i went to a Mike Garrigan show last night with Jon and Meadow. Just him and his guitar, no PA, for 3 hours. simply fabulous. he took requests throughout the show and i got to hear a great song i've only heard once before since it is neither on an album or mp3. i highly recommend that you follow that link and download everything in the "downloads" section. When someone writes 5 or 6 dozen songs a year and is working on three thematic albums at one time, they deserve at least that much of your time. i bumped into Dustin at the show with two other guys from high school. He's truly a fabulous guy and he payed me the greatest compliment i've recieved in quite some time. Thanks, old friend. He was also the only boy in my AP Statistics class that wasn't a horrible jerk all of the time. Note to high schoolers: never take a class with 7 people of the opposite gender and no allies.

"I'm standing to close to a milestone / The brilliance is burning my eyes / I try to write down how the story goes / But the prose just gets lost in the lines" Mike Garrigan "Milestone"


some pictures i reformatted to work in yahoo photos. another productive afternoon at work!

Carolina basketball is off to it's worst start since 1928... and i got to see it, live and in person. Indiana has some guys that can shoot threes. wow. Anyway, my big hope for the season is that we don't break our streak of most consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament (aka "the big dance "). praise God we have 3 freshman who'll mature and end up great in the next few years and one of the strongest recruiting classes in the nation. we need it!


after evaluating the sheer volume of work i have between now and the end of next week (the end of classes) and my really tough exams, i am forced to give up instant messenger for a while. please email if you want to say anything at all. you can even call. if you are smart enough to find my number, that works, or email me and i'll provide it. i should still have time to blog.

This isth eblogger o fabroken woman . o r o ne wi th a b r oken keyb o ar d tha t g et s worse e veryday.


happy birthday to you!
happy birthday to you!
happy birthday dear weblog!
happy birthday to you!

a year, scores and scores of posts and 8000 hits later... it's hard to believe. Christian and Ian both independently suggested i bake a cake to celebrate. i haven't but i have spent some time reflecting on the question "why do i blog?" my best friend once told me that blogging was self-centered. well, it is. it's an opportunity for me to record not the highlights of my days but rather the things that make me stop and ponder life or faith or who i am. and i get to let you in on it too, gentle reader! thanks for sharing life with me.


i have never had an "about me" section of this blog, mostly because i only get this one page from blogspot and i thought it excessive to create another blogspot page merely so that i can tell you, kind reader, random facts about myself. lately i've realized that reading this weblog regularly doesn't necessarily give one a very clear picture of who i am. so, here goes my first attempt at a description of myself:

i'm in the midst of my twenty-first year on earth and my third as a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My time in university is spent studying the liberal arts, specifically religious studies, as well as studying people and developing lifelong addictions to such pursuits as playing the guitar, knitting, tarheel sports and blogging. i'm a christian of the reformed, evangelical pursuasion and i attend a presbyterian church despite the protests of my well-meaning younger siblings (all three of them). i occasionally wrestle with the purpose of the parachurch, but i am still a part of it. i easily acquire nicknames. another large element of my collegiate life is music, especially that of the folk and/or rock persuasion. i also have a weakness for jazz, anything from the 80s, country and early rock and roll. yesterday a friend told me my personality was a pleasant cross of bubbly and cynical, maybe that's the case. i am an extrovert who spends too much time in reflection or an introvert who talks too much. the only regular show of any variety i tune into is a Prairie Home Companion. i read unremittingly, anything and everything. i really enjoy cooking and baking. i firmly believe there is a reason we call nature "the great outdoors" and i try to spend a significant amount of time out-of-doors appreciating all that creation has to offer. whenever i take tests to tell me what political party i should align myself with, i turn out libertarian. when i grow up, i want to teach modern christianity and judaism to wide-eyed undergrads and have a bunch of kids. before i grow up i want to see the world and fall in love and write. two out of three ain't bad.

i'm sure some of you will have an opinion on this so i decided to post about it. is it appropriate for a guy and girl to share a house or apartment? under what circumstances? here are two examples that really are happening here in Chapel Thrill:

"Sarah" and "Jane " used to live together for two years. Sarah is not a Christian and Jane is. Sarah moved off-campus to an apartment with another girl and two guys. Each sex has its own bathroom and the bedrooms are on opposite sides of the apartment. Jane and Sarah are still close friends but it isn't the same. Jane feels called to be more present in Sarah's life and feels the best way to do it is by living with her. Sarah asked if she wanted to next year. The apartment may or may not include male flatmates.

"Ted" works with "Leslie". Leslie is very attractive. She needs people to share a house with. Ted needs a house to live in. Ted is a believer. Leslie may or may not be.


Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done, in whom his world rejoices;
Who from our mothers' arms, hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in his grace, and guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God, the Father, now be given,
The Son, and him who reigns with them in highest heaven,
The one eternal God whom earth and heav'n adore;
For thus it was, is now, And shall be evermore
words by Martin Rinkhart, 1636


why am i up so late?

and why did i do this?

and why do these people think that my type is "Creative. Sensitive. A bit off-beat. Your type is the Artiste, a unique guy who knows how to express himself in many ways, whether it's through words, music, or attire. You're attracted to his unconventional ways and his remarkable talents. He doesn't feel compelled to abide by society's norms. He believes that individuality is the key to happiness, and everything he does is a reflection of his "inner self." You fall head-over-heels for such confidence and style. Whether he's playing a song he wrote for just you or writing you a love letter, this guy knows how to make you feel special. He's in touch with his feminine side and doesn't need to assert his masculinity to feel manly. If we were to paint a picture of your future, the Artiste would definitely be part of it!"

i would say my type is an individual who does what he enjoys and doesn't care what people think about him. Someone with an adventureous spirit, willing to take a risk or chart his own course to do what he loves. he could be outdoorsy or musical or intellectual or WHATEVER as long as we had stuff in common and could talk and laugh and have fun together. Obviously he would be a Christian. Now, to be "my type" enough to marry, i'll get back to you on that.


i'm stuffed from a wonderful lunch of turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce and sweet potatoe casserole and green beans and cresent rolls and corn. Our family tradition is to all share what we're thankful for during the meal and with ten at the table, that's a pretty comprehensive list. i was last. Here's what i'm thankful for:

The sovereignty and provision of the Father, the mercy and grace of the Son, and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Family and friends that show grace and love and fun as good as or better than any group on earth. They bless me every day. The Johnston foundation and my parents for allowing me to go to the best college in the world without debt. Music and laughter and fun, full lives from the father. And the opportunity to be here, eating a great meal with my family and great friends and reflect on all that we have and how much we are blessed. Amen and Amen.

then i read Abe Lincoln's proclamation on Thanksgiving from 1863 and we sang the doxology. A proper end to a proper thanks-giving meal.


top ten favorite hymns (in no order but alphabetical)

And Can it Be?
Be Still My Soul
Come Thou Fount
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Come Ye Sinners
I Know that My Reedemer Lives
A Mighty Fortress is our God
O God Our Help in Ages Past
O Love the Wilt Not Let Me Go
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

** honorable mentions to Be Thou My Vision, Immortal, Invisible and O Come, O Come Emmanuel **


whilest i sit at work this afternoon i am spending some time brainstorming a band name for friends of mine... two guys with acoustic guitars that are mostly folk-rock, a little poppy and occasionally even gospel. any great ideas?


i've been thinking lately about worship music, among other things. Even though as the church we are "the bride of Christ" it feels weird to sing love songs to him. Songs that could generally work for a person of the opposite gender e.g. "I want to know You / I want to hear Your voice / I want to know You more / I want to touch You / I want to see Your face / I want to know You more" seem irreverent and inappropriate for the Triune God of the Universe. i do love old hymns--their depth and rich heritage--both in their original meter and reworked for acoustic guitars but i don't think that this opinion necessitates hymns as the only vehicle to sing for worship. Well crafted contemporary praise songs are appropriate as long as they center on God. i'd love to know what you think.

i returned from the road trip in one piece. it was actually tremendous fun, in a low key way. i went with three guy friends i like a lot, in very different ways. i guess a better way to phrase that would be "for different reasons" but i also think that those different reasons manifest themselves into different ways of being friends, to some extent. we went to south carolina so that they could play a gig at a youth group. all three are very talented musicians. anyway, highlights included playing with a very very very cute and sweet 3 month old for two days, a very lively game of nertz, great food, random, fun discussions, being cramped in the backseat of the car... and they played two quality sets. i was proud to be their groupie/roadie/pretend manager.


i've been trying to make my commentation work more consistently. i find it helps to go visit another blogback user's site and return to mine. i know, it's weird. so, i am about to head off to Florence (SC, not Italy, to my dismay) for today and tomorrow. Comment heavily on my last few posts that i might feel popular upon my return ;o)

i went to see the Harry Potter movie tonight with friends. highly enjoyable, though i still prefer the books. the movie is unable to really get all of the idiosyncracies of the book in because the Philosopher's Stone is so rich. But, the cast and crew did a splendid job, the movie was much like i imagined when reading, which is a real credit to them. they set the right mood, they picked the right children to play the parts. i would have loved to see more of the Dursley's and had the ending a wee bit more true to J.K. Rowling. But all in all, quite fabulous.


i just burned a "what i'm listening to now" cd of odds and ends i really like that are not on my top rotation cds or, are hidden tracks i get frustrated waiting for. just wanted to share with you all.

.1. mike garrigan - don't fade away
.2. caedmon's call - in God's country
.3. pedro the lion - big trucks
.4. weezer - say it ain't so (live, from letterman)
.5. u2 - peace on earth
.6. glen phillips - everything matters
.7. guster - happy frappy
.8. jonah werner - eddy
.9. pierce pettis - my life of crime
.10. erin dooley - country song
.11. john mayer - comfortable
.12. andrew peterson - land of the free
.13. u2 - grace
.14. derek webb - wedding dress (live)
.15. bob dylan - everything is broken
.16. david wilcox - hymn for the highway
.17. mike garrigan - oceans
.18. nickel creek - the hand song

interesting search request

the concert went really well. man, those guys are great. and i finally got my hands on my very own copy of "becoming the moon", mark williams new cd. Half of the back40 is included in the thank yous ;o) it's REALLY good. and Jonah Werner gave me my own copy of Soul Set Free, his very first cd, so i can listen to "Eddy" every day if i want to. Showing my domestic side, i even made everyone dinner.


t o p . f i v e . d r e a m . j o b s
[copied from Jason and The Dane]
#5 book reviewer
#4 a singer-songwriter
#3 a writer of novels and screenplays
#2 road manager for an artist i really like
#1 professor of Contemporary American and Israeli Religion at the best university anywhere


Okay, i admit it. i really like soy milk. Have you had vanilla flavoured Silk? don't knock it until you've tried it. Anyway, lately i've been thinking... why the heck do we drink milk? No other mammal drinks another mammals milk. No one is out marketing dog milk or rat milk. And for another thing, no mammals drink milk once they are grown. Really, i find the whole milk thing odd. But i'm not about to give up cheese and ice cream. No way!


i had a good weekend full of good music and volunteering and friends and family, in case you were wondering. At the moment i am nervous and excited about promoting an Eric Peters and Jonah Werner concert Thursday night.


A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing,
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side, the man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth is His name, From age to age the same.
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us
We will not fear, for God hath willed His Truth to triumph through us.
The prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure. For lo! his doom is sure,
One little Word shall fell him.

That Word above all earthly powers - no thanks to them abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours, through Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill; God's Truth abideth still.
His kingdom is forever.
[Martin Luther]


i gave a tour today. the skies were cloudless and bright, the leaves crunched beneath our feet and the temperature hovered at 65. how could anyone NOT love Carolina?


After my car bit the dust, i gave my very exclusive parking permit (one of 12 in the lot of our 1000 person building) to my best guy friend because he works 20 miles away and has the most need for a space. In return, he graciously gave me a key to his Saturn. It has a manual transmission. I have always had automatics, though my friend Sean taught me how to drive a stick this summer. So Jon has also been gracious in allowing me the privilege of giving his transmission a workout. Tonight, i ran errands alone for over an hour, perfecting such tasks as parking and left turns from a stop. the jerkiness is subsiding. i may be able to say with confidence in just a short while "yeah, i can drive a stick."

on another note: i am so sick of blogspot and blogback. all this free stuff is inferior! save me seth (the dane) hahne! your decablog is my only hope!


i finished the Blomberg book. i highly recommend it. again, it is called "How Wide the Divide?" it'll help you understand Mormon beliefs better. and i switched around the left bar slightly.


Wandering around in the crisp november air, underneath the bluest sky any eyes have ever seen, makes a good arena for contemplation. Today i was thinking about what ideals define me. Other than "to glorify God and enjoy him forever" (stolen from Presbyterian Book of Mormon aka the Westminster Confession of Faith Shorter Catechism) and just basic obedience to God and His word, i find that the North Carolina state motto sums up many of my desires for myself: Esse Quam Videri (To be rather than to seem). This embodies the spirit of many overused cliches like "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" but it is a solid principle, i think. Jesus himself said to let our yes be yes and our no be no. i merely want to live my ideals. i know it is a lofty goal, but it is worthless to think compassion is a good virtue, or have people think you are compassionate, without actually being compassionate.


i gave moderating a try tonight. it's pretty fun. i facilitated a discussion between Dr. Jimmy Long and Dr. Peter Kaufman about the person of Jesus and other faith issues. It included a great deal of questions from the audience. An enjoyable few hours. Do you think i can freelance as a moderator?


Wonderful, merciful Savior, precious redeemer and friend
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men, Oh You rescue the souls of men

You are the One that we praise, you are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace our
Hearts always hunger for, Oh our hearts always hunger for

Counselor, comforter, keeper, Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way, Oh we hopelessly lost the way

You are the One that we praise You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace our
Hearts always hunger for, Oh our hearts always hunger for

Almighty infinite Father faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne, Oh we're falling before Your throne
by Dawn Rogers and Eric Wyse


Many thanks to Brandon for his help in making the left bar o so much cooler. He is the first standout weblog. i have alphabetized my list but will regularly change the one who gets to be most prominent based on factors such as design, content and sucking up.


taking a class on mormonism is really stretching me... is it my place to say that they aren't christians? will i see them in heaven? perhaps reading How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation by Craig L. Blomberg and Stephen E. Robinson (IVP) this week will be of some help.


i've always had this fear of heights i don't don't like looking down
i tend to get my bearings from things that don't move around
i've always pledged a lot of faith in the ground beneath my feet
and i have lived my life depending on gravity

i'm up here on this highwire feeling lighter than the air
it's a precarious position but i don't even care
i better watch my step i guess it just takes one false move
and i could fall for you depending on gravity

don't you ever wish that you'd get stranded off the course
where the laws of physics aren't so strictly enforced?
let me hold you in suspense
and let the chips fall where they must
depending on gravity

now everyone appreciates balance as a grace
all things being equal, when you've fallen on your face
but in my flying dreams it seems i'm somehow lifted up
and it seems there's just too much depending on gravity