My view of an imperfect but wonderful life

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hallelujah From the Valley

A few months ago, a young lady from my school introduced the song below during chapel to the student body. If anyone has a right to sing these words, she does. As this young lady recently lost her mother in a long struggle with cancer. Loss is something none of us take well. No matter what it may be. Some losses seem small to others, but to the person who has lost, it is larger than life. Whether it be the loss of a parent, a sibling, any family member, a friend, a pet, a pastor, a job, a house the list goes on. We try to rationalize the situation... But, sadly, our finite minds cannot comprehend the reason the Lord decided to allow this pain into our lives. Many blame God for so many different reasons, but God knows how much you can bear, and how far He will allow. Job was tortured, torn, accused, cursed at, heartbroken, and yet he still uttered those words that we can't even begin to think in hard times "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Through the pain, he still blessed God. It may be hard to get to where you can still bless God for trials. But, until you can yell "Hallelujah from the Valley" you'll never know how clear and strong His praises can echo through the mountains.

Hallelujah from the Valley
Hallelujah from the Saint
Who with pain in every heartbeat
Will lift his voice and say
"I will bless the Lord at all times
No matter come what may
Hallelujah from the Valley
Hallelujah through the pain"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beyond the Open Door... But which one??

I cannot believe it is already May! Or that I have officially graduated from Indiana Bible College! The last 3 years here have been amazing. My time here was exciting, stressful, inspiring, entertaining, and just all around wonderful. I've made such amazing friends, and am going to miss the atmosphere. It's going to be sad not being able to have so many like-minded people around. But thank God for technology to be able to contact those people, and for the ability to go before His throne whenever I want.

So on to the story behind the title of my post. Beyond the open door, but which one? Sometimes the hardest place to be is in the unknown. That's where I feel I am now. I know there are things that I feel others "expect" me to do, but "the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing" (I love Pastor Booker!). And right now, my MAIN thing is to follow God's Will for my life.

One of the definitions of the word follow is "to accept the authority of or give allegiance to". So by following, I am surrendering my will to His Will. Which really is a sacrifice. If I were leading myself... Let's not even go there, that's dangerous territory! God's way really is the only way, so I choose that way, even if the path is not clear at this moment.

Most of us know the song, "Beyond the Open Door", the first verse of that song says "in the things familiar we find security". Yes, I admit, I find security in familiar things; such as, home, IBC, family, friends, etc. But, one cannot go through life expecting to have familiarity as their safety net. To be able to do what God wants for your life, you have to get out of your comfort zone. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not an expert on this. I LOVE new places and people, but it really is hard for me to get all the way out of my comfort zone. I know that God has something big for me, but it's finally time for me to leave the safe haven that IBC has been for the last 3 years and get out into the real world. I don't know for sure where God is going to lead me, but I do know that I am not afraid of what my future holds for me. With God in control of my life, I'm ready to go beyond one of the open doors!!


In the things familiar we find security
Resisting all the changes that days and years can bring
When God decides to lead you through an open door
Inviting you to walk in realms you've never known before

Beyond the open door is a new and fresh anointing
Hear the Spirit calling you to go
Walk on through the door for the Lord will go before you
Into a greater power, you've never known before

Hear the Spirit calling to wake the living dead
To reach the huddled masses who call out for living bread
Arise, Oh mighty army, take up thy shield and sword
For the Father lifts His golden lamp beside the open door

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Still Upward

Still upward be thine onward course,
For this I pray today;
Still upward as the years go by,
And seasons pass away

Still upward in this coming year,
Thy path is all untried;
Still upward may'st thou journey on,
Close by thy Savior's side.

Still upward e'en though sorrow come,
And trials crush thine heart;
Still upward may they draw thy soul.
With Christ to walk apart.

Still upward till the day shall break,
And shadows all have flown;
Still upward til in Heaven you wake,
And stand before the throne.

I stole... excuse me borrowed... a great devotional book from my house before I left. I saw this poem in it and following the poem, there was a statement. The author said "We linger in the lowlands because we are afraid to climb the mountains." That phrase really stood out to me. It is true. A lot of times we are so willing just to stay where we are in our life and our walk with God, that we forget He created us to impact our world. There will be times that we are ready for a change, and start to make something happen; and then possibly, it seems as if a door closed on our plans. So automatically we assume that if it's too difficult to get past a certain point then it "wasn't God's Will". Well did you every think that perhaps it just wasn't YOUR will???

When God created the world, He put those beautiful sometimes snowcapped mountains in place. Those RUGGED, steep, treacherous mountains. If you were to try to climb up the smooth side of the mountain how would you even make it all the way to the top? God made the mountains rugged for a reason. He knew how incredible the view from the mountain top is, and that if just one person could make it to the top, then they could share how worthwhile that long hard journey really is.

How are you going to become all you can be for God if you are content to stay where you are, and never get out of your comfort zone?? There should never be a comfort zone where the things of God are concerning. He did not put us on this earth to blend into the background, and never grow in His Word. He put us here to do His Will and to be all we can be for Him.

If we found the courage to climb those mountains, who knows what glory awaits us there???

Too low they build who build below the stars.

Monday, January 3, 2011

God's in His Heaven

My all time favorite quotes have been from Anne of Green Gables. And anyone that knows me knows how much I absolutely ADORE Anne Shirley and the genius who decided to bring her into existence. One quote that I tend to re-quote a lot is "God's in His heaven and all's right with the world." However, I never fully understood that phrase until this last year.

As I said in my last post, 2010 was a rough year. Both of my parents were sick, my best friend's daddy died, and two of my close friends died. Those are just the most tragic moments of 2010 for me, there were quite a few others, but those were some of the hardest things for me to deal with.

When I received the call in October and then in November of the car accidents that took the lives of these people who played such fundamental roles in my life (one of whom played a part in the birth of and raising of my non-biological twin, and the other two who became family to me while I lived in Pennsylvania over the summer) the first thing that came to my mind for both was "Why God???" I know that this is the same thing that went through the minds of each family member of those three precious people. I know I am not truly family to any of them, yet it still affected me greatly.

The thing that most people struggle with while grieving is bitterness. I would constantly ask "why them God??" But I know God does everything for a purpose, although we will never know this purpose until we see Bro Simpson, Josh and Kristen again in heaven.

I know you're wondering what my quote had to do with any of this. Yes God is in His heaven, but no, nothing is going right in our world. Or so it seems. But when I say that phrase, although NOTHING seems to be going right in my world, my daddy is still sick, my friends are still gone, my mom is overwhelmed and I'm not even there to help her... Even though all this is so painful to me, I still have that reassurance in knowing that God is there through it all, good and bad, looking down upon every situation, wanting to be able to walk us through each problem. God IS in His heaven and when nothing seems to go right, when you realize that though your world is turned upside down; with God by your side, it is a comfort to know that even though all is not right in your world, God will always be right in your world.

The Road is Rough

The road is rough I said, dear Lord,
There are stones that hurt me so;
And He said, dear child I understand,
I walked it long ago...
But there is a cool, green path I said,
Let me walk there for a time;
No child He gently answered me,
The green road does not climb.

My burden I said is far too great,
How can I bear it so?
My child said He, I remember its weight,
I carried my cross you know.
But I said I wish there were friends with whom would make my way their own,
Oh yes, He said, Gethsemane was hard to face alone.

And so I walked that stony path
Content to know,
That where my Master had not gone,
I would not need to go...

And strangely then I found my friends,
The burden grew less sore,
As I remembered long ago, that He had
Walked that way before.....

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Gladly Welcome 2011!

Here we are another year has gone by, and a new year has come in. And I am actually posting! Will wonders ever cease? I have been told that it is time to start my blog back up again, and I figured, what better time to start than the first day of the new year?

It has been about 6 months since I last posted. And a lot has happened. 2010 was a long, hard year for most. And I am exceedingly happy to see the calendar flip to January of 2011. I already feel that this new year will be amazing. I have such high hopes for it. A new year is normally a time for some new resolutions. My resolution is quite simple. To make 2011 the best year ever.

"Another fresh new year is here
Another year to live

To banish worry, doubt and fear

To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs"

Friday, June 4, 2010

More about Pennsylvania

So, first of all, I didn't get the nanny job. But hey, I'm not torn up about it! I am not giving up... yet. I ended up going back to Somerset and turning in quite a few applications to hotels in the area. To work at the front desk of course! And I also applied to work at the Starbucks there, but no call back yet. I'm still trucking on. I am just waiting on someone to call back, and if not, then I'll just keep applying everywhere else! Meanwhile, I'll just have fun!

So, I haven't told you much about the town or church out here. I will begin now. The town... Normalville, Pennsylvania. It's up in the mountains, (although nothing like the California mountains), the elevation... totally varies but it's around 2,350ish. The population?? 2,500! The scenery is gorgeous!!! Everyone seems to know everyone! That in itself is great to me. This town is right out of a book. Even down to Resh's general store! It's wonderful!

So, the church runs about 40 people on average, and if everyone would be there it's about 50. The Pastor's family, the Millers, are a neat family. Bro Ralph Miller and his wife Susan have been so hospitable to me. I love them already. I also love their kids Josh (he will be marrying my friend Kristen later this month, but I am missing the wedding due to my dear friend Bekki's wedding that I wouldn't miss for the life of me) and of course Nicky. I don't know his oldest son Luke very well as they live in Texas, but I just met him and his wife Courtney, when they came down to preach the Youth Discovery Weekend.

What do I do, you ask? Well, during the week, other than looking for a job and hanging out with Nicky (and soon Kristen too)... I pretty much am useless! I play and sing for the church services, Sunday morning, and Wednesday evening, I teach Youth Class on Wednesdays, and will start this Sunday teaching the junior youth Sunday school! Outside of church we have weekly youth outings that I just started, as Josh works during the night and can't hang out with the young people. The other thing that we are trying to get started is weekly music practices, and Saturday evenings have been working well so far!

So yes I love it here, and it has already been a great experience for me! I know it's going to be a great summer!!

18 more days and I will be in California! Exciting!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Weekend!

It has been a crazy weekend and a crazy beginning of the week! I haven't been home much it seems! Some of you might know Kristen Hammonds, soon to be Miller, if not, she is the fiance of Josh, the Pastor Miller's son . We met at IBC and of course became friends. She was down for the weekend and just left today. On Saturday we had her wedding shower, but even before the shower started, the day was eventful.

NIcky Miller (pastor's daughter), Kristen and I are looking for a good gym to start working out at, so we went to one early Saturday morning that is close to where Josh and Kristen will be living, it's about half an hour away, but that is close compared to most other places! So on our way home Nicky told me to take a different way to see if it was faster. An hour later, and none of us have any clue of where we are, other than the fact that we are possibly still in Pennsylvania. Come to find out we were about 15 minutes away from Maryland! So I turned, hoping that I was heading in the right direction. None of our phones had service, neither did the GPS! But we ended up finding two lakes, some beautiful scenery, random dirt roads, and also we found out that Kristen gets really carsick on mountain roads. Oops! Thankfully the GPS FINALLY found a signal, as we had been trying for awhile. I know this might sound like it was a stressful trip, but I have never laughed so much! Sadly I started laughing when Kristen got sick, and couldn't stop laughing about everything the rest of the day! What a great start to the weekend! Thankfully though we made it back with a few hours to spare before the wedding shower/picnic!

So after the wedding shower we all went down to the church for practice, then Sunday we had a Memorial Day/Children's service. The service was separated into two services, the first part was worship, preaching/Sunday School, and altar call, and the the second was a puppet show. Following the service was a picnic!! Surprisingly I didn't get a sunburn! PA sun likes me! Then later that night we met up with friends in Greensburg.

Memorial Day, I had a meeting with a family for a possible nanny job (I find out tonight if I get it or not). By the way, I got lost on the way there because the GPS I was using told me to turn down roads that DEFINITELY were not there. BUT anyway, I am hoping that I get the job, however if I don't, then it just wasn't God's will! Following the meeting, I went to my third picnic of the week! Then we spent the evening and all of yesterday cleaning out Josh and Kristen's new house. And Kristen and I did a GREAT job of putting the kitchen and the bathroom together!

Unfortunately helping Kristen move some of her stuff in, made me want to get my own place! BUT I couldn't afford it right now obviously! Oh well, one day!

I will keep you updated on the job! 20 days and I will be in California!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bitterness thy name is!

I did not realize finding plane tickets was a challenge! I am going to be home for a week next month (YAY!) and had delegated the process of getting a great price for a flight to my mother. Well I waited a little longer than necessary, and... the prices went UP! How rude of all those ticket websites! Well I was searching today for EVER for a good price. And I didn't realize how sneaky those websites are! They are downright evil! They will trick you into clicking on a low price, and lo and behold they only did that to show you the only price they have is $60 more expensive!

So after finding a decent price, I went to see if anything else had a good price, and I went back to the former website... and the price had gone up $100! Now that is just uncalled for (heehee)!! Conniving! So I just showed Expedia who was boss and purchased one for a cheaper price!
So there!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Plans!

So, hello deprived, neglected readers. It has been such a long time since I last posted. And I kept telling myself to get better. Go figure, I haven't kept up with it! BUT I HAVE kept up with the 365 blog that Bekki and I are doing! Go check out our Random blog!! It has been fun!

So... most of you are in the dark about the last two months of my life. I am going to give you a REALLY short story version!

Since the end of March, we had a successful IBC Music Festival, a grueling race to finals week, packing galore and then wonderful graduation banquet, and sadly Justin's graduation! It all happened so fast. I am so proud of him, and I am sure that those of you who know him, would have loved to see him perform in Music Festival and then again for his last time playing with IBC Choir at graduation. It was an emotional graduation (well not as much for me, as I was trying hard to help my friends keep it together! LOL) but we had an amazing speaker, and then had a wonderful time out with the family. To see some pictures you can go here!

The next day was sooo bittersweet for me, because I had to finish packing, and then after lunch (which I was surprisingly able to go to with the family) I left for.... Normalville, Pennsylvania.

This summer, I am interning here in Normalville! Exciting I know! The church is relatively a medium small church (can that even happen?!) but the pastor gave me an amazing opportunity that I couldn't refuse. I am going to be helping out with the music here this summer, as well as teaching Sunday School and teaching Youth class AND having youth outings and such. I am currently also looking for a part time job so I can bring in a little extra to put towards my school bill, because.... I am going back to IBC in the Fall and will be graduating in May!

I know most of you are probably saying to yourself, what happened to only going ONE year! Well... IBC happened! I have had some of the most amazing experiences there. And I just don't think I am done yet, and want just a few more experiences before I head out into the world and figure out what I am supposed to do for God!

Keep me in your prayers this summer, as it is a whole new world out here for me. I absolutely love it here though and I know that this is where I am supposed to be right now!

I will keep you up to date!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Today is Saturday!

Saturdays are wonderful! Especially if you have NOTHING to do, which ends up being rare here at IBC. So, I have some things that need to be done, I can procrastinate one more day, especially since it is beautiful out, and the nothingness of the day is summoning me!

Loved this poem when I was younger, and thought I may as well share it, so you can enjoy it too!

by Shel Silverstein
'I cannot go to school today, '
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
'I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more-that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut-my eyes are blue-
It might be Instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke-
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is...Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!