30 October 2007


Did you notice today's Word of the Day?

soi-disant \swah-dee-ZAHN\, adjective: Self-styled; so-called.

"The soi-disant experts are planning another self-congratulatory awards ceremony." Ooooh, I love vocabulary.

29 October 2007

Living Sacrifices

Yesterday's sermon text was from Acts, about the coming of the Holy Spirit to baptize the disciples.
There were three signs: sound of wind, sight of tongues of fire, and speaking in foreign languages. Each of these signs represents a reversal of a previous curse.

The sound of wind reverses the spiritual death that Adam and Eve suffered due to sin. Now, with the Holy Spirit, we will know that we will live forever!

The sight of the tongues of fire reverses the curse of the removal of God's presence. Remember, God guided his people by a pillar of fire, and when He removed His presence from the Temple, he did so with a visual sign: the pillar of fire ascended into heaven. Now, though, we have God's presence with us, even in us.

And the foreign languages are a reversal of the Curse of Babel--the power of the Gospel is valuable enough and potent enough to overcome even linguistic/cultural barriers!


I got to thinking about all the uses of fire in the Bible.
~There's the pillar of fire by which God guided his people in the wilderness.
~There's the fire in the tabernacle and temple which burn up the people's sacrifices.
~Pastor pointed out the Burning Bush, which burned but didn't burn up.

And I made the connection: previously, in the Old Dispensation, the people of God brought their cuts of meat to the Temple and they were burned up. Now, instead of bringing tangible property, we ourselves are the living sacrifices. The Holy-Spirit-tongues-of-fire on the disciples burned but did not burn up...and so, like Moses' Burning Bush, we burn but do not burn up.

We are living sacrifices, a testimony of the Lord to show the world his character and his nature.

28 October 2007

Thought Life

I've been silent for a while, except for responses to other people. Want to know what I've been thinking lately? Here's a list:

Gender. One of Professor R.'s assignments for us in Developmental Psychology is to write a 6-part autobiography. Part Three's topic? Gender, or, "The Development of My Gender Identity." It's not as easy as it sounds; all of these autobiographies has been like attic-cleaning, forcing me to think through and account for my memories and how they have shaped the present Me. So here I am, thinking through all these statistics and facts again about how men have it so good and women are expected to conform...I've thought it through and dealt with it already, when most of my classmates have not yet. It's a weighty issue, and tough to accomodate into your intellectual schema of the world.

Bible truths. Sometimes I feel like God is playing connect-the-dots in my head and in my faith. Let me explain: a hermeneutical principle when studying a passage is to study all the other passages that also use a word in that passage--like a connect-the-dots in the Bible. The last few weeks have been big for me in terms of new connections made and old connections altered. Just now at the Sunday Potluck I had a very satisfying conversation with some of the church people and I was telling how I conceptualize Bible Truths: more like a web than like a grid. Men tend to think more grid-like than I do, so this was a little bit of a stretch for them, but one of the elders said "The web has to be connected to stable points for it to work." That was brilliant--make me think that if I have a web of interwoven faith points in my head and heart, then what are the stable points that I connect to? These are the foundations of my faith.

Christmas Break. Not working in the academic field anymore cramps my vacation style. You work like a dog if you are a teacher but you have the luxury of Christmas, Spring, and Summer Breaks. Not so in retail! But God has answered my prayers and has so moved that I can have 10 whole days unencumbered by shifts at the store. Yip!

Developmental Psychology. The class barrels ahead full-steam, and unless I'm on my game, it'll barrel over me. Gotta keep up. I'm enjoying the facts that I am learning but boy! this is hard. Fascinating and challenging all at once.

Various errata also flit around up in the cranium. We have a drought going on here in the South. The presidential race is racing ahead full steam. What can I make for dinner tonight? What will we do if the price of gas keeps rising? What will happen to my Career? etc., etc., etc.

Well, thanks for reading. Ta ta for now.

24 October 2007

When I Consider How My Light is Spent

When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide
'Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?'
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, 'God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.'

John Donne

Attic Cleaning

One of my assignments for this class is to write an autobiography, incorporating all the aspects of children and children's development we are learning in class. It is surprisingly hard for even a talker like me to conscientiously sort through my past and account for my memories and how I think they've formed me for how I am.

It's like sorting through an attic full of stuff (you know what kind of stuff can accumulate after 30 years!), examining every thing, deciding to throw some stuff away, but in the end re-sorting it all, dusting and sweeping everything, getting rid of cobwebs and moth-eaten stuff that's ruined, and refolding and re-packing what doesn't get thrown away.

Sheesh. No wonder it's hard.

20 October 2007

Please to enjoy:

Here are some fun and funny photos from a recent email forward I received. Please to enjoy:








...AND, HERE IT IS, MY FAVORITE...and can I just ask how in the world do you make a mistake like this one???

16 October 2007

realigning my will with Your Will

Nineteen minutes, and I'm posting again. This post goes out to a friend of mine. It's good reading for the rest of you, too.

What I have learned in dealing with my own besetting sins and wandering will is that
*Satan wants us to feel defeated, even if we aren't. If we feel defeated, we won't try to defeat him by resting in the Lord, because we will feel like the battle is already lost.
*Realigning my will with the Lord's starts in my thoughts, not my emotions. My emotions are subject to my thoughts.
*Realigning my will with the Lord's is a day by day, moment by moment process. There's not a person anywhere who does not say every day--every moment--"Lord, I am straying in this way. Please help me come back. Help me push the reset button. Help me to choose to believe your Truths and die to my own foolish constructions of truth."

See how much I love you, friend? I spent 6 minutes on this post! I'm down to only 13 minutes.


I'm blogging at the Chattanooga Public Library, and on my screen is a handy countdown timer telling me exactly how many minutes are left until I have to let some other patron use this computer.

So far I have emailed, found out exciting new news, heard from old friends, and changed my layout a little.

I have 25 minutes left -- no, wait, make that 24.

What would my days be like if I had a countdown timer always in my field of vision? Would I get more done? Would I quit working and throw up my hands in frustration?

What would you do better if you had a countdown timer?

(I'm down to 23 minutes. See how much I love you? I spent two whole minutes on you!)

10 October 2007

Mortifying the Flesh

Like chemotherapy patients, we are putting to death all that is deadly within us.

R. C. Sproul, Jr.

Revival at CCS

Read this and rejoice -- it is a letter from the principal to the faculty and staff.

September 17, 2007

Dear Friends,

Greetings in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! As our high school principal I feel compelled to share with the entire faculty and staff something that has been an indescribable honor and privilege of seeing and experiencing; something amazing and beyond anything I could have imagined. I write to you, as fellow servants of Christ to testify of the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of our students; many of which sat in your very desks years ago. I am sure you have caught bits and pieces of what has been happening in the high school, but a brief recalling of God’s goodness many be helpful as you go before the throne of grace.

While my words will not do justice to the work of God we’ve recently enjoyed, allow me to attempt to describe what has been happening. We took our senior class on a retreat Sunday, September 9 through Tuesday, September 11. The last night we gave the students an opportunity to share with their classmates as they enter their final year of high school, as we have for many previous years. However, this year, our Great God had a plan that none of us could replicate. The time of sharing began with three boys individually standing up to tell how God had radically changed them over the last six months. (Most of the students knew something about these young men from either hearing them speak of this or from seeing their changed lives at school.) What followed was amazing! Student after student stood and expressed the pain and need in their own lives. As students spoke, others identified and told of their struggles. As one student said, “I have thought for so long that many of you had perfect lives but tonight I realize that you all are as messed up as me and maybe some of you are even more messed up than me.” This continued late into the night and began again early the next morning. The walls seemed removed, even shattered! There was no faking, no masking hurt and pain! Students were real. While somewhat raw, yet with pain exposed and sins confessed, they were open to renewal and redemption in their lives. Some students committed their lives to Jesus that night and others the next morning. Others recommitted their lives to Jesus. Relationships were restored and healing was taking place.

That senior class went on a retreat one way and returned another. They were changed. One student said, “I hope we never go back to the way it was!” I responded by saying, “Things can never again be the same because when Jesus invades our lives, we are changed forever!” They asked, “What do we do now?” I responded, “Go testify what Jesus has done in your life!” Many asked me if they could do just that and testify in our next chapel on Thursday. Not wanting to stand in the way of the working of the Holy Spirit and the excitement our students had for the faith, we changed what we had planned and open the doors for God to use these students.

What followed, we again could not have imagined. Five seniors stood and spoke of a “past life” and of a new life in Christ, and invited others to come and find peace and rest and forgiveness at the cross. They challenged and exhorted those who knew Jesus to stand on their convictions and to be sold out for Jesus!

The administrative decision was made to turn off the bells. It was wise because the chapel lasted for one hour and a half. As chapel closed, three girls stood and sang “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood”. As students listened, they spontaneously stood, held hands and began to sing to Jesus with profound sincerity. I have stood in many chapels and heard wonderful singing but none so sweet and apparently sincere as what I heard this past Thursday. (Frankly, I wish we could have, and hindsight, maybe should have continued singing to Jesus!)

Following prayer, I offered those who would like to speak with our faculty or maybe some of the seniors to feel free do so as the rest made their ways to class. Well over 100 students remained for the next hour. It was a time of sweet fellowship as the Holy Spirit continued to bring about healing and conviction of sin and the need for the Savior. Many students trusted Jesus that day.

Sustained evidence of this change in the class is the formation of a senior girls Bible study/discussion/prayer time. Most of the senior girls attended, and the boys are asking for the same opportunity. We are starting a Bible study for them beginning this Thursday morning. In addition, we will be contacting the churches that each of these new converts attend or will be attending. Several parents have commented to me, “I typically struggle to get my child out of bed, and now she is up before me and can’t wait to get to school!” There is unity like I have never seen among a group of teenagers.

Friends, God has sent His Holy Spirit to our school! I am extremely humbled to be a small part of His work. I ask for your prayers for those who:
  • have made a profession of faith-- that they will connect with their church and grow in their Christian walk;

  • have not surrendered their lives to Christ;

  • have known Jesus all their life (May they not think any less of their salvation because it might not be “radical.” We know it always is radical when Christ draws a person to himself.).

I also ask that you pray for wisdom and guidance for me and each of us who care for and guide these students and that our Almighty Father would turn back the forces of darkness that would attempt to stop Kingdom advances!

I know this is nothing that we specifically could have done but is the working of the Holy Spirit and the many prayers that for years have reached the throne of God on behalf of this class and these students. God has and continues to hear the prayers of His people! Be encouraged!!!

Celebrating with the Angels,

Shawn Brower

The Posse has been disbanded, not by choice, but by default, and that makes me sad. I miss The Posse.

-It was Homecoming this weekend.
-I have been taking a class this semester, so I am on campus three days a week.
-I've been trying to listen more to some of my old CD's.

Some of my old memories of our time here are being wakened, and I miss you. I wish we could do an Our Town and travel back in time with the knowledge of what we had. My old friends, my old acquaintances, my old posse. Guys, I miss you. I wish we could have a posse lunch today!

Hey, posse, post or email me. I miss you.

Living Vine

Go read this post -- especially you moms. It's really good, and really encouraging. I can't say it better myself, so I won't.

06 October 2007

My First Meme

YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),
Precious Echo

YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie),
Chocolate Chocolate

YOUR "FLY Guy/Girl" NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),
K Wor

YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),
Green Kitty

YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),
Anna Colorado Springs (Lame-o! Even Anna Springs would be better!)

YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),
Workr...Maybe Ivekr would sound more StarWars-ish

SUPERHERO NAME: ("The" + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
The Gray Coffee

NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
John Janis (Maybe this only works with non-immigrants)

WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),

TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
Lancaster Lilburn

SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
Autumn Daisy

CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Peach Shoey

HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Coffee Aspen

YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),
The Puzzle Snowstorm Tour

Thanks to Mike

05 October 2007

Shout Out to My Honey

His boys' cross country team won the TVAC (Tennessee Valley Athletic Converence) championship yesterday.

They won against powerhouse teams like Baylor and McCallie.

They won by 20 points. That's a decisive win.