Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Who would have thought that dipping things on the end of sticks into hot pots of liquid could be so fun??!

Last week, I was finally able to go to the fondue restaurant in our area. It was a birthday celebration and really all that I wanted to do for my birthday. About five of my friends and I feasted on bread and veggies dipped in melted cheese, nibbled on salad, consumed various meats and veggies that we cooked in steaming broth and then finished it all off with a delectable array of things we dipped in white and dark chocolate..... like fruit and cake and brownies and and and...

we were stuffed!

It was a weird birthday this year. I think that I liked turning 31 less than the big 3-0. Thirty at least is somewhat glamorous because people give you big parties and make a fuss over it. But 31 just feel older and much less glamorous. I guess it's all a matter of perspective really. Realizing that every year is worth celebrating...not fearing age but relishing all that God has done and expectantly looking forward to all that is ahead.

So, thanks God for another birthday. And thanks for fondue and friends which made my birthday feel special.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

You are God Alone

Wow! My heart is filled with such faith and joy right now!

This morning my church celebrated it's 5th Anniversary with two exciting services. I was in the choir, singing my heart out because I want to celebrate all that God has done, is doing and will do in the future. It was my first time singing with the choir but I thought it would be a fun way to contribute to today's festivities. Besides, I won't have the chance to do it again for 3 years.

God is so amazing! The journey that He's taking my church on is amazing and the fact that somehow I get to be a part of it is pretty amazing too. I've been at my church for 4 years and I've seen how God has taken a congregation of 150 to 700! I've seen how through it all the vision of the pastor to share the gospel and preach the Word has remained and how many have come to know Christ. Pastor John said 500 people and I'm not sure how that breaks down or where those numbers come from but I do know that lives have been changed and God is doing an awesome work.

Over and over again I've seen/heard amazing stories of God provided money where there was people stepped up in faith and gave God has put everything into place in His timing and plan. This journey has been hard for many who've been a part of it. My own story at Keystone was not the easiest, trying to fit in as a single and being obedient to God's call to be a part of the church even when there were things I didn't like. But God has used my church in many ways to hone and craft the dreams that He's put on my heart. I've learned about discipleship and working with kids and now my passion is to disciple kids! God knew what He was doing the day my former roommate suggested the church and I looked up directions on the internet.

So, this morning I saw such a testimony of God's faithfulness and my heart was filled with faith. Support raising may seem overwhelming but I know...know..KNOW that God is going to provide. How could I look at all He's done with my church and with my own life and deny that???!! No, I will not doubt!!! I will stand in faith. God has called me to be a part of Keystone Community Fellowship and God now is calling me to work with children in Peru. The two are connected and God WILL use the church to send me out into all that's ahead. I'm convinced of it...that is what God wants to do!!! He is the God of what I cannot see... clear my vision and strengthen my eyes of faith, Father to see your dreams and plans as REALITY!

"You are God alone. From before time began You were on your throne and You are God alone and right now in the good times and bad, You are on your throne and You are God alone...


Friday, September 15, 2006

Exposure on Closure

Today was my last day at Printworks where I worked as a graphic designer for two years. I suppose now might be the time that I spew a tirade on all the things I hated about my job or how happy I am that I'm gone or something like that. I'm sure there are some things I could write endless blog entries about like the stress of being a customer service rep and a graphic designer all at the same time. Or maybe I could complain about the pay or my co-workers.

I'm not going to do that.

It's so beautiful how it all ended that I cannot complain! God blessed me with a boss who got so excited about me going into missions. It was God's healing in my life that He would give me such a boss after a horrible experience with a previous one. It's great how God used me to bring a change in the atmosphere at Printworks. Okay so I'm not tooting my own horn... I was told this and I know that it was the Spirit of God shining through me! It's amazing how God brought friendships out of these two years where I did not expect them.

I'm so blessed that even through the yucky season of being replaced at work and becoming an unneccesary part to the whole, God was giving me good gifts. He was preparing me to leave! Also, an amazing thing happened: I became friends with my replacement and I was blessed by our interaction. What a serendiptous thing to happen!! I've enjoyed these last months at work more so than any other time. Maybe because I didn't have as much stressful work but also because of my new co-workers!

Strange... but I'm convinced that God delights in blessing us in strange ways.

So, I'm saying goodbye to Printworks but this closure is good. Now I'm turning my back on my old life and look forward to moving to Peru. I feel the blessing of the people I work with go with me. There's something about going into missions that makes even non-Christians congratulate and wish you well.

Praise God for the ease of the closure on this part of my life!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

More Woofi Than I Bargained For

Why does cheese sell?

I'm not talking about gouda, brie or chedder here. I mean there's all sorts of kitsch things out there for sale. There are some pretty silly fads that people go ga-ga over! Really... like the magnetic ribbon or the rubber bracelets??!! It's out of control!

Christians seem to be just as bad with their wwjd bracelets and testamints. Sometimes I think it's worse for believers... Our faith is something deep and something real -- can it be reduced to a slogan or a cute cartoon character??? There is something about the combo of cheese and faith that greatly disturbs me.

At work I put together a children's book on Woofi, the Missionary Puppy. The concept behind a missionary puppy is sort of cute and the stuffed version of the dog is a quality thing. The illustrations in the book are wonderful and yet there is something cheesy that lurks around the corner. Maybe it's the writing of the book or maybe it's just some of the over-the-top things that I encountered today. Like the Woofi song which his "parents" (I call them that because that's what they call themselves!) played for me and then my coworker, Dan ruthlessly repeated in a lounge-singing rendition. "Woofi, the missionary puppppyyyy..." ugh... Or maybe the Woofi slippers, Woofi backpack, Woofi rattle or someone dressed up in the Woofi costume were what put me over the edge.

The Woofi madness continues! One of my coworkers told Woofi's mom that I was doing a walk-a-thon fundraiser and suddenly Woofi took over the CAKEwalk!!! Now, I'm going to have stuffed Woofis available at my walk... $20 gets them a Woofi for themselves and a Woofi that is sent with me to Peru for some child there and $2 donated to my support fund. I'm having nightmares about a suitcase full of Woofis!!!!

Okay, so Woofi is cute and kids might like him. He has the salvation story in pawprints (like the bracelets with different colors) and I'm sure the kids in Peru will like to get one. Personally, I think I would much rather have just seen Woofi, worn him on my head and then promptly forgotten about him.

"Oh Woofiiiiiiiiiiii, you silly missiooooooooonary puppyyyyyyyyyy"

I guess the cheese will never go away...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Journey of a Thousand Miles (and thensome)

I have just recently returned from my journey of a thousand miles (and thensome). I was in Wooster (OH), Bowling Green (OH) and Rochester/Winona Lake (IN). In total my little "jeep"car contraption traveled 1400ish miles in a journey into the past.

I say that it was a journey into the past because the people that I visited were of the "long-time no-see" variety. It was a journey of reconnecting and remembering. Reconnecting with "old" friends and remembering the significance of space and places in my life.

Wooster, OH
My first stop was to visit my old college roommate, Jen (or Ben as she was called in college). Wooster was like a second home to me during my years at Grace College. I remember spending fall breaks with Jen's wonderful family, visiting her church, hanging out with her friends and enjoying the connection that Jesus makes which goes beyond bloodlines. Jen's family made me feel very welcome once more! They treated me like gold and even helped to usher in my birthday with a treated dinner, singing waiters and an ice cream cake.

I had not seen Jen since 2004 and her family sinced 2001.

Bowling Green, OH
Bowling Green was about 2 hours west of Wooster and the home of my college/church buddy, Rachel and her husdand Allan. Rachel has a medical condition called MCS (Medical Chemical Sensitivities) which practically keeps her confined to her house. We talked a lot about her condition, our families, the past and what to do about the problem of suffering. My friend has seen a lot of suffering but she has put her faith and confidence in a God who is good. My prayer for her is to become an overcomer in the midst of her suffering and to draw closer to the one who is bigger than MCS or anything we may face.

I had not seen Rachel since I was the maid of honor in her (very different and exciting) wedding in the summer of 2002.

Rochester, IN
Next I flew upon the wings of my Tracker to the beautiful cornfields of Indiana. My friends live on a pig farm out in the middle of the country. I actually found a peice of paper (9 years old!) in my glove compartment that had directions to their house. I just forgot how long those country roads are. You feel like you are driving for miles in corn stalk walled corridors out in the big sky of Indiana. The drive was wonderful and I remembered how it felt to be out in the open like that. Looking at the wide fields and big blue sky... there's a feeling of openness and freedom.

Anyway, I showed up at my friends Mark & Mel's house to discover a whole group of people waiting for me. It was like a reunion of the church I had been a part of during college and then during the 6 months I lived in Indiana. It was a small church that always had felt like family! There had been an ugly end to it all and before when we saw each other there was an under the surface strain. But now, time had washed away all the old pain and strain and all that was left was family. These people are still family even though we are all older and we've lived lives that were far apart. Once they may have thought of me as a daughter but now I am grown to be a sister.

How beautiful the ways of the Lord! To be able to reconnect with old friends is truly a blessing! We had a wonderful time catching up and praying together. I stayed at Mark & Mel's house and was blessed to see all that God was doing in their lives --He is drawing their family to Himself and how He is the one who brings us up out of the desert places into lands flowing with streams of life!

I had not seen these friends since Rachel's wedding in 2002.

Winona Lake, IN
Another college friend that I visited lives in the beautiful town of Winona Lake, IN where Grace College is located. Winona Lake is a quaint place that is slowly being restored to it's original Billy Sunday era state o being. I wandered around on part of the campus and I realized that even though my time at Grace was significant in my life, God has brought me to a new place. My college days are long gone and God has been faithful to do His work in me since then. It's amazing to stop and reflect: we cannot go back but where we have come from has shaped who we are.

It was good to reconnect with my friend, Heidi. She told me of what she had been up to and how she met her husband. I looked at wedding photos of the handsome couple and I was blessed to see how God had been at work in my friend's life. What I was most impressed with was how Heidi's brother had been praying and fasting for his sister to find her hubbie. Somebody should tell my brother about that plan! :0)

I had not seen Heidi since the summer of 2001.

And Back Again
I returned to Eastern PA this past Wednesday. It took me about 10-11 hours to drive from Rochester to PA! Ugh, my car was pretty grumpy in the end and I made it back just in time for choir practice. phew...

Thus ends the tale of my journey of a thousand miles.

A journey back in time, a journey to reconnect, a God-given journey...