Thursday, September 28, 2006


I changed the name of my blog, to reflect the novice-philosopher direction it's taking, and also partly as a direct homage to Dr. Koobs' book.

This morning I was contemplating the hymn "At The Cross," also known as "Alas! and did my Savior bleed."
"Alas! and did my Saviour bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?"

I love Issac Watts' words, but somehow I'm really bothered by the refrain. Doesn't seem to fit.... Turns out the refrain wasn't written by Watts at all, but someone named Ralph E. Hudson. Why did he add that? "And now I am happy all the day." So cute, aww, so happy, let's all plant flowers and have an herbal tea party.

So, the subject of today's musing: If you're a Christian, are you really happy all the day?

Well, if you read the Psalms, you certainly aren't. If you read the Gospel record of Jesus' life, you certainly aren't (was Jesus a Christian?). "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Psalm 22 pretty much covers it all.

Once upon a time, or two or three, some more recently than others, I have been led through a situation which did not turn out OK for me. I was not happy all the day. Some of the day? Sure. Do I believe that difficult situations can turn us closer to God if we chose that route? Yes. Will I be unhappy about it the rest of my life? Of course not. Am I the only Christian who has to go through this kind of thing? Definitely not. But did that situation turn out OK, and am I happy about it? No. Let's just say even the excellent cardiac team at LLUMC could not have done much to repair my heart. (In one case, long long ago, they were more of a hindrance than a help. But that's a different story.)

We are called to give 100% to God, as Elder Skeete said in the evangelistic series. It made me think, what do I still have to give up? We need to have 100% faith, not 95%. The devil sneaks through the last 5% like a cat sneaks through that door you opened just a crack and thought, he can't possibly get through there.

Sometimes I'm pretty good at qualifications for answers to prayer. I can get pretty creative. God cannot go against a person's free choice. He must answer prayers only as according to His divine will and it must fit with the divine law. This logically turned into The Ifs. The Unlesses. The Except-if's. The What-Abouts. They all seemed perfectly valid to me, and I think they still are.

But one day, after I was contemplating giving 100% to God, not 95%, I was impressed by this thought: "Don't think about The Ifs. Am I a God who is too small to deal with them? Do I need your help? If it's My will, it will happen, despite the Ifs, the Unlesses, and the What-Abouts. You have no idea how I can do this, but I can. So why don't you just deal with what you are responsible for, and let Me deal with the rest?"

One night I was lying in bed, not expecting to sleep for a while, while I felt extremely restless and the What-If's crawled into my ear (a la Shel Silverstein), but God intervened again and said again, "Have faith in Me. Can you trust Me, even if it has not turned out OK in the past? Do you believe I have to power to make it all OK in the end?"

I said Yes. I have no idea how a secular scientist or psychologist could explain the immediate calm and restfulness I felt right then. I drifted gently and quickly to sleep.

Here's the conclusion I've come to all along: No, I don't really believe that every Christian is always "happy all the day." But a Christian is someone who, at the end of the day, both he and God know that they can talk.

Continuing with Issac Watts...

"But drops of grief can ne'er repay
This debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself to Thee,
'Tis all that I can do."

Maybe that's why Psalm 22 ends, "My praise shall be of Thee in the great congregation."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Other people's blogs

I've been reading other people's blogs. People I don't know. Just click the "Next Blog" button. I think it's random; different people every time. Maybe it's not such a great idea; you never know what you'll run into (some people are not too clean in their language). But it's interesting to see how people live. There are a lot of pathetic people out there. Most of the blogs I've seen are written by single women like me in their 20s and 30s, but their contents include: 1) problems with men, 2) how many tequila shots they drank last night, 3) despair over men, or 4) how many tequila shots are required to get a guy to sleep with them. Well, I'd have to say it makes all of my problems look fairly tame, almost insignificant. Makes you understand what people share (apparently the despair is not such an uncommon phenomenon), and what they don't need to if they choose not to (the drinking and bed-hopping part. Why bother?)

Meanwhile, I guess I'll just go to bed and read Early Writings. Highly recommended.

I'm still trying to decide whether or not to go to GYC--anybody want to room with me??

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Prayer request, part II

Please pray for my friend Sarah and her family; she lost her mother to pancreatic cancer this morning.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Here is the recovery of the mulberry tree in my front yard. The first picture was taken in April, and I bemoaned the loss of my lovely tree for weeks. That is, until I realized what a crazy tree this is. The second picture was taken this week, after I trimmed quite a few branches which were hanging into the sidewalk and down to the ground.

Friday, September 08, 2006


OK, I can be a bit dense sometimes...

Last Monday was my birthday, which was not a special birthday in terms of years (the big 2-5 or 3-0 or whatever), but it was special in that it fell on Labor Day Monday, a holiday (I sometimes say it's called Labor Day mom was in labor?), which means that for the next several years it will be on a weekday again, not much fun for celebrating. So a few friends and I planned a day off to go explore LA (including two of my co-workers who live there). Since we had a whole fun day planned, the idea of another party never crossed my mind.

So Sunday, the day before, Monica and Shannon and I ran some errands--the usual Costco etc., where they bought the usual groceries, including chips and bags of celery, broccoli, baby carrots, and fruit each as big as my cat (those who have met my cat know how large this is). Monica insisted that she liked to bring vegetables for lunch at work, although I kept saying as we were checking out, "Wow, with all these fruits and veggies and chips and dips it looks like we're having a party!" At that point I guess Monica insisted I had found out what they were planning, but guess what, I had no idea.

Back at Shannon's house, her backyard pool was looking extremely inviting in the 100+ degree heat, but she oddly didn't want us to come over and swim because she had "stuff to do in the afternoon." What a hard-working young lady! So Monica and I, inspired by her industrious spirit, spent the rest of the afternoon taking care of the important business of watching dumb videos in the Internet (, the cat video on the first page is great!) and driving halfway to Palm Springs because we saw a cloud that looked like it was raining there.

Shannon had said earlier that day that we were invited to her house for supper later, so fortunately I decided to change out of my shorts and tanktop to pants and a shirt. We went to Shannon's house and the food she set out didn't look like normal dinner, more like a party. I still had no idea until a bunch of my friends jumped out from behind the kitchen counter and yelled, "Surprise!" yes, I was surprised. I'm sooooo blessed to have so many wonderful friends around here! I'm so thankful for Advent Hope.

It's amazing how someone can go grocery shopping for their own surprise party and have no idea.

By the way, Monday was lots of fun, too. Maybe I'll post some pictures of both events when I get some good ones (not of me being surprised...)