Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Current Entertainment

So it looks like Alias is finally getting back into some past dynamics and storylines. With the Sidney/Sloan confrontation last week and the return of Anna Espinoza and Mr. Sark may we hear the name Rambaldi again? While I don’t want that storyline to ever take over again, it would be nice for a more comprehensive resolution to some old storylines. I figured they’d get to them sooner or later.

And speaking of storylines, I must confess that Alias is no longer my favorite show on television. Don’t get me wrong, I still adore it. I just have a new show I’m obessessing over and that is Lost. It seems that each episode gets better and better. The writers are doing an amazing job and blending the story of the island and all they are facing with each individuals own past story and present experiences. I wasn’t sure how long the series would work, but with each new reveal of past stories and now the hints that many of them have interacted before the plane crash, I can see they have material for years of shows. Of course I hope we don’t have to wait that long for a least one or two answers.

I haven’t been doing much reading lately. I have several good books, but little time to devote to them. I’m afraid that if I start I won’t stop and things won’t get done. I am thinking about scheduling a reading day in March where I can curl up in the chair with some coffee and read a book or two. I’m a fast enough reader that I can get a good bit done in a day. I miss the weekends where I use to sit around and read five books in a weekend. Those days are gone for good, I’m afraid. I’m considering delving into the world of short stories. That’s all I seem to have time for.

The Perfect Tune at the Perfect Time

Have I said yet how much I’m loving my iPod?

You see, I’m at work last night, still a bit down and sad and I’m listening to some tunes and I hear these words…

Another rainy day
I can’t recall having sunshine on my face
All I feel is pain
All I wanna do is walk out of this place
But when I am stuck and I can’t move
When I don’t know what I should do
When I wonder if I’ll ever make it through

I gotta keep singing, I gotta keep praising Your name
Your the one that’s keeping my heart beating
I gotta keep singing, I gotta keep praising Your name
That’s the only way that I’ll find healing

That’s from Mercy Me’s “Undone” and was just what I needed to hear. Can God speak through an iPod?? You betcha!

I also got a sweet email from Trisha that perked me up as well. Thanks, my dear.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Coffee Talk

Ummmm… I love coffee. I’m sitting at the Pour House writing my Sunday School lesson for this week and enjoying a hot cup of caramel coffee. Yum. I know there are those who frown upon drinking coffee, but it’s one of my favorite things in the world. I love the taste, the smell, the caffeine and the warmth. It’s the perfect beverage.

And if you doubt me on that one consider that coffee is considered quite good for you from many sources. According to my research (meaning I read a few articles online) coffee helps asthma, liver disease, and diabetes. It also seems to lesson the risk for diabetes, colon cancer, kidney stones and gallbladder problems. It enhances short term memory and has more antioxidants than red wine, green/black tea, or orange juice. It also helps your mood, making you more alert and aware and is even considered to enhance energy and lesson depression and anxiety. To see my research, go here and here and here and here.

As for me, coffee helps me concentrate, makes me happier, gives me energy and helps me get through my day in a much better frame of mind. I’m just a nicer person because of coffee. The only thing I like more than my cup of coffee is when I have a cup of coffee with a friend. Anyone care for a cup??

Today I’m studying “The Lord is my Rock” for Sunday School. I’m finding this study to be amazingly powerful and quite insightful for me. I think several people on my Christmas List are getting the book I’ve been using for Christmas. (Not my copy, I’ll buy them a new one. ) I am being so encouraged by this book.

And speaking of being encouraged, I’ve just finished reading the latest edition of the Discipleship Journal and there were several articles that we great in there. One of them, by Michael Card, (I think) started out with a quote that reads “You are not the God we would have chosen.” and goes on to talk about how God’s faithfulness doesn’t look like what we think it should. It was a great article and one I think I might need to hang onto. It is so true in my life. I usually expect God to keep His promises in ways I determine and yet He does things in His own time and His own way. My response if often to assume God isn’t hearing me or doesn’t care, but the truth is that God knows so much more than I and as a result will make choices I don’t understand. I just like to think I really do know it all and then God comes along almost daily and reminds me that is seriously not the case. How gracious He is to put up with me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Let's Talk Music, Shall We

I am going to keep track of the music I buy this year by blogging about it and giving it a grade. My grading scale for CD’s is as follows:

5 - Absolutely Amazing . Drop everything and buy this one now.
4 - Excellent. Add this one to your “to buy” list.
3 - A good CD. Buy this one if you have a few spare dollars.
2 - An OK CD, but doesn’t stand out in any way. Borrow this one from the library.
1 - A waste of time, don’t bother with this one.

I have been listening to some new tunes the past few days. BMG was having a sale so I ordered a few new CD’s from them. Then I bought two at Wal-mart with a bit of my overtime pay from last week. So my new CD’s are…

Restored, Jeremy Camp
I’ve listened to this the most of any of my new ones and have really enjoyed it. I don’t think it tops his debut album, but it is a great follow-up and is better than many probably expected. My favorite songs are “Restored” “Lay Down My Pride” and “This Man.” My Grade: 4

Day of Fire, Day of Fire
I had only heard one song from this band before I bought this CD. I wasn’t sure if I would like the sound, knowing it was a bit harder rock than my usual choices. I’m glad I bought it though, because it is a good CD. It’s not one I could play over and over because I often have music on while I’m at work or writing my Sunday School lessons and it’s a bit too loud and heavy for constant listens while working. I have a feeling it’s my new favorite driving-in-the-car CD, though. My Grade: 3

Hear Us Say Jesus, Seven Places
Lonely for the Last Time, Seven Places
I’ve only listened to these one time each, so I don’t want to give it a score yet. I liked them both, but I need to listen to them a bit more before I decide a grade. I did like the lead singers voice, and the lyrics are great. I’ll report on this one later this month.

Clean, Shane and Shane
This is one I had high expectations for and was eagerly anticipating some new tunes from one of my favorites in Christian Music. It seems that CD’s released by my favorites in 2004 were destined to disappoint. While my grade for this one is decent, I loved “Psalms” and “Carry Away” so much that I was sad to give this one such a low score. It just didn’t seem to have the heart and emotion behind it that the other two did. Maybe I’ll like it more as I listen to it. For now, My Grade: 3

Today I purchased Scott Krippayne’s “Gentle Revolution” and can’t wait to listen to it. I am currently loading it onto my iPod as I type this. He is one of my favorite all-time Christian Music Artists. I have every CD and listen to them all frequently. While I love his music it’s the lyrics that really speak to me. It seems that whatever I’m going through in my life he seems to write about on his newest CD. Each new release has something that speaks to me right away, and many of these songs have been such an encouragement to me through the years. In honor of my new purchase, I’m going to list the Scott Krippayne albums I have along with my favorite songs and give them a grade as well. If you are new to this artist, I encourage you to get one of his CD’s and try it out.

Wild Imagination, 1995
My Favorite Songs: Hope Has a Way, The Main Thing, Sometime’s He Calms the Storm, I Will Love
My Grade: 4

More, 1997
My Favorite Songs: More, Way Back Home, No More Pretending, You Changed the World
My Grade: 4

Bright Star, Blue Sky, 1999
My Favorite Songs: Bright Star Blue Sky, I Wanna Sing, You Have Been Good, Cross of Christ, Every Single Tear, The Coffee Song (of course!)
My Grade: 5

All of Me, 2001
My Favorite Songs: Deeper Still, All of Me; My Everything, I’m Not Cool, The Source, The Best is Yet To Come
My Grade: 5

It Goes Like This, 2003
My Favorite Songs: You Are Still God, The Least I Can Do, Live to Worship, I Commend My Soul, Leave Your Eyes Behind
My Grade: 4

At this time in my life, there are two songs listed above that I’m listening to on a daily basis. One of them is encouraging me because I am struggling with some things in my life and I wonder if God is really running things in this world sometimes. I know in my head He does, but I have to remind myself of this fact many times when it seems that problems come with no end in sight. “You Are Still God” is my way of reminding me that He is the ruler of all, even when it appears otherwise.

You Are Still God, Scott Krippayne (Album: It Goes Like This)

I’ve prayed but still don’t have answers
At least none I’m able to see
I’ve tried to rest in not knowing
But not knowing’s a hard place to be
But as I return to Your pages
The words breathe new life to my soul
I see You at work through the ages
And know that You’re still in control

You are still God
You have created the land and the sea
May we applaud
And sing to the wonder of Your majesty
The wind will still blow
We won’t always know
Why seasons of life are so hard
But You are still God

Help me have faith in the knowledge
That You’re greater than what we go through
And when I reside in the valleys
Help me keep trusting in You
The how and the when You are moving
Were not meant for me to decide
Again and again You are proving
You’re there at just the right time

You are still God
You have created the land and the sea
May we applaud
And sing to the wonder of Your majesty
The wind will still blow
We won’t always know
Why seasons of life are so hard
But You are still God

Just typing those words makes me want to cry! The other favorite Scott Krippayne song I’m listening to these days is courtesy of my mother, who called me when I feeling a bit down and told me to listen to “Bright Star, Blue Sky” to remind myself of everything God is. This will be playing on my iPod alot this week, I’m sure.

Bright Star, Blue Sky, Scott Krippayne (Album: Bright Star, Blue Sky)

You are the wisdom when I can’t find answers on my own
You are the chisel when I let my heart turn into stone
Every moment You’re the one I depend upon

You are the sanctuary when my soul’s in need of peace
You are the hunger when the world lays treasures at my feet
You’re the portion where all my strength comes from

A light on the horizon, a diamond in the dark

Bright star blue sky, my hope day and night
My Lord my life, bright star blue sky

You are the haven where my deepest secrets are confessed
You are the friend who loves me at my worst and at my best
And it’s amazing how well you know me

At home up in the heavens and right here in my heart

Bright star blue sky, my hope day and night
My Lord my life, bright star blue sky

A mercy with the dawn of each new day
A fire that burns when all else fades away

So now I’m off to bed, to fall asleep listening to my newest Scott Krippayne CD - Gentle Revolution. I’ll let you know what I think in a day or two.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Nothing Important

“You and me, we’re done.” Wow! Was than an ending or what? I cannot believe I haven’t watched an episode of Gilmore Girls until last fall. I am so hooked on this show. Lorelai and her mother have had spats before, but this one looks to have far more serious ramifications, especially if she loses Luke over the mess Emily caused. Chris is not at all the man for Lorelai and I hope they don’t move in that direction because it’s just one more way to keep her and Luke apart to drag on the storyline. Just when you start to like Emily she turns around and does something so evil, so cold and unfeeling, that you regret that you started to warm to her. I think Kelly Bishop deserves an Emmy for her acting this year. She’s portrayed such a dichotomy of characteristics and made them quite believable.

I have been feeling very lethargic this week. I haven’t kept to my normal daytime schedule this week at all. Instead, I’ve been sleeping in, reading and goofing off. I hate when I get like this because I fell like I’m wasting time. But the last several weeks have been difficult and intense so I am sure that taking it easy this week is actually a good idea. I just wish I could get some motivation and get something done.

I’ve been feeling sorta unsettled lately. Like something is coming but I don’t know what. I also am facing some things that I thought I’d put behind me. At the same time I’m reading that before God moves us into a new level of service and devotion to Him we often have to face times of testing and temptation. So what is going on here? Is God trying to get me ready for something that’s coming? I don’t know. I just don’t like feeling this way.

I gave the book “Walking in Freedom” to my friend Jane to read. She brought it back to me on Sunday and we had a good conversation about relating to God as our Father. Neil Anderson has a great chart in this book about the lies we tell ourselves about who God is and the truth about who He really is. This section is very powerful and is one I need to hear day after day after day. I’ve decided I am going to read through it every single for the next thirty days. I need to be reminded of these things right now. If you haven’t read this book I would recommend you do so. It is very helpful in understanding how to live a life that is free from your past, free from sin and free from bondage. It also addresses our thought patterns and how important it is to remind ourselves of the truth. I think that in our world today we are bombarded with lies all around us. In addition, Satan also feeds us lies that often sound like our own voice in our head. Those lies are even harder to fight and we can begin to feel like we are involved in a losing battle. The only way we can fight it is to continually remind ourselves of the truth. Phillipians 4:8 reminds us of this principle by telling us what we should be thinking on. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Pepsi is giving away songs on iTunes again. This time 1 in 3 wins!
If you win and you won’t use your free code, I’ll gladly take them.

I ordered some new tunes from BMG. They should be here any day now. I’m impatient, though. I’m also waiting for a big order from Stampin’ Up! I love when I’m expecting fun stuff in the mail. Anticipation…

Finally a new Lost and Alias tonight. I’m betting Clair is no longer pregnant. Just think of the suspense in wondering where the baby is… I just heard that the DVD set for season one of Lost is going to include a great deal of fun extras. It will be out in September.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Oh Dear!

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride… For the few who acutally get the reference there, laugh along with me, will you? I seem to be diving our of my comfort zone right and left these past few years. I’m beginning to think maybe I don’t even have a comfort zone anymore.
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