Saturday, October 31, 2009

Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Blueberries

This is an adaptation of the classic Hershey's Cocoa chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake with Blueberries
Ingredients:
2 c. sugar
1-3/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. Hershey's Cocoa
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

2 eggs
1 c. milk (I use skim)
1/2 c. vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. boiling water

several handfuls of small frozen blueberries (keep in freezer until time to add so they don't begin to thaw)
several handfuls of dark chocolate chips

chocolate glaze (recipe below)
powdered sugar

Hardware:
Bundt pan (I use a silicone bundt pan)
Mixer

Directions:
Heat oven to 350o, grease bundt pan (I use olive oil or PAM olive oil spray)
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl
Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla
Beat on med. speed for 2 minutes (I use setting 2 on my KitchenAid mixer)
Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin) **Learn from my mistakes: *Do Not* use the mixer for this step - you'll get batter *everywhere*
Pour into bundt pan
sprinkle blueberries and chocolate chips around the batter (the blueberries and chocolate chips should sink to the bottom of the bundt pan on their own)
Bake 45 min or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (I have adapted this from a recipe for 2 9" pans that bakes for 30-35 minutes. It takes a bit longer to bake in the bundt pan, but I never remember how much longer. The toothpick test will let you know when it's done.)
Cool completely before removing from bundt pan (since the blueberries and chocolate chips are at the borrom of the pan, I can never get the cake out in one peice unless I let it cool almost completely. I stick the cake in the fridge or freezer if I'm in a hurry)
Flip bundt pan onto platter and remove the cake
Drizzle glaze (recipe below) over cake, sprinkle powdered sugar over glaze


Glaze:
Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
2 tbsp. skim milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Add a few drops of skim milk, if needed, to acheive desired consistency

Friday, October 30, 2009

Recipe: Whole Wheat Bread

This recipe is based on the Whole Grain Wheat Bread recipe in the KitchenAid cookbook. I use a Girmi chopper (as seen here on Amazon) to grind the wheat berries - grind, sift, repeat until you have a tolerably fine flour. Using my home-ground flour this makes a dense, *incredibly* filling bread. I have yet to get a really tall loaf out of it, but I assume that's because of my home-ground four isn't all as fine as store-bought. It generally takes me about an hour and a half to process the flour required for the recipe below.

It's been a while since I've made this recipe but I hope to use it Saturday. The whole process usually takes me about 5 hours. I haven't included any directions for processing the flour. Post here and let me know if you'd like me to post information on the process I use.

Ingredients:
9-10 1/2 c ground wheat berries/whole wheat flour
1/2 c plus 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
3 1/3 c warm water (105o - 115o)
3 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/8 c powdered milk
3 tsp salt
15 tsp gluten (the box of gluten I have suggests 1 1/2 tsp gluten to every cup of flour)
1/2 c olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp oregano

olive oil to grease bowls and pans

Hardware:
Girmi chopper, sifter, 3 bowls (if you're grinding your own flour)
6 Qt KitchenAid mixer
1 microwaveable 4c measuring cup (I warm the water and prepare the yeast mixture in this)
Candy thermometer
2 large bowls (1 may be KitchenAid bowl)
2 tea towels
2 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pans

Directions:
Dissolve 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar in water and add yeast. Let mixture stand. (Err on the side of letting it stand too long)

Place 7 1/2 c flour, powdered milk, oregano, gluten, remaining brown sugar, and salt in bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute. Continuing on speed 2, gradually add yeast mixture and add oil and honey to flour mixture, about 2-3 minutes. Mix 1 minute longer. (Try and be exact about the mixing timing so you avoid over-mixing. Feel free to let the dough rest a bit between mixings and again after this last mixing.)

Exchange beater for dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and gradually add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. (Mine is usually still fairly moist and sticky at this stage.) Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer. (Again, be stingy with the mixing times and free with the resting times.)

KitchenAid Note: Dough may not form a ball on hook; however, as long as there is contact between dough and hook, kneading will be accomplished. Do not add more than the maximum amount of flour specified or dry loaf will result.

Place in a greased bowl (I use olive oil to grease the bowl and loaf pans), turning to grease top. Cover, let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a heavily greased loaf pan. Cover, let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake at 400o for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350o and bake 25 minutes longer. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recipe: Spaghetti Sauce

I combined a couple sauce recipes from a Better Homes & Gardens cook book to get this one. It is very filling.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp (or so) olive oil
1 lb italian sausage
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
1/3 onion, diced

1 7oz. can sliced mushrooms
1 7oz. can button mushrooms
2 10oz. cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 14.5oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 16oz. can tomato sauce
1 12oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. pepper

Hardware:
1 large skillet
1 large pot with lid

Directions:
In skillet with olive oil, cook onions, garlic and sausage till sausage is brown and onion is translucent
Pour cooked onions, garlic, and sausage into pot
Add remaining ingredients
Bring sauce to a boil then reduce medium heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

This is my default "hospitality" meal - when someone's sick or just had a baby, this is what I'll usually take them. I think my mom may have originally found this recipe on a can of Veg-All or some such place. It makes great leftovers, being one of those foods that tastes even better the next day. If you can't cook the pie right away you can keep it in the fridge for a few days. If you need to wait longer than that you can freeze it.

Chicken Pot Pie
Ingredients:
1 can (~16oz) regular Veg-All
2 cans cream of potato soup
1/2 cup milk (I generally use skim because it's what I have on hand)
2 cups chicken (I generally buy about 16oz of canned white meat)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
2 9" pie crusts (I generally use the pre-made Pillsbury pie crusts)

Directions
Combine ingredients (except the pie crusts) in a large bowl, stir together

Put one pie crust in the bottom of a 9" pie pan, pour in the ingredients, and cover with the other pie crust. Crimp the edges of the crust and cut vents in the top of the pie.

Bake at 375o for 40min.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Gospel, in 300 words or less

My community group was talking about Gospel & Mission last week. (A community group is a group of people from Sojourn who get together weekly to talk about the sermon and how it applies to their lives and who are committed to being in each others lives for community, fellowship, and accountability.) One of the things we discussed was how people can grow up in the church and be stumped by the simple question "What is the gospel?" So, for this week, we gave ourselves the assignment to write out the gospel in our own words. We're supposed to avoid "church lingo" as much as possible.

We're going to share our homework with each other tonight.

Here's my effort:
God is a holy God. We are sinners. Because God is holy and we are sinners, we are separated from God - we are cut off, we are His enemies. And this is a situation we cannot remedy ourselves. We can't ever make up for it. The gap between God's holiness and our sinfulness is too great.

But God wanted to have a relationship with us.

So God the Father sent His Son (who is also fully God) to live a perfect, sinless life, be crucified in payment for our sins, and be raised to life after 3 days, conquering death.

Now, if we trust in Christ, in the work He accomplished by His death and resurrection, we will be restored to relationship with God. God will count our sins paid for by the sacrifice of Christ. He will count Christ's righteousness (His perfect "doing right"-ness) as ours. He will send His Spirit to live in us.

While we're here on this earth, that Spirit will work in us to make us more and more like Jesus - to work out more and more in practice what is already true in fact: that we no longer have to do what our sinful nature tells us to do but we are free, by the Spirit's power, to live lives that are pleasing to God.

Then, when we die, we will go to live with God forever in a place with no more sin and no more suffering, a place of unimaginable joy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

On a Sweeter Note

It's been a heavy couple days here on the blog so I thought I'd send you over to my friend Sarah's blog (http://sarahcosper.blogspot.com/). She doesn't have as much time to update her blog as I think she'd like, but I've found her posts encouraging.

She's the mother of two sweet girls (who are two of my favorite tiny people), wife of the worship arts pastor at Sojourn and quite the crafter. She blogs about all these things - crafts, homemaking, parenting, marriage - and her journey as she seeks to grow in contentment.

To steal her J.I. Packer quote:
"Contentment is essentially a matter of accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Psalms of Depression

This Psalm was part of my reading today. The talk of death and rejection resonated with me. Even in the midst of these feelings, the Psalmist comes before God. I love that it's okay to come to God with feelings like this.

Psalm 88
1 O LORD, the God who saves me,
day and night I cry out before you.

2 May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.

3 For my soul is full of trouble
and my life draws near the grave.

4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like a man without strength.

5 I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.

6 You have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.

7 Your wrath lies heavily upon me;
you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.
Selah

8 You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;

9 my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, O LORD, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.

10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do those who are dead rise up and praise you?
Selah

11 Is your love declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in Destruction?

12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

13 But I cry to you for help, O LORD;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.

14 Why, O LORD, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?

15 From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death;
I have suffered your terrors and am in despair.

16 Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.

17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.

18 You have taken my companions and loved ones from me;
the darkness is my closest friend.

Down the Rabbit Hole

One of the things Edward Welch talks about in Depression: A Stubborn Darkness is listening to your depression so that you can learn its triggers, learn to identify its early warning signs.

I already have one "rabbit hole" labeled family, but last night I tripped down another. It's a familiar one - preceded by increasingly cutting thoughts that tell me more and more convincingly that I'm unwanted - and don't deserve to be wanted. I don't mean wanted by the opposite sex, I mean wanted by friends.

I still don't understand this particular rabbit hole very well.

I recognize the obsessive email & Facebook checking that seems to contribute to my descent. But while those things are almost always part of this path, doing those things doesn't always lead me here.

I also recognize thoughts centering on a specific friendship - one that, to me, feels broken.

When I'm on this particular path I see rejection everywhere - and the whispers, that slowly grow to howls, tell me that rejection is only right and fair, it's what should be.

I praise God for giving me relief last night. It was a fairly rough descent, not the worst I've had, but still pretty rough. I finally got out of bed and emailed a couple of friends. I felt like someone needed to know what was going through my head. When I went back to bed God, mercifully, gave me better success with my mental version of sticking my fingers in my ears and yelling "lalalalala" - refusing to indulge the persecuting thoughts and fixing my mind on Him. And He, again mercifully, took me quickly off to sleep.

This morning (praise God) those howls are reduced to a low rumble.

Since this blog is one of the tools I'm using to try and practice the things I'm learning about this fight with depression and since I believe I'm not alone in this fight - whether it be the fight with depression or the fight with particular thoughts - I wanted to share this struggle with you. If you notice that I'm being more symbolic than specific...well, the internet isn't precisely a "safe place" :}

Thank you for listening.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Boo Depression...Boo

Yikes. When I got home from work today I didn't expect to be fighting this fight. I'm sitting here, knowing I need to leave for rehearsal and having a really tough time getting myself to get up and go. I would *so* much rather cancel...but I can't. We have a show Saturday that we *have* to rehearse for. And it's not that I don't like rehearsals. Boo stupid depression. It's one of those nights where I'd rather stay home and cry. What's that about? Today's been a pretty good day as circumstances go.

Praise God this will not last forever.

Now to go apologize to my band-mates for being late. (I just got a "where are you" text.)

Sojourn's "Over the Grave" on iTunes


Sojourn's latest CD, Over the Grave was released yesterday on iTunes and various other eletronic media outlets. Go get it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

I had the opportunity to see this with a friend and her daughter last Friday. We accidentally went into the wrong theater so we saw the last half of the movie first (which made the whole experience more of an adventure in my opinion :}). I have no real sense of what the experience is like when you see the film the "right" way, but I enjoyed our experience.

The movie crystalized something I've reflected on off & on over the years.

(Let me preface this by saying that I do not have children. I'd love to hear from some actual parents on this topic.)

I've heard parents recall some thing they thought was incredibly significant to their child...that the child doesn't even remember. And I've heard grown children recall some thing their parents did that affected them deeply - and the parent never realized it was such a big deal.

As I've grown up and thought about what I want to be like as a parent I've, of course, had those "I'll never do this" or "I'll handle that situation differently" talks with myself, many of which could be traced back to some experience of my childhood that affected me deeply - an experience which may not have even registered with my parents.

Seeing this movie made me realize that, as imperfect parents of imperfect children, it is foolishness to suppose we can control all those situations. Aside from our limitations as humans (with our inability to always do as we intend to do), how could we think we are wise and astute enough to correctly identify and smoothly navigate all those potential "I hate you" moments? (Or as "Where the Wild Things Are" puts it, those "I'm going to Eat You!" moments.)

It seems to me that, rather than focusing on avoiding those moments, we should expect that those moments will occur and we should help our children learn to navigate them. After all, we will experience those moments in most every relationship. We need to learn how to work through them. We need to learn how to respond to the feelings those moments bring - how to be angry but not sin, how to forgive and seek forgiveness, how to be reconciled.

You will hurt me and I will hurt you. But where do we go from there? (And how do we get there?)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Psalms of Depression

The Psalm below was very encouraging to me during my last bout of depression. I believe I came across it one of the nights I was struggling with an onslaught of insecurity and anxiety.

My two favorite things about this Psalm?
1) It begins by describing the very thing I was feeling.
2) It gives an answer to that feeling.

The Psalmist is struggling and what does he do? He decides to recount to works of God. He decides that in the face of this distress, he will deliberately remind himself who God is and what he has done. Psalm 78 seems to continue this thought with its account of God's rescue of the people of Israel from Egypt.


Psalm 77
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.
1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.

2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted.

3 I remembered you, O God, and I groaned;
I mused, and my spirit grew faint.
Selah

4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.

5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;

6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart mused and my spirit inquired:

7 "Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?

8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?

9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?"
Selah

10 Then I thought, "To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High."

11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

12 I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.

13 Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?

14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.

15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
Selah

16 The waters saw you, O God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.

17 The clouds poured down water,
the skies resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.

18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.

19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.

20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Practicing Hope

I started reading through Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology this summer with a few other women. One of the reasons I wanted to study this book was that I feel my theology is a bit...soft.

I've been encouraged to see the ways in which my theology (& by this I mean my thinking about God) has become more solid - better articulated, with the ring of truth...instead of the squish of lies.

And since the battle with depression is so much a battle of the mind (fighting lies about God and myself with the truth), I'm finding this theology training helpful. I'd encourage those of you who struggle with depression, if you haven't already, find a few solid, godly friends and a solid godly book, and study theology - study (& practice articulating) the truth about God and yourself.

I've listed a few of the doctrines that I've found helpful below. These were things I already knew to some extent, but now I know them better. Preparing to discuss these things with other women has driven me to test whether I can support these things scripturally. Also, Grudem does a wonderful job of working his way logically through the arguments and issues surrounding these things. Following along with him (and testing his arguments) has given me confidence as it lays to rest doubts I didn't even know I had.

Authority of Scripture: The idea that all the words in Scripture are God's in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God

Inerrancy: The idea that scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.

Clarity of Scripture: The idea that the Bible is written in such a way that its teachings are able to be understood by all who will read it seeking God's help and being willing to follow it.

The concepts above have been particularly helpful since my depression likes to censor as I read scripture - "That's not really true", "That can't be true for you", etc. It has been so encouraging to come to the Word with increased confidence that I can trust what it is telling me!

Smells like...depression...mmm...depression

I feel that little black rain cloud of depression lingering again - which is funny since he never really left, just diminished...but I can feel him wanting to come back again, bigger and stronger.

I want to try and follow this advice from Depression: A Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welch

"if depression gives you an early warning - and it usually does - bring everything you have to the fight. Take your soul to task. Ask for help. Force-feed yourself Scripture and words of hope. Be on guard against self-pity, grumbling, and complaining. And keep the cross close at hand."

So, at least today, after I've spent some time reading the Bible, I want to come back here and use this blog to "practice" thankfulness, words of hope, and keeping the cross close at hand.

I'm *hoping* that, in addition to sparing my friends long, blog-like emails :}, my depression posts will be an encouragement to you who read them, especially those of you who struggle with depression.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Miscellania

I don't have a nice, thought out, well-formulated blog for you today, but in the interests of blogging 2-3 times a week, I bring you: The Miscellania.

Work-Dates
What do you do when you have lots of studying to do and no time to hang out with your friends? Have work-dates. I'm hoping to try this out with a few friends in the coming weeks, friends who are also busy and have projects to work on.

The idea is, we'll meet up and work on our various projects - writing, grading, theology notes, whatever. Hopefully we'll get more done than we would working alone (since it's easier to stay on task when the person sitting beside you is working) and we'll actually get to see each other. It may not be the ideal way to spend time with friends...but it sure beats *not* spending time with friends.

Thankfulness
I was musing this weekend about how I sometimes feel like I'm pertrifying - becoming stuck in my ever narrowing ways, enjoying less and less, etc. It finally hit me that this is probably a result of the depression I struggle with rather than some sort of early, irreversible invasion of stodginess. And then, as a friend was holding me accountable for practicing thankfulness, I realized that rather than trying to find the solution to my enui in some new activity, I should be praticing thankfulness for the things that are already in my life.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Comfort & Sovereignty

I just got some stressful news about illnesses in the family and I've been feeling overwhelmed lately anyhow - stress, depression, etc. I just read these verses (while catching up on my daily reading) and they were comforting to me in the midst of my desire to freak out about everything that's going on.

Isaiah 54:16-17
16 "See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc;
17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and this is their vindication from me,"
declares the LORD.

My God, You are sovereign over all of this - the circumstances, my family, myself, my tempter...all of it. Praise be to our glorious God.

The Heav’ns Declare Thy Glory, Lord

Here's another Isaac Watts hymn for you, this one on the theme of God's Word.

The Heav’ns Declare Thy Glory, Lord
by Isaac Watts

The heav’ns declare Thy glory, Lord,
In every star Thy wisdom shines
But when our eyes behold Thy Word,
We read Thy Name in fairer lines.

The rolling sun, the changing light,
And nights and days, Thy power confess
But the blest volume Thou hast writ
Reveals Thy justice and Thy grace.

Sun, moon, and stars convey Thy praise
Round the whole earth, and never stand:
So when Thy truth begun its race,
It touched and glanced on every land.

Nor shall Thy spreading Gospel rest
Till through the world Thy truth has run,
Till Christ has all the nations blest
That see the light or feel the sun.

Great Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Bless the dark world with heav’nly light;
Thy Gospel makes the simple wise,
Thy laws are pure, Thy judgments right.

Thy noblest wonders here we view
In souls renewed and sins forgiv’n;
Lord, cleanse my sins, my soul renew,
And make Thy Word my guide to Heaven.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Diversity in the church as a reflection of God's wisdom

I'm participating in a women's study that's reading through Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. We spent a good chunk of our discussion time this past Saturday talking about the passage below (from ch. 12).

"When Paul preaches the gospel both to Jews and to Gentiles, and they become unified in the one body of Christ (Eph. 3:6), the incredible "mystery" that was "hidden for all ages in God who created all things" (Eph 3:9) is plain for all to see, namely, that in Christ such totally diverse people become united. When groups so different racially and culturally become members of the one body of Christ, then God's purpose is fulfilled, "that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places" (Eph 3:10).

"Today this means that God's wisdom is shown even to angels and demons ("principalities and powers") when people from different racial and cultural backgrounds are united in Christ in the church. If the Christian church is faithful to God's wise plan, it will always be on the forefront in breaking down racial and social barriers in societies around the world, and will thus be a visible manifestation of God's amazingly wise plan to bring great unity out of great diversity and thereby to cause all creation to honor him."

The comments below are re-posted from a discussion on our church message board.

I was really convicted of my personal complacency in this area by our discussion Saturday.

How easy is it for me to continue to have friends who are basically just like me and not make the effort to befriend people who are different? And of course I don't mean token befriending - the kind that just lets us check off the "I have a friend" box. From the conversations I've had with people about diversity - about working towards more diversity - it seems like something we have to work towards deliberately because we are so blind to the things that keep us from it.

It's so easy to gravitate toward people who are like me - who like the bands/movies/books I like, who worship in a style I'm comfortable with, who are in a similar stage of life, etc. - and so much harder to make it work with people who are different - to navigate the waters of what's offensive and what's acceptable, to learn how to communicate effectively, etc. And since it's a habit to gravitate towards people who are like me, it seems reasonable that I should need to be intentional about seeking out people who aren't like me.

And of course, I'm not proposing that we should do that as some sort of salvation substitute, but rather as a reflection & celebration of what Christ did when He reconciled us with His Father - for we are far more different from Him than we are from each other.

I was also convicted of my complacency with regards to black-white reconcilliation in this city. I don't know this for certain, but I think there's a lot of hurt to be healed. And if I sit here, doing nothing, comfortable in my ignorance, I think I'm perpetuating that broken, hurtful system. It smells like injustice to me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Depression

I struggle off and on with depression (mostly mild depression, thankfully). I've been working my way slowly through Depression: A Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welch. I read the passage below the other morning and found its message helpful:

"One reason to listen to depression is that you will realize that it has a history. It usually emerges for a reason. If you think of your own history of depression, you can find early warnings....if depression gives you an early warning - and it usually does - bring everything you have to the fight. Take your soul to task. Ask for help. Force-feed yourself Scripture and words of hope. Be on guard against self-pity, grumbling, and complaining. And keep the cross close at hand."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Updates

I spent a little time today updating the ol' web page. Stop by and check it out: rebeccadennison.com

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Learning the Blues, a playlist

I'm taking guitar lessons and my instructor asked me to come in with a few blues tunes I'd like to learn. So, I created this playlist o' tunes (the duplicates are included to offer arrangement options):

Baby, No, No! - Big Memphis Ma Rainey
Baby, Please Don't Go - Muddy Waters
Black Mountain Blues - Big Joe Duskin
Blues In the Night - Big Joe Turner
Blues In the Night - Dinah Shore
Call Me Anything (But Call Me) - Big Memphis Ma Rainey
Done Got Old - Heartless Bastards
Done Got Old (Live) - Junior Kimbrough
Feel So Bad - Lightnin' Hopkins
I Cant' Be Satisfied - Muddy Waters
I'm Talking About You - Memphis Minnie
It Serves You Right To Suffer - John Lee Hooker
Low Down Blues - Blind Willie McTell
Rolling Stone - Muddy Waters
You Shook Me - Muddy Waters