Monthly Archives: January 2010


I’m taking Perspectives on the World Christian Movement and the reading for this week kind of blew me away.  The conclusions the various authors presented were probably not that far from my later concluding, but to “hear” it again and again all in the same sitting:  wow.

I don’t have the reading and study materials here in front of me, but as we’re in the second week, we’re still exploring the mission and purpose for mission.  A couple authors were pretty good at pointing out that mission driven by human compassion for human needs isn’t sustainable for long.  My long-standing impression of missions has been one of compassion; when I was younger I saw missions like mission-trips at church…go paint some stuff, serve some meals, lead Bible school, or similar need-filling activity.  More recently my heart has been struck with compassion for the lost people who need salvation.  While these needs are not to be neglected, the authors, in an overarching way, said that the purpose for mission is to bring worship to God.   John Piper said:  “Missions exist because worship doesn’t.”  There’s a bunch of scripture referencing to back this up, and I wish I had the capacity to remember these verses (so many) so I could share it here, but as I learn more about this, I am changing.  It’s exciting.

And that said, I should probably pack up the computer and head back to TH for a quiet afternoon.  Peace.

pictures for you.

orange you glad? I am.

It’s Thursday (though it feels a bit like Friday), and I am full of joy.  Part of it is probably the awesome discipling/Bible Study time I had today.  I worked for a while and then headed to that, so it was a really great day-breaker-upper.  Lunch was a disappointing salad and sandwich from Harlan’s, but that was the only dampening in my day.

I have been over-caffeinated today, which probably added to the physical feeling of elation…increased heart rate, no doubt.

The Bible Study today was over the fifth chapter of Daniel.  I love this study (by Beth Moore) because it’s giving attention to truth in my life and she is all about being intentional about it.  I so enjoy the instruction that gives me insight into word choice (the original words and their inferred meanings especially, which are a bit lost on me by just reading the English version(s) without references.

I need to head out so I can get to our Christmas Party on time (our staff is getting together)…so Merry Christmas again!!

egg nog in my coffee

I brought a quart of egg nog home with me after the Christmas break (thanks to my dad, who found them for 50 cents a piece at HyVee) and have been adding it to my coffee…and let me tell you, for not liking sweetened coffee or tea, this is the way to go.  It’s a bit like a latte.  Here’s a word of thanks to whoever it was that tipped me off–THANKS!  I don’t recall who inspired it, but it was a great suggestion, and will tragically only last until the 14th, when it expires (or before then if it is gone).  Then I’ll have to wait until Halloween, when they start selling egg nog prematurely again.

Last night I went to a Zumba class.  Let me emphasize that I am not a dancer at all, but due to the recent addition of ball room dancing to my range of interests and the encouragement of some gals in my connection group, I decided to try it, and I loved it!  Basically you learn routines to songs and as a gym full of women sweat and dance (and “shake it”, which is a total laugh when it comes to my awkward shoulders and lack of dancing intuition)…but it sort of fulfills my inkling of a dream to be part of a dance team in high school (I never tried out because it conflicted with schedules for other stuff and I was afraid of what people would think…the people I was close to especially).  We’ll never perform, naturally, but it’s really fun to be part of it.

I packed a lunch and a dinner today because I am going to a show choir exhibition that a bunch of my NB students are in–I’m pumped to watch them and I love show choir (my only dance experience prior to December, if you must know).  Woohoo!

Better get back to work…peace to you!

take it away

I have been listening to Anthem‘s album “One Life” pretty much non-stop all week long, and the Selah tracks (sort of transitional, improv-like) have been hitting me hard core lately.  Here are the lyrics for you:

Countries conspire
You have disposed their kings
Held back the sea
And set whole peoples free
Became a man
Taught us to live again
Defeated death
Rising again to glory
Angelic host
Praise must be deafening, yeah
Oh, we’ve come to see
And worship the one, true King
Take it away

“praise must be deafening.”  This phrase resonates so deeply with me because I long for the day that I am in the company of God’s Kingdom in total worship–I can imagine the deafening…it’s going to be great (just imagine how great an entire crowd of people singing something lame like Jingle Bells sounds…and then multiply it by all of God’s people).  I think this picture of heaven was incomprehensible to me for a really long time because there wasn’t really anything special about worship (and how I have shifted)…when I first started going to church in 6th grade, I didn’t really separate the worship from the “service”…you sing some hymns and liturgy, you hear some texts, you pray, you shake hands, you commune.  I’m not sure when the switch happened, and perhaps it was a simple as a lingo thing…naming the half-hour of singing in the contemporary services at Parkview and my later churches since then, but now I’m anxious anxious anxious for that day.  Mmhmm.

I  am off to do some laundry and whip some cream for the first time in my life.  I just read that you can in fact do it by hand, so I’m going to attempt it (with a whisk, naturally…a new and loved addition to the kitchen since break).

Praise God for the sunlight and the blessing that is today!

snow + day = today

Last night I embroidered a pillowcase.  I hope to have included pictures of said pillowcase below, but I haven’t done so since I was overseas.  wordpress is a little funky today.

Anyway, as my subject line says, it’s a snowday at Riverside.  I’m pretty spoiled to not have to worry about traveling to work anyway on a day like this (because it’s a walk down the hill), but the added reason to stay inside has proved to be fruitful and I’ve done some catch-up on cleaning and reorganizing parts of my room.   The wind is pretty bitter, though, so when I get back to Trinity House, I’ll have to make some tea and warm up.

I’m wondering what to cook for dinner.  I want to try a new recipe (any ol’ recipe), but I’m certain I don’t have the best selection of ingredients to yield much of anything.  Maybe I’ll figure out something and let you know.

Yesterday I made some chocky-punky-muffies again with the help of a new spatula I received for Christmas (thanks A!).  It’s amazing how much more batter/dough you get out when you have something besides tableware to clean out the mixing bowl.  I also am itching to try out my new whisks with homemade whipped cream, which is apparently a bit of a tough thing to do by hand, but I’m eager to try.

Well, I’m off to face the wind and weather (and tea and knitting!)

Peace 🙂

watch this

I watched Julie and Julia for the first time last night, and it was one of the best movies I have seen in a while–for a number of reasons, too.  To rattle off a couple really quickly:

The movie defied my natural preference for a re-cast Cinderella love story (it was not your classic chick-flick).

The movie had characters who idealized classy-ness.  The costumes were great, the marriage relationship valued in both storylines (no scandalous affairs!).

The cooking/blogging theme runs in my own life.

In the past couple weeks (okay, it might be a full month by now), I have been exposed to more old-time movies than ever before in my life (a similar feat accomplished in such a span would be my beach/ocean experiences prior to Cornwall and during Cornwall), and in combination with ballroom dancing, has stirred up my itch to be classy.  I am finishing knitting projects (is this a new year’s resolution destined to fail?), I aspire to bake pretty things, I want to get some parts of my life “together” and be content to let others be less than just-so.  I won’t buy into the lie that any one person (woman, in particular) can have it all together, but I think I can re-focus my attentions to get the right things more together…so hopefully that means I am safe from the pitfall of attempting it.  I’ll probably still attempt it, but if that becomes the case, please stop me in my tracks and remind me I’m still fallible.

This movie was inspirational, in a word.

Have a splendid Tuesday, and Go Hawks!

dancehall days

It’s not a classic song of the 1980s; it’s ballroom dancing at Lake Robbins Ball Room near Woodward, Iowa.  I went again with my connection group [read: small group] tonight, and it was good, old-fashioned fun.

For starters, the dance hall has been around since 1931, I believe.  That’s pretty fantastic.  Secondly, there’s live music and a bunch of really cute old couples who dance really well.  Thirdly, going makes me believe that I have, somewhere deep inside of me, some ability to dance.

I’d wanted to try swing dancing in college, and actually made it to a swing dance where I found the number of single gals to be so overwhelming that they were learning the lead part and dancing with one another.  I was afraid that this dancing might end up like that (before I went) and was pretty hesitant to try because I didn’t want to go to all the trouble of working up the self-esteem necessary to go dancing only to dance with another bashful, giggling girl like myself.  The mixture of guys and gals in my group is pretty equal and is reflected pretty much in the ballroom crowd, so though there is some sitting out, there isn’t any awkward school-dance/wedding dance circles and shifty-eyed swaying waiting for the lone male partner to make the rounds.

But going dancing isn’t about the partners, or the incredible steps you get to learn (which I have a deeper appreciation for; there’s a lot to know).  It’s wholesome fun.  We did a schlotage (total butcher for the name…basically a circle dance where you switch partners every 8 bars or so) and I was horrendous, but I got to dance with some older gentlemen…some of them were excellent at giving me direction, some of them were quiet and stoic, offering a polite thank you at the end of our turn, some of them mixed me up by calling out the wrong direction.  It was fun though–you see the twinkle in their eye and you just know they are as young as they ever were but their body rebelled and aged.  I want to be old like that.

The community is pretty rich, too, and the more people I talk to the more I hear agreement to that point.  Something good is going on within this small group that we can study the Bible together and be friends on other days/nights of the week.  I feel genuinely and richly welcome in this group by no extraneous effort of my own, and it’s beautiful.  I was telling Karen that it makes me want to treat people differently–to be aware of the powerful acceptance we can gift to others.  I’m a  person who has repeatedly worked hard to get “in” with people only to be disappointed by the eventual revelation that I was never that in.  I haven’t worked that hard, but I’m certain I’m in.  This is the church; I love it.

Work starts up again on Tuesday, so I’d better get myself psyched up for that.  Orange Bowl goodness for my Hawkeyes, too.  I’ll miss having KJ around big time.  Life goes on whether or not we’re ready for it, sadly.

Good night!

what’s nu? who knew? new year.

sorry for the lame subject line.  It’s actually the 1st as I write this…not the 2nd, as wordpress would tell you.

today i got really excited about embroidery again, thanks to a super cool book i got for a christmas present.  i took k to camp (where we went sledding, and it was totally fly, except abominably cold) and grabbed my box of embroidery stuff to take back home with me.  i worked on a dish towel tonight. it has a bird on it.  i think it’s cute.  it’ll probably stay in my kitchen, so it doesn’t matter if no one else thinks it is cute :).

with the new year comes the need for a new bible reading plan, and the one below is the one cornerstone is endorsing.  you may have one in mind already, but this (not unlike the discipleship plan, which i’m largely in favor of) gets you in the old testament and new testament daily.  except for weekends, i think…which makes it a little funny.  oh well!

Bible Reading Plan

on our way back from camp (after having done some cleaning in my room and getting rid of 4 bags of papers that have been sitting around), we saw a sundog.  in spite of it being really cold outside, it has been really pristine (great sunlight, too), and the sundog was icing on the cake.

with a new year comes a new challenge to write the correct date (and figure out how to call it…i think two-thousand-ten will suffice for me, but oh-ten will be a habit after years of oh-___).  i should probably do that now…

peace to you!