monday miscellany

A collection from around the internet:

Dying to self in the age of self-love

For those who fail every day:

We are so easily consumed by our circumstances and our failures. We need to be persuaded that what makes the difference is God-centeredness—a deep conviction that God is in the midst of our day-to-day living, a trust not in the quality of our situation, but in the character of our Creator.

5 truths for sleepless nights

Why Christians love books

It’s not just grammar; it’s clear thinking.

Happy Monday!

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random thoughts

​~ Song lyrics with bad grammar are as cringe-worthy as nails on a chalkboard to me.

It’s just another reason why it always comes back to you and I…” That “I” makes me wince every single time.

~ In my opinion, a Prius is not so much a car as it is a device on which to display Obama and/or Hillary bumper stickers. Apparently I’m not alone. (Ha!)

lacroix~ LaCroix Cerise Limon is my favorite beverage these days.

~ A quick glance at the headlines these days is all I need to cry out for Jesus to return. This world is seriously messed up.

~ The phrase “Sell crazy somewhere else. We’re all stocked up here,” comes to mind.

~ I need a new series to binge-watch on Netflix. I just finished Damages. Any suggestions?

~ My sweet husband sent flowers to me at work today:

rose

~ The trains are out of control in Thomasville. It’s especially wonderful when they come to a complete stop on a major road right at 5 pm when I’m trying to get home.

train

It’s been a week, folks. And, yes, I know it’s only Thursday.

Ciao,
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saturday

Yeah, it’s been a while — yet again. I just can’t seem to get back into my blogging habit. I certainly have intended it, but those best laid plans…   I’m often (especially in the shower or while driving) composing blog posts in my head, but I never seem to settle down in front of my laptop and actually type. Maybe it’s because I spend all day in front of a computer, and I just don’t feel like it when I’m home. Or maybe it’s because I’ve had a long spell of insomnia that has leaves me crashing around 9 pm every night.

I really miss it. It was a creative outlet for me, along with photography, and I miss both. I’m going to try, try again, dear blog reader (I hope you’re still there!).

I’m enjoying a rare lazy Saturday morning with coffee and my laptop, so here’s a bit of what’s been going on:

~ We moved just across the border (Georgia/Florida) in April, and I’m feeling a bit more settled in these days.  Just this past week I began working in an office here in Florida, which I’ll do a couple of days a week. I’m grateful for that flexibility. I love working in Thomasville, and the drive is a nice commute that gives me time to think and listen to podcasts (more on that later). It makes for long days away from home, however, so yesterday it was so nice to have an extra hour at home before work. I read the paper and did a load of laundry. And I was home just after 5:00.

~ At the end of May, I flew out to California for the second time this year! This time it was for work. I spent a week at Pepperdine University (overlooking the Pacific Ocean!) for trust school. It’s truly a luxury to be a full-time student, so I was thankful for that week away from distractions — a week packed full of classes and study. I took the test Saturday just before catching the shuttle to the airport. And, wonder of wonders!, all of my flights to and from went smoothly and were on time!

~ I’m on day 20 of whole30. It’s been easier than I thought, and I feel pretty good. I miss eating out (it’s hard to find compliant food in most restaurants) and Greek yogurt, but other than that I’m satisfied.  It’s been helpful to have a few friends in the office eating this way, too. I’m hoping that this will help me discover which foods don’t agree with me (please, please don’t be dairy!). You’re not supposed to weigh for the 30 days, but I couldn’t resist hopping on the scales about a week ago, and at that point I’d lost 6 pounds. Not too bad, especially considering weight loss isn’t the goal.  It’s not a diet! 

Some observations:  Soy is in almost everything!! Boiled eggs are a life saver. Having food prepped for the week is key. Living in a town with Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods is very helpful. Summer is an excellent time to do this — fresh peaches, okra, tomatoes, oh my! Cooking every meal leaves a never-ending stack of dishes to be washed, dried, and put away.

~ Just like I’ve been too pooped to blog, I’ve been too pooped to read at night. I did burn through Gone Girl in about three days (what a disappointment: not one likable character), but other than that, I’m just binging on Netflix because it requires so much less mental effort. I’ve got Why We Get Fat on my nightstand, but can only read about three pages before my eyelids start drooping.

~ I had an eye exam a couple of weeks ago, and just as I suspected, my eyes are worse. It’s the most frustrating thing about aging. I’ve always had excellent vision, and now I’m crippled without glasses.

~ As I mentioned, I often use my commute to listen to podcasts. I subscribe to Dennis Prager‘s and, more recently, my son’s — The 365 with Will Malone. Last week’s episode was a conversation with his sister about art and insecurity. It was fun to drive along listening to a conversation between my son and daughter, this time with no bickering! 😉

~ A beloved high school English teacher passed away this month. She really left her mark on so many of us, and she instilled in me a love of diagramming sentences. She was fairly active on Facebook almost up until the end, and I appreciated that she still cared about her students and their lives. I saw her at a football game a year or so ago, and she was so kind and friendly.

~ Paul and I are planning a little getaway for our first anniversary. Time really does fly, and it’s hard to believe that our first year married is coming to a close in less than three months. God has richly blessed us. A second marriage is very different from a first because we’re aware (almost hyper-aware) of pitfalls. That is a grace that keeps us working to move towards each other when conflict arises. It’s not easy, but it’s good.

~ My poor camera sits neglected in a cabinet. I keep thinking I’ll pull it out, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Well, I’ve lingered in bed long enough this morning. We’ve got several errands to run today, and we’re meeting up with family to celebrate Father’s Day tonight. I truly intend to return to more regular blogging.

If you’re still here, thanks for sticking around!

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monday miscellany

Another collection of stuff that recently caught my eye:

~ If you love football, you might find this very long ESPN feature on Texas high school football interesting.

~ Tis the season for Christmas cards and an overwhelming urge to pull out my red pen. Here is how to make your last name plural. Bottom line: it never involves an apostrophe.

~ The 20 best quotes from Jonah Goldberg

~ I love these photographs of scenes in the south.

~ Speaking of photography, my son has some thoughts on the 6.5 million dollar photograph. I absolutely agree with this:

It’s the same kind of bitter talk I hear from art students or other photographers that think moms or Instagram is ruining photography.  I’m exhausted of the whole “anyone who has a camera thinks they are a photographer” argument.  If you feel like your work or others work is devalued by “point and shooters on vacation” then maybe your work isn’t that valuable to begin with.

~ Christmas gift wrapping ideas

~ The biggest heresy in America.

~ On stuff inviolate:

We must learn to distinguish that which is sin in the eyes of God, and that which should be a crime in the eyes of man and God. Being a selfish pig is a sin, but must not be made a crime. If we outlaw “being a selfish pig,” I have ten dollars here that says that within two weeks this crime of selfish piggery will be vigorously policed (and fined) by tribunals made up entirely of selfish pigs.

When we make something a crime without scriptural justification, and penalize it, we invert the order of God. When we make property ownership a crime, and fine people heavily for being guilty of it, we have a society as corrupt and as mendacious and as greedy as . . . well, as our own.

If we love people, if we love our neighbors, we will consider their stuff inviolate. We will form governments that respect our neighbors’ property as much as we ourselves do. But as it is currently, we form the kind of government we now have because we the people have larceny in our hearts. We are governed by thieves who represent us well.

~ A novel every Christian should consider reading. My Kindle tells me I’m 43% through this one, and it is beautiful writing. But I’m just slogging through it. I can’t decide if I should abandon it or power through.

~ An absolutely brilliant way to stuff a duvet.

And with that, I bid you a happy Monday!

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random thoughts

~ I know that I’m old-fashioned, but I really prefer books without a lot of distracting sidebars and multiple fonts on the same page. I’m going through a book now on the names of God, and the layout inspires a full-blown case of ADD. It reminds me of those Magic School Bus books that my kids had.

~ Here is one of my grammar pet peeves, apparently shared by Walter Williams:

myself

~ If the World Cup isn’t full of coffee, I’m not interested.

~ I drove seven hours on Saturday, and ten minutes before I got home I hit a deer. Good times.

~ I really, really, really want to be near white sand and blue/green water.

~ I have to go to the dermatologist today. My niece helpfully informed me that the reason I need to go is because I’m old.

~ Children should be seen and not heard. (Just kidding. Kind of.) 😉

~ random thoughts, random photos:

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Happy Tuesday to y’all,
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a different sort of grammar lesson

christplaysFrom Eugene H. Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places:

…the Christian life is not about us; it is about God. Christian spirituality is not a life-project for becoming a better person, it is not about developing a so-called “deeper life.” We are in on it, to be sure. But we are not the subject. Nor are we the action. We get included by means of a few prepositions: God with us (Matt. 1:23), Christ in me (Gal. 2:20), God for us (Rom. 8:31), With…in…for…: powerful, connecting, relation-forming words, but none of them making us either subject or predicate. We are the tag-end of a prepositional phrase.

The great weakness of North American spirituality is that it is all about us: fulfilling our potential, getting in on the blessings of God, expanding our influence, finding our gifts, getting a handle on principles by which we can get an edge over the competition. And the more there is of us, the less there is of God.

It is true that sooner or later in this life we are invited or commanded to do something. But in that doing we never become the subject of the Christian life, nor do we perform the action of the Christian life. What we are invited or commanded into is what I want to call prepositional-participation. The prepositions that join us to God and his action in us and in the world — the with, the in, the for — are very important, but they are essentially a matter of the ways and means of being in on, of participating in, what God is doing.

miscellany: moscow edition

With the in-residence portion of this semester in Moscow, Idaho, complete, I head back home with more work to finish. There will be minimal blogging throughout the rest of this month as I press on through papers and finals. In the meantime, here is a rather random collection of links from around the ol’ interwebs:

~ My blood pressure is so low that I think my salt intake is a key factor in keeping me upright. And it turns out that salt isn’t as bad as we’ve been told.

~ It seems counter-intuitive, but God likes to be bothered.

~ Thomas Sowell rounds up some wise words. Here’s a peek:

“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.”
— T. S. Eliot

~ Dennis Prager says liberalism makes it easier to sin.

~ This is excellent: A Gameplan for combating worry

~ The usual counsel is that it takes about a year to find your footing after a major blow (a job loss, a divorce, etc.). But maybe two years is more realistic.

~ Nancy Wilson writes on the war on woman.

~ Good to bookmark: 7 grammar websites

I’m wrapping this up in a quaint little coffee shop where they know my name, moving on to phase 2 of my caffeination (Darjeeling after a caramel latte). The weather is perfect, and I will really miss the crisp mornings and the absence of humidity. A little later I’ll have lunch with a new friend and then begin the long trip home.

Vale,

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