Friday, July 28, 2006

My nephew

They call him Huggy-Bear.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

With nothing left over

I'm reminded tonight of how incredibly safe we are in this country. We're safe and we have so much. I see it as a blessing and am thankful for both. But, I don't think that God makes some rich and some poor out of conincidence or favor. I think he expects those who have been given much to spread it around and make others as blessed as we are.

Big task, I know.

I spent a month in Haiti a couple of years ago and really couldn't get my mind around the poverty that I was seeing. I felt guilty for being so rich. A pastor who was on the trip with us showed me 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9. It speaks of being generous and sowing generously.

"Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: 'He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.' "

In The Message, the last part is translated: "Nothing left over to the one with the most, Nothing lacking to the one with the least."

I'm pretty sure I'm in the "most" category. I'm pretty sure you are too. Wouldn't that be cool if we went to heaven with nothing left over?

When God blesses us and we say to ourselves, "Wow, God has really provided this month. He has so blessed me!" let that be the signal that we have the opportunity to spread out the wealth.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Two gems for today

I've written about her before, probably every Monday because she kills me every week. She's my favorite student right now probably because she's so drama that I can't possibly get frustrated. It's just funny and really cute.

She's learning a song from the movie The Little Mermaid called "Part of Your World." There's a line in it that says "Wouldn't you think I'm the girl, the girl who has everything."

Sometimes my students get the words mixed up on their songs, and they're so sure they have the right ones that it never gets fixed. This student always misses one word in this phrase. She sings, "Wouldn't you think I'm the girl, the girl who gots everything." No big deal, but I decided to try to get her to say "has" instead of "gots."

Over and over she keeps missing "has" and replaces it with "gots." We keep trying. Finally, she laughs and says, "It just sounds so much better to say 'gots,' but I guess since this song was back in the day, it should be 'has.' "

Later, I'm walking her back to her class and she asks me how long I've been playing piano. I tell her but she interrupts me with "Did you know that Beethoven started taking piano lessons when he was two....That's messed up."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Giving due credit

There have been many new blogs that have started up since I last updated my links. I've been reading them but never thought to give them the love they deserve. So, if you have looked at the side of my blog only to feel left out and in despair at your lack of a link, take heart and find yours now!

But, if you're not there, I probably don't know you have a blog. I'd love to read it, so comment and tell me what yours is.

Becoming more well-rounded

I moved to California when I was 9. Before that I was a midwesterner born in Nebraska and then spent some time in Michigan too.

During those years, fizzy drink was "pop." Once I moved to California, I went from calling it "pop" to "coke." Everything was coke. Somewhere in my 15 years of living here I graduated to calling it soda. I think that's a much more sensible term for it instead of coke.

In college there was a battle between the "pop" people and the "soda" people. Obviously, those accustomed to breathing fresh air and seeing a sky full of stars called it pop and the rest of us called it soda. Technically isn't it soda pop? So, we're all right. Whatever, to me they're both fine, but pop just sounds funny.

All that to say, tonight I said "pop" involuntarily for the first time in probably 12 years. I wasn't thinking, and it just slipped out.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mars and Venus

Tonight Matt and Brittany took Rob and me out on a date. It was very fun. At one point in the night, I was again enlightened to the difference between boys and girls.

We got on the subject of favorites. What's your favorite color. Brittany and I brought up the subject of favorite vegetables and favorite fruit. Then Rob busts out, "What's your favorite cut of meat?" Really, that question would have never come to my mind. I've never once in my life put those six words together in one sentence and brought it up as a subject of conversation. Boys! You gotta love 'em.

Monday, July 17, 2006

One of the little people

One of my students is going to start a band called "Girls Rock." She said, "Don't worry, when I live in Hollywood, I'm still going to take voice lessons. I'll send my limo with a spa to come get you."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I really like him

Friday, July 14, 2006

The next step

I'm reading a book called Celebration of Discipline. It has been very inspiring. I've been reading a chapter, letting it sink in, practicing, and then reading the chapter again. Obviously, it's about the classic Christian disciplines: meditation, prayer, fasting, etc. I'm stuck on prayer.

I read the chapter about a week ago, and realized that this quest is going to be more than reading one chapter in a book. I want to learn how to pray and grow in that. Really, God wants us to come to him as children, so it's not like I need to learn how to be really eloquent or discover a some secret to efficacy. But, then again, there's so much to learn even if it's just learning how to want to come to him and be with him.

The author says that we need to ask God for the grace to want to come to him in prayer and meditation because it's not a natural thing to want to do. We might want to every once in a while when we are having some kind of emotional high, but besides that, our flesh wants to do everything but sit down with God and listen for his quiet voice.

And, so far it has been a struggle against the flesh. But, I'm in it for the long haul and really excited about what I know is before me and anyone else who embarks on the journey to be more intimate with Jesus.

Carole Veezy, who I wrote about a month or so ago, is one person who lives a life of prayer. When she came to talk to our church about what God's doing in Uganda, she also inspired me to make everything begin, happen, and end with prayer. Her walk with God and her ministry are really mostly prayer. It's not that she doesn't do anything but pray, but it seems like everything she does is a result of what she sees Jesus doing as she meets with him in prayer.

Monday, July 10, 2006

My first try

I did my first ever photo shoot last week. Derek and Kim just got engaged, and they were nice enough to let me practice on them. Here are a couple. Kim has more on her blog in a photo album. Anyone else want to give me practice? Catch me while I'm free!