01.20.02 >2140

Contrary to the headline of this article, I don't think Thomas Middelhoff is the next Rupert Murdoch, nor does he need to be. If you're sayin', "Huh? Who the heck is that?" I wonder if you know who Rupert Murdoch is. Why do we need to know about another media mogul who's trying to expand his corporation's global interests?


A thin stream of fog emerged from her lips with each exhale, and though she'd dressed warmly to combat the cold that shrouded the ice rink, layer upon layer, Rhe was still shivering. She sipped from a small cup of hot chocolate and watched her brother play tag on the ice with several other friends. One of them, Tiffany, scooped up a handful of ice shavings and packed it together into a formidably-sized snowball, then hurled it at her fiancÚ and sped away before he could grab her.

Someone suddenly poked her shoulder. "C'mon, Rhe." Scott was frowning at her. "Get out on the ice."

I don't know how to ice skate. "I don't have enough money," she said instead.

The former jailbird was not put off. He had always been the hard-headed, loud one of the group. "How much do you need?"

"Uhh - four dollars."

He produced a wad of money from his pocket and handed her a five-dollar bill. A small smirk hovered on his lips. "Now you don't have an excuse not to skate."

Rhe glared at him and was sorely tempted to throw the money back in his face. After a moment, though, she changed her mind. Yer on, buddy.

She hobbled around the rink three or four times, with the help of some friends, who didn't mind when she fell (after the fifth time, she stopped counting). By the time they had to leave, however, she'd managed to get the hang of it - and she hadn't wanted to leave right away. I guess that's what they mean when they say life's all about taking risks ... even the small ones count.

"Hey, Lare," she said casually, as they sauntered to the car, "can we come back here next weekend?"

01.19.02 >1814

I wish they did this in California : see if those running for political office know as much as the average high school sophomore. (link via rebecca blood)

Been busy writing another post for one of my interactive novels at PanHistoria. It's now at six pages - I think this is the longest post I've ever written so far for any story.

01.17.02 >2148

1. What do you have your browser start page set to? It depends on what computer I'm on, really. On my own, it's set to white blankness, and I actually like it that way.

2. What are your favorite news sites? Ohh, boy! Me bein' a journalism major and all, I hop around a lot to get my daily fill o' the happenings. My top five news sites: The LA Times, Int'l Herald Tribune, Arts & Letters Daily, The Washington Times, and The Christian Science Monitor.

3. Favorite search engine? Google nowadays. Dogpile second, Northern Light third, AltaVista fourth.

4. When did you first get online? '92. Seventh Grade Computer Class. Gopher's Super Information Highway. It tripped me out big time - 'course, I didn't turn into such a Net addict 'til I started college.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend? Entertaining visiting cousins, trying to finish writing up some posts, reading, church. And anything else that might pop up when I'm pretending not to look.

01.16.02 >1043

Faith, according to the Book of Hebrews, is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Faith without action is dead. A little pinch of faith mixed with a big amount of trust can get results. Watch and see.

~ * ~

Adira picked up her skirts and ran through the narrow alley, though every step elicited a gasp of pain from her lips. Not now, she groaned inwardly in dismay. I mustn't let this opportunity escape me, whatever the costs!

Word had quickly spread through the town that the Teacher had arrived by boat with his closest followers. Already a crowd of the curious and those eager to hear what he would say surrounded him and the twelve men accompanying him as they made their way to the middle of Capernaum.

Hurry, hurry!

For the last twelve years, Adira had suffered a strange disease that resulted in continuous bleeding. No prescribed medication from any of the physicians had stopped it, nor had any doctor been able to give a correct diagnosis of the unknown condition. The disease baffled them greatly. It did not help that her coffers were nearly drained from fruitless visits to the physician for a cure.

Any cure.

As a result, Adira looked far older than her thirty-eight years, and her complexion was constantly pale and clammy. Her husband had not shared a bed with her since they had discovered this problem, and would not; Adira only had to look into his eyes to see the repulsion that he tried to hide.

Then rumors of a man who could perform miracles had reached Capernaum. Reports were circulating through the region of the leper whom the Teacher had healed; of the two men who had been freed from the demons tormenting them; of the lame man who could now walk; of the servant of a Roman centurion who had been gravely ill and had recovered within the hour after his master had left to find the Teacher. He had healed a member of a Roman household!

What manner of man was this that could perform such feats? Adira had begun to wonder and inquire about the miracle worker. What was his name? Where did he come from?

He is a carpenter's son, from Nazareth, she was told.

His name is Yeshua.

But he would never come to Capernaum. What chance had she of pleading her case before so great a man that he would find her worthy of a healing?

And yet, like the flare of a torch that had just been lit, a stubbornness in her heart began to fan the tiny flame of hope. Somehow she would find Yeshua and ask him, no, beg him to make the pain stop.

And now he was here.

The narrow alley led to the town's main avenue, which was clogged with possibly every resident in Capernaum, and strangers who had come some distance on foot just to hear Yeshua speak, just to see him.

Adira's groan upon seeing the crowd was lost in the chatter and cheers. So many! How would she reach Yeshua now?

She strained to see him above the heads of those closest to her, but could not distinguish him from any other man on the street. What did the Teacher look like? Making a decision, she finally joined the crowd as they flowed towards the plaza, which was already packed with even more people wanting to speak with him.

In desperation, Adira began to shove her way forward. "Please, let me through!" She caught several heads turning to throw annoyed glares in her direction, even a bit of muttering from a man ahead of her that someone should reprimand that female for saying a word in public. But she continued to push her way forward.

The constant jostling caused her to gasp again as the pain increased. With every tug, with every accidental poke and slap that reached her person, the nausea and heat rose a little more until Adira thought she would faint. And then a particularly impatient youth behind her suddenly shoved her forward, and without warning, she found herself pitching forward to the pebble-strewn ground.

The tiny rocks bit into her palms as she looked up and shook her head slowly to clear the daze from her mind. People were stepping around her or over her as if she didn't exist. Ignoring the pain now radiating from her hands, she lurched to her feet and hobbled forward.

And then she saw him.

She could never explain how she had recognized him, exactly, but she knew it was the Teacher. Every nerve in her body was alight with renewed hope at the sight of him.


She could not see his face, and his followers enclosed him in a loose but protective circle just to keep the crowd from getting too close. But he was only a few feet away -

If I just touch his clothes ...

One foot away.

I'll be healed, I know it! If I just touch him ...

One of the disciples turned his head in time to see her reaching for the Master's shoulder. "Get back, you," he ordered imperiously. "The Teacher will speak to all of you at the plaza."

Adira ignored him and strained forward. If I just touch his clothes -

"I said, get back!" The man angrily pushed her away.

Her fingertips felt softness, her eyes saw light, and then that split-second contact was gone.

Adira crumpled to the ground and bent over as if in pain. Only, there was no pain.

Slowly she lifted wondering eyes to the sky. I'm healed. I - I'm not bleeding anymore! The change had been instantaneous the moment she had touched his cloak. She did not have to check, not that she dared to try with the crowd pressing against her. She knew.


"Who touched me?"

Adira froze. The crowd had stopped moving amid puzzled whispers and questions. All she heard, though, was that quiet male voice asking her to speak the truth.

She began to tremble, even as she rose to her feet and began to walk. No pain tainted her steps. No pain lashed back as she pushed her way forward. She marveled at this, but inside she quaked with fear. She had been found out.

What would he say? What would he do? Would he take away the healing that she had so desperately desired, that she had finally received through a simple touch of his garment?

The same disciple who had pushed her away but a moment ago now stared at her in amazement as she finally entered the ring of people that surrounded his master. The sickly woman he had kept away from the Teacher could not possibly be this same woman! A healthy pink flushed her cheeks, and her eyes glowed with a joy that he would have found catching, if not for the dread written across her face.

Adira fell at Yeshua's feet, tears stinging her eyes. "I touched you, Master," she whispered, staring at his dust-bitten toes. The thought alone of meeting his stern gaze terrified her. No, she would never let him take away this miracle he had wrought on her body and soul. She would fight to keep it if she had to. "I was healed after I touched you. There was no other way - if there had been, I would have taken it without hesitation. Please, you must believe me ..." As salty droplets rolled down her cheeks, she finally looked up into his face -

She nearly gasped aloud when she met his gaze. She saw no sternness of any kind in his eyes, but instead she saw the world and all it contained, and an unquenchable love for her. Adira could not deny it, would not. This mere man, this teacher and carpenter's son, held more than healing in his hands.

Almost without an effort, he bent to take both of her hands in his and helped her to her feet. "Daughter," he said softly, his eyes never wavering from hers, "your faith has healed you."

O Lord, who am I to say that I have faith at all to believe this thing is true? Help me with my unbelief!

"Go in peace and be free from your suffering," he went on, and his smile let loose the flood of exhultation that had been constrained in her soul for too long.

Long after Yeshua had continued on his way to the house of a man named Jairus to raise his daughter from the dead, long after he had left the town and moved further down the coast of the sea as he continued his travels with his followers, Adira was still rejoicing.


This one's been floating around on the blog circuit lately: take the Insanity Test. And yes, I failed it, so legally I'm insane. Be glad I'm house-bound today or you'd be in fer it!

01.15.02 >2224

It's strange where one can get her inspirations. I've got a few good story ideas in my head right now, and some great poetry besides, but I'm much too tired to actually follow through and begin hammering 'em out on my trusty word processor. Note to self: faith is a much simpler matter than I make it out to be.

Faith + Trust = ANSWERS. That's been reverberating through my head since Sunday. More tomorrow.


Here's a list of the LotR cast members for you Tolkien fans - the list includes the new folks you'll see in the next two movies. (Thanks to Seth for originally pointing out this page to me.)

Got the chance to see the movie yesterday (again - fourth time), btw, but I really think I should stop going now and just wait 'til the video comes out (it should be noted that I said this the last time I went to see it, too). I noticed with a little consternation during the film that instead of concentrating on the visual richness of every scene, I kept thinking, "Okay, Pippin and Merry are gonna jump out now," or "Yeah, there goes the Balrog - ooh, wait, he ain't finished with that whip yet!" etc, etc. You get my point.

Also, a thought brought up Sat. nite during a phone conversation (and it was not me who thought it, either): instead of Hugo Weaving, what if David Bowie had played Elrond?


Congregations in the D.C. area "are setting a national precedent" as they help former convicts find jobs, housing, and follow laws. Pretty neat-o. Addendum: Church programs like these are always kool to see, just so long as prosyletizing isn't rampant. Actions, after all, speak louder than words. (link via Christianity Today)

Also, a short missive on the first appearance of coins. I'm still pretty big on history, especially where the civilization of Ancient Greece is concerned, so articles like these are always great reads.

01.14.02 >2217

It's never a good idea to eat somethin' sweet late at night. Trust me, I speak from experience - I mean, really recent experience. Try five minutes ago.

Ever met anybody out there with a Pez candy dispenser collection? Google has a neat page devoted to Pez fanatics. I s'pose it's kool to collect somethin' as diverse, crazy and just plain fun as Pez dispensers, but I'd never try it - I'd probly lose the whole thing while cleaning out my hole of a room.

And I s'pose you could argue that since chocolate comes from a bean, it should be considered non-hazardous to my health. Could you please try to tell my doctor that?


If I had a dome on my campus, I'd probly try to do this, too. (link via zannah)

01.11.02 >2300

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.


Tonight was the dinner for new members and visitors who'd been coming to the church for the past several months. Rhe went because she was a new member, although she'd attended such a dinner before, and her brother Larry went along because he said he'd never been to one before (even though he has - he just has a really, really short-term memory).

Charlie the violinist serenaded the guests with several hymns while they ate teriyaki chicken, rice, salad and corn. Candlelight made the atmosphere more relaxing and friendly. Rhe sat quietly at a table which was occupied by several other members of her College & Career group and a member of the church board and his family.

During gatherings like these she was always quiet, watching her friends talk and laugh together. Being there and yet standing outside of the group and playing the observer. She figured it was because of her nature, but she didn't really mind.

After everyone shared a bit about themselves and why they had started coming to the church, after all the pastors and their wives talked about their ministries, after a word of prayer was given, everyone slowly trickled out of the room.

Ben Oberg suddenly turned to her as he made his rounds and said goodbye to his friends. "See you at church Sunday?" He raised a hand to her.

Rhe merely nodded and slapped his palm with her own as she tried to hide her surprise. Ben rarely spoke to her; tonight he'd told her a story and grinned and rolled his eyes at her to show his annoyance because his fiancee kept stealing from his plate.

Ben nodded. "All right."

Wonders'll never cease. Guess I'm not as invisible as he thought after all.


I guess you just have to be a blogger to understand this, but here is my blogger code : B4 d- t- k+ s- u f i o x-- e l+ c 'Twas specifically directed at blogheads like myself who pay attention to this kinda stuff - most of the time, anyway. (link via Leia)


This was too funny to pass up! LotR in two hours.


Rhe let herself into the apartment and immediately came to a halt. Whoa! Looks like somebody's made herself at home ...

Katie - aka the New Roommate - had finally arrived.

Stuff was strewn all over the kitchen counter : bottles, dishes, silverware, and personal items that Rhe didn't want to touch. Well, that takes care of the kitchen problem, she thought, and settled down to wait for Chris - the Former Roommate - to ring her up so Rhe could let her in. The idea had been to come back to San Francisco so her ex-roomie could get into the apt. and get the stuff she'd left behind.

Chris never called or showed up.

A frustrated Rhe finally left two hours later and headed for home.

~ * ~

The train trip usually took an hour each way, so she brought a book and her CD player to keep herself occupied. As they passed through Oakland, however, she stowed her distractions away and watched the landscape pass by. Today the sky was a wonderful blue and the sun's gentle kiss touched everything that the shadows could not keep out of reach. The train flashed past rundown houses and new developments, ramps heading onto or off highways that intersected with the train tracks, shopping centers, and cars of all sorts merrily rolling along on streets parallel with the train's ongoing path. Rhe usually never saw a soul on the streets unless school had just gotten out; then she could watch kids walking home, hefting heavy backpacks and slowly trudging away from the forlorn-looking cluster of buildings decorated with falsely cheerful colors. Elementary schools, bright hues, black wire gates - it was never a good combination.

As she stared out the double-paned windows, she could feel herself drifting into Random Thought Mood - a term she'd coined earlier in the week to describe the frequent change in subjects whenever she lost herself in her thoughts. The scenery below her blurred, and the constant hum of the train smoothly running down the tracks as it raced towards their destination became a mere background pettiness that she no longer paid attention to.

One scrap of a conversation from Monday night had been cheerfully haunting her through the rest of the week. "Whenever you turn away, he's always in front of you," he'd said. Rhe had been hesitant to call, to say a word of the one thing that seemed to drag her down into despair - and it was all her own doing, no one else's. But that he had spoken those words of comfort had been something of a surprise; she knew he was not into Christianity, and yet he had managed to understand her and give godly advice, whether he'd realized it or not. She thought he did - he probably knew it, too.

Well, they don't say God works in mysterious ways for the heck of it.

She smiled to herself as her surroundings came back into focus. The despair had rapidly disappeared after that, like a chain easily cut with a sword. That did not mean that the source of the problem had been dealt with yet.

It would be soon enough.