to live up to my blogger title, here are a few things to think about until i return from urbana...

+ God's timing rocks! i finished the Gospel of Mark in my quiet time on Christmas Eve so i got to cram two chapters in and read the Christmas story in Luke Christmas day
+ An open diet dr. pepper, a laptop, and a phone should not be within a foot of one another
+ Dry heat is something Satan invented
+ The people at Raleigh Community Hospital are nice, even on Christmas Day
+ If your eyes itch, it makes your nose run
+ My friends never fail me [atchangingplansatthelastminute] :o) i love you guys, and i know it was beyond your control
+ email from random folks is cool [no, that wasn't a hint... okay, yes it was]
+ Opening presents on Christmas is fun, even if you want to return them

If you need full details, i can provide them. Have a great week, everyone!


MeRrY cHrIsTmAs!


yes, I paid $.50/minute to update my blog from a cruise ship... :o)

okay, the cruise is really fun. it was cloudy and a bit rainy today, but everything on ship is great. food, stuff going on, etc. but it is hard to go from spending no time with my family at school to spending so much time with them now. but i am enjoying it.


My exams are finished! I fell like skipping around singing the Doxology! Whenever blogspot goes back up and this is accessible again, i just wanted you to know that i will be travelling until 2 jan and so this blog may or may not be updated until then. Maybe i will update it with weather reports, as i will be going from the Bahamas to Urbana, Ilinois. That would be fun. Be safe and merry and learn something new over break, okay?


i have had "one of those days." Two impossibly hard exams tomorrow, my car broke down and is sitting at the Exxon where 54 and 15-501 meet, my computer has to be reformatted, i am having some issues with a friend of mine... blech. i got to the Bible Church nearly in tears, and opened a hymnal as i unpacked my studying stuff and it flipped open to this...

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

written by George Matheson, a blind minister in Scotland, 1882

It was just what i needed to read/sing. i admit, i have never heard it sung the traditional way, only a new arrangement, but the hymn still rocks my world. i firmly believe all Christians should own first a Bible and then a hymnal. The Worshipping Church is not a bad choice, in spite of the fact that it includes "People Need the Lord."


Another in the spirit of Advent...

The advent of our God / Our prayers must now employ,
And we must meet Him on His road / With hymns of holy joy.

The everlasting Son / Incarnate designs to be;
Himself a servant’s form puts on / To set His people free.

Daughter of Zion, rise / To meet thy lowly King,
Nor let thy faithless heart despise / The peace He comes to bring.

As Judge, on clouds of light / He soon will come again,
And all His scattered saints unite / With Him in heaven to reign.

Before the dawning day / Let sin’s dark deeds be gone;
The old man all be put away / The new man all put on.

All glory to the Son / Who comes to set us free,
With Father, Spirit, ever One / Through all eternity.
by Charles Coffin, 1736


the fog that descended over the greater Chapel Hill area [better known as the Triangle] has taught me a great lesson today. Whether driving or walking, i could only see a few feet in front of me, but really, that was all i needed. i knew where i was, and i trusted the road to take me where i was going. Paul says that faith is a lot like that. God sees the end, and he illumines our path just enough to walk, without seeing what's at the end. We just trust that God has it in His sight. So strike the silly whining about the gray of life from yesterday. i am striving to be content in letting God lead me.


Sometimes i wish life was more black and white... i hate being unsure of things. i feel like my life is full of grays, starting with my dumb computer and moving on to grades and everything else. If i were a worrywart, i would be likely to get an ulcer!


This morning Georgina, Laura Leigh and i got up at 5 and went to the IFC Community Kitchen and served breakfast. We worked hard for an hour and had eggs, grits, toast, fruit, donuts and juice. We got all kinds of complaints about what we cooked and the size of the portions we served and instead of feeling uplifted and helpful, i felt a little angry. i have been to the soup kitchen a dozen times in 3 semesters and never felt this way. It was a little disappointing. I wanted to say, "be appreciative!" but at the same time, I feel sorry for these folks. frustration abounds.


Here it is... the last of the advent series.

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me;
Let there be peace on earth,
The peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father,
Brothers all are we.
Let us walk with each other
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me,
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take,
Let this be my solemn vow:

To take each moment and live each moment
in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me!

This is significant to me for lots of reasons. My cute little sister Laura sang it as a Christmas solo the year before last [when she was 10] and Food Lion has made it into the best "Season's Greetings"-type commercial ever. If you live outside of the Food Lion realm, you are truly missing out. But the most important reason i choose it is that i DO wish that there would be peace on earth, goodwill to men. Come, Lord Jesus.

Whoever sits around writing computer viruses for fun ought to be strung upside-down by their toenails and left for the jackals. It has been a long 15 hours for me. Gem of wisdom for the day-- don't delay in installing/updating Norton or McAfee anti-virus software. I have a bug just eating away at my system. I have lost control of my computer, literally. I have no access to the settings. Not to mention other weird stuff. On top of exams, mind you! I want to crawl in bed and lay in the fetal position for a little while, but studying is calling. 1 down, 3 to go.


Unless i hear a great outpouring of support, this will be the second to last of the Advent series. I have never heard this Christmas hymn, but it reminds me of my History of Christian Traditions class [reli 027 to you Carolina folks]. So, i am giving it its due space on the blog. Good luck studying for exams!

Come, Thou Redeemer of the earth, and manifest Thy virgin birth:
Let every age adoring fall; such birth befits the God of all.

Begotten of no human will, but of the Spirit, Thou art still
The Word of God in flesh arrayed, the promised Fruit to man displayed.

Forth from His chamber goeth He, that royal home of purity,
A giant in twofold substance one, rejoicing now His course to run.

From God the Father He proceeds, to God the Father back He speeds;
His course He runs to death and hell, returning on God’s throne to dwell.

O equal to the Father, Thou! Gird on Thy fleshly mantle now;
The weakness of our mortal state with deathless might invigorate.

Thy cradle here shall glitter bright, and darkness breathe a newer light,
Where endless faith shall shine serene, And twilight never intervene.

All laud to God the Father be, All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet, To God the Holy Paraclete.

written by Ambrose of Milan in the 4th century (!)


i forgot to mention that Dr. Halperin is the cutest 50-something year old in America... he dresses every day in a three-piece suit, with a fresh carnation on his lapel, carries a pocket watch and wears a top hat. When someone makes an amazingly insightful comment in class, he has been known to put his top hat on, so he can take it off to them. In addition to his amazing wealth of knowledge, these are the kinds of reasons why his early retirement upsets me!

Today was the last day of mwf classes. It was the last lecture for my favorite professor this semester, Dr. Halperin, who is retiring at the ripe old age of 53. He has been teaching the class i am taking, Intro to Judaic Civilization, and others at UNC for 24 years, so it was really emotional. Through his lectures i have discovered so much about myself and my future. i am confident that my desire to teach new testament and early Christianity was largely encouraged by him, as he is such a great professor of Judaism despite the fact [or perhaps, because of the fact] that he is a Jew. i'll miss him.

continuing the Advent series with a hymn chosen not just because I like it, but because it was sung at both the Church of the Good Shepherd and Chapel Hill Bible Church this morning :o)

Come, Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever, now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit, rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit, raise us to Thy glorious throne.

by Charles Wesley


i just returned from the Church of the Good Shepherd (PCA) where i was introduced [along with several others] as a new member. After introducing us, the CGS covenant of membership that each of us signed was read. i have since been reflecting on it, the responsibility and privilege of being a part of a church family.

"Believing myself to be a sinner in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy; and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of sinners, I receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel. I resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that I will endeavor to live as becomes a follower of Christ. I promise to support the Church in its worship and work to the best of my ability and I submit myself to the government and discipline of the Church and promise to study its purity and peace."

because of the outpouring of people saying that they need to be reminded it is Advent, i shall continue the series with "Mary's Prayer" by Bebo Norman featured on the JOY Christmas album which you can buy here.

Sleep baby Jesus / close your weary eyes / Hide yourself in faithful dreams / before you live your life / Slip away to heaven / and rest in gentle peace / Never to awaken / the Lord your soul to keep

'Cause your feet will walk on water / your eyes will pierce the dark / Your heart will save the souls of men / your hands will bear the scars

Sleep baby Jesus / for now your time has come / To heal the wounded leper / to calm the raging storm / With perfect steps of perfect grace / you leave behind your fear / And walk along these dusty roads / though your fate is clear


Sleep baby Jesus / my Father and my child / Beneath this broken cross of sin / stained with men's denial / And though you now are breathless / with thorns upon your head / Your body has been broken / so your children can be fed

'Cause your feet have walked on water / your eyes have pierced the dark / Your heart has saved the souls of men / your hands now bear the scars

For those of you who have forgotten, or aren't quite here yet, it is hard to feel Christmas-y at college.


In honor of Advent...

O come, O come, Emmanuel / And ransom captive Israel;
That mourns in lonely exile here / Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel / Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free / Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save / And give them vict'ry o'er the grave.

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer / Our spirits by thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night / And death's dark shadows put to flight.

O come, thou Key of David, come / And open wide our heavenly home;
Where all Thy saints with Thee shall dwell / O come, O come Emmanuel!

having to get up at 5:42, run down to the Dean Dome, huddle up and then march around the complex like toy soldiers -- the joys of pursuing Carolina basketball tickets.


omigosh! One of the other lab attendants walked into the [empty] lab I am presiding over, saw me knitting, and said, "Aren't you just a little Martha Stewart!" If you know me well, you will find this hilarious as am perhaps the least Martha Stewart-like person in the nation!

Last night i went to hear the unc symphony orchestra play after large group. They did my favorite sad piece, Barber's "Adaggio for Strings" and also Mahler's First Symphony. Props to my roomie and other orchestra people, they did a fabulous job :o)

i feel as if i have been a little defensive lately. Perhaps it is the stress of exams or what-have-you. Being easily upset is not my style and i am feeling bad about it. Sorry, everyone. oh, my suitemate mollie started a blog that has real potential because she is way more interesting than i am :o)


Would it be terribly wrong to road trip to a concert during exams? i really [reallyreallyreally] want to see the Andy Peterson / Silers Bald Christmas show in Columbia on the night of Sunday the 17th. i have no exams Monday, and could study in the car... i guess this is all irrelevant unless someone wants to go with me. i do not trust Thomas to make the trip.


i am a big rambler. However, every few dozen conversations my "tell whatever comes to mind" strategy works itself out in an articulate, thoughtful manner. i was talking to a friend about the issue of deadness in many [if not most] American churches today. The nutshell version... our problem is that we ride the coat tails of the faith of others. Whether it be riding the coat tails of liturgy or your local pastor or the founder of your tradition of faith [Luther, Calvin, Wesley...] we can follow along with a service and feel pious without letting the meaning and the richness penetrate us and move us into action. Take for instance, reciting the Apostles' Creed. You can say the words that you have recited week after week in a haze, thinking about what you have to do in the afternoon or you can say the words and think, "How amazing! Not only do I believe these things, but my brothers and sisters around me do as well. And not just here, at the Catholic mass down the street, the Lutherans halfway across the country and the Anglicans across the Atlantic. We may have spats about doctrine but we can agree on the fundamentals of faith." We may know that we say the doxology each week because some council decided to keep it in the liturgy in the 1600s, but unless we understand why they thought it was important enough to keep [perhaps because it fosters humility as we reflect upon God's status as a provider worthy of all worship] it means nothing.
To have a heart that longs after God, that yearns to give Him the glory He deserves... that is my desire.


i hate it when i have a quiz and i study for a good 90 minutes or so and i am all pumped up when i get to class and then i realize... the quiz is on 4 chapters instead of the 2 i had assumed it was on and studied hard for...

i love the christmas season... i am sitting here in my room listening to the "Joy" cd by Bebo Norman, Ed Cash and Allen Levi--for the record the best christmas album ever--and i just decorated our dorm room door. The window lights are shining bright, a beacon to all traversing down Manning Drive. This is all well and good... i mean, a few chestnuts and an fire crackling and this would be the stuff radio christmas hits are made of! Alas, alack, i am just procrastinating. i have this huge greek translation to do, and despite the fact that i am not doing exemplarly in greek this semester, i am living a life of christmas cheer. i need to get working!
If you want the joy cd, by the way, you can purchase it from awakeningrecords.com


i am learning to knit. It is surprisingly difficult. i am making a scarf, which i hope keeps me warm in urbana-champaign, illinois after christmas. My goal is to finish by then, which is awfully lofty. The funniest thing of all is that i absolutely need no other hobbies. i am already too busy, and i don't play the guitar nearly as much as i wish i did, etc. But, i figure, you only live life once. Learn to knit.


i went to an acapella concert tonight, as one of my small group kids sings in the campus Christian acapella groups. It was awesome. They also featured several other acapella groups, one from dook, one gospel-influenced and the inevitable clef set. The clef hangers are an all male acapella group that the vast majority of girls on campus worship. They have demi-god status. Anyway, i realized that i really love acapella music, which is weird because i am a folk rock junkie. Then i realized that i am also a huge fan of classical music and early rock and roll. Maybe i just appreciate good music.


I just got back from the UNC-Kentucky game. Georgina and I had lower level seats, and the view was great. Our boys weren't great--the team will improve once we get point guard play out of Morrison or Boone--but it was still Carolina Basketball. The most obnoxious thing in all the world is that we have all of these "die-hard" alumni fans who leave the game with 4 or 5 minutes left on the clock, whether we are winning or not. GRRRRRR! Stay in your seats and support the team!