October 30, 2009

sentence first...verdict afterwards

This year, I am dressing up as the Queen of Hearts for Halloween (see previous post "queen of hearts"). Here are some pictures I found while browsing for costuming inspiration. Little bit of the queen, little bit of Alice.

"Now, I give you fair warning, either you or your head must be off, and that in about half no time! Take your choice!"

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?"

October 18, 2009

church shopping

Today, was my second time trying out a new church. I enjoyed it even more than the first time I went. I'm feeling really encouraged by the fact that I have quickly found a church that I feel comfortable at. I'm finding the sermons to be very personally inspirational and educational. And the music today was fantastic. Hopefully, I'll continue to like it more and more and I will want to settle at this church for the duration of my law school career.

Trying out new churches and hearing other people's perspectives on what they do or do not like about a particular church's sermon, music, doctrine, or overall style makes me truly appreciate how personal it is finding a church that "fits" and how challenging the church shopping process can be.

Today, the pastor started a sermon called "The Undead," which addresses big issues such as death, Heaven, and Hell, but more specifically: what happens to us after we die (depending on whether you're a believe or non-believer) and how we're to conduct ourselves during our lifetime. One thing that really spoke to me, even though I've heard it preached about many times in my life, was the discussion of salvation at the moment you accept Christ as your savior. In the past, I think I've had a hard time remedying the relationship between salvation given by Christ and how our deeds/acts/conduct as Christians affect salvation. Because if I'm saved what difference does it make if I sin or not? I'm saved, but I'm always going to sin due to my human (fallen) nature, and thus fall short of performance that would warrant my salvation.

The pastor cited the well-known verse, among many other passages throughout the sermon, John 3:16-18. "For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life....Whoever believes in Him is not condemned (judged)..." The pastor explained that judgment that was to be passed on us is whipped away at the moment that we accepted Christ as our savior. Only through my belief of Christ's sacrifice and belief in His existence, can I be saved and my condemnation spared. Once that moment of accepting my salvation through my belief in Christ has taken place, my salvation can never be stripped from me or whipped away from any reason. And actions alone can NEVER secure my redemption/salvation. However, the part that I hadn't remedied in mind is the idea of our acts as Christians. Basically, what I learned today is that we have salvation unconditionally at the moment we've asked for it, but what I believe about eternity should and will inevitably determine the way I live my life, even though the way I live my life will not change my salvation if I have received it.

When I ascend after death, my actions will be looked at, but only for the bestowing of a crown (apparently there's 5 different crowns...and I missed the sermon a couple months back teaching about them), rewarding my acts as a "good and faithful servant." I should desire to live in such a way that is pleasing to my Lord. The pastor spoke about this in the context of non-believers being judged before the Great White Throne (Revelations 20: 11-15) and believers coming before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Non-believers ("the dead") are judged in order to determine their fate in Hell (sorry no other way to put that gently) and believers appear before the judgment seat to receive what is due to him/her for the things they have done on Earth. So believers received a sort of reward or recognition for the good they have done in their life.

Bottome line: The good and bad we have done in our lives by no means affects the salvation we have been given through our belief in Christ Jesus, but our actions as believers should be affected and compelled by the fact that we're saved, know Jesus, and know about eternity. And I would add, that the love we receive in our hearts from Jesus should ultimately inspire our words and actions.

Hopefully, this makes the slightest bit of sense. My understanding of some of this stuff is new, but I just felt like sharing. So there you go.

If you're interested in listening to the sermon from today or any others given at this church the mp3 and video are on the homepage: http://www.rivchurch.com/

October 16, 2009

midterms: mission accomplished

I took my last midterm (in Criminal Law) this afternoon. I will never again, in my law school career, have to take another midterm. Woo hoo! All students have midterms in Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law during their first term. Surprisingly, surviving this week was not as terrible as I expected. I didn't lose too much sleep and my study groupers provided ample comic relief. I just can't believe I've completed my first series of law school exams.

Time seems to be flying by! We just completed our sixth week of classes. I'll be home visiting for Thanksgiving in one month. I booked my ticket home for the winter break, yesterday. And what's even more incredible is the amount of material that we've already learned and can just rattle off to one another. We actually sound like we might know what we're talking about. It's crazy to think that in two months we'll be taking our finals and our first term of law school will be done. Ok - that's enough for now. It's pretty easy to get overwhelmed with the prospect of finals.

Besides the conquering of midterms, life is so amazing and fantastic. I feel much more at home than I thought I would living in a new state and being so far away from family, and I know a HUGE part of that is the wonderful friends that I have made. My apartment is slowly starting to come together, one piece of furniture at a time. We actually moved my kitchen table into the living room this week so that we had plenty of surface space for each of us to be studying in the same area. We (Matt, JB, and I) were spread out amongst my desk, couch, and kitchen table, and we deemed the living room the "war room" for the duration of studying for midterms.

And I'm loving the beautiful fall season. I recently went around my neighborhood to take pictures of the school and capitol. The park across from my apartment had the most beautiful display of fall leaves. Here are some pictures from that recent "walk about."

park across the street

Cooley Center Building

Temple Building (part of Cooley)


fall foliage

fall foliage

fall foliage

fall foliage

October 12, 2009


this video sums up how my study group and i feel about studying for midterms.

"Is this real life?...Ahhhh....Is this going to be forever?"

October 2, 2009

queen of hearts

My friends have come to refer to me as the "Queen of Hearts" because in reading/discussing our cases, I have expressed some pretty strict ideas on punishment for criminals and tortious actors. They think I have a very "off with their heads" mentality. What can I say, I have the prosecutor perspective, rather than that of a defense attorney (*cough* Matt). It's actually really great that Matt and I have opposite views on things because that way we get a dynamic grasp on the issues by talking through our different take on things (example: why the Court impose one rule or standard vs another...last night, we had particularly good convos on the Courts' decisions on forcible rape and the resistance requirement).

In other news, it has been a splendid Friday indeed. Matt and I watched a couple episodes of TrueBlood, then we went to dinner with Sarah, Brennan, and their friend Patrick for some delicious Indian food. Now, for a bottle of wine and some more TrueBlood. Life is good. Classes are good. Next week (week 5), will make the 1/3 mark of our 1st term of law school. Week 6 we have midterms in Contracts, Crim Law, and Torts. Ahhh!

Oh also, last weekend, I bought a kitchen table w/ 4 chairs, a dresser, and a nightstand from Ikea. My hero, Matt, assembled most of the furniture for several hours while I assembled my nightstand (two movies and an episode of Project Runway worth of furniture assembling). I also bought a fabulous red couch, which is being delivered tomorrow. I'll post pics and/or video once I get the couch.

Happy Friday!

October 1, 2009

what gets us through the day

Here is one video that my friends and I watch on a daily basis when we hit that point when we need a good laugh after endless studying. Don't ask me why, but it is funny every time, without fail.