Thursday, August 31, 2006

i needed tissues

... but you may need a bucket for this.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

becoming Supergirl

Carmen tells the untold saga of the superheroines.

From Wonder Woman to Bat Girl ... a paradigm shift

Ever since I was a little girl watching from my window as Superman swooped down and time after time saved our fair city or at times the entire world ... I dreamed of being a superhero's sidekick. Sigh ...

As I grew older I knew that if I really wanted to make a difference in the world I could not wait around for a full-fledged superhero to find and recruit me to liberate the planet alongside him. Lives needed to be saved and evil men and women brought to justice. So I donned my bullet-proof bracelets and fastened on my Lasso of Truth and went to work. (Saving the world is often such a thankless occupation but rewarding, nonetheless.)

But now, Dear Diary, I've met a real-life superhero. We're a team ... able to do so much more good together than apart. A dream come true ...

I find, however, that my brain is having difficulty wrapping itself around the concept of being a sidekick. I was good at what I did ... at a moment's notice I could leap over a building, punch a terrorist's lights out, tie him up, and be gone before the authorities came to bring him in. Perhaps it all went to my head ... the parades, the Time magazine covers, the little girls who wanted to be just like me. I was Wonder Woman ... now am I to be content with being Bat Girl?

WHAT AM I THINKING?!! When he and I work together it's more rewarding than any evil mastermind scheme I've ever foiled. He loves me. He respects me and relies on my powers and experience to complete him. I am no longer merely the world's superhero ... but I am also HIS superhero ... and he is mine. I would gladly hand my lasso down to my protege to wear the black cape. (I might like to keep the bracelets as a keepsake, however.)

Monday, August 28, 2006

the art of eating

Americans are in general lacking in appreciation for the fine art of food presentation and dining. Most look at food as mere sustenance ... or worse ... a necessity that they must grudgingly indulge by inserting the foodstuff in their faces as quickly as possible so that they may go about their normal lives. Restaurants whisk people to their seats and try to just as quickly whisk them out to make room for new customers. Where is the enjoyment? How many families still make it a priority to sit down for a leisurely meal and conversation at the end of the day? How many singles take the time to prepare meals of beauty and tasting pleasure?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ruth agrees with Scripture

How cool is it to be friends with someone who is close to a celebrity! Ruth is friends with Nixter who got a mention at the Introducing God book launch.

Thanks for the support, Ruthie. I'm not a fan of experiential Christianity either. We can teach God's Word authoritatively because ... that's exactly what it is ... God's Word. We don't have to experience it in order for it to be true.

see Ruth's post here

Saturday, August 26, 2006

spot the Mohler

To start off the academic year with a bang, the seminary threw a smash bang party complete with yours truly painting faces ... not a gift of mine but happy to do it.

Enjoy the popparotzi of Al Mohler. Laura and I were concerned that he may have been wearing a bumbag ... but Stacy and Clint (of What Not To Wear fame) would be pleased to know that it was merely a mobile phone holder on his belt ... but I'm pretty certain they'd be shocked by the pleated trousers...

even the little girl was shocked!

But how cool is Dr. M ... Laura offered to let me paint the seminary logo on his face.

Friday, August 25, 2006

how to get an internet boyfriend

Alone on a Friday night and just not interested in the guys around?

Start a blog and post your heart out ... eventually someone will take notice ... and maybe ... just maybe he'll have a sexy accent.

Need a girlfriend? Check this out!

Part 1
Part 2

Thursday, August 24, 2006

we can be friends

This has been a watershed year for my family. My parents purchased a garden house for their church for the enjoyment of fellowship and the outdoors. And I ... I have made so many new friends ... friendships I had no idea would be forged through the medium of the internet.

And yet I can say with surety this is no MySpace friendship ... It's not a click of the button and ... woo hoo! we're friends!

Nor are these friendships stagnant ... what began by reading other people's blogs turned to private emails, instant messaging, snail mail, phone calls, and then seeing each other. Shiloh will most likely be the first of my new friends who I will finally be able to see in person (even before my beloved Michael).

Will it be awkward transitioning from blogger friends to in-person friends. Not if one takes the transition from blogger to skype (online free voice communication) friend as any indication. Shiloh and Nixter and I have already had some lovely voice conversations devoid of any form of awkwardness. We had already cultivated a friendship of trust and compatibility.

Now, I'm sure Jonny would say that the only reason I have a blog is so that I could snag myself a guy. But we all know that this in turn is only Mike's diabolical mastermind scheme to make some random American chick fall in love with him so that he can come to America, get a green card, and then murder the innocent, young maiden.

*Jenn, the chick in the middle, and I were first blog friends ... now we hold secrect huddles in the hallway Sunday nights discussing the deep things that only silly girls like us think of to talk about.

and then they laughed at me ...

DJP, of Pyromaniacs fame, lends his support for my convictions in his most recent post Biblical Christianity: Dang, but this young lady "gets it" about men.

Supposedly the title of the post that now has his attention was not sufficient to grab his interest upon first glance. *Smack* I usually take such pride in trying to come up with snappy titles. But he's correct ... perhaps I should rename it "and then they laughed at me ...".

I dunno ... what do you think?

new comments on the original post here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

giving birth to yourself

In his fabulous little book, How Can I Change?, C. J. Mahaney asks a thought-provoking question about regeneration.

"Here's the situation: You are a youth specialist who counsels kids with a rare mental disorder--They are absolutely convinced they gave birth to themselves. What kind of anxieties would you expect this to produce in them? (Would you expect to see similar anxieties in Christians who don't understand God's role in regeneration?)


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lauren, child super-artist

I just got a lovely note in the post from my dear friend Carmen, complete with a sketch from her younger sister, Lauren. Lauren is a child protege ... and I ... was her teacher.

Lauren is an incredibly gifted cellist as well as visual artist ... with a very witty ... and at times sarcastic ... mind.

I began teaching Lauren art when she was in grade 6, teaching her some of the basics of drawing and color theory. The following year I challenged her to put her creativity to use in a variety of different mediums as we studied our Christian heritage in the visual arts. Here are examples of her work under my direction at two art shows I coordinated. Lauren always went above and beyond the prescribed parameters of each assignment.

This is Lauren's model of the Tabernacle ...

... complete with the curtain that separates the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Tent of Meeting.

After studying icons, each student (each saints themselves) created their own self-portrait icons. Saint Lauren is known for her forgetfulness, love for music and books, derailed thoughts, and her trusty side-kick Scruffy the Cat.

This is Lauren's Celtic Calligraphy modeled after the Lindisfarne gospels.

Inspired by the Surrealists, Lauren created her own ... not an assignment ... Surrealist masterpiece. You may notice that various lines in the drawing combine to create the body of a whale. The forest to the right of the river begins as palm trees, then pine which morph into coloured pencils. The village opposite the waterfall is a combination of absurd houses that you would never find together ... two of which are homes that Lauren's family built. Above the village is a scene depicting the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, bordered by the waterfall on the left and cascading dominos on the right. Below the village is Lauren's cousin playing with block houses distorting the perspective of the picture (especially in contrast to the woman walking down the footpath.)

Conceptual Sculpture of Lauren's understanding of Christ titled "Bought At a Price"

Mastercopy of J. W. Waterhouse's Mellinda

Other students' works:
Winter Art Show

Spring Art Show

Saturday, August 19, 2006

happy birthday, mama bear

how the world sees us

Mike recommends an essay written by a secular journalist in which she describes how the average person perceives evangelicals. You may be tempted to rise up and defend the religious right, but it's well worth a read ... if anything it may humble you and convict you of pride.

I find watching news parodies, such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, helpful in that it's a way of removing myself from my Christian subculture to view it through the worldview of society. Why would this be beneficial? For me, it points out many pharisaical tendencies in the church.

Hmm, what do you think?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Onlinesoph and Tracy -

thank you thank you thank you!!! oh, i didn't even have to read all of your comments (although i did ;-) to know that you are spot on! In my mind that's NOT what I was thinking at all ... but I can see how I wrote it conveys exactly what your critiques have stated. Indeed, Chris is correct. My writing in the past is laced with championing single women and rebuking the church for treating singles as if they are broken and need to be fixed with the wonder glue of marriage. I merely continued the thread of marriage because it applied to what originally drove me into women's ministry. I sought to hit the point home that if a single woman desire to be married and would like to prepare for that ... the solution is not 3 hail mary's ... rather it is consistent godly living ... what single and married people ought to be doing anyway. Ack! but i see i've failed. that is EXACTLY why i'm thankful for this blog and the interaction on it. that way if I do actually seek to get published one day I don't fall flat on my face in ridicule and shame. Thank you so much, ladies, for pointing out the positives and negatives.

In women's ministry I'd like to focus on teaching women the Bible ... I am by no means an expert on marriage and motherhood ... I'm just not qualified ... So should I speak at conferences, write Bible study literature, or lead a Bible study at a local church, my studies will be on Scripture ... not how to catch a godly man in 3 weeks ... etc. It is out of a solid foundation in Scripture that godly living in all sorts of relationships and areas of life can be put to work. Ruth, Esther, and Proverbs 31 would not be common theme passages in my teaching. But rather the entirety of Scripture.

Indeed, Soph, i have been neglecting the single women of late. Perhaps the reason lies in that it is sooo new for me to be in a committed relationship and I am in awe of the new lessons I am learning! so cool!

here are two past posts ... none of the writing original to me ... but very important to me, nonetheless. If anyone knows of any other posts that i've written for the benefit of singles feel free to contribute.

I'd rather laugh than cry: the warped theology of singleness

I'd rather laugh than cry: %u201CThe Single Servant of God%u201D - 1 Cor. 7:32

my path to women's ministry

My path towards women's ministry began when I went home for the Christmas holidays to visit my parents. My mother had invited me to attend her ladies' Bible Study with her. Sigh. A room full of thirty year old wives and mothers? Do I have to?

On top of that the women were reading through Loving Your Husband, by Cynthia Heald. A junior in college and not a single date to boast of, I was not qualified to partake in a discussion on the matter, so I sat back to listen as the women discussed the topic of *how* they could show love to their mates. I began to squirm at the blatant disdain most of the women felt towards their husbands. They were failures as husbands, fathers, and men. I clenched my fists.

Once they had all had their say, a minister's wife looked across the table at me. "Christine, what are your thoughts."

"You wouldn't care to know. I'm young and single. What do I know?!"

At this the women in the room turned their attention to me, assuring me that my thoughts mattered.

I began slowly.

"I believe that a man feels most loved when he knows that he is respected."

I went on to describe how I desired to serve my husband and show him respect to himself, in front of our children, and before others (whether he was present or not). In matters of submission, I imagined the thrill of being able to serve my husband even if the task was small. I longed for the Lord to bring me a mate that I could run along side of as we ran the course God had set before us, cheering him on ... quenching his thirst ... rejoicing at his/our victories.

I did not qualify my statements by saying that I would only do these things if he proved to be a godly leader and lover. I knew that many of their husbands were not. However, wives are responsible for their own actions and attitudes ... not those of their husbands. Scripture does not describe the marriage relationship as "Wives, submit to your husbands when they lead you in godliness." Instead, 1 Peter 3:1 states, "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives—"

After explaining my opinion, the women sat there slack-jawed for a moment ... and then ... they burst out laughing!

They laughed!

I put my head down ... half in anger, half in pity.

"Ha ha ha ... oh, Christine! Just wait till you get married. Just wait and see. Ha ha ha ha ha! You're so green!"

My face burned and tears stung my eyes. Not from shame. But the hopelessness I saw in these women ... the search to excuse their own faults by placing the blame on their husbands ... the pride ... the bitterness ... the disrespect ... the sin.

Many had come to Bible study hoping my mother would pat them on the heads, understand their point of view, agree that their husbands were failures, and pat them on the back for doing the best they could do under the circumstances. Perhaps the Bible might even have some sort of loophole that would make them feel even better about themselves.

Their disregard for Scripture and their lack of understanding of the character and will of our God pierced my heart. Then and there I was determined to do my part to raise up women in knowing God through the teaching of the Scriptures. Women apply this intimate knowledge of the their Lord to their daily lives through discipleship/sanctification. The girls and women I work with will receive a foundation of biblical and sytstematic theology followed by applied theology (applying what they know of God and man to their daily lives). Women who know the love and holiness of God Almighty will seek to honor and obey His Word.

I have sought in my own living to apply King Lemuel's mother's advice to her son. She described a godly wife who's husband is confident in her and her abilitites. She seeks to do him good and not evil all the days of her life. All the days ... even before she is married? Indeed. Take God's inspired Word seriously, ladies. Look at the married women around you. Are they disrespectful? Do they leap at the opportunity to bite off their man's head? Do they ignore their husbands? Have they grown bored in their marriage? Single women, like myself, this is not your fate. Do what is necessary today to love your future husband. It's really no different than living the Christian faith. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength ... and ... love your neighbor as yourself. Being conformed into the likeness and image of Christ, living the gospel daily, and removing selfish pride from your life is essentially the ulitmate preparation to living with and respecting and loving a husband.

For more reading click on the following links:
I'd rather laugh than cry: cover letter and resume
(My path to Southern Seminary)

Loving Your Husband Before You Get Married, by Carolyn McCulley

(Note that my precious little iBook is back from the hospital. She has woken up from her coma. But sadly, she is suffering from amnesia. She remembers nothing. Not the thousands of songs we listened to together. Nor the hundreds of pictures we looked at. We will get through this together. It's a new beginning. A fresh start. This time around will be better than the last. She looks forward to meeting Mike's new macBook ... I, however, will smash it if I see it.

I'd appreciate it if you have my email address, shoot me an email so I can store your info in my address book. Thanks.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

weekend's obsession

So ... I took up someone's suggestion to redecorate this weekend. It really was a fun distraction. (My flatmates had been getting on to me to decorate the living room for a while now.)

It being the weekend before classes begin, and Mike being away, I set about the task as an obsessed mad woman creating art on canvases, digging through the closet for things that I had stored away (items not used in the interior design of my own room [very cool browns and blues with framed maps of various sizes arranged on the wall complete with mountains of books] ... as you can see at one point I went through a very girly stage [i decided to keep the fairy figurines hidden away]), and arranging furniture.

Then I stepped back, hands on hips, and appreciated my work. Very liveable now, I think. Now we can invite girlfriends over without the feeling the shame of our bare apartment. Guys may not feel at home ... but hey, who wants guys to come over?

Another helpful distraction was hanging out at my friends' house. Cassey, Jenn, and I have to stick together in a house full of visiting single guys from the Sem ... too much testosterone!

Cassey and I entertained ourselves by spitting watermelon seeds up and behind us (dodging the ones that came straight back down) while waiting for the guys to set up the TV for our classic movie night on the deck outside. Did anyone else get the impression that watching West Side Story was like watching gangs of Metros?

"Duck! It's a dance-by!"

Saturday, August 12, 2006

what do you do when you miss him?

Mike is away at a ministry conference this weekend. Sigh. I miss him. I know you think it's silly. How could I possibly miss him?!! but I do.

I thought that if I distracted myself by being busy surely it would take my mind off of it. Ha! But I ended up doing things that in some way involved Michael. I read a book he and I have been discussing and in a sudden urge I obsessively set about creating 11 montages on canvas with messages on them while listening to The Ditty Bops.

I feel better now. I think I'll go drink coffee with my friends ...

What do you do when you miss someone you care about? How do you fill your time?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mr. Bean Goes to Church

thanks, Craigs.


A number of readers have misunderstood the intent of my book (which will *one* day, many years from now, hopefully write itself and get published. I am in need of much more experience and research.)

The intention of my book is not to bag out men for their lack of initiative or leadership ... that's another man's responsibility.

(see Mike's blog)

My goal, however, is to work at rectifying the failures of feminism. Women have retaliated against the abuses of certain men and have easily slipped into the shoes of the abuser. Their weapons of choice are so often their words and attitudes. In their ladies Bible studies they gossip and wail about their husbands’ failures as men, husbands, and fathers. To their faces they disrespect the men they swore to love. In front of their children they belittle their mates.

Rarely do we encourage men ... much less respect them.

I believe that Mike is a better leader in our relationship because I show him respect and trust him and communicate the desire for him to lead and praise him for his achievements.

So this book is intended to be for women by a woman. A way for us to look to the plank in our own eye.

(Begin rant) That being said perhaps men ought to do the same. Looking briefly through the books or articles promoting complimentarianism, the majority of the works are authored by men. How tired I am of wincing at the pounding of fists from men debating women’s roles in the church and home demanding silence and submission! While I respect these men, many of them scholars and pastors, I grow weary of those who wag the finger from the pulpit exhorting women to submit, but overlook the command for men to love.

I would LOVE to see more women stand up for biblical complimentary standards. How much more is a woman struggling to understand God's plan for her life apt to heed the exhortation of another woman who has gone before her!

The problems between men and women in our Christian culture have come about for a multitude of reasons. However, women will not submit only when men start loving them. And men will not love only when women begin to respect them. Let us look to our own house. Women look to your words and attitudes. How you speak about your husband is how others will perceive him. Men cherish your wives as Christ loves the church.

Ephesians 5:22-33
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Perhaps when we have removed our own planks, our obedience and love for one another will serve as examples to others spurring them on to holier living.

Philippians 2:1-11
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

new rules for church men

I enjoyed reading this post via Rodeo Clown.

What would you add to the list of rules?

Women, should we have a list?

the fountain of eternal youth is a scam

I think Al Mohler and I watched the same movie this past weekend.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

i can't believe ...

that my boyfriend withheld the vital information from me that Hobart, Tasmania, is the home of a Cadbury Chocolate Factory!!!

warning: contact with me may be sporadic. my iBook is sick and is being looked after by kind computer doctors. the symptoms don't look so good ... they're talking about conducting a hard-drive transplant. sob!

Monday, August 07, 2006

apocalypse now?

Jon Stewart covers the imminent end of the world.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

joyless living apart from Christ

After watching American Beauty this evening, I was inspired to find the following verses describing the joy we are given because of Christ's glorious sacrifice.

Psalm 4:7
You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 63:5
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,

Psalm 84:2
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.

Psalm 119:111
Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.

Proverbs 10:28
The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

Proverbs 17:22
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Isaiah 29:19
The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

Jeremiah 15:16
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.

John 15:11
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 16:22
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

Acts 13:52
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Colossians 1:11
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,

Hebrews 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

James 1:2
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

1 Peter 1:8
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,

and ...

my favorite verses:

Habakkuk 3:17-19

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

a wanna-be on the fringe looking in

Casey, Jiri, and Brian. (Brian didn't *really* have all those cities.)

Someone very special to me suggested that I was a nerd for going to play Settlers of Catan last night. That meant alot to me coming from him! Sigh ... but if only I was. No matter how hard I tried I still couldn't quite see the appeal in it. I had observed my flatmates during the T4G conference week play with our friend Nikki (who adores the game!) The laughter that proceeded from the table of dull confusion boggled my mind. Had they been drinking?! What was the appeal?

But then I heard that my friend Casey had fallen in love with the game over the Summer. Sigh ... I'd give it a go ... for her. Eventually I became aware of the strategy involved ... but where was the insane laughter? Was I missing something? Am I only a wanna-be-Nerd?


My only feat of the evening was Jiri and I introducing the traditional nose wiggle greeting of the Czech people to the others. They caught on rather quickly.


That's my man!

mike and david

I had a lovely amusing chat with Mike and David ... ooo and their new flatmate, Joel ... this morning. I can just imagine that the three of us being in the same place would bring about all sorts of mischief.

For everyone's information David is Mike's brother. He's a tall, handsome, 20-something single bloke who loves coffee and mountain bikng. He's wicked good at making a cup of joe. This is an example of his art work.

And ... if you give him your phone number ... he'll remember it.

But he's not real ... cuz he doesn't have a blog ... so we can't be friends.


tag team it

Stephen Colbert interviews a feminist about her views of stay-at-home moms.

part one

part two

part three

Amy's got a brilliant video up on her blog.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

every post is not going to be about Mike from now on ...

... But a couple of people have asked me to share my point of view of how we met. Frankly, I'm concerned that more people haven't flipped out ... what's wrong with you people?!!

; )

I first noticed Mike by following a link Shiloh made to his blog when she and her friends were writing a story about them slipping through some sort of alternate reality/time continuum wormwhole. Mike, the window washer/physicist, came on the scene made some profound statement that made everyone slap their heads in the wonder of its ... profoundness?

Hmph ... nothin' else to do ... Mike ... *click* ...

When his blog came up on my computer one of the first images I saw was that of a beautiful sunset. What sort of fellow would recognize such beauty AND take the time to capture the moment? I left a comment.

We became blog friends, commenting on others' sites and on each others ... but it wasn't until he called me a Christian Feminazi on his blog that things got a little more personal. The dialogue in that comments window is a good indication of how we interact.

Well, I wasn't about to just let this go. It needed to be taken care of right away! So I instant messaged him to convince him to "take it back!" ... but alas ... an hour or two or ... how long did we chat Mike? ... Let's just say very little of that time involved any discussion of Nazis or Feminists.

Despite the distance between us we had an enormous amount of qualities and interests in common but just enough differences to keep our following conversations interesting. I looked forward to each chat enraptured to have found someone with whom I could bounce ideas off of and liberally give me the encouragement I needed as I pursued my goals.

Before I left for Washington for the summer, I confided in a friend.

"Casey, I hope he doesn't fall for me."

"Why would that be so horrible?"

"Think about it! He's an ocean away ... what could happen?! A part of me wishes he would just go away and date lots and lots of girls in Hobart."

The frequency of our conversations did not deminish when I arrived in Washington. If anything they increased. Both of us were a little weirded out by our "internet friendship". How do you explain something like that to others?

"So, I was talking to Mike the other day, and he said ..."

"Who's Mike?"

"Um ..."

And yet a trust was forming in our friendship ... to the extent that he felt free to ask me to send him shoes and I trusted that he would send a check to cover it.

That was a big step for me. Huge step, really.

First it was blogs ... then Instant Message? Email? ... now Snail Mail ... what next? Voice?

Indeed, Mike began asking me if I wouldn't mind downloading SKYPE onto my iBook so we could just talk rather than type out everything we were saying. I'd laugh it off or change the subject somehow ... I wasn't ready for that ... I had maintained my cool ... I had control ... but would it all crumble if I actually heard his voice?

It wasn't just his Aussie accent ... it was another step ... was I ready for that? did I even want it?

I drug my heels for as long as I could but finally I agreed. We'd both be away for about two weeks ... me at a kids camp in Washington and then Bible clubs in Oregon ... he at a kids camp in Sydney and then a conference for the university ministry he'll be working at. We'd have plenty to talk about when we returned and hopefully it wouldn't be awkward.

While in Oregon, I realized my own affection for Mike. It had been there for a while but unknown to me till I got slapped in the face with petty jealousy. While in Sydney, Mike had written a lovely post on his blog encouraging the saints to encourage one another. I was able to check his blog one day, found the post, and also found that a friend of mine in Louisville had found his blog and posted a gushing comment thanking him for being such an encouragement himself and blah blah blah ...

"Back off!"

"What?" asked Amanda, my summer missionary partner.


"You just shouted at the computer screen to BACK OFF. What's up?"

I told her of the post and comment.

"Uh oh ... it's happened."

I rolled my eyes. "What's happened?"

"IT'S happened ... and you know how I know? ... you're jealous."

"Whatever. There's not a jealous bone in my body."

"Look at your face, Kious."

Indeed, it was red and I was breathing heavily. My eyes widened with the realization of it.

I didn't want Mike to date loads of girls in Hobart ... I didn't want Mike to be flattered by another girl in the United States ... I wanted Mike to date me!

It was awful ... yet wonderful ... all at the same time.

The day finally came when I heard his voice ... so natural ... of course it was Mike's voice ... who's else could it be? ... it always had been ... despite the lovely flow of our first voice conversation, I had to cut it short. I had to leave for a meeting at the church.

"Before you go, I want you to think and pray about something."

"Sure, Mike ... what is it?"

"Christine ... I like you."

And the rest ... you know.

Thanks, Meredith!