Sunday, January 31, 2010

And this too.

"Wouldn't it be dreadful if some day in our own world, at home, men started going wild inside, like the animals here, and still looked like men, so that you'd never know which were which?"

Friday, January 29, 2010

This stuck out to me.

"But we want to be here, don't we?" said Lucy, "if Aslan wants us."

Monday, January 25, 2010

morning person

I am NOT a morning person. I don't ever remember being one. If I must get up early, I can. But if I don't have to, I almost never do.

But I think it is so appealing! I wish I could be one of those people who pops out of bed in the morning, has a leisurely breakfast, reads for awhile, gets some housework done, showers/gets ready for the day, and then heads off to work.

I wish I could be so disciplined that I would go to bed as soon as I feel tired, but instead, here I am, blogging away about how I wish I were a morning person instead of starting to get ready for bed.

I found this helpful list on how to become a morning person. I wonder if it will be possible to accomplish in 2010? (so I can check off number 3 on the list....I've gotten into the habit of trying to do some dishes daily...and some laundry weekly, so there's that).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Things happen later here, most of the time.

Saw the movie Avatar the other night.

It was visually magnificent....but I felt like I had heard the story before. But with different characters.

Like...Dances With Wolves, or The Last Samurai, or Horton Hears a Who (to a certain extent).

I thought it was interesting how women/females were presented in this movie.

Anyway, it was enjoyable and stunning....but I wouldn't say it would make my favorites list.

That's really all I have to say about it. What were your thoughts?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Top 10 reasons to not drive a car

One thing that I like most of the time about our time in Europe is the fact that we don't have a car. Sometimes things are not as convenient as they would be if we did have a car, but for the most part, I would like to use cars less once we live in the States again. We'll see if that works out, as it is so inconvenient in the States to not have a car (hardly any sidewalks, poor public transportation, and everything is so spread out)...but here are 10 things that I like about not having a car (that I hopefully will remember in the future).

10. Apparently gas isn't cheap
9. Bikes are fun (both the kind with pedals, and the scooter type)
8. Cars break down *
7. Environmentally friendly
6. More fresh air
5. Walking = free exercise
4. Cars are treated as status symbols, and not as pure utility
3. Insurance costs money, as does not having insurance
2. This could happen.

Flat tire, northern Wisconsin, summer 2009

1. This could happen.

Manhole in the windshield. Klaipeda, Lithuania. Winter, 2009. Not our car.

*but when ours breaks down, we get to go visit Uncle Greg and Aunt Linda

Sunday, January 17, 2010

“Be a good neighbor”

In Luke 10, a man asks Jesus what he must do in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus asks him what the law of Moses says, and he succinctly says, “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.” This is good theology in general, but becomes especially good when applied to culture.

The man asks Jesus (to clarify), “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus, as usual, doesn’t give him a straight answer, but tells him a story to illustrate what/who a neighbor is. Being a good neighbor crosses cultural barriers, and allows people to truly love and care for each other. The Samaritan in the story was someone that was culturally disliked by many, yet he was the story’s hero by the end of it.

In this story, the neighbor was one who showed mercy for another person. So, to be a good neighbor is to show mercy to others, and also, to love those who are the most difficult to love.

After the novelty of being immersed in another culture wears off, it can be easy to be picky about all of the differences you see between the new culture and your own. The new culture can be “those who are the most difficult to love” because everything is so different and foreign. It may also be very difficult to love a culture (or, specifically people in the culture), because loving them as you love yourself just does not seem to be working.

For example: Person A is from a very individualistic culture, and has always had to figure things out on his own. Person B comes from a culture that values teamwork, and likes to figure out complex tasks as a group. If Person A lives in Person B’s culture, and has to solve a problem, Person B’s culture will be a good neighbor by surrounding Person A with all of the best thinkers and brainstormers they can find, leaving Person A feeling overwhelmed and irritated, because ‘if he could just get a moment alone to think, he could figure this out!’ Both people in the story would “love their neighbor as themselves” differently.

That is why so many well-intentioned missionaries seem to force their beliefs and their culture on others. If something works in their culture, why wouldn’t it work in another? Does loving your neighbor as yourself really mean that you treat others exactly how you would want to be treated? Or is it something deeper than that? Loving your neighbor as yourself is realizing the other person’s most urgent need, and learning the best way to care for that person. That is how I would like to be treated, and therefore, that is the way I will aim to treat others – whether they come from the same culture or not. And this will all flow from the first part of the theology, which is: loving God with everything in your being.

Winter part 2

Friday, January 8, 2010

Top 3 things I've done to keep warm today (aside from dressing warmly)

3. Drank a hot beverage
2. Laundry...hanging and folding clothes.
1. Took a nap*

*with some modifications, since the regular way isn't good enough. I took a picture because that is better than my description, and because it's been awhile since I posted a picture.

Things to take note of:
The direction of the couch in relation to the radiators
The blankets sealing the drafty windows.
The last package of tissues in the apartment clinging sadly to the couch.

After the nap and the laundry, I took my temperature. It registered at 97.0, which is warmer than I expected, but not that warm. So that is what prompted number three on the list.

I really don't have that much to complain about, since I heard about how cold it is in Minnesota.
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