June 27, 2005

Go Into All The World…

We were listening to one of NPR’s radio broadcasts yesterday: a show called Speaking of Faith. They interviewed an author who had recently published a book on four great Catholic writers and the threads that tied them together. The most significant thread was—perhaps rather obviously for a group of writers—literature.

That made me think. I love to read—I really don’t think I do enough of it. (My parents would probably argue that I read enough as a child to make up for the rest of my life.) But there are few greater joys in this life than to find a book that is not only a enjoyable read, but a good story. Good in the deepest sense possible, the kind of good that wriggles its way into the depths of one’s soul and psyche and pushes and prods until what was once just a story becomes part of you—and changes you, making you a better person and ultimately bringing you closer to the rich Truthfulness of Christ Himself. The kind of good that strikes a chord at the root of what God created humanity to be. The kind of good that inspired the likes of MacDonald, Chesterton, Lewis, Tolkien, O’Connor, L’Engle, Dostoevsky, and more—and they wrote literature that pointed people toward Truth, gently, sometimes, and sometimes quite violently.

Literature was how these folks were faithful. They were obedient to God’s call on their life. My questions is: how can I be?

I don’t expect to ever be a great writer. (Surprise, surprise—I’m a techie geek for a reason.) But there is a real sense in which so many of the things that we do share the Gospel with those around us, and in much deeper and more meaningful ways than we could ever preach to them. (Of course, who knows how many people in life have died blissfully unaware that Lewis’ Aslan was a Christ-figure—and soon found themselves in anything but bliss? Preaching is necessary—but it is not a solitary soldier.) Perhaps I can write a story to help make a bit more sense of this world. Maybe I can inspire others with a bit of music or even (although this is often more difficult) a well-done bit of programming. Or an extra smile at work. Or patience in the middle of stress. Or a marriage that, though not even close to perfect, has been truly infused with God’s blessings and grace.

Dearest Jesus, You know how to use me. Take my life and my skill, all that I am, and form me into Your plan. Amen.

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Faith]

June 19, 2005

Wisdom Teeth

Thank you to all who were praying and are praying for me this week! I greatly appreciate it!!! I was very scared about it this past week, up until they put me out, but God was good and things are going super well! I was able to give it all to God Thursday night and have a good sleep, but when they were hooking me up to all these machines I became scared again, but they did well.

Because they had a hard time finding my veins they used a small needle for the water IV and it took a long time to drip into me. The doctor did want me to leave until I had three bags of water put into me. It took over 2 hours to get the rest of the one bag in me and a second one. I didn’t mind, I slept half the time anyways. It gave me an opportunity to see jut how well I was being taken care of. They felt so bad that it was taking so long. After two hours they let David come back and keep me company. They were great, I didn’t have to wait for any certain person if I needed anything, if I could make eye contact with any of the nurses working in the area they would give me what I needed. I felt very well taken care of and it made me feel SO much better about everything.

My appointment was at 9:00 am, and we finally left at 12:30. The actual surgery took only 20 minutes.

God has been Good, I have only felt real pain a few times. Yesterday after going to the library with David. Last night at 3 Am when I woke up, and a little bit now because I have been up and about a quite a bit making supper and the like. The Doctor said that because I was 25 I can expect 5-7 days of recovery rather than 3-5. I think I am doing very well.

Thank you so very much for your prayer!! God is answering them!

Love you very much, In Christ Rita


Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / Rita]

Forsaken Your First Love…

From the mouth of Christ:

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” ~ Revelation 2:4, NIV.

From C.S. Lewis’ The Pilgrim’s Regress:

Suddenly John spoke again.

“Why should it wear out if it is from the Landlord? It doesn’t last, you know. Isn’t it that which gives away the whole case?”

“Have you not heard men say, or have you forgotten that it is like human love?” asked the hermit.

“What has that to do with it?”

“You would not ask if you have been married, or even if you had studied generation among the beasts. Do you not know how it is with love? First comes delight: then pain: then fruit. And then there is joy of the fruit, but that is different again from the first delight. And mortal lovers must not try to remain at the first step: for lasting passion is the dream of a harlot and from it we wake in despair. You must not try to keep the raptures: they have done their work. Manna kept, is worms. But you are full of sleep and we had better talk no more.”

(I probably need to give a disclaimer here that The Pilgrim’s Regress is an allegory—John is on the road to faith, the Landlord is God, and the hermit is a wise man along the way.)

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life thinking of the words of Christ in Revelation about “forsaking my first love.” I guess I’ve always understood that to mean that the Ephesians had somehow lost the passion for Christ and the Gospel which they had at first. Maybe that is precisely what it means. But Lewis seems to take a pretty different tack at it—he even says that “lasting passion is the dream of a harlot.” Ouch.

Isn’t lasting passion precisely what I seek in my faith? I don’t want to forsake my first love! I want to live a life full-out and passionate for the God Whom I serve. I don’t want the excitement to die! I don’t want to be content with living in mediocrity.

“You must not try to keep the raptures: they have done their work.”

But maybe there is wisdom here. All the passion and excitement did serve to reinforce and cement my faith like nothing else could. I am saved! Yet, I have seen the passion ebb and wane through the past years. It often seems that the passion is slowly becoming less and less familiar. How frustrating! But, if Lewis is right, this is the process of growing, and maturing, and continuing on in faith.

It reminds me of contentment. How ill-content I can be! But, no matter what my feelings or circumstances may try to dictate, Christ is my Lord and my Savior—whom shall I fear? Ought I not be completely content in His care—even with the lack of passion?

Step back for a moment, though. Haven’t we lost something wonderful without passion in our lives? I think so. Here’s the rub: what are we seeking after? It is terribly easy to seek after the passion, to live for the next high, to bow down to the excitement and to “wake in despair” in its clutches. I need to seek God. Whatever may come along in the path is secondary—passion or trials, good times or bad, a chariot or a cross. Christ is my goal. I am to be content in whatever way He sees fit to bring me to Himself. And in Him I will find passion worth having. He is the fulfillment of all my dreams.

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Faith]

The Photos Section Has Started!

Well, you may have been quick enough to notice already, but the Photos section actually has some photos in it! Well, two photos, at least. We’ll be adding more as we organize the photos that we already have on my Mac and start scanning in a lot of the new ones that we’ve taken since our wedding.

I should warn you that each photo gallery right now has two listings in the menu under “Photos.” I know—it is confusing. One is for a page of thumbnails of all the pictures in that gallery. The other is a sub-menu that lists all the photos in the gallery. I hope to get this confusion sorted out before too long—but it is time for bed tonight.

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Web Site]

June 08, 2005

Wisdom Teeth Coming Out

I’m hoping to get some more content-full updates on here in the relatively near future (like always), but I wanted to make sure that I mentioned here that Rita is getting her wisdom teeth removed on Friday the 17th.

Any prayers would be greatly appreciated! May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Marriage]

June 05, 2005

For All of You Wanting Pictures…

Well, we’ll get a start at putting up some pictures. Eventually, hopefully, we’ll get some galleries up in the “Photos” section. Until then, here’s a photo of Rita and I on our wedding day:

David and Rita on their wedding day


Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Web Site]

June 04, 2005

Sewing Machines

Wow! Thanks Mom and Dad Hjelle! This is a great sewing machine!

This past weekend while we were at David’s parents home, they had found a yard sale that had a sewing machine for sale. I hadn’t been thinking about looking for one any more since when we went yard sale-ing here we didn’t find any. Plus I am borrowing a friend’s for the time being, I just put the thought of getting one out of my mind. So I wasn’t thinking about it when David’s parents told us that they found a sewing machine for 20 dollars. Before we headed out the Maplewood State Park we stopped by this yard sale to check it out. It looked pretty decent and was being sold by a lady who did a lot of sewing and just upgraded to a newer one. I figured if she sewed a lot, it probably was in pretty good condition. So we got it. David even asked if 15 dollars was ok instead of 20 and they agreed. Hooray for people that are getting tired of yard sales (it was the second day they were open, quite frankly I was surprised that it was still there!)!

Well, since David has a lot of work that he wants to catch up on around the apartment, I thought I had better do a little work myself. I set up the sewing machine and played with it a bit. I made a inside cover for a pillow I was making (one like I sent Jack, Mom). Then I decided I had better fix the sling chair since it was sagging a bit. Then I decided to see what those fancy gears were. Dad Hjelle, I think you would have been impressed. Essentially they guide the needle to make those fancy stitches. That was pretty exciting! I don’t know if I will ever use them, but it’s a pretty exciting feature.

All in all, it was fun to explore this machine. I even broke my first needle, so I don’t have to be stressed about breaking anything now ;) And I did my first practices of making buttons holes. That is pretty neat! You know, I really like this machine. It feels solid to me. Even better than the one that I am borrowing, which is exciting to me (sorry Lynda! ;)) So Thanks Mom and Dad Hjelle, you did a great job finding it and cleaning it up! The stand is great too! It works really well. (Can you believe that it came with it’s own stand! That was also included in the 15 dollars! What a bargain!!!)

I’m pretty excited about it and maybe I’ll even start working on that dress soon!

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / Rita]

June 03, 2005


Well, now that we have the web page set up, I can keep you updated more here, provided that you look at the page once in a while :) Just so you know, I am in the process of getting a story written for the “About Us” page. Be looking for it.

David and I are doing well. We just got back from visiting his parents for the weekend. We had a good time, together and with his family.

On Saturday David and I went to Maplewood State Park for a few hours together. That was really nice. It was really nice to be away from our apartment for the weekend and not have the regular weekend stress of trying to figure out what we are going to do and how we are going to spend our time together and apart. It seems that every Saturday morning we go through the stress of talking about our plans for the weekend and a number of times it turns into a fight, which then ruins much of the rest of the day or weekend.

We enjoyed driving around the park and seeing more than just fields. The trees were beautiful, and the hills were refreshing, even though they are nothing like New Brunswick hills. David will have to take me farther north some day to see more. I know he wants to :)

We did a little bit of hiking and I had my first experience with wood ticks. That was um, exciting. David got to chase a dog in the woods for some girls for a bit. Silly dog, after running all over the place, he comes back on his own while David and his owner are still looking for him.

It was a good day! The whole weekend was good. Spending time together away from home, spending time with his family now that I’ve had time to establish our own home. That was really nice!

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / Rita]

© 2005-2007 David and Rita Hjelle