Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Power of Positive Words

I said a lot of stupid, ridiculous, mean words yesterday. Some were about people I know. Some where simply in judgement of people I don't know. I am mean! And I should know the power of negative words. I used to work at a church where I was told many negative comments, hurtful lies, and downright mean things about me, my staff, and my plans for the ministry I was leading. Mean words hurt yes, but they also have the power to haunt. I'm not being superstitious or weird, just follow me here. When people hear mean words, the means words stick with them whether they like it or not...whether they were intentional or not. Now, when I try to minister, all the mean words I heard at church flood back into my brain. I am on a constant quest to override them with the new, kind words I'm hearing "we're glad you're here!" "thanks for helping!" I've been convicted recently to fill my mind and mouth with positive words, to build people up instead of tear them down. Life is too short to tear people down. Life is not long enough to build people up. But the most important thing to remember about mean words is that they come from mere, fallen human beings. Load your brain with positive words from God. Know that you are loved by Him and nothing you can do can take you from Him. :-) The pastor I grew up listening to says it well: "Make a point to ascribe God's infinite worth to everyone you meet."

Saturday, December 27, 2008


This year Christmas was I would say busy, but it wasn't stressful busy, just active. We started out with our annual ski trip up north (year 8, trip 7) with our family friends. Our family friends are basically like relatives to us since our relatives and their relatives all live out of town. This year we survived winter storm Ernie. They started naming their snow storms up north and we're not sure why, but it keeps life interesting. Up north we skiied, had "Christmas" dinner of steak, ate pizza at Sven and Ole's, watched movies, and played games. My sister-in-law and I also made snow angels! Fun! The snow was very fluffy...kind of hard to ski in a foot of that. We had some great falls. We drove home on Christmas Eve and I went to church to help out with the kids for two services and attend one. Christmas is a fun time to help with children's church because the kids are so excited and in awe of everything. Christmas morning we opened presents (I slept in until 11). My dad (the bestower of terabit hard drives, digital cameras, and anything technical) bought me pink soakers for my ice skates! He had looked at them with me the other week and I was surprised he not only remembered but bought something that doesn't require a battery or wires! Way to go dad! Then my little brother and I went and saw "Valkyrie" with our family friends at the movie theater. I've never been to the movie theater on Christmas and was surprised how busy (ie. sold out) it was! After that, we had ham for dinner and then I made my family play the "Ticket to Ride" game I got for Christmas (which they all loved!!!). I had played it with friends in Ireland...definently a great game! Yesterday was coffee dates with long lost friends and today is a day to finally relax...maybe. :-) I'm so thankful for my family and friends and especially GOD!!!

Playing "Ticket to Ride" in Ireland with Stacey, Jon, and Erin

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holy Discontent

These lyrics frequently come to my mind:

One Pure and Holy Passion - Passion

Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You

To know and follow hard after you
To grow as your dicsiple in your truth
This world is empty, pale, and poor
Compared to knowing you, my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after you
Lead me on and I will run after you

I've been thinking lately about "holy discontent". I heard this phrase at a conference some time ago. A holy discontent is something that you are so passionate about, it almost makes me angry. It is such a strong urge that it drives you to action. You HAVE to do something. You can not sit by and watch any more. This song reminds me to keep that holy discontent God centered. There's no use in having a holy discontent about anything else.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I have always loved the word "Hosanna". For some reason, there is so much power and grace behind it. defines 'hosanna' this way:

 /hoʊˈzænə/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [hoh-zan-uh] Show IPA Pronunciation interjection, noun, plural -nas, verb, -naed, -na⋅ing.
1. (an exclamation, originally an appeal to God for deliverance, used in praise of God or Christ.) -noun
2. a cry of “hosanna.”
3. a shout of praise or adoration; an acclamation.–verb (used with object)
4. to praise, applaud, etc.: The critics hosannaed his new play.
Origin: < LL (h)ōsanna < Gk ōsanná < Heb hōsh(i) ʿāh nnā save, we pray; r. ME, OE osanna < LL, as above

I love that it is a shout of crying out for a savior and also a shout of praise. They go hand in hand and the single word seems to capture it all: joy, elation, despair, panic, rescue, and safe-keeping. I love songs that use the word. Recently, our church has been singing "Hosanna" by Hillsong United. I love the bridge, I think it is a powerful prayer:

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
-from Hosanna by Hillsong United

Powerful Parables

Parables are interesting things. Jesus tells many of them in the Bible. These stories can be seen as merely stories, but are meant to be powerful tools Jesus uses to teach us about God. There are messages in these parables. Frequently, scholars agree on one or two messages one should deduce from these stories. Recently, I've been thinking about the ability of Parables to function as a rorschach test of sorts. God does not change. His love for us does not change. But our minds ability to think and comprehend changes, our life circumstances change, and our view of God changes. Some days I read the Parable of the Lost Son and I'm the brother who takes his inheritance and runs. Other days, though, I'm the brother who stays at home, angry when the father throws the disobedient brother a lavish party. Either way, God shows me something I need to learn right now. Parables are powerful because in the same message, they can teach different people different things at different times. Wow...God is so powerful.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Tonight was my first night of ice skating lessons. I'm super excited about the lessons and am enjoying it thoroughly. I joined mostly to get exercise and become a better skater. My teacher helped me learn some new skills to work on and congratulated me for passing a few of them already! (I'm already to a Beta level). After my lessons were over and I was back at home on my couch I realized: My legs are in pain! My fingers are in pain (I scraped some skin off pulling my laces tight)! And it got me to thinking...I'm rather excited about this pain! Yes, it hurts (I hope I can walk tomorrow), but its good. I know I am working my muscles and my body is getting stronger. It hurts, but its worth it.

It a lot like life...there is a lot of pain in life. Most of it is good in the end because it shows that we are "working our muscles", that we are growing (maybe spiritually, emotionally, socially, etc). Where there is physical pain, physical growth or strength often follows. The bad (fat) goes away and reveals a stronger, healthier body. In life, when there is pain, bad stuff is often released to reveal a stronger, healthier life.

Now, sometimes physical pain is due to a poor move...slipping and falling may cause you to break your arm (which is painful) but that pain doesn't help you is due to you doing something wrong. Sometimes pain in our life is because we aren't following God. We have turned away and because of that are experiencing pain. When we turn back to God, our pain may go away or become the first type of pain I talked about.

We have been conditioned to think that pain is bad, but that is not always the case. Pain can be good. Thank you, God, for pain!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Adventures in Ice Skating

Its been a while since I posted, so I thought I'd post SOMETHING. I've started a new skating. I've loved ice skating since I was a little girl and took lessons when I was little. My friend's eight-year-old daughter started taking lessons a few months ago and has quickly excelled at the sport. Inspired, I went to a few open skating sessions with her and loved it. Now, I have my very own pair of ice skates (the hockey guys at Straus helped me find some good used ones and even sharpened them for me :-) ) and start lessons next Tuesday! I am trying to convince my friend Kari to sign up with me. We'll be spinning and skating and triple luting before you know it!!! Olympics here we come :-)

Oh! That reminds me: my friend and I decided we will be attending the 2012 Olympics in London!!!!! I'm so excited!!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Wishing Well

I was at the mall today with my friend's eight-year-old daughter. She kept asking me if I could buy her a ride on the indoor carousel, a slushie, a necklace, something! The thought of bringing a kid to a mall and leaving with nothing defines torture in my mind. If you don't wish to spend money, don't go to the mall. I'm also lenient in giving children a small amount of money since they have no form of income. So, I gave her $5 and told her she could use it however she'd like, but that was all she was getting. This made her choose. Soon, the money was gone. As she drank her slushie and jealously watched the children on the carousel, she asked me for the few pennies she had left. I gave them to her and she threw one in the fountain. "What did you wish for?" I asked. "That you would give me more money," she replied. I laughed. It reminds me of what we sometimes do with God. God gives us gifts that we think of as mere pennies. We toss them away and say, "No God, give me better blessings." We overlook and are ungrateful for the blessings He graciously gives us. Afterall, He doesn't have to give us anything at all.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Food Waste - 14 November 2008

Not photo, but here's the list for the week:

- celery (lots of it)
- carrots (the package was broken and I just realized it...was wondering how they rotted so fast)
- one egg (my neighbor cracked it onto the counter when we were teaching her how to make cookies :-) )
- a bit of soup

I feel I did pretty good...but I think I threw some stuff out earlier this week I forgot about :-)

Alma Maters

I was recently on the campuses of my alma maters (yes, I have two) and was struck by God's beautiful world. So I dug up some photos from my college years:
Bells at Bethel Seminary

Fishing on Lake Valentine at Bethel University

Bethel Seminary playground

The "new" dock on Lake Valentine at Bethel University

Benson Great Hall at Bethel University
(this looks way different now with the new construction)

Nazareth tower at Northwestern College (yes, I've been up there)

Island Chapel at Northwestern

Nazareth Hall at Northwestern College

Nazareth Hall at Northwestern College

In the woods at Northwestern College
If you need more information on Northwestern's historical places, please visit: .

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coffee Confusion

I've talked to a lot of people who are confused by iced coffee and cold-press coffee. Many people think there is no difference, but there is.

Iced Coffee
Iced coffee (like McDonald's is becoming known for) is hot coffee with ice. Really. That's it. Sometimes people add flavor or cream. The coffee is made by running hot water through grounds just like people often make it at home or work. It is quick.

Cold-Press Coffee
Can you get cold-press coffee hot? Actually, yes! Cold-press is the brewing method. When you make cold-press coffee, you pour coffee grounds and water into a container and let it sit for 8-12 hours. Then you drain the liquid and dilute it 1 t0 4 with water (hot or cold). That is how you make cold-press coffee. Cold-press is less acidic and contains less caffeine than hot-brewed coffee.

Here's the recipe I use for cold-press:

1/2 lb (about 2.5 cups) course ground coffee
4 1/2 cups water
Do not stir. Let sit 8-12 hours. You can use any container. No need for anything fancy.
Strain out the liquid (this can be tricky, but any coffee strainer or mesh strainer will do). Dilute 1 to 3 or 4 with water (hot or cold). I keep the concentrate in my fridge and measure out what I need every morning. It takes up less space in the fridge and gives me the option of having it hot or cold. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Fear of People

Ever since I was a child, I knew the feeling of fear. Every night before I went to bed I would look down the street at my neighbor's mailbox and fear it was the boogie man. It created a bizarre shadow that when mixed with the odd plant next to it created a very recognizable boogie man (well, in the eyes of a three-year-old). I would stay up late at night in fear the boogie man would get me. I would like to say I quickly grew out of my fear, but I didn' fears just changed. Bombarded with hours and hours of watching Rescue 911 with my family, I quickly became afraid of people breaking into my house, fires, high cliffs, rabid animals, and random health issues. As I watch the news, it makes me afraid of people who do random attacks. So its no wonder I walk down the street fearing the worst in people. You never know who to suspect. You can't be too sure who to trust.

However, I grew up in a church that had a strong moto. "Ascribe infinite worth to everyone you meet". Everyone, every person on the earth, has infinite worth to God. God loves them so much He died for them! They have unsurpassible, infinite worth to Him. But still, when I hear a knock on the door, the adreneline pumps a bit, you hear about crazy people attacking this way. When I hear someone yelling outside, I wonder what's wrong. When I drive by a person begging on the side of the road, I or my passenger instinctly trigger the lock switch. Why? Why are we afraid of people? In the Bible we learn, "In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" - Psalm 56:11. So, when you hear a knock, open that door. When you pass people in the mall, make eye contact. Driving pass the beggar, send up a prayer. Don't fear people and the possible harm they could do, welcome them into life. We need each other in life. We were created to do life together. Invite people in.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Grocery Savings

I got some good deals at the grocery store today! Sure, I clip coupons, but unlike my cousin, I mostly forget to bring them to the store. Also, I usually use the gift cards I buy from the Scrip program through our local private school so they get the 2% kick back (with no extra cost to me!). This evening I had no coupons and forgot the Scrip card (I decided to go on my way home from work...cut across a few lanes to make this last minute decision :-) ). Forgetting the card was no big deal since this month is 5% back from Discover which is more than the kick back they get from Scrip; so I can donate the 5% instead. I was pleased to find soup on sale 4/$3. Its not the best deal, but I wanted to buy a few anyways. The jackpot was Kraft Mac and Cheese on sale for 50 cents a box!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I rarely see this name brand product at this deep of discount. I bought 8 but am considering getting more since this is something I give my neighbors when they are out of food. Not only did I hit the sale, get 5% back, but my grocery store Cub also gives out discount coupons for gas, so I got 4 cents off 12 gallons of gas, AND they are doing a holiday bucks program so I got $1 off my next purchase! Cool!!! Now I just have to remember to use them. Candy was also on sale (post-Halloween) so I got some $1 bags (usually 2.89) for the office. Apples and potatoes were also on sale. On the bottom of my receipt it calculates my savings for me: $5.67, a savings of 14%!!! I'm not quite the Frugal Girl, but its a savings! I'm working on it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Fire

This week has been intense. It hasn't been bad, stressful, or even busy, just intense (at least that's the closest word I came up with): work has been busy (which I like) as we have been short staffed (which I don't like), the political scene of our country has been intense, today I had a good talk with a friend about discipleship in churches that caused some deep thinking, and we had a fire in our building Monday morning.

I awoke at one a.m. to the sound of the smoke alarms going off in the building. As freaked out as I was, I quickly determined my room did not feel warm and I saw no smoke. "This could be a while," I thought as I pulled on some real clothes. I wandered outside and saw no one. A few minutes later two police officers came and asked if I knew who had called, I didn't. I let them in the building as my neighbor ran out clutching her son and screaming. The unit above hers was on fire and smoke was billowing down to her building. We got away from the building and saw where the smoke was coming from. Thick, black smoke was billowing from the fourth floor. When I saw that, I knew this was for real and was scared. I joined my neighbor across the street. She was panicy and her son was cold. The two of them were scared for their cat, but the mom reassured her son, "The people are safe and that's what's important". She calmed down and I became her eyes (as she had no time to put her contacts in admist the rush). With our street blocked off, the firefighters came with four fire engines, raised up the flood lights, and immersed us in a surreal, strobing daylight. They drug a fire hose through our building, raised up ladders, and carried huge tools around. My neighbor and I chatted about how thankful we were it was November and still a balmy 65 degrees out (even at 1am), how she could really use a light, and how the work day was going to be very tiring tomorrow. (Evacuation are a great way to meet your neighbors.) A while later, the landlord came and talked with my neighbor about how there might be damage to her unit. They walked through it and found only a little water damage (and they found her cat :-) ). The fire marshall told us we could go back in, but they would continue working in the building. It was hard to sleep with the huge light still on and all the noise of the fans drying out our building. The fire has changed my view on life. I'm not sure how, I just feel I have a different perspective. People seem more important. Life seems shorter. Stuff has lost all value. Never once while sitting and watching the calamity did we talk about how we were going to miss this, that, or the other thing. All she said about loss was "The people are safe."

Also this week, I have started doing my devotional time more structured. It is ramped up in intensity and I love it. I have been thinking about surrender and found it drastically ironic that the day after I learn about surrender, our building is in flames (ok, it wasn't that bad). It was almost as if God was saying, "Really? Are you ready for an adventure? Are you ready to give your all?" Wow. God is awesome. And with me in my intense week!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Frugal Thoughts on Food

My cousin has a blog about being frugal. She is "The Frugal Girl". She has taught me a lot as she goes about scrimping and saving with her family of six. One thing she does weekly (or sort of weekly) is post her menu for the week along with spending on groceries and a food waste photo. Being her cousin, I probably have some similar frugal gene in my DNA, so wanted to post some similar things, mostly for my own accountability (its more shocking to see it in print rather than bundled up in the garbage bag!). My cousin and I live very differently (she has a husband and four kids at home while I have just me), but we are both savers. Here are some of my frugal thoughts on food:

Most mornings I wake up and try to figure out what to pack for lunch in my half-awake state. Usually, I opt for something not very exciting, something that is not a lunch, or nothing. All three of these situations lead me to a lunch of Wendy's, McDonald's, or Panera. All yummy, but none as healthy or inexpensive as a homemade lunch. Here is what I figured out. I thought through which lunches I actually eat, are easy to pack, quick to make, and leave few leftovers. I came up with four completely do-able lunches: Salad, Soup, Pasta, Meat, and eat out. I left one day to eat out because I have some friends at work who like to eat out and didn't want to completely ban the practice. Other weeks I figured I could use it as a leftover day (as will be the case tomorrow when I finish off the pizza I made tonight). Its week one and so far so good. I love having the simple options in the morning. Much more managable. It also helps me know what to buy at the store and keep my fridge stocked with things I know will get used.

My camera disappeared so I can't post a photo (which is good, saves me the embarrassment). :-) I finally cleaned out my fridge (it has been a few weeks). I had a lot of molding/pre-molding food to throw out. I went grocery shopping and went through a cooking frenzy right before I got sick (the kind where you shouldn't eat for a while). Umm... So, lots of food waste. Fortunatly, I am now able to dump my compost at a friend's parent's house so some of it was composted:
.buns (living alone, I have a hard time finishing a pack of these, I really should just buy them individually at the bakery)
.peanut butter rice krispie bars
.noodles (I made too many for lunch one morning, they wouldn't fit in the container, and they got left out in the rush)
.2 remants of pasta sauce (I use the can stuff and it seems to sour after only a little time)
.2 remnants of soup
.rice (I cooked it wrong, so it was still hard, it never had a chance to be eaten)
.lunch meat (another thing I can never get through living alone)
.salad (this was my potluck item for small group. I ended up being sick and couldn't go)
.meatballs and noodles (remants from my pre-sickness cooking frenzy)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Amputate the Cell Phone

My internet went down last night and guess what...I survived! I love not having internet. In all practicality, I do need to use it frequently, but really there are ways around it. I think this experiment Kare11 is doing with teens is interesting:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hypermiling Update

On my quest for better gas mileage, I've been trying to use wise practices such as driving as if your car had no brakes (safely) called hypermiling. I've been getting amazing results! One fill up I even had over 400 miles to the tank and the warning light hadn't even come on yet! This fill up I am disappointed by my 280 miles. :-( I will have to pay more attention when I am driving. Fortunately, gas is down below $100 a barrel (though somehow still over $3 a gallon) and its 5% back month for gas on Discover, so I'm still saving in other ways!

Yesterday, I was on my way home from work when my car started making a funny sound. I drove it straight to the best auto repair place in the entire world, Petry's in White Bear!!!! Seriously, the best!!!! I explained to him my car was making a funny noise and I said, "It sounds like the tire is falling off." He laughed and took it for a spin, brought it back, and put it up on the lift. Guess what, my tire WAS falling off! I was pleased to briefly consider myself an educated driver, but sad about the cost to repair the wheel bearing (but we later figured out my tire just wasn't screwed on tight enough and had rust in it, an easy and inexpensive repair!).

Like Ike?

Hurricane Ike has its eye on the great state of Texas. Apparently everything is bigger there, even the hurricanes. Even the evacuations are bigger (and disastrous). Houston will not be evacuating this time around. Under the impending doom of 2007's Hurricane Rita, Houston was evacuated and it was a disaster!

My brother's are hunkered down in their dorms waiting out Hurricane Ike. One is in Waco and two are in Longview. Apparently, they are both in the path. The news feeds from Baylor and LeTourneau are very informative and somewhat unreal. We don't have anything like hurricanes here. We just don't. Wrapped in with all the usual "stay away from windows, if there's an emergency call 911" warnings are the "make sure all electronic equipment is off the floor and covered by a plastic bag such as a garbage bag" and "we are turning the elevators off tonight, we don't want to risk anyone getting stuck if there is a power outage". I giggle a little at these, they are just so far out of my realm of warnings. Good luck, Texas!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Great Book, Yes, I Read A Book!

A book I read a while ago (in 2007) and keep coming back to is Joseph Michelli's "The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary". Apparently Michelli has come out with a new book analyzing the Ritz Carlson's 5 principles. When I read the Starbucks book, I was the Early Childhood Ministries Director for a church. I found this book to be very applicable! In it, Michelli talks about giving people that personally touch, even quoting customer Devin Page as saying "Starbucks could very well operate without even selling coffee." They are just that good at creating a welcoming, belonging experience. Whatever business you are in, this book is a must read!

Hey, Where'd My Pen Go?

Have you ever dropped something and never found it again, wondering how that could be? Perhaps its due to a small black hole created by this machine: I recently read this article about the Large Hydron Collider. Apparently there is concern about this machine, whether it will destroy the planet through the black holes it could create, and what the practical benefit to every day life is. Its a little sci-fi to think black holes could possibly (but probably not) be part of our everyday life. It seems quite humorous! I can just see my children fighting "Mom! He threw my doll in the black hole again!" This could be the new "death penalty"...just throw them in the black hole! Murder mysteries would get really weird as criminals could easily do away with the evidence. But before we get all weirded out by black holes and such, this statement in the article struck me, "Some theorists say the idea would explain why gravity is so much weaker than the universe's other fundamental forces — for example, why a simple magnet can match the entire Earth's gravitational force pulling on a paper clip. " Amazing! Our earth with its amazing pull to keep you and me stuck to the earth and cause things to fall towards it can be interrupted by a single magnet! I feel a Mystery Box coming up!!! In the Bible, Jesus says, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain be moved and it will move. A magnet is kind of like our modern day mustard seed. If you have faith as small as a magnet, you can say to this paper clip, be moved and your little faith can overpower the earth's gravitational pull and change the forces surrounding the magnet! Its amazing! What an amazing little object. I'm continually in awe of God and the magnificent world He created.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cold Press Coffee

On Sunday I bought some supplies for cold press coffee: 1 lb of coffee, flavored creamer, and french press. I already had a large bowl and a pitcher. Here's what I did:

pour 1/2 lb coffee in bowl
pour 4 1/2 cups of cold water over coffee
set in fridge for 8-12 hours
take coffee sludge out of fridge and pour into french press (it was around 3 cups now)
slowly press the coffee (to strain out the grit) you could use a paper filter or something else too
pour liquid into pitcher
store in fridge up to a week

to drink: DILUTE coffee mixture 1 to 4 (I do 1/4 cup coffee liquid with 1 cup water and a splash of creamer) Enjoy!

Currently, with my purchases, the coffee was $30 (20 for the french press, 10 for 1/2 lb coffee) to make. Since it makes 3 cups, that is $10 per cup!!!! But using 1/4 cup per glass, that is about 2.50 per costs a little more than Caribou at the moment, but after I get through this batch, the french press will have paid for itself (I know if I were a real accountant I would figure out the lifespan of the press and divide the cost equally among all cups of coffee it will make to give a more accurate price, but whatever) and I will only have to buy the coffee at $18/lb (9 cups) bringing the cost down to $2/cup and .50/glass (way cheaper than Caribou)!!! And I could always buy cheaper coffee to bring my costs way down!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Adventures in Cold-Press

I am loving Caribou's cold press coffee! It is so yummy! I've decided to try and make it at home. First, you made some sludge (its in the fridge now...stays there for 8 hours). Then you filter it and dilute it. And voila, cold press coffee! Yummy!

New Blog - Church Quest

I haven't been to church all summer (shameful I know). Also, this is the first fall in five years I have not been working at a church. So I thought I'd go out and see the body of Christ in different forms all over the metro! Join the journey here!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Starbucks Rolls Out New Breakfast Menu
It looks like Starbucks is continuing its re-imaging. I've always appreciated Starbucks (read The Starbucks Experience...its a great book). Being a coffee fan, I've been to my fair share of Caribous and Starbucks (even overseas). Starbucks' food is far better than Caribou's. Caribou recently rolled out a pretty tasty cinnamon-sugar doughnut, but its not my favorite and with its low health value, I'm unimpressed. About a year and a half ago Caribou re-did their food. This made their muffins smaller and not as tasty. My friend's 8-year-old daughter and I recently splurged on a choclate chunk cookie at Caribou and ended up throwing most of it away due to its taste! Starbucks' apple fritters, cinnamon rolls, and croissants (at least in Ireland), though unhealthy, are really yummy! So, Starbucks wins. I'm very delighted with their new menu. I love having healthy options to go with coffee (which, being a mocha, is unhealthy and needs something to balance it). I would much rather have a berry stella or bowl of oatmeal to go with my coffee as I would make when I have coffee at home. Now, don't get me wrong, I rarely eat breakfast at Starbucks, but this will be a nice option for when I go there with friends and would like something more than a cup of coffee or a light meal (coffee and a bite fills me enough).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away!

I woke up this morning to the booming of thunder! My first thought was, "oh no! Its Welcome Week!" We are on the brink of Welcome Week at Bethel University. TODAY begins the amazing phenomenon of freshman move-in! Freshman move-in days at Bethel are a spectacle to see! You pull up, are greeted by the president of the university, are directed towards your dorm where you park and are mobbed by loads and loads of volunteer movers (upperclassmen). They move all you stuff into your room (usually the right one) before you can blink! It is utterly amazing! But rain makes it not as fun, gives the day a little gloom, and probably makes it a little harder for the already weary and emotional parents and students. Please help me pray away the rain! We need it to be sunny today and tomorrow (at least until 2 I think. :-) )

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Why is it so hard to surrender to God? Why is it so hard to follow the path He has laid out for us? Surrender should be so easy! All we have to do is open our hands and let God do His work. Why does it hurt sometimes? I've seen God lay things right in my lap and I don't know what to do! Its so easy, just let God do His work! He is God. He is Powerful. We plan and worry til we drive ourselves crazy only to find something completely different we could have never planned that God has for us. Just think of the story of Jonah. God told him, "Go to Nineveh". How hard would that have been? Yet, Jonah raised a fuss can read the rest.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finally Photos

So, I narrowed my 395 photos down to a measly 49! Enjoy. Click here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

That's Going to Be A Nightmare...That's Just Our Policy

I love Brian Regan's quote when talking about customer service "That's going to be a nightmare. That's just our policy!" Let me start out by saying that Ireland was great!!! I loved it!!! It was so much fun to explore and visit and make new friends. Photos coming soon. Getting there and back however was not great AT ALL!!! Let me draw it out for you.

We were scheduled to leave August 2 MSP to JFK to DUB
Our MSP to JFK flight was cancelled due to rain
So, after 4 hours on the phone, a rush to the airport, and 4 hours of running back and forth between ticket counters (I won't elaborate as to why) we got booked for a flight the next day through Atlanta. We arrived at DUB 24 hours later than expected and went through Atlanta not JFK but we and a bunch of other interrupted travel people got First Class from Atlanta to Dublin, so that was nice.

We were schedule to come home August 16 DUB to JFK to MSP
Our DUB to JFK flight was delayed 5 hours because the JFK to DUB flight our plane was making was delayed leaving JFK 5 hours again due to rain. So, we checked in, collected our food vouchers, hung out at Starbucks, met some neat Irish people, and 5 hours later boarded our flight. We were scheduled to make our connection if we landed on time. We landed on time but sat on the tarmack for a good half hour or so and missed our flight to MSP. We wandered around JFK because it is HUGE and poorly marked and the staff is of little help (told us to walk to terminal 4 when a very helpful man later told us to ride the tram!!!). We found our ticket counter and the ticket agent told us all the flights were booked, but told us the times for the next day and gave us a hotel and food voucher (again). We went to the Ramada bus pick up area. The bus came and had a fender bender with the Holiday Inn van so we had to wait for another Ramada bus! Then we spent the night (a whole 9 hours of it) in Ramada Plaza Inn at JFK and left 5:30 am to check in for standby for the 8:00 am flight to MSP! We sat and sat and sat and I almost threw up from stress! Then, the agent called our names!!!!!! We made the flight!!! We were soooooo happy!!!!!!!!!!! Horray.

In the end, out of our four originally scheduled flights we flew ONE of our flight numbers and NONE of the times. So so so frustrating!

We are home! I miss Ireland, but am glad to not be at JFK anymore.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ireland - Part 2

It has been raining loads and loads!!! We have even had thunderstorms (odd for Ireland). Usually it rains for 20 minutes and is done for the day. Ethan frequently exclaims, "I con not bewieve it!" and everything Caiden does is "more than I've ever been" as in "my feet hurt more than they've ever been!" or "I'm hungrier than I've ever been in my life!" So funny! In a few days the crew comes home from conference and we will get to do some more touring (not that the Kildare Play Zone and Maynooth Spar haven't been grand)! Tomorrow Erin and I will minister to the neighbors the best we know how (by making them chocolate chip cookies). Unfortunately, there are no semi-sweet chocolates in Ireland and the Irish know little of soft cookies (their "biscuits" are usually rather hard and crunchy). So we make these every year and they love them!!! Well, I'm off to watch Failtre (full chur) Irish show with pseudo celebrities running a hotel and one by one they get kicked off (Erin and I are curious how long it will be until we have it in the U.S.). Its the best we could find. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ireland - Part 1

After a canceled flight and a bump to first class to make up for it :-) we've finally arrived in Ireland!!!

We are having fun. At 5 and 3 years old, the boys are so sweet and funny. They even have accents. Yesterday morning, we were chatting about various things in the kitchen and they boys yelled "let's make gingerbread!" and we said, "um, maybe later. I'm not sure we have everything for that" and they replied "well, we have bread!" :-) Ha ha ha.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dress Rehearsal

Our flight to New York (to continue to Dublin) was cancelled today due to rain. So, after 3 hours on the phone (mostly on hold), a rush to the airport (they told us we were on a flight leaving for France soon), and 3 more hours at the airport being tossed from airline counter to airline counter (flight confirmed to Chicago, bags checked, flights Chi-town to Dublin oversold so unschedule flight, find bags) they informed us we will have to leave tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will have 4 hours in Atlanta. Upon checking out the airport website I am please to learn they have a Starbucks (though I doubt we'll need that) and a family favorite...Chick-fil-a!!!!!! Plus Coca-Cola is made in Atlanta. So being more stressed than I have in about a year, I am excited for these little things!!! Yum!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh How He Loves Us!

I'll be lazy with this post. Its a video from YouTube. My laziness is due to pantry bugs I had this past week mixed with the prep for my trip. Fortunately, these are not a sign of my inability to clean but rather due to an infected item from the grocer that was not consumed before the eggs could hatch (eewwwww!!!). Plus I'm packing for my trip (or putting it off since I appear to be Blogging :-) )

This isn't my favorite song, I think the singer is terrible (she reminds me of Amy Winehouse -eyes roll in disgust!-) but I think the imagery of the words is interestingly different to ponder.

For further reading, you can check out Matt's thoughts on it.

p.s. Taylor wrote about it too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Church and Coffee

I've been reading a book (shocker I know) titled "Jim and Casper Go to Church". It is about a Christian (Jim) and an atheist (Casper) who visit various churches large and small across the nation. It is interesting to read their dialog and I suggest you pick up the book (I found it at my local library). Casper's comments can be boiled down to two main thoughts: If the church is so different, why does it look like the world (they visit a church that plays U2 songs and go to worship where the musicians look like American Idol stars) and If the church's message is so special why is it watered down (why, when the pastor could be talking about God and the life changes that come with a relationship with the creator of the Universe is he/she giving us self help tips?).

This morning I had a strange experience. On my way to work, I stopped at the local coffee shop. I parked my car and got out to walk to the store. While I was walking in, a guy waved at me and smiled. It felt like walking in to church almost. Then it struck me, the coffee shop is a similar experience to church. Some days I recognize more people at the coffee shop than I do at church! The barista even knows some of our names (unlike some pastors). Maybe we could even bring a speaker on how to be a better co-worker (a "sermon" I actually heard at a local megachurch). Ta da! Church! I got my coffee and headed to work. On my drive I realized, this morning coffee shop interaction might be the friendliest and maybe even only interaction some people get all day. Upon leaving the coffee shop they are destined to sit at their computers for hours on end leaving only to attend mundane meetings (where they are probably yet again in front of their laptops). This morning coffee ritual is more than just coffee, its interaction, maybe even community.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Coffee Discoveries

Some mornings I would like a coffee but don't want to stop on my way to work, so I grab one of the bottled Frappuccinos I buy at the store. At a mere 9.5 oz I often thought this was a healthier, smaller version of the cafe drinks. Boy was I wrong!!! The other morning I was drinking on and thought to read the label. At 180 calories, 30 fat, 16 chol, 95 sodium, and 20 calcium, it is simply a more condensed version of the others! It also made me think, things that need to be preserved longer usually have more sodium. This could be why the bottled drinks and McDonalds (not really being a cafe) have such a high sodium count. They are created to sit on the shelf a little longer than their Caribou and Starbucks counterparts.

Brand: Carib McD Starbucks Frappuccino 9.5 oz
Calories 190 190 150 180
Fat cont 30 90 40 30
Choleste 10 35 10 15
Sodiums 70 95 60 95
Sugars 34 19 20 31
Calcium 10% 20% 20% 20%
Caffeine 180 NA 95 NA

Monday, July 21, 2008


"A ship at harbor is safe, but that's not what ships were built for..."

Opening the mystery box yesterday morning, I saw our cabin and the many activities we do there. It got me to thinking...some days at the cabin I prefer to relax and pretend to be reading or tanning. Other days (like yesterday) I prefer to be on the boat and let my semi-athletic side show. Yesterday I waterskiied for the second time in my life! I got some mileage this time which was good. Later I went again, this time going in and out of the wake, something I never thought I'd be able to do! Then, on the next round, I surprised everyone (except myself). While floating in the water getting ready to go, I check to see which ski was for saloming (skiing on one ski). I got up, went in and out of the wake, and the dropped one!!! I stayed up for a few feet, but then bit it. Bummer. While skiing, thoughts would flash through my brain...memories of injuries I've heard of or my friends have done, but I had to push those aside. Today I woke up sore, but have determined, it was worth it!

Skiing is kind of like taking risks in life. You might be constantly thinking of the bad things that could happen, but you have to focus on and maybe even emphasize the good! And yes, sometimes things go wrong or hurt. You could sit in your house and never do anything. You'd probably be safer, but you'd miss out on so much. Plus sitting in your house is not what God made you for.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Life is like a box...a Mystery Box

Every summer my old church has a tradition where a child is given a box to be filled with an item and brought back the next Sunday to be the topic of the children's sermon. The pastor calls the children up for the children's sermon and opens the box for the first time in front of everyone. He or she must then give a short object lesson on the surprise item. Sometimes it is easy (like when I graciously filled the box with Life Savers for the first mystery box of the summer) and sometimes it is hard (like when a child brings their beloved stuffed lizard least I think it was a lizard?). It is amazing what everyday items can teach us about God and His love for us.

Today I realized that life is like a mystery box...similar to the box of chocolates talked about in Forrest Gump, you never know what you are going to get, but you know that through it you can learn something about God. Every morning as we open our eyes, we open our mystery box to see the items God has placed for us to figure out more about Him. Its a surprise and just like my church's box, it can be a slam dunk to see God or very difficult.

My mystery box today contained tires. Slowly, over time, my steering wheel has begun shaking at high speeds. At first it only shook a little and only when I was speeding :-/ But recently it has started shaking significantly and most of my highway time. So I though I'd get it checked out. The mechanic knew right away it was probably a balance issue and he was right. My tires were off by 1 ounce and 1/2 ounce! It is amazing what little weight made such a big difference in my driving. So, what did I learn about God? Well, sin creeps into our lives slowly over time. At first it might not seem like a big deal, but all of the sudden we realize it has affected our lives more than we thought! We need to get re-balanced with God. Even a little sin can throw off our balance and make a huge difference. The funny thing is, now that my tires are re-balanced and corrected, I realize what great driving I was missing out on! My ride is so smooth now! Only when we look to the correct way and our Pure God do we realize how off our balance is! We realize what we're missing out on.

Now its interesting to note, my drive became smoother because my tires were balanced, but its still not always easy to drive. I still have to avoid pot holes, inattentive drivers, and you never know what else might be on the road. Its similar to when people become Christ followers. Some people think if you follow Christ your life will become easy..."easy" by the worlds standards. It just becomes easier in the way having my tires balanced makes driving easier. I still have to deal with the crap on the road and Christians still have to deal with the crap that comes with life, but being in balance, being a Christian gives one a "comforter". It is easier, not by the world's standards, but in a different way. More later maybe...

Monday, July 14, 2008

August = Ireland

Well, its almost August!!! I love August because it means I get to see the Covells! The Covells were my college and career group leaders when I was in school. Now, two kids later, they are missionaries in Ireland. Three years ago, Jon and Stacey (Covell) put out a request in their support letter mentioning they needed someone to watch their boys while they were at their yearly missionary conference. This was all very last minute, but I decided to go and Erin agreed to go with me! We bought our tickets at the end of June and headed over to Ireland in August! The boys are great! They were 8 months and 2 then. Now they are 3 and 4 years old (no more nappies-diapers)!!! So big! We went two years in a row and then last year the Covells came here on furlough. This year we get to go back again! They have a new house this year. I am so excited. My favorite thing about visiting them is hanging out in their neighborhood. We make fast friends with everyone there because we bring American Chocolate Chip Cookies, something they are unfamiliar with there but love! We walk to the market every day (we even tried not to one day, but ended up having to go buy wipes) and walk by roundabouts. So fun! :-) Another highlight was two years ago. We got to see Brandon and Kristy coming to Ireland to become missionaries. Usually we see the state site of things: the commissionings, the farewell dinners, and the fundraising. It was interesting to see them go through the process of buying a car, finding a house, and being completely jetlag and exhausted!!!!! We will be gone two weeks, most of the time watching the boys and the rest of the time touring Ireland!!! Touring is fun. We have visited Dublin (we visited Christ Church where Handel's Messiah was first played), Trim Castle (built in 700 A.D.), Galway, and Kilkenney. We just hop a train from their house to Dublin and can go anywhere from Dublin by bus. Even Galway (on the other side of the country) is only a 3 hour ride. This year we might visit the Guiness Factory since we haven't done that yet and go on an overnight trip with Stacey. This will be our first year transferring in New York!!! We try to transfer in Chicago (I've done international flights through there many times so customs is familiar), but it was not doable with this year's prices. I am a little nervous about the big unfamiliar airport, but we're adventurous and will be fine.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Creating Commuter Chaos

While driving in traffic this morning I was once again considering this. I've come to greatly enjoy coasting my way through traffic (not using the gas or breaks when there is traffic), the great gas mileage it is giving me, and the patience I've obtained (it is easier to be patient when you're matter how slow).

But today I had a cynical idea. Could one use the same theory to create a traffic jam? Could one create a jam of rush hour proportions? I guess if you got your buddies together and formed a "wall" across the highway this would work, but could one car cause it? I'm guessing yes. We've seen the minor jams before when someone is moving incredibly slow. I'm guessing you could bottleneck traffic by moving 40-45 mph in one highway lane requiring everyone to pass you in the remaining lane(s). This alone, on a busy enough highway, could possibly create a jam.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Comparing Coffees

One of my favorite summer treats is the iced mocha. I like it from pretty much anywhere. With McDonald's joining the coffee market at a dollar cheaper than the usual coffee places, I decided to see how they compare. All are 12 oz iced mochas with 2% milk and no whip cream. Here's what I found:

Brand: Carib McD Starbucks
Calories 190 190 150
Fat cont 30 90 40
Choleste 10 35 10
Sodiums 70 95 60
Sugars 34 19 20
Calcium 10% 20% 20%
Caffeine 180 NA 95

So there you have it.
McCafe is the worst by far save sugars. But the degree to which is outranks its competitors in other categories makes sugars meaningless. The fat and sodium contents alone are enough to make me run away! Plus, though the taste is comparable, it is my least favorite. The benefit of McCafe is the price. At a dollar less than the competition, it might be worth it. Plus, I can walk to McDonald's, burning 120 calories round trip, leaving 70 to shed off later.

Caribou is my favorite by taste. With its numbers being close to Starbucks' low ones, I am not running away from Caribou yet. The caffeine is what astounds me the most as Starbucks has always struck me as stronger. While Caribou is pricier than McDonalds, they do send out coupons frequently. Another disadvantage is I can't readily walk to Caribou the way I can McDonald's and Starbucks. Though, if I did walk, I would more than burn off my mocha!

Starbucks mocha has a good flavor. It is very rich and tastes like it would be the worst nutrition wise. I am surprised it ranks lowest of the three in many categories! The price is what gets me. This is the most expensive of the three drinks, but I can get gift cards from my favorite non-profit and they get 7%, so I can justify the occasional splurge. Walking to Starbucks I burn 149 calories! Perfect for indulging in the mocha!

Looking it all over, I realize this little indulgence counts for 10% of ones caloric intake for the day! No matter who has the best one, it is still an indulgence and money spent!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Garden

One of my favourite things about where I live is my balcony. It is a fairly large balcony. I have a table and chairs out there, perfect for reading or dining. It faces south so gets great sun all day. Some of my neighbors have gardens in a plot out back, but my landlord didn't expand it this year, so since I didn't have one last year I'm out of luck.

Earlier this year my friend Kari and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some things for her job. We noticed the plants were being dropped off right then and looked very healthy (especially for their inexpensive price). I picked up chives, strawberries, basil, and a tomato plant. I wasn't expecting much from these little plants, but they've grown and just this week the strawberry and tomato plants are flowering with fruit expected soon! I can't wait! There is nothing like eating food you grew right in your own garden. I'm also surprised they did so well growing on a balcony! Horray! I'm excited. My next adventure will be to compost my own dirt this winter. That may prove tricky.

Monday, June 30, 2008


I hate the Twins! They don't win and have no good players. Yet for some reason Minneapolis agreed to let them build a new ballpark ON MY DOLLAR! If they wanted it bad enough they should have gotten it privately funded and chipped in a percent of their own million dollar a year salaries. Instead they had to raise my taxes (I lived in Hennepin County at the time). Because of this, St Bonefacious is trying to be annexed off to the next county over. They are miles away and will not benefit from the stadium, yet are being taxed for it. Also, who goes to the games? It is not just people from Hennepin County. People from across the metro will come to these games tax free. I don't care that it is .0125%, it is still a tax and still higher. They won't lower it when the stadium is funded.

Well tomorrow we get our taxes raised again. This time for public transportation and who knows what else they added to that bill! Look out! The only way around it is to buy non-taxable items or shop a few counties over. I bet the people way out in Lindstrom are happy they are going to be paying taxes for city buses that go no where near them...or not! :-)


I've had a calm weekend. I started off with a prayer vigil at the church down the road. I have a hard time focusing when I pray and find some of the Lutheran prayers guiding and focusing. At the prayer vigil there were various stations about repenting, forgiving, worshiping, surrendering, praising, seeing people through God's eyes, etc. It was good to be so focused yet have many things to focus on. It was projected to take 15 minutes to get through the things, but it took me an hour. This isn't because I'm slow or super holy, it was just so calm that there was no rush! It is so nice to simply sit, kneel, lay down, and rest in calm!!!

Then we went to the Farmer's Market, also calm. I love the beautiful flowers, plants, and foods! It reminds me of God's unique beauty!

Then church: a beautiful sermon about the Fire of God. You can check it out at

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuff Stuff Debutes

My youth pastor friend just started a great blog. It is called "Ask the Tuff Stuff". There are surveys about hot topics which are discussed after the poll closes. It is geared towards youth and their parents. If you have a tuff question, you can email him and it will stay anonymous. Check it out:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

There is Hope!!!

Ok, so a more cheery post than last night.

So, the church is not the hope of the world. That's alright. We understand the hope of the world is God. However, we cannot deny that God is using churches large, small, and in between in more powerful ways than one could ever imagine. I've been blessed to work at four of them and volunteered at many more!!! Though the church may not be the hope of the world, it carries a great burden of hope!

Have you heard the wildly famous "If we are the body" song Casting Crowns sings? " But if we are the Body, Why aren't His arms reaching, Why aren't His hands healing, Why aren't His words teaching, And if we are the Body, Why aren't His feet going, Why is His love not showing them there is a way". I had a co-worker at one of the churches I worked at who had trouble with this song. She said it seemed to assume we were just lazily sitting on our couches doing nothing when the truth is God IS healing, His arms ARE reaching, His words ARE teaching! God is using the body! Could we do better? Sure, always. But we can't deny the power of God working through the church (defined as the body of Christ followers).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Hope of the World is...

I've heard a well known pastor and many pastors who emulate him say several times "The church is the hope of the world." Every time I hear this, I cringe. If you've spent any amount of time in the church or read the news, you know the church is flawed! You know it is not perfect! Just look at all the polls and surveys. It is said over and over that there is little evidence to show a difference between those who claim to be Christians and those who do not. This is why I cringe. I can't agree with the statement at all! To place the hope of the world in the church as we know it would be stupid! The church is made up of people: flawed, fallen, easily tempted, led away people!!!

A statement I could agree with is this, "Jesus is the hope of the world". I think this is what this well known pastor and his grrrr followers mean, but I wish they would say it that way. Jesus is the hope of the world and USES the church (defined as God's people). The church (defined as a building with staff and attenders) is not in and of itself the hope of the world (and I wish they would stop saying it that way!!!). God, as the head of the church, working through the church is the hope of the world. But God is not contained solely in the church. God is at the bar, God is at the mall, God is on the fishing boat, God is in the care, God is everywhere and therefore His hope is everywhere. The hope of the world is not locked in a church building, it is here and there and everywhere and for that I am so grateful!

Lyrics-Based Theology

Ok, I'll start with the positive and go downhill from there. Throughout time music has been an amazing and powerful instrument to assist in ushering humans into a spectacular awareness of God's presence. It is an incredible experience to worship God with others who have their attention focused in the same direction. It is incredible to feel the outpouring of God's love and power!

Music has risen in popularity and become easy to access. Just look at itunes, the near extinction of cds tapes and even records (ask your parents), and even the digitalization of the car radio. Intelligent lighting, moving background art in slides, the large sound board, wireless microphones, etc have replaced the amp, mic, and overhead projector (with transparencies) at our churches. The ability to create an engaging environment is more powerful than ever before and shows no sign of slowing down.

However, I see an issue arising. People are getting their theology (their belief of who God is) from the lyrics in the worship songs we sing. Sometimes this is fine and the lyrics are true to the Biblical text and portray the true God of the Bible, but more often than we realize, the lyrics are vague and not totally accurate (1 "Help me know you are near" why is God near? God's not near as if he were distant. God is here). They skew our view of God or really say nothing of value at all (2 "Won't you come, Won't you come and fill this place" this song really gets to me. I understand what it means...kind of...I just think the lyrics are so vague and speak as if God wouldn't show up even when God is already everywhere). Or what happens more often is our worship songs are about us (3 'Cause when we see You we find strength to face the day, And in Your presence all our fears are washed away, washed away). They are horizontal worship (us singing to each other ABOUT God) rather than vertical worship (us singing TO God). They are more along the lines of a narration of our life with God rather than a song of love praising God for His qualities (4 "Savior, He can move the mountains, my God is mighty to save"). This song interestingly enough is all ABOUT God, but maybe is only focused to God if you change the words "He" to "You" as in "You are mighty to save". They are not bad songs and even I like them and sing them, we just need to be aware of what we are saying.

Next time you hear a worship song, take some time to think about what you are saying. Sometimes we are asking God to break us, to change us, that we'll go wherever, follow Him to the end, but do we truly deep down in our hearts mean what we are singing? Would we speak that to God? Sometimes yes, sometimes maybe not. Is what you are singing vertical or horizontal worship?

I hope people don't think I'm bashing the wonderful people who write these songs, I am simply asking us to be aware of what we are singing because too many people these days are going into worship haphazardly.

1 Draw Me Close. Lyrics by Kelly Carpenter. 1994 Mercy/Vineyard
2 Meet With Me. Lyrics by Lamont Hiebert. 1999 Maranatha Music
3 Hosanna (Praise is Rising). Lyrics by Brenton Brown, Paul Baloche. 2006 Thank You Music
4 Mighty to Save. Lyrics by Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan. 2006 Hillsong Publishing

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Perfect Summer Weekend

This weekend was great!!! It started out with the graduation party for my cool brother Matty. Then canoing down the St Croix River with people from church on Saturday. A few of us went to Sonic afterwards and if that wasn't enough fun for one day I went swimming with my neighbors until dusk. Sunday started off with an odd sermon. Then friends came over to go swimming and eat lunch. After one friend left we scrapbooked and then ventured to Caribou coffee on our way to the Ski Otter waterski show in White Bear. Whew!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Phenomenon That is Sonic

So, Sonic just opened. Having a brother from Texas, I know about this slushi kingdom in all its inexpensive glory. There are about 10 in Longview (a city of about 30,000). Its pretty exciting (more so than it would have been had they opened in winter...brrr). I went there the other day to pick up some gift cards for graduates we know who are moving to Texas. It was a great idea (thanks mom). Upon arrival I couldn't believe the hoard of people and police officers directing traffic. So I wove my car around back hoping to somehow find a back entrance somehow invisible to everyone else so I could run in/run out and get the cards. At the back entrance I saw a huge parking lot with cones set up like my driver's ed course. It was the line to weave through to get your slushi. At the end of this line was an employee kid. "Welcome to Sonic! Are you dine in or sdarjlkr (whatever the pull up thing is called)?" "Uh, I just want some giftcards, do you have those?" "I don't know" I spied his walkie talkie "Could you ask someone on your walkie talkie" ", they'd get really mad!!!" Ugh! "You could park at Byerly's and wait in line and when you get to the window you could ask them!" (he was really proud of this answer) until I said "uh, Have you seen the line?" I thanked him (a little disgruntled) and left. Oh well. Sonic another day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Funny Thing About Law

I've learned a lot about law in the last few weeks (which is good because that's the point of my class). As we've read through various cases, I've been amazed at what people can get away with only because they weren't found guilty properly. They can find drugs on you and arrest you, but if the search was illegal its a different story. Or the recent case of a death row inmate who won reprieve from his sentence because the judge of his case was having immoral relations at the time of the verdict. It is amazing how many laws there are to protect us from "the law" i.e. police, government, etc. It is amazing how much we can bend the law to agree with our views. While the constitution has more spelling errors than a third grade paper, it is amazing the thought process our forefathers went through. They thought of everything, even put in a way to make more rules because they knew they didn't think of everything! They even put in laws protecting us from the law (ie being wrongly accused or accused in an improper fashion. In my opinion, they were very smart and humble people.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mc Cafe

I have nothing of much intelligence to write today. Actually, I still have to do my homework, so am trying to save some intellectual words for that assignment. But have you been to McDonald's recently? Now, I'm not a huge fan, but I'm a pushover when it comes to commercials (which is why I don't watch them). Last week I happen to catch an ad for free coffee samples at McDonald's. So, being a coffee lover, I wanted to try them. They are so good! And cheaper than the usual places! Yum!!! And my cousin, who works for McD's Corporate says more good things are to come...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Would You Obey?

In Law class we are learning about the different theories of law. Where did law and fairness come from? I guess I'm a Naturalist when it comes to the origins of law. I think we all have something deep inside of us that someone "knows" when something is not fair or right. I see it in kids all the time! "That's not fair!" We know we're getting jipped when our sibling gets a larger piece of cake than us, and we know its not fair when we get the bigger piece too. We know something is not right when we see people killing each other. We know something doesn't feel right when someone takes "our" stuff. But why? Would we refrain from stealing, killing, speeding, etc for the sheer reason that we knew it was good for the common man, or do we think there's something in it for us? Do we assume that if we don't do wrong, wrong won't be done unto us? I wonder how the world would be different if we had no laws or rules. I think the world would be bad, but not because there would be more people doing bad in the world. I think the bad people in the world would just being doing more bad things, worse bad things than they already do. I think, in general, maybe naively, that the majority of people in the world would still do "right" simply because they think its "right". They wouldn't steal or cheat or speed. They just wouldn't. There would not be a need to. But maybe I'm wrong?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Traffic Theories

So, I stole this link from a friend's blog. It is about highway driving behavior.
However, I woke up and upon entering my car decided this would be a fun commute because I could try this theory out. However, I found three reasons this does not work in the real world:
1) That gap you leave in front of you is just asking for people to cut you off (or merge in front of you) In fact, merging is not factored into this theory at all.
2) It is hard to determine the average speed of traffic as a whole from the few cars you can see (and the average speed is sometimes slower than your car goes without doing anything. And even if you go the average speed of traffic, there is always the guy who will tailgate you to go faster or be pushed off the highway.
3) It doesn't work if "traffic" is due to an accident :-P

Not Like I Have Homework or Am Late For Work Or Anything

I might as well blog. It seems to be the latest trend. Besides, I think I might have a few notable things people might be interested in reading. And its not like I have a pile of homework or am late for work or anything...ah! Gotta go!!!