Thursday, October 29, 2009
Anyhoo. I really have nothing to say at this point of the day because well volleyball and cross country advances as well as SAAC (Student Athlete-Advisory Committee) meetings have completely sucked the words right out of my head. Not to mention that concentration has completely run away from me and I can't for the life of me seem to get the little booger to come back. It's a tough world without concentration, folks.
So, as I usually do when I have nothing else to write about, I'm just going to post one of those blog listy-survey type things.
Enjoy reading about things that you probably would otherwise not care about. And feel free to walk away from the computer at anytime due to the feeling of utter boredom that might overcome you. It's symbolic really.
1. Tell something about your favorite teacher.
I've had a few favorite teachers in my life. A lot in high school and just a few in college (props to Karyn Brown). However there are two from high school that will always hold a special place in my heart -- Coach Rob(inson) and Mr. Avalon.
Coach Rob taught me 10th grade World History. This guy made me love history, and that's a feat in itself. His style of teaching was unlike any other style I've ever known and his love for Christ exuded every day. In a public school system, where prayer was not aloud, he was bold enough to give us a bible verse to memorize as a bonus question for each test. His enthusiam about teaching made me enthusiastic about learning and he genuinely cared about each one of his students.
Mr. Avalon taught me AP English but I was privileged enough to spend two full years with him in journalism. This guy sparked my love for writing and creativity in a way that I cannot explain and he singled-handedly made me the most sarcastic and boldest person that I've ever been. He taught me how to write 10-12 page paper with exstravegant wordy language in one class and then taught me how to be creative and interesting through clear and concise writing in another. He is the reason that I'm doing what I am doing right now -- writing. And he always started every one of his senior English classes (the first class of every year) telling his students that they had one get out of jail free card to use on him and that was it. And he meant it. I still haven't had to use mine. Yet.
2. Tell about one pivotal moment in your life.
Yikes. I feel like I've had several pivotal moments in my life. Of course, I could always play the God card and say that the day that I was saved was the extreme pivotal moment in my life and that would be exactly right. I could also talk about that one morning that I just woke up and realized that I didn't need a certain friend in my life anymore. But I will say that getting "the call" from my sister one day saying that I needed to come home because my dad was in the hospital had to have been one of the most pivotal moments in my life. That day, that weekend, I learned to lean not on my own understanding for what seemed like the first time in my life. The weird mix of peace and confusion that I had was surreal but at the end of the day, I knew that my God reigned and that this was just another battle that he had conquered on His own.
3. About favorite colors -- a lot of people will ask you what it is, but why. What feeling or memory does it evoke.
This may come as no surprise for most people that read this blog. And it's completely and genuinely true. Maroon is my favorite color. It evokes feelings of pride and excitement in me that really not a lot of things can. It recalls memories of great wins and awful losses, sitting through scortching temperatures and frigid ones, rain and tornadoes until the last second has run off the clock. It causes my heart and soul to swell up with pride that I had fallen in line of a great family legacy and become a MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOG!
4. What is a sure sign that you are getting older?
Lately, I would say forgetfulness because y'all, that has become my demon recently. But I would have to say worry. I'm not the worrying kind but I feel like I worry more now than I did when I was little. I know it's because I know more now than I did then.
5. Halloween -- it is a yes or a no for you (don't sermonize)?
Give or take with me. It's no Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter or 4th of July (all coincide with athletic events or some kind of fancy parade), but it has its moments. To me, I'm not a big dress up and go party person (sometimes I am) but I L-O-V-E carving pumpkins. It's the creativity bug. And don't forget the candy.
6. What is your favorite musical?
Hands down, Wicked. I have no words to explain. I get misty-eyed just thinking about "Defying Gravity". And now I'm going to have to go lock myself in my car and sing it at the top of my lungs.
7. Are you more of city mouse or a country mouse?
I would love to say I'm a little of both but my trip to NYC this summer proved that I'm more city than I am country. Given the boldness to live in a place like the Big Apple for a while, I think I'd do just fine.
8. Did you know that it is possible, for a small fee, to name a real star after someone? (It's true! Google it!) If someone were to name a star foryou, would you appreciate it for its whimsy and romance, or would you say, "Are you kidding me? For $19.95, we could have gone to the movie and actually bought popcorn."
We first of all, I'd never actually say something like that to someone. I'd think it. But I wouldn't say it. After all, I am a Southern girl. Anyway, my best friend in high school had a guy do this for her and although I acted like it was sweet at the time, I thought it was kind of weird-o. However, I can appreciate the act and the thought that go into it. But I'm more of a tangible girl, stuff you can touch. Like food. Now there's a good gift.
9. What is the craziest thing you've ever been doing and texted during it?
I've texted while on the elliptical before. That's a crazy as it gets for me, folks.
10. It's not a party unless ____________________."
It's not a party unless you have Lisa Hart there playing Mad Gab. That's when things get rowdy, people.
11. When you are stuck in traffic or a waiting room, what do you do to pass the time? (P.S. There are no magazines available.)
True story from the three-hour roadside wait: I pull out my iTouch and start playing games or a pull out the camera and document the occassion, thinking this will make such a great blog post later.
12. If you weren't yourself, would you be friends with you?
Seriously? Why wouldn't I want to be friends with me. I'm my own friend now.
Friday, October 23, 2009
The Gospel on Offense - The Faith of Tim Tebow
by Mark Earley
America 's largest church has a capacity to hold 16,000. But while Tim Tebow may not be a preacher, when he runs into the University of Florida 's football Stadium-affectionately known as "The Swamp" -his congregation numbers just over 90,000. And you can bet they're hearing Tim's message.
It's not just that this University of Florida quarterback wears Bible verses etched into his "eye-black" on game days. Tim Tebow has been making headlines for more than simply his Heisman Trophy win as a sophomore and his two national championships. This summer the New York Times, GQ, and Sports Illustrated, all covered the quarterback's strong Christian faith.
Last year, when the Florida Gators won the national championship, the pre-game show followed Tim into a local Florida prison where he can regularly be found sharing his testimony and preaching the Gospel.
And this top-notch athlete, who spends his spring breaks and summers ministering to orphans in the Philippines has actually helped change the culture of the University of Florida . According to Sports Illustrated , "Since Tebow's arrival on campus, and in large part because of him, the University has launched a series of community-service initiatives." Even coach Urban Meyer has taken his family on a "Tebow-inspired mission trip to the Dominican Republic ."
The press seems to be fascinated with outspoken Christian quarterbacks like Tim Tebow; Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman winner; and now USC's Matt Barkley. Only a few decades ago, it would have been taken for granted that these would be the kinds of fellows any father would want his daughter to marry. Now they are put under the microscope as some kind of curious anomaly-well-known athletes who actually exhibit character.
In our doped-up, mug-shot celebrity culture, sadly these young men do look a little out of step. And that's to our culture's shame. Perhaps that is why last year when the press asked Tim Tebow a rather impertinent question-they were more embarrassed by the response than he was. It was at a Southeastern Conference news media event where one reporter asked in front of the crowded room, "Are you a virgin?" Tim answered with an unequivocal yes and had yet another platform to explain how his faith impacts every area of his life.
That platform for sharing the Gospel is exactly what Tim's parents prayed for before he was born. Tim's father, Bob, a missionary in the Philippines, had been weeping over the millions of babies aborted in America . It was then that he prayed, "God, if you give me a son, if you give me Timmy, I'll raise him to be a preacher."
Soon after, when Pam Tebow learned she was expecting, the parents' faith was put to the test. After a series of grave complications, doctors encouraged them to abort the child. They refused. Born small and weak, Timmy struggled from the beginning. But his dad continued to tell him, "God's got a purpose for you, and at some point, He's going to call you to preach."
Dad was right. God's message would come through the roar of the crowd, beamed to millions via satellite. But little did they know, Tim would don a jersey, not robes, and use a stadium for his pulpit.
Tim's a great example of an opportunity every believer has-to put our faith to work on the field of play where God has gifted us and called us.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
I don't think I've ever really been a fan of Halloween. Sure, when I was little I was all about some trick-or-treating and stuffing myself full of candy. But I've never been a fan of the scary, horror side of Halloween. It's just not my cup 'o tea, if you will. I mean I've had probably six costumes in 26 years of living -- a cheerleader (alive and dead), a bear, a witch, Gilligan (which was totally a 5-minute or less construction) and a Firehouse Dalmatian (another last minute idea).
See, I put all my creativity into the pumpkin. Kelly guts the pumpkin and I do all the creative stuff. At least, that's how she puts it.
Two years ago, it was the Up-Chucker...
Fun times were had by all though. Some people really went all out.
Raymond brought out the power tools for some serious business this year.
Kelly and I broke out a little power tool of our own.
However, as it always seems, fun and creativity can only take you so far. Kelly and I have never taken the top prize because well, we don't take it as seriously as everyone else.
Tim (TIMMY!!!!) won the whole sha-bang again (over-achiever!) with his incredible headless horseman carving (center). That's it in the front.He even put a strobe in there next to the candle. Look closely and you can see the Mortal Combat pumpkin in the back that won second. It's the dragon that looks like a wolf. But y'all, that's a dragon. Not a wolf. Don't call it a dragon, lest you fall under the wrath of the pumpkin carving gods.
And see our little mummy right there on the left. He was covered in glow-in-the-dark paint. But he wasn't so much glowy in the dark-y. And y'all I just love that cross pumpkin in the front.
This year saw the first gourd entry. Which was cute. But the pictures didn't turn out so well for that one.
So, that wraps up this year's Pumpkin Extravaganza.
I'm already sketching for next year.
Wow. I'm a horrible blogger considering that I've blogged about mindless things the past week and not about the fun things that have happened in my life lately. Basically, it's been laziness on my part on getting picture off my camera.
So here goes...
About a week and a half ago, I went out to Workplay with some of my friends/student workers to see Dave Barnes. It's been a mighty long time since I've seen ol' Dave play, and I was so pumped for this night. He's actually been to Samford several times since I saw him last at Zydeco. Yet work has kept me from attending.
Anyway, so Sydney and I set out to meet Caroline and Ruth and a couple other girls to eat at Iguana Grill, my new favorite mexican food joint. Oh. So. Good.
After some good eats, we headed downtown to Southside to Workplay. The guy that opened up for Dave, Andrew Ripp, was pretty much awesome and then Dave came out and well, rocked it. He did a very intimate, living room type setting and it was just Dave, no BGVs (that's background vocals, for you amateurs out there).
He did a lot of new stuff and now I'm sitting on pins and needles waiting for that new album to drop at the beginning of the year. It's some hearty, good stuff. Real and gritty, yet soulful and smooth. I'm so excited. And I just just can't hide it. Okay, I'll stop.
The proof is in the pictures. Enjoy.
Morehouse has taken it to another level. No cross-dressing has been added to the list. It's sad to see that it has come to this...at an all-male college, no less.
Click here for a little history on Morehouse to give you a little insight as to why this dress code is such a big deal. I applaud it. You've got to uphold the reputation of a place like this.
2. This post by Sophie at the All-Access blog is a reminder I need every day that John 16:33 is solid truth. It also makes me excited to read to my kids one day.
3. This movie is bound to be great. It's got the one ingredient you need -- Denzel.
4. This one has a lot of hype around it. It looks pretty good. What do you think?
4. Jon Foreman, of Switchfoot, wrote a really good article at Huffington Post about what a real hero is. Check it out.
5. This post by Shaun Groves lays out what it means when we say that the Kingdom of Heaven is here on earth.
6. I can't get enough of the Florida vs. Mississippi State/Dan Mullen vs. Tim Tebow hype that is going aroud this week. I wish I could be there to see the game and so that Tim Tebow could finally meet his future wife, ahem, me (So what if he's five years younger than me?). But I will be finally get to go on a volleyball roadtrip with m' girls. I will get to watch it on television and Matt the Trainer (a faithful Gator fan) and I will have to be confined to seperate rooms lest the madness turn into weeping and gnashing of teeth.
7. This video is awesomely hilarious and I proudly post it here in honor of our volleyball coach.
8. I've always wondered what it would be like for a musical to break out in a grocery store. Improv Everywhere made that happen. Watch and enjoy. And maybe sing along.
9. This is just sad.
10. Bryan Allain is awesomely hilarious, but his break from funny today results in this post which was awesomely humling and convicting for me.
11. My sweet friends Amanda and Luke Cantrell just had (well, within the last six months) a precious little girl named Kate. They've been married for almost two years and are possibly the cutest couple ever. I knew Luke way before I became Amanda's Kappa Delta sister so when they started dating it was fun for me to see the two worlds collide. I couldn't pick a better person for each and Luke made his first appearance on Amanda's blog today with this precious post. I can only hope I have a guy like this one day.
12. Everyone knows that my three favorite quarterbacks right now are Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, and Sam Bradford. For a few obvious reasons. However, you know I have to throw in Tyson Lee, of course, since he is at the helm of the Bulldog ship these days. I've seen him in interviews, and he presents himself well. All his teammates and coaches talk highly of him, and I even know a couple of people that went to high school with him that just say that he's an awesome person. This article just solidifies that.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The SNL came out with this...
Then some guy did this... (this makes me want to gouge out my eyes)
Then TV ran with it...Then this hit the cyber waves...
And then this went viral...
Which must have inspired this... (which pushed me over the edge)
Can we stop now? Can it be over? Please?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This site features people sharing their stories from all walks of life. And mostly people who have been in the limelight lately or over their careers -- Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, Josh Hamilton, Joe Gibbs, Stephen Baldwin, Mike Huckabee, Brian Welch, Jason Castro and many more.
I could sit all day and watch these testimonies.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
- The Samford band plays a song that I can only recall as "Jesus Is Still Alright WIth Me" by DC Talk. I know the Doobie Brothers sang the original but I still only hear Toby Mac..."Toby Mac, and the Mac is back, no slack. On a DC track that jacked..." Oh boy. I should stop now.
- I just don't think being the only guy on the cheerleader squad is worth it. There's got to at least be two. You know, the buddy system. Otherwise, you're just "that guy" that is on the all-girl cheerleading squad.
- There's always that one old guy who will shake is boo-tay for a free...well anything.
- Along with cheering, whistling marching band tunes, should be prohibited from the press box.
- Rain always makes things more fun.
- And it's always a good day when Ole Miss loses.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Remember this post when I cautioned to "never say never" because it just might happen and I found myself at my first-ever country music concert?
Really funny. A couple of weeks after I threw my I-never-win-anything interwebby tantrum, the Big Man upstairs decided to pull one over on me and give me just what I asked for.
I won a book!
To hear what Annie has to say about Daisy Chain, click here.
Hopefully soon, I'll have a little time to sit still and read it, instead of running around the world of athletics like a chicken with its head cut off.
And it'll look something like this.
Until then, I'm looking forward to my 7:15 date tomorrow morning with a cross country meet. In the rain. Good times.
2. So, this makes me really thankful that I live in America, considering the amount of speeding tickets I've had in my driving lifetime so far. Remind me to just not drive in Finland or Canada.
3. According to this, I should probably proofread more. Especially in this economic state.
4. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples". No offense, but I put forth great effort in getting out of bed at 6 a.m. everyday and am not really successful. So what's my prize? Now, I'm not saying that Obama is a bad president or that he doesn't deserve to get this award maybe one day in the future. I'm just saying what everyone else is saying -- it's just a smidge premature, don't you think?
5. This guy is one smart parking attendant.
6. This guy forgot that the helmet is supposed to protect you from having your head split open, not assist you in the process.
7. Have you seen the previews for this 2010 movie? No? Take a look.
Looks pretty cool, huh? I can't wait to see it. I'm a sucker for some wicked CGI movie stuff. But there's one thing bothering me about this movie. It's killing me how so many people are freaked out about this. Even the Maya have now said that this prediction is untrue and that have no idea what it's all about. A little hint to all the people out there freaking out -- go read the New Testament of the Holy Bible especially Mark 13:22.27, 32-33, Acts 1:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 and pretty much the whole book of Revelation.
I guess that's reason that I'm not freaking out. Because I have faith that what I believe in is true and although I'd love to get married and have children and such, I know that if the world ended today, I'd be marching up to heaven with my Savior and Father.
8. And while we're on the subject of the Bible, there's a new Jesus movie in the works -- a word-for-word, verse-by-verse film adaptation of the Gospel according to John. It's to be called, Jesus...No Greater Love. Check out the press release here. And donate if you feel called to do so.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Even through her sickness, for the next two years, after having to quit her job, my second mom dove in head first at spending every minute she could with her daughter. And those minutes that she was laid up due to chemo, Lauren was there, laying in the bed next to her.
I remember her leading a fundraiser at our school in eighth grade. She would come on during the morning announcements over the intercom to give a progress report. She dubbed herself, "The Morning Bird." I can still hear her joyful voice.
At first, I thought of her sickness as just something semi-severe. Like chronic bronchitis or something. You know, something that she'd just get over soon.
That never happened.
Thirteen years ago, at the end of February, my best friend's mom lost her battle. I remember the day it happened like it was yesterday. They came and got Lauren out of class. A few minutes later, we (her five closest friends) were called out of class. We knew this couldn't be good.
They sat us down in the office and told us what was going on. We cried and hugged and sent Lauren on her way. None of us could even think about class or math or science at that moment. We were given the option to not go back to class, considering the school day was more than halfway over.
I remember the visitation. The funeral. The burial. The memorial service at the school.
Then, breast cancer, at least to me, wasn't really as widespread or well known as it is today. However, just in the past 10 years, I could use up all digits on my hands and feet and still not touch all the people that I know that have been affected, either directly or indirectly, by breast cancer.
A few friends' mothers fought the battle in high school and won. Another friend's mom died our junior year of college, and recently she's taken precautions to prevent herself from being diagnosed with the same disease. Another friend that I met when I moved to Birmingham has done the same thing after a scare a couple of years ago.
For more information and statistics about breast cancer, click here.
I've come to love the month of October over the recent years. Not only because the weather starts to get cooler or because of Halloween or because this guy was born. (And not because it's National Sarcastics Appreciation Month either. Appreciate me, mkay?) It's because it's a whole month, a whole 31 days devoted to bringing awareness about breast cancer and raising funds to support the cause.
The Samford University volleyball team is chipping in this year, in support of a special person close to some members of the team. On Oct. 18, they will host a Dig Pink match to celebrate the culmination of a fundraising effort. (This also happens to be the biggest match of the year against College of Charleston, one of our toughest opponents, the team that handed us our first of only two conference losses last season. So if you're in the area, come out and support Breast Cancer Research and the Samford Bulldogs!)
If you haven't yet given and want to give, or if you feel so inclined to, I'd love for you to give, and it would be even better if you'd partner with the Samford volleyball team. If you'd like to help out, click here, or on the button on the sidebar.
Honor someone special with your gift. Save a life.
Monday, October 5, 2009
I'm sad to report that I don't have photographic documentation because I couldn't find my point-and-shoot when I left the house and I didn't want to be the nerd with my honkin' Canon Rebel out at the concert (which I later found out that I wouldn't have been, but I digress.). Still good times were had by all.
Turns out that I didn't need photographic documentation because seeing them wasn't the highlight of the night. Hearing them was. Hearing lyrics that so clearly proclaimed dependence on Christ. Now, a few of their song are secular and fun and catchy, but the majority of them share a statement of truth that all we need is found in Christ.
The band sang one of my favorite songs about halfway through the set. It was kind of funny, because it seemed as though the set took an interesting turn away from fun and groovy to transparent and spiritual. And as they sang this song that, the surroundings of the bar-type atmosphere completely fell away, and there was some serious hand raising and glorifying, if you know what I mean.
The chorus states:
Great is Your glory when You go before me.
Oh, we sing,
Your ways are lovely, so high above me,
And the truth to those words became more apparent to me than before.
The lyrical blessings continued, with two more songs from those guys, and then the next day at church.
So, instead of writing a bunch of jabber here in this little corner of cyberspace, I thought I'd let my lyrical buddies do the talking, and I'd share some of the words that touched me this weekend.
Even if the Earth crumbles under my feet,
Even if the ones I love turn around and crucify me.
I won’t never ever let you down.
I won’t fall,
I won’t fall,
I won’t fall as long as you’re around me.
Even when the rain falls,
Even when the flood starts rising,
Even when the storm comes,
I am washed by the water.
- "Washed By The Water", needtobreathe
Hey now, this is my desire,
Consume me like a fire'
Cause I just want
Something beautiful to touch me.
I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees
And waiting for Something beautiful.
- "Something Beautiful", needtobreathe
Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.
This, the pow’r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.
- "The Power of the Cross", Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend
(FYI, I'm going back this Thursday to see Dave Barnes, and you better believe I'll have ye olde camera with me. If only to capture just a bit of the hilarity that is Dave Barnes, the comedian/musician.)