Wednesday, April 21, 2010

and the semester winds down...

Wow!! It's hard to believe that there are just a few more weeks left in the semester! Just thinking about everything I have to get done is a bit overwhelming... in the next three weeks I have to put together a notebook of conducting resources, finish writing a piano arrangement, write a ten page paper on music of a specific ethnic group, practice ten plus hours a week, and do a few other little "odds and ends."

I'm also taking a trip out the suburbs for a bridal shower, hosting my mom for a weekend, and then going out to the country for a graduation party... all before finals week. It's going to be busy, but a good kind of busy. A doll like me can't sit around and twiddle her thumbs, you know. (Of course, since I don't have thumbs, that makes it all the more difficult.)

And then... what does the summer hold, you ask? Well, after all of these projects are finshed and I've packed and stored my belongings, I'm going back home to the country! :) I'm going to work at the newspaper where I've worked since high school. I'll format articles, write articles, do the layout, and all the other odds and ends they need. I'm really looking forward to it. I like that job, and it'll be nice to spend the summer with my family.

I hope to do a lot of practicing this summer, take a correspondence course, and hopefully catch up on my scrapbooking. I also plan to blog... :)

Also, this summer, both my roommates are getting married. One of their weddings is before I head home, but the other wedding will bring me back to the city for a weekend.

Well... that's pretty much it for now. I'll post again soon, but in the meantime, I should get out of my backpack and get some sleep. :)

With love from an absolute doll,

Erin Joy

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thoughts on the Twilight Saga

At this point, I have chosen not to read the Twilight saga. Honestly, I have struggled with making this post about it, because it's uncomfortable to make a controversial statement. It wasn't until I had a conversation with a good friend the other day that I realized that perhaps a post like this could be useful.

It frustrates me when Christians make uninformed arguments against popular literature and movies. I'll be the first person to say that people should carefully think through their arguments for and against Harry Potter, and should look at the facts before throwing away the Lord of the Rings movies. (As a matter of fact, I've read one of the Harry Potter books, and am an avid LOTR fan.)

But it also disturbs me when we Christians refuse to think about the literature we devour. Literature, and all other forms of art, have the power to impact the way we think, the way we view our world, and the way we view sin.

Uninformed arguments for or against something, as I mentioned before, are frustrating to all parties concerned. Therefore, I would like to be perfectly upfront. Since I have not read the Twilight saga, I cannot speak to every good or bad theme it may have. However, there are a couple central issues I would like to address.

Vampires are real people. In fact, after the Twilight books and movies came out, both ABC and the Washington Post published articles on these real-life vampires. If this were a fictional lifestyle that no one lived, I wouldn't have as much of a problem with it. But honestly, this is a real practice of the occult that is happening in our country today. These people are, according to the Washington Post article, using the Twilight books to get a good reputation. That alone makes me nervous about thoughtlessly reading the books just for the good story.

Also, when looking on the official website for the Twilight series, I read that the books were inspired by a dream. If you look at the whole counsel of Scripture, it is very apparent that dreams may have spiritual significance. This is addressed specifically in Deuteronomy 13:1-3: "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, 'Let us go after other gods,' which you have not known, 'and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams..."

Do we intend to take Scripture literally? Or is being up on the latest fad more important?

I can't claim to have made the perfect decisions. As I said earlier, I have chosen to read some literature which others find problematic. I have endeavored to read with a critical mind, but maybe there are some areas where even a critical mind is not enough.

Ephesians 5:11 commands us to "take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." Are our choices of literature and movies reflecting a Christ-like attitude in this area? Are the ways we are discussing them with our friends, saved and unsaved, exposing the works of darkness, or blindly taking part in them? There is no middle ground.

I'm not telling you you cannot read Twilight. I'm just asking you to think about it.

With love from an absolute doll,

Erin Joy

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spending the weekend with cows :)

Hello!! I am writing to you from a little farm a few hours away from my city. It's Easter weekend, and since my own farm is too far away, one of my dear friends invited me home with her! Being out in the country for the weekend has been incredibly refreshing so far.

I've enjoyed spending time in a small town, and having lunch at a cute little cafe, where my friend knows the owner. We studied at the library today, too... it's a gorgeous stone building with lace curtains. It felt so homey and friendly. I got a lot of homework done, but still have more to do tomorrow. A doll is never quite finished, now, is she?

I met the pastor of my friend's church today. As soon as he met me, he asked me to play for church on Sunday. I love that about small churches! He's never met me, and I'm playing for Easter Sunday... :)

My friend also gave me a tour of her farm. I got to see the greenhouses, the horses, the cows, the dogs. She raised dairy cows growing up, so I got to see her pet cows. While loving cows like pets is something I never did, it reminded me a lot of home. (And, just for the record, I did raise a bucket calf one summer. ONE summer...)

Just wandering around outside was so beautiful and peaceful. While I do still love the city, I think it's good to get away sometimes and enjoy the beauty of God's creation. Being away from the city has brought out the small-town heart in me.

With love from an absolute doll,

Erin Joy