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Sometimes it comes up that I have to tell people I don’t use microwaves.  I tend to get the same reaction, which is a mixture of confusion and wonder.  To put it nicely.

I should think that it would seem natural to nix the microwave, because there is nothing normal or natural about zapping your food with rays/waves.  People survived for thousands of years without them and seemed to do just fine.  People all over the world still survive without microwaves.  In our fast paced culture, sometimes its nice to just slow down.

Moreover, microwaved food never tastes as good.  And can it really be healthy?

But if you like, keep on microwaving.  I will abstain.

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Being home for the weekend is nice.  I’m actually here until Tuesday, which is even nicer.  I mean, there are irritating parts of being at home with my family, but for short times, it’s not so bad.  And the really good part is having friends again.  I spent the entire day (12 hours, no joke) with some friends of mine yesterday (married couple with two little ones).  It was fantastic.  They are definitely some of my favourite people here.

Today my plan is to stay home, get homework done, go to evening service, then have a movie night with my sister.  Tomorrow I will spend most of the day with my brother and his family.  Then tomorrow night I’ll watch the play rehearsal that my mom and sister are in, since I can’t come home for the show.

I would love to move back, provided I wasn’t living with my folks anymore.  If only I didn’t know that God wanted me at seminary, I would be back in a heartbeat.  But as it is, until He says otherwise, there I am.

All of my grades were finally posted: 2 A’s and 2 A-‘s.  I’m happy.  That’s a 3.85 gpa, which brings my overall up to a 3.76.  Now, if I can keep them like that, we’ll be doing good.

I was talking with one of my friends today about guys, and he suggested that I sabotage myself.  This was not new information.  Something about setting up relationships to fail.   I told him about the great love of my life and how I think most of it relates back to that, to not wanting to hurt like that again, and so making sure I can’t.  But even I realize the ridiculousness of such a thing.

That said, I might be meeting a boy from eharmony next weekend.  I didn’t want to set a time, so we haven’t set a time or even a specific day, although we did pick the venue (my favourite Starbucks).  He wanted to meet this weekend, but I’m going home (yay).  Plus, although we seem to get along pretty well so far, I’m just not so sure about actually meeting him.  Pros: we have great conversation, he seems interesting, intelligent, kind, etc.  Cons: thespian, likes anime (my previously mentioned friend says I have to ask him if he has a sword).  The whole idea of meeting someone just seems ridiculous.  I  know I signed up for it, but to amuse myself more than anything.  I still subscribe to the preferred idea of friends first.

So, okay.  I’ll meet this guy, perhaps we’ll go out a few times, then that will be that.  Or maybe he could be my summer boyfriend.  And if he works out, I can extend his time.  (I might have made the terrible joke of ‘lease to own’ when talking with my friend. oops, haha)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: There are reasons I’m still single.

David, “…a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.”  (1 Samuel 16:18)

But, you know, David wasn’t such a great guy.  I won’t bother talking about Bathsheba, since everyone knows that story.  But even before that, you start to see glimmers of David’s weaknesses.

First, there are disturbing passages, in my opinion, talking about David’s relationship with Jonathan, Saul’s son.  After Jonathan’s death, David even says, “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.” (2 Samuel 1:26)  I know this has been commented on before, and I’m sure it has something to do with ancient Hebrew culture that I know nothing about, but nonetheless…

Second, David seemed very deceitful.  One example: he lied to the Philistine king Achish (1 Samuel 27) about killing Geshurites, Girzites, Amalekites, saying instead that he had killed men of Judah.  This is when he sought refuge from Achish.

Third, he’s a creep.   Already in 2 Samuel 2, we find that David has six wives, not counting Michal, his first wife, whom he paid for with Philistine foreskins (100 were required, and he gave 200), but apparently left behind when he fled Saul, her father.   And if those six aren’t enough, he decided after Saul’s death that he wanted Michal back, even though she had married someone else in his long absence.  If I am reading the text correctly, years had passed.  But no, she was his property, and would likely help him politically, as he made a bid for the throne of Israel.  (Ever wonder if this had anything to do with her scorn of him later on in the Biblical account?  Early on, we are told that she loved him, but there is no evidence that he ever loved her or treated her as anything but chattel.)

I might be being unfair to David.  After all, he was just human, like we are.  But I’ve always struggled with the God of the Old Testament, trying to reconcile Him with the God we see in Jesus.  And I know He is one and the same.  But things like this always give me pause, make me question, make me wonder.  I understand there was punishment for some of David’s sins, but at the same time…  How can God so whole-heartedly endorse such a terrible man as David was?  (And so many others.)  And how can God whole-heartedly endorse the killing?  The violence?  The deception?  Then to send Jesus and turn it all on its ear.  Peace, nonviolence, truth, love.  Yes, God has wrath, but it is God’s to dispense, not human’s.

[I should love to make a Harry Potter reference here, to where Dumbledore asked Snape to kill him when the time came, because Snape could handle blood on his hands, while Malfoy could not and should not have to.  So, is that what God did in the OT?  Choose who could handle blood on their hands?]

The God of the Old Testament seems so distant from Jesus of Nazareth.  One in the same.  But how?

“Will accept verbal abuse for one dollar.”

I knew the man’s sign was just a gimmick to catch people’s attention, but as he sat on the corner of the on-ramp with a woman and their dog, I could not help but think, “This is not right.”   No one should feel as if they don’t matter.  No one should feel marginalized.  No one should feel as if they are worth less simply because of their life situation.  No one deserves verbal abuse because of where they are in life or who they are.  God calls us to so much more.  And created in the image of God, we are so much more.

I came home, packed a ziplock bag with a few items (meal bars, toothbrushes & tooth paste, socks, etc) and grabbed a couple of water bottles, then walked back to the people, hoping they’d still be there.  I didn’t know what to say, so my words were awkward, but I did say that they were worth something and that they were cared about.  I meant to say more, but didn’t know how to.  And, I was aware that they were “working,” so I didn’t want to be a distraction.

We need to be doing more.  I need to be doing more.

A quick aside: Is 8:30pm too early for pjs and bed?  I hope not.

But what I really wonder about is why everyone thinks I’m so disciplined.  I hear from friends all the time that I’m disciplined, that I’m motivated, that I get things done.  But  I’m not sure I agree.  Yes, I’ve made a ridiculous schedule for my summer, with the intention of getting a lot of stuff accomplished, but it is day 4 and I am more or less behind already.  (Although I have every intention of catching up on Saturday.)

I think people mistake discipline for plans.  And I am a master planner.  I can plan anything and make plans just for fun, more than anything.  Even if I deviate from my plan, I simply feel better knowing one is in place.  It doesn’t have to happen; it just has to be there.

Maybe the discipline is that I sit and make the plans?  But the real discipline is following through.  Full time work, summer class homework, Greek review, summer fun reading, summer thesis reading, Sunday Fun Days, daily Bible reading…  It takes every available moment of the day to get through my daily list, which does not leave time for errands or friends.  So if I have to run an errand or want to see a friend, poof, goodbye accomplishment.

Maybe what I should do is stop signing myself up for so much stuff to do.  Especially on beautiful days like today when all you want to do is put on a summer dress and go enjoy the sun.  (Which, incidentally, I did.)

I’m finally reading the Lord of the Rings books, starting with The Hobbit.  I’ve never read them, so this will be a fun journey (yes, I have seen the movies).

I’m also moved into my new apartment.  And I even have stuff put away.  Phew!  Every time I move, I seriously consider minimalism as a lifestyle.

Plus, work starts tomorrow.  And in another week, I’ll be on the carpet crew again.  Oi.  Back to real life, I guess.

However, I had this great idea for the summer: I want a summer boyfriend.  Someone to go round with me, have adventures, that sort of thing.  And if it doesn’t work out, then, adios in the Fall when school starts.   Now, where to find one…

Finally, I tried yet another new church, and this one has hope!  It’s a lot like my old church, and I hear the lead pastors are friends.  One of the other pastors at home recommended it to my parents for me to try.  So it could be that I will end up at another Foursquare church.  Maybe I’m Foursquare and I’ve just never known it.  It could be true.  Who knows.  But I need a church to call home.

“There’s been something I’ve been wanting to ask you, Father,” said Nurse Kennedy, walking with him along the hall.
“Shoot.”
“Why is it God so often breaks our hearts?”
“Well.  Sometimes He does it to increase our faith.  That’s the way He stretches us.  But there’s another reason, I think, why our hearts get broken.”
She looked at him.
“Usually,” he said, “what breaks is what’s brittle.”
She  nodded thoughtfully.  “So we have to be careful of getting hard-hearted?”
“Bingo,” he said, putting his arm around her shoulders as they walked to the end of the hall.

Words of wisdom from Jan Karon’s Mitford book, These Hill, Green Hills.

I made stuffed tomatoes and stuffed mushrooms this weekend.  The stuffed tomatoes were heaven in a tomato.  Honest.  The stuffed mushrooms I could have done better, and I will next time.

Main ingredients for the tomatoes: cream cheese, feta, chives & basil.  For the mushrooms: feta, chives, garlic.  I should have included mozzarella, which I suspected, but did not do.  The tomatoes will be making more appearances in my life, and soon, I hope.

I’m trying to eat less carbohydrates and less sugar and more protein.  It’s a stretch for me, and tonight I totally cheated.  But you know, I wish I hadn’t.  I feel better with healthier eating; my body feels better.  Tonight, well, I won’t tell you what I ate, but I will say this: way too much sugar.  And I feel it.  Ugh.  Let that be a lesson to me!

In other food news, one of my friends found a Filipino food truck on the street over, so we’re going tomorrow for lunch.  I’m hoping for adobo and lumpia.  I love Filipino food.

If you give me a good cup of coffee, I will want it black.  I won’t want to disguise it with creamer or sugar or any of the other additives with which people feel compelled to ruin coffee.  There are reasons for this.

The primary motivator for my black coffee drinking habits is my dad.  Before I ever drank coffee, before I ever wanted to drink coffee, I was indoctrinated by my dad about the infallible truths of coffee.  One, a real coffee drinker drinks their coffee black.  Two, real men drink black coffee.

Now, obviously, when I started drinking coffee at age 14, I was not drinking black coffee, but heavily flavored mochas, lattes, the works.  It took me until around age 20 to work up to black coffee.  And then I think it was to prove I could, more than anything.  And to prove I am a real coffee drinker.

As for men… when I went to Canada, I found myself surrounded by a sea of guys who were drinking, not coffee, but tea.  And they would put cream and sugar in their tea.  And I was confused.  Do men drink tea?  Do men drink girly tea?  What?  I had a hard time reconciling this with my dad’s truths and with the truths of the Northwest.  However, I do think that if you are a man who does not drink coffee, while I will still question your masculinity, you have two ways to help validate yourselves: wear plaid flannel and grow a beard.  Or simply drink coffee, black.  (Although, the other two things are nice, also.)

The other reasons I like my coffee black are taste and the ability to impress other coffee drinkers.  If you are going to drink coffee, be a coffee snob.  Don’t buy Folgers or Maxwell House.  Please don’t do it.  Invest a bit of money into a good bean.  Personally, I’ve been drinking Kicking Horse’s Kick Ass coffee lately.  It’s delicious.  And buy your coffee in bean form, get a grinder, and grind it fresh.  You will not regret this decision.  (Plus, beans hold their flavor way longer than grinds.)

As for impressing coffee drinkers, I’ve found that when I’m out and about, getting coffee, and I say “no room” or “just black,” I get impressed looks from those serving me and those who drink coffee.  Because they know the truth, as I know the truth: real coffee drinkers drink their coffee black.

So buy a good bean and drink up.  You’ll be glad you did.