Thursday, October 30, 2008

Meditations Today

I am a thinker. I like to chew on an idea, a verse, a quote or a topic for a long time. I probably think and rethink things too much. As much as I think about things, though, does not mean I am trying to make up my mind. I usually have a decisive, quick and reasonable arguement for or against the thing I am pondering, just ask anyone who knows me well. (Dawn!) It annoys me when people say they do not have a position on a topic (like politics, of late)- I find that to be virtually and logically impossible, especially when in the next breath they are able to come up with a position. And I think, "See, that wasn't hard now was it?"

Anyway, I have been thinking. And thinking. And rethinking.

So, I thought I would share what I have been thinking about today. It may interest you and it may not. In my desire to blog more, it just seemed like a good place to start and to let you inside my brain. That is the weird thing about blogging- I broadcast it on the internet and you read it!

1- Several years ago I found A Challenge to Women. I have mentioned it several times since I began blogging (like here). I continue to read and use it as a constant reminder of what I want to be. Today's Challenges are this:

8. That, if I am single, I exploit my singleness to the full in
devotion to Christ and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.

9. That, if I am married, I creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of my husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; that I encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that I influence him spiritually primarily through my fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer.

Now, here are several of my thoughts on challenge #8:

  1. I am single still- in the sense that I am not married.
  2. I am not single- in the sense that I have no idea who I may marry.
  3. There is no gaurantee that I am going to marry the man that I am courting.
  4. How can I use the singleness I have left to the fullest?
  5. Have I used the past years of singleness to the fullest?

The last question I try to not ponder too much because I have no control, at this point, on what I did in the past. I have to trust that God will use what I did to His glory and forgive me for any missed opportunities. His Kingdom will still go on as planned. The reason I ponder it is to learn from my mistakes and know how to better encourage completely single women (not married and no man in the picture!).

My thoughts today are focused mainly on, "How can I use the singleness I have left to the fullest?" It is a tough question to answer. First, I have no idea how long it will be until I am married. So, in many ways, every moment needs to be used to its max. Second, I already see how being in a relationship with a man, heading towards marriage, distracts me from serving the Lord. My mind has a lot more factors to consider than I did 5 months ago. My time, attention and desires are divided. Third, there is a hard balance between remaining an individual because we are NOT yet married and at the same time uniting our purpose into one as we head towards marriage.

Now, here are several of my thoughts on challenge #9:

  1. I am not married.
  2. I may be married soon. (As C.S. Lewis says, "God calls all times soon.")
  3. I have a good idea of who I am going to marry.
  4. How can I be learning to do the things outlined in challenge 9 right now in preparation for marriage?
  5. Who can help me prepare for the role of wife?

Again, I struggle to find a balance between challenge 8 and 9. I am in the middle and need a challenge 8.5, I think! I feel that I need preparation for marriage without assuming that I will be married. Does that make sense?

Part of me feels like I was better prepared for marriage 5 years ago while the other part of me is quick to argue that is not true. The last 2 years I pushed marriage out of my mind in many ways, which was good and bad. Now, though, I wonder if I could have done more to prepare for marriage. Like my thoughts on challenge 8, I will not dwell on what I could have done differently. I must trust God and obey Him now.

The last few weeks I have been thinking and learning a lot about prayer. At this time in my life and my relationship with Joel I feel God focusing my attention on what it means to pray. Not pray. Pray, truly pray. What does it mean to throw all of my dependence on God in prayer- for myself and for others? It is the bedrock of a solid marriage, I am convinced. I want to be the best wife this world has ever seen. There are no books or conferences that can replace a communion with God by prayer for a relationship (any relationship!). It is my prayer that God would teach me how to pray... really pray... as I prepare to be a wife.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Knowledge of the Holy- Chapter 2

The title of chapter 2, "God Incomprehensible," is enough to deeply challenge a soul to know more of God and cause that same soul to realize God can never be fully known. The fact that God cannot be fully known does not mean that we throw up our hands and say, "Well, then, I am not even going to try." No, it should cause us to desire Him more intimately than ever before. It is a wonder that He would create us and then reveal Himself to us. Our lives should be devoted to knowing Him and making Him known to others.

Truly, what else matters?

Excerpts from chapter 2:
  • In Thy Presence silence best becomes us, but love inflames our hearts and constrains us to speak.
  • ...God is not like anything; that is, He is not exactly like anything or anbody. We learn by using what we already know as a bridge over which we pass to the unknown. It is not possible for the mind to crash suddenly past the familiar into the totally unfamiliar.
  • When the Scripture states that man was made in the image of God, we dare not add to that statement an idea from our own head and make it mean "in the exact image." To do so is to make man a replica of God, and that is to lose the unicity of God and end with no God at all.
  • ...whatever we visualize God to be, He is not, for we have constructed our image out of that which He has made and what He has made is not God.
  • If all this sounds strange to modern ears, it is only because we have for a full half century [the book was written in 1961] taken God for granted.
  • If what we conceive God to be He is not, how then shall we think of Him? If He is indeed incomprehensible, as the Creed declares Him to be, and unapproachable, as Paul says He is, how can we Christians satisfy our longing after Him?
  • The yearning to know What cannot be known, to comprehend the Incomprehensible, to touch and taste the Unapproachable, arises from the image of God in the nature of man. Deep calleth unto deep, and though polluted and landlocked by the mighty disaster theologians call the Fall, the soul senses its origin and longs to return to its Source.
  • "What is God like? If by that question we mean "What is God like in Himself?" there is no answer. If we mean "What has God disclosed about Himself that the reverent reason can comprehend" there is, I believe, and answer both full and satisfying.

So, praise Him that He chose to reveal parts of Himself to us. And spend the rest of your life knowing Him and making Him known. It's the only thing that lasts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Not to Write?

It has been a long time, again, I know.

I remember the days when I was able to blog three, four or five times a week. The last few years as my life schedule has changed I have found myself forgetting to blog. It is not like I do not have anything to talk about, I do. It is just hard to put it into words. It is not that I do not have things to say, I do. It is more like there is less and less time to say them.

God continues to mold me into His image. There is a lot that needs changed, trust me. The older I get the more I see how far I fall short and just how desperately I need a Savior.

So, when there is no time to say anything else, I will leave it at that... and hope to remember to blog before another month passes.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Face of Life

"Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."
James 4:13-17

Cancer. Car accidents. Death of a child.

It affects us all.

There is no person who has ever lived that has not had to face a tragedy, whether directly or indirectly. I have never been hit by a car (yet). Ann Marie has. I have never had cancer (yet). Luba has. I have never had child die (yet). Suzanne has.

Many times I sit back and wonder why some people have had to go through such physically painful experiences and why my life has been, at least from a physical perspective, easy. My life is not over, yet, so I know that there is as much opportunity as anyone else for me to have cancer, be in a car accident or suffer the death of a child. At this time, though, my thoughts are some where else. How do I comfort? How do I encourage? How do I help?

When Ann Marie tells me they might amputate her legs... what can I do? When Luba shares that she has stomach cancer... what can I do? When a missionary family looses a son... what can I do?

God is in control. It is true. And I believe it with all my heart. It is in these times when my faith is put to the test on behalf of others. It is in these times that I cry out to God from the deepest part of my soul.

It is also, as James says, arrogant for me to plan my days as if I am in control. I could die tomorrow. I could lose my leg, my eye, my child, my job, my money and my life. Where is my hope based? It is based in the reality that all things perish except Christ. Only what is done for Him, by Him and through Him will last.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Knowledge of the Holy- Chapter 1

The Knowledge of the Holy has proven to be the best book I have ever read in my entire life. It is so simple, straightforward and God-centered, but it is also not a self-help, feel good and mindless read.

The title of chapter 1, "Why We Must Think Rightly About God" lets you know that 1- if you are not thinking rightly about God that you need to, and 2- that thinking rightly about God is very important. I could not agree more.

So, here are some excerpts from this foundational chapter-
  • The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen about its religion, and man's spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God.
  • All the problems of heaven and earth, though they were to confront us together and at once, would be nothing compared with the overwhelming problem of God: That He is; what He is like; and what we as moral being must do about Him.
  • The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems, for he sees at once that these have to do with matters which at the most cannot concern him for very long; but even if the multiple burdens of time may be lifted for him, the one mighty single burden of eternity begins to press down upon him with a weight more crushing than all the woes of the world piled on upon another.
  • Low views of God destroy the gospel for all who hold them.
  • Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow; they are themselves idolatrous.
  • We do the greatest service to the next generation of Christians by passing on to them undimmed and undiminished that noble concept of God which we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Reading

The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer is a book that I have known about and wanted to read for many years. Last year I found a copy at the Arc Thrift store for $1.99, so I bought it. Sadly, it sat on my bookshelf, lonely and unread until this summer. As I was preparing to go to Central Asia I wanted to take a book that would be easy to read and yet be spiritually nourishing. As I skimmed the chapters in this book I realized they are small, to the point and extremely powerful, so I took it with me.

What an encouraging book it has been for me right now!

The first sentence in the preface was so stunning and powerful that I thought, "This is going to be amazing!" Tozer proclaims:
  • True religion confronts earth with heaven and brings eternity to bear upon time.
It only gets better from there!
  • The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us.
  • It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate.
Yes, Tozer, I agree. Thank you for stating it so plainly.

And that is just the Preface.

It is my goal to take one chapter at a time and give you a few of my favorite quotes. As I have read it my awe and fear of God has been renewed. He is Holy and if we are to be holy we must first know the Holy One in all of His attributes.

Go buy it. It is worth every penny.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Because I was Tagged

Dawn tagged me to do this! Here it goes!

Rules: You must answer the questions using only one word. Then tag four others.

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your significant other? Jesus :-P
3. Your hair? Curly
4. Your mother? Friend
5. Your father? Huggable
6. Your favorite thing? Bible
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your favorite drink? Water
9. Your dream/goal? Travel
10. The room you’re in? Office
11. Your hobby? Reading
12. Your fear? Meaninglessness
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
14. What you’re not? Perfect
15. Muffins? Bran
16. One of your wish list items? Laptop
17. Where you grew up? Colorado
18. The last thing you did? Eat
19. What are you wearing? Skirt
20. Favorite gadget? Camera
21. Your pets? Never
22. Your computer? None
23. Your mood? Expectant
24. Missing someone? Dawn
25. Your car? Isuzu
26. Something you’re not wearing? Hat
27. Favorite store? Cheap
28. Like someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? Purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Today

I tag: Darrah, Cheryl, Ann Marie and Dale

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Yes, it is true. I am alive and well.

At about 2PM today I hit a wall of tiredness from jet lag and I am ready for bed. It is, after all, 3AM in the place where I have just spent 2 weeks. ::YAWN::

There is so much to say about life, missions, ministry, dreams, convictions, happenings and fears. I am sorry that I have become so lazy in posting. I really do miss writing and communicating my thoughts to whoever reads my blog. Maybe if I wrote more often people would read what I have to say.

God has been teaching me a lot about what it means to walk in confidence. People have always said I was a confident person- from the time I was a little girl. Those that know me well love and appreciate my confidence in who God is, what I believe and who God has made me. Those that do not know me well call it arrogance and pride. There is a temptation inside me to buckle under their criticism and question my God-given confidence. The enemy wants me to believe that my confidence is pride.

And I know that there is a fine line between confidence and pride, so please do not go, "see she is arrogant!" As I have learned about confidence I have also come to understand true humility. People have told me that I need to be more humble and others have said that I am the most humble person they know. Both of those statements are from God and are given to produce humility.

God has also been teaching me much about leadership. As I led the trip overseas I was faced with many times where my ability to make decisions was stretched. It was soooo good! Leaders have to make unpopular decisions. Leaders are able to encourage people when they are frustrated. Leaders have to trust that God knows what He is doing. Leaders have to remain steadfast when the people are complaining.

Leadership, confidence and humility are inseperable. All three are gifts from God. All three feed well off of the others. You cannot be a good leader if you are not confident. You cannot be confident without humility. You cannot be a good leader without humility. Leadership produces humility because you leave yourself wide open for criticism.

Ahh, there is so much more. I praise God for what He is teaching me. Hopefully I will find more time to write in the weeks to come now that so much is behind me. :-)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Not Sure

So I say "soon I will post..." and then five weeks pass.

A lot has happened in my life since that post about the church. I have been to Maryland and Pennsylvania. I went through tax season and came out alive. I went to Vince and Meg's wedding. I cried. I laughed. I slept. I ate.

Life. It is amazing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Church

Very soon I will publish some posts about missions as a continuation of what I started a few weeks ago, but for now I need to tell you something. The last few weeks God has been doing a beautiful work in my heart in regards to the church.

For several reasons, which I will not get into right now, I have had a hard time getting involved at my parent's church. I really miss my little church in Fort Collins. The church my parents have been at for 2 years, and I 1, is large and until recently been full of strangers to me. The Word is faithfully preached and it seems that new believers are added every week. I praise God for those two things, for the churches I have been in the last 10 years, besides the church in Fort Collins, did not have either.

The beginning of December I was really struggling with my attitude towards the church. I was very critical, disinterested and apathetic. The last thing I wanted to do was go to church, be with a bunch of strangers and introduce myself to people who would forget me by next week.

A horrible attitude, I know.

Thankfully, very thankfully, God changed my heart. In my arrogance I could not even see that God was calling me to serve. It was easier to sit back and complain about how things should be done. Then, it was as if God spanked my backside and said, "Shape up. I love my Bride and you should, too." Funny thing, I thought I did love the Church because I complained about how She should be. Funny too, how complaining doesn't help fix anything.

The following song was instrumental (ha!) in really sealing the conviction I had already felt. Read the lyrics carefully and think about God singing this to you-

The Church
by Derek Webb
On the album She Must and Shall Go Free

i have come with one purpose
to capture for myself a bride
by my life she is lovely
by my death she’s justified
i have always been her husband
though many lovers she has known
so with water i will wash her
and by my word alone

so when you hear the sound of the water
you will know you’re not alone

‘cause i haven’t come for only you
but for my people to pursue
you cannot care for me with no regard for her
if you love me
you will love the church

i have long pursued her
as a harlot and a whore
but she will feast upon me
she will drink and thirst no more
so when you taste my flesh and my blood
you will know you’re not alone


there is none that can replace her
though there are many who will try
and though some may be her bridesmaids
they can never be my bride


What am I willing to do for the Church to see her pure, Christ-centered, discipled and serving Jesus? That is what God has been asking me. Right now I only have a partial answer and have started getting involved where I can use some gifts and passion.

I love you, Church!

(Thanks, too, to my mom and dad for challenging me outside of myself, to Dawn who always has to endure my complaining and to Joel for giving me a fresh perspective!)

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Birthday

The last few days I have been trying to publish this post and Blogger was not letting me upload pictures. Finally, it worked!

On Monday a little boy, Judah, turned 2 years old. He is dear to me, not so much for who he is, but for who his parents are. I have spent very little time with Judah and yet hours with his parents.

I met Matt E. in April 1999. In order to make an extremely long story short, we met, became good friends almost instantly, he went to college, met Dawn and fell in love with her, introduced Dawn and I, and now she is the dearest friend I have outside of my family.
Jaclyn and Matt in January of 2001-
a picture taken after we had been laughing hysterically

Dawn is amazing. Her constant friendship the last 7 years (give or take a few months) has been none other than a gift from God. I've posted sappy things about her before, so I will spare you too much more of that. :-)

So, on Monday she celebrated her son's birthday. Me, well, I celebrated Matt and Dawn. It has been a wonderful journey to be apart of and watch from, sadly, a distance. I will never forget the excitement in her voice when she called me exclaiming, "I'm pregnant!"

Many emotions flooded my heart and mind. Dawn, pregnant!?! It was amazing and impossible at the same time. This girl had giggled with me about things girls discuss, shared hard times, admitted faults, rebuked me in love and we had talked about everything under the sun. I had been engaged and unengaged before she and Matt were even engaged. And we had shared it all. Laughter and tears.

Now, she was going to be a mother.

We began talking pregnancy, morning sickness, body changes, labor, delivery, parenting, sleepless nights, nursing, hip pain, doctors appointments, baby names and hormone shifts.
Jaclyn and Dawn- May 2006
Dawn and her first-born son, Judah, when he was but a few weeks old.
Dawn and Judah a few days before he turned 2

Now she has TWO sons, has been married almost 4 years, has moved several times and was able to visit Colorado once! She is an amazing wife, mother, homemaker, sister, friend and follower of Christ. I admire her in more ways than I can even begin to count.

And Matt, well, who knew it would lead to this after meeting 9 years ago? (NINE!) He has been a constant friend through some very hard times. He is a godly husband and father. I respect him very much and it only grows more as the years pass.

Matt, Judah and Elijah!


And, well done, Mom and Dad E. May your children arise and call you blessed because of your love for the Lord. May your home be a light for Christ. May those around you give you honor because you are people who love Him! May your home be full of laughter, mercy, generousity, faith, love, purity and Godly offspring (at least a few more...)!

Love to you all!

Friday, March 07, 2008

An Earthly Goodbye

Caroline Stickley, center above, could enter the presence of Jesus any time now. What a wonderfully magnificent thought. And sad, too.

We, myself, Ben and Ann Marie, met Caroline last September when we visited some of OMF's retired missionaries in Pennsylvania. She is an amazing woman.

More on her later, when I have time, and as a tribute.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Until All Have Heard

People. They are everywhere. They are tall and short; fat and skinny; fed and starving; sheltered and homeless; clean and filthy; well and sick, dark and light; rich and poor; evangelized and lost. And they are ALL eternal.

Definition: people group- A people group is a collection of people who share a common culture, language and sense of identity.

According to the Joshua Project there are 27,000 cataloged people groups in the world. (Read this article for more info!) This is a high number based on all of the following distinctions that a people group could possess:

  • Language / Dialect
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Caste
  • Culture
  • Education
  • Politics
  • Ideology
  • Historical enmity
  • Customs
  • Behavior
Definition: language-1. a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition, 2. Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols.

There are 6,912 know languages in the world. The International Bible Society states that the Bible has only been translated into 392 languages. That means 6,520 people groups do not have God's Word in their heart language. Some may be able to read a cousin translation or a second langauge, but that would be like an American reading a Spanish Bible. It is not the same.

Definition: missions- to make God known where He has not been previously known. There are two types of missions- 1. local (sharing the gospel with your own people) and 2. cross-cultural (sharing the gospel with someone of another culture).

The end of Romans 10 is one of the hallmark "missions" passages of the Bible. There are many more (like Jesus' command in Matthew 28), but a few verses in Romans 10 are key! Paul is writing with a heart for HIS people, the Israelites, but the principles fit us all!

v14: How, then, can they (the 27,000 people groups of 6.1 billion individuals worldwide) call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

v17: Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ (the Bible is the Word of Christ and 6,520 languages lack the Word!).

Definition: mobilization- act of assembling and putting into readiness for war or other emergency: "mobilization of the troops" (mobilize-to assemble or marshal (armed forces, military reserves, or civilian persons of military age) into readiness for active service.)

Many missions organizations have adopted the word mobilization. It is active equipping and encouraging people to get involved in spreading the gospel at home and around the world. Many people think of missions as two things-
1. going to a dangerous country and dying for Jesus
2. giving money

Those are both good and needed, but they are only a small part of what missions TRULY is. God has called all of us where we are do tell people of Jesus. If we love Him we will want others to love Him. If you are a believer then you should want to be apart of missions somehow!

Definition: method- a procedure, technique, or way of doing something, esp. in accordance with a definite plan

If we want to see all peoples come to know and love Christ then we need a plan! We need to know our own gifts, callings, limits and abilities in world missions. There are 6 ways that you can be involved:

1- Learn
2- Pray
3- Send
4- Welcome
5- Go
6- Mobilize

I am going to take 6 posts and expound on each. This is my heart because I have tasted the grace of God and I want the nations to treasure Him- through me and YOU!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Four Years Old

Four years ago today I was in the hospital. I was my mom's birthing companion/ coach. The labor was difficult, as they all are, but relatively short. Watching a baby be born is one of the most incredible things you could ever see. This may sound weird, but if you get the chance to watch a birth, do it.

And so, here he is... the funny, energetic, loveable, cuddly, four-year-old we celebrate today!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sight Unseen Part 2

I work for OMF, right? I do payroll and taxes, right? I sit at a computer all day answering emails and making sure people get money, right?


But that's not all.

I see inside the lives of servants in East Asia that no one else gets to see. I do their taxes, for goodness sake! I answer questions about investing, remittances, stipends and W-2's. There are so many mundane things about my job from opening mail to filing. Some days I grow weary of the routine. My eyes gaze out the window longing to be the one on the field.

And then I get emails that humble me to the core-

"Happy Valentine's Day! (Not that I think that receiving our tax information will exactly make your day... but, at least we sent you something for Valentine's Day! Hooray!, as you wrote below.) Seriously, we appreciate your hard work serving our Lord and us in this way (taxes). You have freed us up today to mentor and teach Chinese seminary students! More trained and committed workers for the harvest! You helped! Thank you!"

"Thank you for taking upon yourself this relatively thankless task. I am sure
that there will be some sort of special reward for your efforts in heaven."

"Hi. I'm glad I can make you glad about doing taxes ... yeah, that does sound kind of crazy, but I know what you mean. I have about 300 prayer bulletins to send out today (maybe 14 groups, and 10 or so 'by hand' (one by one); so notes like yours encourage me to do my part here."

Can you even begin to imagine the humbling effect receiving emails like this cause? Thanks for trying, but I am sure you cannot understand. The feeling inside me is a mixture of awe, guilt, honor, humility and joy. They are thanking me for doing taxes and reminding me that it is helping do their work!!! God's redeeming nature certainly spreads to everything! Taxes=rewards in heaven!

I know it is true, I just need reminded day in and day out that what I am doing is having an eternal impact on the world, even if it is as simple as opening mail. The intense joy that brings cannot be compared to anything else! I am not working for American Family Insurance anymore where the tasks are purposeless for eternity. I am serving God with every email, with every mail opening session, with faxes and staff meetings.

The longer I work here the deeper the joy becomes. The more I understand. The more I see how valuable my part is.

So, back to taxes I go... storing up for myself treasures in heaven!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sight Unseen

"And the doors of the King are thrown wide....'

Father, forgive me for I have not believed!

I forgot your grace..."

-Caedmon's Call

Oh, oh, oh how sweet it is to be reminded of the grace God has lavished on us. How can we keep it to ourselves? How can we say that we love God and yet NEVER ever share it? We blame insecurity, we blame busyness, we blame incompetence and we deprive ourselves of the truest joy we could ever have- leading someone to Jesus.

Why don't we? Is Jesus life to us or not? Do we understand the reality of hell? Have we forgotten that there are millions hanging in the balance between life and eternal seperation from God?

And we drive our new cars. And we wear expensive clothes. And we live in plush houses. And we build elaborate churches.

And the church in India suffers as their pastors are murdered. And the believers in China are tortured for owning a Bible. And Laos Christians are burned at the stake.

Father, forgive ME...

Thursday, January 17, 2008


* It hurts to peel an orange when you have a paper cut. Ouch.

* Cold cars need about 15 minutes to warm up.

* Water always spills on something it is not supposed to (like cell phones) and misses things that could get wet (like plenty of other desk space). God uses it to teach us to laugh.

* Tickets to Asia are expensive.

* Some weekends are completely empty and others have so much that fun things have to be refused. Sad.

* Being single and wanting children helps me understand, a little, the pain of a barren woman.

* A man with a sword stirs a mixture of adoration and awe in the heart of a woman. Interesting how the Word of God is called a Sword? That was not a mistake... :-) Every generation of men can be skilled with the Sword.

* Lettuce is not enough for lunch.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Life as It Is


2008, can you believe it???

The year 2007 was absolutely amazing. It was amazing because I was stretched and molded in many unique ways. It was good!

* I completed my first year of working FULL time. What a transition it was, going from a 20 hour work week to 40; starting at 8AM instead of 9; and trading a 7 minute commute for one that is 45.

* I LOVE OMF! I have learned so much about missions both overseas and at home. I have come to understand the amazing amount of support staff it takes to keep missionaries on the field.

* I had three new jobs this year. I began the year working for both OMF, as Finance and Administration Assistant, and Initiative360, as Executive Assistant to the Human Resources Manager. Then, March 1, I was hired full time by OMF in the Fin and Admin Assistant position when I-360 closed. THEN, June 1, I was promoted in OMF to Payroll Administrator. PHEW! How thankful I am that it has passed and I am settled in ONE job with ONE boss. :-) At one time the beginning of this year I had three bosses, three jobs and three desks! Seriously!

* I went to SURPRISE Dawn in January for her 25th birthday! That was a blast! I will NEVER, EVER forget her slamming the door in my face. Then, in June Matt and Dawn had a short 1.5 hour layover at the Denver airport... a layover that turned into 3 days! She was able to spend time with my family, I saw her pregnant and had her in my home for the first time in an 8 year friendship!!! What a joy!!! I love you, Dawn!

* God sent me to Pennsylvania. I was able to spend a week with retired OMF missionaries, hearing their stories, looking at their pictures and learning from them. Words really cannot describe it! (I am STILL hoping to do some writing about this!!!)

* Someone came into my life and swept me off my feet... hahaha, shocked you, huh? I'm talking about my mountain bike. I had prayed for it and God gave it to me. This Summer I was able to spend many hours on it, covering many miles and rejoicing in God's creation. I cannot wait to get back on it!

So, enough highlights from the year past. What will the new year hold? I am always very reflective the last few days of December and the first few of January. This year I was not able to ponder as much since I was sick and living through Ecclesiastes 7 with a family death. Last night I was able to do some thinking and I wrote out a few goals for 2007.

1- Read 24 books. That is 2 per month. I used to read more than that, but with working like I do this will be more realistic. (This does not count books on CD, which are becoming my best friend since I have such a long commute! I have listened to ALL seven Chronicles of Narnia by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre through TWICE.)

2- Read the Bible through twice. If you read my previous post on this you will remember that this means I will need to read 6-7 chapters a day.

3- Do an indepth study on Hebrews.

4- Finish memorizing Ephesians.

5- Travel overseas.

6- Get in shape. I was going to say lose 10 pounds, but I knew people would give me a hard time about that since no one thinks I need to lose weight. I agree. I need to lose pointless tissue and excess inches. How is that? :-P In all reality I will probably gain weight as I get in shape. My goal is to be back to the size I used to be 2 years ago by the time I travel to Asia. Less than 6 months. It can be done!

7- Begin fasting regulary again- part 2 of getting into shape. I feel so much better spiritually and physically when I am consistenly fasting. There will be a day when I will not be able to fast (pregnancy, age, health issues, etc.) and so I want to make sure that I capitalize on doing it now!

8- Make progress on my Biblical Studies Certificate. Several years ago I started a self-paced certificate program with Liberty University. It is an indepth study of the Scriptures that is equivilent to an Associates Degree in time, energy and work. I am almost half-way through and would like to be almost done by the end of 2008. God has given me peace and a release from the demand to get a degree, but I would like to finish this certificate for the sole reason of knowing His Word better than I do now!

I think that will keep me busy for the next 12 months...

Thank you, Jesus, for giving me 2007! What a journey it was with You. All the tears, laughter and refining was well worth it. May I glorify You with 2008. Continue to mold me and make me more like Yourself. Be my vision. Be my only desire. Be my satisfaction. Be my peace. Be my joy. I love You!