Tuesday, March 31

Odds and Ends

Tomorrow a visitor is coming to the office. Whenever a visitor comes, we always spruce up our desks, file papers away, and stand in amazement at how clean our desks can be! I need a visitor to come to my house...

On a completely different subject, I have become a blog addict. I have my favorites that I check almost daily! And then every once in a while, I'll click on some of my favorite's favorites and discover a new gem. I found a new gem today...http://churchexperiment.blogspot.com/...Steve Fuller has decided to attend 52 churches in a year. He is a Christian who has worked in a church, started a church plant and burned out so badly that he almost left the church. Through his contemplation to leave the church, The Church Experiment idea came along. I haven't read much...only the newest entry but man! this guy sure can write. Plus, the idea of visiting 52 churches of all religions/beliefs is something that intriuges me. Anyhow, I can't wait to read more...I think it will be insightful, heartbreaking, and affirming.

Friday, March 27

Thank-you-Jesus Moments

I love "Thank-you-Jesus!" moments. Little moments where I am surprised, delighted, or overwhelmed at how He provided for my needs. Let me share a recent moment:

I am working on my Master's degree, which is all on-line. My classes are only 7 weeks long and are geared for the working adult. Well, my next class starts Monday, March 30th and I was looking at the syllabus about a week ago just to see what I am heading into. In all my past classes, we have until midnight on Saturday or Sunday (as selected by the teacher) to submit all our homework for the week. This is important because I only have the weeknights and weekends to accomplish all my homework, since I work M-F, 8-5pm. Anyhow, on the syllabus for this next class, the deadline was 12 Noon on Saturdays...I about choked, cried, and went into cardiac arrest when I read that because that meant I needed to have all my homework done on Friday night essentially or wake up pretty darn early to finish by Noon on Saturday. Well, I decided to just ask the teacher if there was any way she'd graciously extend the cut off time until 11:59:59pm since 12 Noon just seemed so limiting. And guess what? She agreed!

This is a "huge" thank-you-Jesus moment for me.

As a side note, I'm going to try to regularly post "thank-you-Jesus" moments. I think its important to see Jesus in the little things of life and to recognize His work. Plus, it will be a good exercise for me to look for the little joys of life.

Thursday, March 26


I'm a person who believes in connections. The lessons I am learning today will be used tomorrow-type of thinking. This is not to say that the point of the lessons isn't needed or valuable in that moment, because they are! However, God uses aspects of our live to possibly prepare us for something more.

I think this all coincides with the Bible verse that says God won't give us more than we can handle (Mindy's paraphrased version). He knows when we are ready for lessons and allows us to "suffer," "struggle," and "grow" and we survive. But those growing pains allow us to be able to handle more during the next lesson. Without phase 1, we'd never be able to handle phase 2. Anyhow, that's how I tend to think...
...which begs the question...

Just what is God preparing me for?

For the first 21 years of my life, I was someone who had no problems getting along or liking other people. For the last 8 years, people have entered my life, who have "rubbed me the wrong way." Have I changed...am I more opinionated and less agreeable? Probably...but I like to think that God is using these people to purify and perfect me. These handful of people are the sand in my oyster shell, the grindstone to sharpen the knife, the pea to reveal the princess!

Okay, so the last one is a stretch but you get the point. I'm being prepared...these people are a part of my process to become the person that God wants me to be. I believe that! But if He preparing to work with "more difficult" people then oh-my-goodness...can I get a raincheck on that?

Friday, March 20

Cinnamon Rolls

I love cinnamon rolls. Every once in a while I get a hankering for a nice warm soft cinnamon. As a single person, making cinnamon rolls is not condusive to eatting healthy because there is nobody to share them with (unless I make them for a specific reason). Then consequently, I'd end up eatting them all, which is never good.

I came across the following recipe which only makes 8, doesn't require yeast and are very easy to make. I made them this past Tuesday and they turned out beautiful and delicious. After making them, I modified the recipe below a bit based on what I'd do if/when I make them again.

Cinnamon rolls
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cup buttermilk

2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp buttermilk (milk will work just fine)
1 cup powdered sugar

**The directions are a bit long so the website this recipe came from is attached. You'll find that I tried to cut in half the inside brown-sugar goodness. I found it to be too much as the attached recipe calls for and think half would be just fine!

If you'd enjoy an easy, fast and good cinnamon roll recipe, then this is for you! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19


So, one of the ministries I am currently involved in is the AWANA program at my church. This is the first year I have been involved with AWANA since my days of being in the program. I did AWANA from kindergarten through sixth grade. When I was done, I thought, "I'll never do AWANA again."

So what changed?

Last summer I was feeling a great burden to get involved in ministry. I felt that my relationship with God was on stand-still, having absorbed lesson and Bible Studies to the gills but not sharing anything through ministry. So I prayed that God would give me a ministry and He gave me AWANA, which I acceptd nervously.


I tell you, I have so much fun with those girlies! I only wish I had more time to spend with them. Furthermore, I wish I wasn't so busy with school that I could work through books with them...how cool would it be for me to say my sections to them! Anyhow, I have a relatively small group of girls, ranging from 4-6th grade. I love listening to verses they have memorized and encouraging them to do so. I love cheering them on in the games. I love watching them listen to the leader at council time, hearing truths of God.

Whenever I leave, no matter how I feel upon arriving, I always ALWAYS leave happy!

Friday, March 13

Some Favorite Things

Today I thought I'd share a bit of my favorites (really it's because I can't think of anything else to write...school and work are simply not super exciting!)

Top 5 Funny Movies:
1. Robin Hood: Men In Tights
2. Dumb and Dumber
3. Princess Bride
4. Daddy Day Care
5. Home Alone

Top 5 Romantic Movies (I had to create two movie categories since there are many good ones):
1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Persuasion
3. The Holiday
4. Serendity
5. White Christmas...I know this isn't really a romance movie but it's a favorite.

Top 5 Music Artists:
1. Sara Groves
2. Natalie Merchant
3. Watermark
4. Diana Krall
5. Michael Buble

Top 5 Books:
1. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
2. The Knight and the Dove by Lori Wick
3. Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner
4. A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit
5. Mitford Series by Jan Karon

Top 5 Foods:
1. Coffee
2. Thai curry
3. Mexican: tacos, enchiladas, burritos...its all good
4. Carrot cake
5. Pizza

Top 5 Places I'd Love to Visit:
1. Italy, Greece, or Croatia...all about the water and old structures
2. Cambodia...to visit Jumpah Ministries and the Ratzloffs
3. Kiev, Ukraine...to see the Rundstroms and visit a place from my past
4. Israel...how cool to walk in place that Christ and other Bible people have lived and walked.
5. Alaska...I'd love to go way up North...like to the tundra
(6. Puerto Rico...for some reason I've long wanted to visit this island)
(7. To visit any missionary...I'd love to see what God is doing in their parts of world...Kenya, Bosnia, Macedonia, Russia...not picky...anywhere is good)

Top 5 Dreams:
1. Get married
2. Be a missionary
3. Have kids
4. Take a few cooking classes
5. Graduate with all "A's" in my Master's degree...so far, so good!

I think that's good for now. Feel free to share some of your top 5's.

Sunday, March 8

Worth Considering II

"We all need to gain understanding of other cultures, even if we never plan to leave the country we were born in....this would require not setting my lenses aside, but adding theirs to mine."


"Our ability to resolve conflict, thus preserving unity, is directly related to people's coming to Christ."

Duane Elmer, Cross-Cultural Conflict, 1993

Saturday, March 7

Worth Considering

"The cultures into which we are born, in which we develop, and in which we carry out our life mission (all of which can be different cultures) profoundly affect who we are and who we become."


"All leaders limp. Leaders become leaders, in part, because they are willing to wrestle with who they are, who they want to become, how they can overcome some deficit in their own lives."

--Reggie McNeal, A Work of Heart, 2000.

Friday, March 6

Learning New Things

In my pursuit to become a missionary, it has been recommended that I find a mentor. I found myself a mentor officially about a month ago. What a blessing she is to my life! We've been friends and fellow coffee drinkers for years but to move into a mentoring relationship, is a treat.

So first things first...she had me take a Strength Finder test, which gives you the top 5 things that you excel in. Then she had me take a spiritual gift's test, which pretty much reiterated what the Strength Finder test revealed.

God has made me to be someone who is geared towards counseling or mentoring. Back a long time ago, I considered counseling as a career but figured I would likely "take work home with me" and should therefore avoid that field. Mentoring is something I've long desired to participate in with others but have alway felt uncertain, unqualified, and actually still have no idea about how I'd go about become someone's mentor.

So my mentor's goal is to mentor me to become a mentor to others.
This undoubtably will be a part of whatever missionary ministry I eventually go into.

The process of self-discovery is something I find interesting. Learning about how God made us and how He has wired our hearts, is something I enjoy learning about. I hope these times of self-discovery help me to become the type of person who can help others understand themselves and more importantly, the heart of God.