Monday, December 29, 2008
I've applied at World Vision; I've applied with T-Mobile; I'm going to apply at Starbucks.
Hopefully here in the next couple weeks I'll land something.
Deep down I know that God is provident. And maybe I even know that closer to the surface, but it's easy to feel anxious when things are changing and it's a blind move.
Lord, help me to not be anxious in anything.
Hmmm....often easier said than done....
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
- Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, becausehe was of the house and family of David,
- in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son ; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no roomfor them in the inn.
- In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
- And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid ; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
- "This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. "And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
- "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Not old in the sense that I am physically old (although my chiropractor may beg to differ).
It's been snowing here like crazy-face. We've had some 18 inches of snowfall in the last week alone.
And I am so irritated. I realized that I only appreciate snow when it is convenient for me. There were days when I would seriously consider "work or not work?" That question is just a different way of saying "$$ or my safety and the safety of others?" I've gone with $$ each time.
It makes me sad that I don't have those thoughts. I feel...unyoung at heart. Which is stupid.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
It's Talk Thursday, Christmas is upon us, and the shopping craze is still going strong.
* So have you been naughty or nice this year?
* What do you want for Christmas? Don't worry, you can tell here - Santa reads the blog. =)
And PS, You need to watch this...it'll make you happy. =)
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
it's been a hard year
but i'm climbing out of the rubble
these lessons are hard
healing changes are subtle
but every day it's...
less like tearing, more like building
less like captive, more like willing
less like breakdown, more like surrender
less like haunting, more like remember
and i feel You here
and You're picking up the pieces
it seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
but You are able
and in Your hands the pain and hurt
look less like scars and more like Character
less like a prison, more like my room
it's less like a casket, more like a womb
less like dying, more like transcending
less like fear, less like an ending
and i feel You here
and You're picking up the pieces
it seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
but You are able
and in Your hands the pain and hurt
look less like scars
just a little while ago
i couldn't feel the power or the hope
i couldn't cope, i couldn't feel a thing
just a little while back
i was desperate, broken, laid out,
hoping You would come
and i need You
and i want You here
and i feel You
and i know You're here
and You're picking up the pieces
it seemed out of my hands, a bad, bad situation
but You are able
and in Your hands the pain and hurt
look less like scars and more like Character
Thanks Sara Groves, for verbalizing exactly where i am...one year from removed from everything i knew at the time. Thank You, God for your faithfulness and Your wonderous love that i can't begin to fathom.
Even if God nor i wanted the scars in the first place, at least they are proving to develop hopefully godly character in this long-dormant heart.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
(And another thing: is it just me or does it look like the sun is rising over Jesus' head? Oh. My. Gosh. "Sun rising"..."Son rising", what?! I love XPoW's!)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
You all know how this game is played.
Imagine you're stranded on a deserted island, all by yourself, for an indefinite period of time. Assuming there are survival resources on the island with you, what 5 items do you take with you? Are you more practical or indulgent or both? How will you stay sane?
I love Talk Thursdays!! =)
And Jonah wrap-up on SereYodh
Monday, December 1, 2008
Well, I haven't done any link love since August, but I figured today would be a good day for that. 1) It's Monday 2) Filing = turning my brain to mush 3) Did I mention it's Monday?
So in the spirit of Christmas giving, here are some great blogs to check out. =)
* A Genuine Faith: This is Dr. Rodney Reeves' blog. If you went to SBU, you know him, you love him, now, you too can read him! Even if you didn't go to SBU, he's awesome and you should check it out. Some of it goes over my head. But you people are greatly smarter than me. So enjoy.
* Jesus Blog: This is a collaborative blog that is written by some people I know, some people I don't. But it's always good, always relevant and always honest. And I like those things.
* JustWallpaper & other good stuff: This is one of those people that I don't know from Adam. Randomly I happened across his blog and was hooked. It's creative-y & funny(-y). Those are things I appreicate. So should you.
* SereYodh: Yes, this is my other blog. Finishing up Jonah this week and starting Advent next. Yes, I have just pimped myself. And I'm not ashamed. =)
So there's your opportunity to read some more good stuff.
What are you reading? What do you think we should be reading too? Is it you? Go on ... "pimp" yourself, too. =)
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Not Celebrating Christmas Until the Day After Thanksgiving (or NCCUtDAT, if you will) is one I follow to the inth degree. Christmas lights, holiday songs, fake Christmas smiles from the Wal-Mart employees, eating gingerbread men... if I am within the vacinity of these things before the day after Thanksgiving, I am not a pleasant person.
With that being said, it is now the day after Thanksgiving.
This means I will listen to Steven Curtis Chapman's "The Music of Christmas", Avalon's "Joy" and Harry Connick Jr's "When My Heart Finds Christmas" albums for the next 5 weeks. I have downloaded my annual Christmas ringtone ("ChristmasEve Sarajevo 224/Carol of the Bells" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, for those of you that care). I will string up Christmas lights around my bedroom window and I can begin buying Christmas gifts online while effectively avoiding all contact with shopping malls.
Maybe I'm a dork. And maybe I should really love doing Christmas-y things all year long because Jesus is cool.
But it really just comes down to principles.
Do you have Christmas principles?
And Jonah 3 wrap-up on SereYodh =)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I know that the first thing everyone does on any major holiday is check my blog. And rest assured, I'm flattered. =)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
I doubt the historicity of Biblical texts.
I doubt the inerrancy of the Bible.
I doubt that my prayers get heard.
I doubt that God loves me the way He says He does.
I doubt that life will one day be ok.
I doubt that God's love is never-ceasing.
I don't want to doubt. Doubt Him, doubt others, doubt myself. But I do. And some days I feel helpless to stop it.
Does this make me less of a Christian? Does it mean that God is pissed because of me and my distrust? Often that feels true. But in spite of my doubt and my questions and my antagonism, God still remains true and I just need to hold onto that.
But some days it's just harder to believe.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
And, new post on sereyodh: Jonah 2, part 2
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
And check out the new posts on SereYodh - Jonah 1. =)
Monday, November 10, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Stephen Colbert (love of my life) said last night that "Since we now have a black president, racism is over." Exaggeration? Probably. But it's a thought.
So let's talk. How do you feel?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
As promised here are the pictures from Halloween, plus some. =)
Me and my mazzah. She was a pumpkin that was still attached to the ground.
When I was in college, I decided that I wanted to marry someone whose last name was "Yode" so I could be "Sarah Yode", which is funny because a sereyodh in Hebrew is a vowel pattern (long e, y) signifying a genitive construct, usually in form of a possession.
Well, I can be that cool without getting married. =)
Yeah, that's right.
Some good times from a HS soccer game and the corn maze. Woot.
I love fall.....
Friday, October 31, 2008
And we could blame this tradition on my Southern Baptist upbringing, Dr. Fuhrman, or the fact that I'm just not that creative.* Whatever the reason, my little Halloween tradition makes my little heart get excited for this holiday.
I watch Luther.
Before you get "all-up-on's" because I'm a dork, understand the history. Martin Luther, depicted in the movie by Joseph Finnes, posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenburg Castle Church on October 31, 1517. This led to the beginning of the Reformation, the Protestant movement and ultimately to the secession from the Catholic church.
It has action, theology, and a little romance. That's like the trifecta of awesome. Plus, church history and a bunch of German words. Does it get much better than that? I submit: no.
So, if you don't have any super exciting plans for Halloween tonight, you too can be as cool as me and enjoy a nice night with Martin Luther and all his Reformational buddies, watching them tear down the walls between the people and the clergy and opening up the Bible to a hungry people. (I really do sound like a nerd...)
* By the way, I'm actually stoked tonight about my costume because I got creative. It's a-ma-za-zing. Pictures tomorrow. =)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I will say that my two favorite made-up responses were:
"quondam • \KWAHN-dum\D. A condom quandary of preg-tastic proportions" submitted by Mr. Chris Maples
Candace, send me your address and you'll get your prize!!!
Thanks for those of you that played. This was fun! It was almost like I was a teacher, grading her kids' papers. Except that I hope my teachers weren't as subjective with grades as I was.... although, that would make a lot more sense....
Yay games!!! Yay word-nerds!!! =)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I stole this off this blog. It was talking about just being in the presence of God, delighting in the immeasurable gift that is His presence.
That most assuredly was something I needed to hear today.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The Rules: Pick the definition that goes with the vocab word. If you don’t think it’s one of those choices, tell me what you think the definition is (that’s what the D space is for!) You all have until 5pm on Monday, 10/27 to submit your answers. Either leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know your answers.
Scoring: If you pick the right definition or I think your made-up definition is funnier, you get a point. The person with the most points at the end of the game wins. And yes, this is all very subjective.
The Prize: Yes, you'll get one. Is your interest piqued?
Cheating: Don’t do it. If you cheat, I won’t know, but God will. And I can’t throw lightening bolts, but He can. So don’t cheat.
Disclaimer: This is a nerdy game. That's because I'm a nerd. Furthermore, I could try and be funny but I'm not altogether that humorous and believe me, it would suck more. So enjoy this for the dorky game that it is and good luck!
lacuna • \luh-KOO-nuh\
A. a blank space or a missing part : gap
B. to seize and hold by force or without right
C. lacking in foresight or discernment : limited in outlook
quondam • \KWAHN-dum\
A. exceptionally early in development or occurrence
B. former, sometime
C. to be extraordinarily proud : rejoice
lout • \LOUT\
A. the use of pet names
B. an identifying name or title : designation
C. an awkward brutish person
puissant • \PWISS-unt\
A. one that intrudes in a place or sphere of activity
B. a harmonious succession of words having a pleasing sound
C. of great force or vigor : strong, powerful
flack • \FLACK\
A. to provide publicity : engage in press-agentry
B. a mixture of many drugs and honey formerly held to be an antidote to poison
C. of or relating to fields or lands or their tenure
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This was the coffee sleeve on my hot chocolate this morning. Now, this people, this is the way to start an early Tuesday morning. I even forgave my hot chocolate for being so weak and watered down because it was so complimentary.
I'm obviously a words person.
How's the best way you start your morning?
PS: New blog game starts tomorrow. Get excited and get your game faces on! =)
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Anyone else ever feel like there have been locusts that have come through and just destroyed you? I feel like that a lot. In fact, I feel like that tonight. I spent the better part of my drive home begging God to take away the pain of the locusts' destruction. I want to know why I still struggle, why the locusts remain in my memory? Why can't they just be nothing more than the smallest of memories? I've repented; I've turned back to the Lord. So why? I want to be vindicated. I want to be restored fully. I want to feel that joy/satisfaction/redemption. And it sucks that it's not like that right now.
But Joel 2 reminded me that YHWH is doing that. He's done it. The curse of disobedience was broken on the cross. But it's an ongoing process. Which sucks too. YHWH promised to make up to His people the pain, the misfortune, the destruction they endured in disobedience due to their repentant hearts. If He promised it for the people of Judah, I think it's possible for us too.
But fall means more football, crisp mornings, crunchy leaves, bonfires, long drives.
Let's hope I take the time to actually do some of that stuff.
And check this post out - for all of my whining about "what now, God?" I got punched in the face for "Now what, Sarah?"
Hope you have a great October 1st!
Much love from the West Coast!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Describe your salvation experience and your relationship to Jesus Christ.
Then they proceed to give me three lines in which to explain all this. My first thought: how in the wizzle do I put all that into three lines?! You can't write really, really tiny or else the old people who read the applications can't read it. And they don't give you the opportunity to attach another piece of paper (and believe me, in other places, they give PLENTY of opportunities!). This application has to look classy, refined, mature, academic. Which leaves me with one choice: to reveal all that is my spiritual experience (i.e. my whole life) in a paragraph.
What are they thinking?!
At any rate, I attempted it. Trying to verbalize an entire lifetime with the Almighty is like trying to....do...something....really, really...difficult. (Sorry, my metaphorical outlet is on vacay today.)
How would YOU answer that question in a paragraph? What are your stories?
My feeble attempt (and I still may have to write small):
I was baptized at age 6. My mother says it was because I claimed Jesus was my best friend and I was at a Billy Graham crusade, but I honestly cannot remember. I grew up attending church and all church-related functions, assuming that because I did this, God and I were alright. It was not until late into high school that I realized "church Sarah" and "not-church Sarah" were not the same person. It was then that I remember truly surrendering my life to the Lord and knowing He was the Lord of my heart. Since then my relationship with Christ has waxed and waned. There are moments when His presence is palpable; other moments I feel almost like I've never experienced Him. In spite of my feelings, however, He has remained faithful. I am ever-learning more about Him, His nature, His work in the world and He is ever-guiding me to live in the Spirit. Sometimes I listen, but more often than not, I don't. But He, as always, remains by me, shaping me to be a person who desires His heart.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
(let's not tell Joe Langford I stole an ACF mug... ;) )
...the winner is Emily Huser with her submission of "Ping"!!!
Thank you for all for playing! I love contests and I love prizes! Yay!!! (So many exclamation marks.)
This is the start of a beautiful friendship...
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
So if you want to watch or join, here's the proper link, as given to me by the paster over there.
11am tomorrow morning and other times this weekend! Check it out!
Love you guys!
***So I missed last night's LifeChurch. But I'll be there tonight!
8pm, CST (that's 6pm for you West Coasters) over at LifeChurch.tv. Since I wasn't there, I don't know if my links are broken or not. Hopefully they're ok.
But check it out.
Also, today's "word of the day" - tintinnabulation. Any guess?
See ya tonight!! =)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
So here we are. Doing an aspect of life in the binary world. Yes, there are real people on the other sides of these screens, but for all practical purposes, the web is an outlet, an extension of a culture - not who we are, but maybe what we want to be.
Which makes it difficult sometimes to live life. I'll be honest, it's MUCH easier for me to tell the internet how I feel about some situation or internal conflict than it is to tell another person. I can edit my thoughts until they come out sounding pretty decent (I think). There's little stammering and I can make whatever point I want without interruption.
But my hope for this blog (and for a community of bloggers) is to live life intentionally. There are blogs I read everyday that shout community, reality, honesty, authenticity and love from every post.
So how to do we, as a web-community, do that here? Not forsaking the community of the people we actually live with, but also having purpose and passion here. How does that work? Can it?
Well, some of the people over at LifeChurch.tv are trying something new. They want to develop authenticity and community in this space that so many of us give so much time to. For the next week, they are hosting church via the Web. Weird? A little. But it's reaching people that may not normally go to "real-life" church.
The message is Jesus Christ and Him resurrected. This is just a new way to do it.
Starting tonight @ 8pm, CST, check out LifeChurch.tv. Engage in the worship, listen to the sermons, chat with people worshipping the same God all over the world.
Is this too much? Cool? What do you think?
Monday, September 15, 2008
This is my new bamboo stalk. He or she will live at my desk at work for a little while.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I hate to tell you all this, but I signed us all up for something. You didn't really get a say. I'd apologize, but I'm not really sorry.
Starting next Wednesday, September 17th through September 24th, we're doing something different.
When I find out new details, I'll let you know.
But if you want to hear the "skinny" now, visit this guy's blog.
Let's rock this interweb for the glory of the Lord.
It's gonna be cool. You won't want to miss it. I promise.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Imagine, you're sitting with a friend, enjoying a nice frappucino from the 'Bucks, talking about the day, the weather, your feelings on the latest episode of American Idol, when your friend mentions something about an awesome thing they did/are going to do and SUDDENLY, without warning, you are FLOODED with feelings of jealousy and envy. (Sorry about that ridiculously long sentence.)
I have been getting those feelings a lot lately.
Recently a friend moved out to Seattle with another friend. She has a cute little apartment, with her friend, in a new neighborhood, close to her job. I cannot tell you how much I covet that little apartment.
A few months ago, a different friend called to tell me she'd bought her wedding dress. She's one of my dearest friends and the first thought, before "Congratualtions and tell me all about it!" was "Damn...why isn't that me??"
And just today, yet another friend told me about tentative plans to travel and I just want to hide in her suitcase and go with her.
I didn't know I was such a jealous person. And I hate it. I don't want to be a jealous person. I want to be someone who celebrates with other people over the good in their lives. At least do that before I allow myself to wallow in the restlessness that is my life right now.
And really, Paul doesn't help.
"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Phil. 4.11-13)
Great, just great. Now I'm jealous that Paul figured out contentment, but I don't know it.
Argh....when will I learn?
Monday, September 8, 2008
Oh yes...that's right! SONIC!
Route 44 Cherry Limeade with extra limes & extra cherries!
A ChiliCheese Coney....
Thanks Mom & Dad...you have made my Monday a day of happiness.
*sigh* So good.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Have you ever felt like you probably would fit in better somewhere else? Not that where you are is bad, but you are mysteriously drawn to a way of life that is not where you currently are?
I think I would be totally at home in the Deep South. Maybe it's because my parents are born and raised Tennesseeans. I cut my "musical teeth" to Johnny Cash and Dolly and Tammy Wynette and George Jones and Loretta Lynn. Country music is definitely my BFF (sorry Adina).
I love the Smokies and "hollers" and BBQ's, fireflys and cicadas, deep southern drawls that make every word about 1.8 times longer, hot days and slow evenings, big hair. And good ol' country boys who are....something else altogether. ;)
Perhaps I've just been listening to too much country music or reading too many Nicholas Sparks' books, but if I had to make a change in location, I would head to the South. Maybe not forever, but just to see. And who knows? Maybe I would die.
But maybe I'd kick off my shoes and run in barefeet, where the grass and the dirt and the gravel all meet...
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Because that's usually what my intentions come down to.
But i want it to change. And i want you to hold me accountable.
i want to make a difference. Even if it's simply a letter saying hey to a little girl i've never met.
i wish i had millions of dollars to "make it rain" for people so they could feed their kids and have clean water and not live in alleys and get an education.
But i don't.
However, i do have a lot more than i need. i can make a difference. Even in the little things. Even in my intentions.
So can you.
What have you intended to do that you haven't done yet? Sponsor a child? Adopt a highway? Volunteer somewhere? Encourage a friend who's down? Find a church? Say hey to your co-worker?
Our intentions don't define who we are. Our actions do. And God acting in us to love a broken world will define who we are and to whom we belong.
Do something. While you're at it, check out World Vision or Compassion International or BloodWaterMission to see what's going on around the world to join in on.
And say a prayer for Keyling. Cause you can.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
They don't really want servant hearts; they want ultra-Baptists. And based on #'s 4, 5, 9 and my feelings on 10, I don't qualify. I can't decide if that's bad or not.
Southern Baptists made me sad today...
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
The other day I was discussing with someone some ideas about preaching out of Joel and Jonah. He asked me to look over some verses and get back to him with my thoughts. Two questions were raised and, really each deserves a post of it's own, but I'll try to condense it. He wondered how he would preach out of the prophets based on all the judgment going on in the prophecy; it's hard for congregations to listen to judgment sermons and not get lost is what I imagine he meant by that. He also asked why people would want to hear a sermon based on Jonah or Joel - other than people who want to just because it's in the Bible.
And this is what bothers me.
I believe that as Christians grow in their maturity, in their faith, in their relationship with the Lord and with fellow believers, they should want to read the Bible because it's the Bible. Do we always? No. I was a Bible major for 4 years and there were days I had to read something and I simply wouldn't. Cause I just didn't want to. Some parts of the Bible are as entertaining as getting your teeth cleaned, listening to smooth jazz, driving through Kansas. I know this.
But we should want to. Not because of some legalistic reasoning or because we have to get "right" with God, to improve "our walk." It's the Word of God. It's awesome. I can't even begin to describe how utterly cool I think the Bible is, both from a spiritual and literary perspective.
I think the biggest reason people DON'T want to read their Bibles or study the Word is because they don't know how to. They haven't been given the opportunity to realize how cool it is.
When was the last time you heard a sermon preached on one of the minor prophets? Joel, Amos, Hosea, Malachi, Habbakuk, etc? I know people who don't even know that those are books in the Bible! Because they haven't been introduced. And I can think of very few people who are going to try and do it on their own. Because we are removed from their time and their language and their culture. However, that barrier doesn't make it any less applicable for us today. God's word is living and breathing, and it cuts across time and distance and language to reach us today.
If we choose not to preach and teach parts of Scripture that are difficult or hard to understand, we are going to miss out on telling people about the awesome God we serve.
So often people color God as distant and mean and destructive and cold. This is based on the little they know of the God of the OT. He's not a Gandalf-type God with a flowing beard and a robe who listens to angels play their harps. Nor is He is mean and judgmental God who waits to throw lightening bolts on people when they sin.
The God of the OT and of today is love and joy and restoration and comfort and longing and desire and mercy. He will do anything it takes for people to understand who He and what He longs to be for them. Locusts didn't work, exile didn't work. He even sent Himself in the form of a man to die on a cross for the people He loved. Does that sound like an vindictive or mean god? I don't think it does. His judgment is part and parcel of His great mercy (which is a post for another day). We can't skip over these difficult parts of scripture just because they aren't as "applicable" as Paul.
I think we don't give the people in our congregations enough credit when we think that they can't handle learning new things or things that are hard. Whether they are new Christians or "grew up in the church", people have brains. They are able to hear a word from the Lord, especially if it's HIS word.
This isn't a slam against pastors or teachers or preachers or churches or even my friend. This is just my heart saying that it's vital that we present the whole truth, every aspect of God's character to our churches. I long for people to read the Bible and get drawn into the love story. Because that's what it is.