Sunday, December 26, 2010

He is with the lowly

“For the great and powerful of this world, there are only two places in which their courage fails them, of which they are afraid deep down in their souls, from which they shy away. These are the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ. No powerful person dares to approach the manger, and this even includes King Herod. For this is where thrones shake, the mighty fall, the prominent perish, because God is with the lowly. Here the rich come to nothing, because God is with the poor and hungry, but the rich and satisfied he sends away empty. Before Mary, the maid, before the manger of Christ, before God in lowliness, the powerful come to naught; they have no right, no hope; they are judged.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer


I remember that moment. The moment I first realized I was lowly, in desperate need of a Savior. If I am honest, I wish I would always remember how desperate we are. The moment we as Christians move to the place where we forget our total depravity, we are in danger. My prayer today is that I live remembering my total depravity. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 24 - 25 Days of Christmas...Light of the World

Matthew 5: 14-16
" You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
John 1: 1-18
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,  who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)  And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known." 
One of my favorite parts of the Christmas Eve service is the lighting of the Candles and singing Silent Night. Last night as we were singing it, these scriptures came to mind. Jesus came to be that light. He came to save us, to redeem us. However, He didn't just come so that we would live the same. He called us to be different. He also called us to be a light. As these scriptures point out, if we truly live has a light the world will come to know Him. As we celebrate tomorrow the birth of our Savior, let's give the glory to God and remember to be children of light.  - Hope you all have a Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 23 - 25 Days of Christmas

Christmas is almost here....which means it's time to prepare the food. While at lunch today, mom suggested we make our own poppyseed dressing and sugared almonds. Just to try it. I volunteered. Well.....It took me just as long to make this Salad as it did my mom to make 3 things!! All for a salad..

Apparently, I should read instructions first....yes, blend for 7 minutes...craziness...and when they say this part may take a while, they mean at least a half hour.








  Oh well... We made it and had a great laugh!!

Day 22 - 25 Days of Christmas

I think the videos speak enough....so fun spending so much time around the little ones.

video
video


And for some good measure


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 20-21 25 Days of Christmas

It's that time of year....one of my favorite times of the year. I love having my family around, I love the music, the blistery weather, and the meaning behind it all. It is easy to get caught up in the silly Christmas traditions and not take time to remember why we are celebrating. We are celebrating our Savior, our Redeemer. I think what I often forget is WHY that little baby was born.

1. Jesus was born because we are sinful. He came to remove those sins by becoming a perfect sacrifice.
2. To present God.
3. To teach the truth.
4. To fulfill the Law.
5. To offer His kingdom
6. To teach those who didn't understand
7. To reveal love
8. To bring peace.
9. To heal the sick.
10. So that we may know Him. He wants us to know him, so seek Him; read His commandments and follow His commandments.
11. To suffer and die. The purpose of his birth was so Calvary could happen. He came in order to make us what we could never be without Him. He came to take our place, He suffered for us, and conquered death so we wouldn't have to experience death (eternal separation from Him). Hebrews 2: 9-10 says, "But we see him for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bring many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering." He paid my penalty. He paid my debt. He came because God sovereignly designed it.
12. To receive glory and honor. Through Jesus' birth and death, He wins...He has conquered and we praise Him...He gets the glory.

I am so thankful for my Redeemer, that his grace His sufficient to meet all of my needs, and that without the birth of that little Baby, I would not have life.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 17-19 25 Days of Christmas


Day 17 - This year instead of buying Christmas presents for my nieces and nephews, I opted out for play dates. So Abby and my parents and I drove down to Becker. I took Abby and Troy to a Christmas tree farm that had a petting zoo (which included: horses, sheep, llama's, and a camel). Then we went to the Cafe and had a cookie and some juice!!! We had a great time on our date. They are both so special and have so much love!




To end Day 17 I went with Cory and Shannon's family to FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN to package food. It cost's 19 cents to feed a child for one day. What a blessing. In Haiti I have seen first hand how the food does nourish the children. If you are looking for a place to give this year, make a donation in someone's name and help feed a child.







     Day 18 - It finally was Dani and Courtney's turn. We went to Scoop's in the Mall of America. They really got pampered and got there nails done. I had so much fun spending the day with them. They are two beautiful and special girls. I am excited to watch them grow up.

We ended the day with family devotions. Both of my brothers do a great job raising their kids in a Christian home. I am so thankful for my family and their love and support. As much as I love to lead, my brothers set a great path for me to follow and something for me to live up to. I am so thankful for their love of Christ and desire to obey Him. I can't not talk about my sister-in-laws. They are terrific. They are sisters to me and I am so thankful for their love and friendship, as well as their relationships with Christ.

This was a special moment at Cory and Shannon's as they were teaching their kids about Jesus's birth. They also prayed over me as did their kids for my upcoming move to Haiti. It is such a blessing to have the support of my family.


Day 19 - to finish my weekend in Becker, we went to church at Cory and Shannon's church. My parents brought Don and Tamela and their two adopted children from Haiti, Audy and Islande (see their blog here), with to church. After church, we went to their pastor's house, Dave (is on the board with Jesus in Haiti )and Cherie and had a great time talking about Haiti and the vision. Along with us are my friends Nate and Kristi, who also live in Becker, but traveled with me to Haiti this summer. It was great to see everyone connected and hearing everyones story. It is amazing the pictures God paints and what he can do when we are willing to follow his plan. One thing I have learned, is His plan is far greater than anything I could ever imagine.

One more thought....today at church, the children put on their annual Christmas program. It is so easy for us to get caught up in the things of Christmas and forget the reason. They sang this song (and yes Nogiteers, the lyrics are good), it is a great reminder that it is because of the cross we celebrate and that we have life.

About the Cross
Go Fish

Verse 1:

It's not just about the manger
Where the baby lay
It's not all about the angels
Who sang for him that day

It's not just about the shepherds
Or the bright and shining star
It's not all about the wisemen
Who travelled from afar

Chorus:
It's about the cross
It's about my sin
It's about how Jesus came to be born once
So that we could be born again

It's about the stone
That was rolled away
So that you and I could have real life someday

It's about the cross
It's about the cross

Verse 2:

It's not just about the presents
Underneath the tree
It's not all about the feeling
That the season brings to me

It's not just about coming home
To be with those you love
It's not all about the beauty
In the snow I'm dreaming of

Repeat Chorus

Bridge:

The beginning of the story is wonderful and great
But it's the ending that can save you and that's why we celebrate

It's about the cross
It's about my sin
It's about how Jesus came to be born once
So that we could be born again

It's about God's love
Nailed to a tree
It's about every drop of blood that flowed from Him when it should have been me

It's about the stone
That was rolled away
So that you and I could have real life someday
So that you and I could have real life someday

It's about the cross
It's about the cross

Thursday, December 16, 2010

That we won't forget



My hope is that we won't forget what we saw..That we remember those pictures and take it with us. That we help the hurting, the motherless, the poor, wherever we are.

Day 14 -16 25 Days of Christmas

Here are some pictures from the last couple of days.

 

 

So this is my current office..I love how comfortable it is :)

This week as Christmas is approaching I am reminded of our great Redeemer. What a miracle that God sent His son to come and save us. It is only by His grace that I am where I am today and that I have eternal security with Him. I know that this time of year so fun, and it is a great time with family and friends, but I think it's important to remember why we are celebrating.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 12 & 13 - 25 Day's of Christmas

My journey in Minnesota continues. I was suppose to fly to Orlando yesterday to learn some valuable information for my transition to Haiti. Due to weather all over the US, I didn't make it. Instead I stayed in Minnesota with my family. I will try for the training in March. As some of you know the Metrodome collapsed in so the game was played tonight. Chad and Kalee and fam came over for supper...I got some more great pics of the kids.





Well hopefully tomorrow I will do something exciting to report on. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 11 - Jett and Abby

    

We started out the day with a bit of new snow on the ground and some blowing wind,...so we set out to shovel.

  

Abby - She is such a joy...She loves animals, to color, to paint...and loves to decorate cookies. I love spending time with her. Sometimes she surprises me with how grown up she is getting.


  



Jett---Can you say energy? Who wouldn't love this little boy. Just look into those deep blue eyes and he will charm you away. He always his smiling and doesn't stop. I love how precious little ones are, how much love they have and there adventure.
  


So...I took a lot of pictures today because:
a. My niece and nephew are so darn cute and kept doing funny things that I couldn't stop.
b. I got these fun retro camera apps on my iphone and I love the different types of pictures they take.



I am already enjoying my time at home so much. It is a such a blessing to spend an extended period of time with them, knowing that I will be leaving soon for Haiti and won't have near the time with them that I do now.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 9 & 10 ...the memories


 Day 9

Grandpa's strength is rebuilding. I decided to go visit him while my grandma was there and I got to witness her taking care of him. One word really comes to mind...DEVOTION. Grandpa has been in the nursing home for almost 3 years. She has not missed a day seeing him; she shaves him, brushes his teeth, baths him, washes his cloth...I am amazed. Amazed at the love she has for my grandpa for her devotion to him.

Day 10

The virtual world....working in a different time zone can have it's disadvantages, however, my job is soooo flexible. I was suppose to get my hair done and needed to leave my house, but I was still in a meeting. No problem, just plug in the head phones and blow dry my hair...what a perfect way to have a meeting. 










I call this Christmas in a cup. I love Carribou. I really miss there coffee. Over the last 5 years I have learned to adjust to Starbucks, but nothing beats Carribou.   Plus I love my new coffee mug sleeve.
Plus...my mom took me shopping today (yes the town is 45 minutes away) and the mall has 10 stores..haha but they had Carribou!!











I ended the day at the basketball game. This gym as so many memories...It was my favorite place to play. Sometimes I forget how much I really loved the game...WoW I would love to be back out there again or to be apart of it. Maybe someday. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 7 & 8 - Home

Day 7
I guess I never thought I would react the way I did. My grandpa John, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease a little over 9 years ago and has been in the nursing home for 2.5 years now. It really is no longer him, and I thought I had grieved losing him, but I guess I hadn't , may since he still is "here." Yesterday, I got a call from my dad; grandpa had developed pneumonia and we were not going to treat it. It really hit me. I am so thankful for his life. For his legacy; for living a life devoted to Christ, instilling that in my mom. I am so blessed. While grandpa took a turn for the better today, we still don't know what affect the infection will have on him. This may seem hard from some people, but we are praying that this battle could be over and he could go rejoice in heaven and worship the king forever! What peace we have in Jesus Christ our Savior.

Day 8 - Home
There really is no place like home. The home you grow up in. The memories that are there. The family that belongs to the home. It suddenly makes everything feel a little better, makes you feel comfort. Having moved to Florida 5 years ago, there are some things I really miss, seasons being one, but I miss the family time. I am so blessed with a great family. A family that gets along; a family that enjoys one another; who loves one another; and has fun together. While I am home a little earlier than normal, I am looking forward to the next 3 weeks at Home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 6 - 25 Days of Christmas....It's "Chili"

Just another crazy Monday...Monday's are always so busy for me and today I couldn't bring myself to come out of the covers (It was only 63 degrees in our house, due to living our windows and sliders open). I just wanted to stay there. So I quickly rand out and grabbed my morning coffee and changed my morning routine. I would do my daily Bible Study in my bed. Finally after grading homework for 3 hours...I went running (again weird to run in the middle of the day) and my lungs were not happy with the cold (I have athletic induced asthma). In honor of the cold weather I made myself some Chili....man was this the best chili I have ever made. 
Heres the recipe I created
1lb Beef
1 JalapeƱo
1 Pablano Chili 
1/2 medium onion
3 gloves garlic
brown together...when browned add 1 cup of beef broth and then
1 can stewed tomatoes, 1 can chili tomatoes, 1 can Rotel, 1 can black beans, and some sweat corn (fresh if possible).  Add salt and pepper and some chili powder depending on how hot you like your chili. Let it stew for an hour (it's better the longer it stews). 

Now...for work, many of my friends, I won't name you, think that I don't do anything. I mean what could an online math teacher do anyway. Well, I am on the phone or grading papers, did I mention the phone! Anyways the best part of my job is....
This is my outside office...Yes it is December and I am working on the porch :)
and...my inside office for when it gets dark

I love my job...I love helping students and helping them become successful!! 


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 5 - 25 Days of Christmas

Well...it turns out I forgot to take a picture, but today I had a new experience. Kelsey and I, drove down to Naples and went to First Baptist Haitian Mission. We had a great time. Church was very similar to church in Haiti. I loved the tradition, how welcoming and loving the people are. I can't wait to go visit again so I can get to know the people and hear there stories.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 3 & 4 - 25 Days of Christmas

 Day 3 - Sanibel Island

I have a great group of friends and two of my best friends both work for PR firms, which help put on events. Well, it so happens that they usually need volunteers to work the events. It's usually tough work, but am happy to help, (by tough I mean, work for 2 hours talking to people and then free food and fund with friends after). We have a great time. Last night was luminary for Sanibel and Quinton and I were in charge at a trolley pick up. On our list was to control the crowd, you know it did get a little hard, but we were able to calm them down with Grandma
 got ran over by a reindeer. HAHA!!! So fun.
Besides, that I got to work with Quinton...He is such a great friend. I know if I ever need anything, I could just call him and he would be there to help or to comfort!! He is the best!
 Day 4 - Saturday mornings at the apartment with the roommate. I must admit when Beth moved out and Renee moved in, I knew I would miss our Saturday morning routine of Coffee and College game day. While nothing could replace that...Renee seems to love the Saturday morning routine of coffee and hang out (so we may have switched to movies instead of college game day). Also you may not notice from these pictures but we are in sweatshirts, sweatpants, socks, and using 2 blankets each.. We had a cold front come through and left our windows open; our house was only 65 degrees this morning. A little chilly!! But who doesn't love that.
I am so thankful for Renee...She has been a great roommate and become a great friend! She is a great listener and does a great job of getting me out of the house, it seems I am able to stay up a little bit later and still function! Also, she does a great job of keeping me accountable spiritually and encouraging me in my faith! Renee is also a great friend and will absolutely do anything for anyone, she has such a servants heart that saying no to helping people is so difficult!! Love you girl, maybe we will have to continue saturday mornings via skype??

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 2 - 25 Days of Christmas

Morning coffee with Alicia. Alicia is a great friend. I am so thankful for her friendship, for her desire to sharpen those around her. I am so proud of her and the godly women she has become. I am proud of her faith and her desire to be obedient to God's call. I love her desire to learn more about God and her love for God's word.

Thank you Alicia for being a great friend, an encourager and another girl, that I can enjoy sports with :) Love you...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 1 - 25 Days of Christmas

I am going to attempt it...attempt to document the 25 days of Christmas.

Today, like most Wednesday's, I had coffee with Kesley. I am so thankful that God has put her into my life. She is like a younger sister I never had. It is such and honor and a blessing to meet with her and I am so thankful that she shares her life with me. She is one of the wisest 16 year olds I have ever met. I have learned so much from her. I am so excited about her passion for God and her desire to serve Him, wherever He will take her.

Thank you Kelsey....I can't wait to see what God does in your life!!