Just for fun

So often I think to myself about all the wonderful things I would love to do if I I had time to do things "just for fun."

This is scrapbooking week on Martha Stewart. When I came home for lunch, I tuned in. It makes me wish I had the time (and the money) to give to such a hobby! I need another Judy, who has every scrapbook tool known to woman. All I ever had to bring was paper and pictures. She has everything else! Judy- if we make a trip to Champaign this fall, I'm bringing the book I started a your house 3 years ago!

I started making this quilt about a year ago. I really want to finish it. Part of the problem is that I don't know how to do the backing. I am going to have to differ to an expert quilt-maker in my church. She makes amazing stuff, and will probably laugh and my messy hand stitching! Oh, well. It is made with lots of love! (It is much further along than this now, and we have a much prettier couch!

3 years ago, I did an oil painting for Kyle for Christmas. He loves Lewis Carrol's novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass, and other Carroll Nonsense Literature (hence, his blog theme, which he never uses anymore). The painting was a scene from Alice. It was my first oil painting. It made me want to do more, but it is such an expensive hobby!

I would also really like to knit something of substance, not just a scarf! I, however, am not good with reading directions. I need someone to show me how to do a new stitch. Kyle's mom can show me how to do all the stitches, and she can make just about anything! Unfortunately, I also have no time to make a whole sweater, or even a pair of socks :( Scarves are easy, and don't require much thought or time. This is my most recent scarf project. Hopefully it will be done before scarf season arrives.

I also have an interest in taking great pictures. I have so many friends who are great photographers. I would love to have a nice camera. Again, so expensive!

Blogging is probably my favorite thing to do just for fun. I almost always make time for "Across the Brandywine!" You all make it great.


Me Through the Decades

1950- I definitely had my Grandmother's hair.

1964- The year my mother was born. Love those horn-rimmed glasses!

1968- Dad was 8, mom was 4, and I could have been their babysitter with my flippy hair.

Skipping ahead to 1976- I think my mom had this hairdo. I've seen pictures. It makes me look like her.

1990- I know my mom had this hairdo, as did many others I admired. I was 5. I loved it.


A Matter of Opinion

Needing your opinion:

Recently I've become a little bit obsessed with oral health. I'm considering switching to a sonic or "electric" brush. I used one as a teenager, and liked it. Back then, however, I could have cared less what kind of brush I had just as long as I didn't have bad breath.

Now, I really want healthy teeth and gums. So I ask you, do you use a manual or sonic brush? What brand/model do you prefer? If you use a sonic brush, do you really notice a difference? Does your dentist notice a difference?

I'm thinking about the Sonicare FlexCare and the Oral B Triumph. These puppies are pretty expensive, but both are rated very highly. You only get one shot at great teeth, after all!

My opinion:

Chocolate Soy Milk is now delicious. I really like the Private Selection Organic Chocolate Soy Milk. I never thought I would say that! Remember when anything "soy" that didn't end in "sauce" was considered revolting? Oh, how far we've come!

After swimming and gymnastics were over, the Olympics got very boring. Anybody with me?

The 100 Pushup Challenge is amazing. Kyle just completed week 3. Today he did 132. I like to watch him. He looks good when he does pushups.


Made for Community

"...what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. From the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made." Romans 1:19-20 (HCSB)

A couple things about fellowship that have been reinforced by watching the Discovery Channel this week-
  1. Many of God's creations, including and especially us, were truly meant to live in community.
  2. Foolishly leaving a community could put you in harm's way. You might get consumed by a predator, lose your way on a long journey, or succumb to the bitter harsh cold that can destroy you.
  3. The local Church ought to look tribal. By this I mean that all of life's experiences are shared and aided by others from birth to death. It becomes a family, and a source of joy, protection, and love for all who are part of it.
  4. It is possible to survive (be a Christian) outside the community (the local Church), but I believe it is impossible to flourish.
There is so much to be said about the importance of being part of a local Church. I will acknowledge my own limitations and point you to some other resources.
  1. Jim Smith on community
  2. John Piper series on the covenant community of the Church
  3. Suzanne Hadley on today's "Designer Church"
  4. Mark Driscoll series on The Doctrine of the Local Church - put these on your iPod and take them with you, or listen while you wash dishes. It is worth it!


The Greatest Celebration

I've never seen anything like it. It was positively breathtaking, spectacular, beyond comprehension. It was artistic and delicate, and also a great display of power and strength. I'm speaking about last night's opening ceremonies in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Each moment of the artistic portion was executed with unbelievable precision. The crowd erupted with joyful cries. My own heart swelled at the beauty of it all. Yet I know that what I saw last night was nothing compared to what I will see someday.

90,000 people in a stadium with limited knowledge and technology will pale in comparison to seeing "every knee... bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."(Phil. 2:10)

If you belong to Christ, you will, eternally, cry out his praises. We will see the new Jerusalem which has "the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal." (Rev. 21:11) The sight of Jesus will be more amazing than we can possibly imagine.

If you get a chance to watch last night's opening ceremonies (I'm hoping they will eventually post video on NBC.com) I would recommend it. I can almost guarantee you've never seen a performance or celebration like it. However, the celebration that we will have with our Creator will make last night look cheap.

See some great pictures here.

Update: Found full video here.


20-Somethings, All Head and No Heart?

Someone recently said the men in my age group at our church are not qualified to be elders. They are accused of being "all head and no heart." I'm not certain that I know what this means. It is true that men of my generation enjoy studying deep theology. It is true that they like to engage in heady, boisterous talks with one another. It is true that this may be viewed as haughty by outsiders who do not understand. It is also true that I have come to see them and love them as my dear brothers in Christ.

I felt so defensive after this accusation. Could the older generations really think that these men are not qualified to be elders simply because of their age, or do they really see something lacking in their character? I am attempting to see it from the perspectives of outside generations. Based on other statements made at the time, it leaves me with a few questions to ask.

Do we have real, meaningful relationships that are cross-generational? For me personally, I can only think of a handful of people outside of my age group who I would really call my friend. In response, however, why are the older generations not engaging the younger ones either?

Have we experienced enough life? Have these men seen enough of love, pain, joy, and hardship to season them and make them stronger leaders? I do not know. What is enough? When I think on the darkest moments of my life, it cuts me to think someone might tell me that I have not yet experienced enough pain.

These and other accusations, while relevant, do not (in my knowledge and limited experience) match up with the qualifications for elders and overseers given in Titus 1. They are not being accused of being drunkards, lacking discipline, being deceitful, or not knowing the Bible well enough. I see awesome men who love their wives and love their God and desire to make Him known to the nations.

I'm really struggling with this. I so desperately want to understand why these men will not be allowed to lead. Many of the accused will read this. Perhaps some older ones will too. I need more perspective.


Unrequited Love

A childhood friend's mother once told me, "don't buy it unless you love it." I have remembered her advice for these ten or so years. I must use it to restrain myself, particularly when it comes to shoes. I have so many, and I've cut back (on purchases and my already established collection) in recent years.

So often, the shoes I love the very most are the ones that do not return my love. They make my feet, my legs, or worse, my back hurt. Still, I cannot help myself. Though my husband scoffs at the impracticality, I choose to love and wear them anyway.

Occasionally I find a pair that make my heart sing. Most often, this means that they will be hateful to me. "Why, oh why," I ask myself, "could these not be as comfortable as they are cute?" My love, though completely unrequited, persists. As soon as the searing pain is gone, all is forgiven, and my adoration is restored. I put them back on my feet and pay the price, in hopes that someone else will see and say those two little words I so love to hear, "Cute shoes!"

(These are some of my favorites, but they are the most hateful. Today's culprit: the purple ones front and center.)


Friday Smorgasbord

-I read pieces of an article Tim Challies referenced this morning that is quite controversial. You can check out his discussion of it here. It will make you think, and perhaps haunt you.

-Rock in My Dryer writes on her son facing a bully.

-You, too, can get a wake up call from Hannah Montana.

-The Southern Illinois Miners have a solid, 5 1/2 game lead in the Frontier League's West Division. It looks as though they will be heading to the playoffs, which means more work for Kyle, but probably includes a bonus!