29 September, 2006

Challenging women

Rarely do I browse through the Desiring God ministry's blog, but today I did and happened upon an article titled "A Challenge To Women" by John Piper. I thought this might be beneficial, so I read it while listening to a message by John Piper. I really liked how point # 6 encouraged women to be deep thinkers of theology and understand God's grace, point # 7 encouraged us to capture every moment for God's work, and point # 13 advocated a "wartime mentality." :-) I disagreed with some points, although Jon corrected me for disliking point # 3 by quoting 1 Peter 2:12.

However, as I got farther down the list, it seemed to be rather paternalistic. Point # 11 gets under my skin-it's not expressly written for mothers, but it seems to be applied specifically for child-rearing women. Should I consider this, then? Because, frankly, when looking at the lady in Proverbs 31, having a job can be anything but deleterious. Also, when Piper wrote the extensive list of ministries that a woman can participate in, I was slightly miffed. Round-a-bout the "Sports ministries" listing, however, I realized that most of these were areas that anyone (regardless of sex) could participate in. I also realized that many of them could be paying jobs within the government. Which brings up another question.

Couldn't I work in an organization like the government, fulfill their secular requirements, and still be working for God? I'm thinking specifically of my signing skills and the contact with the Deaf community that I hope to have some day. Theoretically, yes. However, when I look closer at such a situation, I doubt it. The role I want to play as God's ambassador while fulfilling someone's physical need should be a ministry through the church, not the government. I often get upset when I see the government picking up the church's slack in ministry, and doing a horrible job at it. So, I've come to the conclusion that a job may pay the bills and still be a ministry while fulfilling secular requirements, but the minute God blesses me with a provider (read: husband), I must invest in volunteering my skills and time--perhaps in the same capacity, but with financial freedom.

This list is not paternalistic. Nor does it seem to condemn my current situation or future goals. It is most certainly written by a human, and not the Word of God, ergo it is fallible. It did challenge my motivations, however, and that is hardly a bad thing. Much thanks to John Piper for stimulating my mind once again!

In other news, Goldilox by King's X (an '80's Christian band) has become my anthem of the past weeks.

Blogger Beta

Welcome to the new "woody elf home of elfness," as a friend calls this place. I've converted to Blogger Beta, and really like the GUI html programming for ignorant users like me. I can do sweet programming and barely even know how to write html for italic type!

27 September, 2006


I call my computer Jake for a lot of reasons. But he's been acting weird lately. I've had him for almost 2 years now, and today a bunch of programs went BONKERS and my address book is completely erased and I'm really confused. What else is gone? Did I get hit by a hacker? How am I going to get all that info back? Should I start re-entering what I know, or leave it alone until I can call tech support? Auuuughrwawaferrewwyeeeagh.

This is more stressful than I anticipated. I've had absolute trust in this computer for a long time...now what?

If I've ever had your contact information and you're randomly zipping by this page...could you e-mail me? Thanks :-P

Big Brother

Last Friday I went to a wedding of a dear friend that I know through the fencing team. Though I know she had anticipated otherwise, she and her husband had a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony. The last such ceremony I remember attending is my uncle's wedding when I was about 8 years old. So I had no idea what was going on. It was good, however, and I enjoyed it. This post is basically so I can brag about my older brother.

I didn't want to go alone. Who wants to go alone to a wedding? Robin asked me to invite a "guest," and I felt too awkward to ask any of the single guys I know. Except for Mike. He agreed to go with me. We were a bit late (sorry, Mike...I should have given more warning), but we rode in his sweet Barneymobile and didn't get lost. During the ceremony we traded snickers and glances as things happened that we didn't know about...when are we supposed to kneel? To stand? What do we sing? Ironically, I knew the Latin responses to Mass, and almost said them.

After the ceremony we decided to follow someone to the reception. After going FAR AWAY from where we knew we were generally supposed to head, we figured that the person we were following wasn't actually going to the reception! Heh. So we got there an hour after leaving the church (the wedding party beat us there!). Mike was a trooper. We arrived, and he brought me drinks and seemed interested in meeting my friends. We sat at a table full of fencers (all of whom I knew and he didn't know many), and random people would come and say hi to Chris. Kim would hang out, which was cool. She and I danced West Coast swing, trading the lead parts, for one song.

Mike and I gorged ourselves on cookies (a tradition in these parts, I'm told) and conversed with Chris' wife. I've never been able to talk to her for an extended period of time until then, so I learned a lot about her. I think we were the first ones to leave. But that's OK. I think he was as disinterested in getting drunk as I was. Plus, neither one of us knew what to do about the tip jar at the bar...so we ignored the bar :-)

Thank you, Mike! Regardless of what Kayte says about dancing with me, I still think you get "Brother of the Year" award. At least in the "Oldest Brother" category :-D

25 September, 2006


OK, guys...whoever reads this page...anyone? :-)

The band Audio Adrenaline has had a large impact on me, both musically and spiritually. Their song "Big House" was the first christian rock song I can ever remember hearing (yes, before Petra...though I was a Petra fan first).

Guess what? THEY'RE ON A FAREWELL TOUR! They're breaking up! I'm so sad! But I also want to go to a concert REALLY, really bad. Bad enough to spend a good chunk of $$ on it. They'll be in a lot of cities around mine, but not mine itself. Check out the tour schedule. Does anyone want to go with me? Simply out of pity? Pleeeeeeaase?

God is not a learner!

During worship I had these thoughts: God is not a learner! There is nothing he doesn't know. Ergo, there's nothing I can hide from him or sin that I can ignore...because he can't! This is both sobering and ridiculously freeing. Bondage to sin? Why? Fear of confessing sin is (like most things I do) absolutely ridiculous because God already knows it. He wants my confession, but he already has the knowledge.

Today's sermon was about the Trinity. Did you know that the word "trinity" can't be found in the Bible? I thought that was interesting. It's such a vital part to my doctrine...but I guess it's a human term applied to a divine concept that none of us can comprehend, so it'll have to do. Unless we want to use a name of Ent-ish proportions that would take 5 minutes just to pronounce. Our Assistant Pastor, Joel, taught on 2 Corinthians 13:14, and here are my notes.

  • How does the Bible reveal the Trinity?
    • Through relationships:
      • Father
      • Son
      • Holy Spirit
    • These all remind us of the kind of relationships we have with God
  1. There is only ONE true God
  2. This one true God exists as 3 distinct persons
    1. God the Father
    2. God the Son (Jesus Christ)
    3. God the Holy Spirit
  3. Each of these persons is fully divine
  • Grace, love, and fellowship-these are the relationships that exist in the Trinity (from the verbs in the verse referenced earlier)
      • God is Love
      • Christ is Grace
      • Holy Spirit is fellowship
    • All of these words are relational! The Trinity exists in perfect harmony-it has perfect relationships.
  • What kind of words do I use to describe the Trinity? I don't know. I never really tried to describe it...I just shook my head in human bewilderment.
  • Receive the Trinity's gracious invitation
    • The Gospel is the only invitation we'll get to be part of this relationship.
    • How can this happen? Christ's forgiveness.
  • Marvel at the astounding cost of the invitation! Not just the redemption, but the love that initiated it and the fellowship that comes with it
Here's a thought I just had...would it be more accurate to refer to God as "them?" The term "God" refers to a triune being, right? So the correct pronoun to use would be "them." What do you all think?

I wish I knew ancient Hebrew! I wish I could read the Psalms in their original language! Better yet...I'm excited for heaven. Time upon endless time no longer exists: I will be able to do what I want without being concerned with time!

Another thought: I realize now that I do see a three-fold relationship with God. They are my lover, my master, and my friend. It would be wrong to emphasize one relationship over the other, but they will play different and changing roles in the seasons of my life.

21 September, 2006

The Gospel

Yeah...it's the Rebelution again. I found this video on their website, and despite the fact that I KNOW all of you can find it at www.therebelution.com, I wanted to reference it here for the sake of posterity. I loved this video.

20 September, 2006


"It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all." ~~ Saint Augustine (or was it Lord Tennyson?)

Yes, my mind is on this topic again. What is love? I have given and received much of what I might call love, but not everyone thinks so. And, can I really classify what I'm giving or feeling as "love," or is it a selfish wish for reciprocation? Christ's crucifixion is the ultimate love story, of course, but is the rest of Christ's life an example of love? 'Cos dying to oneself doesn't seem to be the sole purpose of "love."

Fall leaf Originally uploaded by dotlyc.
Today the temperature felt significantly colder, and the leaves are starting to lose their chlorophyll. It's gorgeous, and the chilliness feels wonderful. I want to go pick apples as soon as this cold dries up. But for now, a wood fire would feel delicious. And a mug of apple cider. I wonder if we'll carve pumpkins this year.

18 September, 2006

Mute Math

Anyone heard of 'em? I really liked Earthsuit...but these guys aren't too bad :-P They are having concerts in Columbus and Cincinatti on Nov. 10th and Oct. 31, respectively, for $12/ticket. Would anyone be interested in going? I'd like to, but not alone.

Why do I like them? They don't always use that typical 4/4 rock beat that almost every other rock song consists of. They mix ambient electronic sounds with sweet guitars, good drums, and a voice that's not too terrible-somewhat like Coldplay, but with more distortion and a faster beat. Their concert videos look like people have a TON of fun, too, which always is a plus. Their lyrics aren't hugely inspiring or whatever, but they aren't emo-angsty or preachy (and my sick mind may not be thinking straight either).

17 September, 2006

My life

It's way too late to be writing, but inspiration struck and I'm sick anyway. So here I am, online when I shouldn't be.

I was browsing through The Rebelution, and came upon this post. So then I asked myself:
"Self, what would be the hardest thing for me to do?"
"Well, Self, since I already conquered Europe this summer, then quitting school would be really hard for me to do."
"And why in the world would I quit school, Self? Is this some sort of secret dream of mine?"
"Well, yes and no. Here are my reasons:

  • School seems unfulfilling. I'm doing absolutely nothing to benefit the world, and though I can see how my current plan of action might be preparation to benefit somebody, I feel the need to do something NOW. I think this feeling is from God. It's not a selfish desire to get out of responsibility to party, it's a desire to see where the gospel isn't, and bring it there. College seems to just delay my availability for such work.
  • Working regularly this summer made me realize that, though it can be REALLY boring and unfulfilling, God may be using a job as a tool, not as an ends in itself. I could be making tons of money right now that I could invest in God's kindom. What am I earning at college? A diploma? I mean, that's nice, and I know I might be able to get a higher-paying job with a diploma, but do I need a college diploma to get down & dirty in my work for the gospel? If God wants me to, I could go from one transient job to another, and be able to devote 100% of my time to the Gospel in between jobs.
  • I started college with everything and then some paid for. I've not been able to keep my GPA high enough to retain all of the scholarship money, though I have the opportunity to earn it back. So this year of school will mostly be coming from my own pocket. It would, from a financial point of view, be advantageous to use this semester as the time that I earn back my scholarship, take off next semester, and have the next four semesters paid for.
  • College is a bureaucracy! And I hate that! Some of me wants to quit just to show college that I don't care about their precious pieces of paper (i.e. diplomas). But, at my college, 1 student out of 15,000+ won't make a difference. Also, now that I'm part of the linguistics department, I realize that some professors actually want their students to succeed in their own way. They don't need me to conform to their learning and success patterns, because they'll conform to mine. What a nice change this is. "
"Ok, Self, here are my responses to that:
  • Good! I know I have ideas for such work in my head. Most involve traveling away from Pittsburgh; perhaps I should look around for some opportunities at home. But I've thought quite seriously about Namibia, and now I'm curious about going back to Spain, and there's also coaching. During this semester I'll keep looking into these things and see where God leads me.
  • To what, exactly, is God calling me? I don't want to limit God at all...but could I fully support a husband and children while running around doing odd jobs and evangelizing? Or would my husband and children be my field of work? Because, even then, the opportunity to find a husband might not present itself if I'm constantly on the move. I might want to consider this a bit more seriously. Does God really want me in a marriage? Sometimes I wonder how I could be tied down to such a responsibility for the rest of my life, but at other times I wonder how I could survive without fulfilling that God-given need for human companionship and children.
  • Good point. I don't know who wouldn't agree with this strategy if only money is concerned.
  • This smacks of pride, to be completely blunt. I wouldn't give this aspect any consideration at all when weighing pros and cons. But I think I know that already :-P"
So, there you have it, folks. My grand plan for the next few months is...undetermined! Thank God for the grace that allows me to hold my future lightly and still be confident that nothing but goodness awaits me.

15 September, 2006


...they're out to take over your systems!! They're trying to get mine...but I've got a full-on counterattack going. Throbbing sinuses and drippy noses do not make for happy students, however. And I thought I had just gotten over being sick!

I'm recovering with dance movies and classical music. I'll let you know if they work :-P

11 September, 2006

Nine-Eleven Essay

Today the flag that hangs from our dining room flapped above the windowsill. Those colors reminded me of September 11, 2001. As a child I often wished I lived during a momentous time, a time that my children and their children's children would remember and ask me about. On that day, I realized I was living history.

I was in tenth grade, aged sixteen. That semester I volunteered as an Office Helper in the Principal's Office, doing simple things like delivering and sorting mail, and eating the secretary's candy. It was a Tuesday, and I was excited about my latest ceramic piece. As I walked toward the office, I could see through the window that the entire staff was watching the doorframe. Curious, I went in and turned around to see. The TV hung innocently above the door, projecting images that will never leave me. A skyscraper was billowing smoke and flame. Next to it stood its sympathetic, unblemished twin scraper.

I watched silently with the rest of the staff, not sure what was happening or why it was so significant that it would pull a man like Dave Helinski away from his duties for so long. "What a sad accident!" was one of the first phrases that came to mind. The TV announcers, for once completely out of the camera's view, sounded stunned and spoke little. I learned that the skyscrapers were in New York City, and they had just started to broadcast the incident. No one knew much, so the announcers would repeat themselves and repeat footage quite often.

I sat down and pulled out a notebook, still feeling unaffected and distant from the scene. I glanced again at the TV just in time to see another plane, this one deliberately attacking the other skyscraper. Now I was shocked. Surely there were people in there who would die! Why would a pilot do such a thing? The bell interrupted my thoughts and I senselessly moved to my next class. There I sat, passive, absorbing nothing of the class.

I arrived home to see the TV screen repeating the plane's impact and the dust billowing. I learned that the Pentagon had been attacked, and a plane had hit the ground a few miles away from where I lived. Then came the collapse of the twin towers.

At the time, I felt very little emotion. I was stunned of course, but neither angry nor excited. A bit sad, perhaps, but I still had a life to live. Five years later, as I view the images for the first time since, I feel a terrible, deep, bitter sadness that I doubt will ever leave me. Anger pushes underneath the sadness. Consternation blinks away tears. I do not understand, but I react. I must. My country has changed so much in that time.

I could never watch any of the movies produced about the events of September Eleventh. The memories are too raw to be rubbed again. The songs and the pictures are enough to make my eyes smart. The stories published since then of the people who died helped me realize how personal mass destruction is, regardless of how emotionally or geographically close to it I am. I've learned so much in that time.

Maybe some day my grandchildren will tell me hypotheses that someone in the United States knew about the attacks and ignored the threat, or perhaps even encouraged it. How will I respond? When I suggested to my grandparents that President Roosevelt knew that Pearl Harbor would be attacked on December 5, 1941, they both rebuffed me harshly. Now I understand why. I have my own national disaster to remember and protect.

It's interesting how real history becomes when one realizes the significance of their own personal contact with it. And how current events become sharper, more poignant, and real. How sad is Darfur? It's not cold, and faraway, and dreamy any more. It's real and painful. Just like September Eleventh.

How many of them know the gospel? How many can hope through their pain? Why don't they know? I must share! They must know! How can I not tell them?

08 September, 2006


Ok, I recently discovered YouTube. A lot of what's up there is junk, of course, but it can be a handy resource. While searching for videos of modern ballet (see what I mean about resources?), I happened upon a link to "Superman: How it should have ended." It is hilariously clean fun. These peoples' comics are pretty good, too. Next time you want to waste 10 minutes for a good laugh, watch it!

06 September, 2006


OK, just like most people who use Facebook to network, I hate those Mini Feeds that describes your every action and broadcasts it to the rest of your social circle. It's only aggravated my problem with Facebook, though, so I've taken steps to see what I'm doing that isn't glorifying God and what I might do to change that.

At 1 Single Day (a retreat I went to this past weekend), I learned a lot about God. The theme verse was Isaiah 66:2, and it really made me wonder. Am I really humble and contrite in spirit, and trembling at the word of God? Also, I stumbled upon some verses that I want to become a theme in my immediate future: Psalm 42. Especially the first two verses. That conference made me really ask "when shall I come and appear before God?" I was so excited to wake up the next morning and read the Bible! I know God is constantly with me, of course, but I've gained a passion for actually "spending time" with God (who I now honestly believe is within my Bible), instead of the lukewarm moments I might spend on the trolley meditating on some mundane aspect of my life.

Later I realized how much Facebook has become a substitute for real socialization. It also makes me feel lonely, and left out...and leaves some sort of gaping hole in my heart where there wasn't one before I signed on. This is weird. It makes me think of addiction, and I HATE that. Utterly. So I'm not breaking ties with Facebook, but don't expect me to jump on when you leave a comment on my wall. Comment on my blog or e-mail me...or call! I'd much prefer a phone call to a facebook comment.

How do these two tie together? This blog is basically a public description of my mind and soul, so I try to think about what goes on this page and make it a true reflection of me. On Facebook, I'm merely competing for popularity (which I've never done before so seriously). I've noticed that, as my involvement in Facebook rises, my blog is declining, and since I value the process of thinking, I'm going to invest more in my blog. Perhaps my Sunday Summaries shall return (I have quite a few that never made it on this page). Perhaps I will describe events in my life so that posterity might enjoy them, rather than sticking a 1-liner up on my Facebook profile. Perhaps instead of updating my "status," I'll be able to think through my circumstances and discern God's will for my life better.

I really like blogging. It can get fanatic, yes, and I do check my friends' blogs quite often, but if you're going to socialize on the internet this is a much more personal and deep way to do so than Facebook or MySpace (Xanga doesn't count. I consider it a "true" blog, though still cluttered).

...speaking of critical thinking, here's some criticism to offer to the Facebook people: Don't change too much at once. Those notes were a bit strange, but I was thinking of feeding my blog through Facebook. Then the Mini Feeds came too quickly after that, and I didn't have enough time to adjust to the notes before adjusting to the Mini Feeds. So next time, change one thing and let it cook. Then change more. Be patient.