Monday, February 28, 2011

Money, money, money.

This morning I woke up to find my paycheck had been deposited in my bank account.  Sweet.  Then I noticed it was more than three times the normal amount.  SUH-weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.  [Insert Cristy voice inflection, with Charleston kick here].  Confession: it made me feel very rich.  It was a GREAT way to start the day!  FREE MONEY!!!!!

Unfortunately, it was due to a clerical error.  The payroll office called me twice before lunch, trying to track me down.  I have to return it.  Sniff, sniff.

I got to thinking that this is a lot like God's grace.  It is free and totally undeserved.  BUT we get to keep it!  Why don't I get this excited about that free gift (AND it's untaxable) as much as I do about a paycheck I can't keep?

(Money --> Green -->  Gumby-->)

Saturday, February 26, 2011


The following in an anecdote from a sermon by Ian Noyes, my pastor in college.  Check out his other sermons.

I was thinking about how so often we tend to reduce the bigness of God's story to a very small thing.  And I started to think about that about a year ago when our family went to see a play at Grove City College where we used to live in Pennsylvania.  We went and saw the play "My Fair Lady..."  [It's about] a woman who is elevated in a lot of ways.  Through some training and friendship, she actually becomes a sophisticated woman.  It's a marvelous story of love and redemption, and it's really funny.  But there's one particular part in which her Cockneyed English is being addressed and she is told to repeat by the professor she is working with, "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane."  And then he asks her to do this and to say this with a bunch of marbles in her mouth.  

And I remember as we were coming home from the play, I turned to my kids and said to them, "What did you think of that play?  What was your favorite part?"  My youngest Issac turned to me and he said, "If you swallow a marble, it will come out in your poo-poo."  And I thought to myself, "Hm.  Interesting to have seen the entire play and that be your take-home message."

We do that with the Gospel in so many ways.  We take this grand, mosaic story, this amazing story of God's abundant love for us, how he has poured himself out for us, for our benefit.  And how he has died on the cross that we might be forgiven.  We take all of that and reduce it to one more transaction in our life.  We seem to reduce it to this sense that maybe if we behave, that we'll get into heaven.  When we do that, it is almost as if our take home message is, "If you swallow a marble, it will come out in your poo-poo." 
Issac and me, a few years ago

How do we live, and avoid being focused only on poo-poo?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Doing or Being?

We were created as human beings, not human doings.

Have you stopped today to just be?  

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry,“Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  Romans 8:14-17

Saturday, February 19, 2011

But It's SATURDAY...

Today I woke up at 6:45am.  On my own.  And I couldn't go back to sleep.  The last time I can recall waking up on my own before 7am entailed a trip to Spain.  Whoa.

So what is one to do with extra hours on a Saturday?  Go shopping!  I bought a new ski jacket online and found a new blog template.  I have no idea what I'm doing on here, so bear with me.  But why not?  I know two other people who have the SAME grass template as before.  Horrors.

In the mean time, please enjoy a bit of Pearls Before Swine.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Worst Email Forwards of All Time

The worst email forwards of all time?  Why, pray tell, would I drag up that ugly fad of the 1990's (and for some lucky individuals, present day).  Because I find them hilarious.  We (over)share everything via Facebook, Twitter, G-chat, and texting anyway, so why not relive the good old days?

5.  Mall parking lot rapist. 
Beware women!  Creepy, deranged men are hiding under your car, especially on Black Friday.  He will slit your achilles tendons and then kidnap you.  Be sure to look under both your car and the adjacent car before unlocking your door.

4.  Animated American flags
I have nothing against patriotism, support for our troops, or the American flag.  I just dislike animated American flags, especially when set to John Phillip Sousa.

3.  Angels or Precious Moments
Angels are NOT sickeningly adorable children sitting on fluffy clouds.  Nor do I appreciate their poetry.  I don't have my own guardian angel saving me from the crazy drivers on the Beltway.  (But if we did have personalized angels, mine would be named Clarence.)  People do not become angels when they die and then look after their loved ones.

Be honest.  Would you rather this: 

or this
 fighting off evil, protecting, and praising?

2.  Cute, fuzzy animal pictures
True confession time.  Sometimes I like these forwards.  But only those without an angry cat sopping wet.  Extra bonus points for video clips of cats and dogs doing silly things.

1.  "Friendship" chains (You will die if you don’t pass this friendship chain on in the next FIFTEEN MINUTES.  There was a girl who didn't pass it on and she had bad luck for a year and then caught the bubonic plague and died.)
Nothing says friendship like a death threat.
Popular variations include the recipe exchange and the underwear chain.  The latter of course actually involves real mail and the US Postal Service, and it creeps me out to no end!

Any classics I left out?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dear Mr. (Not-so) Handy Man

In the two and a half years I've lived here in Arlington, the kitchen cabinet drawers have caused me much pain.  They catch, they randomly fail to catch the runner, they won't open, etc.  I have occasionally feared for my life on account of those drawers.  The property manager has been AWESOME at fixing everything else we've asked in the house, but they've only added a Band-Aid-worthy dressing to our broken drawers.  Saturday afternoon I pulled on the drawer, only to have the whole wooden front come off.  Naturally the property manager was obliging and sent over a fix-it man today.  "We are FINALLY getting a new drawer!" I secretly rejoiced.  Not so.

I arrived home to my cabinet drawer front, drawer-less, and nailed shut.  The broken drawer, full of Ziploc baggies and aluminum foil, is still sitting on the kitchen table.  Ummmm thanks?  I was laughing so hard telling the property manager about it, she had to have me repeat it.  Twice.  So she is sending someone different tomorrow.  I hope.

p.s.  Bonus points if you say "drawer" ten times fast.  Weird word.

Monday, February 7, 2011

He's Always Been Faithful

I haven't had too many of my own profound thoughts lately, but instead am soaking up the hearts of other people.  Another favorite song that has resonated this week is "He's Always Been Faithful" by Sara Groves.

This is one of those songs that I can listen to on repeat and not get tired of it (There aren't many.  And Janis Joplin's "Mercedes-Benz" is NOT one of them.   Bwahahahah.  Just got that stuck in your head!!!).  Grove's Conversations cd won't play anymore without skipping because I have listened to it so much.  Even though my circumstances, emotions, and life fluctuates, God stays constant.  He doesn't even move the tiniest bit.  What a promise to embrace!

Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me.
I can’t remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can’t remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me.
This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful
He’s always been faithful to me.

Also, I snagged these lyrics (and thus none of the 52 gazillion pop ads) from a blog on a Google search.  It came with a sweet story worth reading if you have a minute.