Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh Santa Cruz - You're Not That Far!

So I really don't have much time for this right now and I miss just sitting down to write - that's the hidden English major in me.

Time is winding down out here (less than 2 weeks now) and so my thoughts are consumed by finishing camp, packing, getting stuff to CT, flying to North Carolina and a reunion I've been excited about for 3 months. At the same time struggling with leaving home and with the realization that who knows how many more summers I'll spend at home.

That being said, we went to Santa Cruz overnight on Saturday and had a blast and on Sunday morning we went to Vintage Faith Church which is in an old Presbyterian Church/Abbey space and is apparently somewhat known for the community they have and after briefly mentioning my experience to my pastor at school, learned that the lead pastor writes books as well. But I was blown away by my experience and really was just in awe of the vast range of people involved and the way their community totally plays out the Acts church - it was incredible and I was refreshed and excited by it. It is energizing and thrilling to go somewhere new and feel at home in a church that is unlike anything I've experienced before....pretty cool. And the combination of an old space with candles, pews, and traditional central isle, entry way etc, with the post denominational service made for a welcome card FULL of notes - for my own personal quiet time and to bring back to St. Paul's, seriously every inch of the card. It's also encouraging to know that it is possible to move, or look around and find a church that is great and alive even in Northern California. That is something I've started thinking about for the future and wondering how you 'happen' upon a church that fits since I didn't really have to hunt at school and fell into St. Paul's through a variety of odd off-chance connections and decided to stay.

If you're curious check out and see what I'm talking about!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

the fiddle?

So I play the fiddle now...yeah I'm spontaneous. I came home and was hooked - and have been - on celtic and bluegrass with a strong fiddles - specifically reels. I almost immediately found a band out here - Culann's Hounds and found someone on Craig's List offering lessons. After emailing that guy I called a music store and asked for a recommendation and they gave me a phone number to call - turned out to be the same guy. And he's the fiddler for Culann's Hounds (saw them perform at a local bar two weeks ago and they were GREAT! Check them out on itunes or on

So I pick up a brand new instrument - having only dabbled with the flute and played piano (for 8-10 years). Haven't read music or played at least since early high school. I became determined to play and play well before I left and practice like crazy. The result? Now on my 5th lesson I can sight read a piece and play it - and yeah it squeaks but it's getting there and since an average student doesn't pick up a fiddle for at least 2 months (practices music, rhythm, and plucking) I'm doing pretty great. And know what else? I LOVE it, I love the way it feels to play, I love having something to work on, something I want to get better at, something that is a challenge and has a definite goal (to play celtic and bluegrass!). It's frustrating to start from scratch at something and it's a feeling I haven't had to experience in awhile and I think it's really healthy.

Have a sport you always wanted to try and didn't? Or a guitar laying around that you never learned to play? Maybe a trumpet? Try it - it's worth it and it's definitely not too late :).

Now about a teacher when I get back to school...haven't found one yet but I'm determined so I will keep trying. And my roommates better invest in ear plugs.

Oh and the accusation that fiddles sound like cats? Apparently not far fetched as the strings used to be made from cat intestines - ew - but ok.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Majesty (Here I Am)

Here I am humbled by your Majesty
Covered by your grace so free
Here I am, knowing I'm a sinful man
Covered by the blood of the Lamb

Now I've found the greatest love of all is mine;
Since you laid down your life;
The greatest sacrifice.

Majesty, Majesty
Your grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed, but alive in your hands
Majesty, Majesty
Forever I am changed by your love
In the presence of your Majesty

Here I am humbled by the love that you give
Forgiven so that I can forgive
Here I stand, knowing that I'm your desire
Sanctified by glory and fire

Now I've found the greatest love of all is mine
Since you laid down your life
The greatest sacrifice.

Middle English maieste, from Anglo-French majesté, from Latin majestat-, majestas; akin to Latin major greater
Define: 1: sovereign power, authority, or dignity2—used in addressing or referring to reigning sovereigns and their consorts 3 a: royal bearing or aspect : grandeur b: greatness or splendor of quality or character

We sang this song on Sunday and it has been stuck in my head and I was thinking about the word "majesty." It's not a word we use much - occasionally when watching a movie that takes place in a castle or a modern day spin on royalty (ie Princess Diaries) but in general it's not a common word. So I looked it up because I usually hear it used as a title and I was curious plus I'm a word nerd and love to know where things come from. Thankful for my background in Latin, I see it is an adjective and actually is feminine - but that's besides the point. So we are fairly likely to sing this song in agreement with the fact that God is Majestic - we have other songs declaring that and many Psalms as well. He is A majesty as well as deserving of the title which gives him power, authority, and dignity. As they did back when they addressed kings and queens, calling someone Your Majesty would be form of admitting service or submission to their will and wisdom - whoa whoa, all I did was sing a song?! But yes, we should declare God as our Majesty and praise him for being Majestic and recognize his Majestic work around us. But there's a part of that definition that I noticed and wonder how it ought to affect us. Granted it's from the dictionary, written by fallen humans and not from God's word, but I think it still works.
The line is italicized and it is "And their consorts." So I checked on that word to make sure I had this idea right - consort would be anyone in partnership with the person who is considered majestic - anyone trailing behind the king would still be addressed by "your majesties" - I think? So if we claim partnership, following Christ then we would also be included in the 'consort' of God's majesty. Whoa that's a bold statement. I'm not sovreign or divine for sure but royal bearing? My mom calls me a princess - but in reality, I am a daughter of the King so that works. But greatness or splendor of character? Not so much....

Our message on Sunday was about humility and being Christ-like (see Philippians 2) and the difference between being a doormate and being humble. So the balance between a character of greatness and splendor and an attitude like that of Christ as a servant is super fine and I don't have it all figured out, I'm just musing I suppose.
But it is food for thought - and Majesty is a really cool word...and the song is my current favorite.

Check out this Wordle Cloud I made of the song!