Thursday, December 31, 2009

Talk Thursday // Auld Lang Syne

* 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.

* 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)

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 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.


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


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' 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

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