Sunday, February 15, 2009

and the kingdom will have a king again

I just finished The Amber Spyglass (last of Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy) and it prompted a few thoughts. What the conclusion of these thoughts are I'm not sure, but I thought I'd share them anyway. That way maybe they'd stop rolling randomly around in my head.
I just found the whole idea of tearing down the Kingdom of Heaven so they could build the Republic of Heaven very intriguing. When they were making the film travesty of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe one of the advertising phrases was "long live the true king." I remember being struck by the thought of how many good stories there are which have the theme of putting the rightful king into place.
It's an interesting thing to think of in our modern society which is based on the idea of The Republic, and democracy, and government for the people, by the people, and of the people. But the fact is you can't have a king unless he is acknowledged by his subjects. If that weren't true we wouldn't have stories like Robin Hood and Prince John and King Richard. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that you can't have a true king without the acknowledgement of his subjects.
There is something very powerful in the idea of a true king. Of a noble king. Of a self-sacrificing king. A story that illustrates this very well is Stephen Lawhead's Song of Albion series. It is based on the Celtic ways of kingship. A king whose role is simply and complexly to serve his people.
It is very interesting to think that we are meant to bring not the republic of heaven, but the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. I think there is a lot more to be explored here about the difference between being a citizen of a republic and a citizen of a kingdom. At least we know this, we serve the truest of all true kings.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

against diamonds and roses

Sometimes I think that big, grandiose displays of love are really taking the easy way out. While I'm not denying that thought and effort do go into them, it just seems like there is little creativity or originality. Like McSteamy said to McDreamy, "They're cliches for a reason, because they work." I think it takes a lot more effort (and possibly shows truer love, although that would be impossible to judge) to be simple, original, and consistent in how you demonstrate your love to someone. And I'm not just talking about romantic love here either.

One of my favorite speakers/Christian leaders is John Dawson. He is an international director of YWAM. He has a great message called, Letting Love Reach It's Destination. The whole message is basically summed up in saying that love doesn't do any good unless it is expressed. (Or as James Taylor would put it, shower the people you love with love.)
I think we could all learn something valuable from Sydney, who is 5 and is one of my absolutely favorite people in the world. She and her sister were making valentines for their classmates. Shelby's were so creative and cute. Sydney's were simply decorated, slightly misspelled, a little hard to read, and amazingly thoughtful. Before she began each one she stopped and thought, "What does Kennedy (or Regan or Alayna) like to do?" And then she tailored her message to each individual. It was an astounding thing to watch.

I wanted to share the story of St. Valentine. I haven't taken the time to look it up, so this is probably a bit flawed. But to the best of my memory here it is:
Back in the early centuries of the church, when persecution was the norm and not the exception, there lived a man named Valentine. He was a church leader in an area near a Roman army outpost. At that time it was illegal for soldiers younger than a certain age (or possibly below a certain rank) to be married. Rather than see these young men fall to temptation Valentine conducted clandestine marriages for Christian soldiers. One day a young couple was found out and the soldier sentenced to death. Valentine went to the prison and offered his life in exchange for the young soldier's freedom. His offer was accepted. As he sat in prison awaiting his date with the wild beasts he befriended the daughter of his jailer: a young, blind, and mistreated girl. He shared with her the good news of Jesus, and as he was led away to the arena she was healed and received her sight. One of the first things that she saw was the joy on Valentine's face as his soul went to meet it's Lover.
That is what St. Valentine's Day is all about. Remembering that "greater love hath no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends." And I just think that sometimes all the little ways we lay down our lives, day in and day out, matters just as much as a great big way. Maybe more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

my new byline is "no capes!"

The girls I used to nanny have dubbed me Edna Mode of the Incredibles. They have recently become obsessed with the movie and have assigned each family member a character. I have told them that from now on when I'm putting my foot down I'm just going to say, "No capes!" and they'll know that I mean business. What's even funnier than this to me is that they've decided that "Miss Rebekah, whoever you marry is going to be that ice guy" Frozone for those of you who haven't seen the movie. I was dying laughing!

This is the best part of the wikipedia article on Edna:

"In the special features section of the special edition DVD of the Incredibles, Edna is 'interviewed' about her work in the film. When asked whether working with superheroes was difficult, she replies, 'Superheroes are easy, darling. Mediocrity is much more difficult to work with—and it is in such great supply.'"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

i need a hair cut

So, this has been a wild week. We had a snow day on Wednesday and today it was in the low 70s. There's something strange about a snow day. It's a lot different than a regular day off. I think it's because you went to bed planning to go to work or school or whatever and then you wake up and you can't get out of your driveway because it's covered in ice and so you get to do whatever the heck you want. On a regular day off you've planned what you're going to do and you've been expecting it. Even if what you've planned is something enjoyable, it's just different when out of the blue you get a whole day completely free of plans and expectations.

I watched a Bogart/Bacall movie that was lent to me and worked on the blanket I'm piecing together from remnants of coats my Grandma made us when we were little. The top is half finished. Then I took and nap and read and actually worked a couple hours in the evening, but it was fun stuff. We watched Finding Nemo.
This is the part that is finished.These are the strips still waiting to be sewn together. I've numbered them in German for practice. You can also see my stack of books: A New Ireland just begun, A Farther Shore just finished, and The Amber Spyglass that I just checked out from the library.

I have created the BEST PLAYLIST EVER! It has taken a lot of effort, but this is seriously good. I'm probably the only one who will love it as much as I do. (I've been listening to it over and over for weeks now.) But just in case you want a listen here it is:

Yesterday by the Beatles
Since I Still Tell You My Everyday by The Innocence Mission
I Am the Deep Blue Sea by Mark Mathis
Somewhere I Have Never Travelled by E.E. Cummings
Mary's Hymn by Linford Detweiler
Songbird by Rosie Thomas
Dream by Priscilla Ahn
Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
Travail by Songs Of Water
Lille by Lisa Hannigan
Chasing Cars by Natasha Bedingfield
Half Acre by Hem
I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab For Cutie
Valley of the Shadow (Instrumental) by Thomas Newman Little Women Soundtrack
Catcher Song by Great Lake Swimmers
Motherland by Natalie Merchant
Carbon Ribs by John Mark McMillan
The Crane Wife 1 & 2 by The Decemberists
Mae by Thomas Newman Cinderella Man Soundtrack
The Thief by Brooke Fraser
Tennessee by Mindy Smith
Now My Feet Won't Touch the Ground by Coldplay
If I Should Fall Behind by Bruce Springsteen and The Sessions Band
Let It Be Me by Rosie Thomas (This is probably my favorite love song)
No Names by Kate Rusby
My Love Goes Free by Jon Foreman
I Found A Reason by Cat Power
Postcards From Far Away by Coldplay
Winter's Come and Gone by Elizabeth Mitchell
Chasing After Deer by Midlake

If you know any of these songs you can probably tell that this is primarily a soft and slow playlist. I'm working on one that's more upbeat, it only has a handful of songs on it so far. I'll keep you posted.

Yesterday I finally finished A Farther Shore by Gerry Adams. In it he tells his story of the Northern Irish Peace Process. It was a very interesting read, you really get to see things from his perspective and to understand where he's coming from. I really enjoyed it, but it took ages to read so I'm glad to be finished. I'm moving on to John Hume's A New Ireland which is along the same lines.

I guess that's all.

Monday, February 2, 2009

sometimes I really love throwing pots...
and trimming pots...
and glazing pots.

today was one of those days.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

the 25 things of facebook

1. My obsession in making mixed tapes/CDs transferred itself into making playlists on iTunes... I have 171 playlists.

2. I dislike how self-focused I can be... For example I really like doing things like this and started to think of what I would write before I was ever tagged.

3. I made no New Year resolutions this year... I'm still working on last years: Pay Attention, made because of #2.

4. I could never tell you what my single favorite book, movie, song was. There will always be at least three answers.

5. I had a few traumatic experiences with stage make up as a child and to this day will not use an eye liner pencil.

6. God catches my attention using the numbers 11 and 44.

7. I have memorized 5 books of the Bible and there was a time when I could quote Hebrews and 1,2,3 Peter without making a single mistake.

8. I still love to memorize things and could rattle off about a dozen poems.

9. I used to do a paper route and would make the hours go by quicker by pretending I was delivering messages for the Jewish Underground during WWII.

10. My favorite game to play with my sisters and brother when we were little was loosly based on the Boxcar Children and a movie called On Our Own.

11. I was an extremely imaginative child... something I haven't quite grown out of.

12. For example, I love story in any form I encounter it and I tend to become quite entwined in what I'm reading or seeing. Once as a child I was so caught up in a book I was reading I just caught myself before asking for prayer for the main character. I still have to remind myself that "it's just a movie."

13. I probably know more children's songs than anyone I (or you) know. And have taken great delight in singing them incessantly to annoy my friends.

14. I'm a bit of a pack rat but clutter REALLY bothers me, so all my stuff is neatly organized.

15. I didn't discover how much I love travelling until I was 23.

16. I am absolutely hopeless at video games. I babysit for three boys who love to play Mario Kart on their Wii. They always make me be on a seperate team so I won't bring down their score.

17. I frequently crave dill pickles.

18. I could probably quote the entirety of You've Got Mail.

19. I've come to realized that a lot of my fashion choices are inspired by movies that I like.

20. I am on a continual hunt to find the perfect facial cleanser and moisterizer, I've tried dozens to no avail.

21. I secretly take great delight in shocking people with the fact that I've never seen Star Wars or James Bond or Indiana Jones. And that I can't swim.

22. For my 7th birthday we went to the circus and I formed a little crush on the lion tamer.

23. I imagine that when I retire I will have a little house in the mountains and spend my days wandering the hills, gardening, painting, throwing pots, and reading. And maybe writing poetry.

24. I secretly wish that I had curly hair.

25. I don't really like diamonds, or roses.