Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Look Back.

2006 brought many blessings with it; many that were unforeseeable at the close of 2005. In this post, I would like to highlight those blessings as well as recount them and tell what great things God has done!

January ~ For the past 9 years, I've had the opportunity to go to Teen Winter Camp; four of them as a camper and five of them as a kitchen cook/help. Camp is always a fun and encouraging time and this one was no exception.

February ~ February always brings my birthday (!) but even more exciting than that is to see during missions month (this month) the church auditorium covered with international flags from countries where we support missionaries. A highlight for us as a church was to see our Faith Promise go over $200,000 for the first time!

March ~ A group of about 30 people left our church parking lot to head over to South Africa on a missions trip. My heart went right along with the group, but I did not. God had another trip in store for me and the opportunity came on a Sunday night in March to ask a visiting preacher if I could join his church group in going to the Czech Republic! With only 5 weeks before the start of the trip, God raised up over $1000.00! What an exciting time to see His specific direction on what trip to take (and not to take).

April ~ At 23, I bought my first car. This might seem a little strange to be a blessing, but if you knew what car I did drive, then you would know just how exciting this blessing was! God provided a nice, little car for me and I've had no mechanical problems with it yet:).

May ~ Bright and early on May 1st, I excitedly pack my bag and drove 3 hours to join up with a Baptist Church group in Maryland before taking off from Dulles International Airport for the Czech Republic. The next two weeks were spent with a missionary friend and her family as we blitzed a couple of towns and held a creation seminar. It was on this trip that my friend started courting, and that courtship will culminate in a wedding this upcoming weekend!

June ~ I started this blog:) Really, it has been such a blessing to "meet" so many ladies across this nation and even be reconnected with an old friend from high school:). Also in this month, I babysat for 3 little girls so their mom could go to summer camp with her "older" kids. I had a blast!

July ~ This month started off with a very sweet wedding with a couple at church and continued on with weekly trips to St. Christopher's Hospital in Philadelphia. Thankfully, little Dillon came home this month!

August ~ My dear brother and sister-in-law moved out to Indiana and I went right with them - to help them move, not move myself! I'm so glad I had that time to be with them just a little longer!

September ~ School began at EBA, and with it my new job too. But it has turned out to be a blessing working with the high schoolers and I'm thrilled with the opportunity to work with them. Volleyball also consumed a huge part of my time but I loved working with the girls:).

October ~ Bro. Milton Martin came and preached and left. But the words that were spoken were not soon forgotten, and has impacted my life during the "Bible In Real Life" Conference. It was during Bro. Martin's preaching that the Lord began to work on my heart about another missions trip - which will Lord willing happen during this summer!

November ~ I had the opportunity to travel out to Indiana to attend a youth camp with a friend and her two daughters (plus see my western family:D). The preaching was needed and the fellowship was sweet. Thanksgiving was spent at home with some friends from church and my brother and his wife and what a time it was to hear some blessings from them!

December ~ The Christmas Cantata was a highlight for me (especially since we worked on it for 4 months;)). At the end of this month, I spent one whole week with my sister in Florida ~ absolutely wonderful!!!!

While those are the highlights, you can't see the day-to-day ins and outs. You don't see the tears, the laughter and giggles, the sweet times of prayer and Bible reading, the times of chastisement, the quiet, confidential talks, the times of ministry opportunities, or the hellos and good-byes. All that makes up a life, and overall, 2006 has been blessed. I look forward to this new year and am very excited as I see His Hand directing my life already.

"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23

Friday, December 29, 2006

Goodbye Vacation... Hello Life.

In less then 24 hours, life (as I know it!) will return to it's neck-breaking speed. Gone will be the enjoyment of sleeping in until 8:30 (pure bliss!). Replacing it will be early morning chaos. Gone will be the opportunity to make homemade cakes, cookies, and buns (yum!). Replacing it will be sandwiches, veggies, and snacks. Gone will be the late midnight girl chats (and laughter) with my sister. Replacing it will be a strict bedtime schedule.

But the time I've spent here in Florida has been restful... even though my sister and her family live smack dab in the middle of a huge tourist area (read: Disney). The sweet times spent in prayer and devotions have re-energized me for the work that is ahead. I feel refreshed and I'm ready to head home. I'm never ready to say "good-bye" to any loved one, but God's will for my life is not one continuous vacation! Can you imagine how boring that would be! But if you know me and the way God often leads in my life, you'll be hearing about another trip soon, I'm sure. God has given me a love for traveling and I praise Him for that. Just last week I was talking with a missionary's wife who doesn't like to travel at all. But I appreciated the spirit that she had about traveling for a missionary certainly does a lot of that!

So good-bye vacation... hello reality. Hello family. Hello church family. Hello preaching at LVBC. Hello Christian school. Hello Bible studies. Hello serving. Hello visitation. Hello ministry opportunities. Vacation's over. I'm ready to come!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Good Things.

The room I am occupying while I'm here in Central Florida has become a place of quiet for me to spend time with the Lord. The house is usually filled with "Bayley-isms" from 8:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night, so my quiet time will only be accomplished in this little room. I've enjoyed reading through a few chapters of Joshua, although I will admit it was kinda hard to follow which tribe owned what city when there's twelve tribes and they each owned alot!

As I came to a close this morning, the last two verses from Joshua 21 leapt off the page and struck me between the eyes. The first reason was because it said something different besides "so-and-so tribe owned such-and-such city and her suburbs":). But what really captivated my mind and eyes was that God's attributes were wrapped up in these two verses:

And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.".

I guess it could be summed up like this:

1 - "And the LORD gave them rest round about" ~ God gives rest. When the storms of life are beating and the waves seem to shake my tiny vessel, He whispers, "Peace, be still."

2 - "according to all that he sware unto their fathers" ~ God keeps His Promises. When He promises, He provides.

3 - "and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them" ~ God protects. The devil doesn't have a chance against my God. God will triumph over my enemies.

4 - "the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand" ~ God gives victory. It's as if He's putting a cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. It's not necessary; but that's my God!!! He gives over and over and over again!

5 - "There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel;" ~ God is faithful! His word, once spoken, will be brought to pass. God is not a man in that He forgets or that He does a half-job.

6 - "all came to pass." ~ God is complete. What started at Creation ("he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made") and continued at Calvary ("It is finished") is still being done today. A missionary recently said, "If God cares about the flowers of the field and the stars in the heavens, then He cares about you as an individual so much more."

God's will for my life is perfect and He will not rest until I am completely conformed into His image. And although the road is rough at times, and thorns may cause me pain, my God only has my good in mind and does all things with a purpose. As someone once said, God is never late and seldom early, but He is always on time. Those good things He promised me will eventually all come to pass.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Our Jerusalem And Judea.

The challenge was given; the goal was set. At first glance it seemed to be unattainable. The directions were few and the time limit was 40 minutes. The groups were divided and the session began. The two questions were then asked:

How do we get the Gospel to Pennsylvanians?


How do we get Pennsylvanians to the Gospel?

Go. Brainstorm. Shun no ideas. Let the juices flow. We need to reach
our state.

After our fall Bible Conference with Bro. Milton Martin, Pastor preached a message challenging us to pray for our state and to begin thinking of ways to reach our whole state. Today was the day that was set for us to have a brainstorming session during Sunday School.

The approach my Sunday School teacher took was to ask those two questions and then add "money is not an issue." Because he said that, my class was a little "outlandish" with ideas...
  • Buy a Super Bowl commercial spot
  • Place Scripture verses and on cereal boxes, milk cartons, and bowls
  • Billboards
  • In order to reach people groups like the Amish or prisoners, have a pen pal system set up
  • Take the handbells and minister all across the state
  • Have each class/table go blitz their specific area with tracts while having commercials on the local tv/radio station at the same time
  • Since we have State College to pray for (we're a college-age Sunday School class), go out there and hand out free food with Scripture labels on them
  • Have a pop-up window with an advertisement come up on web pages
  • Send forwarded text messages
  • Go throughout the state and place tracts/pamphlets/etc. at all the rest stops
  • Get an 18-wheeler tractor trailer with Scripture written all over it and head for traffic jams where all people do anyway is sit in traffic and read the sides of trucks (I thought this one was creative:D)
  • Offer discounted and/or free tickets to ski resorts, boating/hiking/fishing parks as long as the person would do a bible study
  • Put advertisements on buses, trains, and metros

The list really could go on and on; we're just praying that the right idea or ideas were mentioned and get tweaked. We have a wide array of people who live in our state, and the idea might not necessarily be "one size fits all". Praise God the Gospel does meet all needs and that the foot of the cross is level for all to come and bow the knee!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Sometimes it's just ironic. Situations are passed our way and how we respond does matter. I was laughing over irony yesterday because an all-too-familiar situation happened again! Last Tuesday the honor roll students were supposed to take a field trip to the Cheesecake Factory at the King of Prussia Mall, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the students couldn't go so it was rescheduled for yesterday. I was supposed to go along, but once I found out that over half the girls were staying behind, I chose to stay behind too and do our regular Girls gym class in the afternoon. While slightly disappointed at missing the Cheesecake Factory (I could do without the mall though:D), I continued through my day.

After lunch we got the call: "the school bus broke down on the way...". That's happened lots of times before. I have fond memories of sitting at a rest stop outside of Scranton after a camp with several of us singing at the top of our lungs as men from church drove vans to pick us up. Our bus breaking down happens often enough to make memories, but not too often that we don't step on the bus each time! But the worst part of the whole thing this time was that it was just fixed. I'm not sure what was fixed, but apparently they overlooked the back brakes!

I did feel bad for the girls who went on the trip because I think the girls who stayed behind had more fun in gym:o). Since I had a smaller group, I decided to play Sardines outside. Sardines is played by one person going to hide and then one or two people being dismissed minute by minute to go find the person hiding. Once you find the person hiding, you're supposed to hide with them, hence the name "Sardines" because you can get squished sometimes! We've played Sardines in the building before which is loads of fun!

The first girl who hid wasn't too creative; she stood behind the church bus and then when one of the girls spotted her feet, she ran inside the bus and hid while the other girl watched her do that;). The second girl was a tad more creative, for she chose a shed between the assistant pastor's house and Pastor's house to hide behind. She was soon found as well. The third girl I sent out took us a 1/2 hour to find because she didn't hear me say, "don't hide in trees" so that's where she was! The nice thing for me was I walked the perimeter of the church property twice looking for her so I didn't need to go walking in the afternoon;).

The last two girls (they hid at the same time) probably chose the most dangerous spot to hide. Since there was an unequal number of girls, I partnered up with #2 girl and thought to look near the woods since Eliza loves the woods. But as we were walking past Pastor's house, I noticed Kristen trying to walk over to this cement-covered stairway. I couldn't figure out why she was trying to go that way because all she had to do was go around the bramble pile to peer in. Plus I couldn't figure out why she thought Eliza and Jessica would hide in there. When the girls finally came out (I had given them a time limit and my watch so they would know when the game was "over") I asked them where they hid and they said "in the Hammett's basement stairway!"

I overheard one of the girls talking later about snakes but I pushed that off as just a bunch of teenage boys trying to scare the girls. Later on I asked my pastor's wife if there were snakes in there. Her answer was "probably" and said it was dangerous because the cement was crumbling. She then asked me why I asked. I told her, "I guess next time I have to be a little more clear in what's off-limits. I mean, you would have to be pretty dumb to hide in there!" Mrs. Hammett started laughing as she agreed with me, for she knew the two girls pretty well:D.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Sweet Friends And Honey Nut Cheerios.

Thursday night I drove down to Philly like usual and spent 2 hours talking with my sweet sister before we finally crashed into bed at 11:15. I've noticed recently that I've had many opportunities to spend time talking with dear friends. One time it was after the Thanksgiving Eve Service with two friends (that one last until midnight!). Another time was last Sunday night while everyone else went to celebrate a missionary's arrival from Chile with a "Fiesta de Chile" party. My friend and I had good intentions to go over to join in the celebration but we just started talking and before we knew it, the assistant pastor was coming around locking up the building. Then another friend and I went walking three times this week so we got to spend time talking too. Plus I went to help a friend twice this week which resulted in more talking:o). And finally I picked up a friend from the airport last night so we spent the two hour ride (courtesy of I-76 and rush hour traffic!) home doing ~ you guessed it~ talking:). But this friend I hadn't seen in a while so I really enjoyed catching up with her.

It was no surprise then to see that my sister and I spent that much time just talking. I was surprised to see her get out of bed (she's a teacher so she goes to bed super-early since she gets up super-early!) and come talk but I really enjoyed it. One thing I've really enjoyed since my teen years is friendships with a wide array of people, including my sisters and sisters-in-law. I consider myself blessed, for I've often read stories of brothers and sisters who won't talk to each other at all. I'm glad I've not experienced that at all. And I'm looking forward to the opportunity in two weeks to spend a week (a whole week!) with my sweet sister (and friend!) and her family in Florida where we'll play catch up.

One thing about friendships is that little things (read: hurts) can happen, but they need to be dealt with in light of the Word of God.
For example, yesterday morning my sister and I were trying to get ready to take Andrew to a doctor's appointment. We had a certain time in mind to leave by and as the minutes ticked by, we got a little more "rushed" with our actions. We were sitting at opposite ends of the couch doing our own things when my sister said, "Can you pass me a pillow?" Without looking up (I was brushing my wet hair ready to dry it) I reached over to the pillow and tossed it at her. Unfortunately for her (and me!) she had big bowl of honey nut cheerios and milk that spilled as soon as the pillow made contact. All I heard was "ahhhh... ahhh, ahhhhh, Annnnnnnnne!" I looked up and started laughing, which might not have been the best thing to do;). Here cheerios and milk were dripping off of her and onto the couch and floor. Andrew (who was playing on the floor) looked up and started laughing too, but I think that was because *I* was laughing. The situation grew a little more grave when she said that was all she could wear. With 10 minutes to go, I threw the outfit into the dryer with a dryer sheet and hoped for the best.

I really need to work on this, but I can't help laughing, no matter how serious the situation is. So I was trying to hide my laughter but little giggles would bubble out of me and she would just look at me. But there were no words of anger, huffs, or silent treatments from my sister. It was a honest, albeit funny, mistake and she recognized it for what it was.

Too often I tend to take a genuine mistake someone makes and get hurt that they did that to me. I mean, what were they thinking that they would intentionally hurt me? (that's said tongue-in-cheekedly!) One good tip that my Pastor passed along to us in Biblical Counseling class was this: we'll use the word "hurt" in place of "bitter". After that class when someone would say they were "hurt", a friend and I would have a twinkle in our eye and a smile on our lips as we gently but pointedly corrected them: "You're not 'bitter', you're just 'hurt', right?" Usually switching around those two words made a difference as the person would recognize what their true feeling really is.

It's funny what the Lord uses to teach and remind, isn't it? Cheerios don't just lower your cholesterol :o) they're also a visual reminder of friendships and how important they are to maintain. Oh, and the outfit was fine... no use crying over spilled milk!!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

All I Need.

"Oft times I've tried to live my life according to my will.
When darkness comes it's difficult to rest and just be still.
But Lord, you are my Shepherd, that guides me in the way.
And I will learn this glorious truth if I your word obey."

"You're all I need. You're the Lord of everything.
All I need, this is why I humbly sing.
Your strength is sustaining, and your grace has made me free.
You're my heart's lone desire, You're all I need."

"By wanting more, I've wanted less than all You've given me.
You gave Your all by laying down Your life at Calvary.
So I surrender all Lord, my past to You I give.
And thank You now for giving me a reason to live."

"You're all I need. You're the Lord of everything.
All I need, this is why I humbly sing.
Your strength is sustaining, and your grace has made me free.
You're my heart's lone desire, You're all I need."

"More than enough, You're all I need."

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Umm, Yeah.

Just tell me what is wrong with this. I can't admit to finding this on my own, but # 3 commenter did. So for the low, low price of $599.95, you could be the proud, new, sweaty owner of this treat for it *only* weighs 84 pounds.

After checking out their website, I found this , this, and this . If you're trying to find Christmas gifts but aren't sure what to get, try some of these suggestions :o). Oh, and if you're having problems with squirrels on your bird feeder, then try this!

I just want to know who had time to think these things up!

Saturday, December 2, 2006


In honor of this being my 100th post (yikes! I had that much to say?!?), I thought it very fitting to post this meme from Rachel .
ABC's Meme

A - Available/Single? I'm single and really enjoying it! A friend wrote me a card on the day I graduated from high school and said to use this season of singleness for God. I took her advice, and haven't been sorry :o).
B - Best Friend? Hmm, that's a tough one. I don't have one specific one... but I do have 5 extremely close friends and half of them are family! (so how's that for avoiding the question?;)
C- Cake or Pie? Definitely pie... specifically pumpkin!
D - Drink Of Choice? Water
E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? Deoderant
F - Favorite Color? It's a toss-up between pink and blue!
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Both!
H - Hometown? Wherever I pillow my head at night!
I - Indulgence? Cookies-n-Cream ice cream while watching a movie:o)
J - January Or February? I'm going to lean towards February since that's missions month at church and also includes my b-day;)
K- Kids & Their Names? I absolutely adore kids (which is why I work with them everyday!). I prefer more unique and old-fashioned and/or Biblical names compared to contemporary names.
L - Life Is Incomplete Without? God and snuggle time with my nephews:o)
M - Marriage Date? ? ?/? ?/? ? ? ?
N- Number Of Siblings? Three wonderful, terrific, protective big brothers and three sweet, caring big sisters
O - Oranges Or Apples? Apples of course :o)
P - Phobias/Fears? I'm not overly fond of creepy-crawly insects, bears, and sometimes I fear that I'll accidently cause major physical harm to someone else
Q - Favorite Quote? "I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." ~ Galatians 2:20; The Apostle Paul
R - Reason to Smile? I'm saved and on my way to heaven:o) and I just got to spend two days with a really cute nephew:o)
S - Season? I don't have a "favorite" season ~ I like them all! Seriously, the great things I love about living in PA is that I experience all the seasons here for the right amount of time! Just when I start to "tire" of the one, the next one comes rolling by ;).
T - Tag Two Or Three People? Kristi, Melissa, and Courtney .
U - Unknown Fact About Me? I'm not quite sure how I'm supposed to know if it's unknown or not because I already know it! But I'll scribble down a few: I sleep-walk, talk in my sleep, and snore. I am shy with a group of people I don't know very well, but usually handle a crowd ok. One of my favorite things to do is to light a candle, play music, and snuggle under a blanket with a good book. I'm very spontaneous and yet un-decisive at times. Basically I'm a study of contrasts!
V - Vegetable you don’t like? Eggplant... eww!
W - Worst Habit? Shouldn't that be habits? I have several that annoy myself and others so I'll spare you!
X - X-rays You’ve Had? My elbow and my teeth (what a combo!).
Y - Your Favorite Food? Ice cream
Z - Zodiac Sign? I wouldn't begin to have a clue and I really don't care :o)

Friday, December 1, 2006

That Day.

I started Thursday morning praying for my pregnant sister who thought she might have lost her baby and I ended the day praying my 1-year old nephew. The good news is my sister did not lose her baby; she hadn't felt movement for a while and was losing weight, but the doctor just said the baby was hanging out on the lower left side just trying to get comfortable :o). But the not-so-good news is that my nephew Andrew has a lot of problems with his little body. He was at the emergency room 3 times in 4 days and had all sorts of tests, x-rays, IVs and other stuff done to him.

My sister called me at work yesterday afternoon practically crying and begging me to come down early so I had to rearrange some plans (sorry Josiah & Tiff :-( ), but when I got down here to Philly, I could see that I was definitely needed. My friend and I were just talking the other day about when a people hit low points. Well, my sister definitely hit a low point with what the doctor told her on the phone. Although I felt badly about not being able to help my friends out, there's a verse that came to mind last night: "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" and that was true for me yesterday. Normally on a Thursday night, I go to a Chinese Bible Study, but I decided against that last night since I had a family function (that I missed anyway:D) and I had told Tiff I would help her too. If this had been a normal Thursday, I would've been unable to come help my sister, so God worked it out for good!

Yesterday morning in my devotions I read about how Joshua conquered various cities but the Bible specifically says "and they took it on that day" or "he utterly destroyed that day" (Joshua 10: 35). God doesn't give us all the battles on one day... He only gives to us what we can handle that day and nothing else. How fitting that those were the verses I read in the morning!

If you think of it, please pray for my little nephew. Not only does he have mono, but he also has a very poor immune system so that means that even a little sniffle could be dangerous. But although he has been sick, I have enjoyed more snuggles, hugs, and laughter than usual :o).