Thursday, August 19, 2010

Awesome thing of the day #7

I remember spending a lot of time as a small girl gazing at a poster of a treehouse. With about a dozen rooms in individual pods branching off from, well, branches, it defied all laws of engineering and gravity. Somehow, though, it pulled me in as stories could pull me in. I wanted to be in that picture so much I almost was.

That ability to be lost in something entirely imaginary has faded a little bit -- perhaps it's reached a more healthy level now? -- but I felt a tinge of it again when I saw this incredible Camper Bike, built by Kevin Cyr. Is this or this not amazing? Your own little house, wherever you ride! *hearts*

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Mitanika -- ooh, link love! Going to check out that motivational rap now :).

Samantha -- ah, you don't miss anything! I saw that "late twenties" lingering there the other day and just couldn't bring myself to change it yet. Maybe I should erase all references to age? ;)

Staish -- :D Do you have the whole album?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The truth is always worth repeating.

I believe that one of the Christian artist's primary goals should be to seek out ways to put old truths in new words. That's what rapper Lecrae has done in this video inspired by John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life. It's a reminder I need to hear every day and I'm thankful for this new version of an old truth, the lyrics of which include:

Suffer -- yeah -- do it for Christ
If you're trying to figure what to do with your life.
If you're making money, hope you're doing it right;
Because the money is God's, you better steward it right.
Stay focused. If you aint got no ride;
Your life ain't wrapped up in what you drive,
The clothes you wear, the job you work,
The colour of your skin -- no, we're Christian first.
People living life for a job, make a lil money, start living for a car,
Get 'em a house, a wife, kids and a dog.
When they retire, they're living high on the hog.
But guess what? They didn't ever really live at all.
To live is Christ -- yeah, that's Paul I recall.
To die is gain, so for Christ we give it all;
He's the treasure you'll never find in the mall.
Your money, your singleness, marriage, talents, your time:
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is divine.


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Katie -- indeed it was a fun party!

Samantha -- a Canon, yay! :D And yes, Lauren's awesome.

Jessica -- thank you! And Canons rule :).

Lauz -- I'll turn thirty again next year, 'k?

Bohoharri -- ah, that memory makes me miss you!! I even want to just come and sit in the sun and read books with you :).

Rebecca -- thanks, lovely. I certainly did :).

Julia -- I've never been to a luau; sounds fabulous!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend Journal XXIII :: Party like it's 1980

To pretend I wasn't To celebrate turning thirty, Lauren helped me host an icecream sundae party which was full of sugar-induced joy and a revelling in all things eighties. Lauren did an amazing job organising trivia and Pictionary and celebrity heads, which featured such characters as Ronald Reagan, Michael Jackson, and E.T. There was a lot of synthesiser music, and a heavy focus on reminiscences of childhood television programs, of which Astro Boy, Rainbow Brite, and Bananaman were favourites. It was RAD.

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Bethany & Jessica & Samantha -- it's an EOS 1000D, and his name is Clive Staples.

Amanda -- thanks! I'm continuing to practice :).

Katie -- right on both counts: amazing family and amazing gift!

Rachael -- there will absolutely be more pictures! The question should really be: when will Danielle hold back from posting pictures? ;)

Abbie -- thank you so much! I have a lot to learn, but I'm having fun experimenting.

Meaghan -- some amazing chick I know sent me flowers and I keep taking pictures of them...

Julia -- thank you! and yes, new cameras = so much fun!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pixel fixation:

My mum, dad, sisters, brother, and brothers-in-law all joined forces to become Captain Planet buy me a digital SLR for my thirtieth birthday. Yesterday, I was a little bit overwhelmed by how amazing that is. Today, however, I'm just plain distracted. I can't seem to do anything without also considering whether I should, in some way, take pictures during the activity or chore or study, or of it, or instead of it. I'm thankful for the awesomeness of my family.

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Mothercarey -- we should definitely do a DC*B concert together one day! I would hope they would have happy smiling face paddles we could wave in the air :).

Caitlin -- it's such a hard thing to remember, isn't it? I'll look up that song by Steven Curtis Chapman (when I get some more download space!). :D

Jessicarose -- aw, congrats on your engagement! And how cool that we've connected via blogland :).

Staish -- I absolutely agree with you! There's such a difference between celebrity-beauty and creative-beauty!

Rebecca Simon -- :D xox

Click -- you articulated precisely my own struggle in a beauty-oriented culture. It's definitely an upstream swim to remember that our worth is in so much more than our appearance.

Nan -- ah, George MacDonald is always full of wisdom! Thank you for the lovely quote (and also your email, which I hope to reply to soon). x

Amanda -- ethics twins!! :D

Tegan -- aw, thank you so much!! Your gift was gorgeous (I think James wanted to take those jellybean flowers home with him), but I'll say more via mail. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You're pretty and therefore you are excellent.

One of my subjects this semester is Ethics: Practice and Theory. Although I've only just started, I'm already finding it intriguing, especially because this week's lecture delved into something I've been pondering lately, albeit on a very surface level. It's the idea of aesthetic ethics, the ethical judgement which says that whatever is the most beautiful is the most good.

It's a pattern of thinking (or a pattern of feeling, perhaps) that has popped up in several places throughout history but was at its height during the Romantic period. What I'm slowly starting to see is that it's an idea that's still prevalent now, and has a remarkable influence on the culture of this day and age, deeply guiding our estimation of what is valuable and what is not.

I guess this is most obvious in the insatiable celebrity-worship that I imagine may be one of the major factors keeping print media in operation in spite of the paper-eating internet machine. We have learnt to love people and care about their lives for no greater reason than that they are beautiful and wear fabulous clothes.

If anything, I think today's aestheticism might have reached an even greater shallowness than that of the Romantics. The Romantics idolised beauty not just in the physical form, but also in literature and music and art. Today, we let much sub-par creativity slip past the quality radar because it is delivered to us by someone who has glistening white teeth and flawless skin. Is there such a thing as a woman who is famous for her beautiful songwriting and yet looks rather ordinary? I haven't come across one yet -- and I've been looking -- but there is no shortage of incredibly famous women who have beautiful features and yet write very ordinary music. Why have we made physical beauty the chief virtue?

I suppose the challenge is that we are hard-wired to appreciate beauty, even to revel in it. When God made creation, He stepped back to take a look at it, and He enjoyed the glorious beauty of what He had made. It's part of our God-given human experience to catch our breath at things that are magnificently gorgeous. So obviously there is nothing wrong with beauty. It is neither moral or immoral, in and of itself. But that's the point: because it has no inherent moral goodness, it should not be the compass by which we measure worth.

I see this this beauty-worship rear its ugly head when I question why God chose to let me struggle with various flaws rather than provide me with an effortless natural beauty (not to mention grace; just call me SuperAwkward Girl!). Or a bunch of us girls will be sitting around discussing the future and hoping that the men who will sweep us off our feet will be tall, dark, and handsome. There is nothing wrong with feminine beauty, and tall, dark, and handsome men are quite lovely to look at. However, there is no virtue in being either.

The prophet Isaiah, in chapter 53, writes of the still-to-come Jesus that he had nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. Yet the history of humanity has never known a more beautiful person.

Jesus' beauty was of an enduring kind. The most beautiful parts of him were not his form or his features, but his grace, his sacrifice, and his selfless love. It adds up to one beautiful celebrity we can all worship.

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Nan -- If only I could mail you some chocolate French toast! xx

Monday, August 2, 2010

Awesome thing of the day #6

Uni started back last week after the Holidays Of Serious Enjoyment, and my lack of attention to blogging is painfully evident. Until I roll my sleeves up and make a proper post, please enjoy the sixth Awesome Thing of the Day: a mash-up of the David Crowder*Band's performances of Oh Happiness during their Summer of Happiness 2010 Tour.

Excited crowds, Crowder with crazy hair, Hogan synthesizing, a drum-robot called Steve3PO, smiley faces, and happiness because of grace. What could be more excellent?

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Jessicarose -- so cool to meet you through this crazy world that is blogging! I think I have an idea who you are -- do you know my cousin Fran? And the Fosters?

Katie -- Giant spiders are definitely one terrifying aspect of my life I'd rather live without. I genuinely shudder just thinking about them.

Staish -- let's talk seam allowance sometime soon!

Samantha -- :D Aw, thanks! You encourage me to keep blogging!

Meaghan -- You KNOW those are my favourite kinds of puns. They don't make me groan; they make me smile. See? :D

Anonymous -- shucks! Is that you, Mum?

Andrea -- I got a comment from you! My blogging life is complete!
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