September 29, 2004

No Fear


2 Corinthians 10:5: "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

If you are a Christian, maybe you've noticed by now that Christianity is the least passive religion there is. C.S. Lewis said it was the most manly of creeds. A simple glance through scripture validates his point. It's not for the weak at heart, so to speak. And yet again, it's the perfect place for those who are weak because "in our weakness, He is made strong." It's certainly "come just as you are," but once you're here, you're gonna learn how to do battle.

This world is a highly unpredictable and troubled place, full of uncertainty. Often the mere chaos of life causes our head to spin out of control with worry and doubt of what is to come or even worse, doubt that we can and will conquer adversity and will live gloriously with our Father who cares deeply for us. Thank God feelings have no bearing on reality. Most often, feelings guide thoughts completely away from what really is. That is why scripture call us to be actively aggressive toward such thoughts (see verse above). We're not to be passive when things "set themselves up against the knowledge of God."

This post is to encourage any who might have experienced worry, doubt, frustration, fatigue to not allow any of that to govern your actions, but to walk in wisdom, capturing those thoughts and casting them before the Lord, who is the only one who can give true peace in hard or frustrating times. Know God and cling tightly to that knowledge.

For those who know what they're called to do but can't seem to see it happening yet, take heart. I Peter 5:6-7 says, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." Enjoy preparation seasons, because once the action starts, there's no turning back. You've gotta run. So if you're jogging along, soak in the scenery rather than despise the pace.

Hope this applied to someone out there. I just wanted to write about this topic. And, oh, is there so much more on this issue, but I'll spare you for now and just write a book later. ~Emily

Posted by Portia at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2004

Everything's coming up rosie

Well, in case you don't read the news, the latest development in liberal politics is that Rosie O'Donnell might be next in line to have her own talk radio show. All the world needs is one more emotional, irrational, rabid liberal (who owns a gay-family cruise line) screaming on the air. Didn't she learn her lesson when she shamelessly attacked Tom Selleck on her show? No one wants to listen to her. She was a fun and delightful person to watch until she went all Janeane Garofalo on us.

I don't know about you but I'm tired of the hate-filled wannabe rhetoric of the left. Dennis Prager had an amazing insight the other day. He said that he has always desired to respect his opposition. Though they may disagree, he's always liked disagreeing with respectable, dignified human beings. But he said that these elections have truly shown that our opposition is not worthy of respect--that they're truly awful people, and that it's against his nature to dislike people, but he has no other choice. I'm paraphrasing, of course, but that was the gist.

I agree. It's ideal to fight against a worthy foe, so to speak. But they aren't out there. Either they're with us, or with the terrorists, to quote GW. If politics were more intellectual, maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but it's all been reduced to the screaming and name-calling of 5-year-olds, and I'm tired of it. So, Rosie, no offense, but I hope your show is very unsucessful, for your own sake. You don't want to go down in history as one who stirred up hate and strife. Or do you?

In other news: Sinead O'Conner has pleaded for the world to stop making fun of her. So, guys, in case you were tempted to poke fun at Mother Bernadette Mary (wait she's stopped going by that) well, just don't. Poor Sinead. Maybe thinking through your tearing up a picture of the Pope (and subsequently becoming an "ordained Catholic priest") and ranting against the United States on international tv might have done you a bit of good. Well, hindsight's 20/20, they say.

Posted by Portia at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2004

Latest and Greatest

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. Boy has my schedule been crazy. Anyhow, here's an update of the exciting things that have happened in the last few days.

1. We have a senior pastor now. After having been through a year of transition from the sudden loss of Pastor Scott, Jim Tolle has been officially made our pastor. I love the Tolles, and I am excited to see how the Lord uses them in this new position. We're in for a great ride.

2. Tony is finally home. It is such a relief knowing that he's back in California and completely out of harm's way. It's strange to read the news about the latest in the Middle East and know that I don't have to worry for his life anymore. Chances are, he may have to go to Afganistan in May, but he's hoping to get out of that tour. Pray for that, if you can.

3. I went to the Hollywood Bowl last night and saw the "Lord of the Rings" symphony. It was amazing, spare one broadway singer. I had a lovely time.

I'm still recovering from having 2 1/2 hours of sleep on Monday night and only 6 last night. So, my posts probably won't be diving the depths of politics and religion for some time :) Hope all are well, Emily

Posted by Portia at 09:32 AM | Comments (4)

September 17, 2004

Stand up for Your Rights

I enjoy iTunes. It saves me loads of time. While on the iTunes music store homepage, I noticed there was a column with celebrity playlists. In other words, celebrities tell you what songs they most enjoy and then you have the opportunity to purchase that playlist.

Well, a very prominent Christian artist had a playlist, so naturally I clicked on the link to see what he had to say for himself. I was impressed with his taste in music and then I clicked on his reasons for choosing such songs. That was when the good impression was lost. I have never heard such inarticulate explanations from anyone not a mainstream hip-hop artist. He used words such as "sick" to describe how good a song was.

"(This song) is on my playlist because that song is SICK...because of the combination of their flows and that hot beat with those strings...that's it man. "

Wow. Deep. I was horrified. It was a perfect example of "what not to do" when attempting to speak English and communicate with those who actually respect the tongue. To be fair, not every sentence was a complete atrocity. However, all I could think of was that our founding fathers didn't fight for so many liberties so that we could be free to use words such as "phat" and "sick" as positive modifiers.

That's all. ~Emily

Posted by Portia at 12:10 PM | Comments (2)

September 16, 2004

Emily's Believe it or Not

Imagine the following scenario: A super wealthy, white woman, married to a prominent political figure I might add, walks into a pseudo refugee camp filled with (mostly African-American) people recently made homeless thanks to the likes of Ivan, Frances and Charles, then proceeds to wax philanthropic about the little children in said refugee camp by stating: "Let them go naked for a little while." She doesn't think clothes should be at the top of the priority list. They can manage.

Can you imagine that happening? I mean, the world was astonished when Marie Antoinette said, "Let them eat cake," (though it's been said she actually never said that), can you begin to imagine if a rich, white woman said that to a bunch of black stranded children? The media would be on her like white on rice.

Well, as you might have guessed by now, you don't actually need to imagine that scenario because it happened. Only the reason you haven't heard about it is because the rich, white snot in question is a democrat. Had Laura Bush or Mrs. Helms ever said anything as atrocious, the media would have beat them to a bloody pulp. But our dear wannabe first lady, Teresa Heinz Kerry is the lady of linguistics here and the media won't touch her with a 10 foot pole because she belongs to the exempt-from-everything crowd affectionately known as Democrats. Read about it here.

In other news:


Posted by Portia at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

The Question of God

To those interested, there is a fascinating series on PBS right now called, The Question of God. It is inspired by a book of the same title by Dr. Armand Nicholi, a psychology professor at Harvard University.

I happened upon this book almost a year ago when I was researching and in the process of drafting a syllabus for a critical thinking class I was to teach to homeschooled high schoolers. I have yet to finish the whole thing as I got distracted by numerous other books on the topic of Lewis (read my earlier post for an explanation) but I know that what I have read has been highly stimulating and what I saw on PBS this evening was simply fabulous as well.

I highly recommend tuning in next week or buying the series if you must miss both. If you're into personal growth and the higher faculties, this is for you. :)


Posted by Portia at 12:12 AM | Comments (1)

September 15, 2004

Sweet Surrender

I've been fighting an uphill battle all my life. This struggle has been professionally coined "Attention Deficit Disorder", but I'm just convinced that I'm simply a mix of an over-achieving, hopelessly passionate female with a dash of crazy thrown in there. Time and time again, I have desperately attempted to join the ranks of the together, graceful, grey pin-striped suit dressing adult class, but alas, all attempts, however epic they've been, have been in vain. (Sorry for the overuse of commas; couldn't get around it.)

I've discovered that trying to join those aforementioned ranks is creative death for me, and I'm not into suicide, so I'm done with pretending I'm not a crazy, patriotic bookworm who can't finish a project to save her life. To start this Oprah Winfrey-like "acceptance of who I am," I've decided that it's okay to read four books at the same time :) Yep, and I am speeding along quite well in each one, thank you very much. They're all quite different so it keeps me from constant confusion (contrast that with the time I foolishly attempted to learn Italian and Spanish in the same semester; take it from me, kids, don't try that at home.)

So, my "Emily's Book Club" of one consists of the following: Extravagant Worship by Darlene Zschech; Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis; Winston Churchill by John Keegan; and the Bible. I am enjoying partaking in the old adage, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Why not do the postmodern thing and cater to my weaknesses? At least my big weakness is reading...I think we'd be having another discussion right now if I were more into, say, shooting up. :) I can see the argument now, "But I'm predisposed to addictive behavior, and Oprah says I need to do what is natural and best for me, so I've decided I will." However, somehow I think the reasoning and articulation skills of a crack addict might be somewhat less wordy...just a hunch.

Well, I'm done updating you on my psychological discovery. As far as literary discovery, I've always felt, and do now more than ever, that history will write George W. Bush as another Winston Churchill. The circumstance is only slightly different. Just remember, when it happens, who said it first! :)

Until that day,

Posted by Portia at 11:42 AM | Comments (4)

September 14, 2004

"Goin' Home I'm Goin'... Home"

(That's from a song in the movie A Mighty Wind, for those of you not obsessed with Christopher Guest folks.)

Anyhow, Sgt. Anthony Roth, a recent dear friend of mine, is coming home from Iraq next week. He left mid-February of this year, so it's been 7 months...just the length of time they said they'd be gone. I'm so excited that he's finally out of harm's way and is on his way back to the greatest nation on earth. (If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm obsessively patriotic, but not idolotrously patriotic for those obsessively Christian folk out there:)


Please pray for their journey back. I don't anticipate there will be any problems, but praying traveling mercies over a group of homecoming Marines never hurt anyone. I'm still waiting for a final word on what day they'll be back, but I'm thrilled that it's finally here. Just thought I'd share my excitement with everyone. Also, on the topic of prayer, please keep the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in your prayers as they've just replaced Tony's. 1/7 has already lost three guys since arriving and they need your prayers. They're in for a long haul as well. God bless our troops!

Posted by Portia at 08:56 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2004


FOX NEWS: A protester dressed in a Batman costume who scaled the front wall of Buckingham Palace Monday and perched precariously on a ledge for more than five hours gave up his charade peacefully, allowing police to lower him to the ground in a cherry-picker. Click here to read the rest of the story.

It was a stunt staged to rally support for more custody rights for fathers during divorce settlements. As funny as this story is, unfortunately, I think it does them more damage than good. Why would a judge award more custody to a man willing to do something as stupid as perch himself on the ledge of Buckingham Palace? This stunt is really nothing compared to the others listed at the end of the article. Happy reading!

Oh! And "The Band" blog has been updated. Click on that link on the left of this page. Ciao!

Posted by Portia at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2004

Meekness finds a new home

Meekness has always been described to me, at least in every sermon I've ever heard, as power under control. Jesus, the Son of God, embodied meekness by his submission to the Father's will, rather than taking matters into his own hands and decimating any who persecuted him, which he very well could have and probably would have if He were me (yes, yet another reason to praise God).

Well, I've met meekness in song now, and it's in the voice of Josh Groban. Those of you who know me know that I've been a big fan of this man since before most people knew about him. Yes, I'm bragging. I truly have never heard a voice quite like his. He has so much power in his voice, but he holds back for the sake of vocal dynamics with so sweet a tenderness that it makes you melt. He's truly incredible. I don't consider myself a "Fan" personality; I don't scream like a prepubescent teenager at concerts or get all flustered if I run into a celebrity. But Josh is almost my exception. I say "almost" because I'd totally play it off if I met him...hey, a girl's gotta at least pretend she has a shred of dignity.

Last night, my wonderful dad took me to see "the boy wonder of the voice" (NYT quote). I have never been so moved by a vocal performance in my entire life. The timber of his voice, the quality, the power and the passion behind it all, along with what appears to be humility as well, moves my soul. It's hard to describe if you've never heard him. But let me tell you, seeing and hearing are two different experiences. I had a truly incredible time and I can understand why so many people drove cross-country to see him perform his tribute to the 9/11 victims last night. What a patriotic experience.

God bless Josh Groban, and may he find salvation in Jesus and subsequently find me and fall madly in love at first sight :) (I can dream, can't I?)
~The reluctant, but not too reluctant, Grobanite,

Posted by Portia at 11:36 PM | Comments (1)

September 11, 2004

We Will Never Forget

"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward and freedom will be defended." -- President Bush, Sept. 11.
"Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail." -- Bush, Sept. 11.



"Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded ... as a hostile regime." -- Bush, Sept. 20.

God be with all who lost loved ones and friends that day. God be with our government officials who still have to make decisions as a consequence of that day. God be with our troops overseas defending our freedom that was attacked that day (specifically be with Tony Roth and the men of 3/7). And God be with America, now and always.

We will never forget...September 11, 2001.

Posted by Portia at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2004

"Oh, 'cause you're lovely..."

My dear friend since childhood, Melissa Terrano became Melissa Vossler on Saturday, Sept 4. It was a really wonderful and precious ceremony that made me cry on a number of occasions. And the reception was stunningly beautiful. I had a wonderful time. The colors and whole scheme of both the ceremony and the reception were so classy and fun. We all wore black because her colors were black, white and red. (Though my make up artist thought she might throw in a little more color by adding tons of green to my eyelids...everyone swore I didn't look like a hooker, but I swore they were just being gracious:) The day was gorgeous, and I couldn't be more happy for her.

Melissa, you done good, girl. All that work you did (spiritually, emotionally, financially, grammatically) paid off in a wonderful and anointed ceremony. I pray that you have a spectacular honeymoon. Have a great time on some of the most beautiful islands in the world. See you soon!

P.S...there are one or two more pics of the wedding in "Misc Events" on the left.

Posted by Portia at 05:46 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2004

He said it!

"Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions."


Prov 19:2

Posted by Portia at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2004

I have a new hero

I have heard rumors of a great man. I know he's appeared on several of my favorite political talk shows, both radio and television. I've just happened to miss every single one of them. I know he's written a new book, which I now am more than intent on getting. But I've never heard this man speak, witnessed his passion for his family and his country, until now. I've just seen the footage of a speech he gave at the Republican National Convention, the convention belonging to the party not his own. Yes, you guessed it, the newest member to join "Emily's Heroes" is Senator Zell Miller, D-GA. That's right, I'm a huge fan of a democratic senator.

I don't have much time to write about the exploits of Senator Miller, but he is a good man if there ever was one, and a great orator. If you haven't seen his speech yet, you must by going to Fox News and pulling it up. I was teary eyed and inspired the entire time. This man is a true American and I only hope others in his party follow his lead.

Keep watching the RNC. Tonight our Commander-in-Chief gives his's "must-see TV." :)


Posted by Portia at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2004

The Purple Owie

I recently received this forwarded email and thought some of you all might enjoy it.

A new medal named in honor of John Kerry is called the "Purple Owie." It is worn directly over the wound in question. After use, it is rolled up and thrown over the nearest fence.......

"Who has 3 purple hearts in 4 months but never spent a day in the hospital?"


Seriously though, I think that any military service is to be commended, but what he's done with it since, protesting the war and turning on his fellow swift boat veterans, is to be condemned. He has lied through his teeth about what happened there and has tried to garner support for his campaign riding only on his service in the military, which is highly questionable, if anything. I appreciate that he went, but what he's done since and apparently what he did there is a little more than shady. That's just my official, off-the-cuff commentary following this post. I didn't want my liberal friends to think I'm down on his actual service.

Posted by Portia at 11:07 AM | Comments (1)