The World According to Tiff Sniff

Meandering ponderings and wonderings on the state of things.

Celebrity Dreams I

Sorry it's been a while, for you one or two regular readers. I caught a really nasty cold last week, and ended up sleeping most of the week away. Still a little snuffly, but better for the most part.

Please continue to keep praying for the Shaub family. They have a blog set up with updates and thoughts and prayers and such. Jonathan is supposed to have surgery today in an attempt to clean his wound and try to fight the infection. It still breaks my heart every time I think about him.

Okay, so on to the celebrity dreams thing. Oddly enough, this has nothing to do with the Oscars. The thing is, I regularly have celebrities pop up in my dreams. Usually it's someone from the music scene, and it's almost never anyone I have any particular fondness for. I was talking to a couple of friends at lifegroup last night, and it came up, and I told them I'd start keeping track of them on my blog. So here are the three I remember the most clearly, because they're the most interesting. (By the way, I'd love to hear what you think they mean. I'm stumped.) I'll post more when I have them.

3. A group of friends and I had rented a condo in Florida. On the beach, we met Rob Thomas (from Matchbox 20). He was on vacation, too, and when his reservation at his hotel was up, he moved in with us for a few days, because we had all become such good friends.

2. (This one was last week, while I was sick, prompting the conversation last night.) I was housesitting for Tim and Faith (mcGraw and Hill). They and their daughters were out of town, so someone (don't know who - one of those imaginary dream people) and I were staying in their place while they were gone. The house was nice, but smaller than I would have expected, and messy, due to the 3 daughters they have (in real life) and their big shaggy dog (in the dream). They were extremely nice and funny.

1. The Julie Andrews Dream: (a lot of people heard about this one when it happened.) First, some context: JA is probably my all time favorite actress. You just can't beat The Sound of Music. I grew up watching her, and think of her in a warm, older sister sort of way. I had seen her on the news the night I had this dream, which was the night before a friend's wedding, so it's pretty clear where all of these elements came from.

Okay, here goes: In the dream, I was on the way to a friend's wedding, in which I was to be a bridesmaid. I had a lot of trouble getting to the church, and finally got there barefoot, with only the clothes on my back and the bridesmaid dress. Fortunately, the church where the wedding was to take place was attached to Shopryland (Opry Mills). When I got into the roon where the other girls were, I discovered that one of the other bridesmaids was the granddaughter of Julie Andrews, and that Julie was actually there for the wedding. So Julie agreed to go next door to Opry Mills and buy me shoes while we got ready, took pictures, all of that.

I came back up to the room a few minutes before the wedding, and Julie was there with three different single white shoes lined up. She told me to try them on, pick the one I liked, and we could take the others back after the wedding. I was blown away at her thoughtfulness. She left to get seated, and the other girls went downstairs to line up. I tried on the shoes and figured out which one I liked best, but couldn't find the match for it or any of the shoes. I frantically dug through everyone's things, but no luck. Finally I looked under the bed in the corner, and there were some shoeboxes underneath. I opened them, relieved, but was surprised to see that the shoes were all brown and black, and were all the wrong size. And then I realized - Julie Andrews had taken my money and bought shoes for herself, and just stolen the display shoes from the shelf at the store!! I ran downstairs to go barefoot to the wedding, but it had already started and I missed it. I was more upset at Julie's betrayal, though. It took me a while to calm down from this, but we watched The Sound of Music a couple of days later and Julie and I are cool again.

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Chaos Theory

Chaos theory says that events don't happen in predictable, regular patterns. This is why things seem to happen "all at once". This was an "all at once" weekend for me. My friend Erin's grandmother died this week. She has fought cancer off and on for 18 years, and has not been doing well the last several months, so it was far from being a surprise, but it was still hard to watch her going through it. Then Saturday, while getting ready for her funeral, I found out within about 10 minutes that (1) my friends Julie and Jeff had had their daughter Sophia that morning, and (2) a guy I've known from childhood, Jonathan Shaub, had been hit by a truck in NYC and was seriously injured.

Fortunately, Jonathan is doing better, although he's still in critical condition and far from being in the clear. But his injuries aren't as bad as the doctors originally feared. They are having a hard time slowing his bleeding, though. But he is better, and awake, and surrounded by his family. Jonathan is my brother's age, and they were really good friends growing up - played baseball and basketball together. (His older sister Nicole and I played basketball together too, but weren't as close, because she was a year behind me in school.)

Anyway, for everyone reading this - please keep them all in your prayers. Especially the Shaubs. I'm going to rest my brain and emotions for a while.

Kid Rock in Nashville

Anyone still in doubt as to his credibility as a country-western star?

Okay, let me just preface this with saying that there is nothing anyone can say that ever really DESERVES a physically violent reaction.

But can you believe this DJ? Maybe I'm just biased, being a fan of Rock, but I'm totally on his side (of the argument - not how he handled it). Does it seem to anyone else that it's getting totally blown out of proportion?

What stood out to me in the article: the DJ, who's grand job is playing music for women to take off their clothes to, announced the closing of the club, prompting a negative reaction from the audience. (I think it's safe to assume the audience was mostly drunk, and that this is a pretty typical reaction on any given night in a strip club.) The DJ, in his own version of the story, says, "Hey, I'm just doing my job. I don't come out and harrass you while you're digging through trash cans." Kid Rock went into the DJ booth and demanded an apology - not just to himself, but one over the loudspeaker, to everyone in the club. The DJ refused, they got into it, and Kid Rock slugged him twice.

Now Kid Rock is facing criminal charges and a lawsuit. (Apparently the DJ's glasses were broken - insert joke here - and he's going to see an eye doctor about it.)

I just really don't think it would have caused anywhere near this much ruckus if he wasn't who he is, and it bothers me.

Besides, I, too, wanna be a cowboy, baby.

So you thought YOU had a great Valentine's Day

Dear God, Thank you that I live in Nashville. AMEN!!

Last night was the Concert for Asia TN. It was amazing. Several prominent local artists got together and re-created George Harrison's 1971 Concert for Bangladesh. That one was to fight hunger; this one benefited the Red Cross's Tsunami Relief efforts. It featured Ben Folds, Phil Keaggy, David Mead, Jonell Mosser, Annie Sellick, Marcus Hummon, Jason White, and Matthew Ryan, among others. If you weren't there, you just missed out. This city is amazing, and this was one of the best concerts I've seen here.

Gene Miller and Phil Keaggy on "Oh Darlin'", which was a last-minute fill-in to stretch the show.

Phil Keaggy on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". If you've never seen Phil play, go see him. Mel and I were proud to explain who he is to the people next to us, who had never seen him but loved his performance. He is one of the best guitar players who ever lived. He toured with Hendrix, who called him the best he'd ever seen. Phil is also a Christian. His daughters went to my high school, and I was privileged to sing with our chorus in a performance of his song "And on That Day". Also, he played in our talent show, of which I was assistant director, and watched the show from backstage with me. Very nice man. Go see him perform.

Jonell Mosser on "Jumpin' Jack Flash". She's somewhere between where Janis Joplin left off and Bonnie Raitt picks up. Will definitely go see her again.

David Mead and Phil Keaggy on "Here Comes the Sun". Also David Mead on "Just Like a Woman". Ben Folds on "Something". And most of the whole company on "Come Together" as a finale.

Okay, okay, I could go on all day. But for all of you who thought you had a great Valentine's eating a candlelit dinner and watching "The Notebook", I just have to say, in the immortal words of Dave Barry, "Neener neener neener."

Love Songs

Everyone is posting about love songs today. But here's the song I can't get out of my head this week. (Don't ask me where it came from, other than the 3rd grade.)

He's still workin' on me,
To make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be,
He's still workin' on me.

There really ought to be
A sign on my heart:
Don't judge me yet,
There's an unfinished part.
But I'll be perfect just according to His plan,
Fashioned by the Master's loving hand.

He's still workin' on me
To make me what I ought to be
It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be,
He's still workin' on me.

Diane Nash

I'm a member of an organization here called CABLE. It's a networking organization for women, with once-a-month luncheons. Today's speaker was Diane Nash, who was a major leader in the Civil Rights movement here in Nashville. It was the largest group I've ever seen at a CABLE lunch, and with good cause. A few things stood out through everything she said:

First, to never be willing to sacrifice your dignity or self worth for a cause. A lot of people are willing to "give it all", but it means that you're not doing the best you can for the problem.

Second, that the movement brought out extraordinary people, but that it also brought out wonderful things in ordinary people. It's important that it not be remembered as "MLK's Crusade" or "Diane Nash's Crusade", because when another issue needs dealing with, people will look around for the next King or Nash. Instead, it should be remembered as a crusade of common and ordinary people, so that when another issue arises, people will say, "What can I do?"

Third, that the stubbornness of the enemy was never a discouraging factor. The racist Southern redneck boys were so obnoxious, it made them work twice as hard.

Fourth, for all the racism Nashville has had and continues to deal with, there were then and continue to be wonderful people of all races and ethnicities willing to work together to make it a greater city than it was yesterday.

Mayor Bill Purcell introduced her and had this to say about what her actions meant: 45 years ago, to meet with the mayor of Nashville, she had to lead a march of thousands of people across downtown Nashville and hope the mayor would spare a few minutes with her (which he did). Today, when she comes to Nashville, the mayor comes to her.

Two things have rung home with me this week:

1. Church (the family, not the building) is an amazing blessing. When I was growing up, I hated church. I dreaded Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and all the in-betweens. As I got older, I found friends there whom I could relate to, and it got a little better. But I still would rather have been with them just about anywhere else. In college, I went to church because I knew I was supposed to, and hey, I'm really a good girl. But I still never looked forward to it. During this time, I began working at the Methodist church in Searcy. They hire their nursery workers (which I think is a fabulous idea on SO many levels), so I would work in the nursery during their first service and classes, then drive around the corner to second service at Downtown Church of Christ. Even though I never attended a single service at the Methodist congregation, it was really the first church I ever felt at home at. I was invited into the homes of so many members, went to wedding and baby showers, cried and laughed and looked up to and loved all of those parents and children and believers. One Easter it rained, and so the Easter Egg Hunt had to be moved inside. While the parents quickly hid candy all around the Children's Annex, a few of us corralled all the kids into one classroom and sang to keep them occupied. As I sat there, listening to the 2-year-old in my lap sing "My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty!" (to a piano!), I started to cry. For the first time, my heart was broken by all of the rules and limits and walls we put up to keep the "less worthy" out. In the Church of Christ, where I grew up, the traditional view was that instrumental worship was sinful, therefore those who use it are less Christian than we are. But as I listened to that little boy sing out with all his heart the exact same lyrics I had grown up singing, I knew in my heart that the people who taught me that doctrine were wrong. Woefully so. The Christians at that church, in a town dominated by a Church of Christ university, became my Christian family in a way no Church of Christ ever had, instruments or no.

When I moved to California for graduate school, I was immediately blessed by the wonderful people at Malibu (now University) Church of Christ. For the first time, my entire social world centered around church, because those were the only people I really knew. I LOVED it. I couldn't wait to get up on Sunday morning to get there and spend the day with my God and my friends. Sunday became, and still remains, my favorite day of the week.

And now that I'm back home, worshipping at Otter Creek, I still have that. Every week, I get to come together with people I love dearly, before the God I love so much and who loves me infinitely more, and I get to worship. Communion means so much more to me - it is a connection with myself, with God, and with all Christians who have ever worshipped. Sunday I sat there, listening to Tim (our minister) talking about being connected with ALL believers - both those that have gone before us and those that are worshipping in other places today, I thought, "I could stay here forever."

And it hit me - the challenge is to not stay here, hidden away, and be a black hole, sucking everyone and everything into the church, but to be an explosion, a fire, a star radiating that feeling out into the whole world.

2. Before time began, God looked into my life. He saw my flaws, my mistakes, the opportunities I would ignore, the bad choices I would deliberately make. He saw the thoughts I would have, the hatred, the jealousy, the laziness. He saw that I would get fat, and be mean-spirited and hateful at times. He saw the relationships I would ruin, the people I would alienate from Him through thoughtless words and actions. He saw all of this, and He looked into my heart, and He loved me anyway. He loved me enough to create this world, to give me a family and friends, and to create me - flawed, inappreciative little me. He loved me enough to watch, painful as it must have been, and then to give Himself instead of me, precisely because I could never be good enough. Who am I then, to doubt my worth? Who is anyone to tell me I am less than I could or should be? What is there that I cannot handle? The Lord of the Universe, the Creator of all there ever was or ever will be, God Almighty LOVES ME! And that's all there really is, in the end.


Why is it that people think that using bad language will somehow magically make the world work the way they want it to? That is all.


I had a brunch meeting with my friend who is co-leading a trip to England with me this fall, and the Missions Coordinator for our church. The meeting went very well. I am fired up about the trip and ready to start meeting with people who want to go. Unfortunately, we're probably still a few weeks away from that, and from planning events and activities. I'm not very good at waiting; I'd be packing my suitcase this weekend if I could.

Yesterday was productive, but exhausting. I trucked it downtown to do some research. While I was driving around looking for a place to park, I accidentally pulled too far into an intersection waiting to make a left turn, so that my car was on top of the crosswalk. Who should cross the street RIGHT THEN, but Governor Bredesen, on his way to make his State of the State address, surrounded by a bevy of advisors and bodyguards. They had to walk out around my car to get to the Capitol. I waved and mouthed "Sorry", and he waved and smiled, so I didn't feel too bad about it.

It reminded me of the other time I ran into him. It was when I was in college, and he was still just Mayor Bredesen. I was working at a photo shop, and we were closing for the night. My co-worker had left, but I was still finishing a couple of things. Before I could get over to the door to lock it behind him, I heard it open again, and heard someone ask, "Can I still pick up my pictures?" I replied, "No, I'm sorry, but I've closed the computer out," as I walked out from the back. It was the mayor. Yeah, felt like a total dope. Now I'm two-for-two on embarrasing myself in front of him. Can't wait to see what I'll do when he's President.

Today I'm writing a memo on the research I did yesterday. The law is an exciting job, let me tell you. At least I'm not getting paid for this, which adds an element of excitement.

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