Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Naked as We Came.

I am so grateful for being blessed with the diverse group of awesome that I can call my best friends.

This song is incredible.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Your humor makes me, makes me nauseous.

"Whoa, when I take off my glasses you all got smaller."
-intense laughter-
"Who knew the number one mood killer is taking off your glasses? Dear Erica: note to self -- get contacts!"
(The summary of why I shouldn't speak around my friends... Lol).

Not going to lie, I'm pretty sick of seeing plaid. And big glasses that serve no real purpose. Not that I'm sad that the hippie trend has moved on to the hipster trend, just that I'm sad that the vast majority of people I know still follow trends. I feel like we're old enough to have self-defined by now, without the use of trends and fads.

Someone mentioned to me a few weeks ago that my group of friends and I are more like a family than friends. I think that's true. We do have a frame in our living room that says 'our family' full of pictures of us. I am very grateful for these friends. Even more than that, I'm grateful for how real and deep they all are. It's a huge blessing.

I've also come to realize this week how much my three best friends from high school mean to me. It's tough for us to all be moving on, but I feel that if I devote enough time and effort, I can hold on to these friendships forever.

Lately I've been enjoying foreign films and independent films. I hope everyone who reads this checks out a few in their lifetime. Here is a small, 20-minute film that may have changed my life last night.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Discretion's Not What I Need to Sell.

Quote of the year... courtesy of Personality Psychology and Dr. Hackney.
"The Hackney Dirty Slut Index: On a scale of prude to hooker, where would you place yourself?"

Simply marvelous!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Be a part of an institution, lead the way in a revoloution.

I realized yesterday that I am going to need a year off after school just to swallow and process all the information I will have absorbed during my 5-year long adventure in Bachelor of Arts with an Honours French Major, Psychology Minor and Bachelor of Education.

I love my house. I live with some of the best guys around; Richard, Kevin, Corey, Chad and Nathan, as well as my stellar roomie Amanda. Two weeks ago at devos, we spent all night making jokes about Richard making porn and Corey being a pedophile. This week at devos we spent almost two hours discussing whether Deedz was doing God’s work or not. Just based on the fact that we can be laughing in both of those discussions means that I have found a crowd I can fit into, have fun with, grow with and learn from. I think that is as good as it gets.

One of my goals for this school year is to have 100 coffee dates. So far I have managed to squeeze in 5. I'm so excited for all of these coffee dates. So many people here are so amazing and have a lot of wisdom to offer.

Apparently many people from my school no longer believe in short-term missions. Anyone who doesn’t believe in short-term missions needs to move past “numbers” and “results” and look up God’s commandment to take care of the widow and the orphan. I’m pretty sure He didn’t specify how long we had to spend with them to ‘take care’ of them. And I’m also pretty sure He didn’t tell us to ensure “results”. And how can we measure efficiency, change or worth? Certainly not the way He measures efficiency, change or worth.

Everyone who thinks choral music is lame should listen to Crucifixus by Lotti and O Magnum Mysterium by Lauridsen.

Today was “Random Act of Chocolate Day”, in the world of my I.T. Boss. Score!

Friday, September 4, 2009

When it's Not Worth Dying For

This has been quite the time...

After naming my year the "Year of Accountability" I got to fight through mess after mess of defining accountability and judgment, being held accountable, and holding others accountable. Though I'm grateful for the lessons of the year so far, I'm hoping it's a little smoother sailing as I move into my third year at Redeemer.

I learned a lot about people by stirring the pot in our little faith community, that's for sure. When people feel that their way of life is threatened, I find there are two basic reactions; they either consider the validity of this new viewpoint, or they automatically declare it wrong and fight back viciously. I think that as Christians we need to be careful of this. God has called us to correction, and yet we have to be sure we are being corrected and not led astray. It reminds me of the song 21 Guns, by Green Day (honestly, I love this group and really appreciate their honest lyrics) which asks "Do you know what's worth fighting for?"

This year was tough, because only some people took correction very well, and even took it upon themselves to correct me on my own failings. Moments like these made me glad to be a Christian. (Not to mention I ended up with a boyfriend out of the deal, who just may be the greatest guy on earth). However, there were some people that refused to consider correction and lashed out in every way possible against this threat to their way of living. There were times when I was confused because I didn't even know who was fighting against me, and there were times where I was afraid because I felt everyone was fighting against me.

Luckily, though, I made it through the year relatively unscathed. This year (which is still the "Year of Accountability" until New Years) will hopefully pick up in a very different place than it left off.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just Last the Year.

It disturbs me that sometimes people actually don't WANT love/peace/joy/friendship/simplicity/honesty.
They'd rather raise hell.
They'd rather be right.
They'd rather cause problems.
They'd rather get attention.



Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Combination of God and Chess Pieces.

Our world is interesting.
Twitter and micro-blogging are phenomena which I will never understand. I know what it's like to want an audience (clearly, otherwise the things I write in here would just go in a journal of sorts), but why the need for affirmation and disconnected connection all the time?
Facebooking, MSN, email, texting, Twitter, blogs, myspace... why the need for constant connection? Not that I haven't fallen into it, too. But why is my worth measured on how many people comment on my new Facebook picture? I find it interesting, comparing our generation to the one before us.
In any case, I've decided that I do, in fact, like personal connection better. Like the single-serving friends I get from standing in line for food with someone else who gets the 'veggie delite' and talking about why we don't eat meat. Or going out for coffee with someone I've seen around but not really gotten to talk to. Or heck, going for a walk at Webster's Falls with an old friend who I've known for years.
Yep. Real connection.
Speaking of connection, here's an interesting website; this artist has truly captured 'disconnected connection', though not in the internet form. The pictures, taken in NYC, show a way in which the subjects all share something without knowing it, such as all being in a rush, or all carrying flowers.
Below are my favorites from the collection. Here's the link to the wepage:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Someone Makes Love; Love Makes Someone.

Speak with passion and others can feel the power of your words. Stop making sense and start making love. Sometimes I think speaking and dancing were separated at birth and are longing to find each other again.
--Ben Lee.

People around here just need to calm down, take a breath, check themselves and remember love.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Confessions of an Insomniac.

I am awake.

The night is at its darkest; just before the morning is recognizable as morning. I leave and tiptoe outside. I sit in the field and notice that the stars are still softly glowing, allowing heaven to peek through onto Earth. The clouds are heavy with rain, which occasionally drip on my bare skin, reminding me that I am human and alive.

When you can't sleep, you can't be awake either. I can't keep my mind occupied with one thought, but neither can I clear it enough to sleep. I feel the air thicken with moisture and wind. The breeze is fast and cold, moving through my bones and mind. The air smells sweet as the flowers slowly begin to stir. The night becomes morning as the light at the horizon remembers that it is soon needed. I, like the leaves and grass, begin to stir as the light touches me. I remember all that needs to be done today, the Sabbath, the day before my hectic week begins, the day where I will call home; the day of seemingly very busy 'rest'. And yet, none of that seems as important as existing with creation right now.

The pale, soft light of the morning reminds me of my close friends. Those who I am a part of and those who form a part of me. I remember the fun things we have done recently. I remember the fun things we have done in the past. I remember how many rules I broke and how many moral lines I blurred. I remember my own faith witness and wonder how I have tarnished the Lord's name. I stop. I have forgotten to breathe.

I inhale the good feelings. I exhale the bad memories. I center myself and remember grace. I breathe as though it is all my exhaustion will allow me to do. A whippoorwill cries somewhere near by. I am taken back to the very day my insomnia began; I remember sitting next to a pond with bullfrogs, coyotes and whippoorwills calling out to me all night and all the next morning. I breathe in again, remembering the sweet smell of the morning air beside Sycamore Pond. I breathe out, remembering the pain in my heart that began this journey of sleeplessness.

I look around. I see the grasses beginning to perk up, one by one; as an army of thousands moves as one. I look closer and see small midge flies beginning to rub the dew from their wings as I rub the sleep from my eyes. I look into the air and see the early birds rise into the clouds as though to greet the sun as soon as he arrives. I think to palm branches and wonder on the majesty of Christ's creation.

I look to my right hand and see the ring that has not left my body in three years. I remember all that it is and how it haunts me. I remove it and set it amongst the army of grass. I notice tones and hues of yellow among the white gold that I have never seen before. I look to the sky and see that the yellow is reminding me that I, too, am a part of nature. I, too, am a created being. I, too, am renewed every morning. The rainbows from the diamond are scattered across my ankle. The reds that is the passion of my Lord. The green that is the army that now carries my ring. The blue that is the night sky. The yellow that is the sun's renewal and the Son's renewal.

I recognize my oneness with nature. I feel the warmth of the sun as it rises, alongside the grass and whippoorwill. I am in the space between night and day, light and dark, old and new. Together, we step into the future.

Silence, stillness, peace. The sun cracks over the horizon. It illuminates my view; the church to my right, the orchard to my left, my house behind me, the creation around me. The sun seems to pierce through the darkness like a camera flash in a blackout. It pierces through my dark thoughts. It reminds me to breathe again. I shut my eyes and feel the light. I sense the reds and oranges triumphing over the blues and greens.

If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep. My mind is sent rocketing towards my future as though my past was a springboard. I feel the triumph of my future. I hear my whippoorwill again. This time, he raises a chorus of others. I hear a cardinal respond surely. I hear the army of grass respond by shaking off their slumber and rising to greet the day. I, too, rise. I take my ring from the ground. I look at it; it is no longer a bad memory, but a reminder that I am new. I wipe my cold feet on the wet grass; we are so similar, the grass and I. I glance towards the heavy rain clouds that are now obscuring my view of the sun. I remember that they are temporary, but that the sun will rise every morning. I feel the drips on my skin and hair; I remember that rain will bring green grass and flowers soon. I breathe in the sweet morning air once more. I tell myself that tomorrow has enough stress of its own. I don't need to add to it. I remind myself that I have already been taken care of and my plans are useless anyways.

I walk inside and go to sleep.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

If the World Was How it Should Be Maybe I Could Get Some Sleep.

To describe my night tonight, I would sound as though I was beginning a "Jew walks into a bar" joke...
What happens when a male, Dutch, Christian engineer; an Indian, male, Muslim engineer; a native, female, Buddhist philosopher; a male, Dutch, Christian philosopher and a Spanish, female, Christian psychologist gather at a University for 5 hours?
Fun shenanigans!
Seriously though, for a group of near-strangers, we all had an amazing time tonight. After making a single-serving friend at the computer across from me, I felt wholly fulfilled. I had no idea I would make two more! We met up at Mac, where I had been doing research in the Library with Dan. Dan's best friend from home, Jon, was there, along with a friend from his program, Mohammad, and his friend, Danielle. We met up at Bridges, the Vegetarian restaurant on campus, where we talked about everything from nymphomania, to how randomness can never truly exist. After the restaurant closed, we moved to the campus commons building (for those who haven't been to Mac, Redeemer's closest equivalent would be if you mixed Williams, the quad, and the Rec Center) and continued to discuss things like God, sex, music, structural integrity of buildings, conspiracy theories, rapists, serial killers, and infomercials... to name a few topics. Granted, I have a midterm tomorrow and five papers due in three days next week, so I shouldn't have spent my time as such... But in the end, I believe it was worth it for the uplifting (and extremely comical) conversation.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm No Superman.

Things that disturb me:
-Bad grammar
-Men wearing v-necks
-Carrying toilet paper in public
-Sweat marks
-Old Spice
-Recycling or compost in the garbage

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some may run and some know fear.

15 Reasons Why Most Redeemer-ites Want Me Dead:

15. I have [many] body piercings.

14. I believe that if we are truly Christians we will be out there in the world doing whatever we can and that those who make excuses not to do anything must not have God's love and compassion in them.

13. I believe that knowing God leads to a living and active faith and knowing about God leads to a dead, debate and rule-filled religion.

12. I have no problem speaking my mind.

11. I don't believe in 'one holy catholic church' because I don't believe that we are holy... yet.

10. I believe that the charismatic churches are doing more for the Kingdom's cause than the reformed churches.

9. I believe that emotion is an important part of worship.

8. I believe that the "Christian" music industry is ruining any chance we ever had of sharing our message. **

7. I believe accountability is important.

6. I believe that music of any style can be made by Christians (That's right; I believe Underoath is both an awesome band and a Christian band).

5. I believe reading the Bible is infinitely more important than reading books written by Christians. (This includes Calvin's writings!)

4. I believe we should have friends who are not Christian.

3. I believe that the gifts of the Spirit are a sign of the Holy Spirit in you. (Including praying in tongues).

2. I believe our faiths should change us.

1. I think Redeemer needs to be confronted by God and changed.

** I know this one can get confusing: Too many bands make it in the Christian music industry who are not musically excellent because we are not competitive enough; often, making it in the Christian music scene is a cop-out of the true competition in the secular industry. Because of this, the Christian music industry is seen as a joke. If a Christian band is good enough, they could make it into the real music scene. And the influence of having God's message on the iPods of non-Christians does so much more than have mediocre music pumping God's message into the ears of Christians who already know it. I don't know if that explains it or not, if you want to ask me in person, go for it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thoughts on Faith.

For God commanded angels to watch over you
That they shall protect you in all your living keep you
For their hands will uphold and guide you
Lets you dash your foot against a stone, stumbling
For they shall protect you
In all your living keep you
For they shall, shall protect you
They shall protect you, protect and keep you

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it." Matthew 11:12.

"Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling" Philippians 2:12b.

I like to imagine what a pure faith would look like.  Not a religion full of useless rules or something stupid like that... but a real faith that somehow made our world better or managed to actually exemplify love.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Glad I Didn't Die Before I Met You.

**Profanity Warning: some of the quotes in today's post contain crude language!**

There are two activists I admire in the world right now.
Banksy and Chuck Palahniuk.

Banksy is a street artist who uses his graffiti to make political statements. "I like to think I have the guts to stand up anonymously in a western democracy and call for things no-one else believes in - like peace and justice and freedom." His true identity is entirely unknown. Says Banksy on his own mysterious identity: "I have no interest in ever coming out. I figure there are enough self-opinionated assholes trying to get their ugly little faces in front of you as it is." Banksy has traveled the world with his art, which has been found from a wall near Bethlehem, a beach in Cuba and recently on an abandoned gas station in Birmingham. I have high respect for someone who isn't wasting his time just thinking about changing the world. There are far too many people who sit on their asses doing nothing productive; they strive for monetary success, for popularity, for fun at others' expense, for fame. Banksy says that "in the future, so many people are going to become famous that one day everybody will end up being anonymous for 15 minutes."

Chuck Palahniuk is an author, most well-known for the anti-consumerism film Fight Club. His books often revolve around a character who has been marginalized by society and reacts with self-destructive aggressiveness. Chuck offers "Maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves", as explanation for this destruction. Chuck begs for each person to do better than they are doing. "Our Generation has had no Great war, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual. Our depression is our lives." Often, Chuck's novels are depressing in a terrifyingly true way; "Reality means you live until you die. The real truth is nobody wants reality."

I am so impressed by these two men who have taken non-conventional approaches to changing the world around them. There are far too many people who spread hatred instead of love. Especially, and sadly, in the Christian community. Neither Chuck Palahniuk nor Banksy are Christian. In fact, both are likely to take Ghandi's stance on Christianity; "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are nothing like your Christ."

One thing I have noticed at Redeemer is the lack of action. I know many people on campus, and enjoy the company of very few. Every other week I and a team of three other incredible people lead Deedz Ministries downtown. Often we hear that people are too busy to participate. And yet, some boys on campus have decided they have the time to create a fake personality "Jody Summers" on Facebook and harass other students with her account. That certainly sounds like good Christians trying to change the world around them for the better. I realize we all fail, but we could do much better than we're doing. If everyone chose one good act to do everyday, and in return eliminated one negative act, people might take Christianity a little more seriously. and maybe we could hope to inspire the change that Banksy and Chuck Palahniuk have.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Call Me a Safe Bet; I'm Betting I'm Not.

I have always valued honest music. Artists like Bob Dylan have had a major impact on me, especially where the lyrics are concerned.
It was almost three years ago that I discovered Brand New's song Jesus Christ. The lyrics portray a very real and honest struggle between Atheism and Christianity; between existing in inertia or changing.
But over the years, as I have changed, Brand New has evolved with me. and their lyrics are just as honest and real as before.
I want you to all encounter their songs. Whether you like them or not is not my concern, but check out these songs.

1. Jesus Christ -- about the struggle to believe. (

2. Luca -- parallels Luca Brasi from The Godfather and a cheating significant other. (

3. Seventy Times Seven -- his side of the story of finding his best friend and girlfriend together. (

4. Limosine -- a non-romanticized portrayal of drunk driving. (

5. Limosine (acoustic) -- this gives me shivers every time. (

*6. Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades -- about moving too fast. (

7. You Won't Know -- about making irreversible mistakes. (

*8. The Quiet Things No One Ever Knows -- about losing a lover to your own error. (

*Official music videos

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Day the Music Died.

50 years ago today. (Ok, since it's 2:20AM this was technically yesterday).
R.I.P. Ricardo Steven Valenzuela ("Ritchie Valens"), Jiles Perry Richardson Jr.("The Big Bopper") and Charles Hardin Holley ("Buddy Holly").

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Take a Pill and Cook the Vegetables

Happy New Year!
Now onto the reason I am writing today -- celery.
Celery is one of the best vegetables ever. I don't care if you are a carnivore, don't tell me yo don't munch on celery from time to time. And everybody likes celery. Really, who can say they don't like celery. It's more water than food, so if you like water, you will like celery!
It's incredibly versatile. I don't like Cheez Whiz, but give me enough celery and I'll finish off the entire jar! It also goes with peanut butter, garden vegetable cream cheese, and every form of salad dressing imaginable!
Celery is nearly as easy to grow as hemp is. It only takes one ounce of celery seeds to produce an acre of celery. try and tell me that's not a fruitful plant!
As well, celery is good for those looking to lose weight. One stalk of celery has about 10 calories. But it takes your body more than 10 calories to digest. So every time you eat celery you are losing weight!
And that's pretty much all I have to say. Yay veggies!