Saturday, March 29, 2008

Home Again, Home Again...

Park Meadows Baptist Church in Lincoln, Illinois hosts an Independent Baptist Student Convention every year so 19 students and 9 chaperones loaded up the bus on Monday night and started the l-o-n-g drive out. One thing we did differently on this trip was to put a time limit on the caffeine consumption and that really cut down on the night time bathroom breaks:o). It also cut down on the noise level in the bus. :p

The week was a lot of fun ~ as in nights of only getting 5 hours of sleep and hitting the ground running at 6 AM and going non-stop all day long! The teens competed in four areas: music, academics, platform, and arts & crafts. In the picture below, you'll see the two girls in the front holding the academics and arts & crafts plaques. I personally thought the teens did an excellent job in music, but the points were given for the number of entries made, not the quality:o).

During one of the rest stops last night, we stopped at a Sheetz gas station to use the bathroom. As we all traipsed in (looking our finest, I assure you!) someone inside said, "It's a busload of Amish people!" Now do we look Amish to you?

Don't answer that:o). See ya in church tomorrow!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I Should Have Been...

I Should Have Been Crucified

I was guilty with nothing to say
And they were coming to take me away
Then a voice from heaven was heard that said
Let him go take Me instead

And I should have been crucified
I should have suffered and died
I should have hung on the cross in disgrace
But Jesus, God's Son took my place

That crown of thorns, a spear in His side
And all the pain it should have been mine
Those rusty nails were meant for me
Oh but Christ took them and let me go free

And I should have been crucified
I should have suffered and died
I should have hung on the cross in disgrace
But Jesus God's Son took my place.

Yes Jesus God's Son
Oh Jesus God's Son
For Jesus God's Son took my place.


This song sums up the true reason we even have Easter. I'm the one who should have been crucified, but instead Jesus took my place. And for all of eternity I will get to praise His Name!


This is just a little fyi - I will be away for several days taking a break and having the song "The wheels on the bus go round and round!" go round and round through my head:o). A busload of EBA teens, homeschoolers, and chaperones are loading up the bus on Monday and heading out to the Midwest to compete in an Independent Baptist Student Convention all this week.

Good-bye sleep.

Hello caffeine:o).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Exceeding Abundantly.

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."

~Ephesians 3:20~

I've kind of claimed this verse for this year as I prepare to go back to Thailand and also in regards to graduating. Monday I called a friend up to let her know about my graduation, and of course she was excited. Tuesday night my sister-in-law (in Indiana) called me and I mentioned the graduation and of course she was excited and reminded me that her offer of her going with me to South Dakota was still good! While my sis-in-law and I were talking, I realized my brother is getting married a week after I graduate... a wedding which my brother and sis-in-law plan to attend. So she suggested I fly out to Chicago, drive up to South Dakota with her, and then come back to Pennsylvania with them when they come in for the wedding.

So Wednesday morning I went to the school principal and asked if that would be a feasible plan and he agreed! Obviously taking off 6 days of school is not the best idea, but it will be at the end of the school year (most of the kids will be done a week or two after), so it should work out fine.

I went to go call my friend (the same one I called on Monday) but then felt the Lord telling me to wait. I'm glad I listened! I called her one hour later and shared with her what the school principal said about me taking time off of work. She was excited and then said that she wanted to pay for my (one-way) airline ticket! I was very shocked and surprised, but was truly thankful for the Lord's provision.

She started looking up airline tickets right away and then noticed an e-mail she had gotten from Southwest Airlines. Here Southwest was running a $49-$99 special (that ends today), but the email came after I had originally wanted to call her. She ended up getting the ticket for $78.00, but just suppose I had called her when I originally wanted to call her. She would have still wanted to get my ticket, but she would not have known about the deal on Southwest and would have probably paid a lot more than $78.00!!!

Isn't the Lord good?!?!

In the midst of all of this, I would ask you to pray for one thing, if the Lord brings it to mind. My mom would really like to come to the graduation, but is not sure if my dad is going to let her. For those of you who know my dad personally, you know what this means! Would you please pray for God's will to be accomplished and that my mom would have peace with His will either way? If "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD" (Proverbs 21:1), then so is my dad's heart!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Praising The Lord.

I'll say this up front: if you get confused, I'm sorry:o).

Confused yet?!?

Now let's properly start the post!

Last June, I graduated from Lehigh Valley Baptist Bible Institute with a certificate saying I completed all the required courses for the Religious Education Program. I was very excited about becoming the second girl in the history of the school to graduate (the first girl graduated with me on that day:o)) and to just be done with it all.

Soon after, it was brought to my attention that I would need _ _ credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Education from Great Plains Baptist College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. So I began to work on the credits, which included putting together a portfolio of all my experiences working in a Christian school, on staff at church, missions trips, etc. The month of February was taken up with working on this portfolio, and I finally mailed it off to Great Plains with much prayer behind it. Great Plains only graduates once a year in May, so I knew if I didn't earn all the credits this year, that it would be May 2010 before I would have another opportunity (Lord-willing I'll be in Thailand in May 2009).

As I was chatting with my sister today on the phone, I walked to the mailbox and pulled out the mail. Imagine my great surprise and delight when I opened a letter from Great Plains that said "Dear Graduate..."!!!!! My sister got an earful of joyful shouting for quite a bit of time, and my heart overflowed with thankfulness to the Lord for His Goodness to me!

I read this verse this morning, which I think was rather fitting:

"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands."

Psalm 138:8

The next step is now figuring out travel plans. Sioux Falls isn't exactly near a big city, so flying and driving are both going to be expensive options. But the Lord has brought me this far, and will "perfect that which concerneth me"! In the meantime, I thought I would praise the Lord for His mercy towards me and share it with ya'll!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

In Christ Alone.

So I really did mean to let ya'll know I was gonna be out of town for a few days with these munchkins (and a dozen more!)...

...and also enjoying some quiet time ...

... and the beauty of God's creation!

But, as you can see, I didn't. So sorry:o).

When I wasn't babysitting said munchkins, I was either sleeping or waking up in hopes of catching sunrise on the beach.

Wouldn't you know it, it was cloudy all morning long. That's Murphy for you!

But I really did enjoy going out and listening to the roar of the ocean and watching the waves slap against the sand and rocks. As I watched the water smash into the rocks, I thought about the trials of life that attack me.

Yes, they will come, but thankfully my security rests in Christ alone! The storms may come, but Praise the Lord for The Solid Rock!

As I sat on a bench doing my devotions, I could hear the storm of waves behind me. How fitting it was to be reading my Bible without a fear of all those waves.

The little "get-away" was good and it was especially nice to go the beach when no one else was there! But it's back to the real world for me... and some more two and three years for me in the morning:o).

Sunday, March 9, 2008


by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate...
and the Master so gently said,"Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate
hangs in the balance and you tell me to Wait?
"I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no,' to which I'll resign."

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
as my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
you'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
when darkness and silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love
when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
the faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
but oh, the loss if I lost what I'm doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still "WAIT".

The Name? Who Cares!

In the space of four days this past week, three little babies decided to arrive and expand the church nursery list. I was teaching junior church this morning and asked the one little boy if he had a new sister. After vigorously shaking his head in an agreement (and over the din of "my mommy's having a baby!" from other classmates ~ this is our baby year!), I asked Ethan if he got to see his new little sister. "Yup." Then I asked Ethan what his sister's name is.

His reply?

"Oh ... I don't know!"

Apparently the information only goes so far... it's pretty impressive to say "my mommy had a baby!", but kids obviously don't care about specifics! Let's hope Ethan learns his baby sister's name quickly:o).

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Growing Up Quickly.

My nephew was over tonight and well... just look at how he's doing:

This little munchkin will be one at the end of this month. ONE?!?!?! Is it just me, or is time flying by really fast?!?!

I can just imagine how much is going to change while I'm in Thailand for a year...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's Comin'!

The birds were chirping the other day (and we even had a bird fly around our school room this morning... that was fun to watch!), the weather was in the mid-50s, we started playing volleyball again (the best sport in the world ~ in my humble opinion!) and the snow is all but melted!

Spring's a comin'!!!!

And I am so ready:o).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Just Some Random Information!

During the Ladies Retreat, my pastor's wife had several "getting to know you" times where ladies would randomly draw a name out of a basket, go find the person, and start chatting away! Mrs. Hammett provided a list of questions that would spark conversation, and since I printed the booklet, I had a sneak peak at some of the questions. So in light of the Ladies Retreat still tumbling around in my mind, I thought I would post some of the questions here and answer them for myself. Feel free to lift the questions from here onto your own blog:o).


Are you good at cooking/swimming/etc?

This was the very first question in the list and I laughed so hard when I read it! I don't cook and swim at the same time, although I must admit I've never tried it! Are you good at cooking and swimming?;o)

Do you like baseball?

I'm not a big fan of baseball as much as I am football., but I will sit down and watch a game and enjoy chit-chatting during it:o).

Have you ever met a famous person?

Tiffany and I got VIP tickets to attend a rally for President Bush back in October 2004. After he was done speaking, he came down to shake hands. The Secret Service men were very protective (obviously!) and Tiffany got to shake his hand, but I didn't. And that's the only person "famous" I've met.

What countries have you visited?

Loving to travel like I do, this is a perfect question for me! I've visited: Czech Republic, South Africa, Austria, Thailand, Laos, and Canada and have had layovers in Switzerland and Holland.

When you have leisure time, what do you like to do?

I love to read, so I'll light a candle, play soft music, and read a book. I especially like to do that during a snowstorm. Since snowstorms are few and far between in the summer:o), I normally like to get in my car and take a drive to wherever!

What is your all time favorite (clean) joke?

Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Interrupting cow.

Interrupting co-


I love that joke:o). I heard it from one of my students (Laura who heard it from Andrew B... enough said!) and I laughed for a full two minutes.:o)

What place in the US would you most like to visit? Why?

I would like to go see the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii. I've always had an interest in World War 2, especially Pearl Harbor. I've been very fortunate to have already seen and done a lot of things that I've wanted to do since the majority of places I've wanted to see were on the East Coast. I still want to get to Texas though:o).

What is your motto?

It's more of a quote than a motto: "God's work, done God's way, will never lack God's supply." - Hudson Taylor.


That's enough for now... there were lots more questions too! I really enjoyed this activity of the Ladies Retreat because I talked to quite a few ladies from different churches, which is out of my comfort zone. Normally I'm good with making small talk, but having an in-depth conversation pushes me a little! So this was a good activity to do:o).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ladies Retreat.

Friends - Who needs them?

We do!

I attended a less-than-24-hour Ladies Retreat, but there was so much packed into that time period! The theme of the retreat was friends and each message blended together with the previous one. It was an added blessing to have two missionary wives speak at the retreat. The most practical message was the one that touched on T-TAGS:

  • T-ime
  • T-ouch
  • A-ffirmation
  • G-ifts
  • S-ervice
Each person has their own T-TAG; something to which they respond to the best. For instance, mine is affirmation followed by gifts. The one I least like is touch. I'm not a touchy-feely type person (Katina - the one who talked about the T-TAGS - isn't a touchy-feely person either!), so you wouldn't get very far with me on that one!

But I thought about what normally happens after a retreat/conference/camp is over. Usually we go home, and promptly forget about what was talked about. But since this retreat was on friends, I want to make sure I continue to build and maintain my friendships. Now that can get a little hectic at time, since it seems I don't have any time! But there are little ways I can maintain friendships. One was mentioned by one of the missionary's wives. She mentioned how discouraging it could be when an e-mail update is sent out from a missionary and how sometimes they wonder if it's being read. She then mentioned that by just hitting reply and saying "I'm praying for you", that could really make their day!

When I got home from the retreat, I checked my e-mail and read one from a missionary to Chile. I was about to go to the next one when I remembered the missionary wife's words, and I hit reply and said "I'm praying for you". It didn't cost me any effort at all, and perhaps it did encourage the Chilean missionaries!

Of course since a bunch of ladies got together, that meant staying up late, doing foot spas, playing games, and eating junk food:o). It was a lot of fun, but I think I'm ready for bed now!