Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jose's New Job

So I was watching some good Boxing Day soccer with Ciaran this morning and early afternoon and who appears on Setanta Sports after the Man. U. game but Jose Mourinho...the puppet. The clip that we watched isn't up on YouTube yet, but an older one is. Even though I love Mourinho as a manager, I had to laugh at the clip. Hopefully, the one I saw today will be up on YouTube sometime soon. In the meantime, enjoy the one I have provided below.

For this clip, I especially love when a certain Russian billionaire calls funny!!! Drogba crying for Jose to come back and
Makelele's call-in cracked me up as well.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Journal Theme

So I love to journal. That is no big secret. I've been journaling since I was eight years old and I have the boxes full of old journals to prove it. Tonight I was going through all my old journals trying to find the ones from sixth grade. [I want to remember what it was like to be in sixth grade so I can better teach my sixth graders next semester when I am student teaching.] I located them, read through a bunch of the entries, e-mailed one in particular (that made me laugh the hardest) to Ciaran and then boxed them back up and forgot about it. Then, just a few minutes ago, I was patrolling some of my favorite blogs while I wait for a sub job to be posted on the ISD's website and I stumbled onto the Josh Harris blog (a personal favorite of mine)...and guess what...on December 5th's entry, there sat a picture of my current journal (it's the one on the farthest right). It made me smile because this journal is one of my current favorites; I even had to show it to my friend Amy as soon as I got it because I love it so much! I'm very particular about the paper in my journals, the binding, the cover, everything. I guess you could say I'm a connoisseur of journals. Is that even possible?! No matter, I love journals and I adore this one. And I was especially excited to see it featured on the blog of Joshua Harris. Pretty sweet. OK, I just got a job tomorrow at Heritage so I had better get moving so I can get to bed at a halfway decent time tonight. Hope everyone's having a wonderful Sabbath.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Happy Birthday Ciaran!

That’s right, today is Ciaran’s 28th birthday (and his twin sister Sinead's obviously as well). :-) And guess what?! Ciaran got his first snow day as a teacher today. Apparently out in New Hampshire they’ve gotten over a half foot of snow...what a fun surprise. So here’s wishing him an enjoyable and restful birthday! Oh and I've included a picture of him working one Saturday in the shop he teaches in. I took this picture when I visited him in October; I snapped this one without him knowing I was going to take it...that's why it's only a profile shot. Hehe. Happy 28th Ciaran!

And my uncle's benefit last night was a blast. He's always happiest when he's up there playing keyboard so it was an absolute joy to watch him in his element again! Thanks to everyone who came out; what an amazing turnout!

And now I am off to go buy a project display board for a big presentation I have to give Wednesday afternoon. This project is consuming my thoughts today, so I'm sorry if this post is a bit jumbled and confusing. I will be so glad to finally be done with this class. I've learned a lot, but it's been a ton of work; definitely not what I had been expecting. But I'm in the homestretch now and then student teaching will be starting before I know it! Yay!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Benefit for Brian Bennett

For those of you remember when I posted back in July about my uncle Brian who suffered a massive stroke...there is going to be a benefit for him on Sunday in Saginaw at The Roadhouse on Gratiot. It's starts at 1:30pm and I think my uncle will play sometime around 6pm (one-handed of course). :-)

The Saginaw News had an article about it yesterday. Here is the link if you want to read it.

All right, I'm about ready to head up north for a little retreat with the Lord and a few other girls so I had better go finish packing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Catching up on E-mails

I have a severe backlog of e-mails to catch up with tonight, so instead of an original post from me, I’m going to refer you to the November 27th and 28th postings on the GirlTalk blog. Why am I doing this? Because Carolyn Mahaney quotes Piper? Well yes, she does, but the message is particularly relevant with the Christmas season upon us now. To whet your appetite for what Carolyn Mahaney has to say, I’ve included a brief excerpt from Piper’s book A Hunger for God, taken directly from the Girl Talk blog.

“The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.

Jesus said some people hear the word of God, and a desire for God is awakened in their hearts. But then, ‘as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life’ (Luke 8:14). ‘The pleasures of this life’ are not evil in themselves. These are not the vices. These are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV-watching and Internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God” (John Piper, A Hunger for God, p. 14-15).

I found this quote incredibly convicting and a much needed reminder, not just with the Christmas season upon me, but also as I prepare for a personal retreat with the Lord that I am going on tomorrow and Saturday (along with three other girlfriends). OK, enough out of me, my e-mails await! Enjoy Carolyn Mahaney’s posts on the Girl Talk blog tonight. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to write again tomorrow before heading up north.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Face to Face

I'm home today working on a huge project for my Methods of Teaching English class. I needed a bit of a break so I thought to myself, "Hmm...why not post to my blog during this little study break." So I thought I would share in these few brief moments a favorite book of mine right now. Now this book is a book I've been working through the past few months. It's entitled Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship by Kenneth Boa. I absolutely love this book because it is a prayer guide almost entirely comprised of Scripture. Each day features the components of adoration, confession, renewal, petition, intercession, affirmation, thanksgiving and a closing prayer. Each of these components has up to a handful of Scripture passages to pray through and meditate on. This of course was a book my mentor recommended for me to get and now I recommend it to everyone I talk to about prayer and especially to people who are passionately eager to ground their prayers in the bedrock of Scripture. I think what has challenged me the most while working through these prayers is the realization of how "me-centered" my prayers are and how little time I spend simply adoring God for who He is. That changed quickly once I started praying through this book. Another facet of this book that I love is that these aren't simply a bunch of "canned" prayers to pray through without thinking. Because it is Scripture and God's Word is alive, it is next to impossible to kneel down and pray through these without coming face to face (hehe, hence the title) with our Living God. I love that so much. I fully and heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to increase their level of intimacy with the Lord.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Have you ever visited this site? I absolutely love it. It's called OpenCongress. It's a site that keeps you updated on all that is going on in Congress. It tells you when the House and Senate are in session, has featured congressman on the homepage, details the latest votes, and my favorite provides links to everything Congress related. I've been keeping up with all that is going on related to foreign policy, education, etc. all because of this lovely site. I've also been following what my reps are actually doing there in Washington and what they are voting on. Very useful and so much fun! Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A New Week

Ah, the wonderful daily grind. It’s usually so hard for me to get back into the swing of things after Thanksgiving, but this year has been different. I bounded out of bed at 5:20 this morning and was so eager to get working hard as quickly as possible. I’m thinking this is my natural coping mechanism. When Grandpa died, I wanted to be as busy as possible (once I got over the initial debilitating and uncontrollable sobbing of course). It was the same when my cat Jamison had to be put to sleep (if you’re laughing at this, you have to realize that Jamison was incredibly precious to me, hehe). And now with these Ciaran good-byes, I find that afterward I always have this insatiable desire to work really, really hard. I guess it could be worse; I could be mopey and not want to get out of bed right?!

So today. My meeting at the school I will be student teaching at went great. I got to meet the principal and my host teacher, as well as see the assistant principal who used to be an assistant principal at South (she remembered me from when I did field work there two years was nice to see a familiar face). My host teacher seems really great! She gave me a ton of resources to work through the next few weeks as I begin plotting out some rough sketches for my lesson plans. One little surprise though: my host teacher is white. What does that have to do with anything, you are probably thinking to yourself right about now. Well you see, it doesn’t matter, but it was a surprise because everyone I saw in the administration and support staff up until the moment I met her was black. Also, I learned today that this school is known as the “black” school because unlike the other district schools that have an incredibly diverse student population (and as a result have incredibly high racial tensions); this one doesn’t because it’s comprised almost entirely of African Americans. So at least racial tensions and feuding aren’t really something I’m going to have to deal with. I am going to have a few different kinds of challenges to face though. First, apparently I have a few arsonists in my classes and one student in particular is notorious for fighting and injuring his teachers—that should be interesting. My host teacher filled me in on a number of other behavioral and criminal information concerning my future students, but I’m going to wait and see for myself how these kids act before I start blogging about feels too much like gossip until I’ve experienced it first hand. Haha. In all seriousness though, I am incredibly excited about my student teaching placement. My host teacher told me repeatedly today that this placement is guaranteed to make me a better teacher and by observing everything today, I know (without a shadow of a doubt) she’s right. I also know God has me at this school for a distinct purpose; I just can’t wait to get started!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Official End of Thanksgiving

Well, Thanksgiving is officially over now. It was so hard to say good-bye to Ciaran today at the airport. You might think I’d be getting used to these good-byes by now, but the funny thing is, each time seems just as tough as the last time, if not tougher. Well, dwelling on the fact that Ciaran is winging his way back to New Hampshire isn’t helping so a few brief moments thinking back on fun times this weekend might be just the thing to help me with this.

I treasured every moment I had with Ciaran this weekend. It was an intense whirlwind of a weekend though. There were so many people Ciaran wanted to see and his oldest brother (the brother I hadn’t met yet), sister-in-law, nephew and niece ended up making it to Michigan for Thanksgiving as well. Even with two of Ciaran’s siblings not there this weekend (they both live in California), there were still a ton of people around at all times.

I also had an absolute blast hanging out with Ciaran’s nephew this weekend. His niece is a sweetie too of course, but I spent more time with Shea, watching the Saginaw Spirit play, “partying” with him late into the night, watching movies, talking about soccer (he thinks Chelsea are a bunch of cheaters....further proof of Ciaran’s corrupting influence on this dear boy) and of course we spent quite a bit of time talking about how cool Uncle Ciaran is. Shea thinks Ciaran is a celebrity because no matter where they went this weekend, he was accosted by people who knew him (a lot of these people were former soccer players he’s coached over the last ten years, but Shea still thought it was pretty amazing). :-) I myself was amazed at Shea’s incredible memory. I hadn’t seen Shea in quite awhile, it’s been at least two years and he still remembered playing soccer and basketball with me one summer and he also remembered when he was probably only four years old (maybe five, I’m not sure) going back to my pond when we had snapping turtles. I thought that was pretty impressive...I’d even forgotten about the time when the turtles were back at our pond. Oh yes and Shea even gave me a job lead; he filled me in that, in his opinion, Madison schools are pretty good and I could move to Wisconsin when I get my teaching certificate...apparently there’s a house for sale close to his house. I don’t know though, Madison is even further away from Uncle Ciaran; that might be pretty tough. :-) Ah fun times, I hope Shea will come and visit again soon!

And I can’t forget about Ciaran’s niece...she is a riot! She insisted on being called Meatball or Woof-Woof almost the entire time. She likes to pretend she’s a puppy. I addressed her as Neeva once and she looked up at me shaking her head and stated so seriously, “No Neeva, I’m Meatball” and proceeded to curl up in Ciaran’s lap. She even got some little playmates to play puppy too and Ciaran dubbed one of those little girls Spaghetti. Four-year-olds are so much fun and Spaghetti and Meatball were the best!

OK, next, you had to know this was coming. ENGLAND’S NOT GOING TO EURO 2008!!! What is this world coming to?!!! Ciaran’s dad ordered the England v. Croatia game on Pay-Per-View for us and so I got to watch it live on Wednesday. What a devastating game! All we needed was a draw, that’s it, not too much to ask for is it? If you would have told me when World Cup was ending...and as I kept reassuring myself that Euro 2008 would be here before I knew it...if you would have told me England would not even qualify I would have laughed in your face...and now....that’s exactly what has happened. Such a bummer. I don’t even know what I’m going to do this summer...who can I possibly support? England is all I know! So the search is on, I’m going to be researching teams this winter and hopefully by April reach my final decision.

All right, there is so much more I could and should write about, but I need to eat and work out yet before bed and I have an early morning tomorrow. I meet with Central’s principal and my potential host teacher first thing in the morning, so I need to be well rested for that. Night!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Waiting Game

So I'm playing the waiting game tonight. Sitting here at my computer, I'm reloading the flight status information for Northwest Airlines time and time again, hoping Ciaran's going to actually make his flight from Detroit to Flint. His flight was supposed to leave Manchester just after 4 and it did leave the gate after 4, but then he sat on the tarmac for over an hour and now he isn't due into Detroit until 7, and according to my brother (who works at Detroit Metro), it's very unlikely he's going to be able to make his next flight. Grr....I'm trying to be patient, but it's been over a month since I last saw Ciaran and I've been so excited about him coming home, I've barely been able to concentrate all day. My mom made a big lasagna dinner for us to eat when we get back from Flint and I was looking forward to some quality time with him tonight before all the holiday rush starts tomorrow. I hope Ciaran gets here soon!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sabbath Thoughts

I love Sundays. I've said it before and you'll hear me say it a hundred more times probably. We concluded our six week unified theme at church today with a sermon entitled, "Take Christ to the Nations." As a result, I've been thinking a lot today about those people who have no access to the gospel whatsoever. The metronome Pastor Jay had on the stage keeps echoing in my mind too. I need sermons like this to keep me missions focused. I was just telling Ciaran on the phone this afternoon that my passion for missions has been clouded out by teaching and school and lots of other frivolous, "cushy," typical American concerns. It was awesome to have God use Pastor Jay to remind me of my responsibility to pray and support our missionaries who are working to reach the least-reached peoples of the world with the gospel. A couple also spoke in church today who are just about ready to leave to minister in Southeast Asia. A daughter of theirs (whom I absolutely adore!) is in the preschool classroom I serve in and as I played with her today, I found myself praying for her, her family and the people they are going to serve in Southeast Asia, more fervently than I've prayed in a long time...partly because I'm going to miss this dear little girl so much (I know I'm going to bawl my eyes out when I have to say good-bye to her), but also because I understand how truly amazing it is that God is equipping this dear family to leave the area, their family, their friends, all to serve our awesome Savior and bring glory to His name! Our God is so awesome, I love the way He works!

So as I was sabbathing this afternoon, those are some of the thoughts and prayers that I was working through with the Lord. I also got to enjoy some quality time with my brother and my mom before heading back to church this evening. It was a thoroughly refreshing afternoon.

Then much fun!!! I was helping out with childcare for our Celebration Service tonight and there were 25 kids between the ages of really little babies to Pre-K and there was me, one other older lady and two eighth graders to care for them (don't worry, we had reinforcements come in later once the word got out about how many kids we had!). It was a bit overwhelming at first, but a ton of my preschoolers were there with their siblings so it helped a bit because I knew them. Mrs. Loomis stayed and helped too once she saw how many kids there were. What an awesome way to conclude my Sabbath, having a blast with a ton of kids, being all crazy and silly and enjoying the day that the Lord has blessed us with. Ahhh, reflecting on my day here for my blog has been so much fun. I should do this more often. I'm going to fall asleep tonight with lips overflowing in thanksgiving to God for the life He has blessed me with...I truly could not ask for more. I hope each and every one of you is having a truly blessed Sabbath as well. Night!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Student Teaching Placement

I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. I can't stop thanking God for this incredible blessing!!! I received my student teaching placement yesterday: I’m teaching 6th grade ELA at Central Middle next semester. This is exactly the placement I had been hoping for! My mom wasn’t too thrilled initially, what with all the recent drive-by shootings that have taken place down in that vicinity, but she knows this is important to me and so she’s supportive now. I can’t wait to get started! 6th grade does seem a little young though, so I’m going to have to re-evaluate some of my teaching strategies, but I know it’s going to be a great learning experience and also, I’ll have taught every grade in my 6-12th grade certification except 8th grade. Maybe I can find a lengthy subbing job in 8th grade during the month of May when I’m available to sub full-time again. OK, I’m rambling way too much...I’m just so excited! Ciaran got an earful from me last night on the phone, but he understood why I’m so excited; his student teaching placement last winter was in Saginaw Public as well (except he taught 11th and 12th grade) and it was an awesome experience for him! Hopefully mine will be just as good!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Home Sick Today

Well, this is officially the longest I've gone in a semester before getting sick with a fever. I was hoping I'd make it past Thanksgiving this year, but unfortunately that didn't happen. So, here I am, curled up in my favorite blanket, sitting at the computer typing away as my head gets fuzzier and fuzzier. I'd probably better get back in bed, but I wanted to post today. At least one paragraph and well here it is. Here's to feeling healthy again tomorrow. Oh and before I go, here's a video and song I've been enjoying since Jen told me about this artist (Brooke Fraser). Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Life Update

I can't believe how little I post to this blog these days! So I've decided to change my tactics. Instead of waiting until I have something worthwhile to say, I'm just going to post everything and anything that comes to mind. Starting now.

Topic #1: Substitute teaching.

Subbing, I have decided, is always an adventure. And if you can't have fun no matter what, and can't enjoy observing the crazy antics of the kids (and maybe record a few of these said antics for a book to be written later on), it's not worth doing. I heard all summer how subbing was going to help my classroom management skills and toughen me up...and maybe it is doing these things...but I'm learning far more than how to be "tough." I'm learning that I just all out enjoy being in the classroom. These kids crack me up...even the ones that seem determined to dislike me even before I've known them a minute. And another thing I've learned is...yes I may look younger than most of them, but I do actually have things I can teach them. And that's why I'm there. I could go on and on about this particular topic, but those are just some preliminary thoughts I wanted to get down.

Topic #2: Single no more.

Ciaran and I have been dating awhile now and although I sat at his soccer game over three months ago and declared to a few girlfriends that a long distance relationship just wasn't something I could ever see myself in...I have yet again eaten my words. But with Ciaran, it's different. I know, I know, everyone says stuff like that, but I really mean it. I am thoroughly enjoying this long-distance relationship. But I also am REALLY excited that a week from tomorrow night, he'll be flying back for a few days. :-)

Topic #3: Preschoolers.

Serving preschoolers on Sunday morning during second service is such an amazingly refreshing experience to have each and every week. It takes a little bit of an adjustment switching from standing in front of 7-12 graders all week and then shifting to sitting on the floor building Noah's Ark out of a bunch of blocks with a group of three and four-year-olds...but I absolutely love it. I could go on and on about the funniest things they say, but I have to cut this post short because I just looked at the time and I need to eat some dinner before I go to meet with my mentor tonight at 7.

Hopefully, I will post again tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Shooting at South Middle

This post is a little delayed, I know...but I really wanted to post about this, at least to some degree. I'm sure by now, many of you have heard of the shooting on Wednesday early evening at South Middle in Saginaw. I was heartbroken as I watched the news footage as the camera panned across the front of the school and then down by the football field. South Middle, the school that is dearest to my heart, now the latest display of teen violence in Saginaw.

My time at South Middle when I was doing my teaching field work is a time I continually refer back to in my memory with nothing but excitement and joy, the experience that reminds me of why I want to be a teacher. I am reminded of the stellar administration and teaching staff there that are committed to ensuring that each student receives a good education, no matter what. Oh I could go on and on about how amazing the South staff and administration are as they face challenges on a daily basis that extend much further than simply curriculum and budget concerns that so many schools in my own little community face.

When I did my field work at South, I parked every morning just about ten feet from where the shooting took place. I remember standing with my class in the very place where this young man was, when I took the kids out in front of the school for a fire drill. The young man who apparently committed this act of violence was a student at the school when I was teaching there for my semester of field work. What causes a student to act out in violence like this? And what is my responsibility as a future teacher when I'm standing before these students on a daily basis? What needs to be addressed? What can I do? I don't know, these probably seem like naive questions and they are hardly deep, but they are questions that flit across my mind as I continue to watch the follow-up on the news concerning this shooting. Especially as I watch the interviews of the parents who are pulling their kids from South now that this has occurred, declaring that there is no discipline at the school and that their kids are too frightened to go back.

I know with full certainty one thing I will continue to do and consider my greatest ministry as I teach. And that is to pray. Pray for each one of the lives that I get to interact with on a daily basis, for the school, and for the community. I know this is one thing I can do because although I feel so helpless as I consider this huge issue of violence in Saginaw, I know with full certainty that God is not helpless. And I will place my hope and my trust in Him.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jose Has Departed

Due to the onslaught of e-mails I have received in just a matter of hours (wow does word travel fast from across the pond or what?!...and yes, most of you beat me to this little tidbit of information), I thought I would address this on my blog. Yes, I have heard that the manager of Chelsea, Jose Mourinho, and the club have decided to go their separate ways. What do I think about this? Well, my initial reaction was devastation of course, because even though we’re off to rocky start this season, I still believed that Mourinho would iron everything out and we’d be back to our normal amazing performances. But sadly, that is not how it is going to work out. I have no idea about this new manager Avram Grant...all I really know is that he’s Israeli, did an ok job with their national team, etc., but other than that, I’m not too sure if this is a permanent appointment. He just doesn’t strike me as someone who would be placed at the helm of my amazing club! I know he’s good buddies with Abramovich and I also think he’s close with Sven-Göran Eriksson, but that doesn’t tell me much about his ability to lead my boys well. Ugh. What a frustrating day. My man Lampard is still injured, we are fifth in the table, then we go and draw to what I consider to be a non-entity team in Champions League and now this. I will be surprised at nothing after this.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Academic Year is Underway

It has been such a long while since I last posted anything substantive. I guess I just haven't felt like sharing my thoughts in a public space journal however, is overflowing with thoughts, musings, reflections, etc.

But since the academic year is fully underway now, I thought it would be fun to post once again. I had my second Methods of Teaching English class tonight. Oh how I love this class. It's three hours long and it's over in what seems like a blink of an eye. That's how much I love it! It feels so good to be back in class again, and everything I do in this class I can take into a middle school classroom and apply in January when I begin my student teaching. That makes it even more fun!

In other news, I only have 8 more work days left at Staples and then I will begin my substitute teaching. Yet another thing I'm really excited about. God has really used this experience at Staples to grow me in my walk with Him, as well as providing me countless opportunities to dialogue with tons of teachers and administrators which has been invaluable as well--so even though I am so thrilled to almost be done, I'm grateful for what God provided me with this summer.

And then as many of you know, my dear friend Ciaran moved to New Hampshire three weeks ago and my world has been a bit gray as a result, but he is really liking it out there and enjoying his teaching so much that I can't help but be overjoyed at how God has provided in this area as well. Even though I do miss him terribly...especially with Prem. just getting underway. ;-)

And of course my relationship with, I am continually amazed at His power. When I was up in Oscoda a few weekends ago, I was overwhelmed not just by thoughts of God as this amazing Creator, but how He sustains His creation. As I looked out over the water and the waves crashing and felt the wind beating against my face, I just felt, well in awe that God is the one who sustains all of this. I don't know, I guess I can't put into words the thoughts of God and my worship of Him as I sat on the beach early that Saturday morning, but I can say this. Every time I take the time to drive up there and to sit on the beach and look out at that vast expanse of water, I am humbled and reminded of God's power and immensity. I'm reminded that He is God and that He is sovereign and that His ways are not my ways. I'm reminded that He is my Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Preserver...oh I could go on and on. I've been told over and over again that most people have a place they can go to be reminded of who God is and to meet with Him and be refreshed. My place is right beside a big body of water. God never fails to remind me of who He is and draw me into heartfelt, whole-hearted worship of Him when I am next to the water. And it stays with me. Even this morning as I huddled down in my room to spend some quality alone time with Him before my day officially began, I was reminded of what He was teaching me up in Oscoda and how to apply it to my day today. I love that so much! Our God is truly an awesome God!

OK, well I've rambled on long enough. I'll end here for the night. I hope everyone is enjoying an incredibly wonderful, God-saturated day.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Legend of Zelda

Remember the video game Legend of Zelda? Here's a fun tribute to the music.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Uncle Brian

Yesterday, my Uncle Brian suffered a stroke and is in intensive care right now. As of 2am this morning, his left side is completely paralyzed. I'm posting this because I know all of you will pray. Pray for him, his doctors and my Aunt Tina and their son Nick, as well as the rest of the family as we await word on what is next. Thank you so much!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Meet My Friend Amy

I've been meaning to post this to my blog for weeks and weeks now. It's my dear friend Amy exhibiting her amazing memorization prowess. I laughed so hard when I saw/heard this; it's incredibly impressive!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Summer Reading

Just Finished Today:

  • The Testament by John Grisham

Currently Reading:

  • Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
  • Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Donald S. Whitney
  • Telling Yourself the Truth by William Backus and Marie Chapian
  • The Life and Diary of David Brainerd (I have actually lost count regarding the number of times I've read this since I first obtained it in 2003--I love it!)
  • Men and Women in the Church by Sarah Sumner (Disclaimer: I’m reading this to understand a view different from the one I hold regarding women in church leadership).
  • Building Literacy Through Classroom Discussion: Research-Based Strategies for Developing Critical Readers and Thoughtful Writers in Middle School by Mary Adler & Eija Rougle
  • Tools for Teaching: Discipline, Instruction, Motivation by Fred Jones (thanks for passing this along Amy)

Hope to Read Before Fall:

  • Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn
  • How To Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren
  • What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper
  • Peace Making Women by Tara Klena Barthel & Judy Dabler

Looking over the books I am enjoying right now, I want to strongly recommend Whitney’s Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health. This book is challenging, convicting and he gets right to the point (something that I greatly appreciate when I am reading multiple books). The book is framed by ten questions, they are:

1. Do you thirst for God?

2. Are you governed increasingly by God’s Word?

3. Are you more loving?

4. Are you more sensitive to God’s presence?

5. Do you have a growing concern for the spiritual and temporal needs of others?

6. Do you delight in the bride of Christ?

7. Are the spiritual disciplines increasingly important to you?

8. Do you still grieve over sin?

9. Are you a quick forgiver?

10. Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?

When I came across this title I initially shied away from it because it sounded, I don’t know...gimmicky. But it isn’t at all. Each chapter is so helpful and at the end of each chapter are practical steps to help further develop the characteristic outlined. Those "practical steps" alone make this book a must-read for every Christian, in my humble opinion.
Also, the book is peppered with quotes drawn from some of my favorite men of God...Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis, John Piper, R.C. Sproul, etc. Oh this book is so good...and I’m only halfway through it!

Friday, May 25, 2007

FA Cup Final (from last Sunday)

So I’ve struggled all week trying to find a good tribute to FA Cup winners Chelsea FC!!! I have finally settled on just a montage of the FA Cup Final itself (even though it features that wretched little Man. U goal/not goal...ahem, anyways...), but before I present to you that clip, here’s a little preview of the intensity and importance of this match for those of you who don’t know about the FA Cup.

All right, here’s the Final clip...I especially appreciate all of the talk about the new Wembley, oh I wish I could have been there! Well, here it is my friends...celebrate with me the achievements of Chelsea FC, winners this year of both the Carling Cup and the FA Cup!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Procrastination At Its Finest

WARNING FOR JEN: Spoiler ahead, please don't read this post if you don't yet know the score of the Liverpool v. Chelsea game.

OK, having said that, I can I'm supposed to be writing an 8-10 page paper on history and perception for my Studies in Drama class, but I decided to procrastinate a bit for a few moments. And since I was thoroughly devastated by yesterday's game, I decided to relive the glory days of my precious team and watch some clips on YouTube. I especially love this one because it highlights Lampard.

I have to say though, even though I was soooo upset about yesterday's game, I know Chelsea still has life in them. After all, we have an awesome FA Cup final coming up in a few weeks against none other than Man. U. We play Arsenal this weekend and well, basically the rest of our Prem. season promises to be amazing. OK, enough procrastinating, back to my paper I go. Enjoy the clip I have included above.

And congratulations to Liverpool on your win. Good luck in the final, you'll need it!

Sunday, April 29, 2007


"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:4-7

"Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
-Isaiah 41:10

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Constant

I write tonight with a heart full of joy. Yes, you heard that right. And yes, it is the weekend before finals begin (of my final, most difficult semester of all time!). Yet, I cannot seem to stop smiling. I have been overwhelmed by God's constancy, His faithfulness today, even more so than I have been this whole past week (which is amazing!). I just finished working out and the Scripture I was reading at one point as I jogged on the treadmill was this...
"The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb. " -Psalm 19:7-10
As I read this over and over again, I was overcome by the realization of all that God is doing in my life right now and not only that, but primarily the constancy with which He loves and sustains us. I have experienced first hand today what it feels like to have my soul revived through His Word, and how He has filled my heart with rejoicing as I reveled in His presence all day long and worked in the strength He provided to get all of this work done. What an amazing God we have!

Also, as I was working out tonight I had Snow Patrol's
Eyes Open CD playing in the background and I was reading yet another Scripture card. The verses were from 1 Peter 2:9-10 which say,
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession..."
and before I could go further in my reading I became conscious of the lyrics playing there in the background;

(from Snow Patrol's "Make This Go On Forever")
"And I don't know where to look / My words just break and melt / Please just save me from this darkness."

I was arrested and held there for a moment contemplating the heartbreaking honesty of those lyrics, that cry to be saved from a consuming darkness. Oh man have I been there before! That cry, "Please just save me from this darkness," echoed in my mind over and over again. Then I resumed my reading of the verses before me and what were they, but,

"...that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."

How awesome is that?! Yet another reason to be just overflowing with joy. We have been "called out of darkness into his marvelous light," we've received mercy upon mercy! What a great and awesome God we have!

OK, I'm bubbling over right now, I know, but I love these encounters with God, where I feel His presence soooo closely. Not only are these fun to reflect on just after they happen, but they are also incredibly helpful reminders when God seems distant, times that invariably come, where my trust in Him is deepened. These help to remind me of His constancy and faithfulness in those times.

Well, I had better get back to preparing my heart for worship. I'll probably write again at the end of the week after finals are over.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

"At the Foot of the Cross"

"At the Foot of the Cross"
by Steve & Vikki Cook
Sovereign Grace Worship

"Beneath the Cross of Jesus
Lord I would spend my days
In the shadow of the One
Who ransomed me
May I not become familiar
With its marvelous good news
But live my life with it
Always in my view

At the foot of the Cross
Lord I bow down and worship
Overcome by so great a love
At the foot of the Cross
I will cherish all Your mercy
All Your goodness Your wisdom
Your power
At the foot of the Cross

Upon the Cross of Jesus
Lord I would fix my eyes
For it always will remind me
Of these truths
My iniquity seems endless
Yet greater still Your grace
And I will glory in the Cross
Throughout the ages."

Friday, March 02, 2007

Feeding the Flesh (OR NOT)

So…while I’ve been sick, God has been teaching me A LOT, and today He’s been teaching me about not feeding the flesh, in light of Romans 13:14 which says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” I’ve been asking myself what this looks like practically on a daily basis in my life (forcing myself to get very specific) and wow, there are a lot of areas for God to work on me regarding this. Here is a really great blog post on this topic, complete with awesome sketches by Joshua Harris. They are hilarious! I especially like that “the flesh” is made to look like a cross between Jabba the Hut and a WWF wrestler. The pictures alone are worth a visit to the site. OK, more to come on this later, I need to get back in bed.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Originally, I wanted to entitle this post “Stress and Anxiousness,” but after rereading what I have written, I've decided “Pride” is much more fitting. Here is why…

“Where there’s worry, where there’s anxiousness, pride is at the root of it. When I am experiencing anxiety, the root issue is that I’m trying to be self-sufficient. I’m acting independent of God.”-C.J. Mahaney Humility: True Greatness (p. 75)

OK, before I delve into all that quote means to me right now, it is important that I first provide some background. Here we go. This week has been really rough. It’s the week before spring break (i.e. midterms) and I have had more to accomplish than I thought was humanly possible. In the midst of all of my frantic activity of writing papers, cramming for exams, as well as trying to get my regular homework done and what seemed like a million and one other tasks, I started feeling stressed. Really stressed. I haven’t felt stressed all semester and then this week it hit me like a freight train. To top it all, I physically didn’t feel right. My head seemed fuzzy, my whole body ached, and I was struggling with ordering my thoughts—basically I didn’t feel myself, but I kept pressing forward, getting more and more stressed as each hour passed.

Then I woke up this morning with a 102 degree temperature and I just collapsed. I give up Lord, I whispered as I crumpled back into my bed. As I laid in bed praying, I came face-to-face with the reality of my sin this week. And that sin is pride. The real issue is I get some incredibly sick high off of this fast-paced schedule, that I glory in my ‘to-do’ lists and bulldozing through each task in this frantic, mad-dash of a week, as well as reveling in the sense of MY accomplishment I feel at the end of the week. What is so tragically awful about this is how I push God aside, how “I’m trying to be self-sufficient. I’m acting independent of God” (Mahaney 75). It is pride, in all its wretched ugliness. Self-reliance. And that is the source of where all my stress and anxiousness comes from. So, as God reminded me so gently this morning, I don't need to carry this burden of stress and anxiety; I am not self-sufficient. I need God for everything I do.

Then, reading a Piper sermon tonight ( 1988/625_Let_Him_Who_Boasts_Boast_in_the_Lord/), I gleaned a few good reminders concerning this issue of pride. And ultimately I was pointed back to God’s Word which is the ultimate authority in my life. Here are some passages I will be meditating on for the next few days.

Galatians 6:14, "Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

2 Cor. 3:5 - "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our sufficiency is from God."

2 Cor. 4:7 - "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us."

2 Cor. 12:9 - "I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ might rest upon me."

Oh I am so grateful for the Holy Spirit's gentle conviction and that I have God's Word to chew on all day long and that God transforms my life through the time spent in His Word! Especially that He doesn't allow me to walk away from Him unchanged!!!

And before I end this post, I want to include this exhortation from John Piper which has been so encouraging to me tonight, once again taken from his sermon “Let Him Who Boasts Boast in the Lord” which is linked above.

“The purpose of God in the creation of man and the salvation of sinners is that we might boast in HIM. This is God's will for you this morning. God is speaking in these words very clearly. And what he is saying is this: turn this very moment from all boasting in your self. Don't seek your pleasure any more in your own wisdom, or your own strength, or your own looks, or your own achievements. Look to Christ crucified and see what becomes of it all.

Paul said in Galatians 6:14, "Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

So I call you to come to Christ and die this morning—and to live. And the promise of God is this: there is no greater life, no greater joy than to boast in Him!”

Friday, February 16, 2007

Trying Out Some New Stuff

Sorry, this is a boring post. I'm just experimenting with embedding video into my posts. Hopefully it works. This is my current favorite Chelsea tribute, one which is very timely since it speaks of the 6 point gap between us and Man. United. But sadly, there is no Prem. action this weekend, we have FA Cup action instead. Probably a good thing, since I really should be spending tomorrow in the library writing papers. Even so, GO BLUES!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

"Before the Throne of God Above"

Some mornings like this morning I am just overwhelmed by all that God is for me in Christ. I am entirely captivated by Him and don't wish to move a single muscle out of of His precious presence. This morning is just such a morning and this song, a song I learned in my days at Five Points keeps coming to mind. I wish more of my hours and my days could be spent in the way this morning has. Oh for more grace to keep on in this fight of faith!

"Before the Throne of God Above"
by Charitie Bancroft

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair

And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
With Christ my Savior and my God.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Wordsworth Comes to Mind

"Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife..."

-An excerpt from William Wordsworth's "The Tables Turned"

Ah my dear Wordsworth, this poem of yours keeps coming to mind. So after a wearying week, I've shoved my books aside here at almost 8 o'clock at night and have taken myself vicariously to the "long green fields" , not as you meant it, but to my soccer pitches in England. After all, it's dark and the fields and woods are blanketed with snow, so it's hardly fitting for me to go traipsing about at this hour. So to my soccer pitches I have went via the oh so convenient internet. Hehe, I kinda just rhymed there, but in doing so my grammar has become a bit atrocious. Anyway, I digress.

FA Cup action is going on this weekend and Chelsea doesn't play until tomorrow, so I just briefly checked out the Prem. previews and I have to admit I'm still bumming about this six point gap between us and Man. U., but I found a rather interesting tribute to Chelsea (on YouTube) regarding this very issue. It's a bit dramatic in its opening seconds, but then it gets to the real soccer action eventually.

In other news, today has been a pretty uneventful Saturday. I did get new tires for my car this morning which is a big deal, especially after almost killing myself on the way to Garrett's last Sunday afternoon in the snow. I discovered, almost too late, what happens when you wait too long to replace tires that have next to no tread.

And I'm also eagerly anticipating a call that I am supposed to get tomorrow morning from Jen & co. in Chicago. They are supposed to call me from a "special place" and I think I know what that special place is after chatting with Shannon about it this afternoon. Still eagerly anticipating the call though. :-) Well, nothing too much else to write about except daily stuff that God is teaching me, what I'm learning in class and how much I enjoyed TNT Thursday night, but that can wait for another day. It's getting late and I still want some quality time with the Lord tonight before it gets too late and I can't keep my eyes open. So I will end here.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Oh how I love Broadway musicals! I stayed up really late last night singing to my new favorite musical, Wicked. As I listened I found myself being filled with questions which caused me to hop online and dig up a synopsis, complete with spoilers. [Yea for spoilers!] My attraction to this play began with a duet entitled “For Good” and that’s basically the entire reason I asked for this CD for Christmas. As I have listened to the entire CD over the past few weeks, the questions it caused me to ask drew me deeper into the story and now that I’ve read the synopsis AND spoilers, I love this play on more than just a couple levels. I love a play that plays off of an audience’s prior knowledge and assumptions and I love when a play fills in gaps that a person didn’t originally know even existed. This musical is primarily the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Now as a child I never like The Wizard of Oz, actually I loathed it. But after falling in love with this musical, it makes me want to give it another chance. Wicked is filled with questions of free will and destiny and all that fun stuff, which only serves to heighten my enjoyment (whether I agree or not). It’s also saturated with some cool political themes, which makes me love it even more. I am finding myself really caring about Elphaba (i.e. the Wicked Witch) and it makes me realize that there is often so much more to each person we meet than what we see at face value. OK, I know this is a silly post, but I had to post on something other than Prem. today and all that God is teaching me right now is a bit too personal for a blog, so here’s my fun commentary on a Broadway musical.

OK, so I’ve also been trying to rank my top ten favorite Broadway musicals in my head all this morning as I am cleaning house and singing to Wicked. And I think this is what I have come up with...

1. Wicked (at present)
2. The Light in the Piazza
3. Ragtime
4. Scarlet Pimpernel
5. Les Miserables
6. Phantom of the Opera
7. Jane Eyre
8. Little Women
9. Beauty and the Beast (I know that this should be higher on my list, since Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie of all time, but the musical just doesn’t hold up as well as the movie did.)
10. Side Show (Miss Saigon should really be here, but I really only like it because of four songs, so I couldn’t justify putting it as #10 because of just four songs).

All right, there are a few thoughts on my love of Broadway musicals!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Yikes, that’s an alarming question. I have been asked quite a few times in the past few days about my blogging on Chelsea. People honestly are telling me they have no idea who they are…one person asked me if Chelsea Football Club is a new NFL team (oh how I pray they were joking!!!). But I guess maybe I should be a bit more understanding…especially after what happened last night at Garrett’s when Nikki was telling us about her brief encounter recently with Peyton Manning on an elevator (I didn’t know who Peyton Manning was…I have been told to pack my bags and move to England post-haste, as a result of that lack of knowledge). But still, I think Chelsea is a worthwhile club to know about, so it’s time for a refresher course or an introductory course, if you care to learn, but Chelsea’s so wonderful, I think it’s worth the time, at least that’s my humble opinion (sheepish smile).

OK, so check this link out, it’s a good starting point showing all the players, manager, owner, Stamford Bridge, etc. So without further ado…meet my beloved Chelsea…

And if there are any more questions about Chelsea, please let me know because I really do love blogging about them! :-) And since I only recently defected from Newcastle to Chelsea (World Cup did it, watching Lampard, Terry, Joe and Ashley Cole, as well as Drogba and a handful of others made me want to watch them all season long), hence my switching to this club in August (much to the chagrin of some dear friends of mine who also love Prem., but can’t stand Chelsea, primarily because of the Russian billionaire who owns them)….I really do still have a lot to learn about this club, so blogging will help me research and learn what I don’t know yet. All right, that’s enough for now about Chelsea. And I promise, my next post will be about something else, but I really had to get this off my chest first. Oh ya and if anyone is looking for Newcastle gear, let me know, because I have quite a bit I’m more than willing to part with now. Especially two jerseys in particular (one official jersey and the other a training jersey, I think they both are from 2003 or 2004)! No takers?! I didn’t think so. I don’t blame you. Just kidding. :-)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Soccer Commentary During the Storm

OK, I'm well aware that it is after 2:30AM, but it's storming out and for those of you who didn't know this about me...I'm incredibly scared of storms. I know that I should trust Christ more and not be scared of nature ( in all its wrath) as I am. But I cannot seem to convince my body to listen to what I know to be true in my head. Hence the trembling and the inability to sleep. So I thought instead of laying in bed shaking like a leaf, I would come and share some thoughts on soccer to distract me and cheer myself up [yikes, a gust of wind just shook my back door...freaky!].

SO... Chelsea had a rough weekend in the 2-2 draw against Fulham. They played on FSC Saturday at 10am and at noon I received my official jersey in the mail (no I didn’t get Lampard’s name and number plastered on the back of it….it would have been too expensive…hehe). And although since 2001 I have shifted support from two teams (i.e. Liverpool from 2001-2003, Newcastle 2003-2006)…I am now entirely devoted to Chelsea (hence my jersey…the Newcastle gear is being shoved to the very back of my closet, we’ll pretend it doesn’t exist any longer). Ahem...(Awkward pause), I was saying in reference to my devotion to Chelsea that it will remain rock solid…as long as they stay on the up and up (I’m a little nervous about that Russian billionaire who owns them, hehe, just kidding) and Lampard, Terry, and Drogba don’t leave for another club. Hmmm...I guess I am a bit of a fair-weather supporter, aren’t I?!

Well, anyway…the disappointing 2-2 draw against Fulham has led me to want to garner some excitement for my new dear club. They are just in a bit of a slump, what with Terry out because of surgery (he was back in training yesterday though!), Cech out on injury (think surgery on a fractured skull…ya it’s going to be awhile before we see him) along with Joe Cole and Arjen Robben out on injury and our wonderful (please note just the smallest bit of sarcasm here) £30million signing, Andriy Shevchenko, not performing.

OK, about Shevchenko, I’ve been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt for the past few months, even going so far as to pointedly defend him when some friends critiqued his performance this season, but I’m sorry, I can’t keep it up much longer…he just isn’t producing for all the money we signed him for!!! He’ll pull through yet though, I know it (this is optimism at it’s finest people). :-) I am happy to announce though, in the midst of this sadness, that Lampard (who’s having his go at being skipper in the absence of Terry) was instrumental in both Chelsea goals!!! Yea Lampard! One goal was a nice deflection off of a Fulham player (can’t remember his name, that’s how inconsequential Fulham is to me) and the next was an absolutely gorgeous assist to Drogba who had no problem finding the back of the net after such a beautiful feed from my man Lampard. So, even though it was a disappointing result for me as these two West London clubs went up against each other, I am still hopeful for what will come throughout the remainder of the season. And to pay my respects to my beloved club and to garner a little excitement as I had mentioned earlier, here is a great tribute…

Oh and almost to the end of the clip is an aerial shot of Stamford Bridge (oh Jen, when I finally get you to defect from Liverpool, we’re going to go there and enjoy a wonderful game at the Bridge together! Someday, that is, and I’m looking forward to it!)

All right, so the wind and the rain outside are still raging (at least the thunder has stopped), so I am off to use this time awake to spend with the Lord, but before I go, I leave you with these words...

Blue is the colour, football is the game

We're all together, and winning is our aim
So cheer us on through the sun and rain
'cause Chelsea, Chelsea is our name

Here at the Bridge whether rain or fine
We can shine all the time
Home or away, come and see us play
You're welcome any day

Blue is the colour, football is the game
We're all together, and winning is our aim
So cheer us on through the sun and rain
'cause Chelsea, Chelsea is our name

Come to the Shed and we'll welcome you
Wear your blue and see us through
Sing loud and clear until the game is done
Sing Chelsea everyone.

Blue is the colour, football is the game

We're all together, and winning is our aim
So cheer us on through the sun and rain
'cause Chelsea, Chelsea is our name