Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Little Tangent About That Grocery Item You Always Forget You Already Have

I don't think I'm the only one that does this. I know at least one of my aunts told me she does (though her often bought item is sauerkraut). You go to the grocery store and get things you think you need and, even if you have a list, you pass by that one thing and think, “I'm not sure I have any of that, I think I may need it,” only to get home and discover you already have not one but multiple boxes/cans/etc. waiting for you.

For me that item is refried beans. I have not one but four cans of refried beans and, on the rare occasion I use them, one can can get me through two or three meals. Refried beans are about the least versatile food there is, it's basically have them in a tortilla, on a tortilla, or with tortilla chips.

Why can't my item be something like chicken? You can fix chicken a million different ways. You can invite friends over for chicken and not have your living room be filled with noxious odors if your friends stick around.

Or bacon? If it was bacon I could be one of the manliest men around. “You guys want to come over later to watch the game? Instead of chips and dip I'm serving bacon and dip. I even made some cups...out of bacon.”

I would probably have a troupe of man's best friend just waiting outside my door, because, well, one man can only eat so much bacon before he starts to share. Just think of all those wagging tails that could be waiting for me.

But no, my item is refried beans, so I shall sit here all alone and contemplate how much methane I can produce as compared with cows. And hey, I think the beans have lard in them, which is kind of related to bacon. Also, according to that wise old rhyme, they're good for your heart.

*Note: I actually went to my parents house tonight and fried a bunch of fish and had a lot of other stuff, too, so I'm not really sitting all alone with a can of beans...though I may be some time in the future. I also never watch “the game,” I'm just not that interested in any of them.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Brief Detour Into Frivolity: A List of Some of My Current Favorite Celebrities

Apart from a long-time crush on Natalie Portman (mainly based on roles from two of her movies) and an off and on crush on Rachel McAdams, I have never really followed or been interested in celebrities and watching their interviews. Even for the previous two, I have very rarely watched interviews with them but recently there have been a few celebrities whose interviews I search out and enjoy watching and even enjoy learning some about their lives. So here is my celebrity favorites list and what I would like to do with each of them (spoiler alert, it's not anything dirty), in no particular order.

  1. Jennifer Lawrence. I think this girl is one of the funniest, most ridiculous, and adorable actresses out there right now. I've heard she can curse like a sailor, so I know I wouldn't like that aspect of her, but I would like to find a really really bad/corny movie and watch it in a living-room group setting with her (with her providing plenty of narration of course). I love watching her interviews and enjoy her acting but I can't decide whether I would greatly enjoy hanging out with her or if she would drive me crazy. I think we would get along great in small doses. She would probably only tolerate me if she got my dry humor, otherwise I would be too bland.
  2. Emma Watson. I admire this woman, for the character she got to play in Harry Potter and the woman she is today. I would love to get coffee with her to talk about books, current world events, and her work with the UN. I think she is smart, charming, and lovely. The thing I think I would be most nervous of is appearing a little ignorant.
  3. Emma Stone. I think she is one of the most adorable and charming girls around. I would love to spend the day with her and Andrew Garfield (her boyfriend or past boyfriend) hiking or kayaking. I think they are cute together and genuinely think I would get along with both of them, especially if they were together.
  4. Logan Lerman. He just seems like a sweet, likeable kid. I thought he was perfect in Perks of Being a Wallflower and I'm looking forward to seeing him in Fury. I think he, Andrew Garfield and I share similar personalities and think they may be oddball enough for me to get along with well.
  5. And lastly, Taylor Swift. At certain times (especially when she does not have a lot of makeup on) I have thought she was quite beautiful but, and I know may seem odd, I never really developed a crush on her until I saw the video for Shake It Off. I love that even with all her fame, she doesn't take herself too seriously and isn't afraid to be a little dorky (which is one of the things I like about Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence as well). I also love that she is getting attention for being so supportive of some of her female friends. Speaking of her female friends, I think it would fun to make dinner with a couple of them and Taylor and then watch a movie. In high school and college I used to sometime be a part of “girl nights” and I think Taylor would be someone fun to experience this with. P.S. One day one of my sisters and I were talking about Taylor Swift and out of nowhere she said, “Your not allowed to date her.” So even if I ever got the chance, I guess I'd have to let it pass by. :)

A couple things I think all of these people have in common is that they are all sweet and intelligent people.

I know fame has a lot of advantages (and I believe some of the above people are using those advantages to help humanity), a lot of perks but I also know I probably would not handle fame well. I am a very passive and laid-back person but if paparazzi was getting in my face and especially in the face of someone I care about, I may have a hard time not throwing a punch or uttering a few threats. I know celebrity houses/estates are often very excessive but I can somewhat understand why so many indulge in that excessiveness. Those compounds are a refuge to attempt to keep prying eyes and listening ears at arms length. I think I would have to take the Johnny Depp approach and live in a place where not many people care about my fame.

I feel like I should say that if I were to make a list of favorite actors, as far as how well I like their acting, it would be a little different. Note: some of these people I do not like in “real life” I merely think they act well and typically chose good parts.

In no particular order:

  1. Dakota Fanning. I've thought this girl was an amazing actress since she was tiny (in I Am Sam and Man on Fire)
  2. Denzel Washington (good guy, bad guy, good guy who's ruthless, he can do them all)
  3. Tom Hanks (I may have thought Castaway was boring, but he still did an amazing job)
  4. Ashley Judd (she's so strong, I love her in Kiss the Girls)
  5. Morgan Freeman
  6. Will Smith (well, minus that After Earth or whatever one he recently did with his son)
  7. Tom Cruise
  8. Jennifer Lawrence (she made it onto both of my lists)
  9. Leonardo Dicaprio (there may be a lot of his movies I don't really like, but he does a an excellent job)
  10. Natalie Portman (if you think she always plays the same cute/adorable character then watch The Other Boleyn Girl, actually don't, it's a sad, twisted movie that makes you hate Ms. Portman)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Life and the Significance of Creating Earth

In my last post I spoke of our life on earth and how its significance pales when compared with the life that is to come and, in a way it does, but it may also be that our brief time here might be the most important part. Just think, something about our experiences here are so significant and worthwhile that God was willing to risk our eternal soul in order for us to have these earthly experiences.

He could have (and did in the form of angels and other heavenly beings) simply made us purely spiritual beings, could have skipped earth and just had us in Heaven (that's not to say that we couldn't have still rebelled, obviously some of the angels did, but I think our rebellion would have been less likely and maybe the angels rebellion as well). But he created earth and, though he may not have originally created it with death, decay, and temporariness, he knew it would become such. He knew that our bodies would break down, knew they were fallible, and the world we live in breakable but he was willing to risk it, risk us because there is something here which we can gain.

I won't pretend to know what that gain is, but I will attempt to guess. First, maybe it was just so the God-head could enact the ultimate display of love through the life and death of the Son on earth. If the world had never been created, if the eternal Heaven was all there ever was, God could tell his creatures “this is how much I love you, I would become temporal, fallible, breakable, 'temptable.' I would be broken for you, allow you to tear my heart to pieces, and then offer to save you. I would be a sacrifice for your sake” and it would be no less true than it is now, but in acting that out on this little ole earth I think it changed something about reality, about how heavenly creatures view the God they worship and creates a relationship for us to God that otherwise would be impossible (and I'm not just talking about how that Gesture solved our fallenness).

A life here on earth also perhaps allows us to appreciate certain aspects of God which we would not find as awe-inspiring had we not experienced decay, fallenness, the breaking down of all around us, and pain. Perhaps through our seeing so much imperfection, we will better be able to see perfection.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

God's Preparation For Work Here or for Life in Heaven

A few months ago someone in our church said something like, “I'm starting to wonder what God is preparing me for, I'm getting old.” Meaning that they don't feel they have accomplished a specific great work for God and they don't foresee that great work in their future.

Well, I think sometimes God does have a particular “great work” he is preparing us for, that he uses all other happenings in our life to prepare us for and causes all things to work together in such a way that we are “at the right place, at the right time” and have been prepared perfectly for just that situation, to accomplish that specific grand work.

But sometimes I think God “just” uses this life to prepare us for our life in Heaven, that in some lives there are no “great works” but just little, simple ones (in man's terms) that still have eternal significance, that still echo beyond time. And I think such a life is more than okay, for this life pales in significance, is a “mere breath” when compared to the Life that is to come. So all our preparation, even if it accomplishes nothing of grand significance while we are here, is no less important, indeed is even more important, than a preparation which prepares us for anything here, no matter how grand.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Triumphal Procession

We, as Christians, are like those being lead in a triumphal procession as the ones who were defeated, who should be hanging our heads, only to discover that through our surrender and defeat, we have been granted a freedom that is far beyond what we had before; a victory greater than any defeat we endured. 

As we progress in our procession our clothes slowly change. The old cord about our waist becomes a Belt of Truth, the rags draped around our shoulders become a Breastplate of Righteousness, our tired feet feel as if they have wings of Readiness, on one hand our manacle becomes a Shield of Faith, and the other turns into the Sword of the Spirit, our bowed head momentarily falls a little lower with the added weight, but then we realize our shame has been replaced with the Helmet of Salvation. We look around us in wonder to discover that we, the conquered, the broken have become the Conquerors and, instead of being sentenced to a life of crushing slavery, we have been elected Ambassadors of our Conquering King. With this armor thus in place we must remember that we do not fight our fellow man, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” As well as all our other clothing and armor, we must remember to also clothe ourselves with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” 

Those once corrupted with Darkness become a Shining Light to the world and through all our attire aforementioned we reflect the Glory of our King.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Why an Eternal Worship Service Wouldn't Be Too Bad

Some people don't necessarily want to go to Heaven because they think it is going to be an eternal worship service with everyone saying “Holy, Holy, Holy” over and over and over again and then over again and again. Personally, I think there's going to be more to it than that. But, if there's not, I do not think that worship will ever grow boring and here is why.

I believe every beautiful thing you have ever seen, every majestic sight, everything truly wonderful thing you have experienced is merely a small manifestation of God for he has revealed a portion of himself in those things. Take the all of creation, all of its complexity, its beauty and its wonder, they are but echoes of what make up God. This is the Being upon whom you will be looking. To forever look at his face is to forever see new and different aspects of beauty, of power, of glory. We will not be singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” in English or any other earthly language, but rather learn the “real word,” that sound which most truly expresses the sentiment of “HOLY” and, knowing that word and gazing at God we shall say “Holy” over and over again because each moment gazing at Him is a moment in which we are better learning how perfectly that word fits Him. We will roll the word around in our mouth as if savoring a good wine, thinking, “this is what Holy means and who it is truly referring to.” We will say “Holy,” “Perfect,” “Pure,” Majestic,” “Merciful,” and so many other words because as we learn those True words we will see them personified before our eyes and will not be able to help but say them. God is the seemingly ever changing and truly unchanging God, he will forever seem to be new and changing because of his vastness, his splendor, and majesty.

If we “have to" forever stand, kneel, and fall before God, I do not think our spirits will mind, for that is what they were created to do, to worship God while in his presence, gazing upon his beautiful and loving face.