New beginning

2013
12.15

I have been working at Bethel College in the Campus Store for just under four and a half years.  In that time I have grown in so many ways.  I went from assistant manager to manager of the Campus Store, survived a building expansion while remaining open for business, and experienced, due to budget cuts the loss of a very valued and loved coworker (her position was eliminated).  In these times, as in my every day life, I have leaned on the love and care of my Lord and Savior.  Someone told me once that if everything is going dandy in your life and you aren’t experiencing spiritual warfare then you aren’t a current threat to Satan.  Ever since I heard that I have always found a moment to remind myself whose side I’m on and then just grin because that means I’m making Satan nervous.

 

Starting a few months ago I felt like something was changing within me.  While I loved Bethel (and still do), I felt a faint tapping at the back of my mind.  I didn’t understand it at first and even ignored it.  In June, when my coworker’s position was eliminated I felt as if a dam had burst.  My cup was already running over with daily duties and now how was I going to take on her responsibilities as well as run a store on my own?  In the wise words of my loving husband, he explained to me that my “cup” had been running over for a long time and until I could show people that I couldn’t accomplish my tasks, then it would be assumed that everything was just fine.  Being a worker and not wanting others to view my shortcomings as my lack of ability to do my job, I would put in extra hours and run at full capacity.  I realized that I had forgotten what it was like to breathe and to relax.  I began feeling it in my chest and would often cry on Justin’s shoulder at night.  I wanted so much for the store to be a success and to accomplish everything on my plate at the time it needed to be done.  I realized that my attitude was slipping and I was growing tired.  During this process I still felt that gentle nudge.

 

In one of my emotional lows I found out about a part time accounting position at GCC. I decided to apply and went to an interview.  I was even called back for a second interview but in the interim realized that this position was not what I felt like God was leading me towards.  A few months went by and I received an email from Jami Ruth at GCC about a position that had opened up on the Communications team and we made arrangements to meet and talk about the role.  I quickly found myself getting excited like a little schoolgirl.

 

I spent much time in prayer throughout my days asking God to guide me.  One morning on my way to work I was searching all my radio stations trying to find music to listen to and was unsuccessful.  I landed on a station that happened to be talking about jobs.  Some of you may know from my story about our move to Indiana that God has used the radio to speak to me quite clearly before.  I truly believe that God knows how to get our attention.  I was riding along listening to this man that called in about his new job.  He must have been in some trouble in the past and was just getting back on his feet.  The next thing I heard resonated in my mind and my heart the rest of the way to work.  The DJ said to the man, “Wow, it sounds like God is really doing something and it’s time for a change.”  Talk about chills! I don’t believe in coincidences.  I believe in God instances and this was a major one.   A tear ran down my face as I realized this message was indeed for ME.

 

That same afternoon my cell phone rang and the call went to voicemail (because I was at work).  I later listened to the message and it was a friend of mine that I hadn’t talked to in awhile.  She wanted to meet for lunch.  I thought it was strange that she would be calling me out of the blue but when I later met with her I realized it was about a job opportunity she had for me.  Now I not only had this opportunity at GCC but an opportunity elsewhere too.  I prayed to God asking Him for guidance.  This news of possibly leaving Bethel was so fresh in my mind and now I had two job opportunities before me.  Both were amazing opportunities given to me by God loving people/places.

 

I began listening to God closer and closer.  I explored more and more scripture, I prayed, I listened to music, and I sat in silence and sometimes tears.  What I realized is that for quite awhile I had been hearing God and feeling like I was listening to Him but had really been allowing Him to become part of the white noise of my every day life.  When I intentionally went to Him and seeked Him on this, it was like it was blaring from everywhere what He was trying to tell me.  He helped me to feel His direction and calling to GCC.  It wasn’t easy and I went through a lot of spiritual warfare to get there but even that showed me that my decision was the right one.

 

I remember this particular instance clearly because I was amazed yet not surprised at the power of my God but it was so cool to me.  I began my morning reading from my “Jesus Calling” devotional.  (If you haven’t gotten this book yet, do it!  It will speak God’s breathable word to you on a daily basis.) I read the first few lines and I knew the day was going to be a doozy.  It said, “Do not be surprised by the fiery attacks on your mind. When you struggle to find Me and to live in My Peace, don’t let discouragement set in.  You are engaged in massive warfare, spiritually speaking.  The evil one abhors your closeness to Me, and his demonic underlings are determined to destroy our intimacy.  When you find yourself in the thick of battle, call upon My Name: “Jesus, help me!” At that instant, the battle becomes Mine; your role is simply to trust Me as I fight for you.” I was blown away by the wording of this devotion.  In the battle with Satan all I need to do is call out, “Jesus, help me!” and at that instant the battle becomes His? All I could picture was an epic Hollywood fight scene in some movie where there’s darkness and danger and then all of a sudden the hero rushes out and wins.  That’s my God.  I’m sure glad I read that because that day I felt Satan constantly trying to beat me down and I called to Jesus to help me and He took over and helped me through that long and trying day.

 

I have grown so much through this experience. It was tough to leave Bethel.  I have come to love the people there so much. I have become invested in my student workers’ lives and the lives of my coworkers and community there.  God knew it was going to be hard for me so He filled my last day with love.  People came from everywhere to see me off and wish me luck in my new adventures.  Even Jaimes the UPS man left me a note.  My student workers wrote me beautiful notes and came to be with me throughout the day.  Bethel College is a wonderful place and I believe awesome things are already happening there.  I’m so grateful to have been a part of that campus and can’t wait to see what God brings Bethel in the years to come.

 

I start my new adventure tomorrow at GCC (Granger Community Church).  I can only imagine what God has in store for me there and for the people that will cross my path while I serve.  For the Bible says in John 12:26, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Moscow, Russia Trip: Prayers

2012
04.24

group photo

I just returned from my fourth mission trip to Moscow, Russia. This was an incredible trip for me. I will hopefully write later on the actual events we attended. If I did that now, this entry would be way longer and I doubt anyone would read through it.

I was able to see my friends Jeremy and Deana come full swing from leaders in our NC church to mission trip leading to being the missionaries. It has been cool for me to see Jeremy realize the call God had placed on his heart on our last mission trip and then to see him and his family living that mission. Talk about total obedience. They had to leave the comforts of their home, their family and friends, and their country. They didn’t do this because it was easy by any means. They did this because they serve an awesome God that has plans for them and their love for the Russian people. I thank God that He put these people, these friends…no, these family members in my life. What an example!

I believe that God is always at work. I consider it extra special when He allows me to see just how He is working in my life and through me. Ten weeks ago I began a fitness competition at work. This involved getting regular sleep, drinking 64 oz. of water a day, working out 30 minutes a day (7 days a week), eating veggies and fruit, toning, etc. This year I decided I was going to work harder than I had in the past. I woke up an hour earlier in the mornings and worked out. I was doing all the things required of me for this competition. I will revisit this topic in a few minutes.

I visited my doctor for a yearly checkup and during this visit she recommended that I go to another specialist for a simple treatment. I was nervous to find a specialist that would be sincere and legitimate. I prayed and with Justin’s help we found one. I made an appointment.

When I arrived I immediately felt comfortable. The lady was explaining the procedure and told me I would have to come back in a couple weeks for a follow up visit. I told her I was going out of the country soon and wondered if that would interfere with the process. She paused, looked at me and said, “Are you going on a mission trip?” I told her I was and then our conversation immediately turned to God and my trip. I told her I was going to serve with our missionary friends in Russia. I also explained that we would be visiting a small church in Rzhev and told her about Misha and his family serving as a pastor there and how they live off very little a month but are so devoted to God’s call for the Russian people.

She continued to tell me about how she didn’t really grow up in a church but had a catholic background. She said she attended a church once and was pretty involved in it. Then she got a divorce and the church turned away from her. She was devastated and stopped going to church. Not too long ago a friend had invited her to church, my church (GCC). She loves it. At that moment I knew that God had heard my prayer of concern for finding the right specialist. I knew He was sending me a message that He was taking care of me.

As she continued to tell me about herself, I found out that she lives on a meager income with some assistance. She didn’t have a lot of money to spare but was so thankful for what God was doing in her life. She told me her daughter and grandkids have even started to attend the church. She felt renewed.

We talked on and on about GCC and God and at the close of our meeting I began to sift through my purse to get my money to pay her for the visit. She stopped, looked at me and said, “This is just between me and you now, but as we were talking I felt God telling me this. Would you be willing to take the money you would pay today for my services and give it to that Pastor in Rzhev?” I couldn’t believe it! I agreed right away. She told me she had been praying to God to give her a way that she could take what she had and help someone. She felt that this was what she had been praying for. I was amazed! Speechless! I had just met this lady. As God had planned it, Joy (the leader of the mission trip) had sent an email of a picture of Misha and his family and so I had it on my phone to show her who the money was going to go to. God knew what He was doing. He answered both of our prayers by bringing us together. We both sat for a moment with tears in our eyes. What an encounter with a servant of the Lord and my Lord Himself.

I went back a few weeks later before my trip, fully expecting to pay again and she said, “No honey, take this week’s money too.” I promised her I would hand deliver the money. I was able to tell Misha and his family the story of my encounter with this lady (of course with tears streaming down my face). To realize while in Rzhev that God was also working in Misha’s family’s life through this encounter just blew me away. I don’t know what will be done with this money but I know it has a divine purpose and came thousands of miles to further God’s kingdom.

Our team was made up of members from several churches. We hadn’t had the time to connect fully as a team as we had in the past. Justin and I being hundreds of miles away didn’t help matters. The day of the trip came and we anxiously awaited our reunion with the team and also meeting new faces. It was awesome and before long it felt like old times.

We made it to the London airport (one of the largest airports in the world) to find that our flight to Moscow had been cancelled. We were assured that we, as well as our luggage would make it on the next flight (in 4 hours). We asked for directions to the airline counter to get booked for the next flight. Four hours was plenty of time, right? Wrong! Each airport employee we would ask for directions sent us to a different spot. We were on one big wild goose chase. We went through security multiple times as we went in circles. We finally found the counter and stood in line for what seemed like hours. By the time we got tickets we were rushed to get through security…again. We also had to get our luggage switched to the new flight.

While Justin and I were at the Chicago O’Hare airport starting our trip, the folks there didn’t give us our part of the luggage tickets. By the time we realized it, it was too late to go back. We thought we wouldn’t need it. Fast forward to the London airport. They needed our luggage information to get our luggage. We didn’t have it. Getting on the flight knowing that we wouldn’t have our 3 bags at the other end was hard. At this point we had been up for 24+ hours. We didn’t have a change of clothes in our carry-ons either.

Joy’s bag was searched as we only had minutes to board our flight to Moscow. We split our team in thirds and all ended up running to board the bus that would bring us to our plane (so much for having plenty of time to make our flight). We made it though.

We finally landed in Moscow to more troubling news. None of our luggage made the flight. Luckily a nice airport employee went with Joy to find Jeremy who had been waiting for us. Jeremy could now translate for us. We filled out the necessary paperwork and finally left the airport.

We had made it to Moscow but we all had to improvise with what we had. I spent over 48 hours in the same clothes. They were comfy clothes for the plane ride, not the best for cold Russian weather. Nine of our fourteen bags arrived the next evening. Five were still missing (3 being mine and Justin’s).

Returning now to my fitness competition. It had been seven weeks since the competition started when I left for the trip. Our friend Heather was on the trip with us. She is smaller than me. She was one of the lucky ones to get her luggage first. She had a pair of jeans I could borrow. I was not confident they would fit but tried them anyway. To my surprise, they fit! I could now get out of my original clothes. God is so good. Not only did He give me an amazing friend that would give me a pair of her jeans (pjs too), but He was already at work seven weeks ahead of time knowing what was to come. I had lost just enough to be able to fit in those pants. That was no accident!

Looking back we know that God was at work. Faye (one of our team members) thanked God in one of our prayers for keeping us off our original flight. She said she just knew something was wrong with that plane and there was a reason we didn’t get on that plane. At the end of our trip we had a debriefing time and prayer. As I prayed I realized that we also didn’t get on our original flight so that we would be strengthened as a team. We all had to work together to make things work and shared everything we had with each other. I believe that starting our trip like that made the entire trip more successful.

God loves when we pray and have an open communication with Him. I find that the more I involve Him in my life, the more I see Him at work. I’m always watching. God also taught me on this trip to pray specifically. This is actually quite comical but I had to share. On the flights to Russia we were on planes with 3-seaters, meaning Justin and I had to sit with a stranger on those long flights. The last time we went to Russia we were fortunate to have 2-seaters. I prayed that on the longest flight back to America we would have 2-seaters. I also prayed that we would have screens on the back or our seats to make the time go faster (movies, games, etc.). I prayed that we would be able to sit closer to our friends so we could talk to them. God answered every one of my prayers. We boarded the flight and we had 2-seaters, monitors, and we weren’t far at all from our friends. The funny part is that my monitor was broken. It was there but I had no power and my overhead light was on (and I couldn’t turn it off). I guess I needed to be sure to pray for working monitors (haha). I think sometimes we pray for things on such a broad spectrum that we forget the rest. I had prayed for safe travels for us but forgot to pray for no cancelled flights. God knows exactly what we need but I think He would like to hear it from us.

God was with us throughout our trip. We were able to attend English clubs, two church services, two children’s homes, the Rzhev church, an elementary school, the University of Business and Finance, and Deana’s women’s group. We met so many people along the way (Justin calculated over 200 people). We were able to hopefully lift up Jeremy and Deana and their kids and give them encouragement to continue their work. It was neat for me to see how far Russia has come from my first trip to this last one. God isat work. There are a lot of people there and it won’t happen over night but He is there.

MC3 FPU Advanced Class Reflection

2011
06.21

I really thought that I had been blessed to the fullest during our beginner FPU class at MC3.  Boy was I wrong!  Our first run of the advanced FPU class was facilitated by Andy Harlow, a First Federal Savings Bank volunteer that has done a lot of work through Bridges Out of Poverty as well.  I was mostly in the background during this class run and was only able to attend 3 of the 8 class meetings.  Even though I didn’t see the class members each week like before, I hung the group picture from the beginner’s class on my refrigerator, where I go frequently (haha).  I lifted each of them up in prayer whenever God would bring them to mind (which was often).  These folks were never far from my thoughts and prayers.

When I stopped in to visit, the class members greeted me with such love.  I really felt like I was a family member being welcomed back home.  It’s just impossible to explain the connection we all made over the course of the beginners and advanced classes.

Last Thursday was the final advanced class with these members.  Normally I looked forward to these Thursday nights but this one I was almost dreading.  I didn’t want it to be the end.  I didn’t want to say goodbye to these precious people.  When I arrived early I mingled with the volunteers that were setting things up for class.  I went to grab a plate so I could eat before class began and was informed that we were not supposed to eat until everyone arrived (this was not the norm.) The ladies doing the refreshments from First Federal Savings Bank were out picking up the pizza.  There was also salad on the bar already prepared.  Soon the class members started arriving and to our surprise, they had each brought us something they had made or bought for supper.  They said they wanted to do something for us.  They brought spaghetti, salad, potato salad, etc.  We had a feast.  The volunteers had even arranged for a cake to celebrate the completion of the class.

Not only was the food a surprise, but they decided on their own, that they wanted us all to gather around in a circle and bless the food.  One of the class members blessed it for us with the sweetest of prayers.  All I could do was shake my head in amazement.  My cup runneth over with blessings and happiness.  This wasn’t just a class with volunteers and students, this was more than that…a family.

We watched the final Dave Ramsey video which happened to be on giving (they didn’t know the subject of the video ahead of time).  Then it was time for Andy to hand out the Dave Ramsey completion certificates and the incentive monies to each of them.  We thanked them for coming and for being a part of such a special class and encouraged them to share with others what they had learned during the classes.  We even invited them to come back and volunteer with the next class run.

My husband came to take another group picture and some individual pictures of the class members.  We were getting ready to start that when they told us to wait.  They went and grabbed a big poster board from the back of the room and the 7 class members told us to trade places with them.  They gathered on the stage and held up the poster they made thanking us for having the class.  Each had taken the time to write down some thoughts to us.

If that wasn’t enough to make me cry, they then each proceeded to give a speech about how the class had impacted their lives.  One shared, “My life is pretty screwed up right now but I’ve been able to take steps in the right direction by taking this class…” Others shared that they had not only learned a lot about finances that would change their lives but that they had made new friends and would even call us all family.  Each has agreed that the incentive money was not the reason they chose to take the class (they didn’t even realize they would get money for the advanced class). The young lady from the beginner’s class that shared she had left her abusive relationship because of the class and the people she had met, shared that she now had a “mom and dad” in 2 of the other classmates and that her life has never been better.  She was going to be getting her GED and couldn’t wait to show us how well she was going to do.  I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the room.

While I am sad the class is over, each of the students assured us that it wasn’t “goodbye” but “see you later.” They told us not to be surprised to see the next class overflowing with people and that some would be back to volunteer or share their testimonies.

In the beginning I was worried that the love of God would not find its way into this class because it was mostly on finances.  I am completely and utterly amazed, but shouldn’t be surprised how God did work in enormous ways through that class.  The “mom and dad” members I mentioned earlier, have recruited 2 of the members to join their church.  During the last class, I heard another member asking about their church and they wrapped their arms around her and lovingly invited her to join them.  There have been prayers and genuine love from members and volunteers that only God can bring.  What a blessing! What a blessing!

MC3 FPU Beginner’s Class Reflection

2011
04.09

I have been amazingly blessed to be a part of a financial literacy program at Monroe Circle Community Center in downtown South Bend.  This program is partnered with First Federal Savings Bank.   I was approached and asked if I would facilitate the beginner’s class using the Dave Ramsey financial material.

Each week I began by asking the group if they had any victory stories.  The first time I asked,  the response was small, which was expected since we were all new to the class.  One student in particular shared from the beginning.  She is a young girl, I would say in her early 20s.  From the very first class she was bubbly, friendly, and smiling from ear to ear.  Without hesitation she raised her hand and shared that she had saved $50 on her own the past week and made plans to save $10 a day during the weekdays by not wasting money on things she didn’t need to buy.

Each week, she always had something positive to say and I noticed that she had begun to make friends with a couple at a neighboring table.  This couple has been amazing.  You could tell they loved God and all of the people in the room.  Knowing that I couldn’t “preach” during my class each week, I prayed that God would find a way into this class.  Every time Dave Ramsey would mention scripture or God I would smile and pray that someone would be touched by it.  God was truly working throughout this class.

On the night of the final class I started 3 minutes late and jokingly told everyone that since I started 3 minutes late, I needed 3 extra victory stories.  A hand from a gentleman at the back table flew up and he shared that he had gotten a part time job.  We all cheered.  Then without fail, the bubbly young lady raised her hand to share.  She then stood up and her face immediately grew serious.  For just a moment I was nervous.  What was she going to share?

I must back up a little to say that each week, in preparation for the week’s class, I would sit down on Tuesday night and make an outline of what I would share and teach.  For some reason, this particular week I had failed to do this.  I couldn’t explain what happened since I am normally very responsible and make sure I do this.  During the day on Thursday I had planned to take my lunch hour at work to create my outline.  I ended up working through my lunch (lots of things popping up that had to be done).  Knowing I wasn’t going to have the time to prepare that I had desired I kept praying throughout the day and talking to God saying, “God, you know this is totally unlike me. I know there has to be a reason for it.  Please help me to trust you.”

Getting back to the moment this young lady stood up and her face grew serious…she said that she herself had 3 victories to share this week.  She said that one of them she wasn’t going to share but she just had to share and tell everyone.  She shared that her first victory story was that she was able to end an abusive relationship with her boyfriend.  Each week she had been coming to class looking happy but she was really hurting from being beaten so badly.  Her second victory story was that she had learned through this FPU class how to save her money and spend her money more wisely.  She learned she didn’t need to stay in this relationship and that she could do this on her own.  She was going to be able to do better and so she could end her abusive relationship.  Her third victory was that in ending one relationship, she was able to begin another.  She turned to the couple at the next table over and said they were her family now.  They had adopted her over the weeks and even invited her to their church.  She (and her young son) had been going to their church and loved it.  Her son even calls the couple grandma and grandpa.  She was truly happy with all of God’s blessings in her life.

No, the story isn’t over yet.  She sat down and the lady sitting next to her raised her hand to share.  She said that she had known this young lady through her GED class but realized she didn’t really know her until she had gotten to know her through this class.  She was able to help her through this rough time in her life and also through talking to the young lady, she heard how much she loved going to church.  Eventually she began going to this church too and now they all go and just love what God is doing in their lives.

When she finished sharing, the woman from the couple said she wanted to tell everyone that she loved them with the love of the Lord and that she wanted them to know that God had a purpose for each of them being in this class.  She said that they did nothing special, that it was all with God’s glory that this had happened.  There were many amens and cheers as she finished sharing.

I had to hold back tears of joy.  There was a reason I hadn’t prepared that Tuesday night.  There was a reason I hadn’t had time at lunch to prepare.  It was because God had something much better planned.

It truly has been a blessing to work with these special people.  I have come to love each of them.  I miss them already.  They all plan to come back for the advanced class in a few weeks.

6 years and a day

2010
09.26

Today I have been married to Justin for 6 years and a day and I’ve loved, enjoyed, appreciated, and been grateful for every day of it.  Life and time has taken us many places in our 6 years together.  Things have happened that I had never imagined, like moving 12 hours away to Indiana, being jobless for 5 months, buying two houses, etc.  Through it all we have found great joy together.  I couldn’t ask for a more perfect mate and match for me and my life. Together we take steps every day towards Christ.  Together we are the best blend of each other.  When Justin is frustrated or stressed, I am calm. More often it’s the other way 😉 but we have learned to be strong in each other’s weakness.  It’s something that comes natural for us.  I watched a video testimony in church today about a couple and how they loved each other and she even said how much she knew that God had made them for each other long before they had even met.  I know with all my being that Justin and I were made for each other.  Together we are better than either of us could be alone.  God is awesome.  I am humbled and amazed but definitely not surprised by what my God has done and can do through us.  Thank you Heavenly Father for blessing me with my soul mate.

Life lately

2010
09.04

Wow, it’s been a long time since I have taken time to blog.  This is one of the negative things about Twitter and Facebook.  I feel like I say all I need to say in 140 characters or less and that covers me for my followers on Facebook and Twitter.  A lot tends to get lost doing it that way.

Let’s see.  My parents came to visit in May and I had a blast spending time with them.  We bought lots of plants and flowers to plant around our new pond and front of the house.  Everything looked so beautiful.  I love doing that sort of thing.  It makes me happy to know that I got that from my Dad.  He has always loved working with plants.  He really loves tending to his african violets in the house the most though (wink wink Mom hehe).  We worked a lot outdoors but we also had time to enjoy Amish country and just being together.

Dave and Jessica Mast came for a visit.  It’s always a good time when those two stop in.  We wish they lived in town so we could hang out more.  Jessica and I went shopping and found an awesome deal on an ottoman (I’ve been searching for one forever). Dave spent time with the GCC IT folks.  Then we bought a ton of nerf gun supplies (thanks to Laura Gekeler’s inspiration) and had a blast modifying the guns and shooting each other.

Justin’s parents also came up for a visit recently and Justin put them right to work.  He and his dad worked long hours on rewiring our garage electric adding a new breaker box and discovering that there was little to no insulation in the walls (more fun projects).  Justin’s mom headed up a yard sale to get rid of some old college mismatch furniture.  She made a killing and we were able to go celebrate at Texas Roadhouse with the funds.  I enjoyed getting to spend time one on one with Lorraine just talking.

Hopefully my sister Kelly and Justin’s sister Stacey will make the trek up here this month or next for a visit.  It’s so nice to get to see family.

Justin and I are heading to Grand Haven, MI this month for a long weekend getaway (our first on our own since our honeymoon almost 6 years ago).  We are bringing Java and are staying at a really cool apartment down town.  I am really looking forward to it after a long summer of book prep for the Fall semester at Bethel. We also plan to head to Florida to watch the second to last shuttle launch ever in November.  Justin was lucky enough to be selected to go to the NASA tweet-up and have up close access to the launch, tours, interviews, etc.   Unfortunately I was not selected to join him but I’m super stoked he will have this once in a lifetime opportunity.  I will watch from the hotel or somewhere a few miles away.

Life at the Bethel Bookstore has been busy but fulfilling.  We launched online textbook ordering for the first time this semester and it has proven to be very successful.  It definitely cut down on lines and made things much easier for students.  We have heard a lot of positive feedback from this feature.  We now have a new touch screen register system and love it.  That also made rush much smoother.  The returning student workers learned the new system very quickly and so far all of them seem to love it.  A lot of behind the scenes work has gone into the success of this fall semester and we are excited for what the future holds for our store.

If you are still reading this long blog entry I would like to ask you to sincerely pray for me about an opportunity I have been given at GCC.  I have been asked to lead a financial course for MC3 at the beginning of the year.  I’m excited about this but very nervous to be creating, leading, and possibly teaching this course to adults, teens, and kids.  I have been praying for awhile now for an opportunity to get more involved and to follow God’s will and then this popped up.  I could use all the prayers I can get.  I’m trying to jump out of the boat and out of my comfort zone in hopes that I will expand my comfort zone and continue to be obedient to whatever God brings my way.

Well that’s it for now.  Hope to blog again soon and more often.

Make Music With The Heavens

2010
01.17

I just love the song “Sing, Sing, Sing”…I think that’s what it’s called.  We sang it at church again this week.  When I’m focused and worshiping and listening to the words as I sing them it just gives me goose bumps…goose bumps that only God lets me feel.  It’s how I know for that moment that I’m completely in sync with Him.  The words that really get me are:

“Sing sing sing
And make music with the heavens
We will sing sing sing
Grateful that you hear us when we
Shout your praise
Lift high the name of Jesus”

How cool is it to remember that Heaven is in constant celebration with Jesus.  There is always joy, peace, love, excitement, etc.  It’s just one big Jesus party.  So, when I sing that song and think that maybe for a moment my heart is singing to Jesus in the same way and at the same time that my loved ones in Heaven are singing…I can’t help but be filled with joyous goose bumps.

Many times while I’m at church…I’m listening to the message and the music, but I also think God is speaking to me.  I have these thoughts that come to mind.  Like yesterday during that song, I was thinking about how it’s often impossible for us on earth to celebrate Jesus like those in Heaven.  We live in a world of constant distraction.  So, when I can find focus and point my heart towards Jesus, that is when I’m in “heaven”.  I love that feeling and I think that’s why Jesus lets us experience that.  It IS a taste of Heaven and something I long for.

I also thought about the fog from the fog machines.  How the dry ice allows us to see the air particles all around us in a new way.  Normally we don’t give the air particles a second thought.  What if we thought of the air as Jesus.  After all, Jesus IS all around us all the time….so is the air.  “This is the air I breathe…Your Holy Presence living in me.”  I didn’t notice the fog until I focused on it.  I really need to focus on the things I take for granted everyday.  Jesus is here, living around and in me.   Thank you Lord.  🙂

Wish List

2009
12.19

I have recently added a link on the right side of my site for my Amazon Wish List.  I am by no means expecting any of you to get me any of these things.  I did this more for myself so when/if someone does ask me what I want or I happen to have extra money (hahaha laugh with me) then I can remember some things I actually want.  I know you all know what I mean when someone asks you what you want and you go blank.  So…this is the best way I know how to keep a list going.

In other news it’s snowing outside. We have had such a great winter so far with hardly any snow. It’s only about an inch right now and the temperature is perfect.  It’s not miserable at all at like 33 degrees. I’ll take it! We even have actual packing snow so I made a small snowman hehe.  I enjoyed playing in the snow with Java in my pajamas, boots, and jacket/hat.  It wasn’t cold at all.