Monthly Archives: July 2008

an illustration from everyday life.

If you are a pastor/speaker reading this, you have my permission to use this as an example of some concept that you are hoping to explain.

This week, it’s finals week for summer classes session b. So I’m busy. I’m busy trying to make sure that I understand notes from Human Species so that I can explain them to my students. Along with that, I am trying to cut down a studyguide and make it more readable, make a few worksheets based on some tediously long material, and create a few practice tests.

Right now, I can answer almost any question that you could throw at me, if it concerns premodern humans or early homo sapiens sapiens (not a typo).

As I am going over this, I have realized that no matter how long I work on this, no matter how long I pore over material and try to synthesize it into understandable concepts and memory-easy material, it won’t be enough. I can’t guarantee that I will help anyone else do well or that they will understand the material better.

And now for my connection. So it is with human species, so it is with my spiritual life. No matter how much work I do, I will never make it. I can never improve enough. I can get better and can do good things, but I will never have reached the goal. I cannot be good enough.

Yes, I know you’ll sleep enlightened tonight after my epiphany which was imparted to you this evening.

R.

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English is a global language.

Kristi sent me this picture, which she found from Engrish.com.

It was accompanied with the line, “Can I still provoke?”

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i can imagine an awful lot

After I typed that I realized it’s very similar to a Han Solo quote in the first Star Wars, if not verbatim. But it’s a generic enough sentence and I don’t know if it’s the same, so forgive me for not quoting it.

But I can. I have a great imagination. I can imagine all sorts of things. I live in America in the 21st century, so I have also seen a lot of things and believe that a lot of things are possible. Frankly, I’ve seen some amazing things. So I’m skeptical sometimes.

“God can do amazing things with your life, if you give it to him.” I forget how amazing some things are, and I forget what amazing things have happened.

Right now, God and I are talking about “surrender”. I know that I have my life to God at one time and that periodically, I have given back to Him also, as seems wise to do. In the abstract sense, I get it. Surrender means giving up, giving control to God, having your life hidden in Christ.

Knowing that I do not do that perfectly ever, especially not continuously, I still would like to know more. I want it to be more concrete than abstract in my life. Obviously, I know that it won’t be that concrete all the time, but what I am asking God is what does surrender right now look like practically? How can I do it daily and at the general present?

This is something that I want to do, but I need to know how to precede to the next step. God, would you show me the next step I can take?

I want to surrender and I want God to do amazing things for His glory through my life, and I also want to do and see amazing things in my lifetime.

But I’m kind of afraid to hope for that. I’m afraid that I’ll mess it up, but mostly, I’m afraid that things just won’t be that amazing. Like I said, I can imagine an awful lot. Can God pull out anything that could wow me? Sadly, He really does, but then the wow wears off and then I forget.

Recently, however, as I was discussing all of this with Him, he pointed out that some cool things have happened that I never imagined. These I could never have imagined.

I have a good friend from Saudi Arabia! I never would have guessed this a year ago; I never would have prayed for this. I couldn’t have imagined how we’d meet or become friends, or that we’d actually develop a real friendship. But it happened, and it’s been one of the best things about the past six months.

My former roommate, Kristi. She’s crazy and amazing and one of the biggest spiritual influencers in my life. If you know Kristi, you know how unique and amazing she is. I told her the other day that I could have never imagined a person like her existed before I met her.

One of my current roommates, Brenna. I’ll never know how much she has shaped me in the two and a half years and counting that we’ve known each other. She’s basically been my stand-in family and sibling, as my real family has gotten more spread apart. I never would have imagined when I met her that she’d be one of the most important people for this stage in my life.

My tutoring job. I know that I ramble on and on about it, but it qualifies as an unexpected amazing thing from God. I didn’t know such a job existed a year ago, and I wouldn’t have even thought it’d be something I’d enjoy. It’s been such a good job in a lot of ways and certainly an enjoyable one.

There is definitely some “wow” in God. Way more than I can imagine.

R.

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amazing!

How ironic that when I decide to create something to write about, at the end of the day, I have something very similar but actually real to write about (which I am writing about today).

God is so cool! Yes, I know He is amazing all of the time, and that He is good to me all of the time, but I am only aware of it sometimes. Yesterday, he was visibly taking care of me, and I counted the ones I could see (hence the irony of posts with numbered lists), and they were many.

Most of these culminated at the end of my work day, and I ran home and told Katie about all of them. When I relayed them to her, there were three specific examples. By the end of the night, there was one more.

1. I got the job! I was officially offered an part-time job/internship with a company I had interviewed with. This is awesome, because I desperately need to work more, and need to also start developing contacts in the professional world.

2. I found a parking space when there were no parking spaces to be had, and I had asked God it give me one.

3. I stopped to get some food and realized that my debit card was out of my wallet because I had just filled up with gas. However, I had unexpectedly bumped into a friend, so she held my place in line while I ran out to my car to retrieve it (and I was strangely unharried about it; God allowed me to not stress about it, at least as much as I would usually).

4. He kept me from getting into a car accident! I was late getting to my small group last night, and I went to make a left turn at a light that had to left turn signal and started to do one of those left turns on yellow when the oncoming traffic is stopping, but another car blasted through. I jerked the wheel back, missed him. and got through safely! Closest call in a while. That was a scary moment, but disaster was mercifully averted!

R.

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5 Things

This exercise is common but [at least I find it] interesting.

Five things I can’t live without:

1. Speaking to people

2. Activity (especially mental)

3. Blue bic pens (all my notes since freshman year have been done with this style pen)

4. Something to write in

5. A good blanket

On a more serious note, here is some of what I have been learning in my Human Species class.

– Humans are part of the order Primates (there are human and nonhuman primates, therefore)
– Almost all New World monkeys are arboreal
– Only New World monkeys have prehensile tails (meaning they can grasp things).

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Independence

Okay, guys, this is what we’re celebrating today. I can never get anyone to sit down and read this with me on the Fourth, but hey, we wouldn’t have this day without it. Read it well.

Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America:

The Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Quoted from: http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/index.htm

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anna’s bridal shower

We had a bridal shower for Anna last Saturday.

Anna and her bridesmaids, minus Kell’s sister



Anna with her flower girl and her mom

Anna’s old roommates, minus me

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