Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blog-Linkity Goodness 9.30.09

1. First, let me just say, I'm not going to get into the whole Black History Month, reparations, reverse racism conversation. I grew up in public school with black friends, some of those being my best friends at times. Overall, I don't understand the whole racism thing, but then again I wasn't around for the things that went on 40, 50, 60 or even 200 years ago. I do understand that there are people in all races that can ruin perceptions for their own races by the actions that they have chosen to display. One bad apple spoils the whole bunch, right? It's not a black/white issue. It's not a Native American, Latin American, Asian American issue. It's the fact that we haven't fully learned how to love each other with the love that God has shown us. That's the real issue here.

This kid is 11 years old. And his wisdom confounds me. Mad props to his parents for instilling beliefs in him that all men are created equal and are responsible for his/her own destiny despite his/her race, creed or socio-economic background.

Although I have to admit that I was guilty of using this word is reference to a coule of friends in high school, I now agree with this kid. This word sends chills up my spine when I hear it in any forum these days.

Just take a look.

2. Another video. If you've got 12 minutes to spare, please watch this. I need this guy to yell at me every day to snap me out of my sin-filled false reality. This is complete boldness in the Word of God and the only Truth can save us from eternal damnation.

"A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit."

3. This post by Melanie blessed my soul in a big way today. I love when married women share their insights on being single, because they've all been through it before. And she's right, the hardest part of waiting is the waiting. But I can't sit around a wish for the day when I will be "made whole" by another person because I'm being "made whole" right now in God.

4. Bryan Allain never fails to give me a laugh first thing in the morning. And this post that he has up today is classic and priceless. And if involves Jack Bauer.

5. And just for a little bonus, I found this while Google searching the Wikipedia of Jack Bauer.

6. John Travolta coming to his senses about Scientology? Let's hope so. I've actually prayed about this many times. When his son died, I prayed for this family for a week. I felt a little stupid for praying for a celebrity, but celebrities are real people too, right? I don't understand how someone can be a part of a religion that doesn't acknowledge sicknesses that its members have. They just ignore it or call it something else and don't treat it or cry out to God, the Only One who can cure it, on behalf of that person. This is why God made people who become doctors. I'm going to keep praying that this situation while drive Travolta and his wife as well as other people to look closely at what they really believe and eventually find the One True God.

7. Lastly, as a former cheerleader, this caught my eye. These girls have been using scripture on their signs since 2003 and now they are being told it's a violation of the First Amendment. Personally, I think the whole First Amendment card is played way to much to the point that people are confused of what it actually means. Anyway, if cheerleaders can put sayings on signs that say, "Cage the Tigers" and get no response from PETA (the most overly sensative organization on planet Earth, I think these girls should be able to put whatever they want on their signs as long as it's family friendly. And this coming from the girl that okay-ed a sign her senior year that said "Burn Natchez (Matches) Burn". Yikes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cleverness: It Runs In The Family

This may not be the best email I've ever received but it sure is the best I've gotten in a long time.

I asked my dad earlier today what I should do (besides vacuum) about ants in my car. (Sidenote: I do not leave food in my car. So that is not why they are there. I blame it on the rain. Yeah. Yeah.)

This was his response to my email:

"Ask them where they need to go and take them or drive around until they need to go to the bathroom. Stop at a quick mart and when they get out to go, shut the door and drive off leaving them behind. If that doesn’t work get some ant bait at HD or Wal-mart."

Clever Daddy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Random Dozen

1. Please share one middle school memory. It can be good, bad, ugly, funny. Pictures or words, I don't care, just share.
Two come straight to mind. 1) There was a fight one day in seventh grade and a girl got her face bashed into the floor and her hair pulled out. Don't ask me why that is stuck in my head besides the fact that I managed to stay clear of the of the girl who beat her up for the next year and a half. 2) My friends and I rolled our eighth grade English teacher's car after Mississippi State won the Egg Bowl that year. She was an Ole Miss fan. She also happened to be our best friend's mom. We talked our art teacher into letting us out of third period to do it. Fake suspension papers were drawn up. Good times.

2. What's your favorite Beatles song?
Wow. Seriously. This is so hard. I'm going to go with "Hey Jude" right now.

3. If I asked you to describe your most comfortable outfit, what would it be?
Most definitely, t-shirt and capri sweatpants.

4. Would you rather host a party or be a guest?
Guest. The host has way too much to think about it. As a guest, you just show up.

5. Do you think we will move completely from traditional books to digital ones, and if we do, are you OK with that?
I don't think so. There are way too many people in this world that love to mark all over books just like me.

6. Do you learn best by reading, listening or experiencing?
Definitely, experiencing. I'm a hands-on, see-it-to-believe-it, watch-and-learn kind of girl.

7. If you are (or when you were) single, what is the kiss of death for you concerning the opposite sex? (That is, what is one trait or behavior or habit or anything at all that immediately turns you off from considering that person a potential match for you?)
Smoking cigarettes and dipping are definite deal-breakers for me.

8. Snacks. Salty or sweet?
I like a mix of both but I guess I'll say salty.

9. Look around you in a four foot radius. What object is around you that you didn't realize was there or forgot was there? How long has it been there?
My "FAITH" photograph art piece. I forgot to get Dad to hang it when he was here and just haven't thought about it since.

10. What is your favorite Tom Cruise movie?
A Few Good Men. No question.

11. You buy a bottle of shampoo and discover that you don't like what it does to your hair at all. What do you do with that full bottle?
Save it for a rainy day. Or a day I run out of the kind that actually like.

12. Your favorite Fall comfort food? (Last week it was beverage.)
Candy corn.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Things That Have Made Me Happy Today

1. This little bit of goodness from Ree at Pionneer Woman. Just look at that picture. Pinapple wrapped in bacon?!?! Is this what they will serve in heaven along with Krispy Kremes and cookie cake?

2. My sister sent this to me today and I immediately want to pick up and move to NYC only for the reason to go work at FAO Schwartz. And well, the afore-mentioned obsession too.

3. Shanna is a friend I acquired through other friends that I grew up with. (And she also happens to be married to a guy I went to high school with.) She went to school with my church friends and one thing my church friends were good at were intermingling friend groups. Anyway, it makes me giddy inside to see people use their unbelieveable talents to glorify the Father, and that what Shanna does along with Blake (who just happens to the husband of another one of those friends, Sarah.). The duo started back at MSU at the Wesley Foundation and have been leading worship since. They are simply called, "Blake and Shanna". Based in Nashville. And they are good. The proof is in the video. I've been watching/listening to these all day long.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Entitlement vs. Grace

Lately, I've been struggling with feelings of entitlement and envy.

I've watched a person who destroyed the dream of my future receive every single bit of that dream in a matter of eight months. And I don't think this person deserves it one bit.

Aren't I entitled to enjoy the dream that I had before they even have a chance to enjoy anything else in this life?

Aren't I?


You know why. Because in my life...yeah, that life that God has given me, I'm not entitled to anything. I'm not even entitled to his saving grace. That's why it's called grace. Because it's undeserved.

I don't deserve it, yet I receive buckets of it every. single. day.

We've all gone through life, being coddled and groomed to think that we deserve certain things in life. Sure the U.S. Constitution entitles us to certain "rights" but the only reasons we are entitled to those rights are because God in his infinite wisdom and marvelous grace decided that he wanted us to be American citizens. Now, that doesn't mean that we are more or less special than anyone who was not born in the United States. It just means that we should be thankful for the freedoms and the rights that we have been given and not abuse them.

So, therefore, I have to constantly remind myself when I go into "That's not fair" mode that life's not fair. That the "Boomerang Theory" that I've conjured up in my mind (good deserves good, bad deserves bad) is not how God does things.

And that grace is poured out like rain on me every day, not because I deservie it or an entitled to it, but because God loves me.

Blog-Linkity Goodness 9.16.09

Some webby goodness on this dreary day.

- Jessica Turner at The Mom Creative shared this precious video of Mr. Rogers. I don't care what people say about him, this guy was a huge part of my childhood afternoons.

- My dad shared this video the other day on his blog. Stupid pet tricks is my favorite. I don't know why this is so funny, but it so is.

- Allison at Anointed With Grace wrote an amazing post about extending grace to others. Read it now.

- This post by the Pioneer Woman gave me an excuse not to be ashamed about my recently acquired mismatched flatware.

- I love Annie Downs' writing. I love her videos even more. Or maybe equally because her writing is pretty hard to beat. Anyway, her video about buying a mixer is pretty darn funny.

- I also love history, Mississippi, the SEC and football. This article by The Clarion Ledger's sports editor, Rick Cleveland (a.k.a. The Guv), is probably one of my most favorite things I've read in a long time.

- And of course, what is an edition of Blog-Linkity Goodness if I didn't link to Stuff Christians Like? Take a look at John Acuff's Five Commandments of Church League Sports. (And just as a bonus, read what his thoughts are on the whole Kanye West thing. He makes a very valid point and I'm now convicted of my judgment.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Outburst Montage

First we had this...

Then this happened...

Then this guy showed up...

And not to be outdone...

Can't we all just get along?

For the apologies, click here, here, and here.

P.S. Did anyone see Michael Jordan's rant at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony? Craziness. I think we need to start handing out Xanex before every big event from now on.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just A Big Whole In the Sky

I remember where I was when I heard about the attacks on the Twin Towers. I remember watching it on the Today Show. Matt and Katie. Katie and Matt. The image was forever burned into my head -- the Towers, smoke billowing from them like two oversized smoke stacks on a warehouse.

I remember hesitantly going to my U.S. Government class that day. I didn't want to leave the dorm room. I wanted to just stay and watch it all. I started to class, the sun bright in the sky, but the mood was somber, as people here and there started to find out the news.

I remember sitting in my seat, front row, middle section, third seat from the left. I remember my teacher coming in, starting up the lesson, only to stop not even five minutes later. He was speechless, heartbroken and confused. I'll remember his words forever, "I just can't teach government when all of this is going on."

He dismissed us, and I trekked back to my room. There I found out two more planes had crashed.

I remember just four years before I was there at The Towers. I stayed in the hotel at the World Trade Center on a choir trip to the big city. I remember being enamored with the fact that we didn't have to go outside to get on the subway. And I remember being overwhelmed by how big it all was.

I remember going to the Statue of Liberty two years later, for the second time, and looking back at Manhattan, the towers literally towering over everything. It was that one mark of the skyline that was unmistakable.

This summer was my first time going back to New York City after the attacks. Just like they say, the skyline wasn't the same. At all. There was a big whole in the sky.

Before, everywhere you looked, there were the Towers. It was like it was NYC's own little compass, helping you to navigate the concrete jungle. But this time, there were no Towers. The compass was gone. And to a tourist, all sense of direction was gone.

It was my first time to actually go to Ground Zero. We walked around, Kumar (our tour guide) spitting out facts and stories. Finally, we reached this huge window in the middle of the plaza that looked out onto the construction site. Where there used to be towers that seemed to go up into the sky without end, there was now dirt, steel beams scattered about, and various construction equipment.

Then Kumar told us a story that I'll never forget. He said that when he was little, he used to get made fun of and beat up at school. That why most of his stories started with, "I remember this one day, when I was skipping school..." (No worries. God got him. He was saved one day while skipping school.). He said on the days when he would have a bad day at school, his mom (who raised him and his brother alone after his dad died) would hug him tight, take him to the window and they would stare out at the unmistakable Twin Towers.

She would point out the blinking light on the top and tell him that as long as that blinking light is there, everything would be okay. That was Kumar's sign of hope. Then he told us about the first time he went down to Ground Zero after the attacks. How there was just a big hole in the sky. And how that blinking light was no longer there.

Everywhere we went, Kumar would point to a place in the skyline and say, "Right there, where there is nothing but sky? It used to be nothing but towers."

It was so interesting to hear his point of view, to see St. Paul's where the workers would go to sleep on their "off" shift, and to see the work that had been done already and the miles and miles of work there still was to go.

The memorial is set to be complete in 2013. That's four years from now. Can you imagine?

September 11 will never be the same for this country. And especially for my generation. Sure we'll go about our lives, doing what we do. But like our parents remember where they were when they saw the moon landing or when they heard that JFK was shot or when the Challenger exploded, we will always remember 9/11.

But with that, I'll always remember that God always works things out for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. We don't always know what that purpose is, but the good thing about that is that we don't have to.

Because we aren't in control.

He is.

Blog-Linkity Goodness (or craziness) 9.10.09

- This is what Charlie Sheen's says about 9/11. No wonder I've hated everything he's done in the entertainment industry. He's nutty anyway.

- American Idol has replaced Paula Abdul. And they've put Ellen in here place. Brace yourselves America. I remember when she was a guest host on this past season of So You Think You Can Dance. She was funny, but I think I might have had to throw something at the TV had she been there all season. She and Kara should make an interesting pair.

- This is probably the greatest prank attempt for college student, but the most dumb one at the same time. 470 feet of extension cord? Really? Ever heard of this?

- Only in Detroit (I know, I was stuck there overnight this summer) can a person get 45 traffic violations and NOT go to jail because "Detroit and Highland Park police lacked jail space". And only in Detroit will you get a response like the following from an officer of the law when asked about the lack of jail space: "It's just a little hole in the system," says Lt. William Wilson of the Ferndale Police Department. "And so, there's the ability to keep skating along like she did."

- This is like shouting "Go To Hell Ole Miss" during the National Anthem. Except it's kinda funny in this situation.

- Who talks about their sexcapades in a Capitol hearing room?! Apparently, this guy.
In other non-news related linkage:

- I don't cook, but this recipe for shrimp quesadillas on the Pioneer Woman's blog makes me want to actually attempt to cook a meal.

- This post of John Acuff's about child-like bravery was very inspiring.

- Laminin by Louie Giglio. I've shared it before and I'm sharing it again. It's so powerful.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Different Kind Of Different

I woke up this morning in a different place than I have for the past year. Same bed. Same alarm clock (boo!). But a different place.

This day was officially different.

This past weekend I moved. I moved up. Like the Jeffersons. "To a deluxe apartment in the sky." Well, not really deluxe. It's more like a "one-bedroom apartment in the sky." But really not even the sky. It's just up a big hill on the side of Shades Mountain. But ask my momma and she'll tell you I practically live on Mount Everest. Up the long and winding road.

So I woke up in a different place. And in a different way. I didn't immediately turn on the television and grab my iTouch and check Twitter like I ususally. Basically because I don't have cable and internet yet. But I woke up to a quiet place.

I then pulled out the handy-dandy Samford-issued AT&T Wireless internet air card, plugged it into my computer and dialed up K-Love. Because if there is one thing that the 'Ham is lacking is a quality (emphasis on the word quality) Christian music station. A.K.A K-Love.

This day was officially more different.

Then I went on about my business.

As I was getting ready, I thought, "Hmm, wouldn't it be great if the left turn signal at the bottom of the hill turned green right when I approached so I wouldn't have to sit for 45 minutes (slight exaggeration) to turn onto Lakeshore?"

And then guess what happened as I approached ye olde light. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Not 100 yards from the light, it turned green, making my trip to work, officially 3 minutes and 42 seconds.

And this day was officially more different than it was before.

Isn't God awesome? The way he shows himself by answering prayers you didn't even know you prayed?

I be-bopped into work with a smile on my face, basking in the greatness that God just showed me. I hadn't been there 15 minutes when my boss came in my office and said, "Hey, can I talk to you for a second?" And then proceeded to close the door behind him.

Those aren't exactly words you want to here first thing in the morning. My first reaction was, "Humble pie? Don't mind if I do. What the heck have I done wrong now?"

But no wrong had been done on my part. It turns out that one of our men's basketball players, Jim Griffin, passed away in his sleep last night.

And this day was officially a different kind of different.

My heart sank. Although you could probably count how many conversations I've ever had with Jim on half of one hand, Jim was one of my favorite people. I guess you could say that I knew him vicariously, if that is even possible. I've heard so many stories from his coaches and my volleyball players, that I feel like I know him all too well.

Jim was the kind of player that you always wanted on your team, no matter what his talent level was. I would say that last year, his junior year, was his breakout year. Jim was the most fun to watch, not because he was a part of any amazing plays or because he could dunk over a 7'2" center or because he drained three-pointers from eight feet behind the arc.

Jim played with his heart. Moreso, he played with is soul. You hear people talk about "leaving it all out on the court". That's what Jim did. Every game. It didn't matter weather he played four minutes or 40 minutes. You knew that Jim was going to give you everything he had. And it was completely evident. Transparent.

I always joked about how Jim always looked like he was petrified and on the brink of death when he was on the floor. But that's how he played. You could literally see him go through the full range of emotions right there on the floor.

His friendships all over campus are a testimony to what kind of guy he was. Everyone knew him. And he was usually the life of the party.

My prayers go out to the Griffin family and all of his friends. My heart broke this morning for our student-athletes as reality started to set in. Almost six months ago, I lost a very good friend and I know how hard it is to understand how someone so young, who has his whole life in front of him, is here one day and gone the next.

However, what got me throught that time, and what I've tried to convey to my girls on the team and our student-workers here, is that we are not in control. No matter how bad we want to believe it and how mad it makes us feel, we are never in control. There is One True God, who is the Master and Maker of this universe, and he holds everything in the universe, and outside of it, in the palm of his hand. He makes the decision around these parts and we are merely the little colored squares in God's big ol' rubix cube. Except God already knows the solution.

But we must also understand that He does nothing without a purpose. And that purpose is bringing glory to His name. That may sound selfish to some, but the more I've studied His Word and the closer that has drawn me to him, the more I count it all joy when bad things like this come my way. (James 1) Why? Because I get to see Him work in a big way. My reaction has turned from feelings of helplessness and confusion, to feelings of peace and comfort because I know that there is One person that I can fully lean into and trust that He will support me when I'm weak.

And when I'm weak, y'all...that's when He shows off.

I don't know what's going on in the lives of those of you who are reading this, but know this: My God is the God that forgives. He's the God that saves. And He's the God that restores. And He can be your God too. He makes ALL things new. And one day we will all be made knew, those of us that confess Him as Lord and believe in Him as the God of salvation and restoration.

And right now, I believe that Jim's sporting a nice new body. One that isn't sore from workouts. Or tired from playing two hours of pick-up. And he's feasting on an everlasting buffet of Krispy Kremes and shrimp.

Please somebody tell me there are Krispy Kremes and shrimp.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Meme Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

Heard about this from Melanie at This Ain't New York. Got it here from The Lid. Looked like fun.

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration?
Usually a DVD from the $5 bin. I'm going to have to find a new constant. The bin is running low of quality material.

2. What is something that people are currently "into" that you just don't get or appreciate?
The Twilight books. At first I thought is was weird, but I've started to warm up to it. I just don't have the time to read right now.

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel "ho-hum" about?
Hmm. This is hard because I don't get really excited about a lot of stuff. I do get a little giddy when cookie cake is involved, but I know other people who do the same thing.

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car?
Sadly, I don't really sing in the shower these days. But my favorite song to sing my car, with the volume on say 100, is "Unto The Lamb" by Christ For The Nations Music or "In Christ Alone/Solid Rock" the Brook Hills version. You might catch me raising my hand if I'm really into it. And if I'm at a stop light, you can bet that both hands are probably raised.

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient:
Black olives. Period.

6. Advice in a nutshell to new bloggers (one or two sentences):
Know that you know that you know you really want to say that.

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you?
Virginia. And they were going to call me Ginny. And no. I love having the name Katie. It totally fits me better than Ginny.

8. What in your life are you waiting for?
The One.

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?
Well today, I got a random picture of Jason Varitek from Kumar. But usually is a book or a CD. Or a random funny card from Bethany.

10. Today--what song represents you?
Workin' For The Weekend

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself?
I'm better at writing than I really think. And apparently, I can be funny sometimes.

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you're wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you're feeling today?
I just randomly chose what I wore today but they definitely said that Katie is a hot little number today. Too bad it was wasted on the people I work with.

Answer the questions in the comments or on your blog and let me know if you do. I wanna know!

I Press On Toward The Prize

I never win anything.


(Except for that one time I won that contest in third grade for composing my own piano piece, but I'm convinced that I was the only entrant so the above statement still rings true.)

You know those contests and giveaways that give you more than one chance to win a prize. Like you can enter a bazillion times to increase you chances of winning. Yeah, I could be the ONLY person to enter a bazillion times and I still would never win.

I would lose.

L-O-S-E. Lose.

Losing is no fun at all.

I'm convinced that God thinks that I have all I need right now and that I don't need that glow-in-the-dark shark pen that that lady is giving away on her blog nor do I need the 7.2 million dollars from the Florida lottery.

(However, I'm pretty sure the lottery is like gambling and I'm pretty sure Jesus was against gambling, so maybe God has a good point there. But I promise I'll give a portion of my winning to the down-trodden. Deal? Huh? Bueller?)


So I've set out to change my fate.

I'm going to enter every single legitimate contest/giveaway/sweepstakes I come across however many times I'm allowed, to prove to myself and all the world that I am, in fact, not a big ol' loser. No siree.

Let the games begin...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Blog-Linkity Goodness 9.1.09

A few interwebby gems to wet your appetite this fine Tuesday.

Andy Merrick is back on the blogging scene after a six month hiatus and I was so excited to see a new post from him yesterday. Today's was even better. As Bon Jovi would say...shot through the heart.

This edition of Bryan Allain's Ramblings is so classic. I tried to pick a favorite and I couldn't. That's how good it is. Read. Laugh. Love.

Everyone is always trying to get that perfect picture of themselves. I love photography. I love taking pictures. And I always have my point-and-shoot stashed in my purse just for those special photo ops. Jeremy Cowart is an incredible photographer that has come up with an awesome idea to give everyone a chance to get that one perfect picture of themselves...for free. Check it out here.

This girl won the lottery when she was sixteen and spent it all on fake boobs, drugs and about 50 new wardrobes. A lesson to the English, this is why you have to be 21 or older to play the lottery in the United States. We can't keep people from making dumb choices, but we can at least give them a chance to educate themselves first.

This one is for my mom and sister. They're all about eating some cookie dough fresh out of the package. This lady is dying from it. Lesson learned. This is why we BAKE the dough before we eat it.

And last but not least:

(And I usually don't comment this much but I just can't help myself today...)

Someone sew this lady up. We've all heard of the Duggars, right? And if you haven't, then you're obviously not watching enough TLC. The Duggars, who currently have 18 children -- the oldest who is recently married and is expecting grandbaby numero uno with said wife this fall, the youngest who is a mere eight months (EIGHT MONTHS) -- recently announced on the Today Show that they were expecting their 19th child -- NINETEENTH CHILD!!! -- on March 18th.

Now I'm no family expert and I'm in no position to say anything about how many children one should have, lest judge, but for the love of all that is good and holy and for the sake of maternal sanity, why -- dear Lord, tell me why -- would you want to birth 19 children?!?!

Have you seen this woman? She has to have the most sweet, compassionate, mild-tempered personality I've ever seen a woman have, much less a woman with 18 children. God knows I love my momma, but I'm pretty sure two was enough for her. I'm sure that if she had even had two of ME, it might have driven her to the crazy side of Bananas Avenue.

But I've become a little suspicious of the fact that Mrs. Duggar is so incredibly sweet and mild-tempered and have thought once or twice or 33 times that she might have a never-ending epidural hangover going on. There might be a little (or a lot) bit of the happy juice still flowing through her veins.

Someone needs to do a scientific experiment on this woman. She's got some crazy supernatural fertility going on. She could be a superhero. Fertile Woman. The Super Baby-Maker. Someone call the Greeks because we've just found their goddess of fertility right here in the U.S. of A.

But seriously, God bless the Duggars. My hat is off to a family that can do what they do and give God the glory for it. I don't really know a lot about their religious beliefs but I do know that they strive to do everything in their life according to God's will. And those are my kind of people.

Just don't call me to babysit.