Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gingerbread House!

Once upon a time, I was at Wal- Mart and saw this Gingerbread kit for $7... and bought it. I felt kind of dumb checking out, because the cashier was a teenage guy and he gave me this look I sometimes get from boys that says, "You are such a girl," but oh well. I just pretended to look for something in my purse haha. Whatever.
Two days go by and I get a call from one of my band buddies from high school, who invites herself and two others over for an impromptu party at my house. Ok, fun! I don't mind that... but I really don't have much to entertain with. So I decided that we could all build this thing together. It worked! We laughed for about two hours, it was great.

This is Ashley, left, and Celeste, right. Ashley was in Pit with me, and we were roomies in Ireland. Celeste plays the flute and is an AMAZING photographer- later she had fun posing us for pictures. You'll see one later.

The icing was difficult to work with at first, so I ended up taking over and doing the roof (Oh and by the way- Ash & I are wearing aprons we actually made; I love mine- it's reversible).

See, the roof is better compared to the windows... but I was not going to be OCD about it. The whole point was to have fun, and we did.

This is Diana, and she was also in Pit with me. Yes, I was trying to get a shot of her working on the house, but I really wanted to capture her hair... she has Kate Gosselin hair from Jon & Kate Plus 8!! See! :D

Here she is from the front. But you can't see her hair very well.

When we were done, we had to carry it, and I almost dropped it. That would have been so sad, and yet so funny. *I said, "Oh no! Not the gumdrop buttons!" in a really high- pitched voice, and we almost dropped it again.*

Ah yes, here we are. All done! And safely on the counter. I love this one.

My mom wanted to get us by the tree, so Celeste posed us (she works at JCP in the photo department), you should see the gazillion pics I have of us laughing at her trying to move us. Oh goodness, I was not used to having people "draped" over me!

And here is the tree, the one I had to decorate all by myself this year. They are a lot of work, but I think it's worth it! I did have help with the lights though. When we were done we sat around it and had some girl time. Good stuff.

And there you have it, the tale of the first gingerbread house I ever made. Now I can cross it off my bucket list!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

Tonight, I made my grandma a teeny- tiny Christmas tree. Like super- tiny, complete with little ornaments and everything. I made it for her because she wasn't able to put up a tree this year, and she was telling me over breakfast one day that she really missed one. How could I not try to help?
My grandparents live in Globe, and they buy old run- down houses and fix them up to resell. The one they have right now isn't far enough along for a tree yet, but I think this one will fit just fine...

I LOVE the little ornaments I made, like the little cameo:

And the boots (my grandma reads a ton of westerns) and lights:

And the garland is little snowflakes and pearls. I think she'll get a kick out of it. :)

And some have been asking to see the blanket I made, so here it is. They are not the best pictures, but oh well.

This is my Neopolitan blanket, because I used what I had of brown, cream, and strawberry pink. It's kind of a pattern, but not really- I wasn't sure how much yarn I had so I just went with it.

Keep in mind I made this in like three days; I can do better. I take a lot longer on the baby blankets I make.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hello again, I guess it's been a while since I've been on here. A lot has happened recently! Talk about busy. I am now a college ambassador, and tonight I am helping with the Finals Breakfast ASU hosts every year. I get to work with the massage people- lucky me!

I also had a birthday recently (yesterday, in fact), and now I'm 20! No longer a teen. FINALLY. My mom says I've been "20" since I was 14 haha. Hmm, I feel kind of old. It's an interesting age; no longer a teen, but still too young to drink. Not that I want to, I just think it's funny. It's also interesting because about a third of the girls I knew in high school are married now and having kids! It seems like every time I get on Facebook, I'm looking at someone's bridal pics or baby sonograms. Some even created a profile for their unborn babies... kind of creepy, huh? Haha.

I have a job interview on Tuesday- yay! If I get it, I will be working with ASU's Alumni Association as a secretary. One of my scholarships is through the Alumni Association, so I know a lot of people there already. I'm excited! It sounds like the perfect fit for me.

I'm almost done with the semester... last finals are on Monday! I can't wait to have a break. I'm looking at 20 credit hours next semester, so that should be fun. Whoo. But hey, like I always say... sure is a good thing I like school! I am looking forward to it because it will be my last semester of Hebrew. 2 whole years of it, and I will have accomplished my goal. I can now read the Tenak (Old Testament) in it's original writing!! I have learned A LOT about the Bible in general and about Jewish culture from this class. And my professor is amazing- simply the best I've ever had. Really. She is so amazing, that she offered to do a 499 or special topics class with me! That will be fun, I know it. The rest of my classes are prep classes for Greek... I'm taking two years of that starting next fall. I know, I know... I'm a little crazy. But hey.

I finally got the Christmas tree up with dad's help... only to discover that a section of lights in the middle (it's a pre-lit tree) won't light up. And of course, we can't find the stupid box of lights... ugh. Guess I'll be tearing apart the garage later. Know what else I want to do this Christmas? Build a genuine gingerbread house. I've never done it, and it looks like it could be fun.

Well, I have to get going on these last few projects due... and tests... so bye for now!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Second Blanket

I did it! I made a blanket (a rather large one) by hand... at it looks good! It's a granny rectangle with a middle I came up with myself, and it reminds me of Neapolitan ice cream- it's cream, pink, and brown. Ah! :) I love it. And this one I'm going to keep.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lesser- Known Vocabulary to shed some light on my last post :)

Atheism: a naturalistic view of reality; a belief that no God or gods exist

De-constructionism: belief that the source of a literary discipline must be dismantled; an author's point of view is only as valid as the reader may determine; guts classical literature and law' the Constitution becomes what the reader or the judge says- not its authors

Egalitarianism: belief that total equality must exist for everyone in every area of life: political, social, cultural, economic; all opinions, talents and wealth must become equal; its fallacies are addressed in Federalist Paper #10

Empiricism: All knowledge is based on sense experience alone; nothing can be true unless it can be tested (like the Scientific Method)

Existentialism: An introspective humanism; an attempt to create a personal identity from a meaningless universe based on the subjective feelings of the individual -"live for the moment," My life, my way," the 1960's mindset

Hedonism: Doctrine that elevates pleasure as the sole end and a good life; moral duty is fulfilled in the gratification of pleasure" Root word from the French: "world- weary"

Humanism: Ascribes to the individual the highest value and considers him to be the ultimate source of value apart from the supernatural- "man is the measure of all things" or the Serpent in the garden: "You shall be as gods."

Materialism: Belief that nothing exists other than matter; everything that exists is material and natural and is only the result of the product of time + chance + matter (like evolution/ Darwinism)

Modernism: Basis found within the Enlightenment thought (expressed through the Renaissance) which centered on humanity as the ultimate source of authority' emphasis on human autonomy "modernity"

Multiculturalism: Belief that each culture or ethnic group creates its own reality, its own universe; no belief, idea, or culture is superior or inferior another (i.e. Gorbachev= Reagan; USA = China) No individual choice; attempts to unite by division; polar opposite of E Pluribus Unum ("out of many, one")

Naturalism: There is no supernatural; all can be explained by the physical; there are no consequences to actions; man is a product of his genetics and environment, therefore, he is a victim of society' life has no meaning- man is no better than plants or animals

Nihilism: Latin- "nihil" or "nothing." Theory which ascribes the universe as meaningless and without any purpose. Nothingness.

Pantheism: Belief that God is identical with the universe; God and nature are synonymous and impersonal

Relativism: Theory that truth is only whatever a particular individual or society decides that is is; truths change with circumstances; no objective standards of right or wrong; no universal truth, no absolute code of conduct. (values clarification or situational ethics)

Utilitarianism: Radical individualism; autonomy unguided by virtue; personal happiness and success are achieved and justified by whatever means is necessary to obtain them- the use ("utility") of people and/ or circumstances is justified; the goal is paramount to whatever means may be needed to reach it - "the end justifies the means"- Machiavelli

Because People Keep Asking Me: What Postmodernism is.

Postmodernism- a word that people my age aren't familiar with, and should be. Postmodernism is a worldview.

First of all- what is a worldview anyway? A worldview consists of ten different areas and how we answer the questions they raise:

THEOLOGY: Is there a God, and what is God like?
PHILOSOPHY: What is real, and what can we know?
BIOLOGY: What is the origin of life?
PSYCHOLOGY: What is human nature?
ETHICS: What is the foundation for morals?
SOCIOLOGY: What is the optimum social structure?
LAW: What is the basis for law?
ECONOMICS: What produces a sound economy?
POLITICS: What is the best form of government?
HISTORY: How should we interpret human events?

Here is the Postmodern way of answering these questions, according to Nietzsche, Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault, and Rorty (all famous Postmodernists):

Theology: Atheism/ Pluralism

Philosophy: Anti- realism/ Anti- foundationalism

Biology: Chance Evolution

Psychology: Socially constructed self

Ethics: Culturally constructed values, relativism

Sociology: Multiculturalism - all societies have equally valid stories

Law: Critical Legal Studies

Economics: Socialism, Interventionism

Politics: Political Correctness - words are tools for power/ World Government

History: Revisionism

**and finally the ideal cultural structure: Dadaism in art, Deconstructionism (language is socially constructed) for Literature, and Nihilism for movies & music

So, essentially, Postmodernism says that there is no truth, there is no right or wrong; to reject all other philosophies and is characterized by nihilism and radical subjectivity. Everything is personal- nothing is true, there is no such thing as a lie because there is no truth.

***Nihilism: Latin: "nihil" meaning " nothing" -theory which ascribes the universe as meaningless and without purpose

****Dadaism: the style and techniques of a group of artists, writers, etc., of the early 20th century who exploited accidental and incongruous effects in their work and who programmatically challenged established canons of art, thought, morality, etc.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Hebrew is getting downright confusing.

There are sentences without verbs, and they don't have a "real" present tense. Conjugation isn't too bad, but there are these weird exceptions to things that are going to drive me crazy!

Also, speaking of driving me crazy- the Tabasco company has this new commercial out where the pepperonis on a single slice of slimy pizza have human heads on them, painted to match the pepperonis, that sing. Oh. My. Gosh. They make me want to puke! And never again eat Tabasco sauce! Goodness! I normally just tune out commercials, but this one was so disturbing I actually had a visceral reaction to it. Ewwwwww.

Here is the youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF5BkbOcDRI

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Breakfast

The breakfast went well! Barry Goldwater's son held a door for me, I met a court Justice from Alabama and a prominent lawyer from New York, and I had an awesome breakfast too. It was worth my time getting up so early!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Tomorrow I have to be up extra early... because I'm serving breakfast to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor!

I was given this opportunity through one of my scholarship programs... and I am so very, very greatfull for this once- in- a- lifetime event! I will tell you all about it after it happens. Yay! :)

(this, children, is why you try your best in school... it really does pay off!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Breakast with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor!!


I have been given the opportunity to volunteer at a breakfast with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor! Whoo!! Oh yes. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity!!!!!

Wow, this business suit of mine just keeps coming in handy... ;)

Some cool stuff I found

Well, I had a little time to web surf today, and I found some stuff that looked downright nifty, and some stuff that just made me laugh! Check it out! Where did these little USB owls come from? Why, Japan of course! you plug them in via USB cable to your computer, and they blink and look adorably cute while you are writing that paper. Aww. Of course, I love owls anyway...
I also found this graphics pen tablet- it allows you to send hand- written emails, and draw, and all sorts of things. I want one! And then I found this....

This is a VIRTUAL keyboard. It projects a laser image of a keyboard, and it works on any flat surface. I'm thinking of getting one for my blackberry- I could take noted in class with a full- sized keyboard!

Ok, so apparently you can turn your room into a Mario game!!! Now that is just awesome. Seriously, awesome. They also have old Galaga and retro Donkey Kong too! Sweet!

All of this stuff can be found at ThinkGeek.com.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


This year, I'm an AWANA club leader for junior high kids.

I've been through the entire AWANA program- I went from Cubbies through Sparks and Chums and Guards, and then through what was then Sprint & Marathon and Journey 24/7. Yes, I got the Citation award- meaning I completed all of the books all those years and memorized over 1,000 Bible verses. Yes, I value the program.

But things have got to change.

I am so disappointed in the kids and the leaders this year. It's a case of the tail wagging the dog- almost complete anarchy. There is no respect, and the leadership is waaaaay toooooo lenient about the sections and saying the verses. There is screaming going on, talking, and running around out of seats while the director tries to talk. Not good, I've seen better behavior out of toddlers.

I need to come up with some consequences for things this week. I'm not sure what, but we've got to do something to make it stop. Kids are just showing up to socialize, and the ones who are trying to learn can't because they have to deal with inappropriate behavior and screaming all night. Oy. We'll see what I can think of! Any thoughts or suggestions?

Not the Queen

I didn't get picked for the Fiesta Bowl Scholarship- but it's ok. I was one of the semi finalists, and I'm just thrilled that I made it that far! I was one of the youngest ones there, and it was an absolute honor. I'm still young, and it's just the beginning for me. And not a bad one at that!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Tomorrow, I have an interview for the Fiesta Bowl Queen & Court Scholarship.

Um, yeah.

WHOA. Out of hundreds of girls who applied, I am one of only 30 picked for an interview. Whoa!!

I think it will go well; however, if it doesn't it will still be ok. I am just thrilled beyond belief to have made it this far!


Saturday, September 19, 2009


  1. So. Yesterday was my last day of work... and now the job hunt begins. I just need something part- time that allows me to sit down a lot... like secretarial or admin stuff. I'll have to see what's out there.
  2. God is SOO good. He completely provided for my needs this week in a completely UNEXPECTED way. Wow! It was so incredible, I cried. And I am not a crier, not really.
  3. School is amping up the homework.... again. Haha... at least I have more time for it now!
  4. I am so thankful for all of the people in my life.
  5. Just finished the book My Sister's Keeper, and it ended differently from the movie- not what I was expecting.
  6. Sorry I've been such a slacker lately, but my life has been a whirlwind! Family in from out of town, National Honor Society induction, crazy work schedule, doctor's appointments, physical therapy appointments, Oh- Mesa City Band practice, and concerts- it's been hard to find the time to write lately.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Epic. Fail.

I'm taking "Jazz In America" this semester online at ASU, and I found out today that I DESPERATELY need the cd's in order to do well in this class.

Well, now I know.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Today has been such a good day!

Cooking/ baking with mom and grandma, sneaking little bacon bits to the dog, then my little cousins came over and we watched Scooby Doo. You are never too old to watch cartoons. I am wearing my hand- made apron that I sewed myself, and I haven't done any homework today. And I didn't have to go to work!

Well, I guess technically I did some homework today... I did do a little reading for school. But I enjoy reading, and so I don't count it as homework really.

Anyway, the best part about today: it is filled with tons of family!! My grandma & cousins are all over from my mom's side, and later I have an aunt and her daughter + grandparents from dad's side coming over for a huge family dinner.

These are the best days, despite all the work. I am so blessed! :)

Monday, August 31, 2009


This year, I am in Hebrew 201, or the intermediate level. Yikes! Labeling parts of a sentence in Hebrew, asking for directions in Hebrew, and talking with correct grammar in Hebrew... eesh. Actually, "eesh" is the word for "man." But I digress.

I learned today that the Hebrew word for "Hebrew" or "ever" (עברית) comes from the verb meaning "to wander." So essentially, the Hebrews are wanderers... like when they were in the desert for years and years.

I find it interesting that they are still labeled the wanderers.... Israel is supposed to be their God- given land, but pretty much every other nation has been against that from the beginning. If Israel is destroyed, or taken over, at least they will still have a fitting name.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

True Story

"Give me a new idea," I said,
While thinking on a sleepless bed;
"A new idea that will bring to earth
A balm for souls of priceless worth;
That'll give men thoughts of things above,
And teach them how to serve and love,
That'll banish every selfish thought,
And rid men of the sins they've fought."

The new idea came, just how, I'll tell:
"Twas on bended knee I fell,
And sought from Him who knows full well
The way our sorrow to expel.
SEE GOD IN ALL THINGS, great and small,
And give HIM praise whate'er befall,
In life or death, in pain or woe,
See God, and overcome your foe.

I saw Him in the morning light,
He made the day shine clear and bright;
I saw HIM in the noontide hour,'And gained from HIM refreshing shower.
At evening, when worn and sad,
HE gave me help, and made me glad.
At midnight, when on tossing bed
My weary soul to sleep HE led.

I saw HIM when great losses came,
And found HE loved me just the same.
When heavy loads I had to bear,
I found HE lightened every care.
By sickness, sorrow, sore distress,
HE calmed my mind and gave me rest.
HE's filled my heart with joyous praise
Since I gave HIM the upward gaze.

'Twas new to me, yet old to some,
This thought that to me has become
A revelation of the way
We all should lie throughout the day;
For as each day unfolds its liight,
We'll walk by faith and not by sight.
Life will, indeed, a blessing bring,

A.E. Finn

Friday, August 21, 2009

I love this poem! By Samuel Taylor Coleridge, this epic poem tells the ghastly tale of a mariner who shoots an albatross and must do penance.

"The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the light-house top.

The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the Sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled."

-there's a lot more, it's pretty long; but that should give you a sense of the captivating rhythms Coleridge uses.

The poem was first published in 1798, anonymously in an anthology of poems by Coleridge and Wordsworth entitled Lyrical Ballads. Go read it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Daniel + Tarantula = EEEK!

So, tonight Daniel comes home from youth group, and he walks through the door with a TARANTULA in a jar!!!

Yes, my mother & I freaked out. We took some pics, and he was then ordered to go release it- far, FAR away from our house.

We were so spooked because I've actually caught one in the house before... granted, it wasn't as big, but still!!! What if one crawls in my bed or something?! Yikes!

So much for getting sleep tonight.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jane Eyre

Is this where the expression "plain Jane" comes from? Far from being plain, I rather enjoyed the book; and found Bronte's style far more readable than Jane Austen's. The story was acceptable, too... although the bit in front of Jane's life at the orphan school seemed to go on forever. But I suppose Bronte included it so that we could get the full perspective of life from Jane's view- to fully appreciate how un-loved she felt most of her life. Poor thing.

Even though the book was readable, I found some of the character dialogue to be too romantic- nobody, and I mean nobody, would really talk this way:

"My living darling!These are certainly her limbs, and these her features; but I cannot be so blest, after all my misery. I have clasped her once more to my heart, as I do now; and kissed her, and thus- and felt that she loved me, and trusted that she would not leave me."

"Which I never will, sir, from this day."

"Never will, says the vision? But I always woke and found it an empty mockery; and I was desolate and abandoned- my life dark, lonely, hopeless- my soul athirst and forbidden to drink- my heart famished and never to be fed. Gentle, soft dream, nestling in my arms now, you will fly, too, as your sisters have fled before you: but kiss me before you go- embrace me, Jane."


Some of Bronte's descriptions were a tad over- the- top, as well:

"...a redundancy of hair falling in curls to her waist,"

"A little hamlet, whose roofs were blent with trees, straggled up the side of one of these hills..."

"That evening calm betrayed alike the tinkle of the nearest streams, the sough of the most remote..."

And one of my favorites: "A rude noise broke out on these fine ripplings [sic] and whisperings, at once so far away and so clear: a positive tramp, tramp, a metallic clatter, which effaced the soft wave- wanderings; as, in a picture, the solid mass of a crag, or the rough boles of a great oak, drawn in dark and strong in the foreground, efface the aerial distance of azure hill, sunny horizon, and blended clouds, where tint melts into tint."

O--K. Somewhere she goes on and on about an "alabaster brow" too, but I can't seem to find it.

Anyway, except for the laughable romantic semantics, I would recommend the book. It is, after all, a classic- and one of the more entertaining ones too (that is, if you can get through the orphan school!).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Owl Obsession

Ok, so today I learned that I really, really, really like owls. Also cute little birds that are in simple shapes and pastel colors.

Here's some stuff I found I like!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Blue Like Jazz

Has anyone read this thing?!

I don't really understand all the hype about it. For a couple years now, a bunch of my friends have recommended it to me, but I never really wanted to read it... I don't even know why, I just didn't. Well, my aunt had a copy lying around, so I picked it up.

All I have to say is, "really?!"

...This is what all the hype is about?

Ok. I find Donald Miller's attitude refreshing, in that he comes at the whole Christianity thing from his own perspective, and no one else's. However. The only truly insightful thing he manages to say throughout the entire book, really, is that he is a selfish person. He sort of figures out that life isn't about him, but he never really changes.

He goes on through life slowly realizing that the universe doesn't revolve around him, but he never does anything about it; he never finds out what the real Christian walk is all about.

Why? Well, all Miller does is figure out that he can't do it on his own, the whole "become unselfish thing."

Well DUH!!

No one can do it on his own, that's why we have to have Christ living and operating in our spirit. He does all the loving, undoes all the selfishness- and not us. We just can't.

But does Mr. Miller ever mention that? No! He just sort of lamely concludes that he believes in God and wants to be a better person, and... that's it.

Sorry, I found that highly disappointing. He has all these grand ideas about how the world would be a better place if we all lived for each other, and yeah- he has a point. But then he realizes that he can't even fix his own selfishness, never mind the whole world.

It would have been a much better book if he had written the solution to it all, instead of leaving us all sort of depressed and unsatisfied. I know, I'm being kinda harsh. But that's my opinion.

Poor Donald Miller! He is so missing out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So, today at my torture appointment, there was this new assistant helping out. He couldn't have been much older than me, or maybe he was younger- I don't know. But he TOTALLY has a crush on me.

Dr: "Ryan, can you massage Hannah's knee?"

Ryan: "What?! Yeah sure!" *sheepish grin

Me *groans inwardly*

Dr: "Ryan, can you put those sticky pads on her back and shock her?"

Ryan: "Yeah, cool!" *blushes crimson, doctor laughs

Me: thinking *don't touch me there don't touch me there don't touch me there THAT'S TOO LOW!! ... you're not the DOCTOR!"

Oh, the joy.

I can't wait till this is over.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Woes and Matthew 23

Today in church, we talked about Matthew 23 and the Seven Woes Jesus declares to the Scribes and Pharisees. Peter Putney shared today, and he pointed out that the seven woes are all components of man- made religion! Jesus goes on this tirade about how they outwardly appear to be such fine religious law- keepers, but neglect the most important commands: to love God and to love your neighbor. They (the Pharisees and Rabbis) would make great showings of wearing their phylacteries (those are small boxes containing bits of Scripture tied onto the arm or forehead), and loved being greeted and esteemed in the marketplace. There's this bit about taking advantage of widows, because when someone's husband died back then they would send a scribe to take an account of and put the estate in order, and often they would charge exorbitant amounts for the service. They remembered to tithe spices, like cumin, dill, and mint; but neglected the weightier things of the law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. There's my favorite verse, about them being like whitewashed toms on the outside but full of dead men's bones and unclean things on the inside. I never paid much attention to the whitewashing part before, but I guess that for passover the religious elite would whitewash the tombs so that they wouldn't accidentally touch or bump one during passover and therefore become "unclean." Whoa.

Joseph Conrad eludes to this imagery in his book Heart of Darkness when he tells of his journey to the Belgian Congo and sees the slavery and oppression there. He notes that Brussels, the most beautiful city in the world because of all it's ivory (similar to a whitewash color ironically), was founded and made possible by the backs of slaves in the sweltering heat of the Congo jungle. So beautiful on the outside. And yet it carries a mortifying, shameful secret on the inside.

Anyway, Peter also pointed out that the Greek word for hate, or "maseo," means more than what we typically think of as merely a strong feeling. In the Greek sense, it covers being unfriendly, preferring one over another (or showing favoritism, like how Jacob preferred Rachel over Leah), and treating people unkindly. It isn't just showing or feeling contempt. Wow.

Also, Peter shared that the word "woe" means, along with being a warning, a deep distressing cry of grief.

Let me repeat that. A deep, distressing, cry. Of grief.

Good Lord. Jesus had compassion on the Scribes and Pharisees too, and wanted them in His kingdom as well. He was deeply grieving for them, and wasn't telling them this diatribe merely to yell at them for their injustices. He was showing them what was wrong so that they could see and fix it. Jesus even calls them blind, and he tries to open their eyes (yeah, I think calling them a brood of vipers got their attention too haha). But ultimately, God wants everyone in His kingdom.

One final thought. The very first thing Jesus mentions to open this speech is that the Scribes and Pharisees and Rabbis put heavy burdens on people and do nothing to lift them off. How insightful- that is exactly what religion does to man. Religion is a heavy weight, one that burdens, crushes, and torments one with guilt and a feeling of never measuring up. But thank God Almighty that He lifts our burdens from us! That is not what the Christian life is about, being heavy. Heaviness comes from from God, but from man and his self- imposed rules.

Ok, last thought. Well maybe lol. I think it was Gary L. who mentioned that these woes are not just matters that we can leave with a religious group of Hebrews from 2,000 years ago. Rather, they are the conditions from man apart from God that he sets upon himself when he chooses to leave God's presence. it started when Cain killed Abel, and when Cain talked to God face- to- face (can you even imagine?!), he chose to leave God's presence. And that's where we get when we choose to leave His presence- empty rules.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Physical Therapy :(

Well, I went for the first time yesterday- and OW!! So painful.

Man, I am messed up. My knee isn't going to get better without fixing other problems I have, so I guess the good news is that things can be fixed; the bad news is it will take some time. Great. can't wait.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Daniel now has a Facebook. Why am I commenting on this? Because I'm realizing more and more that I have an amazing brother. I mean, that sounds kind of lame, but he really is. He is smart, thoughtful, has a great sense of humor, and does all he can to help others. Who could ask for a better brother? He keeps me rolling on the floor with his quirky impressions of woody woodpecker and Mrs. Potatohead, and gives me back rubs and foot rubs whenever I want them. Spoiled? Yes, yes I am. Granted, he gets paid sometimes but still. How lucky am I! He reads his Bible, pays attention in church, and is trying to become the young man God wants him to be. Awww. He gets me drink refills at restaurants. Lets me sit up fromt even though now, he's taller than me. He holds doors, and even does my chores sometimes without complaining. He's a leader- for ASU's Prime the Pipeline project, he was the leader of Team Dan and did an awesome job.


I love him so much. And now that he has his own Facebook, I am seeing even more that he has tons of friends who care about him and who he cares for. Awesome! :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"By Who's Authority?!"

Today in the meeting, we went through the second half of Matthew chapter 21 (for those of you who don't know, we go verse by verse- that's why we're still in Matthew). Ok. So, We started at verse 23 and went to the end of the chapter.

Topic? The authority of Jesus questioned. I know, maybe not the most interesting topic but it is, I promise! Read on:

Jesus had just gone and overturned tables at the temple, causing a pretty big scene. He was crashing stuff around, healing people, children were shouting out his praises, and of course... the chief priests and elders came to question him. I'm sure I would if someone started turning over tables at my church.They asked him, "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?"

Here is where it gets interesting. Instead of answering them directly, Jesus poses a question back to them. He puts the ball back in their court by bringing up John the Baptist, and asks them where his (John's) baptismal authority came from. ...huh? The chief priests and elders debated how to answer, and realized that they couldn't answer without exposing their true murderous intentions so they lied to Him. "We don't know," they said. So then JC was like fine, then I won't tell you the answer.

So why is this so interesting? Why did Jesus bring up John the Baptist? It has to do with who Jesus was (and is) and why he overturned the temple tables in the first place.

First of all, this whole business of buying an animal to sacrifice once you got to the temple- instead of bringing your carefully selected animal- was a problem. The way it was supposed to work was that a man would carefully check over his sheep or goat or ox or whatever and carefully groom it practically from birth. You were supposed to raise it, and bond with it, and feed it, and love it; things that made it all the more painful and personal to see it killed as a sacrifice to God. Simply buying one at the temple was kind of like cheating, in a sense. Ok, so there is reason number 1. But reason number 2 is a whole lot BIGGER !

What is reason number two?

Glad you asked. Let's go back to John for a sec. What was his message? Why in the world did Jesus bring up John the Baptist?! Because, John's message was this (in a deep, rugged, locust- eating manly voice): "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!!!!!" AHHH! (Yes. I'm sure there was some yelling involved.)

The main and most IMPORTANT point Jesus was making was that He, in fact, was the Perfect Lamb of God- rendering the rest of the temple sacrifices unnecessary.

I mean, He essentially was saying to those guys, "Look. The Lamb of God, The Savior, just walked in through your city gates, and you are completely missing the boat here! Drowning, in fact!" Yeah. So there you have it, why Jesus brought up John.

Cool, huh? He was our Sacrifice, our King coming to valiantly liberate us by being the only acceptable sacrifice for our sins on the cross. He even entered the city like a King... but that's a whole 'nother note. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Randy is Gone!

Randy decided it would be best for him to move in with his grandparents, and so today he moved out. That is all. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Living Vicariously Through Celebs

Wow. What does it mean when an entire culture lives vicariously through its celebrities? Nothing good, I can tell you that. Ed McMahon died, then Farrah Fawcett, then Michael Jackson. That' s a lot.

Michael Jackson. Jackson will be remembered, yes, but I feel awful that he died without knowing God. I mean, he was the king of pop, did drugs, molested little boys, and at best was a Jehovah's Witness. Yikes, his eternal future is not looking so good.

I think it is also sad that so many people are simply devastated by it. Why? He had it coming, anorexia + drugs + training for upcoming London concerts = Death. Sad but true story. Yes, he was talented. Yes, he had some good music. But none of it was God- honoring, and talent isn't everything. The guy was a mere mortal after all people.

Psalm 63:1

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Lord, Son of David!"

Today in church, we talked about the end of Matthew 20 and a little bit of 21. At the end of chapter 20, Jesus is leaving Jericho and two men shouted out to him, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" and Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. They asked for their sight, and so He had compassion on them and gave it to them. It says, "Immediately they received their sight and followed him." -20:34b.

Well, it is interesting that they called him the "Son of David" here. Throughout the book of Matthew, we see Jesus being called the "Son of David" when he heals others. Elsewhere he is called teacher, like when the rich young ruler asks him what he must do to get to heaven, but it's only when he is being called "the Son of David" that He heals people.

Why? What's the connection?

It has to do with the kind of King Jesus was (and is).

Let's look at David for a minute. David was a servant to the people, one who put the people's needs before his own and cared for them, unlike most kings of the ancient near east who only cared about themselves and their power, and getting more. In 1 Samuel 23 we see David asking the Lord if he should go to Keilah and save the people from the Philistines. David saw his people being oppressed, and he knew it was within his power to do something about it.

He had nothing to gain by going to Keilah, and everything to lose. But he did in fact go, and delivered the people. However, the Lord urged him on to go somewhere else because the people would turn him over to Saul, who was looking to kill him. They betrayed him.

It is here we see the similarity between Christ and David.

Again, by going to Keilah David had nothing to gain and everything to lose. But he saw that his people were being oppressed, and knew he could do something about it. Then, the people betrayed him.

Christ came into this world as a man with absolutely nothing to gain, and everything to lose. But He saw that His people were being oppressed, and He knew it was within His power to do something about it. And then, the very people He came to save betrayed Him.

What a King we have! One who came not to be served, but to serve.

It is also interesting that this comes right after the story of the mother asking Jesus to grant her sons permission to sit at the right and left hand of God in His kingdom. Christ responds by stating that even though gentile kings lord their power over others, it is not so in the kingdom of God. Instead, He says, "whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:26-28).


So here we have another confirmation of the kinf of King God is- a King who serves.

To further illustrate this, let's look at Phillipians. Phillipians 2:5-11, it says: "Therefore your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should 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."

Sorry that was kind of long, but you see how He is? He's a servant!

Thank God for Christ. He's the kind of King I want to have!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Amazing Grace

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness."

Not My grace will be sufficient, not My grace might be sufficient, but My grace is sufficient. This statement implies that I don't need anything else to cover for me, because it is enough whatever my circumstance. I am so grateful for this verse tonight. As I get older, I am getting better at detecting honesty in people. Not that I always know for sure, but really- I'm getting better.

You know what really hurts? When you care about someone dearly, and you want the best for them no matter the cost to you... and then you realize: they don't reciprocate that kind of love. All they know how to do is take, and they are so focused on themselves for it to even occur to them that you might be worth sacrificing something, anything really- for. Ouch! It hurts. And then, when you limit the relationship to a lower level of intimacy, they get mad. But here's the thing... they don't miss you, it's not you they miss. They just whine becuase now no one's there to fulfill there own selfish needs anymore. Well you know what? That stinks, knowing that that person never cared about you, only what you could give them. Honestly, it's an awful, forsaken feeling.

But you know what? God's grace is over the entire situation when that happens. He knows that we are indeed of value, that we are His sons and daughters! And His grace is sufficient to make up for it. Amen!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bethlehem: בית לחם

Bethlehem. The place of Christ's birth!

I am taking Hebrew as my foreign language, and I was pondering the word "Bethlehem."

"Bet" or "בית" is the word for "house." "Lehem," or "לחם" is the word used for the special temple bread as far as I understand. Not just any bread, it's holy bread.

It hit me: how very FUNNY that the Bread of Life (Jesus) came out of the house of bread!!


I have a love/ hate relationship with birds. Honestly, sometimes I can't stand them, and then I see one in pain or suffering and I have to do all I can to help it. When I was at the beach, there were these birds on the water that let me get reeeeeeally close to them. I would get about two feet away- literally two feet- and then they'd give me this long look and fly away. I found it amazing that they let me get that close though!

I know people like that. People who just let you look at them, maybe let you get really close even- and then simply fly away. But you know what? You have to let them go.

(In case you were wondering, I took these in San Diego at Mission Beach.)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Take it to the Landowner

In church today, the message was about not comparing ourselves to others, not to try and figure out why everyone else seems to have something you don't, and to take our issues like that to our Maker rather than grumble to other people (the scripture was Matthew 20). As I was listening to this, I couldn't help but think of the story of the ten talents, and just started turning it over in my mind. I mentally went through the story, as simple as it is, and when I got to the point where the servant is telling his master why he didn't do anything with his talents, his answer struck me. You know, this master gives some guys different amounts of money to try and invest, and this one dude just buries it in the ground. When the master comes back later to see what the guys did with what they were given, he is surprised that the one simply buried it! "Why didn't you at least put it in the bank, so it could collect interest?" he asks. And his answer: " I knew you to be a hard man..."


Hard man?!

Many times I've read this parable, and often I think things like, why didn't you put in the bank?! Why on earth did you bury it of all things? Come on man, what's wrong with you? Not very sympathetic, I know. But that's when it hit me: the source of the problem. The guy knew of his master, had knowledge of what he had done. The problem was, he didn't actually know his master, know his nature. He didn't know his master well enough to know that he was a generous man. 1 talent back in those days was equivalent to I want to say a year's wages, and usually masters didn't hand their servants that kind of money to dink around with.

But isn't that the truth, though? The more we experience and get to know God, the more we understand about His nature and that He in fact is very generous.

So on to Matthew 20, and how this ties in.

In this chapter, there is a landowner who goes and seeks people to go and work for him in his vineyard. Some men he hires right away, some later, and some not until the eleventh hour. At the end of the day, the landowner says to his steward to give the men their wages, starting with the last and ending with the first. Ok, so the steward gives the men who had only worked an hour a denarius (equal to a day's wages), and the ones who had been there since the morning see this. When the early workers get their turn in line, they are given a denarius also. Yeah, that causes a rift. Basically these guys say wait a minute, we've been here all day, and they get the same pay?! And the landowner says something to the effect of, "If I want to be generous, what's it to you?"

Whoa! Here is the point: when you think about it, who was treated unfairly? The early workers got their fair share of payment, and the later ones were payed generously. Sometimes I want to cmpare my situation to others, and gripe and complain about how come I don't have this, or how come they have that, and ultimately? It just doesn't matter, because my Landowner is generous!!!!!

But that's how the Kingdom of God is, it is intrinsically unfair.

We each get more than we deserve. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Be Thou My Vision

"Be thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me save that thou art!
Thou my best song, by day or by night;
Waking or sleeping, thy Presence, my Light!"

I wish I could write as beautifully as that. What was it that allowed all of the hymn writers to capture their thoughts into song so cleanly? To melt the sweet melodies into our hearts, to blend the words into rhyme so succinctly, to frost them like icing onto our spirits and souls? If only I could do that! I guess I will just have to practice. :)

I give it all to You. I give it all to You,
To You oh Lord, You I give
My life, my hope, my plans.

I give it all to You, I give it all to You.
For You oh Lord always have
The whole world in Your hands!

Haha, so it needs a LOT of work, I know. But I will eventually come up with something, hopefully.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Acts 4:12

In church one Sunday we discussed the name of Jesus, and all the power it holds with it- also, the first few verses in Matthew. And I was sitting there, thinking about Acts 4:12, which goes, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” and I kept thinking "no other name" over and over again- just "no other name," when it hit me! In Matthew, when it talks about the naming of Jesus, that’s the first time in the whole Bible that there is a face connected to a name of God- a name that He gives the world. In the Old Testament, the people give God a name such as Yahweh or Elohim, but those are names the people give God, not the name God gives people. Even Moses, who directly asked God for a name, was simply told, “I am.” And that’s not really a name; it’s more of a state of being… ‘I am.’

It’s also interesting because in ancient times, it was thought that if you knew a person’s name, you had power over them. In fact, in many old cultures people were given a birth name- there true name- and then they went and lived the rest of their lives by another name, so that nobody would have power over them. Neat, huh? That in those times God never revealed a name to call Him.

So, in conclusion, what hit me: the name of Jesus is so powerful because, even though it doesn’t give us power over Him, it allows us to share in the power of Him.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Matthew 11:11

So a while ago, we went through Matthew chapter three- and some of John, too. Then we skipped around to Matthew 11:11 which says, "Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
...and I thought, "huh? What does that mean- 'no one greater than he'"

And then, bam! I got it.

Why was John the baptist, first of all, the "greatest?" Because of all the prophets that came before him- Daniel, Hosea, Isaiah- only John had the unique calling on his life to not only prepare the way for- but also to baptize the Messiah! I mean, all the other ones could prophecy about him, but only John could say he baptized Him! Sha-bam!

So then, that answers the first question. The next one is: why is it that those in the kingdom of heaven are greater than he is? What???!

Because, even though John was with Jesus, he didn't have Jesus IN him like we Christians do today. God highly values those who have God in them.

Whoa! How COOL is that

Monday, June 1, 2009

"I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice."

These words, spoken by Jesus to the pharisees on several occasions, are incredibly powerful.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrews needed to atone for their sins by offering the appropriate offerings/ sacrifices. People would come with bulls, rams, goats, birds. The occasional sheep or two. Ba-a-a. And there were soooo many occasions for this, if you look at Leviticus it's overwhelming! I can just imagine a conversation between two neighbors:

"Hey there, Jereboam. I think your sheep have been looking a little nervous lately."

"Well hey there, Jedididah. Of course they do, the annual sheep offering is coming up! Yeah, the bulls and oxen are partying because they didn't get picked for the feast last night."

Ok, so I made up the sheep offering.

Anyway, there were many regulations and rituals to follow regarding this whole offering thing. But what is Jesus's take on all this? (paraphrasing here) "If you are about to offer a sacrifice and suddenly remember that you have a quarrel with your brother, leave your offering there and go and make things right with him. Then come back and give your offering." -Matthew 5:23


What is it God really wants from us?

To take care of our relationships with each other in a loving way. I know from personal experience that I just don't grow very much spiritually in times of fighting with my own brother (poor Daniel!).

It's like we come to him with our 2,000 rams, 536 cows and 487 doves all full of ourselves and boasting," Look what I'm giving to the Lord!" And God says, dismissively, "Yeah... *waves hand* I made those. Go apologize to your bro, then we'll talk."

...Darn it. God notices when we don't treat people with love. *sigh. Guess I better go apologize to Daniel for making fun of his Napolean Dynamite talking plush figures earlier. ... :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Pros & Cons of Summer

Pros: -No pressure from school!! -I am HOME more - I can WORK more hours - I can see friends who are home for the summer but are gone all year more - I can PAINT more - I can compose more- I can WRITE more - I can PLAY - more - I can HANG OUT with my little cousins more - I can SLEEP more - I can READ more- I can actually take time to write on this BLOG more - I can MAKE blueberry muffins more (yay!)

Cons: - the boyfriend is an hour away. :'( ................honestly, that's it... good thing I have a car!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not a Good Day.

So, today was definitely NOT a good day.

I woke up not feeling great, after a night of not feeling great, and got ready for work.

Work has been freakishly busy- because news channel 3 aired a special on us last Friday- so I had a pretty busy day! That would have been fine, except that I got this massive headache around 2:00 that just got progressively worse, and resulted in a fever and me throwing up at a little after six. So I went home.

Here is where the fun started:

Step 1: Get in my car.

Step 2: Start driving home.

Step 3: About halfway home, while on the freeway, realize I need to pull over.

Step 4: I don't make it to the side of the road.

Yeah. That's right. Not something I recommend, ever.

Luckily, my dad came and rescued me after I had pulled over, and I made it home ok. Then, I fell asleep until about 7 minutes ago, where I woke up from anxiety over my finals grades. I just checked them, everything's good... but I'm still not, so I'm going to bed.

Goodnight all! :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

School is OUT!

Well, I have finally finished my first year of college.

What are my thoughts?


2) I have been so blessed, it's just ridiculous.

-No, really, I have been. I am debt free, building a savings account, I have a stable job, I have a place to live, and people in my life to care about and who care about me. I've made it through working and a 17 credit course load while making the National Honor Society (NSCS), I'm on the dean's list, and I didn't even have to pay for parking. What more could a girl possibly, possibly ask for? And on top of all of that, I have a certain someone special in my life who shows me more and more as I get to know him that it's ok to relax and to trust someone, a lesson I didn't even know I needed to learn.

Speaking of lessons, here are my top 10 favorite things I learned this year:

1) I love marching band to death, but pushing front ensemble equipment a quarter- mile uphill in full polyester uniforms in 115 degree heat isn't really my thing.

2) I can write a decent review, even if I think I can't. Thank you Dr. Duerden!

3) I can read and write in basic Hebrew- and I can even read from the Tenach!! Yes. It is awesome.

4) I know so much Bible trivia that I have to laugh at myself. Who else knows off the top of their head that in cave 1 at Quamran (that's where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found) there was found a commentary on Habbakuk? Me, that's who.

5) A year after AcDec is over, Civil War trivia is STILL SOMEHOW coming in handy. ?!?!?!?!

6) I've learned that even though people let me down, God never will and never has. Ever.

7) I can hand- crochet a full- size baby blanket in about four months, in between school and work.

8) I really, really enjoy the Suns. especially seeing them live and in person, they are pretty much awesome. I loved taking my younger brother and my boyfriend to the Suns Vs. Kings game- the one we won this season.

9) Watching movies isn't all that bad- especially if there is cuddling involved.

10) Yep... I still hate math. haha.

So, as I start preparing for summer and next year, I can only PRAY that it goes as well as this year did!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Starting Out

Well, I don't honestly think anybody really cares to read anything I write (or has the time), but for the sake of improving my writing abilities I am starting this blog. Hello!