Saturday, December 19, 2009

The WSJ gets it right

Check out this interesting article from the Wall Street Journal on the decline of American culture. A little bit of a downer, but really insightful and important to read.

Friday, December 18, 2009

4 Years!

December 17th marked FOUR adventurous, mysterious, fun, difficult, exciting, fulfilling, exceptional, delightful years of marriage!

Phil brought me some gorgeous roses and we celebrated at home with some pinto noir, barbeque salmon, roasted potatoes, steamed green beans, a tomato-feta salad, and chocolate chip scones. After dinner, we watched the video of our wedding ceremony (we had actually only seen it once, about 4 years ago), which left us feeling unspeakably grateful for all those who attended and participated in that day with us, making sacrifices to be there that we're still learning about.

We were supposed to go the the Smokey Mtns. this weekend to celebrate since Phil's off this week, but there was a blizzard last night and currently they have TWENTY-SIX inches of snow up there! All kinds of roads are closed even getting there and then we'd have to make it up a steep hill with no four wheel drive to get to where we're staying. So...we'll try to make it up there tomorrow, weather permitting. If not, it's still luxurious to sleep in and spend non-scheduled time together!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To consider at Advent

“Do you want to be delivered? That is the one great question Advent puts to us,” writes Dietrich Bonhoeffer. “Does even a vestige of longing burn in us? If not, what do we want from Advent, what do we want from Christmas?”

For a great advent reading each night, check out this link from Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, TX.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Theory of Two First Names

It's been a while since I've posted one of my "theories," so here's the latest: people with two first names are automatically assumed to be stronger and cooler than those without two first names. Think about it. Matt Ryan. Ron Paul. Matthew Henry. Benjamin Franklin. Anne Frank. David Thomas. Eddie Murphy. Matthew Perry. John Stuart. Tim Allen. Elton John. Even television shows have picked up on this: Clark Kent. Lois Lane. Dick Tracy. Ricky Bobby. John Wayne. Who did I forget?

As I type these names, I realize that the two-first-name phenomenon happens more often among males, but regardless of gender, the double first name is dynamite in my book. Too bad I married a guy with the last name Johnson. Thankfully, he's a great guy and I can overlook the fact that his last name is uninteresting and, more importantly, isn't a first name. To those of you who have the distinction of having two first names, you have automatic cool points coming your way!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Welcome to our home

I should have posted these back in June when we moved, but just didn't get around to it. Please overlook the poor lighting in these pictures; it was a rainy, dreary afternoon when I took them, but I had just cleaned my house and actually remembered to pull out the camera, so we'll have to take what we can get. It's the perfect little place for us and we love to have visitors!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The nicest people in the world

I did a big chunk of my Christmas shopping yesterday morning, and I learned something. The nicest people in the world are gay men and the folks that work at Lifeway Christian Bookstore. Seriously. I was in roughly 8 different stores yesterday and those were the people who actually seemed to care about me as a person. It sort of made me laugh, though, because I doubt those two groups of people would want to share a category, but they do, and I appreciated them both. Happy shopping, and let me know what nice people you meet along the way.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Must-Read Henri Nouwen Article

I have always enjoyed reading Henri Nouwen's books, but haven't read much from him in several years. If you aren't familiar with Nouwen, he was a Catholic priest who has written many, many books and who worked in a facility in Canada for those who are mentally ill and rejected by society until his death in 1996. While he's Catholic, I have found all of his writings applicable to me as a Protestant as well.

I recently came across an article he wrote that's too wonderful not to pass along. It's about three spiritual disciplines that help us remain faithful to God. And before you quit reading because of the word "discipline," he explains that the words "discipline" and "disciple" are the same word. He defines discipline as "the effort to create some space in which God can act." I can live with that. The three disciplines he discusses are (in order): solitude, community, & ministry. And they're not scary--really. I've read other articles and books on spiritual disciplines that seemed impossible and tedious and overwhelming, but this is different. It's based entirely on our identity as God's beloved.

I'm not doing the article justice, but it's worth the read--to the very end--so if you have 10 minutes, please, please read it. I don't beg people to do things very often, but this is one time when it seems appropriate. To read the article, follow this link. Let me know what you think.