Sunday, February 27, 2011

Classical Craziness

Today, on my way out the door from church, I'm checking my email.

(I know, I know... that's horrible. But my life demands it. And hey, at least it wasn't during church.)

And, surprise! I have a paper due tonight that I somehow forgot about, and one that will be posted in a forum for others to comment on as their weekly assignment. Pfft. Great.

"What, oh what, is this paper on?" I think as I get in the car. Logging onto Black Board, I see that I have to write a Ciceronian analysis of one of Frederick Douglass' speeches, "What, to the slave, is the fourth of July?" Using Cicero's De Oratore as a basis.

Normally, this would be when the panicking and hyperventilating sets in. But, I have read Cicero's De Oratore, and I have read that speech by Douglass (thank you, AcDec!).

My family went to eat at this really good Jewish delicatessen (I was tempted to order in Hebrew, but I restrained myself) with some friends from church, so during lunch I pieced together the essay in my head.

This, everyone, is a classical example (pun intended) of why Classics matter. They just do, and come in handy every now and then... especially in classes where a previous exposure to them helps you out.

Now, I'm watching a foreign film that I have to present to my Hebrew class tomorrow (do I sound like a procrastinator? I'm really not. I've watched it before.), and writing down vocabulary words for every word I do not understand (yes, this was my assignment. Facepalm), such as "drugs" and other lovely phrases that I'm pretty sure will not be vital to my future trip to Israel, oy ve. It's called the Schwartz Dynasty, and I really do not understand a lot of the history or cultural underlying issues with it, so it's hard to know when to laugh, or even if I should.

Anybody out there understand Israeli humor? It is an entirely different bird than American humor, and I think an entirely different species altogether from mine.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In Christ Alone

I would like to share some thoughts that have been stewing in my head lately.

Calvanism vs. Arminianism.


Really fellow Christians, WHAT is the point in debating these things? What's the end goal? Are you going to presume you can divide the sheep and the goats with this knowledge? I thought that was Jesus' job. So why worry about it?

In fact, I'm pretty sure Jesus had some things to say about pointless arguing: not to do it.

Interesting fact: one of the names for Satan in the Bible is The Labeler. He likes to get us to sit and argue and turn against one another and not serve each other in love, but in being "right." I think this is damaging; and therefore no, I will not discuss it with you anymore unless you really, absolutely are just dying to have it out. But even then, I will wonder why.

I think it is far wiser to just stay in fellowship with one another, in love, and focus on things that are of lasting value... rather than have an attitude of provocation towards your brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Can I get an amen?

In Christ alone are we to put our hope and confidence, not in any earthly debate and logical thinking of our own, based on our limited and often flawed perception and understanding of God's will. We are to go to Him with our questions, and to the Word as a whole-- not in fragments or by cherry- picking what we want out of it-- to get to know Christ.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day!

I know, I know. A lot of people out there hate it. Not just the single ones, either. Sure, I know it is hard (I've felt lonely most of my life on this day), but I don't get why people hate it. I mean oh, how terrible! A day for celebrating your sweetheart! Ah! I have never disliked the holiday myself, and I have to say, this year's was absolutely perfect. In fact, I feel kind of bad because Scot went all out and my gift didn't come close to all that he gave me.

Let's see.

So first, he shows up at my door with chocolate and very very very nice roses. Ok, I was happy with that right there-- that's more than most girls get!

But no, that wasn't all.

He then takes me to Olive Garden, my favorite restaurant (he remembered! from a long time ago!), and puts our name in for a table.

Then, as if that weren't more than enough, he pulls out this!!

I know. The man knows me well. So we drove over to Borders and looked at books for about an hour. It was a good time (we're both nerds, so it works out).

At the restaurant, he pulls out chocolate sprinkles.

Not the best picture, but anyway. It's an inside joke, and it was adorable. How cute can he be?

After that, we went and saw The Eagle. We're both Classics people, and it was a good movie. I liked it.

What a great time. He really went all out, and I forgot to mention that he was even going to take me for gelato but we didn't have time. Seriously. Sorry ladies, I found him first!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Listening to that Still, Small Voice

No, don't worry; I don't mean the aliens.

Lately, I've been learning that I have a lot of choices to make about-- oh, just everything-- and sometimes I have to ask: "How do I know I'm making the right ones?"

It's a scary thought.

"Hannah, would you teach a group of refugee women how to make a scarf?"

"Hannah, would you paint this sign in front of the entire student body?"

"Hannah, would you be able to teach writing classes at a women's shelter?"

"Hannah, can you be a life- long mentor for an inner- city child?"

"Hannah, can you spend a semester at Oxford?"

"Hannah, can you..."

The list is endless. And I have to decide: yes or no?

I've found myself worrying a lot about making the "right" choices.

But the thing is, when I tune into what God is saying to me (because I turn to Him for the answers), I find him chuckling a little.

"Hannah. All of those are wonderful. But you shouldn't be worried about What it is you're doing as much as Why... where does your motivation lie?"





And then I hear:

"You know, girl, be careful not to be Too Busy. You could be missing out on things that you won't get to experience again, and it will be too late."

Hmm. Good point.

And then, in a very quiet whisper I hear:

"And remember Martha, Hannah. I've missed you lately! What happened to our daily walks? What are you doing that's more important than time with Me? You usually choose what is better; please don't trade Me in merely for Things To Do."

Uh- oh. Right in the gut.

That was all mostly at the beginning of this semester, so I asked God to help free up my schedule, and keep me from being so overwhelmed. And you know what? He did!

Now, I am busy but not too busy. I am actually getting a decent amount of sleep at night. I feel a lot better, and I actually have time to go bike riding or play with my dog (we trained him how to dance recently; cutest thing EVER), or even get a head start on homework (and not do it hours before it's due!).

I like this. I like it a whole lot. And the best thing is, it's all a result of an interaction with God. Amazing, isn't it? What He will do for you when you need it most.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sunday School

This past Sunday, I was privileged enough to spend some time with 5 little girls as a helper in their Sunday school class! I used to do the nursery regularly, and I had all of them in there, so they all know me. Anyway, as soon as I walked in the door, five little squeals of delight greeted me: "Hannah! Miss Wendy, is Hannah gonna be our teacher today? Please???"

How adorable is that?! They all lined up and gave me a hug, too. The other teacher felt a little bad I think. Well, we started off the morning with singing, and I have to tell you that it was pretty darn cute. And I've noticed that there's just something about little kid songs that have a tendency to stick in your head, and they've certainly been running through mine this entire week. There's nothing quite like waking up, and the first thing you think about is, "why was a cup made? (echo), to have a drink inside it. Why were you and I made? (echo), to have God's life in us!"

Great. Actually, I don't mind though... there are worse things in life. :)

One of the girls colored her picture just for me, and even wrote, with carefully scripted letters: "Aimee loves Hannah." Aww.

During the lesson portion of the morning, I had two- year- old Krista on my lap with a book because the lesson was a bit over her head, and we read about the story of Rebecca at the well. She kept pointing to the old men in the pictures, and saying, "It's Santa! It's Santa!!!" oh man, was she excited! I tried to explain that those were not Santa, but she simply pointed to one and said, "Hannah, he has a red nose?" like see, of course that's Santa-- red nose proves it! What do you do. Then, there were camels and she was fascinated with those. "That's a grumpy camel," she asserted and made a face just like one.

When we played outside, I had the girls run races with me and we played a lot of red light green light. That was fun, except that I had to run barefoot because I came in sandals, and kept slipping in the wet grass. But they enjoyed it, so I guess it was worth it.

And then, for our memory verse time, the other teacher brought out hand puppets to sing the song that went with the verse, and we all got one to sing with, too. I ended up with Mr. Rooster, and I was making Miss Wendy laugh so hard that she almost dropped her harpsichord. (That's right. She plays the harpsichord-- that things is older than I am, because she used to be my Sunday school teacher when I was little and I remember it from then!)

Craft time was pretty simple, thankfully, and then we played outside again. I loved it. How could you not love a morning like that?

After church was over, my family went over to Aimee's house (she's the one who colored the picture for me), and I no sooner walked through the door then I was dragged to a pretty pink bedroom with dolls splayed all across the floor, and I was made to sit down with them because we were at school. :D

I got to be a kid, and another little girl got the fun job of being the class pet (it was a giant plushy squirrel), and I was genuinely surprised at her amazingly well- done squirrel performance. I wish I had video taped it. Well, I got sent to the principal's office for accidentally stepping on one of the "kids," but when I got back Teacher Aimee gave me a sucker so the world was all right again. Oh my gosh, it was adorable. By that time, we had quite a few little girls playing school with us, and one of them wanted to give us tap- dancing lessons, so she dressed up like a lady bug and we all practiced "dancing." After that it was time to eat, but I have to say that Sunday has been by far the best day of the week so far. :)