only help my unbelief

A day at the Carolina Reporter
January 23, 2008, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Posts

Well, here I am Wednesday morning, sitting at the computer in Coliseum 3028.

This morning we were given an editing test at 9 a.m. We had until 11 a.m. to finish it. I was done around 9:35 a.m., so spent some time doing the crossword in the Daily Gamecock, then the Jumble in The State, then the crossword puzzle in The State. I flipped through the New York Times (print edition) and actually found a really interesting and well-written article about fondue. I’m apathetic about fondue, but the article made me read to the end, which is rare.

I then decided that the morning papers had nothing left to offer (the comics weren’t even funny today), so I rolled in my chair over to a computer and tried to find some interesting goings-on in the blogosphere. I’ve actually kept up with my Google Reader pretty well since school started, so I couldn’t even peruse the last three weeks of headlines.

I put some captions on photos I uploaded last night. I added the Stick Friends application on Facebook and found little pictures for all the friends I could think of, which turned out to be about 8 people. I added my parents and sisters so I didn’t look like a complete loser.

And here I am at 10:45 a.m., and we’ve got 15 minutes until we have to be done. Glad I brought my iPod today, because it doesn’t seem quite so monotonous.

And so it looks like today will be another version of yesterday, when we had a two-and-a-half hour lunch, then a 45-minute break after lunch, and then two hours of messing around on Adobe Illustrator, making a graphic about the rising price of pencils.

Thus goes another day at the Carolina Reporter, where for the first time in a long time, I actually have time to blog.

Moldy towels
January 15, 2008, 5:19 pm
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I’m a very particular person, about some things. For example, I can’t abide getting anything on my hands, but I’m OK if my bed is left unmade in the morning (although I do like the feeling of a made bed). When my boyfriend was in town over Christmas break, he was very amused when I refused to come near him after he got grease from my George Foreman grill on his shirt. I explained that as soon as I’m aware of any sort of spot, stain or mark on any article of clothing that I’m wearing, I have to change. If I am in a place where I can’t change, I will spend the entire time until I can change thinking about how much I can’t wait to change.

That said, I’m particular about my towels. I bought five towels when I went off to college, which to some is a bit much, but I need to have one towel to put on my head and one to dry off my body. This is necessary because my hair retains so much water, if I only have one towel, my body never really gets dry, and I get water all over whatever I put on.

Additionally, I cannot tolerate any sort of smell in my towels. The first thing I do when I get out of the shower is dry off my face, and if I smell any sort of mold or unpleasant odor, I will use that towel, but when I’m done, I’ll put it in the dirty clothes. I now actually have seven towels (two were a gift), which is good, because I don’t have to wash my towels very often, even if some are smelling moldy.

But after having them for a few years, I’ve started noticing I have to wash them more often. I used to wash them all every few weeks or so, but the moldy smell started coming back more quickly. But then – while reading the Heloise column in the paper over break, I found a remedy. Apparently, washing your towels in white vinegar removes the smell.

I forgot about this remedy until yesterday, when I was down to my last two towels and both were smelling moldy. But I typed “vinegar mold towels” into Google search and quickly came up with instructions on how to perform the moldy-smell-removing task.

I took my towels out of the dryer this morning, and they smelled fresher than they have in a long time.

I contemplated for a few moments how I could make this experience have any sort of spiritual or eternal value, and decided it would be a stretch. Instead, this is a practical post for any of you who have moldy towels.

Nailed to the cross
January 14, 2008, 5:36 pm
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My pastor started preaching last Lord’s Day on the book of Colossians. Since I finished up a book study of Isaiah at the end of 2007, I decided I would stay in Colossians until my pastor finishes it. I’ve been trying to read through it at least once every day, and there is so much to glean from this short little book. Each time I read it, something different pops out at me.

This morning, I read Colossians before coming to school for my first day at the Carolina Reporter. I expected to be hit by chapter 3, about putting on holiness, compassion and kindness. Or maybe even Colossians 4:6, about letting my speech be seasoned with salt. But it was in the middle of chapter 2 that I stopped and reread what the Lord had to say.

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disrmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. – Colossians 2:13-15

I love the thought of God nailing the record of our sins to the cross along with Christ. In fact, all those sins already were nailed to the cross, even before we ever committed them. So it is futile to try to hang onto that record, to repeat in our minds the sins we’ve already confessed, or to make ourselves feel guilty about things that the Lord has already removed “as far as the east is from the west.”

So I’m trying to remember today to keep my speech seasoned with salt, to put on holiness and kindness, but above all that, I want to make sure that I never forget that I am no longer under condemnation, for there is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1). Knowing that allows me to live in freedom, and to point others to the only One who can also nail their sins to the cross.

A new blog
January 14, 2008, 12:52 am
Filed under: Posts

I wanted to start a new blog this year because I feel that the Lord is changing me in a lot of ways, and I want my blog to reflect that transformation. I’ve been encouraged in the past year by bloggers who write with intelligence and honesty about things of the Lord, and while I don’t think I could ever rise to their ranks, I would like to have a place where I can write about what the Lord is teaching me. I can only hope that it will be an encouragement to those who read it.

I joined Christ Church last fall, and when I joined, I had to choose a life verse. It took a little bit of thought, but ultimately I knew that I would have to choose the passage from the page that is probably most worn in my Bible. In the past several years, I have turned to it more than to any other passage, and its words speak comfort and peace as I think about the Lord’s goodness to me, and trust that He will still be good tomorrow and into the future.

And so, when I tried to think of a title for my blog, it came easily. My aim in life is to first taste and see that the Lord is good in a way that transforms my own life, and then to present the feast of His truth and grace to others, that they too might see the Lord.

“I sought the LORD, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.”
–Psalm 34:4-10

I hope and pray that in this new year, you will taste and see that the Lord is good, and that He never withholds from us what we need.