Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tuesday Randomness

A day late and a dollar short, but here's some randomness anyways...

  • I wish there were a way to have the benefits of living in a large urban area (such as the amazing shopping/dining options) without the traffic. Last weekend I felt like I spent the entire trip to the Chicago suburbs in traffic. My exact quote to Melissa after moving less than 2 blocks in 20 minutes in Naperville was, "I want to hit someone." We did get to briefly visit Geneva (mom's hometown) - and surprise! it was in the middle of Swedish Days! Melissa was confused by the Scandinavian-related festivities, but she still humored me while we went in the Gift Box. Lots of great memories from my childhood are there - though it was weird to imagine someone else living in my Nana's house.
  • I am officially in love with the Marriott beds. I stayed in one when I was at the arts conference, and then again last weekend (I had a gift certificate). Seriously, IN LOVE. But I don't think it's meant to be - at least not anytime soon. Oh, and the other thing I love is Melissa's good-for-you chocolate eclair.
  • A little internet nugget of joy (or rather a serious conspiracy):
    http://easylink.playstream.com/cccmedia/cccmedia/daseussicode.wvx. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

3 Pictures that Crack Me Up

With very little commentary, here are 3 (semi-recent) pictures that crack me up.

These are my sisters. This is my current desktop on my work computer.

The attitude is directed at Mary (youngest sister). And this is pretty much how it goes in my family - my mom is cute & content and the rest of us have serious SASS.

And this picture I just got from Chris today - and I laughed when I saw it because that tassel did that to me ALL DAY.

Also, here are a few pics from my time at Allerton Park (aka one of the single most redemptive parts of central Illinois) last Saturday.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The 6 Love Languages

I spent a short amount of my Friday evening with the fam. We watched an episode of 5 Takes: Pacific Rim (I love that show - I want to do 5 Takes: Europe. They already did it, I know...but still) where they go to Taipei, Taiwan. My brother was loving it since he went there last year - he was disappointed they didn't eat stinky tofu.

Then we went to Buffet King (which I MUCH prefer to Buffet City) - all 6 of us. I think it served as our Father's Day celebration since we'll be various places on Sunday. It was good food & the fam tolerated me as I lip sync'd (unashamedly) to the Celine Dion greatest hits that was playing for the entire meal.

As I was about to go to my car, Bekah handed me a mix CD. Now you may have heard of the 5 Love Languages. I say there are 6 - gifts, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, and mix CDs. Don't try to tell me that mix CDs could fit into one of the other 5 categories. Let me explain myself. I'm not talking about making/getting a mix of music just to share things you like (although I enjoy that as well). I'm talking about when someone makes a mix for someone specific for a specific reason. This CD was one of those - and I didn't even ask for it!

Here it is: "Just a Ride" - June '06
  1. Just a Ride - Jem
  2. Lucky Denver Mint - Jimmy Eat World
  3. Long Ride Home - Patty Griffin
  4. Thinking About You - Ivy
  5. Hard Times - Eastmountainsouth
  6. This Time Around - Helen Stellar
  7. Same in Any Language - I Nine
  8. Galileo - Indigo Girls
  9. Santa Maria de Feira - Devendra Banhart
  10. Finally Woken - Jem
  11. 1000 Miles - Vanessa Carlton
  12. Walking Downtown - Copeland
  13. Time Will Do the Talking - Patty Griffin
  14. Lead Me On - Bethany Dillon
  15. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree - KT Tunstall
  16. The World You Love - Jimmy Eat World
  17. Let Him Fly - Patty Griffin

Some of it I had heard - some of it I had wanted to hear - and it's just a great CD for me right now. Favorites right now - Jem, Eastmountainsouth, Patty (of course), and the Indigo Girls song. Rock. (And thanks, Bekah)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

It's a shame to build our homes with bricks of fear and cynical stones

I was up at Willow for a couple days this week for their Arts Conference. I could share some thoughts from that...but maybe another time. One major observation from the conference personally is my tendency to make or think witty, sarcastic comments, especially when it comes to worship. I mean, sometimes, people do and say things - especially when it comes to worship - that seem careless. And it can feel good to point those things out - partly because I think that worshiping God should be intentional and full of truth. But there's another side of me that enjoys critiquing because it makes me feels smart and maybe even better than the person I'm critiquing. Yikes. At one point, after a comment that I actually said outloud (and I'll admit, it was true and rather humorous) I told my brother, "I have got to stop doing that."

I do believe that thinking through what we sing and say - especially in corporate worship - is important. Don't get me wrong. And I think that we shouldn't just take everything people do/say about worship at face value. Dialoguing and seeking clarity often allow us to gain a deeper understanding and appreciationg for what it is we're doing when we worship. I just want to guard myself from being so critical that I have a heart that is hard and self-righteous. I really dislike it when I see that in others, so I don't want to cultivate that in myself.

I discovered a worship blog today - Bob Kauflin, who apparently is associated with the Sovereign Grace group. The first post of his that I read is a good example of balance between criticism and charity towards others, in my opinion. He talks about the worship song, "Draw Me Close," and evaluates the usefulness of worship songs with vague lyrics. I really do recommend reading the article, because it's well done, but his last statement is especially well-put:

"May we all proclaim the beauty, authority, and truth of Jesus Christ with our lives, remembering that neither passion nor propositional truth is out of place when we worship God. They were meant to go together."

What I appreciated was not only what he says, but how he says it. It's Biblical and full of grace - it seems pastoral. I want to be more like that and less proud of myself when I make/think snide commentary.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday Randomness

I thought it might be fun to blog something OTHER than quotes from the Daily Hours...

  • I could talk about the trip to Cincinnati 2 weekends ago. I'd tell you about experiencing my first flat tire and about how grateful I am to the AMAZING women who put the donut on (where's the jack hole?), to the women who helped sort through the CRAP in my trunk to get to the donut, about having fun Champaign food (Noodles, Custard Cup, Papa Dels) twice in a week, and about finding really cute baby Illinois clothes (for no one in particular, so don't start rumors).
  • I could tell you about my trip to Cincy this past weekend. It involves a ridiculous amount of rollercoasters. How in the middle of a themepark, we found ourselves entertained playing a game that used little more than slips of paper, pens, our memories, and our weird senses of humor. It also involves Skyline and Graeters. Oh, and the Beef House. Food's important, okay?
  • A few friends were around to witness my reaction when I saw this - a sequel to The Passion of the Christ called....wait for it....The Resurrection! About flipping time, people. (I was mostly excited just because of my higher than normal interest in the resurrection this spring.) In seriousness, I wonder if someone other than the original director is taking it on, is it really considered a sequel?

That's all I have for today. Happy Monday to all...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Your Hand, O Lord, in Days of Old

Your hand, O Lord, in days of old
Was strong to heal and save;
You triumphed over pain and death,
O'er darkness and the grave.
To you they went, the blind, the mute,
The palsied and the lame,
The leper set apart and shunned,
The sick and those in shame.

And then your touch brought life and health,
Gave speech and strength and sight;
And youth renewed, with health restored,
Claimed you, the Lord of light.
And so, O Lord, be near to bless,
Almighty now as then,
In every street, in every home,
In every troubled friend.

O be our mighty healer still,
Lord of life and death;
Restore and strengthen, soothe and bless
With your almighty breath.
On hands that work and eyes that see,
Your healing wisdom pour,
The whole and sick, weak and strong
May praise you evermore.

-Edward Plumptre

Monday, June 05, 2006

Why I love the Book of Common Prayer

Ever heard someone else pray and agree with them completely (sometimes silently or maybe using a sound of agreement)? That's how I feel sometimes when I pray using the Book of Common Prayer (though I use it from the Daily Hours, so it's changed just a little bit).

From today's Midday Office (there's so much in this small prayer...):

The Concluding Prayer of the Church
O Lord my God, to you and your service I devote myself, body, soul and spirit.
Fill my memory with the record of your mighty works; enlighten my understanding with the light of your Holy Spirit; and may all the desires of my heart and will center in what you would have me do.
Make me an instrument of your salvation for the people entrusted to my care, and let me by my life and speaking set forth your true and living Word.
Be always with me in carrying out the duties of my salvations; in praises heighten my love and gratitude; in speaking of You give me readiness of thought and expression; and grant that, by the clearness and brightness of your holy Word, all the world may be drawn to your blessed kingdom.
All this I ask for the sake of your Son my Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Music for everyone

This morning I used my music education degree in an actual school setting - something I haven't done in almost 4 years.

My current small group consists of quite a few teachers. One girl teaches Kindergarten (and I respect her greatly!) - and she mentioned in passing that at her school they don't have any "specials" - meaning, her kids don't get to have music class. So I offered to come in some Friday and have music class. I can't IMAGINE elementary school without music. Seriously!

Well today was the day. And I was a little rusty (and it's been a long time since I've been called by my teacher name!). However, it was quite fun - for both me AND the kids! I played my horn for them, we played a high/low game, sang some songs (Alice the Camel, for example), and then listened to "In the Hall of the Mountain King."

If you're not familiar with "In the Hall of the Mountain King" it's a classical piece by Edvard Grieg (one of the only well-known Scandinavian composers!) - and it starts soft, but then builds to a loud, fast ending. It's very spooky. One of my most vivid kindergarten memories is listening to this piece in music class. Our teacher let us crawl/creep around the room and the beginning and then run around like banshees at the end. (She also let us do something similar to "Flight of the Bumblebee." We loved to run around like bees.) While not to that extreme (we had to creep/walk/run in place because of space), we definitely moved to it today. It was WAY fun. We also listened to it with our eyes closed to imagine what was happening. One kid said that Mike Myers was chasing him.

And it made me happy to share the music love with some kindergarteners. And it made me remember how as children, we're much more inclined to sing, smile at a silly song, and move around to music.

Anyone else have random music class memories from elementary school? I realize I may have liked music a lot more than would be considered "normal." :)