In my Intro to Missions class, we were asked to read a missionary biography and write a book report. At first I giggled at this, because I have not written a book report in probably 10 years. Once I began reading my book I was grateful for the assignment. I chose a biography written about Eric Liddell, a Scotsman who served the Lord in China. He was raised in China as a MK, then  returned to Scotland for schooling. At University he began running on the track team, and a couple years later he was winning metals at the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

Eric is most famous for choosing not to run his best race during the finals because it was set to be on a Sunday. The movie Chariots of Fire was written about his success.  Soon after the Olympics, Eric at age 23 left again for a permanent teaching position in China.  Even through political turmoil and persecution, Eric remained dedicated to the task. He was married and spent much of his marriage away from his wife and kids because of the unrest in the cities where he was assigned.

The book repeatedly quoted Eric in saying in these circumstances “It’s complete surrender”. The first time it is said in the book, I hardly noticed it. Then the rain came.

He gave up a race in the Olympics to keep the Sabbath holy. It’s complete surrender.

He hung up his running shoes for the humble life of a teacher. It’s complete surrender.

He lived in a different city than his wife to keep her safe. It’s complete surrender.

He never met his youngest daughter. It’s complete surrender.

He died in a Japanese internment camp away from his family. It’s complete surrender.

God, give me the courage to follow You to the ends of the earth under any circumstance. May my life be marked by complete surrender.

I have held the theory for years that the best part of worship songs are the bridges. It’s like the writer knew that it would take the whole first part of the song for people to engage. Bridges are either louder and faster or slower and quieter than the rest of the song. These are my favorite bridges in worships songs:

“My heart will sing, No other Name. Jesus, Jesus”. -Forever Reign, Hillsong

“Fill us up, send us out. Fill us up send us out Lord”. -God of Justice, Tim Hughes

“Oh, what a glorious day, what a glorious way. You have saved me”. -Happy Day, Tim Hughes

“Father in heaven, long may your Name be glorified. Above all others, above all this world. Above everything else that’s in our lives. For nothing else in all of this world matters, but to live our lives for you and you alone”. -May Your Wonders Never Cease, Third Day

“We cry out, for your life to refine us, cry out. For you love to define us, cry out. For your mercy to keep us safely until you return”. Reign in Us, Starfield

“I pour out myself, before you were Lord
I hold nothing back, ’cause to you less is more
And may these words on my heart on my lips,
Somehow mean so much more than this
Jesus, I pray
Just know what I’m trying to say”. Less is More, Reliant K

“All my delight is in You Lord. All of my heart, all of my strength.

All my delight is in You Lord. Forevermore”. -None But Jesus, Hillsong

“My heart and  flesh cry out, for You the Living God. Your Spirit’s water

for my soul. I’ve tasted and I’ve seen. Come once again to me. I will draw

near to You. I will draw near to You”. -Better is One Day, Chris Tomlin

“All of my life, in every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing.
I have a reason to worship”. -Desert Song, Hillsong

“Take my life and let it be all for You, and for Your glory.

Take my life and let it be Yours”. -Glory to God Forever, Fee

 

Are there any bridges that I did not list that are your favorite?

My British friend Claire came to visit this weekend and we lived it up in Pasadena, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Here are some highlights:

We tried to find the home of Claire’s favourite (that spelling is for you Claire) actor who lives in Pasadena. Basically, we took pictures in front of random people’s homes hoping it was his.

We had dinner in Hollywood after a really cold double decker bus ride.

Showing her around Riverside was pretty fun too.

Some of the best moments were simply enjoying each others company. Also, noticing the differences between American and UK culture was pretty fun. Claire is pretty funny and said some things that the world should hear: (please imagine her accent whilst reading).

* In reference to an “English” Muffin, Claire says, “What is an English muffin? Is this trying to be a crumpet”?

* In reference to refills at the restaurant she says to the waiter, “I would very much like a refill but I do not know how to do it”.

* In reference to my not liking animals, “Do you like kittens from a distance”?

 

I went to Hollywood this weekend (post to follow) and we saw “McKinley High School” where Glee is shot. That night I had a very vivid dream that I was walking the halls of McKinley High. In this dream I heard singing from the gym, so I snuck up on the cast practicing their next musical number. Kurt, the gentleman to the left of my picture above, saw me and came out to meet me. He showed me where different scenes were shot and asked if I wanted to have a photoshoot with him in the halls. Um, yes please. We took pictures by the lockers, in the glee club rehearsal room, and other places I recognized from the show. He ended up asking if I wanted to be an extra for the next musical number.

Kurt and Mercedes sang “Make You Feel My Love”, by Adele as I danced with the extras in the background. They gave me a section of the duet to sing with Kurt (haha yes this is a dream) that went as such:

“I know you
Haven’t made
Your mind up yet
But I would never
Do you wrong
I’ve known it
From the moment
That we met
No doubt in my mind
Where you belong”

It felt weird pretending to sing a love song to a boy who likes other boys. Although the dream was terribly fun, I think I will stick to singing my love songs to straight men.

I hope I continue to have dreams this whimsical.

I googled “Blog topic generator” just to see what they would give me. Topic #1: What is your favorite animal and why? For those of you that know me well, you know that I don’t like animals. (Insert shock, horror, judgements,etc). I know that Creator God made animals, so I appreciate His creativity, but that does not mean I want all of His creations living in my house, pooping in my yard, and licking my face. Is that fair? I think so.

During small group one week, we got into a discussion of animals. Clearly the Spirit was moving. Someone asked me if I had to choose a favorite animal what it would be. My response? “I don’t mind pictures of turtles”. Here is a picture of my favorite turtle. I think every turtle should wear a hat and bandana scarf. Hope you enjoy: )

I just enjoyed my 2nd of three weddings for the fall. I LOVE weddings. Here are a few reasons why:

Dancing

Smiles and general merryment

Yummy food

Interesting conversations with new people

Dancing with glow sticks

Getting all dressed up

Two lives being joined together as a picture of Christ and His Church

Cute kids

Family/Close friends

Whipping your hair back and forth

Seeing people you have not seen in forever

Dancing the macarena

Hmmm I am starting to see a pattern…

 

Funny opening one liner that makes the reader desire more. A lengthy explanation as to what my blog is going to be about that most likely has little to do with the opening line. A condemnation of either myself or the wildly generalized public for not doing (or doing too much of) what my first two statements infer. The moment we have all been waiting for…

     The shocking thesis statement that stands out in bold font and indentation. It is most likely trite and nauseatingly obvious. Feel free to make this your facebook status update or put it on a bumper sticker. Also a great idea for the blog’s title.

This section involves extensive background information as to why I am writing this, a compelling story, and possibly a link to another blog that portrays the message I am trying to convey. Here is where I speak on the irony of the situation, which in fact, is not ironic at all because I have been incorrectly using the word irony for the entirety of my adult life.

This paragraph is here for a couple of reasons. First of all, I need to add length to my post. No acclaimed blogger became such by short blog entries. Also, it is imperative that the readers think that disagreeing with my main points makes them less self actualized than myself. In order to accomplish this I make a passionate plea for the feelers out there and then give cold, hard facts for my thinkers. That should do it.

Now I pull out all the stops. Last statements that have a self-depreciating undertone. Thought provoking rhetorical questions. And lastly, an invitation to add comments so that other people might think you are interesting and worth following.