Thursday, December 27, 2007
I would like to take advantage of my sole ownership of this forum and introduce anyone reading to the GREATEST BAND OF ALL TIME: OZMA. I know, this is a lofty title to bestow upon any one group, but I think they are one of the most creative and ground-breaking popular music group I've ever heard. I admire their innovative use of non-traditional instruments for rock instrumentation, their implementation of varying harmonies (modal and pentatonic scales, for example), and quirky, geeky love of video games (they play a version of the Tetris song). I've included several of their tracks on my new PLAYLIST to the right of my main blog. Have a listen, watch some of the videos below, and indulge yourself. :)
Link to Ozma video for "Spending Time on the Borderline," on YouTube.
Link for Ozma's "Bad Dogs" video.
Linkin Park, "What I've Done."
In this farewell
There’s no blood
There’s no Alibi
‘Cause I’ve Drawn Regret
From the truth
Of a Thousand Lies
So let Mercy Come
And Wash Away
What I’ve Done
I'll face myself
To Cross out what I’ve Become
And let Go of What I’ve done
Put to rest
What you Thought of Me
While I clean this Slate
With the Hands of Uncertainty
For What I’ve Done
I start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m Forgiving What I’ve Done
EDIT: Right, so this blog is by a person who thinks for herself. So why do I find the above inspirational?
1. The song lyrics call for a cleansing and renewing for something better. "Wash away, what I've become ... I start again ... I'm forgiving what I've done." As 2007 comes to a close and a new year is on the horizon, I'd like to think that whatever mistakes I've made in the past, I can wipe the slate clean. I am not damned, but the world still holds promise and hope. Very nice message.
2. The startling images throughout the video bring things into perspective, which is the ultimate message of the song. No matter what, have perspective, things could be a lot worse. One image is of a starving man, juxtaposed against images of an overweight person stuff himself with food and a very thin person measuring her waist with measuring tape. It is easy to think that life is over and nothing can get better, but there is real truth in the reality that life holds promise and possibilities.
Watch the video and read the lyrics and think for yourself. Yet again, music and video come together to convey a powerful message.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I'm bothered for two reasons. First of all, although People magazine targets both men and women, all of the geeks featured in the article are MEN. The article was entitled "Sexy Geeks," but there are only MALES. Men! Of course, the geek girl is completely absent. If popular culture is to be believed, she is an endangered species. Even Beauty and the Geek, a show that mostly celebrates authentic geekness, has until recently had NO female geeks. This season features the very first female geek, and she has not received the same attention and celebration as the male geeks. I know for a fact that episodes have been re-edited and re-vamped to downplay her influence on the show.
Secondly, the men in the article, like many so-called "geeks" celebrated in popular culture, aren't even that geeky. These men are Adam Brody, Clay Aiken, Neil Patrick Harris, Chris Martin, Jon Stewart, Zach Braff, Jay Baruchel, Topher Grace, Beck, Jon Heder, and Elijah Wood. Why are they considered geeky? Apparently, because Elijah Wood collects action figures, Jon Heder starred as "Napoleon Dynamite," Beck has an album entitled "Loser" and wears polyester suits, Topher plays a lot of dice, Monopoly and poker, Jay is not a confident person, Zach is a self-avowed "film geek" and idolizes Woody Allen, Jon was called "Soupy" in high school and was called "awesome" by Alpha Geek, Chris is a vegetarian activist, Neil Patrick stars in Broadway musicals and has supposed geek cred for being Doogie Howser as a kid, Clay Aiken calls himself a "forever ... nerd," and Adam Brody is a "comic-book fanatic." Hhhhhhhhmmmmm. Now, I suppose there isn't a way of objectively defining a geek, but let's think. I'd say that I know enough geeks to be able to argue fairly convincingly that it is not a single geek interest that shows a person's inner geek: it's a conglomeration of interests and social awkwardness and intelligence and just general geekiness. You know when you're in the presence of a true geek. I know geeks, too: I've always found the sight of a guy in a lab coat to be very HOT. DarkWater.com defines the following as geeks: "gamers, ravers, science fiction fans, punks, perverts, programmers, nerds, subgenii, and trekkies. These are people who did not go to their high school proms, and many would be offended by the suggestion that they should have even wanted to." I would say that pretty much sums it up. Most geeks see themselves as disparate from the "norm." Sure, everyone feels like they don't fit in now and again, but not everyone grows up feeling separate from society, and views their entire life as growing apart from society and popular culture. This is the essence of the geek: to have a great interest in what is marginalized and misunderstood by society as a whole, and to see their life as parallel to society, but on a different plane from it.
Anyway.............. why aren't there more geeky girls in popular culture? I picked up a copy of Geek magazine to read on the train on my way to NYC on Saturday, and there was mention of a recent past issue with Tina Fey on the cover. AGAIN. What is so geeky about Tina Fey? I know, a geek girl, good, but seriously... is all that is necessary to define oneself as a geek a pair of plastic, dark-rimmed glasses?
That is all.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Music has a huge influence on who we are as people, and I think that finding the right kind of music that resonates with your soul tends to help shape you as a person, especially if you have a preponderance to musicality in the first place. Before punk rock, I was just Sammee. After punk rock, I am SAMMEE. I'm a new person. I want the same for my students... but I don't mean to diss their music or ANY music. Yet I am not perfect. I really struggle with appreciating lots of music, esp. R&B and rap. I really can't help it, and I've made a concerted effort.
Students, if you're out there, appreciate your Pink Floyd. But don't forget the rest of your musical palette.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
I am conducting a study of scholars and graduate students with disabilities, and am focusing particularly on scholars with auto-immune diseases and what are commonly called "invisible illnesses" (this includes mental health illnesses). I hope to interview scholars and graduate students and discuss how they have been successful in academia and how they have coped with disabilities that are not always evident to their colleagues and students. This information will be analyzed and combined with a document I am creating to both assist university educators and administrators in their dealings with scholars and students with chronic invisible illnesses, and educate students and scholars with invisible illnesses on the procedures they should take to ensure that they receive the support and representation that they should receive from their academic institutions under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Hopefully, the findings will be presented to a future meeting of the Society for Music Theory Special Interest Group on Music and Disability.
If you are a scholar with such a disability or know someone who is that would be willing to participate in my study, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org , and I will send you an interview sheet. Your responses will be kept confidential, unless otherwise stated."
Friday, November 23, 2007
HENCE... this obligatory musicological post on music and guilty pleasures and my new musicological interests.
Recently on Rebecca's and the Musicology/Matters blogs, there have been discussions about the guilty musical pleasures of the musicologist. I have often felt guilty about my great love for popular music, esp. that of the punk rock variety. Most musicologists would consider it to be near treason to listen to as much punk rock as I do, since it is viewed as being so 'simplistic' musically. Obviously, if you are a formalist or an organicist, punk rock must not quite cut it (at least on the surface). One of my professors got very incensed during a seminar when the topic of popular music study was broached. "But HOW can it compare to classical music in any way, shape or form?! To Beethoven, to Brahms, to Schubert?! It just doesn't!" Never mind that he only quoted three composers from a specific section of the canon (19thC German Romantic)... and left out a whole slew of music that is considered by the majority as canonical. However, during a discussion with another musicologist on "what is HOT, and what's not" in our discipline, my friend tried to convince me that popular music is now where it's at and what everyone is studying. I honestly surprised and unconvinced: if that is so, then why are popular music studies still marginalized in the general AMS meeting? The popular music sessions were held during the 2pm Thursday session (when most people hadn't arrived yet) and the Sunday AM session (when most people had already left or were too knackered to attend more papers), while the majority of the other sessions were full of either mainstream or fairly acceptable studies of canonic repertoire. Cultural studies are clearly in the more mainstream, judging by the traditional fare in JAMS and other journals and at AMS, but clearly studying music of other cultures and that of the more mainstream American culture is not. We all experience these feelings of guilt. Why is that? We are forward-thinking, liberal academics. Why should we feel guilty about appreciating other musics?
Yet we all feel it. We all have our own niches of music that we won't touch and disregard as rubbish or beneath us. I feel this way about most rap music, R&B, top 40 and popular country music written after 1980. How can I call myself a free-thinking academic open to cultural studies of all musics if I can't bring myself to tolerate even a microsecond of Shania Twain or Britney Spears? That so many people listen to Britney Spears and are obsessed with all of the details of her life tells us something about our culture, even if it is something that we dislike or don't want to know. It seems unethical as academics to ignore that which makes us uncomfortable that which we do not understand or does not interest us just because there are musics or cultures out there who are more interesting. It seems that we are ignoring an important part of humanity to discount any cultural artifact as unworthy of inspection.
I know that I'm going to make more of an effort to find what is worthwhile in every music I can, even though I might not write my dissertation on it. In the end, we need to study what interests us, or else we won't have the motivation to finish it. Even if Britney Spears or Madonna aren’t your cup of tea as a musicologist, there is no point in shooting a sister or brother musicologist in the foot for her or his interest in it. We all have our pieces of cake and sometimes we’ve got to eat them too.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
It's been very interesting to navigate the waters of my newfound liberal Christianness with my friends and family. Last weekend (the 7th) was my 25th birthday, and it was the first time I mixed my liberal New Yorker/academic friends with my conservative sister and one conservative friend from Pennsylvania. I honestly feel like I am coming out of the closet. I suppose for my family and conservative friends, it's better for them that I come out of the closet as a Episcopalian Quaker than a gay person, but you never know. There was an arguement about whether or not the gay pride weekend is good for all gay persons, since some prefer not to be associated with 'flaming' homosexuals. I am really getting weary of the homosexuality issue and beginning to think people should just chill out and stop making it political. Sexuality should not be political. I am a straight, heterosexual female that identifies with her born gender, and I wouldn't want that to affect how people react towards me. Gee whiz.
This past Saturday I was blessed to spend my day with very interesting, wonderful, loving and open-minded people of various religious and sexual persuasions. Do I realize that living in New York is special and that most people aren't as accepting and wonderful? Yes. Does that scare me? Yes. Very much so.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Silversun Pickups, "Well Thought Out Twinkles"
Joy Division, "She's Lost Control"
1. Silversun Pickups -- an Indie band from LA; they're a mixture of EMO and punk, with really creative lyrics. Check them out on MySpace.
2. Elliott Smith -- I think everyone who reads my blog already loves Eliott. I was late in the game with him; I thought the track they played in The Royal Tennenbaums was excellent, but when I first listened to him I wasn't very impressed. He's grown on me now, though, and I've been playing the album 'XO' constantly.
3. Rufus Wainwright -- I'm listening to 'Want Two' and the new album on MySpace. I really like the song 'Going to a Town' from the new album.
4. Elvis Costello -- Don't even get me started. Costello has been such a huge influence on so many bands, especially Weezer and MxPx, and he writes the best love songs. He's adorably geeky, too.
5. Imogen Heap -- The track 'Hide and Seek' from her new album 'Speak for Yourself' is just incredible. The lyrics are so interesting and introspective, and the music is very creative. Pretty much the only dance music I'd really enjoy.
6. Teddybears -- This Norwegian act ('experimental pop') has a new video called 'Punkrocker' that features Iggy Pop! It's terrific. Check it out on YouTube.
7. The Magnetic Fields -- I love the lead singer's voice; it's very sultry and passionate. The track 'I Can't Love You Anymore' (on MySpace) is brilliant.
8. Interpol -- Their recent album 'Antics' is full of passionate, introspective lyrics and interesting sounds, and they have a new one coming up! Woo-hoo!
I've also been reading for fun -- an absolute must for a happy Sammee. So far, I've finished The Conservative Soul by Andrew Sullivan and Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. The former was incredibly thought-provoking and revealing to me; the latter was incredibly funny and made me feel better about being a pendant for grammatical faithfulness. I am glad that there is someone else alive who loves the semicolon enough to talk about what a lovely punctuation mark it is. Now, I'm back to the Robber Bride; my friend informed me that it's worth the wait.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
"The founder of the country, George Washington, was particularly concerned about the impact on civil life of religious and doctrinal disputes. He wrote in a letter: 'Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the peace of Society.' Tell that to the architects of Republican hegemony, Karl Rove and Tom Delay."In this chapter, Sullivan also discusses the deistic foundations of America, and the Founding Father's emphasis on the separation of church and state:
"In 1797 the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Treaty of Tripoli, an attempt to deal with Muslim privacy and terrorism in the Mediterranean. One of its clauses reads: 'As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shalt ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.' It is hard to think of a leading contemporary Republican insisting that American government 'is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.' In the early republic not a single senator dissented."Wow. I'm speechless. Of course, no one has ever before shared this information with me. Incredible the false consciousness (a la Adorno) I have been under until recently.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
Describe your most formative religious experience. I am assuming that most of us are, or have been, some form of a Christian (probably born-again), so what I have in mind is that sort of testimonial-type of event in your past that led you to, or closer to, God. If you are no longer a Christian, describe how you feel about that experience now.
My first religious experience occurred when I was four (at least, this is the first I remember). I later explained it to my parents at the age of five and six and even later as when I became 'born again'. I think my parents were a bit sceptical of how a four-year-old could experience Christ's presence and claim to be 'born again', but even at a young age I seemed to have an early connexion with the divine or the spiritual or whatever you want to call it. Anyway, what I remember is playing with toys alone in my room, and feeling God's presence. That's even how I described it to my family years later when asked about my conversion experience. I felt Christ telling me to pray and talk to him and ask him 'into my heart'. I don't know how accurate this memory is, but I remember being very sure of it at one point. A year later, during our very first day of homeschool, my mother led us in a Bible lesson that described heaven and hell. My mother told me that she would be in heaven with my father, and I needed to accept Christ to be with them, or else I'd burn in hell. I don't remember being terribly scarred by how she said it, so she probably was nice about it, but thinking about that now makes me cringe. It was definitely a fire insurance conversion, and I'm not sure if later I projected back into my past that first experience with Christ to compensate for the second less-authentic conversion. The first one seemed very real, so I guess it all depends on your definition of reality.
Another important religious experience in my life (and these all occurred when I still described myself as Evangelical) happened at the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) denomination's youth conference in Salt Lake City, UT. I was newly sixteen years old, and at the time pretty much obsessed with whether or not I was following God's will for my life. I had a very defined idea of what *I* wanted, but I was also convinced that it couldn't be that God and I wanted the same things. I had been wrestling with this for years, since as a young girl I felt God 'calling me' to full-time ministry in the Evangelical church as a missionary. My plans included being a neurosurgeon and 'helping people'. At any rate, it was during a service at the conference when I started to doubt my fire insurance conversion and my committment to the Christian life. I figured I mustn't be very committed, since I was constantly wrestling with giving over to God my dreams of being a doctor. During one service, I was overcome with what I saw as my own selfishness and told God that I would follow Him (I characterized God as a male entity, which isn't surprising) and not be a doctor if He wanted. That moment drastically changed my future plans and led me to study music, to be perfectly honest. I went home from that conference and re-vamped my academic plans for junior year, adding music study and telling my piano teacher that I planned to be a piano major. There was something about the speaker and what I felt was God's presence that caused me to change my life. To be honest, I'm extremely glad I never became a doctor. I would have been awful at it; all that memorizing of facts and details without original thought -- it would have bored me to tears. It would have been a lot of heavy science and math, too, and these are subjects thatt were not in my comfort zone. I guess you could say that a Christian fundamentalist religious experience eventually led me to academia, musicology, and postmodern Christianity! For that, I am glad to have had the experience.
Since slowly giving up Evangelicalism since ca. 2002, I can't remember having any more similar religious experiences or what many Evangelicals call 'mountain top experiences with God'. I can think of times when I attempted to create them. However, that doesn't mean that I don't feel God speaking to me. It's just that now she has become more rational, as I have become more rational. She does not overcome me and force me to listen, but quietly whispers suggestions and ideas and convictions into my ear. My conscience has become a more important vehicle for my newfound culturally-sensitive brand of Christianity, rather than a strict, blind adherence to a literal Truth outlined by the Bible or a religious zealot. In a way, I feel closer to God. Rather than needing an excessive emotional experience, I can experience her quietly and in my everyday life. I don't need a shouting Evangelical preacher or even a beautiful Anglican choir to experience God. She's right here, with me right now, and I can feel her love.
Today, I feel better. I went to Latin class, which is filled with an interesting bunch of language geeks and medievalists, but also modernists who are stuck in it because they couldn't get into the other transliterature courses. There seem to be quite a few Trekkies or at least people who love Captain Picard, and I've generated more interest for my yet-to-happen Star Trek party I've been planning. We did a TREMENDOUS amount of Latin grammar, and I had a disagreement with the instructor over the differences between pronunciation of ecclesiastical vs. classical Latin. I much prefer to pronounce words like 'amavi' (first person singular of the present perfect active for 'to walk'; and I write that out to constantly remind myself of the order our teacher wants us to give the verb forms, not because I don't realise that much of my flist already reads Latin to some extent) with the '-v' sound, rather than the '-w' sound used in classical Latin. I also prefer to pronounce the '-g' more like the modern Italian pronunciation. These preferences are partially because of my study of ecclesiastical Latin (William Byrd's Latin-texted motets!), and partially because these pronunciations are better for singing and listening during long melismas.
The work for the Latin class is appropriate to its 'intensive' description. In 2 days, we have reviewed the 3 simple tenses for the first two verb conjugations, the three perfect tenses (1st 2 conjugations), and two subjunctive tenses (1st 2 conjugations). We also reviewed the cases for first declension nouns. I am writing this partially to bore you, partially because I am a GRAMMAR WHORE (I just love learning the grammar of new languages. I find writing out lists of verb conjugations to be RIDICULOUSLY EXCITING), and partially because I want to get straight in my head what's been flung at it. It's all very satisfying. Now I just have to resuscitate my old high school Latin from 1997 and 1998 and put myself back into classroom mode so I don't continue to stumble over my words when called upon for drills. So perhaps I should go do that now.
Oh wait, there's more I wanted to say. I also made myself feel better by stopping by my favourite boutique in New Brunswick and most favourite clothing store ever ... POP TRASH! I feel like this boutique was CREATED FOR ME! I bought a new mini jean skirt in honour of losing seven pounds by pure accident, even though I was eating copious amounts of ice cream and chocolates. I think it's the whole gluten-free thing -- no longer able to eat 2 bowls of Reeses Peanut Butter Puffs for breakfast. Somehow, eggs with veggies is not an equal substitute. Anyway, I also bought a pink sweater with a skull logo, which I'd been pining for since Christmas -- and I got it for half price (YES!) -- a new studded punk belt, and a pink, black and white argyle tube top with a skull on it. Yeah, okay, so when I'm feeling really expressive and really myself, I wear a lot of black and pink punk rock grrl clothing with skulls on it, topped off with fishnets. That's me to a T. :)
When I first stumbled upon Pop Trash in December 2006, the boutique had recently opened and hadn't even yet put up their web site. Since then, you can read about the boutique and their punk rock style on their web site (see link above), on MySpace, and in an article by Pulse Online. The article touches on two important reasons why true punks need a place like Pop Trash to provide their clothing. First of all, clothing and personal style is an important expression of the punk rock ethos. It is an obvious outward symbol of rebellion from social norms or from the established order. Secondly, purchasing clothing from mainstream clothing chains like Hot Topic is horrifically establishment and a contradiction to the punk rock ethos. As the writer of the article states, chain stores like Hot Topic "exis[t] to turn a profit, and [are] merely ... capitalizing on a growing trend among today's youth. In my opinion, that is not punk rock." YES. Supporting small businesses enable one to support people and benefit society, rather than merely turning over a profit. (I understand that turning over a profit also benefits society, but not in the immediate way that shopping at a small business does. Plus, you can avoid the nasty ethical complications, like with Wal-Mart.) Pop Trash is a store that perfectly satisfies the woman looking to express her devotion to rock-n-roll and esp. punk ideals, and also enables her to give back to the community by dumping her $$ in quality clothing that supports a grass roots business. And that makes me happy. :)
x-posted to Livejournal
Sunday, May 27, 2007
'Mr. Wright's assertions of widespread white racism and his scorching remarks about American government have drawn criticism, and prompted the senator to cancel his delivery of the invocation when he formally announced his candidacy in February. Mr. Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate who says he was only shielding his pastor from the spotlight, said he respected Mr. Wright's work for the poor and his fight against injustice. ... It is hard to imagine, though, how Mr. Obama can truly distance himself from Mr. Wright. The Christianity that Mr. Obama adopted at Trinity has infused not only his life, but also his campaign. He began his presidential announcement with the phrase "Giving all praise and honor to God", a salutation common in the black church. He titled his second book, "The Audacity of Hope," after one of Mr. Wright's sermons, and often talks about biblical underdogs, the mutual interests of religious and secular America, and the centrality of faith in public life.'
This paragraph made me cringe. The last thing I want for my country is to have another person blinded by religious convinction as the president. G.W. Bush has had various Evangelical leaders whispering into his ear for the last eight years, and the thought of a close-minded, anti-white, reactionist liberation theologian whispering in the new president's ear is almost enough to make me want to change my vote. What American needs is someone who can remain as objective and uninfluenced by any one religious ideology as possible.
And yet ... there are so many things I like about Barack Obama (even moreso than Rodham Clinton, and let me tell you, I would love a female president in the White House!). I like his progressive stances on abortion, gay marriage, global warming and universal health care. Where Rodham Clinton seems more resistant (she has not been as progressive as Obama about health care or environmental concerns), Obama is not afraid to push it to the next progressive level. I really like that he seems very progressive about mental health care and advocates making mental health care more available for U.S. troops. My father served in Vietnam and I know he would have very much benefited from free therapy (that is, if he would have agreed to it). But is all of this enough if he is going to be so intimiately tied to a reactionary form of Christianity? I'm unsure.
x-posted to Livejournal
Friday, May 25, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
I am making this post to ask for suggestions for my summer reading list. I think I will aim to read one 'fun' book a month, which shouldn't distract too much from my studies and still provide the necessary leisure time I require for my sanity. Here is my current list for May, June, July, August and September. If I am successful, perhaps this can continue through the academic year.
May: The Rebel Angels by Robertson Davies (almost finished); The Robber Bride (Margaret Atwood -- I am reading this book because another musicologist recommended it and I bought it from the music library for 10 cents).
June: The History of Love: A Novel (Nicole Krauss)
July: Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (Donald Miller)
August: The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova)
September: Orlando: A Biography (Virginia Woolf)
Saturday, May 19, 2007
The summer between my master's degree and the beginning of my PhD was pretty much non-existent, because my master's degree didn't end until July 19 and moving takes so much work and energy. The summer between the first and second years of the PhD was also pretty stressful, because I took an Italian language class and had a lot of comprehensive examination revision to commence. This summer will be spent doing a Latin language class and more revision, as well as fleshing out my dissertation topic. I am feeling depressed because it was a very stressful, tumultuous year for me health-wise and I can feel that my body, mind, spirit and brain really need a break. Oh well, c'est la vie.
So how do I recuperate so I can face the challenges?
Thursday, May 10, 2007
As I think is common for people who study medieval and early modern music and culture, I am a liberal Christian (am currently dabbling in a mixture of Quakerism and Anglicanism) and have an affinity for religiosity (even though I am a punk rocker and like Jay Bakker's 'religion kills' movement at times, too). However, this does not mean that I don't respect other people's opinions, so pleased don't be scared away!!
Friday, May 04, 2007
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,
"For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.
- Psalm 116:15 (NRSV)
Monday, April 30, 2007
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22 NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Here is the passage from Matthew, in the ESV and taken from Biblegateway.com:
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I am interested in how George Fox (the founder of Quakerism) links truth and oneness to being in peace, love and the power of God. Everything must be done in love in order to understand the "mystery of the gospel," and one must do things in love and not in strife to edify the church. This is so different from how I was raised, and these words were penned in the seventeenth century! As with the second comments about the equality of women from Margaret Fox, I am reminded that a teleological view of history and culture is often inaccurate. Although my family subjugates women against men and views violence as necessary, in seventeenth-century England and Pennsylvania, our ancestors upheld the opposite beliefs.
The VOtD from the Bible Gateway web site was also very edifying. I love the Gospel of John; it's such a mysterious and nerdy book of the Bible. In the verse just before, Jesus talks about his sheep, who know his voice (which I understand as the theology of the 'efficacious call'), and follow him, and to those who listen and respond he will give unconditional love and acceptance. See how tolerant and loving our Christ is?? Isn't it a stark contrast to how so many understand Christ and how they try to project Christ?
I am doing a topical study of love in the Bible, and specifically, the love of Christ and how it embodies God's love and how it is bestowed upon humanity. So, in this verse, I see very unconditional and accepting characteristics of Christ's love.
Christ's love is ...
* Non-judgemental (Christ will love and accept forever anyone who responds)
P.S. If you want to sponsor me on the arthritis walk, please comment or send me an e-mail and I'll send you the necessary link.
As far as fantasy goes, it was a pretty admirable effort, esp. considering he was fifteen when writing the book. The characters were fairly compelling, and the world he created was pretty interesting, esp. for a kid. My problem is that I am an avid Tolkien fan and therefore judge all subsequent fantasy against Tolkien's standard. The problem with the book was that I didn't find it compelling enough, not to the point where I wanted to read it all day long. I would find it compelling for an hour or so, but then need to do something else. It was a reasonable effort, and I might read the others, but it seemed to be striving for the kind of epic that Tolkien created and was constantly falling short.
Secondly, I wanted to announce on my blog that I am doing an arthritis walk on June 30th. I will be doing it to raise money for arthritis research and awareness. As you probably know, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when I was fifteen months old, followed by a diagnosis of fibromyalgia at the age of twelve and lupus just this past October. The walk will be in Philadelphia, and I am hoping to raise $100.
And now for my devotions.
Like many Christians, I have been struggling to find a comfortable format for daily devotions. I find reading the Bible on the regular basis to be an important discipline, both for my spiritual and mental health. I find it easy to be distracted by the outside world and have therefore found it difficult to be completely faithful with my devotional exercise. It is my hope that blogging will help this to be easier and also encouraging.
My current devotion format is to read one e-mail devotion a day, one full chapter of the Bible each day, and one excerpt from a writer of faith. I have been blessed by both Episcopal and Quaker writings in the recent past, and oftentimes I go through the Anglican Daily Office or read from George Fox's writings. Today, my e-mail devotion is from Psalm 40, and my Bible passage is John 10. I have also read a passage from George Fox's writings and a passage from Margaret Fox's writings.
From George Fox's letters, 291-315:
" Therefore keep your meetings, and dwell in the power of truth, and know it in one another,
and be one in the light, that you may be kept in peace and love in the power of God,
that you may know the mystery of the gospel; and all that ever you do, do in love;
do nothing in strife, but in love, that edifies the body of Christ, which is the church."
From Margaret Fox's defense of women in the church:
"And first, when God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he them, male and female; and God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply: And God said, behold, I have given you of every herb, Gen 1:27-29. Here God joins them together in his own image, and makes no such distinctions and differences as men do; for though they be weak, he is strong; and as he said to the apostle, his grace is sufficient, and his strength is made manifest in weakness, 2 Cor 12:9. And such has the Lord chosen, even the weak things of the world, to confound the things which are mighty; and things which are despised, has God chosen, to bring to nought things that are, 1 Cor:1-27-8. And God has put no such difference between the male and female, as men would make."
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. (NIV) Psalm 40:3
28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one." (NIV) Jn 10:28-30
After living abroad in England, I began to re-evaluate my political and religious beliefs. I'm still figuring things out, but one thing I've realised is that I absolutely need to have a relationship with God. I'm just figuring out how I can be a dedicated Christian and also a dedicated Libertarian.
This is where this blog comes into play. I've been wanting to blog here because I have other cool friends on Blogger, but I couldn't really come up with a theme or a purpose. My new purpose will be to blog about my journey as a Libertarian Christian. I'm going to read devotionals and talk about faith and my newfound political and academic beliefs.
Feel free to join me. :)
Academic Societies and Interests
American Musicological Society
Society for Music Theory
Disability Studies Quarterly -- the first journal in the field of disability studies
North American British Music Studies Association
International Alliance for Women in Music
International Congress on Medieval Studies
International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)
IASPM US branch
* Lupus Foundation of America
* The Hunger Site -- Click Here Daily, It's Free!
* October is Lupus Awareness Month
* Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign
* Green Faith
* Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
* Kids Get Arthritis, Too! Web Ring
* The Hypoglycemia Support Foundation
* Make Poverty History
* Libertarian National Committee
* But You Don't Look Sick!
* National Eating Disorders Association
Autoimmune Disease Links
- Celiac Disease Foundation
- Fibromyalgia Support Page
- Find a Cure for Lupus
- Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania
- National Fibromyalgia Association
- Rheumatoid Arthritis and Exercise
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogger
- Society for Disability Studies
- Society for Disability Studies links
- The Arthritis Foundation
- The Lupus Lady's Autoimmune Disease Support
Weight Loss Aids
- 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet!
- A Weight Lifted: Healthy Weight Loss Blog
- Calorie Lab
- Fatty Weight Loss
- Fit Day
- Fitness Blogs directory at Blogcatalog.com
- Former Fat Guy
- Health and Fitness Blog
- Hungry Girl
- Runner's World
- Running and Triatholon Training Source
- Slash Food
- Strength Journal: Fitness and Nutrition Weblog
- The Skinny Daily Post
- Trying Fitness
- Web 2.0 Fat Off 2007
- Weight Loss Buddy