Tag Archives: musica

the one with the links: september edition

september has been good to me. read this stuff and it can be good to you too:

this doozy of a post from hannah anderson: leveling the playing field

If we don’t invest our resources in equipping women, our hearts won’t be invested either. For a local congregation, this may mean budgeting to bring in a female speaker, hiring more women on staff, or helping women afford theological education. When resources are on the line, we’re more likely to care about the final outcome. In other words, when we place a bet, we’ll watch the game.

this album:

this barn-burner from scott sauls: the best and worst ways to take a moral stand

Taking up a cross…the radical, self-giving love kind that Jesus spoke about…was a deadly endeavor in the Roman Empire. Eleven of Jesus’ twelve disciples died as martyrs because they took up a cross, having assumed on themselves all of the costs, risks, and inconveniences of love.

The early church also understood that love did not guarantee their safety. To the contrary, sometimes love threatened their safety.

this lip-sync battle:


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the one where you meet penny.

guys, its fall. officially. i even wore boots today.

we’re down to three weeks between me and the bestdayoftheyearotherthanchristmas (aka my birthday).

my sister and i are now the proud co-parents to #pennythewarriorprincess- she came home with us from the wake county animal shelter three weeks ago, and its safe to say she has us wrapped around her sweet, spotted paws. she’s kinda the cutest dog EVER.

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these are happy things! another thing that makes my heart happy is when i get to think all the thinks- so here’s some thinks i’ve been thinking.

this post from hannah anderson: college girls: education, imago dei, and the gospel

Her entire experience of Christianity was based in her relationship to a husband or father and NOT in relationship to Christ.

This is not simply an area of misunderstanding. This is a line of thinking that represents a much deeper, much more insidious problem. One that boarders on heresy because it distorts, and at times rejects, a key doctrine of the gospel: The doctrine of imago Dei.

The doctrine of imago Dei teaches that every human being, every man and woman, every boy and, yes, every girl is made in God’s image, destined to reflect His character and to represent Him on this earth. Our core identity comes from God’s identity. Pay attention: imago Dei is not simply a starting point for other doctrines, nor is it simply a means of ascribing equal worth to men and women (although it does). No, imago Dei is the most basic paradigm for how we understand our existence.

It is a truth that runs through the warp and weave of the entire Scripture. It informs everything about the gospel—what we were created to be, what sin is, how redemption happens, and what we will one day become. It is also the basis on which Jesus Christ, the God-Man, can redeem us. Simply put, the truth of imago Dei IS creation, justification, sanctification, and glorification all in one package.

And if you mess with it, you mess with the gospel.

another incredibly helpful piece from THE brad hambrick: differentiating mourning from wallowing in depression-anxiety

There are many things that unhealthy wallowing and healthy mourning have in common. It can be easier to confuse one from the other than many people think. The person who thinks he is “working through” his pain may be wallowing in self-pity. Those who try to rouse their friend out of self-pity may be rushing them through legitimate mourning.

this post from wendy alsup made me stand up and holler: the third way on gender

But what if all the verses on women actually work together in conjunction? And what if they work in conjunction with everything else in Scripture as well? There is a third way on gender, and I’d argue it’s actually the Biblical way – the way that keeps all the verses, reading them all in light of the redemption story. It starts with creation, men and women as image bearers of God. It understands the fall and the impact of sin on both genders. And it capitalizes on redemption, Jesus’ atonement for our sin that equips us to once again be image bearers of God. I envision a third way that centers around redemptive image bearing.

wrap your head around this: 

this whole album from phillip phillips: 

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the one with lots of links

two days after my last post, robin williams took his life.  i was sitting on the loveseat at a friend’s house- a bunch of girls from my small group were just sitting around, talking and sharing interweb things we had come across lately when someone saw the news on twitter and told us.

it came out that he had been dealing with depression for quite some time.  people were asking ‘how could someone who brought that much joy to people and made people laugh so hard be depressed?”.  i didn’t need to ask that question, because i knew.

the blogosphere lit up like a christmas tree with everyone’s two cents about depression and suicide and medication and allthethings.  there were some awful things written, some of them by well-meaning, professing christians (let’s give them the benefit of the doubt).  but they were still awful.  there were also some great things written, and those are the ones i want to focus on. regardless of personal opinion about robin williams, hopefully his death has caused us to rethink how we look at people and the assumptions we make about the state of their hearts.  hopefully this has made us reexamine what we think about depression and seriously reframe that conversation.

i guarantee that you know someone who is depressed.  (if you’re reading this, you know me … so that’s at least one.)  hopefully the links below will give you a little insight and help you think about and converse with us in ways that don’t make us want to crawl back under our rocks and die.  so here jus go:

Depression: the Dark Night of Body and Soul (from halee gray scott)

“Depression is telling you something that is wrong,” my doctor said. “And when it goes untreated, it’s almost impossible to cure apart from community support and medication because it creates changes in our brain and body.” 

This Demon Only Comes Out By Prayer and Prozac

” … it is clear that we must jettison any simplistic understanding of the complex interaction between brain and body as a matter of individuals choosing to either sinfully wallow in mental illness or righteously embrace freedom in Christ. Similarly, we must also not succumb to a materialistic view that defines people stuck in mental illness solely as victims of circumstance.”

depression and common grace (from jared wilson, a pastor and author in vermont) [GO READ ALL HIS STUFF. LIKE RIGHT NOW. FOR REAL FOR REAL.]

The first thing we may say about the bigness of Jesus is that he is big enough to help us in many ordinary means. Many Christians have adopted the unfortunate posture of Job’s friends, adding more discouragement to those discouraged in depression by urging them not to seek help except via spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible study. These are certainly the most important prescriptions for any of us!

The fuller truth, however, is that while Jesus is enough, his enough-ness may be manifested in our getting help from material means. These too are gifts from God, provided through the common graces of scientific research, academic study, pastoral giftedness, analytic method, and modern medicine.

What I mean is this: talk to a trained counselor and take the meds if they are needed. When it comes to medication, at the very least, don’t not take it out of fear of distrust of Jesus. Antidepressants may or may not help you, but discuss the options with your doctor, preferably after conferring with a clinical psychologist who is also a Christian, and if you decide they are not for you, don’t decide so because you think to take them is to deny Jesus’s ability to heal.

What the Church & Christians Need to Know About Suicide & Mental Health (from ann voskamp)

… your mind can feel like it’s burning up at all the edges and there’s never going to be any way to stop the flame. Don’t bother telling us not to jump unless you’ve felt the heat, unless you bear the scars of the singe.

Don’t only turn up the praise songs but turn to Lamentations and Job and be a place of lament and tenderly unveil the God who does just that — who wears the scars of the singe.

Christians Can’t Ignore the Uncomfortable Reality of Mental Illness (from amy simpson, via christianity today)

When we respond in these ways, we make ourselves irrelevant to people who need our help. We send the message that our faith has no answer or explanation for this kind of suffering. We suggest there is an easy answer to their suffering, yet it remains elusive to them for some reason, probably because they don’t deserve it and we do. We imply that God himself is ready to walk away from people in pain. All this from people who mean well but just don’t know what to do.

when depression comes back (from addie zierman)

In the sterile, fluorescence of the exam room, I cried while the doctor asked me questions.

“Am I going to have to be on these damn pills for the rest of my life?” I asked.

“Maybe,” she said. “Maybe not. It’s different for everyone, but it’s okay if you do.”

deal gently with bruised reeds (from derek rishmawy) [another GOREADALLHISSTUFF.]

As Christians we are to deal gently with the broken and mournful. It is in this way we follow the Christ we have in the gospel. We follow a Messiah who was a man of sorrows, well acquainted with the painful way of the world we live in. Indeed, it’s precisely to bring comfort and relief to those who mourn that he took up his own cross; he came that he might end their suffering in his own.

the depressed christian (from megan tietz)

… the gift I will take forward from my struggles with depression is knowing on a heart-level what it is to feel that the God you love has abandoned you to the dark, I know what it is to feel staggering guilt that the family you love isn’t enough to pull you back from the dark, and I know what it is to both loathe the working of your brain and feel powerless to fix it.

It is a gift because never again will I suggest to someone that the solution is so easy. It is a gift because I can now speak to other Christians about the struggle, offering to them dignity instead of shame. It is a gift because when I read of suicide or other depression-driven acts, my first response is to sob rather than preach. And it is a gift because I can say with certainty that the LORD is close to the brokenhearted even if He feels far, far away.

when existence becomes seemingly impossible (from alan noble at christ & pop culture)

What I want to say is that life is harder than most of us will let on, and probably the deepest struggles we’ll face will be silent and petty — things like choosing to get out of bed and get dressed. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof, but so too is Christ’s Grace. So, get up, when you can, and carry on. Rest your burdens on He who loves you, and turn to the pilgrims alongside you. Some days, rising out of bed is a great act of worship.

resources on depression (from fabs harford) the cartoons on this one are amazing. click through to the links she provides for more of them … i laughed pretty hard at this (after i picked up my jaw off the floor at how accurate this depiction is).

tangled up in blue: depression and the christian life (from sammy rhodes, another GOREADALLTHETHINGS)

The image of a bruise is the perfect image for depression. Because sometimes you know how a bruise got there, and sometimes you genuinely don’t. Sometimes it’s pretty clear why you are depressed, and other times depression shows up out of the blue (pun intended) and next thing you know, to quote Bob Dylan, you’re tangled up in blue to the point where it’s hard to breathe. 


i’ve also been listening to this song on repeat lately- audrey assad’s voice is hauntingly beautiful and these lyrics are the cry of my heart. 


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the one that’s not quite so heavy. (link love)

lest we all panic and think that sam is falling apart (i promise, i’m not! i have just been thinking ALOT and feeling even more. that combination results in copious amounts of word vomit … and since i process by writing, and you clicked the link … here we are.), here are a few things i’ve been enjoying lately:

A Broken Hallelujah (jen hatmaker)

In Which We Leave a Little Room (sarah bessey)

This is the Part Where We Lose the Keys (emily joy allison)

the pioneer woman’s cauliflower soup– i’ve made this every week since lent started. never was a huge fan of cauliflower til now … and now i can’t stop.

justin timberlake’s 20/20 experience album.  (megg, you were so right.)

matt redman’s song Jesus, Only Jesus from the new passion album.

zechariah 9, specifically vs. 9-17 as we begin Holy Week.

attending services at The Summit Church and falling in love with the church all over again.

Pitch Perfect. just watch it … you can thank me later.

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here and there.

ever end up in one of those seasons where there is so much to write about, yet at the same time there is nothing to say? or where you feel like you’ve been going 7 trillion miles an hour, yet at the same time you haven’t done anything worth mentioning? where it is the best … but also the strangest?

i’m so there right now. i feel like a quagmire of juxtaposition; a walking contradiction.  so i suppose i’ll just summarize the last few months to get it out of my system … in a good way.

i’ve lived in NC for 3 and 1/2 months now- the permanence is settling in. we have jobs, an apartment, an electric bill; i don’t use the GPS every time i leave my house anymore- there are places i frequent now! i have had my first girls night (with some sweet girlfriends from church!), attended my first wedding here- someone i met here!, and grocery shopped a few times. paying the rent makes it feel like home.  overall, i would say that i’m getting pretty settled here and loving life.

our team meets weekly- loving that! the longer i’m with them, the more i love them and am content that the lord brought us together. i love our team as a family, and the way we share life and wrestle through the tangible theology of the church. being in community with people who care deeply about the fame of Jesus is beautiful. we all have alot going on in our personal lives, and since we are family, we are all affected. pray for us often!

i celebrated my 29th birthday about a month ago … it was the first time i’d been back to lynchburg since i moved! my sister and my best friend threw me a pretty epic surprise party, complete with open mic, photo booth, and the most crazy mixture of my friends i’ve ever seen. it was sweet to have the little bit of time with my family and friends. also, brentwood did a prayer and commissioning for our team that sunday- what am inspiring thing to have your fellow believers behind you! i served in that church for 5 years … it was bittersweet to leave. it feels weird to be 29 … i’m in a catch 22, because while i love my life, it doesn’t look ANYTHING like i thought it would … in good and bad ways. i never imagined that i’d have two masters degrees, teach online classes, move to north carolina to help plant a church … etc. i also never imagined that i’d drive an 11 year old car, work at a coffeeshop, and still be single.

currently reading:

  • the pursuit of god (tozer). a major buttkicker.
  • jesus wants to save christians (bell). an … interesting … read.
  • colossians. (and one of moo’s commentaries on colossians)
  • son of neptune (riordan- the heroes of olympus series).

songs i’m obsessed with:

‘before the throne of god above’

adele’s ‘turning tables’ 

drew holcomb and the neighbors ‘fire and dynamite’

i also got a new haircut. booyah.

i realize this post makes no sense. and i’m ok with that.


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homesick. (faith my eyes)

i’m not usually the girl that gets homesick, but i’m feelin it right now.

my mom called me this morning around 8 to ask if i’d heard from my grandparents after hurricane irene went through (since i’m an hour from them vs. her 4 hours from them), and just hearing her voice made me feel like i was a little girl again, away for a week at camp.  like i would be home again in a few days, and she’d make homemade pizza and we’d watch a girly movie.

the lunch menu in the karr household was grilled chicken … which ended up tasting awesome, but was quite the saga to get ready (interesting story there … it was a fun afternoon 🙂 ).  i always think of my dad whenever i or anyone else grills, and today was no exception. the last few years, my role has been grill helper … i hang on to the meat platter, the tongs, the umbrella (yes, we grill in the rain! we’re hardcore.), whatever it is that dad needs me to hold while he works his grillmaster magic.  we have some of our silliest and memorable conversations while manning the grill …. so i really missed him this afternoon.

college life kicked off this evening … without me, for the first time in two years. serving as a college life leader ranks in the top five things i loved about my life in lynchburg, so this was hard.  my best friend and her boyfriend are leaders this semester, and my co-leader from last semester has a new sidekick now. my students are now someone else’s students … i am not the one who will cook them dinner every other week and go on coffee dates and have sleepovers and hear about God working in their lives. i mean, there are some relationships that have continued, and i still love and hear from those girls, but my role in their lives has changed.

sunday night is skype date night with my sister. i get to see her face via the interwebs, and we tell each other everything and laugh alot. of all the people i don’t see every day anymore, its sarah that i miss the most.  and this week i wasn’t there to be the big sister when her car battery died.

please hear what is underneath all of this- i know the lord has brought me and the rest of the team to raleigh for a reason, and at the right time. i am settling in well and loving the new relationships that i’m building.  most of the time i am too busy to miss anything or anyone too much- there is too much to do here, and too many people to meet! i’m not wishing i hadn’t moved, or that i was back in lynchburg … but i am acknowledging that i miss it.

like almost everything else in life, there’s a caedmon’s call song for this.  this time, it’s “faith my eyes” …

As I survey the ground for ants
Looking for a place to sit and read
I’m reminded of the streets of my hometown
How they’re much like this concrete that’s warm beneath my feet

And how I’m all wrapped up in my mother’s face
With a touch of my father just up around the eyes
And the sound of my brother’s laugh
But more wrapped up in what binds our ever distant lives

But if I must go
Things I trust will be better off without me
But I don’t want to know
Life is better off a mystery

So keep’em coming these lines on the road
And keep me responsible be it a light or heavy load
And keep me guessing with these blessings in disguise
And I’ll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes

Hometown weather is on TV
I imagine the lives of the people living there
And I’m curious if they imagine me
Cause they just wanna leave; I wish that I could stay

But I get turned around
I mistake some happiness for blessing
But I’m blessed as the poor
Still I judge success by how I’m dressing

So I’ll sing a song of my hometown
I’ll breathe the air and walk the streets
Maybe find a place to sit and read
And the ants are welcome company

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monday monday.

am i the only one who likes mondays?!?

monday cheer, in the form of the things i’m obsessing about right now:

  • some stuff we covered in the last week of the old testament class i’m teaching- we talked about malachi 3, and the fact that God keeps a ‘book of remembrances’- a diary! of the good things we say about him; our vocalized affections for him.  that chapter goes on to talk about the fact that those who speak well of the Lord and obey him are viewed as ‘treasured possessions’- the KJV uses the term jewels to illustrate how valued we are when we are loving, obedient children of God. that term is also used in exodus 19, where Israel is told that if they keep his covenant, God will consider them his treasured possession, even though he has all the peoples of the earth to choose from. holy crap … boomsauce.
  • this song: whoa. i listen to this song on repeat just about every day.
  • this funny video: sweet lobster babies!
  • skyping with my sister and my best friend. hallelujah for technology!

carry on.

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so much to say, so much to say, so much to say ….

yeah, i stole that from a dave matthews song. deal with it.

according to the date stamp on my last post, its been five months and some change since i wrote anything. that’s a long time, even for me! sorry i’m such an inconsistent goob.  much has transpired during these last few months, so here’s a quick catch-up:

  • i worked at magnolia foods from mid-january to mid-april.  it was fun while it lasted 🙂 i ended up leaving for a few reasons, the main one you’ll find out about later in this post!
  • i got to serve at and attend orange conference (again!) with some other college life leaders from brentwood.  we had a great time and learned alot!! [i may or may not have learned most of the words to the great will smith classic ‘gettin jiggy with it’.]
  • also got to attend the advance the church conference (again!) with some of my dear friends! this is the second year we’ve gone, and it was both refreshing and challenging.
  • i went to the beach with my family for the first time since 2007.  i’m way too tan to be irish … and i love it.  i went floating every day, read lots of books (for fun!!), and laid out and gabbed with my sister and my mom about everything under the sun.
  • and the biggest thing to catch you up on …. i am moving at the end of july! in a few weeks, raleigh will be home.  i’m moving with a group of 14 other people to plant a church in that area next year (lord willing!).  its both terrifying and exciting …. but overwhelmingly good and god-ordained.

a little more about the move … that feels weird to say- i’ve lived in lynchburg for 16 of my 28 years. i’ve attended and graduated from high school, college, and grad school here. i’ve served at brentwood church here. i’ve changed apartments more times than i care to count, but i’d consider this my first real move.  like i said, it is both exciting and terrifying! exciting that i know i’m being obedient; that i get to work and do life with an awesome group of people that i already consider family; that i get to write my dream job and use my quirky gifts to help bring the gospel to people who need christ; that i have this chance to increase my faith and watch god do his thing (and be part of it!!!).  terrifying that i don’t have a job yet; that i am leaving a life that i’ve built and love here; that there is a very real possibility that i’m inadequate for this.  let’s be honest here: i’m a wreck and a wretch.  i have weird humor, and an obnoxiously loud laugh that gets me stared at in public.  i’m a geek.  i’m way too independent for my own good.  i’m a stubborn little cuss.  i either over think or jump blindly … there is no middle ground with me.  but in spite of those things- or maybe because of them- god wants to use me, and let me in on what he’s up to.  which means he’s got a plan to use my weird humor and obnoxious laugh, my stubbornness, my independence, my geekiness- to connect with people and be an agent of change.  more than likely, i’ll be the one who gets changed the most.  and that’s cool with me.  i need it desperately.

change of topic …. here’s some things i’ve been obsessed with lately:

iced coffee.  well, that’s nothing new. but the weather here has been PERFECT for iced coffee.  this summer the drink of choice is a grande, three pump caramel, one pump coconut, breve iced coffee with milk. and if you’re using your gold card or registered gift card, you get free refills. oh my. 
this song. even on good weeks, it ends up on repeat for at least an hour every couple of days … and on rough weeks, … let’s just say i’m thankful digital files don’t wear out. 

pinterest. if you haven’t heard of it (especially if you’re a girl) you should check it out! its essentially a bulletin board site.  you can ‘pin’ links to photos or DIY tutorials or recipes or whatever to one place and not have to have hundreds of bookmarks! check it out here.

any book by rick riordan! pretty sure i have mentioned the percy jackson series before … they are the ones about greek mythology in modern day manhattan.  fabulous.  don’t watch the movie … i heard it sucked and changed alot of things. but he also has a series (the kane chronicles) about egyptian mythology in modern day brooklyn.  i read the first two in that series while at the beach, and i can’t wait for the rest of the series! there’s also a first book in a series about roman mythology as well.  yes, they are juvenile fiction … and no, you won’t be disappointed. do it … do it now.


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i don’t wanna miss a single thing you do tonight.

in other news, i can’t get this song out of my head.

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another oldie, but goodie ….

last week i went to a church conference in raleigh, nc with a few friends from seminary.  great stuff- i was encouraged ALOT and have alot of things that i’m still processing through.  the company was amazing, the fellowship sweet and sharpening, the chipotle delicious (with a free guac refill!!! oh the glory.), and the DD iced coffee an unexpected treat.

but the real goodness is that i got matt boswell’s album ‘vintage’, which revisits many of the older hymns of the faith.  i’ve loved hymns for a long time, and i love hearing a fresh voice give them the chance to speak to us again.  matt did the first session of the conference, and since he was legit, i got the album.  it was a good life choice. this song has been on repeat for a day …. i’m loving it, so i wanted to share it with you.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

read it, soak it in …. find a hymnal somewhere and belt it out, or listen to matt’s album on itunes.  the truth in this song comes from the Word, and its keeping me going.

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