Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Need A Laugh?

If you want (need?!?!) a good laugh, I suggest you go here to find one! I can't say that I've encountered any language blunders, but I do recall the early days of my friend being a missionary's daughter in South Africa and calling a girl "armpit" instead of "friend":o).

I'm sure I'll have my fair share of blunders while I'm in Thailand!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sweet Memories.

On Thursday the girls I work with and I went to a cutsy luncheonette here in town in honor of it being "Christmas Eve" ~ Christmas in July of course! So Em and I went to the mall beforehand to do some things and while waiting for the rest of the girls, we snapped this picture:

Let me just stop and say for a moment that the Lord has really done an amazing thing in our lives and friendship. Em and I didn't hang out while we were in school, but a year ago she came home from a missions trip to Chile and I came home from a missions trip to Thailand, and she started working with me... and the rest, as they say, is history!

Once we got inside and ordered, some of us girls decided to look around at the gift/antique shop and then returned for our meal, which was unique. The lady who runs Sweet Memories likes to have unusual salads, soups, and sandwiches served and so we all started in on the meal. As we were eating, the girls presented me with a Christmas-y gift bag and one girl told me I had to wear the gift, which definitely piqued my curiosity!

Here the girls collected money and made it into a money necklace with sweet notes scattered around it! This was kind of a "going away" party since some of the girls will be on vacation when I actually leave... so this is a sweet memory I will cherish! Thanks girls:o).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Meme Of Sorts.

You know, it's funny. I didn't think I would be on the computer this week, much less posting on the blog, but I'm trying to put VBS pictures up each night (I remember sitting in Thailand waiting for the pics to appear on everyone's MSN spaces, so I'm just trying to oblige the people who aren't at VBS this week!) and so I figure I might as well post too:).

I found this meme over at BooMama and I liked it, (There are some memes that just don't make sense to me!) so I figured I would do it:).

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Wow-ee. 10 years ago? I had just finished 9th grade and was counting down the days until school started again! Yes, I was one of "those" kids... always looking forward to being in school! I was also in the middle of a very bad dating relationship that the Lord thankfully stopped. That's called grace because I wouldn't be here today if I had continued on in that relationship.

Favorite Snacks

  • Fruit or veggies of any kind
  • Toast with peanut butter
  • Crackers (such as cheese-its)
  • Pretzels
  • Granola bars
To Do List

I don't have a written down to-do list, but I do have one in my head! To finish out this evening, I have my devotions left and that's it. I find I am more awake and alert at night compared to the morning so that's why my devotions are done at night:).

Once I get to work tomorrow, I am in the midst of printing a 248-page book (200 copies) and I only have 18 more pages to print, so that's my goal for tomorrow.

Jobs I Have Had

Hmm, let's see. I worked as a:

  • cashier at a grocery store
  • babysitter/nanny
  • Christian school teacher
  • secretary

Places I've Lived

I have lived in Pennsylvania my entire life, with the exception of living in Thailand last summer. So I'm pretty sure you can guess which state is my favorite:).

Bad Habits

I talk out loud a lot (whether anyone is around or not), am very sarcastic, tend to be a little impatient, and worry about things out of my control... and that's enough for now:).

5 Random Things About Me People Might Not Know

  • I like to scrapbook (and I'm hoping to take my scrap booking stuff with me to Thailand)
  • I write for the ladies paper at my church
  • I really enjoy serving others.
  • My favorite subject is History, especially anything with the Civil War.
  • I think Hoops and Yoyo are pretty funny!

I'm going to stop there with the meme, even though it does go on for a little bit.

Check back tomorrow night to see if I keep up the trend:o).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Excuse My Lack Of Thinking This Week.

Vacation Bible School.....

... it's not for the faint-hearted!

Reason #2 for delaying my trip to Thailand is taking place this week: Vacation Bible School 2008! So that means I'm there, not here. An 8-hour work day is followed by a 3-hour VBS nightly program, so posting might be a little sparse here (or just won't make any sense! The first night is always "rah, rah" but towards the end of the week, it starts to wear down a person.)

So excuse me while I tumble into bed and prepare for another great night with 16 seven and eight year old girls:o).

Rah, rah:o).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Look And Live!

Pastor Hammett has been preaching through the book of Numbers for, well, a while, but it's been good! Numbers falls into my top three favorite books of the Bible (the other two being Judges and Acts) so I'm enjoying the chapter-by-chapter preaching. This morning he preached on the serpents that bit the children of Israel and how all they had to do was look to the brazen serpent on the pole and live. The message is still true today ~ just look and live!


I’ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah!
The message unto you I’ll give,
Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you "look and live."

Look and live, my brother, live!
Look to Jesus now, and live;
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you "look and live."

I’ve a message full of love, hallelujah!
A message, O my friend, for you,
’Tis a message from above, hallelujah!
Jesus said it, and I know ’tis true.

Life is offered unto you, hallelujah!
Eternal life thy soul shall have,
If you’ll only look to Him, hallelujah!
Look to Jesus who alone can save.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Do You Want To Hear A Blessing?

I'll often say to my friend Emily, "Do you want to hear a blessing?" and she will reply, "Of course! What, do you think I'm going to say 'no'?"

So with that being said, if you have some time and want to hear a blessing (or five!), go on over to my "Thailand" blog ~ Each Step I Take. The Lord has been doing some pretty neat things in my life this past week and I want to praise His Name! For those of you who are wondering, I leave for Thailand in a little less than 4 weeks:o).

So go catch up on the blessings He has bestowed on my life:o).

By the way, my ankle is healing just fine. I started driving yesterday (I actually went to the post office!), so I think within a couple of weeks I should be all healed up:o).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Frugal Friday

Almost two years ago, a new LL Bean store opened in my area, so I went to check it out. While oohing and aahing over the brand new store, I noticed this:

and immediately bought it (in pink, not blue!). I've had my fair share of Dollar Store water bottles, but invariably they would leak or break within a couple of months (or sometimes weeks!) of me getting it. So I invested in this water bottle and since then I have been very happy with it! I tend to be a little klutzy and this water bottle has endured its fair share amount of being dropped. I have yet to see a dent on the bottle, although there are some scratches on it. This has really been a good thing all around because I know exactly how much water I've had for the day, I have no need to buy bottled water (very rarely am I without my water bottle!) and it's really cute too:o).

Go check out Crystal's blog for more Frugal Friday ideas!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WFMW - Accountability

Several weeks ago (months???), my church began an accountability program regarding memorization. It's pretty simple actually. You memorize a verse once every two weeks and then say it to your accountability partner. Once that's done, you go check it off on the big poster board in the foyer (you know, where everyone can see how you are doing!) This has really worked well for me in hiding God's Word in my heart.

I also have an accountability partner for four other areas: my speech, movies, devotions, and maintaining a pure heart as a single. Each area has been assigned to a different friend who periodically checks up on me to see how I'm doing, and sometimes to prod me along! Most of these accountability partnerships will come to an end when I leave for Thailand, but it's been such a good thing to have in place all summer long. My pastor recommended that not one person has "all access" to my life and I've found that particularly helpful. Each lady has her own area to check me on, and that's the best thing for me!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rotten Rags and Cast Clouts.

So I did something stupid this evening but first, let me share my devotions with you:o). I read this verse tonight and realized the Lord has a sense of humor:

"So Ebed-melech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah." (Jeremiah 38:11)

Just a few verses before, the Bible said that Jeremiah was thrown into the dungeon and sank into the mire. Anyone can see that Jeremiah's circumstances weren't ideal in the least, and by now, most of us would be throwing ourselves a royal pity party. Why me, Lord? we would say. To add insult to injury, the king finally allowed Jeremiah to be taken out of prison by nothing else than old cast clouts (pieces of cloth or leather thrown to the side) and some old rotten rags. I can't imagine being in prison, but I think it would be far worse to be brought out of prison by way of clouts and rags.

The Bible then says,
"So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison."

Not only was he in the dungeon with the mire, he was then brought out by rotten rags and then placed into the court of the prison. Not exactly the Sheraton Suites. But I don't see Jeremiah complaining once. Towards the end of the chapter, it reports that Jeremiah made a plea to the king not to kill him if he told the king what the Lord said. King Zedekiah agreed and was true to his word: he didn't kill Jeremiah, but Jeremiah stayed in the prison until Jerusalem was taken.

You may be wondering how all of this ties into my. stupid. thing. Well I'll tell ya!

I organized a huge group of people to play volleyball tonight and about 15 minutes into the game, I jumped up to hit the ball over and came down onto my ankle where I heard, "crack, crack, crack, crack." (Except it was in a more rapid succession that I just can't imitate here... insert imagination now!) One trip to the emergency room later, and I am now the owner of a "green-splint-on-the-ankle-crutches-under-the-arm" set of equipment.

The ironic part is, it could've been worse. Just like in Jeremiah's case (where he could've, you know, died) my circumstances are less than ideal but are definitely live-able.

So tonight's lesson for me was this: I have two choices. I can either complain ("I didn't get to play that much volleyball!") or I can rejoice ("Thank you Lord that it isn't worse.") I choose the latter. And although I might be moving at a slower clip the next couple of days, I can follow the example set by Jeremiah and not grumble. Hey, at least it was a green splint around my ankle and not some rotten rags!

God is good all the time... all the time God is good!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Songs Of Praise.

Through an interesting turn of events, the editor of Stepping in the Light received my testimony tract and asked if she could use it as an article in the magazine. I quickly agreed and then began to peruse the magazine's site. As I read the sample page for Faithful Footsteps To Follow, I was struck by this statement Mrs. Susannah Spurgeon made:

When the fire of affliction draws songs of praise from us, then indeed we are purified, and our God is glorified!”

The fire, though uncomfortable for a moment, does a thorough job in making me a fit vessel. My song of praise is so much more heartfelt in the fire and I can stand with Job and say, "I know that my redeemer liveth!" While I don't stand up and ask for the fire to come (ouch!), the dross does get burned away and I draw closer to the Lord. Just last week at camp, the Lord touched upon an area in my life and said, "Anne, that is a god in your life. Now you have a choice: keep it or get rid of it." While the fire was painful, I see on the other side it was necessary... and my choice became "get rid of it". Praise the Lord for the fire... and have a song of praise in the midst of it!

Summer Camp 2008.

We bumped our little green bus (and I mean bumped!) down the dreaded I-78 highway before pulling into the church parking lot on Friday evening after a week-long adventure in southwestern PA. I've been to plenty of camps over the past 10 years and I always walk away with this thought: each one has the capacity to be Spirit-led, but it is up to the people involved to get to that level. God did some pretty amazing things this week and it wasn't all necessarily at the altar. It was back in the cabin, after a long day of preaching and games. It was in the swimming pool, as four teams competed against each other. It was during the meal times, when diligent campers studied verses. It was on those quiet walks to the bathhouse, where words of encouragement were whispered. Yes, God did something this week that has all the signs of lasting in eternity.

But now comes the tough part.

Camp is over and normal life has resumed. The convictions made at camp are on the very edge of being broken. The devil is doing a lot of damage control as he tries to make sure Christians don't go all out for God. But as the preacher said, IT'S ALL OR NOTHING. There is no such thing as holding out on God. All He wants is everything. That's all. So the little idols that have taken up residence in hearts must be knocked down. Standards must be maintained. Camp is good, but it's right now when those decisions are lived out. So although camp is over, the work continues on. It must so if we will dare to make a difference. Decisions determine destiny.

This was Tiffany's first time being a counselor. Tiffany's husband Jeremy gave a powerful testimony about all that God has spared him from... it was a wake-up call that needed to be shouted out.

One of the games we played (we?!?! I mean, the campers!) was this: all the kids took their shoes off and the girls' shoes were dumped in the gazebo while the boys' shoes were dumped in the dining hall. The teens had to run out of the chapel, cross over rocks and grass, get to the right place, find their shoes in the big pile, put them on (not backwards!) and line up in their specific team group. I thought for sure it would take longer than it really did, but I guess the rocks dodn't hurt as much when you're playing a game:o).

The theme of this year was faithfulness so all the teams were named after dogs. Here are the leaders of Team Rottweiler, filling up the water balloons for an afternoon game. Thankfully the day was hot, because this was one wet job! It was also worth it because we got 10,000 points for it:o).... and had a lot of fun spraying down the kitchen crew and anyone else crazy enough to get near a water hose:o). Somehow Mr. Anger (white shirt) managed to stay relatively dry... we'll have to rectify that next time!