Thursday, February 17, 2011

A (late) Valentine's Post

Valentine's Day this year was very low key, but fun! Micah and I went out last Friday for pizza and he gave me my present- a moose pillow pet! It's super cute.

On Monday he surprised me by having flowers outside my door when I woke up.
They're so pretty and have plenty of purple flowers! All my lilies have bloomed since I took the picture.

I made dinner Valentine's night, and then we dipped strawberries in chocolate. So yummy!! It was a good day :).


In other news, the semester is in full swing, hence my lack of posts. There is so much homework to do, in addition to my personal devotion time and trying to exercise each day. I found out last week that my cholesterol is really high, so I'm having to change my diet and start exercising. I am doing pretty well with it, at least for me. I have cut out a lot of junk, and I have worked out 3 times since Saturday. Hopefully I will get in a routine of working out each day for at least 30 minutes.

I suppose that is all from the great commonwealth of Kentucky. Until next time...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pray, pray, pray

Please keep praying for Kate McRae. She had a PET scan today and the preliminary results say she does have cancer again. Please pray that God will heal her sweet 7-year-old body. Pray for wisdom for her parents and doctors. And pray that God would be glorified! Click the link above for her caringbridge journal and here for her dad's blog. And pray, pray, pray!!!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." -Ephesians 3:20-21

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Back to The Tucky...

I am back at school. I got a lot of wedding stuff accomplished at my parents'. Today I registered at a local store and mom found a caterer! We also picked out the invitations. So looking at my list, I can cross off the following:
  • My dress!
  • Bridesmaids dresses
  • Flowers
  • Invitations
  • Caterer
  • Photographer
So what's left?
  • figuring out the reception site
  • getting the blue mason jars for centerpieces
  • a few other odds and ends
Of course when I say things are done, I mean they are picked out and/or bought but not necessarily in my possession. And we still have to schedule the date for engagement pictures. BUT, my dress is almost done!!! I CAN'T WAIT to see it and try it on!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Prayers Please

As anyone who lives in my family's town knows, a little girl named Korley died today. She was the niece of one of my friends. Korley was waiting on a lung transplant. Please pray for her family.

Another little girl who I only know about through the blog world found out yesterday that her brain tumor has come back. Kate is only 6 years old. She was diagnosed a year and a half ago and was recently doing well. No, I don't know her, and I can't even begin to imagine the devastation her family is feeling. But, I can pray for her...we can pray for her. From the blog:

"We are crushed. Kate is heartbroken. And we need God's miraculous intervention. Please pray. Please ask others to pray for our sweet baby. I know she is one child among many battling. But she is our daughter, and she is a sister, and a niece, and a granddaugther. Please pray that God would spare her from this disease. Please."

So I ask that you please, please pray for Kate.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What I Want to be When I Grow Up

As anyone who knows me or has at least read my blogger profile knows, I am studying to get a master's degree in Youth Ministry. I can't even begin to list the ways that this program has transformed my life, not to mention how I understand my calling, but that's beside the point for now. It's easy, in the day-to-day, year-to-year journey to get caught up in the busyness and lose focus. It's easy to forget why I have a heart for youth ministry and the ways I think God wants to use me. Yes, I can tell you that I want to work with girls and young women on women's issues but sometimes I forget why.

And then I do an internet search on an author that leads me to some "leaders" in youth ministry, people that I heard speak back in the days when I was in youth group. People that made me roll my eyes then and make me roll my eyes now. And in that eye rolling I was reminded of my call and why there is such a desire in me to serve youth- I want to do things differently. I remember having so many questions, concerns, and complaints about the way things were done when I was in a youth group, but I didn't know how to put them into words. And I certainly didn't have any solutions. Now that I'm older and studying what it means to do youth ministry and to live my life as a ministry, I can articulate what was wrong and how to do things differently. There needs to be more love. There needs to be mentoring. Kids don't need gimmicks and more entertainment. It leads to shallow or non-existent faith. They need real spiritual food just like adults do. They need to be shepherded and discipled. Leave your scare tactics and guilt trips at home. Those may be good for momentary decisions, but they don't lead to lasting change and spiritual formation.

Honestly, I look back and wonder why we went to all the events/conferences we went to. Oh, I know they were fun, and we would have greatly protested had our youth pastor not taken us, but for all the money and time spent what spiritual fruit was produced? It is more important that we build genuine relationships with youth than to entertain them. They are God's beloved entrusted to us to wisely guide, mentor, and love. We must be examples. We have to live the same life we are asking them to embrace. We have to model love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Who cares if you are a great speaker or you have the best band or you wear the coolest clothes or you have all sorts of game systems and high-tech stuff to keep your youth entertained? That stuff doesn't matter! What matters are the relationships you build and the love you share. That's it. Without those relationships, without love and a foundation of trust, you'll lose them every time. Once they're out of youth group, odds are against them staying in church and continuing to grow spiritually. But strong relationships with adults, besides relationships with their parents, greatly increase the odds that they will stay in church and not abandon their faith.

We can't afford to be anything less than spirit-filled mentors and leaders. The question is, do we care? Do we care enough to completely abandon everything but God's call on our lives? Do we care enough to let go of our bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness so that we can live a life of over flowing love and grace? Do we care enough about people old and young, believers or otherwise, to live a life that will most assuredly be marked with suffering, and yet still have joy and peace in our hearts? Do we care enough to become spiritual adults so that we can have wisdom and discernment? Or would we much rather just throw them into the world and hope they sort it out for themselves?

I ask all of that to myself as much as to anyone else. It serves as a challenge to me. I need to continue to grow and mature in Christ. I can't ever stop. I can never stop. Ever.

Lord, make me more like you. May my life be of service to you and for you. May I never stop hungering for you. May I never stop pursuing you. Lord, give me the strength to persevere til the end! In your name...Amen.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.- Matt. 5:6

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. - Hebrews 12:1