Tuesday, May 29, 2007

guess i'm not in a peaceful mood today.... lol

Your Score: Klingon

You scored 53% Aggressiveness, 40% Technology, and 46% Social Enlightenment!

Homeworld: Q'onoS

The Klingons are an extremely aggressive, patriarchal species. Klingons have a well-developed sense of honour and value this, as well as bravery and power, very highly. Klingon technological development is exclusively focused on military weapons, which means that although their weapons are powerful, their ships can be a little... well, they would be called 'fixer-uppers'. Klingons view all other species with suspicion and are quick to start a fight. As a Klingon, you are also very aggressive and probably find yourself in a lot of fights. You're a lusty sort of person, the type who values good friends, good wine and a good woman (or man). You would fight to the death if needs be and are a good person to have if the going gets tough. You also thrive on challenges and find it hard to forgive.

Link: The Which Star Trek Species R U Test

Oh well.....I'd rather be a Klingon than a Borg or a Ferengi! ;o)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

i'm so glad...

...that anonymous people are here to tell me these things. ;o)

In my Elfwood gallery, I have posted a pic of my painting entitled "Evil in Triplicate". It is my depiction of the three witches from Shakespeare's "Macbeth." Y'know...an illustration of literature and all that.

In the past, I've had a concern over offending fellow Christians by portraying something this "dark." Well, the comment I received on this picture a couple of days ago just goes to show that you truly never can make everybody happy all the time. (Not that I worry about making everybody happy. I learned a long time ago not to attempt something so silly. ;o)

Anyway, here's the comment:

You know...The witches in Macbeth weren't evil. As a pagan i find it a little bit rude how you correlate evil and witches. Your art may be beautiful but your soul still needs a bit of work i think.


And I posted this reply:

According to what I believe and according to the faith I follow, *all* of our souls still need work. That includes mine. I am a sinner, and there are still places in my heart in which I allow evil to make a home. My soul still needs a lot of work, and I will never try to deny it. But someone gave me a gift: a life in which, over time, a power greater than I is working to transform me into something better than what I am now. All I can do is try to keep my heart open to that power.

As far as the literary analysis of "Macbeth" is concerned...I stand by my opinion that Shakespeare was portraying the witches as evil. They had ample opportunity to guide Macbeth in a non-murderous direction, but they did not do so. And as the bloodshed increased and the bodies piled up, Shakespeare's witches looked on and enjoyed the mayhem. In my opinion, that is evil.

As for the question of whether or not real witchcraft is evil...your religion and mine are at odds on the subject. I'm not going to get into an online debate about it.


There ya go. I just offend all sorts of people all over the place. Guess I just can't help myself. *grin*

Monday, May 14, 2007

another excerpt from courtney's journal

Caveat Emptor:

The following is an excerpt from my private journal. Some, reading what I've written, will interpret me as being arrogant, self-important, self-righteous. Please know that I don't intend these thoughts to come across this way. These thoughts are the result of my ruminations about my own life as I look back at times in which I followed the will of God and at times in which I didn't. Some of *those* thoughts are too private to share. So what you see here is the conclusion of those thoughts: an account of a part of my life in which I can see God's will at work; an account relating to several friends in whose lives I can see God's will at work. None of this means that we are better than anyone else; none of this means that any of us always follow God's will. It just means that this is a brief excerpt from my journal and a brief excerpt from my life. I'll write about my many failures another time. :o)

Excerpt from my journal:

A few years ago, April was looking at her brother Jonathan’s wedding pictures. In those pictures, she saw faces she recognized, and she was amazed at what the intervening years had brought. She told me about this, and I, too, felt amazed at the detail in God’s planning:

* In the pictures, April recognized Ed and me, whom she didn’t know then.
* She recognized Clint, whom she didn’t know then.
* At that wedding, April didn’t know that her future husband was present.
* Ed and I already knew Clint, but we didn't know that he was one of our future missions co-workers.
* We didn't know that the highschooler (April) who sang at the wedding was one of our future co-workers.
* Clint and April didn’t know that they would end up working as missionaries in Chemnitz.
* And yet, we were all there in the same place.

We didn’t know, we didn’t know, we didn’t know. God knew it all, and even then, he was working on our hearts and on the hearts of other people all over the world to bring us all to the place, spiritually and physically, where he knew we needed to be.

We didn’t know, we didn’t know, we didn’t know. What don’t we know now? Someday, we will look back on today and marvel at the things God is doing even now to fulfill his plans for us for the future. The things we will look back on, God already knew before he spoke the first word that brought the world into existence.

And now I move on to a greater scale beyond the four of us: If you, today, are obeying the will of God, if you are following the path that he has laid out for you, if your heart is turned toward him and you are trusting him to lead you…then you are doing things and living a life the details of which God had in mind before Creation. If you are living out the will of God, then you are living exactly what God set into motion when he spoke the world into existence. He set things into motion, and if you are living a life that pleases him, then what you are, who you are, is a direct result of the will that was God’s even before he said, “Let there be light.”

Human language is inadequate for describing the immense significance of what and who you are, the intricate and millennia-spanning connection between You and the very beginnings of Creation, if you are living a life that is pleasing to God. What you are living didn't start with you...it started before Creation, if you are living out God's will.

This is a grand, awe-inspiring, immeasurable concept…and one that is very humbling.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

all comments answered

Whew! I finally worked my way through and answered all the comments I've received over the last few months. For those who've expected responses and have wondered at my tardiness, I'm sorry it has taken me so long. I'm slow...but I get there eventually. ;o) Thanks for reading, and a special thank-you to those of you who comment! You make my day every time I find a new comment from you in my inbox. I admit it, I'm a sucker for communication. ;o)

As always, if I've missed answering a comment, and you notice my oversight, please notify me posthaste.

Later dudes,


Monday, May 07, 2007

lotsa update-type-stuff

Did you know that on a 4-year-old laptop, it takes more than three hours to zip-compress 5.1 GB of digital pictures? I didn't know that until I started the process more than three hours ago. I store every current year's digital pics on my external hard drive. At the end of every year, I move the pics from the hard drive to a DVD, thereby freeing up hard drive space. This year, I'm a bit behind. I only just got around to working with year 2006 pics this morning. And now the eternal wait for compression. I can't believe that in one year, I took more digital pictures than can fit onto a 4.7 GB DVD-R. Good grief.

By the way, the laptop's name is Frodo. The external hard drive's name is Andromeda.

I really don't have much of a purpose in writing this current blogpost (or "blopgost" as I like to call them), except for the fact that I know I haven't blogged anything in a few weeks, and I'm waiting waiting waiting for Andromeda to do her thing.

Here's something funny: My mom brought me a box of old letters that I had saved. In it was a card from Susan Morris, who worked with the Chemnitz church with the Sullivans in the mid '90s. This was before I'd ever even heard of Chemnitz, and I certainly had no clue who the Sullivans were. Susan came to visit the church in Frankfurt in late 1994 or early 1995, when I was 17 years old. I met her briefly, and I vaguely remember speaking with her. Now, twelve years later, I re-read a card she sent to my mom. I never even suspected that one day, I would be living and working where she lived and worked. When I first saw the card again, I was amused by it but decided to toss it with the rest of the old letters. But now I've changed my mind. I'm going to stick it in my journal and keep it as a reminder of how God's plans are so much different from and so much more fulfilling than my own. It's funny and fascinating how he works out my life.

Pippin is lying next me, asleep, curled up into a ball, and snoring.

I am currently possessed of a grand sense of accomplishment. For four years, I have been working on a series of Bible lessons on some of the basics of Christian life and faith. (These are lessons that my friend James asked me to write once-upon-a-time. So even though I doubt I'll ever have the opportunity to study them with him, I at least have him to thank for putting the idea into my head.) The lessons themselves, barring revisions, have been finished for a long time. But for over a year now (or two years? can't remember), I've been working on a Teacher's Guide for these lessons. Yesterday, in a thrilling flurry of hunt-and-peck typing, I finally finished the Teacher's Guide! The lessons themselves cover more than 100 pages, and the Teacher's Guide is 178 pages long. I still want to write intros to the Lessons and to the Guide, but other than that and minor revisions, I am done!!! YAY!!!!!! Several people have shown interest in using the lessons as material for their own one-on-one Bible studies, so I'm glad that something I've written can be of service to someone. If even one person can make use of the lessons, then all my time and effort was well worth it. :o)

In other news, I know I'm severely behind in answering comments. I'll get to that as soon as I reasonably can. Dear Commenting Readers, I haven't forgotten you!

And just FYI, in the time it has taken me to write this post, the zip-compression still hasn't finished. The wait continues...