Friday, December 31, 2010

11 or so New Year Ressies

1.  Learn to sew well.
2.  Take frugality to new, creative levels.
3.  Make one new photo a week.
4.  Travel to a country I've never visited.
5.  Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy (or should this be number 4?).
6.  Regularly attend a Bible study.
7.  Expand our family.
8.  Sell something I make.
9.  Accomplish at least 2 of the unbolded goals for 2008, particularly the ones that refer to the fact that I once again live in Pennsylvania.
10.  Visit the capital of the country on my passport.
11.  Exercise more.

Probably some more details on each one later.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blog love

I don't really have much to say.  But I didn't want you to think that I had forgotten about blogging.  

Blogging will likely increase after Christmas.  


Until then,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

another good thing about the mac

I just plugged it into the printer, and in a second's time it printed out the page I needed to print.  No hassles.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nearly the end of 2010.

Well folks.  I think that it is about that time to look over the 2010 list of resolutions and see how I did, so that I can start making my list for 2011.

1. Relearn the guitar.
Never did.  Don't even regret it.  I think that maybe someday I will revisit this....but I think I like the idea of this more than I like the actuality of it.

2. Take a full load of classes in the Fall.
Yes!  And taking another full load in the Spring.  Definitely a challenging but good semester.  Not quite over yet.  Procrastinating because I need to write a paper tonight, in fact. In a week's time, I will be done or just about done.  My goal is to be done.

3. Take on a grown-up's schedule and routine (waking up and going to bed at a decent hour, doing dishes and laundry on a regular basis, eating meals at consistent times, etc).
Getting better but not there yet.  I'm just not a morning person, but I still wish I were.  For the last few years I have been working on skills in setting boundaries with my time, so I think I'm on the right road. 

4. Find a job that doesn't require a "work email" or checking it often.
Found one, but then realized I don't have time for it.  For next semester, school will be my work.  People and hobbies will get a portion of my time....whereas this semester they got very little.  I will find a way to  just not spend the amount of money I would've made each month in paychecks.

5. Blog whenever I feel like it, about whatever I want, with no patterns or self-imposed rules and guidelines.
I guess I did....but I would like to get into the habit of blogging more.

6. Read my Bible as often as I brush my teeth.
Hmm.  Even though this is a measurable goal, I can't say for sure if it truly happened.  I hope it did.  I fear it probably didn't.

7. Sing more. Laugh more. Be myself more.
I think so.  Not sure what outcome I was looking for with this one.

8. Grow my hair long
Working on it.  A bit of trivia: I think I've gotten a total of 2 haircuts in 2010.

9. Print and frame and hang some pictures
I ordered a couple of prints the other day...when they arrive in the mail, I will see if they fit into any of the frames we have.  And then I will hang them up.

10. Give away things I never use
Try to.  Have taken a couple of trips to salvo since we've moved here. Have a bag of stuff to bring there when I get time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

First post from the Mac.

I wish I could say that things were less busy, but they're not.  But soon they will be.  Lately I'll be sitting in class listening to a lecture and I will suddenly realize that my shoulders are in a shrugged-up position and I will have no idea how long they've been that way.  Even while typing that last sentence, I realized my shoulders were a good two inches higher than they need to be...than they are when I am at rest.  Anyway, my shoulders always have knots in them, and this is probably why.  I need to learn (among other things) how to relax.
I've been convicted this semester that I am prone to being busier than I would like and therefore quickly becoming burnt out.  Now, I will be the first to recognize that there are several people who are way busier than I am, and they don't feel burned out.  I can't decide which is more correct, burnt out or burned out.  But I digress.  Anyway, that is fine for them.  I've just been learning that I cannot survive well in a life that goes from one thing to the next, that leaves no margins for being spontaneous, that saves no time for people or rest or hobbies.  A couple of weeks ago I read a book about honoring the Sabbath (and then ironically wrote a book report on it and turned it in all on a Sunday...because that was the only time I would have to do it, I felt).  And I really felt that I've been missing out in life by not taking a sabbath.  Not in a legalistic way, but in a way where I feel like God has given me this command to take time to rest and recreate and rejuvenate (my words, not the book's), I just arrogantly think that I don't need it.  Not only that, but that I won't be able to get everything else done if I take a day off.  I'm sorry, but if that is true about your life (it easily is for me), then it is time to re-evaluate the things that keep you busy and see how necessary they are.  If you are too busy to observe a sabbath day, then
1.  You probably need it the most
and 2. You are too busy.

Anyway.  I'm sorry if that suddenly turned into a sermon.  I'm really just trying to say that I've been learning these things about myself over the past few years.  I just feel like if I am involved with too many things, I don't do any of them very well.

What was this post about again?

Oh yeah.  It's the first post from our new computer!  Our PCs tend to bite the dust way to quickly, and it can be frustrating and time consuming when you need to be using your computer and you're waiting for a page to load, or for the page to unfreeze, etc.  So for my birthday and christmas combined, we've entered the world of macs.  So far, so good.

Naturally, I spent a good amount of time perfecting Photo Booth.
Ok, so here's a normal one to start things off.

Winning smile

My twin and me.

Artsy Steve


I can't figure out who I look like in this one.

Oh, Steve.

Trying to evade my advances.

Fat suit.


Bone Structure

Mount Rushmore


Me as a librarian (no offense to actual librarians.  I love libraries).

Sloth love Chunk


Saturday, November 27, 2010

jet lag

I wonder if I could make myself become a morning person by incorporating skills in getting over jet lag.

Here are 2 main ways that I could think of off the top of my head.

1.  When you are trying to get over extreme jet lag, it is just helpful to force yourself to go to bed and get up when you want to, even though your body is fighting it.  This has to be a key way of making yourself into a morning person.  Not only forcing yourself to get up early, but also making yourself go to bed a lot earlier (might even be the harder of the two).

2.  It is important to get into a normal pattern of eating.  When I'm jet lagged, I will wake up in the middle of the night hungry, because my body thinks it should be lunch time.  Perhaps if I train my body to be hungry in the morning (which it almost never is), then I can train it to wake up earlier?  I suppose this also has just as much to do with forcing myself to eat in the morning as it does to just not eat anything in the evening.

Ok.  This post if kind of lame.  But it's what I've been thinking about lately.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A sort of a cop out post, but a post nonetheless.

Still would like to post some pictures, but am suffering from too many other things to do.  Sorry for putting you on the back burner, Blog.  So in order to save some time, and still be able to post and get some homework done, I have opted to just copy and paste a reflection that I wrote after reading the section on Service in Spiritual Classics: Selected Readings on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin.  Enjoy.  
                The readings about service as a spiritual discipline for this week were quite inspirational, and resonated greatly with me.  The first three readings were especially impacting, as after reading Hadewijich of Antwerp I wanted to look more into what Beguine was; reading Meister Eckhart’s interpretation of the biblical story of Mary and Martha made me rethink the whole point of the story (not the usual interpretation that paints a picture of the overly busy and critical Martha and the saintly Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet); and finally Dorothy Day inspired me to think about using my own gifts for serving the poor in my community.  Though the readings were all quite short (no complaints here!), and the actual reflection may be longer than the excerpt itself, I will be reflecting on my thoughts after reading from Dorothy Day’s The Long Loneliness.
                Even the first paragraph in the mini-biography before the excerpt was inspirational.  I would love it to be said of me one day, that I was “principally remembered for [my] love of the poor…” and that my “Christianity was deeply formed by prayer and study of the Gospels.” (211)  Day had a heart for the poor, and longed to be an advocate for them and try to change things for the better.  Too often I feel this way, but don’t even know where to start.  What gifts do I have that would really be of any use?  Do I even have the resources of time and funds to do anything substantial?  But looking at Dorothy Day’s biography, I can see that first and foremost, she had a heart for the poor and was rooted in devotion to serving them by prayer and study of the Gospels.  It is easy to say that this can be my own reality, that heart and willingness, and building a good foundation are primary, and that skills and resources are secondary, but it is sometimes a difficult hurdle to actually get over.
                Day speaks of her experience of offering hospitality to the poor; to families who are going through hard times and just need a place to stay in order to get their feet back on the ground again.  She does a good job at painting a realistic picture of what it looked like for her: she had a house with eight large rooms that she welcomed families to temporarily stay in while they tried to find employment and a place to live.  The house was overflowing with people in this dire situation that had nowhere else to go.  People of all life situations were in it together became a small community of sorts, helping take care of each other’s children so that they could go out and find jobs.  Day says of this, “Such an extreme of destitution makes all men brothers.” (212) 
                So many times I wonder what is the best way to combat homelessness, hunger, poverty, etc?  I know that the Bible has a lot to say about loving others and taking care of “the least of these” and being generous with what has been given to you.  But society says that some people want to be homeless, or that just giving them “stuff” does not help the real problem, but only perpetuates their homelessness.  Some will not donate their money because they are worried about how it will be spent, or because they hear stories of people who beg for a living and then drive their fancy car to their fancy home at the end of the day.  I feel like these are some extreme statements, but I have heard them all, and they definitely conflict with the Bible’s teaching to help the poor, as well as my own convictions to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.
                Day’s portrayal of her hospitality to the poor sounds like a wonderful plan – it helps the poor in a real, tangible way; but I do not think that it perpetuates their homelessness.  Sure, there will always be those who want to milk the system, but I cannot imagine that living in one room of a house with your whole family is a situation that you would want to be in for very long.  It provides both the shelter and time you need, but also gives a sense of urgency to be back on your own again.
                I do not think that I am in a place right now where I can house homeless people, but I have felt a tugging at my heart to try to figure out a way to provide for them.  So far, it has consisted of me cleaning out my closet on a regular basis and donating clothing and other items to various shelters or the Salvation Army (depending on my location).  I think it is a good start, but lately I have also had this strange and strong desire to learn to sew in order to make blankets to donate (either directly to people or to an organization).  As it is getting colder outside, and as I sit in my cozy living room with a blanket on my lap writing this reflection, I cannot even imagine having to sleep outside in the cold (or even inside for that matter, if you cannot afford to heat your house) without a blanket.  I know that there are many obstacles to this:
1.       I do not have a sewing machine, skills, time, resources, etc to sit and make blankets for those who need them
2.       I am aware that giving someone a blanket does not necessarily help them find a job, or make rent.
But even so, I still would like to try.  In the meantime, I of course can donate already made blankets and warm clothes while I learn a new skill.  I can work on building my own foundation in the Lord and working on my prayer life and spending time studying the Bible devotionally.  Because as Dorothy Day said, “To think that we are forced by our own lack of room, our lack of funds, to perpetuate this shame, is heartbreaking.”  I think that for the remainder of this semester, I will have to stick to donating already made things.  However, I can bet that one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2011 will be “Learn to Sew.”

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Technical difficulties and watching paint dry

There are some pictures that I would like to post, but for whatever reason, blogger is having a hard time dealing with any photos that are rotated vertically.  It either will take the picture and put it back to horizontal, so the person looking at it has to tilt their head to look at it, or it will leave it in the vertical shape (for lack of a better word), but the picture will still be horizontal and all stretched out.

So instead, you get to see how much my nails grew in a week's time.  Hopefully I can get this figured out.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Truly, I think he has a good heart.

In an effort to become a better grown-up, I watched this.  I liked it enough to want to share it somewhere, but am fearful of the negativity that could result if I shared on facebook.  So here it is, to my faithful blog follower(s).  Something positive about politics.

I don't know if I will be voting on Tuesday for the following reasons:

1.  I can't find my voter registration card (though, it is somewhere in this apartment...I'm guessing, if I were smart, it's lost somewhere in my purse, but more likely, it is in a stack of papers somewhere in the office/guest bedroom).
2.  I have class all day on Tuesday, not sure if I would make it back on time.
3.  Based on all of the advertisements on TV, I'm only sure of who I don't want to vote for, not of who I do want to vote for.

Will you vote on Tuesday?  (It is Tuesday, right?)

I am excited that campaigning against others will be temporarily over, but I am not looking forward to hearing all the complaining about the results (no matter what they are).  Can't we all just get along people?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Appealing Simplicity

Top 3 Things That Currently Appeal To Me:
1.  Frugality.  
Not only in what we're spending our money on, but also for time and energy.  When I am too busy, I sometimes feel like I am merely surviving.  I can't imagine that being constantly busy and worn out is what Jesus was talking about when he mentioned living life to the full (John 10:10).
2.  Honing and selling a craft.
First, I need to come up with a marketable, artsy, crafty skill.  I think I would like to try my hand at sewing (not so much clothes, but little throw pillows or homemade grocery bags.  Or blankets.), since knitting/crocheting just hasn't agreed with me in the past, and writing snarky sayings on a piece of wood just doesn't seem legit enough to me.  Plus, I feel like we would have the space in our small apartment to accommodate for sewing (as opposed to a craft like woodwork, or ceramics).  Then, as soon as I get good, and have exhausted making everyone their Christmas and birthday presents, and donating to charities and silent auctions, I would learn what an Etsy was, or just go to good old fashioned craft fairs, and sell my wares.  I think I've mentioned on this blog before how appealing "selling my wares" is.
3.  Gardening.
Like sewing and being frugal, gardening also has a sense of taking care of yourself and others using the resources God gave you.  After experimenting with canning, I found that I liked it, but that it would be more cost effective (and satisfying) if the fruit and vegetables were ones that I had grown.  I also think that this might be something that I am romanticizing a little bit, because I am not sure that I can see myself out in the yard trying to determine which plants are weeds.  So maybe I should start out with sewing (I feel like I've got a bit of a start on frugality already)?

Ok.  I am clearly:
a) born in the wrong century
b) procrastinating in the form of blogging.  Apparently my homework is not doing itself?
c) all of the above

It also doesn't help that the last few blogs I've read cater to these types of interests.
Blah.  Homework now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big Picture

Ahh.  There is always more to learn about yourself, and today, I realized what I probably already should have known.  I am a big picture person.  While I am capable of being aware of details, I am not particularly gifted in that area.  I tend to be the most strung out when details are involved.  For awhile, I thought that that made me a detail person.  But really, when it boils down to it, details make me crazy.  The more I realize this, the more it becomes apparent to me.  The way I tell stories (skipping details that I don't think matter).  The way I stress out if I am in charge of planning an event (really, I should just leave this to people who actually like that kind of thing...the details just bog me down).  The way I remember the moral of the story, but none of the characters' names. 
Why haven't I realized this before?  I'm sure like all things, this can be both a strength and a weakness, but knowing is half the battle, right?  As always, I wonder how knowing this will look for me down the road, whether in whatever ministry the Lord has in store, or for how I will raise a family, etc.  (Shouldn't that "as always" be a clue that I am a big picture person?  I can be quite slow about realizing things like that though).

Now.  I'm torn about whether I should post one big picture here, or several smaller pictures?

I suppose I should stay true to myself:

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Awhile back, I found out my strengthsfinder strengths.

After quite some time of thinking about it, I've come to realize that my strengths are also my weaknesses, for better or for worse.

Here's what I wrote about my strengths last time, with my new thoughts in a different color.
Learner -- "You love to learn. ...whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning." This is true. I like to learn in all ways, but I am primarily a visual learner. If money were no object, I would go back to school and study a variety of topics.
As a result, I know a little bit about a lot of things, but I don't really know a lot about any one thing.
Futuristic -- "Wouldn't it be great if..." you are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. ...a better product, a better team, a better life, or a better world -- it will always be inspirational to you. You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions." Hit the nail on the head. As of late, I cannot go to a restaurant or a church without daydreaming the whole time about ways to improve it.
As a result, I have a really hard time living in the present.  And don't even get me started on history.  In my Early Church class, which I really enjoy by the way, every once in a while I have to reign my thoughts in to think about what it meant for the people at the time...not how it will look for whatever ministry God wants me to do in the future.  And by every once in a while, I mean all the time.

Input -- "You are inquisitive. You like to collect things. ... Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity." I mostly collect information, facts, books, quotations, etc. I'm not really the type that has a collection of alike tangible objects.
I do however, keep a good amount of clutter around.  I'm trying to be better about it.  It helps that I never live in one place for too long, moving certainly helps one to keep only the important things in life. 
Intellection -- "You like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the 'muscles' of your brain, stretching it in multiple directions. simply describes that you like to think. You are the kind of person who enjoys your time alone because it is your time for musing and reflection." Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
I tend to over think things.  To dwell too much on stupid stuff, or to second guess myself. 
Responsibility -- "Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it to completion. Your good name depends on it. If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other person. ...Your willingness to volunteer may sometimes lead you to take on more than you should." My mom told me that even as a little girl, I had more of a sense of a responsibility than most adults. For better or for worse, my plate is always full (not my food plate). I'm trying to work on finding balance.
I take too much on, can't say no, hold unrealistic expectations of myself and others.  I am trying to be better at prioritizing my time and setting boundaries.  I hope I don't get too good at saying no to things though.  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A quote from my reading

“…the real challenge, which is to allow the central Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love, and the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, great-heartedness, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, to have free course in our relationships one with another, and to discover, as they work their way into our lives, the corporate virtues of mutual submission and mutual recognition of God-given gifts of leadership, teaching, and so on.”

My apologies if there are any typos.  From the book After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, By N.T. Wright...found on the top of page 214

Monday, September 20, 2010


Um. Please bear with me. I have no intentions of quitting this blog...but my plate is a little full right now.  Keep me on your readers, so just when you've forgotten that this blog existed, it will quietly show up one day.
Until then,
Here's to sunny and relaxing days where you feel comfortable enough to take a walk in a park and a quick nap on a bench.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I think I will try to make this sometime soonish. soon as I can.  So probably not until Saturday at the earliest.  Or maybe Thursday.  I just loves spinach!

Truly sorry for the lack of pictures lately.  The title of the blog is not Laura making words, after all.  There are plenty of excuses.  I won't bore you with them all...but for one, I started school today!  I am soaking it all in.  I wonder what God has in store for me?  Anyway.  When I'm not at school, I'm at work, and when I'm not at either place, I plan on doing some homework and hanging out with Steve.  Then, if there is time left after all of that, I will make some pictures. :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fruits of the Spirit in the Bible - Peace

Ahhh.....I was working on this. On the home stretch. And then accidentally deleted everything from Genesis through Colossians. I will have to go and re-do it all. God must really want me to think about peace or something. Frustrating, but not the end of the world.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The usual, I think, for this time of year.

My new textbooks are here!  I am excited, slightly overwhelmed, tired just thinking about it, excited, anxious, etc.  I love to learn, and I ordered these bad boys just over 10 days ago, so I was starting to get a tad impatient (but can't complain when you choose the free shipping option).  I'm glad they are here.  And I'm glad to start classes in a week (need to read some pages ahead of time...and orientation starts tomorrow! Ah).

Anyway, as usual for me, the intro isn't really what the whole post is about, but usually what started my train of thought.  So that's why I started with it.

As I look through my past with Facebook (and other online social media whatevers), there are many times when I just need to take a break.  Sometimes the breaks are mandated by myself, and other times the breaks are mandated by my location and lack of internets.  Most of the time these facebook breaks are either around the start of the school year, summer, or lent.  Ah, you say, that's why she started out with the textbooks.  It is the start of the school year and she is feeling like things are about to get busy.

Yes.  That is part of it.  But the other part is also that I have been thinking a lot lately about status updates, and now, recently, twitter updates, and how I want to use them.  Do I really want to just do a boring play-by-play of my life, or do I want to be more thoughtful?  Either way, I waste a lot of time, not only updating my status/twitter, but also and moreso with reading other people's statuses and twitterings.  Disclaimer:  it is not a waste of time to keep in touch with people.  It IS a waste of time to know what someone you went to kindergarten with ate for lunch.  Most of the time, anyway.  Especially when you have a box of books to read, and a new job to figure out.  So anyway, when the books arrived today, I was tempted to update my status, letting the world know about my books arriving.  But I decided against it. 

The people that were around when I picked up the books know that I got them.  And those that are truly interested will ask.  And for everyone else, it is just one more thing that they are spending too much time reading, when there are so many more meaningful things to do.

So anyway.  I am taking a September break from facebook.  I will check it from time to time, in case there is anyone who needs to communicate to me, or in case there is someone I need to communicate with....and have no other means to outside of the facebook world.  I don't want to downplay the importance of fb, I like it.  I like that I can see what people are up to and so easily drop them a note or a comment.  But so often, I am prone to use it for wasting time.

So.  What does that mean for blogging?  Not much.  I will probably blog when I can.  I have a lot of thoughts these days, and especially now with all these books to read.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Quote of the moment, again

The entire post where I found this quote can be found here.

It’s sad to see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, don’t get me wrong, I’m not pessimistic. Jesus will build his church, and he will build it on the gospel. He doesn’t need American Christianity to do it. Vibrant, loving, orthodox Christianity will flourish, perhaps among the poor of Haiti or the persecuted of Sudan or the outlawed of China, but it will flourish.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shoe shopping

Ok.  So I left a bunch of shoes behind in Lithuania. And before we moved there, I gave a lot of my shoes away.  So today I went out in search of some simple, black, flat, dressy but not too dressy, shoes.  My requirements were (I thought) simple:
1.  Cute
2.  Inexpensive*
3.  My size (9 1/2)

My first try, Target, was unsuccessful.  All the cute shoes did not have my size or were too expensive.  All the shoes that were my size were ugly or too expensive (or both).  All the inexpensive shoes were either ugly, or not my size.  Target, is it so hard to carry shoes in a half size?  The good news, is they had some cute slippers that fit me, so I got some of those (left my slippers behind in Lithuania, too).

So then I went to the nearby Marshalls, which is usually right up my alley, but they seemed to have a shortage of shoes as well.

So THEN I went to the next door Ross, a place that I don't go to that often, but am not against.  And I was astonished.  Not necessarily in a good way...but in such a way that I said, "You're kidding me" out loud and had to laugh as I walked out of the store empty handed.  I wish I had thought to take a picture, but I didn't so you get to see what it was like through Paint.  It's just as good as a picture, trust me.

They had an entire wall dedicated to shoes size 10 and bigger.  Then in front of the wall, they had about 4 aisles of shoes, each size had at least an aisle dedicated to it.  Except size 9.5, which had an eighth of an aisle with a few shoes on each shelf.  I looked around thinking that maybe they would continue the size near the 10s, but no such luck.  It was either big shoes or pillows on the wall.  So I didn't get any shoes there.
Picture not to scale.
My assumption at Target was that everyone must be the same size as I am with regards to shoes.  My assumption after I left Ross is that no one wears that size, because they don't even bother to have an entire aisle devoted to my size (Steve told me later that since Ross probably gets the leftovers from other stores, it is safe to assume that it is just a really common shoe size, and that's why they don't carry that many of them).

Anyway, I ended up having to go to the mall, and found a suitable pair for only $10.  They were pretty cute (not the cutest ones of the day, but suitable.  And inexpensive.  And fit my feet).

The flat toe is what sold it for me.  That and the fact that they were 10 dollars.

*I try really hard to use the word "inexpensive" when I am talking about low cost.  For me the word "cheap" suggests low quality.  Sometimes, yes, low cost can mean low quality, but not always.  And that is why I make the distinction.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Neats moskeets

This is really neat.  Being it has 2 million views, there is a chance you've already seen it. But just in cases.

PS...The code so I can post it to the blog is disabled. You will just have to follow the link.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quote of the moment

I am currently rereading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy by Douglas Adams again.  I love it, as always.  In college, for an announcing class, we had to record ourselves quite a bit, and often I would record myself reading passages of Douglas Adams' wit.

Here is the most frequent one that I read that I loved:

What else was pleasant? he asked himself.  Well, so many things: the red and gold of the trees, now that autumn was approaching; the peaceful chatter of scissors a few feet from his bath where a couple of hairdressers were exercising their skills on a dozing art director and his assistant; the sunlight gleaming off the six shiny telephones lined up along the edge of his rock-hewn bath. The only thing nicer than a phone that didn't ring all the time (or indeed at all) was six phones that didn't ring all the time (or indeed at all).

Found in Chapter 32 of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Wings Books, New York, 1980.

My latest challenge

Maybe you've noticed a couple of blog posts with tons of Bible verses with little to no explanation.  It's my latest project, and it's taking longer than I expected! 
I thought it would be interesting to see if I could find the fruits of the Spirit in each book of the Bible.  Sometimes doing a word search isn't enough, and I end up reading an entire book looking for evidence of a certain fruit.  Time consuming, but I loves it.
Anyway.  So that's what that is.  Enjoy if you want.

Fruits of the Spirit in the Bible -- Joy

Genesis 30:13
And Leah named him Asher, for she said, “What joy is mine! Now the other women will celebrate with me.”

Exodus 15:20 -- evidence of joy
Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing.

Leviticus 9:24
Fire blazed forth from the Lord’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground.

Numbers 28:17
On the following day—the fifteenth day of the month—a joyous, seven-day festival will begin, but no bread made with yeast may be eaten.

Deuteronomy 16:15
For seven days you must celebrate this festival to honor the Lord your God at the place he chooses, for it is he who blesses you with bountiful harvests and gives you success in all your work. This festival will be a time of great joy for all.

Joshua 13:33
But Moses gave no allotment of land to the tribe of Levi, for the Lord, the God of Israel, had promised that he himself would be their allotment.

Judges 9:19
“If you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Gideon and his descendants today, then may you find joy in Abimelech, and may he find joy in you.

Ruth 4:14
Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel. 

1 Samuel 4:5
When all the Israelites saw the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord coming into the camp, their shout of joy was so loud it made the ground shake! 

2 Samuel 6:15
So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.

1 Kings 1:40
And all the people followed Solomon into Jerusalem, playing flutes and shouting for joy. The celebration was so joyous and noisy that the earth shook with the sound.

2 Kings 11:20
So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was peaceful because Athaliah had been killed at the king’s palace.
1 Chronicles 15:16
David also ordered the Levite leaders to appoint a choir of Levites who were singers and musicians to sing joyful songs to the accompaniment of harps, lyres, and cymbals.

2 Chronicles 7:10
Then at the end of the celebration, Solomon sent the people home. They were all joyful and glad because the Lord had been so good to David and to Solomon and to his people Israel.

Ezra 3:13
The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.

Nehemiah 8:12
So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them.

Esther 9:22
He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy.

Job 8:21
He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Psalm 9:2
I will be filled with joy because of you.I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

Proverbs 2:10
For wisdom will enter your heart,and knowledge will fill you with joy.

Ecclesiastes 9:7
So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!

Song of Solomon 3:11
[ Young Woman ] Come out to see King Solomon,young women of Jerusalem. He wears the crown his mother gave him on his wedding day,his most joyous day.

Isaiah 12:3
With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!

Jeremiah 15:16
When I discovered your words, I devoured them.They are my joy and my heart’s delight,for I bear your name,O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.

Lamentations 5:21
Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again!Give us back the joys we once had!

Ezekiel 7:6-8

The end has come.  It has finally arrived.  Your final doom is waiting!  O people of Israel, the day of your destruction is dawning.  The time has come; the day of trouble is near.  Shouts of anguish will be heard on the mountains, not shouts of joy.  Soon I will pour out my fury on you and unleash my anger against you.  I will call you to account for all your detestable sins.

Daniel 2:19-23
That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. He said, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.  He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.  He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light.  I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.”

Hosea 9:1
[ Hosea Announces Israel’s Punishment ] O people of Israel,do not rejoice as other nations do.For you have been unfaithful to your God,hiring yourselves out like prostitutes,worshiping other gods on every threshing floor.

Joel 2:21
Don’t be afraid, my people.Be glad now and rejoice,for the Lord has done great things.
Amos 5:20
Yes, the day of the Lord will be dark and hopeless, without a ray of joy or hope.

Obadiah 1:12
“You should not have gloated when they exiled your relatives to distant lands.  You should not have rejoiced when the people of Judah suffered such misfortune. You should not have spoken arrogantly in that terrible time of trouble.

Jonah 2:9
But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows.  For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.”

Micah 2:11
Suppose a prophet full of lies would say to you,“I’ll preach to you the joys of wine and alcohol!”That’s just the kind of prophet you would like!

Nahum 3:19
There is no healing for your wound;your injury is fatal.All who hear of your destruction will clap their hands for joy.Where can anyone be found who has not suffered from your continual cruelty?

Habakkuk 3:17-18
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord!  I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

Zephaniah 3:17
For the Lord your God is living among you.He is a mighty savior.He will take delight in you with gladness.With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Haggai 1:8
Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.

Zechariah 8:19
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The traditional fasts and times of mourning you have kept in early summer, midsummer, autumn, and winter are now ended. They will become festivals of joy and celebration for the people of Judah. So love truth and peace.

Malachi 4:2
“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.

Matthew 2:10
When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!

Mark 1:11
And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

Luke 2:10
but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.

John 15:11
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

Acts 2:45-47
They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity —all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

Romans 4:7
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven,whose sins are put out of sight.

1 Corinthians 7:30
Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions.

2 Corinthians 1:24
But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.

Galatians 4:15
Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible.

Ephesians 1:5
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Philippians 4:4
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!

Colossians 1:11-12
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.
1 Thessalonians 1:6
So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

1 Timothy 3:1-5
This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position.” So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife.  He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?

2 Timothy 1:4
I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.

Titus 1:8
Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life.

Philemon 1:7
Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.

Hebrews 13:17
Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

James 1:2
[ Faith and Endurance ] Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

1 Peter 1:6
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.

2 Peter 1:17
when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

1 John 1:4
We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.

2 John 1:12
[ Conclusion ] I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.

3 John 1:4
I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.

Jude 1:24
[ A Prayer of Praise ] Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.

Revelation 19:7
Let us be glad and rejoice,and let us give honor to him.For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,and his bride has prepared herself.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reminiscing and reminding

Today I was reminded why I don't regularly edit photos with  It slows my normally slow computer way down, and drives me a bit crazy. 

Anyway, I was reminiscing about Tallinn in the Christmastime, and played around a bit with these pictures.

Friday, August 20, 2010

T5 reasons Being without your own shopping bags is comparable to being without pants

 I'm to the point where using my own cloth shopping bags seems just as normal and right as wearing pants.

1.  When you're just starting out, you probably forget to bring your own shopping bags/wear pants.
2.  The more you see the importance of bringing your own shopping bag/wearing pants, the more you notice when others don't.
3.  There are benefits to bringing your own shopping bags/wearing pants to the store.  (You don't have to pay for your plastic bags/get credit for bags you aren't using...and they will let you in the door, etc).
4.  You feel naked when you are at the store without your own shopping bags/pants.
5.  At the end of a long day, sometimes you just don't care about bringing your own shopping bag/wearing pants, and that's ok too. Sometimes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fruits of the Spirit in the Bible -- Love

Genesis 39:21
But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.

Exodus 20:6
But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

Leviticus 19:18
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord."

Numbers 14:19
In keeping with your magnificent, unfailing love, please pardon the sins of this people, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.”

Deuteronomy 6:5
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.

Joshua 22:5
But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.”

Judges 16:4
[ Samson and Delilah ] Some time later Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the valley of Sorek.

Ruth 4:15
May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!”

1 Samuel 20:17
And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.

2 Samuel 2:6
May the Lord be loyal to you in return and reward you with his unfailing love! And I, too, will reward you for what you have done.

1 Kings 10:9
Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.”

2 Kings...hit a rough patch.  Lots of good things in this book...and I do believe that love is referred to indirectly.  So, here is a good one, that doesn't mention love by name, but implies it, especially when you consider the command from Deuteronomy (above).
2 Kings 23:25
Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!His faithful love endures forever.

2 Chronicles 6:14
He prayed,“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.

Ezra 9:9
For we were slaves, but in his unfailing love our God did not abandon us in our slavery. Instead, he caused the kings of Persia to treat us favorably. He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 1:4-6
When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned!

Esther 2:17
And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti.

Job 10:12
You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love.My life was preserved by your care.

Psalm 5:12
For you bless the godly, O Lord;you surround them with your shield of love.

Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up quarrels,but love makes up for all offenses.

Ecclesiastes 3:8
A time to love and a time to hate.A time for war and a time for peace.

Song of Solomon 4:10
Your love delights me,my treasure, my bride.Your love is better than wine,your perfume more fragrant than spices.

Isaiah 55:3
“Come to me with your ears wide open.Listen, and you will find life.I will make an everlasting covenant with you.I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.

Jeremiah 9:24
But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone:that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,and that I delight in these things.I, the Lord, have spoken!

Lamentations 3:22
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.

Ezekiel 16:8
And when I passed by again, I saw that you were old enough for love. So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.

Daniel 9:4
I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:“O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.

Hosea 1:7
But I will show love to the people of Judah. I will free them from their enemies—not with weapons and armies or horses and charioteers, but by my power as the Lord their God.”

Joel 2:13
Don’t tear your clothing in your grief,but tear your hearts instead.”Return to the Lord your God,for he is merciful and compassionate,slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.He is eager to relent and not punish.

Amos 5:15
Hate evil and love what is good;turn your courts into true halls of justice.Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

Obadiah...I am having a hard time finding love specifically....but the whole thing is a great account of what happens when people don't love.

Jonah 4:2
So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.

Micah 7:18
Where is another God like you,who pardons the guilt of the remnant,overlooking the sins of his special people?You will not stay angry with your people forever,because you delight in showing unfailing love.

Nahum hum's hard with these short books.  Here is a good verse, that I think demonstrates the Lord's love:
Nahum 1:3 
The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished.  He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm.  The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet.

Habakkuk 1:3
Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery?  Wherever I look,I see destruction and violence.I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.

Zephaniah 3:17
For the Lord your God is living among you.He is a mighty savior.He will take delight in you with gladness.With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Haggai 1:13
Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave the people this message from the Lord: “I am with you, says the Lord!”

Zechariah 1:14
Then the angel said to me, “Shout this message for all to hear: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong.

Malachi 1:2-3
“I have always loved you,” says the Lord.  But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?”  And the Lord replies, “This is how I showed my love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob, but I rejected his brother, Esau, and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.”

Matthew 5:46
If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.

Mark 10:21
Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Luke 10:27
The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

John 3:16
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Acts...huh.  I did not see this coming.  No mention of the word love in Acts.  What does this teach me about mission?  I do know that the Holy Spirit is very present in the book of Acts, and that love is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, so I can guess that like other books, even though it is not mentioned, love is present.
Acts 2:4
And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

Romans 5:5
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

1 Corinthians 8:1
[ Food Sacrificed to Idols ] Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.

2 Corinthians 5:14
Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.

Galatians 5:13
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

Ephesians 3:17
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

Philippians 1:9
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.

Colossians 2:2
I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.

1 Thessalonians 4:9
But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.

2 Thessalonians 3:5
May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.

1 Timothy 1:5
The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.

2 Timothy 1:13
Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.

Titus 1:8
Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life.

Philemon 1:4-6
I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.

Hebrews 6:10
For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.

James 2:8
Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

1 Peter 1:22
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.

2 Peter 1:5-9
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

1 John 3:18
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

2 John 1:5
I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning.

3 John 1:5-6
Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God.

Jude 1:2
May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.

Revelation 3:19
I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
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