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Showing posts from 2014

Year in review 2014, or, A Post-Christmas greeting

My mom always said better late than never. So, here's hoping you all had a very merry Christmas and are looking forward to a happy New Year!

Sarah's Christmas Update
Imagine a year full of a number of crazy things. Multiply by 4.5 and you'll get an idea of what my life has been like in 2014. ;)

Highlight of my year? Travel to China to visit a good friend from college and see some of the sights with her: the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Terra Cotta Army... it felt like a dream, it was so surreal. I haven't been disciplined enough to write much about it but I hope to do so this winter as I work on putting together a photo album from my trip. (The few posts I've written are here.) If you'd like to see the digital photo album, email me (readersis at gmail dot com) for the link and prepare yourself for the onslaught of more than 900 photos... :) But seriously, it was the trip of a lifetime and I'm thankful to God and to my friend for giving me th…

Older than I've ever been

I was interviewing a local business executive late last week and she made reference to others like me, young professionals in their 30s.

Except I'm not in my 30s.

I happened to reference that in passing in my reply and follow-up question, and she told me I was probably about the age of her children -- one of whom's 29 and the other in her early 30s (32, I think).

I turn(ed) 25 this month.*

It's not the first time someone has overestimated my age by a few years. But it is consistent in that it's always overestimated, never underestimated (except by 13-year-olds), and it's usually by about 4-5 years. It's been this way at least since I was 14 -- I distinctly remember being told I could pass for 18 at one point, and at another being asked what college I attended (that was when I was a freshman in high school).

I usually chalk it up to maturity. (It could also be half-baked fashion sense. I don't exactly know.) A friend from college said today that it was becau…

Why must it be so cold?

I hate the cold. I wish it would go someplace where it's really hot. ;)

But Indiana isn't exactly the most tropical state. Somebody is blaming the most recent cold snap on a typhoon out by Japan. Chaos theory and all that (except when you can use computer models to make educated guesses at effects, it's not so chaotic). But I'm pretty sure this is just how Indiana likes to spend its winters, trolling the populace. "Hey, look, one random warm day. PSYCH! It's gonna be cold for a month!"

I turned the heat on in my house back in October, probably three weeks ago now. I'm a cheapskate so the thermostat is set at about 67 degrees Fahrenheit -- that, friends, is as cold as I can take it. And even now, my fingers feel like icicles with central nervous systems.

This is where blankets come in. I have a blanket -- no, two -- on my bed. There are at least a couple strewn about my living room and another one on my reading chair in the sunroom. There's even on…

Life on my own #48: Fifth-wheeling

One ticket, please.

A friend of mine appeared in a local production of "Arsenic and Old Lace." I wanted to see her in it, so as usual, I showed up on my own at the ticket table.

The best part about going by yourself is that you can get a great seat even if the auditorium's packed. There's always that one odd seat smack-dab up front that is leftover after other groups have taken their spots. It's a perk of being on my own.

This auditorium, however, was far from packed. I sat myself down in the middle of the prime row and settled in, noticing a mutual friend of the amateur actress I'd come to support. I waved, she waved, she and her family came to sit with me. Score!

As if that wasn't enough, a pair of couples I know walked in, started to take seats farther back, saw me, waved, and decided to come sit in my row instead. Score!

Clearly I was in my extraverted phase right there. Don't worry, I went back to being introverted by the end of the night. ;)

Cur…

Whirlwind weekend

I feel more and more like an adventuress with each passing day.

This past weekend was a highlight of the year in two ways: I participated in an annual living history event with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other reenactors, and attended the wedding of a friend from college whose ceremony made me actually like the idea of a traditional wedding better than an elopement.

It was tricky, though. The events were taking place in two different states.

My solution was to skip out on half the reenactment Saturday in order to drive to the wedding, stay over at a friend's college apartment and drive back for the last couple hours of the reenactment on Sunday.

But nobody wants to miss much of a reenactment. I established an itinerary in order to stay as long as humanly possible on Saturday. It looked like this:

12:15 p.m. - Hide in the reenacting tent with women at each end to guard the openings. Change out of reenacting dress and into dress more appropriate for a modern wedding. Hope the s…

Rain or shine in Beijing

Weather in China wasn't entirely what I expected. Then again, in some ways it corresponded exactly with what I had thought about the country.

The day I arrived, it was sunny and warm -- comparable to a fairly normal Midwestern summer day. My friend commented that it was the clearest she'd ever seen the city. Normally, she explained, the smog is bad enough to keep the views vaguely obscured by a haze.

You could see some smog that day -- I remember noticing buildings a few blocks from the Forbidden City were fuzzy and greyish --  but it still felt pretty sunny. I didn't feel like I was choking from the smog, like I thought I might.

It rained that day, too. Right after we left the Forbidden City and found a little dumpling place for lunch, the clouds dumped a short monsoon onto the streets -- again, not unlike a Midwestern summer storm. A woman outside was hawking umbrellas as she walked around; my friend commented she probably did pretty good business. Some people on bikes …

Tozer on consequences

No man lives unto himself. Either directly or indirectly, you are deeply influencing somebody else. If you are a carelessly living Christian, there may be persons who will use your careless life as a shield, a hiding place for his own much more serious iniquity. Or there may be those who kneel at night and say, "God, make me like brother So-and-so, make me like Mrs. So-and-so." It can be both ways, for deeds have consequences and are the result of choices, whether they are impulsive choices or carefully thought out choices.

In the Bible, a wise man is not necessarily an educated man or one of high cultural level, although he could be. A wise man is a man who acts with an eye to consequences. He thinks, "What will the result of this be?" Then he acts in a way that will bring him consequences he will not have to be ashamed of or afraid of in the day to come.
--Paragraphs excerpted from "The Dangers of a Shallow Faith," A. W. Tozer

I'm not dead, but it…

Prohibited zones, or, The Imperial Palace

There are two things I've associated with Chinese history for many years. The first, of course, is the Great Wall. The second is the Forbidden City.

But I didn't realize just how big this thing was. I thought, really, that it was just a humongous courtyard surrounded by about four buildings, each connected to its neighbor by a high wall.

I didn't know it would be this high.

I didn't know that it would have a moat around it.

And I didn't know that the outer wall surrounded several courtyards.

The Meridian Gate (see picture) was impressive enough, bigger than I'd imagined. It also looked more Chinese than I ever thought authentic Chinese architecture would really look.

See, I've seen examples of Mexican restaurants that are pretty well overdone. Think "Cinco de Mayo" (which is in fact a pretty minor Mexican holiday, on the order of Flag Day here). So I figured the most, what I'd call garish, Chinese restaurants I've seen in the U.S. were sim…

On hostels in China

Consider me sheltered. I'd neither seen the movie "Hostel" nor spent much time in said lodgings (with the exception of a couple of nights in a Costa Rican hostel). Come to think of it, I still haven't seen the movie. All I know is that it freaks everyone out when I tell them I stayed at hostels.

Our first Chinese hostel was a few subway stops away. Subways, for the record, are not like New York subways. They're clean, like Washington subways, and new, like no other subway I've ever been in -- there are light-up displays of the train's route above every exit in a subway car, with the stops on the map in red lights and turning green as you pass them. (The coloring choices threw me off every time.)

Once off the subway, we walked to the street our hostel was supposed to be on. If you could call it a street. It was narrow, the road just barely wide enough for a car and a half, maybe. Sidewalks were for all intents and purposes nonexistent, whether because peop…

Breaking the silence, or, How to travel without language

Yes, I realize the most recent post on this blog is now more than a month old.

I've kept you in suspense long enough about my China trip.

It's the first time I've ever been wandering around a country whose language I couldn't at least make out a few words of. When I got there, I also realized that I'm not very good at reading the faces of people in Asian cultures. In other words, I'm not sure I could have even pantomimed my way through ordering a meal at a restaurant. Even with a pictorial menu.

My friend met me at the airport. She'd given me detailed instructions on what to do once touching down on Chinese tarmac (which is the same as American tarmac) -- follow the crowd to the customs kiosks, hand over your documents and basically just wait there. I wouldn't have to say anything, she said, and she was right. The signs were even in English in addition to Chinese.

Past the "Foreigners" sign at "Immigration," I just followed the hallwa…

All my bags are packed

...I'm ready to go.

Who knew that you could travel to Asia using only carry-on luggage? Well, I didn't, until I found out I'd be packing for 80- to 100-degree weather. Then I realized... shorts and T-shirts take almost no room.

So I'm almost completely packed for my trip. Right down to the bags of delicious flavored coffee I'm taking for me and my friend to enjoy while we're there. Even with the coffee wrapped in two plastic bags (one shopping bag, one zip-close bag), I suspect its smell will rub off on my clothes. Is that a bad thing?

This is the farthest I've ever traveled. And the first time I'll be in a country in whose language I have no hope of making myself understood. I'll go through customs all by myself -- they'll even take my temperature, to make sure I don't carry H1N1 or SARS or MERS in with me -- and then I'll get to spend the next nine days hanging out with a good friend from college, almost the only other person in whose …

I got Pinterest?

So I interviewed someone for work about how she's using Pinterest for her business. Fact No. 1: She's not a wedding planner. Fact No. 2: I have heretofore refrained from signing up for a Pinterest account.

Well, I have one now.

What exactly does one do with Pinterest? I mean, besides waste time on it. I don't really know. And I waste enough time on Facebook. And I never was subject to that Pinterest mania I've seen so many other Pinners suffer from.

Compendium of links #58: Nerdy video edition

For once, it's a midweek edition of the Compendium! Mostly because I finished teaching ESL, mowing the lawn and generally getting things done so I want to do something that is fun. Like blogging. And sharing really fun nerdy videos.

Therefore, this entire compendium will be made up of nerdy videos I've found recently.

Doctor Who meets Rocky Horror Picture Show:



Another timey-wimey-themed video short:



Zelda: Ocarina of Time meets mariachi (or flamenco?) band:



How to multiply two (not more) numbers using lines: (Note on this one: It also makes you think about the possibility of a limitless number of dimensions... since you can always multiply by one more number... :D )



Batman meets Charlie Bit Me:



And finally, a Five Iron Frenzy song I ran across that is all about guys needing to take out their testosterone via nerdy video game pursuits and other seemingly pointless but competitive toys: (Don't miss the Lord of the Rings reference!)

Review: Getting Naked Later: A Guide for the Fully Clothed

Getting Naked Later: A Guide for the Fully Clothed by Kate Hurley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



As a regular reader of Kate Hurley's blog thesexycelibate.com, I knew before this book was even published that I'd want to read it. Her writing on the blog is poetic, piercing, sometimes filled with raw emotion but pretty much shot through with the desire to glorify God and love others despite -- or sometimes by way of -- her singleness.

Hurley is around 36 years old at the time of writing, a Christian songwriter who's slowly letting go of the fierce desire she feels for a husband and family. She becomes very vulnerable in sharing some of her stories, both in her book and on her blog, but those stories are often the very ones that single women (and men, in some cases) can identify with. Stories like how she's been in 33 weddings (take that, 27 Dresses!) or how she suffered from Lyme disease for several years, or how she got into ministry to urban homeless or how the youth…

Review: Jesus the King

Jesus the King by Timothy Keller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



If you're looking to study the life of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Mark -- maybe you're Christian, maybe you're interested in biblical studies, maybe your name is Mark -- this is a great place to start, because of the author's clear and methodical exposition and attention to the text and its ramifications.

Tim Keller, pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, is well known in Reformed Christian circles; he's a founding member and vice president of The Gospel Coalition, among other ties, and sometimes called the next C.S. Lewis after the publication of his earlier work "The Reason for God." Lewis he is not -- he's not Anglican, and holds to more evangelical Christian theology than Lewis did, not to mention his style is not as clear-cut as Lewis's -- but his writing is certainly worth the read. Keller does his homework, quoting from theologians, philosophers and novelist…

What I learned #8: About China

I'm going to visit China for a short while this summer.

I'M GOING TO CHINA THIS SUMMER!

Let that sink in.

Anyway, to prepare for the trip -- which is intended to see as much as possible while hanging out with a friend from college who's teaching there now -- I'm reading a book called "A Traveller's History of China" by Stephen G. Haw. And the book has taught me some rather interesting tidbits.
Ancient Chinese philosopher Yang Zhu subscribed to the ideal of Hakuna Matata, and the Daoist movement his ideas were incorporated into boiled down to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."The dynasty that left behind its Terra Cotta Warriors and built the first Great Wall (later extensively rebuilt/repaired) lasted just 50 years.One random Chinese Buddhist monk spent 16 years on a jaunt around India collecting Buddhist texts to take back home. Those texts got their very own pagoda for storage -- the Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an.The Khans (as in Ku…

I have a new bike

I kept telling myself I needed a few more gears than three.

And I finally did something to fill that "need."

In the first world, a bike with more than 3 gears isn't much of a need. But it's one of those things that would give me a little more motivation to get outside and go biking, which a) improves my health and b) gets me off of Facebook. :D

So when my aunt offered to give me a bicycle that was just what I was looking for -- the right size, 10 gears, everything -- I jumped at the chance. A mini tune-up later, and it was ready to rock!

I took it out on the first group ride of the season yesterday, looking forward to tackling the hills on the 17-mile route with ease (or, at least more easily than I tackled some of the same hills on a 10-mile ride last year with my 3-speed). I was nearly halfway through the ride, quite happy with how the bike was working out and how sure I was I'd have the energy to finish the ride, when the unthinkable happened.

OK, maybe it was…

Compendium of Links #57

The past few weeks have been going by in a blur. It's likely to only worsen until about the end of June. I know there's something going on every weekend until at least Memorial Day. And I don't know whether to be extremely excited or tired just at the thought of it. :P Fortunately, the weekends all involve people I love dearly so I think the excitement will overcome the fear of getting tired out.

New Age Bullsh*t Generator - The computer algorithm spits out a lot of gibberish disguised as New Age enlightenment, much to my amusement: "The complexity of the present time seems to demand an awakening of our chakras if we are going to survive. Suffering is the antithesis of understanding. Bondage is born in the gap where joy has been excluded." And so on.

Test your European geography knowledge with this interactive map! You get points for naming a country on the first try! I've gotten pretty good with the Slavic countries, surprisingly enough - which I attribute t…

Compendium of Links #56

I'm such a baby when I get sick. All I have the energy to do is sit on the couch and read... if that. All I've got is a bad cold, and I slept till 11 a.m. today. I blame it on my sister. :P

A Japanese architect won an architecture prize for his beautiful temporary structures built in the wake of major disasters. Check out the photos of the buildings made of cardboard... paper... you name it! (HT: A cousin)

An addicting math-y game featuring Doctor Who! It's called 2048... I think because 2048=2^11 and there are 11 Doctors. So far I've only been able to get to the seventh doctor, I think.

A really neat GIF shows the progression of history through the borders of U.S. colonies, territories and states!

Tim Challies shares 8 ways to get more done this week -- very commonsense stuff but often overlooked or pushed aside! (I'm talking to myself here. :P )

Jon Acuff finally distinguishes between "haters" and sincere disagreement.

A quiz from Pew Research: How mille…

Compendium of Links #55: Good advice edition

I took my Amiguita (my Little in Big Brothers/Big Sisters) to the YMCA pool today, but had the morning all to myself to get some chores done and take care of other fun things. Like blogging!

The Art of Manliness sounds off about what it means to pay attention and remain focused. Pretty good advice, too.

Speaking of my Amiguita, here's a list from Boundless.org of 20 ways to mentor in your 20's. This business about "finding yourself" and such isn't what life is all about. It's about finding God, and investing in others is part of that. You're never "too young" to start (unless you're, say,  9 months old).

A friend of mine is battling sterility and trying to have children. A blog she wrote a few months ago is a piercing insight into what she feels when she's surrounded by women with cuddly little ones, and how she must remain tenderhearted toward their joys.
Watching someone else live the life you thought you’d have is painful. You can eas…

First bike ride of the season

Yesterday I took my first bike ride of the year. Just a short one -- 3.5 miles was all I had time for -- but it was blissful to be back out on two wheels, taking in the fresh air and the gorgeous scenery in the setting sun!

This year I'm going to try to ride at least 6 miles on days when the weather is decent. And by decent, I mean at least 50 degrees out and not raining. There's a thoroughly shaded pathway I can take if it gets above, say, 85 degrees out -- in fact, you can see the general area of it in this photo (it's the part directly ahead with all the trees). Not the best when it's impeding snow melt, but great if you're trying not to dehydrate in summer.

A.W. Tozer on the necessity of creed

AMONG CERTAIN CHRISTIANS it has become quite the fashion to cry down creed and cry up experience as the only true test of Christianity. The expression “Not creed, but Christ” (taken, I believe, from a poem by John Oxenham) has been widely accepted as the very voice of truth and given a place alongside of the writings of prophets and apostles.

When I first heard the words they sounded good. One got from them the idea that the advocates of the no-creed creed had found a precious secret that the rest of us had missed; that they had managed to cut right through the verbiage of historic Christianity and come direct to Christ without bothering about doctrine. And the words appeared to honor our Lord more perfectly by focusing attention upon Him alone and not upon mere words. But is this true? I think not. ...

While we may worship (and thousands of Christians do) without the use of any formal creed, it is impossible to worship acceptably without some knowledge of the One we seek to worship.…

Compendium of Links #54

I woke up at 7 a.m. to shovel new-fallen snow off my driveway before heading to church for praise band practice. That's a good hour or two before my normal wake-up time. I think a traditional Sunday afternoon nap is in order!

But before I get to that, here's this week's Compedium of interesting stuff I found on the Internet. It's kind of like the questionable trinkets children come home with. "Mom! Look what I found!"

Ham on Nye: The high cost of winning an evolution/creation debate - A really interesting, long take on the recent debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, published on the Ars Technica website. The reporter appears to have done excellent research.

Courtdate: A generation of courtship culture on trial - Benefits and unseen consequences of the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" culture, and how one may right the imbalances.

If men got the Titus 2 treatment - A hilarious reminder from Rachel Held Evans that we oughta be careful to exercise good hermeneut…

Road trip to St. Louis

Since I moved to Indiana, I've been overwhelmed with the realization that I'm so much closer than I've ever been before to certain major national landmarks.

Like Chicago. When I realized Chicago was now within reach of a day trip -- not a 7-hour drive away or more -- it was a revelation, and I promptly convinced a friend to accompany me on just such a trip to see the city. I may or may not have gotten overly excited about a Bean.

Another friend of mine was interviewing at a university in St. Louis this week and invited me to visit her while she was there. I then realized that the city was a feasible weekend trip away -- again, not the daunting drive it's heretofore been. And I could even swing by the Illinois Statehouse to make it a circle. What could be more fun?

Thus, I present: An album, because everybody needs a road trip once in a while.










(Check the album for more photos!)

I've been thinking melancholy songs lately

This is the song I want to play for the musician's jam next month, if I can make it that weekend.


For the technically curious: I sang it and played simultaneously on my new-to-me Washburn guitar, recording it on my Samsung Galaxy SII phone using the app PCM Recorder and the built-in mic. Did no post-recording manipulation, as I don't really have the programs for that.

Congrats, Abby, on writing comment #1,400

If my Blogger comment dashboard has any semblance of accuracy -- and there's no guarantee it does -- my beloved sister Abby was the author of comment #1,400 on this blog when she wrote the inaugural reply to Compendium #53.

For this accomplishment, she gets a blog post dedicated to her glasses!

I hereby dedicate this blog post to Abby's glasses. Because she'd have a bit of trouble driving without them. And we can't have her stranded where she can't visit me, now, can we?

*grin*

Compendium of Links #53

I have not slept well all week. Last night I think I slept for maybe 45 minutes, woke up, and then proceeded to spend the next 6 hours trying to go back to sleep. However, today's nap and tonight's sleep will probably set me back to rights.

In the meantime, you may entertain and inform yourself with the following random links!

Annoying Things in Worship Songs - you know, like being simplistic, repeating endlessly... oh wait...

Buy a beard! Or a mustache! You can even get a two-part beard that looks like ram's horns.

To Dwell in Possibilities - A friend o' mine started a blog geared toward young single Christian gals. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Unknown mathematician proves elusive property of prime numbers - "Written by a mathematician virtually unknown to the experts in his field — a 50-something lecturer at the University of New Hampshire named Yitang Zhang — the paper claimed to have taken a huge step forward in understanding one of mathematics’ oldest …

Review: Real Men Don't Text: A New Approach to Dating

Real Men Don't Text: A New Approach to Dating by Ruthie Dean

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I'm not part of the notorious "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" camp of Christian non-daters. But I'll admit, it's hard to find solid ground where I can date with a clean conscience, given my understanding of being called to Christlikeness, but without the legalism. And how in the world do you find a guy willing to do the same?

A friend put me onto this book on the day the Kindle version was free. I figured, why not? I was pleasantly surprised to read some advice from a woman who didn't pretend she'd done it all right. In fact, a lot of the advice comes from having first done everything wrong -- and the bits her husband adds provide valuable clarity from the male perspective. Drawing on those experiences, sociological research and biblical morals (it's written primarily for women who are Christian or Jewish), she distills her advice into concrete do's (and do…

Compendium of Links #52: Video edition

I spent most of this week not sleeping well. Whether I just couldn't fall asleep until 2 a.m., or woke up earlier than I wanted to, or couldn't nap... it was just tiring. I finally got something close to eight hours last night, I think. And man, I feel far more awake this morning than I have for some time.

For this edition of the Compendium I'll merely have videos, since I've amassed several! Most of them are fun ones with a serious one or two mixed in. (Actually, looks like it's just one serious video.)

What does it look like when you mix paint with an audio speaker?




School administrators pretend they're Queen to cancel school.




HAHA! A while back I saw a video that made fun of stuff Christians in general say (or a lot of Christian guys). This one's for the gals.




Serious video: Inverting men's/women's experiences with sexist treatment. Or should I say, disrespectful treatment. Because that is the problem: Men who act the way the women behave in this…

Being an INTP part 2: When acquaintances get married and you're nowhere near it

A question has been running through my mind the last several days, or months or years: Are some people's personalities simply less likely ever to fall in love?

I wonder this because in the cursory reading I've done about those with my personality type (which I'm fairly certain is conveyed by the Myers-Briggs letters INTP) I've seen that people with these characteristics tend not to do relationships easily (or well). Friendships are hard enough, but romantic relationships tax us such that sometimes we wonder whether they're worth bothering about at all (as one website notes).

I firmly believe I have never been "in love" and I sometimes doubt if I'm even capable of that kind of love... and it's rather disheartening. Because at the same time, I feel (not think, feel) that a committed romantic relationship constitutes an emotional dimension I am completely ignorant of. And if I ever do fall in love, it'll be completely new territory... I'm slig…

Compendium of Links #51

I quite literally spent more than two hours early this week cataloging my library. I've recorded 170 of the ones I own, with probably another 100 to go in another room. I'm pretty near the estimate of 300 that I had guessed I owned.

And if you're curious, you can check out my shelf of owned books on GoodReads.

Relevant Magazine addresses why it's so hard to make friends after college.

Proof that the average American is obsessed with money. Or, the top 10 best and worst places to live measured by chances of upward mobility.

Probably the best essay I've read about leadership in quite some time. If you only read one link out of today's list, read this one, "Solitude and Leadership," delivered to West Point freshmen (or, plebes, as they call them). A very short quote from it: "...[W]hat I saw around me were great kids who had been trained to be world-class hoop jumpers. Any goal you set them, they could achieve. Any test you gave them, they could …

By popular demand: Photo of my guitar in full

There. Happy now, Abby? :D

Compendium of Links #50

This... has been a busy week. Good, but busy. You already know about the guitar. What you don't know, also, is that my siblings were over to visit last weekend and I lost about half my sleep every night because I decided instead to spend time hanging out with them and with my cousins. I managed to make it through this week, though, despite the sleep deprivation!

But, in honor of this blog's 50th Compendium, I present the first collection of 2014, which is neither more nor less eclectic than all the Compendia before... and every bit as nerdy.

The electricity-generating bicycle desk that would power the world - You know, I could get into using this. Really, I could. I stand up at my desk half the time already. And fidget.

LOL My Thesis - Masters' and doctoral theses distilled into one or two basic, often snarky sentences. Like Truth is, Nurse Practitioners are a band aid solution to Canada’s broken health care system.

Have American parents got it all backwards? - An argument i…

When a guitarist gets an instrument

I've thought for months, maybe years, that I should probably consider getting an electrified acoustic guitar. I've played guitar for some time, yet always an acoustic, and when I play for church it's always been on that same acoustic, with a little passive pickup fitted into the soundhole.

That's changing.

I finally went out and bought an acoustic-electric from one of the local pawn shops (the reputable one). The shopkeepers told me they'd just put out a lovely Washburn acoustic-electric that day (here's specifics about the model), and when I played around with it, I realized it would be a good bet for what I was looking for. Good acoustic sound that still sounded acoustic when plugged in (at least, more than some acoustic-electrics).

Sometimes I wonder how to tell the difference between simple serendipity and genuine Providence. Is there one? This was one of those times I wondered if God hadn't inspired me to look for an acoustic-electric at just that time…