Vintage Class

Friday, September 20, 2013

ALL in...100%...Committed

Was just thinking of a quote tonight ..."Wherever you are, be all there". Jim Elliot quoted that and I've repeated it numerous times throughout my life since I first read it, but I was thinking tonight-how many times do I actually apply it? Being ALL in, 100%, Committed to the Lord right where He's put me. I've rebuked the children of Israel over and over in my mind for complaining about bitter water right after God parted the Red Sea, but often I do the same-complaining about God not working the way I want after He's blessed me with so much already. It's a short and hopefully sweet thought, but how my attitude would turn if I looked at the currently "bitter" water from the reflection of the Red Sea. It seems to me it's just another way for God's glory to be seen, so I think the issue is how willing am I to wait and let God work...I can say it, oh how I can say it, but Lord, help me to LIVE it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Walking by Faith

I haven't written on here in a little while to my shame, but I need to update :)

So, I turned 24 in November and I've really been praying that this year of my life would be a year that I wouldn't just make more temporal goals, but be a year marked by a SPIRITUAL difference. I had a wonderful Christmas break in which the Lord really spoke to me about a lot of things, but put in my heart above anything the resolve to see His hand in my life! So, I came into this new year with the goal of ACTIVELY LOOKING for the hand of God. It seems I look so intently towards everything He hasn't given, and it's time I started focusing on what He HAS given me.

I've seen His hand actively in a lot of ways, and will record them throughout, but tonight specifically in my heart the Lord has been impressing me to write about His teaching me to yield. I'm at a place in my walk with Him where He no longer removes things that He does not want for me, but instead leaves the choice with me. He says to me, "This thing that is in front of you is good, but it is not BEST." It's like Uriah...when David brought him home from the battle and allowed him to go home to his wife, instead he stayed at the palace gate. It wasn't wrong for him to go home, in fact it would have been good-but instead he chose what was excellent, which lead to David's sin being found out! Now there is a incredible man of God! I stand in the same place, and I want my life to be marked by excellence, not just "getting by".

Well, as He's been teaching me this yielding and trusting, He's coupled with it the necessity of not only hearing His voice, but heeding to it. I was praying over Christmas break about business card needs for the Academy, especially a print sponsor who could print them for free for us! I prayed about it but the Lord really convicted me over Christmas that my prayer was lacking footsteps; I was praying but had already shut down the possibility in my mind, so I hadn't even gone out. Well when I got back, the Lord kept pressing it on my heart, so I made a list of 7 print places and got in the car with my GPS and headed out. I started typing in the name of a very large and reputable local print place, but my eyes saw the "Faith Printing Co" at the top of the page and I believe the Lord said, "Go there first". After a couple minutes of trying to reason my way out, I agreed and typed in the address but couldn't find it. The building was non existent lol, so I drove on and started talking to the Lord saying "Why would you send me to this print place if it's not even there". I kid you not, the Lord said back to me, "Look at the paper", so I looked at the address and I had typed in the wrong street haha. I laughed and apologized and went on my way lol.

When I got to the print place I went in and asked to speak to the manager/owner about business cards and long story short, he was unable to meet so she told me to leave my advertising information, and once again the Lord said, "Ask for a meeting time". I asked if I could schedule a meeting, and she had me start filling out my name and number and available times, when I heard this voice from the back room say, "I'm not busy", and a very nice older gentlemen popped his head out from around the corner and said "Come on back!".

He met with me for about 30 minutes and took all my information down, and told me when I got back to send him my files and they'd see what they could do for me! I talked to the Lord all the way home lol, thanking Him first of all then praying every minute that His hand would be seen and He'd help me to trust Him. I had 6 other print places listed to visit but He told me to go back to the building, so I did. I emailed all the designs that afternoon, and with every attachment hearing that awesome line from "Facing the Giants"..."You prayed for rain, now prepare your fields to receive it."

Well, several emails and phone calls later, I was confirmed yesturday that they will be printing all of our staff/manager business cards for free in exchange for advertising and they will be ready by the end of the week!

I wavered back and forth on typing this because I thought "No one cares about my design praises" lol, but it was a time that my eyes have seen the Lord's hand, and I never want to forget THOSE moments- the "Faith Printing" moments in my life that teach me to do just that-WALK BY FAITH! By God's grace I will.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Calvary Love

I googled some quotes by Amy Carmichael tonight, because alot of what I've been praying about puts me in a lot of ways very close to the person Amy was, as a single woman and as a missionary. I started reading through the quotes, and about 3/4ths of them were quotes on "Calvary Love". I will explain...the Lord was teaching me a hard lesson last week and I had begun to develop some anger and bitterness toward someone involved in that lesson. As I walked down the hallway, I was thinking over the situation and the Lord brought immediately into my mind a sermon Mr. Johnny Pope had preached on mercy from the Cross some years ago at PCC. He was speaking specifically of forgiveness and said "Christ was on the Cross saying 'Father, forgive them when NO ONE was saying I'm sorry. If you cannot forgive like that, then you know nothing of Calvary Love." I stopped dead in my tracks and realized God was trying not only to teach me this Calvary Love, but cultivate deep in me. I asked for forgiveness and made restoration and tonight as I was googling these quotes, many more than I expected came up, and I felt the need to share....

"If I cannot in honest happiness take the second place (or the twentieth); if I cannot take the first without making a fuss about my unworthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I am perturbed by the reproach and misunderstanding that may follow action taken for the good of souls for whom I must give account; if I cannot commit the matter and go on in peace and in silence, remembering Gethsemane and the cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love...

If when an answer I did not expect comes to a prayer which I believed I truly meant, I shrink back from it; if the burden my Lord asks me to bear be not the burden of my heart's choice, and I fret inwardly and do not welcome His will, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I do not give a friend "The benefit of the doubt," but put the worst construction instead of the best on what is said or done, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying "Peace, peace," where is no peace; if I forget the poignant word "Let love be without dissimulation" and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If when I am able to discover something which has baffled others, I forget Him who revealeth the deep and secret things, and knoweth what is in the darkness and showeth it to us; if I forget that it was He who granted that ray of light to His most unworthy servant, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I take offence easily; if I am content to continue in cold unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If the ultimate, the hardest, cannot be asked of me; if my fellows hesitate to ask it and turn to someone else, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If my attitude be one of fear, not faith, about one who has disappointed me; if I say, "Just what I expected," if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points; if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting "Who made thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou hast not received?" then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I fear to hold another to the highest goal because it is so much easier to avoid doing so, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I can easily discuss the shortcomings and the sins of any; if I can speak in a casual way even of a child's misdoings, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I cast up a confessed, repented, and forsaken sin against another, and allow my remembrance of that sin to colour my thinking and feed my suspicions, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I find myself half-carelessly taking lapses for granted, "Oh, that's what they always do." "Oh, of course she talks like that, he acts like that," then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I do not look with eyes of hope on all in whom there is even a faint beginning, as our Lord did when, just after His disciples had wrangled about which of them should be accounted the greatest, He softened His rebuke with those heart-melting words, "Ye are they which continue with Me in my temptations," then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I am afraid to speak the truth lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, "You do not understand", or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other's highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another; if I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I am inconsiderate about the comfort of others, or their feelings, or even of their little weaknesses; if I am careless about their little hurts and miss opportunities to smooth their way; if I make the sweet running of household wheels more difficult to accomplish, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If the praise of man elates me and his blame depresses me; if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself; if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I have not the patience of my Saviour with the souls who grow slowly; if I know little of travail (a sharp and painful thing) till Christ be fully formed in them, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If in fellowship of service I seek to attach a friend to myself, so that others are caused to feel unwanted; if my friendships do not draw others deeper in, but are ungenerous (i.e., to myself, for myself), then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If my interest in the work of others is cool; if I think in terms of my own special work; if the burdens of others are not my burdens too, and their joys mine, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I slip into the place that can be filled by Christ alone, making myself the first necessity to a soul instead of leading it to fasten upon Him, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I feel bitterly toward those who condemn me, as it seems to me, unjustly, forgetting that if they knew me as I know myself they would condemn me much more, then I know nothing of Calvary love....

If I can write an unkind letter, speak an unkind word, think an unkind thought without grief and shame, then I know nothing of Calvary love." -Amy Carmichael

... I have alot to learn about Calvary Love.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

When the cock crows

I went to my Bible tonight to Luke 22 to read over what I thought was the story of the Jesus washing the disciples feet, but found the Lord had a different story for me...

In Luke 22 starting around verse 24, Jesus and the disciples have the Last Supper and Christ tells the disciples one of them will betray Him and that one is at the table; so, the disciples start striving about who will be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (I will jokingly say this is typical of the disciples, they turn inward). Christ speaks to them about who will be the first and the last and then addresses Peter in vs. 31 & 32, "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (here this means when you have returned to me), strengthen thy brethren." Then in vs. 33, Peter, instead of heeding, makes a determination-which he may have thought he could keep-but we come to vs. 40 where they enter the Garden's entrance with Christ and He gives them an opportunity to prepare for this temptation: "...Pray that ye enter not into temptation."

We follow Christ into the Garden and we see that He DOES this-placing Himself in perfect subjection to the Father's will. What does the mighty Peter do?-Vs. 45: "And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow." So in vs. 46 Jesus commands once more, but it is too late. Peter now enters into the arrest and the leading away with no spiritual readiness, but completely relying on himself.

He follows Christ "afar off" after the arrest and now enters into the hall of temptation; Vs. 57-once he denies; Vs. 58-twice he denies; Vs. 60-the third denial. The end of vs. 60-62 reads, "...And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly."

Wow-there are few words for this. As I read this I saw a parallel of myself; Peter relied on the rock of himself saying I-ME-I will not deny thee; he gave no place to the very Lord he promised to defend. God gave him several chances to prepare-to steady his mind for the events and days to come and when they came, he was not ready. I don't just need to be weeping bitterly over failure-I need to be asking the Lord for strength BEFORE the trial even begins. Every time I let myself meditate on Enemy thoughts, I am denying I know Him, and proving I'd rather associate with the Enemy. This all comes from the little I know about Him.

Christ did just the opposite; when He knelt to pray in the Garden, He was honest before the Lord; He subjected His will to His Father's and vs. 43 says, "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, STRENGTHENING him." He was prepared to die before it came time to! He had gathered the strength to-and NOT from Himself!

The beautiful thing is Christ did not throw Peter away; Peter became a very powerful messenger of the Gospel after this and maybe it took Peter realizing who he was and who God IS for this repentance. Chapter 24, vs. 12 brings us to Mary Magdalene and the others telling the disciples of SEEING Christ and the empty tomb, and who was first to run? Vs. 12, "Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre..." That empty tomb made a change on Peter-once a denying, sleeping disciple-now a preaching martyr. It was the realization that God was who He said He was! The knowledge of God changed Peter's life-he was now TRULY devoted.

In my study Bible is a "character profile" of Peter, and it is beautiful- "Impulsive Peter certainly didn't at like a rock much of the time, but when Jesus chose His followers, He wasn't looking for models-He was looking for men. He chose people who could be changed by His love, and then He sent them out to communicate that His acceptance was available to anyone-even to those who often fail." Peter's key verse, Matthew 16:18 says, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

God did a beautiful work in Peter, but maybe Peter had to realize what he was before God could use him as that rock-he had to first realize the Rock he had to stand upon. I read this story in tears thinking of my own denial of Christ; placing myself in Christ's view then in Peter's-sharing the moment they looked upon one another in realization of his sin, his hurt of his Master and Friend, and then the overwhelming thought was the very action of denial was the sin Christ was on His way to die for! We were made to live DEPENDENTLY on Him, not on our own reasoning or calming or security. The more we gain the knowledge of God, the more we see Him as He is meant to be seen, and the more we are overwhelmed to silence in view of the GREATNESS of who He is!

God has been trying to teach me this for a very long time and I have been drowning Him out with theories, with excuses, with reasonings, with rituals-ALL NOISE, and then adding to it daily my own voice shouting above all else "Be Quiet! Be Quiet! Be Quiet!" And God now shows me it's not me shouting to quiet, it's me stopping talking altogether so that I can hear His voice! We let this noise in and our hearts and souls come to the strain of not hearing God even if we WANTED to.

I was shopping for the summer yesturday and came on this cute little black dress that was light and nice looking and when I saw the tag, immediately I heard His voice saying "You don't need to buy that; you have plenty of clothes and you need to be a good steward of the money I give you." I picked it up and bought it anyway, justifying back and forth in my head as I picked out other things I truly needed that it was ok for me to buy the dress. I got to the cashier and she rung everything up and as she finished the purchase and I pulled out a track and (here's great Christ-like character for you) as I was asking her to read it, I heard once more, "Don't buy the dress" and in my head and in my heart I said to the Lord, "Be Quiet-I want it." She must have mistaken me for a zombie because I stared straight ahead all the way to the car thinking "I can't believe I just said that." So I got in the car, drove about 5 miles down the road, asking the Lord all the way if He didn't want me to get the dress (seriously?!), so I pulled over and finally reasoned in my guilty conscience, "If in doubt, don't". I turned around and drove back to the store, now asking the Lord "Are you SURE You don't want me to have it" and listing out every reason I could think of to turn back around and go home. I got to the store, returned the dress, gave another track to the second cashier, and walked back out to the car the whole time thinking, "Ok, Lord, I don't know why You had me do that but I am sorry I disobeyed and I will listen from now on." As I was talking to the Lord that night, He started revealing more and more to be about Himself and I realized as I was sitting there just basking in the knowledge of God that that incident wasn't about the dress at all-it was about me hearing the voice of God, and OBEYING.

I had become muddied, just as Peter did, ultimately with the cares of myself-with things that revolve around me and don't at all include the Lord in the picture and guess what, God didn't intend for life to run successfully WITHOUT Him in the picture! Until we abide in the knowledge of God, there is no hope, but WHEN we abide in the knowledge of God, there is an AMAZING amount of hope! I am seeing this proven true in my own life right now and I write as one who is weeping bitterly because of the constant denial of Christ in my life. Satan may desire to sift me, but Christ desires something greater, and it is when the cock crows that the Lord reveals to me who I really am, and what needs to change.

Christ seeks to quiet the noisy soul and make that change, but we have to allow Him to pluck up the cares of the world, and take root Himself.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"To Chester"

Wow...I have not written in literally a month, I'm sorry for my sake and for the sake of Christ- He has done such wonderful things and now I must repeat them...

Well, starting as preface, I was not supposed to go out on seminar at all until April, but even as I say that I smile thinking the Lord always moves before we can ever see. I had been praying that if the Lord willed it, I would be able to go to Ft. Wayne and Kokomo, the two seminars I traveled to last year. I wasn't assigned to those teams but I knew if the Lord wanted me there He would arrange it, as He always does. It was the week of and as far as I knew I was staying at the building and was more than ok with that! We were leaving a night meeting and Nicole passed me on the way out and mentioned me possibly going to both of those homeschool groups to help with directing, since I had already been in the play we were taking out. I talked with Noah the next day and the next thing I know I am packing to go out on seminar for two weeks!

As some people know, I have really been battling against the devil with panic attacks this year and Sunday, the day we were to leave on seminar was the ultimate culmination of these attacks. Right before we walked out the door, fear started welling up in me-irrational fears at that of "once I leave, I can't get back" ... whatever the fear, ultimately FEAR was at the core. So, the 12 hour ride for me was filled with panic attacks big and small on and off, stomach pain, and the inability to eat. (Talk about what fear truly is-you take a person who once desired to jump from airplanes and ride the world's most intense coasters to one who is now afraid to even get in the van...that, my friends, is NOT of God). We carpooled both teams until we were about an hour from the Cinci area where we were to split to our separate destinations. Rach on the way up had had some pretty intense stomach pain as well but rested most of the trip so I didn't think much of it. We all stopped at Fazoli's for dinner; I still couldn't eat and I knew what I needed to do- talk with the Lord, so I just started walking around the building. I must've walked that building for almost 45 minutes, and He kept bringing to my mind the story of Christ being temped by Satan in the wilderness, and the fact that His main defense was Scripture. I knew what I needed to do-I have all along, and that was to GET IN THE WORD. I had read them, but they were easily forgotten in the hour of trial because I had not taken the time to ENGRAVE them into my heart, or trusted in them enough to do so. I had planned to get in the van for the 2 hours we had left to drive that night and just fill my mind and heart with them and as I walked the building I noticed Rach, Joe, David, and Rach's family, who'd come to meet us for dinner, were all gathered around the van.

I took one more turn around the building and as I was almost done I was asking the Lord to help me in whatever way was necessary to help me get over these panic attacks- they had gotten to the point where I couldn't even function one hour without panic...I just didn't feel like I could be myself anymore. That sounds kind of dramatic but to go through every day with that thought of panic in the back of your mind kills everything, fun and tasking, that you have in life! It's miserable really...but I bore it, whether out of pride or laziness...I bore it. As soon as I prayed it, it seemed as if the Lord stopped me dead in my tracks and said "You are going to main direct Boggs 2 these next two weeks." Immediately, if I'm remembering correctly, even vocally, I said "No. I CANNOT do that, Lord." I finished around the building and headed to the van asking the Lord to prepare me for whatever lay ahead and as soon as I rounded the corner of the van, Rachel looked at me and said "How do you feel about main directing for the first few days?" I don't remember even thinking before I spoke, but I know what I heard from my own mouth was "You got it."

I know they spoke words to me after that, but I don't remember anything except the "Are you INSANE" going through my head and the matching pounding from my heart. They talked for a few more minutes and I backed down and sat on the curb and just reviewed over and over what had just come out of my mouth. I had agreed to main direct a 2.5 hour elementary and high school production. Let me see if I can put this into perspective for those not involved in our ministry...Nicole Stratton wrote and directed Boggs 2, a story about 12 kids(the sequel to Boggs 1) who go back in time to the days of David and Goliath. Main directing is hours of intense focus, energy, WORK that it takes YEARS to train for to do properly. Nicole has been directing for over 15 years now...I have observed Nicole Stratton directing for 5 summers and 3 semesters at the Logos Theatre. I have directed small scenes here and there as an assistant director, I have done reports on acting/directing, and I got to play Laura Sharp, one of the modern day main characters in the production of Boggs 2 we did here at the Theatre...that is IT...and I realized as I thought through my situation sitting on that curb that the "IT" I just referred to was all set up previously by God to prepare me for this very moment.He set me up-He moved me onto this team, He had rachel get sick, He had all those instances set and develop prior to me ever getting to this point and I knew at this point that He had not just sent me to help, but to teach me something I desperately needed to learn.

Both teams gathered around the van and we all prayed together for wisdom and for healing. I rode the next 45 minutes getting as much information as I could from Rachel and Kara, our two main directors on the road at that time and as I can't explain it but I truly had the peace of God come over me. I felt not the spirit of fear, but rather of great power for the work, love for the work, and a sound mind to get through the work.

Our teams split after we said goodbye to Rachel and our team headed to Kokomo, IN. I did some Bible study on the way there, fell asleep for the rest of the way, and when I woke up we were heading with our host families to our houses for the night. I slept very well, but in the morning started fighting that panic again. We had our morning meeting with seminar staff and David gave us a great challenge that I don't think I heard a word of. I was fighting and I was fighting hard-I felt like any move I make would result in either me hitting the ground face first or running to the nearest trashcan. We headed out to the auditoritum and got the day kickstarted. I was nervous on and off throughout the day but the more my mind became engaged in the directing the more I forgot to panic. I tried to stay exhaustingly busy all day so I wouldn't revert back to panic mode.

We headed to our host homes that night and it was there that the panic caught up to me and the devil launched attack at full force. I felt like the room was closing in on me, that I couldn't escape and I honestly felt if I could choose to live or die at that moment in time, death would be more welcome. It sounds very dramatic again, but another proof that fear is NOT of God. I was texting Rachel and the Lord used her to remind me of what Christ had been telling me all along, that I needed to fill my head and my heart with Scripture.

I opened my Bible at Genesis and wrote down every verse in a flip book that referenced fear. I wrote until I reached 2 Chronicles and it was near that book that the Lord brought me to the story of Elisha and his servant finding the enemy camped around them. The servant came back in fear and asked Elisha "How shall we do?" and Elisha prayed that the Lord would open his eyes. When He did, the servant saw the host of Heaven, chariots of fire, surrounding them and it was at that moment the Lord showed me that I was in the same battle, the battle of good and evil, and the same host of Heaven encompassed around Elisha's servant was the same that was with me at that very moment. It was as if the Lord of the Host opened MY eyes and I was immediately strengthened.

I took that flip book throughout the next two weeks of seminars. In short, I did not stop directing after the first few days, but went almost the entire two weeks as the main director of Boggs 2. Rachel was gone the entire first week of Kokomo and had to go home again on Tuesday of our second week in Ft. Wayne. That flip book brought verses so closely to my heart that even just a glance at the verse strengthened my heart in a way I could never justifyingly describe. Everyday I have to re-fight that battle, but I've noticed that every day the panic grows even more dim in light of God's Word, the Word that has become more than just words, but Truth engraved on my heart.

I look back on those two weeks writing now and think wow....and then I shed beautifully wonderful tears over the thought of Who God is and how loving He must be to bring me to the place of COMPLETE surrender to His Power, Love, and Sound Mind- to letting Him drive me instead of fear. In both Kokomo and Fort Wayne, I started them off in the week with two phrases, the first being "Wherever you are, be all there" by Jim Elliot. It is the phrase that started the title and idea behind this blog and I wanted them to grasp the fact that they had the ability to KNOW God, as more than just fact, but in a deeper way than anything else they knew in their lives. The second was "All Him" We repeated this phrase before each performance and though I see and hear testimonies of the kids determining to live by this Truth, I look back on these two weeks and know that the Lord did the most miraculous change in my own heart... a heart that now says fully from experience that "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of Power, and of Love, and of a Sound Mind."

It is kind of humorous irony, but when the kids get sent back in time, Chester, Professor Boggs personal assistant, finds a note from him tucked in his hat that says, "To Chester: God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of Power, and of Love, and of a Sound Mind." These past two weeks were a "To Chester" from the Lord to me...and that is a lesson I never want to forget.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Love WORTH breaking over

Well, I should start with a preface this time....

Our church has really been emphasizing knowing God, and more importantly the Lord specifically to me has at what seems every turn been showing THAT is the one thing that is needful, to know Him, and be satisfied with nothing else. Wednesday night, I got alone to pray and found I could ask the Lord for nothing else but for a broken heart. Last night that is exactly what He gave me...

I was headed home from our Celtic Sounds Cast Party last night and now that I look back I am very thankful there was no one else in the car with me, because it gave me some much needed talk time with the Lord. I had something on my mind the last part of the evening and on the way home I ended up just crying before the Lord over the fact that it takes circumstances to show me He is not desired first in my heart. I drove for quite a while and as I was talking to Him, the street lights caught on my ring.

I wear a ring on my right hand that I received from my Gema this past year. We found out she had Pancreatic Cancer last April and she passed away just this year on August 9. When we found out she had the cancer, I called her and we had ourselves a 20 minute phone conversation (unheard of for the two of us) filled with hilarious laughter and joking and a good mix of tears. She told me before she hung up the phone that if she could leave me with anything it was that she wished she had been closer to the Lord, and told me to follow the Lord as closely as I could, and not to let anything stand in the way of that. When she passed away, I sang and spake at her funeral and told them exactly what I just told you, and then said I was going to take her up on that advice. When we got back to the house, my Papa asked my aunt's, cousin, and I to go through her jewelry and take anything we wanted to keep for ourselves. We had fun telling stories that went with each piece of jewelry but when they got to the ring my Aunt called me out and said I should take it. They all agreed so I took it and that night as I laid in bed I thought of what she had left me with.

I had been in a time in my life where knowing the Lord was secondary to everything else, and through the whole process of her cancer, the Lord taught me not only the brevity of my life, but the brevity of the chance to know Him in my lifetime. I decided to wear the ring on my ring finger and on my right hand to signify that He is my greatest love and that He has control of my life and as a commitment between the Lord and myself that I was going to keep Him as the priority of my heart. I'm trying to be more transparent and not appear perfect so I will say that I have not been faithful as He has, which brings me to the point of my driving home last night.

He brought me to the place of seeing where I REALLY am. I hold others in the position He should  have and I told Him that I want Him to be "all I have in Heaven and there be NOTHING on earth I desire besides Him." I want to know IN MY OWN HEART (not from anyone else's perspective of me) that I SINCERELY desire none above Him. I am tired of living from high's to low's-I want a CONSISTENT walk with Him and it's going to take a major change in my life to have that. I want a deep longing for Him and Him alone.

He got my attention last night and the beautiful thing about the Lord is that He breaks the heart and puts it back together in such a way that I am the better for it. I do not want my life before the Creator to be marked by constantly giving away His Throne seat. He MUST be first and I want to rise and set by Him everyday.

This ring on my finger I believe was specifically placed by God to be a reminder to me that He is to be first. It is the same as if the man I love one day were to place a ring of commitment on my finger-I would never think of giving away his spot in my heart, so why should it be any different with the One who gave me life? If God ever does have me marry, I want to stand before my husband and present this ring as a token that God has and always will have first precedent in my life, and as a future commitment that He will have first place in our marriage as well. I want to stand before the Lord ultimately, He and I BOTH knowing that He was my greatest Love-my only Love.

I pray He continues to break me! It hurt ALOT last night, but that is the best pain I've felt in a while because it brought me to see that I was being mended in HIS Hands.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Game

I have to record the epic happenings at the Logos Theatre would just be a shame not to :)

02-16-2012.... THE GAME

A few weeks ago, the staff and student women put our heads together in suggestion for doing something for the boys for Valentines Day..they do the usual "all-out, treat us like Queens" and we thought it would be neat to do the same for them. So we started thinking of something we could do for them that would make their jaws drop ;) We came up with "The Game".

During on of Mr. Hines Leadership class sessions, he told us of a human video game he created once upon a time for a youth retreat activity and he said the kids LOVED it, so Janie became the head mastermind and got started on the epic adventure that panned out tonight!

We kicked all the guys out of the building around 2 and had until 5pm to set up the entire building into a live video game. The guys got back at 5 and we ushered them into "Game Central" aka the Garlock Room, where I was assigned as the Game Guide to brief them for each round. I was dressed like a sparkling fairy guide lol and when I got up on the stool to make the opening remarks I don't think they knew what to do lol...I ending up looking like an ethereal hologram lol, so it worked. We told them they had entered the Game and were all digital forms now, having to play successfully through to exit the Game. After the first briefing, they were split up into teams of 4 and 5 and each team sent with a guide, (Kara, Hannah, and MG) who took them from room to room completing various challenges that would earn them "man points". They had to complete challenges like building a fire under a time limit being given only one match, relay races, a food eating contest, and then they ended with a timed event of four minutes per team,where each team had to act out a scenario to the music being played, with my trusty sidekick, Agent Paco, switching the music ever 30 seconds! It was HYSTERICAL and all "agents" were definitely trying to keep a straight face!
During the final stages of this game to end level 1, the lights shut off immediately and agents Robertson and Little came in and told everybody to hit the floor with their hands behind their heads. I wish I had a video of the guys, they all got really quiet and kept their hands behind their heads while agents scanned them for zombie infestation. We then briefed them on a possible zombie infiltration and told them they needed to prepare(all being VERY serious the entire time). They were all blindfolded and taken up to a security checkpoint we had created for them to walk through, after which they passed they received a "man card" stating they had completed level one and were now man enough to fight the zombies. Before they made it back, they had to drink a special "tonic" from Christie to test for infestation and if they gagged it meant they were infected (it was apple cider vinegar lol).

After they had equipped, we brought them back to the briefing room, which, along with the rest of the halls, had been completely trashed to insinuate an invasion had occured. We briefed them on the fact that zombies had indeed penetrated the game, and all game pieces were now
Level 3 of The Game-Zombie Breach
zombies, including their guides. (this brought an audible gasp..I mean they were REALLY getting into it!) We gave them the rules, that Zombies could not be killed or their digital forms would be void of exiting the game; instead they had to capture the zombies by blindfolding them and bringing them back to command central where all of them would be revived back into human form. (All during this time, our "agents" zombi-fied themselves) It was like an epic battle of laser tag mixed with capturethe flag, and they were hard core about it! There were only a few times I broke character during the game, and one was when I heard ben-jack say to one of our zombies, "It's ok zombie, we are here to help you"..hard core... so after level three, they all returned to the briefing room where we revived all agents, and noticed that 2 had been captured by a game hacker, who had taken them up to the E-bar.
It was now up to the husbands of the damsels in distress to save them, but the catch all was they couldn't do anything but give the orders for rescue, while their teams, all partnered and arms tied together, had to build the scaffolding to get them down. It was definitely a feat, and they did it! Eruption of applause and cheers broke out as the damsels and their husbands climbed down and were safely brought back to the front of the stage.

We ended the night with a briefing and congratulations to our guys for completing the game, and it was definitely a night that will not be forgotten! Thanks guys for the fun night and all the encouraging days you've brought before and we know you'll bring after :) What an awesome group God has blessed us with! May that continue!

Hologram Game Guide ;)
Levi up against agent Ohler for fire-building man competition
They got the fire started ;)
Agent Fike briefing on man points for her team

Guys getting tested for Zombie Infestation ;)
Agent Paco, my sidekick!