A Few Lingering Thoughts

A few lingering thoughts and shout-outs and such before packing and snuggling with my kitties:

To Richard: I offer you Psalm 13. This is in no way intended to take away your pain; but instead to remind you of someone who can. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to “sanctify the Lord God in [our] hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” My hope is in God. Trust in Him.

To Bri: Congrats on the apartment! You’re in charge while I’m gone. And remember: no parties, no sex, no boys (except Mike of course!), and no rock music!

To those of you who are praying for travel mercies for me: Jon and I thank you in advance. I have to admit that I am a bit on the petrified side after hearing the Al Qaeda warning but… I’m still going to fly. Osama and his followers WANT me to be afraid and not to fly. Why give in to them? I don’t negotiate with terrorists (or liturgists *shiver*).

To Leenie and Doug: Happy Birthday a few days early! (I’ll be at the wedding on Leenie’s and flying back to Ohio on Doug’s.) May your day be filled with friends, family, joy, happiness, cats (for Leenie), and geritol/black candles/fake walkers/”uplifting cards”/reading glasses (for Doug). (Before you give me any slack about the reading glasses, remember that I am the only 22 year old in the world with BIFOCALS!!!!)

That is all. Entry ite est. Go in peace. Serve the Lord. Gratia Deo!

Newdow needs a life

Paging Dr. Michael Newdow…

GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You complain about the presence of Congressional chaplains because they “are an endorsement of religion by the government”. Did you ever stop to think that banning them is basically a banning of religion by the government??? Our Congresspeople have the right to seek spiritual guidance and I haven’t heard of any of them objecting to having morning prayer said when Congress is in session.

You complain about the government endorsing religion, which tramples your civil rights. Under your line of reasoning, the government would have to ban religion, which tramples MY civil rights. The phrase is freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

Sheesh!

Psalm139

Posting inspired by Leenie

O LORD , you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD .

You hem me in-behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD ,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

–Psalm 139 (NIV)

Thank you, Almighty God, that you know me so intricately and care about my needs and fears. As we celebrate this season of Advent, be with us and show us your presence in the darkness. For, this was the time You chose to send your Son to us. Give us light in the midst of the darkness that surrounds our lives and help us to see Your work, even in the darkest areas of our souls. Help us in times of pain to feel Your comforting hand. Lead us through this time of preparation and dusk to the light of your Son’s birth. We pray in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

Friend Test Results

Here are the answers (and explanations) to my Friend Test:

1.) My birthday is May 19th. People either got it straight on or guessed St. Patrick’s Day which is two months too early (and worth no points). I’m still amazed that I didn’t get any people guessing May 18th or May 1st.

2.) I was born in Los Gatos, California. Nobody got this one, though the people who said San Jose got 9 points out of 10 because Los Gatos is a San Jose suburb. Those who said California got 2 points for getting the state right. I’m still amazed at those who answered “Dublin, Ireland” because though I’ve been there (Spring Break 1998), I’ve lived in the U.S. all my life.

3.) My cats’ names are Finian and Cullen. Most people got this. “Cuichlain and Fintain” is close because those are the names that they originated from (which fit the kitties to a T). “Ewok and Pufferpie” are left over from their younger kittenhood, as are “Cat Cat and Puff Puff”.

4.) I am 5’1 normally though I manage to tip the charts at 5’1″ 1/2 on a good day. If you guessed either one, you got all the points. If you added the 1/2 inch to my height, you are automatically endeared to me. Guessing that I was 5’5″ got you 5 points because it’s taller than I am and 4’11” got you 2 points.

5.) My favorite saint is Pelagia the Harlot. Jon and Ellen both got this one (though I’m wondering when I mentioned it). St. Brigid got you 7.5 points because she’s Irish and female. St. Patrick got you 5 points because he’s Irish and Teresa of Avila got you 5 points because she wrote some interesting things. Nobody guessed Padre Pio, which is good because he creeps me out.

6.) My favorite author hands down is Jan Karon. C.S Lewis is a really close second and you got 9.5 points if you guessed him. Phillip Yancey and Lillian Jackson Braun would have netted you 7.5 and 5 points respectively. Nobody guessed Schliermacher which is good. (Bonus points for those who can tell me who he is and why I despise him.)

7.) Everybody got my two favorite colors: forest green and navy blue.

8.) My favorite seasons are Advent, Lent, and Spring. I originally had Advent and Spring down with Lent docking you 2.5 points and then I realized that Lent is on par with Advent. So… Jon and Leenie get 2.5 added back on their score.

9.) My heroes are my mom and my grandfather. Everybody got these two. If I’d had my druthers, Britney Spears would have been worth -100 points, but unfortunately, the lowest point value has to be 0.

10.) “Matrushka Jen” means that I am a pastor’s wife or (in some churches) a vicar’s wife too. I *WISH* it meant that I had some standing in the church but it doesn’t.

The highest score of a person not married to me was Krissy with 96. (Jon or “foxboy” got 99 with the Lent points added back on.) If you got above 50, you know me sort of well. Above 80, you know me pretty well. Above 90, you’re either married to me or you’re someone I’m relatively close to.

OK… now Jen go seep!

The Pics I promised

These are the pics I promised on Wednesday:

Me with my flufferpie before I cut my hair
The Before Picture

Me with CatCat afterward
The After Picture

Mad Cat Cat!
Cullen objecting to being in the after picture

BIG Culli Cat
Cullen glaring at me

My handsome beast
Finian being a handsome and affectionate beast

How I Feel Right Now

Lately I’ve been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I’m amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don’t see inside of me
I’m hiding all the tears

They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
‘Cause deep inside this armour
The warrior is a child

Unafraid because his armour is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I’m amazing
Never face retreat
But they don’t see the enemies
That lay me at His feet

They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
‘Cause deep inside this armour
The warrior is a child

I drop my sword and look up for His smile
Because deep inside this armour
Deep inside this armour
Deep inside this armour
The Warrior is a Child

–“The Warrior is a Child” by Twila Paris