Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Ice Cream Sandwiches

ice cream
Originally uploaded by ladybuglej.
I LOVE ice cream sandwiches! My office isn't the wacky, fun-loving, "let's get ice cream" kind of place, but for some reason this week they bought several boxes of ice cream sandwiches for us. We recently had a series of budget meetings that caused a big hullabaloo, I think this is their pitiful attempt to buy us off and keep the rabble quiet (it's working).

The sandwiches are in the freezer, calling to me, ready to coat my fingertips with sticky chocolate cookie-ness. The weird thing is that they're really not that good. I mean the ice cream is sub-par and the chocolate wafer is somewhat flavorless, but I think it comes down to the idea. Ice cream sandwiches were always a treat when I was growing up, so they carry that sense of nostalgia with them. They're cold hard and boring, but I love 'em!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Ministry Opportunities

Please be praying for me and my co-workers. Recently the Lord has been opening many doors and providing me opportunities to share the good news with my co-workers. Just today one of my office buddies initiated a conversation about the concept of an afterlife. We discussed heaven and hell and he had many questions about my beliefs on the subject. I was able to talk about sin, condemnation, the fact that there are no "good" people and the work of Christ on the cross.

This is just one example of the many opportunities that have come up in recent weeks. God is moving here and I want to be ready for it! Please pray that I will be alert to witnessing opportunities, bold in the message of Christ and effective in glorifying Him in my workplace. Thanks for your prayers!

Arshunda and me, what a sweet friend she is!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What If...

What if you could spend a year living anywhere in the world, experiencing that culture, language and environment? Where would you choose to live and why? And perhaps the better question is what is holding you back from pursuing that?

This is something I've thought about often. I love to travel and experience other cities and countries in more than just a tourist capacity. Yet I have never been outside the country for more than ten days. In fact, I haven't done much travelling at all, compared to most people I know. One trip to England, several to Louisiana, two California adventures, Chicago, St. Louis, Tennessee, Oklahoma and the little-known fact that I lived in Alaska for a short time as a child.

So if I could spend a year in another place, I would probably choose somewhere in Eastern Europe. There are several reasons for this. Eastern Europe provides the Old World feel that I love: art, architecture, history, tradition. But the mentality is different from Western Europe. It's less commercialized, more rooted in custom. There's more sense of family and background, a greater emphasis on community.

Furthermore (and this is really the primary reason), Eastern Europeans desperately need to hear the gospel. The region is vastly atheist in belief, although many profess the Catholic faith. There are opportunities in places like Poland (which is struggling to jumpstart a democratic government and economy) to minister to youth and help plant churches, as well as to teach English.

So what is holding me back from going? Comfort, primarily. It's easier to stay here where everything is simple and organized, where I don't have to take any risks. Spending time in another country means selling my car, giving up my job (and hoping I can find another one when I return), leaving my family, friends and church. In other words, leaving everything that is secure, safe and comfortable to embark on the unknown.

But who knows, maybe one day I'll be posting on here to tell you I'm packing up and heading out (and have a car for sell if you're interested)!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Take up your cross

In home teams last week we talked about what it means to actually take up your cross daily and follow Christ. We talked about the fact that the cross was an execution device and a symbol of pain, punishment and public scorn. I have been thinking about that and meditating on how that fits in with some suffering I have been going through lately. The following song expresses my feelings on the subject better than any other I have heard.

All alone in an evil dream I see myself up high
And it's me, only you, with my arms spread open wide.
I try to run from the place I know that I can be set free.
"Come away. Come away."
There's a sweet voice calling me
To the Killing Tree.

I look around at all the faces who are passing me.
And I run, try to run with nails in my feet.
All the time I was building castles on the sandy beach,
Leading you, leading you to a place I'd never been,
To the Killing Tree.

I know what you're asking me and I don't wanna give.
Cause it's safe, and I know cause I've been here all these years.
All the precious pain I hold, without it there is fear.
And I'm afraid when you say that you'll get me out of here
To the Killing Tree.

So now I run to you and I move from night to day.
For to live I must die and there's still no other way.
I see you in an evil dream, you took my place up high.
Now it's you, only me, with your arms spread open wide
On the Killing Tree.

Come away to a place of healing
To the Killing Tree

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Nothing says cheerful camaraderie like a KUHF mug!

Boyz N the Hood

Kung Fu KUHF-style

The Leaping Dragon

Lance's idea of intimidation technique

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

This is the kind of hard-hitting reporting and investigative journalism I've been involved in recently. Lance and Jared roped me into their evil schemes to promote the Special Events department...we're thinking of designing t-shirts using one of the photos.
All pictures are copyrighted property of Laurie Johnson Photography Ltd.

It's lunch time, I'm hungry

Kristen's post on Casa Ole started me thinking about some of my favorite restaurants in the Houston area. I like to try small lesser known places that usually end up being surprisingly good. Some good ones include:

Pollo Campero ~ a chicken chain from Guatemala that is springing up all over Houston
Capt. Tom's Seafood ~ A little place in Katy that serves fresh, simple fried seafood
Los Cucos ~ The BEST Tex-Mex! Ryan, it all started on Highway Boulevard in Katy...
Hinze's BBQ ~ Dry-rub ribs...yummm
Mandola's ~ Mom & Pop style Italian sandwiches and lunch plates
Bevers' Kitchen ~ Not really in the Houston area (located in Chappell Hill) but the best home-cooking and pies around!

What are your favorites?

Now I'm going to finish up my lovely Lean Cuisine frozen ravioli meal...bursting with flavor.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

We're not in Kansas anymore

For some people height is an issue...I am one of those people. I am not bothered by my height, it works for me just fine. But other people seem to notice it and make a big deal about it. Just the other day a friend of mine who shall remain nameless (ahem...Mark Warner) made note of my 5'2" stature and began singing "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" to me. Then he and a few others decided that my new nickname should be five-2.

Which leads me to the point of this post(which is actually NOT about height)...do you have any nicknames and what are they? Apparently I am a nickname-prone person because I have many. I'll list some of them and where they came from...would love to hear about yours.
  1. Larissa ~ my dad's nickname for me
  2. Cookie ~ papa's
  3. Chickadee ~ gramma's
  4. Ladybug/L-bug/Bug ~ co-workers and boss call me these because I love ladybugs and have them on my desk. Martin also uses L-bug.
  5. Larry/Flamin' Larry ~ Jason Bailey's...it's a long story
  6. Sexy Eyes ~ Jason Borzik and Chris Keith...another long story
  7. LJ ~ pretty much everyone calls me this, Chris added sign language to it
  8. Hot ~ Laurie Lau...her nickname is Mama, so together we're Hot Mama

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Non-Purpose-Driven Life

Many of my friends came back from the mission trip to Guatemala full of the wonder of what God is doing in their lives and in the lives of people across the world. They were able to make a real impact and leave behind a legacy for the Lord. People were humbled, broken and redeemed! There was definite purpose in what they were doing and why God chose each of them to be part of the experience.

Which leads me to the question "what is my purpose?". Of course I know all the scriptural answers that my purpose is to glorify God and be obedient to His ways and submit to His will. But I mean specifically right here, right now...what is my purpose? Why am I working at KUHF? Why am I in the Paradigm class? Why am I a member of a women's small group? Why do I live with these three roommates? How am I impacting those around me? To be honest, I feel rather purposeless right now. The Lord has uprooted me from much of what I was comfortable with and placed me in what feels like a holding pattern. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling discontented or upset. But I am feeling unsettled and my prayer is that my eyes will be opened to the wonders of His plan for me...that I will fulfill my purpose in this very moment and be used this day for God's glory.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Blogging: The Ultimate Expression of Self-Absorption

It occurred to me today as I was thinking of what to write, that blogs are a great indicator of our postmodern society. Only a generation as fully absorbed with navel-gazing as this one would presume to think that masses of people would want to read daily updates on the trivial, trite and simply boring details of our lives. So I'm not giving any details today. Sorry. I refuse to be a navel-gazer! I have to go now...it's time to write down my brilliant and fascinating thoughts so I can share with you all tomorrow.