Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fall Weather and NYC moments

New York is beautiful. I've found myself having tons of very "New Yorkish" moments...maybe because i'm moving into my new apartment piece by piece. The other day Marie and I were walking back to our apartment and found an IKEA couch that had JUST been put on the curb...as a christmas gift to us. So, we sat on it and immediately called for help. The people continued spilling their apartments possessions onto the curb, and people continually came by to pick them up, and we sat on the couch drinking snapple for about an hour until Laura and Kyle came to help us out. They're my heroes for the week. Definitely saved the day. After about two hours, a two avenue and one block walk, and a six flight climb, the couch now sits a room away for me, dissassembled and awaiting us to purchase a few spacers and bolts to put it back together.

My roommate went to IKEA last night, and again I woke up to christmas. I put together my new IKEA chair I now sit on, rolling about the apartment. It's pretty fun. I never have to stand up again.

We're stocked up on noodles, macaroni and cheese, and peanut butter and jellie for the year from costco, and the place is really starting to become home. Tonight we play our first official match for the 2009 season against TCNJ, which should be challenging. It will be my first full game back from the injury.

Yesterday I met up with my friend Nathan and not only did he cook me lunch, but we went up to central park and rollerbladed. It was amazing. I loved every second of the fall-like weather we have going on right now. Cross your fingers and say a prayer that it sticks around.

I also finished ordering my books yesterday and now that I'm almost fully moved in all that's left to do is play some soccer and enjoy the last week of the city before school starts back up. Is it already September? Looks like i'm turning twenty-one pretty soon....

Still on the Church hunt. I have a few options in mind...now if I could just stay in the city for a weekend it would be great.

Off to my game now- more to come later!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A New Yorker Day

I'm wrapping up my first week in the city. It seems like I never left the place. Today we finally got around to making our apartment defense ready. We purchased both attack and defense mechanisms against our new nemesis: the roach. We've only seen one, and since we live on the sixth floor they'll be few and far between, but we don't mess around. Those bugs are done if they step on my turf. The war has begun. I also got around to buying a lock for my window bar. Just in case anyone finds me so memorizing that they must climb the six floor fire escape to come get me.

I ran along the East River today, and I'm not sure if I was more excited about the fact that I ran mostly pain free for the first time in what seems like a very long while, or if I was more excited about the great view and amazing weather. It's hard to believe i'm lucky enough to live just ten minutes away from that beautiful stretch of land. It's great.

The soccer team seems to be shaping up nicely. We have a good new batch of kids coming in this year and they seem good both technically and personality wise. I think we're going to have a great team. We had lunch together today, and the team seems really comfortable already, which is a great thing. The NYU soccer team always seems to defy what used to be a normalcy for me. It seems like every soccer tema I've played on until college had the cattish cliques, and for once (and for the past two years) the team has meshed well. I'm excited that it will continue.

I was hoping to get to go to Redeemer for the first time tomorrow, but it looks like we'll once again have soccer. Hopefully next week will be my first opportunity to go since right now we're scheduled to have the day off. I'll keep everyone posted on the search for a new church home. For now i'll stick with the ever-challenging Dr. McArthur...he keeps me on my toes (as long as I'm smart enough to pay attention!)

We made it uptown for the first time in a while today. I really love it up there. Central park is my favorite part of Manhattan, and its just blocks away from the greatest ice-cream place EVER. Serendipity. I tried the frozen hot chocolate tonight and was far from dissapointed. I'm so full I could burst. I better get back to running soon.

Tomorrow holds two practices (hopefully some of which I can participate in) and Monday I'll hopefully have a chance to get into the financial aid office before we leave for PDA- i'm in desperate need of a budget expansion...

More to come- including pictures of the new place (hopefully soon to be decorated).


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First NYC storm

My first New York City storm in my first apartment is raining down outside as I write in my first own room ever. A lot of firsts for this third-year NYC resident. And I can't help but thinking...how am I a NYC resident? How is it that I'm sitting here as an almost twenty-one year old in my first apartment, halfway across the country from where I began, in a city a world apart from the one I know and love?

I spent the summer studying Esther with some of the greatest girls the DFW metroplex boasts. We met every monday and I have to say it was one of the best studies I've ever done. Beth Moore is brilliant, wise, and beautiful. She made me laugh every week and taught me a little more about God and myself each time. The overarching theme of the study was providence, which, as I sit here contemplating just how I ended up in this crazy city, rings true to my ears.

God controls this beautiful mechanism that is our world. Each part of it. So even the times when I think i've "messed up" God's in control . It's like this crazy puzzle that none of us can figure out, yet God has already preordained. He knows where I've come from and where I'm going. He has this fascinating life planned for each of us, should we be up for the challenge. And, having moved myself about the country, and gotten myself into more debacles than any one person should, I rest assured that my God has control over every aspect of my life.

My first few days back in the city have been anything but boring. The city has a certain air about it (and certainly distinct smells). Coming back to my soccer team has been fantastic (though I can't play for a week due to a back injury) and I feel like our team is closer this year than any previous year. We definitely have some great recruits coming in as well, so watch out for NYU soccer this fall-we'll be a force to be reckoned with.

My new best friend is craig's list. I found a kitchen table for FREE and we're picking it up thursday night. How great is that? Combined with Marie and I's new hobby of walking up and down streets and picking bits of furniture out of what would be in another state-trash- taking tips from homeless people along the way, our apartment shoud be homy and decorated very soon.

The last few days have consisted of moving in and meetings with soccer, so not too much to boast of yet, but the Washington Square park is revamped with a flashy new fountain- so expect some stories to be coming in soon.

For now, i'm off to watch some lightning and dig into John McArthur's stunningly challenging book "Hard to Believe".


Monday, July 6, 2009

And half of summer has passed.

The main lesson that summer has taught me so far is that I am inherently lazy. It applies to the blog (which has been, up until now, neglected) It applies to soccer, it applies to studying, and it most definitely applies to my spiritual life. It is terrible to say it, but unfortunately it is true. Somehow the very prospect of reading my bible has become work, and though I have nothing at all to do, I somehow found myself neglecting it past the bible study homework I crank out each week.

But then a second lesson has been taught to me over the past week. A simple lesson, but a true lesson, and here it goes: When you ignore God's written plan for your life (the Bible) you miss out on living God's plan for your life.

Now let me explain. Throughout the spring I steadfastly read God's word. I studied it. I craved it, and even though I was busier then than I have been in a long time I stuck to it, and I've felt God work in my life. I've felt his power and for the first time in my life I knew I was exactly where God wanted to be. Then I come home and laziness takes hold. I read sporadically at best, and at crazy hours. And suddenly I wake up one day wondering what it is I'm doing exactly. Sometimes I find myself becoming the greatest argument against my own testimony...and it breaks my heart.

Our pastor Chris at McKinney last week left me ready to go. I knew that I needed to actively seek God. I couldn't passively be a Christian...yet over the past week I've found myself doing things and saying things that I didn't think I thought. I've found little things pop out of my mouth or my actions depicting things I hate. I have been lazy and weak and I believe the root of the problem lies in the fact that while my mentaility has been "live for God" I haven't fed my mind with anything worth my time.

But today I read Ron Block's commentary on Romans...and something really spoke out to me:

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities,

“Helps” is from a word meaning the Holy Spirit takes hold of our weaknesses. Imagine trying to lift something and being unable, and a strong friend comes alongside and does it for you. That’s the idea. Paul said the same thing in 2Cor 12:9-10, where the Lord says to Paul, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul goes on to say, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” When we acknowledge our total weakness and inability to live the Christian life, that is exactly the point at which the Holy Spirit can come alongside and do it for us, through us, as us.

So maybe God works through our mess ups. Maybe he uses our mistakes to revamp us, to remind us that we need him. To remind us that he is the God of all Gods and we can't live our lives running in circles without his direction. So, as of right now, once again, I'm acknowledging my complete inability to live the Christian life. I mess up, constantly, and without the Holy Spirit, I'm up a creek with only one paddle: I'm spinning in circles. Today, I say I can do nothing without God. And today I recommit myself to becoming an ACTIVE christian, not a passive one. I'll end with a quote from the infamously intelligent doctor Gregory House.

"Do it all, or nothing, or option C. You're a liar and a hypocrite."

I challenge everyone who reads this, Christian or not, to reconsider our lifestyles. Lets try and make sure we're as consistent as possible with what we claim to believe, and we live our lives to uphold the standards we claim with our lips.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

To be continued.

I'm not good with goodbyes. Okay, I've had practice, so I'm decent. All the same, they're just not all that fun. And today I'm saying goodbye to my blog...or wait, am I? What is to come of this blog? It's title is going to make it be a bit odd in America, though lessons from New York/Texas just doesn't quite roll off the tongue the same way now does it? Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?

Well, living or ending, this blog will now have its last London 2009 entry. The experience can't be put into words, and as I was riding on the tube last night from Leicester Square I found myself a bit incredulous. I cannot believe it has been four months, yet I can, remembering everything I've done. I don't think I've ever done so much in a four month time span...a lot of firsts! I met friends that I will have for a lifetime, and I have definitely learned a lot of lessons (shout out to the blog name).

My bus picks me up in about a half hour to take me to the airport. approximately 8 hours later my flight will take me from London and deposit me in NYC, kind of, JFK airport anyway. I'll land at 10:30pm and take off again at 6:30am, stop by North Carolina to say hello (or sprint between terminals) and then land in the Lone Star state at about 11:30 am. Then off to babes...

Going to be quite a loaded 30 hours (and by loaded I mean i'm going to read a lot)...

I guess all I can say is that I am so thankful to God for this semester...he really is good, amazingly good, and I never seem to expect it...


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

There's no place like home.

I finished my last trip of this amazing semester on Sunday. I spent a brief 36-hours in Paris. (Pictures on facebook). The city is beautiful, clean, and urban. It has amazing art, great architectural monuments (though I don't think the everyday buildings are anything to gawk at as I did in Italy) and at the risk of sounding redundant (I should really probably weigh 400 pounds) it had amazing food. Pastries were abundant, I've never had a better croissant in my life, I tried escargot, ate a crepe, and returned from my adventure alive and well. It was a really fun trip to take with all of my girls (Roommates from Gramercy and fellow soccer players). And so, Paris was fun (quiet an understatement I realize).

I return home, and what is on my mind? Texas.

Something has hit me, and call me crazy, but after a semester gallivanting about Europe I'm having a Wizard of Oz moment. There really is no place like home. (And by now, I've had the opportunity to see a few places that aren't.)

So 18 days Texas, I'll be seeing you soon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


So, another two weeks without posting. This time I have a fairly good excuse.

I spent spring break in Venice, Florence, and Verona. Even as I write that I really can't believe I was there, and even more I can't believe I brought myself to leave! Italy isn't somewhere I would want to live. Even in my brief week spent there I could see things about the culture there that I would absolutely hate to have to live with on a day to day basis. But the place is definitely somewhere I LOOOVE to visit. Countless times, again and again, I would definitely go back!

So a definite place to start for me is the food. It was indescribable. Everything I ate there tasted amazing, and I ate ALOT. Laura and I managed to average two gelattos a day, in addition to our regular three meals and dessert. The wine was good too. We went on a bike tour through Tuscany one day, and that was an amazing experience a well. The art and architecture of Italy are astounding. The history there is present in every aspect of the place- the buildings, the food, the traditions, the family-feeling. I won't write too much about it, partially because I have to study for massive finals coming up, partially because I need to shower, and partially because writing every detail about Italy would take days, but I am more than happy to tell you all about it in person when I get back in a few weeks!

In other news, I spent the second part of spring break catching up on sleep, exercise, studies, and hanging out with my friends from TRC, exploring London. Even after spending months here, there is still so much I haven't seen! I just sent in an application to attend summer school at Southwestern Seminary, so we'll see how that goes, and in the next few days I also hope to get out some applications to volunteer at Cooks and JPS ver the summer. This weekend I'll take my last relaxing weekend in Europe to Paris- and its sure to be a blast!
That's all I have time for for now,but I'll be sure to post again before I arrive back in good old cowtown.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March in London

I have to confess that it has been so long since I last posted that I actually had to go back and read my last post to remember what I haven't posted on since...

A lot has been happening since my last post (as has been the theme of the semester)and I believe I have yet another baby to meet on my return to Texas- welcome to the world Miss Rylie Poor! Since you're sure to be best friends to my favorite niece, I'm eager to meet you!

So, I left off last after seeing Ken Ham, and sadly his books still sit on my desk waiting to be read. Things have been a bit busy. I spent the weekend after the last post going to an 80s roller skating rink- which was actually pretty fun! Other than that it was cramming for an Organic Chemistry Exam, A Politics Paper, and a Biology Paper. Sunday, though, I went to Brighton and we had an AMAZING time. It's a great city right on the beach. It is one of the very first piers on the Beach of England! It was really fun- we ate crepes, real fish and chips (SOOOO much better than in a restaurant) went to a penny arcade and toward the Royal Pavilion. Walks along the beach are NOT overrated!!! We also went on one of those carnival type rides-with a loop- right on the pier next to the water. It was AWESOME. Maybe I can sneak a trip back during spring break- its only an hour train ride away!!

The following weekend though (this past weekend) I put school aside (probably to my detriment) and took off for a weekend with an amazing HOST family in Scotland.

The HOST program paired me up with a girl named Alyson from NYU. She's actually in my Biology and Organic Chemistry classes, and I guess its a testament to how big my school is that we hadn't met yet! She's super nice, and we flew Easy Jet- YES BUDGET AIRLINES- to Scotland. Mary and Dick Langridge were our guides for the weekend. They're a couple of about 60 who do just about everything you can think of! They had two children, both married and scattered about Europe. One is in Vietnam I believe. Anyway, they're very interesting! They had hitchhiked through Europe when they were young, travel now as they're older. Mary can basket weave, makes her own bread and jams, and knits of course. They both bike trails that I don't think I could handled, and go on hikes all the time! Dick can really cook too- I had some great meals! I saw Urquhart Castle, Lochness, the castle that is in Hamlet- I'll have to look up the name- and some various other remains. I think the best part was being in the mountains of Scotland! And we really did get to see things that most tourists wouldn't get to. The place is absolutely beautiful, and stepping off of the plane I knew I was breathing fresh air again. Being in a home with real meals and such was nice too! It even snowed, which was a nice farewell to winter. They showed us a movie called Whiskey Galore- which was HILARIOUS. It's a 1940s film about an island who runs out of whiskey during the world war. It's a must see. We also went to Dallas- the original apparently. Its a one road town- literally- if I hadn't been in the middle of green Scotland I might have thought it was a Western town.

I'm pretty sure I didn't do so well on the Biology Midterm, but it was worth it for a unique taste of Scotland! This next week will be even better as I travel to Italy!!! (You can be sure there will be a massive post on that one!)

I've also gotten to take a tour of the Houses of Parliament. The building has such beautiful architecture, and the ornate pieces of furniture in it just transfer you into this royal time where weird traditions are kept and everything is really formal...oh wait, that's now. I took one illegal picture (which to be honest, I really didn't know I couldn't take). It's the pretty one of the golden chandelleir. Very worth getting scolded.

I'm remembering more and more to add to this post as I post pictures, so sorry its going to be a bit out of order this time around (That's what I get for not posting for two weeks.) Anyway, I also went to Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House!!! I know, how do I forget that? We all dressed up and went to dinner before and then saw this beautiful show in the most elegant venue i've been in. It really was amazing!! I wore my red heels, and unforunately tripped down the stairs. HA we won't talk about that,... thats what I get for trying to be classy!

I just got back from seeing Matt and Ben's band play in Twickenham. They opened for a band that includes members of the Kinks- they're called the Cast off Kink's I think. Anyway, I went to see Matt and Ben's band, like I said, but turns out I actually know a lot of the kink's songs. Google them, odds are you do too. Anyway, it was really fun.

I miss you guys- and I'll be especially sad to miss Maylee's first Easter! I saw the picture of the easter bunny, and I almost died! But, I'll be home in a few weeks- better start clearing off my bed lizzy!

That's all for now! Enjoy the pictures- more on facebook.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Tonight I got to hear Ken Ham speak at Westminster Chapel along with Dr. David Menton. They spoke on behalf of answers in genesis (a website I highly recommend) about Creation, Darwinism, evolution, science, and faith. I haven't felt this exhilarated in a while!

My major requires a lot of me. It requires a lot of my time, my effort, severe concentration, but more than that, it requires an attack on my religion most of the time. Every week in Biology I'm taught how this miraculous world was created by an evolutionary process over millions of years. I'm not trying to put down those who believe in evolutionary theory. To be honest, if we didn't have the Bible to rely on, all we could do is guess what happened based on the evidence we have, as evolutionist have. Both creationists and evolutionist work from the same evidence that science has given us, it is just a matter of what presuppositions you look at that evidence from. Those who believe in the bible interpret science to fit what the bible tells us about history. Those who do not interpret the evidence based on a world void of purpose or a beginning.

Tonight I have retaken up the challenge I have had lately, and my passion has even further been ignited. I bought five books and a magazine (good deals, five for thirty pounds) which is more money than I've spent in any one given place in London to date, but I just had to get these books. Why? Because I am a firm believe than believe or non-believer, we should take a lesson from 1 Peter.

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (3:15).

So, I urge no, challenge, everyone who reads this to do just that. Find out why you believe what you believe. Look into it. Have a REASON.

On a side note, tonight I really miss home! They kept mentioning America in the talks (both positively and negatively) and I just kept thinking about how much I miss Texas! And even New York! Also, apparently there is a creation museum located in Cinncinati, Ohio? I wonder if its worth checking out...Now i'm looking at pictures from the February Birthdays on facebook and wishing I was there!!

Miss you guys!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Too many too muches.

The past two weeks have been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY. Not to say I'm not still enjoying myself in London, but things have really kicked into gear with everything, and I found myself more often than not attempting to tackle a long list of must-dos. But none-the-less, I just finished a biology presentation on lung cancer ( DO NOT SMOKE ) and now I'm giving myself the night off to relax and catch up on some much needed blogging!

So, since I've blogged last I had the opportunity to go bowling with the Brits, speak with people @ Leicester square, attend church and have a really informative/tasty lunch with Rob, catch up on some quality Monty Python @ Matt's, Catch a football game with Laura (Doncaster V. Charlton-definitely not premier team material, but still fun to watch!), swim in the atlantic ocean, eat my first cornish pasty, see the ruins of a castle, finish a sketchbook, spend 14 hours on a bus, play in another football match, and give my presentation on lung cancer...

It's been busy, but to elaborate more on the better parts of the week, I had a fantastic trip to Cornwall! We saw stonehenge on the way, which is a bit smaller than you would imagine, but when you consider how those stones got there (we don't know) or why they're there (we don't know) or how it is that they're still there (we don't know)...it's kind of cool. Okay, not just kind of cool, its fascinating. Afterward my friend Nathan and I went in to play with the sheep (that surround Stonehenge...and well everywhere to the West of London it seems) and by play, I mean we chased after them while everyone laughed at us...it was still fun.

We made it to Newquay (pronounced New Key) four or five hours later where we stayed in a hostel overlooking the ocean. As you can imagine I was flipping out. I love the ocean, even if it was a little cold. The hostel was a bit gross, but the view made up for it. That night we went out for mexican food-erh, okay,everyone else was pleased, but I'll stick to Texas for my Mexican food thank you- and then I tried a wine named after yours truly (okay, probably some other Gaston) but it was french, and well it had my name on it. Merlot, pretty good.

The next day we went ot the Eden Project which is a biodome- the whole reason we were there. The rainforest was really cool, complete with a water fall and a lot of fascinating plants. Yes, I realize that sonnded nerdy, but who doesn't know I'm a nerd by now? I ate my first cornish pasty, and after a few more hours of plants and study time we headed back to Newquay for chill time. After some Thai food (I don't know why we went so ethnic in some random beach town, it was okay...) we went back to the hostel and then out to the beach! We ended up swimming, where I lost my phone, but it was well worth it. We also found a really cool cave to hang out in and eat cream scones (famously Cornish). Sunday we saw the remains of Tintandel Castle- but I was more impressed by the view! Here we were on these green cliffs overlooking sea green water splashing up against the rocks. It was amazing. Really and truly, it is fascinating to see what God has created! We did get hailed on once we got to the top of this enormous cliff, which wasn't exactly a highlight, but we climbed down and up another to find a church, which was beautiful.

After our adventure we made it to one of my favorite moments of the trip- sunday brunch. A few people I know went vegetarian for lent, and I just laughed in that moment as they sat at another table glaring at our beautiful food. Okay, maybe it was mean to laugh, but they really missed out... It was quite possibly the best food I've had in the last two months. Freshly carved meat complete with sweet potatoes, pudding, roasted carrots, cabbage, potatos, tea...Is your mouthwatering yet? Mine was. It was at a bed and breakfast in a small (and I mean REALLY small) town, and you could just tell that everything was fresh and home made...I dream of it nightly.

My new John Macarthur book arrived, and after Rob lent me 20 answers by Ken Ham, and Barney lent me Mere Christianity, and I already have The Case for a Creator...i'm up to my eye balls in books so I think that book suggestion post really wen't well!!

Marie and Lex are coming to visit on Friday, and we also get to see the inner houses of Parliament (few people get to do so) for our architecture class! I'm really excited.

A few random notes, i'm looking into skyping soon so that I can see everyone so text me!! ( I have a new number, ask me for it I don't want to post it here)...but I really miss you all!

More to come later- I promise it won't be two more weeks before I post again!


Monday, February 23, 2009

And I actually have to do work here.

A sad realization has overcome me the last few weeks: I'm here to go to school. Yes, I knew this, but when I dreamed of what London would be like a few months ago, did it really include the library? I've finished two midterms (got one back...it's OKAY, not fantastic) and one paper, and i'm onto the last one, but still as I look at my schedule its just a rolling list of due dates! It seems like some huge thing is due just about every two weeks. So, I'm a bit overwhelmed and not exactly all that happy to be studying, but there have been some cool things going on here in London.

I went to my first rugby match on Saturday. They're absolutely fantastic. I felt like I should go hit something afterward. They have MASSIVE legs- huge really, and it is so much more complex than you would imagine it initially. Katie and I described it as a mix between soccer/football/hockey/gymnastics/cheer leading. I have a ton of pictures to post...one day, but the game was great and for once London enjoyed a beautiful sunny day. British people don't "woo" though...you know, the way you would chear in America. My "woo" was very out of place. No more wooing in Britain.

Friday we had a trip to Portsmouth and Winchester where I saw a crazy-old boat, a beautiful cathedral, and Jane Austen's house/grave. I also had my first pasty- they're SO good. Mine tasted like chicken pot pie, which just totally made my day. And we found a bakery- as we always do. That night I went to Leicester Square to listen to Rob preach. It's open air preaching, and I was initially a little nervous because I think it can be done really wrongly, and to great detriment. I was really pleased to see that the gospel was laid out very clearly and that people weren't screamed at in an opportunity to induce fear, but they were spoken to. They were talked to, and loved, as they should be. I think i'm going back this Friday.

Yesterday I decided to go to the morning service at TRC as well, and I ended up spending the entire day downtown. Barney and his wife were kind enough to have some of us over for lunch, and I really got to meet everyone a lot better. Barney has two kids- and they're adorable- they reminded me so much of Maylee. I talked to Rob about a lot of the questions I thought people might bring up, or just general objections to christianity. It was a great conversation and I really think he'll be someone I can bring questions to. Everyone at the house was so friendly and nice- I felt at home, and even more so when I had my first homemade meal in ages. It was delicious! Pancakes- but not the pancakes you're thinking of (if you're american that is.) They were thin and spongy, and had meat on them, and we had mash and vegetables and desert to. I was in heaven on earth. It was fantastic. I probably could have eaten the entire table of food had I not been too busy talking. Afterward I discovered more biscuits and candy from Britain which was also a highlight of the day. We all went to evening church and I got to catch up with everyone. I am falling in love with this church and the people in it- I already wish I could bring them back home with me when I leave!

Tuesday is my first football match or I would be going to FEAST again- wish us luck...should be interesting, though it doesn't sound like the league is all that competitive...

Back to the books-

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some more lessons...

A few things my new British friends have been teaching me about London:
*Proper is an adjective for EVERYTHING. For instance: "We should get you a proper cup of tea!". "Are we going to play a proper game of cricket?" I consider it a swap for our use of real.
*British people are astounded by the fact that I don't sound like I'm from east Texas. I don't have a huge Texas twang, so I'm apparently not from Texas. Also, I walk fast. I attribute that to New York, but they find it odd.
*People from Liverpool have completely different accents and they're AWESOME. Think a new level of British accent.
*We spell aluminum wrong. It's really aluminium. The british are right on this one. They spell sulfur wrong though (with a ph). Also, Tire is spelled tyre. A lot of things that we would just put an o for, they put ou for. Also, zs are mistreated in this country and highly underused. Everything is spelled with an s.
*Tea isn't just tea here. I thought I was all cool drinking my british breakfast tea. Matt has informed me I haven't lived yet. I'm going to come back home a tea-snob.
*This british library isn't a normal library. It's hard-core security. You have to get a pass to get into a super secret room I haven't yet found to get to a few books...which you have to previously have told them you want. It's all a bit fishy and scary to me.
*I'm completely convinced that rainy days were put into our lives to make us appreciate sunlight. When the sun shines here, my life completely brightens up now. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen to often lol!

That's it for now, but after a reference to my first post, I realized I have been neglecting the purpose of this blog in posting my lessons...so those are just a few.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


So. What to say. I feel like it has been ages since I last posted and I can't really remember what all has gone on!
Last Tuesday was the Brazil v Italy game. (Has it only been a week since then?) It was fantastic! I have never seen that many people in a stadium, let alone going absolutely crazy about football! (Or as they say here, bonkers...?) It was packed and Emirates stadium is just about the most beautiful place I've ever been. I'm hooked. I hope to go back, but with the price of tickets, I don't know if that's going to happen lol. All the same, it has made my english trip complete!

I've spent almost every waking moment since then studying for my Biology and Chemistry exams, aside from a trip to a tiki lounge for my friend Katie's birthday and an evening out to a bbq restaurant on valentine's day with my friends and cait's brother Ian. I also had my first football practice on Sunday, It was pretty fun. Hopefully we'll be pretty good. The guys got slammed 18-3...yeesh. We also have a soon to be match against five british guys (the ones I mentioned earlier.) They talk a good talk, so we'll see if they can actually play! I'm looking forward to it win or lose.

I'm pretty sure for once studying paid off and I did well on both of my biology and organic chemistry midterms. It was hard to study after meeting a girl my age who is already in medical school and doing medically related studying (they don't have to do undergraduate degrees in Britain!) but I finished, and now I only have two ten page papers to write before next week. (ha, only, please note the sarcasm!)

Tonight I went to the first FEAST which is Trinity's young adult's night. It was really cool, we're studying Amos and I really enjoyed just meeting with a small gorup of people my age. I'm really grateful God gave me such a great group of people to hang out with. REALLY grateful. I don't think you can really fathom how happy I am to get to hang out with these people. They're really aweosme. Can't wait until Sunday.

Oh, and some cool things about TRC. One, Charles Spurgeon laid the first stone. They have a cool little plaque outside with the date that I've since forgotten, and they have the trowel that is engraved and everything. Two, one of the pews has the figure of a bomb dented in it. Apparently the area was bomed during the second World War and the bomb fell into the church but didn't go off, someone saw it crash through, came in, and got rid of it or something (I forgot the end of the story...) Thirdly, Matt walked me by Charle's Spurgeons old house. It's pretty cool. I LOVE the history of this area! I got to Feast a little early tonight and got to meet the pastor of TRC (Matt's Dad) and his mom and his brother. They're really nice, and it was good to be in a home again! His mom gave me a cookie and I drank espresso to keep myself awake after all the studying...they even have a lab (which of course made me miss beans)...but, like I said, it was nice to be in a home!

I better get back to working on those papers, but I thought I'd throw a bit about life in hopes that I don't forget it lol

BTW I promise I'll eventually send out post cards...please be patient :-D


Saturday, February 14, 2009

My next book...

Hey-this post will be short, and while I promise to eventually blog about the exciting things going on here in London, this week and the weeks ahead are going to be heavily demanding on me for school, so blogging will have to wait.

But what cannot wait is suggestions for my next book. So far I have tackled Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I'm still working through a Lee Strobel book, and of course the bible, but I always like to have a book I read a chapter out of every night and I'm almost done with this one...so for this time, and this time only, comments requested!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Month

I can't believe I've almost been here a month. My head just reels when I think about it. It's ironic that people see a christian lifestyle as confined and boring...the more I give my life to Christ, the more he seems to make it the biggest adventure I've ever been on.

I found a church on Sunday. Trinity road chapel. It took me one hour and forty five minutes to find the place, and it was rainy and absolutely miserable...but I found it, and even when I wanted to turn back, God kept me pressing on. I'm glad I did. I met some fantastic people, and I'm really excited to go back next week!

Tonight is the Brazil v. Italy game which I get to attend IN PERSON...so I'm ecstatic. My first football game in London, should be a blast. Plus, the sun is out right now (though it's going down) and that is a very rare occurrence these days! The past weekend just held studying, as will most of this weekend, but Katie's birthday is on Thursday so at least there is one planned break. Raquel visited last weekend, we cooked tacos, and everyone ate until they could hardly move. I had missed Mexican food, in fact, left overs for dinner tonight. I'm seeing more of London every day, and i'm liking what I see!

I heard back from the host program, and i'll be going to SCOTLAND march 25-27. I am so excited! A retired couple of about age sixty will be taking me in for a weekend, but don't let their age fool you, apparently the woman does yoga! Should be fun. I love meeting old married people, they seem to have the best stories to tell. I googled the area (outside of Inverness) and it look absolutely beautiful. Should be a fantastic weekend.

Hopefully Paris on February 27, but we'll see if I make it through midterms next week first!

Miss you all-

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A very busy weekend.

Time in London seems to be flying by. In two weeks I have my first set of midterms and papers due! It's crazy, I've already been here three weeks.

This past weekend Stephanie came to visit following my trip to Cambridge.

Cambridge was absolutely beautiful, and I will eventually get around to posting the pictures on Dacebook. It is such a peaceful town and I met some really cool new people. We had traditional english tea (with scones and sandwiches), found a fudge shop, explored the university, and took some pictures over the river cam. It was really a great and relaxing trip outside of the city.

So, Stephanie came, and due to her worship of Ghandi at the park on the previous day, the entire city of London was covered in snow and the city shut down...All the same, we accomplished quite a lot in the weekend:

Ah, what did we not do that weekend? We saw Chicago, went to Portobello market, attempted to watch an Arsenal game at the pub (failure), went to the Tate Modern, St. Paul's Cathedral, Bar Italia and a small italian restaurant in SOHO, celebrated Chinese New Year in Chinatown, visited the National gallery, westiminster abbey, big ben and the area downtown, drank more tea, ate more chinese food, tried some odd chinese deserts, watched fireworks, attempted to watch British television (failure number two), saw the city close down from three inches of snow (and thus multiple places we wanted to go...), discovered new shops, drank coffee at Costa, drank wine and ate cheese at Gordon's wine bar, visited St. James's park, ate at the Rocket and watched football highlights, and returned home absolutely exhausted!

It was a really super busy weekend, so this one is going to be much more chill. I'm going to attempt to get A LOT of work done tomorrow and Saturday is taco night/ raquel visiting/ maybe our first British movie? We'll see! Oh, and I hear there is going to be a Birtish/American grudge match in football that i'll be participating in once weather permits- that should be fun.

I'm also training to run a 10k competitively in Britain before I leave. I thought it would be fun. We'll see how things go with all the work I'm supposed to be doing instead of posting here!!

Things are really shaping up quite nicely. I feel ALIVE and ready to go. I'm so excited for all of the adventures to be had here. There are places to see, things to eat, lives to change, music to be heard, monuments to sketch, pictures to take, conversations to be had...moments I can only imagine.

I heard back from the HOST program- looks like I might be spending a weekend in the Scottish Highlands!

Please be praying for me as I attempt to find a Church :-)


Thursday, January 29, 2009


I can’t even walk a straight line
And every time you look at me
I’m spinning like an autumn leaf
Bound to hit bottom sometime

Standing on a lonely street

Where would I be without someone to save me
Someone who won’t let me fall
You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can’t believe is happening
You’re standing right in front of me
With arms wide open
All I know is
Every day is filled with hope
You are everything that I believe for
And I can’t help but breathe you in

I’m the one with two left feet

Breathe again
Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart
I’m the one with big mistakes
Big regrets and bigger breaks
Than I ever care to confess
Oh but, You’re the one who looks at me
And sees what I was meant to be
More than just a beautiful mess

Where would I be without someone to save me
Someone who won’t let me fall
You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can’t believe is happening
You’re standing right in front of me
With arms wide open
All I know is
Every day is filled with hope
You are everything that I believe for
And I can’t help but breathe you in
Breathe again

Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart
You’re everything good in my life
Everything honest and true
And all of those stars hanging up in the sky
Could never shine brighter than You
You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can’t believe is happening
You’re standing right in front of me
With arms wide open
All I know is
Every day is filled with hope
You are everything that I believe for
And I can’t help but breathe you in
Breathe again
Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart
You are
You are
Jesus, You are
You are everything

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I do not even know where to start with my yesterday. It was so much fun I don't think I can capture it in words, but it did have a bit of a rough start.

We all woke up around 8:30 for a day trip to Greenwich courtesy of NYU-L. Not to happy about the 8:30 start point on a Friday, but for a free trip we were willing to skim on the sleep. I took my first tube ride, which I must say is a little bit complicated, but quite excellent. It's much cleaner than the subway in new york and the seats are nice and cushy :-) We took the Jubilee line (New York just has ABCDEF...not quite as fun of names) and as we waited we listened to the sounds of a man on an accordion...a little different from the rushed sounds of the subway in Manhattan.

Anyway we make it to the dock to take our boat ride to Greenwich. It's raining, a dreary day, but the boat ride is all the more exciting. Katie and I go up on the deck for a bit to freeze, but we see amazing views riding down the Thames (pronounced tems here.) So we arrive in Greenwich and here is where it gets a bit miserable. It is absolutely freezing here. We leave the cities warmth and drop what must have been about twenty degrees. My toes are frozen and our outdoor tour of the city is just not working for me. I listen all the same and find out some interesting facts about the city, but inside I just cannot WAIT for this trip to be over. I'm mumbling prayers to myself that I might look interested in what the tour guide was saying...

Anyway, tour ended and we go to the painted hall, which was absolutely beautiful! All the more glorious in our eyes as it also provided warmth. We went to a little pub like place for lunch, then headed up to the observatory where I stood in the eastern and western hemispheres at the same time. Two places at once. Check that off the list of things to do!

We finished off the day at the maritime museum and the queens house- which both boasted beautiful paintings and cool museum trinkets. We also stopped by the market and ate the most DELICIOUS cookies.

The night ended beautiful as we had our first interactions with the locals. We met a bunch of guys who all had been 'mates' since they were young...very nice, very fun, hopefully see them again sometime (or beat them at football!)

Today I tried out Spurgeon's church. It's VERY traditional. In fact, one of their tenants on the newcomers guide is that they don't believe worship should include anything but voices and the organ. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I absolutely adore getting into worship and feeling the beat and such...I won't go in to too much detail, but ask me about it if you're interested.

So back to the grindstone...I would normally say, but i'm actually enjoying classes here! The only part i'm not looking forward to is less sleep. So i'll get right on that...

Good day :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Historic Occasion

Today the front page of the Guardian read:

"Magical spell that will open new American era".

Of course, I grabbed a copy to commemorate this historic day. Usually when walking down the streets of London I attempt to look as much Londonesque as possible. When bumping into people, I attempt to make my sorry sound British (but not so much that should they know I'm American they would think I'm mocking them.) But today I strutted the streets of London proud to be an American :-) My professors all congratulated us on our new president, and I watched the inauguration surrounded by a bunch of students crammed into a small cafe in our building. Probably not as good a view as Grant had from his spot in DC (jealous!), but I enjoyed it all the same :-) I felt pity for our new president as he stumbled over the swearing in (President Bush must have been smirking after all the grief he got over his fumbled words...). All the same, I think America has a bright future ahead.

So a bit of an update on London...

This weekend held some of the best days I've had here. Saturday we just took off walking around- the pictures that are on Facebook- and we ended up near piccadilly square and browsed shops. I did a lot of people watching and picture taking We took afternoon tea- which is becoming one of my favorite things to do. After getting lost and then soon finding ourselves, we made it back to the pub to see the Arsenal game.

I called the score, 3-1 Arsenal. It was a good game. It was so fun to watch a game with other people CRAZY about the sport. It's my new local hang out. Later NYU had a mixer at yet another pub, (see my first lessons learned, Brits Love Beer) and we went by and said hello. Met a guy from Texas who went to Trinity Valley. Can you believe that? I came all the way to London to meet a guy who lives ten minutes down the road.

Sunday was a bus tour around London, and I got to see all the big sites that I'm going to make sure to see before I leave. I posted "101 things to do before you leave London!" on my bulletin board, so I'll be checking those off regularly.

This week I had my first classes (yeah, I forgot, thats why I'm here)-but, they're going to be great! Classes are small (my largest one so far is 35, smallest about 12) and the teachers are fantastic. They're all highly qualified, and British, so I'll pay attention. My favorite class thus far is Politics of the Near and Middle East. We're covering the political conflict there- the history behind it, several different countries, and the religious issues involved. My professor even took part in some of the Israeli peace talks. It's going to be really interesting! Now I think I want to visit Israel over spring break. We'll see more on that later.

I'm still not all the way through classes, we only have them once a week (but for three hours...), but I have architecture on Thursday which should be really fun too. Even my Organic Chemistry Lab is better here- smaller class size, better facilities. London is quite a hit.

Oh, and I just received an email saying I was accepted into all of the trips I applied for- so I'll be getting to see a bunch of places in England for relatively small cost. :-)

More Later,

Friday, January 16, 2009

The First Lessons from London

I was originally going to add to the posts on the family blog, but I thought I might write too many posts, or perhaps write things that aren't so interesting. Well and of course everyone is making their own blogs these days so I thought I would follow in suit.

So, I'll be spending the next four months in London, soaking up the culture, attempting to not go broke, maybe picking up an English accent, and at the very least watching some great football. I have been here a little over two days now, and I have already learned so much that I thought I would share a few of my recently learned lessons...

1. Brits LOVE BEER. They love it. Can't get enough of it. They're not drunks-but they drink ALL the time. It's crazy-I'm walking on the way to lunch, and sure enough the pubs are full of people eating and drinking their beers. I make it to the student union, yep, more beer. At the pub quiz that night, whats offered? Beer. Brits love beer.

2. ALWAYS look both ways before crossing the street. This is an old lesson, re-learned. I haven't personally almost died, but I have seen many near death encounters for those who ignore this simple rule. It's even written on the streets- LOOK LEFT, LOOK RIGHT. Forget that, look both ways, then cross. It's the way to go.

3. British places close early. WAY early. Most offices are closed by five, restaurants around nine, pubs around midnight. A bit like Texas, but definitely a change from New York.

4. Just because we both speak English, doesn't mean we can understand each other. Case in point: My friend Katie ordered a Vanilla milkshake. The shake came to the table, we all tasted it and felt as though it tasted like a pina colada. We thought the Brits were simply bad at making Vanilla milkshakes. Check comes, turns out it was a banana milkshake. Looking back, it was really good considering it was a banana milkshake. A few other things- adding money to a card means topping up, a flashmobber is a silent rave, chips are French fries, crisps are chips, a pound IS NOT a dollar, and cheers is goodbye.

5. British people are very polite. No one yells at one another, no cars honk their horns. It is so peaceful here- far different from New York. Our orientation leader- Nigel, with a great accent- told us that if a British person ever yells at us, we have done something SEVERELY wrong. They always say cheers when you leave. Very nice sort.

6. You have to ask for the bill at a restaurant. We waited for so long once, until Anthony finally remembered it is considered impolite for the server to put the bill on the table. Oh, and the British rarely tip. At restaurants they tip about 10%, if the service is good, but no where else.

7. British people love students. I have been given more discounts here than I did the entirety of my college life in New York. I could definitely get used to that.

8. Tea is fantastic. End of story.

Thats it for now-