The one about what I’m currently reading

Yesterday I wrote about the music I am currently obsessed with. So today I figured I’d talk about the books I’m currently reading. I love to read. I can’t go to the library without checking out at least one book. I tend to read multiple books at the same time. The reason for this is that I like to balance a “difficult” or non fiction book with an easier fiction book and vice versa. Also since I got my kindle it makes it 10 times easier to read multiple books at the same time. Ok so if you were to pick up my kindle, or look at the shelf beside my bed here are the books you would see.

Harry Potter from Page to Screen: this is a HUGE coffee table style book that my lovely sister and brother in law gave me for my birthday. It follows the adaptation of the Harry Potter books to the movies. It’s awesome. It’s probably going to take me 3 years to read it because there is no way I can ever take this book out with me. I can only read it when I’m home because the book weighs at least 10 pounds and is huge. But it is beautiful. If you are a Harry Potter fan it is definitely worth it to buy this book.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I saw the movie over Easter weekend and loved it so much I was driven to re-read the series. It’s been over a year since I read the book so I’m enjoying rediscovering just how awesome the book is.

Live from New York by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller: This is an oral history of Saturday Night Live. It’s really fascinating but long so it’s taking me awhile to finish it. It only goes up to 2004, so I hope the authors update it soon.

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer: Georgette Heyer was a very prolific regency romance writer in the 1960’s. If you love Jane Austen and bemoan the fact that there are only 6 novels of hers to read I would suggest Heyer. She is not a bodice ripping romance novelist. She is much closer to Jane Austen not just in the time period in which her novels are set, but in the tone and language. She wrote a TON of books so I’m slowly working my way through all of her books. If I was going to suggest a book of hers to start with I would say Black Sheep.

Collected Short Stories by Lucy Maud Montgomery: Montgomery wrote hundreds of short stories in her long career. I found a kindle book that put them all together by the year she wrote them. There are so many that it has seriously taken me over 3 months to read half of them. I love them all though. It’s the perfect thing to read when I’m waiting in a long line or only have a short time to read. It’s also cool to see where she took some of her short stories and expanded them to create certain novels.

So there you have it. What I’m reading right now. What are you reading now? I’m always looking for suggestions!

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The one about a tuneful Tuesday

I’m doing a lot of work lately on my computer. I’m also running lots of errands which means I’m spending a lot of time in my car. I like to listen to podcasts for sure, but when I have to concentrate on something or I’m constantly getting in and out of the car I’d rather listen to music. I thought I’d write about the songs and artists that I’m really into right now. If you are looking for new music this is the entry to read! So without further ado: the music I am currently obsessed with. OH WAIT. Please listen to all of these if you don’t know them. I’m purposefully only putting a small number of songs so you won’t get overwhelmed. But trust me when I say you need to listen to all of these. SERIOUSLY

Regina Spektor: Blue Lips

The album this song comes from. Far, is completely wonderful from start to finish. I’ve had this album on my ipod for awhile, but lately I’ve really been obsessed with Blue Lips. Regina Spektor is a wonderful piano player and her songs are full of such whimsy. My favorite part is the little bridge where a beautiful section of strings comes in to lift the song up to a different level. Seriously, buy anything by Regina Spektor and you will be happy.

The Civil Wars: Kingdom Come

This song was featured on The Hunger Games soundtrack. I LOVE The Civil Wars. I don’t think I’ve ever heard two people’s voices blend so well together as Joy Williams and J.P. White. They only have one album out but that album is amazing. In fact the next song I’m obsessed with comes from that album.

C’est la Mort: The Civil Wars

C’est la vie means this is life, so if you haven’t figured it out yet c’est la mort means this is death. Doesn’t sound too happy right? But it’s a sweet melancholy love song and I love it so much I would marry this song if songs were sentient beings. Seriously to save myself some time in this entry just assume that the entire The Civil Wars album Barton Hollow is on this list. Go buy it off of iTunes right now. Seriously. Do it. Right now.

Florence and the Machine: Cosmic Love

Oh Florence Welch. You are crazy. Like Imogen Heap crazy, and I love you for it. This song sounds like it was recorded in outer space. The drums beats are SICK. They are my favorite part of this song. That and Florence’s ethereal voice. Seriously, she blows my mind. If you only know Florence and the Machine from the song “Dog Days” you are sorely missing out. The rest of her album Lungs gets better and better after that song.

Delta Spirit: Devil Knows You’re Dead

The lyrics to this song are from I believe an Old Irish poem/prayer. But all this song makes me think about is Friday Night Lights. I won’t spoil when the songs plays for those of you that haven’t seen the show (but seriously why haven’t you seen that show yet? It’s the best show ever and all 5 seasons are Netflix Instant) If you have seen the show you know why I cry every time I hear this song. EVERY. TIME.

Sandra McCracken: Thy Mercy My God

Sandra McCracken is an artist similar to Sara Groves in that she writes songs that have both beautiful melodies, and beautiful thought provoking lyrics. Sandra is really into writing “hymns for a new generation” and I think she does it so well. This song sounds like it could have been written decades and decades ago, and yet it is still so accessible to the church today. I put this song on and feel immediately transformed to a spirit of worship. She appears on this list twice as well with,

Sandra McCracken: In Feast or Fallow

I’ve written a lot about how I’m in a period of transition. I know a lot of the people in my life are in the same place and are feeling kind of lost. We feel unsure about our next step and sometimes it seems like God is so far away. This song has been my comfort and strength when I feel like that. Seriously, it has over 200 plays on my iTunes. Listen to this song and be encouraged.

So there you have it. The songs I am currently obsessed with. Let me know what you think. And here is aQuestion For You!What songs or artists are you currently obsessed with? Leave a link in the comments!

The one about feeling lost

I’m reading a haunting book. It’s called Columbine by Dave Cullen who was a freelance reporter and was one of the first journalists on scene of the tragedy. He spent the years after compiling research on what happened, the victims, and the killers. It is very sad and several times I find myself openly weeping while reading it, and yet I can’t stop. The tragedy affects me because of how vividly I remember it happening. If you know me you know that the big joke surrounding my memory is that I have no long term memory. People will remind me of situations or things I’ve said and I’ll have no memory of them. I’ll even be presented with photographic evidence and still not fully remember the event. My brother in law Tim says that’s because my whole childhood I had my head stuck in a book. Who knows, maybe he’s right. As I’ve gotten older I’ve actually gotten a little better at remembering things because I make a conscious choice to pay attention to the world around me.

But in April 1999 I was just newly 11 years old and still not great at remembering events. But I remember coming home from school and watching high school students running full tilt out of the school with their hands on their heads while SWAT teams covered them with their guns. My parents were watching mesmerized and I remember feeling terrified as the news media continued explaining what had happened. Two gunman killing and injuring many of their peers with guns and bombs. The screen filled with crying students and parents desperate to know if any of their loved ones were among the dead. It was horrible.

Reading this book puts me right back in that place with some new feelings as well. The book does a great job of debunking a lot of the myths that surround the tragedy; that the boys targeted certain kids, that they were loners, that they were Goth, that they were part of some Trench Coat Mafia. All of those myths were created by a grieving community and news media that wanted quick answers. It would take years for the real answers to come out. If you can handle the sadness I really encourage you to read this book. I’m not even halfway through it and I find it so fascinating. The real answer behind why Dylan and Eric did what they did is both sad and scary at the same time.

The author posits, with significant proof from law enforcement and other mental health professionals, that Eric was a true psychopath. The public uses that term for anyone who commits a crime, but in real psychiatry the word means a real mental condition. Psychopaths have no conscience and care nothing for others, but can appear to feel the exact opposite. They are manipulators who can appear charming and likeable, but this is all an act to hide that they will do anything for their own gain. When they hurt others they feel no remorse. Think of Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer and you have a pretty good picture of a typical murderous psychopath. Eric fit this picture almost perfectly. His journals from the beginning show a desire to kill and the belief that he is unique and better than all the other stupid people around him. Those people deserve to die because he said they do. There isn’t much help for a psychopath because talk therapy is just another way for him to learn how to manipulate people. Reading about Eric is scary. Reading about Dylan is half of the reason why I weep.

Dylan did not fit the bill of murderous personality. He was depressed. While depressed people sometimes kill, they hardly ever kill large groups of people. Instead they might kill one or two people close to them that they feel is the cause of their depression. Even more often than killing one or two people, a depressed person will kill himself. He views his problems not as coming from the world, but coming from himself. Dylan also thought he was unique. But he saw his uniqueness as a bad thing, the thing that kept him from being happy. His journals show self hatred and hopelessness. Eric, the true psychopath, took Dylan’s depression and hatred of himself and slowly turned it to a hatred of others. It was like he was saying “why do you hate yourself? There is nothing wrong with you. There is something wrong with them.” On the day of the shooting within the first 4 minutes of the attacks Eric shot his gun more than 40 times. Dylan shot his 3 times.

Reading Dylan’s journal entries in the book make me cry. He was so lost and confused. When his best friend Zach got a girlfriend and being spending more time with her he writes, “I feel so lonely without a friend.” another entry says “A dark time, infinite sadness, I want to find love.”

Of course I cry when I read about the victims, that hasn’t changed since 1999. How terrible that 13 people lost their lives. How terrible for their families. I still feel that deeply. But reading this book Dylan is the person that haunts me. How I wish he had felt like he could share those thoughts with his parents, who from all accounts of the book, seem pretty well adjusted and loving. How I wish he could have experienced the real and true love of God that would fill every hole he felt in his life. He didn’t want to murder. When he walked into the cafeteria after firing his gun 3 times outside there were over 50 kids still running up the stairs out of the room. He never fired at them. Just waved the gun around a few times and left. Why? Why couldn’t he pull that trigger? I believe the only time Dylan felt comfortable pulling the trigger was when he put the gun to his mouth in the library. He hated himself, not others.

Why am I writing all of this sad stuff? Maybe to help process it myself. But the bigger reason is to remind the people in my life to always be on the lookout for a Dylan. Be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Maybe that person you see in Wawa every morning thinks his life is waste. Look for a chance to tell him it’s not. Maybe that woman who rides your bus to work thinks nobody in the world could love her. Look for a chance to tell her that the creator of her worlds loves her with an overwhelming love. Maybe that kid you teach thinks nobody would notice if he was gone tomorrow. Let him know you would notice.

Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. And if we want to be like him we need to pick up that mantle and go and find them. I want God to open my eyes to the hurting people that are around me. I want him to use me to change someones life. I want to get to my Dylan before an Eric gets to him first.

The One About how I did it!

So it’s finally here! 40 days of blogging everyday! Some days I am not gonna lie it was really really hard to carve out time to write something much less think of a subject matter. But here it is Easter Sunday and I did it! I feel really proud of myself and I think this is going to help me write more regularly from now on. I can’t promise I’ll be writing everyday, but I am going to write often.

Thanks everyone for reading this and supporting me! I can’t wait to start the next series. I’ll leave you with my favorite song to listen to this Easter. Happy Easter everyone! He is risen indeed!

The one about waiting

Yesterday was Good Friday. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. So what is today? I think it’s waiting Saturday. A lot of the people involved in the Easter story were waiting on Saturday. The disciples were waiting in the upper room for the Romans to find them and arrest them as well. The women were waiting for the day they could go to his tomb to dress his body. And creation itself was holding it’s breath and waiting.

Waiting

Waiting for that moment when the power of God could no longer be contained. Waiting for the moment when the earth would shake. Waiting for the moment when the stone would be rolled away . Waiting for the moment when death would lose its hold. Waiting for the moment when Jesus would walk out of the tomb completely alive.

But before Sunday could come, Saturday had to finish. I think all of us can be in a ” Waiting Saturday” moment sometimes. Where we can feel that something big is just around the corner. But it hasn’t come yet, and we are starting to wonder if it ever will. I’m in a “Waiting Saturday” moment in my own life. How I remind myself I can get through it is by looking at the followers of Jesus on Saturday. They were waiting, and had no idea that their answer was so close. Less than a day away, all their prayers would be answered. They were so close. They just needed to wait a little while longer.

Whatever ” Waiting Saturday” you are going through I want to encourage you in it. The wait is almost over. You are so close. Just wait a little longer.

Sunday is coming.

 

The One about how today is so good

We made it to Kansas. I got many hugs from Edie and the L’s. I ate Chinese Food for dinner. We might go see The Hunger Games. But all of those things are just a small fraction of what makes today great.

Today over 2,000 years ago my death sentence was commuted. I have life because He gave up his. Sometimes I think we try to rush by Good Friday because we are so anxious to get to Jesus rising from the dead on Sunday. But it’s important to reflect on the magnitude of what Jesus did. How he was beaten and humiliated all for me. When he died my life truly began. And I am so thankful.

This is short because I really am finding it hard to put into words how I feel about today. I’ll leave off with the link to a wonderful song that really encapsulates everything I’m trying to say.

The one about feeling alone part 2

I’ve written before about how sometimes I can feel alone. Re-reading a chapter in Lucado’s book tonight that talked about the Thursday night before Jesus’ death. He has a last meal with his disciples. A meal where he takes on the servant role and washes his disciples feet. After this he takes them to the Garden of Gethsemene and he asks them to pray with him.

These are agonizing moments for Jesus. The beauty of our Savior is that he was fully God and fully human. So he knows what he must do, but his human side quakes with fear. He literally sweats blood. He asks his Father to take the cup of suffering away from him. And yet in the end he says “not my will but your will be done.” And what does he find the disciples doing while he’s praying with all of his strength? They have fallen asleep. All Jesus wanted was to not be alone in those moments, and they couldn’t stay awake. He is not angry at them though. He understands their weariness. But understanding it doesn’t change what Jesus is going through. Lucado’s words are better than mine.

“He knew that before victory would come defeat. He knew that before the throne would come the cup. He knew that before the light of Sunday would come the darkness of Friday.”

And through all this the disciples sleep on. What is Jesus’ response? It’s to pray for them. In his last moments with his disciples he prays for them. He prays for us! Lucado quotes Jesus’ words from the book of Matthew. ” I pray for these men. But I am also praying for all people who will believe in me because of the teachings of these men. Father, I pray that all people who believe in me can be one…I pray that these people can also be one in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.”

Does this blow your mind? Cause it blows mine. Jesus in his last moments alone before the humiliation of his trial and death begins is praying for ME. His thoughts are consumed with me! To paraphrase a sentence Lucado says; as His final prayer was about ME. His final pain was for ME. His final passion was for ME! I want to always be blown away by this thought. I don’t ever want to take that thought for granted.

Jesus struggled with having to die. He was afraid. He asked his Father to provide another way. But God said no. And Jesus accepted it with peace in his heart. One more quote from Lucado: “The battle is won. You may have thought it was won on Golgotha. It wasn’t. You may have thought the sign of victory is the empty tomb. It isn’t. The final battle was won in Gethsemane. And the sign of conquest is Jesus at peace in the olive trees. For it was in the garden that he made his decision. He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you.”

Tomorrow I’ll be on a plane. I’m very excited to see my family for a week but I am sad to miss going to church on Good Friday. But tomorrow on the plane I’m going to think about that above paragraph. And I’m going to thank Jesus for being so unselfish to think of me in his last moments on earth.

Thank you. So much.