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!