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Storm the Forts of Darkness

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of hymns. This one has really been in my head lately.

  1. Soldiers of our God, arise!
    The day is drawing nearer;
    Shake the slumber from your eyes,
    The light is growing clearer.
    Sit no longer idly by,
    While the heedless millions die;
    Lift the blood-stained banner high,
    And take the field for Jesus.

    • Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down, bring them down!
      Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down, bring them down!
      Pull down the devil’s kingdom,
      Where’er he holds dominion,
      Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down.
      Glory, honor to the Lamb,
      Praise and power to the Lamb;
      Glory, honor, praise and power,
      Be forever to the Lamb.
  2. See the brazen hosts of hell,
    Art and power employing;
    More than human tongue can tell,
    Blood-bought souls destroying.
    Hark! from ruin’s ghastly road,
    Victims groan beneath their load,
    Forward, O ye sons of God,
    And dare or die for Jesus.
  3. Warriors of the risen King,
    Great army of salvation,
    Spread His fame, His praises sing,
    And conquer every nation.
    Raise the glorious standard higher,
    Work for victory, never tire;
    Forward march with blood and fire,
    And win the world for Jesus.
I love that idea; storm the forts of darkness, bring them down. What does this mean to you? It makes me think of all of the injustices in the world – how we cannot sit back and let it happen. Also reminds me of something William Booth once said..

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight, I’ll fight to the very end!”

Here’s the best video I could come up with that features “Storm the Forts of Darkness” – just a tiny snippet 🙂

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massive pictures [6-17/365]

365 Catch up
365 Catch up

6/365 – bath.
I decided to take a bath instead of a shower. Unfortunately I ran the water all the way hot, so I sat around for 45 minutes waiting for it to cool down. These are the things hanging in my shower.

7/365 – easter.
Quinton and Deanna were trying to get a picture of Bram and Elias all dressed up.. their camera is ridiculously slow so luckily I was on hand to snap away. The mosaic maker cropped the picture but you can view it here. It’s adorable.

8/365 – peter pan pictures.
Cristina decided to frame pictures of the Peter Pan story. She spent 2 hours carefully measuring and adjusting the placement of the pictures.. it was kind of funny. This was the final product.

9/365 – scooby stephanie
Another work picture. We found a few random Scooby Doo frames so Cristina decided to give us something for our desks. Unfortunately I don’t actually have a desk of my own, really. 🙁

10/365 – princess mckenzie
On my day off I decided to babysit. McKenzie is usually asleep when I babysit, so it was nice to spend time with her. We had a tea party and she wore a tutu.

11/365 – flower trees
These trees are the prettiest things ever and I only recently noticed them at our corps. Awesome that the picture isn’t in focus! Oh well.

12/365 – overflow
Went up north to see The BGP at Jazzbones. Stayed at Mei-Ling‘s. She collects her ticket stubs in this.. vase? and I just thought it looked cool.

13/365 – tulip fest.
For part of my 500 Convos project, I met up with Megan (who started as a stranger and ended as a friend!) and went with her and her friends on a little adventure to the tulip festival and then to Deception pass. This one tulip was growing all by itself away from the others and I was very sad for it!

14/365 – Note from the philippines
My cousin Warren, who lives in the Philippines, showed up on my doorstep. He brought with him a note from my cousin Josh addressed to 8 different people. The note to me instructs me to log in to Facebook every Tuesday, so we can talk. 🙂

15/365 – KGC
I actually thought I’d failed to take a picture on Monday. Keith Green is my friend Beth’s favorite.. I’m playing one of his songs for her wedding. This made me smile and I took the picture to show her. Good thing I did, too!

16/365 – walking on water
Noticed this book on Gretchen’s bed before we went to Bible study.. this is one of the best books I have ever read and it’s been so long since I’ve seen a copy of it.. I left my only copy with some friends in California and I miss it terribly!

17/365 – today!
After getting lunch with Cassie, I rushed over to Mon Ami (perhaps my new favorite place) to have coffee with my sweet friend Shannon. She is one of my favorite people, because I think she is so wise and so level headed. Plus I always talk a lot when I am with her, but she never seems to mind. She’s great. Anyway, this is the view north as I was walking away from Mon Ami.

And there I am caught up. For now. 🙂

This weekend we’re heading up to camp and I get to pick out a chicken to be named after me. It’s going to be a great weekend, and I wish it was Friday afternoon already!

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2,3,4,5/365 – a potpourri

Today I got coffee with my friend Gina at a cute little coffee shop on Main Street in downtown Vancouver called Mon Ami. Don’t be fooled by all of this.. Main St in downtown Vancouver is pretty ghetto. As we were talking, this boy came over and joined in our conversation. His name is Paul, and he goes to Imago Dei. It reminded me of how much I love strangers, and how great it is to be a part of the body of Christ.

I’ve not had much time to make a daily post with my pictures, so I have included the last few days. We will go newest to oldest.

5/365 – Communion

5/365 - Communion

This past week has been incredibly emotional for me. I’ve been sharing my faith with someone and it has brought me back to the feet of Jesus, completely amazed by who he is and what he did.

The Good Friday service at Mosaic was beautiful, and I spent a majority of the time weeping. Not out of sadness – I know how the story ends. Not out of joy – I know how the story had to go. Out of brokenness, out of the reality that it was my sin that kept Jesus on the cross; out of the acknowledgment of my failures and my unworthiness. I weep over my unfaith – that I sometimes can look at Jesus hanging on the cross and allow it to be such a casual thing. Tears were flowing out of complete and total disbelief that someone so wonderful, so beautiful, so powerful, so EVERYTHING could love me, someone who is only any of those things because of him. Jesus does not see my short comings and turn away.  He rejects not my failures, but rather my attempts to make up for them. It is unbelievable.

Anyway, I thought it would be tacky to take a picture of the communion table that was sprawled out in the middle of the chapel but instead decided to recreate communion. I have no fancy goblets or special bread, but instead can only offer grape juice and a bagel. All I can do is give him what I have, and he turns it into something bigger than what I gave him.

4/365 – CASSIE-role

4/365 - CASSIE-role

I just cleverly titled this picture “CASSIE-role.” Pastor Matt, the pastor at New Heights, recently had emergency gall bladder surgery and as a result our Significant Supper was canceled. Instead, Cassie and I ate dinner. She made casserole (which I will now forever call CASSIE-role) and I brought a brownie. Both were delicious, by the way.

3/365 – McFlurry

3/365 - McFlurry

Every other week, I take a bit of a drive out to Battle Ground to pick Amy up for church. She is ridiculously awesome and I always enjoy our time together. On Wednesday I picked her up and decided that she looked like she needed some McDonalds. She agreed and we both got oreo mcflurries.

2/365 – “Air Quotes”

2/365 - "Air Quotes"

As I was driving to pick Michele up for work, I noticed that there were some clouds trying to disguise themselves as punctuation. I spent a few minutes driving 60 mph with my camera out the window trying to take a cool picture before they blew into something else. This was the closest I got to a “cool picture.” New meaning of the term air quotes.

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1/365 – W.O.R.K. (the dots mean nothing)

That last post was a bit self-indulgent. Yesterday was probably the wordiest day of my entire life, I just could not find it in my to SHUT UP.

Like I mentioned, yesterday I re-started Project 365. Click on “Emily Grace” over there on the right to see my sweet sister Emily’s project 365. We originally started on the same day but I gave up due to very monotonous days and a camera that couldn’t capture the beauty of them. So here I go again.It will be interesting to see what happens to this during the summer when we’re both at camp. Em, have you thought of that?

1/365 - W.O.R.K.
1/365 - W.O.R.K.

At work, we’ve been entering VHS tapes. I was building epic towers of VHS tapes, but it kept falling on my head. Videos on the left needed to be manually looked up on Amazon. Videos in the middle were worth more than 25 cents, and videos on the right were less than 25 cents and therefore of no use to us.

Stop being jealous of how thrilling my job is, please.

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Pumice Stones.

The other day as I was taking a shower, I looked at my pumice stone and thought “you are probably one of the worst things for an obsessive compulsive to own.”

I’m not going to try and offer a quick, light-hearted summary of OCD and what it is and what aspects of my life have fallen into its black hole. For the past few weeks I’ve been making a mental list of the common things people own that are very dangerous for obsessive compulsives. As I encounter these things, I will share them with you. Mostly because a fair amount of my friends read this blog and I kind of am a weenie about sharing my OCD struggles in a personal way. Welcome to the madhouse.

Pumice Stones.

Since I wear flip flops 97% of the time, my feet have the potential to quickly become fairly nasty. Upon realizing this, I invested in a pumice stone to keep my feet from being ridiculously awful.

All seemed well in pumice stone owning land until Saturday. The weather here in the Northwest has been absolutely beautiful. I came home and sat down with my dying dog in the front yard. After I stood up, my mom said “you have something on your leg.” “It’s just dirt” we concluded. As I stood in the bathroom, about to wash it off in the sink I took a closer look and realized it definitely was not dirt.

In case you’ve not figured it out:
Dog + yard = __________ (poop)

Immediately, I jumped in the shower. Of course I wasn’t going to touch it, because that would make my hands infected. Instead I turned the water to a ridiculously painful temperature and watched as the heat burned off the trace of doggie poo on my leg. This is where the story turns from normal into obsessive compulsive land. Feeling as if the poo was still stuck to my skin, I pondered my options. Loofah or pumice? Pumice, obviously. Once I decided to see if the pumice stone would make my knees a bit softer. It didn’t, though it did successfully make them look as if I had fallen off of a bike and tried to use my knees as a braking system. Have I ever mentioned that I don’t ride bikes?

Back to Saturday. I grabbed the pumice stone and started scrubbing. After twenty seconds, my leg was bright red (a combination of water rivaling the temperature of the sun and a piece of something that is made to remove calluses) and it was painful to stand in the shower.

The thing that I find the most amusing about OCD is that most of us stand in completely stupid situations and rationalize with ourselves. “It is normal to take a diaper off when changing a baby’s diaper.” “My foot will not fall off if I step on a sidewalk crack.” “I can hold a knife without it resulting in a spontaneous killing spree.” (If you are not an obsessive compulsive, you probably think I am a freak. If you are an obsessive compulsive, I am virtually high fiving you.. which I appreciate, because then I won’t feel the urge to wash my hands.)  OCD has nothing to do with logic.

As I stood there, wincing in pain as the water was dripping down my leg I did the only thing that seemed right. I kept scrubbing.

One thing I love about my obsessive compulsive episodes is that eventually I snap out of them. Out of nowhere, it will just occur to me how insane I am being and I will just walk away. A few moments of scrubbing later, I dropped my pumice stone, turned the water off, and thought “bathrooms are very dangerous for an obsessive compulsive” and I then made a little mental note of the other scary devices of torture spread casually around my bathroom.

Things like:

-soap (pretty much the biggest OCD cliche)
-toilet paper (you might think.. tp? really? consider folding)
-tooth brush (hello touch symmetry sufferers!)

This post was going to include a multitude of things. For example, today I restarted the 365 project, meaning I will take a picture every day for a year. Today I also had a great drive home from work, a great phone call, a great e-mail, a great visit with a friend and a great discussion at Bible study. and then I just ate a few Wheat Thins, and now I will retire.

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