Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Look! An Update!

I've updated the Unread Library post, for those of you interested. All of the books that have an (*) next to them are additions to the list after the original post. So, now the list is really huge.
Next on the agenda is: I have three book reviews that I'm in the process of writing to post. Isn't that exciting? Look for them in the next week or so!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Shane Claiborne - Buechner Institute Guest Blog

King College is also home to the Buechner Institute, which sponsors speakers throughout the school year in order to foster both the intellectual and spiritual growth of it's students, the community, and the world. The Institute is committed to looking at the clash where faith meets culture and tries to bring in speakers that do that very thing.
This past week, the Institute hosted Shane Claiborne, a Christian activist working in Philadelphia (and originally from Maryville, TN). The following is my blog that appeared on the official Buechner website as a response to his convocation speech.

Probably the most outstanding statement that Shane Claiborne made during his Monday morning convocation address was this: "If we look closely, we can see that Christianity spreads best, not through force, but through fascination." This declaration is the vocalization of something that I have been struggling with for a long time: do my physical and emotional actions in any way resemble my vocal faith? Am I just another evangelical that marches the aisle once a year, singing "Just as I Am," while staying just as I was?

Shane talked about three remedies that could quite possibly change our walks, and the fallen world that we walk in. The first was that we should seek to recapture the movement of the kingdom of God, in that God went to those people that he was seeking and saving. Our goal in this life should be to make our lives an intersection between our faith and the suffering of the world, and be a "different kind" of whatever we're choosing to be. I currently live in a state of versatility, where I can literally change the outlook of my whole life by turning in one Request Change of Major Form, and can be that "different kind." And so often, I choose not to take advantage of it.

His second point of "Christianity Reform" is the one that I have the most trouble with. He suggested that our attitude regarding money and possessions is wrong, and while I agree with that wholeheartedly, I'm not sure that the redistribution of wealth that he was suggesting could work in the broadest sense. I do think that the church as a whole has a responsibility to attempt to provide for the impoverished and needy in our communities, and my home church makes great efforts throughout the year to take care of those needs. While we understand that we alone cannot eliminate hunger in the greater Sullivan County, TN area, we know that we are making a difference, and can show individuals Jesus by handing them a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread. But - I'm not entirely convinced that we can convince the rest of the world to live in such a way that "Capitalism won't be possible and Marxism won't be necessary," at least, not without withdrawing completely from the greater world community.

His third and last suggestion to the King College community during his lecture was that we should always and forever attempt to be people of reconciliation and hospitality. I had heard the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote about 11 o'clock on Sunday mornings being the "most segregated hour" before, and it bothered me even more when Shane brought it up. We should always endeavor to build relationships with the individuals that we might not normally build relationships with, for those are the people that we need to show Jesus to. I have to continually remind myself that the healthy people don't need a doctor, so why should I only show Jesus to my closest friends and family?

Shane reinforced a lot of the issues that I have been struggling with the last year, and gave me more reason to be empowered to NOT be normal, and to be peculiar because that's simply what I'm called to be, and to display some of that "scandalous love and hospitality." My favorite quote of the morning was when Shane recollected a border patrol officer in Iran, who stated that, "You might be Christians, but you're crazy." Crazy's not always a bad thing, you know?

First, an apology.

We've been through this before: I. Am. A. Terrible. Blogger.
But you have to understand, as much as I love school, I would forget to go if I didn't write it down. I am THE most absentminded person on the planet as far as remembering things goes. Another example is this - I logged into my Google reader this week and had >1,000 posts to read. I could hear it laughing at me, saying in a snide voice, "You're going to be here for awhile, you negligent blog reader."
However, I am determined, now, to do better. (I know, I know. You've seen me write that before... But seriously.)
I have the following things on the list to do:
Update the Unread Library list. Yes, I bought more books.
Post a couple of reviews, since I am making a little progress with those shelves.
Post my Buechner Institute guest postings. (See, I have been posting SOMEWHERE!!)

Hold me accountable, please!! (All five of you.)


Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Unread Library - Book Review Construction

Alright. So, before I start talking about the books in my Unread Library, I wanted to be clear on how I was going to talk about them. Just so everyone (all 5 of you) reading is starting in the same place. I searched online for popular ways on how to construct a book review, and I found one website that just listed several different categories, each with it's own set of questions examining the book. I'm going to just post them here, so you're prepared.
Points to Ponder:
- What was the story about?
- Who were the main characters?
- Were the characters credible?
- What did the main characters do in the story?
- Did the main characters run into any problems? Adventures?
- Who was your favorite character? Why?
Your Personal Experiences:
- Could you relate to any of the characters in the story?
- Have you ever done or felt some of the things the characters did?
Your Opinion:
- Did you like the book?
- What was your favorite part of the book?
- Do you have a least favorite part of the book?
- If you could change something, what would it be?
Your Recommendation:
- Would you recommend this book to another person?
- What type of person would like this book?

I think that these questions will allow me to talk about the book without revealing too much about the plot, while at the same time let my opinion be known clearly.
Enough stuffiness for now. I'm ready to talk about the first book!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Unread Library

One of the blogs that I follow (Jules at Pancakes and French Fries) recently posted the contents of her summer reading list, and entitled it The Unread Library. She had moved through her dwelling, collected all the books that she had purchased but had not read, and put them in one place where she would see them every day. She has vowed not to buy another book until this task is completed. I had already been building my summer reading list, but I have now decided that not purchasing any more books for awhile could be a good thing for me, too. So, below are some pictures of my summer reading shelves, and the entire list can be found at the bottom of this post. Let me know which ones you've read and enjoyed, or are planning on reading.

Now for the list!!

Mansfield Park (Austen)
Jane Eyre (Bronte)
Wuthering Heights (Bronte)
Godric (Buechner)
A Dead Man in Deptford (Burgess)
The Man Who Was Thursday (Chesterton)
Orthodoxy (Chesterton)
The Awakening (Chopin)
Heart of Darkness (Conrad)
The Stranger (Camus)
Walking Across Egypt (Dickinson)
The Triumph of Deborah (Etzioni-Halevy)
*The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size 12 (Gold)
The Power and the Glory (Greene)
*At Break of Day (Grimes)
*The Road to Paris (Grimes)
*The Monsters of Templeton (Groff)
Jude the Obscure (Hardy)
The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne)
The Odyssey (Homer)
*The Reluctant Heiress (Ibbotson)
Music, The Brain, and Ecstasy (Jourdain)
The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce)
Ulysses (Joyce)
The Red Queen's Daughter (Kolosov)
A Swiftly Tilting Planet (L'Engle)
A Grief Observed (Lewis)
The Great Divorce (Lewis)
The Screwtape Letters (Lewis)
Til We Have Faces (Lewis)
*Lilith (Mac Donald)
*Phantastes (Mac Donald)
The Ragamuffin Gospel (Manning)
John Adams (McCullough)
*In His Right Mind (McDonald)
Evidence for Christianity (McDowell)
*In Quiet Light (McEntyre)
Blue Like Jazz (Miller)
Searching for God Knows What (Miller)
Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Milton)
*We Were the Mulvaneys (Oates)
Monster (Peretti)
The Oath (Peretti)
The Prophet (Peretti)
Don't Waste Your Life (Piper)
The Dracula Dossier (Reese)
The Mark of the Lion Trilogy (Rivers)
The Unlikely Disciple (Roose)
Nine Stories (Salinger)
Gaudy Night (Sayers)
*Murder Must Advertise (Sayers)
*Strong Poison (Sayers)
*The Bastard of Istanbul (Shafak)
The Complete Sonnets and Poems (Shakespeare)
Hamlet (Shakespeare)
Twelfth Night (Shakespeare)
*Oral History (Smith)
Liberty's Promise (Stockton)
Dracula (Stoker)
Letters to My Children (Taylor)
The Myth of Certainty (Taylor)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Tolkien)
The Hobbit (Tolkien)
The Lord of the Rings (Tolkien)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain)
Brideshead Revisited (Waugh)
Descent into Hell (Williams)
War in Heaven (Williams)
Fireproof (Wilson)

The Dress!

So the dress finally got finished, and in time for the wedding. I was so excited!!
Here are some shots of pattern cutting:

And some shots of Mimi sewing (I wasn't able to do some of the stuff). And her beautiful pattern matching that she was oh-so-proud of.

Now, some pictures of the wedding. :)

The bridal party, pre-wedding with our fun mimosas.

And me, being ultra hot.

And the fun guy I sang with at the wedding (who I met two days prior).

All in all, the dress was fantastic. I'm definitely going to keep the pattern and try it again. The pattern also works for a tunic shirt that I so want to make. Mimi is going to give me one of her old machines so that I can get started in earnest with my sewing. Woohoo!!

That's it for this one.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Okay, okay.

I'm a slacker. However, I do have finished photos of the dress and me at the wedding, so I'm working on it.
As of right now, I've been home less than 72 hours, and I've spent only 24 of those at home (not at one time), 20 at the BK, and the rest elsewhere. Tonight, though, I got to come home, take a four and a half hour nap, and I've just spend 2 hours reading the blogs that I missed while I was away (btw - I still have >500 left to read. Shew!)
So, just so we're aware, a real update is coming. Promise.