Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina Hits Home

As many of you know, I traveled to Mississippi today. Ever since Hurricane Katrina's destruction, I've wanted to come home to my family in Jackson, MS. It was not that I was concerned for their safety, having been able to communicate with them on a daily basis, it's just one of those things. Bad things happen, and you want to be with those you are closest to. I finally had the opportunity to come home today.
It's a little difficult to explain exactly how it feels or what it is like. Jackson is 200 miles north of the coast and did not experience large amounts of structural damage to the city and surrounding areas. However there were many fallen branches and even some trees and many people were without power for an extended amount of time. The remains of this can be seen as you drive around Clinton. Everyone has piles of branches and trees waiting at the curb. Anyone who was around during Lexington's 2003 ice storm can imagine this picture.
But it wasn't the trees that got to me today.
I arrived in MS around 2 pm central time. I went straight to the Jackson Salvation Army to drop some things off and volunteer for a few hours. I was so pleased to be able to unload two grocery carts full of donations sent down by my friends back home in Lexington. It was amazing how in less than 24 hours everyone was able to bring things by my house...I have the greatest friends ever.
After unloading the car, I volunteered in the food distribution room. I can't really describe how I feel or what it is like, so I will tell you about a few of the things I saw.
As I was unloading my car, an older couple (who looked like they could be any of our grandparents) was loading up their supplies into their car. As a Salvation Army volunteered pushed their cart full of toiletries and their food box out, the man said, "There that is our car. It's the only thing we have left." When you truly think about those words--- "It's the only thing we have left," you're floored. These people have lost everything. And you can read about it and see it on the news, but when you are standing next to them it hits home.
In the food distribution room I was handed a voucher for a family. I went around and filled up boxes of food and toiletries for them. About 1,000 people were serviced today at the Salvation Army and by 2 pm supplies were running low. There was no longer shampoo or deoderant to hand out. The food boxes consisted of an asortment of cheese and peanut butter crackers, graham cracker cookies, saltines, pudding, poptarts, nutra grain bars, green beans, corn, and peas. That's it. Each time I filled a box I just thought about how this was it. This is what these families had to eat. It's something you just don't dwell on it, because when you dwell on it, your heart aches.
It was a only a few hours of my day, and I don't feel like I have done much. I'm not going to see houses that are destroyed or a city covered in water first hand, but I am seeing the people so greatly affected by it. People who came to Jackson for a night or two and now have no home to return to, and no job to return to. Despite this truth, I saw many people smiling. They were thankful to be alive and to be with friends and family. It didn't matter that all they might have for dinner tonight was green beans. In my opinion, these people are amazing. Brave people who are living life despite having so much taken from them.

Many many people have been so generous to the Salvation Army and I know that tomorrow the food will be restocked and a larger variety of things to hand out will be available. Disaster relief takes time, resources, and money to organize. So we gave what we had today, knowing that God will provide the resources for tomorrow.

For more detials on what is going on at the Salvation Army here in Jackson, check out my Dad's blog. His is much more complete and includes pictures.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Late Night Dating Philosophy Part 2

In a previous post I compared the world of dating to dying your hair. Well, I have been inspired to continue my metaphor. You may think it is going too far, but I hope you enjoy. And if I have missed something…be sure to add it!!

The box that stays on the shelf:
This is the color that looks so good on the shelf. You think, wow I would love to try that but for whatever reason you don’t. You’re scared because it’s too bold; or maybe you just know it isn’t the color for you even if you wish it was. For whatever reason, the box stays on the shelf although you might regularly visit it on your trips to Wal-Mart. :)

The box that you take off the shelf and carry around Wal-Mart:
This is the color that looks good. You pick it up, you hang out it with awhile cause you really like it. But before you even leave the store you realize that it’s not the one for you. You just don’t feel the chemistry. And it doesn’t mean that someday you won’t come back and get that color. But for the time being you know that it’s just not you.

The box that you buy, take home, love it, and then hate it:
This is the color that you fall instantly in love with as soon as you see it. You grab it off the shelf and smile the rest of your time at Wal-Mart and all the way home. You put it on as soon as you walk in the door and it’s wonderful. You keep checking yourself in the mirror, smiling each time. And then the color fades. It doesn’t look so good anymore and you really just don’t like it. You may even regret buying it or wonder how you ever thought it looked so good. It’s not long before you find yourself back at Wal-Mart.

The box you buy, love, and then they stop making it:
This is the one that hurts the most. You finally find that perfect color. You love it. It is exactly what you wanted. It fades into a beautiful color that keeps you smiling. But then one day when it’s time to refresh your color, you go to Wal-Mart and it’s gone. It’s been discontinued or something, you don’t know. You find yourself wondering if you will ever be able to replace it and days and months later you still look back remembering. It takes a long time for you to stop looking for it on the shelves at Wal-Mart.

The box you buy, love, and keep buying: This is it. This is the one that fits. It looks great on you and you love it. Now, it’s still hair dye, so it does have to be refreshed. You may even highlight it every now and then just for a change but it’s there. It’s true to you and you are true to it. Because it makes you happy and beautiful. It’s the color we’re all looking for. And someday we all hope to find it….

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Late Night Dating Philosophy from Rachel and Heather

“If only we could try out boyfriends like this.”

So quotes my dear friend Heather as she attempts to undo a recent hair mishap. If only dating was like dying your hair---if you get it wrong you can go back to Wal-mart and get a new color to fix it. How often does it feel like we “get it wrong.” I mean, the box looked great: the conversation was good, there was definitely flirting, the connection was there. And then not too long later, it just isn’t there anymore. If only we could go to Wal-mart and buy a new one.
But dating doesn’t work like that. There can be a lot of wrong colors in dating. For some people, they pick the right color immediately. And that amazes me. It’s awesome for them, but for the rest of us, we keep ending back up at Wal-mart.The interesting thing about dying your hair, is that most people always end up back to their original color, or their original color with highlights. Maybe that is what it is really all about. Being original…being yourself and finding someone who likes you for who you are. And maybe that person can be the highlight…the person who not only brightens your day but compliments who you are as well. Once that person is found, maybe we won’t have to go to Wal-mart anymore.

Heather and her Hair

Heather during the hair-mishap.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Where were you?

So, where were you the night Harry Potter was released and how long did it take you to read it?

I was in Lexington, KY, with my good friend Julie and we were at Joseph Beth Booksellers. Most of you know that Joseph Beth is a two story bookstore, so Julie and I had a lot of fun walking around and peering over the side looking at all the people. Inside the store it was packed with activities for everyone. Parents were walking around with their kids and teenagers were milling about. I saw a few Jessie Clark students as well as a couple teachers! One of the best things was knowing that all these people were going to go home and actually read this book.
Julie and I got to watch the parade of costumes before the book release. My personal favorites were the girl who created her own Crookshanks costume and the baby dressed up as the golden snitch. So cute.

At about 11:45 we got in line for the book release. I was SO lucky because my friend Kris had won a spot to be first in line to receive a copy of the book. It was awesome. I was the first person inside Joseph Beth to be handed a book (three books actually since I picked up Julie's and Heather's too). It was awesome! Then Julie and I left and walked by the HUGE line outside Joseph Beth that stretched all the way around the corner and back against the side wall of J-Beth. That line was for those who had reserved their copies ahead of time.
All in all it was quite a fun evening filled with people watching and anticipation. We didn't stick around though because we were eager to get home to read the book we had been waiting so long for.

I read the book by the next afternoon. I know that some of you have completed the book, so feel free to comment about any specific thoughts you have in the comment section. I am avoiding putting anything specific actually on my blog since I know there are a few readers who have not yet completed the novel (and those who we are still trying to convince to actually get on the bandwagon). So, a warning to all readers, there may be spoilers in the comment section so read at your own risk! Have fun!

My List

Okay, so here is my list of the HP novels. These are likely to change so if I have ever stated something different--sorry. A girl always reserves the right to change her mind. :)

Half-Blood Prince
Goblet of Fire
Order of the Phoenix
Sorceror's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone for my British friends)
Prisoner of Azkaban
Chamber of Secrets

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Walking on Water

Have you ever heard a story over and over and got nothing out of it and then suddenly one day the exact same story brings a completely new light onto your situation? Today I was reading in one of my “Christian self-help books” (might as well acknowledge it for what it is! :) and the author was discussing the concept “fear not.” He notes that this is a command given throughout the Bible and one that we often do not pay attention to. To illustrate his point of the importance and value of “fear not” he told the story of Peter walking on water. Here’s what he says:
“The story begins in Matthew 14 as Peter jumps out of the boat to join Jesus on the water. At first, Peter’s eyes are fixed on Jesus and he walks toward Him, but as soon as he becomes aware of his surroundings and turns his eyes off of Christ, he begins to sink.
Did Peter fail? Well, yes, he took his eyes off Christ, but…there were eleven bigger failures who remained in the boat. Only Peter knew the humiliation of public failure, while simultaneously knowing what it felt like to walk on water, to trust God completely, if only for a moment. The eleven other disciples were safe, secure, and comfortable, but had no comprehension of Peter’s initial joy. Failure is a frame of mind.”

As I read this, the thought occurred to me that the joy of walking on water, of trusting in God completely, was something that I want to experience. So often our fears keep us from taking the risks that God asks us to. Only by truly trusting in God completely will we ever experience the joy of walking on water and the joy of knowing that we are keeping our eyes on Christ. When I read this earlier today the song that came to mind was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” It’s an old classic, but it was comforting to sing. Tonight at church one of the choruses we sang was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Since we don’t often sing this chorus, it was a wonderful reminder that God truly has a way of bringing His peace and confirming that He is at work.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Well, it's about 12 hours after I started reading and I have finished the book. There is much to say, but then there is much reason to be silent. Those of you who read the book will understand.

Friday, July 15, 2005

12 Hours

Well, everyone. It's here. The day that Harry Potter Book 6 is coming out! When I woke up this morning it was one of my first thoughts, and I know it is going to help me through this day! For a split moment I thought, "what if it disappoints me? what if I am all excited and then it disappoints me?" Luckily it didn't take long for me to do away with that thought! I know that the only thing that will disappoint is when I turn the last page and know there is going to be a long wait for Book 7.
I am so excited tonight to witness the great event of the book's release. I cannot wait to see all the people lined up to READ A BOOK. It's exciting you have to admit...I mean it brings so much hope. People may accuse Harry Potter of being a popculture thing or even an obsession among people, but the thing you need to remember is that Harry Potter has gotten people reading again. And that is exciting.
You won't hear from me again until I finish the book.

Until then,

Thursday, July 14, 2005


48 Hours from now I will be reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Will you?

Alright, here’s the place for your comments ladies and gentlemen! (I am a bit disappointed in everyone’s lack of comments on this wonderful subject!) So this post is dedicated to your predictions. As we are down to the last 48 hours before book six, this is your last chance to say what you hope will happen before we find out what actually will happen!

So here are some of my predictions:

Harry will hook up with Ginny
Arthur Weasley will be the next minister of magic
Hermione and Ron will finally have a DTR
Tonks and Lupin will hook up
Hagrid will be the Half-Blood Prince

So what do you all think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

2 Days and Hours

More on Choices
A Lesson from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“So I should be in Slytherin,” Harry said, looking desperately into Dumbledore’s face. “The Sorting Hat could see Slytherin’s power in me, and it—"
“Put you in Gryffindor,” said Dumbledore calmly. “Listen to me, Harry. You happen to have many qualities Salazar Slytherin prized…yet the Sorting Hat placed you in Gryffindor. You know why that was. Think.”
“It only put my in Gryffindor,” said Harry in a defeated voice, “because I asked not to in Slytherin….”
“Exactly,” said Dumbledore, beaming once more. “Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

3 Days and Hours

First off, I have to give props to Kris. She made my day today by giving me her winnings! Yes, Kris one a "be one of the first five people in line to get your Harry Potter books this Friday at midnight!" Can you believe it? And she is giving up this opportunity to me. So cool. Kris, you are too awesome!!!!!!

Here's today's thoughts:

Harry and Courage
Taken from Harry Potter and Philosophy: The Courageous Harry Potter (9-21)

Tom Morris says the following in explaining why Harry Potter is able to face the many dangerous times he finds himself in throughout the HP novels.

“Courage is doing what’s right, not what’s easy. It’s doing what seems morally required, rather than what seems physically safe or socially expected. It’s doing what’s best, overall, rather than necessarily what’s best for you. A courageous person properly perceives when there is danger and then overcomes the natural urge for self-preservation, self-protection, comfort, personal gain, or even the solicitude for guarding the feelings of others that might counsel avoidance of that threat.
The great philosopher Aristotle teaches us that courage is a midpoint between two extremes in our reaction to danger: the extreme of too little, which he characterizes as cowardice, and the extreme of too much, which he labels as rashness. A courageous action is not the deed of a person insensible to danger, unaware of its presence, or reckless in the face of it. It is motivated and measured response to perceived danger by a person who is willing to face that potential harm for the sake of securing or promoting a greater good. It’s generated by a person’s values, and the depth and intensity with which they are held, and it’s to be displayed in a way that is proportionate to the needs of the situation.”

Morris continues in his essay to outline Harry’s recipe for courage page 14:
1. Prepare for the challenge
2. Surround yourself with support
3. Engage in positive self-talk
4. Focus on what’s at stake
5. Take appropriate action

Throughout the novels, as Harry grows up, you see him struggle with his identity. By book five he gets angry more often and finds himself in sulky moods. Despite these trends of all adolescents, Harry remains one of the most courageous people. Whether he is saving the stone, saving Ginny, saving Sirius, saving Cedric’s body, or saving Sirius again, it’s not about Harry. He enters those situations not with regard to himself but only thinking of that other person. That he might not survive seems to matter very little. Once again there is always something to be learned from one of literature’s favorite characters.

Monday, July 11, 2005

4 Days and Hours

Dumbledore’s thoughts on the Philosopher’s Stone:

“To one as young as you, I’m sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed after a very, very long day. After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. (It gave you) As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all—the trouble is, humans have a knack of choosing precisely those things which are worst for them.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone page 215

What are you choosing for your life?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

5 More Days

“Never used an Unforgivable Curse before, have you, boy?” she (Bellatrix) yelled. She had abandoned her baby voice now. “You need to mean them, Potter! You need to really want to cause pain—to enjoy it---righteous anger won’t hurt me for long—"
--Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix page 810

I want to point out a specific part of this quote: righteous anger won’t hurt me for long. I have to admit I think this line is fabulous. At this point in the book, Harry is fighting for his life against the evil Death Eaters. He has just watched Bellatrix murder his godfather and he doesn’t even know if his friends have survived the terrible fights with the Death Eaters. He is angry. And he has every right to be angry. And it is this fact and the fact that Harry has love within him that he cannot truly hurt Bellatrix. As angry as Harry is at the loss of his godfather, he cannot truly enjoy the pain of another. His righteous anger is no match for the evilness of Bellatrix.

This is a quote where the lesson is what we take from it. It is not something that I can completely explain, but I can say that this scene leaves me pondering each time I read it.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

6 Days

A week from today I will be deep into book 6! It is a very exciting prospect! :) The following is a quote from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone page 208. Yes I have given the British title because that it what I am copying it out of, although I believe this quote says the same thing in the American version of the book.
I love this quote because it points out that it’s not magic that makes our characters so memorable. J.K. Rowling has developed this incredibly creative magic world, but she doesn’t let magic drive he characters. She has created real characters with both good and bad personality traits that help them accomplish what they are put up against.
This quote comes at the very end of the section where Hermione has figured out Snape’s protection of the stone. Hermione is getting ready to turn back to help Ron and find Dumbledore and Harry is getting ready to go into the final room and face Quirrell and Lord Voldemort.

“Harry—you’re a great wizard, you know.”
“I’m not as good as you (Hermione),” said Harry, very embarrassed….
“Me!” said Hermione. “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things—friendship and bravery and—oh Harry—be careful!”

Friday, July 08, 2005

7 Days

It’s all about community guys. All about community.

Dumbledore continued, “The Triwizard Tournament’s aim was to further and promote magical understanding. In the light of what has happened—of Lord Voldemort’s return—such ties are more important than ever before….”
“Every guest in this Hall,” said Dumbledore, and his eyes lingered upon the Durmstrang students, “will be welcomed back here, at any time, should they wish to come. I say to you all, once again—in light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak are we are divided.
Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
It is my belief—and never have I so hoped that I am mistaken—that we are all facing dark and difficult times. Some of you, in this Hall, have already suffered directly at the hands of Lord Voldemort. Many of your families have been torn asunder. A week ago, a student was taken from our midst.
Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right, and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”

The Goblet of Fire p. 627-28 British Version

Thursday, July 07, 2005

8 Days

Those of you who have grown to love Harry Potter as I love Harry Potter, know that there is something about the books that make them special. Something that draws the reader in--making him or her care about the characters and the outcome of the story. It is not only the story of Harry Potter, but it is the story of all of us. Wandering around in a world trying to figure life out. That’s what makes a book timeless…because the story of life never changes.

Here is our first lesson from the stories of Harry Potter. The following is an excerpt from the essay Heaven, Hell, and Harry Potter recorded in Harry Potter and Philosophy. As I was reading this essay and came upon this part, I was surprised and pleased. I hope you enjoy it as well. And of course, I recommend the entire essay.

“What this means is that the nature of ultimate reality, the fundamental metaphysical truth, is loving relationship. God from all eternity has existed as a loving relationship among three persons. Moreover, God loves all His creatures so deeply that He was wiling to sacrifice himself to show how much He loves them and wants them to love Him in return. This is what is involved in the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God who willingly died for us on the cross to save us from our sins.
If this is true, the story about Harry Potter’s mother and the power of her blood is a reflection of one of the deepest truths about reality, namely, that all of us are loved by One who was willing to spill his blood and die for us. Furthermore, the love of Harry’s mother is a picture of the fact that love is a greater and more powerful thing than evil and death. It was her sacrificial love that protected Harry when Voldemort and Quirrell tried to kill him. In the Christian story, the resurrection of Jesus shows that love is stronger than death. Jesus offers to share his life with all who believe in him, and this life gives those who receive it the power to live forever. So understood, Christianity is a great love story and it is based on the belief that love is the deepest reality and evil cannot defeat it.” (PAGE 74-75)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

9 More Days

Ladies and gentlemen, the long awaited day has arrived. We are finally only days before the release of the 6th Harry Potter novel. Finally we will find out what will happen to our favorite trio, Harry, Ron, and Hermione. What will they face now that Voldemort has returned? Who will be the new minister of magic? Will there be romance for our characters? And of course, who is the Half Blood Prince?????

I hope that you will join me in the anticipation of this book by checking my blog over the next few days. My HOPE is to share some piece of Harry Potter each day. It may be a lesson learned from the book, a possible prediction, or some other HP type news. It's going to be fun stuff though. It'll help the next nine days speed by.

Also, for those of you who are wondering. Of course I'll be at a Harry Potter release party. Why wait any longer than necessary when I can so easily drive to Joseph Beth and pick it up at midnight on July 15/16. Anyone who is even a little bit of a Harry fan is welcome to join in the fun!!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Adult Conversation

Adult Conversation: any conversation that involves discussing things that you don't have to worry about until you live on your own and pay your own bills; i.e. utility bills, water bills, broken anything in the house, etc.

We're adults now. How did that happen? And how can I make it stop?
--Meredith, Grey's Anatomy

Adult conversation reminds me that I am an adult. I've been an official, out-of-college adult now for almost two years. It's been a pretty crazy experience sometimes. Most of the time I avoid the adult conversations and stick to movies, books, and what are we going to do on Friday night discussions. It's just easier. There is no responsibiltiy there.
But life calls for responsibility. It asks us to take control and make decisions. Sometimes that road to decision making is more difficult than others.
I recently had a conversation with my dad where I (almost in tears) poured out what was on mind. He then told me he loved me and that I wouldn't like what he had to say. Then, in a way only my dad has, he told me to grow up. He said a few other things, but the jist was GROW UP. I guess it kind of hit me then that living in this "I'm an adult but pretending I'm not" world was just not good. Not healthy in fact, because how can you truly be who you are supposed to be if you are stuck in the middle of being one thing or the other. I realized that being an "adult" doesn't mean I have to change, it's just a different mindset and sometimes a different approach to the difficult things of life.

Since my dad's kind, but firm reminder of what I needed to do, life's been pretty good. Maybe the adult thing isn't so bad after all.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bragging Rights

Hey everyone! Check out this article written a couple weeks ago in Akron, Ohio where the fantastic tour of Mamma Mia! starring Bekah Nutt was published! I always knew she was a star and now you can read this review and see it for yourself!

Massillon native Bekah Nutt shines in the pivotal role of Sophie in musical

`Mamma Mia,' she does very well

By Kerry Clawson

Beacon Journal staff writer

The current production of Mamma Mia at E.J. Thomas Hall proves that one strong characterization can bring the musical's lightweight story beyond mere fluff.

Massillon native Bekah Nutt (a Baldwin Wallace graduate) brings plenty of heart to her role as the young engaged Sophie, who is desperately searching for her father in an effort to be a ``proper bride.'' The diminutive performer is not only a likable actress, she's also a sweet singer and dynamic dancer -- a big improvement from the underwhelming vocals and cardboard characterization of Canadian Kristie Marsden, who played in the 2002 Northeast Ohio premiere of the musical in Cleveland.

In any compelling musical, the heroine has to offer an ``I want it'' song early on to make us care. Nutt's Sophie does that well, creating the thread that weaves together 22 ABBA songs from the 1970s into a new, modern-day story on a tiny, mythical Greek island.

In this story, 20-year-old Sophie learns from her independent-minded mother's diary that her father could be one of three men. She invites all three to her wedding, unbeknownst to her mother, Donna, a former rocker.

Lauren Mufson's Donna is understated -- more melancholy than feisty. Mufson's not a rock power like other Donnas have been, but she proves she has a big set of pipes in her show stopper, The Winner Takes It All.

On opening night Tuesday, the show's energy was slow to pick up in the first act. Some of the cutest staging occurs with the antics of groom Sky's scuba-diving buddies, who sneak in during an intimate moment between Sky and Sophie to literally steal Sky away. The dynamics become intense during a bachelorette party scene, where emotions run high as Sophie confronts possible dad Bill (Milo Shandel) in The Name of the Game.

In other clever staging, the three dads fawn over Donna in bed and an ominous-looking chorus of scuba divers surround Sophie during her second-act nightmare. Talk about wedding jitters.

For the most part, the show's singing is energetic and joyful. But at times, ensemble harmonies from offstage sound booths don't sound as richly layered as the cast album's.

Northeast Ohio is well represented in this show: Akron native Blake Ginther, a 1999 Firestone High School graduate and 2003 University of Cincinnati grad, joined the tour as an ensemble member right after Christmas. He's the son of Dr. William and Sharyl Ginther of Akron. Ginther, 24, is all boyish cuteness and muscular trimness as he throws himself into the fun-loving choreography.

As Rosie, the comedic Laura Ware is the biggest card in the show. Possible dads Shandel as Bill, Ian Simpson as Harry and understudy Rod Weber as Sam also are charming and lovable.

The show's big disappointment is Lisa Mandel's poor vocals as middle-aged siren Tanya. Mandel's statuesque height and elegance can't change the fact that she ruins the perfectly cool tune Does Your Mother Know. Equally mediocre are her solo lines in Dancing Queen.

Memorable lighting by Howard Harrison bathes characters in a dreamy blue aura. The story is set in designer Mark Thompson's rustic, versatile taverna.

The show, most appropriate for those high school age and older, has some double entendres, a sprinkling of profanity and adult themes. It also contains some tasteless male bashing.

The ABBA music is the true star of this show. Once again, the audience was most enthusiastic after the curtain call during the mini-concert, which in itself is nearly worth the price of admission.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Ruth: Great because God made her Great

This weekend at Southland we studied Ruth. Since I got to go to both morning and evening services (which were completely different), I got a double dose of Ruth. I learned a lot though.

Did you know that Ruth is the 8th book of the Bible and that the number 8 is significant when used in the Bible because it signifies something new?
Did you know that Naomi means "cheerful one" and she changed her name to Mara which means "bitter one"?

Other life lessons from the two sermons include:
1. Leave and Go
The Christian life is all about change; if you are resistent to change you are not fully living the Christian life
2. You are either changing people or people are changing you.
3. If you want a Boaz, live like a Ruth; if you want a Ruth, live like a Boaz.
4. God's definition of Great is different than yours and mine
5. To live a life God considers Great is within my reach
6. In life, we will all go through times of trouble (see John 16:33)
7. It is in the little things that we prove ourselves capable of the big things
8. When God develops our inner qualities, he's never in a hurry.

Obviously lots of things to think about. Please note that when I post notes from the sermon on Sunday, I'm not making statements of fact. I am relaying what someone else has relayed to me; most of which I agree with and can back up with Scripture. But more and more I am realizing that there are a lot of things I don't have figured out. A lot of things that my opinions waver on, or that I don't know what Scripture says one way or the other. So I'm open to discussion.

Happy Monday!

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Past, The Present, and the Future

Since I have about 5 minutes before my work day officially starts I thought I would take a few moments to share some thoughts on last night's 608 service.

Yesterday we began a new series at Southland, True Biblical Stories. We began with the story of Abraham. Well, first we began with the reminder that our Bible story heroes are just like us. I guess deep down we all know that. That our favorite Bible characters made some pretty major mistakes and yet still God used them in great ways. But we forget...especially when we want excuses as to why God can't use us. But here is a quote from how we started service yesterday:

"The next time your past tries to keep you from following God, remember you in good company."

Meaning, if you let your past stop you, it's YOU stopping you, not God. Because God will use you if you let him.

So, here's the key truths that Brad shared with us last night:
1. God's way is ALWAYS the BEST way:
Jeremiah 29:11 and Isaiah 55:8-9

2. Your past does not and will not ever disqualify you from being used by God
To go from the PAST to the FUTURE you have to remian in the PRESENT because you have to meet God in the present

3. God is ready and willing to use you right now.
God is looking for somone with an open and willing heart--the only thing that can disqualify you from being used by God is an attitude of unavailablity.

Number 2 struck a specific chord with me. Too often I find myself living in the future and making decisions based on the past. But if I want my life to not be about me and to be all about him, then I have to start living in the present because the present is where God wants to meet me. Sure, God was with me in the past and he'll be with me in the future. But today is what matters right now because God wants to be with me today. Right now.
So if you were not at Southland last night, I hope you enjoy my notes (and no comments about how I am a nerd because I take notes during sermons.) And if you were at Southland, hopefully this is a good reminder that today is the day to meet God; cause he'll be there tomorrow, but he wants to be with you today.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Spring time in KY and Monday Mornings.

What the heck...I mean come on. This weekend? What was that all about? Snow? In April? I was so excited to see a high in the 60s today!

So, I think I think (?) in short sentences. I'm finding when I am excited, tired, or on a coffee overdose (such as most mornings) I type in really short sentences. Actually they aren't even sentences just groups of words put together that I decide to put a period or question mark or exclamation point after. I'm thinking that this morning it must be because it is Monday.

What is it about Mondays anyway? I mean, why do we dislike them? Seriously, they are the start of something new. Every Monday morning we get to start over. A new work week to accomplish things. Another weekend to look forward to (the number five is only a long time when it refers to the week). Maybe we dislike Mondays because it is a new week with new responsibilities and new things to do. Or maybe it's cause we are still recovering from a weekend filled with way too many things to do and not enough sleep.

I personally like this Monday because Mondays are a pretty slow day at school because the students are still tired from their weekend. :) And after this Monday...I only have four more. :)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

So, in case you were wondering, being sick sucks. You're tired, grouchy, your voice sounds funny, and people don't want to stand anywhere near you. You have coughing fits and your students turn around and have to ask if you are okay. Overall you just feel like crap. It's a wonderful feeling for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of the sick feeling yet this season.
Seriously though, being sick is pretty miserable and doesn't give for the best blogs, but I just thought I would share with you all how I was feeling in hopes that by the time you read this I will be completely cough-free.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Other days I remember why I am looking into careers outside of teaching. Guess which one today was? ;)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Some days I remember why I became a teacher. Today was one of them.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Well, I had jury duty orientation today. Yep, I have been called up to serve my country. According to the judge who presided over orientation today, serving as a juror is one of the greatest ways we can serve our country. He noted that we have a unique and special system in America that allows us to be judged by a panel of our peers. I know all this of course (History teacher that I am), but it was a really good reminder that though jury duty is somewhat of an inconvience, it is something that, as Americans, we should want to do. In fact, since I have resigned myself to the inconvience of it all, I am now excited about the experience it will give me to be a better teacher. Conviently, we are getting ready to begin our chapter on how government works in my history class. So, this experience of jury duty will only enhance my ability to discuss the judicial process with my students. I think I should therefore get professional development for it. :)
I will definately keep you posted on the merits and demerits of jury duty. Today I am pleased to say that I feel I am doing a duty to my country, and therefore there is nothing to complain about. Hopefully...I will keep that in mind (it's in print now so I will have to!)
Hello all you blog readers! I don't really have anything to say, but I feel as if I have neglected my blog a great deal. I get so concerned about saying something interesting and witty that I find I kind of run from the blog screen. I often think of GREAT things to say when I am as far away from the computer as posible, and then by the time I have the time and energy to blog, those great thoughts have disappeared never to return. It's a shame really cause I bet that I am a fantastic writer. It's just that the words never make it from my mind to paper, so the great ideas are stuck where only I get to enjoy them. I know, I'm so sorry that you all are missing out! :)
Oh! I just thought of something to say! (I knew it would come eventually). This weekend my roommate and I rented the movie Saved! Have you heard of it? It's set in a Christian Highschool and is mainly a satire on fundamentalist Christians who are a little over the top. As extreme as it may seem at points, this movie is reminder that our actions are being watched and that we need to daily evaluate our Christian relationship to discover who we are serving, God or ourselves. In the movie multiple characters think they are doing what God wants them to do, only to realize that they didn't go about it the right way. It's interesting, something to think about. I do recommend it, cause I think we all need something to think about, and this movie will make you think.
Okay, I better post this before I get kicked off aol and lost this entire thing. Cause that would be a shame, because I know you all wouldn't want to miss reading this blog...and there is no way I am typing it again. :) Hope you enjoy! And comment away..cause maybe that will inspire me to post more often!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

It’s not every day that you get to meet someone you admire. On Tuesday evening I met Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries series, All-American Girl, The Boy Next Door, and other books that I have read and enjoyed. She came to Joseph-Beth and spoke and signed books. Just listening to her, I can understand why I, and so many others, enjoy her books. She is absolutely hilarious. Her word choice, her tone, and her facial expressions kept the audience laughing. After listening to her, I can tell that she puts all of who she is into her novels. That is what makes them so great. She’s real in person and that enables her to create real characters.
It seemed like a normal night really, with just an extra stop at the bookstore. But in reality it is one of those times that you just know you will always remember. That every time I pick up her book, I’ll think of how I spoke with her and now have her signature in Every Boy’s Got One, her latest novel. This novel refers to the fact that every boy has a heart…though I sometimes wonder about this, I am willing to read and discover how her character comes to this conclusion. Who knows, maybe it will help me better understand guys!! (Unlikely, but you never know!)