Blogroll

Per my wife’s request to make our blogroll a little less men-centric… we’ve added one of Jennifer’s regular stops to the list. Guess which one it is…

“Semantics”

As a former communication major, it drives me crazy when people say, “oh it’s just semantics”. Meaning, “you’re saying the same thing with different words”. I understand the sentiment, and have been guilty of the phrase myself (HYPOCRITE), but really, I think meaning what you say is incredibly important. This is why this blog post horrified me recently (it stole a word from my vocabulary b/c i don’t think most people know the correct definition and will therefore misunderstand me).

About 4 years ago I purposed to strike “you guys” from my vocabulary. Oddly this is when i moved AWAY from Georgia. I decided “ya’ll” really is just the best alternative as it’s gender-neutral & less awkward than “you all” or my grandparents favorite, “you people”. Every now & then the closeted feminist just takes over….

Anyhow, the purpose to this rant (which you need to know could go on for days if I let it) is to inform you that I am going to try to eliminate “find the time” from my vocab. This is a silly notion. I have not lost any time. In fact the time I am taking to type this up right now, was not found anywhere. It was taken from dinner preparation time (sorry ryan), but was not lost & then found. It seems to lead to the assumption that in order to do things I need/want/should do surplus hours must magically appear in my day. This will not happen. Perhaps “make” the time would be better…but this too makes it sound as if new time is being added to an already full day. I think “sacrifice some time” would be the most logical but that sounds a bit…overly dramatic. So, I have not found a good substitute phrase. Suggestions are welcome.

My shirt

I work in an office now.

As I walk to my cube each morning I pass a window in which I can see my reflection.

Coincidently, this week I realized that I look like dork with my shirt tucked in.

That is all.

Why Pray?

About a month ago I (finally) finished, “If God Already Knows, Why Pray?“. My “two cents”: I am not the target audience of the book. It certainly had a lot of good, pertinent information, but honestly, I ranged from slightly interested, frustrated & ended up bored. Now, the frustration was only due to ignorance. This is slightly embarrassing, but I honestly thought it was fully going to answer the question the title laid out. To the extent that I would fully understand this side of heaven. The best thing about having read the book is I (finally) realize that the answer to that question seems to be much like the answer to the question, “what is the trinity?”. We have some thoughts & ideas but ultimately, we don’t & can’t understand it. I’m ok with that. As long as no one else fully gets it, I’m ok with “because God said to”.

So the first half of the book was pretty much saying that, in a very detailed way. Interesting & important to know, but not what i was expecting, so slightly annoying. The second half was much like other books I’ve read on prayer, basically giving inspiring examples & reasons for praying (reasons pertaining to ourselves & the outcome of prayer)…..except this guy apparently does not pray in tounges…lol. He didn’t say as much, but you get the impression… This is the section I struggled to even finish, but I realize THIS is because he seems to have been writing to Christians with a liturgical/traditional/denominational (whatever word you’d like to insert) background in the Reformed tradition that are so stuck in the idea of Providence that they don’t see the point of human effort. It was funny because in my adult christian experience, I’ve sometimes felt that people (present company included) put too much emphasis on ‘our part’, thus belittling or limiting the fact that God is the one in control & not us. That is when it dawned on me that he did not write that book for me. I do not need convincing that “God chooses to use our prayers, therefore, I need to pray”. I usually need help remembering that I personally do not dictate the world around me. I have no problem actually praying, I just thought, “awesome, I can really really know why we pray? I’m there.” Ha ha.

1Corin 13:12 “Now I know in part; then i shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

Monday Musings on Sunday Sermons

So, for the next couple weeks we are looking at the life of Daniel. Before I begin to muse on the sermon I want to say that it was really nice to be back in church. We haven’t been in a couple weeks and it was really really good to be back. While I could probably give you all kinds of theological reasons why it is important to be a part of a local church, today I’ll just submit that it felt good. I don’t know how to describe it, but it was as if something had been missing in our lives and all the sudden I had found it… like, “oh, yeah… there it is.” Not sure if that made sense, but none the less…

So, Daniel. Yes.

So here are the thoughts in my head after hearing the sermon:

  1. What does it mean or look like to have your “life choices based on your life in God?”
  2. Daniel was a SLAVE for 70 years +/-
  3. Daniel was “10 times better” in wisdom and understanding and yet, still a slave

1. This was the first of two observations on Daniel’s life from the sermon and I still can’t figure out what that really means. I mean, yeah, I understand the concept… I choose God over the King and get thrown in the lion’s den… but really, what does it look like? What does it mean to have your “life in God?” What does “life in God” look like at 7 a.m. on Monday morning, or when your kids scream and cry all the time, or when you haven’t read your bible in a week, or when… What really is “life in God?”

Then, what does it look like to base you life choices on that?

Been pondering on that one. Anyone (especially those who heard the sermon) want to share your thoughts?

2. Dude, I don’t care how far you advance in the King’s palace… at the end of the day, Daniel was a slave for most of his life. That bites. I guess that helps bring some balance to a “health and wealth” gospel. Which leads me to #3…

3. Yeah, Daniel was blessed by God and was 10 time better than the magicians and enchanters… thus promoted in the Kings court. However, as great as Daniel was and and blessed as he was by God… he was still the King’s slave. It amazes me how badly we want the good stuff we see in scripture yet are so quick to glance over the bad. Yeah, I want to be 10 times better at just about everything in life. Do I want to serve at the bidding of another man, day and night… be taken from my family, sent through a brain washing camp, thrown in with a bunch of magicians and enchanters, and on and on… Well, honestly, no… I just want the 10 times better part.

But I guess that’s not part of the story. Daniel was a prisoner of war. He was taken from his family. He was at the beckoned call of another man. He was forced to live a life he did not chose… But he loved Jesus and was 10 times wiser than all the fools and their false Gods.

Hmmm… there is something to chew on this week.

Anyone else want to muse on this sermon or one you might have heard?

The daily web

Ok, so this is a pretty pointless post, but one that has been in my head for a while. If you’ve ever wondered, “what websites does Ryan visit on a regular basis?” … well, then you probably have a serious problem and need some professional help. However, if you are like me, you love to find a new cool site that you never knew about before. So, with that in mind, here are the sites I frequent (After you waste 23 minutes of you life visiting them all, drop a comment and let us know your daily visits):

Daily:
the weather – Got to know.
woot – Never bought anything, but I love good deals.
steepandcheap – Just found this… great for the outdoorsperson.
craigslist – Jenn and I buy and sell here… Craig kills Ebay!
the folks in my blogroll –>
dealcatcher – Again, I love good deals
facebook – uhhhhh, yup
apple – Down with microsoft!

Almost Daily:
MetroDad – Good blogger.
mvelopes – Budget anyone? anyone?
TotalRuckus – A man can dream, cant he?
stat counter – I know you’ve been lurking… now post a comment!
guru – Gotta get paid.

Check in once and a while:
Wine Library TV – This guy is nuts!
Desiring God – You could surf this site for years and never see it all
Acts 29 – Have you planted a church today?
resurgence – More church stuff.

Ok, so again, your turn to post… drop a comment and share your daily stops…

I need a man-truck

So, on vacation we went to visit my friend Matt (you can see the pictures here). Anyway, while there we decided to go to his buddy’s farm to see the baby pigs. After driving from Matthew’s house in the middle of nowhere to his friend’s house (much further into nowhere… then down a long dirt road) we arrived. It wasn’t so much a farm per-se but that’s not really the point of the story.

So, we were there, hanging out and talking with matt’s friend when my son climbed up into Matt’s Ford F-250 4×4 man truck. Now, apparently in south Georgia it is required that all men have a truck. So, shortly after Asher got in, another friend showed up in his truck. After grabbing a Bud Light out of the cooler in his truck bed for all of us (along with having a truck I think you also have to drink crappy beer in south Georgia) we began to chat.

Since Asher was in the man truck and having a good time we began to talk about trucks. Jennifer mentioned how one day she was driving down the road with Asher when he said, “momma, da-da needs a man truck.” We all had a laugh and then friend #2 asked, and it still haunts my dreams, “so, what kind of truck do you drive now?”

It was at that moment that I realized… I drive a toyota avalon… and when I’m not in that… I drive a mini-van. With nothing to say, I put on a skirt (figuratively) and pointed over my shoulder and said, “a honda odysee.” There was an awkward silence as all the men kind of looked that their beer, or the sky, or anywhere but at me, as if to pretend that comment was never uttered out loud.

Our conversation dissipated shortly after that and we all left. I’d like to think it was because of the swarm of gnats that 8 people attract when standing in the woods of south Georgia… but deep down I think it was the fact that I don’t have a truck… and that I like imported beer.

Man, I need a man truck (but the beer stays).

This one’s for the Girls

I’m not going to give any details on this book…mostly for ryan’s sake.. but speaking of “i almost never recommend books across the board”…

I think that EVERY woman who has not already passed through to menopause should read, “Taking Charge of your Fertility“. This is NOT a christian book..nor is it written by a christian. But it does have a ton of useful information that I’d be willing to bet most women don’t know. It’s geared toward women either trying to get pregnant or to avoid it naturally (NOT using the rhythm method!), however, I think the information would greatly benefit any woman.

Finding The Will of God

I finished this book on vacation. My husband gave a pretty detailed summary here, so i won’t summarize. Just giving my opinion.

I do not recommend books across the board very often. However, this is one that i do think every christian should read. A lot of it is pretty much common knowledge (i assume), but it was written in such a clear, easy to put into practice kind of way. Either an “eye-opener” or a “reminder” for everyone.

It was one of the most liberating books I have ever read. I know that’s a pretty lofty statement, especially for a book containing subject matter that I really already knew on some level, but true. It hit home the idea to me (again, almost silly it’s so basic) that God loves me & wants me to know Him & His will. He is NOT hiding it from me or expecting me to jump through spiritual “hoops” to figure it out.

I don’t recall the author actually quoting this passage, but I would say most of the pressure we put on ourselves to “figure out what we’re supposed to do” could be relieved by simply remembering “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). That’s what you’re supposed to do with your life. Know God. Everything else will fall in. So read the Word, relax, enjoy life & go make some decisions.

As our friend Ryan Dehnert said the other day, “Why would God tell us to ask for Wisdom, except that we are supposed to make decisions?” (jenn’s paraphrase).