Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Please... Just One More Chance.

I've been reading in Deuteronomy for my devotions these past few days. This morning I was reminded about how disobedience brings about consequences. Here's the background:

Moses was recounting to the children of Israel their history of stiffneckedness and disobedience while showing God's faithfulness and commandments. Time and time again, God had a path for them to take (whether it was conquering a city or going forward to the Promised Land) and time and time again, the Israelites would choose the opposite way. God said "this" so they chose "that".

Wow. That sounds strangely familiar for my own life.

I eventually came to the part of Moses' monologue where he says in 3:24-27 ~

23: "And I besought the LORD at that time, saying, 24: O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? 25: I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. 26: But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. 27: Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan."

It's recorded that Moses besought the Lord to be allowed to go into the Promised Land, but God was wroth and said NO. If you know anything about Israel's history, you'll recall the time that the children of Israel were complaining about the lack of water and God told Moses to speak to the rock so water would come out. Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses smote the rock and water came streaming out. It's interesting to note that God allowed water to even come out of the rock. I think it was for His own testimony that He allowed that miracle to happen.

Anyway, the consequence for Moses' disobedience was he was denied entry into the Promised Land. He saw it, but never went to it.

The sin of disobedience. Wow.

Then for EBA's chapel time, Bro. Ronnie preached from Mark 6:1-6. Bro. Ronnie showed us from the chapters preceding Mark 6 about all the miracles Jesus did in all the other cities around Nazareth, but when He came to Nazareth, the people of the city basically jeered and scoffed at Him. The verses that captivated my attention was 5 & 6: "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them...because of their unbelief."

The sin of unbelief. Wow.

Then this evening we had Bro. Larry Harrison in, missionary to the Yukon in Canada and sent out from Berean Baptist Church in Missouri. He wondered aloud why some churches are on fire for missions and some are dead, dead, dead. So the Lord gave him a passage to preach from in Exodus 3:1-10 about why some churches don't have a burden for missions. His points were simple yet powerful:
  1. They haven't seen the calamity of the lost (verse 7 ~ "I have surely seen the affliction of my people")
  2. They haven't heard the cry of the lost (verse 7 ~ "I have heard their cry... for I know their sorrows")
  3. They haven't heard the call of God (verse 10 ~ "Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh")

But what struck me the most was when he pulled a little 6 year old girl from the congregation and said: "the reason most churches don't get a burden for missions is because they know Hell is real, but haven't put any faces in Hell." And then he walked around the auditorium with little Grace and asked, "What would you give to keep Grace from Hell? $1,000? $10,000? A boat?".

After he let Grace return to her seat, he talked about the Great White Throne Judgment and how the lost will look at those who are saved and say, "You knew! You knew! Why didn't you tell me?!?". It was at this moment as his thrust his finger out and pointed to the crowd, that I put my unsaved dear family members faces in Hell.

I saw my dad's cousin recently (whom I haven't seen in years) and as I told a friend about seeing her, my friend asked if I gave her tract. No, I didn't. For I was getting over the surprise of seeing her. Is my not giving her a tract going to put her in Hell in the not too distant future? Please Lord, NO! Give me another chance.

The sin of untaken opportunities.

The sin of blood on my hands.

The sin of disobedience and unbelief.

Please God. Just one more chance...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Just Being Me Again....Again!

Since tomorrow is the first day of school for EBA, I decided to make the "break" time (read: recess for high school kids;)) a little special by bringing in a taco salad, chips, soda, and the principle's wife is making cookies (which are the absolute best!).

So today I went to my local grocery store to buy some of the ingredients for the salad as well as various mints and hard candy to compliment the pencils and cute little "Welcome back to skool!" signs Sarah made for each student. As I went up and down the aisles, I had this instinct feeling that I was "forgetting" something but I didn't think of it so I bought my stuff and went back to work.

I remembered what it was tonight.

I was standing in my kitchen and for some reason it hit me and I said, "I am so stupid!" My mom, being the great lady that she is, didn't say, "don't call yourself that" because she is so used to me saying it; but she did ask me what was wrong and I told her about being in Weis today and buying all the stuff and forgetting to use the $2.00 off coupon which expired today and was the only reason I chose to go to Weis!!!!!


So I went back to Weis tonight and bought some nectarines (on sale!) and some Cheez-its (on sale) and walked away only spending $1.59. Because of course nectarines and Cheez-its taste so much better knowing that you bought them on sale;).... even if you did buy everything else full price earlier in the day:D.

*Sigh*... sometimes I wonder why they let me out of the house;) Oh well... I'm sure to smile tomorrow as I enjoy my nectarines thinking about yet-another-blonde-moment-brought-to-you-by-Anne!

Happy week serving the Lord y'all:D

I Did It........Again.

I think I was on a self-imposed no-buying-books-off-the-internet break or something because tonight, for the first time in many months, I bought a book! *Sigh*. If you are a fellow enjoyer-of-good-books, then you'll understand that sigh. And if not... well, just skip this post;).

Now you would think by the way I got all excited about a book that I didn't just buy a bunch of books on Saturday at a 50+ big, huge yard sale!!!!!

Yes, my to-read pile doubled within 10 minutes that day:D. But it was so much fun!

For instance, I found the book, "Let's Roll" by Lisa Beamer (the widow of Todd Beamer on Flight 93) for $3.00. Originally $25.00. I also found a book about Louisa May Alcott for a quarter. And then (sense of humor needed for this part!) I noticed it last night at a book table and thought that (no offense to the nice man from Christian Book:D) I probably would have paid at least $5.00 if I hadn't bought anything at the yard sale.

And now, I can look forward to when I check my mailbox in a few weeks and take it out and say, "It's here!".

So excuse me if I'm excited about looking forward to my book arriving. I'll admit that little things totally amuse me and it doesn't take much for me to be satisfied! It's kinda like giving a baby a big, expensive gift for Christmas and having them play with the box it came in rather than the toy!

So in my opinion, bring on the boxes! Go give the toy to someone else;).

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Just Being Me Again!

A week really is not complete without doing something stupid... but of course, you know that about me from my other post on whacking myself in the chin with a bungee cord:D.

Well, this week was no different. On Monday a man in my church was steamcleaning the carpets throughout the entire church as part of what we call "super-duper cleaning". Since we have no custodian(s), each family in the church is on a cleaning routine about once every 4-5 months. Then in August the entire church family pitches in (willingly of course;)... riiiight) to clean the whole building in preparation for the school kids to come back at the end of August and wreck havoc on all that was cleaned during the month! (I'm partially kidding here... but not really!).

So anyway, Bro. Butch was cleaning and Sarah and I were moving boxes from a downstairs room to an upstairs room. As we passed Bro. Butch by the stairs, we asked if we could walk there and he said, "Oh yes, that's fine as long as you don't slip." I replied, "Well, it's me so of course I'm going to slip!!!" He laughed as he said, "Oh don't worry; you'll be fine."


Bro. Butch apparently doesn't know me very well, for I have an amazing track record of falling up the stairs. I was on the third stair when I slipped from the wet stairs and frantically grabbed on to the banister, thankful there was one there or else I would've fallen down the other set of stairs;).

As I attempted to gracefully recover from my very un-ladylike fall, I glanced behind me to see Bro. Butch trying not to laugh as he suddenly looked rather intently at the carpet:). I couldn't resist saying, "I knew it!" He just laughed, as did Sarah I might add! What a friend:D. Oh well, that's just the way it is sometimes!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Of Gentlemen and (Un)fair Ladies

I think a small town post office is probably the best place to *people watch*. In fact, this is one of my favorite things to do! People watch, not go to a small town post office;). I would rather sit in a crowd of 30 people at a party and say next to nothing, than to be thrust in the center of attention. So what I'll do is say nothing and just watch and observe the activities of those around me. Often people tell me I seem to know *everything* and I guess the only reason for that is I'm an observer of people and I pay attention to what people say. But then I'm always told I'm too *quiet* (insert laughter here as many of you know that is not the case!).

But I digress.

I walked into my small town post office this past week in the middle of the afternoon to pick up some mail (a redundant statement I suppose:D) and to get an envelope waiting for me (more specifically, waiting for my money as there was not enough postage on it!). As I walked up to the line, I noticed three ladies in front of me. I didn't consider that a wait at all, especially since there were two people behind the counter. Now a line that is 10 deep is considered long:D.

But I digress.

I waited for the ladies in front of me to get done with their business so while I waited I did what I normally do: people watch. There were two people at the counter who were being taken care of and one of the ladies in front of me was perusing the envelopes, labels, and tape that is placed by the line so you can do some *last minute* shopping. I started to step around her (thinking she wasn't in line) when she quickly placed one foot in line and the other foot in front of the packing supplies.

Ok, you can go first. No big deal. One of the people at the counter finished their business and walked away and the man behind the counter called out next. The other two ladies in front of foot lady walked over to him and they instantly started a verbal barrage on the man behind the counter. Meanwhile foot lady walked over to where the second person had just finished their business and started her transaction with the lady behind the counter.

Back to the verbal barrage.

I quickly figured out that these ladies must've been in line before, got up to the counter, had something wrong with their package/envelope and were told to step aside and fix it. This has happened to me a few times before, but it's no biggie because you can always get right back to the top of the line.

Apparently they didn't think too highly of the fact that they were told they were wrong and were making sure the man behind the counter knew how they felt. Not only did he know, the rest of us (myself, foot lady, and the lady behind the counter) also knew they were displeased.

They really beat the man up verbally and walked away in a huge huff.

I wonder why I was so surprised that they were so rude. But surprised I was, and as I walked up to the counter, I offered the man a friendly smile and a cherry "hello!" I must say he behaved well by not cutting down the women who had just left. I've seen that happen lots of times because I used to be a cashier at the local grocery store and most times people in line got more mad than I did at the irate customer ahead of them!

But I digress.

Once I paid for my needs-more-postage envelope, I waved good bye and headed towards the door. In my small town post office, there are two doors you need to go through in order to get outside. As I walked through the first door to the little room where the PO boxes are, I noticed this *older* couple ahead of me and an *olderish* man kinda behind me. The wife from the *older* couple went out the door, followed by the husband, then me, and then the *olderish* man. As soon as we got outside, the husband turned around and said, "I'm sorry! I should have let you go first." After assuring him I appreciated the gesture and no harm was done, I walked to my car and sorted out the happenings of the past 5 minutes.

At first appearance, the husband wasn't much to look at. He was probably around 70-72 and a little rotund, but I think he had a pure heart. For as I walked away I noticed him grab his wife's hand as they softly chatted. In my book, he acted just as a gentleman should act. But then I got to thinking about the verbal scene that had taken place inside and how they did not act like ladies.

Too often I have heard, "*Sigh*. If only men would act like gentlemen."

Umm, excuse me? After bashing them, demanding women's rights, trodding them down, saying you can do it (whatever *it* is) better and quicker, and refusing to act like a lady, you worry about men not being gentlemen?

I'm not saying that men should stop be gentlemen because women don't deserve it. I disagree. But I can understand why they get discouraged about treating women as ladies and with respect.

As I drove away from my small town post office, I knew I had been challenged. I prefer the response the gentleman gave over the response the (un)fair ladies gave. Here's a post I found that as a good reminder in it... are you a lady?

An amusing and beautiful thing happened this morning and I have to share it with
you . . and also thank you for encouraging modest dress on your blog!
Please know that I am not being judgmental in telling this story. It is just a
testament - at least in my opinion - to the way men react based on how a girl
chooses to attire herself.

In NYC, for women, walking past or through a construction area is always an "event." I'm not saying that the men are always crude or inappropriate, but you never know what comments are going to be made and it can be extremely uncomfortable. Most women and girls I know have gotten used to it, ignore it, and avoid it when it's possible.

This morning, I saw barricades and workers in their jackets and hard hats milling around up ahead of me, as I was about half a block away from my office. As I crossed the street I realized there was no way I was getting to the building entrance without passing through the pedestrian walkway that had been put up to allow people to navigate through the construction site safely. There was a young woman ahead of me, also going into my building, who was dressed in a very short skirt, high stiletto heels, and a nearly-sheer sleeveless blouse.

A few of the men whistled and some of them called out to her - a few of them even jokingly stood in her path. She lowered her head and started walking more quickly which, of course, didn't really help the matter at this point.

I kept on walking, figuring that I might be in for it as well, since this was clearly a rowdy group. Most of their eyes had now turned to me, in my pretty-but-simple capped-sleeve dress, with a skirt that hit my knees, and "boring" low heels.

And what did one of the men say to the rest of the group standing on the walkway?
"Make way for the lady."

Friday, August 25, 2006

Too Good To Pass Up.

I have never personally met the author of this post, but he is the pastor of a good Baptist church in CA and supports at least one missionary from my church. When I read this article I thought it was too good to pass it up!

Warning: This will not be effective for those who do not desire to please God. I say this, in part, because people like to know how something will benefit them. They want to hear that their lives will be improved in some way. Well, it will help you. Count on it. I could list those ways, but you’ll still be missing the big, big picture if that’s all this is about to you.

In my very informed opinion, the greatest obstruction to honoring God in obtaining a life’s mate is how great dating feels. Dating gratifies fleshly lust and feeds pride. It makes a boy or man feel more important, more powerful, and admired. It makes a girl or woman feel prettier, wanted, and more significant. However, 1 Thessalonians 4:5a says, "Not in the lust of concupiscence," that is, not in the feeling of desire. God forbids this if we are to please Him.

Many of these feelings are natural and they are caused by those chemicals called hormones. The hormones are intended for marriage. I like to say that hormones shouldn’t be choosing our spouse. Hormones are easily fooled. Hormones aren’t smart. This is described in Proverbs 7:7: "[I] beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding." Proverbs 6:26 pictures it well too: "For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread." You can actually watch the IQ of this young man drop right before your eyes. He gets as stupid as a piece of bread. Is anything more stupid? We used bread as carp bait. Uh-huh. Very stupid. These feelings dumb us down to some of the most stupid decisions in life. The qualities that make a great life’s mate have less to do with how we feel when sitting right next to her than what we know about her character, spirit, energy, skillfulness, and attitude. Is he or she positive and happy? Is he or she disciplined? Is he or she selfless?

These are traits not easily discerned when we are blinded by our feelings. We like to make our own choices. We don’t want someone making them for us. Dating lets us make our own choice. We feel proud about our choice. We think we know better. We don’t think we’ll make mistakes. We think that we are smarter than our God-ordained authority. However, unless we make our choices like God wants, we won’t consistently make good ones. And we surely don’t want to make a bad decision in the most important area of our life, who we’re going to marry.

The "Gentiles which know not God" (1 Thess. 4:5b) get their mates by dating. They like it. It’s fun. And what it does as well is to create all sorts of distractions and impediments to what is really important in life. Much attention is placed on style and fashion. Instead of doing as well in class, seduction skills are honed—how they talk and walk. The whole process becomes a competition in which a successful seduction is called a "score." Boys score by using the right words said in a particular way, buying the correct gifts, being very attentive, and planning the appropriate activities. Much of what is on television and in movies constitutes preparation for "successful" dating. The writers, directors, and producers of these shows don’t care if the people watching are wrongly influenced by their work. They want people to watch, and this is a theme that is very popular, so they keep offering it, perpetuating and increasing the problem. The parents and especially the father are essentially bypassed in this process. In most shows about this theme, the dad is the biggest imbecile in the universe, even though Scripturally he is the most important person to ensure the best decision.

A large portion of modern music has parts of dating as a theme. The musicians are telling people, especially young people, what their audience wants. They are speaking directly to them about their feelings in this dating process. The composition of the music, the melody, harmony, and especially the rhythm feeds erotic senses of the listener, guiding them toward self-gratification. They call it love in most cases, even though it is lust, which further breaks down discernment. Love itself becomes a victim in this, because few know what it means any more. A very high percentage of young women admit that music contributed greatly to losing their virginity. And this was all a part of this thing called dating.

Dating also naturally defrauds, stealing things from those to whom they belong. Dating steals the heart of a daughter from her father and her future life’s mate. It takes away many opportunities to serve God with loss testimony. It swindles the potential skills the either a man or woman could have developed if he had kept his attention on them, instead of dating.

If we are to honor God in acquiring our life’s mate, we will not succeed in that goal by means of dating. Dating is the world’s way, invented by the world. The characteristics of dating are those warned against in the most applicable passages of Scripture. If we go about utilizing dating as our means, we know we will not please God because God has told us not to do it as the Gentiles which know not God. And as a result of the defrauding, God will avenge (1 Thess. 4:6b). The believer belongs to God, is bought with the price of the Lord’s death and sacrificially shed blood. He has been redeemed to God. And God will avenge the holy priesthood who will defile himself and the Lord’s church by means of the uncleanness (1 Thess. 4:7) he has embraced in dating.

You may despise this. People who want to date often will. But look at verse 8: "He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit." So despise away, but you are only despising God, and that is not going to do any good. And this relates to the Holy Spirit, because you will grieve and quench the Holy Spirit by doing this the world’s way.

Next time we will start looking further into God’s way in this.

~Pastor Kent Brandenburg

Bethel Baptist Church

El Sobrante, CA


Don't Close The Door!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Just For Fun.

I found this over at Tulip Girl and thought it would be fun to do since I *love* reading!!!

1. One book that changed your life: Without a doubt, the Bible! My pastor said this on Sunday: "I don't worship the Bible, but God places His Word above His very name so it is highly important"... if it's important to my precious Lord, then it is to me!

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Can I puh-lease put a whole list here?:) I've been a bookworm ever since I learned to read so obviously I've read tons of books over and over again! The whole Anne of Green Gable series would make the list, followed by the Elsie Dinsmore books.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: "How To Get Off A Deserted Island If You're Stuck On One"! Seriously, my Bible would be the one to take with me.

4. One book that made you laugh: "Garfield" (we had about 20 of these books)... and of course "Beetle Bailey". These books are courtesy of the many book shows my dad took us kids to when we were younger!

5. One book that made you cry: I'll admit it ~ "Little Women" always made me cry when I got to the part where Beth dies. I tell myself every time not to cry and every time ~ I do.

6. One book that you wish had been written: Hmm... this one stumps me because I really don't know or else I would've made the suggestion to write it;). Maybe it would be "Don't Forget To Cover Up When You Head Out The Door"... some days it seems better to just stay at home than to go face garbage.

7. One book you wish had never been written: All romance novels... what trash.

8. One book you’re currently reading: I just bought "Stepping Heavenward" from Fairhaven's bookstore and started that on the plane ride home on Friday.

9. One book you've been planning to read: ah... too many, too many! Each yard sale, second-hand shop, and bookstore yields up new books every time;).

Five people you're tagging:

Kristi @ Thimble Thoughts

Arlene @ Ever Joyful

Rachel @ The View From My Fishbowl

Tiffany @ Dillon's Mommy

Amy @ Contemplations Amid Chaos

Happy Reading:)


Often something happens that can turn into a major setback AND a bad or bitter attitude. Ever the optimist, I try to look on the bright side of things and find the silver lining in what appears to be a very dark, dark cloud! At that point you have two options: laugh or cry. I usually (usually!) choose laughter. Because crying really isn't going to help at all, and you still have to take care of the problem!

At the beginning of summer, Sarah joined our staff at church to work with the printing ministry. Having just graduated from the Christian school in June, Sarah was an asset from the beginning. Her dad (also the school principle) did warn me beforehand that Sarah is very literal and blonde:o). Over these past 3 months, I've seen that *literal-ness* and *blonde-ness* come to the surface in lots of funny ways that have kept me laughing time and time again. To make matters more interesting, I also tend to be literal and blonde... so maybe that's why we hit it off so well;).

Anyway, over the past month or so, there was a lot of talk about whether we (we as in all the men on staff:D... so maybe *they* would be a better word to use!) would move some machines into one room or whether we would just move the one room to a completely different room to make more room for a classroom (it's a long story..:D). During that time, Sarah and I waited patiently for the end results because the outcome probably affected us the most. After we were told something new that was going to Sarah would glance at me and say "We're smiling, right?!?". Plans changed so much we weren't sure whether we were coming or going! But always, always, we managed to keep a sense of humor though it all and remind ourselves to smile!

You see, whether it was:
  • printing 500 copies of the wrong thing (that's happened lots of times to all sorts of ladies who have worked in the church just keeps the scrap paper pile well stacked:D I won't even tell the story about the time I printed an entire book wrong!)
  • typing up 30 labels before realizing they were all blank
  • moving everything out of a room to give it a good cleaning before moving it all back in.... only to realize we had to move it all back out to another room up two flights of stairs(!)
  • printing 750 copies on 60# paper instead of 20# paper
  • not being able to find some boxes in the stock room that we needed in order to do inventory correctly... we must've looked for a good hour:).

No matter what the situation is, we've learned to *smile*. Because in the big picture, it really doesn't matter what happened as much as how I respond to what happened. My attitude is what really come shining through at the moment. And if it's stinky, others will pick up on that quickly.

Sad to say, I know I've responded wrong time and time and time and time (!) again. Which goes to show that I will never be able to conquer the flesh in my own strength. But it's been helpful to keep an optimistic outlook through it all and to tell myself to *smile*. It really does make a difference!

Today Sarah and I had another *smile* moment. When we exchanged knowing glances, I just shrugged my shoulders and figured: it'll all come out of the wash somehow ... eventually! Why worry, when you can smile!!!!!!

Friday, August 18, 2006


It's funny how perspective changes in 5 short days. Up until now, Indiana was "that state we drove through in 2003 that was so flat and boring and hardly worthy of attention". Not anymore. As I flew home today, I left behind 5 special people in Northwest Indiana who are confident they are following God's will. In the process though, I think they've managed to take my heart with them (smile).

I began to tear up today as I drove home from the airport when I heard the words "Auntie Anne" from Tiffany as she talked to Dillon. Just thinking about this week and my little guy Trevor made me a little sad because Trevor is the only one who calls me "Auntie Anne"...
  • Trevor was such a good boy he slept from 11 PM on Monday until 11 AM on Tuesday (as did his 14-year-old sister but we won't mention that:D) That was great because we only traveled for 3 more hours and he handled it very well.
  • Jack and Kim hardly took any furniture with them so there was this big empty house with a china hutch, a computer table, and filing cabinet in it. Trevor and I ran around and around the cabinet so much just laughing and scaring one another. Finally I flopped on the floor because I was tired. Trevor peeked his head around the cabinet and said, "Roaah!". I just laid there and didn't act scared like I normally did. He came over, looked at me, and then nodded his head while saying, "Okie... I'll do it again!":D
  • Trevor has a one-track mind.... literally. When we got there on Tuesday, J & K were going to settle on the house while I took the kids to K-Mart to get sneaks for Trevor. He was so anxious to get out of the car that he didn't realize we had one stop to make before we could get out. So he kept saying over and over, "we go to house? we go to house?". Uh, yeah, as soon as you sit down in your car seat and we go get sneakers! Finally he sat down, we got sneakers, and we were all very happy once we got out of the car;).
  • I promised the kids I would take them to the sand dunes on Lake Michigan since it was about 5 minutes away. Someone told Trevor we were going to go swimming so (here's the one-track mind again!) "we go swimmies? we go swimmies? we get on swim-min trunks" and with a shake of the head, he walked away, knowing that we were going to do his one passion: swimming.
  • One evening I was lying down and Trevor came over and said, "Come on! Wake up Awntie Awne!".
  • An amazing thing happened on Thursday night during church: Trevor actually sat through the whole service without making noise! Lest you think it's no big deal, he never did that at LVBC. But we think it was because it was something new and unfamiliar to him so I'm sure we'll hear about future church services;).

It was a good week full of fun times. Well, except for Tiana sitting straight up in the backseat at 4 AM shouting "Wait! No, no, don't!" while I was driving. I thought I was going to hit someone or something like that! Or that we thought for sure the cat was going to have her kittens in the car (she kindly waited until 36 hours after we arrived!). Or that Trevor escaped from the house about 20 times (someone forgot to keep the door locked) and we thought for sure he was going to run into the street with a car coming. Or leaving at 6:15 AM this morning because J thought there would be major traffic on the way to Chicago (there wasn't PTL!) and arriving at the airport 2 1/2 hours early and then having my plane delayed for 2 hours and hitting rush hour Philly traffic on the way home. Or trying to call Tiffany from a pay phone for 45 minutes to let her know that I haven't even left Chicago yet so she shouldn't leave for Philly.

But you know, come to think of it, it was a fun week after all, even with all those mishaps. Because without those mishaps happening, I wouldn't have funny memories to share with my mom and friends... I wouldn't have something to tuck away in my mental filing cabinet and pull out when I think of my family out in the mid-west... I wouldn't be able to thank the Lord for the time He had given me throughout the years.

As I sat in church last night, I enjoyed the preaching and the singing. I enjoyed the laughter and the chatter. I enjoyed the smiles and friendly "hellos". I enjoyed the bantering and joking. But in my heart of hearts, I realized that wasn't home... for me. As much as I love my mid-west family (ha ~ now I can call them that:D), I know that my home is right here at LVBC. If there ever comes a day that I'm to leave, God will have to show me that clearly. Until that day, I ain't movin;). Vacations put it all in perspective for me. There has never been a time that I've come home from vacation that I don't thank the Lord for where HE has put me: right at LVBC. And I know like usual, come Sunday morning, I'm going to enter those church doors and smile at those around me and heartily join in the singing and listen to my Pastor preach and know that I am home. And you know what? It sure feels good to be home:)...

Monday, August 14, 2006

And We're Off!

We head out tonight for Indiana around 10ish:). Please pray for safety on the road. I say that because last June my sister and brother-in-law drove up from Florida to attend my brother's wedding. They left on the following Wednesday and about 3:30 Thursday morning we got a phone call saying they were in a car accident in Georgia that totaled their car. Thankfully no one was injured, but I always tense up when I hear *night driving* because of that accident. But I know the Lord gives perfect peace!

Last night I overheard one of the young ladies in the youth group say to my niece, "Now I'm gonna cry tomorrow just so you are prepared." I think that pretty much sums up the feelings of today. It's hard to believe after being here for 20 years they're leaving. But as missionaries like to say, they would rather be in the center of God's Will hundreds of miles away from everyone, than with everyone and completely outside of God's Will... I'll be back next week:o).

Sunday, August 13, 2006


So little time, the harvest will be ended.
Our reaping done, we reapers taken home.
Report our work, to Jesus Lord of Harvest.
And hope He'll smile and that He'll say "well done".

Today we reap, or miss our golden harvest.
Today is given us lost souls to win.
Oh then to save, some dear ones from the burning.
Today we'll go to bring some sinner in.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

FYI.... If You Care:-)

Do you remember a couple of posts ago when I said I like to do things spontaneously?!?! I convinced my sister-in-law & brother within an hour that I would come help them move into their new house in Indiana:D. So that means between now (Thursday) and then (Monday), there's a lot to get done...


But God's timing is good:
  • My last day at my early (early, early) job - working for a lady in my church with cerebal palsy - is tomorrow morning. (Yay ~ sleep will return:D).
  • I only had two *small* things planned for next week that were easily rearranged. (Three if Rachel considers a pedicure *small*;)).
  • My office job is flexible so I can take off the time.
  • We found a ticket for me to return in time on Friday to do a 12-hour babysitting job on Saturday.
  • I get to fly out of Chicago O'Hare Airport! This one is neat because I always want to fly out of *big* airports, and this one is on my list:P. (Not that I have anything against smaller airports:D... I just like to go to well-known airports because that usually means I'm going to a very exciting destination.)
  • Caffeine will actually work in my favor during the night drive. If I drink a soda at 2:30 in the afternoon, I'm still zinging around at midnight (last night's a good example!).
  • I'll get to have that *girl talk* a lot sooner than I expected:o).

So, I said all that to say this: my little home here will be quiet for several days. But don't worry! I'm sure I'll have plenty of Trevor stories to tell, blonde moments to share, and funny happenings from along the way;). Oh and Tiff, I still like my week idea better... it's so much easier;).

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

A Last(ing) Memory.

Last evening I went out to my brother and sister-in-law's house to help them out with packing their house for probably the last time, or the second last time. As I sat there scrubbing the counter and listening to my dearest, sweetest, sister-in-law, I couldn't help but feel the tears well up in my eyes. I couldn't help but think about all that needs to be done in a week (a week!) and sigh, knowing that time is indeed coming to a close. I couldn't help but think that I'm saying good-bye to some of the dearest people to my heart.

Yet it is totally exciting to think about God moving in my life in one direction and moving in their life in another direction. For God is so faithful, and of course He is working and moving, for that's Who He is.

The first "good-bye" is always the hardest, for it's the closing of a door that has been, up to this point, consistently open. But it's the brand new beginning of something new, something unknown, something different. And that's exciting to me! I like routine, for the most part. But then there are times that I just itch to do something a different way... take a different road... explore a different place!

I told Kim that last evening was probably our last "girl talk" for a long time... "Oh don't say that!" she exclaimed. It might've been the last time in that dining room of hers, but I choose to think that there's a *first* time awaiting us in a new house in Indiana:D. My last memory in their row home is going to be a lasting memory I treasure for a long time.

I experienced another last and lasting memory with my nephew Trevor. This sweet kid is over 4 years old, but just started talking within the past year. Before that he spoke what we affectionately called Chinese:). A typical sentence was this: "You andoseidsndileo me?"


So as soon as I got there, he jumped up onto me and said, "We goes swimmin inz the pool Awntie!" I wasn't sure I heard him correctly, so I asked him again. "Wes goes swimmin inz the pool Awntie Awne!!!"

Wow... someone was pretty adamant about what we were going to do! But the amazing part was he specifically said my name. That's happened once before, and I think it was more wishful thinking on my part than anything else:D. But all throughout the evening, he kept calling me Awntie Awne.

I know, (I know!), Trevor is a handful many times. To his autistic mind, he needs to get what he wants or else he has a meltdown. Part of it is that Trevor's got a sin nature like every other kid I know (let's see: at least 3 people reading this blog should be vigorously shaking their head in agreement after working with him:D).

But one thing I never thought about until last night was something Kim shared with me. You see, Kim is very outgoing, energetic, fun, enthusiastic, talkative, bubbly, hilarious, and a prankster. But Jack (her husband ~ my brother)on the other hand, is not. He is quiet... she is loud. He likes the indoors... she prefers the outdoors. He loves going out for dinner... she would rather stay home. He likes to dress up... she is most comfortable in her culottes and t-shirt. He's night... she's day:). She is a crazy multi-tasker... he is methodical.

For the longest time, whenever people thought about the Hammonds, the first person that came to mind was Kim, not Jack. You know, it's Kim Hammond and her husband Jack. But once Trevor and his autism came along, God convicted Kim of the fact that the Proverbs 31 lady's husband was the one who was known in the gates, not her.

Slowly, slowly God used this wonderful child in Kim's life to show her that she needs to build her husband up and point to him, not her. He was the one who is supposed to come to mind first. Many times Kim couldn't go to a ladies gathering or agree to do some creative project because of Trevor. What seemed like a trial at first became a sweet blessing as she encouraged her husband, built him up, and pointed to him *sitting in the gate*.

Now as they prepare to move to Indiana in a week (a week!), Kim knows that at Fairhaven her position will be different than it was here at Lehigh Valley. While her husband will get involved with the church and the activities, and Tiana and Tyler will become active in the school and youth group, Kim will be homeschooling Trevor. Oh she'll get to know ladies and participate in services, but she does not want to be the one that's known; she would rather her husband is honored and lifted up. This lesson did not come easy; and in the days ahead it will be a tough reminder at times. But each time she looks at Trevor as he bounces around the room or says, "You want me", she'll be reminded of the valuable lesson God taught her about her husband through her son.

You know, I walked away from our conversation last night thinking it was one of the sweetest we have ever had. And as I prepare for my own home, I know I can look back on that Monday evening spent at 515 Locust Street and remember the lesson that was taught on honoring my husband... and just in case I forget, I have a Godly example in my brother and sister-in-law.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Post Scripts.


I got to spend last night and today with this little guy and I'm so excited!!!! He gets to go home with me tonight and stay over until tomorrow:-D. We're having a big family picnic tomorrow after church for my brother and sister-in-law before they head out to Indiana, so my sister and brother-in-law will pick up Andrew before they head out on vacation in northern PA. So it's gonna be a fun evening tonight!

The doctors called my sister to let her know the problem with Andrew is he has a digestive problem and major acid reflex. He eats his food so fast that it just sits in his stomach and he doesn't get any of the nutrients to the rest of his body. So it's back to the hospital on Thursday to find out what they can do to try to solve the problem.

Stupid Things, Part 2

After I wrote the last post, I went out to my sister-in-law's house to help her pack and watch my nephew (who gets into everything!!!) As I carried my nephew up the basement stairs, I forgot about the pots and pans she has hanging on the walls so clunk! My head hit a pot and it dropped right on my head. Oww!!!

Bible Institute

I am officially taking my last two courses!!!! This is a very exciting week for me as I attempt to finish the 33 remaining lectures. My goal is to finish them before the end of August, and then finish my *senior project* by the end of September. It is so exciting to see this chapter in my life close. I have learned so much about the Bible, history, and personal application through these last five years. Most people usually ask me what I'm going to *get* at the end of Bible Institute... I choose to think I *got* one of the best educations around: being taught in my local church by teachers who love the Lord and know so much about the Bible. These past five years have been long, and at times challenging, but it's been so rewarding.

Moving Forward

I'm not quite sure what's "around the bend", but I do have some goals for this fall: teaching at my church's Christian school, coaching volleyball, learning how to sew (I gave my sewing machine to my sister-in-law to use four years ago - I just got it back:D), scrapbooking my siblings' weddings and my nephews births, and being available for whatever and whoever needs me! But until then, I'm going to enjoy these fading summer nights and look forward to the crunch, crunch, crunch of the fall leaves.... Happy Saturday to y'all!:-)

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Did You Do Your Dumb Thing For The Week?

Honestly, sometimes I wonder if I subconsciously think, "You need to do something totally dumb and painful today... you have yet to accomplish that this week!" It just must be a Hammond family trait. You know: run into a closed door, stick your elbow out as you pass an object so you hit your funny bone, or kick something with flipflops on (boy, did that one hurt!). All of my siblings do it; it just seems that my brother Tom and I are really good and never miss a week:

"Oooh... it's Saturday night. I didn't do my stupid thing for the week. I know, why don't I drop this box on my foot?" And wham! the box falls, on cue, and connects with the foot. Of course the next thing that happens is "oww!!! Why was I so stupid?" Well, it's really not a fault; like I said, it's just a trait and we seem to be drawn to hurting ourselves in the most (un)natural way.

So, in case you are wondering, I did my stupid thing for the week right smack dab in the middle of the week. Hey, I like to maintain evenness.

Yesterday my sister-in-law pulled up outside of church with two tables sticking out of her back window and with a bungee cord keeping them in place. Being the nice, sweet, kind, loving sister-in-law that I am, I went over to help her with the tables. I stood there trying to figure out how to get the bungee cord off the car so we could get the tables out, so I first pulled at the top one but it didn't move a centimeter. So (being the very smart blonde girl that I am) I tugged at the bottom one. Not only did it move a centimeter, it came completely off.


The bungee cord smacked me right in the chin, hook first.

Of course my first reaction was, "Owww... why am I so stupid?!?!?!"

My second reaction was, "Is it bleeding???" (I do not handle blood too well, not even my own). After being assured I wasn't bleeding, we carried the tables inside. Then I gingerly touched my chin and felt something moist....

"Uh... uh... Kim? Is it... uh... (gulp) bleeding?"

It was, so I went and got a tissue to stop the bleeding. Later on I told Rachel about it (she promptly laughed, sweat dear friend that she is:D) and at dinner I told my mom about it. The ironic part was less than an hour later we were sitting in church waiting for the service to start when my mom said, "What did you do to your chin?" Then she laughed and remembered the incident:o). I walked into the bookstore after the service, and when Rachel saw my chin, she just started laughing too. Oh yeah, I feel the love!

Well, lest you think I am the only klutzy Hammond out there; take heart! I am not alone.

You see, two of my brothers work for a man at church who is a general contractor. So they've had lots of chances to hurt themselves...
  • Tom has put at least 5 nails through his fingers.
  • Phil managed to shoot himself in the toe with a nailgun and he thought he could cover it up with a bandaid.:-)
  • Someone was throwing a can of soda for Tom to catch and he nearly fell off the roof trying to catch it!
  • Both boys have jammed their fingers countless times and have broken some of them too.
  • Tom has a t-shirt that says "Yes I do all of my own stunts"! It's a pefect fit for him;).
  • Staple gun and Hammond shouldn't be said in the same sentence:D
  • Likewise sledgehammers...
  • My mom ran over Tom's knee three times with our 3 ton station wagon... and my sister was directing my mom as she went forward, reverse, forward. (Hmmm, I wonder if Mary was mad at Tom that day...:D)
  • In 1994, we had several feet of snow fall over a period of two days. At that time we lived in a ranch-style house. My dad was concerned about all the snow on top of the roof, so he and the boys got up there to shovel it off. That made for about 10-12 feet of snow for us to jump into from the roof. Tom, Phil, and I all got a running start and landed far away from the house, but my sister Michelle just jumped off the roof and landed directly below in a couple of feet of snow! No broken bones, just a crying and terrifed Michelle!

So you see, we can't help it... it's our tendency. The funny thing is, Tom married a girl who is sorta klutzy herself:o). Pity their kids:D. Actually, pity the poor man that marries me... he's in for a lot of "owws", "stupid me!", and bumps and bruises. Oh well.... that's just the way it is:)!

Tuesday, August 1, 2006


My sister had given me a desk-sized day calendar entitled Always My Sister for Christmas this past year. I'm not always faithful at turning the pages of the calendar, but eventually I get caught up! Today I turned the page (surprisingly I was on track!) and I read this quote...

"Many women... have buoyed me up in times of weariness and stress.
Each friend was important...
Their words have seasoned my life.
Influence, just like salt shaken out, is hard to see,
but its flavor is hard to miss."
Pam Farrel
I thought about that, especially the line Influence, just like salt shaken out, is hard to see, but its flavor is hard to miss. I have several special ladies in my life, all who have influenced me:
  • My mom
  • Mary, Michelle, Sherrie, Kim, Sarah, Anne (sisters and sisters-in-law)
  • Amy, Terri, Cindy (co-workers)
  • Bev, Debbie, Debbie, Debra, Amy, Michelle, Kristin, Sue, Shannon, Joyce, Gayle, Sue, Donna, Katie (Pastor/Missionary wives)
  • Denise, Paula, Donna, Gina, Tiffany, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah:), Rachel, Becky, Melissa, Gina, Jen, Stacia, Katina, Carol, Mary Ann, Raichelle, Barb, Debbie, Tina, Katie, Tiffany, Jen, Robin, Johanna, Priscilla, Ilona, Abbi, Janet, Elizabeth, Gail, Michelle, Connie, Karen (some of the many wonderful friends and ladies at church:D)

This is not an exhaustive list by an means... I could even list some names of people I met just by blogging that have been a great encouragement to me. I've been affected by many, many ladies that it's just too much to list. Just recently I encountered a situation where I could go to no less than 10 ladies within a day asking them to pray for me. Some I told what the situation was about and some I did not; but I know all will pray because that's who they are.

So thank you all for being there for me. Thank you for being:

  • a shoulder to cry on
  • a laugh-until-the-sides-ache buddy
  • a yard saling/thrift shop/crazy adventure companion
  • a smile passing in the hallway
  • a rebuker and corrector in love
  • an enjoyer of sleepovers, parties, and "girl time"
  • a guiding hand on this pathway to being a woman after His own heart
  • a sympathizer who understands frustrations with the folding machine, cutting machine, jogging machine, and the Riso:)
  • a walking partner
  • a fellow blogger serving the Lord
  • an optimistic voice
  • a faithful example
  • a practical instructor of Proverbs 31 and Titus 2
  • a fellow-spontaneous-seeker-of-what's-new-around-the-bend
  • a faithful laborer on a mission field
  • a light on a dreary day
  • an encourager of faithfully waiting for God's best
  • a friend to me.

Each friend is important. Each friend has touched my heart and life in some way, and has left an imprint on my heart. So thank you for touching my life.

I'm Part Yankee.

I am part Yankee after all... I was accused of being a yankee by one of the teenagers that went on the missions trip to the Czech Republic in May (I went with a church from Maryland). I denied it, but I guess my speech betrayeth me! Here's a survey I got from Kristi at Thimble Thoughts... try it! You might be surprised:D

Your Linguistic Profile:
40% General American English
30% Yankee
20% Dixie
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern