Why You Should Proofread

I was just looking over the website of a regional accounting firm before I send them a resume. I noticed that one of the accounting services which they offer is, "Deprecation and amortization schedules."

Hmm... depreciation???

My Ideology

All right, I've decided to apply to the Heritage Foundation's summer internship program, in spite of the fact that I need to actually earn money this summer. My being accepted is a really long shot, but if I do get in, it will be interesting to see how the Lord provides for me to go to grad school in the fall!

I went to the library this afternoon to pick up a few books to help with my application. At Becca's suggestion, I got a copy of Blinded by Might: Can the Religious Right Save America? by Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson. It looks interesting. I also grabbed a couple books on libertarianism, P.J. O'Rourke's Parliament of Whores, and Call of the Mall by Paco Underhill. (That last one's not about politics, but I've been meaning to read it for a while. Underhill's earlier book, Why We Buy, was pretty good.)

Anyway, back to the Heritage Foundation application. It asks me to identify my ideology as it relates to fiscal, social, and foreign policy. My choices for each are: conservative, liberal, libertarian, moderate, moderate-conservative, multilateralist, neo-conservative, and realist. Before I choose, I have to figure out what all those terms mean. I'm pretty sure I can rule out liberal and moderate, so that leaves me 6 choices to learn about. I also have to read that book. And answer some more questions. And come up with a writing sample and official transcripts and two letters of recommendation. By Wednesday.

If you need me for anything, I'll be locked in my room, making good use of my heavy-duty earplugs. =)


Will the person who left the overturned can of white paint in the road near the library downtown please stop by my house? I have some of your paint. You can scrape it off my car yourself.

Yes, after my trip to the library this afternoon (more on this later), I got to spend quite a while scrubbing the right side of my car. Fortunately, it was relatively warm today. And most of the paint came off. There's still quite a bit on my tires and up underneath the side of the car around the tires, but all (or close to all) of what was visible on the side of the car came off.

I think public flogging should be allowed as punishment for people who leave potentially damaging materials on public roads.


God's Leading

All right, I'll be honest--the job search is getting a bit discouraging. So is my current financial situation. But the Lord reminded me last night that He always provides what His people need. I've been reading in the Old Testament, and in the past couple days I've covered the part where Israel leaves Egypt and starts wandering around the wilderness. Again and again, when it seems completely hopeless, God provides for them in miraculous ways. And again and again, the Israelites display their unbelief. It's easy to blame them for their unbelief (and of course it was sin for them not to believe God), but it's humbling to realize how much unbelief is in my own life. I think I may even be worse than the Israelites!

In Exodus 14, Israel is trapped between the Red Sea and the advancing Egyptian army, seemingly with no escape route. They panic. (And, humanly speaking, who wouldn't?) They accuse Moses of bringing them to the wilderness to die; but then God miraculously parts the Red Sea, allows the Israelites to pass through on dry ground, and drowns the Egyptians. Moses and the people sing praise to God in the beginning of chapter 15.

Then what happens? In Exodus 15:22, Israel goes for three days without finding water in the wilderness. Instead of trusting the God who has just protected them from the Egyptians, they begin whining again--"What shall we drink?" (v. 24b, ESV). They get to Marah, where there's water--but it's bitter. So God has Moses throw a tree into the water to make it sweet. God provides again, in spite of Israel's unbelief.

This passage also displays God's mercy--instead of punishing Israel for their unbelief, in 15:27, He brings them "to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees" (ESV).

Exodus 15:13 (ESV)--"You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them them by your strength to your holy abode."


Tax season!

I got the last of my W-2s in the mail yesterday (well, 2 days ago now) and filled out my 1040 last night. However, since I have to pay this year, I'm planning to postpone filing until approximately April 14.

But in the meantime, my federal taxes are done. I'll still have to do state taxes at some point, which are a piece of cake.

Anybody out there want to hire me to do his or her taxes? I'm sure I'm less expensive than an actual expert. ;-)

Job situation--again

I spent half my day today scouring the Internet for job/internship opportunities. I bookmarked a few pages to go back to later but didn't apply for anything yet.

I was thinking that it would be a ton of fun (besides the fact that it would be a great learning experience, and I may actually be able to do something useful) to do an internship in Washington. So I looked up websites of several conservative think tanks and checked out their internship programs. The one at the Heritage Foundation sounds really good, and it even pays a little bit and provides relatively inexpensive housing. So I looked over their application--and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't stand a chance. What book has most influenced my political thinking? I'm pretty sure I've never read a book related to politics (except the occasional textbook)--I'm not that into politics! I guess I could put the Bible and see what happens... =)

I think I'll be sticking with my original plan of working my tail off all semester and summer to save money for grad school. Assuming, of course, that I find another job... There's nothing unethical about signing up with several temp agencies, is there?


Hair dryer use

I got a new hair dryer yesterday. I actually glanced over the safety instructions and noticed that one point is, "Never use while sleeping." I am trying to imagine...


Pride and Prejudice

I spent five hours watching Pride and Prejudice tonight. Now I'm going to have to re-read the book.


Christians' Response to Sin

The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, and that those who consistently practice homosexual behavior are not saved. Personally, I find homosexuality disgusting. (However, I don't believe that it's right to treat homosexuals differently than other people in most cases.)

So I started thinking: Why are Christians more disgusted by homosexuality than we are by other sins? Then I realized that I should be asking a different question: Why are Christians not repulsed by other sins as much as we are by homosexuality? What about divorce, or pre-marital sex, or deceit, or gossip, or gluttony? Yes, I am disturbed by those sins, but not as much as I am by homosexuality. Why? I suspect that it is because those other sins have become so common in our society. I suppose, then, that there is a danger that Christians will become less disgusted by homosexuality as it becomes more prevalent and more accepted in our society.

[I can actually see myself almost heading in the direction of being less disgusted by homosexuality as a result of my attempts to treat homosexuals like I would treat anyone else. I recently found out that a man I work with is gay. (I suspected before, but I wasn't sure until I heard him talking about an upcoming "anniversary.") My first reaction was, of course, disgust--and I was more horrified because this man claims to be a Christian (although I'd really seen no evidence of faith in his life). At first, I had to make an effort not to treat him differently than I had before. After thinking about it, I was glad that I hadn't known about his sexual orientation earlier than I did, because it gave me a chance to get to know him as a person. He's a nice guy, and I've enjoyed working with him. Since I got to know him without having the preconceived notion that he's a horrible wicked pervert, I'm actually concerned about him as a person who is caught in sin and needs Christ rather than seeing him as a homosexual that I guess I'll try to be nice to because it's my duty as a Christian. But having a sort of friendship with a homosexual and seeing that he's just a normal person almost makes homosexuality seem less threatening, somehow.]

OK, now back to the point--Christians are often less disgusted by sins that are accepted by society. What does that say about Christians' view of sin and of God? It seems as though we are viewing as sin only those behaviors that we find distasteful. Sure, if pressed, we'll admit that things like gossip and gluttony are wrong. But do we treat those behaviors the same way we do homosexuality? Nope. How many grossly overweight pastors have you known (and I don't mean those who are overweight because of a medical condition)? Now, how many homosexual pastors have you known? Most churches (in my circles, anyway) would toss out a pastor after one instance of sexual sin--and rightly so; but how many pastors continually practice other ("smaller") sins with no repercussions? [I do realize that nobody on earth is sinless, and that some sins are, in a sense, worse than others, but we do seem to completely ignore some sins.]

Instead of viewing sins as "disgusting" because we personally are offended by them, Christians need to view sin for what it is. As John Piper said, "The wickedness of sin is owing to the implicit disdain for God." Sin is wrong because every act of sin is demonstrating that the sinner does not care what behavior his Creator expects from him. If believers would keep this in mind, we would be much more likely to have the correct attitude about sin--ours and others'.

I apologize for the length and lack of cohesiveness of this post; it's not quite stream-of-consciousness, but it is about as close as I'll ever get to that. Sorry you had to read it. :)

Miscellaneous thoughts

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past few days. I've been surprised at how little I have to do now that I'm out of school, and yet, how little of what I plan to do actually gets done. I did try a new (healthy!) muffin recipe, use my Pilates Yoga DVD and exercise ball that I bought first semester (and had used twice), and get quotes on health insurance from my State Farm agent. Besides that, I picked up a few extra hours at work this week because two people needed to switch shifts or to get a sub. I think I ended up with 20 hours, and I'm scheduled for 20 next week! I'm still praying for a full-time job, though. I'm not a huge fan of working retail. (It hurts my feet, and I'm starting to lose my voice from talking to customers so much. I'm pretty sure I breathe incorrectly--that's what my horn teacher always told me, anyway, and I assume that's how I injured my lip.)

I'm ashamed to admit that I watched part of the Miss America pageant tonight (while I baked those "healthy" muffins, so it wasn't a total waste of time). I watched only because I knew one contestant, Miss South Carolina, who was a year or two behind me in high school. Personally, I'd be a bit uncomfortable parading around in a bikini, and I suspect that may be a modesty issue as well. But hey, it wasn't my decision. And I'm glad for her--I'm sure it's nice to get a bunch of scholarship money! I'm hoping for some of that myself some day, although instead of wearing a swimsuit to get it, I took the GMAT. (I qualified for a full tuition scholarship at the school I'd like to attend; now I just have to get accepted to that school!)

As much bragging as I heard about how the Miss America pageant is all about scholarships, it's the world's largest provider of scholarships for women, etc., it didn't seem to really be all about scholarships. It seemed to be a lot more about sex. (Five of the ten finalists were eliminated based on their scores in the swimsuit and evening-wear competitions. Shouldn't they base elimination on something important? Like... standardized test scores?) The choice of judges was entertaining, too--did they try to choose people who were qualified or people who were famous? And the host (an actor from Desperate Housewives) was quite annoying. In his opening remarks, he frequently paused and waited through a moment of awkward silence before the audience realized that they were supposed to be clapping. After one of those pauses, he remarked, "Wow, we'll never get through at this rate!" As if it were the rambunctious audience who just couldn't stop applauding... The host's occasional references to Desperate Housewives got on my nerves, too; they were just unnecessary.

I went bowling with some friends last night, and managed not to finish in last place (thanks to a strike in the last frame). I managed to score a 71, which isn't too bad for me. =) After the bowling game, we went to one guy's house and sat around talking (quietly, so as not to wake his parents) and nibbling on chocolate from a variety of countries for a couple hours. I left when my dad called my cell phone at 1:30 a.m. to ask when I was coming home.


Still jobless...

Company C's client decided that they want a longer-term commitment than they had originally said--a commitment which I am unable to make at this point. Company B had already let me know that they were unable to make a decision about me within my given time frame, so they'd have to give up. So I'm back to the drawing board. (I did let Company B know that I'm still available, and I sent out resumes to a couple more places; I'm hoping that, for some reason, one of those places will still have an internship available.)

Quote of the Day

(Again, courtesy of Google...)

"The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think."
--Horace Walpole


The Job Saga

Background info: Several months ago, I worked approximately 3 weeks for a temp agency, Company A. A month ago, I interviewed for an internship at Company B. I hadn't heard anything definite from Company B, but the voicemail messages resulting from my game of phone tag with the HR person sounded less than optimistic. As a result, a week ago I interviewed and took a bookkeeping test at a placement firm that specializes in accounting and finance positions--we'll call this organization Company C. Later, I learned that Company B had already filled the position for which I'd interviewed, but that they were trying to find another short-term position for me; the HR person told me that I would find something out from them today.

I got off work at 2 and saw that I had voicemail. I prayed, "Lord, please let me have a job!" before pressing the speed dial button. It wasn't Company B, as I had hoped; it was my contact at Company A, whom I had not heard from in months. She had a 2-week position that started tomorrow and wondered if I was interested. (I regretted not praying more specifically earlier; the Lord did provide a possible job, but not with the company I had hoped to hear from!) However, I couldn't take that job because of my current part-time work schedule.

Late this afternoon, my contact at Company C called. They too had a job for me. I explained that I was hoping to hear today from another company and that even if I am able to take the position found for me by Company C, I will not be able to start until next week (again, because of my current part-time work schedule). My contact there asked me to call her back tomorrow morning to let her know my decision.

After that conversation, I called the Company B and asked whether a decision had been reached yet. It hadn't. I explained that I had another offer, and the HR person promised to let me know by tomorrow whether Company B will be hiring me.

So, it sounds as if I may have a full-time job by tomorrow. I'm really praying that I will, because my other employer's new spring line has just come out, and there's a great suit (as well as some other items) that I'd love to get with my employee discount! But, alas, 10-15 hours/week at an hourly rate typical of a retail clerk is not exactly lucrative, and my employer's clothing is expensive, even with the discount!


Pet Peeve of the Day

I must say, I'm rather enjoying sitting at home in jeans rather than in FMA in a skirt and hose. =) (Much better than last semester, when I slept through the opening services--in my pajamas, in bed, with a temperature of 102 degrees.)

I have heard reports on last night's service from a variety of sources, and apparently one of my great Religious Service Pet Peeves occurred--the Sermon Recap followed by a Reissue of the Invitation in Confusing Terms. Yes, it irritates me when the person responsible for inviting the guest preacher gets up after the invitation and repeats (and elaborates upon) the sermon in his own words, as though the preacher whom he invited didn't do a good enough job. And then he reopens the invitation, usually asking a litany of questions in an apparent attempt to trick the interrogatees into raising their hands.

All right, I'm probably making it sound worse than it really is, at least as far as motives are concerned. I'm sure that after hearing a good sermon, it's easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment and, instead of closing the service, talking and trying to convince more people to go forward. (I don't believe that talking people into going forward is a good way to get results, unless you want people making "decisions" based purely on emotion and not on actual repentance--which seems like a great way to give people false assurance of salvation.) I'm sure that the person in question is honestly making an attempt to do good, although it doesn't seem to turn out that way.

As a side note, I just received a report on this evening's service: Apparently the guest preacher closed the service himself. Smart man. =)



OK, so I actually made myself watch some of the Alito confirmation hearing today. (It was torture, but I'm trying to pretend that I'm a good citizen.) I was disappointed, although not surprised, by the nature of questions from senators of both parties. I thought it was obvious that many (most? all?) of the senators had already made up their minds and were (in some cases, desperately) using their questions to try to prove that they were right. Why else would some individuals keep posing variations of the same question to the same person, as though eventually they would get the answer they wanted?

It almost makes me want to go to law school and (eventually) run for office. Almost. I'd prefer helping someone else run for office. (Becca, would you like to volunteer? Or maybe I should get elected to the Senate so I can give you some easy questions during your Supreme Court confirmation hearings?) =)


"It's Not About Going to the Movies!"

Interesting post at Faith and Practice on I Thessalonians 5:19-22. The title is "It's Not About Going to the Movies!" but that's really only a small part of the post.

As a side note, I can't begin to tell you how much I'm enjoying my little break from school. I'm actually catching up on my reading! (I still have somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 books on my bookshelf that I need to read before I'll actually be "caught up"--plus the 9 that I recently retrieved from our attic--but several of those are most like very substantial pamphlets than books...)


Google Quote of the Day

"Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat."
--John Lehman (Secretary of the Navy, 1981-1987)

Starting a new book!

Tonight I began reading Revival Fire, a collection of letters by Charles G. Finney. (I referred to this book in a post 1/1/06.) Finney is not one of my favorite historical figures (I'm a bigger fan of his contemporary Asahel Nettleton--a biography of Nettleton by J.F. Thornbury is critical of Finney), but I'll be interested to see if reading this book improves my opinion of him.

So far I've read only the introduction and the first letter, "Superficial Revivals."

Finney describes characteristics of believers (or, as I suspect would be a more accurate term, professing believers) in these increasingly superficial revivals: "Christians are much less spiritual in revivals, much less prevalent in prayer, not so deeply humbled and quickened and thoroughly baptized with the Holy Ghost as they were formerly."

He goes on to give three causes (apparently not an exhaustive list) of this superficiality:
1. There is much less probing of the heart by a deep and thorough exhibition of human depravity, than was formerly the case.
2. I fear that stress enough is not laid upon the horrible guilt of this depravity.
3. I have thought that, at least in a great many instances, stress enough has not been laid upon the necessity of Divine influence upon the hearts of Christians and of sinners.

In the first two points, Finney seems to be emphasizing the responsibility of the preacher to "talk up" human depravity until people feel really guilty; he seems to emphasize man's work over God's. Perhaps this is not his intention (I could be biased in my interpretation of his writing because of my previous knowledge of his techniques), but it seems as though Finney was concerned that he had to convince the audience of their sinful condition himself rather than trusting the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to hearts.

Finney's third point was especially interesting to me--it's what makes me suspect that he did not mean for his first two points to come across as they did:
I have thought that, at least in a great many instances, stress enough has not been laid upon the necessity of Divine influence upon the hearts of Christians and of sinners. I am confident that I have sometimes erred in this respect myself. In order to rout sinners and backsliders from their self-justifying pleas and refuges, I have laid . . . too much stress upon the natural ability of sinners, to the neglect of showing them the nature and extent of their dependence upon the grace of God and the influence of His Spirit.

Not the type of language I'd expected from Finney!

La Fiesta Mexicana

La Fiesta Mexicana by H. Owen Reed has a seriously cool opening.


Till We Have Faces

I stayed up late last night to finish reading C.S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces. It's a novel based on the myth of Cupid and Psyche and is told from the viewpoint of Orual, the ugly older sister of the beautiful Psyche. The book is Orual's complaint against the gods for what she perceives as their cruel treatment of her. Although not specifically a "Christian" work, it presents a scarily accurate portrait of human nature, especially in displaying Orual's selfishness (masquerading as love) and her attitude toward the gods.

One of my favorite phrases from the book: "I was with book, as a woman is with child."



A woman came into my workplace today and asked if she could return an item her husband had given her for Christmas and repurchase it at its current (lower) price. We informed her that price adjustments are given only within a certain time frame (printed on the receipt) which was already past; she decided to return the item, allegedly because she thought it had been too expensive. (We delayed returning the item to its display so she could not immediately repurchase it.) (As a side note, the woman had almost two weeks after Christmas in which she could have received the price adjustment. She apparently thought it would be fun to wait an additional week before requesting the adjustment.)

An hour or two later, two teenage girls came into the store. I asked if I could help them, and one girl told me that they were looking for a specific item to buy their mom for her birthday. (Their mom, she said, had requested a specific item because the girls weren't good at picking out gifts for her.) The item they were looking for was identical to the item the woman had returned earlier--it was the same size and everything. (We had one on display for the girls to purchase, even without having put the returned item back.)

Does this sound like a bit too much of a coincidence to you?

Quotes of the Day (I & II)

Courtesy of my Google Quote of the Day feature...

[Editor's note: Inclusion of a quotation on this blog does not necessarily imply endorsement, in whole or in part, of the quotation or its source.]

"People who have no weaknesses are terrible; there is no way of taking advantage of them."

--Anatole France

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

--Bill Cosby


Sidebar changes

I think I've managed to make a few changes to my sidebar without completely messing it up. To my blogging friends--I hope you don't mind that I linked to you! But if you do, let me know and I'll remove the link. =)

My assistant manager turned in his two-week notice today. My manager asked me, "Do you want a full-time job?" I'm pretty sure she was kidding, since I have a whopping 6 weeks of retail experience. =) I still haven't heard from the other place where I interviewed; I'm going to call them tomorrow. Prayer would be much appreciated!


Starbucks and music

Interesting article from Fox News on Starbucks' power in the music world.

Also interesting is the way that links to Netflix and to a music downloading service are included in the article. I wonder whether the articles were worded in such a way as to provide a good word (or phrase) to use as a link, or if specific links were added based on the wording of the article?

The South Was Right?

I've plowed my way through the first two chapters of The South Was Right! by James and Walter Kennedy. They cite some very interesting facts (and seem to have actual sources for their evidence) about the two sides of the "War for Southern Independence." So far, I've learned that the "Yankees" have rewritten history to make the South look bad, and that the North was more evil than the South because of their involvement in the slave trade. (These are points with which I don't necessarily disagree, although I'd have to do a lot more research to find out whether they are entirely accurate as presented in The South Was Right! And I'm not all that excited about doing research in my semester off from school.)

Although this book has been interesting, reading it is quickly becoming a chore. The 80 pages I've read so far are full of caustic remarks about the "Yankees." The authors would have a lot more credibility in the eyes of their readers if they left out some of the sarcasm. They come across as rather childish, and their inflammatory statements almost suggest to the reader that a simple presentation of the facts would not be sufficient to support the authors' conclusions.

I'll post more on this topic if I decide to continue reading the book.

Car trouble II

Well, my "inexpensive" repair ended up costing $400 because of a leaky water pump that had to be replaced. I suppose, though, that an occasional expensive repair is still better than having to make a monthly payment for a car. (As a graduation gift, my parents gave me the car that I'd been driving the past few years.)

I woke up yesterday morning with a song stuck in my head, which doesn't usually happen. I can't remember the exact words now, but it was about God's goodness. As I hummed the song to myself while I got ready for work, I sort of wondered what "bad" thing was going to happen that would tempt me to forget that God is good all the time. I guess the car thing was it. I pray that the Lord will use this trial (although it is incredibly small compared to what others face!) to make me more like Christ.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." Romans 8:28-29


Car trouble

I've decided that some aspects of being a "grown-up" are not particularly enjoyable--for example, being responsible for maintaining a car. (I much preferred driving a car my parents owned and having them pay for everything except gas!)

I was nearly to work this morning when I glanced down at the dashboard and saw a funny-shaped warning light that I'd never seen before; it just happened to be the engine temperature warning light (probably not its real name). The needle on the temperature gauge was all the way to the "H." I pulled over as soon as I could and turned the car off. I ended up making it to work (eventually), but I had to get my dad to come "rescue" me at the end of my shift. We filled the radiator with water and he got the car about halfway home. (It's now in my grandparents' driveway.) We're going back with some tools tonight to see if putting in a new thermostat will help. I hope it will, because, according to my dad, it's a relatively inexpensive repair.

This brings me to another aspect of adulthood which I'm not finding terribly enjoyable: finding a full-time job. I interviewed for an accounting internship almost three weeks ago, and should find out whether I got it in the next two or three days. That would be a huge answer to prayer. If I don't get it, then it's back to the drawing board, because working a part-time retail job doesn't bring in a whole lot of cash. I'd appreciate prayers about that, if any of you think about it. =) Thanks!


Old movies

I've been watching a lot of old movies recently, because they're the only interesting-looking ones at the library. (I can't afford to rent movies or to go see them in the theater; I have only a part-time job right now and am trying to save money for grad school in the fall!) I watched To Kill a Mockingbird a few days ago, and just finished 12 Angry Men. I don't think I'd heard of the latter until I saw it on the shelf in the library yesterday, but I'm glad I ran across it. It was a lot more interesting than I expected. To Kill a Mockingbird was very good as well.

Up next is The Philadelphia Story starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart. I watched it a couple years ago and seem to remember liking it.

Has anyone out there ever watched Babette's Feast? I see it on the shelf at the library every time I go check out movies (apparently it's not terribly popular) and have been thinking about getting it. I'm wondering whether it will be any good.

Speaking of movies, Amazon.com has the DVD of the BBC miniseries
Pride and Prejudice on sale for $19.96 (regular price $39.95). Yes, it's the 5-hour version, and I can't wait for it to get here!

For those of you who are concerned: No, I'm not spending my entire semester off from school watching movies--I am trying to stimulate my brain once in a while. I started reading a book called The South Was Right!, but I'm not sure if I'll read all 300+ pages. I crawled up to our attic last night and dug through several boxes of my dad's books, and found some good stuff: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis; The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom; a booklet called Reformed Evangelism; and a collection of letters written by Charles G. Finney toward the end of his life. The Finney letters, according to the back of the book, discuss some of his concerns regarding religious revivals, including "superficial revivals, unhealthy revival excitement, spurious conversions, why so few revivals?, hindrances to a revival spirit, too much emotionalism in some groups, and in others too much fear of emotionalism." Knowing what I do of his tactics, I'm not surprised that he was seeing problems in his revivals. It should be interesting, though, to see what (if anything) he wished he had done differently.

Happy New Year!

A happy New Year to all my friends (and anyone else) reading this! I'm thankful that the Lord has brought us all through another year and look forward to seeing how He will continue to lead in all of our lives.

I'm also thankful that my brother did not spend this New Year's Eve with his friends, shooting fireworks down the street at each other. =)