Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmastide in Rogersville

Christmas has come to the Promised Land. After my sojourn in and around our nation's capital, I was ready to return to the hallowed hills around Tennessee's second-oldest town (though I was very reluctant to leave behind my beautiful fiancee).

Downtown looks amazing, with the wreaths (that I helped put up) and lights adorning our little slice of mountain-paradise. But more meaningful than the sights of the season are the times I've gotten to share with my family. It's been a wonderful time so far, and I remembered why Rogersville is special -- and it's not just the history-buff in me that thinks so.

This morning, we went to church at First Baptist Church of Rogersville (my home church), and the service was very meaningful. Tonight, my family will celebrate with our annual traditions: hosting our family and relatives at our home with food and drink; tomorrow, we'll go to Beach Hill to spend Christmas morning with our close friends.

And then, to top things off (and just in time for the First Sunday in Christmas), Kat will be coming down to Rogersville for New Year's.

I cannot help but be filled with a sense of anticipation and joy. As Mark said:
A thrill of hope
the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks
a new and glorious morn...
LISTENING TO: Handel's Messiah

Monday, December 18, 2006

Maryland: not just crabs and football

Every time I tell somebody that Kat was raised in Gaithersburg (where I'm at right now, visiting Kat and her family), people say things like, "Oh -- Maryland, where there's crabs and football," quoting the (semi-)famous line from the film, The Wedding Crashers.

I've been to Maryland quite a few times (I've lived up here for six months, give or take, over the years), and I've never actually seen crabs (except at Baltimore's Inner Harbor district), and the football's not-so-hot (of course, I may have a little SEC bias).

On the other hand, they do have some amazing people, like Kat (obviously), and her grandmother, LoVera Alsager.

This past December 1, Mrs. Alsager turned 90. That's right: only ten years away from a century. And still, she is a Lady of grace and beauty who has inspired Kat throughout her life. Even today, she continues to give advice and encouragement to Kat and me as we prepare to marry.

During this celebration of the Advent season, I've been thinking a lot about giving and sacrifice (i.e., God sacrificing his glory to take on human flesh; Christ sacrificing his life to save unworthy people; and people giving to others sacrificially). Mrs. Alsager's gift of living is a testimony in, and of, itself: she has shown us how to faithfully pursue a life of self-sacrifice that will -- eventually -- lead her to glory with God.

I hope that when (if?) I make it to 90, I will have lived in such a way as to give others a similar witness.

FEELING: Reverent
LISTENING TO: Kat calling me back into the family room

Monday, December 11, 2006

More on BYX v. UGA: Commentary from the AJC

My recent coverage of the Federal District Court case of Beta Upsilon Chi, et al. v. Adams, et al. has generated quite a bit of interest on Annales, including some interesting comments in my initial post on the subject.

Recently, a commentator in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has written on the issue as well, and many of comments are well-taken (and I would encourage "Anonymous" to take a look at it, as well).

Read the whole article.

FEELING: Stressed over exams
LISTENING TO: Christmas music

Friday, December 08, 2006

Update: UGA settles with BYX

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the University of Georgia has agreed (only one day after a Federal civil rights action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Athens Division) to recognize the Pi Chapter of Beta Upsilon Chi as a registered organization on campus.

Here are the details from the AJC.

FEELING: Vindicated
LISTENING TO: Christmas music

Thursday, December 07, 2006

When class and real-life mix: BYX sues UGA

This semester was my first in Constitutional Law. In fact, my final in that class is this Saturday (feel free to begin praying for me now). I got an interesting intersection between this class and my own life when I got notice from BYX nationals that our fraternity was suing the University of Georgia. I can't comment about it (as per nationals' orders), but I can post links to the Alliance Defense Fund's press release and the complaint they filed on our behalf in Federal district court.

FEELING: Litigious
LISTENING TO: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Exam break: tough love with monks in Cambodia

Those of you who read Annales regularly know that I'm an avid reader of Titus One Nine. I even have it in my Gmail Web Clips. Well, I was taking a break from desparately cramming judicious study, when I noticed a link to this article about parents who finally found a way to get their teen under control.

And you know what? If it were Christian monks instead of Buddhist ones, I'd be in favor of this as an alternative discipline technique (for maybe less time -- say six to eight months).

FEELING: Anxious about tomorrow's Business Organizations exam
LISTENING TO: Patrick laughing at me as I blog instead of study