Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Gospel of Mary

i decided to read up on the gospel according to Mary Magdalene. i had never known such a gospel existed and if i had i probably would have dismissed it as crap just like any of the other gospels that aren't canonized. but i decided to give it a chance. what i found was interesting. one verse i really liked. "Matter gave birth to a passion that has no equal, which proceeded from something contrary to nature. Then there arises a disturbance in it's whole body." (Mary 4:30) i thought this an interesting way to describe Jesus. i noted it down becuase of its lyrical nature (mostly the first sentence...i'm not altogether sure about the disturbance part. i suppose thats the way though...take what ya like leave what ya don't..hehe). refering to Mary (the mother of Jesus) as matter makes the whole thing so much more fleshly and raw. and 'giving birth to a passion' and also 'proceeding form something contrary to nature' seems to add a divine quality. to me this really highlights the mystery of Christ in that he was everything like us and unlike us at the same time. i thought this a beautiful statement. as far as the rest of the gospel there were parts that sounded so familiar, like the other gospels. then there were parts that made no sense to me at all. for the most part the writing style sounds very unlike anything else i've read from the canon. i caught myself skimming and tried to fight that so as to catch and understand everything i could. i think part of the difficulty comes from the large chunks of manuscript missing. it was hard to really get any sense of context. the thing about this gospel that stuck out most was my resistance to it. for so long i had been taught to dismiss anything that wasnt canonized as just someones opinion and that it holds no water and should not ever be used for any kind of edification. but why? lots of people for thousands of years have been writing and pondering and struggling with Jesus...should we not read their thoughts and ponder them ourselves? i find it odd that somehow its easy to accept rick warren's philosophies and ideas and teach from his books about how to find a purpose in life and in our churches. he has said nothing new. he sure has said it in a way that gets him a lot of cash, but there's no new thoughts or content there that someone else hasn't already said years ago. these days i find myself a little less likely to throw out ideas as crap without really thinking them through. after the books of the bible were finally decided upon did people all of a sudden cease to be inspired by God to write? if thats the case then i should just stop writing music altogether. and all the music that came after the psalms and Christ hymns and such is certainly not to be used for any kind of edification whatsoever. i guess michael w. smith should look for a new job.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Jesus and the Giant Baby

lately cara has been running around saying that her body hurts or that emily hits her and such. this practice has become rather annoying so i decided to tell her the story of the boy who cried wolf so she can begin to understand the value of telling the truth. so tonight she asked to hear the story and i told it to her. when the story was over she asked if she could tell a story. she then told the story about a boy named Jesus who went into the towns warning people of the impending doom of the giant baby (which didnt actually terrorize the towns until the third time when "the giant baby really did come into the towns to eat up all the people. but the boy had growened and the giant baby did not eat him." thank goodness...where would we be if the giant baby had indeed consumed our only shot at redemption). when she was done i asked her what the moral of the story was. "well, mom...the rule of the story is that you should not say when the giant baby is coming if he isnt going to come because no one will believe you if the giant baby comes to eat up all the people. you can only say that the giant baby is coming only if he is really going to come. then people will believe you."

my grandmothers

last night i got an email from timm that his grandmother had passed away. if you think of it remember the cash family. reading his email and all the wonderful things he said about his grandmother got me thinking about my grandmothers. i was blessed with three grannies growing up. each were vastly different in personality types and interest and jobs and such. its fun to look back on the time i spent with each of them and the experiences we shared. i can see the influence in my life that each of them had.
Granny Stoner is the one who taught me how to believe in God. she never preached to me or told me bible stories over the phone or forced me to church with her, but rather she simply lived out her faith in a real way. She and my grandfather had three sons together. And together they buried each one of them. 2 had cystic fibrosis and my father had cancer of everything. by the time my father passed away (he was the last of the three) i was 15 and old enough to understand in some small way how she managed to keep on living in spite of the horrors her life had dealt. Thats not to say her life didnt deal her some immense joys. but i look at my babies and cant imagine the pain of not having them around. let alone feeling that three times over. granny never complained or questioned. at least not that i ever heard. she hurt and my brother and i were privvy to it. but she never threw these losses at God and pushed her anger around. she is the person i remember when i question my faith and become angry at God. i also remember her gentleness and she always was the picture of perfection in my mind. the stoners house was always open and full of neighborhood kids. and of course she always had something tasty in the oven. when the family needed cash, she took on a job at a pharmacy. the woman never knew what it meant to be lazy. she had a heart of gold and genuinely cared about people. i'd like to be more like her, but she would just laugh and say that she was just an old granny. despite the hurt she endured throughout life she always had something to laugh about.
Grandma Knight is where i learned respect. grandma really loves music. any time i visit i have to sit down and play for her...didnt matter if i hadnt practiced anything, she just wanted to hear me play. i always did this with a certain amount of grudgery. what kid wants to sit down and play camptown races for their grandma when its a perfectly good day to get into the mud puddle you could find beneath the rain spout. one day i was mumbling something about not wanting to play a song and why do i have to, etc, etc...grumble grumble. and she just said "because i'm your grandmother and i want to hear your beautiful songs." later on when i went off to school and actually had really interesting things to play i told her when i'd be coming for a visit and before she could tell me to bring something to play i asked her to get some friends together and i'd give a mini recital. she was so excited. she packed in as many as she could which was slightly embarassing, but shes my grandma and she wants to hear my songs. so you play. now i still kind of grumble but more in a good way whenever she asks me to play. mostly its because i keep thinking that she'll forget to ask. and she came to my house a few weeks back and it never occurred to me that i'd play for her, but i do have the family steinway (its an upright) so i played. it sucked, because i hadnt practiced, but she was ever the captive audience.
Granny Call is the granny from my little known things about me post. She was a pilot in WWII. i learned how to appreciate life for all it can be from granny call. as a wife of a high ranking military officer she often entertained many important people from all over the world. this is where she got her cooking philosophy and where i got my eating philosophy. janet dailey wrote a book about the experiences of the WASPs of WWII and relied heavily on my grandmothers recollections for information to use in her story. the book (silver wings santiago blue) in dedicated to my grandmother. when i was old enough to read the book i asked which character she was but she never said. i think the author put a little bit of granny in all of the main characters. its a janet dailey book so take it for what its worth, but i can see peices of granny in there. she often said things like 'people who eat spicy food lead spicy lives' and when my dad was caught by a neighbor playing in the street she said 'well, we lose a few from time to time that way...but it sure is fun making new ones' granny was the lady to take the proverbial bull by the horns. she did not approach life delicately and tried just about everything she decided she wanted to try. and the things she held dear she held them very closely. she loved fiercely. and she never bothered with the things in life that just didnt matter. though she had a bit of early road rage...i remember her yelling out the window to the car in front of her 'whats the matter?! you afraid to die?!!" when i get too bogged down with all the little things that mean nothing at all i think of granny call. what a legacy these three ladies have passed on to me and my family.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Little Known Facts About Me

I always enjoy reading other people's personal trivia so here is some of mine. These are listed in no order at all...just writing them as i think them up.

1. I was hit by a truck when i was 6 and dented the bumper with my head (explain anything?)
2. I will drink just about anything on a dare as long as it doesnt have chunks in it. I will drink no chunky drinks.
3. on a similar note I will eat anything once. if its good i will eat it again. if its gross...i will not (duh).
4. i still say 'duh' upon occasion. only if provoked (which i apparently was in #3).
5. #3 is a direct result of my grandmothers philosophy on cooking. If she could remember having prepared a meal before she would not prepare it again. Thank God we only saw her twice a year (not really cuz she was damn cool).
6. a fun family fact: that same grandmother was a pilot in WWII (part of the it...i cant do the fancy link thing).
7. i cant do the fancy link thing.
8. my maiden name is stoner. i dare you to ask if i did drugs.
9. i used to play french horn. rather, i used to be good at i suck. but i was 8th best in the state in high school. look where it got me...
10. i can run really fast. this is a direct result of being a puny white girl in a city school.
11. i went to a bible college. look where it got me...
12. i seem to like adding 'look where it got me' after some little known facts about myself. look where it got me...(see?)
13. i was on swim team in high school.
14. i've been to germany, england and italy and canada (but really, who cares abotu canada?)
15. i started taking piano lessons at 5 (years old as opposed to 5 o clock).
16. i have some veins that form a heart shape.
17. i watch as the world turns on a daily basis (though i do not record the days i cant watch)
18. i really enjoy shopping even if i cant buy anything. i just like to look at all the shiny things.
19. i enjoyed watching reruns of Jake and the Fat Man when i was small.
20. i do not cry at movies. only mike does that:)
21. i hate cooking but i like baking. they arent the same thing.
22. i almost died when i was an infant from a high fever, then convulsions, then not breathing. that'll just about do it every time...except that time.
23. i like the movie Gone With the Wind.
24. i'm starting to get bored so i'm not going to write anymore little known facts about myself. i have to keep somethings to myself so i can still be interesting at parties.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


This morning Emily decided that she wanted me to put 'hai-uh" in her hair (Hai-uh means those little elastic bands to hold hair in place) . Since she wanted two of them i did her up with some fantastic pigtails. She was super proud and went to look in the mirror where she stood there for about 5 minutes shaking her head around like a model on a pantene commercial all the while saying hai-uh. Then she ran into the living room shouting HAI-UH!!! Then I hear Cara scream "EM-O-WEEEE!!!!! Stop flipping your hair on my ponies!!!!" Good times, good times

Friday, June 09, 2006

Mommy, what's my body?

Cara likes to ask me this question periodically. She started asking it when I was taking Human Anatomy. When i was taking Human Physiology she started asking "Mommy how does my body work?" I never told her the difference but she knew anyway. She is so smart. I am so often floored by how much she knows. sometimes i am convinced she is smarter than i am (honestly, sometimes its not too far of a stretch to think so). the human body completely fascinates me. i think it is the most beautiful of all God's creations. And after having studied it so intensely for a year i cannot imagine how someone can see anything other than perfect design. this is, of course, only my opinion and i am not debunking anyone else's thoughts on the origin of man. i suppose my studies have just confirmed more concretely for me the presence of a divine creator. i have decided that the design of the body is perfect in every way. it can heal itself, regenerate itself (just ask timm cash to see his fingers that he chopped the tips off of at can barely tell anything happened at all!), and maintain itself. Here's a for instance. In the summer time it gets too hot for the body to maintain proper life functions. So built into our bodies we have a thermoregulation feedback system (temperature regulation). we are set on or around 98.6 degrees. when the body gets warmerthan the set point, the brain sends a signal to the veins and arteries telling the deep ones to constrict and divert blood to the superficial ones so we can lose the excess heat. we also sweat. Because we sweat, we lose body water thus lowering our total body fluid volume which sets off another feedback system to compensate. When the body fluid volume feedback is working the kidney is stimulated by a certain horomone that tells it to reserve water. We also have a thirst center that is stimulated by another horomone so that we start to drink. I could go on forever just on feedback systems! If you are short on glucose in the body, for instance if you haven't eaten in a while, your body can just make it. The brain feeds off of glucose to function properly, so there are several ways in which glucose can be formed if it isn't ingested. Its freaking amazing. The reason your bone gets stronger the more you exercise is because when you put pressure on a bone it emits a small electric charge which in turn stimulate osteoblasts within the bone that strengthen and build bone. Freakin electricity in our bones! i often found myself to be speechless after many many lectures. Pretty neat stuff...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Things done and left undone

Ike and Tina Turner live next door. i hear them just about every night until all hours screaming at each other, hitting each other and i think i could probably write a book on all the names you can call someone in a heated debate. Here is a very revealing and convicting list of ways i've been completely unhelpful in any of it.

Things done:
1) i have yelled out my window at the turners to stop their fighting (becuase it always seems to come at a time when the girls are sleeping-which becomes highly inconvenient for me).
2) I have called the cops to break up fights once and threatened them from my porch to call again
3) I have offered to help once (and only half heartedly meant it...what? am i going to have them over for tea? maybe that falls in the things undone category)
4) Griped and complained about the Turners and their horrible habits to a number of people giving a detailed description of their offenses
5) Called the owner of their rental property to see if they would evict the Turners, again going into detailed descriptions of their offenses
6) Held contempt for them in my thoughts
7) Nicknamed them Ike and Tina
8) Thought myself and my family to be in way better shape (thusly way better in least I dont go around________...... right)

Things undone:
1) speak to them beyond a brief and somewhat gruff 'hello' when i see them outside
2) invite them over
3) help in any tangible way
4) listen to them

I'm sure if i thought about it even more i could come up with an even longer list of things i haven't done to really be of any use. In rereading this list and knowing what their life appears to be from next door i am appaled at my behavior! this list is so condemning. Where is Christ in it? and until i sat down and wrote out this list i didnt even realize how un-Godlike i've been to them. gossip, contempt, thinking more highly of myself than i should. I dont write this list and confess my sins to flog myself but rather to remind myself that i have on numerous occasions said that i need to go help these people in some way. As i mentioned i did go over and offer to help, but again read the words in parentheses next to it. i continue to feel like i need to talk to them or just offer to listen. Yet day after day i stay inside and close the doors when they begin to fight. sometimes i tell myself that its just not safe for me to be getting in the middle of things especially if they are fighting. This is partially true but mostly an excuse to hide behind. My other excuse being that i have no idea how to approach them. and this is true. i have after all been yelling at them from my porch and windows. now i'm supposed to go over and offer to be a friend? would they even listen? i wouldnt if i were them. I also think that meybe they don't want to be helped. what if they would be more offended that this holy roller is coming over into their world trying to "shed a little light"? What if i'm really that pompous? I dont think that i am, but i could be grossly overlooking some serious arrogance on my part. The church i'm a part of lists justice as one of its core values. and its a value that i really connect with and want to live out. but given my thoughts for my neighbors it seems a slap in their face for me to say any such thing about justice.

Forgive the things I have done and the things I have left undone. Forgive me for profaning Your name in my hypocrisy. Help me live out the values that You have set in my heart.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


refering of course to the morons who use oxy instead of clearasil to dry up pesky facial acne.

I love oxymorons. Here's one of my favorites of late :

"or what would man give in exchange for his soul?" as seen in bumpersticker form on the Ford Company's largest, most expensive, gas guzzling, dangerous, SUV's known to all of mankind.....huh. Maybe i got it all wrong...maybe they got such a large and wasteful vehicle so they could help feed the hungry and clothe the naked.
at least its taken my attention away (briefly) from the I Am Faith bumper stickers (see previous post for further clarification of my feelings toward this sticker). why would you need to make a statement as such on a little white sticker and affix it to the butt of your car? Plus, they are usually attached to rather posh cars.....the one i found most convincing was the one i saw on an old rusted out chevy'd need faith to drive that car....i'd believe that. thirdly, what if I wanted to be faith? nope, that one's my options are... or faithless? i guess i could take hope or love. if i act quickly i can corner the market on I Am Hope stickers to cover my car's butt.