Monday, October 31, 2011

Isaiah 61:1-3

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
   because the LORD has anointed me
   to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor. 
Isaiah 61:1-3

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Like, Totally!

We had a fall fest tonight with the ministry team members...You can never go wrong with a totally rad 80's outfit! 

Me with one of the chipmunks and Daphne from Scooby Doo!

A Pefect Sunday

Today has been wonderful so far!  Instead of a normal church service this morning, our church headed to a large local park.  We had worship and a short message at the amphitheater near the lake.  It was the perfect weather to be outside - cool, crispy air with warm sunshine too.  And the setting was gorgeous too - bright blue skies above colorful trees!  After that we had lunch, which was all homemade chili because we had a chili cook off too!  I made some; it didn't win anything, but I don't care.  It all got eaten up, so I made several people's stomachs happy!  After lunch, Eliza and I chatted and basked in the sun and then I helped with some of the kid's games before heading home.  Then I came home, put on my sweats, got cozy under a blanket and read for a while before taking a nap.   Now I'm watching the Patriots play, but we're losing :(  And later tonight we're having a Fall Fest party with ministry teams; pictures to follow! I hope your Sunday afternoon has been as enjoyable and relaxing as mine!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cookie Monster

Tonight was a good night.  Went to Cheddars with Eliza, Hannah, and Jillian, and as the night went on we get louder and gigglier.  I think we were the loudest people sitting in the bar area.  After we ate our meals we split and devoured a Cookie Monster.  Yum yum!

365:24/7 - Part One

So this is why the last few weeks have been crazy...We've been getting ready for our latest series at The Well: 365:24/7.  It's a three week series about missions and service, and it has four different aspects to it: 7 Days of Prayer, 7 Days of Service, giving opportunities, and GO '11, which is the Missions Fair on the last night.  We've actually been working on the series since this summer, but the majority of last few weeks have been consumed with designing the visual and hands on aspects of the giving booths.  We've partnered with 7 different missions organizations or causes, and our total goal to raise is $12,000.  Last year our goal was $7,500 and we ended up raising over $12,000!  I know the Lord is faithful and I can't wait to see what is provided this year!

I wanted to write about all of the organizations at once, but Wednesday was so busy that I didn't get pictures of all of the the booths.  I'm going to write about three tonight, and then I'll show you the other four next week.  But in the meantime I really encourage you to check out the website for the series:  It has info about all of the giving opportunities and service projects, and the prayer guide for the 7 Days of Prayer, which started yesterday and is running through next Wednesday.

So, here are the descriptions and goals for three of our giving opportunities...

Living Water
Water. Something we as Americans most likely take for granted, but 884 million people in the world do not have access to clean water; that averages out to about 1 in 8 of the world’s population. Living Water International is an organization aiming to change that by drilling wells and implementing clean water solutions in countries around the world; and they do all of that while sharing the Gospel.  We are partnering with Living Water to help provide clean water for a village.

By giving just $1, you can help provide clean water for one person for a whole year and $10 provides clean water for a lifetime!   Our goal is to raise $3,000, which will refurbish a well for a village in Liberia giving them the start they need to break out of the cycle of poverty and disease caused by lack of clean water!

The Living Water booth.  We made that water bottle wall ourselves, over 600 bottles!

 In many places in the world, women will walk an average of 7 miles a week gathering water, carrying jugs weighing 40lbs.  We marked off a path that was just 1/8 of a mile and students could carry the water jugs.  It definitely helps put things in perspective.

JAM International
Joint Aid Management (JAM) is a South African organization whose goal is to help African communities help themselves, by developing sustainable programs, and providing training and education.  Through Project Red Bowl, JAM is currently feeding 550,000 hungry children a day in school programs.  More than just a meal, Project Red Bowl provides an education and empowers children to be the change in their community!

For $50 you can purchase a Red Bowl and feed a child in Africa for 1 year!  Our goal is to feed 30 children!

JAM uses red bowls to feed the children in their programs.  For every student that donated the $50, they got two red bowls.  One to hang up, to show our progress, and one to keep.  They were encouraged to write a prayer on it, for the child they helped feed, and use the bowl as a reminder to continuing praying for the child.  

The sad thing is, the top picture isn't even accurate.  They're should be way more food on that table.

World Hope
There are 27 million people suffering in slavery around the world, many being women and children.  They are bought and sold and forced into labor, commercial sex, forced combat or other forms of exploitation.  World Hope is an organization trying to rescue these victims and provide them with the healthcare, counseling, and education they need to heal and start a new life.

$100 provides one victim with transportation to a safe location, and essentially a new start!  Our goal is to provide that escape for 15 young women and children!

 We have 15 locks linking those chains together, one to represent each girl we want to help bring to safety.  Every time we raised $100, we unlocked the padlocks and let down the chains.  We helped 6 girls on Wednesday and I can't wait to see all those chains undone!

On the table you'll see a sign that says KEYS TO FREEDOM.  For every person that donates at least $10, they get to take one of the red keys.  It's for them to put on their key chain and be used to remind them to pray for the girls.

And there's actually one part of this booth that I don't have a full picture of.  We have an old, dirty, rickety bed set up (you can see a bit of it in the left corner), and there is a wall of burlap behind it.  Any student can write a prayer for the girls on a piece of paper, and then we're pinning them onto the wall.  By the end of the series we want to see that whole wall covered in prayers!

And one last thing I want to point out...About 98% of what you saw in the pictures, we (staff and students) did ourselves.  We drew it, painted it, designed it, assembled it etc.; and I don't say this to brag.  I had a conversation yesterday with one of the other guys on staff about how awesome it is to see Christians with amazing minds and talents, using those talents for the glory of God.  So many people think of the church as being outdated, dull, and boring - but that is so not true!  Look at what we can accomplish for God when we use the gifts He's given us!  I am sooo thankful to be able to use my creative talents to serve Him!

And like I said, next week I'll have pictures and information from the other four booths.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

There's A Reason

There's a reason my posts have been short and scattered recently.

There's a reason I'm writing this post at 3:13am from the office, while wearing my pajamas and slippers.

There's a reason the office and my desk look like this:

And you will get to find out that reason later this week, and I am so stinkin' excited to share it with you!  I think this is the most excited I've ever been about an upcoming post!

And now I am headed home to finish one last project before I get a few hours of sleep and wake up to an extremely long but very exciting Wednesday!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Barn Party

I don't really have time to be doing this, so you're just going to get a picture re-cap of our first annual Barn Party, which was last night.  We had a great turn out despite the cold and would definitely consider the night a success!

My mom's boots from when she was about my age!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Morning Happiness

I've been trying to get rid of the other creamer I've had in my fridge as quickly as possible so that I could bust out the Peppermint Mocha, and finally today I did! Mmmm, so good!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Antique Equipment

Tonight at work I got to use an outdated, almost rare piece of overhead projector!  Remember those things?  Did your teacher ever let you be in charge of changing the overhead sheets during class?  And how awkward it was to figure out how to move it opposite from how it looked on the screen, and twisting the knob up and down to get it in focus.  Wow, it makes me feel old reminiscing about the good ole' school days like that.  Anyways...We have one at the office that we use when we need to blow an image up to trace onto a sign or canvas or something, which is what I was doing tonight.  I traced China onto a 18x24 inch canvas.  It's for the 365:24/7's getting closer!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Today I made one of my all-time favorite recipes - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!  They're good year round, but I think they taste better in the fall.  It seems that every time I make these somebody says "But I don't like pumpkin," to which I reply "Just try it, you'll probably like it," and they always do :)  

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • In a large bowl, mix eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin until smooth.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and then add to the wet ingredients.
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Bake at 375* for 18-20 minutes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Counters

While I was gone I got new counter tops in my kitchen!  The old ones were scratched and had spots that were burnt.  And besides that, they were white, along with everything else in my kitchen.  My new ones look much nicer, even if they are fake granite.


(ignore the dirty dishes)

and after!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Friends, Feet, Felines

Well, I'm in Lynchburg and this morning I went to a baby shower for my friend Heather.  It was so good to see her, and other friends I haven't seen in months.  And Heather is the cutest little pregnant lady.  She said that she felt huge and I said, "Are you kidding me?  That's what I look like after I consume a large meal." 

 I love these four.  We've been friends since high school, and even though we all went to different colleges and universities, we've stayed close.  We've been in each others' weddings, and now we each live in a different state, but we reunite for special things like this.  Life long friends are the best!

Me and Amanda just chillin' on my bed.

And the cat chillin' on my chest.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Psalms 139:1-18

O LORD, you have searched me
   and you know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
 Before a word is on my tongue
   you know it completely, O LORD.
  You hem me in—behind and before;
   you have laid your hand upon me.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.
  Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?
 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
 even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.
  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,”
 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.
  For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
  your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
   were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
   I am still with you. 
~ Psalms 139:1-18

Monkeys & Fish

A while back my mom had written me a card, and she included a $20 in, just because (because she's good like that).  She said to save it for a rainy day, which I did - literally.  Today was a very rainy day here in East Tennessee, and apparently it was in Greenville, South Carolina too, because my friend Sherri's blog post today was all about things to do on a rainy day, and one of them was "go shoe shopping."  I had to go to Target anyways to pick something up, so I meandered towards the shoe department because I've been needing a new pair of slippers.  The past few years I've had practical, boring slippers, so I went for something more fun this time...

And I'm going home tomorrow for several days, so I needed someone to feed Jack, and Drew and Leslie agreed (thanks!).  I put him in a box...well, not him, his bowl, wrapped a towel around it to keep it secure, buckled the box in, and headed to their house.  He made it there without any trauma, and hopefully he'll enjoy the rest of his stay.   I'm sure he will, he's got a view of backyard, something he doesn't have at my place.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Colors and Creamer

The sunset tonight was spectacular.  Amazingly spectacular.  God is one talented artist.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Psalm 19:1
I was at Walmart tonight, no surprise there.  And my cart was full and I was almost at the register when I saw in someone else's cart a bottle of Coffee Mate Peppermint Mocha creamer.  I looooove Peppermint Mocha creamer.  It's sweet and cozy, and to steal a line from The Proposal, like "Christmas in a cup."  And even though it is a Christmasy flavor, I would gladly drink it all year long if it was unavailable, but it's one of those seasonal flavors.  Well, I got so excited about it that I turned my cart around and walked to the very back of the store and grabbed three bottles of it.  And when I got back to the front I noticed on the bottle it said NEW Now Enjoy It All Year Long.  So, I'm thinking they're going to start making it available year round, which means I didn't need to buy three bottles at once, but, oh well!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

God Sent Manna from Heaven

Well, teaching Sunday school this morning was so much fun!  I got to eat lots of pretend sandwiches, sang "This Little Light of Mine" three times in a row, and helped identify everyone's animal crackers.  On top of all the things I got to do with the little one's, they were all adorable and extremely well behaved.  And I was reminded that one of the greatest feelings in the world is having a precious little one, especially one who doesn't even know you, crawl into your lap or run to stand beside you and wrap their little arm around your leg.  Ahh, love it!

Our plates, to remind us that God provides for all  our needs.
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