Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter!


Christ looked death in the eye and said, "NO!"

As He had said to Jairus when his daughter was sick and everyone thought she had died, "She isn't dead. She's sleeping."

As Ashley Smith said to Brian Nichols, "You are not dead."

As the angel said at Jesus' tomb, "He is not here; He has risen, and has gone on ahead of you into Galilee."

"He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart. You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart."

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday prayer and further thoughts

For the longest time I wondered why they call this "Good" Friday. Jesus died today- how could it be good? Man killed the Son of God- who was completely innocent! There is no justice in there, and apparently no mercy and love from a parent.

But then I figured something out, with the guidance of some of the people in my life. There IS justice there, and there IS love and mercy. It's simply different than what we would expect. The justice, love, and mercy benefit US. Jesus had to die to make them happen. The justice of God would have meant that man, who had sinned, must die. But God's mercy and love denied it. So He sent Jesus to take the world's sins upon Himself. We get all the benefits of Jesus' death. All we have to do is believe.

Simply put- on Good Friday, man did his worst work in the history of the world. He killed the innocent Son of God. But also on Good Friday, God did His best work. He saved mankind.

Thank You, Lord Jesus.
You suffered on the cross for our redemption; help us, if we are called to suffer, to be like You: to forgive and trust in the power of the Holy Spirit. Help us to forgive as You have forgiven us. Help us to trust You, even when hope is failing. Help us, if we are called to suffer, to take up our cross and to follow You in Your redeeming work. We remember now that every day, each path we wander, each road we travel, we journey not alone. You have already walked the road of life, and walk it again with us now. We thank You for that. We thank You for Your sacrifice for the good of all. You are our king, and we rejoice to honor you.

Good Friday

Some thoughts from the services I went to today at my school and at my church. Plus a few of my own in there. Remember Christ today.

"Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see if there is any suffering like mine, which the Lord brought on me in the day of his fierce anger."
-Lamentations 1:12

Today, 2000 years ago, Jesus, the Son of God was nailed to a cross so that the sins of the whole world could be atoned for and forgiven by His Father, God. And the world walked by, not knowing what He was suffering for them. Crucifixion was designed by the Romans to be the most painful death possible. The strongest adjective in the English language to describe pain is the word "excruciating". Notice most of the word "crucify" in there.

"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
-Isaiah 53: 3-6

God became man. Man rejected God, as man has done since the beginning of time. God hung on the cross so that man could find forgiveness if they believed. Man walked on by, ignoring God.

At every bend in the river, at every fork in the road, Jesus waits. At every surprising turn and in every corkscrew twist, Jesus lingers. At every T-junction and in every wrinkle of time, Jesus tarries.

Waiting for us to notice Him hanging there on that cross. And when we notice Him, we have to say to ourselves, "How could I have missed that?"

Man messed up. In Genesis 3, sin entered the world. And, as Romans 3:23 says, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And, as Romans 6:23a says, "the wages of sin is death." We'd be condemned, cursed, for all of time. God's justice demands it.

But God's mercy and love denies it. So God solved the problem. He sent the only one who could take the sins of man away to live among sinners and die among sinners. His Son. If there are any parents reading this, I don't need to elaborate on how hard it would have been to see your only child die, and to turn your face away and abandon them. I mean, I'm not a parent yet, but I don't know if I could have the strength to do that. But God saved the world by letting man kill His Son.

"Amazing love, how can it be, that you, my king, would die for me?"

Christ died a cruel and horrible death that He didn't deserve. And to the last He said, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they are doing."

"But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23b. The promise of Christ's death. Everlasting life, everlasting joy, everlasting peace, everlasting hope. A gift indeed. Christ died so that we could live. And then He beat death by rising from the dead.

"I'm forgiven because You were forsaken. I'm accepted, You were condemned. I'm alive and well, Your spirit lives within me because You died and rose again."

Amazing love. Indeed it is.

Christ died so that we could live.

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?

God is waiting for your answer.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Let's Play Ball!

It's official!

Softball/baseball season has begun at my school!

Now, I love softball and baseball both. I used to play softball in fifth grade or so. But then I stopped, and have scarcely picked up a glove since then. But this year- having heard that I need to get an athletic credit in order to graduate- I decided I had better do something. So I decided to manage our softball team, having kind of a flaky knee and much preferring management anyway. It started on Monday, and I love it! My responsibilities at the moment aren't that substantial. Basically, I do whatever the coach asks me to do, and I'm a gopher. I "go fer" bats, I "go fer" balls, etc. I do conditioning with the team and fill in when we're doing something with a partner and there is an odd number of actual players.

Now, what is conditioning, you may ask? It's a series of exercises designed to whip us all back into shape in the space of about three weeks. It's a pain- literally. I've been hurting very badly all week. To further describe it, we run for seven minutes around the gym, then stretch. Then we do lunges- 30 of them. Then we do a couple of different varieties of squats. Then we do pushups- first with our hands more than shoulder width apart, then with the hands turned in, then with hands shoulder width apart. And then we do my least favorite- crunches. 75 of them. It HURTS! But I'm sure starting to get back in shape for the first time in ages. Anyway, then we practice throwing, then usually do some pop flys and grounders, then practice hitting. Then we typically split off into groups- pitchers, catchers, and fielders and practice the respective techniques there. Then we finish off with either suicides or relays, or both. Suicides are when you run from one end of the basketball court to midcourt, then back again, then down to the other end, jump as high as you can five times, and then sprint back to the other end.

So that's our usual softball routine. I can't wait to get outside when the snow melts and the field dries off. There's something very different between practicing in a gym and practicing on the field. And I'm especially happy because a few of my friends are playing softball, and the other girls that I didn't know as well seem really nice. There's a lot of talent on the team. And a bunch of my guy friends are on the baseball team, which is nice since we may well be traveling together to some of our away games that are farther away.

That's the major occurence around here right now. We just finished up with our mink dissection in Bio, did a mock trial for a book we read in Lit, I rented one of my friends for Rent-A-Senior Day on April 1st, tomorrow is the Good Friday Five-Mile Walk, and Saturday is the last Quiz Bowl meet before the State Tournament. I'll write more about all of those as I get the time.

If I don't get back on Blogger before Sunday, everybody have an awesome Easter, and may God bless you all!

So- be well, do good works, and keep in touch.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Man Who Counted

Well, I'm not much of a math person, but I liked this....math riddle, if you will. Try it out:

A man was on his way to Arabia on his camel. While traveling, he met a man who was pointing at a tree and shouting "6,567! 6,567!" The man on the camel stopped. "What are you doing?" he asked. "What are you shouting about!" "The leaves on that tree," said the man. "There are 6,567 of them!" The man on the camel was astounded. "You know that?" he said. "Yes," said the man. "And there are 12,954,694 blades of grass in that field over there." The man on the camel was even more amazed. "Well," he said, "if you can count like that, you can make a lot of money. You shouldn't be just out here counting leaves and blades of grass. Come with me to Arabia."
So the man who counted joined the man on the camel and together they rode on. Soon they came to three men who were obviously in a heated argument. The two men on the camel stopped. "What is going on here?" they asked. "Why are you arguing so?" One of the arguing men came to explain.
"We are all brothers, the sons of one man, and our father has died. He left us an inheritance of those camels under that tree, but we cannot settle the issue amongst ourselves."
"Why not?" asked the man who counted, "Were your father's wishes unclear?"
"Oh no," said the son. "They were quite explicit. That is, in fact, the problem. You see, our father had 35 camels. He has left half of them to one of us, a third of them to another, and one ninth of them to the third." The first man on the camel puzzled aloud. "Well, you will have to slaughter and divide the beasts amongst you."
"And that is why we argue," said the son. "None of us wants half of a dead camel. We must divide them differently. But my brothers will not go against our father's wishes."
"Then the man who counted spoke up. I can solve your problem," he said. have until the end of this day's blog to figure out how to solve the problem to everyone's satisfaction. You may not kill a camel. Now for other news of the day.

Let's was, of course, Wednesday, and that does not always mean a good day for me. Let me explain: at my school, Tuesday and Wednesday are block days. That means we have half the classes we usually do for double the amount of time. Tuesdays we have periods one through four, and Wednesdays we have periods five through eight. Now here is my schedule:

Period 1: Honors New Testament
Period 2: Early U.S. History
Period 3: Analyzing Writing
Period 4: Study Hall
Period 5: Spanish II
Period 6: Honors Geometry
Period 7: Biology
Period 8: Drama

I love my period 1-4 classes, which makes Tuesday an awesome day. Study hall is especially fun, as my friend Erik and I have a tradition of playing Scrabble or Scattergories during that time frame (an hour and a half). He always wins, but that's okay. I'm resigned to it...and it makes the occasional win all the sweeter! But Wednesday is a a toss-up. I mean, I love Spanish class, but it gets rather boring because my class does not progress very quickly, and I would love to go a little faster. Honors Geometry is very boring because, as I mentioned, I do NOT like math at all! Biology is fun sometimes, especially when we do a lab. But Drama is always fun...we've got a crazy class, and so it is not always like an actual class...we don't do much in the way of notes, for instance. We're allowed to sit on the desks instead of in's much looser. Then, after school, I have Chapel Team practice. Just sitting around singing awesome praise songs for an hour is definitely to be recommended to improve your mood, I'll tell you that!
Anyway, today was a good Wednesday all in all. In Spanish we did a cultural impact story, which was fascinating (at least to me), and Senor was in a really good mood. Often the tone of the class reflects the mood of the teacher, so class today was rather fun. Honors Geometry...well, we were taking a test, which wasn't exactly fun, but at least I wasn't falling asleep. Besides, once I finished I didn't have to do anything else. Biology...we've been dissecting minks, which is a smelly task due to the massive amounts of formaldehyde that they are soaked in, but it's interesting all the same. My partner and I named ours "Big Papi" after David Ortiz...partly because we both love the Red Sox, and partly because he's big and...ahem...fat, like the real Big Papi. Finally, Drama. We did some group improvs, which is always funny because you never know what is going to happen! All we get is a scenario and maybe a rough idea of what should be happening, but other than that, it's totally up in the air. Today's was funny because we had the most staid person in class become a hysterical passenger in a spaceship that was about to crash into the sun! The idea was that we should come up with a scenario in which the people all reacted very differently. So Nate was hysterical, Greg was sad that he hadn't gotten to do everything he wanted to do in life, and Jacqueline was a scientist who was fascinated by the idea of flying into the sun. Oh, and I was the captain, who was terribly bored about the whole thing. :-)

Now for the answer to the math riddle above:

Remember that the man who counted and his companion are riding on a camel. The answer is for them to give the sons their camel. That makes 36 camels. One son then gets half...18. Another son gets a third...12. The last son gets a ninth...4. So all three sons have what they were promised and there are now two camels left over. The first man gets his camel back and there is an extra one for the man who counted.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Thought-provoking poems

God, give us men!

GOD, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.

-Josiah Gilbert Holland


IF you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!

-Rudyard Kipling

Which are You?

THERE are two kinds of people on earth today;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the sinner and saint, for it's well understood,
The good are half bad, and the bad are half good.

Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.

Wherever you go, you will find the earth's masses,
Are always divided in just these two classes.

And oddly enough, you will find too, I ween,
There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Randumb Message from Chris

Chris, the author of most of the randumb thoughts on this site, asked me to post a message, which he says will cause world hysteria. Here it is:


These would, of course, be the aliens who invade his bedroom every night and morph into vegetables, like Tony the Tomato and Corey the Carrot.

Then there is Freddy the Troublemaker, who got a little too trigger happy with his laser gun and scorched the hair off Chris' head.

And there is Frankie the Cheese, who Chris ate when he got hungry one night. Poor Frankie.

Chris, how do you come up with this stuff?


I'm back! Sorry to be incommunicado for the last week or so, but life got, shall we say, hectic. No excuse specifically. Just life. Quiz Bowl, homework, drama, homework, violin, homework, planning for upcoming spring sports, homework. The usual...drama....that goes on in a high schooler's life. Perhaps some of you remember those days...if you do, post me a story about it!
Not quite sure what to post about now, so I'll just put up a couple of poems that I wrote at the beginning of the year:

“The Infant”

She lies on the ground, smiling, and gurgling at me.
Just at me.
Our eyes meet, the eldest cousin and the youngest,
And for a moment there is perfect peace in the world.

A few minutes later,
She tires of lying on the ground
And starts to cry.

She wails, and I lift her into my arms
And we walk.
All around the ground floor of the house,
Outside, we smell the fragrance of the summer flowers
Mixing with the chlorine smell of the pool water.

Back inside we go.
She’s settled comfortably on my shoulder now,
Completely relaxed, completely trusting.
I start to hum an old lullaby
That my mother sang to me,
And her eyes drift slowly closed.

Like a little rag doll in my arms,
She flops and slumbers,
And my heart fills up and overflows
With love for this infant
Who has come to trust me enough
That she will sleep in my arms.

My arms soon become exhausted,
But I am reluctant to let her go.
So I settle down in a chair,
Talk to her brother,
Talk to her parents,
And let her rest.


In the corner
Like a black cat at midnight
Stands the outsider.
Unnoticed by most, she quietly listens to the roar of conversation around her.
Then turns her attention back to her book.

Not a cheerleader, not an athlete.
Not a genius, but not dumb either.
She is just there.
Another warm body in the mass of people in school.

You ask the other kids if they know her.
They say, “Who?
Oh, that tall, dark-haired kid.
What’s her name again?”

She pretends not to care.
But she really does.
She is not a block of wood.
She is merely a pigeon among peacocks.
An outsider.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

That's What Friends Are For

Since I've been in a really musical mood lately and spare time for blogging is practically none, here are the lyrics to another of my favorite songs: That's What Friends Are For, performed by Elton John, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight.

And I never thought I'd feel this way
And as far as I'm concerned
I'm glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe I love you
And if I should ever go away
Well then close your eyes and try
To feel the way we do today
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for

Well you came in loving me
And now there's so much more I see
And so by the way I thank you
Oh and then for the times when we're apart
Well then close your eyes and know
The words are coming from my heart
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for