Dec 31, 2008

A Thing of the Past

I always enjoy looking back on every year. It's important for us to look over our pasts and learn from what we have done. There is no point in trying to change what has happened.

We've all done it. We sit there on New Years Eve and ponder the previous year. We sum up all the peculiar moments, that for whatever reason stick out in our memories as important, and then we replay these moments in our minds, thinking, 'what could I have done differently?'. I know I do this every year, and it's okay.

I know that there are some fights I have had that I could have handled better, disagreements I should have just kept my mouth shut about, even second-guessing myself where not needed. I'm 19 years old, to me, everything is life or death.

Well, not actually life or death, but you get the jist of that. I'm one of the many people who is going to reflect on the past year, and then make a New Years Resolution, as if that is going to help. I always like the resolutions to lose weight, or stop eating a certain food, or get organized. The ones where people try and change a distinct part of who they am..those are my favourites. Those are also the least successful. I remember one year, my New Years resolution was to eat an apple every day. That lasted about a week, before I got sick of the taste, and remembered why I didn't eat apples every day in the first place.

This year, my resolution is perhaps an enhancement of who I already am. I love to read, but I never have enough time to read everything I want to. So this year, I'm making room. My goal is to read 1 book every two weeks, which I think is a good idea, especially after school work, and extra currics, 26 books a year seems reasonable.

In the mean time, as I say goodbye to 2008, all its rays of sunshine and flakes of snow. Every tear, every smile, every glitter in an eye. It was a good year, full of new experiences, old memories, and grand finales.

Goodbye 2008. You've been good.

Dec 29, 2008

Typewriter!

My most cherished gift this Christmas wasn't really a gift at all.

I recieved my Grandpa's old type-writer on account of the fact that after many years at their current house, they have bought and are in the process of moving into Wrinkletown, which is my affectionate name for Trillium Village, the old folks housing in town. I have always had a passion for creative writing, and there is something really cool about typing on typewriters. My Grandpa's typewriter was one of those kinds where you can see the letter hit the peice of paper and the ink strip leaving a mark. It's really very cool.

I have really wanted this typewriter for about as long as I knew it existed. Its so much for fun to write a story on a typewriter, and the sound it makes is so much more the sound of creation, than the noise of a keyboard.

Perhaps it is the fact that computers and keyboards have always been associated with homework assignments for me. The first time I ever used a keyboard was at school, in a computer lab with some of those 256 mb hard drives..and the cute little ink blue screens, with the one wordprocessing program and packman..because that's all the harddrive could hold. The very first time I used a keyboard, I was trying to type up a homework assignment in grade 2. My spelling was notoriously horrible, and my sentences were generally weak. But I was in grade 2, so really, what can you expect?

But this typewriter.

This typewriter has so much history. And not just from what I know of it.

I remember my sister and I used to type up letters to Grandpa and Grandma on that typewriter after school on Mondays. We would sit in the basement and giggle, while Grandma was upstairs making supper. Mondays were our favourites. Mondays were the days we went there because Mom and Dad both worked. In the mornings we would have oatmeal with sugar and milk on it, and pulpy orange juice (which I never liked) and toast with Grandma's homemade jams..strawberry Rhubarb and Marmelaide. And sometimes she would have those really dry Dutch round bread toast things..they tasted good with the jam too.

Grandma would usually then clean up the dishes and Kristen and I would go upstairs and brush our teeth and hide all the multi-coloured soaps that she had in the towels and under the sink. Then we would go to school.

Grandpa would pick us up after school and we would have tea and cookies when we got home. I remember one afternoon, we taught Grandpa and Grandma how to do Long Division. To heck if I can still do that stuff, but it was fun at the time. And then, after homework at the kitchen table, we would watch the Sound of Music, or Anne of Green Gables, eat carrots and celery sticks, and crochet one single line of wool. Usually just to see if we could get it long enough to fit from one end of the house, all the way up 2 flights of stairs to the closet door at the end of the hallway.

The best days were the ones when you were too sick to go to school. You would get to stay at Grandma's and have soup, and watch TVO kids all day. It was the best.

I think that the typewriter represents all those years at Grandpa and Grandmas. The house they are moving out of is the only one all of the grandkids have known. My being the oldest and all, I have the most memories of this house, and perhaps one of the biggest attachments to it. I have so many stories of that house. So many fun times with Grandpa and Grandma. Now that they are moving, its nostalgic.

When I find some fresh ribbon for the typewriter, I might just compose a list of stories of all the times I had at the Grandparents' house. All of them. Perhaps, too, this typewriter is a little peice of my past, of that house, of that time in my life, that I won't ever have to let go.

Dec 27, 2008

Amazing Grace All Decked Out!

Well, here's a little holiday cheer!



I think it is funny how the roof looks like it is moving.
Oh, Optical allusions!

Dec 24, 2008

The LORD Has Come

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

[Luke 2: 1-20 NIV]

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.”

[Isaiah 9:6 NIV]

Now, I don't know if it was a midnight clear, and by the sound of the angels, I doubt it was silent. I don't think there was snow, and somehow, I doubt there was mistletoe. It didn't matter. So many years ago, God came. He came as a child. Into a dark world. He came to live a perfect life, and die, for you and for me.

For years, the world had cried out for a Savior. 'Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel."

Emmanuel means 'God with Us."

Today, the world cries out for a Savior. The world cries out in its need and looks towards things like drugs, and alcohal, towards the newest gadgets, better jobs, medications, all in the hope that it will end their sorrows.

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" —which means, "God with us." [Matthew 1:23 NIV]

Today, we have a Savior. God is with us. GOD! God promised to take our sorrows. Jesus died so that we can live. That little baby slept in the manger. Not a crib, not a bed. The CHRIST spent His first night on earth in the food dish for farm animals. Emmanuel, God with us, sleep in heavenly peace.

Hark! The Herald angels sang.
Glory in the Highest!
Peace on Earth

It's not about Santa Claus. It's not about the snow. It's not about the gifts under the tree. It isn't about what you did, or didn't recieve from your family and friends. It isn't about wish-lists, or turkey, or stuffing, or carolling. It isn't about the tree, or the lights, or attending all those holiday parties. It's not about searching the stores for the perfect present. It's not about holiday specials, or Charlie Brown, or the Grinch, or even Frosty the Snowman. It's not about Christmas Bonuses, or Hot Chocolate or Hostess gifts.

Christmas is about Christ.

And it always will be.

Joy to the world, the LORD has come
Let earth recieve her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Dec 21, 2008

The Dentist's Office

I have figured out how to upload YouTube Videos to my blog! So, let's see if this works.

Here is Bill Cosby on Dentists. Enjoy.

Dec 19, 2008

It Takes FOREVER!

I had a great time tonight. I spent the whole evening with my mom making cards. I know there are a lot of people into this, and I must admit, I enjoy it now, more than I ever did before.

It's been funny watching how my mom's level of skill in the card-making franchise of a hobby has increased. The first cards she ever made were..well...beginner. But now, she's just doing amazing thing with paper and stamps and ink and ribbon and brads and heat guns and markers and pencil crayons... you get the idea. So, her bout of creativeness has rubbed off a bit on me throughout the years as well. Today, I made the hardest, prettiest card ever. It took me so long. I honestly don't have the patience for all the work involved in the complex cards. I like the ones with the card stock, some funky paper, a bit of mounting, one stamp..and voila!
However, my time today was well spent. If you are interested in the paper and stamp set used...it's all Stampin' Up!

Dec 15, 2008

Mad Hatter

My RA and I found a hat belonging to one of the neighbor boys in our dorm this weekend when we cleaned. So I held onto it (as I was the only one brave enough to touch the dirty, smelly thing). And tonight, we shall return it in the form of a Christmas present.

There will be two motives completed here. 1) The other boys in the dorm will be sad that they did not get a Christmas present from Lorie and Myself. 2) He will be laughed at severly by his dormies, and will hopefully remember to bring his crap back with him when he leaves.

*smiles*

Dec 14, 2008

Trading Posts

A few minutes ago, we had a few guys come to our door looking to trade something. Their goal was to start with an object and see if they could get the thing they were actually looking for.

Our dorm got a lovely huge canister of hot chocolote, which was not full, and we gave them a juicebox, 'an excellent source of vitimin C'. I wish them luck with their quest. Although I am not entirely sure what it is they were going for..

Dec 8, 2008

Exams

I have finished the most dreaded of all exams and I did amazing!

It was sociology, and I hated that class. I hated it, I hated it, I hated it (This semester wasn't exactly top notch class selection for me...). I'm not sure if my happiness is amount of the fact that the class is over, or that I'm pretty sure I killed my exam (killed in this case is not deviant at all, in fact, it is very, very good), or a culmination of both. Either way, I'm thrilled.

The thing with exams is this. I will learn it, inside and out, so that I know it all, and can regurgitate whatever you throw at me. As soon as the exam is over, everything that I have memorized either oozes out my ear in a green gunk, or drifts way up into the heavens in a thought bubble. A very large and pointless thought bubble. Thought bubbles are good.

The exam wasn't even hard. I think it was because (and what a concept) the studying helped.

Anyways, long story short, happiness is the end of Sociology 121. Yay!

Dec 6, 2008

Well, Hello Snow!

I'm home for the weekend, and I cannot believe how much snow they have here! I mean, I've been whining for like a month about how there is no snow, and how I love snow, and blah blah blah. But I think, my problem was just that I was in the wrong place.

Honestly, it is beautiful. Unfortunately, I have forgotten my camera, and cannot take a picture of it. :(

Dec 3, 2008

Cores

Not apples.
Not universes.
Not even hard.

No, this core is something I hated from the beginning.

I called it Math for Dummies, and for good reason. This course is probably the bain of my existance. It's a waste of time. I took it, because I didn't take Grade 12 mathematics. Once I was done Grade 11 math, I figured that I would never have to take the stupid course again (sorry to any of you math fans out there..).

Then I came to Redeemer. They told me that I needed to take MAT 101 (Math for Dummies) because I did not have the Grade 12 math course. So I figured, alright, I'll take the dumb thing in first year and get it over with. Dumb!

Today, we received notices in our mail boxes from the school telling us that the Math and Second Language cores have been removed. That, for those students who have taken one of these courses, such course would be added as an elective. AN ELECTIVE? Are they kidding me? I suffered through an entire course of material I don't give a crap about and now they are telling me it counts as an elective? If I wanted an elective course, I would have taken something I actually enjoy. Like psychology, or a second year english. But no, now I am stuck with this stupid math course.

Have I mentioned that I totally and completely despise math? Because I do.
Math for Dummies.
A waste of time,
A waste of a course,
and a huge waste of my (well, actually, the school's..) money.

BAH!

Nov 30, 2008

FIGHT!!

What started out as a midnight walk in the snow turned into a vicious snowball fight between most of the people in First Parkinglot.

I'm cold.
I'm wet.
I'm soo unbelievably happy.

God is Good!

Nov 29, 2008

It's Beginning to Sound a Lot like Christmas!

I think the most amusing news story I have heard in the last few days came from the USA.

There was a Walmart employee who died the morning of 'Black Friday'. She was trampled by eager shoppers looking to get the best deals for the Christmas season. But seriously, this woman was trampled. Does no one else see how this is a brutal reflection of our consumerist society?

Christmas is about Christ's birth, the greatest gift of all was given to us by God, 2000 years ago. This, my friends, is how we celebrate the holidays today. We trample Walmart employees to 'give' to our families and friends.

I hate Christmas shopping. I hate buying gifts people don't need, and may never use. I always find it so hard to buy something. I find myself thinking, well, what will they like? What do they want? And not, what do they need..

Truth is, I was inspired by a girl in my dorm. She mentioned this past week that her parents had called and asked for a Christmas list. She told them to buy goats for someone else. Literally, buy goats.

Our dorm, as a whole, is going to go through the World Vision catalogue and come up with some goats, or chickens, or clothing, etc. to send to people around the world.

In the meantime, back home, I look forward to spending time with my family, making cookies, and meals, and playing games. I look forward to decorating, and seeing the lights, and snow. I look forward to all the things that come with the Christmas season. But most of all, I look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Oh come, Oh come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.

and then finally..

Joy to the world! The Lord HAS Come!

Nov 24, 2008

The Sky is Falling!

There is an airport very close to Redeemer. I've been finding lately (as essay season is going and exam season is coming) that this airport receives planes at the most awkward time.

Between 1 and 2am (it's 10 minutes to 2am right now) is rush hour for the airport. The planes can't land at normal times during the day, like when there's light outside, not at all! They have to make the most noise during the hours students are either trying to get to sleep, or finish essays.

My favourites are the big ones. They make the most noise and, sometimes, it'll sound like the sky is falling down.

Nov 23, 2008

Memoirs of a Pack Rat

This afternoon was lovely. I spent most of it cleaning my room, which was quite relaxing.


I am a pack rat. I think its inherited. As I was scrummaging through my papers and books and creative writings that I brought along to school, I found many forgotten items. Here's a short list.


-a postcard from Disney World from grade 11
-minutes to a VBS organizer committee meeting (I wasn't even involved in this)
-Youth Service song orders (I was involved in this)
-A floppy disk with puppy dog stickers on it
-A disposable camera
-Sheet music
-A letter I wrote to a friend and never mailed
-Comics
-Some old journals (why did I bring these?)
-Clear Tape refills
-my stickers!
-markers
-a sock (singular. It's mate got thrown in the garbage years ago)
-A SERVE t-shirt
- 2 blank CDs
-about 20 books I had forgotten I'd brought
-an envelope of coupons (anyone want these?)
-2 mittens..that didn't match
-a package of pens which had exploded
-a to-do list, which apparently didn't get done, because these things were all still packed.


The good news is, most of this stuff was either sorted through or rid completely. My room is much cleaner, and the recycle box is full of paper!

Nov 19, 2008

A Momentous Day

Today was an exciting day. I can finally put my hair back up in a pony tail! It's taken a few months, but it has finally happened. This means less time making myself look presentable in the morning. Now, all I need is an elastic and some bobby-pins!

No pictures?

I've become recently frustrated with Blogger. It won't let me load pictures onto my blog. I don't know why, and I don't figure that I'll find out either. If anyone has any ideas as to how to make them stick, let me know. I'm more than willing to take your advice!

I just want my pictures back!!

Nov 17, 2008

A Recipe..

I know what you're thinking, Mom. A recipe? Yeah, well, this one is kind of good.

What you Need:
-8 Boneless Chicken breasts (for 4, just cut the recipe in half)
-1 box 'Shake 'n' Bake'
-Kraft Ranch Dressing (low fat is best)
-1/2 Onion-chopped
-5-6 large mushrooms - chopped
-salt
-pepper
-thyme
-1/2 cup water
-Large glass casserole dish

Defrost Chicken Breasts (just in case you didn't think of this for yourself..) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place Chicken Breasts into casserole dish and pour in water. Add mushrooms and onions and spread them evenly across the dish. Pour ranch dressing over the casserole dish until it is mostly covered and then distribute the 'Shake 'n' Bake' on top so that it covers the entire casserole dish. You may need to use both packages in the box. Sprinkle salt, pepper and thyme on the top and place in oven. Let it cook for 40 minutes.

Serves: 8

:)

Nov 15, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away..

Once again, I think the entirety of Ontario is getting snow except for little old Ancaster. Welcome to the tropics people: where the winters are warm and it rains a lot.

As much as I love going for walks in the rain, I like snow more. I wish it would snow enough that the ground would be blanketed white.

"Rain, Rain, go away, come again another day.."

It would be nice to at least have November-ish weather.

Nov 9, 2008

First Snow of the Season

"Let it snow, let it snow!"

Tonight was the first snow of the season. There wasn't enough to cover the ground, but for a few moments it was white. Softly, falling, dancing. "Me and snow, we go way back." (Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls)

It's become a tradition of sorts for me to go out into the first snow and just stand, if only for a few seconds. It is my favourite time of the year. It is so quiet. The night the snow first falls, the world is at peace and the air smells crisp. I love it when snow falls on my face. I love feeling it fall and linger onto my eyelashes until it melts and I need to blink 'else the water will trickle into my eye.

I love scarves and mittens (not gloves) and boots and coats. I love hot chocolate and cold winter nights and coming back inside after near frost-bite. I love the tingle in my fingers as the blood in my body warms up. I just love snow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuS5IrQPqFg&feature=related

I feel much the same as Lorelai on the matter. 'The world changes colour,' to quote her exactly. 'I'll take [snow] in any form.'

The first snow is exhilarating. It is wonderful. It is miraculous. Oh, how I love it!

Nov 8, 2008

He Reigns

I would like you to watch this video. It's called 'He Reigns' and it is by the Newsboys.

I have just become overwhelmed with the desire to praise this weekend. Hours and hours spent playing flute and piano just don't seem to be good enough. His praise is on my lips.

'It's all God's children singing glory, glory, Hallelujah, He reigns'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMT_kAD6cOg

Let my lifesong sing...

Nov 4, 2008

Make Me Angry

The guys next door have it figured out.

Dorm inspection is coming up on Thursday. This means, we get to clean.

They thought they should lock me up in their dorm after making me really angry.

I have this thing, where I clean when I'm angry. I get angry because things are not clean. It's a rather vicious circle. However, one of the guys next door made a comment about making me realllllly angry and then locking me in their dorm on Wednesday night so that their dorm would pass dorm inspection. I have to commend them for this. It was not only a good joke, but it could actually work.

Our dorm, however has a more logical solution to the problem of dorm inspection. Clean your own dorm yourselves. We are having a cleaning/dance party.

Nov 1, 2008

Gray Tuesday

I am quite enthralled with the U.S. presidential election.

The voters need to realize just how significant this upcoming election is. Besides the whole speech about how all American's should vote and whatnot, I think there is something more important to be discussed. The outcome of this election will (inevitably) effect the entire world. With the growing economic crisis, the neverending 'War on Terrorism', and the (let's just face it) falling USA superpower, voters have a lot to consider.

No offense to Canadian politics, but they just aren't as interesting as the American politics. Canada isn't battling it's position of a global superpower with several other countries. Canada isn't facing a economic crisis as severe as the States. Canada isn't defined by its current positions on the War in Iraq. Canada just doesn't have the fuel to power an election quite like this.

This election is important on several notes. The candidates stand for political and social issues that have plagued the USA for far too many years. Obama comes from the working class, African American, middle citizens. He represents all the years of Martin Luther King Jr.'s fight for equality. He represents the charismatic, hollywood, perfect dad, JFK parallel of this century. And yet, his newness to politics, along with his experienced vice-presidential candidate, Joe Biden, Obama brings 'new light' to the White House. His position on the War in Iraq could use some perfecting, but he is a smart, outgoing candidate who is not afraid to be the hero figure. I see Obama as a sort of Harvey Dent character from the recent Batman film. He is eager to clean up the States, however, he is young. His eagerness and inexperience may cause him to become corrupted.

McCain, on the other hand is the elitist, conservative leader the States may just need to bring them through the next few years. McCain's experience in the wars, former trips and quibbles in political races have given him the stamina to fight back. McCain is not afraid of the reporters, and believes deeply in using the sentiments of human nature to bring his campaign to new levels. He, however, lacks the newness of Obama, and has one fallback. He belongs to the same party as President Bush. We all know that Bush has outlived his time in the Whitehouse, and although McCain may have some differing views than Bush, they do belong to the same party. Their take on the War is similar, in fact, McCain is pushing for more troops.

However, consider this. Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney are endorsers of Obama. McCain is supported by the Washington Times, Boston Harold and the Veteran's League. Although Obama clearly has the lead on the whole 'money is power' philosophy, McCain has the intellectual newspapers, veterans, and critics potentially on his side. Which is better? Swing the funds? Or swing the Media?

In the coming years, the USA is facing an end to his global domination. The world will no longer depend on it to keep things together (or tear them apart, depending on your view). With the falling economy, and this is a huge topic to be discussed, both candidates are faced with the other miserable accusation of spending so much on a campaign before digging the Americans out with the money. Far-fetched, perhaps. But wouldn't that be the more effective campaign?

It's a dog-eat-dog election. And it could go either way. All I can do is encourage voters to make an informed choice. The rest will be decided on Tuesday? This decision isn't all black and white.

Another thing to consider is the faith of these two men. As a Christian blogger, I hate politics. I will not base my choice on claims. We'll see who wins, and their values and morals should play out in their term. Much more than just a war on 'terrorism' lies in this election. As it will always be, the Middle-Eastern war is about conflicting world views and religions. Islam vs Christianity once again. So, who will stand head of this supposedly 'God-fearing' country? Do I sound pessimistic?

Gray Tuesday, my friends, Gray Tuesday

Oct 27, 2008

Pranked!

So, long story short, my dorm got pranked over reading break.

What happened was, sometime ago, my keys got stolen. I figured they were gone for good. Turns out, the guys who pranked our dorm left the keys. Therefore I do not need to buy new ones, which is a positive aspect to this prank.

However, what you will see as you scroll down are photos of us bringing our furnature back upstairs. The guys thought it would be really funny to take apart our table and couches and bring every peice of furnature down to the basement. Props for them, I must admit. It was a clever prank.

The fun part was trying to bring everything back up again. This proved more difficult. Not only are these 'birth control couches' much heavier than we thought, but there's a narrow stairway, and gravity is working against you. I thought I would put my muscles to good use and take pictures.










As it turns out, our livingroom set up is better. Not to mention the prankers took down some boxes we were just too lazy to bring down ourselves. Plus, we think they vaccuumed the floor too. All in all, it was an interesting end to the reading weekend.

Oct 24, 2008

Why Won't The Mosquitoes Die?

I wondered today, as I thought about all my dear dormmates, whether the dorm mosquitoes had died. You see, we got really quite good at keeping our door closed these past two weeks. There were a few really cold days. We had figured the mosquitoes outside had pretty much died. Apparently not.

I remember thinking to myself this week, 'why are there so many mosquitoes here again?' I blame it on the open door and the warm weather. Not that the warm weather is bad (although, this nice Autumn weather will be paralleled with some mean Winter storms), I just don't like the mosquitoes so much. It became particularily evident to me when I woke up with 2 bites on my foot Wednesday morning.

Apparently I had slept with a foot outside the covers. Apparently the mosquitoes in the dorm aren't quite as lethargic as we had all thought. I think, that on Sunday night when I return, I am taking a wad of newspaper and going on a mosquito massacre. I will not be bitten again! (not to mention the bites are pretty itchy..)

From now on, the door stays closed.

Oct 23, 2008

The Colours of Fall

For a season where the earth prepares to go dormant, it sure is beautiful. I am in my hometown this weekend as Redeemer is on a Reading Break. This afternoon, I hopped on my bike, took some books and went on a trip to the library. I had forgotten how vibrant the town is in the fall seasons. The trees were all changing into gorgeous hues of red and yellow and orange. The streets were covered in fallen leaves, and the air was crisp.

I couldn't resist taking some photos of the colours in my own backyard.








Perhaps it wasn't that I had forgotten how beautiful my town was in the Fall, I had never really noticed. Something about this town will always be home. It's quaintness, old uptown buildings and the simple picturesque life authors like Margaret Atwood write about. The colours of Autumn is something that needs to be appreciated. It is the earth's last attempt at summer colours before the snow falls and wipes everything clean and white.
These are colours that only God could have fashioned. So I challenge you, dear readers, take a walk through your town, snap some photos of the changing season. Appreciate the beauty created by the Maker's hand. And then, say a small prayer of thanksgiving.
<3


Oct 21, 2008

Rainshower

I'm getting sick. First cold of the fall season. And I was doing so well.

I haven't been sick since about June. June was when I bought my 'Advil: Cold and Sinus'. That's how I know. What sucks about being sick is this whole exhaustion thing. If I wasn't so tired, it wouldn't bother me so much. But I feel like I could just fall down and sleep and never wake up.

I'm basically paying for enjoying the nice cold rainshower last night. I love fall rain. I love summer rain too, but I love fall rain. Yesterday, the air smelled of rain all day. The whole campus was just waiting for it to come pouring down. At about 11pm, the skies opened up and it just came. The sound was beautiful. The soft pitter-patter was great background music to studying English notes (although, it would have been better suited if the English Notes pertained to Walt Whitman, or Ralph Emerson). The air had this misty humidity to it. It was beautiful.

The sad ending to this is plural.
1) This means that the evenings of porch-sitting have ended. An absolute tragedy! I love porch sitting. Curled up in a blanket with hot tea. It's peaceful.
2) The beginnings of cold and flu season. I hate being sick.

Word of Advice?

Don't go out in the rain at midnight.

Oct 19, 2008

Redeemer Market Sucks

Don't worry, I haven't been shopping on Sunday.

I'm sitting here, having a conversation with two of my friends and we are talking about the appreciation for food we have all discovered. And not just food, but fruit! Like, actually, when you are at home, you hate fruit, not because it's gross, but because people make you eat it.

When you are gone to school, not only is the selection of fruit depleated, but you actually feel like you need to eat it. You really do learn to appreciate healthy food. Like apples.

Have you ever seen Into The Wild, where he eats the apple, and tells the apple how he loves it. Well, that's how I feel about apples today. I had the best apple in the world today. There wasn't anything special about it. The apple was red and green like most apples are. It had a core, and a small bruise. But this was the best apple in the world.

I would have talked to it too, but apparently that is weird. And I don't want to be weird (in public..)

Oct 17, 2008

The Art of Relaxation

The crazy post-thanksgiving week is over! This weekend will be one of relaxing and catching up. I feel like I have accomplished a lot this week. I wrote a math midterm, finished a Sociology essay, enjoyed a visit from my cousin, cleaned my room, read for my english class and took notes and just finished up a lot of unfinished school work. It's just been a productive week. Busy, but productive.

So this weekend is devoted to relaxing. Enjoying the weather, hopefully, taking it easy, spending time with my boyfriend, and dormmates. Church-in-the-Box is on Sunday night. I'm just really looking forward to spending time with God and with friends.

Oct 14, 2008

Hippos on my Kleenex Box

Conveniently, they aren't even Kleenex brand tissues. They are Scotties.


One thing I will not discuss here is my view on the election. I voted. That's all you need to know.


Come to think of it, I don't know if I have anything noteworthy to put in this here blog. It's one of those days where everything that could have to say has been said before. Celebrate the mundanity. Funny thing is, as hard as I might wish it to be, 'leading lives of quiet desperation', life is not mundane. It's so much to do with outlook.


Seeing the trees change colour into hues of beautiful reds and oranges and yellows, watching the sun soak into the horizon, like its being consumed by a kitchen sponge. The geese fly south for the winter, the pumpkins and corn stalks to decorate doorsteps. Even better, the old cliche of the 'cornecopia' (horn of plenty) rests deep in our hearts. In all this mundanity, we are tried through and through; Give thanks.


With a close to the Thanksgiving weekend, suppose you ponder all that you are really thankful for. Is it your family and friends? Is it that you have enough to eat? Is it that you have a freedom of speech unique to this side of the world? Perhaps you are thankful that the world has hung on another day. Perhaps you are thankful for your house, your car, your computer. It's okay, don't be ashamed of being thankful for those material things. They, too, are gifts from God.


Time now to reintigrate that Hippo on my Kleenex box. Thought I forgot about him? Yeah, I almost did. But let's try something here.


I am thankful for the Hippo on my Kleenex box.


The Hippo on the Kleenex box means that I am sitting at my desk at University. A Christian University. It means I had the money to buy that box of Kleenex (Scotties...technicals..). It means I am surrounded by all these other great things that God has given me. That Kleenex box holds Kleenex, which I use when I am sick. I use when I write, when I draw, and sometimes, when I cry. That Hippo on the Kleenex Box reminds me of all the things I should be thankful for. God has blessed me with many things. Both gifts of personality, and reminders of love, food, family, friendships and so much more.


So when you consider what it is you are thankful for, hopefully you can find a Hippo on your Kleenex box to help the process. And even though we have one day of the year designated for giving thanks, it should not stop there. Each day this week, thank the LORD for something. Each day, you will find yourself more blessed.

Oct 12, 2008

There's something about your own church...

I know this may sound cliche, but there's no place like home. In this case, that applies to church. There is just something about being back in your own congregation that is just wonderfully refreshing. There is something about hearing your own pastor's voice coming from the pulpit, and knowing who the people are that need prayer that draws this sense of community inside.

Apparently, Pastor Andrew (commonly referred to as P.A. by me, or PA) has been getting right into the sermons lately. Inserting funny little quirks and humourous hiccups into the prompt. He really illustrated today's message well. It was about God's love and sin. His depiction of wrestling with sin was quite funny, and likely something I will never forget. He paralleled sin to a mouse being killed in a trap. Strange, yes, but bear with me. You know how there are different kinds of mouse traps. There are the ones that kill the mouse instantly, and the ones that the mouse wrestles around in for a while until it finally dies. Sin is the same way. There are some sins which are easily killed. Some that can be nipped in the butt on the first try, but there are also those that we struggle with daily. And those sins are the ones that are wrestling with the mousetrap. The mousetrap, of course, being Jesus.

He also talked about Jesus's love for us. How it is everlasting, and can cover a multitude of sins. For some reason, though we all know this, these words just stuck this morning. Although we wrestle with these sins that enter our lives, and sometimes not all of them are easy to just quit, God promised redemption. God promised a mousetrap of sorts, placed in the houses of our lives to get rid of the infestation of evil in our lives. I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty darn amazing.

Good sermon, PA!

"Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you." (Acts 13:38)

Oct 10, 2008

Lacking the Mustache

For the last 17 years of my life (I am almost 19 years old now), my father has had a mustache. Today, I came home for thanksgiving. The mustache was gone.

I am lost.
I don't know this man.
I miss the mustache.

:)

Oct 8, 2008

Black Holes and Laminin and Golf Balls

I hope you have a bit of time.


Remember that old children's song? It goes something like this.
"My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,
There's nothing my God cannot do.
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do (for you!)
The mountains are His
The rivers are His
The stars are His handywork too.
My God is so BIG, so STRONG and so MIGHTY,
There's NOTHING my God cannot do!"

Chris Tomlin went on tour. The tour called 'How Great is Our God", had a speaker named Louis Giglio. Louis Giglio made me realize how truly great my God is.

Below I have posted quite a few youtube videos. Please watch them in order. Collectively, they are about 50 minutes, so if you have something to do, I suggest you reschedule. This will blow your mind.


So often we tell God what we want. So often we pretend like somehow we can influence His will for our lives.

How truly Great is our God.


Oct 4, 2008

140 Ceiling Tiles...

So I was bored in Math class, who hasn't been?

There were 140 tiles on the ceiling. That was, of course, if you didn’t count those cut out for lights and speaker phones, or rounded out just right to make room for the imposing walls.

She thought for a moment, reread the sentences and then placed her pen down in exasperation. Those were great words to start a story. So why was no story coming yo mind? It wasn’t like high school. No, in high school she could sit down and write and it would go somewhere. Character development would happen, she would at least know who was counting the ceiling tiles. The counter of the ceiling tiles would probably be very bored, in fact, anyone would need to be bored to bother counting ceiling tiles. The room would take shape, a description of walls and floors, doors, carpeting, perhaps enlightening the reader into the place to which these ceiling tiles belonged. But no, all she could muster were the words to say there were a lot of ceiling tiles. She picked up her pen and tried again.

There were 140 tiles on the ceiling. That was, of course if you didn’t count those cut out for lights and speaker phones or rounded out just right to make room for the imposing walls. If you actually took into consideration all the ceiling cut outs (10 lights, 6 speaker phones -half a tile to remain from those, 2 air vents-also half a tile, and almost 7 full tiles removed for the strange wall squared off at the front end) you would be left with 119 ceiling tiles, accented with sprinklers (in case of fire), a projector and funny little circles with plastic mesh keeping all the technical stuff in.

She stopped again. Who in their right mind writes a story about ceiling tiles? The entire idea of it was just strange. Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary perhaps, or just extreme boredom. More likely to the be latter. She had no interest in what was being taught, and thus found the ceiling that much more interesting, but really, was this to be some top seller? On account (no pun intended) of ceiling tiles? It seemed silly. She placed her pen down and watched as the professor drew out a graph on the front board. Linear graphs, oh what a joy, she thought.
The concept of the linear graph wasn’t nearly as difficult as everyone seemed to think it was. Steps were simple. Solve for ‘x’ letting ‘y’ equal zero. Solve for ‘y’ letting ‘x’ equal zero. Plunk the coordinates you get from the answer on the graph and draw a line through them. The slope is either positive or negative based on whether the line goes up or down.



It was more fun than taking down a math note... Hope it was enjoyable.

Sep 30, 2008

I know I was overjoyed to leave home. A month has gone by, living away from those who raised me, shaped me and loved me, and I have come to a few very important realizations.

I don't miss living there. I don't miss living at home, with my family. Most of me was ready to get out, flutter my own wings, persay. Write my own story (not that I hadn't been doing that already..). The idea of not having my parents looking over my shoulder and telling me how to live my life was ideal. More than ideal, that was a Utopia to me. Even though I don't wish to live at home, I do miss a few things.

Most imporantly and noticably is my sister. I miss her like crazy. I miss her laugh and her smile and the deep sister conversations we would have about everything after school on the days mom would be working. I miss curling up in my favourite spot on the couch in the den. The one where I can see out the window and watch the birds and the bunnies. The one where I can see the flowers in the garden in our backyard. I miss cheddar cheese. It's not that they don't have cheddar cheese here, it's just that one girl has a severe dislike for it.

I have also realized that my Mom and Dad have taught me well. Two things that drive me crazy: a messy bathroom, and a messy kitchen. I think the kitchen here is a lost cause. Something tells me everytime I go home this year, I will see the nice clean kitchen and look at it longingly, somehow hoping the one in my dorm could look the same. The bathroom isn't too bad. Lots of mosquitos getting in from the door, but we have found a sufficient way of getting rid of those; the vacuum.

I miss my fast home internet. I miss my church family, and I miss hugs from Mom. As much as I love RUC, all these things just creep into my soul sometimes and I think and smile, that home can still be home.

If only my own bed was as awesome as the one here...and that's not sarcasm!!!

Sep 24, 2008

Meet Travis

Most people have 8 people living in their dorm. We have nine. Meet Travis.
Travis is the honorary house member because he is always there. You wake up, and you see Travis. You go to bed and the last person you see is Travis. You eat and Travis cleans up your dishes. You play euchre, Travis is your fourth. You have to study, Travis is always the first to interupt your thought progression.
Despite the photograph to the left, Travis doesn't actually sleep at our dorm. No, he just lives there in all other aspects. The RA next door made a good comment. He suggested that one of the girls in our dorm should just take the hint and start dating him.
The only problem with that, is that we all know specifically what girl in our dorm should date him...but won`t.
Like him or hate him, he is the honorary nineth member of our dorm. That is Travis.

Sep 22, 2008

The Call

"Within the inner recesses of my spirit, God seemed to be speaking-directly, personally:

Carry my cross. It is an instrument of death. You must die to yourself in order to be a servant of this people.

For unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it cannot bear fruit. If it dies, it bears much fruit. This cross command absolute authority over all people, all history, all cultures.

Preach the cross! In it is salvation of this people: from drunkenness and despair, from broken families and oppression, from poverty and desolation. In it alone is their hope.

Remember, it is a rugged cross. Do not return to a tinsel cross. Take up my cross and follow in my footsteps, for I too chose poverty."

from, Companion to the Poor by Viv Grigg

Sep 17, 2008

Running as a way of life..

Okay, so Phys Ed class...as in a University Core Course I have to take..sucks. I am unathletic. I am lazy. I am open to admitting that. I am not, however, keen on running, or exercising, or sweating. Sweating is icky. Sweating is wet. I would rather not sweat.

The strange thing is, since I have been on this (please don't laugh) 2 hours of exercise per week plan, I have actually enjoyed it. However, I have a few rules I abide by.

1) I will not go running with a fellow girl at night. I tried this once. Apparently, the boys in the Hammer (ie, Hamilton) are incredibly perverted. We went running, and it was about 9pm, and we got hooted and whistled at a few times. And by a few times I mean about 5. Now, I have resolved to go running with guys. Locals will not whistle if you are with the boys. I also am forced to stretch myself more when I run with the guys.

2) I run at night. Running at night is so..refreshing? There is something about running in cold weather that both makes you less hot, and makes you sweat less. I count the less sweat to the less hot.

3) I talk when I run. It makes time go faster. Plus it makes you breathe. A lot.

So, if you feel like running could be for you, take my advice and just do it. You will feel better. But don't forget to stretch afterwards...I learned the hard way just how sore you can be the next 3 days...

Sep 15, 2008

The Joker

There has been discussion about whether or not Heath Ledger should be nominated for an Oscar because of his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Why should an actor be nominated for a character portrayal that actally led to his death?

If you have seen the Dark Knight, I commend you. You will understand the accusations I make of this film, and the criticisms I make of Ledger. Don't get me wrong, I think Ledger was a wonderful actor, and his portrayal of the Joker was phenominal. I don't however, agree that anyone should be nominated for such a dark role.

The Joker's character is nothing but pure evil. I realize, and understand, that this film is a visual parallel and challenge on Terrorism. But you cannot deny the Biblical underlying of a character such as the Joker. The character of the Joker is described as an 'agent of chaos'. The Bible also describes Satan as an agent of chaos. The Joker kills for no other reason than to kill. He is a reckless character with no morals, no conscience, no soul. He acknowledges the existance of order, but his entire being is one of a literal shit disturber. Of this we should be terrified.

If we look at most villians, they have some ethics, some moral, and some character traits which allow them to consider even the slightest the option of changing sides. They are offered the grace of the good guy and at least think about taking it. What is most terrifying about the Joker character in Batman, is that he doesn't even blink. He is an agent of chaos. Pure evil. He is a character which took over Ledger's entire being. You can see that, radiating from the performance. Evil such as that cannot be simply acted, but must be felt, and drawn from within. It is that knowledge that scares me.

I think about our society, enthralled with Ledger's performance, and I am outraged that the church would pick on a series such as Harry Potter, but allow this through the gates. What is this teaching us as we ooh and awe over Ledger's performance? Teenagers are awestruck by the graphics, adults are dumbfounded by the shear genius of the film, and we sit, quite unaware that someday, this could be the world. The Joker used nothing but weapons which already exist. He was strategic in his planning, and he was the one leading in the game of cards.

So my insight is this. We can watch this movie and realize how the devil is moving. Look at our own society, our own weapons, our own laws. God put the 10 commandments in to guide us, so that we would not be harmed. Satan is out to harm us. Or, we can watch the movie for enjoyment. Either way, the task is left up to us to decide what we think. Do we ooh and awe over a great acting job, or do we acknowledge the insights that have been revealed to us?

I would also like you all to note, that it is never directly made clear if, at the end, the Joker does indeed die.

So, should Ledger be nominated for the Oscar? I think the answer will be an insight in and of itself unto our world, what its values are, where it stands, what the ultimate Agent of Chaos has up his sleeves.

Sep 11, 2008

Lament of Food

We need groceries. As in, we NEEED groceries. This morning, there was the whole pancake fiasco. Roommate decided she wanted to eat pancakes. Problem was, we had the mix and the milk...but no eggs. So off we went, next door to the boys dorm and took one large egg. And we made our pancakes.

Then we went to eat our pancakes.

This provided a new problem...we had no syrup. So, back we went, trudging across the porch into the boys dorm to see if they had syrup. They did. The only thing was, all of them were either in class or sleeping. So Roommate and I decided to leave them a little note on their whiteboard.

I guess the guys smelled the pancakes, because they woke up and trudged on over to our dorm for breakfast. So now, we have no food. Well, we had no food to start with. I think its time to groceries. LOTS of groceries. :)

Sep 7, 2008

Home sweet Home

Welcome to my humble abode. Well, my half anyways. The second picture is of my roommate and all her stuff. Her stuff is much in numbers.




We also took a trip the Walmart in Meadowlands one night which was a pretty fun time. These are two of my dormmates being the amazing people that they are :)


Frog Olympics were pretty cool. We got dirty, we had a tug-o-war in the mudpit.
And then we did the amazing thing of getting dressed up for the Decade Dance. This is my amazing Dorm. We all looked pretty fantastic. I really do love Redeemer. I'm hoping that this place becomes as much of a home to me as anything. I'm praying that this year God will open my eyes and teach me how to live. I'm looking forward to all the new friends I'll be making, the struggles that I'll have and the fun times that will make University life so fun. Home sweet home is what this is. A pretty amazing group of people all living for one God. The God.
I pray that we will have a safe and blessed year.

Sep 4, 2008

The End of Summer.

Today is September 4th. I am awaiting my second class. So here I sit on my front porch enjoying the view of the hill, trees and school building. It's really very beautiful here. Kind of secluded, but wonderful. I'm making a lot of great new friends! I guess that means that summer is over.

School is fun. I really do love it. It's going to be a little strange to go back to class after having 8 months of no homework, no teachers, no textbooks. (Don't even get me started on how expensive textbooks are. I feel saddened, knowing I have spent a good chunk of my money on books I cannot write in (no, actually, will not. I have a thing against writing in books. I don't know why. One of my many idiosyncrazies?). I had to buy sticky tack because I lost the stuff I bought originally. But the good news is, my doormmate Brianne and I found a job! Redeemer CRC in Meadowlands is looking for help with the coffee-break program! So We get to babysit children from 9-11 on wednesday mornings for 10$ a morning! I'm kinda excited about that!

And now, for the count you have waited for all summer. How many MarineLand commercials were there? 108.5! Good year. Sad, that we spend so much money on advertising. However, it does give me something to do all summer. If you are interested in starting your own Marineland commercial count, I suggest watching the evening news. AChannel, CTS, CityTV, Global. These stations show it regularily. You also may luck out with the CBC, but this year, it was all about the Olympics. The moral? Yes, I watch too much TV. :)

Sep 3, 2008

Redeemer

Okay, so I am here! I love it! And I have a fantastic story.

Today was my first class. Sociology. Lots of people in the class. My prof didn't show up. :)

Aug 31, 2008

A few days..

It may be a few days until I get another chance to post. I'm off to Redeemer tomorrow morning! Tonight, though, I get to go to Detroit to pick up the boyfriend. Busy few days. Happy Labour Day tomorrow!

Aug 29, 2008

Duct Tape

Duct Tape is my friend! It has proven its strengths through the years. After numerous boxes, cars, windows, quick-fixes, hockey sticks, wires, antennia, chairs, couches, pots, pans, etc, etc. Duct Tape has never let me down. But how much do we know about Duct Tape, other than the fact that it holds the universe together?

(All information taken from Wikipedia)
Duct tape was developed in 1942 during WWII as a water resistant sealing for ammo boxes. They also used it to repair military equipment such as cars, airplanes, tankers and of course, the general wear and tear of the everyday soldier. The name 'Duct Tape' came from its use on heating and air conditioning ducts a purpose for which, ironically, it was ineffective. After WWII, people started using Duct tape for everything and it quickly adopted the name 'the ultimate material' in the engineering circle. NASA used duct tape to repair a hole in 1970 on Apollo 13. Duct tape has worked its way into pop culture as well. It became the influence for the Red Green Show, and was used in many, creative ways by MacGyver and the A-Team. Tim Allen even used it in Home Improvement, with the saying 'if you can't fix it, 'duck' it!' Useless information for you, but one thing is for sure. "Duct tape is like the Force: It has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together."

In all that, I still like Duct Tape for the simple task of closing my boxes. I know my stuff isn't going to fall out come Monday, and that is a relief all its own.

'Keep your stick on the ice!' (Red Green)

Aug 27, 2008

The Beginning and the End.

"When God closes a door, He opens a window."

Perhaps not one of the most commonly aquired quotes from the Sound of Music, but this has a lot of truth to it. I've been dealing with the element of change these last couple of weeks. Change in the good, needed way. The kind of change that happens when you grow up.

My last shift at the BK Lounge was on Monday night, and couldn't have been better. I got to work with my favourite people, and say goodbye to some of my favourite customers. It was sad. Everytime I did something for the last time, I thought about it, and smiled and remembered all the great times I had at that job. I really lucked out with the BK. My bosses were fantastic (they gave me Sundays off for church) and really friendly. The hours were great. I enjoyed my managers and everyone that I worked with, and besides the fact that it IS Burger King, it gave me a chance to learn how to deal with a lot of different people. A lot of really dumb people....

On top of that, I am leaving for University on Monday morning. So packing things up has been...nostaligic. I have finally finished the shopping aspect, now its the packing part. I am horrible at packing. HORRIBLE! I show everything I pack tender loving care, and utmost devotion in the form of pondering over it for moments, reliving a great memory with that item. If it has something to read, I read it. A picture to look at? I study it. Everything requires careful contemplation before the pivitol decision to throw it in the trash or keep if for years to come. Sadly the trash pile is never as big as the keep pile. So packing now has become a particularily tedious task. I have to be ruthless with my stuff! I have to throw things away! I think the easiest thus far has been the closet match I had on Monday night. I looked and thought (and I strongly suggest this method for all you clothing addicts out there..) 'Have I worn you in the last 6 months?' If the answer was no, out it went. I have closet space for the first time in years, and I only have 4 more days to enjoy it! I expect all my writings and pictures and school notes will be harder to part with. I'm going to need an entire day (tomorrow perhaps?) to go through all that stuff.

It's a beginning and an end here. An end to all those things I loved so dearly, youth group, my job, my school, my newfound closet space. A beginning to the rest of my life. I'm going to university! I'm moving out, making my own way in this world, and taking as much as I can with me. I think God closed a window and openned a door. :)

Aug 23, 2008

Winding down at the BK

Last night was my last overnight at Burger King. The coffee didn't kick in until about 1am, at which point Paul's tunes started on the Blues Brothers. Considering I had this lovely caffiene high, and drive thru was temporarily quiet, dancing seemed appropriate. Paul Kovacs must be applauded for not laughing too hard at me. After all, I'm not a dancer. Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballroom, it's a foriegn language to me. So when I tell you that I'm jamming out to 'Soul Man' with moves relative to Carleton from the Fresh Prince of Bell Air, you understand that this was funny.

In my 2 years and 2 months employed at the lovely BK Lounge, I have never been one to act like a complete idiot. I often leave that for the self indulgiant flirty girls who seem to have to impress everyone. But, I figured, last overnight, who cares. So I was being a nut. Paul commented at one point in time 'I have never seen you like this before..' (which is true.)

To make a long story short, I was bringing some crutons up front from storage. You know, prepping for the next day, when my lovely soul man came on and I danced. My worn down shoes hit a nice soapy water patch on the floor and down I flew. I fell on my butt and just layed there, laughing. Greg, the manager working that night, and Paul both came running at me, yelling 'Britt! Are you okay?!' Like I had seriously injured myself. I couldn't do anything but sit there and laugh.

It`s 12 hours since that happened. My buttocks hurt. But that was one of the best moments I have ever had.

Aug 20, 2008

Blahism

Let's get one thing straight. I love GOD! I can recite the Apostle's creed and believe every word of it. I have a decent grasp on the catechisms, and I think I know where most of the Biblical books are. I know that Jesus teaches love, and faith, and trust, and sacrifice, and I believe that the rules are there to make our lives better, not to hinder our lives. I am Christian Reformed, firmly founded on 'blahism'.

One thing I have never been able to understand is the demonination, nor what the big deal about denominations is. I know the difference between protestants and catholics. I know about the Reformation, the Crusades, and why the various creeds and catechisms were written. I know that in the Protestant Christian faith, there are a multitude of other various churches that have broken off. Baptists, CRC, URC, RCA, Presbyterian, Luthern, Methodist, etc, etc. And other than the practising differences between the various Protestant churches and the Catholic ones, we all fundimentally believe the same thing, don't we?

I'm not here to debate faiths, but the practises. I'm not even going to debate the practises of the denominations outside my own. I will however say this. When people are asked to describe Christians in North America, their reactions is as follows. 'Judgemental, harsh, boring people who have nothing better to do than try and stuff their religious views down the throats of their neighbors, and then sit through the most uninspiring, unhappy service anyone has ever seen.' I know that when I come across people and they ask what denomination I am from, I say CRC. 95% of the time the response is "But its so blah." Hence the coined term blahism.

Christianity is anything but blah. In fact, Blahism should not be the definer of the Christian faith at all. God gave his son so that we could be saved. We should be rejoicing, not turning up our noses if someone is sitting in our pew at church. We should be lifting our hands and praising, not standing still for fear that someone is looking. The problem lies in the first description of Christians. 'Judgemental'. God teaches us to love. Which we do. But we have been caught up in the image bearing perfectionist society. God didn't tell us to love only the well-dressed, porcelian-doll type people. God didn't tell us to love only the homeless, forsaken, broken people. God didn't tell us only to love those of our own race, or faith, or class. God didn't tell us to love only the people in our church, school, community. God told us to love everyone. EVERYONE.

I blame the judgement for the blahism. We sit in church, first of all, primped and proper. Sunday clothes, Psalter Hymnals..we are the hypocritical congregation not unlike the one from the movie Footloose. We have our spots that we always sit in, the people that we always talk to, and the gossip that we always share after the service is over. (I`m not even going to start on that..) Church is boring. When did praise and worship become overcome with a list of unspoken do`s and don`ts that the entire world must follow. Why is it irreverent to wear jeans? Why can`t we raise our hands and sing? Why do we stare upon newcomers as if they don`t belong? Why is it, that we expect to come out of church feeling depressed and tired? It`s no wonder the world doesn`t think Christianity is all that great! We are a pretty boring bunch of people!

Can you really blame people for not being interested? Our world is consumeristic, self agreeable, and unaccountable. Why come to church if you can do your groceries, surf the net, or party on? Why bother putting any effort into faith at all when the world tells us that every belief is somehow `correct`, `respectable`, `self-adhesive`. The problem is simply, religion is a bunch of rules and regulations that a no-frill world just doesn`t want. In short, it`s boring, it`s blah.

`Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!` -Phillipians 4:4

I don`t think we were meant to be a people of blahism..

Aug 14, 2008

Baltimore Bullet

Now, don't get me wrong, I like the Olympics. I like the fact, that for one event, the world can come together, relatively peacefully, and compete for the most prestigious prizes next to the Nobel. I like the fact, that for 10, 14, however many days, China and the USA compete for not over super-world power, but athletic ability on the world scale. And, I'm not going to lie, I like watching Phelpps.

Something about the Olympics is refreshing. It's huge. World Championships pale in comparison. Something about Canada not winning a medal in the Summer Olympics is typical. I don't even remember anything spectacular happening in Athens, so why should the Canadians put any effort into Bejing? Okay, so that's a little harsh. But let's be fair. We're Canadians cheering for the Baltimore Bullet, Michael Phelpps of the USA. Next best thing right? I can only imagine how lane 8, Canadian swimmer felt, knowing his country was cheering for the Eagle neighbor. It's probably bad that I don't even know his name! Overshadowed by USA fame again? Not quite.

The 2010 WINTER Olympics are in Vancouver. So where do you think Canada's sporting money is going towards? Summer athletes? I think not! Come on, besides Donovan Bailey's win forever and a half ago, what Canadian has ever come out of the Summer Olympics on a podium? (And of course, with the exclusion of the Rowing Team in 2004) No, folks, we are Canadian. We will forever do what Canadians do best...and that is snow. Snow in every shape and form. Skiing, boarding, skating, hockey, and those nice little sleds that go round and round and round. Who could ever forget Canadian Hockey victories in Mens and Women's teams? Who could forget the Sale/Peltier scandal of 2002? And what about Katrina Lemay Doan's stunning victory in speed skating?

To be fair, Canada is pulling out 6th, 7th, 8th places of the whole world in this years summer Olympics. To be 8th in the world isn't that bad. Nevermind the gossip that the Chinese are cheating ages, giving in to Hollywood expectations as far as little girls, beauty and voices go, and winning everything. Nevermind the fact, that alternatively, the Bejing Olympics are proving the Chinese prominance as a growing world superpower. Nevermind the fact that the Americans are trying hard to hold onto some speck of dignity. Canadian athletes are young. The gymnists will be ones to rival with come 2012. Alexander Despatie is still a force to be reconned with. The rowing team is rebuilding, and so are the other boating sports: Kayaking, Sailing..

The Olympics have never been simply about the gold. In Greece, they were a power symbol. Today as well, the talks of boycotting the Olympics came with the politics, not the competition. It's time to face the facts that China is growing. It is home to the most people, has one of the largest economies, and the fact that it has pushed it's athletes to win almost everything in it's own country is no suprise. I expect the next several years will be interesting to watch as the superpowers of the world shift. The USA empire will end sometime. Sooner, rather than later. Even the Roman empire fell. Perhaps, then, it is better than Canada sits as it does. Incredible at the sports unique to our country, but holding up just well enough not to make the podium come summer. As always, we stay in the happy middle, not causing too much of a rukus. Typically Canadian.

And yet, we still can't help cheering on Phelpps. Politics aside, this guy is phenomenal. Any country would be lucky to have him.

I love Canada, dearly. We are great, easy-going people, whose politians are more like girls fighting in the drama of high school, whose comics are some of the best around. We are the producer of the Barenaked Ladies, Celine Dion, Insulin, the Zambonee, the Zipper, Terry Fox, Real communication thanks to Alex Bell (Bell Canada anyone?). Our country was founded thanks to a bunch of businessmen who were beginning to realize how profitable Canadian soil was. Our civil war was a 20 minute barfight where the only injured party was an American who happened to be a spectator. We burned the Whitehouse to the ground, gave the Americans back their land and shelters thousands of African-American slaves. We have some of the most incredible scenery in the world, most of the fresh water, and at least 12 unofficial accents. (yes, I count Newfie). We're the first country to adopt the Multi-culturalist policy, ie: French and English, and we have pretty decent respect for all people. Not to mention we wrote both the American and Canadian anthems (you question the USA one? Written by a British North American..civil war...BNA was what is now Ontario and Quebec). Canada was the only country to reach its target on D-Day, we invented the proper use of the word 'eh', and Poutine is a pretty good thing. We have openned up the world's eyes to Tim Hortons, Sidney Crosby and, yes, even Wayne can have some honourable mention. We clearly invented the toque, perfected the winter boots, and are home to the best Skiing around. Not to mention the HBC. Yes, Canada is a good place.

So it doesn't bother me that our Olympians aren't winning medals. We don't need Medals to prove we're pretty fantastic. Besides, we gave the world Hockey. I think that's quite enough.

Aug 13, 2008

Live, from Parliament Hill

Turtle and Cross Country skiier crossing. You'll never see those in Southern Ontario!


Cars were wondering what we were doing in this one. Not the drivers, just the cars. They seemed to enjoy stopping to ponder and then moving on their way. I don't think anyone else in the area enjoyed these signs as much as I did.

Aug 4, 2008

Sitcoms old and new

I'm writing this while watching a culmination of Happy Days and Friends. It's funny how TV hasn't changed all that much in the last 30 years. I mean, sure, the video picture got better and CSI made its debut, but it's still all about love, life and finding some way to fit in. Comedies will always be about families, friends, and human nature.

As we speak, Chandler and Joey are bidding farewell to their precious fooseball table. Ross is on his way to say goodbye to Rachel before she leaves for Paris. Richie and Potsy are trying to prove their manhood by drinking away their dignity at a bachelor party. (Potsy's had a bit too much...)

Yes, TV hasn't changed.

There is something relaxing, enjoyable, about being able to laugh at the idiosyncrasies of us. The dumb things we do, the funny things we do, life is just one big sitcom. The more you can laugh at it, the better you come out. I think that's why God gave us senses of humour. Otherwise we would be very miserable beings. Yes, that's it. Wise words for today: Sitcoms teach us valuable life lessons. Laugh at every moment. Smile big, Love bigger. Don't forget to take pictures!

Aug 1, 2008

The Truth in Comics


I hate to admit that this is what I do. I hoard my best thoughts in my brain until they are formulated well enough to be a blog entry or a diary entry. I have never wished it upon someone else though. :)



This one makes me laugh. It's proof of the power of pop culture. Vic Dana would be saddened that the majority of people would know what a Smurf is, before him. (by the way, Dana is the singer of this song..don't worry, I didn't know either, I googled it.)









This one makes me laugh on account of the fact that I am NOT over it! :)




:)

Jul 31, 2008

Southern Blues

So, I have been to El Paso/Juarez a number of times. Today, particularily, I want to go back. I miss the food, and the culture, and the smiles from the children. Life there just seems so much simpler. And believe me, mission trips are no holiday, but yet they are. There is something so fullfilling about doing God's work. About doing something that actually benefits others.


My best friend and one of the community children



Las Tapias over the years:

2006

2007


2008

This is my favourite place in the world. I hope someday I can make a real difference here. Of course, that is if God is calling me there. Where He leads, I will follow.

Jul 29, 2008

Do Hard Things

Teenagers today have ZERO expectations. No one requires them to be smart, nor punctual, nor wise. No one requires them to be anything less than teenagers. I am excited that I am finally overcoming that time in my life. The 'high school drama party mean-girls' part. What's sad is that cultural expectations of teens are so low, that the majority of kids see no reason to fulfill any sort of potential.

I read an interesting book this summer. 'Do Hard Things' by Brett and Alex Harris, two teens who had one huge desire to rise above cultural unexpectations. Their battle cry started with a blog, which literally became an instant hit. Turns out they weren't the only one frusterated with the idea that teenage life was somehow coordinated to be 'fashionable and easy'. Is there anything really farther from the truth? God calls us to be ambassadors of His name, even as teenagers. God doesn't cut us slack because 'kids will be kids', no He demands that we act with virtue and salt no matter what age we are at.

I wonder where all those things we learned as children disappeared to the second we turned 13. I wonder where the whole concept of 'no lying, be nice, no kicking, use your inside voice, treat others with respect, etc' disappeared to in the teenage years. Why did our parents become the enemy? Why is it that the only expectations we had for ourselves at 16 were to dress the best and attend all the wild parties on weekends? Why is it that society said this was okay? At what point in time did we look at the teenagers in our world and think to ourselves, "Oh, It's only a phase, they'll grow out of it when they turn 20." As if that is the official age real life begins.

Alex says this in the first ever Blog post 'The Myth of Adolescence'

My contention is simple: The young adults of our generation are the elephant. Our twine is the 20th century concept of adolescence. Our twig is societal expectations. We stand restrained as a hurting world burns around us. Yet our twine and twig are of a recent origin. Young adults of the past were not so encumbered.
David Farragut, the U.S. Navy’s first admiral, became a midshipman on the warship Essex at the age of 10. At the age of 12, a mere boy by modern standards, Farragut was given command of his first ship, sailing a capture vessel, crew, and prisoners, back to the U.S. after a successful battle. Young David was given responsibility at an early age, and he rose to the occasion.
The father of our country, George Washington, though never thought to be particularly bright by his peers, began to master geometry, trigonometry, and surveying when he would have been a 5th or 6th grader in our day and ceased his formal education at 14 years of age. At the age of 16 he was named official surveyor for Culpepper County, Virginia. For the next three years, Washington earned nearly $100,000 a year (in modern purchasing power). By the age of 21, he had leveraged his knowledge of the surrounding land, along with his income, to acquire 2,300 acres of prime Virginian land.

...The only thing holding young people back in America today is the twine of this perpetual recess called adolescence and the twig of lowered social expectations. We expect immaturity and irresponsibility, from ourselves and from one another, and that is exactly what we get.

The question that remains, is why?

Alex and Brett Harris have started something, The Rebelution. You can check out more at www.therebelution.com . There are links to the blog, and so much more. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, "Do not let anyone look down at you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in faith, in truth, in life, in love, and in purity." But to do that, we need to live it. That might just require doing some hard things (and no, deciding between Nike and Puma doens't count).

Jul 27, 2008

Selah

One of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Put together with some of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen. Matt has been taking lovely shots of creation as the bike tour continues. It never ceases to amaze me, the handywork of God. From the roaring mountains to the sweeping valleys to the deserts and everything in between.

'And the holy voices sing, "Allelu, ever will thy reign be." As I wander through this life, o Lord, be thou near to me.'

video

The song is by Selah and can be found on their duets CD.

A small part of me cries this every morning. Oh Lord, Be near to me, get me through this day. But these lyrics, paired up with the amazing works of HIS hands, are just incredible. Some of the greatest moments I've experienced, humbled in the Power of Christ, have been in the simple awe of his creation. Where He spoke in the silences. Not in the wind, not in the rain, not in the thunder, nor the lightening. But in the rainbow, and the sweet flower. "I am near to you." The desire we have, to ask for His guidance is what fuels life. What fuels the church.

This summer, 221 riders from the CRC and RCA have embarked on a cross continental bike tour to raise money for the poverty campaign. They have reached and heightened their fundraising goal. They have experienced the North American terrain, taken photographs, grown close to the other riders, and grown closer to God. The ambitions are great, the glory is God's.

NOTE: Matt's blog can be found at http://www.rekmanseatosea08.blogspot.com/ . He keeps updated the bike tour, as well as fundraising goals, and simple things he has experienced on the trip, however, you won't find anymore of his pictures there. For that you need to go on Facebook.

Jul 21, 2008

A short list of some of my favourite Quotage

'If in living we die and in dying we live, what happens when we're in a coma? Do we become omnipotent?' -'Speaker unknown'


'And all I'm saying is, see what a wonderful world it would be if only we'd give it a chance. Love baby, Love, thats the secret yeah. If lots more of us loved each other, we'd solve lots more problems and then this world would be so much better. Thats why old Pop's keeps saying....i think to myself, what a wonderful world.' -Louis Armstrong, What a Wonderful World


'R&B lanes do not take responsiblity for damage to personalized balls!' - A sign for a bowling alley


'When the electricity goes off, we can all watch tv by candlelight.' -Anonymous


'Why didn't Millie just unscrew the parlour walls and take them with her??' -Craig Vamos



Are there any more than need to be added? I'm willing to take suggestions. In the mean time, a photo from the most beautiful wedding ever.

Short Stuff

I seem to have an abundance of blog readers. Shout at me if you are listening!

Oh, and FYI: Marineland now has radio commercials too.

-bk

Jul 16, 2008

Some things money can't buy...

Casting Crowns wrote amazing lyrics. 'I will praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands, for you are who you are, no matter where I am. Every tear I cried, you hold in your hand. You've never left my side, and though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.'

Today, I had an experience money cannot buy. I spent the entire afternoon shopping with my mother. We had a lovely time, shopping for incredible shoes, and outfits, and all the razzle dazzle (which some people call bling) to go with the outfits. It was wonderful. For all the money we spent, the best moment came on the drive home, through the lightening storm.

Those Casting Crowns lyrics became very literal to me as our van chugged along the 402 towards Strathroy as the clouds sort of enclosed around us....or above us...whichever creates a more dramatic mental photo for you. Thunderstorms scare me. And so all I could think (even through the blasting Michael Buble music we had in the CD player) were those Casting Crowns lyrics. I will praise you in this storm. This one, right now, God, protect me. Let me tell you, there were a few strikes of lightening that came close to the highway.

But the more I watched the storm, and replayed the lyrics over and over in my mind, the more I found the storm to be quite breathtaking. Terrifying, but incredibly breathtaking. The lightening danced between the clouds in hues of blues and oranges and yellows and white. Spectacular evidences of the hands of God. 'I will praise you in this storm.' Not a storm of life, and no, my heart was not broken, or torn, nor had I cried any tears, but the lightening reminded me that even in the storms of life God's hand is right there. His handywork is evident, and He is protecting us. How often we wonder why we are put through the tough times. How often we curse God for making things miserable, and perhaps even unbearable, but there is still beauty. Even in the most terrifying moments, look at the colour in the lightening and remember God is there.

'I will praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands.' Perhaps I won't lift my hands at the lightening, but because of it.

-bk

Jun 30, 2008

For Some Reason, Time Doesn't Make Things Any Easier..

Perhaps, the best of the best feel the loss of another. That simple feeling that promotes an incapability of survival. When the one you have fallen for isn't within reach. As in, across the country.

I never knew what it was like to be so ridiculously attached to someone until this summer. Call me a lost romantic, but in every sense of it, that is what I am right now. I am lost without my love. I feel like a peice of me just isn't here. It's an odd feeling. Especially for someone, such as myself, who has grown up with much of a bleak outlook on 'love'. I never understood how someone could give themselves whole heartedly to another. Not until now. Time doesn't make life apart from him any easier. It makes the whole thing more depressing. The days I count that I'm not by his side, are days I feel are worthless. How I miss his smile, and his eyes, and his hand holding mine. Craziness ensues perhaps. Perhaps not. Maybe this is what blogs are for.

-bk

Jun 12, 2008

As If

For what it's worth, I'm tired of Marineland commercials. I'm tired of the new song. I'm kind of angry at them for making a new song. I have to learn all the new words now. Like what is that?

For what else its worth, this blog entry just sucks.

I'm tired of this world. All that's on the news anymore is this stupid presidential election (which I suppose isn't that stupid, we're all just tired of hearing about it. I mean, really, whoever wins next has got a lot to clean up, and the USA could really use a world facelift). I'm tired of hearing about how energy inefficient our world is, and how gasoline costs so much. I'm tired of hearing about smart cars, and smaller laundry detergents and green this and green that. I mean, really, can we change that much? Our society will always be wasteful. If we run out of oil (which I have no doubt we will) we'll find some other non-renewable energy source to waste until we have nothing left. And then, we will fight each other, and kill each other.

My outlook on the world is generally bleak. My outlook on humanity probably could be better. But I love people. I think they are funny. I think the human brain is a curious thing. And I think passion and reason are the conflicts that we as people need to worry about. Its when passion controls reason, and reason controls passion that the real war begins. The brain against the heart.

My brain wants to learn the words to the new Marineland commercial, my heart wants the commercials to die. I'd say that's conflict.

-bk