn't watched in almost a decade: Into the Woods.

The title of the post are quotes from Cinderella's stepsisters and stepmother

Saturday, November 18

I have no idea what a dosha is

Your Dosha is Pitta

You have a quick mind, a gift for persuasion, and a sharp sense of humor.
You have both the drive and people skills to be a very successful leader.
Argumentative and a bit stubborn, you have been known to be a little too set in your ways.
But while you may be biased toward your own point of view, you are always honest, fair, and ethical.

With friends: You are outgoing and open to anyone who might want to talk to you

In love: You are picky but passionate

To achieve more balance: Be less judgmental of those around you, and take cool walks in the moonlight.

Bono Saturday

Amanda loaned me her copy of "Bono," the set of interviews he did. I've been a little preoccupied, looking up U2 trivia and videos since then. So, for your listening pleasure, here's U2's tribute to the victims of 9/11 in 2001.

U2 and Dave Stewart perform Walk On for the America: A Tribute to Heroes concert in the days following Sept 11th.

Tuesday, November 14

Dear goodness that's cute!

Last night, I should have gone down to Job#2 and picked up boxes to pack some of my stuff away.

Instead, I checked out the 2006 Bloggies for new and interesting blogs. Like most other blog lists, you've got to wade through the blech blogs to find the funny and good ones.

The two new ones I've found are Waiter Rant (rated PG--16) and Cute Overload. Now, in thinking about a blog called Cute Overload, you'd expect that you'd be sickened at the cuteness factor, but you'd be surprised at how addictive it is.

And then Manolo, (whose blog could EASILY win the best blog award based on humor alone) posts this really great picture, combining the cuteness factor and the shoe factor.

AND they named him Elvis. Gotta love it.

Monday, November 13

Mission Impossible III, in which

Tom Cruise wears way too much pink lipstick.

Even Phillip Seymour Hoffman looks more manly.

Rated R

for "Frenetic Violence and Menace."

"Really, did they mean to write that? 'Ooh, that was menacing.'"

From one of my favorite "Theologians"

You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff.


Wednesday, November 8

hoh my gosh!!

I just pulled a Desmond! I honestly blogged "nail in the coffin" before Ben said it!

AND I was going to say that "It surprised me too. If I were a betting man I would have thought she'd choose you," was the best BenSnark of the night.

Ooohhh, Dark Jack comes out to play. Kate screws Sawyer, Jack's got all the power. Maybe TLPTB aren't as obvious as I thought two seconds ago.

(and, yeah, I know that Andrea and Amanda are going to be the only ones interested in these posts.)

Nail in the Coffin (Live Blogging Lost)

Well, Sawyer and Kate just ... you know.

So, I guess that means that Jack will fall in love with Juliet.

Stupid Kate. Is that that the sound of a shark jumping?

Tuesday, November 7

It's the most wonderful time of the year

....for the main stream media.

Last night we were muting the political commercials (ok, we were muting all of the commercials) but it was said that "well, at least we won't have to watch/listen to the commercials anymore" and "I hope there are some good movies on tomorrow."

Someone at the dinner table looked at surprise at the one who said the movie comment, and the response was, "Well, I'm going to vote for him, I just don't need to listen to the play by play." (Especially not from whiny Brian Williams, say I!)

This is the most WONDERFUL night of the year, the MSM think. You can feel the giddiness. It's the equivalent to Christmas, almost. Or maybe it's the holiday that kicks off the holiday season. It's where they genuflect.

It's where I genuflected for a year, too.

November 5th, 2002. The day I remembered I was a Christian first and a republican second. And maybe even "A republican 34th." That politics are a good way to be bitter and angry. That politics are all about "in-your-face," "justice" and never about grace. A big fat popularity race.

bleh. I used to live and breath these things, and I'll tune in toward the end to see what the returns are like, and I'll hope that John Tester loses.

My blood pressure still rises at times, but, I really hope that I'll act the way I want to be viewed: remembering that there are WAAAYYY more important things in life, like a sister's bridal shower, a brother who's growing SO much in the Lord, and a Mom and Dad that are still faithful to each other, through the hard times. That God speaks quietly but consistently.

And that Prayer, not a fat print-media budget, has more power to determine the end of the political game.

Proverbs 21:1 - "The king's heart is in the hand of
the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes."

Quote for Tuesday Election Day

...What is even more of a mystery is why they [the 2004 exit polls] all erred in the same direction, dramatically favoring the Democrat. I’ve offered theories in the past why this is so, and I’ll briefly summarize them for those with better things to do this fine Saturday than thumb through my archives: Liberals are bigmouths who can’t wait to share their opinions with strangers. Conservatives have lives.

Dean Barnett

Hat Tip: The Banty Rooster

Thursday, November 2

I'm both, I guess

You Are 45% Left Brained, 55% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Wednesday, November 1

American Troops Respond

To John Kerry. Click through to Reformed Chicks Blabbing - you'll get the best laugh of the day!

Tuesday, October 31

"He" is Christ -- and an announcement

Far From The Home I Love
How can I hope to make you understand
Why I do what I do,
Why I must travel to a distant land,
Far from the home I love.
Once I was happily content to be
As I was, where I was,
Close to the people who are close to me,
Here in the home I love.
Who could see that a man could come
Who would change the shape of my dreams.
Helpless now I stand with him,
Watching older dreams grow dim.
Oh, what a melancholy choice this is,
Wanting home, wanting him,
Closing my heart to ev'ry hope but his,
Leaving the home I love,
There where my heart has settled long ago
I must go, I must go, I must go,
Who could imagine I'd be wand'ring so
Far from the home I love
Yet there with my love, I'm home.

Fiddler on the Roof

As we watched "Fiddler" last weekend, this song came on -- and it really describes my situation well. The "Man" isn't any human man, though. For me this song is SO accurate, if you know the refernce of 'him' is Christ. (and "distant land" being Missouri).

I've applied to Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, and I've been accepted! I'll be leaving the home I love - going to pursue my Masters in Counseling.

I'll leave in January, right around the 18th or so. It's easy to forget about the move, though, because LSG and GPB's wedding is coming first, on Dec. 28th. It has taken up most of the Madre and my thinking time.

I think it will be good for my blogging, though, because I'll be able to keep it as an update for all of my Billings Blogger friends and maybe it will be more interesting for those of you that are not from Montana!

Tuesday Quote

"The problem with the designated driver program, it's not a desirable job, but if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house."

- Jeff Foxworthy

Saturday, October 28


We're watching "Fiddler on the Roof" - here are the lyrics to "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" --I'm familiar with the "find me a perfect match" part, but here is the (humorous) second half:

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
You know that I'm
Still very young.
Please, take your time.

Up to this minute,
I misunderstood
That I could get stuck for good.

Chava and Hodel:
Dear Yenta,
See that he's gentle
You were also a bride.
It's not that
I'm sentimental

Chava and Hodel and Tzeitel:
It's just that I'm terrified!

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Plan me no plans
I'm in no rush
Maybe I've learned
Playing with matches
A girl can get burned

Bring me no ring
Groom me no groom
Find me no find
Catch me no catch
Unless he's a matchless match!

Friday, October 27

Blogging Lost 3.4

Well, I'll pick up the "Blogging Lost" baton, since AJoy is (seriously) better employed. However, AJoy, you'd better comment!

This week LSG missed most of the episode. Last night, when Madre said, "So who has the tumor on Lost, do you think?" I said, "Ben," LSG looked and said, "Someone's got a tumor?"

Maybe Governor Ahnold will show up, right when Jack is about to begin the surgery, and and famously say....

So, thoughts:
They are OBVIOUSLY trying to set up a Juliet/Jack/Sawyer/Kate quad-rangle. It's called a square, Lost Writers Powers That Be, and that means that Jack and Juliette will begin the "Longing, But We're not Supposed to be Together" looks, and Kate will get Jealous, which means that Sawyer will Hit Jack.

I still think it will be a Kate/Jack love affair in the end, except she should really hit on "Brotha Desmond." (Kate! the accent, Kate. How can you resist? Oh, that's right. You're really dating Charlie.)

Speaking of Desmond, ahhh, its finally dawning on Charlie that the LWPTBs need to compete with NBCs "Heroes" and has given Desmond Superhuman revelations. I reiterate, plllleaaassee don't make Desmond crazy. Just Crazy like a Fox!

Charlie, Jealous-Paranoia is not in the Book of Virtues.

Claire (boring). We want more Hurley!

New Latino guy: Apparently the LWPTB wanted to branch out. Not one of my favorite characters, so far.

Ben: It is impossible to kill a bunny and not be EVIL.

Sawyer: Oh, you are pissed about the "only way to get a con man's respect is to con him" comment

SPOILER - Avert Thine eyes:
I thought from this comment (Oct 25th), This week was the week The I-Got-A-DUI Heaven in the Lost Sky gained a new person, but I guess it's next week. ("Duh-Duh-Dunnnnnn.")

Tuesday, October 24

Wednesday, October 18

Letter to Tech Support

Andrea posted a really funny email, which reminded me of one sent yesterday from an office friend. Some of you have already seen it, 'cause I forwarded it on. For those who haven't, and especially for those guys thinking of marriage....

Dear Tech Support:

Last year I upgraded from Girlfriend 7.0 to
Wife 1.0 . I soon noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources.

In addition,
Wife 1.0 installed itself into all other programs and now monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Poker Night 10.3 , Football 5.0, Hunting and Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6.

I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favorite applications. I'm thinking about going back to Girlfriend 7.0, but the uninstall doesn't work on Wife 1.0. Please help!


Troubled User.....

Dear Troubled User:

This is a very common problem that men complain about.

Many people upgrade from
Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 , thinking that it is just a Utilities and Entertainment program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and is designed by its Creator to run EVERYTHING. It is also impossible to delete Wife 1.0 and to return to Girlfriend 7.0 . It is impossible to uninstall, or purge the program files from the system once installed.

You cannot go back to
Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is designed to not allow this. Look in your Wife 1.0 manual under Warnings-Alimony/Child Support. I recommend that you keep Wife 1.0 and work on improving the situation. I suggest installing the background application "Yes dear" to alleviate software augmentation.

The best course of action is to enter the command
C:\APOLOGIZE! Because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal anyway.

Wife 1.0 is a great program, but it tends to be very high maintenance . Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean and Sweep 3.0 , Cook It 1.5 and Do Bills 4.2 .

be very careful how you use these programs. Improper use will cause the system to launch the program Nag Nag 9.5 . Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software. I recommend Flowers 2.1 and Diamonds 5.0

WARNING!!! DO NOT, under any circumstances, install Secretary With Short Skirt 3 .3 . This application is not supported by Wife 1.0 and will cause irreversible damage to the operating system!

Best of luck,

Tech Support

Monday, October 16


I AM: The quintessential oldest child

I WANT: what I want without waiting for God's timing. Then I get frustrated (my own fault).

I WISH: I knew what he had in store for me

I HOPE: that I'll always be really close to my brother and sister

I MISS: My friends from College and Minnesota, and especially Marsha now that she's PREGGERS!

I HEAR: the pumped-in music in stores and restaurants and recognize the song when no one else can.

I WONDER: what God will have me do with my masters degree.

I REGRET: that my sin hurts others, and I've done great damage to relationships because of my selfishness and pride.

I HATE: raw onions

I AM NOT: a quiet, shy girl

I DANCE: when I'm out with my friends, and sometimes when I'm all alone.

I SING: all the time, mostly in my car.

I CRY: at movies. I also cry when Christ convicts me of my sin and reminds me of his atonement. I cry a lot!

I AM NOT ALWAYS: thoughtful of others when I speak.

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: a really "good" cup of coffee. (LOTS OF CREAMER)

I WRITE: posts for my blog all the time. They are usually too cynical so I don't post them.

I CONFUSE: My brother-in-law and brother often with my random thoughts.

I NEED: to be reminded that God's love is sufficient for me.

I SHOULD: be a better listener

I START: a lot of books and

I FINISH: fewer of them than I'd like. That doesn't stop me from buying them!

I tag Melodee, Molly, Amanda & Andrea

Saturday, October 7

Variations on a Theme

Once upon a nine-thirty dreary, while Hannah and Molly watched United Ninety-Threary

A sad and serious drama of 9/11 lore.

While puppies nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone gently scratching, scratching at the fireplace door.

Tis some little mouse I muttered, scratching at the fireplace door,

Only this and nothing more.

Ah distinctly I remember, there might have been a dying ember

In that fireplace's chamber, had it been a colder evening of 6 October.

Then Scrappy perked her ears alertly, as scratching sounded more overtly,

And we approached the stove covertly - wondering what it had in store

Tis true that Friday nights in Billings can often be a bore

But this one isn't, nevermore.

"Tis not a mouse, might be a kitty, or a bunny slightly gritty

They're catlike eyes upon its brow,"

As we with flashlight inward peering, dimly discerning what we were hearing

Suddenly leapt back in stunned surprise, "Holy *&%$, it's an owl!"

"Let's call Bill Murray (phone is busy); Who'll help us? Lewis Vowell?"

"Is it to late to call right now?"

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Called this deacon, "Truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is there's a scratching, and we're sure it's an owl rapping,
And not so faintly is it tapping, tapping at my fireplace door,
That we're scarce sure what we should do - scared to open wide the door; -
A little birdy, nothing more."

Into their car leapt Karen and Lew, and to JB Stetson flew,

While we prepared with gloves and blankets, for the show with much ado.

Not the least concern he showed; firmly toward the bird he strode;

With gloves adorned and towel in hand, opened wide the fireplace door.
That bird had hidden its little body, somewhere beyond the fireplace door.
Perched, and hidden, nothing more.

Then the owl-let, greatly flitting, no longer quietly sitting,

Felt itself be captured into hands that nabbed that wee raptor.

Then triumphantly he brought it, showed the women how he caught it,

And carefully he brought it out the sliding glassy door,

Released it in from its ashy-prison, to the night sky was restored

Tuesday, October 3

It's raining... and other random thoughts

I love rain. Montana doesn't get a lot of it, and so I've started to love rainy days even more. Today I woke up, wandered upstairs to shower and realized that it was raining. Little drops and ripples on the pool cover. It has since stopped, but the overcast, not-that-chilly-but-definintely-Autumn day begs me to stay home. Preferably with a crazy dogs, a cup of coffee, in a comfy sweatshirt, watching a few re-runs of "Project Runway."

I went to work instead. But today has been really great because I've gotten numerous emails from the people I spent time with, when I was in MN last week.

My favorite emails have been from the hotel staff of the hotel we stayed at. The Concierge in particular has a great sense of humor -He lived in Germany for 16 years, and his accent even comes across in the email through his choice of words. The hotel event staff became my friends in only a few days.

Sometimes its hard to know that there are such cool people out there, and that running into them will be few and far between.

And finally, randomly jumping from one thought to another: Over the last 6 weeks, I've been working on organizing my work life. I'm Reading a book, putting into practice various things. One of his rules is "Make your filing system easy. And use Labels. With a Label Maker. and DON'T SKIMP. Make the Labels." So, I bought a label maker -- for 1/2 off!! Gotta love it.

Wednesday, September 6

Book Meme

I've been Tagged by Melodee!

One book that changed my life:
War of Words, by Paul Tripp - it is changing my life -- my pastor is leading me through it as a discipleship study.

One book I've read more than once:
Well, this is unfair! I've read MOST of the fiction books I own more than once -- and some of my non-fiction, as well.

One book I'd want on a desert island:
I'm going to agree with Melodie and say the Lord of the Rings trilogy, aside from the Bible. I just hope that she and I can land on the same desert island so that we can learn elvish together!

One book that made me laugh:
The Devil Wears Prada

One book that made me cry:
Anne of Windy Poplars - It was the most unexpected time I cried. I've been known to cry at more than one book...

One book I wish had been written:
The autobiography of Abraham Lincoln. His spirituality and his battling depression are both fascinating to me.

One book I wish had never been written:
The "Sequel" to Gone with the Wind. I've never read it, but I suppose it has to be one of the worst books ever written.

One book that I am currently reading:
Getting Things Done.

One book I've been meaning to read:
Anna Karenina - for the last 10 years.

Wednesday, August 23

"I'm a real boy!"

The other day, the speaker on Pilgrim radio mentioned that Jack Handey was a real person. Here I was, going all this time thinking that he wasn't real, but no, in fact he exists.

In honor of finding out that Jack Handey isn't just a conglomeration of 7 SNL writers, today I'll post one of his Deep Thoughts, By Jack Handey

If they ever come up with a swashbuckling School, I think one of the courses should be Laughing, Then Jumping Off Something.

(ok, and this one too)

A good way to threaten somebody is to light a stick of dynamite. Then you call the guy and hold the burning fuse up to the phone. "Hear that?" you say. "That's dynamite, baby."

Thursday, August 17

Why is it that it is busy everywhere?

I thought I ought to post to my blog. I am busy with the mudane things of life. There isn't really a lot to tell except that I spend amazing amounts of time on the phone, helping people register for the National Conference. Then I go to My Other Job and we're finishing up our biggest annual sale.

I'll leave you with a quote from "War of Words," which I am studying.

"We do not respond to the facts of life, we respond based on our interpretation of those facts. "

Tuesday, August 8

Summertime and Grandpa

When I was a 3 or 4, my grandpa sat me down at their little kitchen table (very 70s/80s decor). He cut a fresh, garden-grown tomato in quarters and sprinkled a little salt on it.

"Try it."

I didn't want to at first. I don't know why I thought (at that young age) that it wouldn't taste good. He must have chuckled when I first tried it, and then gobbled the rest of it down. If I remember correctly, I think I even asked for more.

Well, this year, Grandpa has a bumper crop of 'em, and Mom has some really sweet tasting tomatoes from her garden, too.

And I've been eating them fresh, straight from the garden. I think it will always remind me of my Grandpa, and I know I'll always plant tomatoes, so I can have them fresh with just a little salt on 'em.

Thursday, August 3

And then you wonder, "Why have a blog?"

Well, I wrote my response to the article on Greg Boyd. It's a fine response. I don't think I would change much about it. Not a terribly amazing response, by any stretch of the imagination.

But Greg Gilbert has been guest blogging for Justin Taylor. I'm familiar with Taylor and his blog, and frankly, Greg does a much better, quick and concise overview as to why Boyd is wrong. Much better than mine. So, go over there and read it. it will take you 3.5 seconds.

Wednesday, August 2

Quote - What do I love?

I was once talking with a lady that who had been married for many years. She was married to a person who, very honestly I would have to say was a bad man. He regularly said and did hurtful things. She meanwhile had dreamed of the ultimate husband and had gotten so embittered by the blessing of other women in her church that she said she could no longer go to worship. She felt as if God had forsaken her, so much that she couldn't read her Bible or pray.

I wanted her to understand her identity in Christ and the love of the Lord. I wanted her to understand that God is a refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, so I quoted a few passages to her that spoke of God's amazing love, when, in the middle of a verse, she said, "Stop!" I looked up at her angry face. She said, "Don't tell me any more that God loves me. I want a husband who loves me!” And she pounded her fist on the chair as she spoke.

I learned something that day. To the degree that you have based your life on something other than the Lord, to that degree God’s love and the hope of the gospel will not comfort you.

Paul Tripp - War of Words, pg 98

Tuesday, August 1

Greg Boyd, Conservatives and the NYT

MOB sent me and iTones a New York Times article on Greg Boyd and a new 'controversy' that Boyd is presently engaged in.

Here is my response (please let me know if the link doesn't work to the NYT. I'll post the entire article if that is the case).


Dear C and T,

Dr. Boyd is right in many areas,

"When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross"
"Greg is an anomaly in the megachurch ....His biggest fear is that people will think that all church is is a weekend carnival, with people liking the worship, the music, his speaking, and that’s it."
"He said there were Christians on both the left and the right who had turned politics and patriotism into “idolatry.”

I think those are good points. It's very important not to confuse being conservative politically with being a Christian.

However, he seems to want to go one step further and divide Christian living from speaking out and acting on current issues. Dr. Boyd almost comes off as a pacifist or as one that thinks all ways to live are equal. Being disappointed that Christians have responded badly in areas of politics is legitimate. Swinging the pendulum to the area of "Separate beliefs from application to life/culture/politics" is not.

And this comment is completely without biblical support: "I don’t think there’s a particular angle we have on society that others lack."

Wrong, Dr. Boyd. We have the one truth. Saying that others have a relevant truth that is as legit as God's truth does not agree with the Bible - at all. It's certainly striving to "be nice", but there's not one place in the Bible that says, "yeah, other beliefs/opinions have a good way, too. You might try them out." Scripture's unrelenting stance on its being the only way is what makes the Bible offensive to secular Americans, generally.

That said, Grace and charitable judgments toward others are supremely important virtues in this debate and weren't mentioned - not even once. But, of course, Grace is always missing from the New York Times. I'd expect nothing less.

I think that the ultimate message of "Keep the Gospel the Central, the Most Important Thing in All of Life and Application" was lost as well. I'm going to guess that he meant to say that, but the article comes off as saying "Conservatives, keep you head down and don't piss off anyone that might lean toward blue collar liberalism, because what do you know anyway?"

A book that is far better on our Christian life and Christ is a book by CJ Mahaney - "The Cross Centered Life." Its about 100 pages long. A good read.

I will try to listen to Boyd's sermons to see if his message was a little more nuanced than the NY Times has reflected.

lv, Ains

**Edited to take out "Conservativism/Conservatism" (or whatever that word is) from the title. Frankly, if you can't spell it, Ains, don't use it. :D

Monday, July 31

Mel's beliefs, my lies

Brian at the Banty Rooster asks "Is Mel Done in Hollywood?"

Within it, he makes a lot of good points. I thought about posting the following on his blog comments but realized its long enough that I probably shouldn't take his space there.

Brian says "Actually, alcohol doesn't make you lie; it reduces your inhibitions so that you actually end up saying what you really do think, but were afraid to say." I don't take issue with Brian's point; I just empathize a lot with Gibson.

Presently I've been struggling with a lie that I've been believing. Oh, Satan has a good hold on me with this lie. It pops up in a myriad of differently shaped fruit. I believe it, I keep it, I stroke this lie/idol like Frodo does the Ring. I battle others with it.

I've told my mom, my sister, BLB and GPB this lie. I've punched them in the gut with it.

Do I believe this lie? Yes. As a functioning atheist, I "believe" this lie is the best way for me to interpret the world.

Do I believe this lie? In a spiritually 'sober' state, no. I don't. I know for a fact that it is not true (hey! The definition of a lie!) and that I'm spewing filth from my heart.

And so, it's that part of me that can appreciate Mel's saying "I acted like a person completely out of control .... and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable." Do I think Gibson is that nuanced in his knowledge of heart issues? Mmmm, maybe not. But maybe he is. Why assume that he doesn't have a wise spiritual mentor in his life?

I think the thing that makes me smile is that God doesn't let us go when we sin. He finds us. How many alcohol/drug-hazed celebrities drive and don't get caught? Gibson's fallen, and he was caught - Isn't God good to prevent him from falling further?

I take joy in knowing that I too am caught in my sin (believing the lie), and from my sin.

Thursday, July 20

Review of "Alfie"

I watched “Alfie” last night. “Oh, the show about the alien?” the very nice girl at the video place asked me, when I was trying to find it. “No…the one with Jude Law.”

I grew up on “ALF,” the TV show, and frankly, it would have probably been a better use of my time.

Alfie was, in a word, disappointing. It was really close to being an ok movie (although it had way too much sex – it’s rated R) but decided it wanted to be a contemplative movie instead of romantic. To be fair, the ending is much more true to life (he doesn’t end up with any of the woman he’s dating/doing, but finds that he’s unhappy). I suppose that’s the same in the original “Alfie,” with Michael Caine. Haven’t seen that one, not sure if I will.

I thought he’d end up with Julie, Marisa Tomei’s character, but I was wrong. Thought he’d end up with the girl he gets preggers. Nope. The beautiful, depressed girl that’s in need of help? Well, we all saw that break up comin’.

So the positives for watching Alfie? Not a whole lot. It’s a somewhat interesting character study; except it’s very easy to see why he’s in the life he’s in. He even ‘figures’ it out at the end, kind of.

Why is he unhappy? He’s selfish and he chooses sin. Would he or others call it that? No, but his actions are always blatantly manipulative, self-centered, and God-ignoring. He has no idea how to be kind to others, and he doesn’t think about the ramifications of his actions.

Sin never leads to a place of happiness. It always ends in hardship, depression, anger or sadness. Sin is only redeemed by God, when we’re repentant (as I learn daily.)

So, Alfie, back to the Video Store early for you. I’ll get my $1 credit, and look forward to the movie I originally went in to rent: “She’s the Man.”


Thursday, July 6

Quote on Thursday

Do you wish people to think well of you? Don't speak well of yourself.
Blaise Pascal

(Frankly, I posted it because it's a good reminder to myself)

Monday, July 3

The Devil and Da Vinci

Now that I've finished my class (thanks to all of you who have prayed and asked about it - I did well on my last test, and the final grade hasn't been released yet), I've been reading a bit of fiction.

First, I picked up the DaVinci Code. The beginning of it, I wasn't that surprised at (you saw all the shots in the movie ads) the middle was good, and actually intriguing. The End, well. hmmm. See, the problem- as I see it - for Brown was that he needed to 'end' it, but he obviously couldn't write a book that overthrew the Catholic Church (or the evangelical church, though he didn't really ever talk about the evangelical church.) Doing so would border on fantasy, and his entire diatribe sections of the book ("Jesus and Mary Magdalene were lovers, and Peter the apostle was jealous, and the Catholic Church organized the best smear campaign EVER") would have had to been disregarded in the real world. Something Dan Brown doesn't want, because he's professed that he believes that those ideas are actually facts and should be believed.

So, he pulled the story lines together and put a personal feel to it. The ending deserves a "duuuhhh. Knew that was going to happen." Really, his foreshadowing wasn't very nuanced. But all in all, it was an ok read, except for the parts where I had to put the book down I was so mad at what he was saying about Jesus. But outside of that...

Oh, and you can read the last 3 chapters by skimming the first sentence of every paragraph and completely understand the entire conclusion.

Now I'm reading "The Devil wears Prada." I saw the movie clips one night and thought, "Now there's a movie I'd like to see Meryl Streep in." So when we were in Barnes and Noble we picked it up for 20% off. Lots of "New York" swearing, but overall a really fun read. The author, Lauren Weisberger, is a pretty decent author. The book is a narrative of the personal assistant to the most important woman in fashion publishing - the Devil, Miranda Priestly. Andrea, the main character, is actually an English/writing graduate and wants to work for New Yorker Magazine. To get where she wants, she takes a job as the personal assistant to 'Miranda' and endures - with much sarcasm and rolling of the eyes - the world of fashion and Miranda's unreasonable, endless demands.

And really, Weisberger does a magnificent job of having the reader feel the same feelings of bewilderment and dread Andrea feels every time she encounters the devil.

I'm only in the middle of it, but it's a good romp, if you're not offended by swearing and the frequent gay characters (she's working in the fashion industry, "after all." The homosexual agenda is missing, though, and the gay characters are primarily for humor). I'm looking forward (kind of) to seeing the movie. Looking forward to it, except they can't possibly make it as good as the book, but they definitely cast Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep perfectly, so maybe they won't butcher the entire story.

Thursday, June 8

Tuesdsay Quote (on Wednesday, almost Thursday)

I was reminded today of what a great wealth of quotes The West Wing was. So we'll be seeing a lot more quotes from that (thankfully-now-off-the-air-as-it-was-never-as-good-without-Emily-Procter-and-Rob-Lowe) series.

Sam: I need your help.
Ainsley: Really?
Sam: Let's not make a big deal out of it.
Ainsley: No, it's sweet that you need my help.
Sam: I don't need your help. I'm asking for your help, so let's not make a federal....
Ainsley: (pretending to talk on her cell phone) Dad, it's me. Sam's asking for my help.
Sam: Put the phone down.
Ainsley: Gotta go, dad. I need to help Sam.
Sam: You must've had them rolling in the aisles back in Georgia.
Ainsley: I'm from North Carolina.
Sam: Wherever it was that you studied baton twirling.
Ainsley: That'd be Harvard Law School.

And everyone has one, except for me...

Ipods more popular than beer

Monday, June 5

Sometimes all you need is a little time

yep, it's been a month of not blogging. I decided at about day 20 that I'd just make it a full month.

So, lots of things happened- I got a new boss (switched departments) and LSG returned from school to transfer to the local university (and get married). I've been house/dog-sitting for 3 of the last 4 weeks for two different people (six dogs total), and my final in "God and His Word" has to be taken by next Tuesday.

The actual reason I'm returning to blogging is that I received a whole box of coffee from Boca Java, and I'll be reviewing it. So far we've tried Bloggers Pajama Passion (AnyaP gives it a thumbs up) and finished Bloggers Boot Up Blend. I might even spread it around and see what others think. I don't drink coffee black, though I drink my fair share of it. Anyway, look for the review this week.

Sunday, April 30

I totally cheated.

I'm Eponine!

Spunky, resourceful, and fearless, I don't take a lot of guff from the world, and sometimes I'm kind of freaky. Secretly, though, I just want to be loved in spite of my attitude and my goofy hat.

Which Les Miserables Character Are You?

Yeah, She's always been my favorite character, and these quizes are so hard to figure out. I totally cheated. When I took it the second time, I came up as Jean Valjean.

Tuesday, April 25

Yes, I'm sure you are

Seen on the side of my gmail account:

Eternal Security
Eternal security thoroughly refuted in biblical and simplistic manner

Simplistic (

sim·plism n; sim·plistic (sm-plstk) adj.
The tendency to oversimplify an issue or a problem by ignoring complexities or complications.

Friday, April 21

Friday Photo - (Roommates are invaluable at times like these)

What a great photo!

For those of you who live in MN, if you need any professional photos taken, be sure to check out my college roommate's site. She's obviously REALLY good at what she does, and has also been blessed with a darling, precocious child - The little girl in the photo!!

Thursday, April 20

Conversation today with co-worker

"They're a pretty sizable church, aren't they?"
"yeah, about 2000 members, I think"
"So a mega church."
"yeah, but one of the smaller mega-churches. He preaches reformed theology, so that gets rid of some of the attendees. Want to keep your church attendance down? Preach a little calvinism!"
"Ohh, there they go! Wave to 'em as they leave!"

Tuesday, April 18

Tuesday Quote

If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
J. Paul Getty (1892 - 1976)

Monday, April 17


Oh, the drama of the peeps!

Funny thing about peeps - they are one of the most recognizable of Easter treats, and literally TWO people in my extended family of 30 or so like them. BLB and my cousin, M. (All of a sudden I felt like saying, "Bond. James Bond." But anyway, I'm keeping my cousin's name a mystery.) M wasn't at Easter this year.

So, yesterday, as the moms and Grandma were passing out candy (Oh. My. Gosh, SOMUCHCANDY!) into the Easter baskets, one of my aunts plops the entire box of Peeps into my brother's basket. Yes, I know. He's 21. Somehow the age of "getting Easter baskets" and "way more Christmas money from Grandma and Grandpa than we got then" has seemed to continue through the college years. I SWEAR we were cut off when we graduated high school.

Anyway, I love my grandma. After having 6 kids, I suppose you get a 6th sense about fairness:

Grandma: "Why is BLB Getting all of the Peeps?"
Various members of the family, "Because no one likes them, except M and BLB."
"Well, shouldn't we at least GIVE the other kids some of the peeps?"
"No - No one else likes them."
"But what if one of them wants one?"
"Grandma, if we give anyone else a peep, they'll be in BLB's basket by the end of the day. And he'll have to trade for it. So, he'll give anyone a peep, if they want one. But they won't."
"Oh. Ok."

The only comment about BLB getting all of the Peeps? My HUGE Cousin-that-Plays-College-Football: "They're Pink."

Sunday, April 16

How would you finish this?

Today during our Pastoral Prayer time, the leading elder opened the time up for individuals to finish this statement:

Because Jesus rose from the dead _______________.

I finished it this way (though I wasn't one that shared publicly):

Because Jesus rose, I can sacrifice all of my wants and desires at his altar and know that he will satisfy me wholly.

How would you finish it?

Saturday, April 15

For those of you....

...Who do not read Divine Miss M regularly - She also linked to this:

Jesus didn't die, He was crucified. (By our pastor, Alfred)

This is the paragraph that gripped me:

There is no other remedy for removing God's curse but by Christ's death - for God doesn't grade on a curve. He doesn't accept 80 percent love and 20 percent hate. Not even 99 percent love and 1 percent hate. God requires perfect and complete obedience.

Read the rest - this paragraph only talks about the penalty of sin; Alfred goes on to give the hope of the gospel. But the Gospel is shockingly beautiful when look at against the backdrop of sin....

Friday, April 14

Good Friday

On the day on which we remember that Christ suffered most for us, I ran across a timely word on suffering by David Powlison through girltalk (Carolyn Mahaney is one of the blog authors and is CJ Mahaney's wife):

"How does God’s grace meet you in your sufferings? We can make the right answer sound old hat, but I guarantee this: God will surprise you. He will make you stop. You will struggle. He will bring you up short. You will hurt. He will take his time. You will grow in faith and in love. He will deeply delight you. You will find the process harder than you ever imagined – and better. Goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life. No matter how many times you’ve heard it, no matter how long you’ve known it, no matter how well you can say it, God’s answer will come to mean something better than you could ever imagine."

Pastor Piper and Justin Taylor gave permission for the ladies to reprint parts of their book "Suffering and the Sovereignty of God", to be published September 06.

May you praise him with unceasing praise tonight, as we remember his sacrifice - Praise him through tears, faith, love, contentment or suffering; Know that he is the God of all of those things and more - and that he is worthy of our praise.

With octaves of a mystic depth and height