31 March 2006

Look Not Back

Behold, in the hollow of My hand, there have I made thee a nest, and thou shalt lay thee down and sleep. Though the elements rage, though the winds blow and the floods come, thou shalt rest in peace. For, O My child, thou art precious in My sight. I know thee by name, for thou art not the child of a stranger, but the fruit of Mine own loins. Yea, I have begotten thee, I have called thee by thy name, and thou art Mine.

Be not dismayed, for as I suffered, so shall ye suffer in the world. I have not taken thee out of the world, but I am with thee to help thee and to encourage thee, and to give thee strength in all thou shalt be called upon to endure.

Thou facest each new day with Me at thy side. (Never forget that I am there.) Thou meetest every difficult circumstance with Mine arm outstretched to fight for thee.

Lift not thine hand to attempt to accomplish any slightest task in thine own strength. This I have forbidden. God helps not those who help themselves, but He is the champion of those who cannot help themselves, and of those who are wise enough not to try. It is not thy cooperation for which I have asked, but thy submission. Not that thou go alone until thou fallest, but that thou draw upon My strength for every step -- both the smooth and the rough.

If thou form the habit of trusting Me in the easy way, thou shalt find it the natural thing to lean upon Me in the difficult situation. And if I bring thee through the river in the summer, thou shalt not fear to trust me in flood-time.

So clasp thy hand in Mine, and loose not thine hold. For thou canst not tell what great thing I may do for thee through some smallest happening. Thine every hair is numbered, and the most incidental occurrences of the most ordinary day My earnestness in helping thee.

Clasp Me to thine heart, for I love thee with an everlasting love, and with strong cords I have bound thee.

Look not back, but look ahead, for I have glory prepared for thee. Yea, when thou lookest on My face thou wilt surely say that these present sufferings are in no way comparable to the glory which I have in store for thee.

From Come Away My Beloved, by Frances J. Roberts

30 March 2006

Tae Kwan Dough

This afternoon I met with Mark and Danielle, a couple of classmates from my Literature class, to discuss our group writing subject: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It's going to be a lot of fun, especially since we got to choose the literary work. We decided to meet at the UNT library around 4:00 PM. It wasn't until after 5:00 that we finally met up. Mark fell asleep while reading Frankenstein (must have found the book interesting) and Danielle called me several times to get directions and find her way to where I was. It also didn't help that we had to park several blocks away from the library.

After discussing what angle we would take on the paper, Mark, Danielle, and I made a more important decision -- where to eat dinner.

"Hey we could eat at Tae Kwan Do," Mark pointed to one of the nearby shops. Danielle and I looked over with puzzled looks.

"Uh... Mark... that's a form of karate," I explained.

"I know," he laughed. We all had a good laugh. Now we joke about eating "Tae Kwan Dough."

Ministry Opportunity

A few minutes ago, I received a call from a representative of Jews for Jesus, a ministry I have long been interested in. It was really exciting to hear about what the Lord is doing with Jews for Jesus, and I really hope to minister with them in Manhattan next summer. We talked for quite a while on the phone about Awana, mission trips, and Colorado (she is based out of Colorado). I really hope that the Lord allows me to minister in Manhattan next summer.

The representative also is sending me information about the new Jews for Jesus ministry branch in Montreal (when I come visit Leila and Sarah). They also have street preaching teams during the summer in Montreal (and all year round too).

It was just such a blessing to talk with this lady. Now I am even more excited about what the Lord has planned for me during the next years.

29 March 2006

You Can Call Me "Boss"

In Literature class this morning, Dr. Franklin was going over the structure he wanted for our next paper. He gave us the option of creating a title/cover page for our 1500+ word paper, though it is not a part of the MLA format. Everyone groaned... except me.

"Oh yes, yes!" I chirped from the front row. "And can we put pictures on the title page too?"

"Every time we are given the option of doing something more difficult, you always want to do it," a classmate laughed sardonically.

"Yeah, but in ten years she'll be your boss," quipped Dr. Franklin. "Over-acheivers like her go far." He then looked at me (who was blushing and giggling) and laughed along with the rest of the class.

Over-acheivement is a double-edged sword. People like me have a hard time defining their limitations and sometimes think they are super-human. (After running myself to the ground, I have discovered that I am indeed mortal.) You can accomplish more as long as you balance yourself.

Where Will You Find Me?

Where will You find me
When my time has come?
Will I be declaring my glorious One?
Will You find me faithful?
Will You find me true?
Will You find me doing things
That You've told me to do?

Or will You find me wandering
In my own foolishness -
Shameful, lost, and hopeless?
Will I come home in Your glory,
Or my foolish shame?
Where will You find me?
Did I glorify Your name?

Carey Nofziger, 26 Aug 2005

Meant For Thee

You chose me from the beginning
Of a world yet without form.
You knew me, oh most intimately,
Before I was e'er born.
You died on my behalf
Before I drew my first breath,
For You knew, my Love,
That I was meant for Thee.

Every valley I ever face,
Every pain I feel,
Every love I'll ever love,
Was already meant for me -
Because I was meant for Thee.

Carey Nofziger, 29 March 2006

Just Like Heaven

Mama and I finally got to have our chick flick last night. We picked "Just Like Heaven," a very cute and heartwarming (though neither theologically nor scientifically sound) film. There were plenty of laughs and some tears at several points (which really doesn't count because Mama easily cries).

The sub-plot was basically that these two people were destined (meant, divinely chosen, etc.) for each other - one of those things that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. A year ago I would have been nauseous instead of warm and fuzzy, but now I know that regardless of whether God has some wonderful man chosen for me, He knows what's best for my life. That's good enough for me!

Hmmm... I feel a poem coming on.

28 March 2006

Sour Puss

Having just returned home from work and grocery shopping, I was eager to grab a snack and relax on the couch. Oh look, a glass of milk on the counter. Hope no one minds sharing it with me. I grabbed the glass and took a big swig. ICK! I made a sour face to match the taste of the milk (or buttermilk) in my mouth. Dad laughed hysterically.

"Honey, that's my buttermilk," Mom explained, laughing too.

I made some sort of squeaking noise before running for the bathroom.

"I needed a good laugh today," Dad chuckled. "Thanks, Carey."

Well, that's why I'm here - to make people laugh.

27 March 2006

Anthony Bourdain

We are currently sitting in the living room watching Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" (all-new season on the Travel Channel). He is in Beijing eating duck and drinking Chinese firewater. Poor ducky... oh my goodness... the ducks... eww. I don't want to tell you what I am seeing. There is no way I'm going to eat a duck now.

Hippie Professors

I personally think hippies make the best college professors. My two favorite professors, Dr. Franklin (Lit) and Ms. Comeaux (History), have quite unconventional ways of teaching -- and I love it!

At the beginning of classes, Dr. Franklin didn't even have a syllabus... still doesn't. He just kind of goes with the flow, but at the same time is very challenging -- he challenges me to think. I really appreciate that. Most college professors give you some dull assignment, tell you to read such-and-such chapter, and there will be a quiz on Friday. Dr. Franklin's class is more like a philosophical discussion between professor and class.

Ms. Comeaux was also a hippie (I should say is a hippie - once a hippie, always a hippie). She is slightly more structured than Dr. Franklin, but she is also very flexible and makes history fun. We always have several good laughs in history class.

26 March 2006

New Blog

By the grace of God, Leila, Sarah, Morgan, and I have begun a new blog for young ladies. Please check this out and tell all the young women you know. We hope and pray this will become a ministry of encouragement and admonishment for young women. So far, we're just posting our personal testimonies. More will follow!

My Very Exciting Day... haha

Jason came home yesterday for Spring break. *laughs* I'll let him tell you what he did to his little brother in the airport. Poor Jonathan. *chuckle*

Jer and I looked for Jason a long time this morning. We arrived at church 30 minutes early and sat vigilant before and after the service, then waited an extra 20 minutes in case Jason and his family came to the next service. Nada. We finally had to leave and I discovered later that they drove past us honking and waving. I didn't see or hear a thing. Oh well.

After church, Jer and I headed home for two hours before we left again for a friend's Eagle Scout court of honor. Jeremy's former troop is full of up-scale Carrollton residents. It was nice to see a couple of families we hadn't seen in a while, but I felt so out of place in that group of people. I think that's my lot in life - no matter where I am I will always feel out of place. Like Jesus said, "I am not of this world." If I felt comfortable, something would be wrong. That is why I try my hardest to always be uncomfortable and never fit in (or as my mom would put it: "light a fire under your butt").

We went straight from the court of honor to Jer's choir rehearsal. I finally saw Jason and we hung out for a while - which really involved me giving him a tour of the children's learning center and being followed by my usual entourage of five to nine-year-olds. Jason taught the council times for both Sparks and T&T (in full uniform of course), so I didn't see much of him.

During Awana, my girls decided it would be fun to scare the heck out of me by hiding in a closet and jumping out. I leapt back five feet and screamed, faked a swoon and got another big laugh. I had to laugh with them - it really was funny (I'm sure I looked funny too). Life is too short to take yourself seriously.

So that was my very exciting day. Don't worry - I'll post some poetry or something more interesting tomorrow. I seem to be lacking in creative juices tonight.

Hold Fast

Hold fast that which thou hast, and let no man take thy crown.
Let no man hinder thee in pursuit of the reward.
Let nothing stand in the way of thy complete victory.
Let no weariness or discouraging thought cause thee to
unloose the rope of faith,
but bind it tighter and anchor fast to My Word.

For My Word can never fail,
yea, and all My good promises I will surely fulfill.
Have not I said, 'He that seeketh shall find'? And have not
I promised to be the rewarder of them that diligently seek Me?
Not of the dilatory seeker, but of the diligent seeker.
Not of him whose seeking is in reality only wishing, but of
him who has grown so intent in his quest that he has become
wholly absorbed to the extent that he is unmindful in his toiling
of the sweat upon his brow.
To the extent that he has ceased reckoning the cost,
indeed, verily, has quit offering bribes,
as though the fulness of God might be purchased,
and has set out on foot,
deserting all else to follow the call of the Spirit until...

Until hunger is swallowed up in fulness.
Until heart-cry is answered by the voice of God through His
mighty Holy Spirit.
Until all the emptiness and lonliness of the subterranian
recesses of his soul
are flooded by the sublime, glorious reality of Emmanuel.
Emmanuel! God with us -- God in us -- God in me! -- God in you!
Praise His holy, wonderful Name! For this He made us.
For this He destined us! For this He predestined us!
For this He died and rose.
For this He sent that first mighty outpouring at Pentecost.
Praise God! Praise God!
Never stifle the cry in your heart. God put it there.
God puts no special premium on our being perrenial spiritual
His joy springs forth most abundantly
in souls that have been soaked in tears.
Not tears of self-pity. Never.
But in tears of devotion and longing after Him.
Weep. But when you weep, weep in His arms.
Doubt if you must, but tell each doubt to Him candidly.
You will be surprised how quickly they will melt away.
His love and His smile will dispel every doubt
as silently and surely as sunshine removes frost.
You cannot look in His face and doubt at the same time!

From "Come Away My Beloved" by Frances J. Roberts

25 March 2006

I Think I'm in Love

We are watching Top Gear right now and I have just been introduced to the Bowler Wildcat: a rugged and virtually indestructable vehicle perfect for off-road races, mudding, and driving across the Sahara (one of my favourite hobbies).

Oh wow
. Forget Hummer.

Candy on Wheels

Jeremy and I ran errands for Mama this afternoon. While driving down the highway, we saw a little pink Volkswagon Bug.

"Looks like a piece of candy on wheels," I commented. Then I looked closer and noticed the license plate, which read: TICKLD.

24 March 2006

Gay Marriage Debate

Danielle sat across the table from me, flipping through a schedule and deciding what classes she was going to take in the summer. We chatted while I polished off my odd lunch of homemade pizza, granola bar, and broccoli. Somehow our conversation lead to politics and then gay marriage.

"Are you really religious?" Danielle looked up from her schedule.

"I believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and everything in it to be true," I replied.

"Ah..." I wasn't sure what her look meant. It looked like it said 'Oh great.' "Well, are you able to separate your religion from politics?"

"No, my faith permeates every area of my life. I do not compartmentalize."

Danielle, of course, believed that gay marriage should be legalized. And of course I disagreed. The ensuing debate was interesting, and I think she was surprised at how civil I was. She was probably expecting me to be an ugly, bigoted anti-gay right-wing activist. This is basically what I told her what my view was...

I have no doubt that there are former homosexuals among God's chosen people. (I certainly hope so, because my grandfather was a homosexual -- another story for another day.) The government cannot dictate a person's sexual orientation and should not meddle in such private affairs in that. However, God specifically dictated His plans for sex: within the boundaries of marriage between a man and a woman. The government should uphold this sacred union that the Lord established (though it has degenerated within society).

I have noticed that human sexuality (and everything else) seems to follow this pattern of degeneration...
... Generation 1 fails in responsibility to educate Generation 2 in godly morality or indifference of Generation 1 causes Generation 2 to rebel against hipocrisy of Generation 1.
... Generation 2 rebels and throws aside teachings of Generation 1.
... Gradual decrease in sexual morality that trickles into Generation 3 (and sometimes 4).
... Marriage & family are undermined and loses sacredness: extra-marital sex, divorce, broken homes, etc.
... Marriage & family are no longer clearly defined and "anything goes."

From my grandparent's generation to mine, all this has occured: the hypocrisy of the 1950s "perfect family;" the Sexual Revolution, Women's Lib Movement, hippies, etc. of my mother's generation; the open embrace of homosexuality in my generation.

Homosexuals and lesbians want the government to legalize gay marriage so that they can have the financial and social benefits of a married heterosexual couple -- not out of "love" for each other as they would tell you. "Love" is confused with "lust."
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it
is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily
angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but
rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes,
always perseveres. (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

I can have a deep love for another woman as my sister in Christ without it being remotely sexual. The same for men.

Satan takes what God has created and twists it into something ugly. He cannot create, only twist. That is what sin is -- something God created, only twisted. Take any sin and it is merely a deviant of God's ordinances.


Her step was light and free;
No shame nor worry
Clouded her fair brow.
Her conscience clear,
Without a fear,
Was clean and pure as she.

I asked this maid
What her name be,
And she answered with,
"My name is Innocence."
Her kind is fading into the mist,
For no longer does the world admire
The maid name Innocence.

Carey Nofziger
16 July 2005

23 March 2006

My Grandmother

My grandma is at our house right now. She is funny -- constantly talking about her wealthy friends and their vacations, trying to hook me up with an Ivy League grad, etc. (why is everyone trying to hook me up?) I marvel at her focus on material things (which is probably why my mom was a hippie). My grandma is sweet and I love her, but I cannot understand her social circle. I always feel very out of place with the company she keeps (upscale Dallas residents).

Do I want to see pictures from your family vacation to Greece?
Sure, but you're not on the same planet I am.

My first 'vacation' was a fancy tour of the UK with my grandma, but all the other trips I have taken were on God's tab -- South African shanties and a soup kitchen, all the free things to do in London for a day, repairing sheet-rock ceilings in a Mexican orphanage in the peak of summer. Those are my favourite 'vacations.'

Sorry for the rambling. I got on my soap-box about upper-middle class snobs. *slaps self*

Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. (James 1:9-11)

Shall We Dance?

I am currently trying to teach my younger brother, Jeremy, how to dance. Right now we are working on the swing with KT Tunstall's Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. Great song to swing to. Now if only I could get Jeremy off the couch.

Book of the Week

Come Away My Beloved
by Francis J. Roberts

This book has been such an encouragement in my walk with the Lord. I heartily recommend it to any Christian woman. It is a beautiful piece of work.

Click here to read excerpts from the book.

22 March 2006

An Unusual Door

The Lord brought me a 'mission opportunity' today. It happened in a rather unusual way. (No rhyming intended.)

During my lunch break I sit at a table in the commons area (usually by myself) and journal while I eat. This time I did not sit alone. A Vietnamese woman sat next to me and watched with interest as I wrote.

"Your handwriting is beautiful," she complimented.

"Oh, thank you."

"May I look at your journal?" she inquired. No living person has ever opened my journal. It is a window into my heart that I am reluctant to open, but I let her look. She studied the striped cover before flipping through the pages, complimenting my sketches, poetry and writing. I felt like I was laying my life open for the viewing, but I have nothing to hide. When people read my life I want them to see Jesus.

We visited for a while. She has been in the US for three years and is working for her LVN license at NCTC. She told me it was her first semester and she was waiting nervously to take an exam. Excited to discover that I was an English major, she shyly asked if I would help her with her writing for an English class.

"Could... do you think maybe you could tutor me?"

"Of course, I'd love to help you." I strategically wrote my e-mail address on a gospel tract. May this bear fruit to the glory of my Lord.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. He even used my English to make a way. It was an unusual door. Now I shall never ask the question, "What do you do with an English degree?" Use it to share the gospel.

Another random string of thoughts...

Yesterday was my long day at work. Thankfully, my boss was back, but I found out she was stepping down after May. She asked if I had considered taking her place, but I politely turned it down for... guess what? A janitor job. A lot of people might think me crazy for turning down a management position for a humble janitor job (and sometimes I think I might be), but I have my reasons.

Julia came home with me after work to do her graduation photos. David took the pictures and I was the "brain behind the camera" (since he wouldn't let me use the camera yet). We got some really nice pictures. Julia is very photogenic, I think.

I have to leave for school in a couple of hours. It is unusually cold outside and I would much rather curl up on the couch under a mound of blankets than brave the outside. Most of my readers will laugh, because it is only 40 degrees Farenheit.

Oh, I did forget to mention a debate I had on Monday. A classmate and I were discussing gay marriage during lunch break. More on that later.

21 March 2006

I'm Going to be an Auntie!

My friend Maggie is 34 weeks with her second little girl. I'm so excited for her. Please keep Maggie and her family in your prayers during her last few weeks of pregnancy!

Since Jeremy and Jason won't allow me to get married, I am going to be this great doting spinster-aunt to all my friends' children. My friend Beth (who wants a lot of boys) can already plan on me bringing back spears and shields from Africa. *laughs* Sorry, Beth. They are going to be very spoiled children (and then I can give them back to their parents). Just thought I'd warn all of you, if you should marry and have children. Haha.

20 March 2006

Musician of the Week

I just discovered Keith Urban. Yeah, yeah... he's been around for a few years, but I didn't bother with him because of my dislike for country music. I am listening to his song "Tonight I Wanna Cry." It's so sad and beautiful. *sniff* Sorry, just had a "mushy moment." Maybe it has something to do with Urban's being a cute Aussie (I have a partiality to Aussie men). Or because his style isn't backwoods-red-neck Texan-country-boy. Urban's style is smoother than average country-trash. (My apologies to any country fans out there.) I'm not a country fan, but I think I'm a Keith Urban fan...

Keith Urban (born in New Zealand) learned to play guitar as a six-year-old in Australia, after a young woman asked to place an ad in his dad's shop window offering guitar lessons. His parents made a deal with her that they would advertise in return for lessons for their young son. The boy had natural ability. By the time he was eight, Urban was winning talent shows. He also was involved in a youth acting company which required him to sing, dance, and memorize lines, all of which led to the ease on stage which would serve him well in his music career.

With his father deeply interested in American culture and country music, it was also natural that Keith would gravitate towards country music early on, when he was influenced by the singing of Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton, and Don Williams, and the songwriting of Jimmy Webb ("Galveston"). Urban added his own dimension to those influences when he discovered Dire Straits, and became interested in the guitar playing of Mark Knopfler and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, embarking on in-depth study and endless practice of their techniques.

For the rest of his bio, click here.

Me + Rubber Band = Trouble

One of my many funny high school stories...

I think I was a freshman in high school when this took place. At the time, I had a special talent of shooting rubber bands. This unique gift was sharpened due to the fact that I had wasps in my apartment, which I would shoot out of the air with rubber bands. Of course, my excellent aim was not limited to blowing up annoying bugs.

One Wednesday night at a youth group meeting, I found a few lonely rubber bands that needed to be used. My first victim? The youth pastor, of course. He made the terrible mistake of turning his back to me. Haha. Out came a rubber band and promptly smacked him square in the back.

"HEY!!" he shouted, leaping several feet in the air.

Don't ask me how it escaped from my pocket. I never saw it coming... neither did he.

19 March 2006

Vegetable Steamer on Wheels

Awana started again tonight and I got to see all of my 'girlies.' It was pouring rain and no one was around to unlock the building for us, so I piled everyone in my van and turned the heater on high. Every few minutes another kid would come up and I'd squeeze them in. Pretty soon my van was full of wet, steaming teenagers. It was like being in a giant vegetable steamer... on wheels.

One of my girls has a hard time memorizing her verses, so I adopted a new method to help her learn. I break up the verses into small pieces and memorize them with her. This seems to really help and encourage. She seems to think it fun that I say the verses to her and she plays "leader." I like it because it keeps my mind sharp (and my poor short-term memory).

During verse time some of my girls got a hold of my cellphone (which they love to play with) and discovered Matthew's message on my voice mail. They all began to giggle uncontrollably and pretty soon every one of my girls had heard the message.

"Is that your boyfriend?" One girl giggled.

"Oh no, no. Just a friend, silly. I told you I don't have a boyfriend." Only to be greeted by more giggles. Girls that age are so silly, but they're also adorable so you can't stay mad at them for long.

Matthew, I think you have already become quite popular over here. There are a bunch of people (besides myself) who find your accent rather amusing.

This Morning

This morning was cold and damp, the lingering smell of wet earth hung in the air. A blue-gray sky hovered close to the ground, still heavy with rain. Finally the clouds have loosed themselves and it has been raining steadily for the past half hour. The thunder rumbles like a deep, long yawn.

All right, I need to stop with the drowsy poetic descriptions or I'm going to put myself to sleep.

I was up groggy and early this morning, dragging myself to the shower, trying to find something in my closet that still fits, smearing some make-up on, and downing a cereal bar and glass of milk. It might have been better if I'd checked the expiration date on the milk jug before I drank it. Five minutes later I was feeling queasy. Oh duh, Carey... the milk expired. Brilliant. Thankfully I didn't get sick all over the place. Better me than someone else in my family (some do not suffer graciously).

The sermon this morning was on Acts 8:1-25. I enjoyed it, but was a little unnerved at the prospect of starting the Song of Solomon next week. My pastor is especially famous in the US for his series on the Song of Solomon. Perhaps it is because he is not afraid to talk about... that stuff, you know. Pastor Nelson announced this morning that it would be a good idea not to bring kids under 14 next week. Jeremy and I exchanged worried glances. Great, need I guess what he is going to talk about? Last time Pastor Nelson taught something like this (four years ago) I purposely ignored the sermons dealing with male-female 'relations.' Maybe I should listen this time.

18 March 2006

A random string of thoughts...

It's been raining all day. I actually love weather like this. Texas is very hot, sunny, and dry, so when it's rainy and cold I'm so happy. Some people would find dark, rainy days depressing, but weather like this is very restful for me -- especially on Saturdays, when I can sit and be quiet, contemplating life in general. (I'm one of those strange philosophical types.)

Right now I am sitting on the couch under a fleece blanket listening to KT Tunstall's "Under the Weather." Coincidence? *laughs*

Jer is sitting next to me playing some video game. He likes it, but don't get me started on video games (or television, for that matter). If I ever have kids of my own, I am not having a video game console or a television (just a computer with a DVD player).

Mama and I were just talking about this yesterday, actually. I was telling her how I would encourage the arts -- have a huge supply of arts and crafts material, a dress-up box and stage, lots of books, and a music room for my kids. Who needs a TV when you have all that? Mama just laughed at my idealistic opinions on how I was going to do parenting. (Maybe it's because a year ago I wanted nothing to do with marriage and kids, and now I spurt off all these ideas.)

100th Post!

This is my 100th post!

Thanks to all of you for putting up with my blabbing, blathering, and yaking!

Becoming All Things to All Men

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
"I am free from all men" ~ Paul uses the Greek word eleutheros [el-yoo'-ther-os], which literally means 'free, exempt, unrestrained, not bound by an obligation.'

"I have made myself a servant to all" ~ Yet in the same sentence he also claims to be douloo [doo-lo'-o], a slave or a bound man to all people, for the sake of the gospel. Douloo is a derivative of doulos [doo'-los], which takes 'slave' a step further: 'devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests.' This word is also used in Matthew 20:27...
And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave.
Paul explains that in order to share the gospel, he becomes a chameleonn" of sorts...
  • To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews.
  • To those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law.
  • To those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law.
  • To the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak.
The beautiful thing about the Christian faith is that it is mulit-cultural. You do not need to adopt a different culture and name to become a believer. You are not required to learn another language in order to read the Bible - you can read God's word for yourself in your own language.

What great freedom we have in Christ! We can come to Him just as we are. What incredible mercy - that God loved us and sent His only Son to die on our behalf, so that He sees us through the veil that is Christ's righteousness.

He gives us the ability to become all things to all men so we can share His Love.
...I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel'’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

17 March 2006

Easy to Please

When everyone in the family is sitting in the livingroom, choosing a television show can be difficult. Mom wants to watch an interior decorating show, David wants a science program, Jeremy prefers programs about animals, and Dad likes gardening shows. Me? I'm a little easier to please.

David grabs the remote and flips through the channel guide, stopping on a program called 'Planet Weather.' He then waits for a vote from the peanut gallery.

"That looks interesting," Mom comments.

Jeremy, with his extensive teenage-male vocabulary, grunts his approval.

"Isn't this the program with the cute Scottish host?" I inquire.


"All right, then. Let's watch it!"

See? Easy to please. In all seriousness, it really is an interesting program. However, the host just makes it more interesting.

Playing Games

My fifteen-year-old brother loves to play games. He is always asking me to play with him (even though I am supposedly an embarrassing older sister). Jeremy has been begging me all week, and I told him I would play a card game as soon as I finish typing this post about playing games. Ironic, isn't it?

Personally, I'm not much of a game-player. I prefer to read and write in my spare time, with the occasional art project. There is one game I love to play, though (and I might add that I'm pretty good at it)... "Hard to Get." Is that an officially recognized game?

The Travel Bug Has Bitten

I'm currently watching Passport to Europe. Samantha is in the Czech Republic. Oooh I want to go somewhere really badly! I think I would kill for her job. Single girl loose on Europe with a camera crew following her. Haha. Love the idea.

16 March 2006

Carey Tomato

Today Julia and I joined some friends for tennis. I was looking forward to it because I remember enjoying the sport ten years ago. It was lots of fun, but let's just say I'm not ready for Wimbledon (or maybe Wimbledon isn't ready for me). I was so glad just to get out of the house and do something active, even if I was terrible at it. My face now looks like a tomato - round and very red - due to my sun exposure without sunblock (silly me).

Mom didn't want me out tonight, so I had to turn down the semi-blind group date. I did drop Julia off and hang around for a while. My first impression of David... I honestly thought he was fifteen. He is tall, lanky and has a very high voice. I'm sure he's a really nice guy and all, but I... I don't know. I shouldn't make presumptions. Honestly, right now I'm okay being single. I've got a lot of education ahead and I really don't have time for developing a romantic relationship.

15 March 2006

Match-makers, match-makers, make me a match...

Friends are great: they cheer you up with funny phone calls, take you shopping with them, go out to eat with you, laugh with you, cry with you... and try to hook you up when you don't have a boyfriend.

Susan and Julia had a "brilliant" idea yesterday. They were talking about this David fellow while in the car.

"Hey... you might actually like him," Susan chirped.

"Who? Are you talking to me?" I tried to focus on her with my one good eye.

"Yeah," Julia chimed in. "We should introduce you to each other."

Introduce, eh? Sounds like a blind date to me.

So Julia calls me tonight and says that David is free Thursday evening. Of course, she and Susan would come along, maybe with some other people, and "introduce" me to this David. Apparently they think that because he is good-natured, bookish, and whatever else the said, that we might make a good match. No offense to Julia and Susan, but their love lives aren't exactly that great. Should I honestly trust their judgement? *winks* [I hope you know I am teasing you girls. I'll meet him, but I'm not promising anything else.]

14 March 2006

Scarred (or Scared) for Life

Originally, I had planned to spend most of today on the couch with my nose in a book. Then Susan called at 10:00 AM and pitifully begged me to come shopping with her and Julia. Sure. So I jumped in the shower and hastily applied some make-up. This shopping place was in some ritzy suburb of Dallas so I gave up my sweats and tennis shoes for some jeans and sandals. Susan finally arrived at my house around 11:30, after several phone calls and wrong turns. We began our one-hour drive, stopping at Sonic for lunch.

Now I finally know what teenage girls do at the mall -- shop 'til they drop (mostly for clothes). I never enjoyed shopping for clothes that much, perhaps it was because of a long-term hate relationship with my body. In one store I tried on a party dress in a stunning teal, but I couldn't bear to pay the $25. Cheap skate, I know, but where does one wear such clothing? Sweat pants and sneakers will do just fine.

I mostly served as fashion consultant for Susan and Julia: that color is good on you, that one isn't, this color washes you out, watch where the fabric gathers, the rouching is in the wrong place, that makes you look pregnant, that's too revealing, etc. They may as well have brought their moms. It's funny that I am quite liberal in some areas, but when it comes to clothing I am very conservative (or at least I am compared to Susan and Jules). Susan says, "If you've got it flaunt it." I have nothing to flaunt (and shame upon you, Susan -- what would you do without me to keep you in line?). For some funny reason, Susan and Jules didn't want to stay in Barnes and Noble. If I had my way, I would have stayed there the entire day with my nose in a book and sipping coffee. But I'm a nice friend.

About half-way through the day I had to remove my right contact, which was scratching my eye. It was interesting to shop half-blind, but all I had to do was sit on a couch and wait for Julia and Susan to try clothes on (I gave up after the first store).

The most momentous occasion of the day for me was my first trip to Victoria's Secret. Momentous... ha. The prices were momentous.

"I'm going to be scarred for life," I groaned as we approached the entrance. "Maybe I should take out my other contact lense." I picked up a $45 bra and trudged to the dressing room.

"I wanna see!" I heard in front of my door before two heads popped in. Yep, scarred for life.

"Wow..." Julia gawked, "You're... curvy." Nice way to put it.

"I hate you," Susan pouted.

"That's okay. I hate you for being skinny," I retorted, laughing, "But I'm not paying this much money."

Dinner was eaten in the mall food court before returning home. As long as I live, I never want to eat out again. I've had too much food out and my stomach is paying for it. Now I am on the couch after several shots of Pepto-Bismol and a fistful of Maalox tablets. No more food and socializing... just books (and maybe a few trips to the tredmill).

13 March 2006

The Bridget Jones Mentality

Since we didn't get to go to the gardens today, Julia and I headed to Blockbuster to rent some movies. We decided on both Bridget Jones movies and headed to my house (because my family is more quiet and I have my own room in which to watch movies). Julia and I had both read the first Bridget Jones book and thought the movies would be funny too. We had plenty of laughs, but I was still irritated at Bridget's views on men and romance.

Here it comes... you know I'm going to get on my soap box.

Anyone familiar with Bridget will know about her longing for a man to "complete" her and her moping during non-boyfriend periods. Even though Bridget Jones is supposed to be a comedy, I find the underlying message very depressing. Love without Christ won't last and you will never find another human that will complete you. Your spouse can compliment you, but never complete. Only Christ can complete an incomplete human.
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, Who is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:9-10)
The Greek word for "complete" in this verse is "pleroo" [play-ro'-o] and it literally means "to fill to the full." Reminds me of Psalm 23:5 - "... my cup overflows." What's really awesome is that Christ, in Whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and Who is the head of all principality and power, completes a sinful human like me! Just a smudge on the face of the earth, a passing wisp of smoke and the Creator of heaven and earth has a consistent and passionate love for me. Wow.

I just get frustrated when even Christian women hold this erroneous view. They have no idea that they can have a Love that does complete them - more deep and passionate than any mere mortal man could ever provide.

My Beloved spoke, and said to me: "“Rise up, My love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, My love, my fair one, and come away! O My dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let Me see your face, let Me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely." My Beloved is mine, and I am His. (Song of Solomon 2:10-14,16a)

Though I admit that it would be nice to have "love with some skin on it," I would be perfectly content to wait until my Bridegroom takes me in His arms.

12 March 2006

WWJD (Work With Jello Daily)

This motto was first introduced to me at a missionary-in-training boot camp a few years ago. It has stuck with me ever since. Flexibility is crucial to life. Period. I have discovered life is so much easier if I am flexible. Keys locked in the car? No problem. All my plans change at the last minute? All right, then.
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." (Prov. 19:21)
As I mentioned in the last post, Julia and I had planned to do her graduation photos tomorrow, but my dad (and her dad too) felt uncomfortable with the idea of us two girls going to Fort Worth by ourselves. It's a long drive and the neighborhood isn't that great. At first, I was a little irritated because that meant we'd have to wait for a daddy or big brother to come along with us. However, after thinking about it, I was okay with the decision. It will all work out somehow and our parents are doing what they think is best for us.

11 March 2006

Slit-Your-Wrists Bored

I was so excited about Spring break yesterday. An entire week with nothing constructive to do sounded great, but after half a day I was ready to go back to my busy, structured school schedule. What am I going to do for the next eight days??? I don't know how some of my friends can handle this pace of life. I have to be very active to avoid going crazy.

Convincing my mom to let me use the car wasn't too difficult: "Mom, if I don't get out I'm going to slit my wrists or something."

Julia, Susan, and I are planning to go to the botanical gardens in Fort Worth on Monday and do a photo shoot for Julia's graduation photos. It will be fun. We're going to pack a picnic lunch and spend most of the day outside. Yipee!

Today was David's day off and he (like myself) gets restless, so we went to Best Buy and the organic market this afternoon. Being the wealthy bachelor he is, David had no problem plunking down money for ipod accessories. I didn't get anything at Best Buy, but I did get soy ice cream at the organic market. It's yummy.

Ironically, when we got home Mom announced she had ordered Mr. Jim's pizza for dinner. So much for my healthy efforts... especially when the pizza arrived with Moutain Dew Code Red, my downfall. Unfortunately, I can't drink very much because my body doesn't respond well to sugar. Why can't they make a diet Code Red?? Everything else has been converted to diet.

10 March 2006

The Pied Piper

Dave let the Chinchilla run loose in the hall tonight to get his "exercise." Problem is, that little rodent is everywhere. I couldn't have a minute of privacy in the bathroom before a little gray head peaked under the door and the rest of his body followed. Mr. Chin likes me a lot... everywhere I go, he's bouncing right behind, running in between my feet and tripping me. It is really difficult to get into my bedroom when there is a fluffy animal sitting on my feet or trying to crawl up my leg (he really likes my legs for some reason).

I think it's funny because animals and children like me and follow me around. It makes me feel like the pied piper.

Women's History Month

Ladies, March is Women's History Month! Check out some of these different links...



Quiz: Which Tudor Queen are You?
(I was Queen Elizabeth I)

What inspired me? A program on the History Channel about the Celtic Queen Boudicca (Boadicea). To quote Miranda Otto, "It's always fun when women get to kick butt." I love hearing about strong women leaders: Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Deborah, etc.

Can you guess who my favorite Lord of the Rings character is?

Center of the Storm

When all around me gives way
To tempest-tossed waves
And everyone turns
To their own ways
Life comes crashing
'Round my ears
Violent breakers
Sqeezing tears.
I stand silent,
In the eye of the storm,
Amidst a Peace and Love
So warm.
God still gives peace
In the center of the storm.

Hold back in abeyance these howling winds?
Nay, I find refuge in my Beloved's arms.
That which hurts me makes me stronger!
I shall hold fast
To the Rock of my salvation.
Clinging only to Him,
And not these passing, battered rafts.

Hold fast my hand in Thine,
For only You give Peace
In the midst of the storm.

Originally written on 20 February 2006

09 March 2006

Blank Stare Mountain

Dad and I sat in the living room watching one of Mom's decorating shows. The only reason I watch it is because I enjoy making sarcastic remarks about the decorator, who I am convinced is gay. No real man would be an interior decorator and wear pink shirts... even I wouldn't do that.

"Maybe he should have been in Brokeback Mountain," I remarked. Dad gave me this blank stare.

"Now, remember," he cautioned in his back-woods Kansas accent, "I haven't been everywhere you have. I have no clue where that is."

It was my turn to stare blankly. "My gosh, you are out of touch with pop culture!"

Another blank stare.

"Brokeback Mountain is a movie about two gay cowboys," I explained. "It was nominated for best film at the Academy Awards, but thankfully didn't get it."


Musician of the Week

Since I love music and art, I thought I'd start "Musician of the Week" and "Artist of the Week" posts to highlight artists and up-coming musicians. So here is this week's musician...

KT Tunstall is a sparkling new songwriter with Chinese blood, a Scottish heart, great legwarmers and a cool name - "well, it's got a bit more attitude than Kate which just says farmer's daughter to me," she laughs. KT celebrates classic singer-songwriting in the tradition of Rikki Lee Jones, Carol King and Fleetwood Mac with an articulate, accessible, immediate brew of rootsy sass, wistful quandary and after-hours atmosphere. The latest in a line of outstanding contemporary Scottish songwriters including Texas, Fran Healy, Teenage Fanclub and The Beta Band, KT's unique perspective offers a rare emotionally connecting intensity through it's gripping lyrical bite and heartfelt melody.

Her debut album 'Eye To The Telescope' is the creative consequence of that inquiring imagination. "My songs examine and explore little specific emotions or situations or stories," she explains. "They're kitchen table songs, like a conversation between me and one other person. It's almost like an alien has been sent to get emotional samples from human beings and put it all together on a record."

To finish reading her biography, check out http://www.kttunstall.com/

Black Horse and the Cherry Tree (Quicktime)
Other Side of the World (Windows Media)

08 March 2006

Seek Him First

This evening I got Julia and Sarah G. in my room at church (we were babysitting for some Bible studies). We ended up having an interesting conversation about courtship, dating, marriage, etc. (all those things I hate talking about). Just to set the records straight, I did not initiate that subject. It was Sarah's fault. Even though we all had different views on the subjects, it was interesting to hear.

In all honesty, I just don't care. If it happens, it happens. If not, I'm perfectly content to be single. Marriage and family are not the sole objects of my life. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God..." A deep and constant relationship with my heavenly Bridegroom, serving my Lord with all that I am, and loving others are my first priorities. Every other blessing God chooses to give me will simply fall into place. My Beloved is all I need and want. Enough said.

My Beloved spoke, and said to me: "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." (Song of Solomon 2:10)

A recommendationn to my lady readers... Come Away My Beloved by Francis J. Roberts. It is my favourite book next to the Bible - a beautifully written book as from the heart of Christ to His Bride. (In fact, I'd reccomend this to men as well. Guys, if you want to know what touches a woman's heart...) This is good for any Christian to read.

07 March 2006

Million Dollar Baby

Work went better today than I expected. My boss was out again, so I filled in for her. Thankfully we only had four workers out (instead of eight). The afternoon was easy and I actually had enough time to give dancing lessons to Julia and Beth. *chuckle* (I'm going to give you two a quiz!)

I returned home with the prospect of taking my daughter to the vet. She was very congested and Mom insisted I take her. So Jer and I piled into the car with bunny and drove to the vet. Dumpling had an upper respiratory infection and ear infection. Great, what's this going to cost? I went to the front desk to pay, wincing. Bracing myself against the counter I took a deep breath.

"Okay, hit me with the bill," I said to the secretary.

"That will be $141.26."

My jaw dropped. "Are you serious?"

"Yes. One hundred, fourty-one dollars and twenty-six cents."

I felt like shooting myself in the foot as I pulled out my checkbook. When we got outside to the car I banged my head and groaned,

"Oh God, what did I do to deserve this?!" I called Mom to tell her the cost.

"Guess how much this bill was? It's the most expensive one yet."

"Ummm... a hundred fifty."

"Close... one hundred, fourty-one dollars and twenty-six cents."

"Oh wow."

Thankfully, I had enough in my savings to cover the cost but I hate dropping that much money, even if it is for my beloved bunny. That animal has cost me at least $1,000 over the past four years. That's almost three round trips to Montreal! Or a trip to London!

06 March 2006

This is Funny...

I posted about Demotivators a month or so ago. This one is probably my favourite...

Depressing or Character-Building?

We finished watching Last of the Mohicans in History class today. I really like that movie, even though it is "depressing" (as my mother puts it). Mama prefers happy movies with happy endings and finds my "morbid" taste for war movies stuffed with tragedy rather strange. I don't enjoy seeing anyone suffer, even if it's only a movie, but in movies such as Saving Private Ryan, Braveheart, and Last of the Mohicans, the main characters go through a lot of suffering (and some even die). The character development is a beautiful thing to see. Pain deepens you. Happy, funny movies are okay, but they don't stick with you. I like to use this analogy - Which book impacts you better: Bridget Jones' Diary or The Hiding Place? I like to be impacted more than entertained.

05 March 2006

Sarah asked for this...

My new haircut...

04 March 2006

Today's Adventure

I left at nine this morning with the intent of running some errands before my grandmother arrived this afternoon. Some stops included exchanging a t-shirt, picking up some lunch food at the organic market, and returning to the Mecca of shoes.

Everything was going according to schedule. I left the house at the desired time and headed into town. Arriving at my first stop ten minutes before opening time, I decided to wait in the van. The shopkeeper opened the doors and I leapt out of the van, eager to be on my way. No sooner had I locked and shut the door when I realized my keys were still in the ignition. Oh great. I pulled my cellphone out of my purse.

"Hi Mom... I locked my keys in the car," I stated calmly. There was a dead silence. "Mom?"

"Are you serious?"

"Yes." Would I joke about something like that?

Her solution was that I wait until my grandmother could get to our house, pick up the keys, and then bring them to me. I ended up waiting four hours to be rescued.

After completing my first errand, I walked next door to the LePeep cafe for brunch. Being the writer that I am, I pulled out a piece of scrap paper...

Maybe it was a good thing that I locked the keys in the car. Now I can enjoy a long, leisurely brunch (or second breakfast). This is a cute little restaurant. I feel like I'm in a small Parisian cafe. Perhaps I shall use my imagination and pretend I'm a freelance writer sitting in a French cafe, sipping my coffee, and pondering the meaning of life.

20 minutes later...

Brunch was delicious. I had two eggs over easy with two strips of bacon and - oh bliss - a Belgian waffle drenched in warm syrup. I'm going for a walk now to work this off.

Did I walk! With who knows how many hours to kill, I aimlessly walked about the shopping complex and ended up getting a hair cut just for fun. The woman who cut my hair was a small Taiwanese woman who dressed like a rock star and possessed bad English. I was quite concerned for my long wavy locks. My last experience with a Taiwanese hair dresser ended with a very short haircut, but I was feeling adventurous today and decided to take the plunge. The funny little woman chattered to me in unintelligible English, to which she would end with "Right?" and I would simply nod my head in agreement.

"Oh, you have beautiful hair... you colour?"

"No, it's natural."

"Oh, very pret-ty," she over-pronounced. Surprisingly, I was very happy with the end result. It is shorter and more straight, but I really like it.

I then headed towards the Wal-Mart for a pair of shoes and a magazine the size of War and Peace to read for the remainder of my long stay.

My grandmother finally arrived around 2:30 PM to rescue me. I drove (because she really shouldn't be on the road anymore) and finished the necessary errands, forgoing the organic market once more.

So there is my Saturday adventure.

03 March 2006

I'm getting too domestic...

Yesterday Julia and I went on an outing which included going out to lunch (at 3 PM) and shopping. Where did we go? At least three different stores, one of which is the mecca of shoes. I actually spotted a pair of Doc Martins! If I weren't so cheap I'd have bought them, but I wasn't about to spend $50 on them (conversion: $56.68 Canada, £28.48 UK).

Get this... I actually purchased a skirt. Yes, folks, that's right. I even plan on wearing it! Perhaps I am actually making progress on my femininess... femaleness... womanliness... girliness... whatever. You still can't part me from my combat boots, though. Could those be worn with a skirt? Ooh, maybe a camoflauge skirt! What do you think ladies?

Answered Prayer?

For the past year, my family and I have been praying for another car for me to take to school. My dad's friend's son (did you get that) is selling his eleven-year old car. It seems to be in very good condition, get good gas mileage, and have a working AC unit - everything I wanted in a car (minus sun roof and CD player). The only problem is that it's a stick shift... and I have no clue how to drive a stick shift. I can learn (even though I swore I never wanted to drive a stick-shift). The offer is too tempting for me, however, because it is much cheaper than I expected to pay for a car and that means left-over money. And guess what left-over money means? Airline tickets!

01 March 2006

Killer Carey

I drove home from work with Mom tonight (on one of those dark country roads where you can't see anything until it's five feet in front of your car). In a split second I saw a large skunk loping across the road and a loud CLUNK followed by a horrific smell. I wailed the rest of the way home,

"I killed an animal! I killed an animal!"

Mom was more worried about the car. It still stinks and I have a lunch date tommorrow (with girlfriends, not a boyfriend - don't worry people). But I feel horrible... I've never killed animal... except that time I was given the task of killing the mouse that plagued our storage building (no one else would do it). I cried when I killed it and kept apologizing to the dead mouse as I gave it a proper funeral. Don't scoff. I give animals proper burial. We have a graveyard behind our house where my little bunnies are buried. *sniff* One died of cancer and the other died from a heart-attack. Poor little bunnies. Poor mouse. Poor skunk.

Sorry... as you can tell, I am an animal lover and a bit of a tree-hugger. I think I got it from my mama.

Hot, hot, hot!

It is an unseasonable 93 degrees Farenheit right now. Yes, and it's only March. This morning was a pleasant 65, and by the time I got out of school this afternoon I was panting like a dog in the torrid heat. I jumped into my car and turned the AC on full blast, gingerly turning the steering wheel with my fingertips. This is one of the reasons I do not like living in Texas.