Thursday, August 30, 2007

We Come to You

This song has been floating around in my head for a while, and I love it for its simplicity and honesty.

As you came to us, we come to you,
Fragile as a baby hopeful and new
But learning fast that to walk is to fall
Soon we’ve done it all

We come broken, and we come undone
We come trying hard to love everyone
But we come up short in all that we do
Because we do,
We come to you

As you came to us, so we come to you
Dirty and hurting then dead in the tomb
But raised, redeemed, to show off the scars
‘Cause you’ve brought us this far

We come broken and we come undone
We come trying hard to love everyone
But we come up short in all that we do
Because we do
We come to you

You came to show the way not around, but through,
So through it all, we come to you

--Derek Webb

In related news, Caedmon's Call has come out with a new album, Overdressed, and guess who rejoined the collaboration (both singing and writing)? Derek Webb! Woo hoo! Go out and get it. It sounds great. I will when I have money to support my habit. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Surprised by Joy

Well, in an effort to fulfill yet another of the 101 in 1001 goals, I've been tinkering with the blog. It's going through another name change, because I feel like the season of "Born to Fly" has passed and I'd like something more appropriate. A while back I noticed that one of my friends had this clever quote as his "about me" on Facebook: "Like my friend Clive Staples, I find myself surprised by joy." I thought that was pretty great, and a pretty great summation of how I feel about life right now.

I'm not satisfied with the aesthetics of the blog yet, so bear patiently with me as it might be going through many different variations for a while. If anyone has any great ideas or inspiration feel free to share (i.e., color schemes, photo header, tagline, etc). So there you have it. Surprised by joy. :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Praise Night sans Singles Mixer

Last night our merry band of pilgrims returned to the Dennis Jernigan Praise Night. It was, as always, a wonderful and powerful time of worship. This time I was smart enough to take my camera. I'm not sure this is legal or DJ condoned, but I took some videos.

This first video is epitomizes one of the things I love about DJ. He was telling us that he had a really rough time in the past week, how several frustrating and saddening things were happening in his life and family. Apparently it culminated on Sunday, but when he woke up on Monday morning he was singing this song. Yes, you read that right-- apparently he wrote the song in his sleep. Or the Lord gave him the song through the night, however you prefer to look at it. So here is one of the newest Dennis Jernigan songs:

As we arrived, he was also singing a fairly new song we learned at the last Praise Night, titled Yeshua. It's... interesting. :)

The visual quality is not great on these. The little white dot in the middle is Dennis Jernigan's head. If you get the contrast right you might can see that the lyrics are on the screen above his head.

The good news is that they've decided to continue DJ praise nights through December! Each second Friday of the month. So if you're interested let me know. I'm sure I'll be going back! (and there was no mention of a singles mixer! woo hoo!)

Monday, August 20, 2007

He's Just Not That Into You

I consider myself some what of a Christian dating book connoisseur. I've read a lot of them, ranging the gamut from how to find a man, how to be datable, how to make your dating relationship work, what it should look like, and of course how to be a content single. I think my interest began with a search for information and education on the subject, but has since turned into a more morbid curiosity as to what people are actually suggesting. And besides, as a quarter century single myself, I have some personal interest. :)

A couple of weeks ago I was at Barnes and Noble just hanging out, and I sat at a table that had the book "He's Just Not That Into You" by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. I'd seen the episode of Sex and the City that spawned the movement, and I'd heard a little about the concept of the book, so I was intrigued.

It's a small book with big print, so I was able to breeze through it pretty quickly, and let me tell you, it is now a book that I would recommend first to my single female friends. Essentially, the book's point is that women try to over-examine men and their response to them. As the book's title makes fairly clear, in many cases when a woman tries to explain away men's strange behavior with excuses about "fear of intimacy", career stress, being afraid of their own emotions, family baggage or what not, it's often a simple case of the "he's just not that into you"s. It's kind of the whole principle that a man would cross any mountain, swim any sea, or trek across the desert to be with the woman he wants.

It sounds harsh and unkind the first time you hear it, but the way Behrendt writes and explains it, it is quite empowering! It frees women from wasting time from anguishing over gray or muddled relationships and recognizing that they're worth being with someone who won't put them through emotional warfare by being noncommittal and wishy washy.

The book's not written from a Christian perspective by any means (for example, I would hope that most mature Christians realize that "He's just not that into you if he's having sex with someone else" or "if he only wants to see you when he's drunk"), but the overriding principle is applicable for so many single women I know. And moreover, even being the crazy liberal that I am, I do believe strongly in traditional gender roles within relationships, especially romantic/familial (i.e., the male is the pursuer, the female the pursued), and that is really a strong foundational philosophy of this book.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for any single woman, especially those struggling with iffy relationships or unrequited love. Too bad there isn't a simple equivalent for men. :)

And what do you guys think? Is this a common misconception women have about men, or are men more complex than Behrendt would have us think?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Redhawks Game

Tonight I fulfilled another of the 101 in 1001 goals by attending the Oklahoma Redhawks baseball game. I love baseball games. It was a ton of fun. I'll just post some pictures because there's really not too much to say, except that it was Elvis appreciation night. :)

Lindsey, Amy, Ryan

Pete, me, Tiffany

The King lives

You can take the girl out of Japan, but you can't take Japan out of the girl. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Priceless Grace

Right now I'm reading an amazing book entitled "Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home" by Richard Foster. I just want to share a small excerpt from it.

The chapter this is taken from is about the importance of praying for self reflection and introspection, based off one of my favorite "life scriptures", Psalm 139:23-25. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Paul, you may remember, urges us to offer our bodies-- our very selves-- as living sacrifices to God (Rom. 12:1). This offering cannot be made in some abstract way with pious words or religious acts. No, it must be rooted in the acceptance of the concrete details of who we are and the way we live. We come come to accept and even honor our creatureliness. The offering of ourselves can only be the offering of our lived experience, because this alone is who we are. And who we are-- not who we want to be-- is the only offering we have to give. We give God therefore not just our strengths, but also our weaknesses, not just our giftedness, but also our brokenness. Our duplicity, our lust, our narcissism, our sloth-- all are laid on the altar of sacrifice...

There is, therefore, no need to repress, suppress, or sublimate any of God's truth about ourselves. Full, total, unvarnished self-knowledge is the bread by which we are sustained. A yes to life means an honest recognition of our own evil, but it is also a yes to God, who in the midst of our evil sustains us and draws us into his righteousnesses.

Through faith, self-knowledge leads us to self-acceptance and a self-love that draw their life from God's acceptance and love.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

She's a Big Girl Now

I haven't updated on Penny Lane in a while, so I thought I'd post a recent picture. Man, the animal shelter didn't tell me she was going to grow so much, so quickly! I hope I'm not overfeeding her.

Heehee, just kidding! Definitely not Penny, although they do have the same coloring and markings. Here's a real picture of my cat looking especially cute:

In case you can't tell, she is not morbidly obese. She's a good cat, most of the time. :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sojo's Recommendations

I have a few jumbledy blogs that I was trying to figure out how to consolidate, which led me to the idea of doing a recommendation post. Yes, kind of vain, but hey, it's my blog. :)

Here are a few things that have come into my life lately and I just wanted to pass them along to you all.

*Bebo Norman, "Between the Dreaming and the Coming True" . I have finally gotten into Bebo Norman after years of hearing how good he is, and since I've started listening to this album I pretty much can't stop. It's quite addictive and wonderful. I highly recommend it for quality Christian music.

*While our preacher is off adopting two Rwandan children, we've had a substitute who has won over our entire church. Yes, Mark will still have a job when he comes back, but Bruce McIntyre has done an amazing job teaching on the subject of Resiliency. I highly recommend it for rejuvenation to face the world.

I've been drinking smoothies every morning for a while now. I hate to brag, but I think they're pretty dang good. Here is my base recipe and my two favorite flavor variants.

1 cup skim milk
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 sugar free vanilla pudding cup or 1 one cup of natural apple sauce
1 packet splenda

Sunshiny morning flavor--
1 cup mandarin orange slices (I think without the juice is better)
quarter cup of pineapple chunks
quarter cup of peaches
quarter cup of strawberries

Very Berry flavor--
half cup of blueberries
half cup of strawberries

I use all frozen fruit. Go as the spirit moves you.

After I walk every morning I like to have my icy water bottle ready to refuel me. Maybe everyone else knows this trick, but I thought it was original and clever. :) I fill my bottle a little less than halfway full the night before, then lay it sideways in the door of my freezer. That way, the next morning when I want it, I unscrew the bottle and can fill the remaining space with water that is instantly cool and icy.
Please see note from Karen in the comments!

If anyone else has a new favorite thing, feel free to share it in the comments.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


One type of blessing that always touches me is when someone comes to me and says, "God placed this scripture on my heart and I believe He wants me to share it with you." I've had that happen several times in my life, and I still remember them clearly and those passages are some of the dearest to my heart. When I'm down or feeling burdened I still go back to the scriptures given to me by friends along the journey.

Sometimes I think that sometimes we lose the importance and beauty of speaking blessings over each other. Thankfully, I worship with a family that still faithfully believes in the power of praying over and blessing brothers and sisters. Speaking truth to the hearts of brothers and sisters is one of the vital roles we have as a Christian family, especially when the world saturates us with lies. I pray that you will feel moved speak a blessing over someone in your life. It may be what gives them the strength to fight another day.

Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
--Proverbs 16:24

Friday, August 03, 2007

Making Oatmeal Good

Okay, I need blogland help. I recently switched from eating the yummy instant oatmeal (brown sugar and maple flavor) every morning to going for the all natural rolled oats. Pros- much healthier. Cons- tastes bad. Well, maybe not bad, but it's hard to get a whole bowl down every morning.

So here's the deal. I need some help making it better. I already cook it with milk. I add cinnamon, raisins and natural apple sauce now. That makes it almost good, but I'm looking for more additive ideas. The stipulations are that they can't contain refined sugar. Oh yeah, and I don't like nuts.

Here are the suggestions I've had so far. Help a sister out and tell me what you think.

  • cinnamon
  • apples
  • raisins
  • vanilla extract
  • nutmeg

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Heaven on Earth

A few months ago I wrote on the consequences of good intentions unfulfilled within friendships. When I wrote it, I was feeling particularly hurt by some friends. Today I would like to write the opposite of that post. :)

There is something very heavenly about friendship. When a need is seen, then met, motivated not by guilty or duty, but from compassion and love. Heaven on earth.

I have great friends. :)

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up! --Ecc. 4:9-10

Chavez hearts Penn

Is this from the real news or from The Onion? It looks like it's from The Onion; it has all the elements such as a B list celeb with bad hair and and the "wannabe cool and socially conscious" mentality, but it's gone terribly wrong with Crazy Chavez. My favorite part is where Chavez says that he likes Penn's work, especially Mystic River. How bizarre.

Sean Penn Praised by Venezuelan Dictator Chavez