Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quote of the Day

"He loves each one of us, as if there were only one of us."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Doing things out of order?

Ok, so I know that the blogosphere loves Pics. I know this. Yet do I ever post any?

So, here are some over due pics of the move to fuller. Enjoy (sorry, many of these were out of focus, I forgot to change my camera to night setting before passing it around, my bad)

Sadly we only managed to take one picture in Vegas. In our defense, Jen and I were very tired.

Getting used to seeing these everywhere. Love it.

Had to go to the beach while the girls were still here.

and maybe just a little of the touristy stuff...

How do you distract yourself when you've moved to a place you don't know and feel overwhelmed with every thing you have to do? Assemble your furniture.
and enjoy the view from your bedroom window

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Curious about what a grad student focusing on the intersection of faith and art has to read? (Because after all, grad school is a marathon of reading) Look at the widget on the side of your screen for the books on my 'to read' and 'currently reading' shelf. I make no promises that I'll keep the page number updated. Who are we kidding? If I had time to do that, I'm probably not actually reading the books...

Quote of the Day

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.
~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quick, Slow, Slow (confession #3)

Several weeks ago, I was at lunch with some friends and one made the offhand comment that she just wasn't a Bible-study person. Several things happened at once, and I want to highlight two of them for our conversation today. When this comment hit the table, no one responded--their silence electing me as the Spokesperson For Convincing Others of the Value of Biblestudy. But I just didn't know what to say, so I too remained silent. I was listening to a young woman who I'd personally seen grow, dismiss the value of studying God's word for her life. She was willing to admit that it must be beneficial for others, but she simply wasn't one of those people.

There are so many tangents I could take with this. But, I want to focus on two: her comment and my reaction. As I sat silently at the table, I was trying to figure out the best way to respond. I knew in that moment, I could reinforce her statement, or could at least give her another angle to consider; and perhaps that angle would open her up to the possibility that Biblestudy is beneficial to all, including her. But, while I paused, someone else choose to speak for me. I am a bit of an entertainer, and those who know me personally know that I'll often take the path that leads to the laugh. A clinical psychologist could probably have a heyday analyzing my need to make people like me by entertaining them, even at my own expense. And this pattern in my behavior must have been the reason that another friend at the table announced something like "oh here it comes, Nicky's going to loose it". In a split second I was choosing between the thoughts I had been considering (how to encourage this girl to engage God's word) or to react melodramatically, as was expected, and make the situation (hopefully) a joke.

I'd like to say I convinced this girl that there was no such person as a not-a-biblestudy-person. That indeed, she may have been previously invloved in Biblestudies that had dissapointed her in some way; but that must have been a shortcoming of the study itself, the method or the format, or even the theacher, but NOT that she had nothing to gain from small group study. I'd like to say that I did that.

But, I instead allowed my other friend to (in essence) tell me how to react. I didn't actually "loose it" but I did offer some kind of muddled response between what I would've liked to have said, and a response far less gentle.

So this leads me to the two things I'd like us to ponder together, and I really hope that you take a moment to comment, I'd really like to hear your response (especially since I had to post the short version of this, since the full length would have been tooooo long)

What do you think of the question my friend posed at the lunch table? Do you think there are people who just aren't Biblestudy-people? Do you feel that way about yourself? If not, what would you have said?

Have you ever botched an opportunity to do or say the right thing in a loving way, because you were expected to react differently?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Beauty is the mark of the well made, whether it be a universe or an object."
Thomas Aquinas

Friday, October 9, 2009

Look UP

Before I left Idaho I would frequently look up and catch sight of an osprey, or from time to time and eagle, and think to myself "here's one way I will miss Idaho. Surely I won't be able to look up and see birds of prey in the sky above LA."

As I became aware of this thought, I started purposefully looking to the sky to see if I might catch a glimpse of something large and majestic in flight. The more I looked, the more I saw. I looked for sentimental or even spiritual significance that could be attached to these sightings, and thought of a few. I cherished each sighting as a treasured parting sight of my home, as an encouragement from God, and as a reminder of promise.

When I drove out of Idaho, I chose to ride the first shift alone (with three of us traveling in 2 vehicles, there was always someone alone) because I was sure I'd probably get a little emotional. I thought about the goodbyes left unsaid, the relationships I've nurtured and the ones I've neglected. I chased the promise that the discomfort of change makes room for the fulfillment of God's bigger plans. And as I drove the lonely stretch between Boise and Mountain Home I saw what I believed would be my last bird of prey.

I've been in California three weeks now. My birds were in Idaho, and I am not, so I stopped looking up.

For a while.

But something caught my eye not too long ago. Just as I was leaving the Santa Monica beach, I looked up, and there it was. The largest bird I had ever seen in flight (I am pretty sure I was a condor, based on the markings. I had to look it up). At first, I thought it was a small plane, but as I continued to stare, it happened: wings flapped, and I knew it was a very large bird, much closer than the distant plane I had taken it for.

Today, as part of a class requirement, I spent about three hours alone with God in silence at a beautiful convent. I spent most of the time just listening, and abiding. And I just happened to look up. Circling the convent as if simply waiting for me to notice, was a golden eagle. It circled a few times overhead and then, making a few large grand passes, it flew away.

I mention all of this only to point out that I had no expectation to see such majestic birds once I was in the middle of such a big, busy city. But my experience continues to defy expectations, and I will remember, and continue to look up.