Wednesday, September 29, 2004

"Man does not live on bread alone...

...but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

I read those familiar words (Matthew 4:4) the other day and had this kind of revelation: For thousands of years, men lived on the Law and the Prophets. God's Word was their sustenance. But suddenly, when the Messiah, the Christ, finally arrived, "the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us" (John 1:14). And men saw that not only could they not live on bread alone, they also couldn't live on God's Words alone. The standard was too high. They all fell short.

Ultimately, men could live only on the WORD made flesh. Because of Him, we truly live--life abundant, and life eternal. "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." We live on all the words leading up to (and foreshadowing the coming of) Christ...and then finally on Christ Himself, the perfect, final Word.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

What I'm Reading

Third Watch, the third book in a new series by Bodie & Brock Thoene called the A.D. Chronicles. And wow is it good! The first (First Light) started off slow, but got excellent...the second, Second Touch, met my expectations...and this one is matching if not surpassing those two. They're set in the time of Christ, but stories are told mostly from the perspectives of countless minor characters in the gospels: a blind beggar, a Roman centurion, lepers, etc. And such rich Jewish history and information--I am learning how much we miss out on by not knowing all the Jewish heritage that laid the foundation for our Messiah! If you're looking for a captivating fiction read, I highly recommend these. And now with the close of this commercial, back to my book.

Just Call Me Grace

So today at work, I was talking with my co-workers (imagine that) and we were reminiscing about the training we went to last week in Chicago. One of the presenters was Miss Virginia 2002, and she was obviously a beauty pageant queen. Not because she was drop-dead gorgeous (though she was very pretty), but also just because of the way she carried herself. She smiled like a beauty pageant contestant, she talked and walked like one...I know I'm stereotyping here. I have nothing against beauty pageants, really. Anyway, I was talking about how in a demonstration, she even turned around in circles like she was in a beauty pageant. And as I turned in circles across the office to imitate how she had done it, I tripped over a chair and fell down. This, apparently, is why she was in a beauty pageant and I was not. Oh well, it was good for a laugh :)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Me? Miss Spontaneity?

Who says I'm not spontaneous? Normally, I would: this extreme "J" on the Meyers-Briggs indicator thrives off of plans, routines and schedules! But on Saturday, I threw that out the window and took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Marion. First I got to visit Maria briefly...then I went to my friend Amanda's bridal shower! (She's the one on my left in the photo.) It was so great to see friends from school--we snapped this picture of former Sojourn staffers. Yea for spontaneous road trips! And yea for a fun evening with my old roommate Stephanie in Fort Wayne after that. Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 23, 2004


I'm kind of in a funk today. Incidentally, every time I use the word "funk," I am flooded with warm memories of Lakeside. These come from the wonderful camp tradition of waking up every morning to the sounds of Pure Funk--"Brickhouse" and "Everybody's Kung Fu Fighting" were the favorites--and from the lovely Katie Andrews. I'll never forget Katie's comment after a long night of no sleep and no showers the next morning: "Guys, I have a funk." Love you Katie :)

So I guess a funk can't be all bad, if the word itself makes me smile because of those fun memories. I feel better already. Here's a shout out to all my old camp buddies who might read this. Section Porch forever ;)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Twelve Things

I Love:
being mentioned in others' blogs
old friends who know all your history
sweet pea
massage chairs
cranking the CD player in my car

I Hate:
hot, humid bathrooms where you can't dry off after a shower (right Kathryn? :)
cheap TP
sinus headaches
alarm clocks
feeling overwhelmed and stressed on a new job

Wedding Date

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a wedding date! Finally! After much drama, we've booked a photographer and settled on July 2, 2005. Let the countdown begin...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

In Remembrance

A friend forwarded me this site today:

It'll take a long time to download if you have a slow connection, but worth checking out--it's moving. Hard to believe it's been three years...

I Am

Currently Playing: Ginny Owens, "I Am" (from Something More)

This is not a new song...but it's been on repeat in my car lately and it still gives me goosebumps every time.

"No, Lord," he said
"You've got the wrong guy.
Simple conversation gets me tongue-tied
And You're telling me to speak with a maniac king
Or could it be I've lost my mind?"
"And besides, I am weak
Don't You want someone strong
To lead them out of Egypt
When they've been there so long
And anyway they won't believe You ever spoke to me..."
"That's not your problem," God replied.
And the rest is history

"There's a bigger picture you can't see
You don't have to change the world, just trust in Me
I am your Creator, I am working out My plan
And through you, I will show them I Am."

"Now, Lord, are You sure?
He's just a shepherd boy.
Too small for battle gear, with a giant to destroy
What on earth can he do with five stones and a sling?"
"It's not your problem," God replied.
"Cause I can do anything!"

"There's a bigger picture you can't see
You don't have to change the world, just trust in Me
I am your Creator, I am working out My plan
And through you, I will show them I Am."

I am the first, I am the last
I am the present and the past
I am tomorrow and today
I am the only way

"Great Lord," she said,
"I'm just a simple girl
You say that I will bring Your Son into the world?
How can I understand this thing You're gonna do?"
"That's not your problem," God replied...

"There's a bigger picture you can't see
You don't have to change the world, just trust in Me
I am your Creator, I am working out My plan
And through you, I will show them I Am."

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Sex Lady

I started my new job today...Susan, the girl who's training me (I got hired because she's moving in two weeks) informed me this morning that kids may refer to me as (because they have called her) "the sex lady" or "the sex police." That made me laugh out loud...ah, the joys of abstinence education :)

It was overwhelming, but I had to keep reminding myself that the first day (actually, the first several days) of a new job is always overwhelming. Lots to learn and absorb and get used to. The day did start off with an eye-opening meeting--a task force for "teen health issues" in our county. It's frustrating, Susan explained, because we are the only people on the task force who actually promote abstinence-until-marriage only. The others would say, Well, abstinence is best, but the kids will do it anyway. So we need to give them contraceptives and equip them to have safe sex.

Okay, first of all, it is not safe just because you're using a condom or whatever. SafeR, maybe, but not safe. And second of all, how ridiculous is that? This is the equivalent of telling children, "You shouldn't play in traffic. But, we know that you are so dumb, you will anyway, so we will teach you how to try and dodge speeding cars." Hello!!

Thus ends my first day as "the sex lady."

Sunday, September 12, 2004

"Nudity Builds Community"

Another quick note: this made me laugh and I can't resist passing it along. A certain college friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, informed me that she has been running around her dorm floor in skimpy pajamas, informing the residents of her (all-female, don't worry) hall that "Nudity Builds Community." Hahaha...yeah, I'm going to resist further comment and just leave it at that.

Only in America

On Saturday I saw something that I have never before seen in my life. I am pretty sure it is unique to "small town America"--or to be more specific, "The Middle of Nowhere, Indiana." I went to the Grabill Country Fair with some girlfriends (shout out to Jaala, Sara and Aeron if you're reading this :) and we saw...

Lawn Mower Square Dancing. To quote Dave Barry, I swear I am not making this up. This event featured eight old people on riding lawn mowers. While the loudspeaker blasted hee-haw music, a woman on the stage called out the square dance, and these lawn-mower-riding-dancers would drive their mowers in circles around each other according to the appropriate movement: do-si-do, promenade, swing your partner, etc. They even had headsets on so that they could hear the music and the dance calls over the roar of eight lawn mowers. It was unreal.

Wow. Only in America.

Friday, September 10, 2004

You're Hired!

It's official: after a formal interview with members of the CPC board today, I have been hired as the field coordinator for Project Respect in Williams County! This means I'll be establishing and maintaining contacts with the schools in our area, setting up meetings and presentations, serving teachers, providing curriculum--and ultimately, going into the schools (junior high and high school) and giving presentations that promote abstinence until marriage. I am really excited!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Reason #358 Why I Hate Being a Girl

Uncontrollable crying for no apparent reason.

I had my first wedding meltdown today :( I'm in the process of trying to schedule a photographer, which on the surface doesn't sound that hard or stressful. But the lady we wanted, who comes highly recommended by two of my best friends, isn't available on our original date. So that means calling the church and reception site to check other dates, calling other photographers and getting their availability, pricing info,'s a headache and a half. Add that to the fact that doing the long-distance relationship thing just gets harder every minute, and the fact that I'm naturally incredibly indecisive and hate making decisions, and I was a little stressed and frustrated today.

I know most of the thoughts and emotions I was having were irrational, selfish, unfair, etc...and yet I still cried! Why do girls do that??

Fourteen Things

I Love:
snail mail
pizza subs from our hometown pizza shop
Hallmark's "fresh ink" cards
county fair food
New York City
French manicures/pedicures
sleeping with lots of covers

I Hate:
movies where the actors mumble incoherently
DQ blizzards without much candy in them
the fact that my cell phone only works in my bedroom, not in the kitchen
when girls wear immodest clothing
stores and catalogs with classy, attractive, modest clothes I like but that are way overpriced
rodents of all kinds
cleaning showers

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Confessions of a Judgmental Jerk

I saw this guy tonight who made me think about blogging about men wearing short shorts...we're talking cutoffs so short that the pockets were just about visible at the bottom. But then I realized, that would be a bit hypocritical since this was in the middle of a presentation by Danny & Jessica Wuerffel (Danny the former Florida and NFL player, Heisman winner--his wife's from the area and they did a youth event tonight) which they mentioned a few times 1 Samuel 16:7--"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Don't get me wrong...I still think men wearing short shorts is gross...but who knows but what that guy had an incredible heart and is an awesome guy? And I'm going to look down on him based on his shorts??

Yeah...this just brings me to a larger lesson I've been reminded of again lately. Talk about lessons God has to teach me over and over...I think I started learning a version of this lesson back in sixth grade at church camp. I have vivid memories of my cabin hating this other cabin of girls. At church camp! I don't know why--by the end of the week, we didn't even know why. For no apparent reason, we just decided they were snobs and we didn't like them. We even made fun of one of the girls because she had a really deep voice. How cruel were we? And wouldn't you know, the last night of camp we discovered that these girls were awesome, and we had a big slumber party with the two cabins together. Now granted, part of that is just middle school girls' cliquey-ness and drama. But part of it is learning not to make snap judgments about people.

I find that every time I do it (you'd think I'd eventually learn), I end up feeling rotten about it once I get to know the person better. We all make decisions about people based on the way they look, on what others say about them, on superficial interactions with them...But when you learn to see past some of that, and begin to find out what's going on deeper inside that makes them act the way they learn a funny thing called compassion.

Over the years I have been a jerk to a lot of people. I wish I could apologize to some of the kids I probably hurt just as badly as others hurt me in middle & high school. And perhaps just in my head, I've been plenty unfair and unkind to countless others since. So as I go through "Superficiality and Judgmentalism for Dummies" yet again, I hope maybe someday I'll learn to see others with a little more of God's vision, and love them with a little of His love.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Patience for Dummies

I've always been a fast learner--started reading at a young age, and ever since, learning has typically come pretty quickly to me. This is no credit to me of course; it's just a gift God gave me. But when it comes to learning life lessons, or character development, it seems I'm on the "slow learners" track.

I find that unfortunately, God often has to teach me the same lessons over and over again because I guess I didn't get it down well enough the first time. Right now He's on patience. To put it simply: "Patience is a virtue I just can't wait to have." (A friend of mine said that, but I can't credit them because I can't remember who.) I have never been patient. But with ten months to go until the wedding, I am definitely going to learn.

Steve and I have been offered a cash payment to elope: my dad says he'll give us a substantial lump sum of what he'd spend on the wedding, to run off and get married without all the hype. He's kidding of course. But we're only half joking. I would like to find the man who made engineering at UC a five-year program, and give him a piece of my mind :) June 2005 seems so far away...but apparently God sees this as a perfect opportunity to take me through "Patience for Dummies."

Haircuts, Part Two

Speaking of haircuts...yesterday I gave my very first home haircut. Yes, that's right. Steve went out and bought a clipper/trimmer with all the different lengths, and actually trusted me enough to give him a haircut. This came about mostly because the barber he normally goes to was not working this weekend, and he really wanted a haircut. So, he figured, "why not invest a little money in a clipper (is it "a clipper," or "clippers"? It's not really plural...who knows), and I'll never have to go to the barber again?"

Good plan Steve. After about an hour, changing the comb attachments about ten times, and a lot of nervous laughing by me, his hair is in fact shorter. Actually the good news is, he looks totally normal :) Yea for me! We're both hoping I'll get better (and faster) with practice.

Anybody need a haircut? I'll only charge $8...

Friday, September 03, 2004

Reason #357 Why I Hate Being a Girl


When a guy gets a haircut, it's simple. Really, there are hardly many options--and if by chance it gets cut just a tad too short, well in a week it has grown out about a centimeter and looks normal again. And styling? Ha. Get out of the shower and go. Maybe throw a tad of gel through it.

Girls, on the other hand...The options are endless. And typically, a haircut that looks good on someone else, that you really like, may not look good on you because your hair is different. And even if you leave the salon liking your haircut, chances are very slim that you'll actually be able to achieve the same look when you try it the next day. Even if you go out and spend $40 on the hair products that the stylist used to make your hair look good. And if you don't like it, well, you're out of luck for at least a month or two until it starts to grow out.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Green Thumbs

I've never owned a plant in my life, until my last birthday. When I turned 22 last March, my wonderful roommate Lindsay gave me a cute little potted ivy plant. I loved the gift--I like ivy, and Lindsay's plants had added a certain degree of "homey-ness" to our room all year long. (Lindsay has two green thumbs, along with a lot of other domestic skills I wish I had, such as cooking, sewing, decorating, etc., etc.) Anyway, she promised me that my new ivy plant would be hard to kill :) And in my birthday card, she wrote that she liked plants because they remind her of spiritual growth (she also reassured me that if my plant did die, not to worry--at that point it was no longer a symbol of my spiritual growth).

Six months later, my ivy is still alive--and has grown so much I need to repot it (though, seeing as how I don't even own any potting soil, I have still not done so). Earlier this summer, I hadn't really noticed that it had grown at all. But lately I'm noticing just how much bigger it is. And then I realized that Linds was's a good metaphor for my spiritual growth this summer.

By mid-summer, I really didn't feel like I had done much growing. I'd maybe learned a lesson here or there, but nothing earth-shattering. I was ashamed to feel kind of stagnant--if someone had asked me, "What's God been teaching you lately?", I probably would have felt kind of sheepish and fished for an acceptable answer. But now that I'm reflecting on my summer, I realize just how much God has done in me over the last few months. I'm in a good place right now, and I'm excited about what He has in store. Slowly but surely, like my little ivy plant, He's growing me into something beautiful. Perhaps not profoundly signficant in the world's eyes, but noticed by Him--beautiful and important to Him--and able to be used by Him.

Word is spreading!

People are visiting my blog! Can I just tell you how excited that makes me?? And I just discovered, to my delight, that my wonderful friends Jeff and Aeron--whose blogs are under my links list--have both mentioned me and linked to my blog in their blogs! So fun!

Okay, I need to get a life :)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Kathryn, my roommate (for the second summer in a row)--so fun! Can't wait to go visit her in South Carolina in October! (You can't tell in the picture, but she's holding up the chicken parmesan loaf we attempted to make at the beginning of the summer. It looked awful...but it tasted yummy :) Posted by Hello

Silas and Aynsley, the other two adorable and hilarious kids I spent time with this summer Posted by Hello

Here's Diane, my mentor, with XinXin (their brand-new daughter from China!) Posted by Hello

Micah and XinXin...two of the most precious kids ever! I spent a lot of time with these two over the summer; their mom, Diane, was my mentor. Posted by Hello

Summer pictures

I thought it might be fun to add some pictures to this new that I downloaded the software and am figuring out how, here come some photos of the amazing people I spent my summer with...Man I miss them already!

Souksakone the Prophet

When I was in eighth grade, for a brief time I had a classmate named "Souksakone Soisaleumsack." The funny thing was, no one could pronounce that, so she only went by "Sou" (like Sue)--and everyone knew who that was. This was especially humorous when they called students to the office over the loudspeaker: "Suzy Jones. Bobby Hancock. Ryan Jackson. Sou. Ashley Michaels...." But I digress. I promise I do have a point here. (At least I think I do.)

Also when I was in eighth grade, I made an end table with two shelves in Industrial Arts class. I painted it light purple (my favorite color at the time) and had all my classmates sign it with a silver pen. This little table still serves as my nightstand, and last night as I was looking at it, I had to laugh when I saw this inscription: "Souksakone Soisaleumsack. Have fun with Steve K."

I remember being so upset with her when she wrote that, because the truth was, I did have a crush on "Steve K." And though she only meant it as a joke (I don't think she even knew I liked him--she just thought we would be cute together, for whatever reason), I was so embarrassed that anyone who saw that might think, or find out I liked him. (Ah, the mind of a junior-higher. Does anyone really miss those days??) So Sou at least added a little "(J/K)" at the end of her note on my table.

Fast forward eight years. I'm now engaged to be married to Steve K. If Sou only knew...