Monday, April 28, 2008

Exciting News... And A Little Mundane.

Sooo... I'm very excited about the fact that I bought my airline ticket for Thailand! The departure date is August 14th, and ironically enough, I enter Thailand on August 16th, one year after I left. It might seem a little early to be purchasing tickets, but with the rising cost of, well, everything, it's not gonna get any cheaper. Having bought the ticket makes this trip seem just a little more "real":o).


I leave two weeks from tomorrow for a week trip with a big destination in mind: graduation! I'm flying to Chicago where I'll be picked up by my Mid-West family; from there we'll drive up to South Dakota for graduation. And then, since we're in the area, my family and I are going to travel the extra hour (or five) to go to Mount Rushmore, since it is highly unlikely I'll ever get to that section of the country again:o).


Saturday was a "family day" since my soon-to-be sister-in-law's bridal shower was that day. I'm excited that they are finally getting married:o).

(Myself, Phil, Tom, and Mom after the shower)

The big day is coming up on May 24th, which will be a crazy time for me. I'll just be coming back from graduation and a ton of family will be in, so posting might be sparse then. But you're used to that by now, aren't ya?!? Don't worry; I'll be a very faithful blogger in Thailand again, I'm sure!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How Are You Doin'?

I hope you all are having a fab-u-lous week; I know I am:o).

(I was in Philly this past weekend and had to take a picture of my cutie-patootie nephew doing this pose... ah the joys of being a 2 1/2 year old!)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Good Ole' Pennsylvanias.

I'm sure most of you readers who-haven't-been-bombarded-with-continual-coverage-as-to-which-small-town-in-Pennsylvania-the-candidates-are-now-at don't realize that Tuesday is the primary for Pennsylvania. For a long time, many people in this dear state of mine have bemoaned the fact that by the time April rolls around in an election year, they just don't count.

Not any more.

I was reading an editorial in the newspaper the other day and came to this section:

"Now my friend is running for president and Pennsylvania, including the Lehigh Valley, is about to lend its voice to this amazing campaign. There couldn't be a better place and a better time. The importance of the place is simple: the Lehigh Valley is Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania is America."

Read the rest

Clearly we have self-esteem issues, as evidenced by the statement: the Lehigh Valley is Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania is America. That's right, it's all about us (just a hint of sarcasm here!)

Then last night, as I walked into my sister's house, she told me that the news was just saying how the whole primary will be decided in the Lehigh Valley.

Wow. I almost feel like we should make up little stickers or something.

I went to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia today and noticed a booth set up with a count down until the election. My first thought was, "Oh no! That means months of this mud slinging." But then I thought of the verse that said, "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God." (Psalm 20:7)

Come quickly, Lord Jesus ...

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Answer... Of Sorts.

Ashley asked the following in a comment she recently left:

Just wondering - have you ever posted about what led you to go to Thailand for a year? I've browsed your archives but haven't been able to find anything about what go for a year? why now? Just curious. I love reading/hearing people's missions testimonies!!

I've been thinking about her question and while I'm sure I don't have a great answer, I do have an answer:o). In answering her question though, I am putting myself in a very vulnerable position and opening up, so bear with me if it sounds a little confusing!

The first question that really begs to be answered is, "Why Thailand?" That's fairly easy to answer. Back in October 2006, the Lord brought to mind a missionary family who has a unique ministry. I've mentioned the Gaudets before, and they are the ones who have short-term workers come to the field to help them out with computer work, printing, typesetting, and so on and so forth. When I first considered doing a longer missions trip, I wanted to be able to help in an area that I had some knowledge in. Babysitting, cleaning, and tract distribution all have their place on the mission field, but I knew that the Lord had something else in store for me and it was working with the Gaudets.

Going back to Thailand is the logical choice for me; having the opportunity to once again work with the Gaudets is a bigger blessing than I can explain. I know what makes them "tick", how they want things done, etc. It's easier going back to work with them since I have personal experience of the day to day operations, rather than spending several weeks learning how another missionary operates.

To answer the question "Why a year?" is slightly more difficult. For starters, I didn't even want to come home last August. Ever since I was 16, my greatest desire (outside of getting married) was to get involved in foreign missions in a very real way. Early on in my Christian walk, my Bible teacher (now a missionary to South Africa) instilled in me the joy and benefits of participating in Faith Promise Missions. I love being able to give financially to missions and to pray for missionaries.

Back in 2003, long before I knew them well, the Gaudets came to do a singles conference at my church and Bro. Tom preached on young people getting involved in missions. He said one thing that I'll never forget:

"Are you planning to go, but willing to stay?" or "Are you willing to go, but planning to stay?"

I fell into that first group of planning to go, but being willing to stay if the Lord chooses so. To me, it was and is natural to be involved in missions. Having the opportunity to go to Thailand last summer and working with the team was only the Lord's doing.

This June it will be 5 years since I came on staff at Lehigh Valley Baptist Church. Over the past 5 years, I have felt as if working in the office was practical training for me. Being able to work under my Pastor's wife was such a terrific experience and although I made mistakes (many mistakes!), she continued to patiently teach me. What I've learned on church staff could not be learned in a Bible College classroom.

But now it's time to continue on the path. I'm not saying I've learned it all, but perhaps it's time for someone else to come and take my place and learn under the great teaching of Mrs. Hammett. Maybe it's time for another young lady to go to "The School of Practical Training." It's time for someone else to be able to jump in the ministry here and grow in the Lord.

As for me, I believe the Lord still has plenty to teach me. It's the right time for me to move on and learn something new under the Gaudets and the Langes. When people ask me how long I plan to stay in Thailand, I say a year, but that's just me saying it. In reality, I have no idea:o). It might be 6 months; it could be 18 months. The timing of it all is in the Lord's Hands, but I do know He's moving me on. As the wisest man who ever lived said, "... the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings."

My ways are before the Lord. If the Lord says "turn right" I will turn right. If the Lord says "veer slightly to the left", I will do so. I think it was Corrie ten Boom who said,

"The safest place to be is in the center of God's will."

That sums it up for me. I have no arguments, no questions. My heart's desire only echoes what Samuel said: "Speak; for thy servant heareth."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Checking In With A Thought.

I haven't disappeared... just extremely busy! Here's something to think about (for you handful of people faithfully visiting:o)).


A missionary is one who never gets used to the sound of heathen footsteps on their way to a Christ less eternity. - Anonymous

Saturday, April 5, 2008

April Is Autism Awareness Month.

Jendi mentioned a link to Martie who writes at Hitting the High Notes. Martie listed some facts about autism:

* 1 in every 150 children in the USA have autism.

* It is estimated that at this time 1 MILLION people in the USA have autism.

* 1 new case of autism is diagnosed every 20 minutes.

* 24,000 children are diagnosed with autism each year in the United States. Autism is the fastest growing developmental epidemic effecting children today.

My nephew Trevor (who will be six at the end of April) has moderate autism. Many people from LVBC will remember the tense "Trevor" days, but I'm happy to say that Trevor is around 2 1/2 years old (mentally) and will go for a checkup here next week and hopefully progressing on to a 4 year old. My sister-in-law has worked so hard with him and doing a very consistent program which requires several hours of her day. Trevor could (at last count) read over 35 words and really is doing so much better in his social and verbal skills.

What a good reminder for me to pray for Trevor and his mommy!

Friday, April 4, 2008

75 Years Of Wedded Bliss... And Some Snores.

I have a friend in Fort Worth, Texas who sent me the following link:

After 75 years of marriage, Fort Worth couple died 5 hours apart.

That this couple even made it to 75 years of marriage is pretty amazing. My grandparents made it to just over their 40th before my grandmother passed away, so 75 is quite the feat. I would want my marriage to be like that.

Speaking of which.

No, I'm not getting married (to clear that up for all you cheerleaders on my behalf:o)), but I do have a funny story to share from last evening's single girls Bible Study. My pastor's wife asked for any prayer requests or praises, and another girl and I immediately started speaking at the same time. We had done it earlier in the study too, so we just laughed and said that we think alike because we roomed together last week on the Illinois trip.


I was about to share my praise, when my friend "S" began to talk about all my night-time habits of snoring, sleep-walking, and sleep-talking. Friend "S" did a fantastic job keeping the girls laughing over my night time antics, which included sitting straight up in bed, looking at my cell phone, mumbling something incoherent, and after friend "S" tapping my arm and telling me to go back to sleep, me immediately laying back down and apparently starting to snore right away. (I don't quite believe that, although I know for a fact I snore:o)).

I also woke myself up twice (in one night!) fiddling around with the curtain and the air conditioner button (I was so hot!), and I also remember talking really loudly to no one in particular:o).

So, while the stories are true (to some degree!), I am also very willing to admit to them and I laughed right along with the rest of the girls. As the laughter died down, my pastor's wife summed it up by saying any prospective guy (i.e. - husband material) will have to get this all in writing and be forewarned:o).

So consider yourself forewarned!

And I won't be offended if you chose to room with someone else:o).