only help my unbelief

Seven facts about me
May 31, 2008, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Posts

In my several year history of reading blogs, I’ve enjoyed weekly blog events like Shannon’s Works for Me Wednesdays and Crystal’s Frugal Fridays.

I’m not asking any of you to participate with me – unless you want to – but because I like lists so much, I’m going to do a seven-point list each Saturday. It may be links, it may be knock-knock jokes, but today, it’s “Seven facts about Chelsey you didn’t know.” You’ll probably be horrified.

1. I’ve probably eaten three fast food hamburgers in my whole life. I dislike ketchup (a story for another day) and pickles (only on hamburgers – I do like them plain), and I especially dislike the look of ketchup and mustard mixed together. I know that I can get hamburgers without these additions, but I can still imagine how it would taste/look if my hamburger had all those things. 

2. Until I lived by myself, I could not wash dishes without wearing latex gloves. Now, I don’t use gloves, and I do wash dishes, but there is one important caveat: I don’t fill the sink up with water while I wash dishes. Instead, I put soap on/in the dish that needs washing and rinse in the sink. This is because I cannot bear to look at or imagine a sink full of lukewarm water, no soap bubbles, with food particles floating around. Seriously. Gross. 

3. When I go into any bathroom with a shower curtain, I quickly pull back the shower curtain. This is to make sure no one is in there waiting to scare me. It looks something like the scene from ‘The Sound of Music’ when Maria pulls the sheets back to check for spiders and finds Gretel’s sock. Unfortunately, though, when I told my roommate Katie about this particularly quirk of mine, I think she started scheming about hiding in the shower. Sigh.

4. When I go out the door, I check my purse for my cell phone, keys and wallet approximately eighteen times. I do this in my room, in the living room, and while I’m standing in the doorway before I shut our apartment door (we use a hotel card-like key to get into our apartment, so there’s really no way of getting back in if you forget your key). While I’m out and about, I also check my purse for these things pretty much any time I take something out or put something in my purse. Pickpockets have nothing on me.

5. I like orange juice, but not oranges; apples, but not apple juice; grapes, but not grape juice; grapefruit juice, but not grapefruits. I have yet to come up with a valid explanation for this.

6. I have eaten at Moe’s at least once a week for the last three years. Once, I ate there twice in one day. It is my all-time favorite restaurant. At least one of the employees at the one I frequent knows about my dislike for beans on my tacos. I will eat there in large groups or alone, eat-in or carry-out. I have a very methodical routine for how I eat, too. I always get three cups of salsa, even though I know I will use more (generally, five cups per meal). I eat my chips first, making sure some of the queso I get lasts until the last chip. I then eat my tacos, pouring salsa on them as I go. It’s a very comforting – and yummy – routine.

7. I met my boyfriend online. But we didn’t meet playing a video game, and we don’t only converse over the Internet. We met in person about a month after first talking online, and he recently moved to Columbia (after two years of dating) to work here. He’s my best friend, and I’ve decided I’m not going to be embarassed anymore about how we met. If you want more details, I’m working on a page about it so I don’t have to tell the story ever again.

There you go. Seven things you probably didn’t know until you got to this page, unless you’re my family (who knows full well the extent of my inability to wash dishes gloveless), Christian (who, obviously, knows how we met) or my roommates (who are my companions at Moe’s almost every week).

What’s OCD quirky about you?


I may have found my calling
May 30, 2008, 9:45 pm
Filed under: Posts

Well, it’s been a week since I moved my blog over here to WordPress. I’ve really loved it so far. Probably my favorite thing about it is the ability to see how people get to my blog – specifically, search terms.

While I don’t have incredibly high expectations for this blog, I do want it to be helpful. Sadly, I think I’ve already failed. The following are all terms people used to get to my blog:

  • “grammar everyone should know but most do” (Not sure why they’re looking for tips on grammar that most people do actually know)
  • “a few of us were grammar” (I’m not sure if they were looking for a handbook on the past tense, or if they were having a problem conjugating grammar, apparently a new verb)
  • “having taken grammar” (If you’ve taken it, why look it up on Google?)
  • “exiting wonderful grammar” (I really can’t make sense of this. Are they done trying to reach grammar perfection?)
    And my all time favorite:
  • “chelsey grammar” (Maybe they meant him. Regardless, my blog is the first one that pops up when you type this into Google. I’ve been forever immortalized next to one of my passions!)

All that said, one of the top posts/pages on my blog in the past week has been my guide to grammar, which is sorely lacking. I started it as kind of a joke, but it seems like there are a lot of people who genuinely need help. To all of you who got here hoping for grammar help, I apologize. I’ll try to do better in the future.

If you’re really desperate, you can get in touch with me and give me your pressing grammar question. I’ve got a desk full of reference books that will help me give you the best answer possible. Or I can ask one of the trusty copy editors I work with. Either way – don’t give up.

An America I won’t feel good about
May 29, 2008, 7:39 pm
Filed under: Posts

This morning I slept in after a long night at work and several nights previously of very little sleep. I woke up in time to watch a re-run of The Colbert Report, one of my guilty pleasures.

While eating chocolate chip pancakes, I laughed at Colbert’s “microbe beat” and chuckled at his nightly segment “The Word.” But when Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, came on for the interview portion, I stopped laughing.

Well, actually, I did laugh at the beginning when he asked her if she was a woman – saying he wanted to make sure because he had “been burned before.” But when Mrs. McCaskill started talking about why she supported Obama for president, the show was no longer funny.

Colbert made a few jabs at Obama tongue-in-cheek, including saying that maybe the reason younger Americans like Obama is because they can relate to him – insomuch as they too are too young and experienced to be a good president.

But what made my blood boil just a little bit, and my heart cry out for God’s mercy, was when she said that she thinks Obama will make our country “an America that we can feel good about again.”

Honestly, I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever felt good about America. I haven’t felt good about it since Bush has been in office, probably like most people who claim to be Democrats, but I also didn’t feel good about it when Clinton was president.

Forget about the past, though. Let’s think about the future. I’m not going to get into the economy or taxes or education. I care about the position of Christianity in American culture. While I’m not so thrilled about John McCain’s stance on religion, either, Obama’s language breaks my heart. The following is a summary from his website talking about a speech he gave last year.

Senator Obama also laid down principles for how to discuss faith in a pluralistic society, including the need for religious people to translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values during public debate.

If I’m a religious person who really believes what I say I believe, then translating my concerns into universal values will probably go against whatever I believe, thus making religion obsolete.

Of course, religion won’t ever be obsolete. God puts the authorities and rulers in their positions,and I know that He is completely sovereign over the American political system. But I’m sorry, Sen. McClaskill – I won’t feel good about any America where I’m required to muddle God’s Word into something that anyone – Christian or not – can agree with.

Something everyone should know
May 28, 2008, 11:55 pm
Filed under: Posts

All you LOST fans would be so proud.

First, a little background.

I work night shifts as a copy editor. I just started last week and am technically an “intern,” so I often feel unncessary and very, very unhelpful. Sure, some of my headlines make it in the paper, and I’ve caught some fairly horrendous grammatical mistakes, but overall I don’t feel like I do much.

Last night, I actually made some errors in the copy I edited, which is about the worst thing you can do. I was having an off night, and I knew it, and I felt terrible.

But tonight, I think I redeemed myself.

When the paper got printed a little bit ago, I was assigned to read the business section to check for errors. But I took a quick glance at the Life&Style section. Oh, what’s this? A story about LOST?

My first thought was to mentally curse the fact that I have to work tomorrow night and will have to settle for watching the finale online Friday.

I skimmed through the article, stopping at a picture of Kate holding Aaron. The caption read: “Evangeline Lily stars in ‘Lost’.” First of all, that’s a terrible caption, but that’s not the point.

They spelled her name wrong. My heart skipped a beat. They HAD spelled her name wrong, right? I quickly pulled up Google and typed her name in. Yes, of course they had. Of course I knew, because I’ve spent hours reading LOST posts, Lostpedia and anything else I can find about LOST.

I checked one more time. Yes, they had spelled her last name with only one ‘L’. And then I nervously said across the short cubicle wall, “John, I think I might have found something.”

He seemed surprised, which isn’t surprising after last night.

I told him what was wrong, and he said that was a really bad error, and it was good that I caught it.

So I think I made up for last night… but really, all I can think about is how anyone couldn’t know how to spell Kate’s real name. Sheesh.

Orange oatmeal breakfast pie (and beautiful art!)
May 28, 2008, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Posts | Tags: , , ,

As many of you know, on Sunday mornings I help with the todder Sunday school class at church. In doing that, I’ve gotten to know several wonderful people. One of the other helpers is Lee Monts, who all the kids love. Tonight we realized that the other had a blog, so I wanted to point you to Lee’s blog – full of his beautiful art – and also share with you a recipe he e-mailed to me. I haven’t tried it, but it looks good!


Orange oatmeal breakfast pie

2 unbaked 9 inch pie crusts
6 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (13 to 14 oz.) evaporated milk
1 c. orange juice
1 c. uncooked oatmeal, quick cooking or old fashioned
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1/4 tsp. salt

In medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, juice, oatmeal, sugar, butter, orange peel and salt. Mix well. Pour half of the mixture in each of the two pie shells. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until brown and set. Garnish with bacon and orange slices. Serves 12 to 16.

Tell me ’bout the fire
May 28, 2008, 11:39 am
Filed under: Posts

Jeremiah, tell me about the fire that burns up in your bones
I want to know, I want to know more now
The burning of ambition and desire, it never could come close
To that fire, to that fire
–Sara Groves, “Jeremiah”

I started studying the book of Jeremiah this week, because every time I think about what book I would most like to study, Jeremiah comes to mind. Honestly, though, I’ve been intimidated by the length as well as by the content. I studied Isaiah last fall, and that wasn’t too bad because so many passages were familiar to me. But I really only know a couple of verses/themes from Jeremiah, so I wasn’t sure if I could handle it.

But God has given us His Word to teach us, and as Pastor Legare said Sunday, “God wants to be found.” I decided that my two main problems with Bible study are:
1) I go through books too quickly
2) I don’t seek other resources enough

So this time, I’m trying something new. I found Calvin’s commentary on the whole Bible, so I’m using that to help me go through the book. His commentary uses archaic language and is pretty dense, so to start out, I’ve been reading Jeremiah 1 each day, and then getting as far as I can through Calvin’s commentary. Yesterday I made it through the first five verses. There are 19 verses in Jeremiah 1, so it might take me several days.

But that’s OK. Pastor Bowers has said before that the goal isn’t to beat your friends in reading through the Bible in one year. The goal is to capture Scripture in the way God intends, to apply it to your life in a way that makes you more holy. So I don’t care if it takes me the rest of the year to get through this book (and at the rate I’m going, it well might).

The real reason I wanted to write about Jeremiah today, though, was because of what I read in Calvin’s notes on Jeremiah 1:7, where God says to Jeremiah: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.”

Calvin says:

But when God calls us, we ought to obey, however deficient we may in all things be: and this is what we learn from what God says here, “Say not, I am a child“; that is, “though thou, indeed, thinkest thyself destitute of every qualification, though thou art conscious of thine own weakness, yet thou shalt go, thou must go wheresoever I shall send thee.” God, then, requires this honor to be simply conceded to him, that men should obey his commands, though the qualification necessary to execute them be wanting.

We have to remember that the means to carry out God’s commands lie not in our own strength, but in the righteousness of Christ.

If you have any other suggestions for quality Bible study, leave me a comment!

Memorizing Romans
May 28, 2008, 12:13 am
Filed under: Posts

I’ve tried to memorize the book of Romans numerous times. I think the farthest I ever got was about halfway through the first chapter.

I’ve also tried to memorize Colossians, Ephesians and Philippians.

The number one reason for not finishing is lack of discipline. I spend too much time on other things, when my number one priority should be a devotion to God’s Word, because that is how I truly come to know God.

I stumbled across Adam’s blog tonight, where he recommends the BibleMemory site. I was hesitant because I don’t like memorizing random verses, but then I found that I could do the “Romans” program, which would take me through the entire book of Romans!

From what I’ve done so far, you get an email every day with a link to a helpful exercise to help you memorize the verse. You get a verse a week, which seems kind of slow, but it looks like you can move forward if you’ve already memorized a verse completely.

I’m working on Romans 1:1 right now, but I’ll try to keep you updated on how the program works. In fact, the accountability of this blog may be a really good thing for me.

Update: I see from my blog stats that several people have already clicked on the link to the Bible memory site. Please leave a comment if you use it and like it, so that I can know if I should recommend it to others!