Psalm 29

Psalm 29 is such a whimsical entry

1-2 Bravo, God, bravo!
Gods and all angels shout, “Encore!”
In awe before the glory,
in awe before God’s visible power.
Stand at attention!
Dress your best to honor him!

God thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness—
God, across the flood waters.

God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s thunder symphonic.

God’s thunder smashes cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.

The mountain ranges skip like spring colts,
The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.

7-8 God’s thunder spits fire.
God thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh shake.

God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches.
We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”

10 Above the floodwaters is God’s throne
from which his power flows,
from which he rules the world.

11 God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.

I find this Psalm playful, joyous, and insightful. Observe what is outlined in this passage. Watch the majesty of God’s power that can move mountains (v8), while simultaneously being concerned with the business of strengthening and bringing peace to individuals (v11). God is a masterful multi-tasker, indeed!

Who but God can focus on all these things and still complete them with sheer excellence. (Hint: Not me.) God has cedar trees trembling, deserts shaking, and mountains with a spring in their step. It makes me wonder if the psalmist isn’t trying to shout like God’s thunderous voice that we little humans are as important, as powerful, and as great as every other one of God’s creations. We possess the same beauty as the sunrise. We contain the strength of floodwaters. We have the power of the Universe and one million galaxies within Us!

My prayer today is that we would see within one another the same gloriousness we so easily observe in the natural world.

You are a Wonder.

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QOTD: On Conservative Christianity

Powerful words for powerful times:

In our time, when many seem to think Christianity goes hand in hand with right-wing visions of the world, it is important to remember that there has never been a conservative prophet. Prophets have never been called to conserve social orders that have stratified social inequities of power and privilege and wealth; prophets have always been called to *change* them so all can have access to the fullest fruits of life.”

– Obery Hendricks, The Politics of Jesus

*cue the DJ*
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFQqOWh2aOY

Wall Me Maybe.

I can count on one hand the number of people who would describe me as creative: 1) My fifth grade teacher Mrs. H who conspired with me to pull of one of the greatest grade school play performances ever. I was cast as Dorothy, and our collusion involved a two-sizes-too-big picnic dress, ruby slippers, and an imaginary catfish. I will save that story for never, and 2) Hmm. My…no not her. Nope, not him either. OK. I can count on one finger the number of people who would describe me as “creative.”

So, when I decided to take on the grand task of DIY Book Page Wallpaper, you can imagine my inner critic went ballistic. And not just because I am *not* creative in the traditional sense of the word, but because the wall is GINORMOUS. Take a look.

Wall Before

GINORMOUS Wall Before

The dimensions are roughly 11 ft x 9ft. It’s a central wall in my living space and I have been obsessing for months about what to do with it. I thought about painting it in a light purple but could not commit personally. I also thought about this fantastic chocolate floral wallpaper but at $60 per roll, I could not commit financially. So, what’s a cost conscious, creatively challenged, quirky chic scholar to do?

The answer was simple: BOOK PAGES!

I love the internet. I google’d “DIY BOOK WALLPAPER” and I was not the first person to come up with this idea doncha know! I read a bunch of great tutorials, but I found the Kara Paslay Designs and Houzz Design pages most helpful.

Check out a few stunners:

A Well Dressed Home Blog

A Well Dressed Home blog

Mad Magazine

Mad Magazine

Velvet Palatte WordPress

Velvet Palatte WordPress

Here’s a List of Must Have Supplies (adjust accordingly based on the size of your wall, remember mine is ginormous):

1) One Roll of Contractors paper : Other tutorials pasted the pages directly on the wall. A genius friend of mine suggested using a base between the wall and the pages, as a way of salvaging the walls. Not only did the contractor paper protect my walls but it also allowed me to work at my own pace. It was much easier to cut the paper to size and work on the floor, rather than try to individually past over 1000 pages to my wall. Yes, it took OVER 1000 pages. More on that in a second…

2) Four cans of Loctite Spray Adhesive Other tutorials used wallpaper paste. But, I’m no expert and the paste can be unwieldy to work with. Using the spray adhesive gave me much more control when applying the pages to the paper, and it wasn’t as gooey. Also, the spray adhesive will be much easier to remove when that time comes.

3) OLD BOOKS! My large wall took 3 lengthy books. I used books that were meaningful to me, but other tutorials chose some random ones. I love words, so you won’t catch any 50 Shades on my walls! I also selected older books because the pages had a yellowish tint, and they were slightly thicker than the pages in newer books. That whole planned obsolescence thing is apparent even in books. Anyway, the books were 1) Manchild in the Promised Land by 2) Gray’s Anatomy and, 3) the Amplified Bible. I already owned #1 and #3, and #2 was 70 cents from a nearby Goodwill. 70 cents!!! I would have preferred the Message version of the Bible, but the pages were too thin in the versions I found. You should definitely prep the books by tearing out the pages and cutting straight edges. You can use a pair of scissors if your hand is steady. Or, if your hand is like mine you can spend a few hours at Staples with their paper trimmer like I did for near perfect edges.

Other supplies I found useful to have:

Ladder
3ft Wooden ruler (under a dollar at Lowe’s)
Measuring tape
Foam Smoothing Roller
Erykah Badu Pandora Station
Patience

What to do:

First, RELAX! The pages and adhesive are very forgiving. Even when you mess up, there’s an easy fix with readjusting.

Second, cut a test section and lay out the appropriate amount of contractors paper on the floor. I started from the right corner to make sure my edges were on target. The first sheet I cut was small, roughly 35 x 45.  I wanted to create a look with texture so I overlapped the pages. Take a look.

Test Section with Overlapping Pages

Test Section with Overlapping Pages from Manchild in the Promised Land

I was happy with the test section so I kept going. At some point I should have put on gloves but I thought it would be easier to work with my fingers free. Bye Bye Manicure.

Third, start committing! Cut floor to ceiling strips of the paper and apply your favorite pages. I left a little room on the top and bottom so that I could apply the remaining pages once the contractors paper was on the wall for a more even look. That is, I used the ceiling as a leveler rather than trying to achieve straight lines on the paper. Take a look at a longer floor to ceiling strip.

Floor to Ceiling Strip of Paper with pages from Gray's Anatomy

Floor to Ceiling Strip of Paper with pages from Gray’s Anatomy

My entire wall took about 7 of these strips. Manchild was 1 strip, Gray’s Anatomy was 2 strips, and the Bible was 4 strips.

With food, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, texting, talking and TV breaks (it’s the weekend I like breaks!), thus far the project has taken about 2 weekend days. And, I don’t feel bad about that length of time because this couple on one site said it took them “several months” — not sure what kind of breaks they were taking *wink, wink*

So, here’s the look I have so far.

Test Section Applied to Wall

Test Section Applied to Wall

I am going back and forth on whether to go all the way down behind the bookshelf. I will decide on that later.  I also really, really love the texture that the pages give the wall, and I can’t wait to finish this project. I am thinking it will take roughly one more day to put the strips up, because I want to watch the BET Awards and take like 3 naps in between! 🙂

Check back for Pt 2 of this post for pics of the fabulous and finished effect!

Here are all the sites I consulted before starting the project:

A Well Dressed Home

Kara Paslay Designs

Houzz

Apartment Therapy

Saucy Dwellings

Rice Design Blog

Much More Than the Birds

Happy Wallpapering!

Six Word Memoirs.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that it has been observed that I have a tendency to use more words than might be necessary to get my point across.

Image

See? If I re-did that sentence I could simply say: In an earlier post, I mentioned that it has been observed that I have a tendency to use more words than might be necessary to get my point across. I’ve ne’er been known for brevity. Whatevs.

Imagine my dismay when I heard about Smith Magazine’s Six Words Memoirs, which provokes writers with the following challenge: “One Life. Six Words. What’s Yours?”

From Wiki:

Smith was founded January 6, 2006, by Larry Smith and Tim Barko. Taking a cue from novelist Ernest Hemingway, who, according to literary legend, was once challenged to write a short story in only six words, Smith Magazine set out to do the same. Hemingway’s six-word story read: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

In November 2006, Smith’s editors Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser gave the six-word story a personal twist, asking Smith readers to tell their life story in just six-words. Smith readers submitted their six-words via http://www.smithmag.net, and Smith’s Twitter account. In early 2007, Smith signed with Harper Perennial to create the Six-Word Memoir book series.

The New Yorker published a piece about some of the entries into Smith’s book contest, which was followed by a book party where invitees and contest winners were encouraged to write their memoirs on a nametag. “Six words, so much freakin’ pressure” mine would have probably read.

Ever interested in new opportunities to create community, I sent the challenge out to my family and friends. A few highlights from their responses:

living my life like its golden
Love to live; Live to Love.
Children remember blessings abound when Christ’s around.

The last one with 7 words was submitted by my Mom. Clearly, verbosity runs in the family.

It was a challenge to reduce my life to SIX WORDS so I tried to focus only on what mattered. My first draft was 9 words and I could hear Dave Chappelle yelling “Wrap It Up.” Here’s my second and final draft:

Vulnerably encountered Creation, thoughts became things.

Me likey.

Let me know in the comments below if you take the challenge. I’d love to read your six words.