Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

Random Randomness

April 26, 2011

1. I’ve been such a slacker as it relates to this blog. I don’t know if I’m just over it or if I just don’t have much to say. Either way, I’m feeling blah about the blog. Maybe I’ll snap out of it.

2. I booked TWO cruises for this summer yesterday. Yahoooo! I’m taking a Carnival cruise to Key West and Cozumel in July for Matt’s 30th birthday. And, I’m going to Nassau and Coco Cay on Royal Caribbean in September with three of the Chanda girls. Can’t wait! I’m ready to start packing NOW.

3. On Sunday, I was presented with the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Russia in October. I asked a few trusted people what they thought and almost all said, “why not?!” It really is a great opportunity, and one that I believe God calls us to do. It’s the kind of thing I think we should step out in faith and do when given the opportunity. At this point, I’m just waiting for the “ok” for the time off from work before committing to the trip.

4. Good thing I realized my passport was expired. I sent it off last week to be renewed–complete with a photo that makes me look 12. What’s new?

5. Last week I learned that “true southerners” (which I don’t claim to be), eat their chicken and dumplings with mashed potatoes. What?! We’ve always eaten ours with rice. I made chicken and dumplings for Easter…and I must say they were JUST AS GOOD as my Mom’s! Yum, yum, yum!

6. Kati and I debuted our newest onesie design (Florida Love) at last weekend’s Homespun Chic Marketplace in Winter Park. It’s an idea we’d had for quite some time, but we were finally able to make it a reality. And, we are, for lack of a better word, in love with it. It’s so stinkin’ cute and shows our love of all things Florida.

7. Speaking of Florida, our family has a least four generations of Floridians–my mom’s mom, my mom, Kati & me, Paul & Cadence. I kind of wonder if there’s more than that. I went on Ancestry.com the other night, but got a little bored kind of quickly. I think it might be a project Mom, Dad and I should work on one night at the beach house. 🙂

8. If I want to keep this blog going, there are some things I should write about–Palm Beach Marathon Relay (from DECEMBER!!?!!!?!), Corporate 5K, my new money savings plan, my new cake ball trick. Just to name a few.

9. I NEED to finish reading Breaking Dawn. I mean, seriously. I need to. I need to get it off my nightstand and back to its rightful owner. Seriously. It’s time. I either need to finish it or give up. But I’m so close.

10. Why do magazines put in photos of super cute clothes and then not tell you where you can get them? I’m doing the Expedition Everest Challenge next week and my teammate found a really cute top in Fitness magazine. Too bad there’s no mention of the brand/where to get it. And too bad we’ve Googled soooo many variations of “yellow mesh workout tank top” and still haven’t been able to find it. Too bad I tweeted Fitness Magazine TWICE asking where it’s from and they haven’t responded. It’s kind of frustrating. It’s in our heads now and we WANT that tank top!

Dinner Party

August 22, 2009

**Disclaimer: Let it be known up front, I am not telling the following story in order to boast about myself, Kasey or Matt. I realized that it may be encouraging to someone else, and wanted to share.**

“And I realized that, for this night at least, I didn’t much care if anyone was the marrying kind or not–not even me. Who could tell? We none of us knew for sure what kind we were, exactly, but as long as we were the kind that could sit around eating together and having a lovely time, that was enough. Which just goes to show, I guess, that dinner parties are like everything else–not as fragile as we think they are.” –from Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

Before I tell my story, please know that I use the above quote, not because any of us are trying to decide if we are “the marrying kind,” but because I feel like it describes the satisfaction of enjoying a meal with a group of people and “having a lovely time.”

On Wednesday morning, Kasey and I decided it would be fun to have a Thursday night dinner party. Mind you, we still don’t know many people in the area. At any rate, the Ainsleys and I decided to put ourselves out there and invite a random group of people for dinner. It started with inviting three people and we ended up with ten coming for dinner! We were excited, and nervous.

I made chicken enchiladas and “crack” brownies. Kasey cleaned and cleaned the house and then made homemade salsa. We were all ready to go. As people began arriving, we welcomed them and began making introductions. Funny enough, we thought nametags might have been helpful. There were connections between everyone at the party that would later be discovered, but prior to Thursday night no one really knew each other.

Everyone seemed to have a great time, and it was so apparent that all of us are looking for community, for people to live life with. Several people even mentioned that they wanted to do dinner again, and possibly on a more regular basis.

So…here’s why I tell this story…hopefully it will serve as an encouragement to someone out there. Naturally, I am very much an introvert, but I’ve worked hard over the years to extend myself to others when appropriate. Living and working in the same place for so long meant that I had a very established group of friends. I never had to venture outside of that, but would often work to help connect new people to others they might be able to relate to. After moving, I waited and waited for someone to “connect” me in my new community. I even prayed that God would put someone in my life that would be that person for me. Eventually, I felt that He made it clear that I needed to step out and work on building community amongst the small handful of people I was meeting. And, that’s what I’ve been doing. And, I’m glad I have. Even though I have worried what other people would think, the benefits of beginning to connect with others in community is worth it. In fact, a couple of people have even thanked me for kick-starting things.

So, again, please don’t take this the wrong way. I have no doubt that God is working and that He prompted Kasey, Matt and me. I am not even beginning to try to take credit or say “look at us.” Really, I’m hoping this will serve as encouragement to someone.

Looking for new friends? Hoping to build community and find others to live life with? Take a risk. Invite someone to coffee. Or lunch. Invite a group over for dinner. Or go out to dinner.

It was risky for us, but we did it. And, we are glad we did.

I’m sure this isn’t the end of the story, but we’ll say it began on August 20, 2009.

To be continued…

Thoughts From Church

March 29, 2009

For the last few of weeks, Isaac (the pastor at Summit Church) has been going through Moses’ story in Exodus. This week he tackled the plagues and he said a few things that I took note of and thought I’d share. See if any of these strike a chord with you…

“What God calls us to always requires His presence and power. If not, it’s too small of a dream.”

“God is the first place Moses goes to with his frustration, even at his moments of highest capacity.” (Isaac noted that this was part of what made Moses such an incredible leader.)

“We refuse to accept the call of God on our lives until ‘tomorrow,’ even if we hate where we are right now.” (This was related to Pharoah’s response in Exodus 8:10. When Moses told Pharoah that he could decide when the plague would end, Pharoah said, “Tomorrow.” Isaac’s point was…”why didn’t he say RIGHT NOW?!”)

“Don’t let things you don’t understand get in the way of you obeying what you do understand.”

Just a little to think about…good stuff if you ask me. 🙂

I’d encourage you to check out his podcast too…they update it each week with his sermons. Click here for the podcast info.

Thankful

August 31, 2008

I’ve got a lot to catch up on, but I’ve been keeping a running list, so here we go…

  • Saturday was a lazy day. I am thankful for friends who don’t care that most of us sat in our pajamas for more hours than I can recall. Really…what’s better than four of your best friends in the same room, lounging around, doing a lot of nothing and eating a lot of junk food? It’s great and it only happens like this once a year. Friends + pajamas + junk food + laughter = me being thankful.
  • Friday after work I met up with Katie to head to our 6th Annual Chanda Weekend. That night I was so grateful for friends who know me and love me just the same. My friend Shanel was telling us how she explained to her husband what each of us are like when we first arrive. She had everyone (and our personalities) down to a tee. All my friends know that when I first arrive to this cherished weekend, I am quiet, reserved and a little overwhelmed taking it all in. I love each of these girls dearly, it just takes me a little bit to warm up. Not sure why…it’s just the way I am. And, I’m grateful that my friends know that about me and love me just the same.
  • On Thursday night I started a new class-Work Motivation. After having a week off (the first Thursday night off since January), it was a little bit hard to get back into the swing of things and I was thankful when our professor decided to let us out of class a little early. His reasoning was so that we could go watch Barack’s speech, which I wasn’t really planning on doing. However, it was Chad‘s last night in PBG, so it was great that I could go hang out with him before he left. So, Dr. Shields, thanks for letting us out of class early!
  • On Wednesday, I had to choose to be thankful for the luxury of air conditioning. Our A/C has been a point of contention since we moved in and after more than two weeks of complaining about it, I decided it could be worse and I needed to be grateful. Having something that cools (or freezes) your house off is certainly a luxury and not something that everyone is blessed with. It’s one of those things you notice only when it doesn’t work the way you want it to or when it breaks. Even though our A/C doesn’t work the way I’d like, I am grateful that we have air conditioning.
  • Life gets busy (can anyone relate?) and on Tuesday night, I was very thankful for a night at home. I didn’t have any particular plans, but I just spent a nice night at home relaxing and getting things done. It was a nice night at home and I was grateful for that.
  • Monday at work involved a lot of meetings and team time. In an economy like our country’s at the moment, I am thankful for a job. I have a great team of people to work with, a few of whom are close friends of mine. My job makes a difference and serves a purpose much greater than myself. With several of my friends without jobs right now, I am thankful for my job.
  • I have been in and out of town on the weekends a lot in the last couple of months. That makes being a regular church attender a little difficult. I hadn’t been to The Ascent in a couple of weeks, so on Sunday of last week I was thankful for an incredible church body with amazing leadership who love the Lord and do their best to strive to please Him.
  • So last Saturday, I went to Ikea in search of a desk. Chad and Emily accompanied me. I get very overwhelmed with decorating or arranging a room. There are just far too many options. My trip to Ikea made me grateful for people with talents and gifts other than my own. Chadwick has quite the eye and just knows what looks good. I stopped making suggestions after the faces he made. I just let him do his thing. He picked out a great lampshade for my room and also some awesome pictures and frames for my bathroom. Surrounding yourself with people who have different strengths and abilities is a smart thing to do in any area of life. And, I am thankful for friends with talents and gifts that are different than mine.

[Not a] Happy Camper

July 21, 2008

It hit me this morning as my friends headed off to Camp with the CF students, that I am not going. For the first time in seven–yes, count ’em…SEVEN–years I have nothing to do with CF’s Student Ministries Camp. It’s a sad day.

My wonderful friend, Chad, filled my former role impeccably and is already receiving incredible compliments about the organization of everything. Rock on, Chadwick! 

This year’s theme is Rock Camp (not like the Disney show…CF had the name first!). And, the best I can do is keep up with the daily happenings via their really cool blog. This year’s camp is way cooler than any other year. They are so high tech!

Have fun friends and rock hard for me!

More from Evan Almighty

June 29, 2008

I still haven’t finished watching Evan Almighty…maybe this afternoon. But a couple other things struck me yesterday.

At one point Evan is having a talk with “God” (Morgan Freeman) about building the ark and Evan says,

“You have to realize this is not part of my plans here. I don’t even know where I would begin.”

Wow…isn’t that us? Well, I won’t speak for you, but how many times has that been me? I don’t think I could begin to count. But isn’t that right where God wants us? Right where we realize we are so completely inadequate? And, why do we tend to be so independent that it takes us so long to get to that point? It takes us so long to realize that we don’t know what’s best, that we don’t have what it takes to do anything good, that we don’t even possess the ability to believe the truth…even God has to give us the faith to trust. We can’t even muster that up if we want to. Why do we work so hard to do it all on our own? Why don’t we just let go before we experience the hurt, disappointment and frustration that we know is inevitable?

This morning at church, the pastor shared an illustration that really helped me visualize this concept. He explained how his four year old son is extremely independent. He told how his son will try to poor a glass of milk for himself, trying very hard to maneuver the heavy and awkward gallon jug. He makes a mess, all the while his dad is watching and asking if he’d like some help. Of course his son says “no” because he wants to do it on his own. The pastor said he stands to the side thinking and/or asking, “are you done yet? are you ready to let me help?”

I imagine that is how God feels with us (me, too) more times than not. I’ve been praying and praying asking God to help me let go. Asking Him to give me the faith to trust. He’s the only one that can do that. In and of myself, I do not have the power or strength to let go and let Him help. My inherently sinful nature would never want that. He has to do it. He will have to be the one. And He can do it. And He will.

Random Thoughts…

June 17, 2008

For some reason I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple of days: “What would be other ministries I would love to work for, regardless of location?” Don’t get me wrong–

I AM NOT PLANNING ON MOVING

and

I AM NOT LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB.

It’s just something that’s been running around in my head as I listen to podcasts and read blogs of some of my favorite pastors around the country. I had the amazing opportunity to work for one of America’s great churches for more than six years, and God recently blessed me to be part of the team at an incredible non-profit ministry. I just sometimes wonder what it would be like to work with/for some of these ministries that I follow from afar.

Here’s my running list of ministries I think it would be neat to be a part of (in no particular order):

  1. Catalyst ~ I can’t even imagine being in a brainstorming session with that team. Good grief, I think it would blow my mind.
  2. Passion ~ Louie Giglio is one of my all-time favorite speakers. He seems like a visionary and dreamer and I think it would be neat to be a part of something so groundbreaking.
  3. NCC & Mark Batterson ~ I just love reading this guy’s blog and books. I absolutely LOVE his ideas about the church and creativity.
  4. The Village Church & Matt Chandler ~ Just from listening to his podcasts for more than a year now, I think it would be amazing to be part of the journey that Matt Chandler is leading his church on. It’s so authentic and down to earth.
  5. Northpoint & Andy Stanley ~ What another amazing leader in the church! And, another church who pushes the envelope of creativity. I imagine it would be tons of fun.
I know no place is perfect, so I’m sure each of these organizations and leaders have their strengths and weaknesses.
And, again, this is not a “sign” that I am not happy with my job…that has NOTHING to do with it, so stop trying to start the rumor mill right now. I love my job and I have no intention of leaving.
I just thought I’d share my thoughts and ask you…
  • What organizations/ministries/businesses do you follow that you think it would be cool to be a part of?

Celebration of Discipline :: Study

March 22, 2008

The Discipline of Study

“…the mind will always take on a order conforming to the order upon which it concentrates.”

“What we study determines the kind of habits that are formed, which is why Paul urges us to focus on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and gracious.”

“Repetition regularly channels the mind in a specific direction, thus ingraining habits of thought…It is not even important that the person believe what he or she is repeating, only that it be repeated. The inner mind is thus trained and will eventually respond by modifying behavior to conform to the affirmation.”

“Study simply cannot happen until we are willing to be subject to the subject matter.”

“Experience is the only way we can interpret and relate to what we read.”

Celebration of Discipline :: Fasting

March 22, 2008

The Discipline of Fasting

“There simply are no biblical laws that command regular fasting. Our freedom in the gospel, however, does not mean license; it means opportunity.”

“Perhaps in our affluent society fasting involves a far larger sacrifice than the giving of money.”

“More than any other Discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us…We cover up what is inside us with food and other good things, but in fasting these things surface. If pride controls us, it will be revealed almost immediately…Anger, bitterness, jealousy, strife, fear–if they are within us, they will surface during fasting. At first we will rationalize that our anger is due to our hunger; then we will realize that we are angry because the spirit of anger is within us.”

“Fasting reminds us that we are sustained, ‘by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’ (Matt. 4:4). Food does not sustain us; God sustains us.”

“Fasting helps us keep our balance in life. How easily we begin to allow nonessentials to take precedence in our lives. How quickly we crave things we do not need until we are enslaved by them.”

“…we can expect God to reward those who diligently seek him.”

Celebration of Discipline :: Prayer

March 10, 2008

The Discipline of Prayer

“…it is the Discipline of prayer that brings us into the deepest and highest work of the human spirit. Real prayer is life creating and life changing.”

“To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives. The closer we come to the heartbeat of God the more we see our need and the more we desire to be conformed to Christ.”

“In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after him: to desire the things he desires, to love the things he loves, to will the things he wills. Progressively, we are taught to see things from his point of view.”

“God always meets us where we are and slowly moves us along into deeper things.”

“Success in the small corners of life gives us authority in the larger matters. If we are still, we will learn not only who God is, but how his power operates.”