living and working in a new city for a portion of this summer sure has its perks: i park my car each day beside my favorite college football stadium; aspen coffee co. has three convenient locations in town for me to get my frozen hot chocolate fix; and i have become an honorary bennett girl with a few lovely ladies, some that i grew up with and some that i’ve gotten to know just recently. one such chick happens not only to be one of my closest friends, but also my co-worker and a superb photographer. after confirming my assignment in quebec this summer, i approached jessica about snapping some photos of me for a personalized prayer card to distribute to friends and family. from the beginning of my committment to ministry through missions, jessica has pledged to support me (and other missionaries she knows) prayerfully, and one day financially when she is equipped to do so. one way she is presently carrying out this ministry with me is by capturing these moments on film, helping me design a cute card, and contributing cheerfully with me to covering their printing costs! i love how her vision for supporting and encouraging those in missions is so much broader than most others’. she’s using her talents and passions, not just her checkbook. good stuff, y’all!
we ventured downtown yesterday to shoot some samples, and even tried out some areas of our backyard. she delivered, y’all! here are just a few:
we selected three shots to use in a template from tiny prints, and voila! here’s what my prayer cards will look like:
what do y’all think? a shipment of cards should be in by the first weekend of june, and i can’t wait to get them sent out. interested in having one for your fridge, bulletin board, dart board, or shooting target? shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address, and i’ll make sure one lands your way. :) i leave in 30 days!
in honor of our final day here at oklahoma baptist university for the fall semester (yes, finals are finally OVER!), i decided to dedicate this week’s thursday thirty to 30 of obu’s biggest fashion trends – whether hits or misses, they’re quintessentially obu, y’all. my fellow bison will likely nod their heads as they scroll through the list. :)
- booty shorts and ugg boots: can someone please explain this one to me? :-/
- no toenail polish: i noticed this one more prominently during my freshman year. it’s cool if you don’t wanna wear hooker red polish, but if you’re nails have a yellow tint.. it may be beneficial?
- toms shoes: a trend i’m pleased to partake in! i’ve noticed, though, that most toms-wearing boys on campus wear them even after holes appear and their toes begin to protrude from said holes. slightly disturbing, but frugal too.
- chaco sandals
- bare feet: you read that right. when not wearing toms or chacos, our resident hippies prefer to trek around campus with nothin’ on their soles. looks painful.
- long skirts
- shorts with cardigans
- caps: apparently a girl’s go-to item for bad hair days?
- bows: they’re coming back in style, girls, thanks to our school’s own ‘bows for hos’ business. :D
- bump-its: can’t lie, i’ve tried ’em. :O
- vera bradley: we chickees are crazy about her patterns. them little wallet things with key rings on ’em are quite popular.
- tights with gym shorts: again, a style which puzzles me.
- tank tops with strapless dresses/blouses: ’cause we’re all about modesty here. ahem.
- beige slip-on shoes
- white v-neck shirts
- nalgene water bottles: we’re all about living green, if there are cute colors and patterns involved.
- carrying coffee mugs to class
- north face: meh.
- t-shirts with skirts: apparently it’s all the rage.
- hammocks: if i wasn’t terrified of rolling out of one the second i try to hop on, i might try it. ’til then, i’ll just watch the hippies tie some up between the trees by the library. :)
- skateboards: ride ’em, carry ’em to class, prop ’em up by the door of your civ room.
- skinny jeans & flats: obviously, the word preceeding ‘jeans’ sorta eliminates me from participating in this particular fashion trend.
- bikes: i wish i still knew how to ride one.
- sperry’s: if only i could afford some.
- nose rings
- rainboots: with jeans tucked in, of course.
- the obu claw: my roomie coined this term, referring to the excessive use of one’s hands in conversation that obu students – girls, especially – tend to employ. it can get outta hand.
- an engagement ring: that’s right! you too can achieve a ‘ring by spring.’ unless you’re too busy cramming greek words and historical facts into your brain like some of the rest of us. :D
φιλεω Κοινή, y’all.
this semester marked my first course in elementary greek at obu, which blew me away. thankfully, i had a few fantastic study buddies to ease the journey, and a wonderful professor to boot. this course is one of the most challenging and rewarding ones i’ve ever cracked open a book for, ranking right up there with life of Christ and the infamous year of western civ. learning a biblical language didn’t particularly strike me as possible before coming to college, and if nothing else it appeared too intimidating or time consuming of a task. five months after my first shaky morning of ancient greek, however, i am so grateful that i stepped out of my league and gave it a shot. in one semester, we’ve learned around 180 greek nouns and verbs, mastered studied 6 different tenses, translated a bajillion sentences from the new testament and septuagint, and picked up a whole lotta goodies in between. i’m one happy geek.
though i’m nowhere near being a proficent greek scholar, my friends, i’m thrilled to be continuing my studies next semester, and maybe even into my senior year. which, by the way, will require a few hundred pots of coffee, dozens of stacks of index cards, and many prayers. :) but i look forward to perhaps one day being less and less of a slave to commentaries and translated tidbits, and instead being a little closer to interpreting the Word as the authors of it intended. that’s nice and corny, right?
p.s. here’s a video dr. kelly showed us the very first day of class. i can appreciate it’s kitchyness even better today. :D
what’s been the most challenging and/or satisfying course or skill you’ve ever studied?
my dear friend sebastien has finally provided a voice of reason amidst the hot debate on modesty at obu. below you will find a tongue-in-cheek editorial from a man’s outlook – something long awaited and vitally needed in the often catty, female-dominated dispute over what is and isn’t modest. i hope you too can get a little giggle and some perspective on the responsibilities both genders have in keeping our thoughts in check.
musings on the “modest” girls of OBU:
baptist girls are an odd lot. okay, maybe not all of them, but there are enough here at OBU to at least merit a mention. i’ve heard numerous girls talk about and read a few blogs about girls causing their “brothers” to “stumble.” for those of you who don’t know what i’m talking about, let me fill you in. these girls feel as if wearing clothing that isn’t completely covering all of their body below their neck and above the elbows and knees is causing troublesome distractions to guys. tt makes them fall by the wayside. it leads them away from their journey with God. they talk about guys as if they’re these poor creatures who can’t handle seeing a collarbone or who will fall away from God if they catch a glimpse of cleavage. some even go as far as to proclaim that guys have it far worse than girls, saying that they can’t do much in their manner of dress to make a girl stumble.
i have female friends “stumbling” all over the place thanks to guys.
apparently guys are akin to some poor child who just can’t help himself, as if he may go hire a prostitute or get a girl pregnant after seeing a female student wearing heels or a skirt that’s above the knees. the guys just see that and lose their minds, i suppose.
others make promises to never intentionally make a “brother” “stumble”. i promise you that guys can handle your clothing. none of the girls here at OBU wear anything that scandalous. i also promise you that if a girl wears clothing that is flattering to her body, that can present just as much of a danger, whether she is showing cleavage or not. a girl who dresses for her body is going to get noticed, skin or not.
what i find worse is that some of these girls then target other girls in the school who, painful as it may sound, dress better than them – girls who take care of themselves and take pride in how they look. these “modest” girls write hateful things that are very clearly intended for specific people, thinking that they’re doing it for a greater good. they make snide comments to the faces of girls who wouldn’t dress scandalous if their lives depended on it, because they think their top is too low or showing too much skin. they make themselves feel like they’re the better person because they chose not to put forth any thought into what would look good.they quote scripture, using verses like 1 timothy 2:9-10, saying not to “braid your hair or wear gold or pearls,” and 1 thessalonians 4:7, saying that “God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. ” i don’t know if that’s an attempt to equate dressing nice with being impure , but i know you’d be hard pressed to find a female anywhere that hasn’t worn gold or pearls. not all Bible verses are still relevant to our times.
having said all of that, here is my proposal for you girls. wear a potato sack. wear big sweatshirts and oversize jeans. give up makeup and don’t even think of shaping your eyebrows. stop getting haircuts to accent your features. buy all of your clothing 3 sizes larger than normal. don’t wear anything that clings to your body or curves in any way, please, for we may stumble. and to those of you promising to never make us stumble: fear not, you probably never have.
what a week. the previous seven days were overrun by sickness, brief hospital stints, recovery, near-fatal exams, and getting my laughter back. what a week. i’m proud to have survived it, and thankful that spring break will be showing its glowing self soon. fishing and target shooting with my dad in the boondocks, a mission experience with my switch kids, and seeing some old friends are sure to refresh me for what is left of this semester. then, of course, the two papers i also have to knock out will snap me back to academic reality. oh well. sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.
i have a deep and important favor to ask of y’all. my presentation over public schools’ accommodation of religious practices for my church/state class is swiftly approaching, and i’m dying to hear some outside opinions on a few issues i’m examining. i would love, love, love to hear your thoughts, so please share them with me in a comment if you get a spare moment!
- some public schools with significant muslim populations are now providing rooms for students to perform their obligatory prayers in and are being excused from class periods to do so. is this at all a promotion of religion, or is this accommodation acceptable?
- the university of michigan’s deerborn campus has pledged $25,000 of student fee dollars to construct foot-washing stations in bathrooms for muslim students who must perform this ritual cleansing before prayer. walking a fine line, or promoting safety and sanitation for those who would otherwise be forced to wash their feet in sinks?
- christmas programs are a longstanding tradition in many schools, filled with both secular symbols and faith-based carols. should kwanza and hanukkah programs also be held? is a “christmas” concert or program a violation of the establishment clause?
- the head scarf, or hijab, that many girls in islam are required to wear has become a hot-button issue with public american schools. an elementary student in muskogee, oklahoma, was suspended several years ago for violating her school’s head covering policy with her hijab, and her plight was eventually supported by the federal government. should religious wear be exempt from these policies?
it’s true. as of yesterday, i am no longer a teen. :-D and i owe an extravagant and joyous birthday weekend to my dear friends here at obu – and my sweet mama who sent me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. i cannot wait to snap a photo of it once all of the buds bloom!
well, in case you ever wanted to know what goes on during one’s birthday in our circle of friends, here is the inside look.
a lively bunch at abuelita rosa’s serenaded me friday evening. i could not contain me glee!
kelly and addison are perhaps two of the most precious people i know. after pigging out with jake and some new guy on the baseball team, we retired to watch an andy warhol bio that left us puzzled.
even the colonel decided to get in on the fun.
last night capped off the elaborate weekend, as we cheered on our obu bison at the basketball game, then took over the local chili’s with kelly, addi, moi, sebastien, anastasia, curtis, kyle, katie, and taylor d. [yes, i am aware you know none of these individuals, but listing them like that makes it look like i have an entourage.]
i am so blessed.
while taking a fast-paced world religions course this month during j-term, i also have ventured into the world of telephone solicitation. oh yes, friends, i have become one of those. here at oklahoma baptist university, we use our j-term phone-a-thon to raise moolah for the school’s general scholarship/material/random need fund. in my little cubicle, i dial alumni and friends from across the nation, tactfully and cheerfully reciting the same little phrases. this mundane process has proved to be surprisingly eye-opening, and dare i say even a wee bit enjoyable. we win coveted packets of shawnee mills mixes and sonic coupons by playing hangman and trivia games, and the competition for most pledges per evening is quite fierce. there are even cookies and sweet tea provided for us every night, which makes this endeavor oh so worthwhile. :] it never fails, however, that i get a few alumni on the other end of the telephone who choose the following reactions:
#1: the “nobody-can-hear-me-through-the-phone” alumni
“hi! may i speak to joe schmo?”
“who is this?”
“my name is taylor phillips and i’m a student calling from oklahoma baptist university.”
“hold on.” …. a whispered conversation will take place, in which one spouse tells the other obu is on the phone. he/she will then respond with, “they’re just lookin’ for money. hang up.”
“he’s not here.”
#2: the former donor who just raises my hopes too high
“hi! may i speak to joe schmo?”
“hello, my name is taylor phillips and i’m a student calling from oklahoma baptist university. how are you this evening?
“great! if you have just a moment, i’d like to speak with you about the obu fund, which i see you have donated $1,000 to in the past five years. would you consider making another gift this year?”
“nah, i think we’ll pass this year. but thanks!”
#3: the “i’m-too-busy-to-talk…but-i-still-answered-my-phone” alumni
“hi! may i speak with blah blah?”
“this is she.”
“hello, my name is blah blah blah. how are you this evening?”
“pretty good. you?”
“great, thank you for asking! i’m calling on behalf of the obu fund. do you have just a minute to talk about that?”
“oh. … actually, i’m putting my kids to bed.”
#4: the “i’m-angry-you’re-interrupting-american-idol” alumni
“hi! may i speak with blah blah blah.”
“just a sec.”
“hi, my name is blah blah blah. how are you?”
“great! i’m calling on behalf of the obu fund. do you have just a minute to speak with me about it?”
“no, thank you. why are you calling on the american idol premier night?!”
#5: the “i-think-obu-sucks-now” alumni
[insert usual introduction here]
“honey, i will never give to obu, and i’d be glad to tell you why.”
“i was a missionary with the southern baptist convention for 33 years, and i was fired after all that time for not signing the baptist faith and message because it’s oppressive to women. as long as obu is supported by the sbc, i cannot give with a clean conscience. are you a missions major?”
“um, yes actually.”
“oh dear. sweetheart, you gotta make some decisions early on.”
friends, these are just some of the many conversations i’ve had in the last two weeks. don’t be fooled, not all of my phone-a-thon nights have been this negative. i have been blessed with many wonderful conversations and lots of coupons and cornbread. :] but these adventures in phone calls have prompted me to ponder my past and future reactions to telemarketers or my gift-seeking alma mater. i now know how frustrating it can be to be hung up on, and to go through scores of alumni and not have one pleasant exchange [bear in mind they all graduated from a christian university…]. i sure hope this lesson in patience has also taught me to remember these very phone-a-thon adventures when i myself am called up by a poor college student who’s just doing their job.
so what about y’all? have you ever taken a job as a phone-caller or been on the receiving end of a telemarketer? how did you react in various situations?