Monday, December 25, 2006

Mt. Wellington


I love taking pictures of my beloved!

And what a thrill to look down from the peak to have a glorious view of my new home, Hobart, Tasmania!

(mike 2006)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

merry christmas from Mikstine

from my family


Merry Christmas from my family in Germany ... my parents and my two "little sisters" Sarah and Sonja.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

mikstine spotting 4


The last half of this week has been a flood of media coverage for the couple Mikstine.

Thursday night, Felicity of ABC, who was recently seen covering the bushfires along the east coast of Tasmania, invited the couple over for an exclusive dinner party.

The following day as the couple was seen Christmas shopping, they ran into ABC jounralist George R. (a casual reader of both of their blogs) on the street.

Later Friday evening, guests all over the world arrived for the engagement barbeque thrown by Mikstine. Somehow a camera crew got past the bouncers and jounalist Angus and his cameraman Swill got the scoop on the couple and a host of their blogger and non-blogger friends.

In an official statement, Mikstine said "We would like to tell everyone that came to the barbeque that we were so thrilled to have been able to celebrate with everyone." -Stine, a bit overwhelmed with all the new faces but many familiar names, still felt very much at home among her new friends and family.

"Thank you for accepting me as one of your own and no, I never get tired of telling the beautiful story God has given us to tell."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

mikstine spotting 3

Today, blog readers Dave and Joel spotted -Stine strolling down the road eating something. possibly Mykonos? Rumor has it she was headed to the bottle shop.

However, that rumor has been squelched by both Benny of Fullers and photographer extrodinare Sarah when they spotted -Stine in the vacinity of Hobart's shopping district.

After an afternoon of exploring Hobart's bookshops, -Stine had finally settled in one and determined that it was to be her favorite. At that moment, Benny, also of Crossroads fame, walked up to her to pronounce her welcomed in his store.

On her way to meet her fiance, -Stine had the opportunity to accompany Sarah, photographer and fiance of Tim, on her walk home. In a private interview, -Stine confided in Sarah that she had experienced her first moment of culture shock. To her dismay, Hobart's Target did not quite match the trendy standards to be found in Target stores in the United States. Perhaps this revelation will shake -Stine of her obsessive purchasing of inexpensive, yet trendy, clothing ... or clothing altogether ... which could serve Mik- well in spending the excess money on Apple merchandise.

Sarah, however, proved to be a source of good news. It appears that Melbourne is the location of very reasonably priced fashion.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

mikstine spotting 2

Blogger Jonny Rochester writes more of blogger couple Mikstine. Will "stine" visit Jonny's abode? Will it be clean?

Monday, December 11, 2006

mikstine spotting


Blogger Jonny Rochester spotted the blogger couple Mikstine as they attended Crossroads in Hobart, Tasmania.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

an experiment


i'm conducting a little experiment. should everything go as planned, i ought to experience very little jetlag when i arrive in Australia.

the experiment began on Sunday when i slept in till 1:30 pm (my church meets in the evening). hmm, well ... i wasn't tired that night. why not stay up? i could go to sleep around 5 a.m., thus adjusting myself steadily to the time difference in Tasmania (+16 hrs.).

the first night went smoothly ... but yesterday?!! ugh! brutal ... today i'm feeling pretty good.

Mike tells me i should keep that same Tasmanian timetable in mind when i'm flying so that i'm sleeping when he is. hmm, i wonder who gave HIM that advice to begin with when he came here to the States ... ?

i suppose i should pack ... i've thought of it ... hey! anyone want me to bring anything over for them?

i already have a couple of orders i'm working on:

1 cool American girlfriend (a little late notice but i've put out the word ... expecting to hear back from a few chicks.)
American junk food (hmm ... i'm thinking Cheeze Whiz ... nah, don't want to risk imprisonment for that one)
1 college hoodie

anything else? type now or forever hold your peace.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

who says?!

It's never very long after you see two people holding hands on campus and BAM! they're engaged ... what is the average length of time? I think we have figured it to be three months.

(Mike and I were scolded (jokingly) for having taken so long.)

After that? mmm ... some get married the next month or wait at least till the end of final exams the following semester. Typically no longer than a four month engagement period, however.

The timetable of mate pursual at my church is very similar.

In contrast, as Jason suggests, this appears to be against the traditional length of courtship in both secular and (modern) Christian tradition.

Who says you have to wait two years?!

Jason, in the return commented ...

"... I used to consider love something we fall into, mostly about the magic and chemistry between a guy and a girl. But after my most recent relationship, when those feelings became worthless in one short break-up conversation, and my grandpa's words after Thanksgiving dinner, I'm starting to think of love in more practical terms. I can't help but notice that Sojourn people have pretty short dating/engagement periods before getting married. Why is that? How do two people become so sure of the most important decision of their lives? ..."


Priscilla responded ...

"My husband and I dated for 4 months then we got engaged and 4 months later we got married. Some of our friends were quite concerned.

...

"Here we are 14 and a half years later...with 3 kids, and a morgage to pay. Marriage is hard work. I still know that the Lord's hand was in our relationship. And it still is in our relationship. Our marriage is not always exciting...and I don't daydream about my husband all day (like I did during our engagement), but I am here with a hot meal for him when he comes home from work. I love him. I'm committed to him. We still stay up late talking. We understand each other so much better than we did that first year of marriage.

"Marriage is like a fine wine...it mellows, but improves over time..."

To which Jason replied,

"... I ... agree with the point that marriage needs to be centered around God and that definitely makes the difference. You know, there was a discussion about marriage on the Catholic Answers web site a while back and I was surprised at how many people there had very short dating/engagement periods before marriage who were married for 10, 15, 20 years. In fact, I didn't read a single account of anyone taking what I consider the more traditional route of dating for a couple years before engagement. Is that not as typical as I thought it was?"

My two cents:

"Perhaps, Jason, it has to do with intimacy and commitment. In their short time together, these couples have achieved a level of intimacy to which they know that they can commit the rest of their life to that person. Their time spent together is purposeful in getting to know the inner workings, desires, passions, standards, habits of the person. When you know that you are commited to this person, why draw it out? Why wait to be married? Do you know the person fully and completely? No. But like you implied about your grandparents ... commitment is hard work that lasts a lifetime. Divorce is NOT an option. You've made your choice and you will stick by it till you die. So ... why wait two years?"

It is not about having sex as soon as you can without feeling guilty.

Thoughts?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Mike and Christine: His side


Click here to read Mike's side of the story during our American adventure.

wedding invitation and website


Click here to view our online wedding invitation and website.

Be sure to save the date and start early in booking your flights. We look forward to celebrating with you. Please RSVP in the site's guest book by leaving your email address and home mailing address.

tim tam slam demo





Adam demonstrating the proper technique and subsequent expression of euphoria of a Double Chocolate Tim Tam Slam.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

the return


Due to unforseen circumstances, this blog did not resume on November 27th much to the disappointment of Jonny and other readers. Since I last posted (apart from the last two announcements), I ...

waited to pick Mike up at the airport not realizing that he slipped through while I took a quick toilet break.

waited upstairs for 1/2 an hour, dismayed when I saw the flight crew of the last commercial flight of the night walk through.

panic-stricken rushed downstairs.

turned the corner and saw poor Mike sitting amongst his things waiting for his internet-girlfriend who "didn't show".


gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and held his hand as we walked to the car.

showed him my stomping grounds on Bardstown Road.


admired the architecture while he was enamoured with the American cars, driving on the wrong side of the street, the plethora of wires above ground, and sign posts and trash cans that one could easily steal not being bolted to the ground.

sat in coffee shops with my boyfriend.

went to church with my boyfriend.

went to class with my boyfriend ... is that CHRISTINE with a GUY?!!!

told the first man I have ever kissed that I would marry him.

talked to people in Australia and Germany on the internet in a grocery store.


tried out two massage chairs late at night in a department store.


took Mike to a shopping mall.


read children's stories in a book store.


read Scripture and prayed every night with Mike.


played in leaves and walked in the park (the 4-wheel drive version complete with piggyback ride through the brush).


celebrated Mike's birthday with friends at Joe's Crab Shack.

allowed Mike to drive my car back from Indianapolis after a daytrip.

nursed a horrid earache, congestion, and rib-bruising cough.

welcomed my parents to Louisville, Kentucky.

went to a hair salon with my mom while Mike didn't waste anytime asking my dad if he could marry me.




received my parents' permission to marry over breakfast the next morning as Mike and I played with plastic dinosaurs, sharks, and wolves.


went to a tank museum.


celebrated our engagment with friends at Sunergos.

slammed TimTams.


played at a park while all the kids were in school.

said goodbye to Mike at the airport when he left to fly back to Australia.


flew to Los Angeles to celebrate my grandmother's 75th birthday and Thanksgiving.

missed my flight back due to insufficient staffing at the American Airlines counter. (reason for not posting on the 27th)

talked to the shuttle driver on the way back to my grandmother's.

laughed when he told me that I should write to Lifetime TV so that they could make Mike's and my story into a movie.

arrived back in Louisville a day late having missed 2 exams.


I am currently ...

studying to make up the exams I missed.

looking forward to being in Tasmania in less than 2 weeks.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

date and location


29 June 2007
Hannover, Germany

My Hannover International Bible Church family welcomes you to celebrate God's glory and His good pleasure in bringing Michael and I together.

Open Invitation

Thursday, November 16, 2006

the announcement



WE'RE ENGAGED!

Mike and I got engaged Monday, November 6, 2006. Today, my father and mother gave their consent over breakfast. They flew out this Monday from Germany to meet Mike.

For those interested in the Louisville area, Mike and I will be hanging out at Sunergos Coffee, Thursday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

on hold till November 27



till then, enjoy this elevator music by Eisley ...

Feel free to roam the archives. They're full of fascinating stories of donut fights in the Imperial Cafe in Prague, controversial articles about relationships between genders (a favorite with commentors), funny videos, how Mike and I met, etc. Normally the comments are the best part, so don't neglect those.

the drama of why i stopped wearing glasses

black dress, white socks, and Purim

in the dark with a guy

pulling a Ruth

dodging donuts in a German accent

my home

beware of hairy eyeballs

the controversies begin

crashing duck

mystery tea cup

dumb jewelry commercials

the beginning of the babble

spargel appreciation day and what she is not

walking with Wonder Woman

content with my singleness

Mike isn't personally pumped for online dating

addicted to MSN messenger by this point

Seattle and other silliness

back in the 'Ville with friends

struggling independent woman

counting down the days


Feel free to meander through my pictures or my videos.

Talk amongst yourselves ... and I will try to be strong and stay away ... if only to prove to Anon. and Bobby that I can!

; )

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

calling him "master"

1 Peter 3:5-6
5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Sarah called Abraham "lord" (sometimes translated "master"). Should wives today follow Sarah's example in calling their husbands "lord"? What does this title mean to a woman? For Sarah, it was a sign of her submission. To comply to her husband's wishes, to please her mate, to encourage him, to yield to his preferences--some modern women might be willing to sign their names on the dotted line to the above. However, to call him "lord"? What does that imply?

To me, it implies trust. Trust that he will not misuse the power found in the title "master". Trust that his care for her will be motivated by love and self-denial. Trust in the wisdom God has given him to lead her in godly directions.

I would love to call my husband one day "master" or "lord", but ... to be honest ... it scares me. I imagine that it would scare him, as well, to bear the responsibility of that title.

By God's grace ...

[note: i am not suggesting that wives ought to do this as though it were a command in Scripture. Sarah used this title as a gesture of submission and trust in her husband, a gesture that shows to the world her love and confidence in her mate. One could call her husband "lord" or perhaps show that same respect in another fashion that bears just as much weight in our culture today.]

Monday, October 30, 2006

i can't look at you and take you seriously


So I decided to dress up as Katy Luther tonight for our Reformation Costume Party at Cassey and Jiri's ... although they didn't know they were throwing a costume party ... and I don't think anyone else knew either ... hmm, oh well.

But it didn't take long before my character was transformed from this remarkable historical figure to a pagan Goddess of the Wood. After Jiri crowned me with a berry wreath, no one could take me seriously.

Throughout the night I attempted to take part in multiple serious conversations. "When speaking to those immersed in legalism, one can rarely use logic to convince them of their error..."

"Pfgthfffft! Sorry, Christine. It's just so hard to take you seriously with those berries on your head."

At one point I pouted, which made people laugh even harder.

Bwahahaha! I enjoy making people laugh ... even if it's not on purpose.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

this time next week ...

Mike is going to hate me because I will be trying my best to keep him awake to get him used to the time change.

"It's only a 10 mile hike, sweetheart. It's for your own good."

Am I excited? Ha ha ... what a silly question!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Mike's ministry


I'm excited to become involved in this work! Hopefully there's room for a girl with an M.A. in Women's Ministry who sports a goofy American accent.

A couple of people have asked me if Mike has an accent. LOL! Heck yeah! and it's oh so ...

Well ... you can hear for yourself on the bits where Mike is in the video!

good job on the video, Joe!

Friday, October 27, 2006

"Tell me a story, Uncle C. J.!"


Yesterday, Laura and I had the privilege of sitting under C. J. Mahaney's humble instruction. He has been on campus all weak blessing the seminary students with lessons on humility and cross-centered living.

The day before we went to his booksigning:

Laura: I think I'm going to bring my blankie and a stuffed animal and sit at his feet while everyone else is in line and with enraptured gaze say, "Tell me a story, Uncle C.J.!"

Check out Laura's account of this week with C. J. She has a couple of links worth following ... and she, too, got a blessing out of the talk I recommended by C. J. on marriage through the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood website.


UPDATE: click here

under the sub-heading "Building Strong Families in Your Church"
(scroll down to the sermon "Sexual Intimacy in Marriage" by C. J. Mahaney)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

single digits



8 DAYS till Mike arrives!

Mike describes our relationship here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

eh, stuff happens

Atlanta International Airport bathroom at 2 a.m.

Tip: Don't stress out when you run from concourse C to concourse B in a HUGE international airport and you miss your connecting flight by one minute and then you get booked on another flight that gets cancelled just as passengers are bording at 12:30 a.m. Ticket agents are SOOOO much more helpful to passengers who aren't stressed-out even if they have to spend the night in the airport with a mobile phone with only enough battery power to talk to her boyfriend for 1/2 an hour to keep her awake so she doesn't miss her 8:30 a.m. flight.

Should have gotten home 12 hours ago ... I'm tired. and I have class tonight. Think I'll take a long bath, take a nap, talk to Mike when he wakes up, and then finish up an assignment and hopefully not snore in class ... what do i mean HOPEFULLY! i DON'T snore! ... but sleeping with my mouth gaping wide open in public (esp. on airplanes) ... well, that's been known to happen.

mortifying!

Oh, you know what the best bit about getting back to the 'Ville was? Seeing that there was a package from Mike waiting for me. Love the CD! Wearing the shirt.

weddings ... can i really be bothered?

Me, Beth, Dolly, Karen

I don't think so ... at least not the traditional, formal sort.

LOL! So, Mike and I both attended weddings this past weekend. Too bad it wasn't the same one. I was in my best friend's wedding ... my first time ever as a bride's maid ... and probably my last. And Mike attended an old schoolmate's wedding (his brother Dave was in the groom's party).

Hmm ... what are some things one can do to take care of some of the really un-necessary headaches? Now I have been to all of maybe FIVE weddings in my lifetime ... but I'm constantly struck by the absurd pomp and circumstance ... it all seems so un-necessarily formal.

DON'T GET ME WRONG! Dolly's wedding was fabulous. She'll have gorgeous memories to cherish for a lifetime. And I got to be a bridesmaid! Woo Hoot!

But I imagine weddings are personal preferences. So why do so many women conform to the same ol' equations?

But then again ... I've never been one who could be stuffed in a "box" and categorized and conform to the "way things *ought* to be".

(side note) Karen and I made our dresses and Dolly made Beth's. We were quite the fashion designers in college!

(side note 2) I wasn't going to wear a necklace. Normally don't when I'm wearing such finery. I try to let the dress speak for itself. But I thought the professional pictures might be a little off if there wasn't SOMETHING around my neck. So I snagged one of the ribbons decorating one of the gift baskets and tied it around my neck. The bow kept slipping towards the center and at one point in between shots Dolly motioned that my neckribbon was not off-center any more.

young, attractive, trendy photographer: (slight wink) Are you trying to cover something up?

me: Nah, I just want to keep the bow on the side. I think it looks better that way.

yatp: Ah, I thought maybe you were covering a hickie.

me: ROFL!!! Wouldn't THAT be funny! No, hardly. My boyfriend is in Australia!

(side note 3) I ALWAYS told Dolly that she'd get married before I would.

(side note 4) The girls told me about some story that circulated around college where some chick got married ... her bridesmaids were wearing white shirts, khaki skirts, and held a sheet in front of the bride as she walked down the aisle ... what the?!! Maybe that's too informal ... and just plain WEIRD!!!

(side note 5) All of us look fabulous in green. The wedding was like the return of the "green girls". A time when Karen, Dolly, and I all went to an fancy-shmancy organ concert dressed in green carrying *fake* lilies ... there may have been a little horseplay and whacking of flowers stems along the way ... you can never take us too seriously.

the arty ones


"Hi, you've been to visit Dolly before, haven't you? You're the arty one aren't you?"

I tossed my head back and let out a hearty laugh. "All of us are the arty ones. We all studied art together in college."

Yes, I am terribly proud of my arty friends. Beth (Dolly's look-alike) works at the U.S. branch of Answers in Genesis as a designer (which I found out is separate from its Australian counterpart). Karen (the eccentric Aussie) is a designer at another Bible college. And Dolly is a designer for a printing company and works independently on the side. Me? I'm the only one who is currently not in an art related occupation ... sigh ... I hope to teach art again one day ...

That being said we all got a good laugh when the wedding photographer commented about our modeling abilities.

"Ha ha ... you have NO idea how much experience we really do have. Whenever any of us needed a 'source' for a project we were only too willing to comply."

I was honored that Dolly chose to paint me for her masterpiece as part of her Master of Art portfolio. Supposedly my future husband gets the blessing of owning this beautiful marvel. I doubt, however, Dolly will ever actually give it up. LOL! Could you imagine! Let's say he's a pastor and I can't be there when a woman comes to him for counsel ... there *I* am staring down at her ... "Don't you dare get emotionally attached to my man!"

* I made the dress in the painting.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Poetry Night

Brian has some pictures posted from last weekend's Poetry Night. Enjoy.

(click here)

how you handle conflict

Drs. Bill Maier and Julianna Slattery suggest in the recent Focus on the Family broadcast "Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage" that it is not common interests, goals, or passions that make and keep a healthy marriage. Instead, according to research, statistics show that it is how each person handles conflict that makes for a successful marriage.

UPDATE: OOPS! Wrong linkage. Here are the correct links the broadcast my mum and I were discussing. "Making the Tough Times Count" with speaker and author Florence Littauer.

DOUBLE OPPS: click here and scroll down to October 2nd and 3rd for the talks titled “Marriage Survival Skills 101" parts 1 and 2 featuring Gary Smalley and Scott Stanley. THESE are the correct talks ... although I'm sure the others are beneficial, too.

h/t my mum

the problem

The problem is not the problem. The problem is often how one responds to the problem. If one doesn't respond correctly, she will experience a similar situation again and again until she has learned the lesson the Holy Spirit is teaching her.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

crazy fun date ideas

Hat tip to Rodeo Clown for sending us this link for date ideas. I forwarded it to my parents and they are trying out number 16 tonight.

Would you add any to the list?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

poetry reading


Friday night we're having a poetry reading.

What do you recommend I prepare as my selection?

an autumn song of Cuban stars

This morning, Mike's and my relationship reached a new level when I sang a song to him before he fell asleep. That's a HUGE step for me ... especially considering how he'd asked me to do so a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't ... "Maybe when we're married ..."

I have no confidence in my singing abilities AT ALL. I may have been in a praise team at church ... but for all I know the sound guy probably turned the volume on my mic down and I was just a smiling face on the platform singing my heart out for the Lord. "Make a joyful noise, wot?"

This afternoon, a group of us went to a Cuban resteraunt. The guys were raving about the photographs in the men's toilet room of guys rolling cigars.

"Cassey, do you think you and I ought to take a puff one night just to see what all the hype is about?"

"Sure, if we want to know what it's like to kiss an ash tray!"

Hmm ... I have wondered ... (lol! I was being fascecious.)

Then we talked about Turkish coffee ... how we'd like to go to Istanbul one day ... ooo, What about Morocco? ... Mmm, loved Casablanca ... Not me ... Can't stand Humphrey Bogart ... One of the top 20 ugliest men ... There was nothing about him that was endearing in Sabrina. Why would she fall for him? ... If not Bogart, then who? ... Here's a clue into Girl Dorm Room talk: "Ok, Carey Grant or Jimmy Stewart?" I always answer, "Jimmy Stewart!" ... Really? I didn't think chicks would dig him. Isn't he sort of bumbling? ... But endearing. ... Ooo, I'm rather fond of that guy from Roman Holiday. ... GREGORY PECK?!!! LOVE HIM! sigh ... Gregory Peck/Jimmy Stewart--I'm trying to grasp how you could like both ... Hmm, it's sort of Ying and Yang. ... I tell you who could have stayed off the silver screen: Fred Astaire. Bleh! ... What about chicks? ... (The guys looked at each other ... I think the only classic female film star they know is Audrey Hepburn) ... Well, I like Ingrid Bergman and Greer Garson. ... Who?

It's truly Autumn. At the restaurant we watched as the weather map was on display on the television ... together we cheered as if we were watching a sport as the cold front moved into our region. Driving home the leaves swirled around the road as cars whizzed by. It made me feel like dancing ...



View entire Funny Face dance club scene here

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

she's out of there


Carmen visits Boston

Part 1
Part 2

sexual intimacy in marriage

C. J. Mahaney speaks on Song of Solomon ... believe me, the point is not that Christ is in between the Old and New Testament!

click here

under the sub-heading "Building Strong Families in Your Church"
(scroll down to the sermon "Sexual Intimacy in Marriage" by C. J. Mahaney)

He quotes Tom Gledhill's commentary:
"This unabashed reveling in creatureliness must not be cramped by thoughts that it is all somehow beneath our dignity and that we would be better praying than making love. For this is a false dichotomy that must be banished forever. We do not need to sanctify an entirely natural act by having simultaneous spiritual thoughts in our spouses arms."




In addition, I have REALLY enjoyed listening to Mark Driscoll's sermons on Song of Solomon.

Click here

type in Song of Songs in the "search" box
click on the middle option for the audio options

my boyfriend and i are ...



h/t Sharon

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

idols of the heart

What is it that you desire that you would sin to get or sin if you don't get it?

Monday, October 09, 2006

2 chicks, a couple of guys, and a camp fire


Adam: (leans back, places hands behind his head) "So, if you could choose three weapons to kill a wolf, which would they be?"

My eyes grew wide. Seriously?! THIS is going to be the next thread of conversation?!! Cassey and I were highly amused. This weekend's camping trip has truly been an answer to every girl's wish to be a fly on the wall in a guy's room. (What do they talk about?!!)

Answers varied from javelin, long finger nail, bow and arrow, tank (that was my choice), etc.

Mike added his vote via SMS ... his trusty block of wood has never let him down thus far.

As the glow from the fire's flames cast odd shadows on our faces, Ben shared a story he had heard of an entire village's population (located not to far from the camp site) that had been massacred by a pack of wolves ... no survivors.

Jiri: "Then how do you know what happened?"

Ben: "Diaries"

Me: "So ... what? The last entry read ... 'We've held them off for a solid week, but rations are low and we've run out of water. They've surrounded the house. There is no escape. Are we the last one's alive? I can see them pacing outside the window, yellow eyes glaring ... as if ... ACK! One just crashed through the window. Where's Pa? Oh no, it's chaos! I'm being wrestled to the ground. No, not my Jugulaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (gurgle)'?"

Brian: "When did this happen?"

Adam: "Yesterday."

Ben: "1850"

Brian: "Ooooooo ... nice. 1850's a nice creepy date."

and then SOMEHOW ... no one will ever to be remember quite how ... someone began to associate our names with the different sound-effects some of our weapons of choice would make. As a result, *this* story was invented with our camp mascot, Goldie (Cassey and Jiri's dog), playing the heroine.



Goldie, the Wolf-Slayer

The moon was full as Goldie pulled up to the campsite in her Harley.

(Briaaaaaaaaan Bri Bri Bri Bri Briaaaaaaaaaaan) [ok, so his was the only name not associated with a weapon]

She screeched to a halt when the pack of wolves ambushed her in the darkness. Grabbing her gatling gun she cranked out a couple of rounds to keep the savage pack at bay.

(adamadamadamadamadamadamadamadamadam)

When she ran out of ammo, she reached for her bow and arrow.

(ben .... ben .......... ben ben ben ...... ben)

Her supply of arrows exhausted and the raging hoards closing in on her she drew her sword.

(ChriSTINE ... ChriSTINE ...... ChriSTINE)

Oh, no! Goldie's sword got lodged in the spinal column of one of the attacking wolves.

Unable to remove the weapon, she abandoned that hope and found herself backing up into a tree.

The pack surrounded her, inching closer and closer.

"Wait!"

The snarling wolves stepped back unsure ...

With a flick of her paw, Goldie revealed her last resort.

(cassey)

The wolves flinched at the sound of Goldie's lightsabre being unsheathed.

Wounded wolves were scattered left and right as the female canine unleashed her fury on the ambushers.

(Jirrrrrrrrri ... Jirrri ... Jirrrrrrrrrrri ... Jirrrri)


And THAT is what seminary students talk about around camp fires.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

why i'm not an American-American


1. I don't believe that America has to take over Israel.

2. No mustache, flat-brim baseball cap, socks with sandals, nor a bum bag.

3. I don't think that the chick always has to end up with Hugh Grant ... in fact it's probably better if she doesn't.

4. I've lived in 4 different countries.

5. I don't own a gun.

6. I don't shop at Walmart.

7. McDonalds is NEVER an option.

8. I know that Africa is NOT a country and it's "national" language is not *African*.

9. I know that Tasmania is not the alternate spelling for Tanzania (unlike Cologne/Koeln or Munich/Muenchen)

10. I love my Australian boyfriend for more than his sexy accent.

Friday, October 06, 2006

defining leadership

A Blogger friend emailed me the following and I thought it might strike up a good discussion:


Hey Christine,

I was sort of thinking that it might be really helpful for lots of us if you might write a post on your definition of leadership. I think that through your various posts on men taking the leadership role and dating and all this … I’ve never quite figured out what you mean by “lead.” Does that mean “take initiative” or does it mean “move forward intellectually” or … there are a million possibilities, so I guess maybe if we all sort of nailed down what we mean by “leadership” (can you, for instance, be a leader without a group of people who follow you?), the discussion might ratchet up a notch.

My friend Beth and I were discussing it today (a discussion provoked from reading some of your writing) and came up with this: “a leader is one who accepts responsibility to act with integrity and direct others towards a common goal.

Perhaps you might write a post or two on the subject? Just a humble suggestion from someone struggling with the whole thing …

~Chris

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

the games we play

Is a woman making herself attractive a way of visually tempting her own husband? Is it manipulation? Or is it a way of expressing her love? Well, gentlemen?

Or ... is it manipulating the way many women set rules of play on their relationships? I will only do this, if you treat me like that. We can do this, but that is out of the question. We string them along expecting them to jump through hoops. Changing the rules of play at each twist and turn.

We try to live out a fairytale in our minds in which a knight slays some random dragon or climbs some impossible height for us so that he can *prove* his love ... and then we pout, "But you didn't bring me any flowers back!" We always have them guessing ... a way of exerting power over them ... and then wail our eyes out when they fail to understand our cryptic code.

Wake up! In a relationship there are TWO people involved. ... no SCRATCH THAT ... three, if Jesus Christ is to be the center of your love. It's give and take, ladies and gentleman ... learn to speak the language the other person needs in order to feel loved. Learn to communicate how you desire your significant other to relate to you in a loving manner. Be specific. If your man needs to hear the words, "I love you" but to you that seems like it's not enough. Say it anyway. Express that one statement in a multitude of ways so that he can hear and be affirmed in your love. It is the language he understands. Stop playing games. Communicate and don't hide the answer key.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

it's not about good looks ... it's about the *effort*

Due to the suggestion of a fellow blogger with a similar name to my own (Christina), I decided to share some brief snippits from the section of Shaunti Feldhahn's For Women Only (the Bible study) about the visual nature of men. Quotes pulled from pages 124-129.

"We think that if God does not look on the outward appearance, then neither should our husbands, right? The truth is that because we know 'It's what's inside that counts,' we can easily migrate to the idea that what is outside doesn't matter. It does."

"... 70 percent of men indicated they would be emotionally bothered if their wives let themselves go and didn't seem to want to make the effort to do something about it."

"... ignoring that truth, our men--even godly men who are devoted to us--end up feeling disregarded, disrespected, and hurt."

"Somehow I assumed that if I was out of shape, I was the only person who was negatively affected!"

"If she doesn't take care of herself, dresses sloppily around me all the time, never exercises, and has no energy to go out and do things together, I feel like she's choosing not to do something that she should know is important to me. ... But really, I just want to see that my wife cares enough about me to make an effort."

"Seeing us make the effort to look good makes them feel loved and cared for. It matters to them in the same way it matters to us when we notice our husbands making an effort to do things that make us feel loved--especially those things that are difficult or don't come naturally. If our husband truly puts effort and thought into a romantic event, do you really mind if it's not perfect? Of course not. You feel loved and cared for."

"In a way, this issue for men is like romance for us. Maybe it shouldn't matter whether our husbands ever put one jot of effort into romancing us, but it does. We love him regardless; yet, we still feel that empty wistfulness for what could be."

"'We need to see that you care about keeping our attention on you--and off of other women.'"

Esther 1:11
"To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she [was] fair to look on."

"A man's wife is an extension of himself, just as he is an extension of his wife. Most men know that the appearance of their wives complements them in the presence of other men."

"The way you dress and carry yourself speaks volumes about both you and your husband. You may not like the idea that others are judging your husband on your appearance, but according to the men I spoke with, it happens often."

(Understand that weight or "natural good looks" [whatever *that* is] is beside the point. It's not a 20 year old pin-up girl they're after. However, a man wants a wife who *makes the effort* to be healthy, take care of herself, dress for him, and be confident and comfortable in who she is. This makes him feel cherished and respected. True, I'm not married. Perhaps, I have no place in writing about this so passionately in recent posts. However, I have eyes ... and I have ears. And my own observations have only been confirmed by the hundreds of men [many of whom were regular church-goers] Feldhahn interviewed. Men struggle with visual temptations on a daily basis. Let us aid our brothers and husbands to fight this temptaion by dressing modestly and for our husbands make the effort so that they only have eyes for us.)

if Jon Stewart ran for President

Sunday, October 01, 2006

where does body hair come in?

Mike helped me think through my position this evening. I started out with the presupposition that my readers would assume my view of inner beauty. I affirm what Scripture says ... especially to women ... concerning developing one's character into a beautiful sacrifice to God.

When I realized that my mention of why I (personally) wear make-up struck up controversy, I was confused.

"Surely, inner beauty is a given in this conversation!!"

But as points of view began to be fleshed out I saw more and more that everyone agreed with each other concerning the big picture and what is ultimately important.

The reason I did not start off with a soap box post about women glorifying God in their inner beauty and casting off the shakles of cultural mandates was because I have heard it again and again and again ... and I agree with it. But I decided to bring up a side issue.

Perhaps I should have started off:

"Alright, ladies, we all agree about what needs to be done to develop inner beauty, right? Now, how does the Christian woman approach the issue of the outer appearance? This is difficult to address because there are far more passages in Scripture that address the issue of inner beauty; thus, indicating it's priority in the Christian life. However, let's explore the proper Christian response to this topic of physical appearance."

The physical is a side issue that many in Evangelical circles choose to ignore (oh, besides the whole dress modestly bit). And I believe that it is essentially due to a reaction to the world. The world focuses on the body, believing from a secular worldview that the body is the sum of man, nothing more, nothing less. Evangelicals react to this by placing heavy emphasis on the spirit.

But is man not both body and spirit? We are dichotomists. Not merely body and not merely spirit.

1 Corinthians 6 and 7 approach the issue of glorifying God in one's body. Indeed, much of the passage involves sexual relations. However, the broader issue of the body is addressed. A wife's body is not her own. A husband's body is not his own. They honor one another in their bodies. Is this confined to sexual relations? ... or can the interpretation be broadened to pleasing and honoring one's husband by dressing in a manner that he appreciates?

Hmm, just a question I'm throwing out there. What do you think?

beauty does not equate godliness ... but neither does plain-ness

I'm not disagreeing with any of you who are commenting that inward beauty is of the utmost importance in comparison to outward beauty.

Proverbs 11:22 compares a physically beautiful woman who is not discrete with a pig adorned with a gold ring in his snout. No amount of makeup or beautiful clothing can mask an unattractive heart.

My roommate in college was the posterchild of the campus. Gorgeous. Before I met her I knew her name and overheard many conversations where guys were talking about her. I too was swept away by her beauty and smile. But when we had lived together for a couple of months, that outer beauty was quickly transformed when her true heart was displayed. I was repulsed by her selfishness and her pride and her disregard for others. Her physical appearance was actually transformed by her heart's motivations.

I love being feminine. I love wearing skirts and dresses. I love experimenting with different ways of doing my hair. But should my heart not be right with God all of that is for nothing. Pure vanity!

So, you see? I agree with you.

However, as with many of my other posts that have sparked disagreement, I only brought up one side of the issue. Women are so often exhorted in the church to enhance their inner beauty. Do you really need another parrot to tell you the same? Sometimes I think the intensity with which this message is preached is rather reactionary to such issues as anorexia/bolemia, obesity, immodest dress and appearance, causing opinions to be swayed to the other extreme with equating plain/bland appearance with godliness.

Isn't that the same?

Both are trying to draw attention to themselves by their outward appearance one with enhancing it, the other by disregarding it. 2 extremes. Similar motives.

I am merely attempting to bring up a little discussed issue and commenting that indeed the condition of the heart and one's character is of primary importance, but that doesn't negate one's taking pleasure in creating/enhancing physical beauty.

God is the author of beauty in so many different forms, both physical and spiritual. He himself is beautiful. Artists, made in the image of God, get a thrill from copying the Master Artist or from creating their own beauty. A tree in the middle of a meadow is beautiful, especially as the mist of the evening rolls in. Would you tisk-tisk if someone came along to enhance that beauty by hanging a multitude of candle-lit lanterns from it's branches? "Shameful. God created that tree beautiful just how it is. Shame on you for attempting to add to it."

No, that's silly.

Beauty is good. Like Seumas commented on Dani's blog, the goodness of beauty does not make it moral.

Some churches decide against adorning their building in guilded sculpture and choose instead to maintain a humble appearance. Is the stainglass church better than the other because it is "more" beautiful? That's obsurd. But if that "plain" building houses a group of people who are spiritually dead and full of pride and hypocrisy, it is not better than a sepulchre. However, as one enters a cathedral and the regal pillars and arches draws one's eyes upward to the sparkling, coloured glass, one might find himself giving glory to God the Author of all things beautiful. The congregation may be as spiritually dead as the other, but that doesn't keep one from praising God. That beautiful woman walking down the street may be an atheist, however, one can still appreciate her beauty.

I desire to bless Michael with my appearance (sigh ... and just to be sure i'm not misunderstood ... AND a kind, gentle spirit). The other evening I dressed up, put on a strand of pearls, straightened my hair, and put on a bit of make-up. His appreciation could not be masked. And I took delight in having pleased the man I love in this way. (And for your information we also read Scripture together and prayed).

I feel odd having to justify myself in this ... or tacking on further explanation. human responsibility ... BUT also sovereignty of God. wife respecting ... BUT also husband loving. outer beauty ... BUT also inward beauty. make-up ... BUT also prayer.

I have a feeling Craig's going to tell me that I don't have to always justify myself on my blog. I suppose I need to remember that few of you actually even know me, so I'm scrambling here to be sure you know that I understand the value in a beautiful spirit. But honestly I'm a bit afraid I'm going to get a comment like, "What? You like wearing dresses?!! Are you saying trousers can't be feminine?!"

(cringe)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

the christian's response to beauty

Dani and Nix, in the previous post, raised some interesting objections to my explanation of why I wear make-up (lol ... which if you look at my pics, isn't very much at all).

As an artist and visual-oriented person, I'm interested in what my readers' thoughts are on aesthetics.

What IS beauty?

What ought the Christian's response be to physical beauty?

What does Scripture have to say on the subject?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

why i wear make-up

"But I've got to wonder, this pressure doesn't seem to *actually* be from the guy's side, but rather *perceived* to be 'our fault'."
~ Mark

lol ... I was JUST telling a girlfriend of mine this morning that "guys don't seem to get it." We don't wear make-up for men. At least I don't. If anything, it's for ME.

THAT picture wasn't my first try. Probably the last out of 8 or 9 shots. Notice the darker lighting. When I do wear make-up, I do so to enhance, not to cover ... well, except for maybe under the eyes. Think of it like an accessory ... a hand-bag that matches the outfit, if you will.

It's a wonderful thing to affirm a woman of her beauty with and without her make-up. But this idea of whether or not to encourage her to get "gussied up" ... if it is a way for her to express her love to you by (in her mind) making herself attractive for you ... do NOT discourage her.

Every morning I wake up and get ready (after i've said "good night" to Michael) and I try to make myself attractive ... whether it's doing my hair or applying little blush and mascara.

Why? Michael's not here, what does it matter?!

It matters because I'm Michael Jolly's girlfriend. I want people to see me and have a better impression of him because of me. No one here knows him ... but they know me.

How does that apply to the Christian?

Christ is not here. But the world's perception of what Christ (apart from reading Scripture) is like is derived from the Christian.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

he loves me anyway


I have been dared to go the entire day without a smidgen of makeup. How did this come about?

"Christine, you look different somehow this morning."

"That's because this morning I'm Theresa and not Christine."

After a while it finally occured to Mike what the difference was.

"You don't have any make-up on."

"Nope. Do you love me anyway?"

"Ha ha ha ... you're beautiful! Of course I love you. I tell you what ... I dare you to go without makeup all day."

"Sigh ... whenever I do that I get some comment like ... 'Christine, are you okay? You look sick or tired."

"And you know what you tell them if they ask you that?"

"um ... That Michael loves me anyway?"

"Exactly!"

Saturday, September 23, 2006

a remarkable conversation ...

... is occuring here, sparked by the observations below.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

are modern women too independent?

My girlfriends and I are often flabbergasted at the beautiful, strong, intelligent, witty young women we see around us who desire marriage but are devoid of prospects. We are utterly clueless and unable to understand how scores of godly young men are not clammering for their attention and devotion. For a long time I did not care about my own relationship status, but I was bewildered by the others ... still am.

But a revolutionary thought came to me. Could it have something to do with man's need to be needed? Do they see these talented young women and think ... "Why would she need me? She has it all together"? Then my mind went back to all the girls in college that I had observed: the cute, bubbly type and at times the maiden-in-distress. I scoffed at them before ... but when you think about it ... they were the ones with the boyfriends.

Hmm.

Last week, my pal Jiri, showed me an article from the new periodical Salvo titled "Strike Up the Bond: A Man's Need To Be Needed". Dawn Eden, author of the soon-to-be-published book The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On(Read an exerpt here), describes the phenomenon of rock stars and their groupies. She writes of band members who will often have a different woman waiting for them in each city.

"You can want a man completely, utterly, desperately, longing for him from the depths of your loins. But if you want him to be attached to you, you must require of him in return. For a man to develop a bond, it's not enough that he's adored--he has to be appreciated.

"For all the advances that the feminist movement has created for women in the working world, it's created a terrible damage in the area of relationships. Women are told that self-sufficiency means refusing to allow men the opportunity to do things for them.

"A good man does admire self-sufficiency in a woman. But he admires it even more when that self-sufficient woman has the modesty to admit she needs advice, a shoulder to lean on, or just someone to carry her loaded-down backpack." (p. 45)

Hmm ... I became curious. Was there any truth to this? So I googled the phrase "men need to be needed" (or a similar variation thereof). I came across a number of articles that concurred with such a conclusion. Here is a smattering:

Dateless Women Need To Soften Up

Guys Need To Be Needed

What Men Really Think About Successful, Independent Women

The Different Needs of Men and Women

What Makes a Man Happy In Marriage?

Smart women can intimidate prospective mates

What are your own thoughts or experiences with this phenomenon?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

happy dance

Read this and find out why Mark is my new friend! I enjoy it when people think through these sort of things.

Ooo ... which reminds me ... I need to get a copy of an article from Jiri about men and their desire to be needed! Good stuff!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tasmania


Dave, Mike's brother, helped me find this site. Click on the titles to see the places I want to see.

If I get to go visit soon, Joel, their flatmate, promises to go to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory with me and show me the best trails for hiking. Dave promises to show me around the coolest cafes. And Mike ... well, I won't get into mushy stuff on this post.

*picture is from Amy's recent trek

Monday, September 11, 2006

you should blog about that


As I jabber on about who knows what kind of topics in "real life" I often get the comment ... "You should blog about that!"

I got a couple of those moments today.

1. Mike and I this morning:

I was going on and on about how one should counsel people in a godly, Bible-based manner ... you know ... Tripp's method of Love, Know, Speak, Do ...

"You should blog about that!"


2. Hangin' with the guys at Cassey and Jiri's (minus the Cassey):

Adam looking closely at my head.

"It's a leaf, Adam."

"Did you mean to put it there?"

"Nah, I was just being goofy."

"But I like it ... doesn't she look like an elf?" At which point all the other Settlers of Catan and DandD nerdos (I mean that in an affectionate way) turned and affirmed that I was indeed quite elvish looking. "Can't you see her with a bow and arrow ... or pulling out a couple of swords!"

(I miss you, Cassey! come back!)

Later, Jiri brought up Mike's post about men leading. And suggested that (from a married bloke's point of view), leading one's wife is more sacrificial than *pound fist on table* "This is how we will do things!" ...

which led to one of the guys bringing up feminism and another guy responding ... "Well if guys would just do ..."

I squirmed.

Jiri: "Christine, what are your thoughts?"

"I think one could go round and round in circles pointing fingers. Men, ought to do what they ought to do. And women ought to do what they ought. Read your own mail. If my husband doesn't show me that he loves me, does that mean I don't have to respect him. If I don't respect him, does that mean that he doesn't have to love me. Peter writes that a woman ought to obey even if her husband does not, with the hope that her obedience with lead the husband to repentance and faith."

to myself: (hmm ... I should blog about that)


3. Late night conversation with Nixter:

Me: And then I pull out a house plant from my bag as I dig around for my mobile (which sounds like an old fashioned telephone ... Brrrrrrrringggg!)

Nixter: Oh, pardon my coat stand ... I love Mary Poppins.

Me: I hate Mary Poppins.

Nixter: Why?

Me: I watched it everyday when I was three years old. Then ten years went by ... I watched it again and was struck by Mary Poppin's arrogance and conceit (Practically Perfect in Every Way ... give me a break!) and THEN ... OH, THEN!!! ... the deceit and lies and mind games that she played on the children! What a happy, joyous time they had together at the park ... and at the end of the day they jumped up and down on the beds in excitement and Mary says ... "It never happened!" Wicked woman! When I was studying art in college, I chose to draw a woman feeding birds as one of my projects. While working on it, people would walk behind me, take a peak, and start singing ... "Feed the birds ... tuppins a bag ... tuppins, tuppins, tuppins a bag" ... CRINGE!!!

Nixter: You should blog about that.