Friday, November 17, 2006

You Know You Want Somma This!

CDs from the Recital of the CENTURY (ok, ok...term...) are IN, and they are HOT!! (not quite as hot as the live performance, but you know, you can't have everything...). If you'd like a copy, they're $2, and you can either get the entire program, or just the songs I'm on. =D OR, just the ones LB did, for that matter...

Oh my cookies, y'all, I have never had a better night with music. My friends were there, I loved the music, my accompanist rocked my socks off, and my friends & family were all in the audience or were supporting me with prayer around the country. It was SO MUCH FUN!! And I think the audience enjoyed it, which is my goal for that kind of performance... to bring joy, because our God is a joyous God-- Amen!?

Las Divas... I would have cropped this, except I wanted y'all to see the dress.

The Whole Cast-- everyone who's ANYONE in the Furman Music Dept., lol

Catching Todd as he falls... long story... ;D

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


One more thing about Dustin...

Please, please pray.

Leigh Anne said that's the most encouraging thing to her: hearing of all the people praying for Dustin literally all around the world. It's all around Furman for sure.

Google his name, and you can get more than one beautiful glimpses at the love people have for Dustin, and the confidence they have in a God who hears prayer. A couple:;;; my friends Kevin & Emily Smith and Ashley; our own RUF site and the blog Redeemer Pres has set up specifically for Dustin-updates.

Please be specific and bold in prayer...for Dustin, for Leigh Anne, for their children Jacob (9), Nathan (7) and Meredith (2), for Grant B. (the Associate Pastor at Redeemer Pres) as he steps up to fill in here at Furman while Dustin's unavailable, for the students struggling to reconcile this with their view of God, for Rob Hamby (our former campus minister who "switched" campuses with Dustin-- now he's at Texas Christian University in Dallas) as he feels stretched between 2 campuses, and for Taylor (our RUF intern) as she's got to keep going.

God will not let His Bride be lost. He will not let His Kingdom fail, and He will not let His righteous ones go begging for bread-- oh, those are sweet to rest in.

"One thing God has spoken; two things I have heard:
That You, O God, are strong,
and that You, O Lord, are loving."
(ESV: to You belongs steadfast love)
[Ps. 62:11-12]

Steadfast Faith in Steadfast Love

I haven't posted about this yet, but many, many have... my campus pastor-- a man I'm coming to respect, trust, and love, and who has already taught me many things in the short time I've known him-- Dustin Salter, lies unconscious in Greenville Memorial Hospital's Neuro-trama ICU, his breathing regulated by a ventilator, his heart rate recorded on screens around the unit.

I spent two hours or so there this afternoon-- a handy benefit of my chaplain intern badge... the morning had been a heavy one for me, working through things in my own life that are discouraging and confusing, and feeling the pain of all who love Dustin. Sure, we Furman RUFers are feeling the loss, but we've only known him 4 months at the most-- in the ICU waiting room, I met men who've served alongside him for years, students at TCU (where he used to be the campus minister) who owe him so much of their spiritual health, the brother who invented the superhero Lobsterman (arch-nemesis of the evil Dr. Deepfryer)... these are the ones my heart breaks for the most.

Let me say that I left encouraged-- in some ways it felt more like a PCA convention than a hospital waiting room... =D All those godly men, godly women, leaders in their churches, caring for one another...the hospital staff was complaining about the number of "pastors" they were having to let into the ICU to see Dustin, lol. The atmosphere certainly was different than the one I've been in with other families. You know what it was? It was their theology serving them well. Talking with Leigh Anne (Dustin's wife) cemented this in my brain. She hugged me so hard when she saw me... and her heart immediatly turned to ministry "how is___ handling this?" I looked into this woman's eyes-- these gentle, laughing eyes, now rimmed with fatigue and strain, and I saw a bedrock assurance that God is good. Dustin's wife is scared, she's tired, she's without half of herself!-- but she's unshaken. At one point, news seemed bad with Dustin, and her immediate request was prayer, through tears, through fear-- prayer. Because she knows that God is sovereign-- unshakable in His purpose and will. And that He is good, unshakably good. And that confidence in His unshakable faithful goodness, His love and care is what has made her own faith unshakable.

Thoughts related... Martha comes to Jesus with that question that rangles so deep down within us that we often don't know it's there--and God Incarnate's answer isn't straightforward:

"...Lord, do you not care?..." (that's always the question-- wondering at the goodness, the kindness of God. It's what Eve doubted at the beginning.)

But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion (nearness to Christ), which will not be taken away from her."

[now, these are the same characters, a little later in their story, when Martha & Mary's brother Lazarus has just died:]

"When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in His spirit, and greatly troubled. [...] Jesus wept. So the Jews said, 'See how He loved him!'" [Luke 10:40-42; John 11:33-37]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"For as HIGH as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love to those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him. [...] The LORD has established His Throne in the heavens, and His KINGDOM rules over all." [Ps. 103:11-19]

What sweetness to know that Jesus cares, that He weeps, that He is compassionate-- steadfastly so. The GOOD portion that is Him He will never take away. And He is able to keep those promises, because it's His Kingdom that rules over all.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Comin' Up...

A little fore-taste of my recital...

Madrigal Set-- Me, Trin, Les, Travis & Todd

The Mozart Trio-- what Dr. Schoonmaker terms "Our Game Faces"

Me w/ LB and our marvelous accompanist, Jessica Horton

...I had fun messing with the wash on this one... I think it looks cool...


Anna (my "baby" a senior in h/s) is interested in the University of Kentucky's College of Design (Architecture & Interior Design), and Lexington's about an hour and a half from Louisville, so against all odds, between recitals, play rehearsals, classes, and exams, we two chicks packed it up and trucked it to Kentucky, leaving at 4:00 am on the DOT Friday morning. Anna slept until about 7, when we hit Knoxville-- there's a Starbucks right off of 75 that's become our half-way stop. It was WONDERFUL driving that early in the morning. CLEAR ROADS!! We had a college visit and tour, then met some RUFers for lunch. Anna spent the night with 2 of them, and got to go to their Friday Freshman Bible Study.

[[the girl to Anna's left is Liz, the RUF intern at UK-- she went to Clemson!!]]
I got her situated, then headed to Louisville. I stayed with my Shueys... did I mention that all of this was a complete surprise to Ryan?? I was rather tired after my early morning drive, and the caffeine I ingested to maintain a semblance of wakefullness as I drove through yet another traffic jam to Louisville combined with my intense excitement to be not only seeing Ryan but also SURPRISING him...let's just say that I was literally shaking with anticipation by the time I got to the Shuey's!

Hehehehe... Ryan was surprised. =D

Saturday was a complete adventure in and of itself-- Ryan & I went back to Lexington to pick Anna up, planning to make it back to the U of L volleyball game with Sina & Morgan. We were slightly delayed, but that's a long story involving a mysterious tire blowout, a rusty useless jack, a stubborn rim, Mace, strategic car-flagging-down, WalMart, fix-a-flat, a phone call to Uncle Steve (450 miles away)...and a very nice lady named Diane. God was very good to me!! And it made for a great story...
[[Cassie, Me & Anna at Synergos-- Rob had a little coffee-house concert...way to go Rob!! total rip off that they tried to make us pay $3 to get in though...]]

[[Ben & Sarah's daughter Carys...soooo cute!]]

[[They're so weird...]]

[[the best I can make of the pictures Ryan & I took together. Next time I'll get some better ones!]]

Monday, November 06, 2006

Where I've Been...

I was supposed to share my testimony at RUF Core Group . Anyway, the RUF Core Group "testimonies" are more life-journey stories, including where we are now, and how we got there. In an effort to make my story a little more cohesive, I tried to pull themes it's been an introspective sort of day--but not in a bad way: it's led me to praise God for everything He's done in my life. (ok my sisters are filming each other dancing to Hindu's a little sketchy, not gonna lie. I'm throwing things at them. And pretending to blow them away with a fan. Side note over.)

One theme of my life isn't so much a theme, but more a recurring struggle. The struggle to be driven by love and joy, rather than guilt and fear... I had to face it again on Sunday... the past weekend was crazy, between work, studying, concerts, church activities, and chaplaining. Despite all that, I'm still glowing from Fall Break, which is at least a whole separate entry, not to be cheapened with inadequate snippets

...but these are some thoughts I've had tonight...

Since coming back things are busy as ever...I feel once again like I'm on the treadmill, and barely ahead of it! Yesterday morning in church I felt pretty overwhelmed and guilty, looking out over the congregation and remembering how many people I WANT to keep up with, but don't, or all the people that I know are struggling, but don't do anything to help... There's a lot of people. I knew that was guilt and pride talking-- as if I were the Savior of the world, and the ONLY representative of Christ on earth, when I'm sitting in the middle of CHURCH for crying out loud! But I had to work through it and talk it through with some sisters in Christ.

There's a hymn that often convicts/encourages me; this isn't the whole thing, but here's the parts that God's Spirit often brings to mind when I'm feeling rather ... "Martha"ish. "Weary, working, burdened one,/ Wherefore toil you so?/ Cease your doing; all was done/ Long, long ago.// ...Cast your deadly "doing" down—/ Down at Jesus' feet; Stand in Him, in Him alone,/ Gloriously complete.//" (From the hymn "It is Finished" by James Proctor) I know that hymn's more about striving to attain our own righteousness before God...but really that's what we're doing when we try to be all and in all...when it is CHRIST who is in all and through all, right? "For from Him and to Him and through Him are all things; to Him be the glory forever and ever, Amen!" (Rom. 11:36)

I just read this this morning in a book I'm skimming to judge its "goodness." =D So far it is pretty good! "But we get it all backwards. We think that the Christian life is made up of people, people, and more people! In fact, it seems like we're always with people-- people at home, people at school (and after school), people at church. ...On and on the people list goes. Yet, here's the truth: "The greater proportion of your day-- of your life-- spent in quiet, in reflection, in prayer, [in study], in scheduling, in preparation, the greater will be the effectiveness, the impact, the power of the part of your life that shows."" (A Young Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George)

anyway...that's the part of the path I've walked today... maybe it will encourage someone out there. in class this afternoon our teacher was warning us of the dangers of blogging... hehehe...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Answered Prayer

I went to Kentucky for my fall break, and had a WONDERFUL time...the best part of my trip, though is not included in this picture. One guess what his name is-- I'll give you a clue: it starts with an R, and rhymes with Brian!! ;DMonday lunch in Southern Seminary/Boyce College's cafeteria. Toto isn't in the picture, and he was definitely there, but oh can't have everything, right? This is my roommate from the summer (Ashlea), Lauren (who works at Southern), me, Kyle, and Cassie...all people I love in Louisville! We had lunch (breakfast for me) at Southern, and it was SUCH a blessing. I was so glad to get to see them!

There is SO much more to come, and pictures too, but since Amy's havin' a heart attack over there...figured I'd throw SOMETHING newish up here. I no longer have a camera, so I had to use others' for this trip, and so still don't have all the pictures I took/didn't get to take as many as I would have if it were my camera. =D

--Edit: PICTURES!! --

Sina. I think this is a sweet picture of her. =D Well... most of them of her are...