21 July 2006

Checking the Time

Every once in a while, I will be reminded of how history is hurtling toward a close. It's amazing how many times I will check the clock during the course of a day at work, but it is equally - if not more so - amazing how often I neglect what is coming.

We're still sowing in the finite fields/ We're so content to live under a curse/
We're still fabricating paradise/ With the thorns, with the flies and dirt

How content I am to live under the curse - to toil all day long for earthly things and not know satisfaction!

How desperately I need to break myself of the fear that comes at the thought of casting everything aside for what is infinite and eternal!

This is just the flesh, it's just the blood/ It's really not, it's not that tough/
The bruised, the fragile, cut up, scratched and scarred/
It's the feeble - just the feeble stuff

What a sense of entitlement I have even to my own body, to find rest, to know life.

Tonight, Chris was telling me about how he doesn't want us to lead mediocre Christian lives and, while I agree whole-heartedly with him, the whole concept terrifies me and it always has.

But if we never fully cede ourselves to the things that are not of this earth, we will never know safety. We will always live in fear and be chained to things that we were never meant to serve. Nothing but the blood of Christ satisfies the price for our sin and nothing else gives us life - how can we not fall at Christ's feet? How can we not serve the eternal, the sovereign, the holy God who loves us and sent His only Son to die for us?

Salvation - safety in every sense possible - is only found in one Name.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old me shall dream dreams.

[[Acts 2:17]]

What God has planned that we know so little of! An outpouring of the Holy Spirit, prophesy, visions, dreams...

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
[[Matthew 24:14]]

Even if we live in suburban America or post-Christian Europe, the gospel of Christ is still to be preached in all the world before the end is to come. Are we preaching? Are we even trying? Or are we living mediocre lives of contentment rooted in things that are finite and feeble?

In so many ways, I know I'm not even trying. Sure, I hope that my life is marked by something other than myself but, if those around me are seeing me instead of Christ, there should be more than that! This world may be crippled by its absorption by sin and self (see 2 Timothy 3:1-5), but it not only expresses it as sin - it also expresses itself in what we call "ethics" and "morality".

"Good" people are everywhere, but that is no indication of a saved life to a dying world. It's a mark of success, not a Savior.

So the question becomes this: When people see my life, do they see a difference that goes beyond morality, that is unexplainable by any finite thing?

If not, then I have work to do. Then, my actions are not being a witness to the Gospel - they are just being witness to worldly standards that anyone can have. Am I marked by the Gospel? Do others see Christ's blood covering me?

This world is increasingly darker, but filled with false light - those who don't know will never know unless they see real light for themselves.

It's dark outside but truth is beautiful/ Its warmth in the night/
The curse is healed when the day breaks colorful/ What a sight

The faded sky is tearing away/ These fires are not for light/
The feeble eyes are waiting for day/ The sky's alive tonight

The days of darkness are ending. In time, Bourbon Street in New Orleans will shut down for more than just an evening - lightning will split the sky and all that is not covered by grace will not stand. And our King will reign.

Are you checking the time? Can anyone tell?

Don't make yourself at home.

[["Upgrade" and "The Sky's Alive" - lyrics by Remedy Drive, 2006]]

Mood: Um... Listening to: Remedy Drive, Rip Open the Skies
Reading: Daniel 9

19 July 2006

The best laughs in life

Include Slavo singing "Can't Touch This" and talking about baggy pants in the next cube over. Highlight of the day, for sure.

Still laughing... :)

Project du Jour


Yes, it's true, and I have brought my quilt to work with me. I just spent 20 minutes cutting squares so I can start on the next two rows, which, dependent upon how much work I don't have to do today, I might finish in the next seven hours.

And I have no cavities, which is good. The dentist told me so this morning.

Is it bad that I just want to sleep until someone gives me work to do? 'Cause that's really what I want to do right now. Well, there's other things I'd like to do right now, but I'm not allowed to do those either. Bummer, dude.

So, back to quilting it is!

Mood: Sleepy Listening to: KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope
Reading: The time [10:35am], which means it's not time to sleep

17 July 2006

Crocheting on the Clock

So, I once more have nothing to do (surprise!).

Because of this, I just finished crocheting myself a cover for my Bible. It turned out all right for the little amount of work I actually put into it and, since I haven't had work to do, it's like I was paid to crochet a cover for my Bible, so it's really not that bad of a gig.

I'm going to turn to reading now and finish The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for about the zillionth time. Then I might color and start my way toward finishing another book. And, who knows, I might actually get some work at some point during the day.

Tomorrow, I'm bringing quilting stuff. I figure, as long as I'm here, I might as well stop whining about how work is not what it should be and stop playing computer games and do stuff that I've been putting off forever that are on my to-do list for the summer. A little crocheting? Quilting? Cross-stich? Much better than Solitaire, which makes you go crazy.

That's all, I do believe. I'm being broken pretty heavily right now but, to be honest, I'm nine weeks into my summer and it's about time. God has blessed me so much by keeping my mind at bay for this long, which was previously thought seemingly impossible.

It's all proof that I'm growing and that God is still in the process of refining my mind. Praise be to God!

Mood: Content, surprisingly Listening to: A quiet office
Reading: C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,
Ed Decker & Dave Hunt, The God Makers

14 July 2006


So, between this time last night and this evening when I left work, I listened to and watched seven sermons.

Yes, I put up with Mark Driscoll for that long and it was awesome.

Granted, I now have seven sermons' worth of points swimming around in my head and my brain is somewhat mushy. And it's not just sermon points from short sermons, either. These are Mark Driscoll sermons, so we're talking about an hour apiece and jam-packed with good stuff.

Sermons definitely worth listening to:
"The Weaker Christian" - Excellent. And humorous.
"Paying Your Pastors" - Wonderful presentation of a very sensitive issue.
"Resisting Idolatry Like Jesus" - One of the most thought-provoking messages I've heard in a long time. Still processing...
"Women and Femininity" - Super intense. This was like listening to myself rant, but with actual proof.
"Women as Wives" - Definitely a more serious sermon, but important things for women to remember as wives.

All can be found at www.marshillchurch.org under their Downloads\Sermons\ section. The ones about women are under Practical Topics\Women and the others are under Books of the Bible\1st Corinthians.

I also listened to "Women as Homebuilders" and "The Lord's Supper," which were good, too but, as you can tell, I already have trouble narrowing it down to the five of seven that stood out. I'm a nerd, LOL.

Good stuff. Also good is "Missional Ministry," about contextualizing the Gospel. Time for Kate to sleep!

Mood: Sleepy Listening to: Remedy Drive, Rip Open the Skies
Reading: C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

13 July 2006

Yeah, you can definitely say that Christopher wins. Hands down.


That's how many minutes I used last month, which is more than the three other members of my family combined.

Turns out I'm a girl after all.

I haven't broken it down yet, but I'm pretty sure Christopher wins. I'll let you know.

08 July 2006

Buyer Beware

We try to get [joy] through entertainment. We pay someone to make jokes, tell stories, perform dramatic actions, sing songs. We buy the vitality of another's imagination to divert and enliven our own poor lives. The enormous entertainment industry in America is a sign of the depletion of joy in our culture. Society is a bored, gluttonous king employing a court jester to divert it after an overindulgent meal. But that kind of joy never penetrates our lives, never changes our basic constitution. The effects are extremely temporary - a few minutes, a few hours, a few days at most. When we run out of money, the joy trickles away.
[[Eugene Peterson]]

06 July 2006


In honor of my 250th post, I will proceed to post something completely worthless and inane. Humor me, please. I've done very little today.

50 Questions!

1) Name? Alyssa Kate Grinstead
2) What time is it? 1:01pm
3) Birthday? May 16, 1985
4) Pets? 2 dogs (Singer and Dancer)
5) Favorite animal? Dogs and teddy bears
6) Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Only one hole in each ear
7) Favorite vacation spot? Europe (I especially like Austria and Germany)
8) Have you ever stolen a traffic sign? No
9) Croutons or Bacon Bits? Both?
10) Have you ever been in a car crash? Unfortunately, yes
11) Do you drive a 2 Door, or 4 Door car? Four doors
12) Do you drink coffee? Why would I?
13) What is your favorite salad dressing? Italian, Ranch
14) What is your favorite color? Blue
15) What is the last movie you saw? “Eight Below”
16) What is your favorite number? 16
17) What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving
18) What is your favorite food? Chinese, Italian, Mexican (I like food)
19) What is your favorite song of the moment? “Look After You” by the Fray
20) What is your favorite TV show? Gilmore Girls
21) What is the last book you finished? “Has God Finished with Israel?” by Rob Richards and "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger
22) Do you wear perfume? What kind? Occasionally – “Pure” (that’s all I know… sorry)
23) Who is your favorite Beatle? Um… the one with the hair
24) What is your favorite scent? Just-clean-from-the-shower smell
25) When was your last hospital visit? When I went to get a shot a few weeks ago
26) Favorite non-alcoholic/alcoholic drink? Good Colorado water/ Haven’t had enough to tell you, but it’s definitely not champagne
27) Where do you see yourself in ten years? Hopefully married
28) What time is it now? 1:06pm
29) What is your favorite quote? Can I just give you my book instead?
30) How tall are you? Five feet, three and one-half inches
31) What color are your eyes? Bluish-green
32) What is your favorite fictional female character? Anne of “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery
33) What is your favorite fictional male character? Father Tim of the Mitford series by Jan Karon
34) New York or LA? New York
35) Person you’d most like to have a conversation with right now? Christopher
36) Best year You’ve ever had? This past one, but life gets better all the time, so…
37) Do you have an arch-enemy? Only the lion who seeks to devour my soul
38) Person you would most like to run into walking down the street today? Christopher. What can I say? I kind of like him!
39) What would make you happy to hear your boss say? “I’m giving you a raise”
40) Whats your favorite book of all time? Aside from the Bible, “Anne of Green Gables” and “Till We Have Faces” by C.S. Lewis
41) Favorite cookie? Peanut butter, but butterscotch brownies are better
42) Favorite Sesame Street Character? Elmo
43) Favorite Fast Food Joint? Wendy’s or Burger King, depends on the day
44) In what store would you choose to max out your credit card? Unique Thrift
45) What word or phrase do you overuse? “Incredible”
46) Situation in which you earned karmic points? Don’t need ‘em, so it doesn’t matter
47) Situation in which you lost karmic points? Don’t need ‘em, so it doesn’t matter
48) What song can you not get out of your head? “Lift Jesus Higher” from camp
49) Say something random. “I want a ChopWizard.”
50) What time is it now? 1:16pm


I promise I'm not psychotic... I'm just excited and really, really bored.

Still no work. Please, somebody - give me something to do!

Back to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

It's a good thing I at least brought a book with me today.

Once again, ladies and gentlemen…

I have nothing to do. I’ve already wasted about an hour checking e-mail and other people’s blogs (which never get updated – ahem!) and I read two chapters in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which I will probably continue with as soon as I sign off of Blogger.

Only six more hours… and then I’m leaving. I don’t really care if that’s only at 4pm or that I’m only putting in slightly over 20 hours for the week. I’m just sick of sitting here with nothing to do and my mind is definitely not here with the wedding and Chris getting in tomorrow and the fact that the song I’m performing Sunday (that was originally just fine, but needed some work) is now racing around in my head in shambles and nowhere near where it needs to be.

I had a strange dream last night, but I no longer remember what it was about. It was one of those that you know was good because you wanted to just stay asleep as long as possible and hold onto its last threads. But it was weird – that’s just a default these days.

Sprite Zero: No Sugar. No Carbs. Low Sodium. I have to curb my two-soda-a-day habit at work. That’s what happens when there are free sodas. One in the morning and one with lunch. I’m eating the rest of my Chipotle burrito from yesterday for lunch today so I can “work” through lunch and go home at four o’clock.

Last night was fun. We went to Red Robin for dinner with Emily and one of Laura’s friends and enjoyed some good food (wings – yum!). Then, Laura and I went to the mall where I proceeded to make her wear the veil I made Tuesday until she left my presence and went home. She was a little bitter, but that’s okay – I can live with that.

Sammie has come up with what is perhaps the best idea ever. She is sending me an e-mail every day with a picture of herself (or two, or three). That way, I can see her every day! Since she is at camp this week, she sent me my week’s worth on Monday morning and I have been enjoying them ever since. What can I say? I’m easily entertained.

I finished week five in my Daniel study. The fifth chapter is so insane. Belshazzar gathers together a thousand nobles for a feast and a hand appears to write on the wall:

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

Mene: (“A Shekel”) God numbered the days of the kingdom and put an end to it.

Tekel: (“Shekels”) God weighed Belshazzar on the scales of men with authority and Belshazzar was found wanting and deficient.

Peres: (“A Half-Shekel,” Upharsin is the plural) God had already divided the kingdom between the Medes and Persians (play on words, too: Peres).

And, then, Belshazzar was killed that very night. Why?

Because he failed to follow Nebuchadnezzar’s lead in humbling himself, even though he knew that it was required of him.

God told Belshazzar the same thing three times, in three different ways, and he still failed to turn from his sin and pride.

We humans are such stubborn, prideful creatures. God have mercy on us.

On the more random side of things, I should find a countdown mechanism and employ it for myself… At least it would move and I could watch it count down when I have nothing to do today.

‘Cause it looks like it’s going to be that kind of day. Bummer.

Mood: Bored Listening to: Co-workers freaking out
Reading: C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

05 July 2006

Nothing to do...

So, I'm at work and I have stalled in my quest for consuming my time with what I'm actually being paid to be here for: work. I keep waiting to hear from others about what I might be able to do (my boss, a few other co-workers).

The thing is that I really don't want to be here. I have enough to do tonight and then from Friday through Monday that I just want to get on with it. And I'd like to sit and relax a little bit, too, if I get the chance.

Last week was incredible. To be at camp when I thought that I wasn't going to be able to go out this year was so beyond what I ever imagined. The teens we worked with were some of the best we've ever had and you could see the Spirit moving in so many of them. The only problems come in with those that break your heart because they are not allowing the Spirit to move in their lives and help them in overcoming all that this world has to offer them.

How wonderful to be refreshed and renewed in God's Word and in His fellowship for several days, to have anything and everything required of you 24 hours a day, to know that there is an eternal purpose in all that is being done - whether it be making sure kids don't kill each other on the waterslide or getting up to pick up another pitcher of Kool-Aid.

To be honest, there is no place on earth that I am happier or more challenged, and there is no place on earth that I would rather be than at Mountaintop. Every year, it is such a blessing to see God's handiwork in the lives of youth. Every year, it is such a blessing to find myself changed at the end of each day.

But it is also a source of heartbreak. The past few days, I've been weeping over past campers and staff members who have chosen paths other than those the Lord has provided for them. They have taken on Babylon's motto: "I am, and there is none besides me".

And it radically alters their lives.

Yet there are success stories as well, which bring such abundant joy. It is so evident that some of my campers have let Christ remain victorious in their daily living, even at such a young age.

And the salvation that is won! God is certainly gracious!

That doesn't even begin to describe camp, though. To do that, I would require thousands of pages - there are just too many memories and instances of God's grace and glory. Praise be to God Most High!

But now, I am home (even though I am at work), and I am finding it hard to sit still. When they re-imaged my machine prior to my departure for camp, they failed to re-install Solitaire and Minesweeper on my computer, so my time-consuming fallbacks are no longer in position. Instead, I have been known to twiddle my thumbs.

Maybe I'll work on the camp manual that I told Deb I'd work on this fall. Hmm...

Anyway, tonight the wedding chaos ensues. The ladies are headed out for Laura's bachelorette party this evening. Friday, Chris gets in from New Orleans and Laura, Katie and I are getting our nails done. Saturday, decorating, rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner will occupy my time and then, Sunday, the wedding will take up pretty much the whole day because I'm sure I'll spend some time calming Laura down in regards to anything that might be wrong. But I'm sure everything will be more than fine. The details are all set... it just now needs to all come together and work. No problem.

I'm contemplating leaving at 4pm. There's just nothing for me to do and I'm already anticipating fewer hours anyway because I didn't work yesterday (July 4) and I'm not planning on working Friday, so it doesn't really matter - I'll probably end up with the same amount anyway because they won't take out so much for taxes. And I'm not working Monday either. I keep praying that God helps me not freak out about it - I have more than enough, so I should have no worries about finances whatsoever.

If only I wasn't so preoccupied by saving money so I don't fall on my face when I finish college... it's only six months away!

How does time fly so fast? Only God knows.

Mood: Slightly incoherent Listening to: Some weird vibrating noise
Reading: Contemplating The Chronicles of Narnia again