First Sunday of Advent.

He hadn’t meant to fall asleep–
The watchman had stood steady through the night
Waiting for the morning, waiting for the morning,
And for the king’s coming at the trumpet sound.
The night was cold, and his enemies many, so
He set his heels into the rock to stand his ground.

But who, of course, watches the watchman?

And the clouds came and veiled the moon,
Still waiting for her lover’s return,
And the watchman squinted for the stars,
And the night grew longer, the hours ticking by–
And he still stood like a remembering stone.

But the next thing he knew, he snapped awake
To the cries: “The king is here!”
And he looked down from the walls to see the surrounding
City burning, light and heat incarnate,
And he felt a hand on his shoulder, and a voice:
“My boy, why couldn’t you stay awake for me one hour?”

And he covered his eyes in shame.

And the king replied, “Don’t you know
That I neither slumber nor sleep?
Rise: I defeated your enemies in the night.”

And it was only then that the watchman saw
His master’s hands covered in scars.

the annual t13 thanksgiving post

Hopefully obvious: Thirteen things you’re thankful for.

1. Decreasing gas prices. 😀

2. Getting to come home.

3. An iPod-compatible car stereo.

4. Literacy and an ever-growing library.

5. The fact that my family, while we’re not super-rich, is still in the wealthiest 1% of people in the world. We have a roof, cars, clean water, plenty of food, and freedom from persecution and war…and so much of the world doesn’t. That is a crazy thing to consider.

6. “Bones beneath my skin…friends who care for me.”

7. A good long-term memory, without which I would not have gotten past the tenth grade. 😉

8. The preachers (see below post).

9. You, my readers, and thanks for stopping by.

10. That UT will likely kick A&M’s butt today. 😀

11. My car–almost 18 years old, 68,000 miles, great gas mileage, and runs (almost) like it’s brand new.

12. My family–that we’re all safe, we’re all more or less okay, and none of us hate each other. 😉

13. And thanks for and to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are working my salvation and have been since eternity past. Hallelujah, and amen.

Ode to the preachers.

Tell me the story again–
I know you’ve told me before,
Hundreds of times,
But I was given a mind like a child
And like a child I recognize a good tale
When I hear it, and so tell it to me again
So I can live in it body, mind, and soul

Let me sit down at your feet,
Master bard, prophet, priest, and poet alike,
The keeper of the keys of our history.

Tell me of our ancestors
Who rose up and followed a midnight voice
To go find the light
Who stayed in darkness and did dark deeds
Who called upon the name of the Lord
Who built a tower to bring Him down
Tell me again of the great rebellion
Tell me again of the remnant that remained

Tell me of the heroes who paved the way
For the greater Hero who was to come
Tell me of His kindness toward the unkind
Tell me of the bloody battle that tore Him to pieces
And of the victory He won on the third day

And tell me of the fathers and the mothers
Who handed on the flame of love through
Persecution and nakedness and famine and sword

And tell me your story, O preacher–
Tell me of your sin forgiven, soul redeemed,
Mind renewed, body marked for resurrection.
Tell your story to tell the greater One
Over and over and over again

So that we children at your feet
May find the courage and skill to tell ours.

mix tape monday

This week’s theme is places…

1. Coldplay – Cemeteries of London (Viva La Vida)
2. Phantom Planet – California (The Guest)
3. Arcade Fire – Haiti (Funeral)
4. Ben Folds – Adelaide (Supersunnyspeedgraphic)
5. Andrew Osenga – Canada (Letters to the Editor, Vol. 2)
6. Sufjan Stevens – Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother! (Illinoise)
7. Lynrd Skynrd – Sweet Home Alabama
8. Counting Crows – Omaha (Films About Ghosts)
9. Simon & Garfunkel – The Only Living Boy in New York (Garden State)
10. The Weepies – Antarctica (Paste Sampler #42)
11. Rich Mullins – Here In America (A Liturgy, A Legacy, and A Ragamuffin Band)
12. Passengers – Miss Sarajevo (Original Soundtracks)
13. Lucy Wainwright Roche – Chicago (Paste Sampler #46)
14. Caedmon’s Call – Mother India (
Share the Well)
15. Michael W. Smith – Hibernia (Freedom) (“Hibernia” is Latin for Ireland, in case you didn’t know.)
16. Nickel Creek – When In Rome (Why Should the Fire Die?)
17. Iron & Wine – Sodom, South Georgia (Our Endless Numbered Days)
18. Christian Kane – LA Song (Live Fast, Die Never)

um.

*I really, really love this. For those of you that don’t know, I have a minor obsession with trees, and I’ve been meaning to get and start wearing more necklaces, so…that’s pretty much perfect. That whole site has some cute stuff, if you’re into the small animal motif thing. I’m also a fan of this shirt.

*Been having some thoughts about how easy it is to obsess about the insignificant in our culture–how we’re so fragmented that we’re becoming more and more specialized and less broadly knowledgeable that we can tend to miss the big picture. The more information we produce and make publicly available, the harder it is to piece together anything significant. It takes someone with a specific sort of wiring to be able to weave it all together in a way that makes coherent sense of it all.

*Also considering how interesting it is that our culture loves the individual yet craves community…kind of a vestige of the image of God in us, how we were meant to reflect the one God in three Persons, diversity in unity. Of course, the world being the world, it tarnishes that image in all sorts of ways, but that’s also why it’s that much more important for us as the Church to model true community and true diversity, to celebrate and accept the good differences among us while weeding out what fractures and divides us wrongly. And that takes a lot of patience and discernment, which, let’s face it, also isn’t really encouraged in our culture.

six years.

Six years. 2,190 days.

November 19, 2002, I was a senior in high school, and I posted this at studentteacher.blogspot.com:

So this is my first post on this thing. This is about the fifth time I’ve tried making one of these because my computer at home is stupid, so I’m going to start blogging from the computer in study hall at school… Well, I’m your semi-run-of-the-mill high school student, and I want to be an English or performing arts teacher when I get out of college (hence the web address).

Six years since that day, and what’s happened?

We’ve gone to war. We’ve reelected a president and elected a new one. Bombs have gone off in London and Spain, crowds have gathered for the G8, athletes converged for three Olympic Games and two World Cups, the UK got a new prime minister and France a new president, the UN got a new secretary-general. TV shows have come and gone. We are now in a state of recession, waiting to see what the future brings.

A niece and a nephew were born. People got married. People had babies. They quit blogging. They started tweeting. They got on Facebook. They moved and started new jobs.

I went to Hawaii and Scotland and came home in one piece. I graduated high school and college. I started grad school. I worked (and work) for Target. I’m 23 now. I found two new churches and fell in love with the people at both. I’ve been through seven roommates. I made new friends, lost touch with old ones.

And in six years, my heart has been pieced back together by a gracious God. I am not only reborn, I get remade every single day.

Blogging’s been fun. I’ve met, both online and face to face, some good people as a result of it. I think it’s improved my writing somewhat. And if anything, it’s required me to think through some issues I probably wouldn’t otherwise. And don’t worry, I don’t plan on quitting any time soon. I hope to hit at least 20 years here, even if some crazy new technology shows up. But blogging, if it ever gets in the way of me knowing God, will be left by the wayside if He so calls me.

Six years. In 2014, where will we all be? Who knows. I don’t. But He does. And that, my friends, is all part of the adventure. I plan to map it along the way.

currently…

Reading: The Search by John Bartelle, a book about Google (it’s for class, but it’s actually really interesting); The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon, which is probably the only book I know of on the theology of cooking (seriously…and it’s really good).

Listening: A little bit of everything, actually, whilst putting together a mix of my top 50 favorite songs from this year. Stay tuned, if you’re interested in getting a copy.

Knitting: This, in a deep turquoise wool. It’s pretty. I may post pictures.

Pondering: American perfectionism, whatever it is that has me breaking out in hives across my shoulders (yikes), what to get/make people for Christmas, a project due in three weeks (yikes!), the symbols of the Christian metanarrative (so far: blood, water, fire, trees, cities, marriage…anything else?), how I should be drinking more water, and how I might make some pumpkin chocolate chip cake tomorrow…