Thursday, December 29, 2005

howdy Adam

Another relative has apparently happened upon my blog and is reading back through my oh-so-scintillating archives. Welcome cousin Adam! I appreciated his comments on whether or not I should continue blogging, so I am reposting his thoughts here:

I think you should stick with blogging, so long as you are convicted to do so....many people, including some close to you, will not like it, as it is hard to hear truth. (It is in our nature to feel humiliated when we journey through life in pursuit of truth.) That is not to say that the anger or hurt of others is a sign of truth of course. Consider the following: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to part asunder a man from his father....a man's foes will be they of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life on My account will find it." (Matt 10:34-39) How do we make sense of this? I'm not sure I have the answer, but I know that if I deny any part of my personhood (past experiences, failed relationships, flaws in my character, etc.) then I also deny the God who brought me to where I am, and wants to take me further along with Him. I hope this isn't too obvious or preachy, as these comments tend to fall on dead ears. At any rate, I believe that breakdowns in community are not signs that God is directing us away from this or that activity. Rather, I think that breakdowns in community are indications that we need to rely more heavily on God for the place He is leading us. Shalom.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

welcome to our world

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting
Welcome holy child
Welcome holy child

Hope that you don’t mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long awaited holy stranger
Make yourself at home
Please make yourself at home

Bring your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
World now breaking heaven’s silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around you
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect son of God
Perfect son of God
Welcome to our world

- Chris Rice

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

the spirit of the season

Click to Mike Cope's blog as fast as you can and be blessed by The Quarter of Remembrance.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

holiday tunes

Favorite Christmas songs, anyone? Anyone?

Five of my faves are, in no specific order:
Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant
'Zat You, Santa Claus? by Louis Armstrong
Christmastime by Michael W. Smith (this one makes me weep)
Baby, It's Cold Outside by Dean Martin
Tennessee Christmas by Amy Grant (I liked this song long before I ever lived here!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

prez bush

For some interesting thoughts on Bush and his decline in popularity (whether you support him or not, you have to admit, his popularity is waning), visit the more politically-saavy J-Wild's blog. I'm sure he would love to hear some of your thoughts. J-Wild's not scared of a good debate!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

is it worth it?

Blogging, I mean. Is it really worth it? The Rowan Report was initiated so I could, as I state in the header, “ponder my role as both mom and world citizen.” For the past 14 months, I feel like I’ve done that for the most part. I’ve shared about my struggles with postpartum depression. I’ve commented on the ins and outs of life with a baby. I’ve journaled about my opinions regarding faith, God, relationships.

In my efforts to be authentic, however, I’ve also managed to hack off a long-lost friend with whom I may never reconcile. I’ve butted heads with another blogger who has a lot of good things to say, but does not appreciate being questioned on certain topics. And I’m fairly confident I’ve annoyed a few family members as well.

Honestly, I blog mostly for myself. But I also share my stories and joys and frustrations in the hopes of connecting with others. Maybe I’ll encourage another new mom. Maybe someone dealing with depression will identify with my ponderings and feel not quite as alone as they did before. Or, as has already happened, another blogger will do that for me! I’d like to think that in my own diminutive, quirky and imperfect way, I am sharing the love of God with others. My critics might say otherwise. But whose lead should I be following in this whole blogging endeavor: my critics', my friends' or my God's?

So again I ask, is it worth it?

I still haven’t decided.

Friday, December 09, 2005

narnia hits the screen

Film director Andrew Adamson’s interpretation of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia opens in theaters today. A few posts back, Tony mentioned his hesitation about great books being made into movies for the reason of “having someone else interpret the atmosphere, personalities, voices and scenery rather than your own mind."

I’m a little hesitant to see the film for the same reason. For twenty years, I have imagined Narnia in the way only Jana can imagine it. And I’m afraid I’ll see the movie, based on Adamson’s imagination, and it’ll push my own individual creations out of my mind, never to return. That’s the thing about movies. As good as the movies can be, books are often best, if for the simple reason that they force us to use our imaginations.

Whether you’re a bookworm or a movie buff or both, the story of Narnia is a story worth your time.

From chapter 7 in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: "And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don't understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning -- either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in his inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realise that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

yes, it's true...we the people can make a difference

I realize that the retraction of a lecture invitation to conservative columnist/speaker Ann Coulter from Harding University is old news in the blogging world, but reading about her recent reception and remarks at the University of Connecticut sparked my interest again. If you haven’t heard the Harding story by now, read details here. Whether you agree with the outcome or not, it just goes to show that people – regular, everyday people – CAN make a difference. Since I often wonder if there is really any way we commoners can bring positive, broad-sweeping change to our society, this heartens me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

december 7, 1941

In honor of all those who served our country during WWII, I am sharing this story written by my late paternal grandfather, affectionately known by his grandchildren as Papa.

I walked slowly out of the operations tent of the 21st Figher Group on Iwo Jima into the opaqueness of a heavy fog. At the time, orders were being issued to alert the island and to station first aid units and rescue units at strategic points on the island. The Mustang fighter planes of the 21st were on their way back from a mission over Japan and there was no place for them to land.

It was a long flight for P-51's and there could be no delay getting them down when they returned. It seemed that the only possibility of saving any of the pilots was to have them bail out as they flew over the island, letting the planes go where they might. The danger involved was tremendous, but there seemed to be no other recourse.

My burden was heavy as I trudged slowly up the slope to a high point near the operations tent. I was the staff weather officer for the group and had prepared the forecast for the flight. My mind was in a turmoil as I considered the possibility that all of our planes would be lost and with them probably many of the pilots.

I sat down on a mound of clay, some fifty yards from the operations tent. I looked back toward its dim outline through the fog and over it toward Suribachi which was completely hidden by the gray mist. The visibility varied from a few yards to two hundred as the fog changed to drizzle and back to fog again. My mind was as foggy as I reconsidered the facts that led me to forecast good flying conditions at Iwo Jima for the day.

I tried to justify, in my mind, the preliminary forecast to Colonel Powell the day before when I had said that the fog that grounded fighter flights for the two previous days would clear away in time for the take-off the next morning. I tried to justify the final forecast which said much the same thing and promising visibility of eight miles or better, and scattered clouds at 3000 feet when the planes returned.

I could think of no logical reason for the forecast. The lack of weather data at the weather station should have made me cautious. We had nothing that showed us the reason for the fog and we had nothing to indicate its clearing. For some unknown reason I had felt that the fog would lift and clear and the weather would remain good through the day.

I had felt good when my forecast for the take-off had proven right and I was sure at the time that my forecast [for that evening] would be good. But I remembered, too, how the low clouds had started moving in soon after take-off and how they became lower and lower until they swallowed the island in their mantle of invisibility.

I sat there for an hour or two; I know not how long. Wet, and shivering from the wetness and cold and fear, I prayed to God. I am sure that other men, better men than I, prayed also; but I prayed to God, "Dear Lord, let the fog break and let the planes land." I sat there and through my mind and from my heart the words continued, over and over, "Let the fog break and let the planes land."

About thirty minutes before the planes were due back I was looking toward the north and the fog appeared to be lighter. It was -- the brightness grew and the sky became visible. It continued to lighten and the fog moved out or dissipated.

There were the planes -- the first flight swooping down over the field, peeling off and coming in to land. The Weather Station observation at the time was almost identical with the forecast. Soon after the last plane had landed the fog was back, blanketing the island in its grayness for the rest of the night.

The pilots said it was the best forecast they had ever had, but I cannot take the credit for it. I have a feeling that it was right because of a Being greater than I.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

c. s. lewis on friendship

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."

Friday, December 02, 2005

tea time

Anybody out there ever had a swig of Sweet Leaf Tea? It's the best bottled tea I've ever had. My bro and sis-in-law gave us some for Christmas last year. The Mint & Honey Green Tea is DELISH...and healthy, to boot! Sweet Leaf recently revamped their website and made it easier to find where their products are sold. And if there's not a store in your area, you can order online. If you're a tea fan, try it out.

In case you haven't heard by now, tea is not only a tasty treat, but it's a real good thing for your body. Just google "tea antioxidants health" and see what pops up. We could all use a little more tea flowing through our innards.