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 day...you'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 together...my 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. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Scattered across the country.....

Even though everyone who has been reading this blog is scattered across the country, we are all part of the body of Christ. I have a prayer request for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are reading my little blog. There is a guy here at NTBI named Thomas Lazzara who has a ministry down the street from the school at the Salvation Army. He goes there every day during the week to hang out with the kids there, be involved in their lives, and point them to Christ. On Sundays he preaches the Word to all who come there. There are some pretty rough kids there and he's pretty much on his own. There are a few NTBI students who go every now and then to give him a hand, but he is the leader and does most of the work. He really has a heart to serve God and is pouring all he has into serving God, but as we all know, there are always times of discouragement. So I would ask you all to keep our brother Thomas in prayer. Pray for wisdom, strength and endurance for him as he works with these kids. And please pray that his ministry would grow and that more people would be willing to step in and serve along side him. He needs some encouragement and we all know the power of prayer. Please keep him in your prayers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why yes!

I HAVE fallen off the face of the earth!

I will be back soon to update ya'll on some of the fun stuff I've been doing (a.k.a. went to the rodeo! yessssss) and some of the great stuff I've been learning.

I AM still alive.....FYI.