Thursday, December 27, 2007

Waiting


Waiting is an interesting thing. We are all doing it. We are all waiting for something. A few months ago, I was waiting for a real job. A few months before that, I was always waiting to get called for a subbing position. That was fun. :P Other people are waiting for a baby, or waiting for some good news. Some are waiting to move. Others are waiting for their child to come home safely. Some are waiting for the right moment. But we all are waiting. Right now, I am waiting. Waiting for, as my grandma calls him, my prince. She says he's coming. I'm starting to wonder. :)

But the real question is am I waiting well? Waiting takes time. And the question is if I am using that time in a manner that honors God. Am I moping around because God hasn't answered my earnest and fervent prayers. Am I only looking at myself? Am I wasting the precious time God has given to me? All that happened with Mike has shown me that time is fleeting. You don't know when yours is over. Therefore, I must use mine wisely.

While pondering the thought of waiting, a verse came to mind. Titus 2:13--"Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." Wow! That is what we are ultimately waiting for. The husband and kids and job and house and all that stuff really do not matter in the grand scheme of things. The return of Jesus does. Will He be pleased with my waiting time? How do I make sure that I live a life He will be pleased with as I am waiting? He tells us in the prior verses.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. Titus 2:11-12

I need to turn away from the ungodliness of this world and be sober and righteous in my life. As I live my day to day life, if I am consumed with what I am waiting for here on earth, I will not be living a righteous life. In fact, I will be living an idolatrous life. Putting myself and my worldly passions ahead of my Lord and His will. I need to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. As a friend reminded me today...
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:3-5

So my prince may come tomorrow. He may come in 10 years. He may not come at all. But if my eyes are fixed on Jesus as I am waiting, the time will be well spent.

Monday, December 17, 2007

crazy

Life has truly been crazy the last few weeks. Going back and forth between Amy's house and my house. And Becky came home. And I've been kinda sick (but I'm fighting it!!) Busy busy.

There have been some major things on my mind too. Big decisions that I am trying to make. I don't really think they should be taking this much time and energy. I should be trusting God a lot more and I'm not. So I'll probably have a few ulcers by the time this is all over from my worrying. I'm so scared of making a bad decision.

But as Mike always said...you are going to make them. And then you deal with the consequences. But that's part of life, right? Ahh!!

I miss him so much!

Prayer bends our wills to God's will, which is what submitting our lives is all about. Prayer then is not about getting God to do my bidding, but the shaping and bending of my will until it aligns with His.
--Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes


I guess I just need to pray more, huh?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

New Phase

Well, today started a new phase in my life...it'll only last 2 months, but it's still a phase. I am living with my friend Amy until the end of January. It's kinda scary and all really new. I'd even say it's all pretty unsettling. But it will be good for me...a huge growing experience. Don't you think at almost 26 yrs old it's time for that? I'm sure it is...I just have to tell myself that over and over again. ahhh!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving and Praise


A few mornings a week, I read a prayer out of The Valley of Vision which is a collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions. I read this one earlier this week and it really blessed me.

PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Oh my God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee
-ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
-ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
-ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
--for adorning it, sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
--for the body thou hast given me,
--for preserving its strength and vigour,
--for providing senses to enjoy delights,
--for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
--for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
--for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
--for a full table and overflowing cup,
--for appetite, taste, sweetness,
--for social joys of relatives and friends,
--for ability to serve others,
--for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
--for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
--for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
--for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
--for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express,
for what thous art to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

--Valley of Vision, pg 15

I love that they thank God for their senses. That they thank God for appetite, taste and sweetness. Who ever thinks to thank God for that. That they thank God for their soul. Up until I read this, I never even thought to thank God for my soul and the blessings he bestows upon it. What wisdom and passion for Christ. May today be one filled with this kind of thanksgiving and wonder.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving


Well, I think everything is almost ready for tomorrow. I cleaned a lot today...which as some of you know is a big thing for me. :) My dad was kinda shocked. No...I scrubbed the bathroom and cleaned my room. Washed the floors and all that fun stuff. Bought stuff for my classroom to make it Christmasy. And--my favorite of the day--arranged flowers and decorated the house. Soooo much fun!!!!!!! My sis the budding photographer (pardon the pun) took pictures of my flowers for me as you can see.

Yesterday and the day before were really good too. I went to the ACSI conference in Anaheim. That stands for Association of Christian Schools International. I went to a class on Monday about making connections between the subject matter I am teaching and Biblical truths that apply to it. I am really looking forward to incorporating that in my classroom. The teacher kept saying that if we haven't done anything that is illegal in the classroom in a day, then we need to try to the next day. We have such an amazing opportunity as Christian school teachers because we have no spiritual limitations.

Then yesterday, first I heard Guy Doud speak. That was incredible. He was the 1986 Teacher of the Year. A very inspirational speaker--very encouraging. Then I walked the part of the conference with all the booths and stuff. I got some good info for my school and bought some stuff. Then on the way to my next session I ran into a friend of mine, Hao Tiet. It was really good to see him...a total surprise. He was going to the same session I was, so we were able to spend some time together and catch up.

That session was about having a Christian Philosophy of Education. It was so interesting and a bit depressing to see how far away I've come from the thinking and ideology I had when I started teaching. I have forgotten how much Christ is the center of all things. He is truth and anything that is against Him is not truth. We were created perfect and now we have moved so far from Him and sin has tainted us so badly that we are not even working to our potential anymore. And yet the evolutionists say we are developing and getting better all the time. Such a difference in everything. There is such a wide chasm between Christian ed and public ed. And I really am glad to be able to be doing what I'm doing.

So it was a very encouraging few days. I keep wanting to call it a weekend...haha. But it was really fun and good.

(The bottom one is my favorite :D )

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This week...

This week is looking good! Yesterday and today, I'm at a conference for Christian school teachers. I learned a lot yesterday. I'll write more about it later when I have more time. Some thought provoking stuff!

So that is yesterday and today. Then tomorrow I have off of school. Thursday is Thanksgiving and then Friday is shopping day!!!

I'll let you know how it all goes.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

This morning I read Matthew 13:53-58. The section title is "Jesus Rejected at Nazareth." That always amazed me. How could the people He grew up with and who knew Him so well reject Him. Of all the people He knew, you would think THEY would be the ones to accept Him and support Him.

And then I began thinking about myself. Hmmm... I grew up knowing Him. He has been some part of my life since the day I was conceived. My parents have been showering me with prayer since they knew I was formed. Then I was born and my mom and dad prayed for me all the time as did countless other people. I had Psalm 1 memorized word for word by the time I was 2. I asked Jesus in my heart when i was 3 1/2. I've been in church more than I've been most other places. I grew up with Him. I know many many other young people just like me.

And then I realized that many of those young people have rejected him--totally walked away from Him. I have struggled in the past with doubt and unbelief. You see, Jesus never came into my life with a big bang. He's always been there. There has been no drastic change from pagan sinner to sanctified saint in my life. And many times I have wondered about Him, doubted who He is and what He has done.

As I think about that, I realize how easy it was for the people of Nazareth to reject Jesus. He had always been there. Even His own family rejected Him. He was just one of the kids. Albeit a very strange kid....but just one of the kids. Their relationship with Him was never really deep. He was Mary's son....the carpenter's kid from down the street. They didn't take the time to know Him.

As for those of us growing up in church, Jesus has always been that guy that died on the cross. That guy that did all those miracles and told those weird stories. As I write this, I am ashamed of what I know I've said to myself so many times over the last 25 years. I am ashamed of doubting and not believing who He really is. Because like the people of Nazareth should have been the people who really knew who He was, I should really know who He is. I've been with Him my whole life. I've seen what He's done in my family. I've seen what He's done in my church. I've seen what He's done in my life.

So I think to my verse I've been meditating on this week..."Be still and know that I am GOD." Ps 43:10 What does this have to do with Jesus, doubt and unbelief? My doubt and unbelief--especially in the last 8 years--has stemmed from my NOT being still and letting God be God. Why didn't I get to go the the college I want to? Why did Mike die? Why did I not get my dream job? Can Jesus really care about me? Does He know what He is doing???

Of course He does. He is God. And I should know that without a doubt because I've seen it in my life so many times. Hundreds upon hundreds of times. I don't know why I didn't get to go the the college I wanted---why Mike died---why I didn't get that job. But I do know that God is faithful. I do know that God is true. I do know that Jesus has been there. I've seen it my whole life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Stillness


Hmmmm...since Friday, the Lord has given me this verse at least 3 if not 4 times.

"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

Maybe God wants me to be still. That may have something to do with my previous post. :)

I found out earlier this morning that a friend of mine is having an extremely hard week (and it's only Tuesday!!!) My mind immediately went to all the ways that I could possible do something to help her. Maybe i should take off work and go see her. Does she need something? Should I call other people to tell them to go see her? Questions, questions, questions... And then I read my e-mail and was given this verse again.

BE STILL. Just be still. I don't have to do anything. I don't need to do anything. Why???

KNOW THAT I AM GOD. He is God. He is GOD. HE is God. I am not. He is the ruler of the universe. He knew what would happen long before He created me or my friend or my school or anything. HE IS GOD. I need not do anything. Nothing. Nada. Just be still.

Lord, may I be still before You in Your presence today and let YOU be God.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Freaking Out


You know in the last week, there have been several things that have come up unexpectedly. My plans for Saturday totally blew up in my face. My Sunday was pretty busy. I just found out my car registration was due on Friday...and I still hadn't paid it. AND i'm due for a smog test on my car.

Unfortunately I have NOT handled things very well. I've kinda melted down almost every time. And it's kinda embarrassing. I used to pride myself on handling the unexpected in a very cool sophisticated way. Well you know that fall that comes along with the pride??? It has come. With a vengeance. The Lord still has some major work to do in me. Why totally freak out? It does no good at all. It does not bring honor to Him. And I feel like an idiot when it's all over (as I sit here red-faced typing away). May the Lord help me to lean on Him....and take whatever He throws my way with a good attitude and a smile on my face. Most of the time, things are my fault. So I just need to suck it up and deal with it. :P

But doesn't that picture of the rose make everyone feel so much better? I just have to relax and remember that the God who is all powerful---full of strength---He wants to share his strength with me each and every day. Why me? I have no clue! But He does. And He is good. And I need to work on just trusting Him and the promise that all things are meant for my good. Even the surprise registration........ ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

God's Grace

This morning I was reading in Matthew 12, and a quote from Isaiah really stood out to me.

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory.
and in his name the Gentiles will hope.
Matthew 12:18-21
It is amazing that God would open up the riches of heaven to us as Gentiles. We are not His chosen people, but He still has mercy on us and offers salvation. What a way to start the day!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Harverst Festival

Tonight was the Harvest Festival at my school. We set up a carnival like thing in the gym and played games, ate popcorn and cotton candy and all that fun stuff all night. It was a lot of fun. Very tiring, but much fun. I'm babysitting 2 of my pastor's kids this weekend. They had a blast! It was a very good time, but boy am I tired!

School is going well. There is so much work. Please pray for the students as most of them do not know Jesus. It breaks my heart. The other day one of the students told me she only goes to church for weddings and funerals. She then asked what the difference between Catholics and Protestants was. Perfect opportunity for the gospel to be shared. But we got interrupted and it didn't happen. And then today in chapel we had Q&A time. So I asked the question hoping the principal would give a clear gospel message. NO! He didn't. I was so disappointed. So please, whoever reads this, please pray for this girl. I can't tell you her name for security reasons, but please remember her. She is being raised by her dad and is pretty unhappy.

Oh, and I'm still getting up at 5am. I haven't missed one day (mon-fri only) since I started. Praise God! I'm learning...and it's been a good time with God every morning. A wonderful way to start the day.

I'll let you know how things continue to go. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Don't Worry...

This morning I've been reading Matthew 6:19-34. It is a passage that I've read and hear countless times as I've grown up in the church. Sadly, it seems like old info to me. I wanted a little more, so I read the commentary on it by Dr. McGee. He said some interesting things.

Verses 19-24 are the familiar "lay up treasure in heaven." Jesus says not to lay up treasure here on earth because it won't last. But lay up treasure in heaven where it will last forever. I always pictured it as doing good things and by doing that you earn treasure in heaven. I don't know. I guess I never really understood it (sad to say). Dr. McGee puts forth that the treasure is actual money. Don't collect money down here on earth because it won't last. The things you buy will rust out and rot. But DO spend your money on heavenly things. Give money to places that will use it to further the kingdom.

But then what about the stuff we need to get by? Take care of that stuff too. God gives you money to meet your needs. He wants you to be clothed and fed. Don't worry about the extra stuff. If you really need it, God will provide. He says "Be anxious for nothing." He know what you need. He takes care of the birds and the flowers. He will take care of us. But "seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." The first priority is the kingdom of God. Spread His word first. Be righteous first. First have your life right with God. If that is true, then what you still think you need, as for it and the Father will provide. It seems so simple written down, but trying to live it is something totally different.

This all led me to the last thought which was Philippians 4:6-7.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Be thankful for what God has given and for what He has done. Don't worry about what you need. Let Him know. He wants to care for us. Pray about it and then leave it to Him. His peace will surround us. It will guard our hearts and our minds. Leave your worries and cares with Him.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Early will I seek Him...

For many years now, I have done my quiet time--my time every day alone with God--right before I went to bed. And for good reason...so I thought. I am NOT a morning person. I greatly dislike getting up before the crack of dawn. And I don't really function well then either. Soooo I would always spend time with God at night. Well, then I started teaching. By about 9pm, I am exhausted. My brain shuts down. So I was sitting on my bed, trying to read the book of Matthew and I learned absolutely nothing. I didn't the next night either. And the next night I totally gave up and went for a while without reading. I decided that was not a good idea. I had to get up at 5am one morning last week to get some stuff done for school and was amazed how well I was able to function. And then I was reading a book I'm doing for a book study with some friends by the Mahaney women called Shopping for Time: How to do it all and NOT be Overwhelmed. The second chapter is about their 5am club. The ladies, along with their husbands, get up at 5am to spend time with God. I couldn't deny it anymore, so I decided to actually obey God and get up at 5 am. So if I have stuff I need to do for school, I get up at 5. If I am just reading my Bible and praying, then I get up at 5:30. But I've been having such a good time doing this that I may just always get up at 5. I'm not sure yet. I encourage you to do the same if you can. It's been a blessing so far.

I am currently in Matthew 5: 1-11--the beattitudes. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." You can pray along with me that I will be merciful today....every day. I have a hard time with that because my good old self-righteousness gets in the way. If Jesus let any self-righteousness in His way, we wouldn't be able to go to Heaven. There would be no salvation. I need to be merciful with those around me. That's my prayer for today.

I do have one question. I really want to keep a prayer journal. I've started one, but I'm not satisfied with how I am doing it. I don't really want to write my prayers all the way out, although I do that sometimes and it is beneficial. Can anyone give me an idea about how I can do this? I am just making a list for each day. What I pray about. But I'm not sure that is the smartest way to go about it. This whole concept of a prayer journal has always been elusive for me.

And please pray for my neighbor Mona. She has cancer and is in a lot of pain. But she doesn't know Jesus. She doesn't really want to talk about Him. It breaks my heart that she is going through this ordeal without any hope or confidence in Christ. Pray for her soul that she might be saved!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Overwhelmed....


Yeah...that's the word. It's been amazing how much paper 50 kids go through! The hours I spend grading is huge, but such a privilege at the same time. How, you may ask? Because I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these children. As I look out across my classroom every day, I see kids that struggle. They struggle with math. They struggle with science. They struggle with life. I have kids that live with their grandparents because their parents are off doing their own thing. I have single dads and single moms raising their kids alone while doing their best to providing for them. It's hard to see sometimes. It hurts me that they hurt. And it comes back to the overwhelming feeling of it all. How do I help them? How DO I make a difference? I'm just me. I have huge limitations. I have little time. How do I help? And then I remember that it is Jesus who is the difference. Jesus is the one. His love for them far surpasses mine. His care for them is much more than mine will ever be. I have the wonderful opportunity to proclaim God's word to these students that, for the most part, don't know Him. They don't really go to church. They are Catholic or nominal Christians. But I can share Jesus and his SAVING power with them without fear or worry. I am free to do as I please. I thank the Lord for this opportunity to share Him with these young, open ears. What a privilege. It's overwhelming!

(The pretty picture was taken by my best friend Joni. So talented!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Wow!!!! I'm really tired!

This teaching thing is really tiring! It's amazing! But I'm having a great time. It is a bit difficult teaching 4 levels of math in one day. And then grading 50 papers for each thing every day. That's a lot of paper!!! It has been fun getting to know each of the kids and learning about them and their learning styles. We had "Back to School" night on Friday and I was able to meet many of the parents of my students. It was a little scary because I am the actual teacher. Every other time I've been to one of these nights at a school, I have never been the actual teacher. The responsibility is huge. However, it was a very good thing to be able to meet parents and such. My parents came too and saw my classroom and everything. That was nice and fun. I think I'm settling into a routine with everything. But at the end of the day....I am soooo tired!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

School Days are Here

I am so sorry to keep any and all of you who were waiting on word about school in suspense. That's not fair at all. Things are going very well! I have some of the most interesting students ever, but they are a lot of fun. One of the other teachers pulled me aside and told me that some of the 7th graders told her that I was mean. haha!! I have succeeded!

My classroom is coming along just fine. I am trying to get the hang of juggling 4 different grades and 4 different levels of teaching in one day. There sure are a lot of papers all over the place. Trying to decide what I need to keep and what to give back to them and what to get rid of entirely. It has been very fun though. I just pray that the Lord will use me in the lives of these children to bring them to Him. I have found that so many of them come from broken homes and have little idea what God has done for them. Even in a Christian school. May the Lord give me and the other teachers wisdom as we minister to these children every day.

Hopefully, I will get some pictures of the room up soon. Thanks for your continued prayers!

May We Never Forget


September 11, 2007 was a terrible day. I can remember hearing the phone ringing early in the morning and wondering who needed to call us at that hour. Our family doesn't have a TV, so we were out of the loop with everything. Our friends were calling to let us know that we needed to turn on the radio. My mom came running in to our room saying we were being attacked by terrorists. Not a fun way to wake up. As we watched the evens unfold on our neighbor's TV, I remember the feeling of helplessness and despair. The world was turning upside-down before our eyes. I couldn't eat that day. I just wasn't hungry. I listened to the radio all day to hopefully hear something good. And it was all bad. No survivors. Another building collapsed. We lit candles in front of our house in remembrance of those many that had died. And in the middle we wondered if God was still in control. Of course He was...but it sure didn't look like it. Six years later, I still don't know what God was doing that day taking so many people in such a violent act, but He is still on the throne. He is sovereign and loves us in amazing ways. And still, may we never forget what our country endured on that day. May we never forget the sacrifice...all the lives that were lost. God bless America!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Thoughts on Mike

As I shared in July, I have been following a blog about a baby girl that had leukemia. She died in July and since her mom has been posting tributes to her little baby that other friends have written. It has been touching to see how a 2 yr. old girl touched so many so deeply.

As I read the latest tribute tonight, one of the comments by the girls great-grandma was that she just couldn't reconcile herself to the finality of loosing their girl. And I understand. Just today I cried because of the finality of loosing my friend. He will not ever be here again. I can't hear him talk again...or laugh again...or preach again...or sing off key again. I can't hug him again or give him a high-five again. It's final. I will see him in heaven and that is a comfort. But what about the time here on earth still?

As I move to thinking about tomorrow, I can't think about it all without thinking about Mike. Besides my parents, I think he was my #1 fan...in many areas. He was so excited that I was going to be a teacher. He wanted me to get deep and dirty in the profession and really be good at it. And he knew I would be. He often told me how proud he was of me. Like every other week. He was such an encourager. He loved my singing and piano playing. Most of all, I wish he was here to see me going into my first job, ready and excited. He would be so happy for me. I am so thankful for the time I was given to get to know Mike. He was a truly special guy. He taught me many things, both spiritual and practical.

I want to dedicate my first year of teaching to the memory of Mike. He was an excellent teacher and educator. May I follow in his footsteps in his love for Christ and in his love for his students.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the big day. The first day of teaching all on my own. It will be very interesting. The closer I get to it, the more nervous I get. But I'm excited too. I'm ready to kick off the new year. I pray that it will be a great success. I will try to take a camera to take pictures of my classroom so I can post them. I would love to share my room with you all. Please pray for me if you think about it. I'll be needing it, I'm sure.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Hot stuff

Yeah that is me...hot stuff. Because according to Channel 7, the weather report for today is "Excess Heat" with the high being 96. But I think it's much hotter than that. It's kinda unbearable. So I went on the Weather Channel website. Yeah...it's 101 in Long Beach, CA right now. YUCK!!!!! So I've been sticking my water bottle in the freezer and then pouring it over my head at intervals during the day. Then if you stand in front of a fan, it feels really really good. And then I've been to Coldstone to "visit Grace"... i.e. get ice cream from Grace. And then just driving around with the air conditioner on in my car (even though when you turn a corner the air conditioner leaks INTO the car instead of OUT OF the car....unfortunate for those in the passenger seat). That's how you stay cool...or at least try to.

Happy Labor Day to every one. I've decided that I am not going to think about classroom stuff at all for the weekend. However, I found myself going through my stuff this morning looking for things I need to take to my classroom. And trying to figure out rules. And remembering all the things that I need to do still. But it is oh soooo exciting to know that in a few days I will have accomplished my goal of becoming a teacher. (and I'll actually be making money doing it...wow!!!) I pray the Lord will help me to be the best teacher I can be.

As a continuation of the last entry, I found yesterday that once you have dealt with sin in your life, serving Jesus is so much more fulfilling and joyful. I had a wonderful time teaching Sunday school and playing the piano and singing for the first time in a long time. I shared with GAP that it felt like a burden was lifted and I didn't even know it was there. It is a huge reminder to make sure I am right with the Lord at all times.

An update on Chris and his trip to Peru. He got back on Thursday safe and sound. He did a ton of stuff and is still pretty tired, but he had a great time of learning and serving while there. He was able to help a family build their tent in a soccer stadium. They lost their home and their 15 year old daughter in the earthquake. He was able to serve them though. He went to the town that was most devastated by the earthquake, Pisco. The cities in Peru adopt a saint that is the saint of their town. The day of the earthquake is was the holy day of Pisco's saint. Therefore, many people were in the church for a mass when the earthquake hit. Other people in the town square ran into the church thinking that because it was the saint's day, they would be safe. But then the church collapsed on them killing 148 people. Incredible sadness. They were looking to another false gospel to save them which in turn damned them to hell. Chris was humbled by the fact that the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics and Muslims had all already been through the soccer stadiums where thousands were staying, and last of all a few Christians came through. It is a shocking reminder that we, who have the true gospel, should be more ready and willing to go and help and share Christ in situations like this. Thank you so much for praying for him.

That's all for now. I kinda talked your ears off. Come back to check on my classroom and how school starts!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Chagrin

There have been so many people in my life that are so good to me, and I hate to say it, but there have been even more times that I have been less of a friend than I should have been to them. And I've found that those I hurt and take advantage of are often times those closest to my heart. I use and abuse too often. But is that not the truth for most of us? (I am desperately hoping that I am not the only one who does this) It is the people that are the closest to us that we are not the nicest to. But why?

In my reflecting over the last 30 minutes (I just had a conversation with someone close to the heart), I've seen how selfish I am. How full of pride and arrogance I am. How focused on Elisabeth I have been. Some people who read this blog have heard me talk of my struggle to see myself as the truly sinful and depraved human being that I am. It has been a prayer of mine for a while now that God would open my eyes and break my heart over my sin. Today, I was broken. I saw how my sin, my selfishness, has affected people around me. I saw how it is a shame to Christ and the body and I am broken. It is sad that it took me 25 years to see this. To experience this.

The greatest commandment in scripture is this:
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
And that is my problem. It's everyone's problem. It is the root of sin. We are not loving...I am not loving God with ALL my heart, ALL my soul, ALL my strength, ALL my mind. If I'm not loving God this way, how can I love my brothers and sisters this way? As it goes on, the second great commandment is to love my neighbor as myself. In my depraved humanness, I have not seen others as more important than myself. To those it has affected, and there are many, I am sorry. Sorry for my selfishness.

Praise God...His mercy is everlasting. He has forgiven me for some reason. I don't understand it. But He loved me--and the whole world for that matter--more than Himself. He was the extreme opposite of selfishness. He was true love. And because of that love, He has paid for the very sins that put Him on that cross. My sins, your sins, everyone's sins. May I focus on Christ and love Him with my whole being. As I do that, it will enable me to love others as I should. My focus will be on Him, where it should be, rather than on myself. My hope and prayer is that you too will look at your heart. Is your focus on Christ?

Monday, August 27, 2007

My Classroom

Well, I started working on my classroom today. I went shopping and all that fun stuff too. There is soooo much to get done. As you can see from the picture, I finally got my teachers manuals (the huge stack of books on my desk). Haha It's gonna be so much fun. We are using Saxon math. It's pretty easy stuff. The principal is very willing to help me. Hopefully, he will be happily surprised at how well things work out. I am looking forward to getting started. It's going to be exciting. I got the paper up on the bulletin boards today thanks to my wonderful bestest friend Joni. We had a great time figuring it all out. She was an excellent help to me and I thank her immensely. Now it's off to lesson planning. I was so hot to get started on it all and now that all the stuff is here, I am putting it off. That human nature is amazing! More later......

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My classroom and Chris

I saw my classroom today. It's pretty big. There is a lot of space. It is looking more like I will be more of a math teacher than a science teacher, which is fine with me. I could totally do the science, but the principal wants to do it. I'll see if and when I can help him, but it looks like he is going to do it. I got to meet some more people at the school today also, so that was nice.

On other topics, please pray for my friend Chris. He is currently in Peru on a missions trip. He will probably be heading down to the Lima area that is pretty devastated from that earthquake last week. This is from an e-mail he sent us:

Tomorrow and Thursday we will be leaving Lima to head south and do some relief work in the damaged areas. The church we are working with has been going there everyday handing out tents, blankets, and clothes, and setting up soup kitchens. Tomorrow we will be going further into the damage zone than they have been before. Today they have been trying to prepare us mentally for what we will see and experience. They say that the streets reek of dead bodies and that the survivors are desperate for help. Please continue to pray for us and for the people we are going to be reaching out to. Depending on how these next two days go, we might return to the relief effort on Monday and Tuesday.
So please pray for him and his ministry down there, as well as for the team he is with.

Monday, August 20, 2007

School

Well, my principal did call me back. Yeah! So I go in to meet him tomorrow. I'm excited. It will be nice to see the school and my classroom. I'm looking forward to it. Please be praying for me as I embark in my new career. Pray for the students I will have. God is good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

hangin out

I've just been hanging out around home lately. I did get the job but I have not been able to get ahold of the principal. Sooooo it's just kinda the waiting game. I would love to get into my classroom and get things rolling. But I don't even know where my classroom is, so that is kinda not going to happen. How sad! Oh well...I'll let you know what's going on when I find out. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Trust

There are times when things happen that just plainly don't make sense. They go against every single thing that you would do, but these things are totally in the Lord's hands. It is what HE wills for your life. I experienced one of those times yesterday. It all comes down to the fact that as the following song says, "You were God before, and You'll never change." In times of questioning we can know that God is on His throne, totally in control. When friends die, when lives change, when we don't get what we want or think we need, He is sovereign. And all we can do is praise Him for being a good and loving God.


Do I Trust You Lord
by Twila Paris

Sometimes my little heart can't understand
What's in Your will, what's in Your plan.
So many times I'm tempted to ask You why,
But I can never forget it for long.
Lord, what You do could not be wrong.
So I believe You, even when I must cry.
Do I trust You, Lord?
Does the river flow?
Do I trust You, Lord?
Does the north wind blow?
You can see my heart,
You can read my mind,
And You got to know
That I would rather die
Than to lose my faith
In the One I love.
Do I trust You, Lord?
Do I trust You?

I know the answers, I've given them all.
But suddenly now, I feel so small.
Shaken down to the cavity in my soul.
I know the doctrine and theology,
But right now they don't mean much to me.
This time there's only one thing I've got to know.

Do I trust You, Lord?
Does the robin sing?
Do I trust You, Lord?
Does it rain in spring?
You can see my heart,
You can read my mind,
And You got to know
That I would rather die
Than to lose my faith
In the One I love.
Do I trust You, Lord?
Do I trust You?

I will trust You, Lord, when I don't know why.
I will trust You, Lord, till the day I die.
I will trust You, Lord, when I'm blind with pain!
You were God before, and You'll never change.
I will trust You.

I will trust You.
I will trust You, Lord.
I will trust You.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

BIG NEWS!!!!!

Drum roll please.............................


I am now a junior high math and science teacher!!!!!

Just thought you all would like to know. God, praise His name, gave me the direction I needed and I was able to make a wise decision. It seems that Long Beach Unified is giving NO ONE a contract at all this year. Soooooo....the logical conclusion was to call Wilmington Christian and humbly accept their offer of a job. Tomorrow I go in to start all of the hiring paperwork. I don't know when I start. I'll find out tomorrow. I'll pretty much find everything out tomorrow hopefully. I'll let you know anything important when I find out. Thanks to everyone for all of your prayers!!!! God is good and faithful!

Mexico Friday

Friday was our fun day. We went south to La Bufadora right outside of Ensenada. We had a great time. We all wore our brown team shirts. It's great to match because everyone around looks at you and says "oh wow...a missions team." It was fun! There were so many fun pictures of this day, so there are a lot in this post. Some are smaller, so if you can't see them well enough, just click on them and they will enlarge. Hope you enjoy them. I did!


The sisters looking cute together.

The sisters looking cute....with Kyle. Actually this was supposed to be an Elisabeth/Kyle pic but Grace stuck her head in too.
Los Four Amigas. The stair steps. There are so many things you could name this picture. Grace is way excited that she is the second to the tallest in this picture. I would be too if I were her. Haha
This documents a momentous moment in my life. I saw the man of my dreams. So I started running after him. Unknown to me (as I was looking back at the camera), he saw me running towards him and decided to play along with me.
So yeah...I got to get my pic taken with him. But then he had to go...so much for our life together. (I must say that I was pretty red by the end of it all) And I must say...for a guy running around in a loin cloth all day, he smelled really good. haha
Here is most of our group. We are missing some of our younger teenage girls. But most of us are here.
We went to dinner at a nice restaurant after we left La Bufadora. It was a great time of fellowship on our last night. As you can see...there was some special bonding going on too...seeing as Wes and Chris are kissing Kyle. And I was right next to it all...how strange.
The scenery was beautiful on the way back up to the church. All coastal and beautiful. Very relaxing and a great reminder of God's greatness in His creation.
I felt so safe and secure with these guys with us all week. Oh wow!!!! (as Mike would say)
This is La Mision, the town that we stayed in. The pink building towards the left of the picture in the back is the church campus. It was a nice community.
I am the traveling guitarist. Haha
We had a bonfire and lit fireworks at the La Mision beach that night. We shared what we learned and what we loved and not so loved about the trip. A fitting way to end the night. And Wes almost blew his head off with the fireworks...well he singed his hair. And we had a marshmellow fight. And Joel, Albert and Chris had this weird wrestling fighting thing that was hilarious to watch. A very fun night!

Mexico Thursday

On Thursday, we drove way out into the desert to another orphanage called Door of Faith. When we got there we made up food bags again to give out in a community not far from there. Then we came back to the church and got ready for their Thursday night service.

This is our assembly line for making the food bags. We made like 50 in about 15 minutes and we didn't even get very much of the beans and rice on the floor this time. Cool beans!!
This is the community we went to. We dubbed it "The Rich Ghost Town" because some of the houses were like mansions (as you can see in this picture) and no one was home at most of the houses we went to. But we did find some people to give food to as you will see.
This was the last house my group stopped at. Unlike many of the other houses, this one was poorly built and had an outhouse next to it. This is the lady that lived there praying with Charissa and Chris.
These two little boys kept following us asking for more food. They were pretty funny. If they and their families were only as hungry for God as they were for a little bag of beans and rice.
We used the Door of Faith orphanage as our base, but the kids were going to the pool that day so we didn't get to really play with them at all. But some did come hang out with us for a little while, while they were waiting for the bus. They were fun!
Yes, I am cooking again. But get this. Someone in our group (a leader) wanted tuna fish one day. So we picked the desert day to make tuna. We forgot to bring a can opener. So we tried to use one from the orphanage kitchen that didn't work. We ended up using their heavy-duty one...and only a few people actually ate the tuna. Most ate peanut butter and jelly. Note to self...no tuna next year!!!
We were matching that day...all on accident. Leilani and I with our Spanish "Serving Jesus" shirts. And Kyle and Vanessa with their red shirts...how cute!!!
This is how we get ready for church.

Joel preached that night and Chris translated for him. He did a great job!
Leilani and I sang with Grace accompanying us on the guitar. We sang a spanish song called something that I can't really spell right now. But it is a really good song and really pretty. Fun times!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mexico Wednesday

Here finally is Wednesday. We went to an orphanage not too far from the church we were staying at, built a wall in someone's house and put on a carnival in a community a few miles away.
This is actually from Tuesday night. I was practicing making balloon animals and we came out with swords, eye glasses, hand cuffs and hearts. And we dressed Wes up...or maybe he did it to himself.
We went to the Casa de Paz orphanage. There are about 100 kids in this orphanage and they love visitors. Chad held a kid for the first time in his life here. Here is the proof.

YES!!!!!!!!!! I cooked!!!! Leilani, Amy, Little Ashley and I made spaghetti and garlic bread for everyone. You should have seen us try to drain the spaghetti. Pretty funny!! And no... no one died.
We built a room in a family's house for their little girl. Here we are getting ready to put up dry wall. Yes I am using power tools again. And yes, Chris is still taller than me even though I'm standing on a bucket. And yes...I am wearing shoes. Truly amazing!!!

I fried my neck while I was there. This is the aftermath. It hurt soooo bad!!!

At the carnival that night I made balloon animals. This is how my table looked the whole time...mobbed by kids. And this mangy dog came and sat on my shoe for a really long time. I was pretty grossed out by that one. We finally shooed it away...yuck!!!

More balloon animals....and swords....and butterflies... My fingers HURT by the end of that 2 hours!!!!
No I can't dance. And yes that is me trying to dance. Luckily Leilani CAN dance and she was standing next to me so it rubbed off...I'm sure. I hope...ok not really.

Monday, July 30, 2007

2 things

First of all....hi to the other Elisabeth Renee that left a comment. I think it's so cool that there is someone else out there that knows Jesus with my same name. That is sooo interesting! So Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

Second....I have an interview tomorrow at Wilmington Christian in Wilmington. It will be for 7/8th math and science. I've already had one interview. This is my second. Pray that the Lord will lead me in the way I should go. Thanks!

More on the missions trip soon...Wed-Fri. :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Mexico Tuesday

On Tuesday we went to an orphanage in Tijuana. This orphanage is only for boys and is run by a man and his wife. They have some helpers that come in during the week, but Luis and his wife do most of the work. These boys were the nicest, most respectful young men we had seen. It was a joy to help them. We tore down their old kitchen...or tore down as much as we could. It was a hard day of work.

The building behind the boys is the kitchen we tore down. You can see our buddy, Hilario (in the hat), playing soccer with the boys.

The boys wanted to get in there and help us tear down the building. They were in and out the whole time, making themselves useful.

This is side-ways...I know...so tilt your head. When they were not working, the boys would sit outside with my sis Grace and some of the other girls on the team and sing and play the guitar. We were really blessed listening to them worship. The kid on the right is Andreas...he was cool!
It was kinda dangerous at the end of the day when we were taking the last parts of the building apart. But oh so much fun!!!

All the insulation from inside the walls. That is some nasty stuff!!! It was in our hair and on our skin for way too long afterwards.
YES!!!! I AM using power tools (under the watchful eye of Chris). It was soo fun!!


This is our whole group as well as many of the little kids that were there. The little guy that Grace is holding was the cutest little guy! The minute we drove up he had captured all of the girls' hearts.
That night we went to a community and passed out fliers for the carnival that we were going to have there the next night. This is what the flier looked like.
Someone took a picture of Chad, Kyle, Grace and I as we were walking around said community passing fliers out to people. I must say that I was extremely tired by then. But it was a good time of sharing and laughing together.
Again...please tilt your head for this one :) I was going to be heading up the balloon animal department the next night at the carnival, so I practiced that night and tried to teach others to do them too....it didn't work. But it was fun and we ended up with a ton of balloons hanging around for the next few days.