Monday, October 22, 2007

This is too good....

not to share. Thanks, TEXAS!!! And here, for all of you who happen to not read her blog, is the link to how to know if an engineer is in love with you. This probably also applies to polymer scientists.

For all the saints ... and "all dishevelled wandering stars"

Go Saints!! You gotta love it when your home team wins. I know it's become less infrequent as of late, but I think there's a part of the me that will never forget the years of losing seasons, even when we had the likes of Bobby Hebert and Morten Andersen on the field. But now it's a delight watching Drew Brees and Reggie Bush out there, and I hope Sean Payton can keep making the team better and better.

But that cheer is not just for a football team. As corny as it is, it's to all of the saints, who are present to God's call within them and the needs they see around them; to all those who live out a selfless love so that we can see how it's done and perhaps, in some small way, follow in their (and in Christ's) footsteps.

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's a glorious day

The sky is an impossibly beautiful blue; it's FRIDAY!!!; 44 German students from Weimar visited my class this morning -- a great success :-) ... and I've had some REALLY tasty coffee this morning. I'm still living out of three different apartments, which is a bit odd (and confusing ... I never know where anything is! Like the movie I'm supposed to show on Monday...), but I'm fine. God is in His heaven and all is right with the world.

So, here's another poem I'd like to share --- not because of the title or the name of the main character. That's just how this poem made it's way to my attention in the first place. It's because the final line is sublime:

Who Goes with Fergus?
(by William Butler Yeats)

WHO will go drive with Fergus now,
And pierce the deep wood's woven shade,
And dance upon the level shore?
Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And lift your tender eyelids, maid,
And brood on hopes and fear no more.

And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love's bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all dishevelled wandering stars.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Getting ready for winter...

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

by Robert Hayden

Yeah, it was one of those....

So, there's moving and then there's MOVING.

moving = packing all of your stuff into more boxes than you ever thought necessary, hauling beds and dressers and BEAUTIFUL solid oak 6 1/2 foot bookshelves you just had to have at some point up and down stairs and then packing them all into a truck after which you drive them halfway across town (or across the country) and then re-enact the whole scene again, only in reverse this time.

MOVING = all of the above + a fire in your kitchen (the stove exploded; we don't know why; the fire report said, "no human involvement"), which means you move it all AGAIN, into the conveniently vacant upstairs apartment while you wait for your new apartment to be cleaned and repainted. After which you will move everything back downstairs into your original "new" apartment. The second move involved cleaning everything individually to get the smoke and soot off. (Dad thought referring to my "new" apartment as the smutty apartment would be funny, and would help differentiate it from the other new temporary apartment.)

For pictures and perhaps a video (still having technical difficulties?) you can check out my brother's blog. I had neither the energy nor the heart to document it all.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Simple truth...

It's not often that I hear something on the radio that makes me want to jump out of bed and blog right away, but today is an exception. Here's what I heard on StoryCorps this morning:

"Be such a man and live such a life that if everybody lived a life like yours, this would be God's paradise."
--- Ed Trinka

Amen and amen.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

And some pictures....

Outside the building. There are 16 units here. Mine is the one on the ground floor, closest to the camera.

The oh, so cute little kitchen. There's space for the washer next to the stove/oven and the dryer will fit the other side of the refrigerator. And can you see the dishwasher?? How luxurious...

The bedroom. You can see the balcony through the window.

The living room.

View from the living room, through the dining room, and into the kitchen. The door to the bedroom is to the left just as you leave the dining room, and the door to the bathroom is exactly opposite. Oh, and this apartment has Central heat/air. Woo hoo!!!


After weeks of combing through the classifieds and apartment listings of all types, I have finally found a new place. It's much smaller than my current apartment, but really cute with hardwood floors, a balcony, and lots of natural light. It's in a hip and fun part of town, too, so I'm really excited.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

This is GREAT.


hoo, boy. This is just getting more and more fun.

ok, I get it!!

It's been a weekend of quiet messages.

On Saturday, I saw a short film about "Grandpa Bill". He's 76 years old and lives in Leeds, Alabama. Years ago, when his wife died, he moved in with his sister. Knowing he needed to get more exercise, and find a way to fill his time, he decided to start going out to clubs in Birmingham. So, Grandpa Bill has become fixture in the jumpingest joints in town, where he parties until the sun comes up. Then he goes home, eats some popcorn (because he loves popcorn), goes to bed, and then gets up and works in the yard at his sister's place. He wears a hearing aid, and says that he enjoys the clubs, because he can hear the beat and dance. When asked, how he decided to start going out to the clubs, and if it made him nervous at first, he replied, "you don't know what you can do until you try it. Just get out there and start moving to the beat."

At church on Sunday morning, the sermon was about prayer. After reading Acts 1:12-14, the pastor pointed out that the disciples (and Mary and all of the women!!) went to the upper room to pray and wait for God's gift of His Spirit. They didn't have any idea what shape it would take, they were simply faithful in following Christ's command to go back to Jerusalem and pray. So they prayed without ceasing, every day, until that gift came. They were faithful in small things, without knowing what the result would be. They were faithful every single day.

On Monday, I picked up Gerald Sittser's Book, "The Will of God as a Way of Life". It's been on my shelf for years. I can't even tell you how many times I've moved it. I've flipped through the pages, and have read parts of it over the years, but hadn't looked at it in ages. So, while I was waiting for a friend to show up, I just flipped through, and this is what jumped out at me: "Experience teaches us, prepares us, and seasons us for what lies ahead. If we are attentive to God in this present moment - which ... is the primary will of God for our lives - we will begin the glorious process of that discovery." [Sittser is talking about discovering our calling.]

And then today, I came across this.

So, ok, I get it. The message is to take that small step, faithfully, every single day; to be attentive to God in this and every present moment; and to pray. Every day. Without ceasing. Because otherwise it is all too overwhelming and there is too much. How are we supposed to make a difference in this world, where the need is so great?

The most powerful message is to be attentive to God in this present moment, because if we listen to His voice today, and step into the circle of light just two feet away (as Ann Lamott's pastor once told her), we don't know where it can take us. But won't it be a great journey!

As Ann would say, I wish you all "Traveling Mercies" and God's blessings for us all.

Still have miles to go before I sleep...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Coming to a theater near you ...

The 9th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival was this past weekend. Here are a few you should check out, if you get the chance:

1) For the Bible Tells Me So -- a documentary exploring the biblical view of homosexuality and its impact on gay and lesbian teens and their families. It contrasts literalist and contextualized readings of the main scriptures used to decry homosexuality, and tells the stories of Christian families with gay or lesbian children.

2) Low and Behold -- Turner Stull, a young man trying to figure out what to do with his life, travels to New Orleans to work as a claims adjustor in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The movie does an excellent job of demonstrating how much was lost; much of the filming was done in the lower 9th Ward. Incredible performances by Barlow Jacobs and Eddie Rouse, Jr.

3) Last Stop for Paul -- an incredible travel movie about Charlie and his friend Cliff, who decide to travel around the world in 2 weeks, in order to honor Cliff's friend Paul. It made me want to hop on the next plane to Indonesia ...

4) American Fork -- an amazing movie about Tracy Orbison and his dreams for a better life. The star, Hubbel Palmer, also wrote the screenplay. It is a stunning depiction of life in small-town America, and the yearning for something bigger and greater that tugs at each of us.