Saturday, August 29, 2009

The perfect Saturday

It's a close to perfection as possible.... Considering there's no college football- but so far today, the only things I've done are read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and eat lunch at Gabriel's. Chicken salad and red velvet. Truly glorious :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Taking Up My Cross

"Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me"

(Mark 8:34).

So often I hear this verse and look at it with the perspective of a “cross” being some hardship I’ll have to take on in order to follow Jesus. But this wasn’t written in my lifetime where the cross was a symbol of Jesus’ death for me. This wasn’t written in a time when people wore cross necklaces around their necks as a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for them. Or even as a sign to others that you’re a Christian. Mark didn’t write this in a time where the cross was a symbol on the tops of buildings or in front of churches or strategically worked in as the “t” in the logos of churches and youth groups.

Mark wrote this during the only time in history when the cross was the method of excruciating execution. This was the death for murderers, thieves, and rapists. This death was slow, painful, and full of suffering. This was the death of shame, mocking and degradation. Most importantly, it was death.

To follow Jesus was to sign up for death. Jesus knew that people who chose to follow Him wholeheartedly were going to be in trouble. Because the things they were signing up for did not match up with the popular and acceptable ideas of the day. Rome was in charge- and to follow Jesus was to say that Rome no longer had control over you. Rome- and Caesar- were no longer the highest power in your life. The religious leaders of the day wanted you to do things as they had done- to need them to lead into the presence of God. But to follow Jesus was to say that the old way was gone and the new way was come. To follow Jesus was to no longer need a priest to intercede for you- because Jesus was now our high priest who would intercede on your behalf.

To follow Jesus was to go against the things that were accepted.

To follow Jesus was to break laws that Rome had set.

To follow Jesus was to be an alien in your own land.

To follow Jesus was to be prepared for opposition.

To follow Jesus was to take up your cross. And be executed.

Just like Jesus took up His cross. And was executed. For us. For once. For all.

So, whoever will come after Jesus must be willing to lose their own face, accept the possibility of death, and follow Him.

Most of us cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose your life for choosing to follow Jesus. We’re the lucky ones. There are people all over the globe who cannot publicly proclaim their faith without the threat of persecution, jail, or even death. There is a Christian organization in place in China that is working to bring Chinese people on staff. Just like any ministry application, there are countless questions about your history, your faith, and your vision. The Chinese national application is very similar to the application that an American would fill out in order to go on staff with this ministry. The two applications differ by only one question. The last question on the Chinese application says “Are you willing to die in order to ensure that the Gospel is shared?”

Are you?

Am I?

Would I actually be willing to take up my cross and walk that same road as Jesus and die?

"Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sing For Joy

When I was growing up at FUMC's youth camp, this was a song we sang all the time... I loved it. It's been in my head the last few days. You should love it. Just sayin.

Sing for joy to God our strength
Sing for joy to God our strength, our strength

If we call to Him, He will answer us
If we run to Him, He will run to us
If we lift our hands, He will lift us up
Come now praise his name, all you saints of God.

Draw near to Him, he is here with us
Give Him your love, He·s in love with us
He will heal our hearts, He will cleanse our hands
If we rend our hearts He will heal our land.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Top 10

I ran across the blog of an old friend- well actually, Amber is my brother's old friend. But I like her. So, I consider her my friend too. She's hilarious. I had to make myself stop reading in class because I was laughing too hard. To the point my stomach hurt. It was not good. I mean, it was good. But bad. All at the same time.

One of my favorite things on her blog was her Top Ten List- this is her intro:
Due to so many people being currently interested in my romantic status, I have decided to lay it all out there for everyone. Thus, I have composed a list of the top 10 men I would date. If you know one of them, feel free to set me up. If you do not have connections with any of these 10 men, do not set me up. I'm tired of going on dates with people who resemble wolverine (and I wouldn't even go so far as to say he resembled the pseudo hot version of wolverine as done by a handsomely hugh jackman) or who want to take me on a tour of their church. Yes this actually happened...on the first date. Therefore, either follow these guidelines, or don't set me up. It should all be rather simple now.

I am now following in her footsteps. Here is my Top Ten: (in no particular order)

10. Anderson CooperSmart? Witty? Rugged looks? Looks hot in a suit? Sounds like a win-win-win-win sitch to me. I love him. I don't always agree with him, but I do like to look at him. And I think I would love to sit and talk to him for a minute.

9. Luke Danes from Gilmore GirlsEverything good about men is summed up in Luke Danes. I know he is fictitious (as are a few men on this list), but I just adore him. I like that he's no-frills, no-nonsense, down-to-earth-- but still a nice guy. Sometimes the girls on Gimore drove me crazy, but Luke Danes could never do any wrong for me.

8. Tyler WattsAlabama quarterbacks are usually cute. Just sayin. (See John Parker Wilson) My first college football crush was on Tyler Watts. He played for Alabama when I was finishing highschool/starting college- so we're the same age. And this is important. Because it meant that (in my mind) we could actually end up together. Maybe this didn't happen. He's still around Alabama football- calling games and stuff on Saturdays in the fall. But, I still love him. A lot. And he looks good in a suit too.

7. Jarrod SaltalamacchiaHe played for the Braves for a hot minute. And it was over. I got nothing else. I just think he's adorable. And if you're gonna have a ridic last name, might as well go big, right?

6. Seeley BoothOh. My. Word. This man makes my heart jump. Seriously, he loves God, kids, monogamy and fighting crime. What else could you possibly want in a man? If you don't watch Bones, you should. Now. Like, right now. Get up and start watching it.

5. Nathan ScottHe may be a work of fiction, but he is the perfect mix of bad boy and southern gentleman. Good grief. Nothing angers me more than when the writers of OTH try to mess with Nathan.

4. Eli ManningI mean, he played SEC football, won a Super Bowl, and is related to Archie. Uh, yes please.

3. Adrien GrenierI feel in love with Chase in Drive Me Crazy. Then he showed up on the greatest show ever- Entourage. If you don't like him, I really do not understand.

2. Jason Morgan
If you're thinking WHO? Let me tell you. This is Jason Morgan. Used to be Quartermain. But. He got hurt. And didn't remember them, so he got a new name and a new life. Now he works with Sonny Corinthos in the coffee business in Port Charles. Sometimes he dates the most annoying people ever (ie Sam), but that's his only flaw. Oh. Yeah. He's on General Hospital. I love him. And have loved him for about 13 years.

1. Anthony DiNozzo, NCISHeaven help me, I love this boy. He plays the perfect mix of bad boy, smart guy, and sweet heart. I love him. And he reminds of one of my favorite people on the earth, Heath. He is one of my bff's from college- and DiNinozza reminds me of Heath SO much. And I love DiNozzo... maybe more than Heath. It's still a toss up. But he's my number one. Done. And DONE.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sephora Mascara

Sephora at Town Center opened today. I think I may buy this. It's a bunch of good mascaras in smaller sizes so you can try a lot before committing to one! Brilliant? I think yes!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

but I WANT them

Also available on The Strip in Tuscaloosa :)

Only 23 days until football season!!!