Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book Review: Redeeming Love

 
Redeeming Love
Author: Francine Rivers

The Overview: 
I picked this book up on Friday night with a bit of trepidation. Christian novels and I parted ways long ago. Some people dig them...I have mixed feelings. I was going to read one baby chapter that night before going to bed...10 chapters later and it was suddenly 2 a.m. I read for four hours down to Minneapolis the next day and even while the TV was on that night.  When I finally shut the light off and called it a day, I purposely didn't look at my phone to see what time it was. Yikes! This book sucks you in!

Hosea: a book of the Bible, a man called to do the unthinkable, and a picture of God. It was a powerful portrayal. I couldn't put it down...obviously [see above paragraph if you perhaps skipped it because it had nothing to do with an actual overview].

Redeeming love takes place during the gold rush of CA. A farmer, a prostitute named Angel, and a handful of other interesting characters take the stage in this early 1800s update of the Biblical story.

The Good:
This book is dedicated to those who hurt and hunger. I cried. I pleaded with God. I threw the book on the ground disgusted at the way we treat each other. We make judgments without knowing anything about people, where they come from, or what they are going through. We do this...God doesn't. The last lines of the book say this:
"Love the Lord your God, and love one another. Love one another as he loves. Love with strength and purpose and passion and no matter what comes against you. Don't weaken. Stand against the darkness, and love. That's the way back into Eden. That's the way back to life."
The Bad:
The farmers name is Matthew Hosea...I know this book is a story of the actual Hosea but do we have to be that literal? I say no, but that is my opinion. Francine Rivers is a phenomenal writer and I will not pretend to know more about writing than she does.

The epilogue: I wished they hadn't even put it in there. I love knowing what happens next, but this was to cliche and ridiculous...

The Memorable:
This book is raw and truthful. A bit surprising honestly. I will never forget the description of Angel's life before she met Micheal or the way I could read/practically feel God's love for me through the pages of this book.

The Recommendation: 
I loved it. But it is still a Christian novel...so, if you do perhaps decide to read it, just accept that fact.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shoot me before I head for Hollywood!

Nick: Jessi, what are you doing? What are you lookin' at?

video

'Til I only dwell in Thee

Chelsea told Krista and I about this beautiful song last week...little else has been played on our ipods since. Krista even figured out how to play it on the piano. It sinks in and haunts your soul in the most awesome way.


Hymn by Brooke Fraser

If to distant lands I scatter
If I sail to farthest seas
Would you find and firm and gather 'til I only dwell in Thee?


If I flee from greenest pastures
Would you leave to look for me?
Forfeit glory to come after
'Til I only dwell in Thee


If my heart has one ambition
If my soul one goal to seek
This my solitary vision 'til I only dwell in Thee
That I only dwell in Thee
'Til I only dwell in Thee 



I have lots of goals and ambitions right now...I guess I only need One.


This is perhaps the least lame of the videos on youtube...they didn't have the song on playlist.com either...so I guess you get to enjoy the waves and other waters while you listen...sorry.

Thanks for sharing Chels!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

shoes

I hear girls on TV talk about how much they love shoes or how a fancy/shiny pair of new shoes makes any day better or by owning hundreds of pairs of high heels you have some how...arrived. I laugh at them and then I puff up just a tiny little bit because I think to myself "haha...i'm not part of your system...I throw your shiny high heeled shoes on the ground!"

I do hate those kind of shoes...the bedazzled, pointy-toed, fancy instruments of pain that I am sure a boy came up with because it supposedly makes lady's legs look hot. My sister likes high heels a lot. She does look hot in them...she is tall, has long legs, and tiny feet. I am short and even though I like to walk around barefoot and carry my shoes, I would like my shoes to be comfortable enough to stay on my feet.

So as I was laughing at all the future husbands who are going to have to allow and perhaps pander to this shoe addiction of their lady of choice...I noticed that I have a Firefox bookmark entitled "shoes." Oh goodness...my high horse just became shorter.

My research into sustainable business and corporate social responsibility has led me to many a shoe company's website...what is it with shoe companies and wanting to change the world...one step at a time...haha...cheesy joke alert! Well, whatever it is about shoe companies wanting to instigate change I am happy about it.

When my mom asked what I wanted for my birthday all I could think of was shoes...haha...I guess I love shoes too, just a different kind. They have to look good with Smartwool socks in them!

Here are a few of the shoe companies I love or want to love.



 Simple shoes started as a reaction to the over-marketed, over-glitzed shoes that were inundating the store shelves. As they were growing, they realized that mother nature was taking a beating and they didn't want to be throwing any punches. They use natural products like organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp as well as recycled materials like bike tires, car tires, and plastic bottles.

Their goal is to make a 100% sustainable product. Less>More is their new campaign which is "a call to action for those who are fed up with the over consuming. over stuffed. super sized world we live in."

Check them out at: www.simpleshoes.com


Timberland is an awesome company. Their CEO is awesome. Their corporate social responsibility efforts are awesome. They own Smartwool...that is also awesome. The fact that they don't want to hire me is not awesome...I am trying to get over it.

Timberland wants to be ethical, sustainable, and responsible as a company. Stewardship is important to them. Their "new long-term CSR strategy focused on four strategic goals:
  • Energy...Become Carbon Neutral by 2010
  • Products...Design Recyclable Products
  • Workplaces...Fair, Safe and Non-Discriminatory Workplaces
  • Service...Service Campaign: Community Greening"
Their CEO, Jeff Swartz is an activist at heart and wants to do good business which is so refreshing. EarthKeepers is their entire website dedicated to being transparent and joining us in the fight. www.earthkeeper.com

Check out their shoes and their CSR at: www.timberland.com


Birkenstock prides itself on not being a bandwagon hop-on to this green revolution we find ourselves in today. They have been dedicated to "environmental sensibility" for 230 years. Yikes! That is a long time. Quality materials and low-waste production is their mantra. They also want us to know that their packaging comes from recycled paper and we can have our shoes repaired instead of just trashing the old ones and buying new ones. "A company with a conscience" is the label they give themselves and if you would like to learn more...

Check them out at: www.birkenstockusa.com


Wrapping it all up...We say something about ourselves with what we wear everyday...I'd be proud to advertise for these shoe companies and support them with my dollar.

I cringe when I say it...but I do love shoes...shoes on on mission. But...this doesn't make them have any less of a negative effect on my wallet and therefore my love needs to be kept in check and my credit card not involved in my "research."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review: Searching for a God to Love


Searching for a God to Love
author: Chris Blake

The Overview: 
A look at faith for what it is...faith...a trust in something that we don't understand fully and probably never will. This book provides reasons and examples for us to know that a faith in God is not ridiculous. It makes sense:
  • We have a loving God who sees justice as mercy
  • We have a world around us that testifies to a Creative power as well as paints a vivid picture that this is not our home or the way God planned things to be
  • We see what love can do in our very own lives
Non of these ideas are new to anyone who has sat in a pew once a week their entire lives. But Chris Blake uses wit, life experience, and the thoughts of great scholars, authors, and regular Joe Smith to show that questions are good, yearning is great, and coming to terms with a faith that is honest is best of all.


The Good:
Before each chapter there are a page of quotes that pertain to the coming chapter. I am a sucker for quotes. Here were a few of my favorite... 

"I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and willingness to remain vulnerable."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh) 
"In all my years in art, nothing is more artistic than loving people." (Vincent Van Gogh) 
"If you're coming to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let's work together." (Aboriginal woman from Australia) 
"It is an old and ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way." (Rollo May) 
"Of what use is immortality to a man who has not learned to live half an hour? (R. W. Emerson)
"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'They will be done.' " (C.S. Lewis) 
"To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven." (Jesus)


The Bad:
The chapters are REALLY long. I am a short chapters even if that means more of them kind of person.


The Memorable:
Chapter 6 - A Path of Astonishment
A walk with Jesus through the last few days of His life on earth. Real. Honest. Love. A story...where human and divine struggle...to save me.

The Recommendation: 
Those who are searching for God are not likely to want others to come to conclusions for them. The search needs to be personal or it won't mean anything, but this book isn't trying to make conclusions for us. It shows why we are searching and gives us hope that our search will not be in vain.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Red & Green...more than just complementary colors.

Red & Green...also awesome food complementary colors!

I had the most delightful epiphany today. There is was...sitting on the counter...an open avocado. This open avocado was then added to my favorite sandwich at the moment: crusty bread layered with pesto, tomato and mozzarella. This layered loveliness was then broiled.


I almost left it under the broiler too long...this is the genius behind timers i guess. Maybe the genius is remembering to use them.

Another red/green complementary food combination I had today...salsa and guacamole! Brilliant!

Yum! Red and Green taste so good together. I wonder if my taste buds know they look good together too. My eyes and mouth are in cahoots...I knew it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

warm and snuggly

It's official...my computer is now ready for winter. Computers need warm, snuggly things too.




It only took me 18 redos of each part to get it right...but it is nice to have it done...finally.

Thanks to Christoffer and Chelsea for getting me started! I appreciate you!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stuff White People Like...the blog


Chelsea would sit at her desk in headquarters (her third choice of which desk she finally wanted to claim as hers...oh goodness) and read to us from this blog when we had free moments. We would chuckle...then frown...then laugh at ourselves. Headquarter is where we gathered to work/soak up every moment of being together before we had to leave each other for the unknown life beyond August 2.

Nick was usually there...working on finding jobs or something. If it was a Monday, then Bryan James was huffing and puffing about parents and their lack of parenting skills or swearing mathmatically while working on the dish/serving schedules. Anthony was in and out mostly. Brad was there when he wasn't teaching Basketball...probably farting at least once or fifty times before he had to leave again. Chris sometimes came in and laid on the icky floor or plopped his butt down on the floor and leaned his back against the wall to work on his never ending picture picking job. He likes the floor. I was there too...I was organizing. Girls directors get to organize a lot...I love it!

Anyways...back from Nostalgia Nook at the end of Memory Lane and on to the point of this blog...The Blog...Stuff White People Like.

I think it is funny. I am white and I like a lot of the things that this blog says I am supposed to like. For example: Camping, Vespa Scooters, Ugly Sweater Parties, San Fransisco, Appearing to Love Classical Music, Hating Corporations, Public Radio, Sushi and Tea...just to name a few. I'll be honest...it makes me a little mad that everyone else likes the same things I like AND that he is making fun of us...oh well...I guess I will just have lots of friends...everywhere.

Obviously this blog should not be taken seriously. But it is funny to see how serious we take ourselves. We think we are unique. We are of course...but perhaps not as unique as we all thought we were.

The newest post (#134) is on TED talks. I happen to be a recent fan of TED talks. I am white yet again...haha. I downloaded the Podcast version just a few weeks ago! (Podcasts will probably be post #135 on SWPL).

Anyways...check out the blog...I think it is funny. Chelsea does too. So does Nick. We all thought they were funny...or maybe we just liked that we were together. It is up for grabs.

Stuff White People Like

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Longboarding


I longboarded this weekend. I went around and around my grandparent's block. I live on a farm...there is no cement...therefore no longboarding. I am pretty sure I haven't longboarded since Southern Village last May. I was rusty. (Obviously this post is all about me with the amount of sentences I have started with I).

But...don't worry. This post is NOT all about me.

My mom wanted to give it a try.

Mom is trying to get Dad's attention
She didn't like the cracks in the cement so well

Longboarding this weekend made me miss this...


...a lot!

To those who pushed me to learn...and bought me the board...and went down Pierson before me...this is for you.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I am Jessi Turner

Can Jessi Turner be defined. Should I be able to look my name up in the dictionary and find a one sentence answer of who I am or what I do? I am not just a noun. I am a verb and an adjective too. Today, you could describe me one way. Tomorrow...if I wake up spicy, you would probably describe me another. When I was 6...who was I? Or 16? Who will I be next year at 26? Who will Jessi Turner be at 86? Do I define myself or am I defined by the people I surround myself with. My experiences? My career choice? Is God the definition giver or do we work together..or am I on my own in this?

We have a new pastor at our little home church. He has an accent. He is from England. His wife is Russian. The accent helped me listen. I decided he is a good speaker. I have started journaling while I'm at church. I don't think it helps me listen any better but it does help me remember what happens to me or things I find interesting. Today, while I was listening and journaling I heard the name Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I know nothing about Dietrich other than that he is famous. The pastor mentioned a book I should read and the following poem...here is a portion of it.

Who Am I?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Am I then really all that which other men tell me of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my thoat,
Yearning for colours, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighbourliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all.

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine,
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!

I am not sure that this clears up any of the above questions, but it is a thought to think on a bit more.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Philippines has taken her away from me...

She should be there now. Twenty-six hours of travel time. Two children. One sick. A new culture and language to learn. New Friends to make. Darn she is brave.

That is my friend Erin...the brave one. She left for her new life in the Philippines yesterday morning bright and early and now she should be there! Tuesday evening, Fargo time she told me last week on Friday when I got to see her for the very last time. Two years she will be there. A lot happens in two years! I am quite certain that our other friend Jess will be married by then. Cari will have her doctorate. Jenn will be somewhere doing something good for the world. Who knows what I will have happened in my life when the two year mark rolls around.

Erin came to my school in 4th grade. She had grown up in the Philippines because that is where her parents were missionaries. I can't remember exactly when we became good friends...I just know that it happened. We wrote notes during class constantly. We had matching shirts...mine had a J, hers had an E. We joined yearbook to spend more time together after school.

Then graduation time came, then summer after graduation, and then we all went our separate ways...all to different schools in different states. Erin went to New Tribes Bible School in Wisconsin.


I think it was that first Thanksgiving after we parted that Erin came to stay with me at my grandparents house for a couple of days. She talked to this one boy on the phone a lot...I had my worries. She had a twinkle in her eye.


I got the phone call later that year..."Jessi...will you be my maid of honor?" Haha! I knew it! So she got married and I had to change her name in my phone.


Erin...married. After Bible School, Matt and Erin moved back to Fargo and that is when an extra happened to be on the way too! Erin...pregnant. Can I just tell you how adorable Erin is pregnant...sooo cute!

And then she came...




Then they were three...


and then four...a boy!




This is the picture we took last Friday at their farewell party...


Erin and Matt are off to be missionaries in the Philippines. There parents were both missionary families in the Phiippines and that is where Matt and Erin met as kids. There lives didn't meet up again until Bible School and then they fell in love. They also fell in love with the idea of maybe going back to where they grew up to serve again. It has been a long process for them and now they are finally going! There, in fact! Guys! I am so proud of you...so excited for you...so happy that it all came together. This is one of those times that you can see how God puts puzzles together. Each piece...working together.

God is leading...there is no doubt. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Erin and I are at such different stages in life, but our friendship has proven its worth and hung in there this long...I am sure that two years will be "ain't no thang" (in the words of a dear friend named Ben Schnell).