And the Funniest Customer Inquiry Ever Is...(drumroll)...
Saturday afternoon I was sitting at the front counter of the bookstore, when a very frazzled-looking lady walked through the door, straight up to my desk and said:
"Do you have a yellow pages here? Or do you know off-hand where I could buy a leotard?"
More on the contrast between us and God - taking sin seriously.
I've been reading this book after hearing great things about it from my sister-in-law and a friend at work, not to mention watching it consistently sell at the store. I actually started it a few months ago, but got sidetracked by other issues that needed attending at the time (church stuff)...however now that much have that has settled, I was reminded of this book and have picked it up again. I'm glad I did! From what I've read and know of it so far, it really is an excellent book on pure, simple truth. The author lists hundreds of lies that women commonly believe - about God, sin, marriage, child-bearing/rearing, etc. etc. etc. - and dispels them with the Truth of God's word - not with psychobabble or feel-good talk - but the Truth. It's not always pretty, and her thoughts are not always going to be popular - but that's what I like about it. She doesn't pull any punches. So...I read from it tonight, and found some interesting thoughts that I thought tied in really well with my post from a few days ago on standing in awe of God. This is from the chapter entitled with the lie "My Sin Isn't Really That Bad", which she goes on to dispel. See if this isn't convicting:
"Those of us who have grown up in good homes or in the church and have learned how to "act right" are particularly susceptible to this deception. Some of us would never think of being a prostitute or having an abortion or living a homosexual lifestyle. We wouldn't consider using profanity or embezzling money from our employer or divorcing our mate.
"Compared to others who commit these kinds of "serious" sins, it's easy for us to feel that we aren't so bad. Our sins of wasting time, self-protection, talking too much, eating or drinking too much, a sharp tongue, a critical spirit, overspending, fear, worry, selfish motives or complaining don't seem all that major. We may not even consider them to be sins at all—preferring to think of them as weaknesses, struggles or personality traits...
"If only we could see that every single sin is a big deal, that every sin is an act of rebellion and cosmic treason, that every time we choose our way instead of God's way we are revolting against the God and King of the Universe..."
Doesn't reading this kind of reminder make grace seem all the more beautiful?! :)
This will warm your heart...
Taylor's first Audition
So Taylor HIcks is the new American Idol! Woo-hoo! America definitely got it right (well, aside from that whole "voting Chris Daughtry off" thing...) but anyway, the best part was after he had been declared winner, when Seacrest asked him if he had any words for the audience, and he just screamed "SOOOOULLLL PATRRRROOOOLLL!!!!". :)
Other than that, it was a very entertaining finale (with the exception of Prince's surprise appearance at the end, which briefly pulled the show to a slimy and dirty place). Carrie Underwood proved that she deserved to win last year, Daughtry sounded way better than Live's lead singer, Meatloaf was weird (did anyone else think McPhee looked scared of him?), and Clay Aiken now looks like a Beatle.
Thus ends another season of American Idol.
Now what will I do? :/
Stand in Awe
Here's a quote for the day, from this book I'm reading called "Deepening Your Conversation with God" by Ben Patterson:
"No character in the Bible found anything approaching a face-to-face encounter with God anything less than shattering. We must learn to act and think as people who are amazed that our proximity to holy things has not left us vaporized."
"Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
As a dream comes where there are many cares,
so the speech of a fool when there are many words...
Therefore stand in awe of God."
Ecclesiastes 5:1-3, 7
The Ups and Downs of Life. And Let's Dish.
Well, it's been a tumultuous week. Chris Daughtry was voted off American Idol (a travesty!), 2 major characters perished on "Lost", and Terry lost both challenges on Survivor (which surprisingly ended with a cliffhanger - argh). But the good news is that Jim finally confessed his love for Pam, and they kissed, so all's right with the world (and "The Office").
What is that you say? Life doesn't revolve around TV? Oh yeah...:)
I'm not blogging about anything deep today. But I do have a good culinary tip. Two words: "Let's Dish". Have you heard of this place? I went there last week with my cousin Shannon and her mom, Sue (actually, Sue is my cousin...but I'll explain my confusing family tree in another blog...). It is pretty much the best invention ever! Basically, you go there and prepare a bunch of delicious meals, which you bring home and freeze. You can choose to make either 8 meals or 12 meals, and you have the option of splitting them with one other person. Each meal serves 6. 8 meals cost us $125, which sounds like a lot, but really isn't when you think about the fact that it's made the two of us 24 delicious meals (though sometimes I admit they're so good we've cheated and eaten too much for one meal :)). So far we've enjoyed Margherita Pizza, Cashew Chicken, Chicken Crustini, and Parmesan Chicken Pasta. Yummmm. So...a tip to all of you out there. It's a good deal, especially if you're cooking for one or two!
Alright, that is my post for today. Maybe I'll go for some depth another time. :) Tomorrow we're off to see my seester Katie gradulate! WOO-HOO!!! :)
Well that pretty much ruined my night! He did not deserve to go home tonight. Oh well.
The good news is he gets to go home to his wife & kids, and now his band got some press. At the very least I'm sure they'll get a record deal on a Christian label or something. So...maybe it's all for the better...?
Still - bummer!!!
Long Time, No Blog
Well, as you can see, it's been awhile since I've blogged -- 2 weeks, to be exact. In light of this gap, here are some random things I have learned or done over the last fortnight (that's 2 weeks, in Jane Austen language :)):
1). Mark and I took a lovely mini-trip up North a couple weekends ago. We stayed in Two Harbors, hiked around Gooseberry falls, ate at Betty's Pies, visited the Split Rock lighthouse, and stopped by Canal Park in Duluth. All in all, a nice little getaway!
2). Mark & I have a new favorite show (thanks to Katie & friends): The Office. Simply hilarious! Oh my goodness. I am hooked. I cannot wait until next week's season finale...and until season 2 comes out on DVD! I can already tell that quotes from this show have found a permanent place in my vernacular. :)
3). OK, time to admit something, once and for all. I am so (well, semi) ashamed of this, but I must confess: I am really into Survivor this season. Why? Well, mainly because of this Survivor, named Terry. The man is a MACHINE, let me tell you. Long story short, he is the last one standing from his original tribe (before the two tribes merged to form the one he's in now). He has watched all of his other original tribemates get picked off one by one (they went into the merge outnumbered), and now he is next in line to go. His only hope has been to win every single immunity challenge - which he has done for the past 4+ weeks! Unheard of! He just simply refuses to lose. He is focused on winning $1,000,000, won't lost sight of it, and now he's in the final three. I feel sort of embarrassed saying this, but I'm actually pulling some spiritual lessons from it (running in such a way as to win the prize, etc.). He's fun to watch! Oh, and he plays without back-biting or lying...AND on top of it all, I think he could actually "survive" - like, make fire and find his own food; that sort of thing. Fancy that! It's always sort of bothered me that Survivor has focused on people living together on a desert island to survive "socially".
4). American Idol is bad for business. For the past two weeks the credit cards have gone down at my store at approximately 8:00 pm, due to the high phone traffic as a result of America Idol voting! We have been told to expect this every Tuesday night until the season concludes. Isn't that hilarious? Especially since Tuesday nights are my night to work? :)
5). Speaking of American Idol, so far it's going exactly as I'd hoped (muahahahahah!)...and I'm pretty stoked that my prediction about Katharine McPhee (from a January blog) has come true. I must admit she did a stellar job on "Black Horse and CHerry Tree" the other night. I am liking her more than I did...however, I am still pulling for Chris and Elliot!
6). From the mundane to the sublime...I feel God tugging on my heart alot on the issue of prayer. I have recently listened to some great Piper sermons on the issue, and have felt quite convicted about the state of my prayer life. I fully recognize that prayer has not been the priority that it should be in my life - I just don't depend on it as I should. Piper said something that really convicted me: if you love God, you will pray! The old song comes to mind "What a priviledge to carry everything to God in prayer"! Such a basic necessity...yet in our busy world, so easy to set aside.
7). Music stuff has been humbling but good. I had 2 gigs this weekend. Long story short, I went through a little crisis moment of "why do I sing, anyway?", but am feeling more hopeful and excited about it all today. Last Tuesday I had the afternoon off, most of which was spent at the park - where I completed 3 new songs, which (after a particularly long "songwriting drought) I was thrilled about. I am now officially really focusing on recording. I've decided that what I need to do is just look at my calendar and block out time to do it, or it will simply NEVER move from "intention" to "reality". I'm excited about this challenge! Soli Deo Gloria!
Well...that's all for now! :) Enjoy your weekend, everyone.