The Grace Awakening

I am stoked about this series now airing on KEY Radio.  Dr. Chuck Swindoll is a marvelous communicator, and this subject matter is life-changing.  I wish every person I know would awaken to God's grace
LDS and Christians alike.  Including myself.

If you can't listen to KEY Radio in Utah, you can listen online anywhere.  Times listed are MST.  Or, listen on-demand and find out more here.

Here's a teaser to get you thinking: what is grace?  And how do we live it?


My Fair and Peculiar City

Provo City recently created this nice 3-minute look at our town.  The city has been going through a re-branding process—new logo, motto, signage, etc.—and this is one result.  There's a little commentary by our esteemed mayor, with whom I have chatted about contact lenses and airline preferences, and have found to be a most pleasant fellow.  It also features some spiffy time-lapse video and shots of favorite local businesses and landmarks.  I dig it, yo.

After watching the video a second time, it hit me: there is something curiously absent from the video.  Remember, this is a city that is about 90% Latter-day Saint (Mormon).  Yet there is no evidence of the religious culture—no shots of the Provo Temple... or Brigham Young University... or the LDS Missionary Training Center... or the ubiquitous LDS chapels.  And the people that show up in the video seem surprisingly non-LDS-ish (I'm going mainly by clothing here).  Indeed, this could be Any Nice City, USA.  The only reference to the LDS Church that I noticed is a passing view of Brigham Young's statue at 2:42.

What's my point?  Like a stubby pencil, I don't have one.  I'm just curious.  Like George.  Was the omission intentional?  Even strategic?  Or am I, an outsider, overly sensitive to the peculiarities of this religion-dominated city?  Maybe I am the only one to think the absence strange.*  Any thoughts?

This wouldn't be the first time I fixate on minutiae nobody else notices.  I pore over the liner notes of CDs and records with a zeal most would reserve for a lost gem.  And if there is one renegade comma in a 500-page book, I will find it.  There are probably support groups for people like me.  Come to think of it, maybe that's why I never get asked on a date.  "Karisa?  Oh, she's the one who will point it out if my shoes are laced asymmetrically.  No thanks.  Cute girl, though."  I know, that last statement is unlikely.  But when I make up other people's remarks, I can jolly well insert a compliment.


The Case of the Upside Down Glass

It's been precisely two years since the single most bizarre discovery of my life.

Late that evening, this is what greeted me when I walked into my kitchen:

When I left that morning, this glass and cookie sheet, along with a bunch of other dishes, had been sitting in the dish drainer on my counter.

Two questions.  How did these things get out of the drainer without disturbing the other dishes?  And how did they happen to perch themselves on the floor in just such an arrangement?

See what I mean?  Bizarre.  If I had found Lyle Lovett doing Yoga in my kitchen, I could not have been more surprised or confounded.

The first thing I did, upon making this discovery?  Laugh: good and hard.  It was just so absurd.

Then it occurred to me that the only logical explanation was that someone had placed these dishes there.  Someone had been in my home.  Someone very much uninvited.

Was the Someone still here?  There was only one way to find out.  With a bread knife in one hand and pepper spray in the other, I cautiously peered into every closet, under beds, anywhere a human body could fit.  All the while, I kept making ridiculous loud announcements like, "I know you're here.  Just give yourself up now, and I won't slash your eyes out."  When in doubt: feign confidence.

Nothing turned up.  I slept that night with a chair wedged under my bedroom doorknob and the knife within reach.  Plenty of other people were far more concerned when they found out.  If you're into Facebook, you can see the original comments here.

In two years, I have yet to think of or hear a decent explanation.  I had my house key with me that whole day.  My landlord had the other copy.  He lives next door and had not noticed anything strange.  My windows were all secured.

I settled on the following story: there were two slight earthquakes (Provo is near a fault line, you know); the precariously balanced cookie sheet fell onto the floor during the first; the glass followed during the second, landing at the exact angle necessary to keep it from shattering or falling over.  Ha.

So it's a mystery.  People often say how they are going to ask the Lord questions when they reach heaven—why He allowed them to get sick or lose a loved one.  I simply want to know: how did the cookie sheet and upside down glass end up on my kitchen floor?  And why couldn't it have been Lyle Lovett instead?

Meanwhile, I rest in the care of a loving, sovereign God.  Cause for fear?  I can't think of any.

Faith is so much better than feigned confidence.