Monday, September 29, 2008

I am, besides, the only one
Who can be bright without the sun.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

happy birthday Daniel!

On this day, 19 years ago, my "little" brother Daniel was born.

bible belt

When you drive anywhere in Charlotte, you're going to pass several churches. Yesterday I passed six churches that either had policemen directing traffic so the church members could get in and out of their parking lots or had parking lots so full that the church members' cars were lining the streets.
It makes me think... Should we really be trying to start new churches? Maybe we should be a part of churches that are already in place, praying and serving the body of Christ. Working together to see the Lord's kingdom come.
I heard a story from a little town in Northern Ireland. A group of people from several different churches had come together and worked in the community and, as a result, lots and lots of people had become Christians. But these new Christians didn't really fit into the churches in their town. So, with the help of the people who had worked so hard to serve them, they started a new church. I can get behind a new church like that. But I think most of the time we're just being redundant.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

my favorite quote

"Once I read a story about a butterfly on the subway and today, I saw one. It got on at 42nd and off at 59th where, I assume, it was going to Bloomingdale's to buy a hat, which will turn out to be a mistake, as almost all hats are." ~You've Got Mail

this is too cute!

Innocent Smoothies in the UK are doing the coolest project for the second year. It's called the big knit. You knit little hats to fit on the smoothie bottles and they donate 50p per bottle sold to Age Concern which cares for elderly people. They have patterns on the website and a funny video and pictures of some rather fancy hats people have sent in. So fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I'm currently listening to my first iTunes Genius playlist... love it!!! I'm a pretty big fan of random playlists in general and now I don't have to do the work of making it myself! Brilliant!

So, I've just gotten home after being in England for a week and Ireland for a week. The new iTunes isn't the only thing that changed while I was gone. Charlotte has majorly cooled down. Hurricane Ike hit leaving no gas in his wake. My car decided to be broken. I have a new job starting the first week of October. My sister set a date for her wedding.

Highlights from the trip:
1) time spent with old friends in Guildford, Southampton, and London
2) spending a day in the National Gallery with Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Cezanne, Monet, and Van Gogh... (I never knew that Van Gogh wanted to be a priest/missionary but was rejected by the church. Or that he taught himself to paint.)
3) meeting lots of new friends in Belfast and Dublin.
4) acquiring a new CD "Sea Sew" by Lisa Hannigan.
5) buying a pashmina in China Town in London.
6) actually really liking one of the five movies I watched on the way home. (Not four as previously stated on facebook.)

When I got home it was to discover that my car (which had already had a flat tire while I was gone) had a dead battery. So I had to charge it back up with my sister Emily's car. (Yes, that's right, did it all by myself.) But it's dead again today so I'm stuck at home and can't go get a new tire or run a couple errands for the new family I'm going to be working for. (I think I've already posted about cars and how they always need more work on them than you expect. Of course buying a new tire and battery couldn't have waited until I was working again!) Oh dear.

Anyway, I had a great time away and now get to start the exciting and tedious job of planning an international move to happen at an unspecific time to an unspecific place! Good fun!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

the magician's nephew

"'I expect someone lives there in secret, only coming in and out at night, with a dark lantern. We shall probably discover a gang of desperate criminals and get a reward. It's all rot to say a house would be empty all those years unless there was some mystery.' 'Daddy thought it must be the drains,' said Polly. 'Pooh! Grown-ups are always thinking of uninteresting explanations,' said Digory."

"Digory made rather a fuss about agreeing to this, but he had to in the end because Polly absolutely refused to do any exploring in new worlds until she had made sure about getting back to the old one. She was quite as brave as he about some dangers (wasps, for instance) but she was not so interested in finding out things nobody had ever heard of before..."

"Now that she was left alone with the children, she took no notice of either of them. And that was like her too. In Charn she had taken no notice of Polly (till the very end) because Digory was the one she wanted to make use of. Now that she had Uncle Andrew, she took no notice of Digory. I expect most witches are like that. They are not interested in things or people unless they can use them; they are terribly practical."

"You see, the foolish old man was actually beginning to imagine the Witch would fall in love with him. The two drinks probably had something to do with it, and so had his best clothes. But he was, in any case, as vain as a peacock; that was why he had become a Magician."

"'Now then, now then,' came the Cabby's voice, a good firm, hardy voice. 'Keep cool everyone, that's what I say. No bone broken, anyone? Good. Well there's something to be thankful for straight away, and more than anyone could expect after falling all that way. Now, if we've fallen down some diggings - as it might be for a new station on the Underground - someone will come and get us out presently, see! And if we're dead - which I don't deny it might be - well, you got to remember that worse things 'appen at sea and a chap's got to die sometime. And there ain't nothing to be afraid of if a chap's led a decent life. And if you ask me, I think the best thing we could do to pass the time would be to sing a 'ymn.'"

"The Lion opened his mouth, but no sound came from it; he was breathing out, a long, warm breath; it seemed to sway all the beasts as the wind sways a line of trees. Far overhead from beyond the veil of blue sky which hid them the stars sang again; a pure, cold, difficult music. Then there came a swift flash like fire (but it burnt nobody) either from the sky or from the Lion itself, and every drop of blood tingled in the children's bodies, and the deepest, wildest voice they had ever heard was saying: 'Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters.'"

"The Jackdaw became so embarrassed that it hid its head under its wing as if it were going to sleep. And all the other animals began making various queer noises which are their ways of laughing and which, of course, no one has ever heard in our world. They tried at first to repress is, but Aslan said: 'Laugh and fear not, creatures. Now that you are no longer dumb and witless, you need not always be grave. For jokes as well as justice come in with speech.'"

"When at last they were right in among the animals, the animals all stopped talking and stared at them. 'Well?' said the He-Beaver at last, 'what, in the name of Aslan, are these?' 'Please,' began Digory in rather a breathless voice, when a Rabbit said, 'They're a kind of large lettuce, that's my belief.' 'No, we're not, honestly, we're not,' said Polly hastily. 'We're not at all nice to eat.' 'There!' said the Mole. 'They can talk. Who ever heard of a talking lettuce?' 'Perhaps they're the Second Joke,' suggested the Jackdaw."

"'But please, please - won't you - can't you give me something that will cure Mother?' Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself."

"'Please,' he said, 'may we go home now?' He had forgotten to say 'Thank you,' but he meant it, and Aslan understood."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

to quote

In the spirit of Rosie and Lauren who collected funny quotes during our Transit year, here are a few funny things my family has said since I've been back. (Most of these are from the first few days, I haven't really made this a new habit.)

"I can archery." - Lacy

"I can't wear them, they're uncomfortable to my butt." - Lacy

"Expensible isn't a word... I found out today." - my dad

"You should've wiped it off with a paper towel and then hopped upstairs." - my mom

Me: "You've got chocolate on your chin."
William: "I don't care, I like chocolate."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

my opinion

Last night (well, I suppose it would be more accurate to say this morning) I finished the final book of the Harry Potter series. I must say I don't understand the reaction they have received in the Christian community over the last ten years.

They seem to me quite a powerful allegory of the Christian life. Someone paid the price for us to live by Their own willingness to die in our place. We finally overcome that same evil in our lives by our own choices of love and self-sacrifice. And I guess I always feel like magic in stories is just a picture of the supernatural.

So, I suppose I could understand not liking them if you believe that the supernatural is not for us any longer. That Jesus' promise that we would do greater things than he did died out with the first century apostles. But I do not believe that. I believe that God's promises are sure and never ending. And I believe that we should always be aiming for the kind of belief and trust that leads to such great authority that we can fly or walk on water or be translated from one place to another or even see dead people raised up.

I believe that we need to stop limiting God with our own fears. This morning I read in Isaiah that "a trusting life will never topple." And I think we all know that "love never fails." So whatever else I do with my life, my goal is always enlarging my capacity to love and my capacity to trust.

Monday, September 1, 2008

an interesting thought

As more of my reflections on Transit, I've been flipping through my book notes. This quote from "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places" by Eugene Peterson caught my eye:
"To suppose that if we can just 'place' Christian men and women in prominent positions of leadership, we are going to improve the efficacy of the community in its worship, missions, or evangelism, has no warrant in Scripture or history."