Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Truth

I was encouraged by two really sweet things from blogs today. I hope you'll slow down and take the time to view these...

* Here's a neat video about Christmas, that tries to reach out and explain the real heartbeat of Christmas, and its history. For me, it was a bonus that the backdrop for the whole video was wonderfully wintry Londontown.

"That's Christmas"
by St. Helens on Vimeo

via Life Together

* A Piper sermon on one of my favorite passages.


The Life-Giving Words of Jesus

The two verses are John 6:63 and 68. The link between them is that both refer to the words of Jesus as life-giving. Verse 63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

Then, after “many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him,”

Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67-69)

I love these verses so much. I really identify with Peter's sentiment here a lot of times - I'm not sure about everything, but I do know that there's only one place I can go for Truth and grace, and that's sitting with Jesus. Piper expands on this really powerfully...

No One Like Jesus

And for many of us, what keeps us from going to any of these is the same thing that kept Peter. Verse 68: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” In other words, we may not have all the problems solved—the problems of following Jesus and saying yes to his teaching and his Lordship and his saving work. He may confuse us at times, and baffle us with things he says, and provoke us, and offend us.

And yet, we say with Peter, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” No one ever spoke like you. No one every acted like you. No was ever so strong and meek, so tough and tender, so authoritative and gentle, so profound and simple, so powerful and so willing to be killed, so just and so willing to be treated unjustly, so worthy of honor and so willing to be dishonored, so deserving of immediate obedience and so patient with people like us, so able to answer every question and so willing to remain silent under abuse, so capable of coming down from the cross in flaming judgment, and so committed not to use that power.

Come Back, Like the Prodigal Son

Where shall we go? There has never been anyone like you, Jesus. No one ever taught like you teach. No one ever loved like you love.

This is how thousands of people come to Christ. Not without tremendous struggles as they look around for a philosophy of life, a god, a world without God, a world without the sovereignty of God, a world with some kind of explanation that makes more sense of more things. And they come back, like the prodigal son, and say, “Where shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Last Christmas, God graciously wrote it on my heart that Christmas means hope.
Against all odds, against all earthly "wisdom," the Father of the Heavenly Lights brings hope - hope wrapped in flesh and blood. Immanuel.

He alone brings the words of eternal life. Why should we turn to anything else?

... I hope that the Lord will keep placing this on my mind this Christmastime.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Everyday waiting

Today I developed 7 rolls of film. As I've begun hoarding film cameras and venturing out more with them, I've been thinking about how (obviously) film involves some type of patience that digital does not. Especially w/ these plastic lensed toy cams, you just don't know what you're going to get, and that's part of the beauty. In life, for me patience usually seems overrated, but today I was reminded (in an everyday way) that waiting is a good thing. I took this picture almost two weeks ago during a super fun lunch break, and had only a hope that it might turn out well. Today when I popped my cd of new pictures in and saw this, I was just so... happy. Something there just makes me lift my shoulders up and in, and sigh, and... relax. Rest. Open up.

{On a slightly related note, I decided to get a flickr account. So, you can now see all my plastic lense adventures @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/lelijo/}

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peace on Earth

I heard the bells on Christmas day

Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet the words repeat,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had roll'd along th' unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bow'd my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

'Til ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, first published in 1863

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weekend soup

  • The Border Film Project. I bought this book today at Half Price, as a gift, and I couldn't help but read through the whole thing right there in the store. It's seriously compelling to see both sides of the story. There's so much voice and nearness in the photos.

    (This project also only furthered my current lean towards analog photography...)

  • One day at work, after paying 30 cents for an afternoon pick-me-up and then re-applying my dark plum lipstick that I recently unearthed from the bottom of my makeupbag, I realized that lipstick on my Diet Coke can makes me think of my mother, and summer.

  • I love it when Garret quotes Oh Brother Where Art Thou. He’s predictable, but it’s endearing: "I don't want Fop! I'm a Dapper Dan Man!"

  • OMG this is hilarious - http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1752195 – STEP BOMP, STEP BOMP BOMP! Why have I never seen I before? I know it's not real, but it's still crazy funny.

  • I made my hair curly this week, and wore my fuzzy brown hat and furry boots, and it reminded me of last Christmas, in China :)

    This potato mound was the best Christmas Eve Day snack ever.

  • I bought another toy cam and it came in today; it was only $12. That means I've bought 4 this fall... I'm taking a break from buying them now. (But I also put 2 on my Christmas list...)

  • At various points this week, I really missed these face masks like we wore last Christmas. I still have mine, so if you see some girl running around CS with a face warmer on...

    it could be me, or Kay, or Kristin - we all learned to rock them :)

Tonight, I am grateful. Grateful for a warm house, encouragement from strangers, the Lord pulling me towards new things even when I'm scared, good books, and sweet people. Even in the midst of unsure-ness, Father is faithful to sustain us and provide.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

i want

FreyaArt's Etsy shop is so charming!
I absolutely lovelovelove this print and I would really like to have it in my future home - with different names, obviously! ;)

This one is also quite sweet. Wings... hmmm....

*Update: just realized I'd already posted a link here to that first image once before - oops! Guess I just really like it...

Jo, from Little Women

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

oh winter..

Winter things I could do without:

· My dry, scaly old woman hands

· Shivers

· Sickness

· Icy roads

· Desolate skies

Winter things I enjoy:

· Naturally rosy cheeks

·Twinkle lights

· Soft hats/beanies

· All the rattlesnakes at the farm are hibernating

· Snuggling!

· Hot chocolate

· Hoping for snow

· Giving

· Soup

· It’s a lot warmer here than in northern EA!


the day part of today

The day part of today was pretty darn good.

I Went to bed at midnight last night - got good sleep!

I tried to be more thoughtful and introspective throughout the day, instead of just coasting. I'm beginning to hate coasting. Tried to think on Hebrews 2:1-4, and Deut. 6:5 and Josh 1:8-9.

Lunch break:

funny fun time with Megh & Jules / Skidaddled to the nearby park with the fisheye and Igor (new name for my crotchety new/old Russian camera). / No kids were on the playground! I could climb around and take pictures w/o feeling like a weirdo – yay! / Sat at the top of the playground for a bit and gazed at the clouds. / Shiiiinnnyyyyy, fast-moving, wintery, amazing clouds! / Hilarious roomie email thread involving being “neck-id” (naked). / Getting stuff done at work!

So, Father really energized me with random and fun things, and I was really thankful for that. But then tonight I feel melancholy and introverted. hmph.

P.S. A new banner for December is coming soon.