Thursday, August 27, 2009

Much to say

I'm back. I'm alive. And I have so much to update on. Be looking for updates, random (and oh-so-hilarious) stories, and pictures from the last 2 weeks of my life. Perhaps Saturday will be a bloggy-marathon. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My poor brain

I feel sorry for my brain some days. I make it work really hard, and it gets no time off. No paid vacations. No rest for its weary self.

I'm preparing to leave to head to New Jersey in a few hours and have so much on my mind. So much has transpired this week. Funny things. Sad things. Things I would not trade for the world, and things I would rather have not had to do. Packing. Working. Laughing. Pondering. I promise to write about a lot of these things when I return from camp, but there is no time now.

If you think of me this week, I would covet your prayers. Team Uganda will be together at a camp in New Jersey with a precious group of 5th through 7th graders. The theme of the week is Acts 1:8, and will have a focus on what missions looks like across the street and around the world. With people who look like us, and people who don't.

I would appreciate your prayers for:

-Traveling mercies. I'm driving (stopping along the way), but it takes about 11.5 hours to get out there.
-Good connections with people. I'm speaking at my friend Mosel's church with her on Sunday. Also, for good connections with the kids at camp. And, I'll be speaking at a church in New Jersey next Sunday as well.
-My class. I really feel like God has given me a specific topic to teach on, and He has really provided illustrations and personal stories to drive the point home. I'm talking about how, before we can "go into all the world," we really need to understand Who God is and who we are as a result. Talking about His identity and ours. These are truths I continue to learn, and they continue to be sort of a "life message" for me. Pray for open hearts to hear and receive God's heart for them.
-Good weather. For obvious reasons.
-Good time with friends. On the way out, I will be stopping a few times to stay with old friends. While I'm there, we will have some free time to go to Philly and to the beach. And I will stay with another friend when I return home. I'm so looking forward to reconnecting with old friends. It is refreshing to my soul.

I will be out of bloggy-land until I return, so you will have to wait on the regular weekly blogs. I don't even know how you'll be able to stand it.

Thanks for praying! It means more than you know!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bloggy Break

I know today is Monday. And I know I'm supposed to tell you about another of my missionary friends or people who are changing the world. But I am leaving for a week and a half ministry trip to the East Coast this Friday and am not prepared AT ALL for it. I'm teaching 5th-7th graders at camp and have to work on making a somewhat difficult passage of scripture applicable to them by some sort of hands-on/interactive amazing-ness. And I'm behind on all things surrounding, well, everything. I may (or may not) feel like I'm drowning a bit. Or at least like I should go put my swimmies on. So, I'm going to take a pass on this Missionary Spotlight. And will not pass Go or collect $200. But if you want to give me $200, that'd be awesome. Perhaps I could go buy some really amazing swimmies. Like ones that write thank-you cards, do paperwork, and make travel arrangements.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Guess what I'm doing?

Well, I've finished my to-do list for the evening, so I'm listening to Christmas music, of course!

And laughing really hard at this video. Makes me want to skip up and down the school supply aisle singing this little ditty.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursday

  • I'm thankful that I made it home safely from Evansville. Crazy Rain + rushing water + driving = danger
  • I'm thankful for the 41 minute conversation I just had with my brother. We laugh so hard together and it makes me so happy.
  • I've been so blessed by the new Hillsong CD "Faith + Hope + Love." You should check it out. It's "Hillsong Week" on iTunes.
  • I'm thankful for sweet brothers and sisters in Christ in Chandler, Indiana who were so attentive on Monday night and responded to God's leading. I am blessed.
  • I'm thankful that I got paid today. Thank you Jesus for a job. And for people at work who make me laugh.
  • I'm thankful I have friends who I can laugh with...even a lot of miles apart.
  • I'm thankful that God chose to make His dwelling in us, even though we truly are jars fashioned from clay.
  • I'm thankful for 2 journalists who received a pardon in N. Korea.
We have much to be thankful for! What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stream of Conscience (or Conscious)...whichever

You know those drives you really dread taking? I took one on Monday. Ask anyone who has done it before, and they will surely tell you the drive from Evansville, Indiana to Indianapolis is no walk in the park. I had a great time once I got there, but it's the getting there (and back) that was almost torturous. And on top of the already amazingly wonderful drive, both interstates I took were riddled with signs reading "Road Work, Next 11 Miles," "One Lane Road Ahead," "Left Shoulder Closed," "Lane Shift Ahead," "Punching Yourself in the Face Would Be Better Than This." Okay, okay. That last one I made up. But truthfully, at some moments I started to think that maybe the state of Indiana could have saved A BUNCH of tax-payer money by putting this sign as I got on the interstate at the beginning of my trip:

Or maybe even this one:

At least I would have laughed.

I made it through the first half of the trip back to Indy without being too annoyed. Until I got about 30 minutes from home and ran into what you might call "a monsoon." I think I've heard it called "Raining Cats and Dogs." Shortly after it started raining, I began to notice the rain was not going anywhere on the sides of the interstate. It just kind of was sitting there. Traffic slowed to a crawl...then finally came to a dead stop. And we sat, in the pouring rain, for 45 minutes. Not moving an inch. I turned off my car after a while, and after it was raining the hardest, I found my camera. I really wish I had taken a picture 5 minutes before. It was unreal.

Now, there's something about sitting in a car that's going nowhere for 45 minutes that gets you thinking about some pretty weird things:
-I wonder if there's an accident. If so, Lord be with the people in it and the medical people.
-Wow, it'd be terrible to have to save someones life in this weather.
-I wonder if the ambulance and police people have amazing rain gear.
-I wonder how many people sitting in this traffic have to go to the bathroom.
-I wonder how many people sitting in this traffic are pregnant.
-I wonder how many people sitting in this traffic are pregnant AND have to go to the bathroom.
-Noah must have been TOTALLY freaked out when it started raining for the first time.
-Can lightning strike me if I'm in a car?
-No, the tires ground the electricity. Or something like that. I wish I had paid more attention in physics. Or whatever that class was.
-Wouldn't it be nice to know how long this rain would last?
-I'll roll down my window and ask the guy next to me if he has an iPhone and knows the answer.
-Hello! Bad idea. I forgot. It's raining. Don't roll the window down.
-I wish I could see an aerial view of this traffic to see how long the line is.
-If I had fun videos on my iPod, I'd watch them.
-I kind of wish I had this video on my iPod. It would make me laugh.
-What if someone runs out of gas here? Would they walk to get it or wait for the rain to stop?
-What if we have to sleep here?
-I'm really tired. Is it possible for your eyes to fall out of your head from being so tired?
-That would be a weird phone call, "Hey mom. My eyes fell out of my head. What?? No...because I was so tired."
And we were off. But little did I know, the fun had just begun. I got off on my normal exit, 4 minutes from my driveway and the comforts of my pajamas. And because of rushing water over every road I tried to use, I did not get home until 45 minutes later. At one point, I took my seat belt off in preparation for all the water emergency training I received from watching the Oprah show. These pictures really don't do it justice. At all.

On a serious note, I was so thankful for Jesus' protection as I was driving. I found out the reason for the delay on the interstate was because a car heading southbound hydroplaned and was sent across the grass median and into the northbound lanes. And that happened literally 5 minutes before my arriving on the scene. Thank you Lord for construction and slow trucks early in the trip that kept me safe!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In lieu of Monday's post

There is a slight delay in this week's Missionary Spotlight. My friend who was going to be the subject of this week's post needed a bit more time on the questions. (Perhaps my questions are getting harder and more intense? Sorry, Esther!) You'll hear from her next week. She has an amazing story and is using every part of it to bring God GREAT glory. I know you will be blessed.

So, in lieu of Monday's normal post, how about something different?

I had the opportunity on Monday night to be the missionary speaker at Chandler Interdenominational Holiness Camp (near Evansville, Indiana). I am humbled each time I am given the opportunity to share God's heart for Uganda. Sometimes, the task seems way too big, but inevitably, God reminds me just how big he is.

When I arrived at the camp, I saw these posters all over the place. Recognize that girl in the bottom right corner? Whoa. About that.

Last night, a beautiful snapshot of the body of Christ gathered under the open-air pavilion.

They fought the humidity and the mosquitoes, and were quite attentive as I shared the vision I feel God has given me to carry the baton of faith to the next generation of Ugandans. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of them and was so blessed by their feedback, questions, and generosity.

Thank you, Chandler Interdenominational Holiness Camp! Praying you continue to carry your baton well.

And tomorrow, I'll fill you in on some of the stream of conscience (or is it conscious) thoughts I had while driving home. No need to be scared. Unless you know me well, then you may already be scared. But do come back. It could be interesting.