Tuesday, December 21, 2004

When It Rains, It Pours.
aka: When the pipe freezes, the ceiling falls in and your apartment is flooded.

So, we’ve been married 5 months Friday, and Steve has finished his first semester of graduate school. Both, people told us, would be difficult transitions. Life would be hard. This I knew, but I didn’t think it would be so unfortunate!

Now, don’t get me wrong, we’ve been very happy. But let’s recap the last 5 months, shall we? First, our apartment smelled of smoke. Then fleas. Then a broken dishwasher, a broken laundry machine, a dishwasher that spilled water into the wall and carpet, and carpenter ants. A couple of weeks ago, our drier broke. Then Steve got pneumonia just as finals hit. I have gotten both pinkeye and a weird-pseudo-heart-attack/panic attack thing in the previous two months, on top of the normal colds. Life proved to be an adventure indeed.

But that was all the adventure; we have enough stories to tell our children, right? Not quite. When Steve and I got back from seeing “A Series of Unfortunate Events” in the theater this afternoon, his sister Katie told us, “Someone from your apartment called. Your apartment was completely flooded, and your ceiling caved in.” I looked at the cell number and tried to place it, assuming it must be a friend’s practical joke. Steve called. It was not. They were in our apartment when we called taking pictures, and asked if there was anything special we’d like to get pictures of for the insurance company. Immediately I set them to saving my viola from the water damage.

This is a special time to remember what is most important in life. And today I remembered fully. The shock of loosing the hand-made furniture and my computer subsided quickly. Within the half hour, I was over it. I am dreading the return home and all the clean-up work I’ll have to do, but am over the loss of the material items. In the end, they don’t really matter. As corny as this sounds, life is good. Steve is with me. I have a loving family (including Steve’s family now!) surrounding me. I am happy. And as I walk into my apartment, I hope I will remember that the “things” never mattered. The love that built the furniture still lives, and as long as that remains, the items can crumble.

This has been our marriage thus far. A series of unfortunate events, or a few more steps forward in this journey called life. It is a blessing that all events have also come with undeniable unsurpassable joy. God is good.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

We're in MN!
Oh, and P.S. -- We're home now. :) We had a beautiful flight in, had a great view of the Chicago skyline, and are now here.
Feel free to give us a call at Steve's folks' place if you're in the area! We'll be around through the holidays.

Church Search - Episode VIII b: Blacknall Memorial Pres. Church

This is Episode VIII b to compliment Episode VIII below. Steve and I again visted BMPC. This time we attended Sunday School as well as the service. As the service was commented on before, let me throw in our thoughts on Sunday School.

Music: 5 -- We could have done with out, but it allowed Steve to read the book that the discussion was on, and allowed Laura to eat some of her bagel, so not a bad thing.

Speaker: 8 -- He gave a down-right good talk on fasting, and the merits thereof, as well as the reasons and ways it is often misinterpreted, and reasons some Christians should not fast. (E.g. if you have an eating disorder, pretty much any "fasting" you do is likely to be turned into a bad thing, etc. Only he stated all this with much more depth and clarity.)

Obscure Connections to "Back Home": 9 -- This almost tops the "orthodox priest who was a friend of my grandparents back in Europe when he was a missionary on the same field as them" story. I spent much of the Sunday school hour sneaking looks at a girl across the room. She looked SOOOO familiar, but I couldn't place her. She introduced her friends as "friends from when we were in Minnesota," so I figured I had a good lead-in for conversation after the hour. I approached her casually, just in case she didn't recognize me, and asked her where abouts in MN she was from. She said, "Stillwater. And you're from Bayport. You're David's little sister." Well! There's that. Apparently my first year in high school, she was a senior, and was in a Bible study I occasionally attended. As soon as she told me her name, everything fit in place, and I remembered things we'd done together. Very nice.

Food: 4 -- an eclectic collection of leftovers from a holiday party (chips, cookies, etc.) and breakfast food like bagels.

All in all, a good time. I just wish it weren't so far away!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Currently Reading:
All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

Laura has been trying to get me to read this book for a while, and since it is a classic, I could not hold out for long. She had the moral high ground on this one, so I picked it up as good reading material for the three-hour final I had to proctor today.

Talk about depressing. I know war is bad and whatnot, but shoot, there is a lot of dying and stuff going on, and I am only up to chapter five. I am going to have to wait to read some more before I reccomend this one.

I Guess I am a Secular Humanist

I recently took two worldview tests to see where I measure up as a Christian thinker. I am afraid to say that did quite poorly. I am a secular humanist in many areas of thought according to both surveys. To see a more detailed account of these tests and my scores check out the writeup on my other Blog.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Currently Reading:
The Seventh Son and The Red Prophet by Orson Scott Card.

Now that Christmas break is finally upon me, I took it upon myself to visit a the local library, where Laura and I got our library cards and I pulled these books for the start of my break.

I just finished the first, Seventh Son which is the start of the Alvin Maker series, and am quite pleased so far. Card creates an imaginative "America that might have been" if superstitions, hexes, witchcraft and all that were actually real. It takes place soon after the revolution happened, except that the revolution did not happen in this world. It is an interesting blend of fantasy and history, not a masterpiece, but entertaining enough to get my mind out of the mathematical wasteland I have inhabited lately.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Church Search Episode VIII: Blacknall Memorial Prespyterian Church

This is another church recommended by people at focus, so we thought we would give it a go.

Sermon: 10/10 The pastor gave a very eloquent and very thoughtful sermon about Mary, but did it in a way that even an evangelical would be happy with. He made me think, and inspired me at the same time, without being too flashy.

Seating: 6/10 The place was kinda crowded, and the pews were not the most comfortable, but hey, at least they let you sit down.

Travel Time: 4/10 This is the kicker, the church is basically on the Duke campus, which is a bit farther away than we woule like, still we will be going back, the 35 min drive is worth it to get a service like that

We are going to visit again and check out their sunday school.

Church Search Episode VII: Orange United Methodist

This church was nice, we went to both the contemporary and traditional services, but neither really stood out to us as something special. The sermons were OK, seating was good enough, and music was fine. The only real exceptional element was the brass quartet, which was very good. We may go back, just because a friend of ours seems to like this one, but no gurantees.

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