In His Arms She Fell...

A powerful video about human trafficking...


Site Redesign

I just updated my blog with a beautiful new template. Take a look around and offer suggestions if you have any. I'm still working on my blogrolls...

I'm so excited! IT'S SO PRETTY!

Blog Day 2006

According to Wikipedia, today (August 31) is blog day. This "holiday" was created last year by Israeli blogger Nir Ofir (whose blog is either offline or experiencing technical difficulties). To celebrate, I'm going to direct you to a few of my favorite blogs.

The first one I'm going to spotlight is Adventures In Mercy. The author's name is Molly. I first encountered her gentle, inquisitive spirit in the comments on Jason Clark's blog. My favorite post by here so far has been My Once Upon A Time.

Another good one I found fairly recently is Emerging Women. If Blogger beta wasn't getting in the way, I'd actually be a member of this blog right now... If you want to hear some women's voices in the emerging/emergent conversation, this is an excellent place to start.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but I love PostSecret. This blog is touching, funny, creative, shocking, encouraging, challenging and fun! And it's a pretty small commitment because the author only posts once a week.

I'm excited about this next blog because it's written by a fellow soon-to-be first year, female, Princeton Theological Seminary student. Jenny's not a blogging newbie, but she did just start her own personal blog, called Zoe: Reflections of the Journey Toward Abundant Life.

Finally, if you're looking for some wonderful, tasty, simple recipes, stop on by Fill 'Er Hup, written by a very cool girl I knew of in college...

Happy Blog Day!

Every Blogger's Burden

Another conversation about how to encourage women in minstry has been started by Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed. Scot's question springs from this article from the NY Times: "Why is it that, in denominations that have chosen to ordain women, ordained women are not being appointed or called to churches of 350 or more members?"

Many different opinions have been offered, but one question has captured my thoughts: How many women choose to abandon a calling from God to be in the ministry because they see the lack of support/mentors and feel unable to bear the burden of being a pioneer?

Obviously, there are women already in the pulpit, already bearing this burden. I appreciate these women because even though I have no plans to be a pastor, the same type of support is needed in academia, especially in an extremely male-dominated field like religion/Christian theology.

I've been convicted lately with the idea that if I want changes, I have to be willing to step into the positions that I believe should be open to women. Leadership is not something I naturally grab for, I feel much more comfortable as a follower, but if I whine about not having women in leadership, not having women to mentor me, shouldn't I be willing to become a woman in leadership, a woman who will be able to mentor?

So, I don't have any specific plans on how to do this, but I am going to begin to intentionally prepare myself for the roles of leader and mentor. Hopefully, seminary will be an aid in this preparation. Maybe I will be able to find a mentor of my own...I know they're out there.

Any thoughts, readers?


The size of this fish is simply unbelievable. Completely freaks me out!!
It's nine feet foot for each day until my last homework free weekend...


I never knew it was possible for a cat to sustain a meow for this long.
And where did its ears go?

Now With More Bloggy Goodness

I wrote this post the other day about my favorite blogging tools, and I neglected to mention one of my favorites: Statcounter! This tool allows me to track how many people visit my site each day, which city they live in, how long they stay, and even what pages they visit. It's so fun to see where my readers come from and see the daily (small) increases in my readership. I recommend this tool to every blogger!

Thank God For Dentists!

I decided a few weeks ago that I should get the chip in my front tooth fixed before my insurance expires, so here is my new tooth! I'm very pleased with the result. Having my chip fixed is actually taking more getting used to than having my tongue pierced.

Anyone in the DC Metro area should consider Dr. Flavio Nasr if you need a dentist. He's done a great job with my less than perfect teeth and he's a nice man.


Let me break it down into simple words: ten more days and I'm outta here!


Simple, but true...11 days until I escape DC and head to PTS. Woot!

There are some reading this who might think it should be a bad day for me, but, to tell you the truth, it's been one of the best days I've had in almost three years.

Fun facts learned today: 1) You're never as anonymous as you think you are (not that I ever really thought I was). 2) It's possible to say you're sorry and think you're sorry when you say it and not be really sorry at all. 3) Some people have too much time on their hands.

Nick Lachey Is Funny?

Saw this commercial this afternoon and couldn't stop laughing. I actually felt compelled to rewind it and make Emily watch. She found it on Youtube for me.

Just Gonna Link 'Em

Some good stuff I found recently:

Dear Church - Sarah Cunningham wrote a book and has a website with this name. According to Scot McKnight, at Jesus Creed, "If you are interested in reading how 20somethings sometimes think about the church and how they think it falls way short of what it is supposed to be like, and if at the same time you want to see that those who sometimes criticize the Church most deeply still love the Church anyway, then you will want to read Sarah Cunningham’s Dear Church: Letters from a Disillusioned Generation."

Maybe there is more behind this story, but, like Amy at Faith Musing, I have a difficult time thinking of any possible justification for government employees to take the possessions of homeless people.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Mike McGavick (Repulican candidate for Senate), wrote an open letter to his constituency.

Finally, CBE International has a blog! I loved this post, especially the last line: "...don’t be fooled, while the devil may have the blue dress on, there are both floral dresses and power suits in his closet as well."



Sunflowers have always been my favorite flower. Fortunately for me, Van Gogh painted Twelve Sunflowers in a Vase for me to use in my countdown. He knew it would be needed to celebrate my departure from my job! ;)

If I Had Only Known

Last Thursday, one of my co-workers left a few CDs on the kitchen counter with a post-it note reading, "Take me!" Unable to pass up free music, I grabbed both (Modest Mouse, The Moon & Antarctica, which I already knew I loved and Death Cab for Cutie, Plans, a mystery to me).

A few days after loading Plans onto my iPod, I was lying in bed unable to sleep and decided to give it a listen. There was something very familiar about the melodies and then there was this pleasantly familiar voice.

I thought I was listening to Death Cab for Cutie, but it sounded eerily like the Postal Service!!! I reminded myself to research the possibility of a connection for days afterward, but I didn't remember until yesterday when I discovered that both groups do in fact have the same lead singer, Ben Gibbard. Am I the last one to know?

I heart Postal Service and, now, I heart Death Cab for Cutie. If you've never heard either, get both. If you're an elitist and already know both, don't rain on my musical discovery parade.


I own the movie Thirteen Conversations About One Thing. The tagline of the movie is "Show me a happy man..." and the ensuing conversations are meant to fill in the blank.

I liked this movie enough to purchase a copy of my own. If you don't believe me, you can check it out at Rotten Tomatoes, where it got an 83% freshness rating.

Anyway, in thirteen short days, I will be able to complete that statement: Show me a happy [woman] and she'll be that one who just left her completly unsatisfying job to finally pursue the life she wants.

That would be me, folks! Only 13 more days and I will be walking out the doors of my office with a smile on my face.

RGBP Friday Five: Back To School

I love the fall. I always loved going back to school. The world will feel right again when I return this fall.

1. What is your earliest memory of school?
In kindergarten, my first field trip ever, to Mexico, NY, to pick apples, was scheduled for late October. About two days before the trip, I fell on a couple of rusty nails and hurt my little five-year-old knee so I couldn't walk on my own. I missed my first field trip, but my friend brought me a bag of apples that the class had picked for me. I was going to tell of my first school pictures, but I wasn't in school that year (a mystery to be unravelled later).

2. Who was a favorite teacher in your early education? I had two favorite teachers, Mr. Brass and Mr. Cronk. I have a theory that male el. ed. teachers tend to be great because men don't use teaching small children as a fallback career. If I must choose, however, Mr. Brass would be declared my favorite favorite. He was a fireman and I had a serious third grade crush on him. He also dealt very gently with still-wetting-the-bed, abandoned-by-her-daddy, eight-year-old me.

3. What do you remember about school “back then” that is different from what you know about schools now? My small town high school and junior high have metal detectors and full-time hall monitors now. Those things were not even considered before Columbine and 9/11.

4. Did you have to memorize in school? If so, share a poem or song you learned. We didn't really have to memorize anything but equations...and how boring would it be for me to start writing those out?

5. Did you ever get in trouble at school? Were there any embarrassing moments you can share? I only remember one time that I ever "got in trouble." It was fourth grade, our teacher left the classroom (which was actually a cubicle because our district was trying to experiment with an open floor plan) and told us to be quiet and finish such-and-such. By the time she came back most of my classmates had either finished or given up on the assignment and began talking and giggling. Unfortunately, Mrs. So-and-so couldn't tell who was talking and who wasn't, so she made all of us put our names on the board. Being a shy, obedient kid, I was one of the few sitting quietly. I probably had my nose in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book, too distracted to join in my classmates silliness. I was so furious that I think I may have begun crying because I knew that an injustice was being perpetrated and there was nothing I could do about it.

School was good. I hope my (someday) children enjoy it as much as I did.

I Want One...NOW!

Too cute to resist. My God, look at those eyes!!
For more, check out Cute Overload.

Spread The Word!

Another great, thought-provoking post by Paul Mayers on Jason Clark's blog. This time he's "Exploring the Role of Women in Missional Churches of the Western World." Hop over and join the conversation, especially if you have any great Christian women bloggers that should be on everyone's blogroll!


Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, sculpted by Degas in 1880.
In fourteen days I will dance my way out of this office.
No kidding...I will do a little dance!

More Stuff To Read

Walter Brueggemann's Myspace page. Hilarious! Become Walter's friend. (h/t to Adam @ pomomusings)

Let Jan (@ A Church for Starving Artists) have some examples of how the church is NOT DEAD.

Check out Melissa's thoughts on "Redrawing the Cube." Part of her post: "Businesses are on the cutting-edge of redesigning their workspaces to meet the needs of their employees. They make use of inviting workspaces in an effort to stay abrest of trends emerging in the larger culture. Why isn't the church doing the same thing?"

Finally, a couple posts on a subject I'm currently struggling through:

Catherine+ (@ Come to the Table...) expresses her frustration over the exclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trangendered people from ordination. Michele L (@ Emerging Women) discusses the same Hot Button topic. Just added: a slightly more lighthearted view from jo(e).

Flowers for Michael John

Or more accurately, a flower.


They let me out of my cage early today because of the remodel. Now, I'm sitting on my couch, watching Jaws 2, trying to decide what to have for lunch. What a tough life!

Talked to Marvelous Mom on the Phone today. I can't wait to see her when I pick her up from the airport on the 12th!

From The Introduction Of C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce

While I was holding the washer shut at the laundromat, I came across the following passage in The Great Divorce:
"Blake wrote the Marriage of Heaven and Hell. If I have written of their Divorce, this is not because I think myself a fit antagonist for so great a genius, nor even because I feel at all sure that I know what he meant. But in some sense or other the attempt to make that marriage is perennial. The attempt is based on the belief that reality never presents us with an absolutely unavoidable "either-or": that, granted skill and patience and (above all) time enough, some way of embracing both alternatives can always be found; that mere development or adjustment or refinement will somehow turn evil into good without our being called on for a final and total rejection of anything we should like to retain. This belief I take to be a disastrous error. You cannot take all luggage with you on all journeys; on one journey even your right hand and your right eye may be among the things you have to leave behind. We are not living in a world where all roads are radii of a circle and where all, if followed long enough, will therefore draw gradually nearer and finally meet at the centre: rather in a world where every road, after a few miles, forks into two, and each of those into two again, and at each fork you must make a decision. Even on the biological level life is not like a pool but like a tree. It does not move towards unity but away from it and the creatures grow further apart as they increase in perfection. Good, as it ripens, becomes continually more different not only from evil but from other good."
Which of these metaphors would be most aptly describe the direction of emergent? Is it more complicated than this? Do we think it's more complicated than this because we think "simple" answers are dangerous? I would love to hear thoughts from all sides. I'll share more of what I'm thinking later. Believe me, I'm struggling with this one, so my questions are genuine, not antagonistic.

Some Flowers

Meeting Neighbors

I was on my way home from the Metro. Along the way I was taking pictures because I like my neighborhood and I'm going to miss it. In the last block before I got home, I happened across a neighbor, one I'd never seen out before, walking his three dogs...

Here we have Michael, Diva, and Mocha Joe. Mocha Joe is still a tiny puppy. Soooo cute!

Diva was really excited about having her picture taken.

I mean really excited!

But, Mocha Joe, the one who followed me and made me stop to pet and take photos, is my favorite new puppy friend.

Lesson to remember: A camera can be a really nice "in" to meet people.


My picture for today not only contains the number sixteen, it allows me to introduce the uninitiated to the wonders of Toothpaste for Dinner. Check it out, m'nerds!

We're packing up the office today. Not just my office, but all the offices in the "back room" where my cubicle resides. By Monday morning, we will have all new cubicles (that I get to enjoy for 9 days) and the new guy will be starting. I told the office manager that my supervisor is delusional about how much work we have to do and how much training new-guy-Bryan-with-a-"y" is going to need.

Only sixteen more days...

Bluegrass Revival!

A couple of my college friends rock out on a banjo and viola.

Go Tim and Phil!

For more, check out the website for their duo, The Olde Battleaxe.
Phil also has some pretty amusing stories at his place, Imitation Pickles.


Trying to find images for today was a craps shoot at best. All Google seemed to find was images related to a certain teen magazine to which I once had a subscription. Persistence paid off, though, and I found this image that isn't spectacular, but is light years better than the cover a teen rag.

The countdowns in the teens, people. I'm starting to freak out just a little bit.

In semi-related news, I learned today that a person had already been hired to replace me. His name is Brian and he will be SITTING AT MY DESK for the entirety of my last two weeks at the firm. This should be an interesting arrangement considering the fact that I have spent the majority of the last two months blogging, reading blogs and books, emailing, and other activities unrelated to work because there is nothing to do!!! Even if there was stuff to do, my job responsibilities could be passed on to a new employee in two days or less of training...a high school kid with a questionable work ethic could do my job tolerably well.

My supervisor just wanted to get someone in here before I left so that she wouldn't have to train him. She'll go to any absurd length to avoid work while maintaining her sense of power/authority. I'm going to miss some of my co-workers, but I will never miss the infuriatingly backwards way in which this office functions.

Only seventeen more days before I get to say good-bye to this place, hopefully, forever and begin living the life I want.

It's Coming...

Each year, around this time, I begin to feel restless. From the time I was 5 until I graduated from college (seventeen years), August was a time of preparation. Shopping for new clothes, buying school supplies, and, later, packing. Life was cyclical, each new cycle beginning in August/September with the inevitable return to school.

Since I graduated from college and started working full-time three years ago, life has blurred together with very little to differentiate one day from another. The seasons have changed but it made little difference in my daily routine; wake up, go to work, leave work, eat dinner, go to bed, rinse and repeat. However, with my upcoming matriculation at Princeton Theological Seminary (whose chapel is pictured above), August has once again become the month of preparation.

The cool breezes that have begun to blow signal the return of a calming cycle. If my desire to become a college professor comes to fruition, this should be the beginning of many years of the same cycle. Perhaps this is my Whiteness speaking, but I prefer my adventure mixed with a shot or two of security. It seems school is probably the perfect option for this girl.

Here's hoping I can convince some of my classmates to go apple or pumpkin picking!


Another day begins in my countdown to departure. I would like to celebrate at this restaurant. Unfortunately, it's in Ottawa.

Sigur Ros's website is entitled "eighteen seconds before sunrise."

This website will let you in on the eighteen standards "the geographically informed person knows and understands."

Finally, I'm not sure I would like this band (they play metal), but I sure do like their album cover for this countdown.

They've got the Green Day look goin' on.

Latino Laundromat

We live in a somwhat affluent neighborhood (million dollar homes and BMWs abound). Affluent folk don't need to go to the laundromat (they have these). Any bulky items that cannot be accomodated by their state-of-the-art washers and dryers are simply sent out to the cleaners. Unable to justify such an expense, as I contemplate my soon-to-be penniless state, I tossed my extremely large, overstuffed comforter in my backseat and headed to the laundromat situated but a mile from our apartment, in a mostly hispanic/latino neighborhood.

When I first walked in, I thought I was going to have to turn around and head home; Sunday afternoon seems to be a popular laundry time. I should have remembered that procrastination breaks all language and culture barriers. However, after a quick look around I found one available machine that would be large enough to accommodate my monstrous bedding.

Keeping one eye on the available washer, I hustled to the change machine to get ten dollars in quarters. With my pockets full of change, I grabbed my huge, green corduroy comforter and stuffed it into the single vacant triple loader. There was some trouble closing the door, but, eventually, it cooperated. I dropped in my four dollars worth of change and the laundry soap that I wisely brought from my own home stash so as to avoid dropping two extra dollars on one "serving" of soap, and started 'er up.

As soon as the washer started filling I found the nearest available chair and began reading C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce. After two or three minutes, I looked up only to see that the door was slightly ajar and nothing was happening. Getting just a little annoyed, I went to the machine and leaned my weight onto the pesky door; the machine began to fill again. Optimistically, I thought that once the washer began agitating, the door would suction itself closed in some miraculous way. A few moments into the wash cycle, I tested my theory. There was no suction. I managed to spill at least a gallon of hot, soapy water all over me and the dangerous-when-wet tiled floor.

My situation prevented me from notifying the attendant that there was a problem and my fellow launderers didn't seem at all interested in my plight. When I tried to communicate with them, they simply ignored the sounds coming out of my mouth. So, I continued my lean against the machine door as I read more about Lewis' ideas of heaven and hell.

As the attendant wandered about the building she noticed the flood I had unintentionally created and brought a mop to clean it up. Unfortunately, the predicament that caused the flood also prevented me from moving in any way to assist her efforts. She definitely didn't speak English, so I became the innocent victim of her hateful stares as she tried to mop around my wet, flip-flop clad feet.

My 24 minutes spent sweatily wedged against the door of a triple loader trying to prevent a flood of epic proportions probably looked more like the efforts of a frightened, inconsiderate white girl (who leaves her messes to be cleaned up by the hired help) desperately trying to protect her cheapish Martha Stewart comforter from the brown-skinned people. I heart language barriers!

(Fortunately, there were more dryers than washers and I picked one that worked properly.)


Before embarking on my exciting journey to Tanzania, Africa, in 2003, I stopped in London for a few days. While there, I visited several galleries and museums, including the Tate Modern. The Tate Modern had an exhibit of Eva Hesse's work during my stay. I don't know why I love her work, but I do. Both of the images I have chosen for the countdown today are entitled Repetition Nineteen. You can see more of Eva Hesse's work here (MOMA) and here.

In 19 more days, I will be embarking on another exciting journey to a not-quite-so-distant destination, but before I go, I will visit The National Portrait Gallery (recently reopened) and The National Building Museum.

Look What Followed Me Home

Found this on my skirt after I'd been home from the grocery store for well over an hour. Haha!

Blasts From The Past

Digging through all my stuff, preparing for my move, I've come across some childhood trinkets that have reminded me that I've actually had a wonderful life. Hope you're ready for some pictures!

Growing up, we didn't have a lot of money. My mother made Sleepy Time Bear one Christmas when she couldn't afford the "real" Care Bear that I wanted so desperately. My four year old eyes never noticed the difference. My twenty-five year old eyes treasure the difference.

Sometime before age ten, I fell in love with my full name. One day, at the county fair, we found this delightful, pink and purple, heart-over-the-"I," wooden rendition of my beautiful name...

Just a few weeks after I got it, I dropped it...

No worries, though, my Marvelous Mom fixed it for me every single time it broke. I've had it for over 15 years and I've finally decided to get rid of it. These pictures will be my only remembrance. Thank you Flickr.

Finally, we have my foal rug. I don't even remember the last time this was on a floor rather than rolled up crammed into a poster tube. But it still reminds me when I used to take naps on it. ;)

What fun it was to be a kid. Sometimes I still wish I was small enough for someone to play airplane with me or swing me by my arms.


In my search for interesting items related to "20," I found this fun game. Seriously, the computer can guess what you're long as you're honest about your answers. ;)

Don't you wish our money really looked like this?

In another 20 days, fourteen of them spent at the office, I will be packing my car and moving on with my life. My bedroom is now void of all furniture except the bedside table I've borrowed from my roommate and my lamp that will soon be packed.

Since the buyer came to pick up my bed earlier this afternoon, I've been trying to decide where to sleep. The living room doesn't ever get as cool as my bedroom, but hardwood floors could get pretty uncomfortable. Emily thought it was amusing when I suggested setting up my tent in the backyard. It would probably be pretty comfortable, but I think I might feel a little insecure, even in my "safe" neighborhood.

Whatever I decide, we all know it's just a temporary solution. Woot!

Beware: This Post About Underwear

A few weeks ago, Emily and I took a jaunt over to Target for a little Saturday afternoon shopping. While there, I found some Hanes on sale. Not just run of the mill briefs, either. These were some of the cutest underwear I've ever found for less than $10 retail. Click here if you want to see what they look like on someone.

Since I got them, I haven't worn anything else. I have eight pairs and do laundry about once a week, so it works out. They only show two colors on their website, but I got pink, blue, purple, and white from Target. The colored ones come with a plain pair and a stripe-y pair. I love the cute front seams and the wider waistband.

I liked them enough that I had to share my joy with others. As soon as I mentioned them, MKH got all excited because she had also discovered these wonderful panties. After our hearty endorsement, Emily decided to buy some for herself. This morning, she sent me an email that said, "I need to go buy some more little boy underwear right away! Nothing else is as good!!"

My advice to every girl/woman who reads this blog: Buy some, buy them now, you'll never go back! Best. Underwear. Ever.

Twenty One (That's Three Weeks!)

Twenty-one more days until I walk out the doors of my office for the last time...

Fortunately for me, that is a happy thought.

Where Are All The Women?

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably read (or, at least, skimmed) this post about the dearth of men in the pews at church. The statistics are clear, women are considerably more likely to attend church than men. But, could someone tell me, where all the female voices are? A hop over to the alternativeworship blogroll simply reinforces my question.

Why is it that women make up 60% of the church-attending population, but Christian leadership and Christian academia are still an old boys' club? I value these men's voices, as can be clearly seen by taking a quick look at my blogroll, but it would be nice to hear some female voices taking the lead in important conversations.

My involvement in RevGalBlogPals has given me a taste, but I pray that God will raise up many women of powerful intellect willing to wade into the male-dominated pool of scholarship. Please don't mistake me, I don't think most men have intentionally excluded women. In fact, I'm sure many of them are just as anxious to get women involved and up front as I am. It's time for the womenfolk to step up.

(Don't worry, I know that one finger is pointing at someone else, there are three pointing right back at me.)

Is Digital Better?

In the process of packing, I've come to realize that my photo albums, scrapbooks, and yearbooks take up more than a full suitcase of space. This morning, I was comtemplating possible fixes for this predicament. The solution I keep coming back to is to undertake the large project of scanning each and every one of my photos. That way, I would still have all of them, but they would take up no space. It would be fantastic to have all of my scrapbooks online. I certainly would be more likely to look at them and share with other people.

And, what I couldn't help thinking, was how great it would be to upload all the pages and then have a book printed. So it's not that I really want to get rid of the books altogether, I just want to trade the bulky books for something more streamlined and, probably more expensive.

Looks like Flickr has a good hook-up with Qo-op for this type of thing. Now, does anyone in the Arlington, VA area have a high quality scanner I could use???

Twenty Two

Conversation with co-worker this morning...

Me: Well, since I only have three more weeks here, I doubt that will happen before I leave.
Renee: Oh, Katie, you must be SO excited.
Me: Unbelievably so!

Only 22 more days to prepare for my upcoming move. Excellent!

Saddest Night of the Summer

Emily, MKH, and I are watching So You Think You Can Dance? The. Best. Show. Of. The. Summer. Period!

The finale was going along swimmingly until after Heidi danced her solo. Cat Deeley brought her to center stage and started opening an envelope. WTF?!! An envelope!!! Somehow the idiotic producers of SYTYCD? decided that the best plan for announcing who won and lost would be to have them dance a solo and then give Cat Deeley an envelope that contained their future.

Next up, was Donyelle. As soon as she came on the stage we knew she was a goner. Hello, no suspense.

Cat Deeley: So you know that we're looking for America's favorite dancer?
Donyelle: yeah...
Cat Deeley: I'm wasn't you.

Shortly after Donyelle was kicked to the curb, Benji came out to dance. We were petrified as Cat opened the envelope thinking she was going to tell him, "Sorry, it wasn't you..." but badly dressed Cat "tricked our hearts" (as Emily would say). We would have to wait until after the break, until after Travis danced.

Then, while we were not paying attention, the clock struck ten and a truly unfortunate incident occured...our DVR stopped recording and skipped to the end of the show, revealing the results. Much screaming ensued. I'm not talking about a little screaming. I'm talking about all out girly shrieking, reminiscent-of-Mary screaming. We didn't want to see the results, we wanted the suspense.

We're finishing the show, pretending we don't know who won, but I'll let you in on a little secret: IT WAS BENJI!!!

Many hearts are glad, especially Mormon hearts, all across the country.

Twenty Three

For some reason, I have been intrigued by today's "countdown to seminary" Google results. Perhaps, it is because the first website I found gave me some insight into the Symbolic Meaning of Twenty Three. Apparently, even the chapter and verse numbers of the Bible are inspired. "Twenty three repeatedly occurs where the scripture is talking about prosperity, abundance, plenty or wealth." Who knew? Andrew Harris, of Biblenumerics, that's who.

One of my favorite bloggers, Dooce, also came up in my search because she writes a monthly newsletter to her daughter. Her twenty-third monthly letter came up in my search. This picture of her daughter and husband, which is featured in the post, is one of my favorites that has ever been on her website.

Now that the summer is on the decline, I also want to offer my readers a link to Twenty Three Tips for Keeping the House Cool. After all, summer will come again and we still have at least a month of it left.

Finally, picture time. To prove my love for Lost, I have chosen to use a picture of the Lost numbers, one of which is 23. The reward for Kate's capture was $23,000. Season 2, Episode 10 was entitled Psalm 23 and Eko quotes the psalm in it's entirety. 23 people in the tail of the plane survived the crash. More here...

Just Something I Found

My recent post in response to Paul Mayers' post, on Jason Clark's blog, about a talk he'd heard by David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church, (whew, try to say all that in one breath) had me surfing around Amazon to find this book. I found it and as a result my Amazon homepage changed to show several more books about why men don't go to church and other related issues. One of these books was The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, by Leon Podles. The title of the book leads me to believe that Mr. Podles thinks feminine and ineffective are synonymous. The book description only serves to reinforce this idea (my own thoughts are in parentheses):

"After documenting the highly feminized state of Western Christianity, Dr. Podles identifies the masculine traits that once characterized the Christian life but are now commonly considered incompatible with it. In an original and challenging account, he traces this feminization to three contemporaneous medieval sources: the writings of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (interesting that Dr. Podles traces the feminization of Christianity to the writings of a man), the rise of scholasticism (someone tell me how many women were influential scholastics), and the expansion of female monasticism (okay, look, we've got some women in here!). He contends that though masculinity has been marginalized within Christianity, it cannot be expunged from human society. If detached from Christianity, it reappears as a substitute religion, with unwholesome and even horrific consequences. The church, too, is diminished by its emasculation. Its spirituality becomes individualistic and erotic (huh? I thought men were the sex-obsessed ones ;), tending toward universalism and quietism. In his concluding assessment of the future of men in the church, Dr. Podles examines three aspects of Christianity-initiation, struggle, and fraternal love-through which its virility might be restored. (And Jesus said unto them, "Go and make disciples of all nations...and, by golly, make sure you do it in a masculine, virile way!")"
I am interested in reading this book, if only to be able to say that I didn't dismiss it out of hand, but Dr. Podles isn't my real concern at the moment, one of the reviewers of the book is. The reviewer identifies him or herself simply as "a reader" and entitled the following "review" Can A Feminist Be A Christian? (Again, I've added some of my own thoughts in parentheses.)

"The long march through the institutions has resulted in a feminization of all the Christian orders. A simple reading of Genesis will remind these feminists that a woman is meant to be submissive to her husband as part of the penalty for misbehavior in the Garden of Eden. (So, to whom is a 25-year old single woman, living on her own, supposed to be submissive? Maybe I'm not a woman because I don't have a husband. Maybe I'll avoid getting married so as to avoid this punishment that God is meting out to half the human race for the misbehavior of both Adam and Eve. I wonder if this reader provides for his family "by the sweat of his brow" in order to gracefully bear his half of the punishment or if he's sitting at a cushy desk in an air-conditioned office.) Feminists call this historical, and want to right it, but in doing so deny the timeless nature of God. (Reader, next time we visit together, I'm going to count the ways in which your household doesn't correspond to Scriptural injunctions.) In doing this, they deny God (So God cannot be thought of in any way other than as male?) (in many Protestant faiths it is much worse than here stated in that to even refer to the Deity with a masculine pronoun means that one can be dismissed from the seminary). (Which seminary? Where?)

"What feminism has done is arrogate to itself the right to determine who and what God is, or in other words, deify their own will. (
Every human who believes there is a God has come to a conclusion about "who and what God is." That conclusion may be right or wrong, but is always, in the final analysis, still only their own determination.) Their will is thus no longer subject to God, but is rather the determiner of God, the maker of God, and thus there is no belief at all in God within feminism, but only in their own will.

"Feminism is thus self-idolatry.

"This book lays out the situation within Catholicism. Within all the mainline Protestant orders the situation is even worse. (
I get the feeling that reader is a Catholic who has rarely, if ever, set foot in a Protestant church, except possibly for spectating at particularly "crazy" or "liberal" churches in order to find things about which he or she can make broad generalizations . Of course, I could be wrong.)

"Feminist women are completely berserk, using the churches to justify their self-righteousness, their demand not only to be equal to but superior to men (
Wasn't the Bible used to justify slavery, in which one race is superior to another? Haven't people used the Bible to support the supposed inferiority of women for centuries?), to murder unwanted children, to have equal pay without equal productivity (Equal pay without equal productivity would not be equal pay at all and I don't want it.), and to self-deification. Already there are Protestant churches in which I've heard feminist pastors dare to invoke the gnostic goddess Sophia in the church of Our Lord. (I'm sure this has happened, dear reader, but it's certainly not the norm, even among feminists.)

Such pastors have no right to call themselves Christian. This is not to say that they aren't religious, but they are practicing the religion that St. Paul threw over in Ephesus -- the worship of Diana -- or in other words -- witchcraft. That it is happening all over the western world is apparent. Podles' text is not nearly violent enough. He is a gentleman, where Christ was a tiger, in throwing imposters out of the church. (
The only people I remember Christ throwing out of anywhere were the moneychangers in the Temple...While I am not of the school that believes Jesus was merely meek and mild, I don't see anything in the Scripture that supports the view that he was a "tiger.")"

Generally, I get quietly worked up about things like this and share my feelings with a few people, but, hey, now I have a blog and can be snarky for the whole world to see. :) Snarkiness aside, though, things like this really get my back up because they demonstrate what seems like a purposely limited knowledge of what feminism/egalitarianism actually is.

I don't want to be superior, I want to be equal, there is a difference. I don't want to construct a God based on my own ego because that would be one seriously flawed God, but I also know that parts of me are always going to be mixed in with what I think of God. Not all feminists want to indiscrimately destroy unborn babies, quite a few of us want babies of our own. Once again, a critic has seen extreme pieces of a movement and rather than learning more has decided that the extreme represents the whole. Feminism isn't perfect, but "masculinism" is an equally flawed solution.