Saturday, January 29, 2011


Mrs. Williams went to be with the Lord around 8 am Eastern time. Obviously this is quite a shock to everyone. Please pray for her husband and family at this time. No funeral arrangements have been made, but they are hoping for a Tuesday funeral.

Friday, January 28, 2011

HUGE Prayer Request

Please pray for a friend, Mrs. Williams. She had a massive heart attack tonight. Apparently her aorta exploded! She is in surgery now, and it is expected to take 8 - 10 hours. Most people do not survive this surgery. She is a believer. Please pray for the doctors and nurses, as well as her husband and family. She has had no prior heart problems, so this was very unexpected.

Day 27: A Physical Feature

It has been said that the eyes are the window to the soul, I firmly believe that. The first thing I notice about anyone is their eyes. You can tell what a person's mood is as soon as they walk into a
room by the way their eyes are. Eyes express joy, sorrow, love, thought, bitterness, hurt, and so much more. People can talk without uttering a single word by the look in their eyes.

I think the worst sense to lose would be that of sight. Not being able to see the beauty of God's creation, the faces of loved ones, the words of a book, or the color of a room has to be incredibly tragic. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and without sight that picture cannot be seen.

The Bible speak of the eye in several places. "The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord has made even both of them." ~Proverbs 20:12 "The light of the body is the eye: therefore if thine eye is single, they whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness." ~Luke 11:34

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 26: A Childhood Memory

I grew up in a very family-oriented home. Throughout my formative years we did everything as a family...I was even home schooled! I have so many memories of times spent around the table laughing, having friends over to the house and playing games for hours, going to visit family in other states, taking walks, playing pranks, working in and outside the house, raising rabbits, going on vacations, and many more. I had a happy childhood.

There is one memory that is more prominent in my mind than any other. It was a ritual every night for as long as I can remember. Every night right before bed Dad would
come into our rooms and pray with us. Sometimes it would be a short prayer, but other times we would have a long heart to heart chat and then pray about whatever it was we talked about. Sometimes Dad would be away on a business trip, but he would call us at night and still pray with us. I thank God for a father who took the time to pray with me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thirty Day Challenge: Day 25: A Recipe

Being a connoisseur of recipes I found it impossible to share only one. I narrowed down my favorites to my few ultimate best! Enjoy!

Chocolate Yummies
I love this recipe because it is easy to make in the dorms!
  • 7 graham crackers
  • 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 pack (12oz., 2 cups) chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 T. butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 cups rice crispy cereal
  • Coat 9x13 microwave-safe dish with cooking spray. Arrange graham crackers in single layer in dis, breaking crackers as needed to fit. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over crackers.
  • Microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until marshmallows are puffy. Remove from microwave. Cool completely.
  • in 2-quart microwave-safe mixing bowl combine chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter. Microwave on HIGH about 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in peanut butter. Add cereal, mixing until combined.
  • Spread evenly over marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm. Cut and store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Brooke's Best Bombshell Brownies
This is my all time favorite brownie recipe.

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  • Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake until inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove and cool before cutting.
Mocha Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
Delicious recipe for the coffee/cheesecake lover!

  • 1 1/s cups creme-filled sandwich cookie crumbs (about 18 cookies).
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 2 T instant coffee crystals
  • 1 T warm water
  • 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 (1 oz.) square semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press firmly into bottom of 9-inch spring form pan.
  • dissolve instant coffee crystals in warm water. Beat cream cheese until fluffy in large bowl. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs, chocolate, coffee and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake 1 hour 5 minutes or until center is set. Cool. Chill.
Ambrosia Salad
For a healthier option, this salad is totally awesome.

  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, well drained (or 2 cups fresh)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 (11 oz. can) mandarin orange segments, well drained
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Refrigerate at least 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle a few marshmallows on top

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 24: A Movie No One Would Expect Me to Love

I'm not going to lie, one of my favorite movies is Cinderella. I guess maybe it's because it's something I loved as a little girl and all of my life. I think every girl dreams of her prince charming from the time she's a little girl, and I don't think that desire dies until she has found him.


Monday, January 24, 2011

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

Yesterday I went to a concert at a church here in town. There were many pieces played and sung by artists that go to that church, but one song that was sung had a special meaning to me:

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day,
And I don't borrow from its sunshine
'Cause the skies might turn to grey.
And I don't worry about the future,
'Cause I know what Jesus said,
And today I'm gonna walk right beside Him
'Cause He's the one Who knows what is ahead.

There are things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand,
But I know Who holds tomorrow
And I know Who holds my hand.

And each step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb,
And every burden is getting lighter,
And all the clouds are silver lined.
And over there the sun is always shining
And no tears will dim the eye
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains, they touch the sky.

There are many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand,
But I know Who holds tomorrow
And I know Who holds my hand.

~LeAnn Rimes

I used to have to have my life planned out exactly how it was going to be. I could not stand the thought of not know what tomorrow and the day after, and the month after and my entire life held. Several times I have had those perfectly laid plans completely demolished by God. Lately, I have simply left it up to Him. Yes, I have a general idea of some things in life, but many I don't have a clue about, and that is perfectly fine with me. I'm tired of trying to plan things on my own instead of just letting go and allowing God to take control and do as He pleases. May the Lord be glorified in my life both now and forevermore.

Day 23: A Way in Which I Want to be Remembered

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, "I desire to so conduct my life that when I leave this earthly body and stand before my Maker to make an account for all I have done, if I have no other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, that will be the friend down inside me."

My greatest desire is to be remembered at a woman who loved God, her family, and others. One who was determined to finish with a full, happy life. I want to be remembered for bringing love and laughter to all around me, not as someone who sapped joy out of everything. I do not want to be remembered as one who simply went from day to day with no point to living. Rather, I want to be remembered as a girl who had goals, met those goals and then went on to higher aspirations.

I want to be remembered as one who did what was right no matter the costs. Who wasn't afraid to do something because it went against popular opinion, but rather did what I felt agreed with the Bible and my conscience, even at the cost of friends, money, relationships, and all.

Most of all, I want to be remembered by God as one of His children who faithfully lived life according to His precepts. When I have reached the end of my journey on earth I want Him to say to me, "Well done my good and faithful servant."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 22: A Website

I think my favorite website is Bible Gateway. I love it because at the click of a mouse I can access many different Bible versions, look up verses, find a reading plan, use a commentary of Bible dictionary as well as many other study guides. It is a great way to study quickly and efficiently.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
II Timothy 2:15

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thirty Day Challenge: Day 21: Something I do Differently than Most People

I can not stand to have "mixed food." I don't like eating casseroles or a lot of salads because the food is all jumbled together. For whatever reason I'm OCD about mixing things. I will eat the food given to me, but I have a crazy habit of separating everything once it is on my plate.

After separating things I then eat them one type of food at a time starting with the ingredient that I like the least. For example, we have been eating a lot of fruit salad lately. In this salad there are pears, apples, cantaloupe, oranges, pineapple, banana and sometimes grapes. I will take a serving of it (I love fruit) and eat it in this order: oranges, pears, apples, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, and banana. Even worse than that, when eating spaghetti I separate the noodles and the sauce! Now that's interesting to do, but I don't like them mixed all!

Drummer Boy

This dude is absolutely amazing....I've never seen anyone drum as well as he does...he only gets better as he goes! It's crazy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 20: A Hobby

Everyone is probably going to think I am crazy, but one of my favorite things to do is to shoot guns. Yep, I said the g word...guns!

Having grown up in the country most of my friends and a lot of family own guns. In high school one of my favorite things in the world was to go to the range and out shoot the boys! I still love going out and shooting although I don't get to do it as often, so I'm afraid my skills aren't quite as keen as they once were. I did go through training and am certified to have a hunting license although I've never been able to bring myself to go hunting (too much watching Bambi as a kiddo). I do have a concealed carry permit though! :)

This is even of my jobs down at school is working in an ammunition factory! Pretty cool, huh? I love telling guys that, they suddenly start salivating and get this dreamy look in their eyes. It's quite fun. Click here for company.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Full Blast

I came across an interesting passage today in Acts 20. In this passage the apostle Paul is talking to the leaders in the church at Ephesus. He makes a very interesting statement:

"And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me." (Acts 20:22-23)

Most would say that Paul is insane for going ahead with this plan of travelling to Jerusalem. After all, who in their right mind would willingly go somewhere that they are guaranteed problems? Surely Paul is going to back out and stay where it is safe! But wait, Paul is not finished, he continues in verse 24:

"But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

When I first read that I was amazed at Paul's endurance, faithfulness, boldness, and steadfastness. He was not willing to allow persecution to stop him from taking the message of God's amazing grace to the lost. He did not consider safety of his physical body to be more important than the salvation of lost souls who were on their way to hell. He knew his life was short and he wanted to finish strong for God, not wavering or wimping out. Unreservedly he gave his all to the One who had given His all on Calvary.

Sadly, I am afraid that out of a simple fear of people we fail to remember that we have been called to a ministry of telling others about Christ's gracious and free gift. Often the thought of going to someone we do not know (and especially those we do know) terrifies us. We are afraid of what they will think, or how they will react. We want to be on their good side, and we definitely do NOT want them to think we are some sort of religious freak.

But Paul, KNEW he was going to be persecuted much more than we will ever be in America, and still he went, counting his life as nothing in comparison to the spiritual darkness of the lives of those to whom he was to minister. How much better it would be if we would truly count the cost of serving Christ, taking out the stops, and going full blast for Him.

Day 19: A Talent

Probably the most "obvious" talent that God gave me was that of music. He has given me the ability to play both the piano and cello for His glory. Being able to worship Him with music is one of the most fulfilling tasks.


*****Senior Recital 2008*****

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 18: A Time When I Felt Alive and Passionate

Upon first reading what the title of this post would be my heart sank a little bit...what in the world was I supposed to write about? Then I remembered a time...

In February 2006 my life, spiritually speaking, was hanging in the balance. I was 15 going on 16 and had grown up in a Christian home. I knew "everything" about Christianity. I knew that Jesus had died and risen again for me. I knew that I was supposed to repent of my sins and accept Him as my Savior. I knew it. But it was only in my head.

My heart was rather dark and angry, full of self and what I wanted. My heart told me it was all a lie and the only reason to be on earth was to do what I wanted and be who I wanted to be. After all, who could prove that crazy stuff about Jesus? Even if they could prove it, the way most Christians acted made me want to turn and run the other way. I went to church every time the doors were open only because I had to, I put up with hearing about God every day of my life because I had no other choice. Yet I wanted out and could not wait until the day that I did not have to follow all of the rules and dot my i's just so and pretend like I was "little miss spiritual."

I am convinced that because of the prayers of my parents and others who loved me that my heart began to soften. One Thursday night my family was driving home from church and talking about the sermon that Pastor had preached, this discussion continued after we got home, and between Dad and I after Mom and Samuel went to bed. We were up until almost midnight and by then both my Dad and I knew that I was not saved, but I was too stubborn to admit it. Dad looked me in the eye and said,

"Hannah, I am going to pray that you will be miserable until you get saved!"

Now, when my dad says he is going to pray, that means things are going to happen! And miserable I was. I could hardly sleep and the next day was the worst day of my life. I was terrified of going anywhere, for fear of getting in a car accident and dying. I was afraid to eat because I did not want to choke. I was terrified to live and terrified to die. Life was awful. In my mind I could imagine Jesus hanging on the cross, it was as if He was looking at me and saying,

"Hannah, I did this for YOU! I love you so much and I want you to spend eternity with Me!"

I was overwhelmed. I wanted Salvation so badly, yet there was a horrendous spiritual battle going on inside of me. I could feel the forces of light and darkness fighting for my very soul. That terrified me the most.
Finally, evening came around. Dad came home from work. I did not really want to talk about everything in the open so I waited until the rest of my family had gone to bed, then I planned on talking to dad. He was reading his Bible when I walked past, looking up he said, "Hannah, are you ready to get saved now?" Everything inside of me screamed to say, "YES!" but something made me say, "No, not now." I remember the look of sadness on dad's face as I walked away, and I remember the feeling of dread and heaviness that was in my heart.

I went into my bedroom, closed the door, and fell sobbing on my bed. The battle inside of me was so fierce and hot, I could not take it any longer. I cried out to Jesus, begging Him to forgive me of my sins and to come into my heart and make me His own.

That is when I felt this tremendous peace at last fill my heart and soul. I felt alive and passionate, and full of hope. I gave my life to Christ and have never looked back.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Update 1/18/2011

Mom went to the doctor yesterday. He is very pleased with her progress so far and said that there is no sign of infection. Praise the Lord! Her wound is still about 1 centimeter deep, and he said that will be still be several weeks before it is completely closed. They checked her hemoglobin (red blood cell count) (which soon after her surgery was down around 5 (normal is around 15 to 18)) she is up to 10.1, yet another answer to prayer. She will be going back to the doctor in two weeks (personally, I am hoping that by that time her wound will have closed enough by then so that no more dressing changes will have to be done).

As to the rest of the family, dad hurt his knee at work soon before Mom's surgery. He is supposed to have a MRI this week, but the doctor thinks the meniscus (which is in the knee cap) is torn and surgery may have to be done to repair that!

Work is going well, I don't have many hours, but each week I seem to be picking up a few more which is a blessing. I am taking a total of 4 classes, 11 credits this semester. I'm working on them one at a time. Currently I am over half way through "The History of Israel" and the next class will be "Educational Psychology."

Sam is doing well, keeping up with school and music practice. He is also enjoying the snow that we've had. Sadly, it is starting to melt...oh well, by the end of the month we'll probably have more.

Day 17: A Piece of Art

I must admit I am not a lover of fact I avoid art museums like the plague and really do not understand what people think is so amazing about it. Yes, some of it is pretty, I guess, but a lot of it is kind of pointless (at least to me). So when I was trying to come up with what to post today I finally decided that Baby Blues was just as good as Leonardo da Vinci. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thirty Day Challenge: Day 16: A Song that Makes Me Cry

Oh boy...being a lover of music and an emotional person, many songs move me to tears. Often this emotional outburst is because of the lyrics and the passion of the vocalist combined with the sensitivity of the accompanist. There is one song that means so much to me to and every time I tear up.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Tonight at church we sang the old Charles Wesley hymn, Soldiers of Christ, Arise. The second verse contained a word that I did not know, "panoply." This word bugged me during the entire service (for those of you who don't know me very well, when I come across something I don't know I instinctively look it up out of utter curiosity.) So, when I got home I Googled it. The first entry that came up defined it as "A complete and impressive array." Scrolling down a little further I found the Miriam Webster Dictionary, it defined panoply as "a full suite of armor," and "something forming a protective covering." It is from the Greek word "panoplia," meaning "all arms."

The second verse of Soldiers of Christ, Arise reads, "Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued; but take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God. Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul; take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole." This entire song, and more specifically this stanza Wesley is talking about the Armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-20; in fact the entire hymn is a beautiful paraphrase of this passage.

Personally, I was reminded of how important it is to daily put on the armor of God, and not only a piece or two, but the full array, or all arms. As Christians we are daily in a battle against the world and the devil, if we allow one tiny area to slip our entire protection will be at a high risk. However, if we do as God commands, in His strength with His complete armor the chances of falling will be much slimmer.

Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength
Which God supplies
Through his eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of Hosts,
And in his mighty pow’r,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.

Stand then in his great might,
With all his strength endued;
But take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God.
Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul;
Take ev’ry virtue, ev’ry grace,
And fortify the whole.

To keep your armor bright,
Attend with constant care;
Still walking in your Captain’s sight,
And watching unto prayer.
From strength to strength go on;
Wrestle and fight and pray;
Tread all the pow’rs of darkness down,
And win the well-fought day.

Day 15: A Person I Admire

This post involves not one, but two people I admire greatly. To have one without the other would be practically impossible. These two people are my parents.

Growing up my parents encouraged me as I grew both physically and spiritually. Were it not for them I would not be the person that I am today. Throughout the years they have shown me through their lives how to live in a godly way and how to demonstrate love to others -- even the unlovable. I could go on and on about them and their love for each other, their family, God, and the world. They are my heroes and I love them very much.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Tale of Two Coyotes

The Governor of California is jogging with his dog along a nature trail.  A coyote jumps out and attacks the Governor's dog and, since nothing was done, bites the Governor as well. The Governor starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie "Bambi" and then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is natural. He calls animal control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases and $500 for relocating it. He calls a veterinarian. The vet collects the dead dog and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases. The Governor goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases from the coyote and on getting his bite wound bandaged. The running trail gets shut down for 6 months while Fish & Game conducts a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals. The Governor spends $50,000 in state funds implementing a "coyote awareness program" for residents of the area. The State Legislature spends $2 million to study how to better treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world. The Governor's security agent is fired for not stopping the attack. The State spends $150,000 to hire and train a new agent with additional special training on the nature of coyotes. PETA protests the coyote's relocation and files a $5 million suit against the State.  

The Governor of Wyoming is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks his dog. The Governor shoots the coyote with his State-issued pistol and keeps jogging. The Governor has spent $0.50 on a .45 ACP hollow-point cartridge. The buzzards eat the dead coyote.  And that, my friends, is why California is broke and Wyoming is not. 

Thirty Day Challenge: Day 14: A Vacation I Would Like to Take

I must preface this post by saying that at the present moment ANY PLACE warm sounds like an amazing vacation spot, I don't think that there is a place anywhere in the continental United States (or Alaska for that matter) that is above 50 or 60 degrees and right now weather that is sunny and around 75 or 80 (or warmer) sounds amazing!

However, there are two places that I would consider to be amazing vacation spots, the first is Israel! I have dreamed for years of going to the Holy Land, despite all the turmoil, and seeing the places that Jesus and many important people that I have read and learned about all of my life lived. Most people consider me crazy for wanting to go there, but it is a dream that I hope will some day be fulfilled!

The other country is Australia! "The Land Down Under" has always intrigued me and its beauty is overwhelming!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 13: A Guilty Pleasure

I think I have two "guilty pleasures" although, I don't really find much guilt in them! These would be chocolate and ice cream! I love just about any kind of chocolate, and many kinds of ice cream (although cookies 'n cream would be my ultimate favorite!)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Andrew Murray Quote

Right now I am reading The Holiest of All by Andrew Murray. I thought I would share bits and pieces.

We know that whatever a man sets his heart on exercises a mighty influence on the life, and leaves its stamp upon his character. He that follows after vanity becomes vain. He that trusts in a god of his own fancy will find his religion an illusion. He that sets his heart upon the living God will find the living God take possession and fill the heart. It is this that makes it of such infinite consequence that we should not only have a general idea of the Christ through whom God speaks to us, but should know Him aright and have our heart filled with all that God has revealed of Him. Our knowledge of Him will be the food of our faith, and as our faith is will be our experience of His saving power, and of the fellowship with God to which He leads.

Day 12: A Song I Want at My Wedding

This post is much easier than many of the others in this challenge. One song that I have wanted to be played as the processional at my wedding is "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." It's a very old song, but the lyrics are amazing.

I must admit, the first time I heard it was while watching "Anne of Green Gables" and being the helpless romantic that I am, I could not resist loving the song. (Now I want to watch all of the movies again!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Prayer for a Friend

I would like to ask all of my blogger friends to pray for one of my best friends, Randy and his sister Amy and the entire Smucker family (names have been changed).

Over the past few years Amy has run away several times, and she once again ran away a few weeks ago. She went with a guy who was not at all good for her, but was convinced by good, Christian family to live with them until things could be worked out. She was safe, everyone was relieved. Randy and Amy were always close, and Randy was able to spend some time with her talking to her, and encouraging her to come back home. He was very pleased with her reaction to him.

Yesterday some sad news came...Amy ran away from the other family with the same guy, again. Randy and the entire family is very upset and distraught over the situation. I do not know all of the details, but I do know that she is in a very bad situation and Randy almost cried when I talked to him on the phone yesterday. She has done a lot of things to hurt her family and close friends.

Please pray that Amy will come back to God and her family. Also pray for the Smucker family as they go through this difficult time.

Thirty Day Challenge: Day 11: A Photo of Me Taken Recently

I do not have any really recent pictures of me...the most recent is from the Christmas banquet at Shawnee which was the beginning of December.


Ooohhh yeeeahhh!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shall We Not Accept?

Some of you know that I am taking a semester off from school while my mom recovers from her surgery (here is the post I wrote on that decision). I made the offer to drop out willingly and am very happy to be able to help out. However, yesterday was a bit rough for me because it was the first day of classes and I was not there. It felt really weird and I was somewhat sad. Then this morning I was reading in Job when a phrase jumped out at me:

"Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?"
(Job 2:10b)

It is so easy to take the blessings and good that God bring, accept it, be happy about it, and move on. But when He, in His sovereign way, chooses to bring adversity I react in sorrow. Yes, it is understandable to not always be the happiest when life throws a curve ball at me, but instead of fighting against it and asking God why He allowed something in my life, it is much better to accept His all knowing way, learn from the experience, and grow more in His image.

My heart's desire is to be more like Christ, and only by obediently following Him without question and complaint can I grow in Him. It is not an easy task, and often I fail, but He is always there to forgive and encourage me. He has promised to never leave or forsake me, and that is all I need.

Thirty Day Challenge: Day 10: A Photo that was Taken of Me Over 10 Years Ago

Finding pictures that are already on my computer from ten years ago is quite difficult. I did find a few, but most of them are well over ten years old and were used for a slide show my mom did for my high school graduation.

*****This is probably at least 18 years old*****

*****Always a Daddy's girl! Approx. 16 or 17 years ago*****

*****For those of you who know my brother this picture probably makes you laugh! He now towers over me at a whopping 6 ft. 4 in.! Approx. 14 years ago*****

*****This is probably the closest to 10 years ago*****

I am doing a 30 day challenge click here to see the posts that I have to do.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Called Aside

My typical day usually starts with a cup of black coffee (if I'm in the mood) and my Bible. Today, for several reasons it did not start that way. To my shame, instead of making sure I spent time with my God, I got busy doing other things, baking cookies for the jail ministry, making Mom's breakfast, running some errands, etcetera. Suddenly in the midst of my busyness Luke 10: 41-42 popped into my head, "And Jesus answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.'" Ouch. That hurt. As soon as I finished what I was in the middle of doing I sat down to read and spend time with my Lord and Savior.

Later, I began to consider my life and how easy it is for me to get focused on the wrong things, not necessarily bad things, but my priorities are misplaced and as a result my life is not as blessed or productive as it could be if God were my primary focus. I find myself doing thing "for God" but in my own strength rather than relying on Him for help and wisdom. No matter what, God is there, but it is my choice to give Him room to work or to push Him out. Life would be so much easier if I learned to completely rely on Christ rather than relying on myself.

Day 9: A Photo I took

I have taken many nature pictures, in fact I have a blog (which I have not updated in ages) for some of my photography. I thought this was originally going to be a difficult post, but then I remembered one my ultimate favorite picture.

Spring 2009, Stony Brook, NY

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 8: A Thank You Letter to Someone Who Changed My Life

Left to Right
Standing: LeAnne, Hannah
Sitting: Mr. C and Mrs. C

Dear Mrs. Campbell,

I wanted to write you a note to thank you for all that you have done in my life and in the life of my family. You have been more of a blessing than you will ever know and I love you very dearly.

Over the years you have watched me grow up and have always been a kind friend, a confidante, and a great encourager. No matter what the circumstance, I can always rely on the fact that you will listen to what I say and give good, Goldy wisdom when I need direction. You have never been afraid to tell me when I was doing something wrong, and yet, when I do something right you are always encouraging and praising me.

I have always been able to rely on your prayer support as I grow and make decisions on my own. Looking back, I see how much those prayers have really helped me along, even at times when I may not have wanted them.

Spending time at your house has always been a treat. From learning proper table etiquette (remember that crazy demerit system we set up for bad etiquette?!), to eating ice cream on the porch while watching the squirrels run though the gardens, memories of you and Mr. Campbell are all warm and fun and I could come up with a long list of memories. Watching chic flicks, taking pictures of your flowers, going shopping, eating all sorts of yummy food, talking late at night with you and LeAnne, trying to help remodel your house (or at least watching Mr. Campbell do it), and going to church, are just a few marvelous memories.

One thing about you that has always stuck out in my mind is your positive attitude -- even when you are in pain. You do your best to not let on that you don't feel well, but even when it becomes obvious and you can no longer hide it, your sweet spirit and constant trusting in the Lord has been an excellent example to me.

I don't think you will even know how much of an example of a Godly Christian lady you have been to me. I have learned much from you, and I love you very much!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 7: Five Things I Couldn't Live without

This post should not be as hard as the other ones, although coming up with a list of only five things is going to be a little bit difficult...

  1. Salvation -- without Salvation and the work that Christ has done in my life I would not be here today. I don't know where I would be, or if I would even still be alive, but I do know that were it not for the love of my Savior and His work on Calvary, and my complete faith in Him I would not be certain that I was going to Heaven when I die.
  2. My Bible -- this kind of goes along with Salvation. However, the Bible is what I use to continue my growth in Christ. I have read it through a few times and read many parts of it over and over and over.
  3. A tooth brush -- I think this one is kind of obvious. Have you ever seen someone who has not brushed their teeth in a long time?! EWW! I thought about going into a long description of this, but I think I'll leave it up to your imagination.
  4. Music -- Someone once said, "Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows the from Heaven to the soul."
  5. My brain. -- any explanation needed? Although, I have a feeling my mom is going to ask whether or not I had a brain to begin with. Love you too, Mom! :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Some Good News

Today has turned out a bit of good news! These were some things I was expecting, but the plans are now in full swing, which is incredibly good. This news actually ease my boredom.

The first bit was an email I got from the Dean of Academics at Shawnee. I have been working to get things lined up so that I would be able to take some online classes and therefore hopefully keep up with my studies. Shawnee does not offer classes online, but earlier in the week during a phone conversation with him, Bro. Nicholson told me of a few colleges with online programs that would possibly let me enroll to take a few classes. I did the research and discovered a college that would let me take a few classes without actually pursuing a degree from them. I had to email Bro. N again to figure out which classes I needed and today I heard back from him officially! I will be taking between 8 and 11 credits this semester! I am so pumped! Not so much boredom!

Another bit of good news, I am officially back on the schedule at Wendy's! I start back on Monday! Woo hoo! So far I don't have many hours, but chances are they will start calling me in and will probably give me more hours as time goes on. Still, it's work, and money, two very good things!

Oh, yet another exciting occurrence, I have been asked to teach a literacy class in the county jail. I am supposed to give a definite answer tomorrow. I am sure that more will follow on this subject later on.

Day 6: A Moment I Want to Relive

I have put quite a bit of thought into this moment. I have thought over my life and the cool things I have done and the awesome places I have been. I have been in the White House, seen the Statue of Liberty, I have met Michael Reagan (President Reagan's son), and seen President Bush in person. I have been to many concerts, and met many famous musicians. I have been in the catacombs and seen the Colosseum. I have traveled from the East to West Coasts, seen three oceans and the Gulf of Mexico. In my young life I have been blessed to have done of lot of travelling and met so many important people - and not only met them, but had actual conversations with them, some of whom I have become good friends with.

Despite all of that there is one moment, or rather a few hours, in my life that I would love to relive. That was in March of 2003 when Glenn Beck came to Auburn, IN and did a Rally for America. At the time I was only 12, but I still vividly remember the electricity that was in that building, the crowd that was double what had originally been anticipated, and the uniting of 20,000 people in love and support of our great country. I remember being awestruck during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner as thousands upon thousands of blue-collar, hard working, loyal, patriotic Americans sang that beloved anthem. The hush that went over the crowd as someone prayed, and the cheers that went up as the brave men and women of our military were recognized have stuck in my mind as if it were yesterday. In all the day was spectacular, and one I would love to relive. Simply remembering the day and writing about it has made goose bumps appear on my arms and chills are running down my spine. It was a day that I will never forget, for in that crowd was a young 12 year old, who loved her country, and during that day my loyalty for her was bolstered, and my love for her became undying.

America may not always be the great country that she has been -- in fact she seems to be going down a steep and slippery slope at an alarming pace. However, I have faith that God will still bless my country if we simply remember Who is in control and turn everything over to Him.

May God richly bless America.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


This afternoon my parents and I went to mom's doctor for her one week check up. The doctor was very happy with how the wound has been healing -- in fact it is about two-thirds of the way healed! Praise the Lord! I have been the primary "wound packer" (for lack of a better term) and Dr. Simon jokingly told me that once all of this ordeal is over I should take my state boards (the test that nurses take after completing nursing school). I laughed, but uh, yeah, the answer is NO! God called me to work with teens, NOT to be a nurse! :) The point remains, Mom is doing much better!

The other exciting news of the day is that dad took his level two testing for his job. And once again he passed the first time! (He has now passed both levels the first time and was told before the first one that a very low percentage pass the first time on either one of them.) The Lord has blessed him for all the hard work and studying he has been doing.

God truly protects those He loves. Dad's test was in Ft. Wayne, which is about a 45 minute drive from home. He had to at the testing center at 7:30 this morning. About 7:50 I was reading my Bible when my cell phone beeped telling me I had a text message. I grabbed my phone and saw it was an alert from a radio station, it said that a part of US 30 (the road dad would have taken) was closed due to an accident! I jumped out of bed, and ran to ask Mom if dad was ok. It turns out that he had driven through there only a few minutes before the accident -- in fact he was less than 20 miles down the road when the radio station began to cover the accident. Wow. God is good!

In other news of the day, since mom's doctor was in Goshen, of course we had to stop at the Dunkin Donuts there! Mmm....I love that place! :) And even more exciting, DAD GOT A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT! Wow...shocking, huh? :)

Day 5: A Favorite Quote

Once again, these favorite posts are getting to me! I have so many quotes which I love. I have found that other people seem to be able to say exactly what I am thinking. So many musicians, theologians, politicians, historians, philosophers, writers, actors, and many more throughout the history of the world have made many profound statements.

I think the One who made the most amazing statements in the world, He did and said more than anyone else in the world ever has or ever will do. This man is Jesus, all man and all God. He did and said so much that the apostle John said of Him, "And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen." (John 21:25 NJKV)

Jesus made so many profound statements that to pick only one is also nearly impossible. However, there is one of His quotes that is recorded by John that has meant so much to me over the years. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled. Neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27 KJV) The peace that Christ gives, whether the peace given at Salvation, or the peace He gives during the ups and downs of life, it is a calming balm to a troubled soul. He is the "Balm in Gilead" and the One who is near to all no matter their joys or sorrows.

This peace that He gives is free to anyone who simply repents of his sins and asks Christ to come into His life. If you have never asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, Jesus is waiting for you, He wants to give you true peace. If you want to know more about Salvation click here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

But Give Me Jesus

Today I while I was running errands I had the radio on. I was not paying much attention to it, instead I was thinking about what I needed to get at each store and the fastest way to get everything done. (I hate shopping, so I try to map out my plan ahead of time to create minimal time inside the stores.) All of a sudden a lady started singing a hymn I had not heard in a very long time. The words spoke to my heart so very much that I thought I would share them.

Take the Word but Give Me Jesus

Take the world, but give me Jesus
All its joys are but a name;
But His love abideth ever,
Through eternal years the same.

Oh, the heights and depth of mercy!
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption!
Pledge of endless life above!

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
Sweetest comfort of my soul;
With my Savior watching o're me,
I can sing though billows roll.

Oh, the heights and depth of mercy!
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption!
Pledge of endless life above!

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
Let me view His constant smile;
Then throughout my pilgrim journey
Light will cheer me all the while.

Oh, the heights and depth of mercy!
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption!
Pledge of endless life above!

Take the world but give me Jesus,
In His cross my trust shall be,
Till, with clearer, brighter vision
Face to face my Lord I'll see.

Oh, the heights and depth of mercy!
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption!
Pledge of endless life above!

Day 4: A Favorite TV Show

This day is not nearly as hard as some of the others have been. I am not huge on TV - in fact my family does not have a TV connection, so I have mainly only watched the older TV show reruns, or when I am at friends sometimes I will watch something with them. I think my favorite show of all times to watch is The Three Stooges.

I do not have a favorite episode - there are too many of them that I have found to be quite entertaining. One of the funniest in my opinion is The Uncivilized Warriors. (Sorry, Youtube was being a pain again and would not post for me.)