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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Amanda and Blake's website

At our new church we met this great couple named Amanda and Blake. They have two small ones. Amanda was adopted from Korea. They are in the process of adopting from S. Korea.
I really liked their website, so I thought I’d share it with you all.I hope you take a few minutes to check it out. I was touched. Maybe it’s because I work with children. Maybe it’s because I feel called to the mission field. Either way, I really liked the 3 videos on the site.
Check it out The Carpenter Adoption Site.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


S:"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us, we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:20,21

O: God cared enough to send His only Son to cover our filthiness. He desires us to be reconciled to Him.

A: This morning on my way to training I noticed some survey guys in the middle of the road. Traffic was "fussy" due to guys stepping in and out of traffic. The traffic started moving through the intersection. I looked up to see if the light had turned yellow. When I looked back at traffic, I saw that the van in front of my had stopped in the middle of the intersection. I braked at quickly as I could, but I still rear ended that lady in front of me. We pulled onto a side street. I was expecting her to yell at me, so I spoke first and apologized and asked how she was. I hit at what felt like bumper car speed, so the damage isn't bad on her van. On her bumper you can tell where I bumped, but it didn't look like much else for her. On my car you can see my bumper and my hood are not how they should be. No injury, just shaken up.
I could have yelled at her for stopping in the middle of an intersection. I could have blamed the traffic and the survey guys for being distracting. I could have... However, I was glad that God kept me cool and humble. It was my fault for not looking at her car sooner. I bumped into her because I wasn't watching her, instead I was checking the light.
We are Christ's ambassadors. People watch for how we react to life. When we act just like everyone else people wonder why we claim to be Christians. I'm so glad that both of us are safe!
I think we all have part of us that God wants to work on. Is it a broken relationship? Or not even one that is broken, maybe there is just resentment or bitterness. I can't tell you how to fix brokenness, but I can tell you where to start and what has helped me. For me, praying is the key. I can pray for my own pride and hurt. I can also pray for that person. When you are willing to pray for the other person, God begins to work on your heart so that you see them how God sees them. It isn't by any means an overnight endevour. And really, that person might not ever change. However, you can change with God's help. How you deal with that person can also change. They might still desire to inflict pain, but we can pray before we are going to see them, while we are talking with them, and then after.
That whole love your neighbor, and pray for your enemy is hard to do. But, Christ didn't call us to the simple, happy easy going life. He wants to mold us into ambassadors for Him.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

You Know You Live in a Small Town When...

I found this today in my inbox. Clovis isn't this small but it is a whole lot different than Bakersfield.

1. The "road hog" in front of you on Main Street is a farmer's

2. The local phone book has only one yellow page.

3. Third Street is on the edge of town.

4. You leave your jacket on the back of the chair in the cafe,
and when you go back the next day, it's still there, on the
same chair.

5. You don't signal turns because everyone knows where you're
going anyway.

6. No social events can be scheduled when the school gym floor
is being varnished.

7. You call a wrong number and are supplied with the correct

8. Everyone knows all the news before it's published; residents
read the hometown paper just to see whether the publisher
got it right.

Here's my list:

1. People actually like paying more for "organic" produce.

2. You are considered a speed demon if you drive 70mph in the 65mph zone.

3. The town allows you to leave a pile of yard waste, appliances, car parts, old furniture, and other junk on your curb for their trucks to pick up. And they don't mind having it sit there for a few weeks until they can schedule you in.

4. Wooden wagon wheels serve as posts to chain your bicycle to.

5. You can go to lunch and ask for a glass boot to drink Dr. Pepper out of.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


SOAP is a way to study the Bible. S=Scripture. O=observation. A=application. P=prayer. The Bridge Bible Church in Bakersfield has been studying the Word this way for over a year and a half that I know of. In the bulletin you get where to read. We read a chapter from the old testament and then a chapter of the new. Example, yesterday I read Isaiah 15 and 1 Corinthians 12. Today I read in Isaiah 16 and 1 Corinthians 13. Here is what I found.

S:"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

O: I've read 1 Corinthians 13 before, but in the NIV. Today might have been the first time I read it in NJKV. Something hit me about what love is. In the NIV it says first that love is patient. Love takes on a whole new meaning when it is described as suffers long. You can be patient with a stop light, but you aren't suffering to be there for a minute. You can be patient while continuing to help a child learn to tie her shoes, but the two minutes it takes each time doesn't cause tremendous grief in your life. Love suffers long. When a relationship is broken and you have anger, bitterness, and you don't even want to be polite; that is where this kind of love comes in. When your spouse, parent, best friend, or coworker betrays your trust; that's when this kind of love comes. This love is God, because humanly we want to throw in the towel and be done forever with the person who hurts us. However, when you let God help you to forgive that person, and you finally see that it is only through God's love that you can heal; you begin to understand why you have to suffer long. Broken relationships don't heal over night, and the other person might not even be seeking God. But as a believer, others know we are Christians because despite the brokenness God teaches us to love and forgive. Truly, it isn't in us to do it. But, remember what Christ did. He was beaten, whipped, cursed at, and tortured to the point of not being recognizable and what did have to say about it. While on the cross dying for our sins, not his, he said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34
Jesus chose to forgive, and He calls us to be like Him. To be willing to suffer long as an act of love.

A: Love.

P: Lord,

Please work on my heart as I learn to understand your Word. Please be with the people that read this. May they seek your face and chose to live a life that glorifies you.

In Jesus' Name,

Checkout the bookmark to keep up with the chapter readings at http://www.thebiblechurch.com/ .  Look for the orange journal on the side that says Life Journal.  Click on it to see the bookmark that you can print.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Stop Signs

I was praying one morning as I ran through my new down town area. I saw a stop sign and was struck with a thought. Stop signs tell us there is a possible danger and we need to pay attention, if fact we need to stop entirely before we continue.

Our spiritual lives are like that. The more time we spend with God the better we hear Him say that there is a stop sign coming. If we listen, we hear His warnings. Otherwise we run into traffic instead of stopping, and well that just isn't nearly as much fun.

True Story: The computer can be my friend, but sometimes I think it is having a bad hair day and is out to get me and even my marriage. Yesterday Kyle and I needed to work together on the computer. We know from past experience that the computer, Kyle, and myself all speak three different languages. We were trying to pick 12 pictures to go in the frames that some of you signed at our "Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Hey We're Moving Party". Sounds simple enough right?!? It was our first time ordering pictures online and it turned out to be a lengthy and frustrating endeavor. Once they were finally ordered we were ready to push each other and the computer through walls.J

The first warning came when we got frustrated with the online ordering system. It would have been a good idea for one of us to try and tackle the problem instead of watching the other problem solve. It just so happens that we problem solve on the computer in totally different ways. The good thing is we were able to talk about all of this after almost wreaking the few hours we get to spend together.

The good thing is that we did get the pictures and they look great. And one of the cool things about stop signs is that they remind us what to do the next time a situation happens. For example, Kyle and I are going to be working with Perry this Saturday with Quicken to connect our banking to our budget. Well you think that the computer isn't always my friend, speaking about budgets creates and "interesting" dynamic. So add a computer and another willing helper and I'm sure stop signs will be coming my way on Saturday. The goal is to listen when God tells me to be quiet, listen, and speak. If you think of us on Saturday morning we probably need your prayers!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Trying to be Useful

Kyle is busy working 12 hour shifts, so that leaves me with well... a lot of free time. Last year I spent tons of time in my classroom redecorating and going through boxes. Since my life seems to be about reorganizing and boxes, I'm not so on board with working on my classroom alone. So, yesterday I recruited Sherry to help me. We got the two hardest boards done. If you had been to my room at Almondale you might remember my calendar wall (it was orange and by my desk) and the "Our Handy Work" board (it was turquoise with light blue squares for student work and it was on the back wall). I found mom to be the perfect help for those projects because she is just as ... to be put nicely... "organized" as I am. The boards are perfect and the spacing looks great, after all we are talking about a Color Princess meeting a Princess Hates Staples Left in the Wall:) I think they look even better than they did in my room at Almondale.

My superintendent, Dale, came by and asked if I wanted any computers. SURE!!! He is going to send four to my room this week! The computer lab is being turned into a classroom. The people at Washington Colony are all so nice!!! Dale didn't have to offer me the computers, but he did.

You all should come to Easton, home of my new room 11, just to buy the fruits and veggies. Sherry and I stopped by a stand yesterday and made wonderful stir fry and had the best plumbs I ever remember eating!

Today, to try to be useful,l I went on a walk. Well, my timing wasn't the greatest. It was 11, but I did have a purpose. I'm working on an upcoming blog dealing with Clovis, so stay tuned:) Plus I figured Candace could use my help at the church. Low and behold by the time I got there, it's a little over a mile, I was hungry and so was she. We ate at Jimmy Johns. If you don't come for the fruit and veggies, you should come because this place smells like heaven. They make their own French bread daily, and the sandwiches rock! I was also able to help fold bulletins and help make the craft for Sunday school.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Colossians 3:12-14

Colossians 3:12-14
12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

I have thought a lot about relationships this week. I have a friend whose marriage is struggling. Friends of ours are moving so that they can live the Christian life in front of their unsaved family. Kyle’s cousin was shot in Afghanistan while serving in the Army and his family doesn’t know how he is doing. A friend came to visit and willingly drove me around Clovis just so that I can get a picture of where things are. Our new friends here in Clovis had us over for the 4th of July, and we have only been here less than two weeks.

Relationships are a part of everyone, everyday. And in life, due to our sin nature, we all mess up and hurt others as well as have our fair share of getting hurt.

As I was walking in the humidity that reminded me of Indonesia this morning, God reminded me of some things. When I was asked for some advice recently, I could say all the knowledge I have being a newly married, young teacher of only 23 years. And really, there are many more people who have better advice. But, then God reminded me that when I go to His Word, I have a resource that is thousands of years old and was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

As the Starbucks Girls say, the following is what God is teaching me. First, we have to realize that God chose us. He loves us and calls us not to happiness as the world tells us we “deserve”, but he calls us to holiness. Everyone has a relationship that needs work. And often times those relationships involve family members. When some one hurts you, we are called to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient with them. You might be thinking, “But you don’t know what they did. You don’t know how they made me feel. You don’t know how cruel they were. You just don’t understand my situation.” And truthfully, I don’t. Even if you told me your situation, I still might not “get it.” However, the next verse tells us what to do despite the way we feel. “Bear with each other and forgive WHATEVER grievances you may have against one another.” You might be saying, “Well, I would if they would ask for my forgiveness. I’d think about forgiving them if they’d change. They don’t deserve my forgiveness for what they did to me.” True, you may have all of those feeling, however the verse doesn’t stop there. It continues and puts whatever situation we face into perspective. “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Well, no matter what that person did against you, they didn’t crucify you a perfect Son of God. Jesus loved us enough to lay down his life for us, a whole bunch of messed up people that are never going to be perfect. You might think, “Well, I did forgive them and it didn’t make a difference. The relationship is still broken.” Here is what to do next, love. Love that person despite their flaws. Love them even if they continue to hurt you. Love them, because God loves you even when you grieve Him. Love them, because in loving them you are letting God heal your hurt and show you a part of him, his willingness to sacrifice his only Son because He loved you.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Before we moved to Clovis we had a Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Hey We're Moving Party. One of the cool things about moving is that we were super blessed with several gift cards. One of them was from the Bahers. I remember saying, "Thanks Kari, you weren't thinking about me when you got that gift card for Kyle." They gave him one for Lowes. Well, as she said, I was wrong and I was in mind when she got that card.

Yesterday, we found a Lowes and got a rolling Tupperware to go under the bed for storage, and some amazing flowers. Out on the porch we have our plants from Bakersfield, and a couple of new additions. I thought that I'd share a picture since I think they look so cool. The hanging plants are a new concept for us, but we're hoping they can survive the warm weather that for some reason reminds me of a place I once lived...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Deut. 31:8

I was thinking about the Bahers this morning while doing my quiet time. Last summer several of you were in the Bible study at Kari's house about Living Above Worry and Stress. During the study we wrote on a 3x5 card verses that comfort us in times of worry. The first one I wrote down is Deut. 31:8." The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

This one seemed particularly applicable to the Bahers as they go to be light in Wis. where their family desperately needs Christ. The Bahers heard God call them, but He didn't tell them how all of the pieces would work. Those pieces included the recent drama with their house, and the continued search for jobs. For now, they're like Abraham and Sarah going to a place simply because God told them to.

Please pray that you would take to heart with Deuteronomy says. We all have a something in our lives that makes us uneasy. For the Bahers and Kyle and I, it is moving to a new place because God told us to. But I think we all have things that we "like" to worry about. So, as I attempt to hand things back to God, I hope you are doing the same.

Monday, July 2, 2007


Our friends Greg, Alyssa, Jason, and Angela were telling us about this amazing set of sermons that are on a topic most churches won't even touch - sex. I remember Kyle and I going to the Tommy Nelson Song of Solomon Conference after being newlyweds. It was amazing. I wanted to know why no one else preached out of Song of Solomon and what God's written plan for sex was.

Well, there is a link that discusses Satan's sex ed. There are so many lies and deep bondage that people, often even before they get out of high school get trapped into. I listened to the first link and found is extremely powerful. I highly recommend EVERYONE whether you are single, married, divorced, young or old to watch these.

God had a plan when he set up marriage. To be completely honest it is not always warm and fuzzy. As a friend said, Satan wants anything God holds precious. God holds marriage very precious to Him. It is hard at times, but it is at all times worth fighting for. And trust me, you will have to fight for it. There will be unexpected conflict and baggage that only God can heal.

I would love to hear if you listen to the link and what you think. Even if you just tell me that you are listening. It is powerful!!!