Monday, July 30, 2007

Hair Be Gone!

Last Wednesday I got an unexpected new haircut. I went in for my regular highlight and trim, but walked out with a whole new 'do. Luckily, I had my camera with me, so now I get to share the before and after.....

(the last picture is the next day, after I had to try to fix it on my own.)

Monday, July 23, 2007

To Save or Not to Save

So, I have been thinking about a question for a few days now. Last week at our bible study, we talked about what views of our may not line up with God's views. We were challenged to list those views, then find Scripture that explained God's views on the various topics. One of my friends in the group, Annie, said she was going to look up what God says about salvation. She wanted to know- "once saved, always saved?" I have not been able to get the topic out of my mind.

I guess I should first start off by giving my definition of salvation. I believe that it is a gift from God. Key word -GIFT- not something that we can earn. I believe that God gave His son, Jesus Christ, so that we might have salvation. I believe that salvation is offered to each and every one of us, but it is our choice as to whether or not we will accept God's gift. I believe that the only way to heaven is by receiving this gift of salvation, which is done by confessing that we are sinners, asking God for forgiveness of our sins, and declaring that Jesus is our savior (in a nutshell). I do not believe that we can get to heaven based on good works or deeds. In my opinion, because the Bible states, the only way to heaven is through Jesus. If there was another way, why would Christ have had to die on the cross?

Ok, so back to the original question- "Can your salvation be lost or taken away?"
I am going to try very hard to keep this post from rambling, but bear with me here...

Let me just start off by saying that I do not believe that your salvation can be lost. I believe that once saved, always saved. Let me also say that I have not researched every piece of Scripture that may touch upon this subject. I just wanted to open the subject up to debate.

I have to believe that salvation cannot be lost. Otherwise, how could I truly be secure in my own salvation? I can remember the exact day that I received Christ. I was sitting with my friends Beth and Amber. We were just talking about God and Christ and all that.... I had no intentions of receiving Christ that night, but the more these two friends talked, I was led to accepting Jesus as my savior. I am so thankful they took the time to answer my questions, because that night changed my life and my eternity.

If salvation could be lost, what is the deal breaker? I mean, are there certain sins that loses your salvation? Do you have to turn your back on God for "X" amount of times? What if I live a life for God, but after extreme trauma or crisis, I lash out at God, yell at Him, tell Him I can't have anything to do with a God who would allow me to go through such pain and die in an accident almost immediately afterwards? (extreme situation, I know, but what if?) Would God know my heart and that I was saying things out of anger or would He take that outburst literally and my eternity would be doomed?

I believe that sin is sin. I think some people disagree with this. I have talked to a few people who believe in a sort of "heirarchy of sin". Murder is worse than lying, adultery is worse than idoltry, stealing is worse than jealousy.. that type of thing. In my mind, sin is sin. I believe that we all are sinners, we will always be sinners. None of us are going to live a sinless life- period. Because I believe that all sin is equal, I believe that a wife who cheats on her husband, but goes to God and asks forgiveness is going to heaven, just as much as the daughter who lies to her parents about what time she got home. Does that make sense?

Ok, I think I am almost officially at the point of rambling. But, if you have any opinion on this subject, leave me a post. Like I said, I have been thinking about this for about 4 days and I love to hear other's thoughts on it. If you have Scripture to back up your opinion, I'd love to know that too..... Even if you haven't thought about this before, just let me know your initial reaction.
I can't wait to hear your thoughts.....

Have a great day! :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Reading Challenge Update

Ramblings From Life is sponsoring a Summer Reading Challenge. Just a great way to motivate people to read more this summer. The challenge started June 1 and is going through Labor Day. (A great idea, by the way, Alexis!)

I, being the book lover that I am, jumped at the chance to challenge myself!
I set a goal for myself of 15 books, just a little over one book per week. I just finished my 9th book today. I am right on target to complete my goal. You can chart my progress on my sidebar.

I have to admit, Karen Kingsbury is still my favorite author, by far. I am getting ready to start "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult. I haven't read any of her books yet, but have heard that her stories are really good. I'm also in the middle of "Facing Your Giants" by Max Lucado. I can read one fiction and one non-fiction book at the same time, so that is usually what I will do.

If you have any favorite books or authors, leave me a post and let me know. We are planning a trip to the beach during the last week of the reading challenge, so I plan on having my nose buried in a book for a majority of the week! What books are must-reads for you?!?!?

Oh, and for those of you who may not know me.... the title of my blog- "My Life as a Book" (which I owe to my friend Val, over at Purple Valley!) refers to my last name. Once I got married, my name changed to Book. Val took my love of books and my married name and came up with the catchy title and designed my header. Isn't she creative?!?! Just a lil tidbit of information...... :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Star Is Born

I got this in an email and I just had to share it. This little girl is the cutest thing. When she began her song, I just melted.

Oh, and Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dentist, Here I Come!

I am going to a new dentist today. A co-worker gave me his name, says she has been going to him for years. I'm big on health care provider referrals, so I made an appointment.
Oh, one more thing... he is the official team dentist of the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS!!
Just the possiblility, no matter how slight, of seeing one of the Cardinals while I am sitting in the waiting room is really exciting. I know I won't see any of them today, of course. I am sure they make all of their appointments during the off-season. But, someday.....
Would it be completely inappropriate to go to my appointment decked out in my Cardinal hat, t-shirt and big foam finger, just in case?

Oh, and I must admit that a tiny part of me was hoping that Albert Pujols might have a dental emergency around 9:30 this morning (a small, painless emergency).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

One of my Favorite Days....

Today is National Ice Cream Day!!!

Ice Cream is my favorite food. It is the one thing I could eat every single day.
So, discovering that there is a National Holiday honoring my favorite frozen treat was very exciting for me!

My husband and I celebrated with St. Louis' very own Ted Drewes. Some of the best frozen custard around!

Here's to ice cream....

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Goodbye, Hello

I traded in my VW Beetle. It was time. The car was old, piling on the miles, the a/c didn't work, the cruise didn't work, heck, the spedometer didn't even work. It stopped at 65mph, so anything over that was a complete guessing game. Plus, I have decided that a 2-door car is not for me. I am a 4-door kind of girl.

So, here is a picture of me kissing my Beetle goodbye.

I bought a new Saturn Ion. I thought for sure I would be a Volkswagen girl until the end (I had a Jetta before my Beetle). The one thing I really miss is the "flip-out" key. Fellow VW owners, you know what I am talking about. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for VW, but it was time for a change.

Here is my new mode of transportation...

I was so fortunate to get 0% financing with my loan! Oh, and I get free OnStar for one year. Keith and I activated it together. It was really weird to hear the woman talk in my car. I cannot wait to be out of town and call OnStar to ask where the nearest book store, shoe store or coffee house is!!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Mistaken Identity

An update for "The Girl Next Door" post....
Keith asked our landlord about our neighbors occupations. He is a photographer, she is a pediatric nurse.

So, now my only question is- what on earth is he taking pictures of all the time inside their apartment???

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Birthday Girl

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear friend Nicole, aka "Nikki J". Nicole and I have been friends since high school. I have to tell this story (and I think she hates to hear it).....

I was a sophmore in high school when I first met Nicole. The first time I noticed her was during the PE class that we shared. We always did calesthinics before PE and most girls put as little effort as possible into PE. Not Nicole! I looked over and here is this girl busting out "boy-style" push ups, while the rest of us are taking the easy way out with "girl" push ups. By the end of class I learned that she was a new freshman from TN. It didn't take long for us to become friends. We were almost inseperable for the rest of high school.

Our friendship has endured break-ups, deaths, bad hair cuts, tears, and living on different continents. We have only grown closer over the years. She is such an amazing person. I wish her the happiest birthday ever!!!

What a Feeling!

How do you spell "relief"?

Paying off a credit card, that's how.

I paid off my Mastercard and closed out my J.Crew, Gap, and Express cards (which had zero balances for some time now, but who needs the temptation?).

I am now down to one credit card, my Visa, which I have taken out of my wallet so I can pay it off! On my way to debt free!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Girl Next Door

We had new neighbors move in about 2 months ago. The apartment next door is a two bedroom and our landlord was charging $750/month for rent. Well, a girl, probably a few years younger than us, moved in. She said her boyfriend doesn't live with her, but we are pretty sure he does since we have seen mail in his name delivered here.

We don't think they work.

They are home at all hours of the day. They are home when we leave for work, they are home when we get home from work. They are home if we have a random day off during the week. They are home on the weekends.

We don't understand this. They both drive new cars. One has a new VW Jetta and the other drives a new Scion. We cannot figure out how they afford their rent, plus the newer cars. We thought two things- either they are living off student loans (and just never go to class) or they are somehow independently wealthy.

They are very nice (when we see them) and, for the most part, very quiet. Ideal neighbors, really.

To understand the rest of the story, let me explain a bit about our apartments. We live above streetside storefronts. There are only our 2 apartments above the stores in our building. Our outside doors are side by side. We have a window in our bathroom and the hallway outside the bathroom that look into this "space" between our apartments. They have windows in their dining room that also look into this "space". I don't know if you can picture this, but I don't know how else to explain it. It is the strangest thing because there is this outside space in the middle of our building, with a "greenhouse" roof on it. The windows that we both have our that kind of glass that you can't really see through, but light still shines through. Ok, anyway......

I was in the bathroom Friday afternoon after work. I saw a flash in the bathroom mirror. Then another, and another. I thought "Oh, they are taking pictures next door". (hence the need for me to explain how you can "see" our windows from each other's apartments). Didn't think anything else of it.

Last night Keith and I were sitting in the living room watching TV when we saw more flashes. (Our bathroom hallway window faces our dining room, which is right off the living room). Keith had never seen the flashes, so I explained to him how I saw the flashes Friday. Flash, flash, flash, flash, flash. They kept taking pictures, pictures, pictures at 10:00pm. Sometimes the pictures would be taken consecutively, sometimes there would be a couple minutes between shots. So, you can imagine the dialogue that takes place between my husband and I at this point. (Remember, we have wondered how they make money!....) The conversation goes something like this:

Keith: What was that?
Me: Flash from next door. I think they are taking pictures.
Keith: Huh. That's weird.
Me: Yeah, what do you think they are photographing inside on a Saturday night? No way they are taking pictures of bowls of fruit.
Keith: What are you saying?
Me: (shame on me by the way) I wonder if they are taking nude-y pictures?
Keith: Interesting idea. Would explain why they never work.
Me: Oh no! The pauses between flashes are probably for her "outfit" changes.
Keith: (laughs)
Me: The dining room is probably their studio.
Keith: Is she even that good looking?
Me: You can do alot with makeup.....(not that she is not ugly by any means!)
Me: We need to ask Will (landlord) what they put down for occupation on their rental application. If they said self employed photographer, we'll know.

Ok, so you get the idea. We are seriously wondering if we live next door to some X-rated activity. I really hope that our imaginations were just running wild, but how else do we explain everything? If you have any other ideas, I'd love to hear them!!!

Oh, they must have had a dealine today, because they are still flashing away this morning!