Sunday, November 29, 2009

I was silly enough to mention the word "accident" on my facebook, so here's the explanation:
We headed out early on Friday evening to do some errands and go swing dancing. There had been a drizzly sort of snow that afternoon, but the temperature has been unusually warm, so we didn't worry too much about the roads (famous last words).  The sudden temperature drop we got that evening caused snow to melt, then freeze, resulting essentially in solid black ice all over Calgary.

Noticing this, we had gotten of the bus to catch some dinner, hoping traffic would improve. While walking to the bus stop, we saw a car blocking the middle of a 4-lane road. Traffic was moving so slow, we walked (or tried is slippery when you're wearing Converse) over to the car to see if we could help. There, we met a lovely, handicapped old lady who was spinning out every time she tried to move. Being the only licensed driver in the group, and realizing that I couldn't do any better behind the wheel than she was, we decided to push her out of the far left lane into the right lane. Of course she'd be better off there!

There had been an accident right before we pushed her car over; for the moment, we couldn't make it to the next intersection without hitting any cars in front of us. We decided to wait. Further investigation of the car revealed that the best option was to call someone to take our dear old lady home and pick up the car later. The police were called (and her son). All that remained was to wait for them to come, so a friend and I decided we would stay and everyone else headed back to the residence. We learned that she had just come from helping her husband in a long term care facility ( he's had Alzheimer's for several years). So as we sat, making light conversation and trying to calm her nerves, we got sideswiped by an out of control SUV (that hit another car in front of us) then rear ended by another car.

After making sure everyone was alright, we went around and exchanged insurance information with the other drivers. Amazingly enough, (and yes, this is clearly God working) not only was no one hurt, there was no visible damage to the car we were in. The police were called again, this time to report an accident. Since we knew we really needed to stay put, we decided the car would be safer on the sidewalk and moved it accordingly (now the rear bumper is perpendicular to the curb). What could possibly happen to us while we're on the sidewalk? Well...the guy who rear ended us actually ended up getting rear ended himself (twice), so now the side of his car was actually on our rear bumper. After every new hit, we reexamined the car and exchanged insurance information with the new drivers. It was almost comical.

So how does this story end?  Well, I don't really know. For me, it ended when the lady's son arrived and I walked back to the residence to find my friends had arranged not only food and warm beverages, but a game night to make up for the loss of dancing.  But I trust that the God who not only kept us safe but kept the car intact, was in control that night, and that it ended in a way that glorifies Him.

Ah, tea.

I love how people come together over warm beverages, especially this time of year.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pecan Pie and Philosophy

- Ham, scalloped potatoes, broccoli and soy milk: $8
-2 pies from Sunterra market ( apple and pecan) = $10
- spending Thanksgiving discussing the nature of beauty and other philosophical ideas: Priceless.

Sweet irony.

Those of you from Ambrose who follow this have, no doubt, already heard this story. Feel free to tune out. For the rest of you, here's my story:
Desiring to deck the dorm with fresh greenery, a few friends and I went out to the Ambrose woods last Sunday. Returning to my room, we had fabulous walnut hot cocoa and made wreaths while Katie dramatically told us politically correct fairy tales; it was a splendid afternoon. It occurred to me that my floor was covered with pine needles and other twigs and greenery. While I wouldn't really mind having such debris on the carpet, I decided for the sake of peace between roommates, I ought to go on a quest to find the res. vacuum.
Discover the vacuum I did, and I proceeded to attempt to use it. (now this vacuum is used by all 3 floors, guys & girls, and is ALWAYS clogged. Always. ) Today was no exception. I was in the act of muttering some curse on the vacuum and it's inability to draw up any sediment when it ate up my phone cord and broke it in two, as if to say, "You think I can't suck? Suck this" (yes, that vacuum is sadistic). The best part, of course, is the fact that after I removed my cord from the vacuum, it refused to work.  Hence the title. The picture is just cool. Who doesn't need a USB vacuum?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

While we're looking at Gap commercials...

They have some fun Christmas remixes (you know. since it's not even Thanksgiving yet)....
-Jingle Bells
-Baby it's Cold Outside (featuring Dwight from The Office)
- Winter Wonderland
-We Three Kings (cool handbells/beatboxing)

It don't mean a thing...

Oh, I love swing dancing. Combining great jazzy tunes with the fascinating social interaction that happens when you dance with someone is really a million dollar idea. There's something about social dancing...I'm still trying to put my finger on it. As reserved and introverted as I can be sometimes, that has to leave on the dance floor. It forces me out of my shell, makes me have to interact and literally makes me learn to follow someone else's lead.

I've always loved how social dancing is an excellent illustration of complimentarinism. Two equally important, but different parts come together to make a beautiful thing: a dance. If both partners did the same thing, it would only cause strife and cease to be a pleasant thing ( people stepping on each other, etc.) It's no shameful thing to follow rather than lead, rather, it's a pleasure to be lead well. It's hard to describe how exciting it is to dance with a guy that leads well.

That being said, I'd love to be able to do this someday, though I consider it unlikely. ;) Guess I'll have to marry a dancer...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I have noticed that most of my recent blog posts have something to do with my history class. History is rather interesting, when you're not being graded on it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Preparing, Pondering, Presenting

There are three main steps I use when writing on a primary source document (like I am right now).
Preparing: This requires reading and rereading the text and annotating...takes FOREVER.
Pondering: identifying key issues; doing background research; developing a thesis...
Presenting: organizing thoughts into a logical presentation.
I'm stuck on stage two. I can write plenty of text, but coming up with a point is difficult.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ever washed your hair in a sink?

This morning, I did. I've done it several times already this semester, on days when the water won't heat up for the shower. It just occurred to me as especially ironic that the pressure is so much stronger in the sink (as opposed to the shower) that it actually makes it easier to wash my long hair.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Keeping me humble...

Oh, I hate giving presentations. Not making them, that part comes easily. For whatever reason, God created me to have a silly exaggerated physical reaction to stress. Regardless of how much I prepare, how good my notes are, how many people are in the audience, stick me in a spotlight and ask me a question and I'm reduced to a quivering, pathetic mess (shakes head). For example, the history presentation I bombed this morning...
But that's ok. In fact, it's wonderful! (especially since I'm not being graded on it...) I need these constant reminders of how I can't do things on my own. One of the wonderful things about God's sovereignty is that I know ultimately, I did my best and as long as I trust Him and obey, everything will work out for my good and His glory. Some may call religion a crutch. It's not a crutch; it's my very life support. Without Christ and His atoning work, I have no hope. I'm a broken cistern that can't hold water, trying to dig out wells for myself in the desert, vainly chasing things that can't satisfy. He is my strength and redeemer. Where am I without Him? Even more pitiful and desperate than when I'm giving presentations. Resting in the arms of an all-powerful, loving's where I long to be. Thank you Lord for being gracious enough to break and humble me so I can see your glory.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's been a long weekend (understatement of the century). Here are some things accomplished:

 (Yeah, it's not quite that green right now)
1. Open House: I worked all day Saturday. We had over 30 applicants, and I got to talk to a lot of people about the school. Not a bad turnout.

2. Apples to Apples in the basement: We're constantly pushing the limits of how many players one can have before the game becomes totally insane. I think our record is about a dozen. It's a great way to get to know people better.

3. Homework: Best described by this...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why I wish I could work on my Mac.

This is the second time I've been stuck waiting at the IT desk this week because my computer can't install needed updates. =P

(sigh) So scenic...

Because of the time change, I can now wake up to the glorious "sunrise over the construction site" without having to get up at an ungodly hour. While this ultimately is a dismal sign of the decreased winter sunlight, immediately, it's a lovely way to start my day. I almost feel like waking up my roommate to see it too...and then it occurs to me that doing so will not be a very edifying thing for her. ;) So I eat breakfast in bed, watching the colors emblazoned across the sky, smiling like a fool to myself because of the beauty of creation.

I really ought to be in bed. Instead, I'm in the book of Matthew...

For some reason today, I was just struck with how interesting it is that we're instructed to " love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind "( Matthew 22: 37). When I think of that verse, I usually think of loving God with my heart and my actions. What does it mean to love God with your mind? I don't usually equate the action of loving with the mind. This may have to do with my separation of the mind (knowing things) from the heart (feeling things), which likely flows from traditional western philosophical notions. But they're listed separately in Matthew too, and I must assume that's done for a reason. Thinking further about it, though, I would find it very hard to love God in only one or two of those capacities and not in all of them. Without being able to at least somewhat understand with my mind glorious truths about God, I couldn't begin to truly love him for them. When I recognize the beauty of God in my mind, that leads me to worship. Knowing that my life is a brief blessing, sovereignly predetermined by an omnipotent and holy God, frees me to live with boldness for the sake of the gospel and love my neighbors as myself (the second part of that commandment). In theory, anyway.
Interesting food for thought, to say the very least.

Monday, November 2, 2009

For those who have asked, here's the link to my Ambrose blog. So far, it's not too interesting.

I've got sunshine...

"Come, my soul, here is a grand feast to begin a dull month with. There may be fogs without, but there should be sunshine within"-C.H. Spurgeon

But from whence does this sunshine come? (yes, I just used "whence" in a sentence...) The quote comes from a devotional on 1st Thessalonians 5:24,  He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. What? Sanctify us wholly, (see previous verse) not allowing us to fall from grace, keeping us blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why? Because He is faithful to His promises. "It is not their own faithfulness, but the Lord's own faithfulness on which the saints rely." Yes, once again I agree with Spurgeon on this one. November may be a long, cold, dreary month, but God is still faithful and good.