Thursday, December 31, 2009

Talk Thursday // Auld Lang Syne

2009:
* Started a Master's program
* Went 4 months without work
* Googled myself and came up with nothin'
* Watched my sister graduate from college and get engaged
* Hung out with awesome people in Missouri and Tennessee
* Worked in the worst department in the history of GroupDeath
* Enjoyed an awesomely hot summer in Washington
* Had a great Veritas summer program
* Hung out with the Gaithers! in Alaska
* Got to hang with the Roomie, Seattle-style
* Was hired by her most favorite department
* Ministered in Ukraine with awesome peeps
* Had one of the roughest months of my life
* Celebrated my sister's marriage and gained a brother-in-law
* Finally finished a horrific semester
* Enjoyed a low-key and relaxing holiday.


2010:
* Going to the Academy of Preaching conference in Louisville, KY
* Starting a new semester of grad school
* Enjoying life in Washington
* Meeting new people
* Making better decisions for my health and well-being
* Anticipating Veritas growing
* Learning to love better
* Celebrating Rachael's high school graduation



I don't know what this year will hold. I can't even begin to anticipate the coming year. But I know that God will be provident throughout it. And I know that even if things get crappy I have people around me who will support and love me.


What about you? How was your 2009? What are you looking forward to in 2010?


Harry: What does this song mean? For my whole life I don't know what this song means. I mean, 'Should old acquaintance be forgot". Does that mean we should forget old acquaintances or does it mean if we happen to forget them we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot them!?

Sally: Well may be it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway it's about old friends.


Happy New Year's, friends!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Socially Awkward

Recently I've had several discussions attempting to define the words "dork", "geek" and "nerd." Everyone I've talked to has had a different association with such words. I've always simply assumed they were synonymous. Even the dictionary seems to have a hard time identifying which is which. All things sci-fi, fantasy, comic book, mathmatical and computer-related I associate with those three words (yes, WoW and D&D players, I'm looking your direction).

So how, you ask, can we easily determine what these words signify?

Glad you asked.

I give you, for the first time ever, the How Socially Awkward Are You? Scorecard!! Tally up your scores to see what category you fall into. I'm basing the questions off the dictionary definitions and extending it to other pursuits outside the ones listed above.

* You are able to give an answer to any question regarding the Lord of the Rings and/or Harry Potter franchise. (Nerd)

* You spendmost of your free time researching - anything. (Geek)

* Much of your conversation is "correcting" someone else's conversation. (Geek)

* You don't mind eating anything as long as there's money involved. (Dork)

* When watching comicbook movies, you are not only annoyed or disappointed by the differences from the original comicbook, but you rant about them afterwards (even though you will buy them anyway). (Nerd)

* Your Amazon wishlist includes anything in the sci-fi genre and/or textbooks. (Nerd)

* Impressions of any "Austin Powers" character is in your standard repetoire. (Dork)

* When reading XKCD, you get most of the jokes (without using Google or feigning laughter). (Geek)

* Bathroom humor is your primary source of laughter. (Dork)

* You are able to use the words "Linux", "meme", "avatar" and "bytecode" properly in conversation. (Geek)

* You are unable to differentiate between they're/their/there or you're/your. (Dork)

* Improper grammatics annoy the crap out of you. (Geek)

* Your movie collection includes one or more Star Wars DVDs. (Nerd)

* Your movie collection includes anything with Sean William Scott. (Dork)

* You don't consider Orson Scott Card "true" sci-fi. (Nerd)

* You are more knowledgeable about another timeperiod than your own. (Geek)

* There is a shelf in your house/apartment/parents basement showcasing some kind of collection. (Nerd)

* You spent the better portion of your morning writing a blogpost analyzing the differences between nerds, geeks, and dorks. (Dork)

Score
Mostly Geek: While you are knowledgeable about computers, history, grammatics or math, its hard for you to talk to the opposite sex. On the bright side you can spell properly and will likely be richer than anyone you graduated with.

Mostly Nerd: People love you because you're fun...until you start talking about LOTR or the differences between Spiderman the comicbooks or Spiderman the movie. Even though you can sit through the entire series of Star Trek, I don't recommend it.

Mostly Dork: Geeks and nerds sometimes have a hard time with you, but you likely dated in highschool and can make anyone laugh. But please stop with the impressions - they're getting old.

After scoring myself, I'm mostly a geek, but am slowly gaining "nerd" characteristics. I think this was cemented last night when I excitedly opened an Amazon package and it contained the Firefly series. My "geek"-ness will be more established when my new commentaries come in the mail this week... And when I talk about how excited I am about these things in public, I solidify my dorkiness.

So how socially awkward are you? ;)



(And if you're offended by this, well, I just can't help you.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

There's Still Magic


No matter how old I get, there is still something utterly magical about the simple beauty of our family Christmas tree.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Talk Thursday // Maranatha

For those of you hoping that the title of this post was in reference to the awesomeness that was contemporary Christian worship music of the '70's, 80's and 90's (including the Duke of Awesome: Psalty the Singing Songbook), sorry. It's not about that. Rest assured, one day when I can expound the awesome enough, there will be a post about Maranatha music, but until that day comes, the one or two of you that even know/care what I'm talking about will just have to wait.

Oh look! That's what we're talking about! *Segue!!!*

Sidenote: I think I've been reading webcomics too much lately...my brain moves differently now than it did 24 hours ago...

If you didn't know, we are currently in the Season of Advent (based on the Christian calendar). It's the 4 week long season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The word Advent comes from the Latin word, which means "coming", which is similar to the Greek phrase Maranatha (you see how I made that connection?...yeah).

This season was designed initially as a time to spend fasting and praying as Christians waited for the coming celebration of the birth of the Messiah. It was like the Nov/Dec version of Lent. In that time, pastors and priests would preach on the expectation of the arrival of the Christ-child, and how that expectation was manifested in our lives.

It was a time of self-denial in anticipation of a coming celebration.

Cause who doesn't want to celebrate a birth? Who doesn't want to celebrate the hope of new life? Who doesn't want to celebrate life in general?

That's what Jesus' birth brought. Like the majority of all births, there was the sheer joy of the birth of a child. Unlike the majority of babies, this particular baby carried with Him the hope of a future new life. He was called Immanuel, which means "God with us." He was known as the Messiah, the Savior, the Anointed One.

In birth, He came as the hope of parents. He came as the hope of Israel.

In His life, death and resurrection, Jesus ended up being the hope of the whole world. He ended up being the hope for life after death. He gave the world the inauguration of true hope.

Hope in life.
Hope in faith.
Hope in the midst of persecution and trials.
Hope in death.
Hope in God.

So how does that go with waiting? Glad you asked.

Right now, the season of Advent waits to begin the celebration of the birth of the Messiah. But beyond that, the world and mankind wait for the return of the King. (like I said, too many webcomics...)

Our lives are full of expectancy. We wait for the bus, we wait for our paychecks, we wait for new shows, new gadgets, more time.

But the whole world is waiting for the coming of God. We hope in the midst of the waiting. We say Maranatha - "Come Lord."

In the meantime, we celebrate. And party-hardy

What are you waiting for? What are you hoping for? What are you hoping in? What are you celebrating?


Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Break From the Regularly Scheduled Christmas Program


So it's been all sorts of "Christmas-y" up in here the last couple weeks. For the first time in...well, longer than I can remember, I've been consistently excited through this Christmas holiday. I think it helps that I haven't ventured into the mall at all....

Anyway, as a break from our Christmas musings and holiday cheer, I wanted to direct your attention to the new blog roll on the side of the page - "WebComics that will A) Waste Your Time and B) Cause Laughter." Lately (probably as a response to my lacksidasical daytimes) I've been reading a lot of new (to me) webcomics. And they are funny. As I find more that I enjoy, I'll add to the blog roll. And if there's any that you like that I don't know about, please feel free to share.

This might make me a dork. And I'm learning to be ok in spite of that. =) Hope you all are having a Merry Christmas Eve Eve. I'm working today. Which means clicking links on the side panel. =)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winners of the Name that Christmas Song Contest!!

Well, it's taken me well over a week to finally get back to the most awesomely awesome musical Christmas blog game ever (If "ever" means "within the confines of Hephzibah's blog"...).

In tallying up the scores, the three awesomely great people that played each got 9/10. But I'm going to make each of you a Rockin' the Yuletide CD. Because I'm a giver. =) It won't get to you before Christmas 09 commences, but it will assuredly be to you BEFORE Christmas '10 begins. That much I can promise.

So, Erica G, Sara and Adina, send me your current physical addresses to sarniclew at gmail dot com and you'll get a super rad Christmas mix. Just because you're cool. And I'm on break and need things to keep me occupied. =)

Thanks for playing!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Talk Thursday // Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I know that a lot of fundamentalist Christians have a problem with you. They see "satan" instead of "Santa." And I'm sorry for that. That must suck. You get a lot of flack from a lot of people and I don't want to give that to you. Sure, I have some weirdness with you coming in through people's chimmneys (but if you came through a window, I suppose I'd be more creeped out) and those flying reindeer kinda freak my stuff out. And I won't even go into the elves you have up in the North Pole, especially Elf on a Shelf (except for that Will Ferrell movie...that was hilarious!)

All that to say that, I feel pretty ambiguous towards you. You're a jolly guy who, for some reason in every mall around the world, makes small children cry. If you're so jolly, why do they cry so much? I think it's a valid question. But I'll likely tell my unlikely future children the story of Ol' Saint Nikolas, cause that's a pretty freaking cool story.

Santa, thanks for reading this blog. And thanks for helping kids have imaginations. Good times.

In closing, can I leave you with some of my Christmas list? I've been pretty good this year, I think (leaving out the incidents with over-spending at Wal-Mart).

* iPhone
* Any Word Biblical Commentary
* the "Firefly" season

* Peace in my family
* Help with my friend's burned-down house
* Veritas church moving in the community

I know you're not God and can't do some of those things. But whatever you can help with, that'd be great. And I'm going to let my friends leave their lists too. Since we know you're reading the blog.

Merry Christmas Santa.

Love,
Sarah


What would you say to Santa? And what's on your Christmas list?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ukraine Pictures Finally Posted!

Hey friends! If you're interested in looking at some of my pictures that I've posted from Ukraine, they're up on my Facebook. If we're not friends on Facebook, that's weird and we should be. So head over there and see them!


Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.

1 Peter 3.13-17

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Talk Thursday // Name that Christmas Song!

Normally Talk Thursday's function like Linda Richman who encouraged us to discuss how Rhode Island was neither a road nor an island.

Today I present the First Annual Name That Christmas Song Talk Thursday BlogGame! (Otherwise known as FANTCSTTBG).

Objective: name all Christmas Songs based on the line I provide to you without cheating. (You can cheat. Just know that if you do, you'll make sweet baby Jesus cry. And no one wants that.)

Goal: winner(s) get a free copy of my Ultimate Rockin' the Yuletide CD

LET'S PLAY!!

1. "There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy, when we pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie."

2. "We are not daily beggars who beg from door-to-door, but we are neighbor's children whom you have seen before."

3. "Til ringing, singing on its way, the world revolved from night to day. A voice, a chime, a chant sublime Of peace on earth, goodwill to men."

4. "Christmas is here, bringing good cheer, to young and old, meek and the bold."

5. "When Christ was born of Mary free, In Bethlehem in that fair city, Angels sung e'er with mirth and glee."

6. "Born a king on Bethlehem's plain, Gold I bring to crown Him again, King forever, ceasing never, Over us all to reign."

7. (for our Spanish-speaking audience)..."Feliz Navidad, prospero ano y felicidad."

8. "Here we are as in olden days, Happy golden days of yore."

9. "Ox and ass before Him bow, as He is in the manger now."

10. "There'll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago."


Since I'm in KCMO until Tuesday for my sister's wedding, you will have until Wednesday morning to post your answers. And if you want to post a happy thought for Heather and Stephen, you can here. They read this. ;)

C'mon...you know you want to win that prize. ;)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mothers Are Always Right

My mother DESPERATELY wants to move to Arizona. She loves the dry air, little rainfall and cacti. Ok, so that last one I'm not sure of, but I know she loves the great Southwest. I've said since she began this "Arizona" nonsense that if she were to move there (or Texas or Kansas), I would not follow. She and my dad would be all by their lonesome in the desert.

But since the weather in the Puget Sound has required that I put on two coats just to keep from shivering all day long, I'm now reconsidering my aforementioned prejudices to residing in Arizona or Texas (since Heather and Stephen will be in Waco...maybe I'll transfer to Truett.) Or maybe I'll just pray that God sends me on a mission to Hawaii. Sure, that'll do. =)

Kansas, you're still dead to me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Rockin' the Yuletide

As an iTunes/procrastination junkie, I made myself the Ultimate Christmas mix last night. And I wanted to share.

* All I Want for Christmas is You, Mariah Carey

* Another Christmas Song, Stephen Colbert (A Colbert Christmas)

* Baby, It's Cold Outside, Dean Martin feat. Martina McBride (Christmas with Dino)

* Behold the Lamb of God, Andrew Peterson (Behold the Lamb of God)

* Christmas Eve, Sarajevo 12/24, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Christmas Eve & Other Stories)

* The Christmas Song, 'N Sync (Home for Christmas)

* Don't Save It all for Christmas Day, Avalon (Joy)

* Hallelujah, David Phelps (One Wintry Night)

* Handel's Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus, Oliver Von Dohnayi: Slovak National Philharmonic Orchestra

* I Pray On Christmas, Harry Connick, Jr. (When My Heart Finds Christmas)

* Joy (to the World), Avalon (Joy)

* Labor of Love, sung by Jill Philips (Behold the Lamb of God, Andrew Peterson)

* A Mad-Russian's Christmas, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Christmas Eve & Other Stories)

* Matthew's Begats, Andrew Peterson (Behold the Lamb of God)

* Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, 'N Sync (Home for Christmas)

* O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, Casting Crowns (Peace on Earth)

* O Holy Night, David Phelps (One Wintry Night)

* The Singer [Let There Be Light], David Phelps (One Wintry Night)

* Sleigh Ride, Harry Connick, Jr. (When My Heart Finds Christmas)

* There's Still Magic, Alli Rogers (The Silent Stars EP)


What are your Christmas music must-haves?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Talk Thursday // Life Lessons

There are many things I've learned in the course of my life.

Some have been poignant: sometimes learning from other people's mistakes costs less than learning from your own.

Some have been not so poignant but still ultimately helpful: remember to check your bank account before making big purchases.


It is in this vein that I present to you, Sarah's life lesson #847: always listen to your hair stylist. Especially the week before your sister's wedding.

What are some life lessons that you've learned? Care to share so we can avoid unnecessary pain? Have you learned any recently?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

wednesday is a good day for bad poetry

phones ringing
Sinatra singing
email dinging

dry-erase
working for PACE
enter data
wish it was later

coffee mug dries
sleepy eyes
boredom cries

homework to be done
would rather have fun
blog poems suck
sorry about this muck

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Talk Thursday // Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am thankful for...

...my family who loves me even when I suck

...my friends who put up with all my junk, over and over and over

...my church that encourages me in all my wild ambitions

...my job that has supported me through this crazy semester

...an apartment that I can call my own, even when I'm not there a whole lot

...a school that is helping train me for ministry

..a Savior who gave His life for me

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Perspective

94 assignments completed in 14 weeks: $90(+) on caffeine-related products

15 assignments to go in 2 weeks: $30(+) on caffeine-related products

The knowledge that this semester will be over in only 14 days: priceless

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

Favorite new video:

Favorite new drink:


Favorite picture of all-time:


Favorite new website:
Awkward Family Photos

Favorite new band:
NeedToBreathe
And new favorite song, which happens to be by them:
"Washed by the Water"

Favorite thing I'm waiting for:


Favorite vegetarian dish:
Stuffed Bell Peppers

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Talk Thursday // Twi-Hards

Unless you've been living under a rock or recently woken up from a coma, you should be blisteringly aware of the Twilight hype that has swept, not only the nation, but also...the world. For the last 14 months, we have inundated with Bella, Edward, Jacob and Forks, Washington. People are picking "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob", underwear is being tossed about like lacy grenades and tweens the world over are going to let out a collective sigh this weekend as they flock to the theatres for the first view of a shirtless Edward or Jacob. (For that matter...so will I...)




But I digress...




Are you going to head to the theatre this weekend to see Twilight: New Moon? And a post-script question: are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? Or do you care at all?





Even if this movie isn't up your cinematic alley, you have to admit, it's a huge deal. Like Titanic. Or my birthday. =)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Exegetical...

It's exegetical season again.

For those of you that haven't known me long enough to remember exegetical seasons, congratulations. It is that time of the school year when I become hermit-like, only eating the nuts and berries found near the library for food and speaking only in grunts. It is a brutal season for anyone near me, as well as for my own sanity.

The 2nd problematic layer of this exegetical season (which will run until November 30th if I'm lucky or December 15th if I'm not) is that I haven't had an exegetical season in almost 2 years. I can't remember how to write one, what to look for, and I'm easily distracted (the other day, instead of writing, I made a Christmas present for my parents and for my roomie).

So if you see a zombie-hermit-sleep-walker in the greater Seattle area mumbling about what it means to endure suffering for the sake of Christ and how that applys to our lives and in what ways, do not be alarmed. Just give the curly-headed creature a sip of Dr. Pepper and a cookie and send her back to her apartment. You'll have done the right thing.



And in other news, I've just learned about NeedToBreathe. And they're awesome. You should check them out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Talk Thursday // I want to be Arwen


The character of Arwen from The Lord of the Rings movies is one of the greatest characters ever (in my humble opinion). Probably my favorite line in any movie is "If you want him - come and claim him!" She's daring and brave and passionate. And she gets to be makey-outy with Viggo. ;)

Adventures intrigue and inspire us. Epic tales of heros and heroines battling the villians awaken something within us.

I have always wanted to be part of an adventure. Something that requires that my life be completely and forever altered, something that alters the lives of the people around me.

At this point, I don't feel like I've found my "great adventure." But there is always hope.

Are you part of an epic adventure? Do you long to be caught up in something greater than yourself? To ride off into the sunset, knowing that you are completely changed from who you were before? If you haven't found it yet, are you looking? Do you want to be part of an adventure? What adventures are you dreaming of?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

...



In a no-win situation, even the person not playing the game loses.



...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Satisfaction

A co-worker asked me this morning where I got my clothes cause she thought I had super cute outfits.

"Wal-Mart", I replied.

She stared back in shock. And probably a little of disgust.



Ahhh...the sweet satisfaction of dressing adorably and affordably.

(So you can kiss it, stores I can't afford (and wouldn't shop at anyway for your blatant "sex sells" approach to marketing coupled with the fact that you don't make clothes for women with curves!!!!))

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Talk Thursday // No! No! No! No! No!



Last week I stole off Bryan Allain's blog to bring us our Talk Thursday about what things we fully support.

This week, because we like to do things in pairs and because my friend Jamie thought we should, I pose the antithesis to our previous question:


What things do you absolutely, completely, without reserve not support? I mean, what things in this world would you recommend only to your nemesis? Or just things you really don't like?


Here are mine:

* Treating animals like people (ie: dressing them, carrying them in purses, talking to them in baby-talk)

* Baby-talk

* Mt. Dew

* Racism

* Joel Osteen

* Porn/sex trafficking

* Verizon

* The Pittsburgh Steelers

* Bananas

* The multi-billion dollar robotic industry

* Proof-texting/using Bible verses out of context

* Cults

* Applications on Facebook

* The length of MLB & NBA seasons

* Chumming for sharks

* Feeding squirrels


So what about you?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pondering

Do you ever wonder if the people who blow the leaves off the sidewalk with those electric leaf-blowers have a vendetta against leaves?

Sometimes I wonder that.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I May Have a Chance After All!


Last night I made soup. From scratch. In my own kitchen. Not for the first time, but definitely the first time in a LONG time.

And people say I can't cook....


See Grandma? I may have a chance at scoring a husband somewhere down the road! (Let's just not tell grandma or my future mate how many times I had to call my dad for help...)

Yum!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Talk Thursday // Full Support

I must confess, I read this post on Bryan Allain's blog and stole the idea. Sorry. But it was too good a question to pass up! Therefore, comment here, and to repay him for my thievery, go comment over there too. =)

I know that you guys have very strong feelings on some stuff. So I ask: what are some things you fully support?

These things below are some things I give my 100% support to. If needed, I could come up with valid reasons why. I won't, but rest assured that I could. What about you?


* The Dr. Pepper Bottling Company

* Modesty

* Showering AT LEAST every other day

* Seattle Seahawks football (even when they suck)

* Wal-Mart

* The destruction of robots

* Proper hermeuntical methods

* Biblical studies

* Squirrel hunting

* Global missions

* The new iTunes Genius Mix feature

* T-Mobile

* Veritas Church

* Nestle CoffeeMate fat-free French Vanilla creamer





.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hope You're Comfy!

Cause this here's a not-so-brief recap of my recent trip to Ukraine. When I get my camera back from Portland, there will be pictures. Oh...there will be pictures. =)

Until then...here's a glimpse of the last two weeks:

Our team of 6 met up in Amsterdam on Thursday, October 8th. We had spoken on the phone but I only knew 2 others personally. I was not worried about the Ukrainian people, the food or the travels – I was concerned with how the team dynamics would be. And the Lord was so provident in how He placed this team together that my worries dissipated within a day.

It was fairly up-in-the-air as to what we would be doing on a daily basis, so we expected that we needed to be flexible and that definitely came out as we began planning what we would be doing for our time there. We were “stationed” in a little church in the village region of Brusilov, about 2 hours southwest of Kyiv. There is a team of several pastors who live in that area as church planters with whom we worked daily. It was so inspiring to hear their stories of church planting and the struggles they have faced and how the Lord has continued to move there. The area of Brusilov has 37 villages that these pastors are working to evangelize. In the last 15 years, they have evangelized and seen active growth in 27 of those villages. It was our honor to partner with them as they continue to spread the gospel.

Our days were filled with morning prayer meetings (which were 2 hours long, each!), prayer-walking, evening services, and copious amounts of food. We were invited to a different church in the area every evening to preach, sing, and give our testimonies. This was difficult for some people in the group who were not accustomed to public speaking, but the Lord worked mightily through their words and it was amazing to see His power displayed, even in the midst of our personal discomfort.

The most powerful moments of the time there were for me were our prayer walks in 21 of the surrounding villages. Our team and one or two of the pastors would drive to a village and the pastors would share of what work has been done there and what they hope to accomplish, and they would tell us of the strongholds that satan has there. Alcoholism and witchcraft/the occult are two ways that satan has continued to prevent many people from hearing the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We would spend time there in corporate prayer and as we were able to, we would talk to anyone we encountered. Personally, I have never experienced prayer like that before in my life. It was powerful and the presence of the Lord was nearly tangible among us.

During our time there, I was surprised by how unlike a foreign country it felt. Few people spoke English, the writing was completely foreign, we were around mostly farmers whereas I am a city-girl. However, I felt like I was simply in another part of my own world. I expected that I would be shocked or unfamiliar with things, but it did not make me feel disconnected from the people there or even their way of life.

The only downfall of the trip was that I came back with a little friend – a stomach bug. It hit me early and was unfortunately accompanied by a fever, causing me to panic that I had the typhoid fever! It was a little ridiculous for such a small thing, but praise God, it’s gone (we hope!) now. =)

Thank you again SOOOOOOOO much for your support for this trip. You will never know the impact you made on lives in Ukraine, but I feel so blessed for the impact you make on mine.

Even though I’m no longer in Ukraine, please still take the time to pray for that area. The pastors and ministers there are doing a tremendous work and would still appreciate all the prayers you can give. Be in prayer for the region of Brusilov, as well Ukraine in general. They are in a time of religious and political freedom, but that can change in a moment.


That was long, but trust me...I could have been MUCH more verbose! =)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Talk Thursday // Technology

Kip crooned it well: "Yes, I love technology But not as much as you, you see. But I still love technology. Always and forever."
As much as I'm phobic of robots (and all robotic practices), I love me some technology. Microwaves, cell phones, Skype, computers, hair straighteners, iPods - you name it (other than the Roomba), I love it. While I was out of the country, I missed my cell phone and my computer more than was probably healthy. I watched other people talk on their phones and started getting the shakes. At one point, there might have even been a dream about Facebook. And right now, I have no internet access at my apartment. I haven't checked my Facebook in two days; it's slowly eating away at me.


It's a sickness and Jesus and I are working on it.


So...man up and share: how addicted to technology are you? What piece of technology do you think you couldn't live without? Would you sing a ballad to technology?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Talk Thursday / / Inspirational Music


Last Talk Thursday, I asked about embarassing songs. This Talk Thursday I want to know, what inspires you? If you're feeling down and out, what picks you up? If you need some motivation, what gets you going? Share some inspiration, and by doing so, maybe inspire others.
For me, it's Rob Thomas. Almost anything by Rob Thomas (or Matchbox 20) is enough to pick me up. But lately, 'When the Heartache Ends' is what I hit 'repeat' on.
When I need motivation to do something, it's Techno. Anything techno.
But! I'm not done yet! Oh-ho! As it is, your beautiful and wonderful and talented and amazing host (Sarah Lewie), will return soon! So inspire her by leaving a small comment on what you prayed for, how she has inspired you at some time, or what you think she'd like to hear once she's home.
It was great spending these last two Talk Thursdays with you all!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Talk Thursday / / Embarassing Songs


We all have them. Personally, when "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion comes on my computer, mp3 player, pandora playlist, radio, etc. I can't help but A) sing along and B) wish it were the techno version (which I own proudly). It's just one of those things. You're driving in your car, busting out to whatever shame-inducing song, and someone pulls next to you and immediately you pretend you're singing something else. Ok, so maybe not that bad.


So what's it for you? What's the one (or two, or three, or four) embarassing song that you can't help but be slightly ashamed for knowing every word to?


(Also, if you think that I'm less of a man for this, know that this is the sequel I've been waiting for for YEARS.)
If you enjoyed this Talk Thursday, it has been brought to you by Chris of Falling Up. If you did not enjoy this Talk Thursday, it was brought to you by the lovely and beautiful Sarah Lewie. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Leavin' On a Jet Plane, Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again

That's not entirely true. I'll be back in a few weeks.

BUT!!!

I'm ready to go...
Packed.

Terrified.

Excited

Our guest blogger for the next two Talk Thursdays will (hopefully) be Chris Maples. Even if he forgets, go check out his blog. And other peoples. I mean, if you just want to read the archives of SarahLewie, I would understand. But I encourage you to expand your blogging horizons.

Hope you guys have a great couple weeks!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

It's Finally Here...


Ukraine.

* It is the largest country in Europe - slightly smaller than Texas
* There are 49 million + residents

* It is highly developed with 98% of Ukrainians who are literate

* The national "religion" is Eastern Orthodox Christianity


But do they know Jesus?



Less than 72 hours from right now, I will be heading off into the sunset of Brusilov, Ukraine with a team of 6 people from across the Unites States.

We don't know what we'll be doing.
We don't know each other.
We don't know what to expect.

And yet we're going.



I'll be real honest - I'm not excited yet. I'm not scared, but I'm not stoked. The prayer is that God will change my heart and attitude dramatically in the next two days.

I can't wait to share this experience with you all.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Talk Thursday // TV-holic


I'll be real honest, now that a new season of shows has started, I have found that my conversations revolve less around my own life and more and more around the lives of fictional characters. And I don't just mean Bella & Edward.


So I think it's time for all of us to come forward and confess: what's your weeknight schedule look like? Do you make plans around your shows? What does your water-cooler talk consist of? (And please, if you don't watch/own a TV, good for you - I'm proud, really. But don't make us feel bad for our entertainment needs.)


For me:

Monday, 8pm - How I Met Your Mother - CBS

Tuesday, 8pm - NCIS; 9pm - NCIS:LA - CBS

Wednesday, 8pm - Glee - FOX

Thursday, 9pm - The Office; 9.30pm - Community - NBC



Since I'm in class on Monday nights and don't have a TV yet to watch Wednesday & Thursday nights, Hulu is my friend. I can catch all my shows with relative ease at any time. Unless the free network I'm pirating internet from gets locked. In that case, I'll probably be calling one of you to let me come over. =)




What about you?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Morning Distraction

Because I read Stuff Christians Like, I'm inevitably introduced to things that I would never find on my own.

Last week, I followed the link over to Tyler Stanton's blog. I warn you now...if you're at work, do not do this. If you sit in a cubicle, surrounded by 15 people who answer phones or if you have to answer phones, do not go there. Wait until you can get home and laugh without restrain. Because unfortunately for my co-workers, I have the laugh of a hyena. And a donkey. And a midget on steriods. Combined.

This is one nugget of hilarity contained within the confines of Tyler's blog:



Seriously.

I have been laughing at this blog all morning. I now want to share the joy.

And if you know of any other blogs that crack your stuff and that can contribute to my workday distractions, please list them here.* If yours is hilarious, please let us know so we can all experience the mirth.




*If my boss reads this, this post was for the sake of posting and not because I actually read blogs at work...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall - I Forgot How Much I Missed You

You give me beautiful fall days in one of the most gorgeous places in the world...












You give me browns and oranges and reds and crunching...












You give me the opportunity to wear cardigans and scarves...











And you give me Seahawks football...














Thank you, Fall. Thank you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Talk Thursday // Defying Gravity

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by
The rules of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes
And leap...
It's time to try defying gravity
I think I'll try defying gravity
And you can't pull me down

I'm through accepting limits
Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try I'll never know
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost
I'd sooner buy defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye, I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!


What are you dreaming of defying gravity for? Do you have any big dreams that you're ready to pursue and chase after? Even if it means people think you're crazy or foolish or....Wicked?


I haven't figured it out yet for myself. But I'm ready to have that dream. I'm ready to defy gravity. Thanks Elphaba!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesdays are the new Mondays


I'm only at work 3 days a week.

By the time I get here on Wednesday, other people in my office are 1/2-way through their work week.

It puts us highly off-balance in terms of energy.


I think I'll need another 4 or 5 cups of coffee....


How's your Wednesday going?

Friday, September 18, 2009

On Why I Forget Jesus isn't Keith Urban

Confession: I have a major jones for Keith Urban. I think he's smolderingly gorgeous, extrordinarily talented and he's from Australia - the trifecta of attraction, really. At his Escape Together concert the other night, I was entranced. As his high-power guitar riffs wailed through the Tacoma Dome, I was so completely overwhelmed and caught up with the music that I didn't even know what I felt. At one point during the concert, he even came within about 10 rows of us. Momentarily, I weighed the option of tearing down those steps like a pre-teen at a Hannah Montana show or just enjoying the ride like a normal, sane 24-year-old. Lucky for all of us, option 2 won.

There are significant moments when I think Jesus is like Keith Urban.

Is it the hair? Maybe....




But really, I think it's mostly that I treat Jesus like some eternal, cosmic celebrity.

As much as I like and respect Keith Urban and would love to be his friend, I'm not. We don't have a relationship, he doesn't know me. I don't know who he is or what he's about. I know the music he has written or played and I know who he's married to, but really that's where it ends. There is nothing substantial drawing us together.

I often think of Jesus the same way. I like and respect him; I would love to be His friend; I know about who He is, and really, sometimes that's where it ends.

Except that it's completely not true - we are intricately and substantially draw together. Jesus knows me - intimately! We are friends (even when I forget); I know what He's about because He's told me and left a love letter unpacking the details. I even know who His bride is - it's me! Whenever I hear His love song, I get overwhelmed and in awe of the power of His music. He'll even come within a few rows of me, but because I don't want to look insane, I choose not to run and embrace Him.

Keith Urban will never stop his concert, step up to the mic and say in his sexy, Aussie drawl, "Sarah Nicole Lewis, I love you. Escape together with me."

But Jesus would. And Jesus did. He didn't stop a concert - He stopped the power of sin and death and said "Sarah Nicole Lewis, I love you. I love you when you forget that I'm intimately involved in the details of your life. I love you even when you don't want me to be involved. I love you when you compare me to a country music star and forget that we're friends. I love you because of your loud laugh and your expressive nature and your big hair. I love you so much that I died and came back to life so we could be eternally and completely drawn together."

Keith Urban may be super talented and Nicole Kidman may be a lucky, lucky woman, but at the end of the day, Jesus knows me.

And I'm good with that.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Talk Thursday // New Things

If we're friends on Facebook, you've probably noticed the many postings about my new apartment and my moving processes. Which I am sorry for, by the way.

If we're not friends on Facebook, that's weird and we should be.


Anyway, as of Saturday, I will be a new resident of Maple Valley, WA. Federal Way will sadly be short one loud laugher.

But it's a new change...a big change. I won't be living with my parents, I'll be living on my own, I'll have to actually cook meals rather than just live off Easy Mac and cereal. (Who am I kidding? Of course I'll live off Easy Mac and cereal...)

There are lots of big changes going on for a lot of people. So share yours. Are you excited? Are you nervous? Do you think you're going to chuck? (Maybe that's just me...) Let us know. Nothing is too small or dorky to share. If it wasn't for the move to the MV, my change would be my underwear. And yes, I would share that with you all. ;)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday's Word of the Day

I've used this word before, thinking it was modifying some noun. No no....it's an actual word.

crapulous

\KRAP-yuh-lus\ , adjective:
1. Given to or characterized by gross excess in drinking or eating.
2. Suffering from or due to such excess.


How odd...

Have you ever used a word you didn't know?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Talk Thursday // Movies


I got a phone call this morning from my sister and her man. The first thing I heard was "Put your hand down, Little Steve!!"

For most of you, that probably doesn't tickle you the way it did me. But I know it's from Get Over It and it seriously makes me laugh every. single. time. I might have even chortled.

There are just some movies, some lines that stick with us forever. And there are those movies that, no matter what, if it's on, I can't help but watch.

So...let's discuss: what are those movies that you just have to watch? What are some lines that you've heard that make you laugh every time?

Mine are:

* Anything by Mel Brooks ("Would you like to roll in zee hay?" "Roll, roll. Roll in zee hay....")
* Wayne's World ("She will be mine. Oh yes. She will be mine." "If she were a president, she'd be Babe-raham Lincoln.")
* Tommy Boy ("Richard, who's your favorite Little Rascal? Is it Alphalpha? Or is it Spanky?...Sinner.")
* Steel Magnolias ("Here! Take a whack at Weezer!" "You are evil & you must be destroyed.")
* The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas ("You know what burns my ass? A flame about 3 feet high.")
* When Harry Met Sally ("You know it funny...you look like a normal person, but really, you're the angel of death.")
* Return to Me ("Whatever you do, don't shave your legs." "Why?" "...hairy legs are your only link to reality." "You should needle-point that on a pillow." "I just might. It kept me a virgin until, you know, whenever.")


What are yours?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday is a Good Day for Bad Poetry

Coffee -
Swimming in my veins.
Hebrews -
Filling up my brains.
Only two more hours
And I'm headed back towards the mains
Of my life up north
Where it's rainy & wet
Home -
Where my pillow is
Work -
Where the $$ is
And yet through it all
In my brain will be
Hebrews
In my veins will be
Coffee

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Talk Thursday // A Summer Recap


My blogging friends, I feel like we've been apart for so long! But rest assured, we're back in full swing!

To get us jump-started, let's have a summer re-cap. I know that a lot of you went on trips, had awesome experiences or did nothing at all.

Share with your fellow bloggers how your summer was. Pictures will always be welcome. =)


Huzzah!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

WTF?

This was literally a lyric I heard on the radio today:

"Shush girl, shut your lips, do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips."

What the crap does that even mean? Does that songwriter even know who Helen Keller is?

Helen Keller would roll over in her grave if she knew about this....



I honestly worry about the future of our world.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Talk Thursday // Back to School

"Back to school! Back to school! To show my dad I'm not a fool!"

Oh Billy Madison. How much laughter you bring to me.
All over the country, summer is beginning to wind down and school is beginning to get started back up. Here is NW, we won't go back for a few more weeks, but the feeling of energy is already in the air.

I don't know how the rest of you feel, but I love shopping for school supplies. There's something about starting a new year with new things that just makes me feel hopeful. It might possibly be my most favorite time of year. Even more favorite than Hannukkah. And I love Hannukkah.

But I know that for many of you, school does't affect you anymore. Or you disklike school. Some of you LOVE it too. To which I give you a Blogger High-Five!


So today's question: what are you most excited about for this coming school year? Whether or not you're in school, what excites you most about the time from August/September to May/June?

Monday, August 10, 2009

When God is Funnier than You Thought

Have you ever had those moments where you stop and think, "Whoa. God is a lot bigger and funnier than I ever imagined."

I had a moment like that last night. Allow me to share. =)

A few weeks ago, a friend asked if I was interested in an opportunity to nanny for her aunt this coming weekend on a cruise in Alaska. This might interest me normally, but the "icing on the cake" was that this cruise was the Gaither Homecoming Alaskan Cruise and my friend's aunt is Ladye Love Smith of Ladye Love & Reggie Smith who sing with the Gaither Homecoming crew.

You have to realize that before 2 years ago I couldn't STAND Southern Gospel and especially the Gaithers. I harbored this little vendetta because it was "uncool" and for old people. You also have to realize that I've never before moving home I was not so good with the being around children-thing. Although, I'm still not sometimes...

But I knew it was one of those once in a lifetime things that I just would regret if I didn't try to make work. I turned in my notice for my job hoping that everything would come through. I started planning what I could take to entertain a 7-yr-old kid for a week while his parents perform. I thought through how to be cool and not act the way I did when I met Sandi Patty last summer (but that's another story...).

And the Lord let everything work out.

Last night my mom looked at me and said "Sarah, isn't it incredible the things the Lord will give you, even when you don't ask?" And I honestly would have never, not in my wildest dreams, thought to ask to nanny on a cruise ship. In Alaska. For the Gaither Homecoming show. Two years ago I would have never even dreamed this was something I would have even wanted to do. Now I'm excited to go and minister to this family so that they can minister to a whole cruise-ship full of people. I'm excited to hang out with this little kid so that he can be part of his family's life. I'm excited to hang out the members of a group that I love to listen to.

This might be one of those things that you think, "What is the opposite of name-dropping?" because you think this is lame. And that's ok. But it's amazing to me what God wants to give us, even when we don't know we want it.

And btw, you should probably learn to love the Gaithers cause you know we're gonna be singing "Because He Lives" all the time in heaven. =)



Friday, August 7, 2009

The Joys of Craigslist...


Toilet (Covington)


I have one free toilet. Was working when we took it out. Just upgraded to a better one. Round bowl, toilet seat included. Will need new "guts" (about $6 at Home Depot). This toilet was made in 1994- so I think it is pre "low-flow." E-mail if interested. Can send pics if want. Thanks.
Location: Covington

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests.


***


Are YOU interested in obtaining a free toilet on the internet? Yeesh....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Talk Thursday // If..

If you could have only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If you could sing one song perfectly, what song would you sing?

If you had the chance to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

If you could relive any season of life again, when would it be?

If you could choose, who would you choose to be trapped in an elevator with?

I love playing make-believe! =) 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Moments I Wish I Had Twitter


I don't like Twitter. It's not that I dislike people who Twitter, it's that I don't like my text messages going off all the bloody time. It's like getting a Facebook update to your phone all the time (which I've done and it drove me wingy). I love you; I just don't want to know what you're doing every moment of the day.

However, there are those rare moments where I think Twitter would be great. If I'd had Twitter, this is what I would have written this morning:

This morning there was a wolf in my yard. Friendly but considerably less so at the mention of vampires. Too much Twilight for me? Probably.

If you could Twitter about your morning so far, what would it say?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sharktoid Factoid, No. 1

Did you know that Great White Sharks have been known to jump out of the water at over 12 feet?! Since they are easily one of largest and heaviest shark species, this ability is fascinating and awesome. Researchers have observed that in an attack, they move directly vertical towards their prey on the surface at speeds near 20 miles per hour.





Hecks yes.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Shark Week 2009, Greatest Week of the Summer

I know I've mentioned before that sharks are my most favorite animal (alongside lions) in the world. I have been fascinated with sharks since I was little and Shark Week on the Discovery Channel is the greatest week of my summer. 

And it's here once again. 

Since I feel like I haven't been here much lately and this week of awesomeness is upon us, I have decided to celebrate Shark Week Sarah-style. (Which we all now is the best style. ;) )

To start things off right, please enjoy this video. You'll laugh, you'll cry, but mostly you'll just laugh. 

Happy Shark Week, everyone!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This Week

I had forgotten how much I love VBS. The songs, the excitement, getting to act as silly as possible because kids LOVE that! On Sunday's we are doing "Outrigger Island" for the kids program at church. It was a blast. Now with Sports Camp well underway, I see this week shaping up for awesomeness. Which is a strange feeling indeed because I don't do well with children - they intimidate me and parents get mad because I threaten them with bodily harm as my means of obtaining obedience. But I love it all the same. 

This week at Veritas is Sports Camp. It's like VBS, only this time we're putting lacrosse sticks in the children's hands and telling them to have at it. I feel an inordinate amount of bruises to come...

So if you don't see very much of me on here this week, it's because I'm plumb exhausted from the go-go-going-ness of it all. But I promise pictures to come. =) 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Things That Make Mornings Awesome:

* Hot showers

* New clothes

* Leaving on time

* Mom unexpectedly making sausage & bacon for me (I love living at home!)

* A rock-awesome mix CD for the commute

* Jack Johnson playing in the coffee shop

* Realizing that it's Friday

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Talk Thursday // No Doubt

On Sunday the 5th grader inside of me partied hard. Some friends and I went to go see No Doubt in concert at the White River Amphitheatre and it was my 5th grade dream come true. 

Tragic Kindgom came out in 1995 and I remember sitting in the basement of my church, listening to "Spiderwebs" and "Just A Girl", wishing I was as cool as Gwen Stefani. 



15 years later, there I was, sitting and enjoying the show I'd dreamed of for so long. And I still wish I was as cool as Gwen Stefani...














So I wonder: what does the 5th grader in you wish for? 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Outta Here























































The Common Denominator?...

These things just make me want a vacation. Listening to Kenny who makes me want to listen to James who makes me want to listen to Jimmy Buffett who makes me want to sip a margarita on a sunny beach with a good book with Justin Timberlake.


Man, I need a vacation.


What about you?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Talk Thursday // Help!


Today's Talk Thursday is completely selfish, but I'm willing to do it... for the cause.... of myself.


I'm at work. At 10 to 10 we completely ran out of things to do, but I'm on the clock til 4:30. What in the world am I supposed to do to stay occupied for the next 6 hours?!


Have ya'll been in those types of situations? What do you do to keep yourself busy during a long day?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Things, New Things...


If you know me, you know that I am not a big fan of “topical sermons.” I have heard enough poorly exegeted messages that it has left me with a foul taste in my mouth for what I consider proof-texting. So I unfortunately tend to shy away from and devalue the practice of topical sermons.

Which is exactly what my pastor is doing for the month of July.

However, I trust Bob and know that he is a hermeneutical guy. So I made an agreement with my brain that I would calm down, let him preach, and me refrain from judgment for the month.

I am glad God got to me.

Two Sundays ago, Bob preached on the book of Revelation. Indeed, yes, the whole book. And yes, I went into PTSD when I heard about apocaplyticism, pre-,a-, and post-millenialism; I got the shakes when I heard 666 and the “rapture” referenced. But it was a beautiful exposition of a book that we simply can’t and don’t understand.

Over on SereYodh, you too can learn about some heavy topics that we’ll be delving into during the month of July. I have posted about Revelation from Bob’s sermon (and added my own notes). I’m still the “research” hand of Bob’s sermon-planning, a task that I have missed and love.

Hope you learn some interesting things in the next few weeks!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Open Wounds

One would think that time would heal all wounds. 



But it doesn't.



Eff time. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Talk Thursday // Waiting

It often seems like life is a series of waiting games. We wait in line at the supermarket. We wait underneath red lights. We wait for birthdays, we wait for holidays, we wait for the weekend. We wait for phone calls and mail deliveries. We wait to be noticed, we wait to be asked. All this waiting is done in anticipation of the next thing to come, the next moment.

What would happen if we tried to forget about the waiting and revel in the now? I know that I would have no idea what to do with myself. As we speak....er....type, I'm waiting on a phone call from World Vision. I am daydreaming of working for them and what my life could look like if I had that experience. But what would happen if rather than wait all day for this phone call, I simply chose to live my life? To do things purposefully without dwelling in the moments to come, but to honor the moments I have now.

I'm waiting on a phone call.

I could be living right this minute, writing to you.

What are you waiting on? What are you waiting for?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Reasons I Never Want Cats

* Cat fur EVERYWHERE
* No sense of personal space
* Can't make a decision - inside, outside...PICK A SIDE! WE'RE AT WAR!
* In the dark they are almost demonic
* Have no sense of decorum
* Don't understand that 5:30 am is not an appropriate time to start meowing 
* I have to worry about feeding them

I'm cat-sitting for a friend this week. And the 2 cats are pretty good. But seriously, I am committed to not having pets. I'm too lazy and too selfish to keep pets. 

Are ya'll pet people? How do you handle the stress?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Futbol?

Yesterday some friends and I went and watched a Seattle Sounders game. Now, you have to understand, I don't care for soccer. It makes me tired watching them run. And if I had my druthers I'd rather be watching American football. (One more month!!!)

But one thing I noticed is that you can' t be a "pseudo-fan" of soccer - it's all or nothing, baby. In the Qwest field seats, there is a section for the die-hard fans. You are required to stand the full 90 minutes and twirl your scarf about your head. (It kind of reminded me of a college football game.)

And this sport is international. There are no boundaries. If I could learn to like soccer, I could connect with anyone in most of the world.

The question then is, how to learn to love soccer? Hmmm....

I think perhaps it's best to learn by observing...






Perhaps I judged soccer too swiftly.... I could be a fan after all... ;)