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Post #25: New Year’s and blogidemics

There appears to have been a random sort of uprising of blogs–a “blogidemic”, if you will. All these people I know are all of a sudden rushing off to Blogger and signing up. Not that that’s bad, mind you–I’m all for blogging–but it’s just sort of funny. Hopefully this doesn’t turn into some sort of weird fad.
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So how does the new format look? I used this template 1) because I like the layout 2) because it just looks cool and 3) everybody else I know is using it (right…). Hopefully this one doesn’t eat the archives like the last time I tried changing templates.
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I wrote a poem spontaneously last night…hope you like it.

[new year’s]

God’s diamond stars are out tonight,
Playing hide-and-seek behind city lights,
A lot like you and I disguise
Our wishful thoughts behind our eyes.

December’s end we celebrate,
The coming year we leave to fate;
Oh, God, I hope it’s not too late
For us to fight, not hesitate…

Ridiculous, insane we are
To try to reach just for the stars,
While heaven-bound our souls would be
If we would only try to see

Beyond the stars, the black of night.
Eternity might shed its light
On things unseen; the bitter end
Might just become a sweeter friend.

A page is turned, the morning comes,
With endings lost and startings won.
This mystery of you and I
As we all try to touch the sky…

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Post #24: Good, evil, and Gandalf the Grey

At the risk of my English teacher possibly stumbling upon this, I’m going to talk about something random I noticed about Lord of the Rings and its characters. (My school is one of those that generally looks down upon anything that’s “magical” in nature, yet will discuss C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe because the aforementioned witch is “an allegory for Satan.” Harry Potter and Gandalf are bad because they supposedly glorify witchcraft. OK…) Anyhow, speaking of Lewis, he wrote something in the book Mere Christianity that made me think:

“The better stuff a creature is made of–the cleverer and stronger and freer it is–then the better it will be if it goes right, but also the worse it will be if it goes wrong. A cow cannot be very good or very bad; a dog can be both better and worse; a child better and worse still; an ordinary man, still more so; a man of genius, still more so; a superhuman spirit best–or worst–of all” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 53).

Now we see the same idea at work in Lord of the Rings (which isn’t much of a surprise since J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were very good friends). Most of the evil forces in the book are pretty much good beings that were corrupted. (On a side note, have you ever noticed that satan has to take what God’s already created and has to pervert it? Just thought I’d throw that in there.) For example: Gollum used to be a hobbit. The ringwraiths used to be men. The orcs used to be elves. Saruman used to be a good wizard (wizards, btw, according to the Encyclopedia of Arda–wow, I’m such a nerd–are really spirits in human form). Sauron, the dark lord, used to be one of the most powerful “gods” (that’s not quite right, I don’t think, but that’s the only word I can come up with) of Middle Earth. See what I mean? The more powerful they are, the freakier and more evil they become when they get corrupted. Which, I think, is why the total depravity of man is probably one of the most flattering comments on the human race that I can think of…but that’s for another post. (Hehe.)

So take that! (Muahahahaha.)
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Guys, as a general rule, look good in beanies. I haven’t found one that doesn’t. So, gentlemen, if you want to attract girls, start wearing beanies more often. *wink*
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*LiNk oF tHe DaY* online literature. They’ve got hundreds of books just sitting there waiting for you to read them. So go do it, and you’ll have an excuse to stay on the computer.

Mom: “Are you still on that computer??”
You: “I’m reading a book now.”

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Post #23: And now for some completely gratuitous links…

I stumbled upon these while I was clicking around; being the bizarre sorts that you are, I figured you guys would probably like them. (Disclaimer: Some of these have some swearing involved, so read with discernment.) Enjoy.

20 things. 20 people. 20 days. For all you artistic types, this is a program where you make small art projects (24 cubic inches is the max, according to the site), send them in to the person in charge, and in return you get 20 art projects, one from 20 different people.

Booklend. This guy on the east coast lends out his book collection via snail mail. He does expect you to send them back, but he pays for your return postage and everything. Unfortunately, most of the books are checked out right now, so if you actually want to borrow something you’ll probably need to wait about a year or so. (Sorry.)

Feeling is mutual. Remember anything to disrupt the tedium? This is his girlfriend’s blog.

fifty word fiction. That’s right–a webpage of 200 fiction works that are only fifty words long. Quite entertaining.

Java Jazz. A local coffee place where some friends/acquaintances of mine are regulars.

Pike Place Market. I went here three years ago with my youth group while we were on a mission trip (it was “sightseeing day”). Two friends and I wandered around the entire market district of Seattle and had some good times. This is a phenomenal place to see in person, but the website is the next coolest thing. (Yes, this is the market where the guys throw the fish around.)

the 1000 journal project. Some guy in California had the brilliant idea to send 1,000 blank journals to random places and see what happened. One of them’s made it back to him so far…take a look at the journal gallery, some of these things are amazing. Wow.

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Post #22: Funky dreams and other such weirdness
This could get really annoying really fast…my “i,” “k,” “8,” and comma keys aren’t working today (they have a tendency to do that frequently) and so I’m having to copy and paste whenever they’re needed. So this post could take a while to complete…grr.
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I’ve been having a lot of bizarre dreams lately…they’re all really vivid and really weird. The weirdest one was the other night (Friday? Not sure); I dreamed that my church was getting ready for the Christmas pageant and for some reason we were building something in the middle of the worship center. So there was scaffolding up, and a bunch of us were climbing all over it waiting for more building materials to come (or something–I’m not really sure, all I know is that we were just sitting around on this thing) and just talking and stuff. It was really interesting because we were all walking around in biblical costume–you know with the robes and the tunics and such–even the stage crew (for those of you who know Mrs. LeBeau, she was walking around in costume, too). What’s really weird is that all of a sudden I found myself in a conversation with Julia Roberts…she was in costume, too, and we were just on the scaffolding hanging out and chatting.

Know what’s really annoying? Whenever you’re in a dream, completely random things are all of a sudden normal…
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If anyone has any ideas about what my school can do for a play this semester, I will be eternally grateful. We can’t come up with anything…well, actually the drama director has something, but no one wants to do it…I might just have to boycott this year. (Not really.)
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I have no earthly idea what I’m gonna do for New Year’s. I hope I don’t end up sitting around watching TV and being bored…I visited a friend’s church (well, actually several friends go there) and I liked what the youth pastor said: Invite a bunch of friends over to your house, crank up some dance music, get you some apple-cranberry juice and get jiggy with it. Sounds like fun, but I have no idea what my parents would think of that one…
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*LiNk oF tHe DaY*Times Square! Or I could just go here for New Year’s…(yeah, right!)

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Post #21: A survey about me

15 years ago I:
1. was two…
2. already knew how to read.
3. had an older brother who was 11 already
4. think I had the chicken pox for a few days…
5. lived in a house w/the street # “666”. I’m not kidding.

10 years ago, I:
1. was 7…
2. had had glasses for 2 years already…yes, I’m that blind…
3. had one of the coolest teachers in the world!
4. discovered that if I used my diaphragm to sing, it actually sounded better…something I had to learn all over again when I turned 12…
5. met my friend Caleb

5 years ago, I:
1. started seventh grade
2. already was getting depressed/suicidial (kinda scary, eh?)
3. had a year-old nephew (awwww…)
4. was in choir…there weren’t any boys in there, but we still managed to have a tenor section (thanks to some of the eighth grade girls)
5. had hair past my shoulders–doesn’t sound that weird, except if you consider the fact that I chopped it all off the next year

2 years ago, I:
1. was a sophomore!!!
2. had a class that shrank dramatically…
3. started getting interested in sign language
4. went to seattle on a mission trip and made loads of memories…
5. still didn’t have my license

1 year ago, I:
1. was a JUNIOR!
2. went to my first dance (hehe)
3. started liking this one guy friend of mine…
4. was in drama and getting sick of the song “Sick Cycle Carousel” (LONG story)
5. got a new youth pastor, Matt

Yesterday, I:
1. sat around like a lump.
2. updated the blog
3. went out to dinner with my parents
4. did some writing.
5. organized my backpack for school

Today, I:
1. woke up at 10:45 (when I’d set my alarm to go off two hours earlier)
2. am updating the blog AGAIN…
3. am destined to be really, really bored.
4. should probably go see my friend Nick, who’s stuck at the fireworks stand he’s running until New Year’s
5. need to go buy some strings and picks for the guitar.

Tomorrow, I:
1. don’t have anything to do, anyone want to go see a movie?
2. should probably clean the rest of my room
3. will probably sleep until 11 o’clock AGAIN
4. need to call Baylor and make sure they got my application
5. will check out “the very official ask jay anything thread” on CGR b/c it gets updated on Saturdays (wow, I need to get a life)

Five snacks i enjoy
1. kettle corn (yummy)
2. cheddar goldfish
3. baby carrots…
4. easy mac
5. plain ritz crackers…

Five songs I know all the words to, even without the music
1. “Worlds Apart” by Jars of Clay
2. “Center Aisle” by Caedmon’s Call
3. almost all of “Stay Together for the Kids” by Blink-182 (hehe)
4. “One by One” from the Broadway version of The Lion King musical (especially interesting since most of it’s in zulu)
5. “Violet” by the Tremolo Cowboys (great song)

Five books I like:
1. Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance by Don Miller
2. Four Souls by Mike Peterson, Matt Kronberg, Jedd Medefind, and Trey Sklar
3. Ecclesiastes
4. Psalms
5. Enter the Worship Circle by Ben Pasley

Five things i would buy with $1000:
1. $100 goes to church
2. $500 goes to a homeless shelter
3. a bass
4. presents for everyone
5. I dunno…an air freshener for the car

Top five musicians lately (not in any particular order)
1. Waterdeep
2. Josh Groban
3. Creed
4. Lifehouse
5. Dave Matthews Band

Five bad habits I have
1. talking to myself…
2. interrupting people
3. procrastinating!!!!
4. staying on the computer too long
5. doodling during class (you should see my notebooks…it’s ridiculous)

five things I would never wear
1. spandex. blegh.
2. something that makes me look like a boy
3. three little words: abercrombie and fitch
4. the clothes @ fancydeluxe.com (scariness)
5. my sister-in-law’s clothes (mostly b/c I know I’d never fit in them…lol)

Five tv shows i like
1. Trading Spaces
2. Whose Line Is It Anyway?
3. Alias (hehe)
4. Good Morning America (it’s good to watch during breakfast)
5. The Late Show w/Dave Letterman

five places i’ve lived
1. Korea
2. Missouri
3. my house…
4. that’s it. exciting, huh?
5.

my top five biggest worries at the moment
1. my relationship w/God
2. my mom’s health
3. COLLEGE…
4. school…
5. guys (blegh)

my top five biggest joys at the moment
1. school, ironically enough…
2. the Bible
3. my family
4. sleep 🙂
5. friends

five things that make you laugh
1. my friends (esp. the guys)
2. freshmen…
3. Whose Line?
4. http://www.fancydeluxe.com
5. general randomness…

five things you love
1. God (there’s my church kid answer for the day…it is true, though)
2. my family/friends
3. music.
4. acting
5. learning

Five things on your desk
1. baskets of pens
2. books & magazines
3. papers I need to put up…
4. a little organizer thingy holding my stationary…
5. my computer

Five facts about you
1. i’ve always had this thing where i want to be a CIA agent…
2. i think bass players are among the coolest ppl in the world
3. i don’t like my current church (for several reasons)
4. when i was little, i wanted to be a scientist
5. i want to learn how to run sound

five things you can do
1. remember really random things
2. “speak” sign language
3. origami
4. yell really, really loud
5. sing tenor, alto and soprano. i’ve sung baritone ONCE, and that was in harmonizing with a song i was listening to. it was scary.

five things you can’t do
1. understand calculus
2. run the world (that would be frightening)
3. go without doodling while I’m taking notes in class…
4. run fast
5. sew

five things you say the most
1. shoot!
2. that’s just lovely…
3. what? and/or huh?
4. wow…
5. nice…
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*LiNk oF tHe DaY* Prophetik. This great clothing company…they make t-shirts that are Christian without being “Christian t-shirts.” (Did that make any sense?)

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Random quizzes
Find out what your perfect hat is at http://www.geocities.com/Dla_Drama_Queen/hat2.html

Find out which Remember the Titans character you are! Made by: Dannielle Albert


Which Veggie Tales character are you?

this quiz was made by Karen

“We reject the false doctrine that the church could have permission to hand over the form
of its message and of its order to whatever it itself might wish or to the vicissitudes of the
prevailing ideological and political convictions of the day.”
You are Karl Barth!
You like your freedom, and are pretty stubborn against authority! You don’t
care much for other people’s opinions either. You can come up with your own fun, and
often enough you have too much fun. You are pretty popular because you let people have their
way, even when you have things figured out better than them.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

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Post #20: The killing tree.

I wrote this during church (yes, during church) as a form of worship. I’m not real sure if all the theology and stuff is correct, but it’s at least a thought.
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�i have been crucified with Christ, and i no longer live��

once again i find myself at the foot of the killing tree�this is the place where my journey began. an innocent man climbed up this tree. they hated him, this self-proclaimed Son of man, a simple, uneducated carpenter who was supposed to save us all from oppression of one sort or another. and when they put him there i found myself there at the first, when they first put hammer to nail and the sound went out to the edges of the universe and the depths of my soul. there came no cry from him, just a broken whisper: �God�why have you left me here alone?! and i think i saw a salty tear fall from his eye like a drop from the darkest cloud. it mixed with the red flowing from his heart, and the water and blood found their way to the place where i stood and caused in me a flood. any horror and shame that i felt rose to my throat and threatened to choke me with their density. and the more i watched him weep, the more i realized he was weeping for the sins of a generation�i realized he wept for me. the words he spoke then still echo in my war-torn brain: �Father, forgive them,� but i remember at the time it sounded like my own voice screaming �forgive me!� forgive me for the wrong i�ve done. forgive me for the blood shed and the evil desires of my heart. forgive me for the nails i�ve put through your hands, for the whip i lashed your back with, for breaking the heart of the eternal in human flesh. for it was my hands that held the hammer and the spear that rent the heavens and the earth and the world-weary body of this Jesus. and his tears became my own�a grief for the sins of a generation, for the shattering of the intimacy that my Creator made me for.

so it was then that i climbed the tree, the tree where a holy Lamb had been offered as a blood sacrifice, and made it an altar for the body of a poor traveler. i made the killing tree my own. and the hammer drove nails through my wrists and ankles and i suddenly understood the abandonment the carpenter knew�only mine was that of a midnight world turning its back slowly on me. and instead of a cry of �forgive them� i found myself (to my surprise) yelling �gloria!� i looked down and saw my executioner wore my filthy rags�he looked back at me and�it was him. the holy sacrifice. the innocent taking on my guilt. the Son of Man. Jesus. before i could even wonder how or why�one last breath, and i was gone forever�

or so i thought.

it felt like such a short time, and yet like eternity�i woke on the ground, in new clothes, in a new skin. i was myself, but not myself�for now i bear the scars of Christ. and so i walk this road. never alone�the living Sacrifice whose blood covered me and compelled me to take for myself the killing tree took me for himself and walks with me forever. and every once in a while i�ll find myself going down the road back to the place where i died; there hangs my bruised and bleeding flesh that i left behind that day. but every time i go back i always find someone else giving themselves up as an offering, and dying the death of the cross, the tree of cursing. i�ve brought a few here myself to this place, compelled by love for the One who died for me there�why? because i know it not only as the killing tree, the place i found death�but an altar, the place where Life found me.
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*LiNk oF tHe DaY* the faerie queene musings. My friend Hannah’s blog…not a lot there as of now (it’s only two days old), but destined to be a lot of fun.

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Post #19: �Feliz Navidad!
Yes, indeed, everyone, it’s Christmas Eve…I’m holed up in my room and am about to wrap presents for my mom and dad and the dog. We have some family coming over for a while (hence the fact that I’m holed up in my room–j/k). At any rate, I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday w/the family and all; don’t tear into your presents too fast or anything.
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Well, we all know that Jesus probably wasn’t born on December 25, but I read something the other day that says He was probably conceived that day. To quote Scott (better known as “Superman” on the CGR message boards):

We read in the OT that there was a rotation for the priests and their duties (I think it’s n Numbers and 1 Chronicles). Its called “the Course of Abia” see Luke 1:5. And for specifics on this rotation, check out 1 Chron 24:10. Now John the Baptists father was told about his wife’s pregnancy after just finishing his priestly duties in the Temple. We know this from Luke. The “Course of Abia” and his turn would have had to fall between 12�18 Sivan (June 13�19) in 5 BC. Luke records the begetting of Jesus 6 months after the conception of John (1:26, 36)

So if we are right in determining this is 5 BC, and knowing how the “Course of Abia” works, and therefore Zachariah must then have been in the Temple to hear about John’s conception in June 13�19, and Luke tells us it was 6 months later Jesus was conceived, a simple calculation would bring us to place the conception of Jesus at the 1st of Tisri�In 5 BC that day falls on December 25th.

“Abia” is just one of 24 course in the priestly ministry. (1 Chron. 24:7�19) There were 2 rotations. Each course occured twice a year. Each course changed every week, starting with the Sabbath. The first course fell by lot to Jehoiarib, and the 8th course to Abia, and so on… The reckoning commenced on the 22nd of Tisri (October 6 in 5 BC) this was the 8th and last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the great day of the feast (John 7:37) and a sabbath (Lev. 23:39)

Now assuming that the calculations for John’s conception are correct, and we know it was 6 months prior to Jesus conception (5 BC), and if we take the perfect number of days for gestation of the fetus (280 days) and I think that’s fair, if we assume everything about Jesus was perfect… We simply count ahead 280 from December 25th, and arrive at September 29th (4 BC), which is the 15th of Tisri. THAT is the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles! See Lev. 23:39.

Now what kind of Superman would I be if I had no Greek to offer…

Joh 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Greek word for “dwell” here is “eskenosen” from the root word “skenoo”

“Skenoo” means “to fix or abide in a tabernacle, to dwell”. That word comes from it’s root word “skenos” which means “a tent, a tabernacle”

In the Old Testament, God dwelled among Israel in a Tabernacle of goat skin. It was a tent. But now, God has dwelled among us in a “tent” or “tabernacle” of humanity. The skin of a human!

So do you see the powerful way John said this? Jesus “tabernacled” among us!

All of the feasts were designated to point to Christ. The Jews just didnt catch on.

Also to consider… Jesus was born during the great census and taxing by Augustus. Most scholars put that between 6 BC and 4 BC anyway… Now there is no way that Rome would have caused such a census and a taxing in the winter months. Caeser would have never been able to get all these people to travel in the winter. The tax was bad enough, but to make them do it in the winter would most likely cause riots and rebellion. Its not logical. Not only that, the best time to tax someone is when? Right after the harvest! And that was when the Feast of Tabernacles was…

If you read the account of this in Luke chapter 1, you can get the details. But knowing he could not travel from Jerusalem to a house on a hill in Juda (verse 39) on the sabbath, and taking in mind he was an old man, it probably took him about 2 days to travel 30 miles. Remember, he loses a day for the sabbath… That would mean he most likely got home on the 21st of Sivan. If we allow him a day of rest (which is fair) then John’s conception would take place on the 23rd of Sivan (June 24th, 5 BC). Shoot ahead 6 months from there, and the conception of Jesus Christ is on December 25th 5 BC. Now John was born exactly 3 months after Jesus conception (Luke 1:56-57) and that would mean Elizabeth carried John for 9 months. So John was born on the 7th of Nisan (March 28 4 BC) and 6 months later, Jesus was born on the 15th of Tisri (September 29 4 BC).

It kind of puts a different slant on things, huh?
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*LiNk oF tHe DaY* Welcome to Our World. A reminder of what the season is all about…enjoy, everyone.

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*THIS OR THAT*
1. Opening presents…rip ’em open with all abandon, or carefully open, preserving the pretty paper for recycling? Depends. More often than not I just rip ’em open, but sometimes the paper is so cool that I’ll save it.
2. Do you and yours take turns, opening one gift at a time, or does everyone just rip into everything at the same time? Everyone just opens everything at once (which isn’t bad, considering there’s just three of us that live at my house).
3. If you get something you don’t like…do you try to return it, or keep it so as not to hurt the giver’s feelings? I usually keep it, but it always ends up under the bed or something.
4. Do you spend the holiday at home (yours or someone else’s), or do you go out and eat, see the newest movie, whatever? Spend it at home, actually. Every Christmas we go over to my grandparents’ house for a while, which is always a great experience (right…).
5. What do you do with Christmas cards after the holiday is over? Save them, or toss them? Know what’s sad? I rarely, if ever, get Christmas cards.
6. Cook Christmas dinner, or does someone else do that? My dad always makes tacos for Christmas dinner…they’re really yummy. If you’re sick of ham and turkey and stuff, come over to my house. 😀
7. It’s Christmas Eve, and you have run out of wrapping paper. Do you go out and buy more, or wrap the rest of the gifts in the Sunday comics? I’d use the comics, but at my house, we’re NEVER out of wrapping paper. That would be one of the seven deadly Christmas sins. (Or something like that…)
8. On Christmas morning…up at the crack of dawn, eagerly anticipating the loot…or would you rather sleep in? Have you not been paying attention? Sleep is my friend. 😀
9. Do you want a white or a green Chrismas? White would be nice, but I live in south Texas…lol
10. Going to church on Christmas…yes or no? We always go on Christmas Eve (another one of the seven deadly Christmas sins: not going to the Christmas Eve service).