Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Consolation of a Super Hot Wife

Last night I got home 45 minutes or so after Britt. When we were talking about how our days were, she mentioned that she was really excited that she had picked up her copy of Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy and spent some time going back over it (you know, cause she's already read it once). "It's soooo good" she said, and I think she was also just glad to take a few minutes out of the never-ending stream of lesson-planning, grading, and grad school homework to read something she enjoys.

If you are a single man and you are reading this, I know what you are thinking. "Andrew, how can I find a woman like this wife of yours? How can I find a woman who is not only smokin' hot wife whose pleasure-reading is Boethius, thereby only making her hotter?" I understand where you're coming from. In the first email she ever sent me, Britt off-handedly and non-pretentiously referenced her previous night's time spent with Pascal. Naturally, I spent the next week doing whatever I could to make sure she didn't get away from me.

Oh, and to answer your question about finding a woman like Britt, I only know one answer: pray.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My New Favorite Website

Quick plug: any time you ever want to buy anything, use Consumer Search.

It has consumer reports on just about everything. When Britt and I registered for wedding gifts, I decided to research anything that had a lot of moving parts (e.g. blenders and vacuums) or that I knew nothing about (crock pots, pots and pans, knife sets). In that process I stumbled upon Consumer Search, and I use it for everything now.

It is totally free (unlike Consumer Reports), and I have used it to research tons of kitchen equipment, a gas barbecue, a clothing iron, a vacuum, and today, cell phone companies (not just cell phones- the companies themselves!). So far, I have been thrilled with everything that I have purchased on its recommendation.

It synthesizes reviews from all of the best sources (e. g. Consumer Reports, JD Power, Chef's Magazine, PC World, and whatever else is an important source for the relevant product), then breaks its recommendations down into categories. So when I wanted to buy a vacuum, it told me the best overall vacuum, the best budget vacuum (the category I usually use), the best handheld vacuum, the best bagless vacuum, and the best robotic vacuum. Amazing. It also gives pros and cons for each product (especially helpful when you are trying to figure out why the best budget vacuum isn't as good as the 3x more costly best overall vacuum), links to its sources' full articles right there, tells you which retailers have it at the best prices, and provides a breadown and explanation of what to look for when you purchase a particular product.

On top of all of that, the site is clean and easy to navigate.

So next time you ever need to buy anything, use Consumer Search. It's really, really helpful.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When an 8th Grader Asks a Good Question

Sometimes I leave youth group on Wednesday nights and think, "Is this a waste of my time every week? Am I accomplishing anything with these kids?"

Tonight I began a series of sermons that I'll preach about the cross of Christ, following the layout of Driscoll's Death by Love. I didn't get much into theology, but just taught them about the sheer physical brutality of crucifixion, and therefore what Jesus surely went through. Then I asked them, "Why would someone so willingly go through that kind of torture?"

Because God loves us, I told them. Because even though everywhere they look people are unfaithful to them (be it significant others, friends, or in literally all of their cases, their Dads), the love of God never fails, even when it costs everything. There is real love that you can really count on, and we can see this clearly when we realize that at any moment Jesus could have run from the cross.

But he didn't. To quote mewithoutYou's newest album (which is different, but awesome, by the way):
and the night was cool
and clear as glass
with the sneaking snake in the garden grass
deep cried out to deep
the disciples fast asleep

and the snake perked up
when he heard You ask
"if you're willing that
this cup might pass
we could find our way back home
maybe start a family all our own"

"but does not the Father guide the Son?
not my will, but yours be done.
what else here to do?
what else me, but You?"

and the snake who'd held the world
a stick, a carrot and a string
was crushed beneath the foot
of your not wanting anything

Not wanting anything, that is, but the Father's will, which was to love unconditionally.

So anyway, another youth group sermon that I figured fell on deaf ears. Until this kid Tommy who'd only come once - an 8th grader - says to me as everyone's leaving and youth group has ended, "So Andrew, like what does Jesus' death on a cross mean?"

Not a waste of my time. Definitely accomplishing something. How come I find it so hard to trust that when I am simply faithful, when I am unspectacular but consistent, God works?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Digital Books? No Thanks.

I know that Kindle and digital copies of books are the new thing. I know that I read on a screen all the time because I read a lot of blogs.

But I just cannot see a digital copy of a book replacing an actual, physical book, no matter how accessible, portable, or cheap it comes. I like holding a book too much, and I write in my books too much.

That's all.