How do I find my way out of here?

“I need your comfort God in my affliction… How do I find my way out of here?” – King David 

“This is the comfort in my affliction: Your promises give me life.. there are things that God has said to me such as “God is good” or that “He is faithful” and that I’ve heard and though I can’t take my laser pointer today and point to exactly how they are transpiring in this 24 hour period. Those promises or those realities are going to be the things I live from today. The realities that transcend my present circumstances. The fact that his statutes and his songs have become the songs in the house of my sojourning. As I’m traveling and journeying through these afflictions: I remember his promises. And these promises give me life to engage with whatever is in front of me today. And perhaps it’s those longings and dismay we feel ——
those acute aches that remind us that there is something better that we are longing for.” 


– Notes from Ramin’s sermon Psalm 119 Jan 16, 2011

I googled an old couple friends from uni today wondering what they were up to and specifically because their church floated through my head. Found their church website in Boulder Colorado and found a Ramin sermon and had a listen. Been many years since I’ve heard a Ramin sermon.

My random “I wonder what the Razavi’s are up to?” that sent me to google, Origins and then listen to the first sermon I saw.. turned out to not be so random.

It was exactly what I needed to hear today.

Thanks Lord.

Not for wimps

Liked this blog by Challies quoting Horatius Bonar  

Love being a girl. Love being feminine. As a woman it is a brilliant strut in the confidence of who God has made me to be. Very different meaning from an effeminate church, which is just wimpy and balls-less and unattractive. To put it directly. 

Soft, Effeminate Christianity

Tim Challies
December 14, 2011
[Note: I am reposting this helpful quote and post from Horatius Bonar from Tim Challies.Though it is not gender-related, strictly speaking, it does speak of important “manly” principles in the face of frothy, cotton-candy “Christianity” that often makes men squeemish and drives them from the local church. This originally ran on Tim’s blog earlier this week–JR]

I came across this quote by Horatius Bonar and thought it was worth sharing. Bonar is warning against a kind of soft and, in his word, effeminate Christianity, that may come about when Christians are too afraid to fight for what is right and to protest against what is wrong.

For there is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology. Christianity was born for endurance…It walks with firm step and erect frame; it is kindly, but firm; it is gentle, but honest; it is calm, but not facile; obliging, but not imbecile; decided, but not churlish. It does not fear to speak the stern word of condemnation against error, nor to raise its voice against surrounding evils, under the pretext that it is not of this world.
It does not shrink from giving honest reproof lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit. It calls sin ‘sin,’ on whomsoever it is found, and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not discharge an explicit duty. Let us not misjudge strong words used in honest controversy. Out of the heat a viper may come forth; but we shake it off and feel no harm.
The religion of both Old and New Testaments is marked by fervent outspoken testimonies against evil. To speak smooth things in such a case may be sentimentalism, but it is not Christianity. It is a betrayal of the cause of truth and righteousness. If anyone should be frank, manly, honest, cheerful (I do not say blunt or rude, for a Christian must be courteous and polite), it is he who has tasted that the Lord is gracious, and is looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.
I know that charity covereth a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good, because a good man has done it; it does not excuse inconsistencies, because the inconsistent brother has a high name and a fervent spirit. Crookedness and worldliness are still crookedness and worldliness, though exhibited in one who seems to have reached no common height of attainment.

Chili peppers and American politics.

   

I cut up a chili tonight for Christmas meal / Secret Santa I had with my housemates plus our bonus honorary housemate Sus.

Stupid me has accidentally touched the skin around my eye twice since then and nearly felt like my eyes were going to burn out.

So it is 1am and 7 hours after cutting the chili I still have not taken my contacts out because that requires me to put chili fingers directly in my eyes. Dang it. Why did I not get a contact-less housemate to chop the chili!?! Thoughtless Christy!

The chili reminds me slightly of the fact that I just registered online for my US absentee ballot. One of the great things about being an American is I can vote from far away and I have a country that counts my vote and doesn’t ignore it (well provided I get it in on time which I did not do for the last presidential election! I was having a very hard time choosing a candidate and waited so long to decide it didn’t get there in time. Whoops!) Oh wait.. chili. How does my chili pepper remind me of registering to vote? Well this simply:

Though you Brits might find the American election drama much more exciting than your own (do you know when your next major election is even going to be??!) As an American who is decidedly party-less, our 18 month long drama on the run up to a presidential election makes me rather stick a chili in my eye than deal with our long ridiculous political drama.

See I got there didn’t I! 🙂 Told ya politics and chilies fit together!

Actually it is not only how long it takes (though, dear Lord how it drags on!). One of the things I find very very difficult the older I get and the more world traveled I have become is that I do not fit into one of our two main parties any more. In fact, I don’t think my opinions on politics fit into any of our minor parties as well. In a country that is SO driven by politics that our political dramas go on for the better part of two years just to elect a president what usually happens is if I talk to Americans about my political views I immediately want to cower in the corner because the vibes I have gotten from people on both sides of the major parties are:


“If you don’t vote republican/democrat (ie. whichever one I vote for) you are “Satan incarnate/not a Christian/ evil/conservative nazi/liberal hippy/commie to everrr consider voting for the other side.”

I have lived in the UK for the better part of 8 years. I have friends from all over the world. My worldview does NOT fit into either the Republican nor the Democratic politics very easily in my country. Christians in the UK are appalled that American Christians would not be pro a national socialized health care system – as in “how can you be a Christian and not want free health care for everyone so that your poor and struggling middle class are taken care of?!?!” That issue divides both parties down the line into heated battles. If that issue alone has been shifted in my head by being a part of a very global community and spending time with Bible believing Christians from other cultures (and experiencing the wonders of the free NHS in England), can you imagine how much I don’t fit into either political party very well? I’d be very conservative on some issues and the democrats would hate me and very liberal on other issues and the republicans would hate me and some I think they are both just plain wrong on and I want a different solution all together! 
I think if I could follow our 18 month long primaries onto presidential election process and feel like I could constructively talk about the issues with fellow Americans and be heard and hear others without it ending in war, then perhaps I’d like it a bit more. But instead it feels like a who lot of junk rhetoric and 18 months of me needing to keep my sassy mouth shut which is just too long for me to handle. 
So hand me the chili pepper. 

Snow socks

Oh yes.

That is right.

I typed “snow socks.”

Sounds incredibly ineffective right? I mean. Imagining wet feet at the moment. Cold wet feet. Bad idea. Bad title.

It only gets funnier when you click on the link and find out what they are.

Snow socks.. for your tyres. (Tires for you Yanks)

See in most parts of the world where it snows there is this really nifty invention called a snow tire (tyre). It’s a bit more grippy. It stays on the road when the ice falls. What people don’t know who don’t regularly (yearly)  drive on snow and ice is that it is not a magical ornament that immediately fixes your skidding. You need to drive slow. For the conditions. And know how to keep your car from doing a 360 when you DO hit the ice and start to slide. My dad took me driving every winter for the first 6 or so years I had a license to a car park (parking lot) to do donuts and get the car to lose control on powdered snow or ice so I could practice getting it under control again.

But we live in the UK where until the last two winters it has snowed a nano flake.

And so this weird invention of not snow tyres, but snow socks was invented.

FOR YOUR CAR TYRES.

Really?!?!! Snow socks to stick on your tyres? I could not imagine anything more ridiculous in my life.

What is really funny is if you start to read up on them. They give lots of warning not to drive over 50mph or very often with them or on a road NOT covered in snow and ice (like the usually cleared motorways) Do you think anyone will pay attention to that? No they will just flush a lot of 50’s down the drain to purchase and absolute waste of money. If you can slip it on like a sock and it has that kinda flexibility, it is not going to be enough to handle the wear your tyres take on the roads. Just think about it.

I have included some of those things I looked up below including the guy on amazon who gave it only 2 stars for ripping to shreds after 3 days of use. I think I would have given that a negative star.

This winter if it snows more than two flakes, like 3 inches. Call me and I will give you snow driving lessons. You can give me a tenner and save yourself 40 quid.

Manufacturers suggest you only use snow socks for vital journeys rather than having them fitted for the entirety of the winter period, as travelling at speed on bare tarmac will destroy them.
And although they can be used at speeds of up to 50mph, it is strongly recommended that you do travel slower than this. However, if the conditions are bad enough to warrant using snow socks, we don’t think you’d be travelling above 50mph anyway.



Read more: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2010/11/snow-socks-or-winter-tyres-238011/#ixzz1gkZk4OdX 
Consumer Champions Which? 
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial





Manufacturers suggest you only use snow socks for vital journeys rather than having them fitted for the entirety of the winter period, as travelling at speed on bare tarmac will destroy them.
And although they can be used at speeds of up to 50mph, it is strongly recommended that you do travel slower than this. However, if the conditions are bad enough to warrant using snow socks, we don’t think you’d be travelling above 50mph anyway.



Read more: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2010/11/snow-socks-or-winter-tyres-238011/#ixzz1gkZk4OdX 
Consumer Champions Which? 
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial





AMAZON REVIEW: ONLY LASTED 3 DAYS! 


“I bought these during the worst of the snow and ice as my roads to work are all small back roads that are not gritted. They did give me extra grip and extra confidence driving. However on the 3rd or 4th day of use (having followed the instructions and NOT driven on non icy roads or driven fast) I was driving home, heard this noise and the left hand Multi Grip had ripped to shreds and wrapped around the inner hub of the wheel – took me ages to prize it off! The right hand one had started to shred too.”