Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Gifts Jaclyn is sure to love...

1- Books
2- Books
3- Books
4- Books
5- Books

Several of which I received for Christmas. My family knows I am a magnet to old, gently worn classics, preferably ones without copyright dates. My brother found several at Goodwill including: Pride and Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland, Jo's Boys, Little Men and a selection of short essays. They are beautiful! They will be placed next to my other treasured classics.

I also was given two new books I have had my eye on... Sermons of Jonathan Edwards and The Preacher's Daughter by Beverly Lewis.

I am halfway through The Preacher's Daughter and will soon begin Edwards. I am sure I will have much to post on while reading him!

Last, but not least, my wonderful friend Katie surprised me with the full set of The Chronicles of Narnia. My brother has The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but we have checked the other six out from the library when need arose. Now I have the whole set for keeps. Thanks, Katie!!!

My reading time is full for a few weeks to be sure... especially if I try to fit in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis that Ben has been begging me to read.

I do read this other book too... The Bible. It is the #1 bestseller of all times! It's my favorite above all others and I would rather own it than anything else, book or not, in the entire world. I recommend it to you above any that I have listed above!

Psalm 103

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!
Happy Birthday Jesus...
I'm so glad you came!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Arctic Chill Part 2

It is cold and has been for two weeks now. We had one or two warm days last week. "Warm" meaning 45 degrees. My mom and I went for a walk that day while it was sunny! The last few nights the low has been 6 or 7 degrees. Cold, cold, cold...

And I still love it!

Now, for some of you that commented on the first post titled "Arctic Chill", I thought of you on Friday night as we braved the frigid weather... and went to the zoo. The Denver Zoo does "Christmas Zoo Lights" where they decorate the zoo with AMAZING lights. Almost every tree is laced with colorful lights and throughout the zoo there are huge animal lights. There is the 20 foot heard of elephant lights, complete with an elephant that is standing in a puddle and throws the water on his back. There is the roaring lion, giraffes, peacocks, birds, bear with fish, and MORE! Lights everywhere! We have lived in Colorado for 13 years and have never been to see the popular Zoo Lights! It was soooo much fun!

But it was cold. Thank goodness it was not snowing which means it was not a wet kind of cold. Victoria and I bundled up in layers, gloves and our heaviest coats to protect ourselves from the single digit temperature. It was still cold. My right foot is always the first to freeze and it did. We walked through the indoor tropical exhibit which allowed my right foot to return to normal. As soon as it did we were done and back outside.

Despite the cold, it remains a popular thing to enjoy! Yet, you can always tell who the tourists are... You see, true Coloradans tease about tourism all the time. The longer you live in Colorado the more it all makes sense. Many tourists from warmer parts of the country come for Rocky Mountain skiing and are funny to watch. People like Galant, Trin and Dawn who think cold is below 60 degrees. For a laugh...

WE know YOU are a skiing tourist in Colorado if...

... your skis and ski clothes (pants, coat, gloves, etc.) match.

... you go inside (when it is below 45 degrees) to eat at the lodge, by the fire AND take your ski boots off so your toes can thaw. We all look at your socks and know why your toes were froze!

... you wear ski goggles. (and they too match your lepard print skiing outfit!)

... you don't own an SUV.

... you think 45 degrees is cold.

... you ask if the mountains always have snow on them.

... you make a big deal of the sun shining while it is snowing (something that happens in Colorado all the time.)

Let it snow, Let it SNOW, LET IT SNOW!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Survey

Just for fun... and since Dawn asked me to do it...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Both! If it is extremely cold outside I'll take the hot chocolate.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Never had Santa...

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I like a combonation of both on the house and white on the tree.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Whenever we find time. Usually the first week for December.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Some years mom will splurge and get prime rib!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? I have always loved the Christmas Eve Candlelight service at church.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I have always known that "Santa" was not real and that Nicholas was.

(I have no idea where questions 9 and 10 are! )

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? LOVE IT!

12. Can you ice skate? I have been iceskating before, does that count? ;-)

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I have had many favorites... one is a doll that still sits on my bed.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? The reality of Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection, and time with my family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Grandma's cookies.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Our family devotion, with a felt tree and ornaments that we do through December.

17. What tops your tree? An angel that mom made years ago!

18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? I enjoy both. The last couple of years I have not told people what I "wanted" and have been surprised by what they thought to get me! I love giving. I love seeing people's faces when they open my gifts!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Hummm... O Come, O Come Immanuel

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? I will eat a few, but I am not a hard candy person... give me the chocolate!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Do I weep?

"Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
for your law is not obeyed."
~Psalm 119:136

When I read that it struck me full in the face.

Do I weep when God's law is not obeyed? Do I weep with such remorse when I do not obey God's law? Am I so sensitive to the Holy Sprirt that I grieve instantly when I wander? Do I look around the world and sob at the sinfulness of man?

I could try to pawn this off as a "figure of speech". Did the Psalmist really mean to cry physically or just be "burdened" inside? Should I really cry tears that spill over onto my face? What does it mean to have such repentance that "streams of tears" flow from my eyes?

When I read this verse I imagine all out weeping. Unrestrained sobbing from the soul. A soul so remorseful that it cannot control the tears of sorrow. It is not just being a little "teary eyed" that a tissue can wipe away. It is not a single tear trickling down the cheek. Weeping. Sobbing. Crying. Gut wrenching sobs that make your head hurt, your nose red and give you a head ache. I have experienced times like this in my relationship with God. But when? Once a month? Once every other month?

Oh, I do not weep as I should. Sure, I feel guilt. I am sorrowful by the sin that I see in my life. I am saddened at the sin in the world. I pray and ask God for forgiveness. I am gaining sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and I am more readily recognizing sins in my life.
But weeping? What about godly sorrow? This reminded me of 2 Corinthians 7:10-11, which says:

"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done."

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation AND leaves no regret. The first kind of Godly sorrow leads to repentance of sins and an initial belief in God. The second form of godly sorrow leaves no regret. This second kind of sorrow is what the Christian needs in His journey toward holiness. It is the sorrow that realizes I still sin and I still need a Savior. It is the sorrow that pushes me towards Christ-likeness! And look what that sorrow produces... Earnestness, clear mind, longing, concern and readiness...

Oh God, teach me to weep. Teach me the true meaning of remorse, Godly sorrow and repentance. Break my heart. Teach me to obey Your laws. Teach me to be like Jesus. I am so far from where I should be. Open my eyes. Spirit, I need Your help....

Monday, December 12, 2005

Narnia: A Movie Review

Movie: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Rating: PG

Opening Date: Friday, December 9, 2005

Time Reviewer Viewed Movie: 12:15- 2:45AM Friday, December 9, 2005 AND 7:10PM Friday, December 9, 2005!!! (crazy, I know... but we already had our tickets for the one when we were invited to go at midnight!!! )

Reviewers Crazy Friends That Went with Her: Ben (brother), Shannon (who comments here!), Caleb (Shannon's brother) and Scott (their dad). We met other friends and their friends (totalling 60-70 people).

Time Reviewer Was in Bed: 3:50AM Friday, December 9, 2005

I LOVED IT! The quality, humor, faithfulness to the book, acting talents, CUTE LITTLE LUCY, cold witch and special effects were FANTASTIC. TEN THUMBS UP! (the 5 of us and our thumbs!)

My favorite scenes are too numberous to tell all the details. I really did love the WHOLE movie. I was especially fond of the scene where the children meet Father Christmas and Lucy mocks, "I told you he was real." Also when the White Witch comes to claim Edmund's blood, she questions Aslan by saying, "How do I know you will keep your promise?" Aslan roars at her and she sits down! Woo hoo! And... and... and...

Only two things would have improved it (that I can think of so far) would be:
1- A larger Aslan
2- Edmund actually asking for forgiveness from Aslan and his siblings

So, what did YOU think?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A picture or two...

The biggest sister with the littlest brother...

Katie and Jaclyn at Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Arctic Chill

I love Colorado. I am sitting in my office looking out the window. The sun is shining. The sky is Colorado Blue. The snow is glistening in the sunlight and the trees are swaying with the breeze. It looks pretty... from inside.

The temperature is currently and exactly 0 degrees. The current windchill temperature is -10 degrees.

Do you know how cold that is? It is freeze-your-nose-hairs-in-one-breath-kind-of-cold. It is a you-better-allow-an-extra-hour-to-start-your-car-kind-of-cold. It is freeze-the-dogs-outside-water-in-five-minutes-kind-of-cold. It is just entirely COLD. There is no way to get around it.

And I love it!

Almost. I do love the weather. The pipes in our office building, though, do not. They froze overnight. Therefore, the sewer system in the building is frozen. The maintenance man requested that we use the restrooms across the street in our sister building. OK. Right.

The water system broke a few years ago and we were forced to go across the street for the restrooms. It was NOT sub zero temperatures outside at that point. It is not comfortable nor inviting to walk 50 yards in arctic conditions when you... well... need to go. I wonder how long it will take the pipes to thaw...

Happy Winter everyone, I have a cold walk to take!!!

(This post is dedicated to Dawn who was cold yesterday morning when the temperature in California was 45 degrees! Right now that temperature would feel like a heat wave! Love you, girl!)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Four days... but who is counting?

I have a confession to make. I am utterly, entirely, completely and fanatically excited about 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' that debuts...

Friday, December 9, 2005!


Excuse my excitement... did you read that... this Friday. Do I need to say it again? Ummm... December 9th is this Friday. Four days. Four very long, anticipation filled days.

My brother and I, along with our closest friends, will be some of the crazy people who will attend the 12:01AM showing. I have always laughed at people who waited in lines to buy tickets, sat outside the theaters for hours before hand and saw the movie at midnight.

I will join their club this week. So, we will brave the frigid, wintery weather and head to the theater when most are sound asleep. We will be among the first in this time zone to enter the land of Narnia (well, Disney's version of Narnia).

I can barely sit still I am so excited!

Which Chronicles of Narnia Character Are You?

Other bloggers have this quiz on their blog this morning. I took the quiz and scored first as Arvis from 'The Horse and His Boy'. Since not many may know this character, I went back and changed an answer where I had two possiblilities. My result was:

You are High King Peter and/or Prince Caspian! In any case, you're a king, and you should be. You're brave, courageous, noble, respectful, chivalrous, honest, wise, and all those great knightly qualities. There really should be more people like you these days...

Three days... 12 hours... 27 minutes... and countning!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

May I present the...

...Whirlpool Galaxy

Here is the center of the Whirlpool Galaxy...

The Cross!!!

God will proclaim the glory of His Son all over the universe!

Pictures of the Universe

Star Chandra

Star Moncerotis

Sombrero Galaxy


Eagle Nebula


A dying star

Infinite God

God is infinite. Infinite. I am not sure about you, but my brain cannot fully comprehend that word. I still try. I usually end up with a headache and in awe that this infinite God would love me. Love me!

Look up ‘infinite’ in the Thesaurus and these are the synonyms:
- Never-ending
- Endless
- Countless
- Unlimited
- Inestimable
- Immeasurable
- Vast
- Unbounded
- Boundless
- Very great
- Extreme
- Great
- Immense
- Large
- Huge

These are some of my favorites: Never-ending, UNLIMITED, Immeasurable, Extreme and Immense.

Want to talk about immeasurable, extreme and immense? Have you looked at space lately? Have you gazed at the stars and been in awe? Have you researched or refreshed your memory on the VAST EXPANSE of the universe? Do you remember what a light year is? Ummm…do you realize how small we are?

My brother, Ben, has been taking an astronomy class this semester. He has been required to do star gazing, papers on the moon, visit planetariums, draw scales, etc. On one of his trips to the planetarium the whole family went along. Outside the planetarium in Boulder, Colorado they have a scale of the sun and planets. The sun, on this scale, was about the size of an average grapefruit. From the sun there were posts set up, again to scale, for each of the planets. The posts showed the equivalent sizes of each planet having the sun the size of a grapefruit. I do not want to bore you, but the first planet, Mercury, was about 15 feet away. Earth, being the third planet, was about 30 feet from the sun. When you rubbed your finger over the size of Earth, the sun being grapefruit sized, it was comparable to the head of a pen. Think about it. Head of pen earth. Grapefruit sun.

Taking it one step further, do you realize that our sun is an “average” star? There are stars in the KNOWN universe that are thousands, yes, thousands of times larger than our sun. The neighborhood we live in, The Milky Way, it too is an average galaxy. We are approximately 90,000 light-years across. We are 3,000 light-years think. The ratio of width to thickness is about the same as a CD. (See here)

To refresh your memory, a light year is: unit of distance in astronomy: a unit of distance in astronomy equal to the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one mean solar year, approximately 9.46 trillion km (5.88 trillion mi) It takes light from the sun 8 minutes to reach the earth, which is 93 million miles from the sun. Do you understand that? 5.88 trillion miles in one year. The Milky Way- ONE AVERAGE GALAXY- is 90,000 light-years across! This means that our galaxy is 529,200 trillion miles across and 17,640 trillion miles deep.

Take a look at your home:

One galaxy. One planet. One very small planet called Earth. One God. One God who spoke the world, the galaxies, the solar systems and the universe into existence. Can you imagine or understand the power? God spoke and THAT PICTURE appeared along with millions of other galaxies we have yet to discover.

And I still worry. I still complain. I still feel weak. There is no reason, really for:

"15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. " Colossians 1:15- 20

And one of my favorites:

"18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."

He has power to create a vast universe. He has power to raise Christ from the dead. He gives me that power because I believe. He loves me, tiny me on this planet called Earth. Tiny Jaclyn with even tinier problems and worries. He calls me friend. He redeemed my life from the pit. He loves me!!!

So, the days that I feel like worrying or the days I think too highly of myself I look at space. Then I remember how small I am, how small my problems are and how much I can trust God. I believe in the One who is Creator over all!!!