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for the upcoming primaries and cacuses
i went to methodist church again this morning. i walked in just as the prelude began and after the announcements were over - perfect timing. i really dislike hearing announcements before worship. it puts me in the wrong state of mind. for me the beginning of the service is the time to focus on God, not on the upcoming brass concert and especially not on the profit margins of the latest fund raiser.

once again, i didn't like the service, but i won't go into that. more and more i feel like it is not the place for me. so, the question is: do i go somewhere else or try and do something about it where i am.

i was reading the church newsletter this evening at my parents and found one spark of hope. in a little, one-paragraph side note was an invitation to join those that come early to church to join others in our old chapel (now converted into a lounge) for FAIR TRADE COFFEE! that makes me want to go to church again. it makes me want to start a pre-church coffee/current events/social justice/bible study/faith discussion group. i feel like this could be the spark that ignites our transition into the pomo age. a bunch of people sitting around talking about life.
shifting sand
Sometimes I believe all the lies, so I can do the things I should despise, and every day I am swayed by whatever is on my mind. I hear it all depends on my faith, so I'm feeling precarious. The only problem I have with these mysteries, is they're so mysterious. And like a consumer I've been thinking, if I could just get a bit more, more than my 15 minutes of faith, then I'd be secure.

My faith is like shifting sand
Changed by every wave
My faith is like shifting sand
So I stand on grace

I've begged you for some proof for my Thomas eyes to see. A slithering staff, a leperous hand, and lions resting lazily. A glimpse of your back-side glory and this soaked altar going ablaze. But you know I've seen so much I explained it away. Waters rose as my doubts reigned, my sand-castle faith, it slipped away. Found myself standing on your grace, it'd been there all the time.

caedmon's call
unendurable otherwise
"...we're heavy into reliance on and relationship with our triune God, the LORD, because this is the only way we know to live. Too much of our lives has been unendurable otherwise."
Christine Hutchinson
My grandparents came over for Thanksgiving dinner at my parents. I had some real food for once in a long time and it was oh so good.

After dinner, my mom and I talked with my grandma. She is so funny! She was telling us about her act for the Christmas dinner at the "Manor" (where she and my grandpa live - senior housing). She and some other ladies are going to do slapstick comedy - the Minnesota/Lutheran/Norwegian/Swedish kind (jokes about lutefisk, lefsa and lutherans).

She plays piano BY EAR and plans to have everyone sing the Twelve Days of Christmas from Minnesota. Grandma said they sang it a couple of years ago, but people around there don't have good memories - they won't remember:) She recently recorded a CD - I will put up an mp3 of her soon...

She is also the most liberal 70-something I know. She gives me her old copies of the Nation and loves my "Not My President" tee.
I can't wait for mashed potatoes
Happy Thanksgiving!

The Pope has the right idea
"In reality, the Holy Land doesn't need walls, but bridges."

- Pope John Paul II, commenting on Israel's separation wall, quoted in The Washington Post
via sojomail
a few notes
no news is bad news on my wallet. i really was conviced someone would have turned it in by now.

guess who sent us another catalouge today...

i love making and listening to mix CDs. i'm sitting here, jamming to one i made earlier this week and every time a new song comes on i am pleasantly surprised - *living is simple* "oh, that is such a good song..." (i know i am a ditz, but it is the small things that can turn a crappy day into an okay day) i also love making them for other people. "you need to hear this, you would love this..."
we got another victoria's secret today. they literally send us one or two catalogs a week! and it is all the same stuff, just in new books. they win the paper-waster of the week award.
anyone seen my wallet?
I just got through canceling my credit cards and ordering new ones, calling campus security, campus lost and found and the police to report a lost wallet and inquiring if anyone had turned one in.

I realized it was gone after my first class today. I bought a bagel and tea at 9:00 AM, went to class and when I was leaving I realized my wallet wasn't in my coat pocket. I checked around my seat - it wasn't there. And it wasn't in my backpack.

I retraced my steps after the test in my next class, but saw nothing. I stopped at the Hobson Desk 3 times throughout the day and even called them this evening, but nothing has been turned in.

I called my parents and asked if anyone had left a message and thus had to admit to my dad that I had lost my wallet. He was not too happy. I assured him that I would call all the right people to report it.

So, I went through the pain of canceling my cards. I checked online and nothing had been charged to them, but I can't go much longer without knowing where they are.

Tomorrow, I plan on stopping at the Hagg-Sauer Hall lost and found too.

At this point I'm really hoping someone found it and will turn it in, or call my house letting me know they have it. And I am not sure, but I really hope my social security card was not in there. Also gone is my driver's license, which is about to expire (on my b-day) in December and it would be really helpful to have it to renew. Can I renew with my student id and birth certificate?
We have
those at Uptown, except we call them Depth Charges.
12 Memories
I am currently enjoying the new Travis CD. Amy turned me on to them, and they were on sale at Target. When I bought it I didn't realize it was their new one until I went on amazon and it was a recomended new release - I got such a deal (9.99!).

the beautiful occupation, you don't need an invitation, to drop in upon a nation...

I am so ecstatic that it is finally the weekend. This week has been homework hell week for me. I have been in the CS Lab doing homework from 6 - 10 or 12 every night. Mostly, I was working on preparing for my lecture that I gave yesterday. I TA in Intro to Comparative Politics and am required to give one lecture.

All day Thursday before my class I was experiencing the most anxiety I ever have in my life. It ended up going just fine. Unfortunately, I had been neglecting the 4 page paper that was due today and once again had to spend all night last night working on it.

Time to kick back and rest a little bit this weekend. No work! Just mentoring with Amy:)
And only 2 days of classes next week...ahhh Thanksgiving.
1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.
Get through all my classes with a B or better, stay in an exercise routine, take a trip to the Cities, save my money, start going to bed before 1:30 AM...

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.
Carrie Binder, Dave Gurney, Katie Habedank, Tiff Smith, Anna Raferty

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.
cascading style sheets, knit, cook, play chess, play guitar

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).
travel, pay off loans, give a scholarship, buy a car, buy a computer

5. List five things you do that help you relax.
talk to my mom/friends, laugh, read, watch movies, listen to music
who do we want to be? i know what i want us to be...I want to be in a loving, welcoming, multigenerational community, that strives to work for social justice and peace. One that appreciates and accomodates for all ages. I want a community that welcomes the poor, the hungry, the homeless. One that focuses on others more than their building. I want a community that loves me for who I am in my faith AND my DOUBTS, where I can be my real self. One that will help me work through doubts in an open and honest way with support and love...I want a community that is willing to change and grow with its members. I long for multi-sensory, interactive worship. No more spectators. I want a community that is going to challenge me. I want to be missed when I am not there and I want to be followed up on.
the next microsoft update:

via email from andi
I had an awesomely wholesome weekend.
Chels was out of town deerhunting so Friday, Andi and I got cute and went out to Applebee's for dinner. We had a guy from my CS classes as our waiter which completely made the trip worth while.
On the drive home we stopped to watch the end of the hockey game. We were playing UMD. They are one of our big rivals and the score was tied. The crowd was going crazy at every little move the team made. It was one of the best games I've been to and in the end we won 3-1.

Then, Andi and I were off to go hot tubbing at Amy Ensign's hotel room (her apartment was flooded from an unfortunate splinkler accident). Good times were had by all.

Saturday I worked at Uptown, did laundry, cleaned my apartment and watched "Sex and the City".

Wake up call
After going to bed at 2:00 AM, I was awoken at 5:40 AM by my cell phone ringing. (Oddly enough it woke me up when my regular phone had not). It was Amber. I thought, "There is no way I am opening the Caffe; I have a test at 9:00."

And of course my cell does't work in my apartment, so I called her back on my regular phone. Luckily, she only needed my keys. So, I got up, through them out in the rain on the steps, and climbed back in my bed to wait for my alarm to go off.

Speaking of my bed I have to sleep with 4 blankets (if I had more, I'd use more) - it is so cold all the time in our apartment. Probably cause it is in the basement. I'm assuming the main floor is perfect and the top floor is roasting.
Not bad
...spiritual frustration is not bad. it is normal and necessary and just as profitable as anything else.
- gravattville
Buy Nothing Day

friday five (a little late)
1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space.

2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer.
unprofessional, sick (os)

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pasttime.
time-consuming, educational, amusing

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day.
tired, unflexible, rushed, late

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life.
fit, together, altruistic, spiritual, well-traveled
Genuine love is magnificent. It weathers storms and bears pain and suffers abuse, and yet remains strong and constant. At the heart of such love lies the quality of forgiveness; the willingness to experience rejection and betrayal, and yet continue to believe the best of the beloved. Nothing can stand in the way of a force such as this...
- Sacred Journey
, Mike Riddell
via daniel
a few fillibuster moments
6:45 -- Promising that "one sign will equal 30 hours of gibberish,"
Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) displays a garish purple-and-yellow sign that
says "168 to 4." "The bottom line is very simple," he says. "We have
supported 168 judges that President Bush has sent us. We have blocked
four. All this talk of angels on the head of a pin can't equal that."

7:05 -- Downstairs, in the Mansfield Room, the Democrats are holding a
pep rally for supporters, some of whom wear T-shirts that read: "We
Confirmed 98% of Bush's Judges And All We Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt."
Pumping his pasty fist into the air, Ted Kennedy bellows, "We are not
going to be a rubber stamp for right-wing ideological judges."

via email


I'm wearing my "Not My President" tee for the dfl rally/college dems fund-raiser/frank moe campaign kick-off tonight. I am so excited for it - speakers, a band, the paul and sheila wellstone documentary, powerpoint of the website, food, people!
4 inches of white stuff (yea!)
Thank you all you good citizens that shovel your sidewalk. You are the reason Bemidji is a nice place to live.

To those of you who don't shovel your walk - shame, shame on you.
One Good Thing
A group of church people decides they want to do good things in the name of Jesus. A few churches join forces, and they get some good things done. They do. Then someone asks the question. If doing ten good things in Christ’s name is wonderful, how much better would a hundred good things be? How about a thousand?

Of course, if you mean to do a thousand good things for Jesus, you better get organized. You’re going to need a lot of people and a lot of money.

The organization of people who want to do good things for Jesus grows until it can only be run by professionals and insiders who operate in a very tight, “good old boy” network. A person could make a career just learning how to negotiate this network, learning which hands to shake and which votes really matter. Soon, regular church people cannot comprehend the complexity of the organization, but they foot the bill for it. In an effort to keep the money coming, the insiders turn more and more of their efforts toward marketing the organization to their own people.
What you end up with is millions of people paying thousands of people to manage the doing of good things for Jesus.
And that, my friends, is what we in the business call a denomination.
I think maybe I’d like to do just ONE good thing for Jesus. You know, just one good thing and give all of myself to it.

I wonder what would happen if everyone found one good thing to do in this world. I'm talking about regular people now, not organizations with videos and budgets and all of that. Just people; just you and me.

If we quit managing thousands of good things and did one good thing, I think we would know the joy of work and the pleasure of rest. We would know the rhythm of week and Sabbath, of work and play, of night and day.

And if all of us were doing one good thing, wouldn’t that add up to millions of good things?

- real live preacher
I'm supposed to be working on my assembly program that modifies the pep/7 operating system. So far I have the os code changed and my driver program written, but it doesn't print the correct answer - in fact it doesn't print anything at all. So, I am taking a break/procrastinating/trying to get inspiration and blogging.
Update: After 13 hours I finally finished. Its times like these that make me think I shouldn't be in this department.

I haven't posted anything of much substance lately. Mostly cause I haven't sat down at the computer at home long enough to put my thoughts in order.

This weekend I was re-brainwashed/got my faith back a little bit again. The best parts were singing and dancing to the in-house band. They did all the old and new standbys - Lord I Lift Your Name on High, In the Secret, Shout to the Lord and other worship songs including my favorite: When Justice Rolls Down Like a Mighty Water which was the xian aerobics song for the weekend... and stuff I sang at camp 9 years ago like Blind Man and Sanctuary. I was suprised they were singing some of the same songs that we sang when I went to JUMYs as a YOUTH like Big House and of course Jesus Freak...You can't beat seeing a 60 year old man jump around to DC Talk!

They told us their name once - but I didn't catch it. The band was made up of United Methodist youth that I grew up with. Some of whom I traveled to TN with in 1999.

Another highlight of the weekend was the Communion service on Saturday night. Youth Service Fund sold tealights as a fund-raiser (can we say Catholic :) for the evening, the late time encouraged the 1200 middle schoolers to be quiet which made for a nice atmosphere.

The weird part though was the slide show to Switchfoot's Only Hope. Unfortunately they used the version by Mandy Moore and used clips from the movie - didn't really make sense with the rest of the slides or the theme for the weekend (Jesus Keeps Me Going...).

I picked up the Message version of the New Testament and enjoyed looking up well known passages to see how they were interpreted.

I was glad to come home - and luckily had very few problems staying awake on the drive.
Church Sign

via daniel
at last
After the runaround and not having a mobile for a week it has arrived!

Road Trip!
JUMYs - I will be in St. Cloud this weekend gooffing off with a bunch of middle schoolers at the Minnesota Gathering of Junior United Methodist Youth and (unfortunately) won't be anywhere near a computer.

I'm excited to get in my car and drive out of town - blasting my music all the way! And I'm going to try really hard all weekend to not freak out about how much homework I have to do.

vote with a buddy
hurray for democracy!

following mentoring with amy this evening, she and i had a "i hate making posters" poster making party (did you get that) for the take back the house event. we plan to have another this weekend where we actually don't make posters and hide all paper, markers and any other crafty materials and i don't know what we will do, but it will be so much better than making posters.

anyway...back to how wonderful the (18th 19th, 20th, 21st?) amendment is, which grants women the right to vote. we then journeyed (in the recent snow!) to central elementary school where i voted "yes, yes, yes" on the school district referendum. when i signed my name the lady said that she had just looked me up for someone who wondered if i was registered - they needed me to vouch for them. "that's kinda weird," i thought.

we found out amy was to go to (my alma mater) J.W. Smith Elementary to vote. back in the car we jammed to u2 - joshua tree. amy got registered, voted and she dropped me off at home. everyone should vote with a buddy - it is so much more fun.

so, when i got home my friend brent was waiting for me. mystery solved - it was he who needed to be vouched for. but, it was 7:35 - the polls closed at 8:00. back to central elementary.

brent (thats him on the left in the orange coat - he made the paper!) had been waiting all day to vote. he lives with his grandma and has never registered. so, after being turned away, he went home to wait for his grandma (who was out with her extended family and whose cell phone was turned off) so she could vouch for him. wait, wait, wait...leave for work from 5-7.

after work someone suggested he try using his student loan bill, but he was turned away a second time - but not before he looked me up in the registered voter list. he went straight to my house to wait. (and here i was taking my sweet time getting home). chels had no idea where i was (she even called the cs lab and amy's roommate).

brent's third attempt was finally successful - the polling people laughed with us at the whole situation.

brent wins the award for most dedicated voter. (by the way this happened to him last year too, but he didn't get to vote.)
via froyd
Jesus Radicals encourage the United Methodist Church to excommunicate Bush and Cheney
Being a Methodist myself, I wonder if this is a good idea. I agree that they have committed crimes against humanity for their pre-emptive war and have claimed God told them to do it, but would excommunitcating them from the Church be the best course of action? I think it would be really interesting to see the church take this stance.

Here is part of their justification:

The actions of these two men reflect on the body of Christ wherever it is found. And their actions have sent a message that war, war without provocation is acceptable to the churches of Christ throughout the world. As such, these two men, who have used biblical imagery throughout their threats of war, and continue to do so, have placed Christians everywhere in a precarious position. – a position in which we all must take a stand, to the right or to the left, with the sheep or with the goats.

I therefore humbly and prayerfully plead with you in the name of our blessed Savior Jesus Christ, who taught us not to return evil for evil, to turn the other cheek and that we are blessed when we are peacemakers to completely distance yourselves from this war and excommunicate George W. Bush and Richard Cheney from your fellowships. They have left the Gospel at this hour.

Messy Spirituality
I opened up my copy of Messy Spirituality today and found all my underlinings and dog-eared pages, here is a sample of my favorite quotes:
"Thinking about God is being with God. Being with God is spirituality. Thinking about God is praying...You have been praying most of your life! You are a spiritual person!

Mike paraphrases Paul: "Neither failure nor poor church attendance, nor inadequate Bible reading and prayer, nor betrayal, denial, doubt, insecurity, guilt, weakness, bad theology, or even losing our temper can separate us from the love of God."

"Buried in the back of my mind is the gnawing worry that my grace credit card is going to be cancelled. Parked somewhere in my subconcious is the belief that grace and forgiveness are lavish, unconditional, and

"Spirituality is about doing the tiny work of God, little acts, small responses to God's presence in our lives...Tiny becomes huge when Jesus is involved."

"It turns out that it's weariness that's next to godliness, because when our souls are tired, we are able to hear his voice...[so] take a nap with Jesus."

"Sermons are not always amazing masterpieces of truth, wit, and insight. Sometimes the sermon just doesn't work, doesn't connect. It just lies there in a pile while the minister desperately tries to resuscitate it. "

If youth group is a party...
It might be better to have a party that is redemptive than having a boring service that has moments of drama/fun...Many of my friends start with a "service" that is, in its kernal, BORING and then try to add the fun element. But house church people start with a party in the living room - that is indeed fun and relational, and make the party work, make it useful, add purpsose and direction to the party.
If church is a party . . .


I fear that I am the youth leader that starts with a boring meeting and adds "the fun element". I tend to be the nay-sayer who reminds them of the millions who are hungary and how thankful they should be for what they have. But, I find the idea of starting with a party and adding a redemptive aspect freeing and exciting...and I bet the middle schoolers would love it:)
Other good read
i'm an ::..other good read..:: on bloggedy.blog! thanks for the link:)
Take Back the House
Hey! Here's a chance for you to talk and listen to many Minnesota Politicians - tell them what you think of the current state of the State. (Good point Amy)

And I know you like food and music - so come to Frank's campaign kick off!
Thursday, November 13th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Bemidji State University Memorial Hall

Sponsored By
BSU College Democrats and
Citizens for Frank Moe,
Minnesota House 4A Candidate

Attendees include: U.S. Congressman Jim Oberstar, Minnesota Senator Rod Skoe, Minnesota Representatives Tom Rukavina, Loren Solberg, Irv Anderson and Tony Sertich

6:00 to 7:00 PM will be games and fun activities for kids and families. Snacks, hot cider, coffee and punch.
7:00 to 8:30 PM Bemidji’s own Drew’s Cruisers will energize the crowd with breaks for our invited DFL guests to speak.
8:30 US Representative Jim Oberstar followed by an encore by Drew’s Cruisers.

Free will donations go to the BSU College Democrats
The BSU College Democrats are organized and their numbers are growing. Citizens for Frank Moe has been busy since April. Come support the College Democrats and help Frank Moe publicly kick off his Minnesota House 4A campaign.

Let’s retake the House for the DFL!

i figured out how to get my "lost" archives back! including my most missed post
All Saints Day

Saints were and are ordinary people.Though imperfect, doubt-filled,
weak, lonely, and fearful at times, they chose to remain
uncompromisingly faithful witnesses to the gospel. This great "cloud
of witnesses" (Heb. 12:1) is the unity of all believers past, present,
and future. ...

Saints come from all walks of life and from every culture; the young,
the old, the rich, the poor -- all are illumined by the mystery of
God's loving presence in their lives. These ordinary folks make loving
God and neighbor their extraordinary choice day in and day out. Saints
step out in faith, trusting and obeying the call of God. Their purty
of heart awakens us to the realization that we too are called to be
shining examples of God's spirit of love.

-- Keith Beasley-Topliffe, editor
...we're so selfish
self seeking
we're so desperate to be number one
so unworthy
of what's given
what are we doing here

have you ever played the martyr
ony for the reason of a prize
can we ever give up trying
to be something in another's eyes
and change this place
we can change this place

- plumb
...Well, he is kind of in sales I guess.
Where’s the girl?
What girl?
The girl! He’s in love with a girl.
Well... there’s a Virgin.
Nice. I’m listening...
But this story happens later.
After the Prom?
They didn’t have Proms.
Oh yeah, Gladiator. After the fight?
There is some fighting...
"See, there you stand, an important rabbi with a powerful history, but you don't even have scraps for someone like me. I think maybe you should ask yourself just what it means to BE God's chosen people."

Jesus was stunned by her words, and then wonder flooded his face. He bent closer and looked deeply into her eyes.

"Do I know you?" he asked.

And then he saw it. She had the Rabbi's eyes. Same color, same shape, same gentle honesty. She was not condemning him; she was seeing him and speaking the truth to him.

the second half of another real live preacher dramatised version

Young House Love
Anna Maria Horner
Apartment Therapy
Kellie DyKast's Scraplog
Oh Happy Day
Feeling Stitchy
Desire to Inspire
Modern in MN
This is Glamorous
The Martha Blog
Perfect Bound
Love Forever
2000 Dollar Budget Wedding
a $10,000 wedding
Style Me Pretty
Snippet & Ink
Little Green Notebook Don't Call Me Becky
Sublime Stitching
St. Paul Craft Mafia
Etsy Favorites

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