Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The topic is New Year's Resolutions.
It's curious how successful resolutions are. How much impact do they really have on our behavior? They are really just the first step- identifying goals. This is also the easiest step. It's hard to follow through and change our behavior. Nevertheless, here's my first step:
1. In the coming year, I'm going to have a lot of changes. In under a month, I'm moving down to Texas to stay with my dad for several months. Then I'm moving out to Nova Scotia. I don't want my environment to negatively shape me. I want to remain strong through the changes and grow from them, rather than compromise my morals as I have seen college do to some of my friends.
2. I want to make a stronger effort to do my devotionals. I have two books I want to go through, I want to finish reading through the Bible, and I want to find a church community in Halifax. I want to make God a bigger priority
3. I want to find a healthy balance between schoolwork and socializing. I can easily see myself getting wrapped up in school and not meeting many people. I am introverted, but I also get lonely, so I want to join a couple clubs and figure out how to prioritize my time.
4. I want to continue on my 101 in 1001 list. For this year I want to take a picture every day, just to practice. I also want to continue the reading I've done this year. I like that I made an effort to take the time to do that, and would like to continue. I want to finish my quilt in January.
5. I want to make a bigger effort to listen and be supportive rather than self-centered.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The book is essentially a look at the natural instinct of humanity and the different figures who have advocated for both the saints and sinners.The book starts with Augustinian beliefs and the ancient church, but quickly moves on to examining Milton's Paradise Lost and the fall itself, frequently referencing Genesis, but paying attention to the language that notable poets and authors have used. Over the whole of it, Jacobs focuses on genetics (Is goodness/badness inherited? What are the implications of the conclusion?), slavery (Are we all equally bad? If those of different races are equal in morality, how can we justify slavery?), education (Should children be raised with strict discipline, or left to nature's whims?), and economics (If Marx believes in the good of society collectively, and Smith believes in the individual and the invisible hand, aren't both essentially saying humanity will make the best choice? Is there an alternative?). I've found the book's conclusions to be fascinating, and Jacobs has compiled it all with witty humor and tasteful jabs at historical figures.
The most important thing I am taking away from it is that history has proved through countless acts of violence and deceit that humanity, left to its own, is sinful. Jacobs points out that this drives many people away from it, or those who accept it feel there must be more to it. Many people who have advocated against the doctrine of original sin did so to deter complacency among the congregation; they were worried that people would use their "nature" as an excuse for their behavior. However, the acceptance of that doctrine should only encourage those who are struggling that they are not the only one. Furthermore, it only emphasizes the grace of God.
Again, I highly recommend Original Sin:A Cultural History. It's easy enough to understand if you have a mediocre grasp of world history and significant events/literary works (basically everyone I know...). I found it at the Calgary Library, so I'd recommend checking a local library. If you do take my advice, let me know what you think! ;)
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
They're leaving the decision up to the political candidates that usually vote with their party anyway. Insane!
Here is a good editorial.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
All this, on thanksgiving, has made me realize three things: 1) I am thankful for my duel citizenship and the benefits it offers, 2) I am thankful for the normal use of my neck and my health, and 3) I am thankful for those who care that my sternocledidomastoid hurts (especially those who offer massages!)
Update: November 28th
My other kinesiologist roommate offered to give me a massage, and it felt wonderful. I woke up this morning feeling rested and loose, but sort of a dull pain, so I looked in the mirror and the back of my neck is actually bruised. Hah. No ponytails today!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So we've been sleeping on the air mattress, in the game room. It's awkward to sleep with someone else on an air mattress, because with each move, the whole bed goes up and down (Newton's laws of physics and all). However, we're managing.
The girls that are here are both from Montreal and are very sweet. I watched one of them debate yesterday [in English] on direct foreign aid, and she had a good handle on the concept. I also listened to way too much French for my own good. It really is exhausting listening to an incomprehensible foreign language for hours. Today the girls have four debates, all impromptus (two British parliamentary and two Canadian parliamentary style).
As for myself, I have been working through 1 Corinthians, 1 Chronicles, and Fatal Misconception (historical narrative on population control). At first, I didn't know what to think about Fatal Misconception because it is written with so much bias against both the pro-life and pro-choice side. It sorta ticked me off. I mean, pick one side. I don't know. We'll see- I'm only on pg 64. I'm also on section 4 of my Princeton Review AP Calculus Study guide, and that's going really well. I ought to get off this and do some Calculus and Social homework. Procrastination is such a pain.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I messed with the histograms (somehow?) a little, and liked the effect. Then I cropped the last one, so here's the updated version:
Friday, October 31, 2008
You can check them out there, or get their current sermon series at www.marshillchurch.org
... I would consider the current series for high school students and up (that means not you Emily!) but they also have all their old series up as well.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
35 bags for one house! Wow!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out
- "Beautiful Day", U2
Monday, September 15, 2008
13. Irony: Bacon for supper in St. Monas, Scotland.
71. Lock: Entry to Roswell Chappel in Roswel, Scotland.
77. Wind: My kite on a September day
Sunday, September 14, 2008
"And so I am tempted to think that to be dispised by her sex is a very great compliment to a woman." (p. 124)
Why? Jealousy. The Writer continues:
"How is it that Amelia, who had such a number of friends at school, and was so beloved there, comes out into the world and is spurned by her discriminating sex! My dear sir, there were no men at Miss Pinkerton's establishment... When George, their handsme brother, ran off directly after breakfast, and dined from home half-a-dozen times a week, no wonder the neglected sisters felt a little veaxation." (p. 125)
This quote makes you angry when you know of the fate of George and Amelia (watch the movie, then read the book).
I may be moralizing, but it appears the lesson here is that blood ought to run thicker than water till that water becomes blood (and I'm not referring to Moses), as hard as it may be at times. What do you guys think the balance should be between friends and family?
Thursday, September 04, 2008
God makes it clear that "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (Phil 4:8).
I've been doing a lot of thinking on what purity means in the last two weeks. I have come to a conclusion: that ring there (points to her ring above) is not a promise to my friends. It's not a promise to my parents or even my future husband. It's a promise to God, and He holds me to account for everything I've done. I think a major stumbler in the whole purity social sector is the emphasis on the motive. True Love Waits talks about the joy in being able to tell your spouse that you came to your marriage pure, but what about God? He has higher standards than your physical purity- He cares about the state of your soul and mind as well.
I have had some deep struggles with this in my past, and they continue today. These last two months have been like riding a bike uphill steadily, but now that [I think] I've gotten to the top, the view is amazing. I'm reminded of God's faithfulness and find joy again in spending time with Him. Our God is good. :)
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
What's scary is out of all the oh-so-many in Katy/Richmond/Houston, they're all using different browsers and OSs. Which means there's more than one of you out there. Just curious who you are. :)
So I'm not- here are two articles which, though written at the extremes, I agree with. I wouldn't write them so assertively, though I probably should... so I'm starting my assertiveness by backing them. Here they are:
"Sarah Palin... Ya, I'm Going There"
"More Thoughts On Palin" (written by the same blog author)
Ok, forget that. I'm writing. I really don't know how to feel about this. I mean, this is an amazing step for Republicans to have such a pro-lifer, family-lover on board, but like the article said, this is a major responsibility, and I have qualms putting her in such a position over so many people. How she organizes her life is her business, and I am in no position to judge, but it's all very oxymoronic and ironic. Ah the inner turmoil. This election is becoming so personally abnoxious that I'm glad I have 6 months... oops, 4 (where'd they go?) months till I'm 18.
I may write something less politicish soon.
Comment if you wish, but please no directed politicish/feminism/social equality arguments- I'm sick of it, though I will publish them for public discussion, unless requested not to.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Then I got several "talks" by parents and grandparents about my major choice. I find linguistics interesting, but I definitely see their point... for what?
So I started looking at other majors. Then other schools.
I thought I was back where I started. Confused, frustrated, and exhausted.
Google helped, as well as college board and a few college sites, but what really helped me was a comment from one of the girls I worked with. She said, "You use numbers all the time, and you're so literal about it. 24 hours is 24 hrs, and you just wrote undefined for your '$/hr'."
So I thought. I still plan to take at least a couple linguistics classes, but I'll probably major in something mathematical. Actuarial Science sounds interesting. Then Dalhousie University came up again. I haven't considered Dalhousie for a couple years. They have a sturdy math department there.
In any case, I have about four months till I want to have all my applications finished. I still have to take the SATs, and who knows what college board is doing about my National Merit standing.
Who knows where I'll be headed in 365 days.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
1)Who are the three wisest people you know, and who are you going to rely on heavily?
2)What would be your greatest moral failure in your life, and what would be the greatest moral failure in America?
3)What was the most gut-wrenching decision you've ever made, and what is the process you used to make it?
4)What viewpoint did you have 10 years ago [personally, I'm going to go with 5, since 10 years ago I was a pipsqueek] that you have changed your mind on due to more knowledge/experience?
5)As a Christian, what does it mean to trust Christ on a daily basis?
6)Abortion: At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?
8)Do we still need federal funding for research on embryo stem cells?
9)Does evil exist, and if it does, do we ignore it, do we negotiate with it, do we contain it, or do we defeat it?
10)Would you require that faith-based organizations [church missions] forfeit their right [to hire those with similar beliefs (potential discrimination)] to access federal funds?
11)Do you think better paid teachers should be paid better (merit based pay)?
12)Taxes: Define "rich."
13)War: As an American, what is worth sacrificing American lives for? What would be the criteria for sending troops in for a genocide?
14)Which supreme court justice(s) would you not have nominated?
15)Would you be willing to create an emergency relief for orphans, like Bush did for AIDS?
16)What do you think the US should do to end religious persecution [worldwide]?
17)When do our right to security and our right to privacy collide?
18)In one minute, tell me why you want to be president?
19)What do you say to people who oppose me [as a pastor] asking you these questions [in a church]?
If you want, feel free to comment, though I'll definitely be moderating closely.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I was just on the phone with my aunt when I caught a whiff of something bad. I have the house to myself for the week, and though I haven't accumulated enough dishes where I have needed to wash them (I've only had breakfast at home. I've been working and sleeping for the last week), I have rinsed each off and I couldn't think what the stench was. I glanced around the area, and noticed a tea pot that was on the table from when my mom had company over... before she left. Next to it was a small milk pitcher. From before she left (four days ago). Now, I can handle baby diapers. I can deal with animal waste (I've been the family doggy doo scooper since I was 5). I have picked up roadkill from the side of the road, which is a rather long story. I can hold someone's hair back when they're sick. But I don't do spoilt milk. There's this gag reflex, and I just feel like holding my own hair back. I think it's mostly the stench, but it's also partly the visual. Milk just shouldn't look like that.
Anyway, the "milk" is down the garbarator (which ran about 2 minutes till I was sure I could smell nothing). I am now doing all dishes and clearing every surface of this kitchen, so help me. If there is anything that was not found before, it will be found now.
Friday, August 15, 2008
- This isn't really a thought. It's more of a story. So my dog really has a thing for rummaging through garbages (I personally don't see the joy in it). The two are locked in the kitchen all day while I'm at work, and though I feel sorry for them, I see no other way around it. The main kitchen door is baracaded by a shock matt (which is off) and a baby gate. The other door has french-style glass doors. I came home today and Lacey was on the other side of the fence, all obstacles intact. All household garbages well explored. Thank goodness trash was collected this morning. I apparently have over estimated her jumping ability.
- I was on my way home from work today the radio was playing "Kathleen" by Josh Ritter. Upon closer examination of the lyrics, the guy is quite the womanizer, but the opening line was so romantic that I thought I'd share it: "All the other girls here are stars; You are the Northern Lights." *sigh*
- If you frequently check my "To-read List" (HA!) you'll know I'm rereading Blue Like Jazz. I'm getting quite a different perspective out of it from the last time I read it. However, it's that sort of book- very open ended and up to reflection. On Sunday, our pastor was talking about the Trinity, and off on a dogleg he was discussing the complexity of God. He used a quote from John Wesley: "Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man and then I will show you a man who can comprehend the Triune God." Since that's rather double-negative based, I prefer Donald Miller's view: "[God] will make no more sense to me that I will make sense to an ant." Why is this important to understand? My pastor said, "If He's small enough that you understand Him, He's not big enough to help you with the struggles of life." That's a rough summery of Blue Like Jazz for you. Donald Miller is trying to show that God is larger than Christianity- that Christian Spirituality is the larger box that holds Christianity, because though inspired by God, Christianity is a religion carried out by men. He says, "For much of my life I had been defending Christianity because I thought that to admit that we had done any wrong was to discredit the religious system as a whole, but it isn't a religious system, it's people following Christ; and the important thing to do, the right thing to do, was to apologize for getting in the way of Jesus." I really like this book, but you sort of have to read it to get all of what he's saying. :)
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
From what I can tell through minimal research, the historical accuracy of the novel is impeccable. In the author's note, she said, "I took but one factual liberty; Llewelyn captured Mold Castle in January of 1199, but I placed the siege in April, the better to integrate the Welsh and Norman story lines." I can hardly say four months is worth a squawk. However, the book isn't a historical chronicle. It is in every sense a novel. What Penman couldn't elaborate in plot she put in dialogue and character insight.
However, I'm sorry to say that I can't reccomend this book and keep conscience. I want to, I really do. It's probably the best historical fiction/romance I've ever read, but there is just way too much unnecessary graphic description. As I read through it, I wish so much that I owned whiteout, so that I could read it again and again without subjecting my mind to unnecessary descriptions (for a lack of a better term).
I find it so frustrating that authors (and film producers, and singers, and... etc) feel it is necessary to elaborate on private matters. One of my favorite books, Redeeming Love, is a story about a prostitute. It explores some of the same struggles that Joanna faced but did so tastefully. I think Here Be Dragons has the power to be an amazing insight into humanity, with or without the sexual descriptions, and would win a wider audience without them. Some of the main themes are guilt and forgiveness, and Penman deals with them wonderfully.My favorite scene was near the end, when Joanna and her daughter Elen are discussing Joanna's infidelity and remorse. It's the first conversation they've had where they are truly honest with each other and Elen learns about her mother's youthful lack of confidence: "'But scrape away the surface gloss, dig through the glaze to the raw clay, and you'll find a little girl forbidden to play with the other village children, a little girl who'd lie for hours in the heather above Middleham Castle, wanting only to belong.'" (Penman, 748)
PS: When I buy whiteout and deface my copy, I welcome anyone who wants to borrow it rather than the original version.
Photo by Gabriela Camerotti. http://www.flickr.com/photos/face_it/1244278848/in/photostream/ . Creative commons licence: Attribution, Non-Commercial.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I spent the weekend out watching my cousin play baseball. They had an awesome game, won 11-4. He got two homes himself, so nicely done cuz. Then I drove back this morning so that I had time to shower and have dry hair for work at one, this afternoon. I worked four hours, and then had a delightful time chatting with my dear girl, Bee. I got some unfortunate news from Jess, and then an email from my dad. Those tend to be exhausting, though I doubt intentionally so.
Then I heard news about rain. Lots of rain. Hurricane levels. Heading for my home. [Praying for you guys]
Maybe that's what this is... homesickness? You'd think I'd have grown out of this after a year. I really ought to.
I have to work tomorrow at 11, so up at 9. I can't wait for school, because after school is home. ETA January 28th.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Look who snuck into my picture! You know who that is right? I mean, she has a flag on top of her car!
Have a nice week! :)