Monday, March 20, 2006

Quick Side-Note

I loaned Blue Like Jazz to one of my football players to read over spring break. He called me and told me it was life changing. So thats GREAT. But unfortunately it means I don't have it here to comment on. Soon. Soon.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sermon Index.

This morning Chris showed me this website. It is incredible! Audio/Text/Photography sermons - all available for FREE at this website!! Isn't that fabulous? He already saved an audio sermon by Corrie Ten Boom. I'm sure it will be very enlightening! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Thanks! -Bethany-

You guys are SO refreshing. I love you and am thankful for all the fun times together!! I look forward to sharing pictures! I will write soon!


Monday, March 06, 2006

First Times / New Times

I really have read Blue Like Jazz, by the way, and I just re-read it so that I could blog effectively - but not today.

I was inspired by Dr. R's post about things being old yet new, and I remembered a quote from my freshman (of high school) honors english class. We used to have to take quotes and write "paraphrases" to practice understanding what was meant in a quote, but rewrite the thought succinctly in the same spirit.

The quote that came to mind as I read his post and that comes to mind often anyway is:

You can never step in the same river twice.

I think about this a lot, because there is so much to unpack in that sentence - and Dr. Reinhard is right that it IS a little bit like being with Bethany! Its never the same, and yet its familiar and good.

I think about that quote and then I imagine creeks and rivers, and my toes. How I'm not the same person day-to-day. Each day I'm a little bit more like I will be someday (except on the days when I'm really less than I will be someday) and each day hopefully I've changed even if its unnoticeable to the human eye. Did you know that techtonic plates move about 10 centimeters a year? Mountains (if they are on a convergent plate boundary or hot spot) grow at that rate, too - 10 centimeters a year - not enough to notice to the eye, but over time - the flats grow into MOUNTAINS!

I imagine the movement of a creek and how the water is constantly moving, jumping, cheering, singing. In "Hinds Feet on High Places" the water is singing a song in its own language as it skips and jumps down to the low places about how good it is to go down and bring the glory of the Lord.

Anyway, the point is that even if you blundered across the river once and then jumped back over to the same spot on the ground. When you set your foot in the river its COMPLETELY different - different water, different YOU - and yet, its familiar, good and comforting - even as its newness covers your toes.

And that is what its like to be with Bethany, I agree. Its all new, each time, and yet, its still our Bethany - joyfully singing, skipping over rocks and diving under branches on her way to minister in the low places and demonstrating God's glory to all it passes. And we get to be the toes that for a time experienced her. (and then she goes back to Tacoma.... :p) And we anticipate the next toe bath, knowing it will be the same, but different.

AMEN - Dr. Reinhard. Thanks for reminding me how much I cherish our dear friend.

Safe travels darling Bethany, and God-speed on your way home. May you find refreshing even in your thoughts of the Greenville which you love, and may those thoughts carry you through - and maybe we can be the river to your toes, too.

Love, Tiff

Each time Marilyn & I see Bethany this comes to mind

Together Again for the Very First Time” is a “medium funny” line. No one laughs his or her sides out over it. But it does grab your attention with a smile. I think. Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews for a T.V. Special coined it years ago. Kellogg cereal commercials must have stolen this idea with: “Try corn flakes again for the very first time”! It reminds you of a thoughtless, spontaneous pre-meditated act.

Or its like going forward backwards. Its a class reunion for people who went to different schools together. Its turning the volume up on your silent home movies made years ago. Its keeping your distance even as you draw near. Its an extremely significant bit of trivia.

Together again for the very first time is revisiting important memories with first time zest and enthusiasm. It is saying “theres lots more to know about you and Id like to know it.

Im not the same person I was when we were last together. Remember the last time I was under the influence of anger. Today Im not.

I might find something Im not looking for in you. Weve had surprises before and Im certain there are more surprises where the others came from.

Im letting you out of your shell of predictability. You are capable of change and so am I. This time Im really going to listen to you. Really care. Im coming to this meeting with heightened awareness. Im awake!

Because Im forgiven and you are forgiven, Im not what I was yesterday and neither are you.

Yes, Im not what I was yesterday because …

Ive read a new book

Ive got a new joke to tell you

Ive seen a new movie

Ive got an exciting new idea I need to share with you

Ive renewed contact with an old Friend

Together again for the first time – its saying to a friend, “you know I never get tired of your company, because “theres a new you comin every day!”*

*Advertisement from the American Dairy Association
James A. Reinhard
March 6, 2006

This is a test (:

From Bethany and Jim Reinhard (;

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Reflections on the first chapter

Just a couple of quick things stand out to me in this first chapter.

The first is that we see God not as He really is, but as He is through the lenses of our life experiences. For instance, Donald Miller's experiences with his father shaped the way in which he saw God. And this self created god is pretty disappointing I think. I see this happening in my own life. I view God the way I view other people. I feel a constant need to prove myself worthy, or "enough", for the approval of others. Therefore, my god gives only when earned, and rejects more than he accepts. Miller touches on this on pg. 8 of chapter one when he states that "God was more of an idea. It was something like a slot machine, a set of spinning images that dolled out rewards based on behavior..."

Needless to say, the concept of unconditional love and grace is pretty hard for me to conceive of, let alone believe God for. Ultimately, I believe that most of my disinterest, boredom, and rebellion is not because of who God is, but because of who I have created him to be. Actually, I believe this is the case for most, if not, all people. Like anything though, the more we learn, the more we will replace our false impressions with accurate ones. And I'm pretty sure that the more accurately we understand Him for who He truly is, the more irresistable and intriquing He'll become.


Hot-air Balloons 10
Originally uploaded by spacetramp.
Saying goodbye.

Aren't they magnificent?

So here are some getting ready to be released... I love it!


Hot Air Balloon Festival
Originally uploaded by Stoll Family.
This one too. (:

A fresh perspective of the Christian faith

Velvet Elvis. Rob Bell.

I look forward to reading this book. However, while reading the first few pages, I noticed a tension in my stomach. A semi-uncomfortable place - on the edge of "religiosity". What I mean by that is just more "theological" information to store in my head. I think my fear is that this book will be just more "knowledge" in my brain. I pray that Jesus would engage my heart as well as my hands and feet while reading.

Ah ha... I notice that Rob's heart is opposite of my fear/apprehension. Although he proceeds in discussing basic faith doctrines, I love that he acknolwedges their place. These doctrines are not God. They are flexible - springs that hold what we believe ABOUT Jesus in place. I like the imagery. (I have SOOO many fun memories of jumping on my cousin's trampoline when we were younger.)

Oh... I love the part where Rob talks about the "being" of God. Moses wishes to see God. God says he'll let him see his "back" - meaning "the place where he WAS." Wow. I didn't realize that's what was intended in our understanding. I know that WHO/WHAT God is is incomprehendable, but I see how I have diminished Him. Made Him comfortable. Brought Him into a coffee shop setting for our relationship. And while He desires intimacy and friendship, I want to release Him. The image that comes to mind is of a hot air balloon. It's full of hot air - just begging to be released from the rope that ties it down. I imagine it pulling away from the earth. Bright colors, beauty, grandness, power, serenity. While on the ground, we can see it's intricate details - but once released - it enters into it's true essence. What it was made for. Free.

And there you have my initial thoughts on Velvet Elvis. More to come. -B-

Monday, February 20, 2006

I know that we are sort of talking about Blue Like Jazz but...

OK, I loved BLUE LIKE JAZZ. but its been sometime since I've read it and I'll have to refresh before I'm of any use to that discussion.

In the meantime, may I recommend two books that are ministering to me right now, too, to this group and the reading public at large?

OK, I will.

"We Would See Jesus" by Roy and Revel Hession (see pic above)

"Daily Light" by Bagster and Lotz. (also above)

The Daily Light is a 2x daily devotional that is worth every penny spent on it and minute spent in it. There are reading for morning and evening and each day's readings are a conglomeration (verse pool maybe is a better way to say it) on a bible topic or theme. WHEW, its been ministering. When I was reading about submission and specifically submitting to another leader in our college ministry I thought, "I wonder if the Daily Light will have anything to say about it" and that nights reading was all about submission - seriously. When I was recently struggling with sin and lukewarmness, and being unwilling to do what I wanted to do.... the verses WERE those verses from Romans 7!!! wow. This was the book that ministered to Amy Carmichael daily when she was in India.

"We Would See Jesus" is contantly making me rethink my picture of God and Jesus. This week I was learning about Jesus as the fufillment of our need. That when we are hurting and ask for help he says, "I AM thy help" when we ask for peace he says, "I AM thy peace" and that he's constantly seeking us to meet our need - not emptiness (us) seeking Fullness (him), but Fullness seeking emptiness. WOW. brilliant and ministering to me where I am at.

Looking forward to hearing your blue like jazz comments, and I will try to review it soon!!! TR

Saturday, February 18, 2006

blue like jazz.

Sad news but my Blue Like Jazz is being loaned out for the time being.

Pretty neat story. I've been sharing excerpts with one of our sales managers and he loves it. He was a PK and has had a rough experience with the "church". Anyway, I finished it on Thursday and apparently he read the first 8 chapters that night... So hopefully I'll get it back soon.

He laughed and told me to "get out of his brain" - referring to all my notes in the margins and the underlined words. (:

We'll get there.

I think I will read the book, How the Irish Saved Civilization. Thomas Cahill.