martes, noviembre 29, 2005


I only have six more hours to be... however old I am.

What am I going to do?!?!?!?!

Oh yeah, write papers.


Actually it must needs be said that I have a very coolio cool Thanksgiving break, I got to make two pumpkin pies and two slabs of cake (both of which have taken rather longer to eat than Jim's magnificent cheesecake!). We had a hoot all day Thursday with a few family friends and the loads of food that we gals cooked. Didn't play or watch any football, but got to share the couch with Benny for our family movie which about the same thing ;D.

And on the weekend (Friday through Sunday) I had a tremendous time with Ginny and Becky cruising Indy for a get-the-gals-together and also celebrate-with-Cabbage time. See Miss Ginny's post for a bit more illumination (note that the bruises were not my fault!). What she didn't say was that she unknowingly gave me my new rage for the season: mint hot chocolate. If you're ever at Starbucks and feeling non-coffee and/or stingy (I know, that only happens to me once a year too) get a peppermint hot chocolate and absolutely die like I did. Oh the joy!

martes, noviembre 22, 2005

Sermon notes Oct 30, 2005

Another set of sermon notes, this time out for all to see instead of a link. Again, please see the disclaimer(s) posted on Nov 6 and send a letter to the editor for typeo's (typoes? typos?). And have a joyful Thanksgiving!!!!

Today the scripture readings were from Ps 8:1-9, and Matthew 21:1-17 about Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Mr. York noted that the amount of time that the gospels give to the last week of Jesus’s life disproportionate, spending anywhere from 20% to almost 50% in the four books on this one week. This great attention is also accompanied by many quotations from the Psalms and Prophets [during this time Jesus is fulfilling many of those prophesies!]. We ought to preface our approach to this chapter in Matthew with the knowledge that it is here that Christ is rising to his great battle (and great victory). Many people think that the Lord’s greatest battle is still to be fought, when he comes with His angels at the end of the age. As God’s children we must realize that Christ fought for and earned our salvation 2000 years ago, this was His marvelous work (Matt 21:15).

We first saw the great contrast between the Jew’s expectations and Christ’s actual entrance. We sang Ps. 118 this morning, the one that they quote in v. 9, and this song was part of the Great Halel (sp?!) which all Jews sang around the Passover. They thought about the words of this Psalm: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly The right hand of the Lord is exalted,” and their minds were captivated by civil salvation. Here at last was their Messiah, one who could expel diseases and silence storms, coming to overthrow their conquerors forever. What they didn’t notice, however, was the manner of his coming, “gentle and mounted on a donkey” (v. 5 and Is 62:11). It wasn’t with the civil rulers that He had come to do battle, rather their own Pharisees and scribes were the ones confronting him just a few verses down. The Jews forgot what the Passover was about - a lamb shedding his blood to save the firstborn in Egypt.

Misguided as the Jews were, when the King came to Jerusalem he was met with shouts of praise. The Jews had a hope that was only earthy, only temporary, but they were unrestrained in their praises and expectations. What manner of praise and devotion should be on our lips, who know the true implications of the gospel? To our great loss, we are often dead when we read the word, dead when we pray, dead when we offer praise. [The Jews were not ashamed to shout to the heavens] and we, knowing that He has given us eternal salvation ought to do no less.

Finally, we saw that Christ came zealous for righteousness, in His cleaning of the temple, therefore we should repent before Him. Historically (II Sam 5:6-8), there was a saying, “The blind or the lame shall not come into the house” [I’m assuming this includes the Lord’s house]. The outcasts in Christ’s day were prevented from worshiping by the money changers. Then, not only does Christ allow them in and heal the physically blind and lame, but He turns on the true outcasts of His Kingdom, the Pharisees and Scribes. “Have you never read [the Psalms]?” he asks them. The Lord identifies who is truly blind and lame, those who cannot embrace His humility and never had their eyes opened to the word of God.

There is an application here in how we think of people within the Lord’s house. We of the church are often inwardly displeased by people who come in blinded and maimed by the world. But we ourselves wander in our obedience, and presume to work a self-righteousness when God knows that we have none, and yet we see these “messy” people and demand that they clean up their act. What we overlook is that God requires repentant hearts, opened eyes, and straight paths from us as well.

This chapter also warns us about our fruitfulness. Christ was in earnest about producing the fruit of repentance, as seen in Matt 21:18-22 where the Lord curses a barren fig tree. He is gentle and forgiving He also looks for rich fruits of righteousness as we walk with Him. I personally thought of a verse in Matt 5 that we are looking at: “Therefore let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”


jueves, noviembre 17, 2005


That means Deo Volente, God willing, and is the big arc over everything that’s coming up for me.

Are you ready? The big news at last??

So, God willing, I’m gonna be part of a short term Reformed Presbyterian Missions trip to Phoenix AR in December. Whew!

This post has been a month and a half in the making by now, but I found out about this opportunity provided by RPMissions, applied, got accepted to the team, yeppers, I even bought my flight ticket last night. It is a very exciting thing for me, (geez I haven’t even been up in the air before!) but let me give you the quick and dirty from the RPMissions web site.

Phoenix, Arizona (December 27, 2005 - January 9, 2006)
RP Missions has a great need for young people to labor this winter for two weeks in Phoenix, Arizona. This small congregation is hoping to benefit from the work of the team to make new contacts in its community and to implement more outreach efforts around the greater Phoenix area. Mission team members can expect to do some door-to-door work, possibly help organize and carryout a backyard Bible school or vacation Bible school. Team members will also seek to encourage the members of this congregation by joining with them in worship and midweek Bible studies. Individuals who have abilities to communicate in Spanish would be a great asset to this team. One day of this trip will be spent touring the Sedona Valley and the Grand Canyon.
Participants will fly to the Phoenix International Airport.

Ages: 16-32
Size of team: 6-10 participants

I first thought about a missions trip when musing on how much free time I have now (comparatively) and how quickly I know that that’ll change even in the next semester. If I wanted to seriously pursue one soon (even this winter, thought I) early October would be high time to research, perhaps even too late. The next day I when mentioned the thought to mom she immediately threw in a lot of encouragement. We even excitedly talked about the possibility of ministering in a Spanish speaking country (since I’ve been taking Spanish) even though we were pretty sure that there were no RP churches in South or Central America. Well, I got online the next day and, boom, the first entry on the list was the one posted above – Phoenix, Arizona. It was the only trip I saw for this winter, and there I may use some of my Spanish. Cool Beans!!

I believe that the next day was a Sabbath, and during our fellowship lunch we had two young missionaries-to-be give a brief testimony. If I recall correctly, Brandon and Megan were taking mission trips to Australia together even before they were married (stuff that Joleen, their six-month-old daughter, wouldn’t remember and therefore didn’t comment on). Now God has called them to relocate to Australia long term, and what struck me was how He used a smaller venture to guide them, teach them things about themselves and Himself. Of course I realize that many short term missionaries don’t have this strong connection between the field and their future homes. I don’t have the foggiest idear of where I’ll be in five years either! But planning and planting in smaller ways is exciting. Wondering what God will do with even a small seed is exciting. Watching as He still leads me for His name’s sake is downright thrilling.

What makes your rising sun so new?



Goodness, Igotanearlybirthdaypresentyesterdayafternoon ::takes breath::

My parents got me a palm pilot¡!¡!¡

BoooYea!! It was a total surprise but I came into the den while everyone else was talking. Mr. Benny nearly jumped out of his skin and came whirling over to me waving his arms like a disjointed scarecrow. Unfortunately, since he does this kind of thing all the time, I lost my change to begin suspecting something. I was at the computer doggedly surfing when Mom burst into the happy birthday song exactly fourteen days early. Yes, I was flabbergasted at this confrontation, but dribbled into pools of delight upon opening the gift. Mom has always been telling me how cool it would be if I had one of these babies and then they went and got me one that was juuust perfect. It’s gonna be so fun and helpful!!! ::sigh::

Quick update on the patient from yesterday:

Amy has been a bed bug for a couple of days now, but is improving by the grace of God. She had more cards and flowers today, and got in a couple of movies this afternoon (one of them, Anastasia, was a dreadful animated musical whose villain was physically falling apart throughout the film!). She does seem to be feeling better too and has had a great (sleepy) attitude the whole time.

Durst I say it that I still might be able to come to Lafayette this week? Nah, I’ll just appear and haunt the Boilermakers :o)

lunes, noviembre 14, 2005

Barg (pronounced with a hard g as in goof)

That's what they put on movie tickets. I guess they thing it means bargain (someone smarter than I can perhaps enlighten me), but Jims and I agreed that it's really an expression of disapproval, disesteem, or disfavor. No, I'm not actually grumpy right now, I just feel a bit... barged that I told peeps that I was coming to the fireside chat and didn't actually show. On Sunday afternoon my friend called in sick. I had noticed that she was hoarse all week, but then it just settled in her chest and she just couldn't come. We weighed some possibilities but since we had had company that afternoon, and Dad was preaching that night, I thought we'd dis-complecate our evening and just call it off. Once I thought about it yesterday evening, though, I was really glad that it didn't work out. And this is why.

Jims had an operation this morning on her poor 'ittle nose. She had an Xray of it recently and apparently it has been broken or blocked or un-goodified for quite some time. It is our hope that the operation today (which will perhaps involved quite a bit of pain, so be praying) will alleviate her breathing problems and even alleviate some of her migraines.

So to make a un-complicated story short. It would have been a bit barg if Erin and I had gone and then come in really late and slept really late for everyone to work around us. This way all of us got up at a just the right time and had a calm morning to see Amy off at 8 . It would have been extreme barg if we hadn't really thought it all the way through and sent Amy with me so that she had come in really late and started this important week all groggy and warn out. God had a way of preparing a way for her when it was really important that she be allowed to heal!!
But if nothing else... we are headed over for the Thanksgiving Psalm Sing this Sunday night (very coolio) and I had the time to study for my big fat Spanish test today!!!

viernes, noviembre 11, 2005

Not to us, not to us

“We are broken we are bitter/ We’re the problem we’re the politicians

Politicians… Politicians…”

Do you ever wake up with one of those loud songs you know stuck in your head? Probably not the best way to start a peaceful day, but that little voice has been shouting in my head for hours. Hey maybe that’s part of the reason that I’m up and working on emails and blogs already.

First, big news. Today is the second day of Presbytery, which is a meeting of all the pastors from all the churches in our slice of the RPCNA. This is the time that they discuss policies and hear reports and also approve the work of men who are pastoral interns, like Dad. He’s been working on the first stage of pastorship: licensure to preach and he had five tests (some verbal, some written, and one huge term paper) in this stage. This time he was supposed to bring that last test before the Presbytery and even perhaps begin the next test for licensure to receive a call. We just got word that his last test was completed for the first stage. Dad is licensed to preach!!! Woooooo! He’s a licensed preacher of the RP church!! Huzzah! God was willing and He made it happen!!

Whew! Ok those who read this post Friday morning be praying for him and thanking the Lord for this big step.

The rest of my news is small compared to that, but I’m pretty excited about this weekend. At IUK one of my friends is a girl named Erin who has taken Spanish with me for three semesters. I got to know her and her fiancée early on and we’ve become pretty tight nit. Anywho, I’ve invited them to visit our church several times by now, especially since they live in Marion along with about half of our congregation who commute. The whole catch is that they are Wesleyans, and if your now anything about Armenian Westlyans and Calvinist RP’ers (Reformed Presbyterians) you can see that there’d be some problems there.

But alright, I’ve also been wanting to visit more RP college groups in our area, and having been down to Indianapolis several times over the summer and school year (you guys rock!!) I thought about visiting the Lafayette RPC, which is about the same distance away. This city is the stronghold of Purdue University, and though I will have to wear my IU colors incognito*, I have really wanted to visit there because I know they have a strong group of Christian students. Well I’m finally going to be able to make the Fireside chat this Sunday evening, so I’m really looking forward to that. And Erin has agreed to come with me! Yippee!! (not only will I have a friend while in enemy territory {jk!}, but a riding buddy really makes it easier for me to go at all)

But the greatest part is that before we truck over there, she thought it best to come to the evening service in Kokomo so that we can leave straight from there. I shook my head this morning as I realized that this was a major answer to many weeks of prayer. I haven’t prayed in the way that I ought to have, but wow, God is faithful. I was just concentrating on working out the trip to Lafayette but here was my big chance to invite her to an actual worship service, and I didn’t even think about it – Mom had to suggest it. This whole thing came together when I wasn't looking for it at all. So you can be praying for her heart while in Kokomo, and for both of us in Lafayette with a group of mostly strangers. Oh, and pray that we get there safe and sound, I’ve never been to this city before and we’ll have to find everything in the dark!

::sigh:: The sun is out and I’ve been looking at a screen all morning. Sounds like a good time to break off and rake leaves. Watch for another post this evening with the continued adventures of Canny. There’s more to tell!

* This may be a good time to clarify my stance on the entire IU/Purdue question. Obviously, for a Hoosier who has spent all their days contemplating this aspect of their future, there can be party lines and wild color waving, and all of it matters. But for a Texan who could never even enter the Aggie v. UT debate with much fervor, for better or for worse, it all means peanuts. I landed in Indiana and find myself in a city called Kokomo which happens to have a university branch three miles down the road. Where am I going to school? Where I get both inexpensive education and fresh bran muffins every day. Now that I do go to IU however, I feel responsible to side with my own colors and staunchly say that IU is the best place in the world. With me, however, this never conflicts with the fact that some of my favorite people are die hard Boilermakers, had I settled in Lafayette I would have just as quickly thrown my cap in there. For now all alliances are tempered by particular situation, and living at home with those muffins sounds just fine to me.

P.P.S. The title was a reference to Psalm 115:1, but read it and keep going - it gets better

domingo, noviembre 06, 2005

Secrets of the Kingdom

I started typing out my sermon notes a couple of weeks ago, found that they could be useful for a friend. We are in the midst of a fascinating series on the Psalms in the life of Christ and if I continue to get them typed out each week, I'd like to put them up here for anyone to read if they are interested.

Just a few things to bear in mind
1 These notes were written for a friend who shares all of my religious assumptions, so if it seems like a letter - it is! I went ahead and threw terms in there that I knew she'd know and left them in tact when I uploaded to the internet. If anyone finds these notes and starts cropping up problems, first see my two other points below, but then go ahead and comment objections/questions/confusion. If I can't re-hash it clearer for you I'll find someone who can.

2 I am not a pastor! These are layman observations from a layman who loves finding all sorts of conclusions/applications/rabbits-to-chase from solid teaching. If you've heard the sermon yourself (or, heaven forbid, if you are Mr. York) be gentle with those sections in brackets, my mind was whirling and I just put down what came in it.

3 These are simply notes, therefore they are the condensed form of the major points that stuck out to me, not a transcript of Mr. York's every word. If you read something that doesn't seem to smack right, you're probably right and I just made too many connections in my head and not on paper.

Sermon notes Oct 23, 2005

sábado, noviembre 05, 2005

Breath of death

Just because I should be doing something else (writing two articles for the newspaper, one for the church, and one for Spanish class. seriously), does that mean I shouldn't blog? Aw, why not.

I agree with my wise mother that comments on teeny weeny posts like my last one only encourage laziness, but I love to hear from you guys! Today I got up at 8, a bit later than I am wont, but I knew that we'd be cleaning for guests that that seems decidedly easier than getting your brain all geared up to write. We had a great family from church over to lunch, the Brookshires, and they have two girls a bit younger than Ben. As they got here way before lunch began, we thought that we'd pull out Monopoly. Boy had it been a while! Amy was made Chief Banker and Teller while I was appointed Moderator of the Landed Gentry (I kept the place cards). This arrangement would seem to give us both a powerholding edge, but it was not to be. Not far into the game I was rather surprised to find that everyone had pulled way ahead of me. Houses and five hundred dollar bills were flying about while I rejoiced when I actually got into jail for a while so that I could stop paying rent. I had not thought my business skills to be so inferior, but by the end of the game all were counting their bills and slips (the bank ran out of money and manufactured some of it's own with lined paper) and I was lucky to have five hundred dollars. Amy, on the other hand, was coolly numbering bills into the thousands and was the winner when the game prematurely closed.

Speaking of spaghetti (yes we were) there was another appointment today that I couldn't seem to get right. The womenfolk were preparing the sumptuous Italian lunch, and since I could never chop tomatoes correctly I volunteered to make garlic toast. Ha, I thought, bread is a second nature to me [well at least it should be from the amounts I eat!] I'll have these little dudes so beautifully baked that you'd think they were made by Mussolini! Sadly, this was not far from the truth. Although I have by now learned the art of butteration and golden brown toasting, I still can't judge how much garlic salt to put on!! When we settled down for lunch I was happily tasting my masterpiece when a wave of astringent garliciness attacked my taste buds. I quietly gulped the raging tidbit and hoped that one bad bite on one bad piece. But a few minutes later, amid the chuckles and crunches of a happy meal, James gave a sly look my way and said, "Hmm, this toast is pretty... spicy!" Ah well, I think I'm doing some things right. I mean, if that's how my mentor cooked toast, it means that I wouldn't be such a hot national leader either!

Oh I just experienced a magnificent quote from my little brother. The things I'm privilaged to hear these days.

"Wow, I'm getting to the point that I have to pull the hair out with my earbuds, it's getting so long.


I know that you didn't need to know that, but it's a new thing with me."