Monday, January 31, 2005

Psalm 18

Favorite verses from Psalm 18...
v. 2: "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
vv. 16-19: "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me."
v. 28: "You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light."
vv. 30-33: "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights."
v. 46: "The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Saviour!"

The Reason Why Things That Taste Good Are Bad For You

In the beginning, God covered the earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach combined with an abundance of green, yellow and red vegetables. He did this so that Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then, using God's bountiful gifts, Satan created Dairy Queen and Dunkin’ Donuts. And Satan said: "You want hot fudge with that?" And Man said: "Yes!" And Woman said: "I'll have one, too...with sprinkles." And lo and behold they gained 10 pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane, and combined them. And Woman went from size 2 to size 14.

So God said: "Try my fresh green garden salad." And Satan presented crumbled Bleu Cheese dressing and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said: "I have sent you heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them." And Satan brought forth deep-fried coconut shrimp, butter-dipped lobster chunks, and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man's cholesterol went through the roof.

Then God brought forth the potato, which is naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and good nutrition. Then Satan peeled off the healthful skin, sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them in animal fats adding copious quantities of salt. And Man packed on more pounds.

God then brought forth running shoes so that his children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan introduced cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and started wearing stretchy lycra jogging suits.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's and the 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then Satan said: "You want fries with that?" And Man replied: "Yes! And super size 'em!" And Satan said: " It is good." And Man and Woman went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed...and created quadruple bypass surgery.

Satan chuckled and created The American Health Care System.

Friday, January 28, 2005
Hilarious political movie cartoons...makes fun of Bush, Kerry, liberals, conservatives, and everybody who is vying for political power!

"Julius Caesar" quotes

Quotes from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare...

Excerpt from Mark Antony’s speech:

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious.
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answered it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest
(For Brutus is an honorable man,
So are they all, all honorable men),
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me;
But Brutus says he was ambitious,
And Brutus is an honorable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill;
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept;
Ambition should have been made of sterner stuff.
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And sure he is an honorable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause;
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason! Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it comes back to me.
But yesterday the word of Caesar might
Have stood against the world; now lies he there,
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O masters! If I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honorable men.
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honorable men.”
-Act III, scene ii

Other quotes:
“For the eye sees not itself but by reflection, by some other things.”
-Brutus, Act I, scene ii
“Men at some times are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
-Cassius, Act I, scene ii
“Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber. Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies which busy care draws in the brains of men; therefore thou sleep’st so sound.”
-Brutus, Act II, scene i
“By all your vows of love, and that great vow which did incorporate and make us one, that you unfold to me, your self, your half, why you are heavy…”
-Portia, Act II, scene i
“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have head, it seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.”
-Caesar, Act II, scene ii
“I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing. [It is my duty, sir.] I should not urge thy duty past thy might; I know young bloods look for a time of rest.”
-Brutus, Act IV, scene iii
“This was the noblest Roman of them all…His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, “This was a man!””-Antony, Act V, scene v


This is the second Reader Response essay I wrote when I was reading "Night" in Lit class.
Subject: the role of faith in surviving hard times.

The Holocaust of the 1930s and 1940s was one of the most tragic events that the world has ever seen. And for those who went through it and survived, it would change their life forever. One of these survivors is Elie Wiesel, who was imprisoned at Birkenau, Auschwitz, and Buchenwald from May 1944 to April 1945. Being one of the few who survived this event made a huge impact on his life. He felt a large amount of responsibility- to tell the stories of those who died, and to make sure that nothing like it would ever happen again. In addition to that, the Holocaust changed Elie Wiesel’s life because it challenged his belief in God. He, like so many others, questioned why God was allowing these events, these atrocities, to take place. Why didn’t God stop it, if He was as all-powerful as the Scriptures say? Wiesel has never stopped asking this questions, along with others. He says that he has become somewhat reconciled with God, but he will never stop lashing out at Him for allowing the Holocaust to take place. Yet, he also seems to believe that without his faith, he would not have survived the death camps.

It is certainly possible that without his faith, Wiesel would not have survived the death camps, for with faith comes hope. Many people, in losing their faith, also lost the hope of life beyond Auschwitz or Buchenwald or any of the other camps. Without that hope, without the feeling that it was possible to make another life that was free of terror, the prisoners just gave up. They no longer had the will to live, and so they died. In his book Night, Wiesel talks about a man in his block, Akiba Drumer. Wiesel said that when he was selected to leave, Akiba Drumer had lost whatever faith he had left, and “his eyes would become blank, nothing but two open wounds, two pits of terror.” When he was selected and realized that he would be dying very soon, Akiba Drumer simply gave up. He lost his will to live, or, in the words of Wiesel, his “reason to struggle.”

Under normal circumstances, Christians don’t always find themselves being given a strenuous test of faith, a test that will make or break them depending on if they give up. Yet they still rebel against God. Many people throughout history have rebelled against God, but they often realize that God is still God, and they come out of it much stronger people than they were before. Before, they were like children- innocent, trusting, believing everything they were told. Then something happens. They find a command or an aspect of the character of God that they just don’t like. So they revolt. They hope that something will change after their rebellion, perhaps even as a result of it. In this stage, they are spiritual teenagers- revolting against God, the ultimate authority figure. Some people stay in this stage for their whole life. They completely turn their back on God. But many, realizing that their rebellion was only hurting them, come back to God. Sometimes their questions (which most often start with the word “why”) are answered, but most often they are not. They are only appeased. They have come back to God with a sense of peace- much more than they could have ever wished for. They are now spiritual adults, who have many, if not all, of the Fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. They have matured. Yet, in the same way, they are a great deal like the children they once were. They trust God to take care of them. They are content to let Him be God. They have completed the circle of faith. This circle of faith is one that many people start, but few complete. Some people start out believing, with faith like a child, and stay with that simple faith their entire life. Now, this is not a bad way to be, but it does mean that you may not have the chance to question God and listen for His answer.

That answer will, of course, come in God’s time and in God’s way. There is a story that tells of a man crying out for God to speak. God sends a wind, but the man does not recognize it. The man keeps challenging God, and God keeps answering, but still the man cannot hear or see God’s responses. This story illustrates the fact that we humans have a hard time seeing God acting in our daily lives. We now rarely see miracles. We have to strain to hear the voice of God speaking to us. If it is so hard for us to recognize God today, when we hear musicians singing and pastors preaching endlessly that God is right here, when there are books written on the topic of hearing God’s voice, then it is almost impossible to imagine how the believers who were victims of the atrocities of the Holocaust could keep whatever faith they did. It must have been hard to go on when you feel like God has hidden His face from you, and you cannot find even the most remote sign of His presence. Yet they worshipped God. They said the ritual blessings; they sang the holy songs on the Sabbath; they “celebrated” their holidays. Beyond their worship, they questioned God endlessly. Most of these questions started with “where” or “why”. Why did God allow the Holocaust to continue? Where was God? To this day, the answers are not known. We shall probably never know until we reach Heaven.

The Holocaust was an event that changed the lives of many people. Those who survived found themselves with feelings of both guilt and responsibility. They felt guilty because they survived where six million others did not. This was not necessarily his or her fault, but it is hard to shake the feeling that it shouldn’t have been you; it should have been someone else. They also felt responsible because, since they had survived, they should make sure that another Hitler would not come along and commit the same atrocities while the world stood by and let it happen. At the very least they could ensure that the stories were told and that the world would know what had happened. Hopefully, if this happened, future generations would want to make sure that the past was not repeated. The Holocaust also altered lives because it altered faith. The believers in the concentration camps who survived found that they could no longer simply accept what they once had. God had, seemingly, abandoned them, and it is hard to reconcile with that. However, they also accepted that faith gave them the hope to survive. Perhaps someday they will resolve their questions, but that will not likely happen until they reach a place where God can answer them directly- when they meet him in Heaven.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I'm Back!

Okay, so I haven't really been away...except from the blogging world...but life got incredibly busy and so I didn't get around to blogging. Let me fill you in.
Just after my last post, midterms started. Now, I managed to opt out of Honors New Testament (with about a 99), Early U.S. History (with a 100), and Spanish (with about a 98). But I still had to take Lit, Honors Geometry, and Biology- in my opinion, the three worst exams. Lit consisted of writing three essays in the space of two hours. I walked out of there and spent the next hour massaging my hand intermittently. I got a 95 on that- not too bad. Then, Honors Geometry. Now, I'm REALLY not a math person, don't ask me why I took that class, I think it was a temporary bout of insanity. Anyway, I studied for hours and managed to scrape a 76. Which, in another class, I would consider really bad, but in that class I don't think it's that bad. Then there's Bio. A 203 question test- another class that I walked out massaging my hand. In that class I got an 87 on the midterm, which I'm happy with. Science is my second-worst subject after math. So overall, I'm content. I really would have liked to make it into the 80s on the geometry midterm, but I'll take what I can.
Anyway, while that was going on, in my little breaks between studying, I've been working on an essay for the Colonial Dames of America contest. My history teacher invited me to participate. I wrote a two page paper on which president between 1850 and 1950 I admire most- which would be Teddy Roosevelt. I turned it in today, and I think I did okay after my teacher "bled on it," or edited it, a few times. Anyway, now it's off the the Colonial Dames for judging at the regional, state, and national level. I'll hear how I did in March or April. The prize is pretty cool- it's an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the Washington Workshops Congressional Seminar. Hey, it sounds cool to me!
Then there was last weekend...which was so far beyond awesome! I went to Snow Camp, a place in Rumney where youth groups go for a weekend of skiing, skating, tubing, air hockey, foozball, Ping-Pong, pool, and worship! It is an amazing place. I went skating the first night and tubing the next day, which were both way fun. The conditions for tubing were great when I went out, and I went down in a line with a bunch of friends. It took about six guys two minutes to get us started! Anyway, other than that, I played a whole lot of air hockey- so much that my hand got a little bit bruised and blistered! It was worth it, though. I won most of the games I played (only lost three out of thirty or so played), and I met a whole bunch of really cool guys and a couple of really cool girls. Actually, my friend Cathy said that whenever she'd see me, I would always be surrounded by a bunch of guys. Which I guess is kind of true, although not exclusively true! There was one guy who was really neat, Nathan. We're a lot alike, especially in appearance- he looks enough like me to be my brother! Anyway, he likes chess and history like me, and will try just about anything. He is really modest, which is a nice change, and has a sarcastic streak like mine. He played me at air hockey a few times even though he knows he's really bad. He also taught me to play foozball, which he's good at and I'm not. We had some good times together. At Snow Camp, which is a Christian organization, there were some wonderful worship services too. The speaker, Peter, was good. First night, he was kind of awkward, but by the next night he was completely warmed up and delivered an awesome message. Well, there was so much more that happened there, but I haven't got time to go into it now. Suffice to say that when Sunday came around, I did NOT want to go home and face reality- I wanted to stay at Snow Camp!
Well, that's pretty much how life is going right now. Only other news is that I dissected a sheep's heart in Bio today (very interesting); that I now have to start getting ready for the Valentine's Semi-Formal Dance; and that there is a big Quiz Bowl meet on Saturday. Keep your fingers crossed about that- I'll post results when I get home from the meet!

Thought du Jour:
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularily dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
-from the movie Love Actually

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Douglas Noel Adams Quotations, Famous Quotes - Quote Database.

Douglas Noel Adams Quotations.: "

'The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.'
-- Douglas Noel Adams (b. 1952), British author, 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'"

Quotes from one of my favorite authors, the great Douglas Adams!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Slow Dance

I got this poem on my email today...seems very appropriate for this busy time of year (what with midterms coming up and all....)

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask, “How are you?”
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say,"hi"

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Randumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #35:

I’m better than dirt. Well, most kinds of dirt, not that fancy store-bought dirt…I can’t compete with that stuff!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Your Crowning Glory

This was a song sung as a duet between Julie Andrews and Raven in the movie The Princess Diaries 2. Made it worth going to see the movie in itself!

Your Crowning Glory

Some girls are fair;
Some are jolly and fit.
Some have a well-bred air
Or a well-honed wit.
Each one's a jewel
With a singular shine.
A work of art with it's own rare design.

Dear little girl,
You are terribly blessed.
But it's your heart of gold I love the best.
And that will be your crowning glory
Your whole life through.
It'll always be your crowning glory,
The most glorious part of you.

Some boys can waltz,
Some guys can groove.
Strike an elegant pose
With the really neat clothes.
Some seem to have no faults
But we never like those.

He'll praise your eyes,
Your melodious laugh,
Call you more lovely than others by halfs.
The one who's right,
My gorgeous prince,
Will be honest and true-
He'll believe in me too-
And prize your heart of gold the way I do.

He'll know that that will be your crowning glory
Your whole life through.
Your love will see that it's your crowning glory-
The most glorious part of you.

That will be your crowning glory, darling,
When they tell your story
They'll call your heart of gold your crowning glory,
The most glorious part of you!

Nerd Score

How about that? I'm not as nerdy as most people seem to think!

I am nerdier than 32% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Randumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #34:

HA! That’s so funny I forgot to laugh…excluding that first “HA!”

Carolyn's Top Three List

Okay, here's a survey I found somewhere on the top three of assorted things!

Three names you go by:
1. Carolyn
2. Callie
3. Skyscraper

Three things you like about yourself:
1. Sense of humor
2. Abilities in history and writing
3. Height

Three things you dislike about yourself:
1. Lack of ability in math and (sometimes) science
2. Sarcastic streak
3. Having a hard time remembering things

Three parts of your heritage:
1. Canadian
2. Finnish
3. German

Three things that scare you:
1. Being alone forever
2. A fire in my home
3. Bees/wasps/hornets/yellow jackets

Three of your everyday essentials:
1. God
2. Books
3. Watch

Three things you are wearing right now:
1. Red Sox World Champions T-shirt
2. Jeans
3. Necklace

Three of your favorite bands/artists (subject to change at any time):
1. Kalan Porter
2. Phil Collins
3. Audio Adrenaline

Three of your favorite songs at present:
1. Never Alone (BarlowGirl)
2. Can't Stop Loving You (Phil Collins)
3. Get Down (Audio Adrenaline)

Three new things you want to try this year:
1. Foreign travel
2. Getting a job
3. Writing a play

Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given):
1. Loyalty and trust
2. Laughter
3. Someone I can talk to about anything

Two truths and a lie (no particular order, to keep you guessing):
1. I once read 75 books in the course of six months.
2. I love classical music.
3. I've been scuba diving.

Three physical things about a love interest that appeals:
1. Eyes
2. Height
3. Hair

Three things you just can't do:
1. Like math
2. Like rap
3. Spend a day without going on the computer (unless, of course, I'm somewhere that doesn't have a computer)

Three of your favorite hobbies:
1. Reading
2. Surfing the Net
3. Stage managing

Three of your favorite movies:
1. School of Rock
2. High Society
3. Galaxy Quest

Three of your favorite books:
1. Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
3. Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman

Three things you really want to do right now:
1. Finish this survey
2. Finish studying for midterms
3. Go finish my book

Three careers you're considering:
1. Teacher
2. Historian
3. CIA analyst

Three places you want to go on vacation:
1. Paris/Madrid
2. Italy
3. Montana

Three boys' names:
1. Nathan
2. David
3. Craig

Three girls' names:
1. Cassie
2. Morgan
3. Jessica

Three things you want to do before you die:
1. Go skydiving
2. Travel to at least 20 other countries
3. Whatever God has planned for me

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Randumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #33:

How many fingers?... I’m over here.

The Power of Words

This is the first of two "Reader Response" essays I wrote for my Lit class. Subject: the power of words.
If anyone knows about the importance of words, it is Elie Wiesel. Few authors have been through such a horrific event and lived to tell about it. Moreover, he tells his story in such eloquent terms that the reader of any of his books is instantly transported to Sighet, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, or any of the other places the story takes you. You can feel the confusion of the young Eliezer, as well as the somewhat repressed anger of the older Elie who is writing. These emotions are conveyed through his use of words. His stories are of the variety that illustrates best the power of the written and spoken language.

In one of his memoirs, All Rivers Run to the Sea, Wiesel wrote about his first experience with words, in Hebrew school. He remembered what his teacher had said about words. The alphabet, the teacher had said, were the “beginning and end of all things.” This is very true. In the beginning of time, there was nothing- no substance of any kind. Then God started everything up and began to form it-- all with a few simple words made up of a few simple letters. God said, “Let there be light” and it happened. God gave commands about what would be formed, and they formed. Then, years later, the long-passed-down story was written down with the same letters that had been first spoken. Then, too, it could be that God could speak and end the world, like he created it. This idea could be illustrated quite well by referring to Douglas Adams’ book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In this book, the Earth is destroyed by a group of Vogons, aliens who are demolishing planets to make way for an interstellar bypass. The captain of the Vogon ship makes an announcement about the demolition just prior to blowing the planet up. His voice seems to boom out from nowhere, and it was totally unexpected by all humans. This could be translated as an equivalent for God speaking the world out of existence, and it will very probably happen at just as unexpected a time. No one will know when the world will end but God.

Words have been realized as important throughout the centuries, from culture to culture. When John the son of Zebedee wrote the book of John, which is now part of the Bible, he started it off, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It was very wise to place God as the Word, because of his audience and their beliefs. To the Jews, words were important because of the account in Genesis. God spoke the world into existence, so therefore words were held as sacred. Other cultures also held words in high regard. The Greeks, in particular, respected the power of words. Their word for “word,” logos, was often used to imply “reason.” The philosopher Heraclitus, perhaps best known for the saying “When I step into a river for the second time, neither I nor the river are the same,” also believed that logos, or reason, was the equivalent of God. He believed that God was the universal reason. John was writing primarily to the Greeks and Jews, so placing God as the Word really emphasized the importance of God.

Words are powerful in many ways. One of these ways is that they convey, and often contain, emotions. There are thousands of millions of books that have been written about every subject imaginable. Some books, like Dave Pelzer’s A Child Called ‘It’, that you have to read with a box of Kleenex beside you, because you will weep. When reading other books, like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you still need a box of Kleenex, but this because of laughter that just wouldn’t stop. But these are not necessarily the books that strike you, because these are only the most basic of emotions. The best books are the ones that make you both laugh and cry. The best books are the ones that get into your soul and challenge the foundations of what you believe and what society says is acceptable. One example of a book that did this is Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This book shook everyone who read it. It challenged what society was trying to persuade them was acceptable. In effect, it started the Civil War. Even Abraham Lincoln realized it. When he met Harriet Beecher Stowe, he said, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”

Words can, and often do, change the world that the speakers or writers see around them. Indeed, that was one of the reasons that Hitler ordered the book burnings of the 1930s and 1940s-- to stop the spread of “dangerous” revolutionary ideas. That was a practice that was used before and has been used since. Since words have the power to change the course of history, dictators ban whatever books they feel could spark a revolt among the people. But if they have the power to change history, they also have the ability to retell it, so that the past will not reoccur in the present or future. For example, by telling the stories of the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel could be helping to ensure that another Holocaust of that scale does not occur. Most often, by hearing of the atrocities that occurred, something inside people stirs, and it changes the way that they think. Something in them becomes resolved to do something, any little thing, to make certain that those same atrocities do not happen again. This is why it is important to pay attention to what is happening now and what has happened in the past-- to read what has been written, to hear what has been said, to observe what has been done. Throughout history, words have been recognized as being important. The Greeks recognized it, the Jews, the Romans. Holocaust survivors like Elie Wiesel now realize the value of both silence and words, because they were forced to endure the former for years, and now they express the pain through the latter. So why are people today not picking up on the significance of what they say? Why are we not realizing the power of an insult or a compliment in changing the course of someone’s day, or even their lives? For the moment, this remains unanswered. Yet we will have to answer it soon, both individually and as a society. Words have provoked wars, and they have ended them. So if we want to end wars, if world peace is going to become a reality in future years, we are going to have to learn what should be said, and what should remain unsaid. Until the power of words is recognized, world peace can never happen.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #32:

Oh, I’m sorry, Lisa! If it would make you feel better, I’ll destroy something Mike likes! Mike says, “Hey!” Oh, I’m sorry, Mike! If it would make you feel better, I’ll destroy something Sarah likes! Sarah says, “Hey!” OK, OK, if that all fails, we’ll blame it on the dog. There you go.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Time to catch up...Chrisism #31 for you today!

"Little Suzy was complaining of a stomachache, and her mother said, ‘It’s because it’s empty. If you put something in it, you'll feel a lot better.” The next day Suzy was feeling a lot better and her mother took her shopping. Suzy overheard the clerk complaining of a headache. Little Suzy said, “It’s because it’s empty. If you had something in it, you would feel a lot better.”

Bible Thoughts du Jour: Acts

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." ~Acts 1: 8

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved...Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." ~Acts 4: 12, 30

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." ~Acts 20: 24

Thursday, January 06, 2005


They cancelled school today! It was awesome! The hilarious thing was, there wasn't even snow on the ground until about 8:00! But it was a mess by noon, so we would have had to end school early. And dismissal would have been horrendous...
So yeah...I got up around 7:30...watched TV and read for awhile...went to Curves with Mom and got my workout done...went to the library and the bookstore...and then came home and watched the old Doctor Dolittle, with Rex Harrison. Very much fun. The sad thing was, then I had to work on a paper for a while. But I finished, and then I got to read. I'm working on some biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, to help with yet another paper I have to write. Then I came on the computer to write this and talk to friends online. But now I'm going to bed and read some more...Hope your day was pleasant and that your dreams will be!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Just a note

I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post in the next little while. I'll write on here when I can, but I seem to have mentally hyperextended myself in many, many directions all of a sudden. Everything is hitting me. I have to do violin, keep on top of homework and other classwork, deal with midterms, write an essay for the Colonial Dames of America by the 25th, write a play for Drama class, go to a Quiz Bowl meet, go to snow camp...The list goes on. Some of that is fun, but it just piles up in many ways...
I'm going to go drown my sorrows in Sprite and try to calm down and relax with Vince Guaraldi and my Bible.
Sorry if it sounds like I'm whining. Maybe I am. But hey, we all need a place to complain, right?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Bible Verses du Jour: Psalms

"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me."
Psalm 13: 5-6

"Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?" Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
Psalm 4: 6-8

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you."
Psalm 5: 11

Thought du Jour: Freewriting

Today we read the poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas. It seemed an appropriate one, as we are also reading "Night" by Elie Wiesel. We read it after a discussion about Eliezer's questions of faith, and then we had to freewrite afterward. We could write about the poem or the book, whichever we chose. I decided to write about different parts of the poem that struck me, and see where I could go from there. Below is what I wrote. It may seem kind of random, but it makes sense to me!

1. "Do not go gentle into that good night": don't go into death completely willingly- fight death with every breath that remains in you.
Is this really a good thing? Isn't there a time when one is completely ready to die? Isn't there always a time when it is just for the best to give up? Maybe someone is too old to be able to live. Maybe the alternative to death is life as a cripple. Should you really be fighting death all the time? Certainly there are times to do that, but maybe there are times to give up and times to fight. It's like they say- pick your battles.

2. "Wise men know the dark": those who are wise can see death coming.
But should they fight, if they can see death coming? Do they? Is it wise to fight what you know is going to happen anyway?

3."frail deeds": Is this referring to good deeds? Are good deeds as frail as the poem seems to claim? Or are they stronger than that?
Good deeds are something we are commanded to do- but should we accept commands meekly? Or should we rebel as Elie did? He thought, Job thought, they both found that rebellion is an essential part of faith.
S0- God is an authority figure, the ultimate authority figure. And teenagers stereotypically rebel against authority figures. So if rebellion is an essential part of faith, are we going to be "teenagers" for our entire spiritual life? Will we ever really mature? Pastors and other religious leaders talk frequently about being a "mature Christian", which you seem to have to be a rebel in order to become a mature Christian. Therefore, there must be a stage when we have rebelled enough to have some questions answered, enough to assure us that this is what we want to be. Then we stop rebelling and we are mature spiritual adults.
In regard to good deeds, then, there must be a point when doing good deeds becomes a reasonable command again. Of course, it stands to reason that good deeds come full circle- they come right back to you- often tenfold. When this happens, the whole world will be in much better shape, because everyone will be doing good to each other, and good will be done to them too. If this is so, then good deeds are not at all frail- rather, they hold extraordinary power. It's only a matter of the power being unlocked.

I reasoned myself in a circle on that last one. The beauty of it is that it was completely unintentional. That's what is so great about freewriting. You never know what is going to come out.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at the close of day'
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flights,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Cure, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas

Monday, January 03, 2005

Thought du Jour

Hmm, let's see...what is there to ramble about tonight?
Well, today was my first week back at school after a two-week vacation. And apart from having to get up early and getting homework, it was good to be back. Too much sitting around staring at a computer screen is a bad thing, and I was just getting to that stage. Bad, very bad. It was awesome to see everybody. I have awesome friends at my school, they are the absolute best- but I can really say that about all my friends from everywhere. (I'm sure everyone else would say that about their friends as well.) I hadn't had a chance to go Christmas shopping before vacation, so I bought all the gifts for my friends when I was up in Nova Scotia. I distributed them all today, and I found out that it is a really good pick-me-up for the first day back at school. I got so many smiles after doing that, it made everything worth it. Let's see, I got a lot of Smarties in Canada. Most of my friends like them, so I knew they would appreciate the chocolate- which, of course, they did. In fact, Mandie, Cathy, and Alissa said that it made their day. I got Betsy some Smarties too, but I also found a soccer ball with a little baby angel on top of it. It was perfect for her because she (a) likes angel figurines and (b) loves to play soccer. I got my friend Erik, who is an insanely smart trivia brain, a book called "Now You Know". Just weird facts and stuff like that. It's kind of a funny book, too. Then I got my friend Bob, who is a hockey goalie, a Beanie Baby hockey player, and Aaron, who pretends to be anti-Canadian, a banner that says "Canada" on it. I loved seeing the looks on their faces when they opened their gifts. My friends really know how to be appreciative.
Anyway, I had a pretty good day. We reviewed for a test (ugh) in Honors New Testament, watched a movie in both Early U.S. History and Analyzing Writing, continued learning a new tense in Spanish II, learned about proportions and ratios in Honors Geometry, and talked about the digestive system in Biology. I enjoyed catching up with my friends about their vacations, and I had some nice long chats with a few of them, like Brendan and John. I don't always get to talk to Brendan that much since he's a senior, so it was really nice to talk to him. John was somewhat distraught over getting a C+ on a short story, so I was able to help him understand a little bit why that had happened, and to cheer him up a little bit, maybe. I got an A+ on my Bill of Rights paper in history class, an A+ on my Reader Response paper about Night (by Elie Wiesel) in Lit, and an A+ on my rough draft for my science fair paper in Bio. Gradewise, a very satisfying day.
I came home after school with some major back pain. (I threw my back out on New Year's Eve while picking up my 20 pound cat) So I strapped an ice pack to my back, took an Advil, and laid on the floor for a while, and studied for that NT test. Then I came down and watched a few episodes of Granite State Challenge, which was a very nice way to end the day.
Now it's time for bed, so I'll sign off. Good night, all!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor

A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor
One of the best shows on the radio! Tune in if you get the chance! (I especially like the Guy Noir scripts) You can also listen to old shows on this website.

The time is coming (Jeremiah)

"The time is coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the Lord. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the Lord. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the Lord. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
~Jeremiah 31: 31-34