28 February, 2006

What a cool worship-from-a-love song!

I heard this song on WYEP by Liz Phair, and loved it. The artist's image seems to be less than wholesome (I wouldn't suggest her music videos or most of her songs), but some of her songs are startlingly uplifting. This particular song, called Giving It All To You reminded me of a worship song. Another of her songs, Polyester Bride, reminded me of my own efforts to resist temptation.

My favorite lines from "Giving":

Everytime I see you you just blow my mind
And I reach out trusting you there
Its like walking on a high wire into thin air
And I know that there's one thing
Between me and nothing
Baby, you are that one thing that pulls me through
So I'm giving it all to you

27 February, 2006

Jurassic Park

Ensconced in a tropical beach, I breathed in the lush scents of the rainforest, leaning back against rough tree bark. A lizard, about a foot high, came into view. Curious, I looked up. It was strutting like a chicken on its hind legs, and chirping. Then I noticed the white sky fading into grey tree branches which faded into dull brown land. It was snowing. Gradually I felt the gentle ocean waves melt into the rocking of trolley wheels. Surprised, I felt the tree bark disappear and an upholstered metal chair materialized under me. I shook my head, almost disbelieving my senses, and bent down again. Closing my eyes, I cringed from the smell of alkaline dust, and awoke in a Montana desert, surrounded by Blackhawk teepees and a paleontological dig site.

I am disregarding the advice of a good friend, and reading "Jurassic Park" before I watch the movie. The first 40 pages are brilliant. We shall see how the book progresses.


This is pretty much the awesomest ever! It'd be fun to organize for my city: A PILLOWFIGHT!

25 February, 2006

Kart-ing around

Woohoo! I just had my first trip driving a go-kart! It was really, really cold. But fun, nonetheless. My friends were telling the truth when they said that 10 mph feels fast when the ground is less than 5 inches below one's derriere. Controlling that thing makes me feel powerful. The shaking engine sounds like a delicate objet d'art that I can almost crush and enjoy the process. It's so fun to give it enough gas to keep it turning over yet not go forward (would this be manual idling?), then roar off in a cloud of dust and try to avoid tearing up the grass.

I believe the machine was built for someone with a smaller frame, since my head stuck out between the bars of the roll cage. I was afraid to see if I could launch the thing into the air since the cage seems somewhat unstable. The left front tire isn't quite on its rim, making steering tight turns somewhat of a joke. Aaah, the sweet taste of driving on the edge of safety, peering into the face of danger.

My hair smells like gasoline now.

21 February, 2006

Did you know...?

Today in my Science Fiction class I learned that there was such a thing as a Hype Curve (or cycle, or graph, or whatever you want to call it). My professors likened it to Pilgrim's Progress; there's the Technological Trigger, the Peak of Inflated Expectations, the Trough of Disillusionment, the Slope of Enlightenment, and the Plateau of Productivity. I bet you never knew SciFi could be so interesting, now, did you?!? Seriously, though, that class is really good. Where else can we turn from analyzing the soundtrack of Jurassic Park to FEMA's performance after Hurricane Katrina to the U.S. Navy? Actually, all three of those are tied together by information technology. A soundtrack lets the audience know when the plot gets exciting. FEMA is a good example of poor managerial decisions. The U.S. Navy has experienced many disasters, and has successfully recovered and learned from those experiences and can prevent them. Now I can understand more of the story when I read "Down And Out on Ellfive Prime" by Dean Ing.

Today in my other class (Linguistics), I decided that the material is quite fascinating. The professor, however, is not. I made up a sentence: I hit Nate with a pillow because it was a very late night and I was tired. That sentence, my friend, contains an agent, a patient, an instrument, a theme, and an experiencer. It's so exciting! And I get to be both the agent and the experiencer! (Sorry, Nate, I couldn't figure out how to give you two Theta Roles also.)

20 February, 2006

The Olympics

Photo from NBC

Huzzah! My favorite ice dancing team won the silver! Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto are the second pair of American skaters to ever win an ice dancing medal at the Olympics. Why do I like ice dancing, and that pair in particular? Because ice dancing is much more enmeshed in the music than normal skating. It is art. It is how I would like to skate, and I enjoy watching it. It is not a display of technical ability or knowledge as much as it is a showcase of human emotion. I love it!

13 February, 2006

St. Valentine is no longer honored by the Catholic Church

Please beware, raw human emotion is being expressed in the form of letters...(Picture from Charlie O'Shields)

Cupid's poison has seeped from his arrow-tips into my blood. I cannot shake this feeling of desperate romance. How can I resist? Am I not human? I can but pace my floor and cry out for a distraction.

Can God be glorified in such tortured devotion as this? I try to rid myself of human essence so that I may uphold his honor and glory. Is it not all for him? But could he really ask me to deny who he made me to be?

Please understand, I am not trying to rebel against God's wonderful, perfect plan. The fact that I am struck with this need does not change anything about God. He is as amazing and all-knowing as he was the night that I wept because of his holiness. Here is another chance for me to humble myself and learn yet another aspect of his character. He meets all my needs or disproves them. This is my chance to learn how.

Oh, here they come
Though I'm not be afraid
There's no temptation
I can't evade...
I'm dead to sin like some kind of zombie...
I gave my life away.
(Audio Adrenaline, "Some Kind of Zombie")

God, I know that your grace is all-sufficient. Thank you for your amazing love! I know that I will never be alone or needy for ever because of you. Help me to rest in your grace and be patient until you reveal miracles that will cause me to worship you yet more. Show me how I might glorify you through this experience!

11 February, 2006

Beautiful Savior

It is amazing how God has designed the human mind. Knowing the unique situation and temptations that a specific friend is struggling with drove me to such deep worship on Thursday night. Praying for him and his circumstances led me to weeping, prostrate on my floor simply because God was holy. All thought was swept away except God's holiness. Time was no longer a consideration. Oh! Sweet, sweet moment. I hope more come, and that my friend will soon be able to experience such moments, as well. Now I begin to see the purpose of prayer. It is worship. I feel so selfish when I pray for this friend, because I remember that moment and am driven to seek more moments. Yet, I know that God's purpose will be served through all of it, and my friend will also be sanctified because of this process.

Does anyone know of good books about grace and the cross? I'd appreciate suggestions.

05 February, 2006


On Friday night, I focused my "90 second update" at Caregroup on money and how my spending applies to the Gospel (can I really afford that trip to Europe in light of the Gospel?). I just found an excellent sermon from Josh Harris called Affluenza Pt. 1: The Disease of Greed. I would suggest it to anyone, and hope to continue following the series.

This is making me want to attend New Attitude for more than just the close fellowship.

02 February, 2006

My Campus

I just realized that I love my school's campus. I may not like school terribly, but there are benefits. I have classes in an old, Gothic structure that's the tallest university building in the world. (http://www.wqed.org/erc/pghist/units/folks/oakland_tour02.shtml) When I'm done with classes, I can walk a block away from that building and see the Carnegie Music Hall, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Schenley Park, Phipps Conservatory, and the best library I have ever been in yet. Besides, of course, the proliferous structures of my own university.

I adore the library. I love the Diplodocus carnegii sculpture by Forbes Avenue, reminding me where the entrance to the library is, since he's almost looking at it. (http://www.wqed.org/erc/pghist/units/folks/oakland_tour02.shtml) Apparently, even "prehistoric" animals had sports affiliations-I noticed a black and gold scarf wrapped around that elegant neck of his as I walked past.

Greeting me at the library's glass doors are large stone letters, raised from the stone face of the building, proclaiming, "FREE TO THE PUBLIC". My gaze is then drawn to the names of authors and scientists and explorers engraved on the eaves of the building, in the Roman fashion of course. (http://www.epodunk.com/top10/misspelled/) Though the towers were torn down long ago, this old building holds memories and wonders too numerous to mention. The famous twin stairwells to either side of the entrance are so old that the steps are uneven due to constant use. The Children's department has a new display dedicated to "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" with a three-dimensional wardrobe with a real lamp-post inside. I notice on the map the Pennsylvania department, where I spent hours researching my father's family.

I love that place.