Friday, November 30, 2007

Can you find thirty (30) books of the Bible in this paragraph?

This Bible quiz was published in the Star Telegram on Nov. 24, 2007 (p. 5B). I just finished it - it took me an hour to find all thirty books (I was at work, so I had several interruptions), but I finally did it. How well do you do at solving it?

This is a most remarkable puzzle. It was found by a gentleman in an airplane seat pocket, on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping him occupied for hours. He enjoyed it so much, he passed it on to some friends. One friend from Illinois worked on this while fishing on his john boat. Another friend studied it while playing his banjo. Elaine Taylor, a columnist friend, was so intrigued by it she mentioned it in her weekly newspaper column. Another friend judges the job of solving this puzzle so involving, she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot. That's a fact. Some people, however, will soon find themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalized. Truthfully, from answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or a scholar to see some of them at the worst. Research has shown that something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have in seeing the books in this paragraph. During a recent fund raising event, which featured this puzzle, the Alpha Delta Phi lemonade booth set a new record. The local paper, the Chronicle, surveyed over 200 patrons who reported that this puzzle was one of the most difficult they had ever seen. As Daniel Humana humbly puts it, "The books are all right here in plain view hidden from sight." Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation that may help is that books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers. Also, keep in mind, that punctuation and spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude will help you compete really well against those who claim to know the answers. Remember, there is no need for a mad exodus; there really are 30 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph waiting to be found.

Enjoy this puzzle. I sure did!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Time Is Here

In honor of the start of the Christmas season, I thought I'd post some of my favorite Christmas photos from the past few years. Last year I was really excited to get to do Christmas card photos for the Holmes and Hays families. Some of them turned out really good! (Hopefully another Holmes family photo shoot will be taking place in the next week or so - after the musical). Some of my other favorites are of my family over the years - decorating the tree, posing with Santa, etc. I love Christmas and I love photography, so this is the perfect time of year to combine two of my favorite things. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Monday, November 26, 2007

My first professional presentation

I just received notice that my research paper was accepted for presentation at the March 2008 regional meeting of the Society for Biblical Literature (on March 15 - oh no, "beware the ides of March"!). This will be my first professional presentation outside of the University of Aberdeen context. While I'm excited that my paper was accepted and I'm making strides in my professional development, right now just the thought of presenting this paper makes me extremely anxious. I think that's probably compounded by the fact that this is an incredibly stressful week for me. One of my seminars met today for the first time this semester, and I have a paper due for it a week from today. Add to that the fact that our children's choir musical is this Saturday and Sunday and we have rehearsals all week, and I don't have time to even think about working on another paper! Maybe in a week or so it will sink in that I have to finalize that paper, but for now, I'm trying to make it one day at a time. I look forward to next week when I can finally crash!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My Thankful List

Okay, I know it's kind of late to be posting this, since Thanksgiving is almost over, but really it's never too late to be thankful. So here's my list of things I'm thankful for, topped off of course with God and family:

  • friends all over the world
  • internet which lets me communicate and stay in touch with those friends
  • amazing travel opportunities this past year
  • SWBTS - I mean, I wouldn't have come to Texas otherwise
  • the opportunity to delve into God's Word day in and day out as a part of my academic career
  • a job and boss that allows me the flexibility to focus on my studies when I need to
  • photography
  • hot tea and caramel shortcakes (I need to try making those again)
  • pickles (I know, an odd one, but it has to be included)
  • holidays to spend time with extended family
  • a warm blanket and a good book
  • laughter
  • God's provision, including my apartment
  • Wedgwood
  • the fab four (or five, or six, or whatever we're up to now!)
  • music, especially Wild Worship
  • living in a country where we are free to worship
  • the men and women in the Armed Forces who fight to keep us free

Hope you all have had a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving and didn't overeat too much (I think I did!).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Merry Elves

Last night, two wild, silly, giggly, 7th grade elves invaded my home and "forced" me to put up my Christmas tree!

Rebecca and Carrie came over, and we had a grand time taking out my ornaments and decorating the tree. We listened to Christmas music and they often broke into dance. I think their favorite part was playing with the toilet paper that I wrap my ornaments in - they kept wearing it on their heads!
I don't think we went more than 30 seconds without someone giggling hysterically. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Anyway, we got my tree decorated, though my tree-topper is apparently in a different box, so it's not quite complete. I really appreciated the girls' help - it's a lot more fun putting up the tree with people rather than alone. Overall, it was definitely an enjoyable evening, though I must admit I was glad to have quiet once they were gone. =)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back where I belong

Yesterday was for me a homecoming of sorts. My children's choir, Wild Worship, sang in both worship services yesterday morning, and I was there to direct them. It was my first time to direct the kids in worship since I returned from Scotland. It felt so right to be there with them.

The kids sang a song from our upcoming musical called "Vobis Hodie Salvator" (A Savior is born for you), and they did a great job. The song has been one of their favorites ever since we introduced the musical at the August retreat - that's kind of a surprise to me since it's in Latin. I guess that shows kids like a challenge. It was also split into two choirs, but they pulled it off really well. They stayed in the choir loft and led worship for a full half hour. I was really impressed that they handled themselves so well for that long.
The song goes:

Vobis Vobis, Hodie Hodie,
Vobis Vobis, Salvator Salvator,
Vobis Vobis, Hodie Hodie,
A Savior is born for you.

Admirabilis Deus,
Wonderful wonderful God.

Christus Christus, Dominus Dominus,
Christus Christus, Gloria Gloria,
Christus Christus, Dominus Dominus,
Glory to Christ the Lord.

Admirabilis Deus,
Wonderful wonderful God.

Wonderful wonderful,
Glorious glorious,
Jesus Christ is born for you.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Aaaahhhhhh!!!!!

The paper is DONE!!!
- 27 pages plus bibliography
- printed (10 copies for seminar members)
- stapled
- and ready to hand out to the seminar today.

Now I just have to present it next Friday, but I'll worry about that next week. In the meantime, this weekend I'm celebrating!