Monday, August 31, 2009

College Life Again

Once again, I'm SOOOO sorry for the length of time that it has taken me to write this post. Things have been really crazy and on top of that, due to internet blockers I can no longer access my blog from my computer! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! So, I emailed this post to Jason, and he is posting it for me. I will probably do this quite often, as I have plenty to write, but no way of posting! :(

So life has been pretty busy, I got to Shawnee on Saturday, August 22 and immediately started job hunting, actually, I had already applied at several places online. I still have not been able to find a job, so please pray that God will provide one for me soon.

Monday was new student testing and registration. I only had to take one test, and really I didn't have to take that one, I just felt like it. It was a music test, to test out of theory, and I passed really easily. No problems there at all. I am only taking 19 credit hours, which compared to the 21 that I wanted to take is really nothing at all! I'm taking Intro to Education, US History I, Computer Applications, Science Overview (which meets twice a week for 2 hours at a time!), Counseling Youth, and Christian Womanhood. I am also doing an internship in the 3rd and 4th grade at the Christian school for a total of 100 minutes a week, that counts as 1 credit. Pretty much I'll be busy but loving it! :)

We also did several activities, including going to the KY State Fair, Bowling, Roller Skating (which I had NEVER done in my life) and a park to play soft ball and then we went for ice cream...YUM! :)

Thursday and Friday we did outreach. Both days there were 3 separate outreaches into a total of 6 projects in and around Louisville! I LOVED IT! What we did was a Bible club for the children, and even some adults came. On Thursday we had about 64 or so kids. 20 some got saved and 12 were allowed by their parents to come back to the church and get baptized! That was AMAZING! The outreach on Friday was in a mainly Muslim project. We had around 200 kids, and 34 or 35 got saved! We weren't able to take any of them back to the church for baptism because of a lack of transportation. I personally talked to 5 girls about Salvation, but they were really hard to reach because of the fact that they are Muslim and "don't believe in Jesus." Both days I was very saddened by the environment that these children are being raised in. Honestly, I wanted so badly to help all of them have a better life...I didn't want to leave!

This weekend was what was called "Super Summer Sunday" but actually, it was split up into Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday many of the bus routes were run and they had church services and then an outdoor carnival. It was a lot of fun! I worked the carnival on Saturday. On Sunday Dr. Sheldon Smith who is the director of the Sword of the Lord was the main speaker. I know that a combined count of the services Sunday morning in both New Albany and Louisville, and the nursing home services was over 2,000! Praise the Lord! Also Sunday night I played my cello in the church orchestra! THAT WAS AWESOME!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

At College

I'm so sorry for the lack of posts lately, I am at college, but I don't have internet access on campus yet, I'm hoping that happens by the end of the week, at which time I will post more....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Last Day in the Jail

Have you ever loved doing something so much that it breaks your heart to leave it behind?
I love the jail ministry, and I loved the opportunity that I had this summer to go in every Sunday. I loved the people in jail, and I loved the people in the jail ministry. Oh yes, we had our ups and downs, it wasn't perfect, but it was a place that I could go and love and be loved. It was a place where I could go and minister to people who were hungry for the Word and I felt needed.
Over the process of the summer, there were many times that going to jail on Sunday morning was the highlight of my week. If I was having problems with something or it just seemed like nothing was going right, I could go to jail, put those things in the back of my mind and it was there that I focused on others.
So today was my last day with those people. We started as usual in "F block" the lock down block, where the guys are locked in their cells for 23 out of 24 hours a day. These guys are either the maximum security, or the guys that got in trouble in jail. Peggy and I played kinda a prelude of "Amazing Grace" and "Jesus, I am Resting, Resting," me on the cello and Peggy on the keyboard. Then we sang a song and Rick preached from Luke 15 about the Prodigal Son. Not only did he talk about the prodigal, but also about the older brother who was a self righteous holier than thou, and how really in the end it was the prodigal son who got saved, and as far as we know the older brother never got saved! He talked about how it is so important to make sure that what we are doing is for God and not for show!
The next service was in the chapel and it was the men. Again Peggy and I played a prelude. We had baptisms this morning. Three guys got baptized and one rededicated his life. John really spent time going over baptism and how it isn't what gets you saved, etc. One of the men who got baptized was absolutely glowing with the filling of the Holy Spirit! The look on his face was amazing, I don't think I will ever forget that look of the presence of God! His story is really neat too. He has had a horrible life, I'm not really sure all that has been involved, but he had been living a wicked life. He ended up in our county jail, and his wife is in a county jail north of here. God started working in his heart here, and unknown to him, God was also working in his wife's heart! Both are now saved, and once they get out of jail they are planning on living their lives for the Lord! That is so exciting! On their way out, most of the guys told me good-bye and a few even hugged me!
There were a lot of ladies that came to the service! Again the whole prelude thing, and then John asked that I tell the ladies why I was leaving and where I was going, etc., so I did. Then Rick preached, in both F Block and the ladies service he had Peggy and I read the Scripture, that was really neat. I'm gonna miss the ladies a lot!
After the services are over those of us who go into the jail always talk it over, talk about the things that went well, what could have been improved, etc. and then we pray. During this time Rick brought up the fact that he had enjoyed having me come in and then he informed me that I'm the only one who goes in that is under 50!! That made me feel REALLY young!
I'm gonna miss the jail so much while I'm at college, and I can't wait to go back again!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Wonderful Week By Myself!

This past week my family deserted me for parts unknown. Well, actually they deserted me for Wisconsin! So I spent 8 wonderful days ALL BY MYSELF! :) Let me tell you, it was a very nice experience. :)
Sunday morning I spent as usual in the jail. It was kinda interesting cuz Peggy was gone and I didn't know that before hand, so there was no keyboard, or anything to accompany the music, and naturally, since Peggy wasn't there, I was put in charge of the music. That was interesting. On top of that John put me on the spot and had me sing a solo, OCAPELLA!!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! When he first told me to do it, I just stared at him like he was a fish out of water, then I said, in a very scared/shocked voice, "Are you serious??!!" He said, "Yeah, you can do it!" I was like, "Uh, ok...." So I did it! UGH! Everyone said it was really nice, whatever! Sunday night was the "premier" of "Israel 101," the big graphic design project that I was working on this summer. I hadn't seen the finished project up until then, and I thought it was really nice! Dave Ditton, who was the guy who took my graphic work and put it all together on the DVD, and I were trying to figure out how many hours combined just the 2 of us put into it, and we figured it was over 200 hours! That's not including everyone else! Talk about craziness! All of that for a presentation that is just over an hour long! It was a lot of work, but well worth it, and I know that through the hours upon hours that i put into it, that I was able to learn a lot about Israel.
Monday and Tuesday were spent going through all of the stuff that I brought back from college last year and figuring out what I wanted to take with me to Shawnee this year, and what I didn't, and what needed to just be thrown away, etc. I can tell you this much, I know that I'm not taking nearly as much stuff with me this year as I took last year! I well remember how packed the minivan was when I went to NY!! LOL! Fond memories...
On Wednesday I had a show, and sold a Rainbow!! I was THRILLED!! :)
Thursday I drove an hour to go to a show and didn't sell a Rainbow...sigh...Oh well, it was a nice day, so it was a nice drive....
Friday I finished up my first scrapbook, it's not very good, but I enjoyed doing it, and I think that I will continue working on those skills! :) I like doing it cuz I can be scrap booking and watching a movie, or talking on the phone, or doing a million other things! I hate just doing one thing at a time, my mind moves too fast I guess...I don't know, maybe I'm just crazy! :) Oh yeah, I got to talk to Jason on Friday night, which of course was WONDERFUL! :)
Saturday I cleaned up the house and then my family got home about 9 at night! I got a box in the mail from Jason as well, and that totally made my day!
It was really nice to have those few days to myself. I got some extra Bible reading done, and lots of time to pray! I was more than ready to have my family come home because during the week a really good friend of mine's mom died, and I had gone to the viewing and stuff by myself, and some other things had happened, and I just needed a really big hug!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Absolute Surrender

Well, I've been having a hard time writing this blog, because I haven't been exactly sure how to write it, so I'm just going to write it as it is.

Sometime around the end of April or beginning of May a friend of mine, known as "Rosebud" started telling me about this guy that she thought would be a great match for me. I was like, "Whatever!" Well, she was quite persistent about it, and finally on June 16 I gave in and typed him and email, hoping that would get her off my back. I never expected anything back from Jason. However, that was not meant to be. The next day I got an email back and I replied and thus was the beginning of a very good friendship.

Jason is in the Navy and currently stationed in Japan. At one point he told me that he had really been struggling with loneliness. Being a Christian in the Navy isn't very easy and to add to that the fact that he is thousands of miles from home doesn't make it any easier. Finally he had surrendered his loneliness to the Lord, and accepted the fact that God was trying to teach him a lesson. Soon after that took place he received the first email from me!!

As our friendship continued I began to develop some feelings beyond friendship for Jason. However, I didn't think that the feelings were returned. I was really struggling with this, because I knew that God wanted me to give my feelings to Him, but I was afraid to do that. One Sunday in jail Peggy and I sang "I Surrender All." We sang the first verse and then 2 verses that Peggy had written, they are as follows:

All my plans and destinations,

All the stuff I think I need,

All the hurts I've done to others,

Take them Jesus, take them please.

All my time and all my money,

All my rights I fight to keep,

All my health and friends and loved ones,

Take them Jesus, take them please.

As we were singing the last verse, especially the last 2 lines I broke down and began to cry. Many people assumed it was because of some of the health issues that I've had and am having. Little did anyone realize that I was really struggling with giving up Jason. The following day I spent a lot of time in the car working and getting a new cello bow, etc. During those hours in the car I battled with God BIG time, I spent hours talking to Him, giving all sorts of reasons why I couldn't give him up. Finally I gave up and surrendered all that I was desiring to God. The amazing thing, a week later Jason sent my parents and email asking if it was ok for us to continue our relationship. They said "Yes!"

It's amazing how God has continued to work. My parents have been getting to know Jason, and I have talked to his family. So far everyone who is involved is very happy. Jason is coming home on leave in December and will be spending some time here in Warsaw.

I am asking for your prayers as we continue this relationship, that we will listen and obey our authority and that we will continue to keep our eyes on God.