26 March, 2014

OW - Liken the Scriptures

Sorry, this post isn't one of my fun ones, but I wanted to put it out there anyway.
If you want the music that is stuck in my head occasionally, you can listen to any of the Liken the Scriptures song (like this one, or my favorite one). The basic idea behind these movies is that you can takes stories from hundreds of years ago, and the teachings associated with them apply to us today. I'm going to try a version of that today.

We read through Numbers, chapter 16 from the Old Testament in my institute class recently. It struck me how much the dialog of 4000 years ago matches the dialog going on today.

I won't claim to understand everything in the Ordain Women (OW) movement, nor to be a master scriptorian or theologian, but here is the version of Numbers 16 that I would say I see happening today:

Chapter 16
1 Now [April Young Bennett, Debra Jenson, Kate Kelly, and Hannah Wheelwright of the Ordain Women movement] took men:

2 And they rose up before [President Monson], with certain of the children of [God], two hundred and fifty [bloggers and women] of renown:

3 And they gathered themselves together against [President Monson] and against [their priesthood leaders], and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the [women] are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the [women of the church]?

4 And when [President Monson] heard it, he fell upon his face:

5  And he spake unto [OW] and unto all [their] company, saying...

7 ... and it shall be that the man whom the Lord doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye [daughters of God in the OW movement].

8 And [President Monson] said unto [OW], Hear, I pray you, ye [leaders of the OW movement]:

9 Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath [given you the responsibility of motherhood, of governing beside your husbands and building a righteous home]?

10 And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy [sisters, the daughters of God] with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?

11 For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the Lord: and what is [your priesthood leader], that ye murmur against him?

I tried to change as little of this dialog as I could. You can double check the original text too. Like I said earlier, I was struck by how similar the case that Korah and his supporters was to the case that OW is making today.
As a quick summary of the rest of the story, Moses tells the leaders of the movement to stand in front of their tents, and the 250 others to come stand before the Lord. The leaders are swallowed up in the earth with their whole families, and the 250 others are consumed with fire from heaven.
Epic bible painting!

I thought it was interesting that in the letter sent to the OW movement the church spokeswoman asked them to stand in specific areas: the "free speech zones adjacent to Temple Square". Now, I'm not predicting that the Lord is going to cause a localized earthquake to swallow these leaders up or send fire down from heaven to consume them, but I do feel like we've got a lot of parallels in the situations.
Maybe I'm going too far. Maybe I am trying too hard to see parallels as I "liken the scriptures", but I take strength from the end of chapter 16. The children of Israel complain that Moses was too harsh on those who were simply asking for the priesthood. God's response is to send a plague which kills 14,700 of the people. Got made it very clear that Moses wasn't being power hungry and denying the Levites the priesthood so that he could keep it all for himself. Moses had been chosen by God, and was acting in the organized way that God had defined. Maybe my interpretation is too far. But then again, if it isn't, I definitely know which side of the story I want to be on.

03 February, 2014

Waiting for Superman

I'm a fan of Daughtry. He's good, but he's really got only one sound. When he finds a song that fits his sound, I'm down with that. Unfortunately, I don't think "Waiting for Superman" is right for his sound. I liked singing along with the chorus when I first became familiar with the song, but once I listened to the rest of the words, I realized that it was a lot more tender than Daughtry was able to portray in the song.

Thus began my search for a cover that I felt "got it." After looking around the youtubes for a while, I finally settled on the cover by Stephen Johnson. It feels like that version connects with my thoughts much better when I listen to and read through this song.

I want to tell you about a girl. This girl is so full of amazing, it blows my mind. She is clever, she is kind and a true friend. She is fun to be around and full of life. This Lois Lane is trying her best to fill her life with good things, but deep down inside, she is aching for her Superman. She wants so badly to be wanted, to have someone who would fly around the world for her, and then come down and "pick her up in his arms, to lift her up."

And, in the cruelest of ironies, this Wonder Woman is still Superman-less.

As if that, in itself, doesn't make me wonder in amazement at this Lois, the fact that this situation hasn't beaten her down is an even greater testament to her character. Rather than let what she wants so badly and still is lacking drag her down, she exalts her thoughts, and reaches for the heavens. Better than most who find their thoughts consumed in the mundane of day-to-day drudgery, she maintains the connection to the divine, "talking to angels, countin' the stars."

Here is resilience.

Here is faith.

Here is a true woman.

Do you see now why I feel like the only way to approach this song is with a tender reverence? I want to cheer for each and every Lois that I know, to tell her, "Don't you dare give up! Don't you stop waiting for your Superman. He is out there, and right now he's saving the five and dime. He's making the world a better place for you, so that, when you two do find each other, he can give you the world and it will be the best gift imaginable."

If you have ever wondered if you have a Superman out there; if you have ever looked at the clouds and sighed, wishing that there was someone who would shape them for you; if you have ever felt like you were "chasing an answer, a sign lost in the abyss", I want to take you in my arms and give you a hug. You are the heroine, and you deserve the absolute best. Don't let yourself settle for anyone less than your Superman.

When you think "if life was a movie, it wouldn't end like this, left without a kiss," remember that a very wise man once said "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end." You know that. Deep down inside, the hope in that adage is what drives you onward and keeps you moving forward. It's the source of that smile which lights up your whole soul.

And she smiles, oh the way she smiles.

27 October, 2013

Beautiful Day

When I woke up this morning, I had so many different reasons to be humming "Beautiful Day" to myself as I went about my morning routine. It's definitely on my list of songs that I love because they're so catchy and it's actually a good thing when they get stuck in my head (contrast that with songs like this).
Today really is a beautiful day. Every summer about mid-July to some point in August, I can't help but think "why would I ever want to live in this wasteland. It's impossible to do anything but melt in this kind of heat." I remember one afternoon, it was so hot that I my power windows stopped working in my car. I couldn't even roll my windows down to let the oven-door-open blast of wind in my face while my AC struggled to kick in.
(image courtesy of Drew's bitstrip obsession last year)
I try really hard on days like that to remember days like today. There's a tinge of warm on the air, so you can still enjoy being outside, even late in the evening and night. There are so many possibilities of beautiful things to be able to do outside that it's almost possible to push the memory of melting in the summer from my mind.

One of the lines in the song that I really like is simply
There's something 'bout the way
your sun shines on my face
For me, that is so true. I love the sun. 

That might sound like kind of a weird statement, but it's true. It's really got something for every aspect of my personality:

The physics nerd
  • The sun is putting out ~10^26 W of power. That's a lot. Like, incomprehensible amount a lot. Of that, ~10^14 W hits the earth surface. That's about 1000 W every square meter. So, yeah, put 10 of the 100 W light bulbs every square meter around the entire earth. All the time. Every day. The sun is amazing.
The musician
  • I know I'm not the most artsy of individuals, but I can't help but be inspired by the sun. It's been the source for quite a bit of really incredible music and poetry and is a symbol unlike any other. If you're walking out of a dark room into a brightly lit, sunny day, you can't help but be taken aback by its radiance. Stepping from shadows and shade into full sunlight, there is a powerful flood of warmth which is something I'd never get tired of singing or speaking about.
The biology nerd
  • In 8th grade, I had to pick a disease to do a report on. Somehow, I ended up studying Rickets. I got the second highest grade in the class, but really, all I remember is that when you run out of Vitamin D, your bones get all soft and shaped weird. The best way to counteract that is eating well and spending enough time in the sun. While we don't photosynthesize like plants (oh how cool that would be!!!), we do need some sunlight to keep some of the natural processes (like vitamin D utilization) going. Life in all of its forms (ok, fine, most of its forms- there are the chemotrophs at the bottom of the ocean that survive without direct connection to sunlight in any way) rely on the warmth and light of the sun.

The easy-goer
  • A friend once asked my why I like to lay out during the summer and tan. There really is only one thing that you can do well during the summer in Arizona, and that is get a tan. It's too hot to do anything else, but that makes for great tanning conditions. Really though, more than the tan, it's the fact that you can't rush it. Yes, you can go get a spray-on tan, or fake-bake, but the only way to get a real bona fide tan is to put in the time. The sun is consistent with its shining (see above), and you can't make it shine any faster or any slower. You have to be out there on its terms and let its warmth fall on your face. In a world that rushes so much and can't wait for something to get over that has only just begun, it's nice to sometimes do something that you really can't speed up.

What a beautiful day it is, and I love the sun so much! Go outside and enjoy a bit of the sun for yourself too!

31 March, 2013

Brother James's Air

I got asked last night if I might be able to play the piano for one of our ward choir's songs in church today, so I spent an hour or so working on the accompaniment before I went to bed. Not too surprisingly, I woke up this morning with Brother James's Air stuck in my head. It has such a simple melody, that I almost dismissed it when our choir director first handed out the music, but there is something in its simplicity which makes it absolutely beautiful. I've long since fallen in love with this piece.
I was thinking about Easter this morning, and as I was thinking about Brother James's Air as well, I read over the psalm that provided the text for it. Psalm 23 is such a beautiful witness of Christ's role and His love and care for us. I decided to look around a bit and see what "Easter psalms" there are as well. I read through quite a few of the psalms, but then I came to psalm 49, which I instantly loved.

They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever :)
That he should still live for ever and not see corruption.
Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.

This is such a beautiful reminder of the reality of the Resurrection! A thousand years before Christ was born, the psalmist confidently put his trust in God and His redeeming power. Money and influential friends aren't what guarantee the resurrection, those things don't last. It is God who ransomed us.
Death is certain. It will come for each of us. Last year, my grandma passed away, and it was one of the saddest weeks of my life. I understand better now what it feels like to lose someone, and it made me appreciate life and those around me so much more. But even more important (to me) is the way that it strengthened my belief that, as certain as death is, so too is redemption from the grave certain in Christ. One day, in the future, I will get to see and hug and talk to my grandma again.
And that is what I celebrate this Easter.

23 March, 2013

You'll Be in My Heart

I just watched this video for "You'll Be in My Heart" from Disney's Tarzan.
*SPOILER ALERT* If you haven't seen Tarzan, this music video shows the whole movie. Although, if you've somehow survived the last 14 years without seeing this movie, then I guess I feel even sadder for you. I really want to go back and watch this movie now. And every other Disney movie made. Ever. If only I had the time.
I love the empowering feel of this movie, and especially this song. According to Wikipedia, it won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. When the song really gets going, one of the lines goes:

Don't listen to them, cause what do they know...
They'll see in time, I know.

Ok then, first of all, who is "they"? 
"You know what they say..." (ever heard someone say that before?) "They can't all be wrong" or "it's just what they do." I want you to stop next to you hear someone say a phrase like one of these (or if you use them yourself!) and see if you can actually pin it down. Society in general is always giving us rules to follow and expectations to conform to. Often, they aren't bad, but that they can inhibit us and keep us from really being great. And you know what? We let them. Some of the greatest people in history have taken up this anthem that Phil Collins sings, and managed to tune out everything that "they" were saying. Think about :
I'm not saying that there is nothing to be learned from or gained from the collective body of colloquial wisdom, but I just feel like there is so much we could possibly do. So let's do it! After all, time will tell who's right. 
They'll see in time, I know.

16 February, 2013


So I haven't blogged in a while, but I'm hoping that this will make up for it. I have been working on this post for a while now. There isn't a "Music Video" for Daylight, but what they did do for the song was pretty cool. What they did inspired me, so this is going to be a vlog for me today!

This is my first attempt at recording/uploading, and it was a blast! Unfortunately, UMG has blocked the video in Germany, so if you're trying to watch it there, youtube won't let you. Hope the rest of you enjoyed it!

27 January, 2013

The Proof Of Your Love

I hope to be a better person tonight than I was when I woke up humming this song this morning. Happy Sabbath to all!