Thursday, December 18, 2008


So for our Old Testament History class, we had to build a life-sized model of Goliath. Each student had to put in at least 10 hours so, between all of us, approximately 850 hours went into this dude. It started out with a wooden frame. I took the liberty to give him a heart. I drew it on the beam of wood that went through the center of his chest. And yes, I colored it black since it was full of sin and hatred for God and I made it small since he was a cruel man. Ahh I'm brilliant sometimes...and humble! haha Anyway, we wrapped chicken wire around the frame and sculpted it til we got the shape we wanted. My group was in charge of his chest and torso area....fear not, we gave him a nice six pack. Unfortunately, our amazing handiwork was covered up with cloths and armor. Darn toga. Back to the building of the gargantuan man....after the chicken wire, we paper macheed him, slapped plaster all over him, sanded him down, and painted him. Then we dressed him and he was ready for war! Here are some pictures of our masterpiece! Enjoy!

Here is the bottom half. Who would have thought that such a manly dude would wear a skirt? haha

Aaaaaand the top half.

He may not be the best looking guy.......but I'm sure he has a great personality!

Tada! What a stud!

Just to give you an idea of how big Goliath was, Drew, the taller guy on the left, he's 6'4"....doesn't even reach Goliath's hand.

And when Tom and Dave put Josh on their shoulders, he doesn't even reach Goliath's shoulder! Goliath was one big dude. David....not quite so big. But David's faith was enormous. We each have our own "Goliath" in our lives. Read the story of David and Goliath and you'll find that it's not a question of how big your giant's all about how big your GOD is!

Home sweet home :)

School is finally done! We cleaned that place like crazy and then we had graduation. Lots of people invaded my 'home' and none of us quite knew how to handle it. However, when they all left it was creepily silent in the building. I was the last one left in my dorm so I spent two days all alone. The night of graduation I spent 4 hours playing Apples to Apples with my friends Steve and Drew. They were in the same "lonely" boat as I was. Then one of my teachers, Mike Sullivan, and his wife had a group of us over to their house for dinner. It was so nice to have a home-cooked meal and just sit and talk. What beautiful people they are! On Sunday I visited a new church with Steve and Thomas and I loved it! It was a tiny, old-fashioned church....I mean really tiny. The sanctuary was about the size of my front room...maybe a little bigger, and it was PACKED! The people there were so extremely nice and welcoming. A couple from the church had me and Steve and Thomas over for lunch and are already planning a "welcome back" dinner for when we return in January. That evening Steve and I played "go fish" for over three hours. You can tell that NTBI was the happenin' place! haha You can also probably tell that Steve and I were the last ones there. Anyway, the next morning I got up at 3 in morning to head off to the airport. I was pretty nervous, I'm not gonna lie. Not really about the flying but about the whole check-in process and finding my gate.....blah, blah, blah. But as I waited for my flight I read the passage in Philippians that says not to be anxious but instead to make our requests known to God. So I prayed that I'd find my way, that there would be no turbulence on the flight, and that I'd find my way around the Dallas airport. He answered all three. So here I am. Home sweet home. I didn't realize how much I missed this place til I came back. Thanks to everyone for all of your prayers! I can't wait to see you all! For those of you who will be spending time with me over the weekend, you'll be meeting my friend from school. Be nice to him.
Love you all! Come see me!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Aaaalmost done

Just one more day of classes guys!!! After noon tomorrow, my first semester is officially over. It's bitter sweet....the time went by so fast! It'll be weird not being here for the next few weeks, but I can't wait to go home!!! I praise God for His steadfast love in allowing me to come here and build so many amazing friendships! It'll only get better as the years go on. :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Give it up for Tacky Christmas!

So instead of having a formal Christmas party this year at NTBI, we had a Tacky Christmas Sweater party. Those of us who couldn't manage to find a sweater just wore the tackiest Christmas outfit we could manage to find. I tried to choose pictures to show you that would give you a good idea of the phenomenal range of Christmas tackiness that was on display tonight. Enjoy. :)

Jenna and the Bettssss

We pretty much rock.

Christina, Amanda, and I. These were two of the best sweaters!

California Danny and Jessy (aka. Papa Elf)

Me and Ryan. I helped him put his fabulous outfit together. Nice, huh?
With Tessa. She had Shirley Temple curls and a rad sweater!

And finally, here's Aidy the Englishman. Get ready to meet him, yo!

Monday, December 1, 2008

What does this world need?

So a few weeks ago Dave Percy, missionary to Thailand (I believe), spoke in chapel and he said something that really caught my attention. He asked "What do you think one of the greatest needs in the world is?" A million thoughts raced through my mind as I pondered what the greatest need could possibly be. My primary thought was that the world needs Jesus. Dave went on to answer the question. What is one of the world's greatest needs? His answer: Bible translators. A little red flag immediately went up in my head. Now I have a passion for language studies and would love to be a translator in the future....but would that be considered one of the greatest needs? He then went on to say that he wasn't just talking about language translators. We definitely need those who translate word to word, but we also need those who translate The Word into actions! Our lives should be an epistle to be read by all men. Language can be a huge barrier between people, but actions can often speak so much louder than words. I can't tell you how many stories missionaries have told me about ministries that have fallen apart, despite sound teaching and doctrine, because of the poor testimony and lifestyle on the part of those in leadership. As believers we need to realize that the world watches us closely. Our testimony reflects on our Savior. Our testimony and actions should declare the name and character of our God! We may not be fluent in multiple languages. We may not be great orators. We may not have the knowledge or ability to translate the scriptures into obscure dialects. We DO have the knowledge and ability to bring the Scriptures alive in our lives though. Translate those beautiful Words into life! The Word is alive!!! So how about it? Are you ready to be the missionary that God made you to be? Are you ready to be a translator? Open your front door....welcome to the mission field! Lets go!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


If what you're living for isn't worth dying for, then is it really worth living for?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Aaaand here's the car

We're all really sore and bruised up a bit. Cara is going to go to the hospital later on today to get her head checked out. Vayle and I are walking around very gingerly and trying not to laugh because it hurts so bad....but when you get the two of us together...we're always laughing. Pray for Michelle...she's taking it really hard. She feels bad that we got hurt. She's bummed about her car. She's sore. She's just plainly upset and she won't talk to any of us. My heart hurts for her. Thanks for the prayers guys!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thank you Jesus!

I was in a car accident today that could have been horrible. Even though we were scared and bruised and banged up, everyone made it out alright. Thank you Jesus for keeping us in your hand! If you guys could pray for a few things, it would be great.

1) Pray for Cara. She didn't have time to brace herself and hit her head extremely hard. She was feeling tired right away, her vision wasn't quite right, and she was feeling sick to her stomach. She might have a concussion. If she isn't feeling better tomorrow they're going to have to take her to the hospital.

2) Pray for Vayle. She smacked her head and messed her ribs up so bad that she's having trouble breathing. She's another one that will have to go to the hospital tomorrow if she doesn't feel better. Both she and Cara are in a lot of pain.

3) Pray for my leg. I'm icing it and staying off of it for a few days. Yay for crutches. I was given a horse-sized pain pill when I got back home but as it wears off, it's hurting more and more.

4) Pray for Michelle. She was driving the car. We got t-boned and the other car hit her door directly. Miraculously, she's the only one who didn't have any specific injuries...just a few small cuts on her hand from the glass. She's feeling really guilty and bad that she was in the accident...she feels bad that all of us got hurt....she's bummed that her car, her "baby" got totaled. Please pray for my sister.

Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe and for all the nice people that helped us out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still more grief...

Pray for my roomie Kaylee. Her grandpa died today. He was a believer, praise God, but the grief is still strong.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I just realized that I posted this long sweet story of how much I love my mom and then I misspelled the title of the song at the end! What should have been "These Four Walls" was instead "These Four Wars." Well....I suppose in reality it was five wars....Elisabeth, Peter, Becky, Me, and Julie. haha Never fear...Mama won them all! Oops.. :P

Friday, November 14, 2008

Beautiful Words

"Own Me"-by Ginny Owens

Got a stack of books so I could learn how to live;
Many are left half-read covered by the cobwebs on my shelf.
And I got a list of laws growing longer everyday;
If I keep pluggin away, maybe one day Ill perfect myself.
Oh, but all of my labor seems to be in vain;
And all of my laws just cause me more pain;
So I fall before you in all of my shame;
Ready and willing to be changed-

Own me
Take all that I am,
And heal me!
With the blood of the lamb.
Mold me with your gracious hand;
Break me till Im only yours-
Own me!

You call me daughter,
And take my blame;
You run to meet me,
As I cry out your name,
So I fall before you in all of my shame,
Lord, I am ready to be changed

Own me
Take all that I am,
And heal me!
With the blood of the lamb.
Mold me with your gracious hand;
Break me till Im only yours-
Own me!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Prayer Request!!

Today during chapel, one of our married couples, Tom and Tori, found out that Tom's dad died this morning. He wasn't sick or anything....he just didn't wake up this morning. It was very sudden and unexpected. They flew out this afternoon to California to be with the family and prepare for the funeral. Pray for Tom. He's taking it really hard. He's not sure if his dad was a believer or not. He professed to be a child of God, but they still aren't sure if it was genuine. Pray for Tori as well. She's my age, and now she's faced with the challenge of trying to comfort her husband during this time of unimaginable grief. Looking at her face 15 minutes after they got the call, I recognized the confusion, shock, horror, and unspeakable grief that we all felt a year and a half ago. Please please PLEASE lift them up in your prayers!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mum <3

One of my favorite things to do is tell people about my mom. I love to see the shock on their faces when I tell them that she's a red belt in karate. I help them pick their jaw up off the floor when I tell them about her "bracelet of terror." (you know the black leather ones with metal spikes? Yep...that's the one.) I gladly return the high five offered to me when I tell them that she knows and can play on the guitar pretty much every Beatles song that was ever written. When telling funny stories from my childhood or family vacations, most of them revolve around my mom. I was looking through my pictures to find one of her to put on this post, but they are all of us goofing off and I don't know that she'd appreciate me posting it on the internet for all to see. I'll keep looking and see what I find. She's the only mom I know who frequently tags "yo" onto the end of her sentences while flashing ghetto hand signs. She'll get excited over an action movie with shooting and all kinds of fire and explosions one night and then be moved to tears the next night when the doggy in the movie dies. She homeschooled four of us....and I don't think we made it very easy for her. One of the best homeschool memories was when she was reduced to tears while telling the story of Noah and the ark. She sacrificed everything for us. I remember all those nights that we sprawled all over the family room and she told wonderful stories, each one teaching a lesson, of course. And then for years and years, all the way up until I graduated from high school, every morning when we woke up, all of us would wander into her room and pile on the bed all around her waiting for her to fully wake up and trying to wake ourselves up. Every time we were all awakened in the middle of the night by an earthquake, within seconds, before the shaking stopped, we'd see her shadow in the doorway and hear her voice letting us know that we were okay. Every mother's day, all 5 of us would wake up early and make her breakfast...4 pieces of toast, 4 or 5 eggs, 3 apples, 4 clusters of grapes, 3 bananas....I mean, come on, she's a mom...isn't she supposed to eat a lot? And she would smile and thank us as we brought in allll that food and do her best to eat as much as she could. haha My roomies think she's phenomenal...who else has a mom that would buy all of their roommates socks before she even met them...and then send a pair of maracas for thier birthday! Kaylee is forever grateful to you Mama!

I really could and do talk about my mom for hours. I was doing my homework tonight and I heard the song "These Four Walls" by Sara Evans. I remember the first time Mom heard it. It brought her to tears and she forwarded it to all of us because it described how she felt perfectly.

"These Four Wars"

Wasn't That Long Ago
I Was Skipping To School With A Lunchbox
Pigtails In My Hair
Where Did The Time Go
One Minute I'm Playing In The Sandbox
How'd I Get To Hear From There
Making Lunches And Folding Clothes
Is Not The Most Glamorous Life I Know
But I've Got So Much More Than Most

I'm Not Famous But My Kids Think
I'm A Star
I'm Not Rich But I've Made A Million
Memories So Far
I May Not Be A Model
But My Man Thinks I Could Be
I May Not Be From Royalty
But In These Four Walls
I'm The Queen

I Had It All Planned
First I'd Make It Big In Nashville
Then Take Hollywood By Storm
But It Was In God's Hands
There Were Three Little Lives That Would (5 lives in her case)
Need Me
To One Day Be Their Mom
I Wouldn't Trade It For Anything
Those Movie Stars Don't Have
I Know I'm Right Where I Wanna To Be

I'm Not Famous But My Kids Think
I'm A Star
I'm Not Rich But I've Made A Million
Memories So Far
I May Not Be A Model
But My Man Thinks I Could Be
I May Not Be From Royalty
But In These Four Walls
I'm The Queen

I Had To Let It Go, But I Have No Regrets
I Would Have Never Known This Kind Of

I'm Not Famous But My Kids Think
I'm A Star
I'm Not Rich But I've Made A Million
Memories So Far
I May Not Be A Model
But My Man Thinks I Could Be
I May Not Be From Royalty
But In These Four Walls
I'm The Queen

So Mama, you ARE a star! And you ARE the Queen! I could never have asked for a better Mom. I want to be just like you when I grow up. I don't think I would have such a desire in my heart to be a mom if I hadn't been blessed with such a fantastic example. I love you!

(A goofy picture will have to suffice since the rest are on my external hard-drive. This is one of my favorite pictures anyway. :P )

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yay for snow!!

It's finally here!!!!! I love it!

I'm so freezing, I'm gonna die. I'm taking donations for snow boots. haha!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What a precious picture. :)

~This is Julie and Wim. Our cousins Tim and Wim weren't aquainted with the lovely world of dance until their female Baldwin cousins got their hands on them at Sarah's wedding. I love this picture! William looks quite the dapper gentleman quite used to dancing...and Julie just looks stunning. Not to boast or anything...but I claim credit for this darling picture!~

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This post has a dual purpose.

Number 1: It was Kaylee's birthday and we had a fabulous party!
Number 2: I got my hair chopped off. You will all be happy to know that the soccer mom look has returned. I told Amanda to do whatever she wanted to with my hair...and that's what she did. :)

Happy Birthday Kaylee!

Me and Vayle...golly I love this lil lady!

Left to right: Lambchop Steve, Whitney, Brian, Scuba Steve, Bertie, Me, and Vayle

Left to right: Anna, Matty, Aidy, Chelle-Bell (Michelle), Febe, and Kristina

***These next few pics are important because I'm posting them to introduce you to a few more important people***

The dude with the feminine scarf around his neck is Eric, incredibly spastic and energetic, but hilarious. He eats any and everything. He's a keeper. Standing behind him in the green shirt is his sister Emily. Their family is oddly like my family, so I fit right in and have a blast with them.

This is Thomas.....I call him Jessica...don't ask why because I don't remember.

Aaaaaand this is Scuba Steve. He's great. He likes Jars of Clay and Veggie Tales...need I say more?

And to end this fabulous pictorial blog post, I'll add two pictures of myself. I'm the most humble person I know. I possess a vast amount of humility. It's probably my best feature. HAAAHAHAHAHAHA Just kidding. Anyway, here it goes.

In the frozen tundra of Michigan, I took a minute to pose for a photo in Lambchop Steve's trendy and incredibly warm scottish-looking hat.

I was REALLY born in the 70's. FYI.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

You know you're in Bible school when........

You know you're in Bible school.....more specifically, you know you're in Bible school studying the Pentateuch when you're watching a Broadway Musical and a pig comes on the screen and the entire room begins shouting "Unclean! Unclean!"

True story.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What a gift!

So when I was first thinking and praying about going to New Tribes, I decided to browse around their website and try to get a feel for the school and the staff. There are links where you can go to the websites of some of the staff members and learn about their current and past ministries. Oddly enough, I only looked at one couple: Joseph and Karen Moonsammy. They are both from Trinidad and came to NTBI to study the Bible. They then went and served on the mission field in Papua New Guinea and are now back here in Jackson working as staff at the school. I remember thinking what a great story and testimony they had. I've always enjoyed talking with missionaries and reading about them, wondering what it would be like to be involved in ministry with them. Well, during the time that I've been here, I've actually been getting to know Karen and Timmy (Joseph). A few weeks ago they asked me to join them in working at a youth group about 30 min away from the school. I play music for them and work with the girls. It's been such a blessing to be plugged into a church and to be serving again. I was thinking about it tonight and I realized that before coming here, I was wondering what it would be like to serve alongside people like the Moonsammys when I saw their I am today working side by side with them. God is so amazing. The two people that I randomly decided to read about are the ones that have welcomed me with open arms to be a part of their work. We hear over and over again how you don't have to be in a foreign country to be a missionary, but it's during times like these that I really understand and get a taste of what it's like to be a missionary. Both of them are constantly reminding me of our mission and giving me amazing advice and training for whatever God has for me later on. What a gift it is to be personally trained one-on-one by those who have experience and great wisdom? Thank you God!

I'd like to ask you all to pray for my friends Brian and Samantha. As students here, those who can't find jobs have to raise support just like missionaries on the field do. It's an extremely hard task, and it's so hard to trust that all will be provided for. However, we know that God is faithful and can provide for our every need. Brian got the notice today that if he doesn't pay a certain amount of money by October 31st, he's going to have to leave the school. Samantha is in the same boat. Both are very scared, discouraged, and worried. Please be in prayer for them!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Total California girl!

So I got laughed at today. A lot. When we went out to go to church this morning I was astonished to see dozens of people out in the parking lot hammering away at their windshields! What the heck?!!? Then they tell me that they're trying to chip the ice away. Whoooa! Ya'll have ice on your car?!! And they laughed. So then I was driving to church and we went past a bank that had the temperature displayed on the wall. 37 degrees. That's "dead of winter" weather in California. I was pretty stoked about the whole thing. Everyone just watches me from afar while shaking their heads and chuckling at my excitement. It's phenomenal. But the funny thing is.........I'm still wearing t-shirts and flip flops...........

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A day rich in blessings and lessons!

I'm going to present another collage of my thoughts for the day.
We have an amazing guest speaker this week named Rick Johnson. He and his wife are missionaries in Tijuana, Mexico. He spoke today on motivation and attitude on the mission field. Here are a few things from my notes:

~Missionary work is not accomplishing the task, it's giving yourself.

~If our happiness is determined by the results of our efforts, we're on a short term missions trip.

~We may have a fabulous plan of action in our mind of how our ministry will work out perfectly, but the plan will always fall apart. The only thing that will carry us through is gratitude to Christ for what He's done and the blessings He bestows upon us.

~In Luke 17 we find the story of the 10 lepers. Ten guys come to Jesus asking for mercy, healing, and grace--all ten are completely healed and yet only ONE turns back to praise God and thank Him. How does this apply on the mission field? Talking to all of the missionaries in this school and those that come through, they will all tell you that it is easy to be an ungrateful missionary. Even when God blesses and blesses, it's easy to focus on the small bad points. We want to be the ones who remember to forever thank Jesus for what He's done for us. This applies to all of us personally as well. So often we receive phenomenal blessings from God, and yet, looking at the ten lepers, we represent one of the nine backs turned away from God. Oh that we would take the time to run back to the Father and say thank you!!!!!

~More important than the blessing is the Blesser.

~Don't give yourself to missions....give yourself back to One who gives you the blessings. If you give yourself completely to Him and live a life of gratitude to Him, then you can be a part of missions with complete joy and focus.

~I have to say it one more time. What is our ultimate motivation in missions? What should be our ultimate motivation in life? Gratitude.


Aside from today's chapel, here are some more things that have been going through my mind.

~We are told to come boldly before the throne of God, but that doesn't mean that we can leave our reverential awe at the door.

~ ----------------- /\----------------------------
----------------/....... \_x <--------- us

--------------/........... \------------------------
------------/............... \----------------------
----------/..... GOD..... \---------------------
--------/...................... \--------------------
------/.......................... \-------------------
----/............................. \------------------
--/................................. ******
<----- The world

So as you see in the picture, the mountain is God. The "x" is us (Christians). At the bottom of the mountain are jagged rocks that represent the world. In so many parts of our life, why is it that we like to walk to the extreme edge of our ledge on the mountain and peek down at the world? We see how close we can get without falling off. In reality, we should be hugging the mountain, God, hanging on for dear life.
p.s. I'm extremely proud of my picture there....looks just like my notes!

~When there is a lamb in a flock that tends to wander off a lot, the Shepherd breaks it's leg. This may sound cruel and unfair, but we have to realize that when the Shepherd does this, he is committing to carry that lamb until it has completely healed. Sometimes God has to break us through some trial or anything that we might deem unbearable....but we must know that He will carry us the entire time until it is over. And this time of being carried in the arms of the Father is when our relationship with Him is the strongest.

I wish you all could see the colors of the trees all over Michigan! It's breathtaking! Isn't it lovely to know that God wanted to make us smile so He decided to splash colors all across nature every year? I'm loving every moment of it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How bout some nifty photos!

Well howdy there ya'll,
I know it's been a while, but I thought I'd give you some visual ideas of my recent activities. Ready?

Last week we had "Open Dorm Night" where girls and guys can visit eachother's dorms. They gave us a theme and there was a competition to see which dorm was decorated the best. The theme was "Time Periods" or anything that had to do with time...sooo our dorm's theme was....BEDTIME! We got to wear our pj's and we put stars all over the place and turned off the lights. In this pic, Kaylee is reading a bedtime stories to our Evangelism teacher, Chris Darland, and his kids....and all the other kids on our floor.
This is me and Katie visiting Danielle (the eskimo with the spear) in the Ice Age dorm.
Although the guys didn't decorate their dorms very well, their costumes were phenomenal. This dorm (minus the ladies in the pic) had the theme of November 22, 1992. The place was full of fanny packs, dorky cloths, a walkman....and a very convincing Aladdin.
This is one of my favorite pictures. This dorm had something to do with decades. I know Chris was the 60's, Mogley is the 70's and Ryan is the 90's...but I seem to remember that Jarod (in the green pants) is the 50's or something...but that would mean we skipped the 80's...which isn't such a bad idea. haha Well, at any rate, they looked hilarious!
Moving on from dorm night to random photo shoot day. From left to right, Vayle, Whitney, Kaylee, and Me. You know which one I am because I'm the retard with my eyes closed. Then if you look behind us, you'll see Seth and Jessy waving while hanging out the second story window. Brilliant.
This is me and Brian. I heart this picture because if you look behind where we're standing, the tree is turning burgundy. Phenomenal!!

I know...let's all stand on benches and take pictures! OKAY!!!!!
Left to right: Aidy, Vayle, yours truly, and Brian

And then came Sarah's wedding. I have a fun game for you! Find Elisabeth and Peter in this pic. First one to find them get's a high five!
Julie got tired of taking pictures so I got to play with her fabulous toy and I'm very proud of my photography skills...especially in this picture.

Father & Daughter dance

Aren't my children darling?

I must say, they both looked fabulous.

Well, that's all for now. Time to go do chores. I promise I'll try to update this thing a little more often!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pray for my family!

They're flying out to Wisconsin today. Please pray for a safe flight for them. You know what this means.....they're coming to visit me on thursday!!! I'm super excited!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Interesting thought....

You all know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the book of Genesis. We were looking at it today in my Pentateuch class and the teacher said something that got me thinking. He was a guest speaker at a church one time and he spoke on the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. At the end of the story, the city is being destroyed and Lot and his wife are running to safety. Lot's wife pauses to look back and is instantly turned into a pillar of salt. Now, my teacher taught this story like we've all probably heard it....Lot's wife is horrible for not being grateful for her rescue and longs to be back in the city of know the story. Evil woman. However, after my teacher was done speaking, an elderly woman came up to him and said "Just an observation in regards to Lot's wife....keep in mind that her sons were back in that burning city."

Now I'm not condoning any sin that was in her heart in possibly longing to be back in the sinful city. The city was despicable and offensive before a holy God and deserved to be destroyed. I just thought it was interesting to think...if we were in her shoes....if we were running with them and in the same situation....there just may have been a few more pillars of salt.

Just an interesting thought and perspective.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The prayers of the children of God can shake the heavens!

Today at NTBI we are spending the entire day in prayer. No classes, nothing but prayer. I love these days! Knowing that you're sitting in a building with 200 other people in it, all simultaneously crying out to the living God is beyond amazing. Knowing that the living God, Creator of the universe and Savior of the world hears these cries is even more amazing. Last year, the staff here handed out prayer cards to the students with the names and faces of lost people in a tribe in Africa on them. These students have been praying specifically for these certain people's salvation for a year now. Today we were shown a video about how God has brought the gospel to this tribe. At the end there was a slideshow of all the people who have come to know Christ, people who the students here have been praying for by name. Prayer is effective. God wants us to talk to Him. He has opened up His throne for us, He has provided a way for us to fearlessly have direct access to Him. Let's use that gift to the fullest!

A friend of mine here named Leah Jackson asked us last week to pray for her sister Joanne. Joanne had a brain tumor and was having it surgically removed. Speaking to Leah after the surgery, everything looked fine. Joanne's memory was saved, she was healing quickly, it appeared that she would go home to her husband and three children by the end of the week. Today we found out that the tumor that they removed from her brain was cancerous and very, very aggressive. Although she will begin chemotherapy and radiation shortly, they expect it to grow back quickly. How frightening and heartbreaking it is for this young wife and mother to learn that she only has about 2 years to live. So now I share this request with you all and urge you and beg you to bring Joanne in prayer before our loving and faithful God. Pray for Leah and her brothers, sisters, and parents. Pray for Joanne's husband Curtis and for their three children. God hears the prayers of His children and He will answer according to His will. Let's lift our voices to our Father!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Open your front door and take one step outside......


Who says you have to go to the most secluded tribe in Africa to be a missionary? Look out your window my friends. Voila! The mission field is right before your eyes. The harvest is ready. Let's get to work!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I shall now tell you a story. Unlike the elephant story, this one has a purpose.

There was a young man whose aspiration in life was to be a lumberjack. He thought it would be the greatest job ever, so he went out and bought himself a good, top of the line ax and went out job hunting. He was finally hired on with a good company and set out on his first day to go out and cut some trees down. His supervisor told him what area he was responsible for, so he pulled out his ax and went for it. He worked hard all day long, only stopping long enough for a quick bite to eat. After hours and hours of chopping and chopping, he decided to call it a day. He had cut down 27 trees. Not bad for a first timer, eh? That evening he joined several of his fellow lumberjacks for an evening of rest from their hard day. One man turned to him and asked "How many trees did you get today?" The young man proudly informed them of his 27 trees. He was puzzled when they all looked at one another and chuckled, telling him "don't worry, it's only because it was your first'll do better next time." Upon inquiring from each of them their number of trees for the day, one said 33, another 35, another 37, and so on. The next day he started out, determined to cut more trees than he did before so he could go back and be on the same level with the rest of the men. He threw himself wholeheartedly into his work, working without any breaks or rests through the entire day. That evening, he joined the men, fully satisfied with the 34 trees that he had cut down that day. The men just smiled and nodded as they continued to encourage him to keep trying. What were their numbers for the day? 38...42...45... The young man was more determined than ever to raise his number of trees. The next day was the same story. No rests, nothing but hard work, cutting and cutting all day long until he was exhausted. Once again, when he spoke to the other men, he was behind. Finally in complete exasperation he spoke up. "How is it that I work just as hard as you all do, even harder since I don't even take any breaks, and I'm always at least 6 trees behind the rest of you?!" One of the older lumberjacks replied, "I understand that you have great determination and admirable strength and zeal, but when was the last time you took the time to stop and sharpen your ax?"

It is good to have passion and zeal when we're in ministry and doing our best to serve God. However, we can't effectively serve or make any progress if we don't take the time to sharpen our ax by spending time in God's Word and in prayer. Prepare yourself, equip yourself, allow God to encourage you and give you direction and strength...THEN go out and tackle the world.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Is that even a word? Schmorgasborge? Well it is now.
I have entitled this post "Schmorgasborge" because it is a smattering of things from my day. I have a lot of energy today and I'm trying to wind myself down so I can sit down and write a paper on Creation and a paper on the book of Jude. We'll see how this goes. First, here are some things that I heard at church that really stood out to me. It's kind of like a collage of thoughts, so don't be worried if they don't seem to go brain is scattered today and you'll be able to tell. I was really blessed by many concepts today though.

~The greater the trial we face, the greater the grace that the Father lavishes upon us.

~God, through Jesus' death, has restored our relationship with Him.

~Hebrews 2:9- But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

~Talking about humility...."Every step of pride is a step away from God - every step of humility is a potential step towards God." I am not the one who has the power. I am not the one who is most important. I am not forever. The only person who is impressed by me is the one I see when I look in the mirror. When my world is crazy, loud, and screaming "me, me, ME!" (as my world is want to do...don't know about yours...maybe mine is a special case...) the Bible says "Be still and know that I am God!" Be still. Block everything out. Shut yourself up for a minute. If God is God....let Him be God. (Thanks to Joel Wood for that quote.) How often do we think life would be a tiny bit better if we threw our two cents in. Hey! I have a great idea! How about we help God out! Heaven knows He's in dire need of our assistance. So often I need to sit back and recognize that I am not God's gift to the planet. Ouch. If God is God....let Him be God.

And last but not least...there four important things on my mind right at this very moment. Four young ladies to be precise. Bekah Loo Hoo, Hannah Banana, Rachel Megan, and Abigail Grace. I got some letters in the mail on Friday from these lovely ladies. I brought them to dinner with me and showed them to everyone who I could get to stop long enough to look. Everyone here knows all about my girls. Yes, I know that technically they belong to Rich and Wendy Bargas....HOWEVER.....they're mine. See?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Well, shiver me timbers!!

Hello everyone! I am indeed still alive and I'm excited to be greeting you all on national "Talk Like a Pirate Day!!" Aye, it it is exciting indeed!
Anyway, I haven't been able to write in a while, so this is going to probably be kind of long. Feel free to read it in installments if that would better suit your schedule. I plan on writing a novel. I'll start off with some neat thoughts that I've gathered from various classes and discussions over the past few weeks.

-In Biblical Foundations, we had a teacher named Butch. Butch is known for being very blunt. In one class he was talking about the ridiculous extremes people go to to save the trees and animals and nature. When people start yelling "Go Green!," his response is...Why? God is going to burn the trees and kill everything anyway. We should "Go Red" and preach the message of the blood of Jesus. When all people have heard the gospel, then we can worry about saving the whales. Of course we do need to be good stewards of the earth, but in the grand scheme of eternity, what is going to matter more: how many trees were saved or how many people heard the message of the love of God?

-So many times we get comfortable in our Christian ministry. So much so that we only choose to even attempt to share Christ with a select few people in our lives. Close people. Maybe relatives...neighbors...etc. But isn't it interesting to note that we offer the Bread of Life day in and day out to people who openly refuse it when there are thousands of people all over the world who haven't even been offered the smallest slice. I'm not saying that we should give up on sharing Christ with those who have heard it. Be retelling it to them, praying for them, and living in an exemplary manner, many times that can lead even the most stubborn person to faith in Christ. But we need to keep in mind those who have never even heard the name of Jesus as well. If God hasn't called you to go and speak to them yourselves, I encourage you to still be a part of that ministry by lifting the missionaries who are with them up in prayer.

Those were actually only 2 exciting thoughts because I got interrupted and couldn't continue. So much for the novel. In the meantime, I'd like to introduce you all to some of my friends.

This is Vayle, affectionately known as Vaylequa by those of us who are near and dear to her. She lives across the hall from me but she might as well live in my room because she's there all the time. She's one of the most amazing people I've ever met! Such a blessing! She's been learning the guitar. Pretty much amazing. :) She's from Texas so she talks cool.

And this is Aidy....pronounced like the number 80...or as in "Columbus sailed in 1492 A.D."...AD. Anyway, he's from England so he talks really cool. He's been showing me how to talk in a British accent. He said I'm horrible. If he spoke, it would be like the "I fink we should do somfin togever on Sa'ur'dee."

And this is Brian and Alton. Brian is from Florida so he doesn't talk cool. He doesn't look like this anymore because my roomie and I successfully persuaded him to shave his beard off. Alton lives down the hall from me. He's three and I plan on taking him home with me.

I also need to find pics of Michelle, Matt, and Christy. You all already know who my lovely roomie Kaylee is. God is so good to bless me with such an amazing Michigan family! It's funny because we've only been here for a little over a month, but we have the friendships of people who have known eachother for at least 3 months. We see eachother day in and day out, 24/7 almost. A group of us were talking the other day about how depressing it is going to be when summer comes because we will have to be all over the country for 3 months. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, I'm loving every minute of this. I do miss all of you and appreciate your prayers! I'll try to update this thing a little more often. :)