Friday, November 23

Something to Think About

I've been reading in Ellen White's Education for one of my classes and I've enjoyed it a lot. Although, sometimes it's hard to enjoy it when I have to read so much of it in one sitting and I feel like I have to rush through it. In any case, I've read quite a bit of it while I've been home and there was one paragraph that really stood out to me that I wanted to share. Oh, and if any of you happen to have this book, or if you have some time to look it up on whiteestate.org, I would really recommend reading the chapter called "Bible Biographies; that has been one of my favorite chapters yet.

"Every nation that has come upon the stage of action has been permitted to occupy its place on the earth, that it might be seen whether it would fulfill the purpose of 'the Watcher and the Holy One.' Prophecy has traced the rise and fall of the world's great empires- Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. With each of these, as with nations of less power, history repeated itself. Each had its period of test, each failed, its glory faded, its power departed, and its place was occupied by another." ~pp. 176-177, Education

When I read this, I couldn't help but think of the powerful nation that we live in. When it was founded, it was founded by mostly God-fearing men and its foundation was built mostly upon Christian principles and belief in a loving God. In general, it would have been considered a Christian nation. As time has gone on, Americans have tried desperately to push God out of the picture. It seems like history is repeating itself yet again as this nation is going through its test and failing, and I wonder to myself how much longer it will be until its glory fades, its power departs, and its place will be occupied by a greater nation- one that will last forever, ruled by a just and loving God.

Wednesday, November 14

Funny Exchange

Tonight after Bible study, Kelsey and I were standing at the door of her apartment when she spotted lightning. Here is the slightly dumb exchange which passed between Kelsey and I:

Kelsey:
Look lightning!
Kristin: Where?
Kelsey:
Outside (pointing out the door and toward the sky)!

Perhaps it was funnier if you had heard us saying it. But as soon as these remarks were made, Kelsey and I looked at each other and both realized how ridiculous each of our remarks had been. Anyway, I hope this was somewhat amusing to the rest of the blogging world. If not, at least Kelsey and I can have a good laugh reminiscing.

Tuesday, November 13

Happenings in Redbud 1

We, the residents of Redbud 1, often have trouble, especially later in the evening, with our brains not functioning at the level on which we wish that they would. Our brains tend to get quite tired from their work throughout the day and we have a bit of trouble attempting to make sense of and sensibly complete our homework. This was the crisis we faced tonight.
Emily was talking with me and we were both lamenting the fact that we had had large, mind-dulling tests earlier today and they had made our minds slightly fuzzy. She then told me, "I don't wanna write my paper," and I con
curred that I did not want to write mine either. I then gave her some nurse-ly advice:
"Maybe you should stand on your head for a minute and then all the blood would rush back to your brain and it would be useful again!"
I also shared this advice with Beth-Anne, who was also having difficulty focusing and being productive. We decided to give it a try.

Here we have me and Beth-Anne trying out my "nurse-ly" advice.
Emily does not seem to find any merit in it.

After this invigorating break from our respective homework assignments we came to several conclusions:
1. Standing on your head may not directly make your brain useful again; however, when finished standing on your head you will most likely find that you are more awake than you were previously and that you have indirectly stimulated increased blood circulation.
2. Standing on your head also produces a side effect of a headache.

3. Kristin has been away from nursing school for too long.


Friday, November 9

Lengthy Absence

It has indeed been a long time since I last blogged... In fact, I wonder how long it will take for people to realize that this blog is here, seeing as they have probably given up hope that I will ever blog again. In any case, this will be a short blog because it is currently late at night and I want to get some rest while I can this weekend. Next week promises to be one of the worst schedule-wise.
I just spent much of this evening looking at my friends' blogs and catching up on their lives. It made me kind of sad. As I read through the blogs, I began to realize how very long it has been since I have had a meaningful conversation with many of those people; I began to see how much of their lives I have been missing, and it made me miss them even more. The sad part is that I go to school with a great majority of the people whose blogs I read, and I could theoretically see and talk to each of them. But life has become too busy.

That last sentence was said with some bitterness, which I thought must be supplied because it's difficult to read tone in sentences like those. What am I busying myself with? I suppose the things that I have been filling my life with are important. I mean, I do need to do my homework, I do need to exercise, and eat occasionally. They are all things that must be done, but I think I've done a particularly awful job this semester of being a friend. I have drifted away from so many people and have begun to realize how very lonely I've been because I've been so busy with "life" that I haven't had time to talk to people or to enjoy time spent with them. How on earth did I allow this to happen? And what kind of a life have I been living without the people I care about so much?
It makes me think about another friend that I have often neglected. So often, it's easy for me to say a quick prayer, telling God that I will have to talk to him in more detail later in the day. So often, I find myself wishing that I had more time that I could spend with God; it seems like I never have as much as I would like. And though I have my morning devotional time with God, I find myself wishing that I could spend more time praying and more time reading the Bible. This past summer was an incredible growing experience for me in my walk with God, and I've noticed lately that I've been missing the quality of the friendship that I shared with God this summer. I find myself missing God, similar to the way that I find myself missing my friends. And all because I've become to busy with "life." But honestly, what kind of life have I been living without that close bond with the God that I love so much?
And this is the question that I leave myself, and each of you, to ponder as I head to bed. What kind of life are we living if we are living without the One who is love? It's not that I'm living my life without God, and maybe you aren't either. But I haven't been living my life as closely connected to my God as I wish to, and I think it's time for some renewed connections. Relationships and friends mean so much to me, so much to humans, because that is the way that God designed us to be. And I think it's time I start truly living a life worth living- one that's full of friends and my God.

Thursday, August 2

The Pocket Guide

The following is a pocket guide created by Emily and me. Due to the alarmingly large numbers of people being pushed into the lake, we decided to create a guide to make all of our trips to the dock safe ones. Unfortunately, the equation we had to justify the writing of this guide was not in the proper format to post on blogger and we could not figure out how to get it into the proper format, so it has been omitted. Enjoy.

Pocket guide for dock inhabitation

Purpose of the Pocket Guide
The purpose of this friendly pocket guide is to make all of your dock trips dry ones. Here at Camp Cherokee the command not to swim in the lake is generally not heeded, especially by what we will from now on refer to as “dock-pushers.” Dock-pushers are those who push or otherwise propel dock visitors (also known as pushees) into Saranac Lake where swimming is prohibited. Please enjoy the reading of this pocket guide and mind the advice given if you wish to keep your temporary dock inhabitation a dry one.
Items to bring

* The number one item to carry with you at ALL times is a cell phone even if you don’t actually plan on using it. Just the simple presence of the cell phone deters any potential dock-pushers from carrying out their plans of throwing you in.

* iPods, or really any electronic devices, serve the same purpose as the aforementioned items.

* Books are especially advantageous tools. They have multiple uses on dock including, but not limited to, entertainment for your enjoyment, a screen so that you may observe life around you, mere decoration to dissuade dock-pushers, and an emergency tool to beat off dock-pushers who were not dissuaded.

* Towels also serve multiple purposes such as portable cushion, weapon of attack when dock-pushers spring upon you, and for drying off when the weapon of attack failed.

* Another helpful hint is to be fully clothed on every approach of the dock. Generally speaking, when you are fully clothed occasionally dock-pushers will have pity on you and not throw you into the water. However, sometimes wearing clothes really just increases the dock-pusher’s urge to push you in.

People to Elude
This section will be a list in order of the most dangerous dock-pushers to the less threatening ones.

* At the top of our list is Brian Castellanos. This is one fellow you should avoid at all costs. On occasion a sliver of compassion will escape from his heart and he will take pity on the pushee and not throw them in. However, this is a rare occasion.

* Our number two dock-pusher whose attack you will wish to deflect is Joel Kurtz. While Brian is the number one threat, Joel is not far behind. His most common form of attack is the lift and heave, which quite possibly makes him more dangerous, though less common, than Brian and his sneak attack from behind.

* Ranking third on our most dangerous dock-pusher list is Olivia Watson whose key advantage is her patience. Her technique is quite unique; she generally waits until there is some sort of confusion and then in the midst of the chaos she shoves the befuddled dock visitor or a fellow dock-pusher into the refreshingly cool lake.

* The final dock-pusher whom you should elude at all costs is fourth only because of his infrequent visits to the dock. His name is Alex Trecartin, and his method of attack is most often the lightning quick sneak and shove, which he affectionately calls an “encouraging push” or a “helping hand.”

Be warned. And beware of these formidable foes.

Plan of Escape
* If you do in fact happen to chance across the aforementioned dock-pushers while down at the dock and they attempt to get you into the water using their various methods, the first and most important thing that you must do is latch on to anything within reach, including the dock-pusher. In fact, your best bet is to grab onto the dock-pusher’s arm or leg. This action will discourage them from throwing you in without some caution as they may end up joining you in the lake.
* The next step in the plan of escape is to get your legs into the upright position as fast as possible. Once this has been done, it is much easier to attempt to run away, drag your feet, or plant your feet firmly to avoid being thrown or pushed. However, if it is not possible to get your feet in contact with the ground, kick legs furiously as this might land a blow on the offending dock-pusher.

When plan fails…

* If a counterattack is not effective, plead. Use the dock-pusher’s sympathy, small though it may be, to your advantage and play the cell phone card. If you, the pushee, happen to be female and the dock-pusher a male, this maneuver is more likely to succeed.

* When hope seems lost, use the previously mentioned tools to beat down your attacker. Books can quite effectively become clubs, towels are best used in whip fashion, and if shoes are available they make good cannonballs. This second approach is generally more successful for the male pushees.

* If escape is not possible and you know that you are going in, hold on to the pusher for all that you’re worth. If you go down, they go down with you.

Revenge plots

* Once in the lake, ask for a helping hand (not Alex the dock-pusher’s kind of helping hand). When they oblige, pull. Hard. This plot works well if force ratio of pushee to dock-pusher is in your favor (Newton’s Second Law of Motion).

* Use copious amounts of guilt. Pretend to have had your cell phone with you, whether or not you truly did. Say that you’re hydrophobic. Cry. This last suggestion is another technique generally more effectively used by the female gender.

* Once you have emerged from the cold lake water, give the dock-pusher a large bear hug (most effective when still wet). Attempt to vigorously shake water on them in dog-like fashion. Or use any other means to allow the dock-pusher to share in your wetness.

Wednesday, June 13

Life Lessons from Car Washing

Just yesterday I decided it was time, once again, to wash the car. It had been a while since it was last washed, and seeing as the car is white and has traveled quite a bit, it was rather obvious that the car was not in its most pristine state. So I got out the necessary supplies and went to work with the help of my mother.
Whenever I wash the car one specific temptation presents itself. You may be wondering what on earth kind of temptation can be presented when washing the car. Well, I'm not sure if anyone else has this particular temptation, but when I wash the car I tend to lose my initial enthusiasm and get a bit tired as I progress. When this starts happening, I am always really tempted not to scrub quite as vigorously, or to overlook small spots that don't come off easily. I get tired and don't feel like cleaning the car as meticulously as I should; I am tempted not to do a completely thorough job.
This same temptation presents itself in other areas of my life as well. Often when I take a look at my heart, I realize that it's not in the most pristine state. There are sins that have lodged themselves in my heart; sins that take time and vigorous scrubbing to completely remove from my life. Jesus forgives our sins, and promises us victory over them, but I find myself struggling sometimes to stop repeating the same sins over and over again. When this happens, I am tempted not to do a thorough job in cleaning my heart. I get tired of my relapses into the same sinful habits I thought I had conquered in Christ, and I become tempted not to scrub quite as vigorously, just to overlook this one small spot.
I've always been told that any job worth doing is worth doing well. When I'm washing my car, this phrase plays over and over in my head when the temptation presents itself not to do a thorough job, and it helps me find the determination I need to scrub just a little harder. I think the same principle applies when I'm cleaning my heart. If I'm not going to have Jesus help me remove all the sin from my life, die to self, and allow his Holy Spirit to live in my heart, then it's not worth doing. I can't harbor these sins in my life and overlook one "small" spot here and there while professing to live my life for God. When I am confronted with sin that has lodged itself in my heart, I need to remember the importance of doing a thorough job and find the determination to scrub just a little harder. And when the temptation presents itself to overlook, I can draw my strength and resolve from Christ.

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." 2 Samuel 22:33
"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." 1 Chronicles 16:11
"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9a

Monday, June 11

Dark Hours

When the Virginia Tech shootings happened, my grandfather told me that he thought I should write something about it. Things had been fairly busy for a while and then I just didn't have the motivation to write, but yesterday I had a bit of inspiration. I wrote this poem, and even though it's not specifically about VA Tech and what happened there, it was inspired by thoughts on the shootings and other terrible things that have happened because of Satan's influence and our separation from God. So Grandaddy, here it is. (And Little Christen, unfortunately, I don't think it's a 10... maybe a 9. Perhaps I'll go back and fix it sometime)

The darkest hour on earth did pass
When Jesus wore the crown,
Hung on a tree between two thieves,

And to Him sin was bound.

Though dark that hour, it brought us hope;

Its darkness lets us live
To see the glory of the Lord
In freedom that He gives.


Since that dark hour more hours have come
To blacken our earth's days.
They've brought us pain beyond belief;
Satan his pow'r displays.


But Satan's pow'r, confined to earth,
Cannot deter our hearts;
For in the darkness we find hope
That faith in Christ imparts.

Friday, June 8

Einstein

Quick disclaimer: This blog is not at all related to either Lorrie's or Joel's blogs. Promise :)

The other morning, my grandmother found a baby bird on the ground under a tree in our backyard. It had apparently fallen out of its nest, which was too high for my grandmother to reach to put the bird back. Luckily for this little robin both my mom and grandma have had experience raising baby birds who have been unfortunate enough to fall out of their nests. So we have all been taking care of it and have decided to keep it as a pet. In light of this decision, we thought it appropriate to name our newest pet. Thankfully, this was not quite the epic dilemma that naming the squirrels was, and we settled on a name rather quickly- Einstein.


We called him Einstein because the funny little tufts of feather that stick up on his head are somewhat reminiscent of Albert Einstein's occasionally quirky hair. Here are some pictures for your amusement.












Wednesday, June 6

The First Plunge

Lately I've been going to the local fitness center on a daily basis, and yesterday I had a short conversation with a fellow swimmer that provoked a thought. I was just finishing up my laps and getting ready to get out of the pool, when I looked over into the next lane to see a lady sitting on the edge of the pool with her legs dangling over the edge into the water. She looked at me and said, "Don't mind me, I'm just being a little bit of a baby." Understanding her hesitation to get in, I replied, "Oh, no. Trust me, I know how cold it feels when you first get in." She was glad to know that she was not the only one who felt that way about getting into the pool water, and in my attempt to respond and encourage her, I told her, "Well, I know it's really cold at first, but once you're in and start moving it's not bad at all." She smiled and said, "Yeah, I swim enough to know that once I'm about halfway through my first lap I've already forgotten how cold it was; it's just really hard to force myself to take the first plunge." We finished our conversation with pleasant well-wishes to each other and I went about my day. However, I started thinking about what we had been talking about and how analogous it was to life.
Perhaps it's just me, but I seem to have this recurring problem of getting started. It doesn't matter what the activity is, whether it's getting in the swimming pool, writing an email, starting a school project, or starting a conversation with someone, I tend to have some sort of motivational issue in which I don't want to begin. I know that once I get started, it won't be that bad, and most likely I will end up enjoying myself, but sometimes it's very difficult for me to begin.
It's the same in spiritual matters too. I see my peers preaching, giving Bible studies, reaching out to people, and living active Christian lives, and I want to do it too. Sometimes I feel like the lady I met at the pool. I'm sitting on the edge with my legs in the water, trying to summon the boldness to take the first plunge. I see others in the water, enjoying themselves and I know that they're living the life I want to live. I know that it won't be bad after I take the first plunge; in fact, it will be wonderful and the water will warm up once I start moving. Praise God that He has been helping me with this.
At school I had been wanting to start giving Bible studies, but I was very hesitant to begin. I was afraid that I would somehow mess up, or not be able to answer questions from my Bible study contacts. But finally, toward the end of this school year, I was able to be placed with a Bible study partner and we gave Bible studies together. It was one of the biggest blessings I was able to experience this year. I've often regretted waiting for so long to begin.
All too often, we sit on the edge, wanting to take the plunge, but hesitating and missing out on God's blessings because we don't want to experience that first cold shock. We see others living for Christ through mission work, preaching, or whatever it might be, and we want to join them. And sometimes it's not necessarily that we're not living for Christ, but maybe we just haven't given our lives to His service completely. God is calling. Are you ready to take the first plunge?

Tuesday, June 5

Camp Blue Ridge

I've decided to post some more pictures. Perhaps sometime soon I'll have the motivation to actually write a post worth reading, but for now pictures will have to do. These are pictures from our church retreat at Camp Blue Ridge. Most of them are from the hike we took to Spy Rock on Sabbath.


This is my cousin Kristi and me right before the hike.


My grandparents :)






That's Hudson, a boy who goes to my church.

A bird my mom got a picture of. Perhaps Thomson can tell what kind it is?

My dad and Kristi at the top.


It was kind of raining and gray, but still a nice view and definitely a good hike.

Monday, May 28

Family Picnic

This will be mainly a picture post :)




This is my cousin Kamiah on the left :) She's about a year old now.










Brooklynn on the right. I'm not exactly sure how old she is; probably 18 months or 2 years. But she is one independent little girl :)






And this is Faith Ellen. She just turned 3 recently. Here she's showing off her new pet caterpillar.


This is Philip :D He's really sweet and funny. And sometimes when he talks he sounds like Eeyore. I think that he's around 5 or so.





Here's Christian standing on a slide that he's about to jump off of. He's the daredevil of the family :) I think he might be 7 ish.








Over on the right we have Hope, who was, I believe, trying to rollerblade on one rollerblade that was much too large for her foot. Kamiah's oldest sister, Kenya is in the corner of the picture.





And finally, me and Brittany. She's about 14 now and loves horses- especially hers :) She told me that she was going to get to work at a summer camp where she boards her horses up in Rhode Island (where she lives). Peter, Brittany, Hope, Christian, Philip, and Faith Ellen are all brothers and sisters if you couldn't tell from how similar they look in the pictures.

And those are just a few of my younger cousins that I saw at our family picnic. I didn't get a picture of Peter because he was off with my brothers and another cousin. I also missed getting pictures of Jules (Brooklynn's older sister), Cierra (Kenya and Kamiah's sister), and Michael (an older cousin). It was a lot of fun to be able to see everyone again.

Monday, May 21

New Pets

The Thomas family is known for its odd variety of pets. Dogs? Cats? Those are for normal families. No, we go for the more unusual and exotic domestic companions. While we have had some fairly normal pets like fish and hamsters, our list of pets past also includes such things as ferrets, snakes, hedgehogs, and sugar gliders. What, you ask, are the mysterious new pets of the Thomas abode? To answer this question I believe I shall tell a little story.


This morning as I was eating, I noticed a squirrel out on the railing of our deck. I had heard my other family members tell tales of this notorious squirrel who seems to have caught a taste for the peanuts we leave in the yard for it. I went to get my camera and slowly, quietly, sneaked back to the sliding glass door, hoping not to scare it away before I got my camera ready. Instead of scampering off, the squirrel seemed to perk up a little bit. I began to take snapshots and was amazed to see it leaning towards me and not scurrying off. "My what a bold little squirrel we have here," I thought to myself.

I put my camera down on the table and finished breakfast, still thinking on the funny little squirrel we've apparently befriended. I finished eating and was about to go about my day when I heard a thumping sort of noise come from the deck. I went to the door and saw, much to my surprise, a squirrel hanging onto one of the frames of the sliding glass door! Shocked, I grabbed my camera, but too late. The little squirrel was spooked and jumped back onto the railing. I stood in front of the door hoping that it might return. He did not seem interested in coming back for a second round with the door, so I began to turn away, but was stopped by what I saw in my peripheral vision. A second squirrel had decided to pay a visit.

I watched in wonder as this daring little squirrel meandered right up to the glass door that I was only inches away from. I began to take pictures, hurriedly at first because I thought he might lose courage and dart away. I soon realized that my fears were unfounded as I watched this audacious animal stand on its hind legs and plaster its paws on the glass. Then it leaped up onto the door frame by the door handle, looking at me expectantly. To say that I was surprised would be a mild description. The squirrel must have decided that he was not being properly rewarded for his feat of climbing the door frame because he eventually hopped back down onto the deck and reverted to pawing at the door hopefully.

I've decided that these new pets should be named, and when I relayed the events my brother Stephen, he dubbed the first squirrel Skippy. I have yet to think of a good bold name for the second squirrel. And just for clarification, we do leave peanuts and sometimes corn out in the yard for the squirrels, but we never feed them up on our deck or near the house.

Saturday, May 12

Heavenly Father

This past semester I really enjoyed my 18th century literature class. It was a little bit like a book club, except that we had quizzes, tests, and papers to write. But essentially what we did was read the assigned reading, go to class and discuss what we liked about the reading, what we didn't like, how the reading was characteristically 18th century, how the writings impacted people during the time they were written, and what we could take away from the reading for ourselves today. Quite often, the class discussion took interesting turns with slight detours only remotely connected to the original topic at hand.
One day in class we were discussing Samuel Johnson and parts of his novella Rasselas, which I will eventually go back and read in its entirety. Rasselas is a story about a young prince who has been confined to a valley of sheer entertainment and is unsatisfied with the aimless life he lives. Because of his discontentment with life, Rasselas, his sister, a philosopher, and others they meet along the way, set out on a journey to observe different aspects of life to find out how true happiness may be obtained.
Somehow while discussing Rasselas and his quest for true happiness, the topic of heaven came up. We began conversing about what heaven would be like and pondered where on earth the idea of sitting on clouds and playing harps for eternity came from. We imagined all of the amazing things that we'll be able to do in heaven, and we thought about all of the questions that we have about life and God and how we'll have all of eternity to learn about these mysteries. My mind ran wild with all the possibilities that eternity with God holds.

Then, my professor began to paint a picture for us of our Heavenly Father. I'll attempt to recreate the picture he placed in my mind.
Children love to display their knowledge and creations to their parents and hope to find approval from them. Anytime they create or accomplish even the slightest thing, they run to show mom or dad. "Mom, see the picture I painted today!" a small child shouts while waving the still wet pape
r with colorful markings. "Dad, come see my fort!" the young boy says while tugging his father's hand, pulling him toward the array of couch cushions, blankets, and chairs. Every child wants to show their parents what they've created and excitedly displays their masterpiece in hopes of receiving the approval of those they respect and love most.
In heaven we will have the opportunity to have this kind of relationship with God. While exploring
the multitude of galaxies filled with God's creations we will have the chance to learn about the intricate details of life, to create wonderful masterpieces of music, architecture, and more. We can enthusiastically reveal our latest accomplishments and discoveries to our Heavenly Father who is anxiously waiting to see what we've done or learned and smile with pride and joy at his children and their delight. And we will be able to spend time with God while He explains and shares His thoughts on His creations- why He made certain things, how they work, what He was thinking while He made it. We will be able to enjoy an intimate relationship with our Father unlike any other relationship we've had before.
Even while I'm writing this, words escape me. I cannot begin to describe or imagine all that living with God in heaven for eternity will encompass, and this short description of one facet of the personal relationship we will have with God doesn't come close to defining what our experience in heaven will be. And just think, if we are willing, God wants to begin this relationship and experience with us now, here on earth.

The Real Deal

Many times have I heard the question asked, "Why is it that when you blow in a dog's face, it gets mad, but when you put it in a car, it sticks its head out the window?" This is only one member of life's most confounding questions, and usually I ignore these questions because they aren't really meant to be answered. However, the other day as my father and I were driving around, we saw a dog sticking its head out of the window of a car, he asked the question, and for whatever reason, I decided to answer.
"Well, you see..."


Generally, when these are the opening words of a statement of mine it implies that something absurdly ridiculous will follow which is intended to incite laughter and not to be taken seriously. As I answered life's boggling question of why dogs like to stick their heads out of the windows of moving vehicles, I realized that though the intent was to be silly there was perhaps something deeper that could be drawn from it.

"... they prefer to stick their heads out of the window because then they can feel the wind full force; when you blow on their faces, it's like a teaser and they don't want a counterfeit-- they want the real deal."

In Acts 2:2, the Holy Spirit is referred to as a violent wind which filled the room the disciples were in. Other passages referring to the wind also hold deep meaning for God's people.

"He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants" Psalm 104:4
"In speaking of the angels [God] says, 'he makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire'" Hebrews 1:7 (Paul quotes from Psalm 104:4)

The Holy Spirit is often represented by wind and fire, and when God's disciples are filled with the Holy Spirit, powerful things happen to glorify God. We, as disciples of Christ, are called to be God's messengers, sharing His love and taking it to the ends of the earth. God deeply desires us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, with the violent wind and fire of His power. He wishes to make us messengers like His angels, willingly ministering to others on earth through the power of His Holy Wind.
Maybe its time for us to learn a lesson from God's canine
creations. It's time that we stop allowing ourselves to be satisfied with quick, sporadic encounters with God and instead immerse ourselves in Him, letting the wind of His Holy Spirit blow on us full force. It's time for us to experience the real deal.

Wednesday, May 2

Forgotten Pilgrim, Flying Disc, and a Bach Carousel

I am quite fatigued; however, it is a completely enjoyable sort of fatigued. I was able to have quite the amusing dinner with Thomson, Christy, and Carol where discussion ranged from difficult, sleep-prohibiting finals to Bunyan's forgotten character, Mr. Decision, with a quick dip into the waters of nursery rhymes. As you can see by my brief description, it was indeed quite the dinner. Following this I was able to play frisbee with terribly fun people (Also known as Ivan, Joel, and little Christen)!! Yay for round discs hurled through the air at friends, especially with a bit of math added in, free of cost :) However, it might have been more pleasant without the itch-inducing grass. I suppose it's a good thing Ivan and Joel attempted to mow the lawn while we were playing.

No sooner had I completed this tiring task than I discovered a message on my phone from Kelsey! She was calling to check about the much awaited and anticipated walk we had been planning. Our walk turned out to be quite extensive in conversation and scenery, and was a most delightful event. We were able to hear a chorus of frogs enchant us with their melodious and uninterpretable hymns of praise, although one attempted to escape the choir and go solo. After much discussion of multiple subjects, we ended up at the playground. Here we rediscovered the many joys brought about by motion; more specifically, swings. We noted that it's quite amusing that humans can be so entertained with something as simple as moving back and forth, suspended in the air. Unfortunately, children's swingsets were not designed with 20 year old college students in mind, and soon we opted for the more comfortable tire swings. This was an experience worth noting indeed. Mostly we went round and round at a rather fast pace and lamented the existence of our semicircular canals. Then, as we controlled the pace and slowed it to a comfortable swirl, we decided that it would be our carousel and we began singing a little ditty sort of tune which was at least on the surface somewhat carousel-worthy. On this particular visit to the carousel we discussed the possibilities of Bach being blasted from the apartment above hers next year, and we also created a new aerobic workout, tire swing edition.
All in all, I would have to say that today could not have been much better. I believe today was a day in which God allowed me to count my blessings in the form of friends. I can't wait to see how God is going to top this day with tomorrow's blessings :)

Tuesday, May 1

To Do...

*Opening statements... Happy Birthday to Emily!!!! And Happy Birthday to Grandma :)
It's amazing how much one's list of things to do can change within a few days. Not too long ago my to do list looked something like this:
Read She Stoops to Conquer, Write term paper, Read pp. 1020-1026,1036-1041, 1064-1065, Prepare for Marxist presentation of Hamlet, Finish Portfolio, etc...
Just a few minutes ago, I was making a new to do list for this week. Here is a sampling of what it looks like:
Return books, Give money to Joanna, Write birthday cards, Thank you card, Get a wetsuit, Write a letter, Shave, Figure out what to do with fridge, Climb tree with Karissa, Walk with Kelsey, Blog, Write a poem, etc...

I love being done with finals and I wish my to do list included things like walking with friends and climbing trees more often. And I think that all too often I write my list of things to do in my planner and the amount of work I need to get done seems so overwhelming that I can't schedule in anything like talking with friends, going on walks, and writing letters. However, contrasting these two lists has made me think. I get so caught up in finishing my list of things to do and scrambling to get schoolwork done that I don't think to schedule in time spent with friends; they seem to be random events that brighten my day if and when they happen to occur. And also, in regard to my relationship with God, I wish that I spent more time with him that was intentional. I have my morning worship and then set my mind to finishing tasks of the day; throughout the day I pray and think about God, but I don't prioritize and intentionally schedule time with God throughout the day. It seems to be a bookend sort of thing, begin my day with worship, reflect and pray at night. Perhaps its time for some reformation in the scheduling world of Kristin.

Friday, April 6

#510

It never ceases to amaze me how God speaks to us even in silence, through impressions on our minds that we wouldn't necessarily recognize as God speaking until later. Tonight, God knew just what I needed. I recently saw a hymn in the hymnal that I really liked the words to, and so I decided to learn it. Learn it I did, and tonight I felt compelled to look at it again, and it was just what I needed to read.

If you but trust in God to guide you
And place your confidence in Him,

You'll find Him always there beside you,
To give you hope and strength within.
For those who trust God's changeless love
Build on the rock that will not move.

What gain is there in futile weeping,
In helpless anger and distress?
If you are in His care and keeping,
In sorrow will He love you less?

For He who took for you a cross
Will bring you safe through every loss.

In patient trust await His leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whate'er your Father's pleasure
And all discerning love have sent;
Doubt not your inmost wants are known
To Him who chose you for His own.

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
Offer your service faithfully,
And trust His word; though undeserving,
You'll find His promise true to be.
God never will forsake in need
The soul that trusts in Him indeed.


"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22

Friday, March 30

Failed Poet

I am taking several wonderful classes and I enjoy most of them most of the time. There is one class that has been a challenge to me ever since I got my first graded paper back, and that is my Approaches to Literature class. You see, there is a written response to what we read due almost every class period, which is based on options our teacher gives us. Each response is worth 10 points, and the very first time we got graded responses back, I got a 9, and our teacher explained that in order for us to get 10s on our responses they had to be exceptionally good. Ever since, I have seen it as a challenge and have done everything possible to get 10s on my writings.

A few weeks ago, we began a new unit on poetry, and our teacher always gives us the option of writing a poem as a response. Usually, it has to imitate a poem we've read in rhyme and meter. I enjoy writing poetry, and usually my poems turn out fairly good. Sadly, however, I have felt like somewhat of a failure recently. I have written several many poems as responses, and each time have fallen short of receiving that 10 which I thought I deserved for my thought and effort. But I am writing now to tell all of you wonderful readers that the long coveted 10 has been obtained! Victory comes to those who persevere, and I would like to share with you my poem that finally earned a 10. So here it is. Oh, wait. I should tell you what poem it is imitating so that you can understand it even better. I imitated "Virtue" by George Herbert and if you'd like to see it click here .

Believe

Immense my sins have come to be,
And more to come before the grave.
Unclose my eyes that I may see
How You can save.

Immense my unbelief has been;
Not trusting on the mighty wave,
I sink beneath my sin again,
But You can save.

Immense my toil, and all for naught;
To sin and flesh I've been a slave,
Your grace and love were both forgot.
Still You can save.

But You, immense, just one thing craved,
Of me wished one thing to receive-
My faith is all You asked; I'm saved
If I believe

Friday, February 16

I Just Don't Get It

I'm currently taking a class which is called Introduction to and Foundations of Middle and Secondary Education. Could they have made the name much longer? I think not. In any case, I'm taking it, and for this class we actually go to downtown Chattanooga to a middle school where we are assigned to a teacher and classroom and thrown into the teaching world. I have taught a lesson, mini-lessons, tutored kids, read with kids, and it's great. I love it. Now, I must make something clear. While I do love the kids and interacting with them, that does not mean that they are perfect angels, nor do they always listen to me or behave properly toward each other.
The way that this school works is slightly odd schedule-wise. For sixth grade, the kids will only have two teachers; my class is with the English/Social Studies teacher all morning, and then in the afternoon they go to the Science/Math teacher. I help the English/Social Studies teacher, Miss Rekston. For the past few weeks, maybe months, Miss Rekston has been holding a competition between her morning and afternoon classes. The rules go something like this: When a kid gets 100% on an assignment, they get this neat little paper worm with their name on it that they get to plaster on the wall in the hallway. Whichever class has the most worms on the wall by the end of whenever it is (in two weeks I think) gets some sort of prize (I can't remember what).
This has been an amazing motivator for the kids in both classes, as I have noticed from the growing collection of worms on the wall. In fact, the kids get so excited about it that they take any excuse they can to go to the hallway and count how many each class has.
This past Thursday I was on my way to the classroom and noticed that quite a large number of worms were missing from my class's side of the wall. "Oh dear," thought I to myself.
Later in the hallway, three of the girls from my class were out in the hallway on their way to the computer room and they stopped me and said, "Miss Thomas! They stole our worms!" They then proceeded to point out to me where their line of worms had been before said burglary. I did my best to placate them saying, "Yes, I noticed that your worms were gone, but Miss Rekston knows about it, and I'm sure she's going to do something about it." "But they stole our worms!" they exclaimed again, making certain that I had understood them. "Yes, I know, but like I said, Miss Rekston knows about it, and she will take care of it." "Well they should be disqualified!" their anger rose a bit. I calmed them as best I could; we went through almost this exact dialogue a few more times before I was able to ply them away from the wall, assuring them that retribution would be made in some way or another.
Not five minutes later, I was in the hallway with two boys (I promise, I don't just stand out in the hallway with kids, both times I was on my way to the library with some of the kids), and they saw evidence of the rumor floating about that the afternoon class had kidnapped their worms. "Miss Thomas, they took our worms!" I attempted to grasp the patience I knew I must have lurking about deep within. "Yes, they did. And Miss Rekston knows this, and she will take care of it." "But that's wrong, they stole our worms!" "Miss Rekston knows they took the worms, and I know that she is going to take care of it," I said for perhaps the twelfth time in the past 10 minutes. One of the boys decided that he would try to fix it and took a few of the afternoon class's worms to put on their own side. "Cedric, let's think about this. I just told you that Miss Rekston knows what happened, and she's going to take care of it. Don't you think that she's going to notice that you took those worms and put them on your side? And don't you think that she will then punish you in some way for cheating?" "But they took our worms," he said with somewhat less indignation. Again, I took a few minutes to reassure both boys that Miss Rekston knew what happened, and would not fail to make things right in whatever way she saw fit.
As I was riding home with my roommate and our other car companion, I was recounting this adventure and I told them, "I just don't get it. This is a chronic problem with them; someone does something to wrong them, and they decide they must fix it themselves. It didn't matter how many times I told them that Miss Rekston was going to take care of it. They just didn't get it."
However, as I sat there thinking about the discourse on children and their tendency toward self-reliance I had just delivered, a very startling thought presented itself to my mind. Don't you do the same thing? I do.

This sudden realization that I had the same problem as these sixth grader who I just could not understand was rather humbling. You see, something will happen- something small, something unexpected, something overwhelming or unfair- and my worry alert starts flashing red and white lights, sirens blaring in my mind. I get anxious and troubled, and wonder how in the world I'm going to be able to handle it, how I'm going to fix this or get through this. And as I'm stressing over how to solve it, it's like God says to me, "Kristin, I know about this and I'm going to take care of it." "But God, how am I going to manage?" "Kristin, it's ok, I'm going to take care of you." And on and on the objections come; again and again God reassures me that He, the God of the Universe knows each and every situation and He is personally going to take care of me.
But sometimes, I just don't get it.

Monday, February 12

Name Revision

Today, February 12, 2007 is a very special day for me (no, I'm not getting married, that's not the reason for the title of this blog; don't panic). This morning I learned some extremely exciting news which calls for a slight revision of my name. More specifically, an addition of a few meaningful letters onto the end of my name. I am, as of today, Kristin Thomas, RN! After two exhilarating and exhausting years of nursing school, and one large test, I am officially a nurse. Yes, Alban, Mondays can be happy :)

I'll have to post something more substantial and thought-provoking at some undetermined point in the, hopefully, near future.

Wednesday, February 7

Beauty

The beauty of this world
With You could ne'er contend;
To reach Your majesty,
Our world cannot pretend.

But You, dear Lord and King,

In humans left a trace
Of beauty quite Divine-
Your image gain'd through grace.

Monday, January 8

Kristin One: A Morning Befuddled

*Beep beep beep beep* Kristin One's eyes open in delayed fashion as she shuts off the alarm clock.
"Whoa, what a strange dream... Why on earth did I dream about that? And why were they in my dreams? Hey wait a minute, what's that flashing white light?" Kristin One's adrenaline took a steep climb upward as she wondered, "Is that the fire alarm? But why isn't it making any noise? Shouldn't it be talking to me and telling me to leave the building? But it looks like the fire alarm light..."
Finally, her somewhat sluggish brain discovered by way of a quick glance out the window that the flashing white light was not indeed the fire alarm, but rather the reflection of a blinking white light outside (source still remains unknown). "My goodness, I hope the rest of my day isn't quite like this," Kristin One thought to herself. After several morning rituals such as putting in contacts and looking around the room in slight confusion wondering what to do next, Kristin One ventured into the bathroom.
Kristin One and Christen Two happen to share the aforementioned bathroom with two friendly inhabitants of the Thatcher Hall dormitory whose names are Caitlin and Christy. Caitlin, being quite the Christmas enthusiast, had strung up blue Christmas lights in the bathroom. On this particular morning, the first day of the new semester, the bathroom light was off and only the blue lights provided any guidance for sleepy eyes.
Kristin One flipped the light switch and on came the light and fan. As she looked at the toilet, something seemed to be not quite right. Staring up at her from the bottom of the toilet bowl was a rather unusual item. It took a moment for this fact to register in Kristin One's slightly befuddled mind. Now, for clarification's sake, the item which happened to be in the toilet bowl was not in and of itself unusual, but rather the fact that it was in the toilet bowl was what made it so extraordinarily odd. "A razor?" Kristin One questioned her eyes. "What is a razor doing in the toilet? I suppose I'm going to have to get it out if anyone's to be able to use this. I mean, it probably isn't a good idea to flush the toilet with that in there. I wonder if it would actually go through the pipes? Hmm, better not find out, I'm sure someone would miss their razor." Kristin One's mind attempted, unsuccessfully, to grasp any logical thoughts that might be floating in her brain at this hour.
With the help of a toilet bowl brush, Kristin One eventually managed to fish the ill-fated razor out with few complications and continued on with her day as if this morning was but a second strange dream that had meandered through the chasm of her mind.

I hope you've enjoyed the completely true story of this morning. Absolutely no part of this was in any way exaggerated, and the recorded thoughts of Kristin One truly did pass through her brain this morning :D

Kristin One and Christen Two: First Day of School

One very special night- the night before the first day of the new semester- Kristin one and Christen two were catching each other up on their Christmas breaks. They were having a jolly good time, but that sneaky old Father Time was slyly pulling the day out from under them! Since the next morning they would be going to their new classes, the first classes of their new semester, there was much to be done! First they had to figure out where their classes were. Once that was accomplished, they excitedly discussed the classes they would be taking together. Now, Christen two is of the highly organized sort, and she had wisely packed her bookbag with all the necessities for class. Kristin one, on the other hand, had not. When Christen two was all comfy in bed, reading her book, Kristin one realized her folly! She had yet to unpack her bookbag from break and repack it with all the fundamental school supplies. Quickly did she unpack her bag, but then was abruptly stopped in her tracks! "What does one need for classes?" wondered Kristin one aloud. Christen two was quick to reply, "Well you could start with paper, pens, and notebooks." "Oh, yeah," said Kristin one, feeling rather silly. You see, Kristin one had previously been a nursing student and they are given notes to write on. Now as she realized that she had absolutely no paper, and no notebooks, she felt very much like an unprepared freshman the night before her very first class. Thankfully, Christen two came to the rescue with the much needed paper (Kristin one had found a notebook suitable enough). Kristin one will very soon be visiting the local Wal-Mart to better prepare herself for the new semester. :)

*Post note: I really do feel like it's my first day of school :P Silly as that sounds. Oh, and quick explanation- I sent this in an email to some people because it was meant to be humorous and make them smile. It was suggested that I post it here as well. And, the reason I feel like a first-time student is because I'm used to taking Nursing classes with preprinted notes, and today I had my first non-nursing classes :D

Tuesday, January 2

The Crucial Last Word

Here it is... the blog you've all been waiting for. If you haven't noticed, I'm rather long-winded. This will most likely be the shortest blog I ever post.
"He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.'" Revelation 21:6,7
My pastor was preaching a few weeks ago about God being the Alpha and the Omega and I began to wonder, "what does it mean to be the Alpha and Omega?" So, I pondered. Here's something I learned.
In other places in Revelation where God says he is the Alpha and Omega, he tacks on the phrase, "who was, and is, and is to come." One meaning is that God always has been, still is, and will always be. However, this isn't what I want to focus on.
When people have disputes it is very crucial to have the last word. Having the last word shows that you have stumped your opponent. They are flabbergasted and can think of no other way to oppose you. They have no ammunition left and bow to your superiority, acknowledging your cause to be the truth. In essence, having the last word is the trophy that proves you to be the triumphant victor, the conqueror.
In the verse above, God says, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End." Essentially, God is saying to Satan and all who oppose God, "You are finished. I have the last word, and I am Truth. There is no argument, no ammunition, that you can bring against me. I have won."

*This is just one thing that struck me about the meaning of the Alpha and Omega. I'd really like to hear any conclusions you've come to as well.

Monday, January 1

Mountain Journey

I stand at the base of a mountain, staring. I crane my neck in an attempt to see a view of the peak; my only reward a faint glimpse of what might be the top of the looming, ominous mountain. My companion steps forward and puts his hand on my shoulder. "Ready?" he asks with an encouraging smile. I turn my gaze back to the mountain ahead, looking at the path. Thoughts stream through my ever active brain. The path is not well worn; covered with thorn bushes, pebbles, and rocks, narrow and steep. From the entrance alone I can see that there will be obstacles blocking the path, when there is a definable path, and the climb will be anything but easy. My heart and feet seem to have gained several pounds as I stand there just thinking about what lies ahead. In my mind I think that the last thing I want to do right now is climb this mountain. I dread the thought of the challenges and the intensity of the climb. I know as I gaze upon this path that I will not be able to complete it for I am far too weak and the climb is more than anything I can handle.
My friend, who has allowed time for thought, sees my face and reads the thoughts on my heart. He now addresses me again. "It's ok. I'll help you and we'll do it together. I'll encourage you, and pull you up when you don't have the strength. I'll even carry you if you ask. It will be the experience of a lifetime, and I would be honored if you will come with me." I look at him and allow this to roll around in my head a moment. I don't like the thought of him having to carry me, but I know he is more than capable. He, unlike me, is very much able to do this climb. He is strong, fit, and has climbed the mountain before. I know I have to do this climb, and if there is one person in the world that I want with me, it is him. "Alright," I say with a small smile at him, "let's go, I'm ready."
We began our ascent at a steady pace. True to its appearance, the path and mountain offered challenges I had foreseen as well as ones I hadn't. It has been difficult, as I had thought it would be. We have come across sharp, unforgiving rocks, been threatened by snakes, grasped and clawed our way up the faces of rocks, crossed small streams, and faced other hardships. Many times I have needed to be pulled up by my friend, and relied on his strength to help me overcome obstacles. Other times, pride caused me to reject the help offered and I have fallen as a result. He has even carried me at times when I was faint and could not press on. The path has taken us steeply up, levelly, as well as sharply downward.
However, it has not been all hardship and struggle. True to my companion's word, it has been the experience of a lifetime, dappled with moments of sheer joy so inexpressible and uncontainable, and highly enjoyable comradeship. Quite a spectrum of emotions have been visited and revisited as we've trekked onward, and not once have I regretted my decision to climb the mountain with my friend.
"Ready to get moving again?" my friend wakes me from my pause of retrospection. My eyes scan the scenery before us. They see new impediments, more foreboding than ones my friend and I have conquered before. It is a pattern I have noticed as we've gotten nearer our peak destination; the obstacles seem to get more challenging and the path less inviting. But it has caused dependance on my friend to become more of a necessity, and as a result I have grown much closer to him and I've come to trust his strength and ability more than when I first began this journey with him.
I turn to face him and he reads my thoughts. With a knowing smile he asks, "Would you like me to carry you for a while?"
With slight hesitation and a small amount of reluctance, I reply, "Yes, please."

Olla Podrida of Words

I love words. Unfortunately, I do not possess a terribly good memory for them. I can learn a word, and within a few days will have promptly forgotten it. If only words could be somehow transformed into numbers perhaps I would have some hope. Since they cannot, I subscribe to a word of the day email in an attempt to bombard my mind with a plethora of words in hopes that I will remember some of them. Today I was looking through the pile of word of the day emails that I have neglected for lack of time and have decided to share some of the more amusing and/or useful ones with you.
1. fait accompli \fay-tah-kom-PLEE; fet-ah-\, noun;plural faits accomplis \same or -PLEEZ\: An accomplished and presumably irreversible deed or fact.

2. equanimity \ee-kwuh-NIM-uh-tee; ek-wuh-\, noun:Evenness of mind; calmness; composure; as, "to bear misfortunes with equanimity."
3. bricolage \bree-koh-LAHZH; brih-\, noun:Construction or something constructed by using whatever materials happen to be available.
4. irenic \eye-REN-ik; -REE-nik\, adjective:Tending to promote peace; conciliatory.
5. flibbertigibbet \FLIB-ur-tee-jib-it\, noun:A silly, flighty, or scatterbrained person, especially a pert young woman with such qualities. (Sometimes, I'm pretty sure that this word was created for me, minus the pertness.)
6. neologism \nee-OLL-uh-jiz-um\, noun:1. A new word or expression.2. A new use of a word or expression.3. The use or creation of new words or expressions.4. (Psychiatry) An invented, meaningless word used by a person with a psychiatric disorder.5. (Theology) A new view or interpretation of a scripture. (This word I've known thanks to nursing, but I decided to put it in because I thought it interesting that the last two uses of the word are seemingly contradictory.)
7. olla podrida \ol-uh-puh-DREE-duh; oy-uh-\, noun;plural olla podridas /-DREE-duhz/ or ollas podridas: 1. A stew of highly seasoned meat and vegetables.2. A mixture; a hodgepodge.
8. Argus-eyed \AR-guhs-ide\, adjective:Extremely observant; watchful; sharp-sighted.
9. risible \RIZ-uh-buhl\, adjective:1. Capable of laughing; disposed to laugh.2. Exciting or provoking laughter; worthy of laughter; laughable; amusing.3. Relating to, connected with, or used in laughter; as, "risible muscles."
10. avoirdupois \av-uhr-duh-POIZ; AV-uhr-duh-poiz\, noun:1. Avoirdupois weight, a system of weights based on a pound containing 16 ounces or 7,000 grains (453.59 grams).2. Weight; heaviness; as, a person of much avoirdupois.
11. trencherman \TREN-chuhr-muhn\, noun:A hearty eater. (This was one of the words that I found more amusing than useful.)
12. bootless \BOOT-lis\, adjective:Unavailing; useless; without advantage or benefit. (Contrary to popular belief, bootless does not pertain to one without boots.)
13. inexorable \in-EK-sur-uh-bul; in-EKS-ruh-bul\, adjective:Not to be persuaded or moved by entreaty or prayer; firm; determined; unyielding; unchangeable; inflexible; relentless. (This one I have also known, but I like it and so it is included.)
14. gauche \GOHSH\, adjective:Lacking social polish; tactless; awkward; clumsy.
15. ab ovo \ab-OH-voh\, adverb:From the beginning.
16. peripatetic \pair-uh-puh-TET-ik\, adjective:1. Of or pertaining to walking about or traveling from place to place; itinerant.2. Of or pertaining to the philosophy taught by Aristotle (who gave his instructions while walking in the Lyceum at Athens), or to his followers.3. One who walks about; a pedestrian; an itinerant.4. A follower of Aristotle; an Aristotelian. (This has potential to be used in a play on words...)
17. congeries \KON-juh-reez\, noun:A collection; an aggregation.
18. fillip \FIL-uhp\, noun:1. A snap of the finger forced suddenly from the thumb; a smart blow.2. Something serving to rouse or excite; a stimulus.3. A trivial addition; an embellishment.4. To strike with the nail of the finger, first placed against the ball of the thumb, and forced from that position with a sudden spring; to snap with the finger.5. To snap; to project quickly.6. To urge on; to provide a stimulus, by or as if by a fillip. (When I read this word, it really just made me wonder what the name Phillip means. It also has great potential for use in the Christian world; for example, The purpose of the General Youth Conference was not stagnating, but rather it was intended as a fillip.)
19. prevaricate \prih-VAIR-uh-kayt\, intransitive verb:To depart from or evade the truth; to speak with equivocation.
20. puissant \PWISS-uhnt; PYOO-uh-suhnt; pyoo-ISS-uhnt\, adjective:Powerful; strong; mighty; as, a puissant prince or empire.

*Postnote: I originally entitled this blog "Purely Educational," however, I decided that was not an accurate description of the post. The introduction was not educational, though informative, and there was some intention of amusement, so it is not purely educational.