Wednesday, December 29, 2004

by turkish romeo boy
Of the various things I wish I could be, I wish I could be a photographer to take pictures like this...

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I'm not really sure of where to start with what I want to say... or what I want to ask... hmph. There continues to be a problem, in the hearts of all mankind, an inherent desire to prove or boast about one thing being better than another. This felt need is more then apparant, especially here at Briercrest, in the never-ending debate of who is the better country. Over the years I've seen Canadians slightly bittered by being the country next to the land of freedom and opportunity, responding in the way we shine best... through comedy. Jokes, television shows, commercials with animated beavers, Canadians wanting to prove that we're worth something, but as is oft in trying to gain worth, or 'equality', the effort exceeds trying to be at level with others to trying to above and beyond. I have heard Canadians diss America. I have heard Americans diss Canada. I have heard Americans rant about all that is corrupt and wrong in their country. I have heard Canadians reject their country because of the things they haven't done right. I have felt the weight of those who think that Canada is nothing but hethenistic wasteland and today I heard the bitter frustration of an American friend who has felt the weight of Canadians who press upon him the opposite opinion. What I want to know is (or ask)
why do we gotta be like that?

Neither Canada nor America is perfect, and they are both oceans away from being the promised land. There is a desperate attitude of unforgiveness when it comes to the other party's faults; please do not think I'm saying we should have any sort of complacent leniency towards those downfalls. I just don't think that consistently boasting about one's greatness (and coincedently shoving the others faults in their face) would encourage anyone to see what is right.

C.S. Lewis once noted "that though the world is slow to forgive, it is quick to forget." And his observation is well displayed in a story of how a girl and her friend had gotten into a tiff over some small disagreement. The girl refused to speak to her friend, she in fact outrightedly ignored her, until her friend would ask for forgiveness over the matter. Six months passed before her friend finally broke down and begged the girl to forgive her, by which point the girl had long forgotten what it was they had argued over, though she had certainly remembered that she wasn't talking to her friend. It makes me wonder if we have moved past being unforgiving because we see a fault, to seeing only fault because we are unforgiving. I could be wrong but I don't think the person who said we should forgive and forget meant that we should pretend like the wrong we are forgiving never happened, but that instead we will not hold that wrong against them. If we forgot everything that we forgave I'm pretty sure we'd just end up continuously making the same mistakes over and over again instead of learning from the times we've messed up (I'm emcompassing learning from our own mistakes as well as learning from others mistakes). I wonder if maybe that's why history repeats itself...

I had meant this to be a short post... anyhow, I want to say: America I'm sorry. Please forgive me for ever having a condescending attitude, for ever mentioning your downfalls in jest. Please forgive me if I have ever been complacent or over lenient.

I know my country is faulted, but if everyone who sees all that is wrong with it leaves then who is left to help others see the truth?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

anyone shocked... surprised.. anyone??... right...

(for anyone who is curious, someone who is pundit has been admitted to membership in a scholarly feild, in this case the scholarly feild of blogging... scholary... blogging...)

Ok, the polls have shown that there is a high interest in seeing some pictures from that fateful evening in which I lost my hair... everytime I think about it Kristen Dunsts' voice pops in my head, when she played Amy March in Little Women, exclaiming "Oh Jo, your one true beauty"... ha. All right folks, ye asked, and ye shall recieve...

Kris, myself and Dez: the before picture

more before pictures, because they're really cool... Kris took this one of my fantastic dreads

Dez and I, aaaw, aren't we cute?

ok, on with the show, dez went first

and she looks oh so cute!

next in the lineup was Kris,

here you can see the face of our beautiful assistant, Alison

and lastly, myself

The here after... that is Dawn in the front.

so there it is... hope you've enjoyed the show!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

a cold christmas day by aquasixio

Some Random Thoughts

First off, I need to poll the audience. The girls and I did indeed follow through with shaving our heads for the cancer fundraiser, and there were an amazing amount of pictures taken. What I would like to know is if any of you would like to see pictures from that evening.

Second, Christmas is two weeks from today. I have met some cynics of the Christmas season, mostly due to take over of commercialization, this is highly unfortunate for the holiday season still holds many good things. Although it is incredibly doubtful that December 25th is the actual birthdate of Jesus, and although we should always remember this, it is good to have a day dedicated to the fact that God humbled himself for us. I am also excited to see my family, I miss them, and my friends there, I miss them too. Also the holidays means three weeks with no deadlines, no homework, no work even, and that's the best gift I think I will get, a break spent with my family. ok... so... what are you looking foward to this holiday season? Or what do you look foward to every holiday season?

Third! I have promised to make a 'special mention' to a new friend of mine. Would all the blogger readers please give a warm welcome to Solomon. I met him on the internet!! Ha, there's more to it than that... but it goes to show how the world is full of strange connections. I met him through Erin, my roommate from second year, or rather through an email she sent out. Anyhow turns out we both know Joe Dueck, who runs the youth centre I volunteer at. Yay for random associations...

ok, I think that is all.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

wait by pure anodyne

It's the last week of classes, the semester is coming to an end, an interesting and challenging semester.

God has taught me a lot about humility and learning to wait on him in everything; even right down to my mental processes. I've heard it and said it again and again that we need to make sure our thought life is 'in control', but to try and see life through God's eyes is a challenge of greater difficulty. A friend noted to me in an email, that "when we can get our mouth to only speak the truth that we have in our heart and not allow our emotions and our opinion to be in control instead of what God's Word says, we will understand what real faith is." This concept would speak for our actions as well, when we learn to act and react from the knowledge we have in our hearts instead of from our emotions and opinion. This isn' to say that we should ignore the fact that we have emotions and opinions, no that would blind us just as only seeing life through our emotions and opinions would...

Anyhow, need to break away from that thought, it was only meant to lead into what I was going to tell you. At the end of the week I will be shaving my head as part of the cancer society fundraiser. There was point last week when I was going to my cut dreads off, due to the irritation they are causing to my scalp and then this fundraiser was brought to my attention. I have had debates in my head over it until yesterday, at first I wondered if I was going to cut my hair off anyway is it really a sacrifice (although if I had just cut them off I would've given myself a few inches to play and style with whereas now I am shaving it down to stubble). Then I was wondering if I should cut them off at all, because I haven't had them very long and they do look cool... but also I have been feeling restless these past few months, and was wondering if I was just looking for something different to do, changing again for the sake of change. So I stopped debating (it's hardly believable but yes I can stop debating with myself) and prayed about it, asking God for the answer. As I prayed, it became more apparant, or maybe I should say I have more reason to do it than I thought. To shave one's head in an act of empathy towards fellow man is noble and reason enough to go foward with this. But also it is an act of humility in other ways... it has been noted that I have very nice hair, and since I have dreaded many have admired it and told me it is a look that fits me and looks cool. I never idolized my hair, nor considered it my pride and joy, but it is a way that I get compliments, I do play with it in order to make myself look pretty... and where I can't exactly sacrifice my blue eyes or my fantastic dutch bootie, I can give up my hair.

mmm by the way if anyone would like to donate towards this cause, you can (talk to me if you're on campus) or email me at

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

OK so between life of a not so ordinary jo, and tell me no lies, there is a theme of loserness today... heh, I love this song by switchfoot, and am glad to call my self a loser. So anyhow, have a read, and go check out the new poem up on tell me no lies.

Artist: Switchfoot
Album: Learning To Breathe
Song: The Loser

Only the losers win
They've got nothing to prove
They'll leave the world with nothing to lose

You can laugh at the weirdos now
Wait till wrongs are right
They'll be the ones with nothing to hide

'Cause I've been thinking, thinking
I've got a plan to lose it all
I've got a contract pending on eternity
If I haven't already given it away
I've got a plan to lose it all

I've been the burnout kid
I've been the idiot
I'll turn the other cheek to be hit

You can take what you want from me
Empty me till I'm depleted
I'll be around if I'm ever needed

'Cause I've been thinking, thinking
I've got a plan to lose it all
I've got a contract pending on eternity
If I haven't already given it away
I've got a plan to lose it all

I wrote this song for you
To show how I'm selling out
I'll take the benefit of the doubt

Because I've been thinking, thinking
I've got a plan to lose it all
I've got a contract pending on eternity
If I haven't already given it away
I've got a plan to lose it all
I've got a plan to lose it all
I've got a plan to lose it all

Thursday, November 25, 2004

the past
by Aein

So I'm in the middle of writing one of the most difficult papers I will have to compile while here at Briercrest, and I decided that I'd like to poll the audience.... A question that comes up every so often in conversation is:
which is worse, a paper or an exam... ?
so the question for you all is, would you rather write a paper, requiring some research and constructing well supported arguments, or would you rather take an exam, requiring some studying and being able to remember facts and/or concepts.... and why....

two pages, double spaced, please refrain from using the first person, ok I'm just kidding.... paper or exam, choose your poison...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

"Requiem of a Dream"

I've been battling the concept of accepting more traditional means of acquiring knowledge (and what exactly tradition is, because it seems we have a fairly modern idea of tradition) and attempting to step away from individualistic tendencies that have been established in me.

One of my friends, who is seen (by his self as well as others) as very traditional (him being a mennonite it's very easy to attain that characteristic), put forth the argument that we shouldn't step away from, or be counter-cultural to, our society (I unfortunately don't remember what his argument was for that... if he had one). It seems to me though that there is a definate need to break away from Individualistic mindsets which are so deeply rooted in everything that our society stands for. So I don't understand how we could possibly break away from the mindset and hold onto to our society when all it stands for is that mindset... It also stikes me as odd that someone who holds characteristics of being traditional is one of the most vocal persons on not being counter-cultural...

Moving on, it is apparant that there is this very modern, individualistic mindset that has engulfed North American society, and we view our other option as tradition. But... the thing that I get stuck on is 'what is tradition??' I have this debate about our sense of tradition that has some difficulty of finding a solution (hopefully y'all can help me with this). Many times when I hear tradition being talked about (and this includes class discussions/presentations that I have observed) it comes across as a shallow 'just because' form of reasoning. And how do we know the traditions that we are leaning on are truly good... especially when it seems that we're leaning on practices or thought that didn't become the tradition until 100-200 years ago... Not every tradition that has been established over time has been a good thing. Many times when I hear tradition talked about it comes across as something we should just accept and that thinking is some evil force that destroys all the goodness of tradition. When tradition is put up against the modern force of individualism people condemn those who would think for themselves... who says tradition has to mean dumbly follow any pracitce established over time, whether it have meaning and depth or is a hollow just because we've always done this??

I think now is a good time for an example (yay verbal visuals!!). Being at Bridal Quest the subject of engagment rings happens to come up every so often (like every too often) . I have one friend that just can't understand why I didn't want a diamond in my engagement ring ( he also couldn't understand why I didn't really care so much about getting an engagement ring at all... a twist tie would make me happy if I knew that that man wanted to marry me... anyhow). I'm pretty sure he's still under the misconception that the only reason for acting counter-cultural to the norm of engagement behaviour is because I just wanted to act against 'tradition.' I don't hate tradition, I in fact have a deep love and appreciation for well established practices that have a meaning (notice the key words, well and meaning... ok, ok, I know my readers are genius' I'll stop pointing out the obvious). What I hate are shallow (materialistic...??) and meaningless tradition.

Let's evaluate the tradition of engagement rings... here is a link to circa 1930's (click on circa) with their explanation of engagement rings (I can't verify that it's the honest truth... but I do love the phrase "a time-honored tradition, dating back to ancient times"... such a sense of history... heh heh... cracks me up). Anyhow they note that diamonds didn't show up in engagement rings until very end of the 15th century, but at that point it was only for the royalty and really wealthy. In our society, for the more common folk, the huge tradition of diamond engagement rings didn't really catch on until DeBeers put out a huge campaign...(I can't quite pinpoint when they started their engagement ring campaign, but here is a link to their timeline, it points out the same date for the emergence of diamonds in engagement rings and notes that DeBeer's became a company in 1888) which would partially explain why diamonds have been used for engagement rings in recent days. Now do we really think they did this to bring depth to the marriage process, because buying her something sparkly will ensure that she won't run off with some other guy (well if it's a really big sparkly maybe...). I think most of us know how the business world works and if anything they use our sentiments against us to make them money. And I think for a lot of girls these days we come to take getting a diamond (or some other expensive rock) for granted, and most conversations have little reference to symbolism of an engagement ring and more to do with their preference of size and style. Where is our sense of tradition there? A twist tie is probably be more equal with the tradition of a simple iron hoop from the early Roman times than our sparkly rocks.

What might have started off as a well established practice really has turned into cold materialism... and when we think of tradition all we can think of is diamond, because that's the only tradition our modern minds are aware of... but that is just one example of our modern sense of tradition.

Moving on, Char left a quote on my last post from Oswald Chambers, "Stop listening to the tyranny of your individuality and get emancipated out into personality." I love it. We cannot help being influenced by something, (I'm sorry I think I'm repeating myself from other posts...) but instead of thinking we are making ourselves and being pushed around by influences we refuse to recognize will (thank you Oswald) become a tyranny over us. Our ideas of an individual 'creating' himself (thank you existentialism...ugh) a crock, a lie to ourselves that only destroys us. But to blindly follow traditions seems also destructive (could you imagine if we were still sacrificing animals... because it's tradition...). We humans have a grand way of screwing up good things, by holding too tightly to the practice of a tradition, we loose the heart of the tradition.

(Conclusion time...) Maybe it's just me, but I think that if a tradition is established on a solid truth, if it is done in Spirit and truth, than no amount of thinking will ever change it. The truth, is the truth, and that's the truth... or to put it more eloquently, "All truth is God's truth" (aaah... can't remember the guy...). If we honestly are willing to let truth prevail, willing to admit our minds are susceptable to false thinking, than wouldn't questioning, or thinking for ourselves only cause us to realize the depth of that already well established tradition and appreciate it? I suppose that's where the problem comes in, we have difficulty knowing what God's truth is, and regress into allowing personal preference affect what we would choose to stand as the truth... hmmmm, ok people... gimmie some feedback, bwa ha haa

Thursday, November 11, 2004

It's official folks, I am an ass. I've been caught in the web of my own foolishness once again, and God has been faithful to save me (and others) from myself.

It turns out God has a lot to teach me about humility (I know this is a shock...) and breaking down how I see the world through human perceptions. In the midst of a conversation with a friend a few days ago I asked him if maybe we all just need to stop assesing the world through our own abilities to percieve things and look to what God would show us; wondered where we'd be then. It now occurs to me that if we'd only listen to ourselves for half a moment we'd probably be a whole lot wiser for the wear, at least I would.

Have you ever noticed that a person who is irritated by a downfall or vice is often guilty of that exact vice... yeha, me, right here, I get so irritated by people who try to slot me into a category or peg who I am, and all the while I've been pegging others around me without even realizing it. (Somedays I feel like such a retard, but I guess that's to be expected when you've realize you're being dumb) I've been doing this, trying to asses the world and all that is in it by my own faulty perceptions, when God would rather me just to stop and humbly wait for him to show me what I need to see. Maybe I'll be more patience with those who peg me now... besides it really doesn't matter what they think of me seeing as it's God who is our final judge.

well, on that note, all this makes my mind turn on what Paul was saying in his letter to Timothy, that "The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen."

Since Paul already self claimed the title of being the worst of sinners all that is left for me to take is the queen of fools (or the biggest of jerkfaces...). But like Paul I am thankful that He is gracious and merciful, not only so, but also that he has blessed me with friends that have shown that grace and mercy; in this I have truly been shown love. Hopefully also like Paul I can be used for God's great good.

And also, my friend Chan headed back to California this evening... I'm going to miss her, she has one of the sweetest hearts I think I've ever met, but I am so very glad that she is taking the courage to follow what she believes God wants her to do. Chan, I know you're going to read this so, I want you to know that I've appreciated the honor of getting to know you, right from the first absurdly early morning I met you.

ok, with all these posts on matters that concern our hearts it is long past due time for a post written on looking into ourselves and taking a long hard look at what exactly this thing is that we constantly refer to. I've actually had these thoughts running through my head for a long while, even have had some of the notes for this written out on my whiteboard for some weeks.

The question
that has of late come to my mind is exactly what our hearts are, or rather where our hearts are placed... the two questions sound vastly different, its their answers that make them the same. For if you answer what is the heart? than the answer to where your heart is at shall be answered and vice versa. I can imagine that there are probably a few of you scratching your heads wondering what kind of babble I am speaking. Well if you will allow me to lead you through answering the ponderings in my mind then you will see the questions that I am getting at.

What is this thing called a heart? There is a strange assortment of definitions and connections that this word has attached to it, from the most physical representations such as pink paper shapes and a muscle to the less visible understandings such as our emotions or the gist of an idea. I motion we grab the peak of the iceburg and pull it up in order to expose it's underbelly... we shall start with the physical.

We see it everywhere, mostly in pinks and reds, but it is not restricted by colour these days, two little round parts with a little point. Somehow this has come to represent our hearts and a symbol that is interpreted as love. On valentine's, in notes to our friends even on that crap that is propagated throughout New York City, our hearts have come down to a cartoonish figure that pretty much equals love. But more literally what is a heart? A muscle, a muscle in the centre of our body, that pumps blood (hopefully) soaked in the breath of life to all the parts of our body. If we were to try and reconcile the nonliteral understanding of heart to the most literal, I would say that our heart is the centre of who we are, and that who we are in our heart will be pumped to every part of our existence.

So how does that reconcilation of terms connect to those little paper hearts... well it seems that our society (I cannot speak for all of existence I only know views that infilitrate North America) has taken the thing that represents what is at the very core of who we are and reduced it to nothing but a flimsy peice of coloured paper; it's been reduced down to emotions.

Is that all we are? Is that all we want to be? Is the only thing that is holding us together down in our heart of hearts is how we are feeling? If that is so we have one very shaky foundation, and its no wonder that we have generations of people who constantly ride these rollercoasters that they just can't get off of. I'm fairly certain that how we view our hearts... that is how we view what is at the centre of our lives... will not only change what the things that are in it look like (such as love as feeling vs love as a choice, but what love truly is, is a rant of it's own)... but will also change what is pumped to every inch of your life. That is to say how you will look at life and how you will interact in the world. If emotions are at the centre of your being, than you will act and make decisions based on emotions.

What else is there? What other options do we have?

I personally think we should all become vulcans... but really vulcans have feelings too, they're just repressed... I don't ever recalling repressing anything being such a fantastic idea (just turns out quite ugly in the end). More seriously I think we need to search for something deeper to put at the centre of our lives. Emotions are still there, goodness I couldn't get rid of them if I wanted to, but it 's the focus or centring on emotions that is the problem.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I have a daily devotional book called A Year with C.S. Lewis (who is one of my favorite authors), and yesterdays and todays devotionals were on courage... I really appreciated what he was saying (though I should note I most often appreciate what he has to say) and felt the desire to share with you all a few notes on his thoughts.

Both incerpts are from his book, The Screwtape Letters, a book written from the perspective of a demon in hell.

"He [God] see as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chasity or honesty, or mercy, which yeilds to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky."

"The point is to keep him from feeling that he has
something, other than the Enemy [God] and courage the Enemy supplies, to fall back on, so that what was intended to be a total commitment to duty becomes a honeycombed all through with little unconscious reservations... For remember, the act of cowardice is all that matters; the emotion of fear, in itself, so sin and, though we enjoy it, does us no good."

I encourage you to read the Screwtape Letters if you want a good read that really puts how the devil twists truth and tries to manipulates us into perspective. I also encourage you to check out 'tell me no lies' the poetry blog (the link is under literary links) I just put up a poem from char....

I will have another post very soon, possibly today, cause I think too much. I guess that's why I deemed myself a chronic thinker, there must be some benefit from it... in any case it's not hurting me, at least not in any permenant ways.
ok kiddies, maintain good feet health and trim those toenails cause you never know where those little guys are gonna take you.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Yesterday I went out for lunch at a Thai restaurant with some friends, after we drove around Moose Jaw and found some really cool spots. I really enjoyed their company, just hanging out going on little adventures in Moose Jaw. Although finding really cool hills that over look the river and super old biuldings that are now retirement homes is fun and random, I would have to say the thing that I truly and most deeply enjoyed about these people was the conversation that we had over dinner. One of the major topics is something that crosses my mind from time to time... but it was more than just the topic, it was how open it was, how intimate and deep it was. mmm.. it was very encouraging, and made me smile.

Anyhow, I'm going to share with you about what that major topic was... we were talking about boys and girls and the difficulties of knowing how to approach the whole letting the other person know that you are indeed interested in them. It is one thing that I've had many conversations about, pretty much what I think, and we all somewhat agreed (it was good to know that I wasn't completely off in my thinking), was that there is a careful balance that a girl needs to obtain.

There are two extremes, the one extreme (which I tend to more resemble) is to completely shy away from the person to become introverted around them and not allow yourself to be vulernable. The other extreme is to be flirtatious to point of manipulation and pursual; there is careful flirting, and then there's flirting that manipulates the other persons feelings, attempts to convince that person to like them. I say this is pursual because the girl is indeed chasing after the boy.

So, finding a balance, a girl should not pursue the boy, this isn't a "it isn't proper for a girl to be the pursuer" statement. Just drop the whole what is proper idea, this isn't about social boundaries (which in todays North American society it is actually acceptable for girls to be the initiators, or at least it's frequent) this is about finding the correct role in a relationship. If the girl is pursuing the boy, the whole relationship is off on a bad foot, because the guy is not leading... and if the girl continues to be the leader than it's going to end up being a weak sauce relationship. Or the guy will wake up and realize later that he didn't actually like her, he just thought he liked her because his emotions were manipulated. And then everyone gets hurt.

Ladies, it's an art, not a competition. If you think there might be a mutual interest, if you think you need to let a guy know that there's an interest on your part, you need to find that careful balance between pretending he doesn't exist and pouncing on your prey. There is an inbetween point where you can show interest without being overbearing. If you show nothing you can't be disappointed when he doesn't ask... he needs to know there is some slight chance that you would be interested. Ok he needs some very definate signs that there is a chance. But if you are overbearing than... well... I already explained that.

How do you find that balance? What does it look like? Well I can't give you a method or formula, if it were that easy there probably wouldn't be so much debate over the subject. All I know, is that we need to be aware of our actions and to be careful not to hit either extreme.

One thing that occurred to me when considering this topic was that if the girl makes it too easy for the guy (by being the pursuer) than there is no challenge for that guy to be a man. He risks nothing if she makes it too entirely clear where she stands. If there is no risk, than there is no challenge for him to grow some balls, become a man, and pursue her. And every woman needs a man (Carolyn Dawn Johnson even says so, so there).
And on that note I would like to say, boys are confusing.

hmph, well, that's about it, please give me some thoughts!! INTERACT PEOPLE!! stop leaving me hanging... I love you all by the way and appreciate the fact that you spend time reading my meager thoughts.... but I want to hear yours!!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

How to get Jo's look

That's right kiddies, you can get down with the styling's of Jo.
You've noticed everyone around you has caught the fever,
seen those stars flaunt the fashion on tv,
seen the popular girls at school getting down with it,
everyone wants in on the Jo flare!

With these simple step by step instructions you too can acquire the unique Jo look!

Step 1: Stop catering your appearance to others tastes

I was signing into hotmail the other day and the 'hot topic' of the day just happened to catch my eye. Oh don't get me wrong it was as useless and dull as most popular media 'hot topics' usually are, but seeing as I already had the wheels constantly turning on this subject it just happened to spurn me on. I suppose you're wondering what this elusive topic was that got me all fired up... no my blog readers are much too smart to be wondering that, I'm sure you've all picked up on the completely and utterly obvious theme that I've already given... it was "How to get Kiera Knightly's look" You know Kiera Knightly isn't a bad looking gal, I'll admit that, but personally I don't think I want to emulate someone who admitted that she was quite concerned in her last movie that her breasts didn't look large enough (which was conviently fixed by the editing crew). She, like many others, unfortunately cater to what the Western society percieves to be as beautiful... or at least catering to the lustful minds of guys. (at this point I will make note that not every guy is like that, nor is it just a case of girls catering to guys, it goes both ways... but we've got to admit a lot more girls spend time, money and concern trying to make themselves look good... there's nothing wrong with looking good... what I am calling in to question is motives and the heart).
I'm sure a few of you have heard me say this before but we've got a generation of victims of society... There are teenagers out there who are pummeled by mass media being told what looks good, what they should look like, what is normal. These kids are ignorant of the motives that drive the fashion industry, thus making their motives innocent. Stupid, but innocent... They're just trying to fit into the norm that they are told to conform to.
But I'm actually getting off track, I meant this theme to lead into a more different form of catering to tastes, a more specific catering of tastes. I suppose this could also lead back to loosely connect with my thoughts on peacock rituals (refer back to my post on Feb. 15, 2004... actually now that I reread that post its not a loose connection at all... this actually expands on that original observation) Anyhow the more different thing that I am trying to get to is that the unfortunate drive we humans feel in order to attract the opposite sex... the peacock rituals as I've called them before. Now it is inevitable that we will want to make ourselves look extra-special for that super awesome great person that we know. There's nothing wrong with wanting and wishing that person would take notice of you... What saddens me is the level that many people take it to. (I guess I should also note that this happens outside of sexual attraction, it is also an issue of being accepted by people, or idolizing an image; wanting to be the thing that you are dressing/acting like)
"What is this next level Jo?" you ask, well kids, I'm sure you've seen it, I know I'm not some sort of observant genius... I'm usually the least observant person (I'm not dumb, but I space out a lot... space out to Joland of wonderfully deep thought...). Well this too I noted in my age old post, but sometimes people feel the need to deliberately cater to someone elses personal taste. (And because I love visuals I will give you an example) Say Susie has a crush on Johnny here at Briercrest (cause this place seems to be one of the ultimate breeding grounds for stupid behaviour) and finds out that Johnny is an avid fan of skater girls. Susie, most definately is not a skater chick, more of a preppy girl really... so Susie one day, or maybe just every often, starts wearing skater chick clothes. An unfortunate thing about this silly attempt to appeal to someone else is that quite often it is done subconsciously. Not realizing that the reason they suddenly want to dress the way that just happens to appeal to that super awesome great person really is them just appealing to that person... Or to put it outside the context of sexual attraction... Say George has always thought that cowboys always have appeared as the menliest of men (well cmon they don't get any manlier than Clint Eastwood... really) and desires to appear, desires to be a man himself. So what does he do? Well duh, dress like a cowboy.
These people are dressing as something they're not, appearing as something they're not in order to appeal to that person (or in the case that was outside of sexual attraction they're doing this to convince themselves, and everyone else, that they are something they aren't). This creates a false image of who you (turning it away from little Susie and back on ourselves) are, and honestly is slightly manipulative... maybe not intentional, but manipulative none the less.
There are million different questions and thoughts that tie into this or extend from here, but what I want to get to (and I have to tie this up soon because I'm supposed to be studying for my exam of death that is tomorrow...) is that really I want a guy to be able to choose me for qualities other than how well I can cater to his taste (or dress like Kiera Knightly) this doesn't mean that I won't make myself... presentable... (though it has often crossed my mind to shave my head and wear only grubby clothes... but I mean I would like a boyfriend, so doing my best to turn off every guy in the world probably isn't the best approach) but it does mean that I'm going to do my best to not cater to a specific persons tastes in order to make him like me... Of course this can be swung to the other side of pendulum where you go around purposely not dressing anything like the tastes of the super awesome great person. This is also silly. How do we find a balance? I haven't a friggin clue, I just rant about it.
What it comes down to is that you are going to always be influenced by something, you can't really be an individual (and this is coming from someone who stands out like a sore thumb even when she tries to blend in), there really is no such thing.... existentialism is a crock, you're going to be influenced by something. The best thing to do is to accept this and carefully choose your influences instead of falling victim to any old influence that comes around. The first best influence of course being God, following Christ, being shaped by His Word... this by no means will dictate how you dress (despite what some Western Christian subcultures might think) but if you allow God to shape your life, He will make you a more stable person with a solid character. From there we can handle, and choose our other influences more wisely...
Ok I am done... please tell me what you think.... tell me if I'm wrong, tell me if I'm an obnoxious jerk... just talk to me.... studying time.

Friday, October 29, 2004

ok so, my attempts at getting you people talk in my last post failed... that or Char is the only person who reads my blog (which is highly likely). Anyhow, on a more entertaining note, I'm now going to post some pictures... no interaction, you don't need to tell me your thoughts, just you enjoying whatever the heck I feel like exposing you to... (really, I'm not bitter). I do have some posts coming of a more thoughtful nature, I just haven't had a chance to sit down and type them up. So in the meantime, and I really do hope you enjoy these, here are some pictures from life in Caronport (ooh including a pic of me with dreads so y'all can see how it looks... though I think anyone who reads this already has seen it... oh well)

on that note we'll start with that picture...

and if you don't already know what Saskatchewan looks like, here's a little taste of the vast flatness

ok these next few are from various photo safari's my friend Drew and I have gone on, it fun times, and there is actually a number of really cool spots for taking pictures around here.
At the old hanger (Caronport used to be a military air base...)

an artsy photo of the staple food of Free Brygmann

It's me, looking. Looking cute that is...

And the final entry in this oh so fabulous photo extravaganza.... Drew!

that is all for now... until next time kiddies, keep your ears clean and your eyes open.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Our society's individualistic tendecies makes any attempt of breaking a self centered mindset incredibly difficult...


Thursday, October 14, 2004

ok I know I'm slacking in the area of posting (though I did just create a poetry blog-- that does count for something right?) Alright, so life right now is blissfully difficult.

yes I said blissfully difficult, but what about me isn't some strange paradox?
God is pulling me through a difficult time, he's shaping me, breaking and tearing down, and filling me full of His love. Heh... to put it poetically, I am feeling wearied by the birthing pains of a new stage in my life.
I had always likened my spiritual transformation to that of a butterfly (if anyone reading this had been to my baptismal, they might remember this... Vee... I think you're the only one that might apply to... and possibly Mark... righto anyhow) I won't go into too much depth about it, (I can regale the tale, if you would really like me to though) but I could see stages of my life were like moving from a caterpillar into a cocoon, and then emerging into the world as a butterfly, God's butterfly. The cocoon stage was a period of pain and while I was in it I was utterly confused; I didn't realize God was bringing me to the point of being born into something new. Well, I didn't know that a butterfly could go through a cocoon stage more than once, but it appears that God has brought me to a point where he is doing some amazing transformation. Though at this point I feel really confused and feel a lot of pain, and though last time I couldn't see that the cocoon stage would bring me to becoming something new, I can see that God is shaping my life for His purposes.

Anyhow I want to tell you all about how God is amazingly faithful in even little ways... yesterday I was on my way to the library and decided to stop in and pray in the chapel. I was feeling slightly crappy, and right before I left I asked God if He could please send someone to give me a hug, cause I really needed one. Maybe an hour or two later, a girl I know saw me in the library, she not only ran over and gave me one hug, but gave me two hugs, kissed me on the head, told me I was beautiful, gave me another hug, we talked about how life was going, she told me that God had me in His big strong hands, that I was a beautful person, and gave me another two hugs.

God is really cool.

And I also want to note something that I noticed yesterday... I called home and was talking with my mom, I ended up pouring out my heart to her about my struggles, and the things that were causing me pain. I also told her about the amazing things that God was doing through it all... Over the past 3 summers I had been going back to Ontario for the summer, I felt the tug to go there and serve the people who loved me so very deeply, my parents, my family, friends, and, of course, my church family. I so desprately wanted to open up to my family about God's involvement in my life ( I should note, my family are Christians, but coversation of spiritual matter usually don't come up) Anyhow, I did have some opportunity over the years. At the end of this summer, I felt it was truly time to go, to let go of the ties I kept there, and cleared out all of my belongings. It was time to give all of my heart and life to God and take it all back here. I've noticed I've been able to express, to find opportunity to talk about, God's involvement in my life in the last couple weeks than I usually have in the span of the summer months... Hopefully I'll be able to continue as such, I want to tell my parents more, have a relationship with them that reaches down deeper.... mmm well... time to run off into the dishpit... luckily everythings in working order right now... i think...

Monday, October 04, 2004

I've got fantastic news!
I've finally gotten the poetry blog up and running, so kiddies hurry on over to the link there (tell me no lies... under literary links) and check it out. There's not much (note I say much, not nothing) there, at least not yet, but if you send me some poems, we can solve that problem!!

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Dez shared this song with me, I love the lyrics... so I'm sharing it with you.

Artist: Blindside
Album: Silence
Song: Cute Boring Love

She said what I was supposed to think
Thank God for freedom
Thank God for liberation
(She said) Now we are allowed to think
Now we are allowed to feel lust without cute boring love

But don't you ever just like me
Long for purity
Don't you ever
Get sick of our territories

What are you so scared of sister
What made you so afraid to feel
To chose a stone cold liberation
The one thing I hate most about me
Is the one thing you want to make your trademark
To feel lust without cute boring love

But don't you ever just like me
Long for purity
Don't you ever
Get sick of our territories
Don't you ever feel like glass
Fragile, hurting, letting it pass
Don't you think it's time to trespass

But when the fire is gone
Who are you?
What are you so scared of sister?
I'm just as scared as you

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

To die, to sleep--
No more -- and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a cosummation
Devoutly to be wished
To die, to sleep--
To sleep -- perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
(For those Shakespear readers... don't be concerned, I'm not contemplating suicide)

Dreams are strange things, some of us dream in colour, some in black and white. Some dream lovely dreams they wish not to wake from, some have night terrors, and then there are those bizarre dreams that not quite unlike something from the twilight zone; the latter is usually the form in which my dreams come.

I have found myself too often opening my eyes to a dream where I am surrounded by familiar surroundings and familiar people, where I can recognize everything, I can taste, see, smell and feel. In these dreams within a world that seems so completely real I sometimes become merely a spectator in my own body, watching myself do things, and be a person that seems so contradictory to my character. Sometimes I wake into the dream as I would wake into reality, having found myself having already committed something that goes against my personality to do. Or I find myself, though I am physically the same, being seen differently in the eyes of others; as if I have awoken as the alternate reality jo, instead of the one I know I am.

In any of these cases the feeling that accompanies me when I actually awake is much the same. A sense of dread paired up with a queasy sort of knot in my stomach, shaking my head and telling myself, no, no, that couldn't have possibly been real, that couldn't have possibly been real, I couldn't ever have done that, or been that person, no... Often it takes a awhile to shake the feeling, sometimes half the day.

About 6 weeks ago I was violently shaken awake from one of these dreams. In my dream there was a conflict, a battle of sorts between two sides of the same heart. Through various circumstances I saw foolishness override the character that God tries to deeply install in me, I saw myself act in ways that seemed so contrary to the wiser disposition I could see within me. That wiser disposition instead was hiding within my heart whispering this isn't quite right, pleading for that foolishness to back off and leave me alone. The conflict swayed from one side to the other, foolishness pushing back wisdom with wisdom shaking it's head in remorse, wisdom would then gently attempt to tame foolishness, much like trying to catch Icarus as he began to fall from the sky.

The war raged on, and foolishness was gaining ground much to the wise dispositions dismay, but then a circumstance came along where both sides surprisingly agreed. While foolishness was conviently distracted the wise disposition had the chance to approach the circumstance carefully, analyzing with a discerning eye. But by this point in the war between the two wisdom had lost sight of exactly how much ground foolishness had taken within me, than again maybe foolishness had always had a great deal of conrol... Though wisdom saw something good, it was not nearly discerning enough and most certainly not strong enough to gaurd what it had found, and foolishness quickly overran it's territory.

The dream degraded until the point where the wiser disposition was barely audible, and had thrown up its white flag of defeat. And as usually happens when foolishness reigns, all comes tumbling down to a disasterous ruin. It was the exact moment when everything began to desperately fall apart, the point when my head was left spinning in confusion and bewilderment, in which I was shaken awake and I am still left at this moment saying to myself no, no, that couldn't have possibly been real. The queasy knot has begun to loose its hold, but I am still shaking my head, because it has no consolation... Despite its similarities to the dreams I've experienced in past times of sleep, I am fully aware that this dream truly happened. I was caught in the control of my own foolishness and it was God's hand that roused me from my troubled slumber, now all that is left is the wiser disposition of my heart feeling grieved at it's association with it's other half. And although it knows that foolishness has been beaten down by the mercy of God, it is too wise to think that foolishness will not attempt to make a come back.

I'm not a person to regret, I am most certainly grieved by the retarded things that I have done, but I fully know I would just make some other mistake even if I had the chance to go back and fix the ones I'm aware of... We're never going to be perfect, but if we can do our best to rely on God, He'll always be faithful to give us a wakeup call when we need it...

Monday, September 20, 2004

The long awaited for post is finally here...
I'm back at Briercrest, a whole new year has begun, and many new changes accompany the fresh start of another semester. Many of you knew that I was making the big switch from dorms to the trailer life, which I'm enjoying thouroughly, but I'm also working in the cafeteria. Along with those changes in my own personal life, things are changing around me as well, dorms and restaurants closing, new things being established. Anyhow to mark the beginning of a whole new set of adventures I will tell you what working in the cafeteria is like on a really bad week...
so... I work in the dish pit of the cafeteria at Briercrest College (it isn't exactly a "Call me Ishmael" beginning, but I promise to get better). The dish pit, as you can guess, is where all of utilities used in the dinner process (dishes, silverware, pots, pans, etc, everything!) go through once they've been utterly soiled. The dishpit crew must stay there until
all the dishes are cleaned and put away and the dish pit is cleaned... on a usual basis I work in the dish pit for six shifts between monday to thursday. I came into sweep the floors Monday night, and my supervisor from the dish pit came out and asked me to help in the dish pit because the kids back there were all newbies and I apparantly looked like I knew what I was doing. I worked there 45 minutes longer than I was booked. No biggie, but the week gets better... as I was working in the pit the next afternoon, it is discovered and announced to the community that someone broke into the water reservoire and the water is now considered contaminated. Because the water is contaminated it has to be heated to a certain degree in order for it to be usable, at lunch that meant we ran somethings through more than once (such as the cups). Not too big of a deal, only maybe 15-30 min extra on that shift...
I came into work my shift a few hours later, and when I arrived discovered that we were not allowed to use the dishwasher because it wasn't heating up enough (not being able to use the dishwasher slows things down greatly). And then, the catering company decided we could wash their dishese as well as our own... it turned out that we could use the dishwasher to wash the dishes, but not sanitize. So we sanitized them by hand. Luckily the student populous was eating with disposable dishes and silverware, so we just had pots and trays and the like. This was beginning to suck. I was there an extra hour. While I was there doing extra time, my boss (like my supervisors boss) and somehow talked me into working the drink shift the next morning...
The next day... at lunch... the dish washer was fixed! Just kidding... well we thought it was fixed, we washed the dishes as usual, but I was still there for an extra 45 min. Things were looking up though, since I thought the dishwasher was fixed.
So Thursday comes along, I'm working the lunch shift, and the dishwasher is most definately not working, in fact they predicted it wouldn't be working for several hours. And the student populous was not eating on disposable dishes. At lunch there are usually 2 other people working there besides myself, along with our supervisor. At lunch on Thursday, my supervisor had to run out on an errand, and there was no one else there with me. My goal was to find places to put all of the dinner utilities that were going to come through, because there was no way they were going to get washed through the dish washer. The lunch rush out of the cafeteria hit just before noon. I was still all by myself and quickly ran out of immediate space to put the incoming dinner utilities... sigh. My door friend (she sits at the door and swipes cards), Manda, came to my rescue though, she fetched some help, which was greatly appreciated. This really sucked. But I got out of there on schedule (seeing as there was nothing I could do with the dishes) .
The fun doesn't end... oh no it only gets better... so for my last fated dishpit shift of the week, Thursday night, I came in to find the dishwasher still not fixed, all of the dinner utilities stacked to high heaven and more to come. Although the student populous was back to eating on disposable plates and such, it looked as though we were going to have to scrub the pots and pans, that were needed immediately, by hand. (shudder) Fortunately, they fixed the dishwasher halfway through the meal. So thanks to the morning crew (who graciously agreed to wash the floors and dish washer for us) all we did were dishes until 8:45... nothing else, just got those dishes done, and stayed and extra hour and 15 minutes. This really sucked, but luckily it's suckiness I get paid for. So yesterday I sat down with my boss and got rid of two shifts, after this week I'll be working 5.5 hours less a week. This will make a little more time for God, and maybe I'll get around to making perogies too...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Strengthing Integrity

I'm dreadfully sorry that I haven't written a post about my adventures of returning to school, I promise I'll give you a little update about my escapades of working in the dishpit in the cafeteria here at Briercrest and quite a bit more happened over the summer than I have related in my posts. But for now I have a thought that I'd like to share with you, which is something that haven't done in a quite awhile, share some of my ponderings... I guess my brain was taking a break over the summer break. I'm also trying a new blogskin... I found that the textbox and font was rather tiny, though I loved the design.

I was pondering what it means to be a person of integrity, thinking of how many of us thirst after this moral soundness, and strive as followers of Christ to uphold a life lived upon convictions; to always do the right thing according to our beliefs. And what I'm wondering is what kind of message does a person of integrity display to the world if that person lacks courage and strength? What kind of testimony would it be to the world around us is all Christians were 'nice' people of good standards, but who quiver in the face of trials and run away from the challenges that face them?
It seems to me (that's my preventative clause indicating that I may very well be wrong...) that being a person of integrity doesn't mean that one needs to (metaphorically... I hope) castrate ones self. In fact it could be quite probable that a person who lacks strength and courage puts a damper on the image of integrity. That having high standards in the name of God, but not having the strength to present that integrity in the face of something that hurts or in a situation that intimidates you, doesn't represent the one we worship very well.

I want to back track a little and go back to strength and courage. I want to clarify what exactly strength and courage is. There is often some incorrect thinking that strength is only found in people who seem impervious to pain and sorrow and that courage is only found in people who know not the meaning of fear. That is not what strength and courage is, nor will you find anyone of that description. Strength, rather, is found in those who in the midst of pain manage to continue on, not as if nothing has happened, but view it as an experience to learn from. Courage is found in those who when faced with challenges that intimidate or scare them, press foward anyhow. A person who displays strength and courage is a person who can face challenges with a determination to perservere through the trial as if there is no other available option.
Right, so back to the main thought...

Now imagine a person, (I'm sorry if you feel offended by my terminology, but it effectively communicates my point in a way that most people can understand) who has integrity, but also balls of titanium to boot... so to speak. A person who lives to high standards but will hold to high standards in everything that they face. And I mean in every sort of challenge, from the smallest inconvience to the largest battle, they face with a strength and courage that can only be attributed back to the God that they serve. Now that is an example of a follower of Christ that we should all yearn to be. That is a person who will speak to the hearts of everyone around them, Christian and non-Christian alike. Others will be drawn to that person because it is clear that they are not acting on any human strength but instead point to the Almighty God.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Everyone needs to throw their hands in the air and shout "hooray!!"
Today was my last day at the greenhouse and I woke up 8 min before I was supposed to be there. It was an odd day, but a good day... As I was racing down the country roads to work, I watched one of the most amazing sunrises I've seen all summer, it was pink and red stretched out across the sky... the kind of beauty no picture could ever capture no matter how many different angles I'd try. mmm... anyhow, I counted my minute through the morning... and my boss bought us doughnuts for my last day... (w00t) On my way back home,
(I take this one dirt road that is almost completely surrounded by trees and brush and it has a few curves in it) I saw a ground hog skuttle across the road, then there were two fawns right in the middle of the road (almost hit one of them... eep) and then a chipmunk ran across my path... So I ended work at the greenhouse on a positive note, and it looks as if I may end my job at the youth centre in a good way too. We head out for camp Monday morning, not only are we taking a fantastic group of teens, but we also have some great things planned, so I think it'll be nice to end my job with YFC just having fun...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Well it seemed almost surreal, a night out with the girls... I have a few girlfriends that I've known since I was a little tyke, we took ballet lessons together, with little leotards and dancing slippers. I didn't exactly 'grow up' with them, but became pretty tight in High School, and are the best friends a girl could ask for....
Anyhow I fly back out to Saskatchewan two weeks today, and I am taking a group of teens to a camp for a week of that, sooo I got together with my dear girlie friends to see a movie for one last time. With car cruising tunes, some channel flipping, and a heck of a lot of off tune singing, we headed out to see the worst movie I think I might have ever seen, Princess Diaries 2 (don't pay money to see it... in fact I would advise you not to see it even if you were paid money), although we all agreed... the dresses are pretty. We ate pizza, drank pop, and snacked on chocolate (the traditional girl get together meal) and to top the night off we had a dance party in Laura's car to songs we used to sing in highschool, and also to a few new hits.
I can't help but to be slightly sentimental as we spend a few more moments together, fully knowing this will be the last summer we are probably anywhere near one another... Can't help to think about how massive Grandma and Grandpa's farm used to seem when I was a heck of a lot shorter and can't help my heart sinking just a little as I look at the emptied shelves of my room. I'm very ready to leave this place, God tugs at my heart to leave it behind and follow Him into an uncertain future.
I don't wish for any of those days back, don't desire to turn back time, though there are things I wish I could have done differently. But still I can't help looking around this place and let out a little sigh for all the memories that were made here. And I can't help but to be who I am today. I can't help but to say a little prayer for the woman she is becoming, hoping she'll always look foward to tomorrowwonder at those memories, wonder at the girl who used to live here, and wonder at how she came to be who I am today. I can't help but to say a little prayer for the woman she is becoming, hoping she'll always look foward to tomorrow.

Monday, August 16, 2004

My most beloved (ex)roomate, Char, is going off to Taiwan!! I'm incredibly excited for her and can't wait to hear about her adventures there... and she's starting a blog so she can write all about it. For the rest of you who are also excited to hear about what's she going to be up to while shes in the Orient, I'm going to put the link to her blog under my friends links. Enjoy!

Monday, August 09, 2004

Hello Everybody...

It's been awhile, and I don't imagine too many people are keeping up with blogs over the summer but... I wanted to put up a post asking for prayer. Eric and I are in a rather rough spot in our relationship, and I really need you all to pray for us. For one to work it out if it is at all possible, we still both love each other, but he is having doubts about whether it's working, and we are both having problems understanding each other... but also please pray that God would carry us both through this, whether it works out or not and that God would help me to just be me depsite the pain I'm feeling right now. I know that God is a big God, I know he cares about every little thing, I know he's got a great plan for my life, whatever that plan is, but at the moment life looks a little dreary. I would be deeply indebted to y'all if you could pray for that, and don't hesitate to give me feedback on the comment button.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Little Brown Mice
Jessi, here's another interesting story for you...
Alright so, we've been having a bit of a mouse problem at the youth centre that I'm working at. The little jerks entirely ate a package of oriental noodles, and ruined a perfectly bag of chips, besides leaving their excrements all over the place (disgusting!). I set out traps with cheese and they were talented enough to eat the cheese without setting off the trap (and were probably thanking me to be gracious enought to leave food out for them).
Anyhow I was sitting in the office with two girls chatting it up, this little brown mouse came crawling out from behind a door! Of course I chased the rodent and it ran behind a whiteboard propped up against the wall and got pinched there. So I took a glass, and got the girls to bang on the wall on the other side of the mouse so as to scare it my way and managed to catch this little mouse.
Of course once I had caught the mouse I wasn't sure exactly what to do with it, so while we were getting expert advice we watched the mouse clamber around in my large A&W mug and despite it's annoying habits, it struck me as quite cute.  So I realeased my prisoner outside into the wilderness that is a town. I actually let him go in some think grass and bushes... maybe he won't find his way back to my office...

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Hey all,
so I haven't written in awhile, but I am setting up another blog for the famous Soap Opera, Port Caron... ok so it's famous to my friends and I, because we created it. Anyhow I started it, a link should show up soon over on the side there... although the cast was originally created to be a parody of people I know and at one point had the name of who the character was supposed to be based upon, I've omitted those names for the online posting...
And besides it creates an extra challenge, see if you can figure out who the character is supposed to be a parody of!
Anyhow enjoy!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Almighty 'R' Word
That's right I said it, I said the R word, Religion. The word that has (in our society) become a word that resounds of stuffiness; not to mention it draws an image of people (Religious people) who are uptight and holier-than-thou. A word created by humans to be able to put boxes around our differing beliefs, not only to separate one opinion from another, but also to separate all that church (or monastery, or temple, etc.) stuff from real life.
Religion as defined by the visual thesaurus ( is "a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny." Oxford Dictionary describes it as "A state of life bound by monastic (meaning simple or basic) vows; the condition of one who is a member of a religious order or rule." Or "Action or conduct indicating a belief in, reverence for, and a desire to please, a divine ruling power" So why look into the definition of a word that humans attempt to use to define what happens in our lives? Hopefully to realize that Christians really shouldn't live in the textbox, or column, that we have defined ourselves into.
What is religion? The definitions above speak nothing of the stuffiness that surrounds the word today; today it resembles an institution filled with people holding onto nothing but tradition. People who go there because it's the right thing to do, because it's what they've always done, or maybe as part of their social agenda to keep up an appearance of having the proper amount of religion in their lives; I pray that those people are not as empty as their reasons to be there, or the buildings they occupy. Religion, according to its root definitions above, is a belief that ties a life to living out what it knows to be true. Religion is described as a life changing experience. Now religion is a word with so much bad karma (bad joke I know) that some Christians refuse to use it or let others use in connection to what they believe.
So where did religion change from life encompassing to Sunday and special occasions? How did the described action and conduct disappear leaving behind traditional rituals and written doctrine? Why did we lose the heart of the law? I don't know exactly, that would involve research and deep thought; this is merely a blog rant. However, something I can see is it that it's happened before, it's happening now, and maybe it's never stopped happening in some senses, but if we aren't afraid to admit that we're on the wrong track than maybe we can make a change for the better.
Now please don't presuppose things that I haven't said, traditional rituals and written doctrines are not things that have replaced a Christ centered life, they are things that have come along with it to keep the passionate heart somewhat structured. We need the stability of those things to keep ourselves from following every heart-felt fancy that may be permissible (then again maybe not) but not necessarily beneficial. We need the structure of the law just as much as we need the heart behind it. (when I say this I don't mean that we all need to abide to a legalistic set of rules...that is a rant for another post)
But lets not get sidetracked; the point of pointing out a problem is in hopes of pointing to a solution. Some may think that it is too difficult to try and change what a majority of people may think (such as attempting to convince the world to consider a Bible College as a high standing educational institution that rivals with universities) and so have just dropped using the word instead of restoring a proper meaning to it. They give up without giving a fight, allowing the world to believe what it considers to be truth and also to pass on its misunderstood knowledge to generations to come. I don't think we should go up in arms every time someone uses the word religion in a negative sense, but we should live a life that fits the description, maybe then others will think twice about scoffing when they use the word. We need to live the religion that points to God, such as James explained, "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself form being polluted by the world." (James 1:26-27 NIV)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

ok it's summer, and I start my second job in a weekish (like working both at the same time) so I have little time left to be bored... this is me being bored... I am Morpheus... yay summertime


?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, May 28, 2004

Lettuce Wine:
To make lettuce wine you first need to obtain a full crop of lettuce (approx 3000 heads of lettuce will do).
Preferably Sleger's Premium Hydroponic Boston Lettuce, but I'm not trying to endorse any one company or anything... right so, take your crop of lettuce, harvest it and let sit in a cooler for anywhere from 3 days to a week.
Then toss the whole lot in a large bin, you could use something similar to what those french people make regular grape wine from, but out at Sleger's Greenhouses we like to use what we call a manure spreader; honestly anything with a capacity to hold large amounts of lettuce and allows the fluid to flow out of the bottom will work.
Here is the key part once the large bin is close to overflowing with lettuce have two fair maidens jump into the container and trop around in the lettuce, squishing and stomping the lettuce into oblivion.
well that was today's adventure!
Once the lettuce is properly pulverized, the juice should start flowing and you will reap the wonderful juices from the lettuce heads, bottle and store until you enjoy!

so... my four day weekend was cut suddenly short by a call from my boss, and I ended up working a full day. For the most part of the morning we ended up throwing out the crop of lettuce we just harvested this week because we didn't have any buyers for the lettuce. Although I looked far from a fair maiden in my sweatshirt, old grubby modrobes and filthy sneakers, it was quite interesting to tromp around in piles of lettuce.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

The ground! It speaks to me!
alright, so... due to the superfluous amounts of rain Southwestern Ontario has been getting, my back yard in recent days has become a bog. Every time I walk out to the trampoline or to the garden it slurps, and slooshes, and gurgles all around me. Imagine it's like walking through a very green bowl of very lazy bowl rice krispies (so instead of a nice crisp pop, it's a half hearted gurgle).
Well due to the fact that I have a four day weekend (the lettuce business is kind of slow) I have all the time in the world to sleep and dream down right crazy dreams. Last night I had a dream that I was checking into the Ramada Inn (which had an Old Navy store in it's foyer). Why was I checking into the Ramada? For my honey moon of course... but there was one problem with that, I was checking in all on my own! It's kind of hard to go on a honey moon if there's only one of you! ok... the dream doesn't end there (aren't you excited?) So I check into my hotel room and browse the wonderful accomodations, started to unpack and jump on the beds... (yes there were two beds in my hotel room on my honey moon, a queen size and a twin for some reason) So the bedroom was nice... not exactly what I would hope as my honey moon suite, but as I'm unpacking I think to myself that I didn't actually remember going through the normal checkin process, in fact I'm pretty sure I didn't have a room key, the door was already open when I came to it... So I'm standing in this hotel room on my honeymoon all by myself thinking "crap I'm in the wrong room!" And sure enough as always happens when you're in the wrong room on a honeymoon by yourself, the people who are really supposed to be staying in my room come along.
I frantically attempted to pack up my stuff and neatly remake the bed, all the while fighting to keep my eyes open (I guess I was super tired in my dream) and once I had vacated the room for it's real oocupants, I made my way down to the lobby (luggage and all) to really check in. I went down to the desk and explained to the clerk that I had reservations and that I was on my honeymoon (why is it they call it that anyhow?) Of course I felt the need to explain why it was that I was by myself and told the lady behind the counter that I had been married earlier that day and my husband was coming a little later... and then I thought myself "... wait a second... I'm not married!..." but I didn't say anything else, and the lady really didn't do anything to help me get to my room, so I started to wander around and some bell boy, who looked not quite unlike a very snobby version of Christopher Loyd, helped me. But the weird part is he didn't check the data base, or look me up somewhere in the records. Just looked at me pulled a fancy envelope (they seemed to use that for all their room keys) from his jacket pocket , and told me to follow him to my room. So my dream ended with me chasing after him asking how he knew where my room was without knowing who I was... I'd like to say it's something I ate, but all my dreams are this odd... usually weirder and less structured.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

I found out yesterday that my brother is in the hospital, he has heart palpitations, but the doctors aren't sure why and cannot run any tests until Tuesday... on top of that they discovered that two of his vertebrae are fused together in his neck. So all in all he is having a lot of physical difficulties, if I could have y'all pray for him, I would really appreciate itpray for healing and for God to strengthen him through this.
My brother had just started going back to church, he hadn't been going, or praying, in a long time, and knew in his heart that it wasn't right. He is trying to restore his relationship with God... feels kind of like the devil is attacking my brother in his righteous attempt
His wife isn't exactly open to the idea of going to church, feels quite opposed to it in fact. Also, my family doesn't really have a lot of deep spiritual discussions... I mean I have discussed on occasion with my siblings topics of Biblical principles, sometimes they have questions about how to interpret some difficult passages, but it's not exactly an open topic. When I talked to my brother on the phone today he kept bringing up passages that he didn't understand, while my Father and I did our best to explain what they meant. And my Father and Mother were openly going to both of our Pastors to talk to Nick and to ask for prayer... so prayer is also needed that God could use this to draw my family (including my sister-in-law) to himself. That God could use this situation for His good in any way he can.
Alright I had better go, thank you everyone for your prayers!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

well, today is the end of an incredibly short work week, especially compared to what I had worked the past couple of weeks, and now as I'm sitting on at the computer at home it is now storming. The rain is sputtering down upon the house the thunder is rumbling loud enough to almost cause the floor shake (and it has rumbled that loud before) with a few sparks of lightning here and there. It's almost as if Ontario is trying to make up for all the rainstorms I missed while out west within the first month that I'm home... it's rained that much lately.

Well my life hasn't really been that exciting but just for Jessi I will attempt to tell you some anecdotes of my life here for what I hope, and honestly believe to be my last summer at my parents house. I think it has become imperative now, I realized within the these past few weeks that my parents still percieve me as their little baby... Seeing as I'm the youngest child, and my oldest sister still lives at home, I can somewhat understand how this misunderstanding of me still being a child can happen.

Right anyhow, an anecdote for Jessi... ok right so I have to shower in the downstairs bathroom(something about the upstairs one is leaking throught the caulking). But in the Bathroom downstairs is this giangantious print of a photo of John Lennon's head (it's a half metre wide and 3/4 of a metre tall...) right outside of the shower stall. Not only is this mans giant head outside of the shower but the way his face is posed his eyes look directly into it.... so the point is, everytime I get out of the shower there is a man staring at me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

ok so! thanks to my dear friend Sarah I have found a website that has allowed me to upload and link this loverly backdrop to my blog... so also thanks to photobucket (write that down incase you ever need to create a link for a photo...
alrighty, many things to do so must be going...

Monday, May 17, 2004

well it seems that the new photo I put on my site isn't uploading... and hp photo no longer allows you to make links to photos (jerks!) sooo, I'll try to figure that out soon

Thursday, May 13, 2004

So instead of going to bed like I should of last night, after I pulled myself away from this computer, I went outside. I sat outside watching the stars for the first time in the fortnight that I've been home. That's one thing I love about this place the still clear nights. I used to lie in the cool damp grass, which was a great way to cool off when the hot humid air sits in the air. Last night I actually sat down on a trampoline (it's not that hot yet, don't need to cool off) The wind softly brushed though the leaves on the popular trees, causing a sound similar to the ocean; the water swishing and crashing around. To add to that the frogs were singing beautifully, loud and clear their sweet harmonics filled the air... who could ever imagine green slimy creatures making such a pleasant sound. As I laid down on the trampoline and stared into the sky, the sky that I always remember wherever I go, the stars burned are burned into my memory. There weren't as many as I have sometimes seen, sometimes they litter the sky so thick there isn't any breathing room for them... Still it was clear and bright, and more than you see any city. As a sigh escaped from my lungs, a sigh from being relaxed and peaceful, off in the sky a star shooting star fell through the black backdrop.
hmph, on the other side working in a hot greenhouse on very little sleep is not a fun time... oh well, it was worth it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

hi everyone,
it's been a few days and I haven't written anything of depth lately but, here is the short story I promised, it's there under the links (At Chains End)... and I'm having a difficult time writing this post seeing as I have a bunch of people on msn that I haven't talked to in a while... and it's getting late. Anyhow, I also chose a winner for my new blogskin, which is also over there. It wasn't up with the others, sdez just showed it to me tonight... I liked it immediately, she always has good taste. Righto it may be awhile before I get around to changing all this, but hopefully soon. Arg my contacts have been sticking to my eyes for an hour now... (which means my eyes are tired and want the peices of plastic I shoved on them, for copious hours and through all kinds of conditions, off) Ok so before I go, I want to share with a deep learned lesson I discovered the hard way while i was gardening today.
I discovered that the best way to not have mint take over your garden is to not plant it at all. Even if you planted it on the other side of the lawn I'm pretty sure given a few years it could make its way back to inhabiting your garden... wait, that gives me an idea... i wonder what a lawn of mint would be like, your feet would always be minty fresh!
ok time for bed, gnite folks

Saturday, May 08, 2004

to keep it short and sweet, disqualified #7 and put up #8... I like it I think because I like butterflies... hmmm

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

mmkay, so #2 has been kicked off the list, and yes Michelle frames do suck... but I really like 6 and 7 which both have frames... well I'll keep my eyes open maybe something better will come along, or maybe I'll go with #1. I promise I'll write something deeper than the athestics of my blog in awhile. I'm actually working on posting a short story which will up in about a week, it will be a link over on the side there as 'At Chain's End'... I'm thinking about starting another blog just for poetry.... it's a thought.

Monday, May 03, 2004

ok well the race is on, I've already decided to disqualify competitors 3 and 5... three, I've realized is much too simple. And five, well five is much too wide.... don't know why he made it so wide... maybe it was meant for larger screens... i don't know... any how, I'm sorry for those of you who didn't get to see them, but it really doesn't matter seeing as I will have the ultimate decision in the end; I just really like know what you think! Righto I added two new ones to replace the ones that were disqualfied.
Oh and dez... were you referring to the yellow one with the stars? I just really like yellow...

Saturday, May 01, 2004

The journey for a new blogskin continues, and I want you all to take part in the adventure!! Righto, so I've been browsing through some of the skins at blogskins and found a few that I like, I put them up under my links (you'll see them numbered over there) so you can take a peek at them and tell me what you think. I thought #4 could be fitting, seeing as I'm the wonder wench (a nickname I've picked up) thought I could change woman to wench once I had downloaded the skin... it's a thought... although I kind of like #1... but I'm still looking around.

In other news I start work back at the greenhouse on Monday... it's a very nice feeling knowing I have a job. I've worked there off and on for the past 4 years, so it was nice to call my boss up and have him tell me that I can come and go as I please (because I told him I would be around for about a month). And then hopefully beginning in June I'll be working for Youth For Christ, but we'll see...

Friday, April 30, 2004

hey all,
I'm thinking of changing the skin on my blog, but haven't quite found a skin that I like yet... I was trying to fiddle with the 'more sugar!' one for you dez... that bright yellow and blue on white was a little too much... but I couldn't get it to look right with a darker background... and hey maybe I'll find a skin with no frames for you Michelle! If anyone has suggestions of skins or sites that has skins please leave me a note in the comments.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Sunbathing and saggydogs...
I spent my last day in the C-port lying in the sun while dog-sitting a 10 1/2 year old hound dog... ok that's not the only thing I did, but it was a pretty funny dog, it's ears sagged down and dragged accross the floor when she walked and she not only had a lot of saggy doggy skin, but also short little legs that made it hard to move and get up stairs. Now I'm sitting at home and my own dog is trying to pry my arm away from the computer so I'll pet him instead of typing... (he sticks his nose in the crook of my elbow and then pushes my arm away from the keyboard, he's a smart 'un)
Also on my last day, I attempted to use up some food I knew I wouldn't store so well for the summer... such as Peanut Butter, margerine and eggs...
so I made some puppy chow and invented a new cookie.
While I'm sure there is already a cookie out there that is something similiar to what I made... it still doesn't take away from the fact that I just threw a bunch of crap together and made something very much edible, (this is not me bragging... i took the cookies to movie night at Leif and Joey's and I think Drew must have eaten half the bag of cookies on his own...) sooo considering my fun with baking, cooking next year may turn out to be quite the riot.
Right, anyhow I'm back in the promised land, as my friend Jeff used to call it, Ontario is it's proper name and I forgot how bloody green the grass is here!! SO GREEN! I went out and cleaned up my garden today (after sleeping in until 11), everything is growing.. I have some very nice lilies popping up, and my herbs are coming back to life... sigh I love spring, the warm caressing wind, the smell of fresh growth... mmmmm, ahhh.
hmph well, I am finally here, and I have four months in which to fill before I can go back to the adventures of Caronport, and I was told by Jessi that she wants to read about some adventures during my summer, so I'm going to have to think about some crazy-fun things to do just so I can tell y'all about it.
One thing I know will be interesting, at least for me, is facing the lessons that God is going to teach me over the summer... He's always trying to show me something... there's a lot I need to see... Over the past three summers He's been showing me a lot about my family, in opening up to them, about being honest and true-blue about my beliefs, not that I lie to them but I am somewhat reserved about expressing the real relationship that I have with God. I want so much for them to have it too, but sometimes I'm afraid they're going to hate me, think I'm being pushy or holier than thou. So, if you can all remember, please pray for my relationship with my family, that I would open up and verbalize the deep faith I have in God, and that I would have ample opportunities to "practically show God's love" (that's for all you E&D students!), and that God would be working deep down in their hearts, helping them to grow. They're good people and they have solid Christian values, I'm sometimes afraid that that might keep them from knowing God better... for a lot of people it takes a hard fall on their rears (metaphorically) before they realize they need a desperate amount of help, that they need to ask God for help... arg, I don't want to assume that they don't have a relationship with God, but we need to open up about, talk about, show it growing in our lives... I want to know that they know God, you know?

Monday, April 26, 2004

Hey all!

I thought it was about time that I shared another poem with you! In fact today I will give you a special... 2 for the price of 1! (the price being free... not a bad deal really...) Anyhow the first poem is one that just makes me laugh... I found it years ago amongst the clipart that my pastor's wife was using for our church bulletin, such a random and odd place to find a poem. And the second one I wrote years ago... how many years ago I can't be certain of... (heh heh heh) enjoy!

Submitted by Betty McCallum

When the folks next to you act like
Those in the zoo.
A grumblin', a growlin', and spittin'
It's a pretty good plan
To be calm as you can
And do something useful... like knittin'

When a gossipin' Susan, with poison-barbed tongue
Comes in the room where you're sittin'
And starts to deframe
A neighbours good name
Count stitches out loud... and keep knittin'.

When there's been a slight
Misunderstanding at church
And others hint broadly of quittin'
You can do is sing
And stay at your post... and keep knittin'.

When Satan moves in with his cohorts of sin
Say You'll never find me submittin'
You irk me, I find, so get thee behind
And please don't disturb me I'm knittin'.

In the middle of problems, the big ones and small,
It's always most proper and fittin'
To trust and pray
Till the Lord shows the way...
And go ahead with your knittin'


Somewhere between leaving and coming
Something certain I had lost.
At first I did not realize,
Didn't notice or even care.
At first I did not see
What I needed most was not there.
But time uncovers mysteries,
The greatest detective couldn't solve.
Time was the one that revealed to me,
What my miniscule wisdom never saw.
Gradually the hole that something certain
Had certainly left behind,
Grew larger than the things I would try to fill it with.
Much larger than the things I could find.
Desperate attempts were made
To look for something certain
But it was certainly not to be found.
I had to go back to
Somewhere between coming and leaving
Something certain I had lost.