Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I must admit, I did not finish my English project Saturday, much to my great disappointment. The only bright spot in this bleak picture is that the goal was self-imposed (much like my blogging break!). My teacher (who also happens to be my co-worker:D) has a lot of sympathetic understanding thankfully:). I had two unavoidable problems in this "tragedy": #1 - The only time I can work on anything not work-related is on Saturdays. #2 - We were waiting for this lady to send us a huge packet of papers that was supposed to help me on the way with my project. Well, the packet came, but it was pretty much useless (I hope that didn't come across with an unthankful spirit... the information will be helpful down the road, just not right now:D).
I did get most of the project done... the only remaining "glitch" is that I need to pull it all together. The most frustrating part on Saturday was after I spent 7 hours working on it, I had a great visual in my head, but I just couldn't transfer it from my head to paper.
So sorry Abbi, no stories of great victory and triumph today over English! Eventually.... eventually:).
I do have two stories to share that happened this week that made me chuckle...
Monday morning I awoke to a world that was white... kinda. In my most humble opinion, I would venture a guess that we received somewhere between one quarter to one half inch of snow. Fluffy snow. Light snow. Not-the-kind-of-snow-that-calls-for-a-two-hour-delay snow. My shock was very evident as I stared at the computer screen and read the words over and over again: 2-hour delay. 2-hour delay. 2-hour delay.
Huh? For what?
Happy at the prospect of having a couple of unplanned hours to work in the office, I went in to work and actually accomplished something at my desk before 10:30 AM:op. As I was walking through the lunchroom at that time, I noticed a group of happy, chattering teenagers walking in from their bus. With calls of "Good morning Miss Hammond" one girl said, "Miss Hammond, did the whole school have a delay?"
Trying to keep my face from breaking into a huge grin I replied, "Oh no Eliza. Only the elementary was delayed. You're two hours late!"
The look on her face was priceless:oD
Tonight after church, my friend and I walked into the auditorium and as we did, I looked over at one of the preacher boys of the church and just started laughing. I kid you not, it looked like he was very confidently having a conversation... with himself. I totally missed the little earpiece he had in his ear because I was so fascinated with that fact he was comfortable asking and answering questions out loud with not a soul near him. Isn't technology great?!?!?
One more thing... if posting's a little sparse around here, don't be offended! My sister and nephew are visiting for two weeks so Mr. Bayley-boo just might get first dibs on my free time. Free time... oh, what a dream!!!
Saturday, January 27, 2007
The fatigue rolled through her, but she still waved good-bye to her friend at the door of the building and headed for her faithful, little, gray car. Satisfied with the events of the day, she absently played them over in her head as she drove along the dark, curvy, back road. Noting the cluster of deer off to the side of the road, she was thankful that this road would soon break into a main highway and the concern of deer would be greatly diminished. Almost as an afterthought, she decided to check her cell phone for any messages. She chuckled to herself as she heard, "You have two new messages" and listened patiently to her older sister's voice on the phone. With the second message holding a note of urgency, she broke her rule of talking on the phone while driving and dialed the number.
Picking up on the other end was a much-too-cheerful teacher for the late hour of 11 PM. Happy at the prospect of having a delay in the morning, the older sister warned the younger sister of the road conditions near her home and asked her to be careful. Dutifully taking on the role of a submissive younger sister, she agreed that she would be careful and with that they said good-bye.
As the younger sister drove along a near-empty turnpike, her thoughts turned toward the goodness of the Lord. A smile spread across her face as she remembered why this day was so special to her. January 25, 1998 was the day she became a Christian and joy filled her heart as she thought it had been 9 years since that sweet Sunday morning when she bowed the knee. She quietly hummed a song as she drove along in the black night, counting the miles and minutes until she could crash on the sofa she called "home" for one night each week.
At the Mid-County exit, she handed over her toll money as well as her testimony tract and was delighted when the man agreed to read the story. Driving away from the toll booth, the words of her older sister echoed in her ears: "the roads don't get bad until you get off the Turnpike". She glanced at the white blanket of snow on either side of the road and thought it was ironic that the city south of her got more snow than her little northern town did.
Admiring the pretty snow, she continued on her way and was surprised to find the 6-lane highway free of any snow or ice. Within 10 minutes, she passed under an exit sign and realized she only had a few more exits to go. Very excited to be able to slip into bed soon, she came to the conclusion that the opera-type music on the radio had to go, conservative Christian music or not!
As she approached a split in the highway, the red and blue lights on the left side of the road caught her attention. Seeing a car in front of the policeman, she assumed the driver had a small mishap. Aware of another car in front of her, she was surprised when they suddenly applied their brakes, so she instinctively pressed her right foot to the brake pedal. This would prove to be a mistake, as the tires found a patch of ice and began to swing the car around the 4 lanes of highway. The driver stared out the windshield in disbelief as the cold, concrete barrier loomed closer and closer. She quickly turned the steering wheel, but felt as if she was on the bumper cars at her favorite amusement park. Only this was not a bumper car and there would be no shouts of laughter after hitting someone. After being tossed and turned on a thin sheet of ice, the car did a 180 degree turn and came to a rest - facing oncoming traffic. She quickly came to her senses as an 18-wheeler barreled in her direction and maneuvered the Corolla off to the right - the left hand lane of the highway.
Dazed at the unexpected tossing and turning, she noted that no traffic was coming and quickly turned the car in the right direction. Her heart seemed to beat twice as fast as she realized how fatal the accident could have been... but for the grace of God.
I do not know why I missed the concrete barriers on either side of the highway. I should have hit one of them but all I can say is it was God protecting me. It happened just as the road turned from 2 to 4 lanes and when there was only one car behind me (who managed to scoot out of the way). I was shaken up, but so thankful I made it to my sister's house. So that's my blessing.... please share yours! God is so good, and He deserves the praise.
[I will be going back to the blogging break, but just so you know, Saturday (today!) is when I plan to finish up my project... Lord willing!]
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Now I do happen to like English a lot and tend to explain it to some student every week, but that doesn't mean I enjoy sitting down to a table full of books, CDs, and charts. But sit down I must (in the midst of all my free time ~ whatever that is!!!) so I have determined to finish the project by January 31st. Now for all of you who think that I will not (ahem, Tiffany!), you should know me well enough to know that my stubbornness and determination will actually be a help to me in this case, rather than a detriment!
So consider this a vacation, a trip, a pause, a break, life (!), whatever you want to call it. I will be back... with my heart lighter and my head happier. But for now, it's off to do what I do: run around crazily and enjoy every moment of it!
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Not much is said in the Bible about Noah's wife or daughters-in-law. We don't even know their names, their ages, or how long they were married. We do, however, know this: these four ladies made a choice to enter the ark. In the midst of evil and wickedness, these ladies were presented with a choice and choose "that one needful thing".
Put yourself in their shoes. If their genealogy was anything like the rest of the people in Genesis, then their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, friends, and neighbors were many but were also "evil and wicked". The choice they had to make wasn't easy.
Which lady in her right mind would wish to be utterly cut off from her family? How about being mocked and jeered by the very girl with whom you shared girlhood dreams? What would it be like seeing your mama from a distance, unable to talk to her? For years?
The choice these ladies of faith had to make was clear to them. Regardless of their emotions, they could not, would not, forsake the one true God. Without being able to see the heartache future years would bring, they chose to follow their God, follow their husbands, and as they went into the ark that day, they had no regrets.
Just imagine what it was like that day as they stepped out of the ark. All around them everything was dead. The world was so different from when they stepped into the ark. But then God spoke...
"And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth." (Genesis 9:12-16)
Friday, January 19, 2007
- Eve was the only woman to live in a perfect world, but went from perfection in the Garden to a sin-cursed world.
- She is never described physically, but was perfectly formed so she must have been beautiful.
- The serpent used that which was pleasing to Eve to deceive her. Eve was looking at the fruit and longing after it and the serpent knew her weakness and used it against her.
- Eve put herself in the position to be deceived and willingly made a choice.
- Eve was walking close with God, but then she blame shifted to the devil without thinking the sin could really be her fault.
- Eve taught her son Cain how to blame shift and turn away from God and she lived with that guilt her whole life.
- We cannot blame others for our sin; we need to own the guilt of our own sin.
- Adam and Eve used excuses but none of the excuses could cover up their sin and guilt.
- Even in punishment, God gives grace and hope, because after her sin Eve was still allowed to be married to Adam rather than be an outcast.
But of course this being a single girls study, the subject of marriage was brought up and along with it, some interesting points...
- God said it was not good for man to be alone, so He made a help meet for the man. (Gen. 2:18)
- God made Eve from Adam and brought her unto the man (Gen. 2:22) and not the other way around:o).
- This morning as I was reading a little more about it, I found this interesting verse: (Genesis 5:2) "Male and female created he them; and blessed the, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created." So if their name collectively was called "Adam", then perhaps that's just one more reason why the woman takes the man's last name in marriage and not the other way around. Just some musings;o).
It was such a good study, filled with laughter and questions. That's what I've really appreciated in the few years we've been doing this study. It's a time for us girls to set apart an evening and come with questions to ask, little gems from God's Word to share, and to praise our God.
The Chinese Bible Study was good too. Right now we're at Joseph and how he was sold by his brothers into slavery when he was 17 years old. The young man teaching the lesson drew a chart of all the ups and downs in Joseph's life, but it wasn't until his was 30 years old that things really worked out. For 13 years, Joseph dealt with being sold into slavery, being falsely accused of forcing a woman, and then being put in jail, yet he didn't complain. Pastor Hammett did a series several years ago entitled, "Joseph in the school of _______ (bitterness, disappointment, etc). The life lessons we can learn from Joseph are absolutely amazing... I'm glad God included this "hero" in the Bible;o).
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Dear God, I pray Mr. Woodring gets better, and I pray Mr. Hohannes (Mr. Johannes) gets better, and umm, I pray Mr. Hohannes gets better... Amen!
Joey looked up at me with such a sweet smile on his face that I couldn't help but think that God probably didn't mind Joey forgetting to pray for the snack and that God would help Mr. Woodring and Mr. "Hohannes" feel better ~ two saved older men who have cancer. Having faith like a little child and praying with faith believing!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Not only do we have good food, but we also try to play some games... although this game takes the prize for being the wierdest game I have seen played at a camp. The kids were told to cut the banana up and then after they cut it up (and in this case, the girls butchered the banana!), then they were told they had to sew it back up needle and thread style. It was hilarious trying to watch this kids sew up the bananas. Their personalities came shining through as some of them were neat and orderly and others were just giant blobs. Isn't the internet great for finding games like this?;) But the application was made that regardless what relationships we have, once the relationship is cut up (by bitter words or anger or whatever), then it is hard to put it back to together "just like it was". Each game had an application and each application was profound, yet simple.
Probably the funniest game for me was to watch the guys play American Eagle (mud style!) and get absolutely covered in mud and to go back inside laughing only to come back outside in a few minutes and see my pastor have mud all over his shirt and pants! Here Bro. John paid all the guys a dollar to go up to Pastor and give him a hug;o). I hope Pastor didn't make any visits on the way home!
Another thing that thrilled my heart was to see the "little" blessings along the way. For instance, Sunday night while the rest of us were serving snacky stuff to the teens, Sarah #1 went and made all of our beds and got out our pillows. Afterwards she put a little pink bag with hearts on our pillows. When I opened mine up, I started laughing hard! Inside were three items: hand lotion, a nail file, and fingernail clippers. To anyone else it would've been a nice gesture. To me it was a reminder that God will answer before I even call. I've been needing fingernail clippers for a long time, but was just too cheap to go buy a pair. But God knew I needed them and used Sarah to provide them! What a special blessing:o). Another time we were looking for the 8 bread baskets we brought to camp, but only found 5. All we needed was one more and it was non-existent. The whole kitchen staff was looking for this one basket, and as I looked I prayed, "Lord, we just need one basket." No sooner had I finished praying, that I found the one basket! Isn't God good?!?!
The only downside (that I can think of...:D) to being a cook is that I can't hear any of the messages. One year we tried to set up a telephone connection using a cell phone, but it was more of a headache for the poor guy who had to keep fixing it then anything else. So I can't tell you what the messages were about, but two kids did get saved and more made decisions. Bro. Jonathan did an excellent job from what I heard and the Holy Spirit was working on several hearts. Now is not the time to stop praying; the battle is not over. Satan would like nothing more than to destroy what has been done at camp. Praise God for the victory over sin, and pray for these young people.
It's good to be home, but I'm sure glad I didn't have to miss camp this year... of course, there's always summer camp in June;o). To see more pictures from camp, go here.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
It had to come from somewhere...
Most kids inherit from their parents physical features, personality quirks :o), and a host of other things. I can say that two traits I know for sure I got from my dad are spontaneity and a love of/for travel. How do I know? Wednesday night at dinner my mom told me that my dad had off from Saturday-Tuesday so he decided to take a trip. I guessed Shady Maple, but apparently I didn't think outside the box;o). No, he decided on Wednesday to leave Saturday morning and go visit my brother in Indiana.
For one day.
And travel for 24 hours round trip.
Hey, at least I come by it honestly;o).
Wednesday night during junior church I grabbed a camera and took a picture of a sweet little girl who hasn't quite mastered the art of sitting in her chair for 5 minutes together;)...
(Look closely and you'll see there's more than just one use for ties on the back of a jumper!)
This cutie patootie is our assistant pastor's adopted daughter and also the unofficial church office mascot. She's not quite two but has managed to charm her way into all of our hearts!
With her cute jumper and heart, a pink shirt, and a sweet smile, Sonia's little girl went for the t.r.u.c.k. All three of us teachers started laughing at the irony and amusement of the situation:o).
No need to set the alarm!
My pastor made mention last Sunday night about how the Lord will often wake him up in the middle of the night to read his Bible or pray. He made the comment, "Don't set the alarm! God will wake you up." Last night I tossed and turned but couldn't sleep so I got up and read through our missionary ladies group booklet overview from the last three months and then prayed. After that I had a great time reading through a couple of chapters in Judges and was challenged by several verses, but Judges 9:55-57 really stuck out at me...
"And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place. Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal."
In the margin of my Bible I wrote, God does not let sin go unpunished. Abimelech died because he killed his brothers and the men of Shechem died because they didn't handle Abimelech correctly. Sin is serious to God and holds serious consequences. But then this morning I read in the next chapter, "And his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel." (10:16) God must deal with sin, but I don't think he does it with a rejoicing heart when it comes to His children. You know the statement parents often make: "this hurts me more than it hurts you" as they get ready to discipline their child. But imagine how much more God is grieved by my sin and the consequences I must face as a result? This morning I was reminded anew of my Father's great and mighty love for me and how He is grieved when I'm miserable. Timeless truths!
My sister casually asked me today if Andrew could spend the night with me and I agreed since I knew she and her husband were wiped out after taking "teacher" tests this morning. So Schmo came home with me tonight and even got to see his Uncle Tom:o), before he succumbed to sleep in his pack-n-play.
Well it's called...
..."Winter" camp but I seriously doubt the validity of that title other than the fact that we hold camp each year in January! Once again we're packing up the cars, loading up the bus and heading down to camp after Sunday evening services to attend "winter" camp in very unlike winter conditions. The forecast is calling for rain, but I would rather see snow because the hill that goes up to the girls' cabins becomes a mud wrestler's dream when it rains! Not that it matters much to me whether it snows or rains since I'll be staying at the big house to help with the cooking:o). But I'm sure the girls would appreciate snow rather than rain!
I would like to ask you to help us out with camp in a big way: would you take a moment to uphold LVBC's winter camp in prayer after you finish this? All I ask is for you to pray for the devil to be barred from the services and the Holy Spirit have free reign during the services. We feel strongly that this could be the camp that makes a difference in several young people and we need that since so many going to camp aren't saved. If you're a member of LVBC and are reading this, you really have a responsibility to pray for our teens (I said that sweetly):o).
Services will start Monday morning around 9-9:30ish, 11 AM, 7 PM, and then again on Tuesday (with the evening service being at 5 rather than 7). This isn't like summer camp where we go for all week; we'll only be gone until Tuesday. Even though it seems to be a "little" time period, little is much when God is in it!
So with that said, I'll be checking out for a couple of days!
Please PRAY for camp...
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
If you're a regular reader here at From my perspective, you'll know I don't have a set schedule that I follow. Some people have a specific topic for each day of the week, but I usually blog about whatever is happening in my life that day. But one thing I would like to do, from time to time, is have a post entitled "Bountiful Blessings". Now here's the part where you will have to help me out! Depending on my *blessing*, the posts might be short and sweet! But I would still like you (and yes I mean YOU!) to leave a blessing in the comment section after you've read the post. If you don't want to leave your name, that's fine. Go ahead and comment under anonymous but please, share the blessings!!!!! If you absolutely prefer not to comment, then I'll forgive you;o) but I really would like to hear what's going on for other people. I know that I can't be alone in being blessed by our great God:o). I have this Family Circle comic taped to the wall near my desk. It says, "Go ahead Jeffy, pray about it. Everything is little to God." There's nothing too big that my God can't do!
So, I'll be the first to share...
My friend (who shall remain nameless:oD) walked up to me tonight and asked if I wanted to go to Wendy's. We were trying to reach out to a church member's unsaved cousin, but I knew I had no money for Wendy's, so that's what I said. My friend reached into her purse and said, "Here, I'll give you a dollar." What a simple statement, and yet! She did not know that today I asked God to provide a dollar. You see, in my rush to get to the wedding in Maryland last Friday night, I didn't wait around for my brother-in-law to pay me for babysitting. I had just enough money for gas (down and back) and then had a couple of dollars to put towards our missionary group collection, so after Sunday, I had $.59 cents in my car cup holder. The thing I haven't been able to figure out all week was how I was going to pay my $1.50 toll on the PA Turnpike tomorrow night. So I asked God for a dollar to be provided for me today. And guess what! He did, through the form of my friend. My mom was standing by when my friend asked me that so she gave me a dollar as well for Wendys, but it was so neat to see God provide the dollar without me asking anyone for it!
God's good! I can't wait to hear what He has been doing in everyone else's lives. Please, please, please share. If you've never commented before, consider this your opportunity:o). By reading this blog, you have to have a blessing that you might not have thought of: the internet and access to a computer! So just remember, any and all blessings are welcome, including daily necessities too often taken for granted!
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
I've been waiting for this for a very long time.
I've prayed about it for a long time too.
And have even shed a few tears of frustration over it.
But now, that's all going to change.
God has worked it all out so wonderfully and I truly give HIM all the praise and glory for what He has done in my life.
I have a date set!
Yes, I know.
Many of you who know me in person aren't going to believe it when I tell you the date is June 2nd, but that's how God worked it out for us:)
And before my friends shriek with happiness and I get rushed at the next church service with congratulatory hugs and whispers of "I knew it!", I should let you know that it would only be fair to congratulate somone else too. After all, I'm not in this alone, and have not put in as much time, tears, and prayers into it as they have.
There still is so much that has to be done, but it will all be pulled together, I have no doubt.
So save the date if you can!
June 2nd, 2007 will be a very special date for me for many years to come.
We found out today and it's official:
Jen B. and I are going to graduate from Lehigh Valley Baptist Bible Institute!!!
Be prepared to come and celebrate with us as it has been a very long 6 years for me and even longer for Jen... but in true Baptist style, we are having a party in honor of this occasion:).
There! And if anybody was thinking my special date was anything else, well, you can be sure I wouldn't let you know about it that way on my blog;).
Two more special dates are happening in my life in March and May (hopefully). Little Ethan Philip is supposed to make his grand arrival on March 25th and we're thrilled to have a nephew nearby again.
Another special event is planned for May and I am tickled pink with the fact that a little baby girl is supposed to come join our family on the 29th. It has been 15 years since there has been a girl born to our family, so this little bundle is following after six boy cousins:o).
And those are the important dates to me:o) Stay tuned for pictures to eventually come when the events actually take place;).
Monday, January 8, 2007
(Anne & Rachel ~ Lock Ridge Park ~ April 2005)
(Anne, Rachel, Hannah, & Melissa ~ Old Country Buffet ~ August 2005)
(Anne, Becky, Rachel, & Sarah ~ Bloomsburg Fair ~ September 2006)
(Jen, Rachel, Anne, & Raichelle ~ Trading Post ~ October 2006)
(Anne & Rachel ~ Fiesta Ole ~ January 2007)
Rachel is embarking on an exciting trip around 2 AM Tuesday morning and will be heading out to Thailand. It's been neat to watch this whole trip be put together by the Lord, from the time she e-mailed me while I was in Indiana all the way up to last night as we girls gathered at Fiesta Ole to send her off with a rousing night of fun memories and even some musical entertainment as well:o).
Make sure you check her Asia blog (just one question Rach ~ are you going to start an Australia blog, an African blog, and a European blog too?!?:D) as she journeys on this exciting trip to Thailand. It'll be a little quieter around here ~we have experience with her 6-week trip to Chile and 3-month trip to South Africa~ but we know she's going to be right where God wants her!
So until June (when we see her smiling face in person again!) we'll keep up to date with her by e-mail and her blog.... Have a great trip Rach!
Edited later ~ Rachel will certainly have a "story" to post, for hers was not your typical day-at-the-airport! Stay tuned to hear just how long it took to get to California!
Saturday, January 6, 2007
(Daniel and Gina, May 2006)
Continued today in Maryland...
(Daniel & Gina, January 6, 2007)
People will sometimes ask me how many weddings I've been in, and after today the number is up to four. Sometimes someone will say in a sing-songy voice, "Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride", but I like to smile and wonder: what happens when it's "four times a bridesmaid, never a..." :o).
(Anne ~ single, Gina ~ newlywed, Johanna ~ married and expecting)
I honestly enjoy seeing my friends get married, even though the sad part is that sometimes they move away, like Gina is. I'm thinking it will be a long time before Gina and I see each other again, although I did make her promise to come to my wedding no matter what decade it is in or how many children she has;o).
But in all seriousness, this post does a really good job summing up what my thought are as to why I'm single (thanks Rach:D) and I truly am waiting for THE ONE and only:). I had a guy ask me this week if I date and I said no I'm waiting for God's choice for me. The world probably thinks I'm crazy and my family sometimes tap their feet impatiently (since I'm the only one *unattached*... puuuleaze:D), but I love the fact that God's got His best in mind for me and that it will all happen right on time and not a minute before.
So until that minute arrives, I am very satisfied being four times a bridesmaid (at least for now:o) and not the bride:). And one definite plus is I get to see how everyone else does their wedding... hmm, perhaps I'll just elope after all. It is so much easier:o).
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
In one instance, Abbi's little boy Joey told a Knock, knock joke: