saturday session (9/30/17)

Hi, gang. I’m about to go do a load of laundry and then get ready for my friend’s wedding, so all in all a good Saturday ahead. Folks down in Mexico and Puerto Rico still need help, so don’t forget to give.

Meanwhile, here’s the links:

  • Man, don’t we all need this: 100 ideas for packing your lunch. (The last ten, under “Desperate Times Call For Desperate Lunches,” are hilarious mostly because we’ve all been there.)
  • I’m a big fan of fun e-mail. I recommend, um, Recomendo (cool tools to help you do stuff better), Two Bossy Dames (media reviews and recommendations, done with wit and a lot of GIFs), and Cartoon Hearts (writing about love stories, in all their forms). I’ve also been subscribing to The Writer’s Almanac for years and years, and I mostly enjoy the poems I get in my inbox every day. (Mostly. They can’t all be winners.) If you subscribe to some good ones, let me know in the comments!
  • I don’t know how y’all feel about beans, but this looks so good. Smitten Kitchen’s never done me wrong.
  • New jam for the week: Gregory Porter, “1960 What”

Y’all have a good weekend!

right now (september 2017)

Making: Back to working on the blanket.

Cooking: Literally as I write this, I have some chicken thighs in the oven.

Drinking: Cherry Diet Coke.

Reading: Just started The Emperor of All Maladies and Just Mercy. Both are very good so far.

Trawling: For a movie to go watch in a theater at some point this weekend.

Wanting: The weather to cool down already, dang it.

Looking: At the state of my apartment–I need to tidy up a bit.

Deciding: Between two dresses to wear to my friend’s wedding on Saturday.

Listening: The podcast The Hilarious World of Depression–this episode is an interview with Wil Wheaton.

Buying: Uhhh, groceries and gas, mostly. I’m very boring.

Watching: Doctor Who!

Marveling: Seriously, those books I started are so good.

(Okay, I started this last night; going to finish it now.)

Cringing: Eesh, my nail polish is chipped.

Needing: ^ To redo my nail polish, obviously.

Questioning: Future life choices. (Yes, I’m being vague on purpose.)

Smelling: Now? Coffee.

Wearing: A dress, a cardigan, and black flats. All I need to do is put my hair up in a bun…

Noticing: Oof, I forgot to eat lunch and my stomach is now reminding me of the fact.

saturday session (9/23/17)

Morning, gang. If you’re reading this the morning it posts, I’m at work doing a craft for our Hispanic Heritage Celebration. Hispanic Heritage Month started on the 15th and runs until October 15, and I say that you should go learn about Latin American contributions to American policy and culture. It feels especially potent this year, with the DACA repeal especially affecting people from Central and South America, and with folks in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic suffering from the effects of natural disasters.

Anyway. The week’s been all right. Here are some links.

  • One of the side effects of visiting a bunch of churches is that you get to learn new songs. Last Sunday we sang a great song called Empty Me Out and it’s my new jam.
  • If you want to help out libraries post-Harvey, may I humbly suggest going here and here.
  • And Floridians and Caribbean neighbors, we see you, too, especially with Maria coming right on the tail of Irma. If you want to give, Consumer Reports has a good list of places to do so.
  • So apparently octopuses are building octopus neighborhoods?
  • I’ve just discovered tahini and its deliciousness earlier this year, and I like caramel, and I love apples, so this sounds really delicious. I think caramel apples are kind of a pain in the butt to eat, though, so maybe put that tahini caramel as a dip on the side of some cut up apples? That sounds better.
  • I am decidedly pro-Wes Anderson, and if y’all haven’t seen the trailer for his new movie, it looks great. There’s a giant cast of great actors, and it takes place in Japan, and it’s about dogs, and I can’t wait to watch it.
  • I also really want to see Murder on the Orient ExpressI haven’t read the source material (soon to remedy that, though), but the trailer looks great.
  • Probably only funny if you’re a theatre person, but: Honest Theatre Awards.

stuff i want to get done this fall.

Make two wreaths for my door, one for Christmas and one for the rest of the time.

Finish ten books before Advent starts.

Try six coffee places I’ve never been to before. (11/19 – Slowpokes)

Try six restaurants that I’ve never been to before. (9/24 – CC’s Cafe in Tomball; 10/8 – Conservatory; 11/4 – Tiny Boxwoods; 11/19 – Cedar Creek Cafe)

Check out Blue Willow Bookstore, Murder by the Book, River Oaks Bookstore, and Kaboom Books.

Catch up on Doctor Who and Stranger Things.

saturday session (9/16/17)

Hi, everybody. It’s Saturday. I’m getting over a sinus-and-chest congestion something (I blame all the post-Harvey crap in the air) and the steroid I got put on is making me feel a little crazy. But life continues to be mysterious and grand. I’ve had multiple lovely conversations with friends this week, and my prayer life is somehow opening up, and God is good.

On to the links!

  • A handful of H-E-B employees rode out Harvey together at their store.
  • Holy smokes, this is gorgeous. I’ve had the chorus stuck in my head for the past couple of days. (Also, who else is excited that Prairie Home Companion is starting back up in a couple of weeks?)
  • Something something millennials and avocados. Whatever, this is cute.
  • Jim Carrey recently made a short film about art and Christ and Pop Culture posted an excellent article about it.
  • Wendy Alsup wrote an excellent article for Christianity Today about women’s head coverings, Old Testament captives of war, and protecting the dignity of women.
  • The church I visited last week opened their service with this song and I’ve had the chorus to this one stuck in my head all week, too.
  • And I’ve been praying the Lord’s Prayer differently after hearing this sermon that ties it to the Two Great Commandments (love God and love your neighbor).

Have an excellent rest of your weekend. Love y’all.

Christ, My Only Lasting Comfort

(music to come once I figure out a tune)

Christ, my only lasting comfort
Christ, the refuge from the storm
Save from wrath and sin and danger
Bring this wanderer safely home
Pleasures fade and sorrows linger
Life with trials hard may press
Thou the only true joy-bringer
Thou alone can give me rest

Earthly treasures break and crumble
Rust and moth and thief will steal
Still my stubborn heart would grumble
To my idols would appeal
None but Jesus satisfies me
None but Thee could fill my soul
Thou art able, Thou art willing
Come, Lord Jesus, make me whole

May I know Thee in Thy dying
May I know Thee in Thy life
So to lose my selfish striving
So to win Thee, greatest prize
May I fix on Thee my vision
May toward heaven my heart be aimed
Thou art better than all riches
Thou art fairer than all gain

saturday session

Maybe I’ll just start doing this every week–a round up of recommendations and links and other things. Well. Let me just get through this first go and see what happens from there.

How are you folks today? How are you, fellow Houstonians? How are you dealing with Harvey aftermath? I was supposed to be in Orange today, helping a friend who’s a pastor there as his church got together to clean out houses, but I was experiencing some, um, gastrointestinal distress this morning and, well, now I’m sitting on my living room floor typing this.

It’s been a strange few weeks. First my church stopped meeting on Sunday mornings, then Harvey made landfall and drowned my city, and now we’re dealing with the aftermath of all of that. Three households from Kaleo got water in their buildings, which makes me sad. There’s a whole section of town where the water hasn’t drained off yet, almost two weeks later. And then DACA, and then an earthquake in Mexico City, our southern neighbors, and then Irma barreling through the Caribbean straight towards Florida. Scary times.

I’ve been very impressed, though, by how the body of Christ has stepped up and loved this town, and how it’s loving the other communities that got hit–Corpus Christi, Rockport, Beaumont, Orange, Port Arthur. And they will love their immigrant neighbors and Mexican neighbors and Caribbean and Floridian neighbors, I believe. The strange thing about being a Christian is that we bear the presence of God to the rest of the world–at the very least, that is what it means to be the temple of the Holy Spirit–and so we go out to give money and time and supplies and work to prove God’s love to the world. Mystery.

Anyway, here are some links. Hope y’all have a good weekend.

  • My aforementioned pastor friend is raising money for his church so they can help folks rebuild their lives; donate here.
  • Churches in the Houston metro area that are doing awesome Harvey relief work: Bayou City Fellowship, City Church, the Sojourn Network, Christ Community Church, Houston Northwest Church (select “Harvey Flood Relief”). And my church, such as it is, is raising money here.
  • And I just found about Harvey Relief Hub–they need stuff and they need volunteers today (Saturday) and tomorrow.
  • Our local magazine has been doing some excellent Harvey coverage.
  • Now for something completely different: You should probably read this Ta-Nehisi Coates piece. I disagree with Mr. Coates on a lot of stuff, but the article’s still worth a read; he says some pretty acute things about race in America.
  • The Bible Project’s doing a word study on the Shema and their video about the word “heart” is especially lovely.
  • And for something that doesn’t matter that much in the long run but is pretty great nonetheless, Target’s new women’s clothing line makes me want to spend a whole paycheck on it.
  • Finally, I’ve been playing this version of “Good Good Father” a lot lately–I know some of you, dear readers, straight up don’t like this song, or you might have a complicated relationship with it, but it’s been sorely needed by this particular heart recently. He is perfect in all of His ways to us.

Be excellent to one another.



Rain doesn’t discriminate
Between the sinners
And the saints
(it takes and it takes and it takes…)

The trees
The houses
The bayous
Are all drowning

The guts of houses
Fallen limbs
Scraps of lives
Now rotting on

The lawns we planted
As attempts to control
A wild and waste world
In which we are so small

This beautiful city
Baptized in the water
Of a world that groans
Heavenward to be born again