Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Personal Opinion

I don't normally form opinions about things.

 I hate conflict and I don't like arguments. Now, I'll argue with you about whether WallE of Toothless is cuter, because that doesn't matter. But when it comes to things that really make a difference in the world, I think I am afraid to voice my thoughts because I am always learning more and changing how I feel later. What if I adamantly defend one point of view, only to discover I was wrong a few months later?

But I suppose the point of arguing is to present an argument and listen to the other person's argument, and therefore learn more about the subject and possibly change your opinion. But for now, I can only base it on what I know.

And here's what I know:
1 Timothy 3:2 gives a strict list of the lifestyle requirements for a church bishop: "above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."

So, sorry that was such a long quotation, but there is a long list of requirements. And then it goes on to say more about the deacons, and their wives. You see, the church took their leaders seriously.  Maybe it is because they took God seriously.

In the midst of persecution, the people who accepted this new, possibly heretic faith wanted to be fully transformed by God. They wanted to hand everything over to him and completely trust him with their lives. They had to if they were going to turn their back on their family's way of living in order to follow Jesus. Jesus commanded his disciples to leave their families and follow him, to not turn back or second-guess their decision. He wanted serious followers.

So if you're a serious follower of a serious religion, you certainly want leaders who are serious. Maybe it's because we don't feel we need Jesus anymore; church is just something we do to make us look good on college applications and to the local community. Maybe it doesn't even do that anymore. Maybe church is just an outlet for people who feel the need to live for something bigger than themselves, so they join the church and try to change her to fit their lifestyles.

Leaders are not called to the church to rewrite her doctrine, leaders are called to serve her and take care of her. Now obviously we are human, and we screw up in the church all the time, so yeah, we can speak up if we don't agree with something. But we cannot change what the church fundamentally is, and that is a place to learn about and serve Jesus Christ. That means we have to follow his rules. If you don't want to follow his rules, you probably don't want to be a part of the church.

A pastor should be someone who cares passionately about God and passionately about the church. A pastor should believe in the Bible. A pastor is going to be preaching from the Bible. That's what pastors do. Therefore, I don't believe that someone who disregards portions of the Bible they do not agree with, is really suited to be a pastor. It's like you want to be a professional photographer, but you only ever change the shutter speed, and not the aperture. Or you want to be a chef, but you leave the salt out of every recipe, because you don't believe in salt. If you don't believe in and advocate the Bible, you can't preach from the Bible.

So this, I suppose, is an argument about a random subject, but this is what I pondered in my devotions this morning. I don't think I adequately shared all sides of the argument, but this is already a long blog post, so if you make it down to here, I hope you'll understand. There are too many little details that one can complain about to cover them all anyway. But basically, according to my logic, I don't think the church is wrong in preventing people who don't accept the Bible's standards from being pastors. They can be a part of the church, they are not bad people at all, but pastors are held to a higher standard, and I'd think that if you cared enough to be a pastor, you would care enough to accept those standards.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Recipe of the Week

It's almost finals week. That time when college students live off of 2 hours of sleep, coffee (with lots of sugar), and pop tarts, and are lucky if they don't hurt somebody in the process of getting all their final papers written and art projects printed.

And I almost forgot the recipe of the week!

But you can breath easily again, because I did remember and I did get inspiration for a very satisfying dish this week. The dish is more satisfying than the picture, because Charleeee was laughing at me for photographing my food, and Caleb wanted to try some (it's that good!) so I didn't have time to get a good picture. But like I said, the food is good, and that's all that matters.

Rushing out the door to make it to Baldwin before they closed, I asked my roommate for an idea. She told me she had just seen something today that I should try: Macaroni and cheese grilled cheese. I wasn't quite sure how to go about that, but that led to another suggestion. Charlee (my inside man) told me how our other friend had been trying to make something like Hamburger Helper. And that is what led to this:
I grabbed meat and the liquidy cheese stuff off the taco bar, along with some extra shredded cheese and tomatoes. I cooked the stuff together in a frying pan, and then added some pasta. All this was good, but it needed something more...what to do, what to do? Well, ask the rotisserie chef what spices to put in, since there was a whole stack of spices at the pasta bar staring me right in the face. His suggestion was good: Italian seasoning. You can't really go wrong with Italian seasoning and pasta.

So that's it: Noodles, taco meat, tomatoes, lots of cheese, and Italian seasoning, and more cheese on top. Because cheese is good.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

All the Time

God is good.

All the time.

And all the time,

God is good.

The classic "get your congregation involved" routine: the pastor shouts, "God is good!" And the congregation responds, "All the time!" And vice versa. So for my fellow old-school church friends, thank you for responding to my prompt.

But let me just take some time to tell you how good God really is. This is the last week of classes, and then there are final exams next week. It's the point where everyone is freaking out and trying to finish projects and cram for tests, and yet I'm just hanging out at work, reading over some poems and thoughts I wrote down in a notebook at the beginning of the semester.

And I was blown away by what I read.

Here is an excerpt from my writings:
This, God, is my letter to you at the start of my senior year. That my life would not overwhelm me so that I would feel out of control. That the sun which shines in my heart would not disappear with the clouds of winter and looming assignments...That my goal in life would be to be involved in someone else's life...Not to change their life or be a big factor in it, but to be involved...God let me be a ray of sunshine when the worries and stress overshadow.

That's what I asked for at the beginning of the semester. This is how I feel at the end of the semester:

Not at all stressed or worried. And all semester I remember feeling this unearthly calm about my life and my homework assignments. It was unusual, but I just didn't get shaken by problems when the internet shut down or the test was harder than anticipated. And now, at the end of the semester, when it seems like everyone around me is loaded with work and stress, I still have that peace. I kept wondering when it was going to end, but it hasn't. And now I've realized where that "peace that transcends all understanding" has come from.

There was about a week after I quit my job that I was depressed and felt useless. But I found the strength in God to overcome that, and I can't say that I've been incredibly depressed since. There were a few random days when I decided to be in a bad mood, but overall, the cloudy weather has not put a damper on my spirit.

And the most exciting part of all is how I have been able to be involved in the lives of others this semester. I got to travel around with a couple different friends taking pictures of them, and they shared with me how special the experience made them feel. :) I also got to go out with a couple of the high schoolers from work who are taking a photography class. I accompanied them on their photo shoots, which was cool because, yeah, I could offer some advice, but basically I just got to be there for them as support and encouragement. I'm glad I was able to give some of my time to them. And the really cool thing that I realized is, because I work in the photo lab and am not taking as heavy a load as other students, I was able these past couple of weeks to cover shifts for people who were working on their senior shows. Tonight was the opening of this semester's senior shows, and everyone put in a lot of work and did a fantastic job! And I am really grateful that I got to contribute in some small way just by giving people some extra time to get their show done. While they hit the busiest part of their semester, I could at least take some of that pressure off of them, and I am so grateful to God for that opportunity. And I didn't even remember that I had asked for it!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Recipe of the week

It is Thanksgiving, which means of course that I am not at school to do the recipe of the week. But does that stop me? No!

Well ok, I didn't make up this recipe on my own, but I did make it today and take pictures of it (and eat it) so I thought I'd share it.

 Gingerbread pancakes!!!

So here's the recipe, which I got from a magazine a few years ago:
2 cups baking mix
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 egg
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup molasses

Mix the baking mix (or you can just put in your own flour/salt baking powder, etc.) with the ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a medium sized bowl. Beat the egg, milk and molasses in a separate bowl. Then of course, you just put the two of them together, because pancakes are so fun and easy to make! However, these do seem really runny at first, but the batter does get thicker upon standing a little bit. Still, I would leave out a little bit of the milk and maybe mix in a little extra flour. I like my pancakes nice and thick, especially these, because they taste like gingerbread cookies.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Create Something Beautiful

A year ago I discovered this fascinating Facebook page:

This October they came out with a book that I just finished looking through. The pages are full of intriguing photos, funny stories and thought provoking quotations. Out of the 400 images and quotations, one of them stuck with me:

"It seems that a lot of people my age try to be interesting by having problems or starting conflicts. I'd rather be interesting because I created something beautiful."


How true this is, that we do expect our struggles and our issues to make us interesting, to make us worth talking to. I have noticed this in my own life, that when I'm feeling bad about myself, I want someone to notice and comfort me. And then I want to remain in my struggles so that I will always have a reason for people to feel sorry for me. It's like I have no value and people won't take me seriously if I have not experienced several weighty situations that have lasting effects on my present life.

But that is not how God called us to live.

God called us to set aside our struggles, to "throw all our anxieties on him." But we hold on to them. We hold on to them because we do not realize that our value is in him. We hold on to them because we want attention. We hold on to them because we want to be taken seriously. But seriously, God can set us free.

God does not want us to live tangled up in the past. And I doubt that, if we do escape this charade, we would want to either. So let us stop wallowing in our woes. And let us create something beautiful.

** Some other of my favorite quotations from the book:

A girl is explaining her tattoo: "It's French for 'Army of Shadows'...I was going through a really tough time in my life, and it felt like a whole army was after me. But when I started feeling better, I realized it was nothing but an army of shadows."

"When my husband was dying, I said: 'Moe, how am I supposed to live without you?' He told me: 'Take the love you have for me and spread it around.'"

Some lines from a "Book of Spells"
The spell to make strangers wish you a 'happy birthday': Make a sign that says "It's my birthday," and wear it around your neck.
The spell to make objects move through the air: Make sure there is a nice person in close proximity, both to you and the object you desire. Then simply stretch your arm out toard the object and in less than a minute, it will float magically into your hand."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Recipe of the Week

Behold the Incredible Edible Egg!!!
This is no cottage cheese filled omelet, this is pure delicious flavor wrapped in an egg. And then wrapped in a wrap. Which broke and spilled some on the plate, thus the disorganized scene above. But who cares what it looks like as long as it tastes delicious! For I must warn you, while it is cooking, the above concoction does look a little...mmm...unappetizing. But I assure you, it is delicious.

Start out like any old omelet, cooking your toppings a little in the frying pan. I chose black olives and pepperoni, because I personally love black olives and will put them in anything, and because the pepperoni adds a nice spicy kick to this flavor packed dish. Does that sound a little cliche`? I'm sorry, but this stuff is seriously flavorful! Because...wait for it...we're not just going to cook cheese into the eggs this time (and it's just classic cheddar, not cottage cheese), but we're also going to add something with lots of flavor. It is also what accounts for the weird, slightly disturbing texture of the eggs. But ignore that. Are you still waiting for it?

It's salsa!

Yes, cook salsa right into the eggs. So after the toppings (or fillings, really) have cooked for a minute or two, add the salsa and let that cover them and disperse it's flavor everywhere. Then add some cheese.
And after that has melted a little and covered everything, throw in some eggs and let them bring the whole menagerie together. It's super yummy because the eggs are just bursting with flavor (too cheesy? That's ok, they are cheesy) and the consistency is somewhat moist. Sometimes plain scrambled eggs are just dull and dry, but these are NOT! Clearly I am quite taken by this recipe. I do believe it is one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten in Baldwin. That and the apple cobbler they sometimes have.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Life Happens Unexpectedly

I had no idea last Saturday was going to be so exciting.

 For one thing, I was photographing the men's soccer game for The Sojourn, and it wasn't until just before the last goal that the editor in chief, who was filming the game, clued me in on the historical significance of what I was witnessing. If we won (which we did!), this would be the first time in history that the Wildcats won the Crossroads League and moved on to the NAIA tournament (which they are!). It was so much fun when all of the fans ran out onto the field to congratulate the team and celebrate the victory.

 But more excitingly, before I went to the game I ran into some friends. I ran into some friends who have been engaged for several months, but haven't been able to take engagement photos yet. I ran into them after they had decided that today was a really good day to take pictures, and had prayed to run into a photographer to take their engagement pictures. So a couple hours later, out we go to take some photos! It was so fun, and such a blessing to be an answer to their prayers! :) Sometimes God just does really cool things like that.

Janelle & me at the end of the shoot!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Answering the 'Why?' Question

Why do I work in the photo lab? It's not really a difficult question; I'm sure any educated person could come up with numerous reasons for said job. But, I would like to share one particular instance of creation that would not have happened had I not been working in the lab this year.

Palladium Platinum is an old school method of printing photographs, and pretty much produces the most amazing prints you will ever lay eyes on. Seriously.

That being said, it is no wonder that when an IWU alum came in with one of my fellow students to print some palladiums while I was working one night, I wanted to print one too! Thankfully I had just taken this super awesome picture the other day, which looks absolutely perfect as a palladium!!!

Seriously, the scan does not do it justice. A palladium is the type of picture you just have to see in person and stare at for hours until your soul has been lost somewhere inside of it. Because you literally could stare at a good palladium print for hours.

Perhaps you can stare at a scan of a palladium print for a few seconds. It is not quite the same thing. But still, it's pretty darn cool.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Recipe of the Week

 Pizza is a staple of many college students. At least, I live off of pizza. But you know, sometimes you just get bored of eating the same thing. So let me introduce you to something that is not the same. It's not pizza, but it is. Well, it's like the same ingredients of pizza but not in the form of pizza. Which is like the isotopes of carbolic molecules we talked about in chemistry class which are made up of all the same molecules, but in a different order, so are they really the same??? Oh the philosophical conundrums it brings up.

To ponder a question like that, your brain needs some good food. So why not meander on over to Baldwin (or your kitchen) and grill up a pizza sandwich?

Mine consists of pepperoni gathered from the pasta bar and black olives swiped off the salad bar. These toppings are stuffed between four slices of the Swiss cheese on the deli bar and grilled on the panini maker.

Also, to make it even better, you can get a bowl of sauce from the pasta station to dip your sandwich in. I just went with the basic marinara, but I suppose if you wanted the alfredo, that would be pretty delicious too!

On the topic of pizza, Charlee whipped up some cinnamon dessert pizza today, and we had the brilliant idea that said pizza would taste great in a bowl of ice cream. I was hoping for some French vanilla ice cream, which of course they did not have available today. However, cinnamon stick pizza dipped in melted snickerdoodle ice cream is absolutely delicious. Charlee may make fun of me for taking pictures of all my food, but see, that just gives the sandwich the time it needs to cool off a little and the ice cream just the right amount of time to melt over the dessert. It's a very well thought-out process, I assure you.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What Do I Know of Holy?

When one spends time reading the Bible and going to church, one tends to grow into the philosophy that he/she knows God. That he/she understands who God is, what he stands for and how he works. That he becomes predictable.

Ladies and gentlemen, can I share, God is not predictable!

He's not a tame lion, after all, as C. S. Lewis would say.

Tonight I attended a service that was very much focused on being filled with the Holy Spirit. As in, spending at least an hour in praise and worship, but not even singing all of that time. The leader explained that they did not want to create a false sense of worship through singing; this was just raw Holy Spirit at work.

The speaker referred to the philosophy of the Holy Spirit being like the crazy uncle we put in the corner and pretend he's not there. And although I don't know anyone who would proudly admit to that, I think that is actually what we do.

Let's be honest, I was a little bit freaked out by the way I felt the Holy Spirit moving in me tonight. No, I did not fall over on the floor and start shaking, but I felt like that was a definite possibility. Because if one lets the Spirit take complete control over oneself, well, I mean, he's in control. He can do whatever crazy thing he wants. So if someone next to me does fall over and start shaking, can I shake my head and say, "That's not God. That's someone desperately in need of attention?"

Because I have come to learn that despite having grown up in church and Bible camp and VBS, I do not know everything about God. I do not know anything about God! One of my favorite songs is by Addison Road and says, "Where have I even stood, but the shore along your ocean...What do I know of holy?" Romans 11:33-34 says, "O the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out. 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?'"

We are just too finite to understand God. How can we understand one so beyond who we are? We cannot define him. We cannot box him in. God works in ways we would never imagine, and as C. S. Lewis says, "Things never happen the same way twice." We just don't have time to get bored, or to sit down and write out a list of who God is. We can't set up a facebook page for him and define all of his likes and habits and relationships. He is way beyond that. Humans are way beyond that. You know that one person who you just never know what they are going to do? God is like that. You can't define him or predict him or grow bored of him.

So I pray that I can let God be God and do whatever the heck it is he is going to do now and the next moment and the one after that. And that I stop believing that he is not a part of those moments when he is most powerfully at work. And perhaps, if I shut my eyes and hold my breath, I can take a step into that ocean of which I am so afraid.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Recipe of the Week

What if soy just regular milk...introducing itself in Spanish???
I just love puns and cheesy jokes. I found this list the other day, and it's just so brilliant I thought I ought to share it:

But if you happen to come back to this page after being distracted by those clever puns, I'd like to share an idea from my bestest bestest friend, who is studying abroad in Thailand this semester. I got to skype her the other day, and she thought she would share some ideas for my recipe of the week. With all that amazing Thai food she is discovering over there, she must have some pretty exotic ideas, right? Well, here it is: warm soy milk.

Yep, that's it. Warm soy milk, with spices mixed in like cinnamon or vanilla. Of course in Baldwin, the soy milk is already flavored vanilla (and chocolate too!) but if they put out the cinnamon, you can certainly mix some in and heat it up in the microwave. Today was not one of those days when they put out cinnamon, however, so I tried to mix in some brown sugar. It just sank to the bottom. But I will say (today being doughnut day) that dunking a doughnut in warm soy milk and then in brown sugar is quite delicious!

Thanks Alyssa for sharing your idea!

Monday, October 28, 2013

When the busy day ends...

I must admit, I'm taking it easy this semester. I only have a few required classes left, so I've been been taking less classes than the average load, and I'm also working less hours than I used to. And being a senior, I feel entitled to claim the horrible disease known as "senioritis."I get to be lazy and just not care because, well, I'm graduating in a few months.

Before you start feeling sorry for me, there are those rare occasions when I actually have a lot of work to do. This weekend was one of them.

Let me give you a rundown, just so you understand. Friday night I finished reading a book for my research project and went to The Great Gatsby with my friends (that clearly was a necessary activity). Saturday morning I volunteered at The Salvation Army, and in the afternoon I went to work at Baldwin. But you quit there, you say? I made a deal, so I get to go in every Saturday and decorate the dessert table for Sunday brunch! Isaac (my replacement) wasn't as enthused about decorating as I am. Then my friends picked me up and we drove all over for several hours taking pictures (some of which are shown here, in case you were wondering what the random pictures had to do with this). After that I had to go take pictures for The Sojourn and then I got in bed and edited them. Sunday, I woke up bright and early for church, got stuck on the way home when the van's tire (and spare tire) lost its tread, wrote an essay for my group project, met with my group, and filmed a video for a friend's project. Then I had to edit that project, write an essay for Chemistry, do all my other chemistry homework, and study for my test, which took place today after my presentation at 7:50 this morning. The day did not end until after Turbo Kick at 7 tonight. Well I guess technically the day still hasn't ended, but here I am sitting in these last few hours of today, taking a deep breath after the crazy weekend and wondering what the point of it all was?

Obviously there was a point to it all. Taking pictures for friends, writing essays for a school assignment, studying so I would understand chemistry (which I don't). But I guess I just felt so distracted these last few days, caught up in things that are not the most important part of life. Perhaps it's just that I lost focus. I mean, did I take time to spend with God? No. And I don't mean for this to be cliche, saying that I had a rough weekend because I ignored God and did too many other things, but what I am saying is that these things we stress so much about are not that significant after they're finished. The presentation and papers that my mind was wrapped around all weekend, they're gone now and they haven't left me with anything. It's not that they are pointless, it's just that they don't need to consume me. They don't rule my life; my life is worth more than a paper or a test grade or even the photos I took for my friends. And now that I am done and once again am struggling to find something worth doing, my life is not any less valuable. Through it all I want to have an attitude like Jesus, an attitude of peace in all of the circumstances, an attitude of contentment.

My favorite Bible verse is: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

I used to quote this verse to myself when I was in high school. Whenever I had a hard work load or a presentation (those are the worst!), I would pause and run through this verse in my head. When I got to the last sentence, I would slow down and savor those words, the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, and I would have a sense of peace, that God was with me and that everything would end up ok. Because it did, didn't it? I don't believe that I have any lasting effects of horrible presentations and bad grades haunting me today.

My prayer for you is that you would know the peace of God in any and all circumstances. In the busy days and the workless nights. In the calm and the storm, and everything in-between.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Recipe of the Week

It pays to have friends.

This is a lesson I can certainly learn from. I like to keep all my ideas to myself until I've tried them. Then, if it didn't work, no one will ever have to know. But if it did, I can show everybody and they'll say, "Oh my! That is brilliant!" But sometimes life just works a lot better when you ask for help.

Exhibit A: recipe of the week ideas. I am just not brilliant enough to come up with all the ideas on my own, but hey, there is a whole school full of people out there who are eating several times a day in Baldwin. That's a lot of experience to glean from.

Since I have friends who work in Baldwin, they see a lot. It's like having eyes on the inside. I've got a man on the inside! Or in this case, a woman. My friend Charlee (who is a woman) was presented with a strange request when she was making omelets the other day: someone asked her to mix cottage cheese in with the omelet. Whhaat? Cottage cheese in the omelet, huh? Well hey, it doesn't hurt to try. Even if you are skeptical of cottage cheese, as I am.

So here's what you do: pick out your toppings. Anything you want. I chose ham, broccoli, and tomatoes. Because I was being healthy. Somewhat. So cook them in the frying pan, just as you would when preparing your normal, everyday omelet. And THEN you add the cottage cheese. Because this is not a normal, everyday omelet. It just melts into the mix like it was supposed to be there in the first place.
Once all your toppings are good and covered in melted cottage cheese, add your eggs. Mine started out looking like an omelet, but the cheese does make it harder to hold that shape, so it ended up as scrambled eggs. No shame in that. It's pretty simple, just cook it all up together. And if you're feeling adventurous, throw in some rosemary or whatever spices happen to be around. I am not well versed in my spices, so whatever you believe will augment the taste of this concoction, I'll trust your opinion. You'll be the one eating it, after all, so mix in whatever you like. Just make sure you mix in some cottage cheese too because, hey, I just made eggs that literally had cheese cooked into them! I honestly can't say that there was a strong taste to them, but there certainly wasn't a bad taste. Next time I shall try to add more cheese because everyone knows that more melted cheese makes everything better.
Looks yummy, doesn't it? Not bad Charlee, not bad.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Why So Unserious?

It occurred to me that amidst my dining hall dishes and the newspaper pictures that I post, I may lose the serious nature of my original blog posts. My intention is not to create an academic site with incredibly intellectual readings, nor is it create a shallow, sunny site with no hint at all of real life. My goal is to show real life, my life, including all my moments of raw honesty and serious thought, and those of shallow, simple fun. Perhaps that is all too random to be on the same blog, but life is like that you know, needing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but not an overload of any one thing.

That being said, it has been ever so long since I did share anything honest or worth talking about. And I hope that if I can share my struggles and ways of coping, then other people with similar struggles can take heart and learn from my experiences.

So let's get back to God. How am I doing with him? If you've read my earlier entries you'll know that I am serious about becoming a follower rather than a fan of Jesus Christ. That I felt compelled by God to quit my job at the dining hall and take up a job in the photo lab. And that I expect everything from then on to be happy, sunny, and perhaps a shallow life filled with microwave waffle batter concoctions. But again, life needs a little misery thrown in to keep it worth while.

About a week after I had stopped working in the dining hall, I was incredibly depressed. Still being the beginning of the year, there was not a lot of activity in the photo lab, and I spent many hours sitting there doing nothing. I felt so useless and my body was sick of being stationary. My previous job required constant running around, which meant adrenaline and excitement. This meant entertaining yourself. There was certainly the opportunity to get a lot of things done, such as writing in my blog, but clearly I am too lazy for such self motivation.

Life sucked. I told myself it did at least. And told God. This is what you want me to do? Sit here and be useless? And basically I felt God say to me, "Get over yourself."

Get over yourself. Just stop complaining and start living the life you have. Don't focus on you, focus on me. It is incredible how much the prospect of facing your daily life can change when you are not focused on how much you don't want to do any of it, but rather on the fact that you are here to worship God. This occurrence being nearly a month ago now, I cannot tell you my exact thoughts, but I do know that by realizing every day is mine to live for God, I am learning to be content whatever the circumstances. Because the circumstances no longer matter.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Recipe of the Week

My mother will surely appreciate this one ;)

I promised that I had something grand planned! Here it is:
I call it...well I don't know what I call it...Here's what it is:

First, (and this is very important), spray a large cereal bowl with waffle iron spray, or what might work better is to grease it with butter. This is because we are going to commit an unforgivable crime in Baldwin--we are going to cook waffle batter in the microwave! It does tend to stick to the bowl, so I tried to keep it clean for my dish room friends.

I took two bowls and filled one with cream cheese, strawberry jam and sugar, just to make sure there was enough sugar in it, although I'm sure it tastes fine without the extra sugar. But what the heck, it's always fun to add extra sugar! And then I was planning on chocolate chips, but there weren't any today!! However, since they just melt anyways, chocolate sprinkles worked just as well. Mix it all up really well.

Then take your other bowl and cover the bottom with waffle batter, but not too full because remember we have the sugary filling to add. So add a good scoop of cream cheese whatever it has become on top of that waffle batter, and then finish it off by covering it with more waffle batter. Do remember that your waffle batter will rise in the microwave, so don't fill it to the top.

Then microwave for about two minutes and it should come out wonderfully fluffy and delightful. And steamy, sooo you should probably let it cool off before biting into it. The filling flooded out of the top a little bit, so it did not look as cool, but pretty much I've just created a waffle lava cake! And of course you must drizzle syrup on top, and although there were not chocolate chips today, there was strawberry topping which is a rare treat.

This pretty breakfast is rather sugary, but so worth it. I really like how the creamy chocolate-strawberry filling turned out.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Life Takes Over

Week number two of the recipe of the week, and I've fallen behind. I do have some ideas, but I have not had time to actually try them. This past week has been especially busy for me. Here are some highlights:
Through a strange series of events, I ended up shooting many of the program photos for FNL, IWU's version of Saturday Night Live. While we were waiting for one of the performers to show up, I just played around in the studio with the other cast member who was there. I got out the gels and put together a rather creepy concoction of light.
I also got to shoot the 9th President of IWU's Inauguration for The Sojourn. I sat next to the Director of Communications for the Wesleyan Church, who used to be a missionary and now is an editor for their denomination's magazine. We had a rather enjoyable conversation. You can read The Sojourn's coverage of the event (and see my photo!) here:
Here are a couple of my other photos from the event.

 Earlier last week I also had the opportunity to travel to Muncie to take some interior photographs. I explored the Emens Auditorium at Ball State and a neat community theater of which I do not remember the name. But it definitely looked like a good place to perform The Phantom of the Opera.
 Is that enough photos to make up for no recipe this week? I was just presented with a fabulous idea at brunch today so look forward to some good stuff soon. I hope.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Recipe of the Week

When The Sojourn came out on Thursday, I proudly handed out a copy to all of my friends who work in Baldwin, so they could see my pictures of Baldwin's food. Due to this, one of the managers gave me a sensational idea: a girl at the school where she used to work would take the available food and come up with a new recipe every week!

Challenge accepted.

Of course, I am by no means an expert cook, especially since my experience falls mostly on the baking side of the spectrum, but I will try to come up with new fun (and hopefully yummy) mixtures of food in Baldwin; some desserts and some not desserts. Probably mostly desserts. And probably some of what I come up with has been done before, but the difference is that I am going to take pictures and publish it! Woohoo! Aren't you excited??

At the very least, it is something fun to do in the midst of classes and papers and tests. we go!

 This first concoction was a collaboration between my roomie and me. Grilled pita bread with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and cookie crumbs inside and honey drizzled on top. It tastes kind of like a s'more Poptart, but better because well, it didn't come in a box.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Where's the Beef?

Where's the beef? Or really I just want to know, where's the food? Because the title of the blog is food, faith and photography, sooo where is it? Well here's the thing. I LOVE food. Perhaps a bit too much. But I love the fact that I can bake things and then photograph them and therefore use my different skills for one purpose (and also to give myself an excuse to bake). However, I do not bake much while I'm at college because, well, I don't have my mommy to buy me baking supplies.

However...(get excited)...I did do an assignment for The Sojourn where the writer and I went into the dining hall (my former place of work!) and tried a bunch of different combinations of foods. The idea was to come up with ways that students could keep their palates interested and not get bored with the same foods all day, every day.

We discovered some pretty exciting combinations-especially with cereal. We learned how to make rice crispy treats at the self cook station with some marshmallows from the ice cream bar and rice crispies.

Another favorite with cereal is to mix cornflakes and honey and cover some vanilla ice cream with the concoction. The idea is to make something like fried ice cream, but what the heck, just take any kind of cereal (I used Lucky Charms) and any kind of ice cream (although vanilla or chocolate would probably work best) and mix it all up! When we did this for the paper, the writer still had his mind set on rice crispy treats, so he grabbed rice crispies, but when he tried it, his face lit up and he got so excited with how good it was! So if you are bored or looking for something fun to eat, grab some cereal, ice cream and honey and mix it up!

If you're around IWU, you should grab a Sojourn and find more recipes, or find it online:

Here are some of my other favorite photos, just in case you're hungry:

Rootbeer Float
Peanutbutter and Jelly Pita Bread

Turkey Wrap

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just for Fun

As a photographer for The Sojourn (IWU student newspaper), I shoot a lot of photos that never get published. And since the other weekend was Res Life week, I have a lot of fun photos of the boat race and the pudding tug of war. For the world who wouldn't otherwise see them (or probably care), here are a few highlights from that weekend.