Friday, October 27, 2006

From Coffee to Mythology

You Are a Frappacino

At your best, you are: fun loving, sweet, and modern

At your worst, you are: childish and over indulgent

You drink coffee when: you're craving something sweet

Your caffeine addiction level: low

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

You Have Your Sarcastic Moments

While you're not sarcastic at all times, you definitely have a cynical edge.
In your opinion, not all people are annoying. Some are dead!
And although you do have your genuine moments, you can't help getting your zingers in.
Some people might be a little hurt by your sarcasm, but it's more likely they think you're hilarious.

You Are a Pegasus

You are a perfectionist, with an eye for beauty.
You know how to live a good life - and you rarely deviate from your good taste.
While you aren't outgoing, you have excellent social skills.
People both admire you - and feel very comfortable around you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Me, One of a Kind
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pictures Added!

Scroll down
to see the pictures
I added to a previous post!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stepping Off the Edge

In my post on Monday I voiced:

I stand on the edge of a vast canyon. It is beautiful to gaze at, hold as a picturesque postcard and say I visited. Yet, the Lion invites me to step off the top and journey to the bottom, where ever that leads. I am scared. Comfort will be gone. Sacrifice will be manditory. He calls. I must follow.

Then, in my correspondence with the staff recruiter, I was given the link the organization's new website. Last summer Caleb Project and ACMC merged into one missional organization. They discussed a new name for months. Finally, it was decided.

Take it global.

So I clicked the link. I was astounded what I read. It was confirmation, exciting and fits my desires perfectly. And at one point it said exactly what I had expressed I needed to do: step off.

"Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant,
"When you reach the edge
of the Jordan's waters, go stand in the river...

And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD
- the Lord of all the earth-
set foot in the Jordan,
its waters flowing downstream
will be cut off and stand up in a heap."
Joshua 3:8, 13

We're standing on the edge.

God, the Divine Initiator, is moving us
through His command to reach every person,
every tribe,
and every nation
with the message of His love and grace-filled power.

Watch God work. Step off. Believe.

And we're not alone.

God has chosen to bring His plan to completion
through the Church-
your church.

Standing together gives us the
courage to move forward.
Movement starts with a simple step.

Who knows what direction we might go?

Or how far?

It might be in your own neighborhood
or a distant country.

It will take commitment and sacrifice
that may seem beyond our limits, but
we'll help each other along the way.

Our mission is about:
... a corridor of unreached people.
... a journey of spiritual awakening.
... the activation of the complacent.
... the transformation of souls.

Step off. Step out.

Embrace God's mission.
Look around you in every direction.

Take the initiative.
Take it next door.
Take it to the other side of the world.

When I read it for the first time I truly want to dance, shout for joy and cry! It sounds like my heart. It looks like my dreams. It is a challenge to the Church that I embrace.

Please go to to browse the current websites for Caleb Project International and ACMC. Also, I will be working for OMF International, started by none other than Hudson Taylor- one of my spiritual and missional heroes.

So, my official title for the position is Mission Plex Executive Assistant. Basically that means: I do what anyone wants me to do, hahaha. The Mission Plex is a building that houses OMF USA National headquarters and Initiative360 National headquarters (formerly Caleb Project and ACMC). There are 80 people total who work in the building and have to pass through the lobby welcome center. So for 8 hours of my work week I will be co-welcome receptionist to cover lunch for the main secretary, Ashley.

Second, I will be the assistant for OMF's Finance Director, helping her with accounting, filing, currency exchange documentation and donation processing. Third, and the only part of my job where I am officially working for Initiative360, I will be assistant to the Chief People Dude (his actual title). He is responsible for program development and implementation. He oversees all of the ministry avenues like Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, Encountering Islam, Vision Trips, etc. I will assist the people in those departments in what they need from the Chief People Dude. I will also be head of a new program, network organizer and springboard for new mission mobilization ideas.

I cannot believe this is happening. Definately a dream come true.

I am excited to see what God will do with me, in me, through me and for others as I take this step off. I pray that YOU will somehow be impacted by this adventure of mine by joining me in taking Jesus to the nations. And do not write me off by thinking that you have to go across the pond to the nations. If you haven't noticed lately, the nations have come to us. You have no excuse. Besides, God commands it. Take initiative. Pray for me that I will too!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

High Speed Hair Cut

Are you ready for this? This picture (of my "new" haircut, which is really just a shorter version of what I had) took me less than 30 seconds to upload on our high speed connection!!! Woohoo! Now I can upload pictures from church, Chicago, every day and special events in my life. I am sooo excited!

A little info on this picture... it was taken in our backyard, while it was raining, Samuel is yelling at mom and I to not get wet and our dog is bringing toys to me as a hint it is time to play.

Check back later to see pictures of my siblings with the same background. Hope you all are having a great day!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Season of Change

I adore the Autumn season. I treasure watching trees transform from their simple coats of green to vibrant dresses of of gold, red, orange and brown. The heat of summer is replaced with air that is crisp, clean and cool. Change, with the variety of faces it displays, always involves the shedding of the old to dawn the new.

Soon, though, the beautiful colors of Autumn will be replaced with naked trees, a dead earth and frigid temperatures as the area undergoes the change from one season to another.

My life has gone through many changes this past year and is about to take another drastic twist. I have been offered a job at Caleb Project International as Executive Assistant to the Human Resource department, Finance team and Mission Plex. I interviewed with the Finance Manager and the Executive Director last Thursday.

I must give them a decision by tomorrow morning. I am excited and scared to death at the same time. It would be an extreme amount of change all at once. My "work" time, including travel, would triple. My income would double. My freedom would be incredibly limited. My opportunity for missions and ministry would explode. My life would be poured into an area where my passion lies and yet it would consume me.

For over a year I have cried out to God telling Him that I do not want to continue pouring my life into insurance. It has been a wonderful job, stable, money-producing and flexible. I have asked God that when I leave insurance I want to be getting married or pursuing my desire to make Him famous through missional devotion. And if the mission work could be a paid position, it would be perfect.

And perfect God is.

For He has, it seems at this time, answered several desires and needs all at once. Still, there is a part of me, faithless and scared as it is, that wants to talk myself out of taking the job. I have no idea why. It seems like a sparkling gift is being handed to me and I turn my nose up at it as if it were a rotten egg. There would be a level of sacrifice for me, but all things good come at a price.

Goodness, Jesus died to make it possible for me to even THINK about having this job! I long to be faithful, to give my life for His story and to further His fame to the nations.

I stand on the edge of a vast canyon. It is beautiful to gaze at, hold as a picturesque postcard and say I visited. Yet, the Lion invites me to step off the top and journey to the bottom, where ever that leads. I am scared. Comfort will be gone. Sacrifice will be manditory. He calls. I must follow.

Please pray for me as a make the transition of a life-time.

After all, I am not one who is willing to waste my life.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Art of Randomness

Characteristically I am not a random person. I prefer, although I am not bound by it, order and structure. The last few years I have become more relaxed, enjoying random plans, changes and ideas. Then dear Dawn posted a completely random post about things happening in her life.

And I think it is a good idea.

~ Today, I have a job interview with Caleb Project International. Please pray that I will have wisdom as I gain information and make a final decision.

~ Today, my dad has a meeting/interview with our financial planner, who is a good friend. He has offered my dad a job that will focus on taking financial planning seminars to churches. Initially it will not pay as much as we need to pay the bills, but as the vision grows, so will the paycheck. I am very excited for my dad. Ron is an incredible man of God and will be a perfect mentor as my dad heals from ministry abuse- since Ron has faced it too. Ron is 15 years older than my dad and 15 years ago he left the ministry (as a career) because he was not willing to take the abuse from the laypeople any longer. I think my dad is encouraged that in 15 years he can be where Ron is. Praise God for encouragement and hope.

~ I am currently doing The Blazing Center Bible study by Desiring God Ministries with Katie and Ann Marie. The young adult group at my church is also doing this study, which is fun for me to have a bunch of my friends doing it at the same time.

~ I really, really, REALLY love my family.

~ Tomorrow, Ben records his first CD. His voice teacher and a producer are paying a local studio to record a demo CD- that will be forwarded to advanced producers in Nashville. Pray for Ben that he will be focused and have endurance. Pray that he has time to complete three songs! He will be in the studio for 9 hours, the time "professionals" use for half a song, but for a demo CD the songs do not have to be perfect, he just wants variety. Hopefully he will be able to upload the music to his MySpace page so that all of you can listen to it. :-)

~I love Autumn.

~ Saturday, the ARC Thrift Store is having a 50% off sale. I know because yesterday I was at the Dollar Tree that is right next to the thrift store... so of course I had to browse there too. I usually go straight for the books. Sadly, there is always a GREAT variety of AMAZING Christian books at the ARC. Yesterday my gold prize find was Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. I did a VERY risky thing. As an avid thrift store shopper, if there is a 50% off sale on Saturday, why buy it today? Still, there is the possibility that a. I will not be able to find it if someone moves it or b. it will be purchased. I guess I am willing to take that risk, although I have been thinking about it constantly, even praying that God would keep it safe for me!

~ I got my hair cut, 6 inches off in some places, and have yet to post a picture, sorry. I am loving it.

~ I am craving the chocolate no bake peanut butter cookies that are sitting at home.

~ When I left home this morning I had to carefully step over the four children playing "Samuel is falling down the stairs which we are pretending is a mountain" game. They quickly informed me that I was walking straight down the side of a cliff and needed to be careful.

~ We had fondue for dinner last night, an October tradition.

~ Timothy shared with us what he learned in history about Martin Luther. Did you know that Luther posted the 95 theses on October 31? I didn't! I think we should celebrate his life on that day instead of indulging in and supporting an otherwise dark "holiday." I would encourage all of you, if you have not already, to read this document. I have conveniently posted them on A Distant Thunder for you.

~ I have done something to my internet tool bar and have no idea how to fix it.

~ It is time to go, I must fix some kettle style popcorn for Katie and I.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Map of Opposites

When you were a child did you ever play the "Opposite Game"? You say yes when you mean no, walk backwards, or wish dessert came before the meatloaf?

I did.

Now I see opposites in another light, like the colors on this map in the sanctuary at my church. There are two countries, both dear to my heart, that have solid colors dominating the map. My home country, The United States of America, is green, and the land I yearn to visit, India, is red. Red and green on this chart are opposites, extreme opposites, and here is why:

Dark Red- No Evangelical churches or Christians. No access to major Evangelical print, audio, visual or human resources.
Red- Less than 2% evangelical. Some Evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within the last two years.
Orange- Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past two years.
Yellow- Less than 2% Evangelical. Widespread church planting within past two years.
Light Blue- Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical.
Light Green- Greater than or equal to 5% Evangelical.
Dark Green- Greater than or equal to 10% Evangelical.
Gray- Unknown.

This map is a model which describes the progress of the gospel among the peoples of the world by considering:
1- The extent to which a people group is Evangelical.
2- Accessibility to the gospel.
3- Church planting activity, whether localized or widespread, within the past two years.

(This and more information, maps, charts and details at the IMB website.)

If you read my post about the Lausanne Covenant at A Distant Thunder, you will remember me saying:

Inside each person there are certain dreams and desires that are ignited by simple things- things that affect no one else. Your pulse might not quicken when you see a world map. Your heart might not melt at the sight of dirty children in grass huts. You may not spend countless hours studying unreached people groups. You may not enjoy eating strange cross-cultural foods or browse international food markets for fun. You may not look at an airplane ascending to the sky and wish you were on it headed across the ocean to a distant land. You may not feel an overwhelming sense of energy when you think about taking God to the nations.
I do. Oh, I do.

When I look at this map of the "progress" of world evangelization I get both discouraged and excited. There is a lot of green in the Americas and Australia, but in comparision to the rest of the world, especially the Middle East and Asia, there is not enough. About 80% of the world's population has NO evangelical churches, NO active church planting, NO Christ-centerd spiritual influence, NO Jesus... NO hope, NO peace and NO love. You would think that the SOLID green country would be so overwhelmed with love for Jesus that they would take that love to the red country. Yet, India is starving spiritually while America is spiritually obese.

Since I was nine years old I have dreamed of visiting India and being a missionary there. When I saw this map a month ago that desire burned even deeper into my soul. There is too much red. TOO much red. So I want you to imagine...

IMAGINE growing up in a society where there was NO church, NO presence of Christ, NO freedom to walk into a place where YOU want to worship.

IMAGINE being told you are not good enough to enter Hindu temples because you are less than human.

IMAGINE being convinced, at a young age, that you are an outcast because you were evil in your past life.

IMAGINE living in a land where the cows eat more than the children because the beasts are considered holy.

IMAGINE being raisied to believe that the lighter your skin the more perfect you are.

Can you imagine?

No, you cannot.


A Dalit can.

India is home to 1/6 of the world's population numbering over 1 billion people, all of whom reside with the oppresive caste system. Almost 700 million of those are backward caste and lower caste citizens. A mere 5% are elite caste (priests doctors, lawyers), another 5% uppercaste (army, administrators) and 5% more as medium caste (commercial). Three out of five people you meet in India are below poverty line, with two of those three being a Dalit, or "untouchable."

Dalits are treated as less than human and are believed to BE a lesser creature than animals. They tan leather, remove human waste and bury the dead. They are required to get their food, supplies and clothes from strictly Dalit stores- that is if there are Dalit stores available. An uppercaste person (the top 15%) is considered cerimonally unclean if even the shadow of a Dalit falls on them. Dalit children are sold into slavery and women (starting around 10 years old) are used as sex slaves.

The Hindu religion tells them that they are Dalit because they were evil in their past life. The only way to escape being a Dalit in the next life is to be a perfect Dalit now. If they are perfect then maybe in their next life they will move up the ladder to being... an animal. The Hindu guide also tells them: their skin is dark so their heart is dark- light face, clean heart.

So what are we going to do about it? What are we going to do about the slavery, the oppression, the lies and the caste system? Many Dalits are already realizing that Hinduism equals the caste system and the caste system is controlled by Hinduism. They do not want to be Hindus if that is where their oppression is fostered.

They want to be free. There is only One Freedom Giver that can break the chains of oppression. I have a relationship with Him and He has commanded me to let go of my life for the sake of a country that is in bondage. Living a happy, comfortable, middle-class life is a wasted life. Risk is right when we claim to know Christ.
God has called me
where my deep gladness
and the world's deep
hunger meet.
And it is a beautiful collision.

Please visit The Dalit Freedom Network website for more information on the Dalit people. Sponsor a child. Pray. Give money. Step out of your comfort zone. Go to India. (Just make sure to take me with you.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

What I Have, and Have Not Done

As I was highlighting the ones that I have done, it reminded me of the Nicole Nordeman song "Legacy." I want to leave a leagacy, how will you remember me? Will you remember me by these lists of what I have done, experienced and accomplished? I certainly hope not. I want my life to point to Jesus Christ as my all-satisfying treasure. In Him, I have nothing to boast about.

Not that any of these are things to be proud of! Bold is what I have done.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins (They were in the same ocean I was swimming in, does that count? ;0)
03. Climbed a mountain (a couple of them…)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula (her name was Rosie)
07. Taken a candlelit bath (not by choice, really, but the power was out!)
08. Said “I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree ( I was making fun of “tree-huggers”)
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (a couple years ago during hurricane Jeanne)
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (I live near a big city, although I have NEVER been to a Bronco’s game, shame, shame)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper (just a few ::wink:: and many more someday, maybe MY children? ::sigh::)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten tipsy on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity (this is relative to if I go over budget or if I am draining savings to give. I have done the first, but not the second, so maybe I have not given more than I can “afford.”)
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope.
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment. (like during church- and the pastor stops to ask if everything is ok, yeah, my mom was giggling too!)
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight (I live in Colorado!)
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster (oh, YES!)
35. Hit a home run (I can hit a baseball farther than some boys I know…)
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer (or three?)
40. Visited all 50 states (I am at 39, though!)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk (yes and no)
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country (Rahela in Romania)

44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign (I watch someone switch the men's and women's bathroom signs, but we did not steal them... just a couple people's dignity! How embarassing...)
46. Backpacked in Europe (I had my backpack in Europe, does that count?)
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing (not with official gear, maybe, but enough to be dangerous!)
49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs (it did not last long)
57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day (what is ALL day? Only when I am sick…)
60. *edited*
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (do baby siblings count?)
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. *edited*
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart (I wonder if my story counts…probably)
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (usually when sick or after getting home from overseas)
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents (a goal of mine... 4 more to go!)
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school (back in relation to what kind of break?)
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (chicken and rabbit)
137. Skipped all your school reunions (If I won’t have any TO skip, does that count?)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream (while standing in the middle of the African desert with a tribes-woman in her grass hut.)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care (I did not personally have to make the decision, but I remember when my autn (who is only 45 now) went into hospice care because she has M.S.)
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident (I hope not!)
150. Saved someone’s life

If anyone wants to waste their time and do the same, I would love to learn more, ummmm interesting things about you! :-P

A Dream Come True

A dream has come true... we will be getting high speed internet next week!!! I may be able to fulfill my promise to post a gob of pictures here! We, as happy AOL members, will also cancel our membership to AOL since they have gone "free." We spend $1 more a month this way for our internet service, but it will be HIGH SPEED! So glad we are finally progressing to the twenty-first century technology!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


One of my favorite websites, Ladies Against Feminism, posted a link to The REBELution. After browsing this site for a while, I was incredibly impressed and encouraged. Make sure to visit the blog and read these recent articles: When Chivalry Is Inconvenient, The Modern Day Gentlemen and The REBELution: A Challenge for My Generation.

A distant thunder rumbling in this generation... and it shall not be stopped, I say. Too much is at stake this time.