Day Two: Mountains, Gandalf!


So I’m quickly posting this before joining a game, but I just thought y’all would like an update.

Everything is amazing! California is beautiful, the weather is beautiful, the new friends are beautiful, God has already punched me in the face. It’s great. I am so glad I’m here.

And there are mountains. And palm trees.

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Day One: Is This Really Happening?!?!?!


It’s day one! Today is the first day of IT project 2014! Can somebody please pinch me? Is this really happening?

I don’t really know what today is going to look like, but I do know this is probably going to be the longest day of my life(Well, probably not. I was in show choir.) Last night I was so excited(and Much Ado About Nothing was so enticing) that I only got three hours of sleep. I woke up at 3:30, left for Omaha at 4, arrived at 5, and almost missed my 6:05 flight because of the insane lines at the airport.

Side note: sorry to all the people I skipped in line. A nice gentleman said “They’re holding the plane come with me.” and so I went. Never mind he was flying to Dallas. Whatever. It was kind of a God thing.

Basically I have one more flight to LA and then all the things that happen there. Which I’ve been told includes shopping and meeting people and getting settled in…. Translation: exhaustion! However, I am so excited to meet all my new best friends and to become more like Christ through this experience as well as learn how to be a better witness to the nations!

One final comment, time zones are crazy. I’m really glad that Vegas is two hours behind Lincoln. I almost had a second heart attack when I got off the plane and turned on my phone to see it was 8:18…. no. It’s not. It’s 7:18. But right now I could really use a drink. Of water. Because my mouth is so freaking dry from all this flipping out over flights.

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At my church we do communion once a month. I love this! It’s pretty great! I love the regular reminder of Christ’s work on the cross!

However, because of this church practice I’ve heard the last supper verses a lot. You know the ones.

I believe our go to verses for communion are 1 Corinthians 11:23-25.

‘For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”‘

Something that has consistently struck me about these verses is the whole “as often as you drink it” clause of verse 25. I’m not really sure of the content of their meal, but I do know that bread and wine are things that they ate and drank at every meal. So yeah, Jesus could have grabbed the lobster and been like “Whenever you have lobster remember what I’m about to do.” but no, instead he chose the most common foods on the table.

I think this was deliberate.

While I definitely agree with the sacrament of communion, I think we are kind of missing the context of the last supper a little bit.

I think(and I may be wrong, this is just what I’m thinking) that Jesus is telling us that every time we eat or drink that we should remember that even as we are desperately in need of food and drink, in the same way we are desperately in need of his body and blood. For you healthy-eating individuals out there that means at least three times a day you’re acknowledging Christ’s death and resurrection. That’s a few more times that once a month. But yet isn’t that kind of what Christ is calling us to when he says “As often as you drink it”?

Just a thought. Maybe I’m reading into it, but honestly, you can’t acknowledge Christ’s work on the cross too often. So I mean food for thought while you’re partaking of food for your body.

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Simultaneous 8th Note Triplets and Couplets

I’ve been doing a lot of weird things the last few days simply because I know I’m not going to be able to do them for a long while. One of those things is play my piano(my gorgeous Cable Nelson upright grand piano which is light brown and amazing)(and by mine I mean my parents)(which needs to be tuned)(hint hint while I’m gone)(wink wink)(mom).

I have a book of songs which were written for the various adaptations of Jane Austen novels to screen. Namely the 1995 Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and Sense & Sensability with Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman(first celebrity crush right there. Just going to point that out. Because I’m proud of 8 year old me), Emma Thompson, and Hugh Grant. It also contains the music for Persuasion, a book which I have read but not seen the movie adaptation of. I was like “what the what I’m bored I’m going to sightread.” So I played the theme from Persuasion(Follow the link. Just do it. Or the next bit may not make sense.)

Now if there is anything in music that is a dividing factor for a lot of pianists, it’s simultaneous triplets and couplets. If you followed the link like I told you, that’s the times when one rhythm is slightly behind the other…. or in plainer terms, basically one hand is playing three notes in the time that the other hand is playing two. Whenever I mention that I love playing triplets on couplets or vice versa I either get a response of “Yeah I know riiiight!!!!” or “What the heck is wrong with you, you nut job.” Playing them is tricky. But it’s so beautiful!

Back to Jane Austen, I really hate the Keira Knightley version. The new version. The barely Austen version. It’s just really suck. For someone like me who practically has P&P memorized, it’s almost sacrilege to like that movie. One time I actually wanted to watch it. Joanna and I made fun of it the whole time. It was great. However, there is one and only one thing that it has going for it. The soundtrack.

Take for example Dawn.


That’s all I had to say. I just wanted to express my love for crazy 8th notes.

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Seriously Sundays: Why Church Matters

I would like to point out that this is post 1111. High five for eleventy-one-hundred-one!

Yesterday I went to brunch with my dear friend Casandra in order to catch up one last time before I leave for the summer.

SIDE NOTE: I keep mentioning that I’m leaving for the summer, but I don’t think I’ve told you what/where exactly I’m doing/going. So here’s the scoop. I’m going to Pasadena, CA this summer on a summer training program with The Traveling Team called Intensive Training(IT) Project. In California I will be taking the Perspectives course at the US Center for World Missions while living with a bunch of other like-minded people. I will be doing small group stuff, visiting churches, evangelism, etc. on my spare time. It’s going to be a tremendous growing experience for me and I cannot wait to see what God has planned!

Anyways, I went to lunch with my friend and for a good long time I just gushed and raved about what God has been teaching me.

Which is weird, because I don’t really feel like I’ve been very consistent about my relationship with God in the last few weeks. I’ve been a lot more committed to The Vampire Diaries than I’ve been to my bible reading… and yet here I found myself blabbing about God like I would a new boyfriend. Which is kind of awesome.

This got me to thinking about Church and why it’s important. And no, I’m not talking about the church building. Like what even is a building once all the people leave? I’m not even talking about church services and what goes on within the four walls! I’m talking about people. Fellowship. Why does Hebrews say “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”(Hebrews 10:24-25)?

Obviously it’s not in the bible just for kicks and giggles. That would be crazy talk. No there must be a meaning behind it. Well I think I stumbled on it this morning. In my conversation with Casandra I was reminded how much I love God. I came home from brunch and I really just wanted to sink my teeth into the word and go even more crazy.

It’s like when you have a crush on somebody. The more you talk about that person the deeper you convince yourself that you’re in love with them. Sometimes you hang out with the person and you realize you were an idiot, and sometimes you realize all your wildest dreamings were true and you’ve found someone you could actually love. Well. God is the latter.

So why is church important? Because long distance relationships are hard, and sometimes you just need to be reminded why you keep on with it. You need your support group. You need friends around you encouraging you and pointing out your blessings and telling you about their struggles and victories and sharing their lives with you.

I used to think that relationships were for pansies and church was about getting a deep sermon and learning about God. I was wrong. Church isn’t about the sermon. It’s not about getting preached to, it isn’t even directly about growing in relationship with God. It’s about seeing God in others and being encouraged by others. The closet is the place for bible study. The closet is the place for repentance and emotions and wrestling with the hard issues of faith. Now I’m not saying those things aren’t in the church or that those things shouldn’t be in the church, I’m merely saying they shouldn’t be why you go to church. You can do those things on your own, but you can’t fellowship alone. You can’t ask yourself for advice. You can’t give yourself wisdom. We need each other.

I know y’all are going to criticize this. Please do. I know I don’t have my characterization of church quite right. I think church services are awesome for helping people encounter God and I’m not at all saying that isn’t good or appropriate. I am just saying that the focus of the church should be community… Because community is important. That is all. Fire away.

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Ten Things I Love About Summer

A few weeks ago I posted Ten Things I Hate About Summer because I was completely fed up with the beginnings of summer in Nebraska. Since I posted that I’ve been noticing a lot of things that I actually love. I blame the fact that I’m leaving Nebraska in a little over four days to do a summer training program in LA and there are a lot of things that I’m not positive will be in California. Or rather, I find myself with a severe case of FOMO(fear of missing out). Which is ridiculous because whatever God has planned for this summer, I know for certain that it’s going to be amazing. God’s plan is always amazing. There is no such thing as missing out when you’re in God’s hands. But anyways. This is my list of ten things I love about Summer.

1. Bye bye hibernation

I sleep less now. I go to bed at about midnight and I find myself waking up with the sun in the morning, trying to go back to sleep and utterly failing. I’ve rolled out of bed at 9 each morning this week despite working late and hanging out with friends even later(due to my imminent departure.)

2. Longer days

The sun doesn’t go down until 9:30 now, and it’s pretty much amazing. Possibly the reason for all the energy I’m having? Am I an anti-vampire? Perhaps(sorry for that reference. I’ve been watching Vampire Diaries. Don’t judge me. Too hard. Just kidding go ahead, there’s no way you could judge me harder than I’m judging myself…)

3. Summer food

Hot dogs, bonfires, brats, steak, potato salad, fresh veggies, s’mores…. yum!

4. Friends

Everybody hides when it’s cold out, but with summer comes hours lazing in the pool with your besties(aka family. My family is an amorphous blob.)

5. Summer nights

I dare you not to sing the song. Dare you. But seriously, there really isn’t anything that beats when the sun goes down in the summer, dropping the temp just enough to scare some of the humidity away and make your skin and lungs feel alive again. like you’d been starved of air all day and when the sun goes down you can finally breathe again. mmmmmm delicious.

6. Bike rides

One of my newly discovered loves is for long bike rides on the trails. We have some really beautiful ones here, and I’m in love with discovering them. That I will miss in LA.

7. Thunderstorms

I am not one of those weather wimp people. I LOVE storms. I love thunder and lightning, I love heavy rain, I love the rush it gives me when there’s a tornado watch. I love getting drenched in the rain. I love it when the sun is shining but yet it’s still raining. I love rainbows. I love it when it’s overcast. I love literally everything about storms in Nebraska.

8. Driving with the windows down

9. and the music up

10. and not caring who hears.

This counts for three things because it’s really the biggest thing for me. I love feeling the wind in my hair, I love the smells of the street(yes, even the nasty smells.) I love singing to the music and feeling like I’m in control. I love people watching. I love trying to figure out what other drivers are thinking about me. I love zipping around in my little red car. I love when it’s raining and I’m driving. I love having the windows down and feeling the rain on my skin (Not like a kiss, but like a knife.) I love being alone in the car. I love thinking life through: praising, and praying in the car. I love driving in the summer(minus the construction.) I love it.. It’s the best.


I also love reading books in the grass. But that’s a really dangerous love to have for an albino-like complected person like myself.

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Discontented Socrates

While I hated most everything about my Philosophy class(namely that I had to take it in the first place), I did end up coming away with a lot of interesting philosophical perspectives…. and a lot of opinions about them(dun dun duuuuuuun)! So here’s a shower thought for you. Which might formulate itself into a full blown argument. Who knows. We’ll see how fast the blog bunnies in my brain are running on their treadmills.

So I have “Christian Hedonist” listed as my religion on facebook. This might seem to be a pretty insignificant detail, but I’ve had people(okay, like one person) question my salvation because I identify myself as a hedonist. Shamelessly.

For those of you who are in the know, you will immediately recognize that Christian Hedonism is a term coined by John Piper in his book Desiring God and is a philosophy which is widely held in reformed circles(or so I’ve been told by wikipedia. I am not in any reformed circles, although maybe I should consider joining one…)

Side note: Please don’t assume that I’m a Piper-follower just because I identify myself with Christian Hedonism. Seriously read Desiring God before you make that judgement. Christian Hedonism is surprisingly biblical(as is Piper for that matter). See also 1 Corinthians 1:11-etc.

The Utilitarian philosophy asserts that moral goodness is defined by happiness. A morally virtuous individual is one who is happy. However there are many philosophers who criticize this view, saying that it’s a “pigs philosophy”. Because of this utilitarianism has been refined to include mumbo jumbo like rational thought(so stupid, right?) John Stuart Mill famously said “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.” 

I disagree. I subtly disagree with almost everything about this.


What is moral goodness? Why do we care? Why do we even have a sense of morality?

Part of the reason why I hated philosophy class is because it completely ignored even the possibility that there is a God. Philosophers going on and on and on and on analyzing deep questions and trying to find deep answers about this fictional, atheistic world that they’ve imagined to be representative of real life. They create these situations and find these answers in this made-up place and then they transfer it to the real world which is crazier than they could ever imagine. Why do we have morality when every single one of us has cursed it at one time or another? Why do we care what is good? How do you even distinguish between good and bad? Who decides?(See C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity for a better argument.)

There is one thing the utilitarians got right: It is defined by happiness, but not human happiness. Imagine this. God creates human beings and he creates in them this internal law that requires them to do what makes HIM happy. Wow that’s just way to simple. That too perfectly explains morality. This can’t be philosophy, this is a trick. Just kidding! It’s entirely plausible. That is iff(and only if) you open your mind enough to even consider the possibility of a creating power.

So now that I’ve turned the entire field of philosophy on its head(not the entire field. There are some really amazing Christian philosophers out there. Pruss, Scruton, Aquinas, to name a few) I will give you my


this whole “better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.”

Here I think we need to define “fool”. Because there could be two possible definitions here. 1. a fool is a person who makes unwise choices or 2. a fool is a simpleton(or like someone with a low IQ.) I’m inclined to think Mill is talking about the latter type of fool specifically because of his discussion on high pleasures and low pleasures and the test to find which is the greater good(for example, which is the better pleasure: that of listening to Mozart or that of an ice cold beer on a warm day. Mill would argue that because appreciating Mozart requires more reasoning it is the higher pleasure.)

Since I’ve already turned the argument on its head by asserting that goodness is defined by God’s pleasure and not ours, I will also turn this on its head. What pleases God?

Psalm 55:16-17 says “For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”

So what pleases God? A correct condition of the heart. Repentance. This is what makes God happy.

Well here’s the third catch. I love God. I really love God. And what do people do when they really love someone? They do everything within their power to make that person happy. Why? Because it makes them happy when the object of their love is happy(this is what all the parents in my life tell me, at least.)

So for me, I’m happy when God is happy. I’m a contented pig. I’m a satisfied fool.

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Princess Hair

All of you committed readers out there know that a little over a year ago I chopped off all my hairs. Like 15 inches of my hairs. I cut it to just below my ears. You can see the post I wrote afterwards here.

I asked myself if I liked it and if I regretted it…. welll…..

I like short hair, like in this picture of me while I was riding my bike



But I’m really hating the journey back to princess hair. Because let’s be real. Nothing will ever be better than my princess hair. Seriously nothing. I loved that hair. Not a day goes by that I don’t regret chopping it off. Seriously. Not one day.

At the moment I’m at that awkward place where my hair is growing horizontally, not vertically. I look like Hermione Granger. And I’m not talking hot Emma Watson Hermione Granger… I’m talking creepy musical Hermione. Here let me take a creepy late night by myself selfie so you can see what I mean.



Like my duck face? What’s that you say? You’re totally creeped out? Me too.

But hey, I can’t complain about the growing horizontal thing. At least it’s just slightly past the “go down the neck of your shirt” phase and into the “Wear a bun on the top of your head while sleeping or else wake up with a gigantic mess” phase.

What can I say, it’s hard being a lazy, narcissistic, vain, hair freak. There is no winning.

I feel like now is a good time to share a verse.

1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your adornment must not be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”

but seriously not one day goes by….

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Ten Things I Hate About Summer

Along with summer most people have a sense of joy and relief. Like “Yes! Finally no responsibility and I can relax in the sun and it’s not frigidly cold out!” Well I don’t have those nice warm fuzzies about summer. In the last week I’ve been starkly reminded of a few things I really despise.

1. The complete lack of routine.

I don’t know if I can hang out that day. My work schedule is completely chaotic at the moment. I’m not even working the same shift from day to day, much less have a set line that I can tell you what days I’ll be working two weeks from now.

2. All the construction.

I don’t know if it’s the same way in other states, but in Nebraska we only have two seasons: Cold, and construction. Seriously there are lane closures everywhere and commuting is a nightmare. And the closures aren’t even for good things like fixing potholes, it’s literally just for dumb stuff like putting those black bumpy walk things on the crosswalks. What are those even for?

3. Sunburns

I’ve gotten three so far. In the first week of summer. The first one(which was actually during finals week) on my right shoulder. The second on my left. The third on the back of my neck. It’s very strange and uncomfortable. I look like one of those patchwork puppies.

4. I’m really unproductive.

I’ve been watching Arrow and New Girl all day. I haven’t cracked open my bible in weeks. I literally patted myself on the back today because I took a letter out to the mailbox to be sent. I’m pathetically unmotivated and it’s probably the most depressing thing ever.

5. How awkwardly sticky-hot Nebraska is.

So yeah, this is a Nebraska problem more than a summer problem, but I’m going to go with it. Is there anything worse than sticky hot humidity? I didn’t think so. Seriously it feels like you’re breathing a lake.

6. Pitting out.

Literally always. Walking to the mailbox makes me pit out(Let’s not talk about my weird obsession with checking the mail.) I can’t wear bright blue shirts. Which is literally half of my summer shirts. It’s so frustrating.

7. Shaving on a regular basis.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

8. Ghost town.

I live in the same city as my school, so all my friends leave and I’m stuck here like…. Hi. I work.

9. Sun-bleached hair.

Yeah, I know, ombre is in right now. I get that. But seriously, can my hair just stay the color God made it? It’s really frustrating being half dark brown and half… I don’t even know… light golden baby poop color? I don’t even know. But it looks like I dye my hair and I most certainly do not. Any more.

10. Girls who wear short shorts with a revealing top.

I think I’ve talked about this before, but if you’re going to pull off short shorts you have to wear a conservative top. And vice versa, if you’re going to pull off a revealing top you have to wear conservative bottoms. It’s classy girl 101. It’s really hard to be comfortable and classy in summer. Also it’s really hard to wear sunglasses when you have prescription glasses and are poor… But that is a rant for a different day.

Bottom line: Summer is great for about two days. Then it gets old. Can I get an amen? Yeah I didn’t think so. Enjoy your summer while I stay inside with netflix.

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Intrinsic Value- God and the Categorical Imperative

As a way of both studying for my philosophy final and procrastinating studying for my philosophy final I’m going to write the post that “God and the Categorical Imperative” was teasing for.

In philosophy I’m finding that a lot of philosophers disagree about where a person’s value comes from. In talking about the morality of homosexuality Koppelman asks the question “what relationships have value?” asserting that homosexual relationships have intrinsic value. Gallagher argues on the opposite side that the institution of traditional marriage has intrinsic value that is undermined by same-sex marriage. Hobbes talks about people’s different strengths and weaknesses and how everyone is intrinsically equal, but not in the same way(yet intrinsic value is determined by characteristics of you.) Thomson, in talking about abortion, asserts that value is determined by whether or not your mother gives you permission to use her body?(I’m really not sure what she believes. Honestly. Maybe it’s because I’m a closed minded conservative that hates women. I don’t know. That’s what I gathered from Thomson.) Warren, also in response to abortion, believes that value– nay humanity– is determined by your mental faculties and presents a scary viewpoint that seems to lead to abortion, infanticide, and genocide of the mentally handicapped as well as those in a vegetative state(but hey, if we discover intelligent alien life, it’s wrong to kill them.) Marquis believes that your value comes from the value of your future. Which is good, but then is it right to euthanize? Aristotle presents the idea that merit(in whatever field) constitutes value. Hospers asserts that you are as good as you work, and those who work hard are worth more than those who don’t. Nozick seems to believe that you are as valuable as you make yourself(perhaps. Maybe not.) Murray agrees with Hospers up there. Anderson bases worth on some mystical something that everyone is born with regardless of station, but she doesn’t really point to a specific thing(at least not in the reading that I did…)

But there are two people that I want to specifically talk about.

Both Pruss in his argument against abortion and Scruton in his defense of the conservative view of sexual ethics assert this idea of the wholeness of personhood. For Pruss, your body, mind, and soul are all unified as one at conception. You are the fetus. All of you. Scruton asserts that your sexuality is a part of you that cannot be separated and set on the table. Basically you aren’t a hodge podge of elements that all combined at some unknown point to become the mess that makes you you. You are a rational, spiritual, sexual, physical being. You can’t separate these parts. You can’t give bits up. You can’t say “Oh, I don’t have that part.” nope. It’s all you. And you can’t do something that affects one of those areas without it affecting the others. Because you’re more like kool-aid than a bunch of pebbles in a jar.

You are you, and you are valuable by no merit other than existence.

This is why conservatives believe premarital sex is wrong. This is why conservatives believe that abortion is wrong. For this argument I’m going to focus on premarital sex because that was the initial thought that I had way the heck back earlier in the semester.

Backing up, The categorical imperative(in its second formulation by Emmanuel Kant) states that people should not be used as means to an end, but that they are ends in and of themselves. Mr. Russell uses this categorical imperative to somehow justify having lots of sex while you’re young and getting it out of your system because traditional values are irrational and antiquated and forcing people to wait until marriage is on the same level as prostitution…. yeah.

Well. That’s perfectly fine if your sexuality isn’t a part of you and is simply a good to be exchanged…

But I’m inclined to believe that sexuality is a little bit more than that.

I mean think about it, why is sexuality such a big deal? Why is rape such a big deal? If sexuality is just a good to be exchanged then rape is just a property crime(That’s my synthesis of Pruss and Scruton. Think I’ll pass the final?) Every bit of you screams out “NO! Rape is horrible! It’s not just a property crime, it’s a violation of the most intimate part of a person!”

Yeah. It is a violation of the most intimate part of a person. It’s a violation of the person’s very being. It’s devaluing them. It’s saying “You are a possession to be used and that is all you are worth.” It’s a violation of the categorical imperative. When you use someone for sex(even if it’s consensual, mutual using) it’s treating that person as a means and not an end.

Anyways, now that I’ve established that sexuality is kind of a big deal, I’m going to hit things home for you. Don’t be mad if I hit a nerve.

How is rape any different from lust? When you look at someone for the purpose of gratifying your sexual desire you are using them. You’re violating the categorical imperative. You’re devaluing them. You’re taking both your sexuality and theirs, setting it on the table, and saying “well this is nothing special.”

Except your sexuality is as much a part of you as your soul. Would you lay your soul on the table and say “well this is nothing special.”

Final food for thought:

If every person you had sex with became one of your horcruxes(a la Harry Potter. For you normal people go to this wikipedia article) would you be a little more careful about who you sleep with? To get a little more uncomfortable: if every person you lusted after became one of your horcruxes would you be a little bit more guarded in your thoughts?

Well considering how hopelessly sinful we all are, I’m just going to point out what a broken people we are. With all this soul tearing. It’s pretty painful.

I’m just going to say that HALLELUJAH God has the power to take all these broken soul pieces and give me a new one.

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