Look at this

Follow this link to Shevet Achim, an organization performing heart surgeries for Iraqi children.


Fan of Graffiti?

I am, so enjoyed this link.


Blue Monday

Did you know that yesterday was Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year?

I'm not sure of the science that goes into that type of thing, but let's all be glad that it's passed and we can look forward to a long procession of happier days to follow.

All in all, my Blue Monday was pretty good. I got my hair cut which is good because I was looking pretty bad, let me tell you.

Later in the evening, Angie and I went to a local church to hear Bob B. speak. He's a fantastic speaker and a really great singer. I've heard him sing before, but he was on fire tonight. Also, I found out he was on the Family Feud! I love that show. (but don't get me started on John O'Hurley! That shtick with the buzzer? Seriously, it wasn't funny the first time so why would it be funnier if you do it every day?)

Today, I'll have a chance to share my experience over that couple of years with Iraq at a briefing locally. Specifically, I'll get a chance to share about the very beginning of this journey; the stuff that happened pre-13months.

Remember 2003 and 2004? Wow, things have changed since then, yeah?

Here's another quote from Ruthless Trust:
"...it must be noted that Jesus alone reveals who God is. He is the source of our information about transcendence/divinity. We cannot deduce anything about Jesus from what we think we know about God, however, we must deduce everything about God from what we know about Jesus. This implies that all of our prevailing images and understandings of God must crumble in the earthquake of Jesus' self-disclosure. Trust means the willingness to become absolutely empty of all terrifying and comforting images of God that we have held, so that the gift of God in Jesus Christ may come to us on God's terms"


Yay! I Didn't Test as a Nazi!

The Resistance
Achtung! You are 38% brainwashworthy, 31% antitolerant, and 52% blindly patriotic Welcome to the Resistance (Der Widerstand)! You believe in freedom, justice, equality, and your country, and you can't be converted to the the dark side.

Breakdown: your Blind Patriotism levels are borderline unhealthy, but you show such a love of people from everywhere and a natural resistance to brainwashing, you would probably focus your energy to fight the Fuehrer with furor, so to speak.

Conclusion: born and raised in Germany in the early 1930's, you would have taken up ARMS against the oppressors. Or even your friends' oppressors. Congratulations!

Less than 5% of all test takers earn a spot in the Resistance!

The Would You Have Been A Nazi? Test



"Our story is perhaps a paradigm for every trusting disciple. The way of trust is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, into ambiguity, not into some predetermined, clearly defined plan for the future. The next step discloses itself only out of a discernment of God acting in the desert of the present moment. The reality of naked trust is the life of the pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious and secure and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered it his presence and his promise."

- Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust

They Stole My Idea...

I stumbled across this today.

Apparently "The Wrens" think they can name their songs anything they want .13 Months in 6 Minutes!?! I won't call it stealing, but...God and I know the truth! Right, Joan?

It's not a bad song, but it's not the peppiest song I've heard today. Also, the lyrics have nothing to do with me or this website. It's alarming really.

But, that's nothing compared to this website and this!

I mean these people blatently ripped me off. I mean a website meant to track thirteen months of something? That's totally this one! I don't care if it's your honeymoon or 9/11. Couldn't both be tracked for, say, 14 months?

And the picture has very little to do with this post, but it did come from 13months.org. I think they owe me one for the name...

Oh! and a movie.



There is a dearth of new posts among the blogs which I read. What's up?

Does everyone think they have nothing to say? I know that Cinderella J doesn't feel like writing. Am I to assume that everyone had writer's block?

It's cool if you do. I understand.

It seems like so much is going on in my life, while day-to-day everything seems the same. It's hard to write about the big things when they seem so distant and it seems silly to write about the everyday stuff.

I mean does anyone care that VH1 has been showing a mega-marathon of all seven seasons (Tyra calls them cycles) of America's Next Top Model? I doubt it. Plus, does it make me look sad if that's all I have to talk about?

A couple of days ago I read The Stranger by Albert Camus. has anyone read it? I know Kate has; she recommended it. Kate said, "It's about a French guy that kills an Arab for no reason. That's about it."

She's not really wrong, but it's really good. I tend to enjoy first-person fiction especially when the narrator is a little off. It reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye, but I found Meursault more sympathetic that Holden Caulfield - who I hated.

And I realized that it's been a long time since I read Catcher in the Rye, so maybe they are nothing alike. Who knows?

I am also reading Bowling Alone by Putnam. I remember that when I was in undergrad, that was the book. I didn't read it then because my professors talked about it so much that I felt I knew everything that was inside. It's about the decline of civic involvement in America. It's good if a little dull. I feel like a better sitizen just for reading it.

And to update: The computer is up and running. I have a trial copy of Office 2007 which I was able to download from the website (looks like the CD drive has bitten the dust). I tried to upload my contact from my PDA to Outlook and my PDA crashed.

I lost everything on it, but all of contacts had already been saved to the PalmDesktop. If you don't know what all of that means, just know that I dodged a bullet!

1 Peter 1:13

“[Be Holy] Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”


Like Lazarus

Before I went to Iraq I was warned that the country would take it's toll on my laptop computer. I heard story after story of laptops exploding or imploding or turning to dust, but I was one of the lucky ones. My computer made it through with flying colors. Sure it used to shut itself off unexpectedly about once every two weeks, but that never slowed me down.

Then I came home and signs of wear and tear started to show. Programs slowed down, the touchpad stopped working, the CD drive got louder and louder and the cooling fan did the same.

Last week it died. And by died I mean that Windows refused to start. Against Angie's advice, I performed a complete factory restore. I lost everything, but the computer works again. Unfortunately, the CD drive isn't working like it should still. I was lucky to get XP loaded again and I fear that Office will never load. I have to use Outlook Express now. Can you imagine!?!

I remember last time I went to Iraq the enemy tried to kill both Mom and Angie. Now he's attacking my computer? He's 0 for 3. Lame.


2006 Year in Review (Updated)

Below you will find my year in review. I edited it to add some more highlights and links to the archives for each month. I don't know that you'll actually go back and read anything, but I had a good time going through it again.

January: I slept into the New Year because I was sick as a dog! On the second, I flew to AZ and then travelled onto TX where I saw the world's largest wicker reindeer! Then it was on to Iraq where I dropped my soap on the toilet.

February: I spent Valentine's Day eating on the floor. Lucy folded the sifra into the shape of a heart and fed us all pink cake. I was cold and wet for the rest of the month.

March: I spent most of March sharing a room with Stanley since my room was being used by guests. I learned about hospitality! And Stanley had the immense joy of sharing a room with me! And I discovered Pak City!

April:I turned 28 in Iraq! Yay for me! I intrduced Fat Mannequin to the blog and, speaking of fat, I was labeled "a little fat for hiking."

May: Spent two weeks in the TKY! It was pretty awesome. When we went back to Iraq, I hated it!! But this is the month that things started to get good. And Sis turned 30!!

June: Helped Joan with her Massage Therapy classes - because I know so much about it. I was the brains behind the operation. It got really hot in Iraq and I almost passed out in the market. Oh, and someone had one small dog for Lucy.

July: I travelled out of Iraq by myself. It was HOT! I got engaged in London and then came home to America.

(And I met the fabulous Chadlers, of course. Thanks for everythng, Chandlers.)

August: Nothing really happened in August. Really. Except I got a van and did not meet Kurdish singing sensation Chopi.

September: i went to Shepherd's again. Oh, and I got married!

October: Halloween happened, I became a poet, but not living art.

November: I started working at Bath and Body Works. Good times.

December: Kate turned 18 and Angie turned 28 on the same day! Freaky.

Here's to 2007!!