Monday, October 27, 2008

An Utterly Refreshing Weekend

I'm home from work today, fighting a cold and the chills (currently wrapped in a blanket, wearing socks and sipping peppermint tea, which would be quite lovely if I wasn't sick) so I thought I'd try to rectify what has become a rather boring blog.

This weekend, I headed off to a church women's retreat on a nearby island.  While I was looking forward to it, I was also a bit...weary, to be honest.  October has been an insane month; I was only in town the first weekend of the month, so I was wondering if this retreat would burn me out.  Quite the opposite happened.  I came away feeling refreshed, encouraged and loved.  Because of my traveling this month, I haven't been to my church in awhile, and it was so good to be around those I know and love.  Church family is different than any other group, I've decided.  You don't necessarily choose them (well, you do to some extent, but I think you know what I mean), yet we are called to love them and do life together.

Everything from the games we played to the teaching, singing and free time was wonderful.  I came away feeling ready to face life again (and on the verge of getting sick, but we won't mention that). 

(Photos: Top is from the Pt. Townsend Ferry, bottom the view from the house I stayed in.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Book review: Churched

Despite the fact that my roommate feels comparing Churched to Anne Lamott is quite blasphemous, it was Having grown up in a relatively conservative church/family, I knew there were fundamentlists out there, I just didn't know how crazy they were. ;) Sure, some of his experiences are probably exaggerated (whose childhood memories aren't?), but it becomes clear very quickly in the book that what the people of Matthew's church lacked was a proper understanding of the Gospel--they forgot grace. Add in an obsession with hell, the "sin" of having long hair on guys and you have a collection stories that will make you grimace a bit and wish some would actually read the Bible instead of pretending they know what it says.

I've read a few books about growing up in the church--Mark Lowry probably being best-known author/comedian on this topic, and although Churched isn't as funny as Mark, it's not a half-bad read if you're looking for something to make you laugh a little and wince a little more.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Reason for My Absence

I realize my blogging as been light as of late (except for some Hymns of the Week and book reviews).  Sorry about that for those of you who eagerly await my posts (riiiight).  I have been keeping busy with work and church stuff as per usual, but most enjoyably of all, I've been spending time with an amazing man God has brought into my life.  It's been almost a month since the start of our relationship and what a month it has been. :)  I've been grown and challenged (in a good way) and am continually in awe of how God brought us together.  Getting to know him is fun, new and awesome.  Chris is fabulous, and I'm sure that my forthcoming blog will include more of our adventures together.

This Sunday finds me hopping on a plane to be in a wedding, as well as spending some time with extended family and driving across a few states in the Midwest.  Who knows, maybe I will get some blogging fodder from my trip.  Either way, I'll try to be around a little bit more, time and Internet connections permitting.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hymn of the Week: A Mighty Fortress is Our God

A Mighty Fortress is Our God
by Martin Luther

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.