Please click the pictures to visit my other blogs:
Jewel in Cambodia Scarves for Cambodia Journals for the Journey

Monday, September 29, 2008

At my desk...

To Keetha: When I blog, this is where I am::

More to come?

Here is what is more to come!!  More pictures of Traci and I's living space::

This is a wall of pictures from travels around the world...

This is my lovely futon... where the movie action takes place.

On this cute pink table, in the cute round bowl, swim Pholla (orange) and Pablo (black).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Heartfelt Prayer


Your daughter is fighting heavy battles and she needs you. There is none other that fights for us like you oh Lord. Your Word testifies to the ways you battle on our behalf. Come through for her in this manner.

Also, cover her with you armor. Put on her head the helmet of salvation. Protect her thoughts and allow her to hold firmly to her trust in a God that has already saved her and knows how to pull her through this. Put the breastplate of righteousness on her and guard her heart from an enemy who wants to steal from her and accuse her. May she not trust in her own righteousness, but in your manifold and great mercies. Put the belt of truth around her waist that she would hold tightly to truth and use it to fight off the lies of the evil one. May she know the difference between your truth and his lies and may she live according to truth. Put the shoes of the gospel of peace on her feet. Cause her to be able to stand firm in the peace of God that passes understanding. May the turmoil that the evil one wants to stir up in her heart be silenced by an overwhelming sense of peace that she cannot explain or even understand, but that is sure. Place in her hand the shield of faith that she would be able to block the darts that are being thrown at her. Give her the strength to believe even when everything tells her to doubt you, to doubt others and to doubt herself. Place, also, in her hand the sword of the Spirit, which is the very Word of God. May it offer comfort and truth. May it transform her and her circumstances. May it be alive for her, the very breath of God to her, an offensive weapon used to strike back at the enemy, as is prayer.

Be present in her prayer and her fasting in a way she cannot doubt. I entrust her to you, in Jesus' name.


The big 20 weekend

I turned 20.  It wasn't a big deal... except I'm not a teen anymore which feels pretty sweeet.  I can't write much because I'm meeting Jessie in the hall for class in 20 minutes and I'm not quite ready BUT I can post a picture and I will post more later.

These girls took Jessie and I to Ivanhoe's on Saturday night, and I had a pumpkin/vanilla bean cone FREE.  Bethany, at far left, was Jessie and I's quad-mate last year.  The two girls on either side of me are Erica and Laura.  Bethany and Laura now live down the hall together, but Erica transfered to Ohio State this year and IWU, weekends, dinners, Evans.. it isn't the same without her and I actually hadn't seen her since I moved out last year, so it really sweet that she came for the day.  Then Haley is on the end, next to Jessie.  She also lives down the hall, in my old quad, and we go to church together and are in a small Bible study group together.  These are some good friends. =)

I won't get into politics, but...

My interest for politics really is very low, but I did think this was interesting::

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened,'" Barack Obama's running mate recently told the "CBS Evening News."

Except, Republican Herbert Hoover was in office when the stock market crashed in October 1929. There also was no television at the time; TV wasn't introduced to the public until a decade later, at the 1939 World's Fair.

FDR was elected three years later when voters denied Hoover a second term. The Democratic challenger appealed to the "forgotten man" by promising a "new deal" to solve the Depression era.

Democrats usually like to remind the public that a Republican was president during the 1929 stock market crash. During the 2004 presidential election, John Kerry's campaign repeatedly cited Hoover as the last president until George W. Bush to oversee a loss of jobs during his time in office.

Biden was commenting on the stock market crash when he said leaders should explain the current economic crisis and how to solve it to the public.

"Part of what being a leader does is to instill confidence, is to demonstrate what he or she knows what they are talking about and to communicating to people ... this is how we can fix this," Biden said.

Biden's spokesman, David Wade, countered: "I'm proud to say that we Democrats aren't experts at Herbert Hoover depression economics like John McCain and his pals. From Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, we just get elected to clean up the economic mess these Republicans leave behind."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Support Your Home Team Sunday

For maybe 5 years my church, Brookhaven Wesleyan, has annually had an event called "Round-Up Sunday" with the purpose to round-up friends, family, neighbors, people who do not usually attend church, and bring them on Sunday morning.  With that title, for 4-5 years it has held a western theme.  Many or most come to church in cowboy attire (jeans, flannel, boots, hats, hankies) and there is usually a cheesy western skit at the opening of the service.  Brookhaven has been juggling changes, and this year instead of "Round-Up Sunday" we held "Support Your Home Team Sunday" and many came in jerseys, polos, and t-shirts for their favorite sports team.  The sanctuary was flooded with Colts blue!  Following the service, we had a carry-in dinner (Brookhaven always does this so well) and 3 inflatable games (also an annual tradition.)  Here are a couple pictures from last Sunday afternoon::

Ben Brown

Jessie and Pastor Bob preparing themselves for the count to three and the race through the inflated caterpillar. 

Coach preparing himself to face Pastor Tony on another inflated game.

Jessie & Morgan Janofski -- they are both so cute!

Miss Elle in her pink Colts jersey - Almost every game I go to Elle's house to watch the Colts

IWU - you're leaving me disappointed!

I am of a firm belief that guys should opening doors, if not holding them.  With this expectation in mind, I am continually left disappointed on this campus.  Recall 2 posts ago, my embarrassing story about leaving my car running.  As I was walking through a downpour, carrying two cartons of water (=48 bottles!) two guys were walking towards the same door, and I heard the one tell the one "She has her id!"  Sure.. let me shift 48 bottles into 1 arm while I dig around for my keys, then shimmy through the door while you enter unarmed before me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Coming Down the Summit

I realize this is long and there are no pictures, but I expect you will find it worth reading.  I hope something sparks reflection in your heart.

"I'm addicted to growing in Christ." -- Dave Ward

Last week at IWU was Summit (revival/Spiritual emphasis week.)  Dave Ward spoke Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday - morning and night.  It was an incredible week.  Life-changing.  I was disappointed on Thursday when there was no Summit.  GOD WORKED IN INCREDIBLE WAYS through our campus.

It was great to see everyone so moved in worship.  Hands were raised, hearts were surrendered.

Dave opened the week with 2 Peter 1:3,4... His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. God has given us everything we need for godliness, for intimacy with Him.  "Take advantage of this opportunity [Summit/IWU atmosphere]."  To whom much is given, much is required -- and we have been given everything!

Wednesday night after the message, and the post-message worship time, Umfundisi (Dr. Jim Lo) prayed and said "go in peace," but the overall feeling was that no one wanted to leave the presence of God.  We remained there for almost 45 minutes, some remained prostrate in prayer, others sobbing, or embracing others.  Many of us continued in an atmosphere of traditional acapella worship, led by students in the rows around us.  

That night Dave had talked about sanctification in a manner that I had never heard it before.  Sanctification is loving NATURALLY, being bent towards purity (rather than a sinful nature.)  When you are sanctified, God is so evident in your life that you know nothing else.  It is God's will that we live a pure and holy life.  It is hard for me to think that I could be so consumed in His love that I am free from willful sin.  Also, the idea of loving NATURALLY is difficult.  I have committed myself to this, but I will admit that I have not had a loving attitude towards a person or two.  I love this promise in 1 Thessalonians 5:24 - May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless... The one who calls you is faithful and he'll do it!  Believe, surrender, plead!

Another day, Dave read James 5:17- Elijah was a man just like us.  He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.  He talked about trying to fit God's will on a post-it note, when He has given us a grand canvas.  "Elijah was a man just like us."  Do you believe that?  That really hit me, because the first week when I returned to school early for leadership, we had a campus-wide leadership convocation.  There I felt God calling me to something really big, something bigger than myself.  God used Elijah for incredible things!  One of Dave's points this sermon was that Elijah prayed earnestly, prostrate with his face in the dirt (1 Kings 17-19.)  1) Elijah listens for God's will. 2) Elijah risks himself (his life - everything) for the accomplishment of God's will. 3) Elijah begs God to do His will.

One morning I was really challenged to dig deeper into Scriptures, as I have NOT been in a habit of doing.  Psalm 119:9 says: "How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word."  I love the words of Psalms 119:105-112 says: 
By your words I can see where I'm going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. I've committed myself and I'll never turn back from living by your righteous order. Everything's falling apart on me, God; put me together again with your Word. Festoon me with your finest sayings, God; teach me your holy rules. My life is as close as my own hands, but I don't forget what you have revealed. The wicked do their best to throw me off track, but I don't swerve an inch from your course. I inherited your book on living; it's mine forever— what a gift! And how happy it makes me! I concentrate on doing exactly what you say— I always have and always will. (The Message).

Numerous times throughout the week we sang Steve Fee's "Glorious One" (YouTube).  It really is an electrifying song.  His presence was so evident as 1,200 bodies joined together in worship.  I could almost hear a band of angels singing with us.

Our hands are lifted high; Our hearts are bowing in reverence
And we're surrounded; By the glory of Your presence

And with every creature; Every tongue
We're lifting our hearts; To the Glorious One, yeah

Glorious One! Glorious One!
Light of the world; You outshine the sun
King of all kings; Eternity sings
Glorious One

God of infinite worth; With hands that carved out the oceans
You hold the universe; And still You run to the broken

With every heart; That's been set free
We're lifting our song; To our Glorious King

Glorious One! Glorious One!
Light of the world; You outshine the sun
King of all Kings; Eternity sings
Glorious one

There is none more beautiful
Yeah, there is none more wonderful

Glorious One! Glorious One!
Light of the world; You outshine the sun
King of all Kings; Eternity sings
Glorious one

A final reflection is on the word PLEAD.  Dave used this word once or twice in relation to prayer, and really asking God with our whole hearts.  What a word!  At the close of Summit on Wednesday evening I was surrounded by a group of 4 amazing friends from Bible study, and I found myself lying prostrate in prayer, pleading with God that He bend me towards purity and loving naturally.  Even after an incredible 3 days of God's goodness, I became frustrated, left with empty feelings.  I did not hear an audible voice, but the words "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) kept replaying over and over in my mind and heart.  Still feeling like I hadn't gotten a response from Christ, we were lead into "Glorious One" and except for one red spotlight on the cross, all lights were shut off.  It was black, yet the cross shone.  I can't explain it, but it was almost as if my heart broke with JOY at the realization of God flooding through my Spirit IN THAT MOMENT.  I attempted singing and sobbing at the same time, but quickly found myself silent and in awe.

Glorious One! Glorious One!
Light of the world; You outshine the sun
King of all Kings; Eternity sings
Glorious one

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wow. It's official.. I'm the biggest idiot in the world.

Yes, it's official.  I am the biggest idiot in the world.  Wow, Jewel!  That was dumb.  How could you be... such an idiot?

(at your request)
Sunday afternoon I returned to the dorm around 2:30 in the middle of a heavy downpour.  I parked a decent distance from the doors, and my mind was focused on a quick entrance, avoiding being soaked.  I had two 24-packs of bottled water in my back-seat, and I carried both to the dorm, in addition to my purse.  I mean, they were pretty heavy, and I was considerably damp, but the climax of the story occurs 7 hours and a quarter tank of gas later as I sat watching a movie with Jessie in her room upstairs.  The phone rang and we were informed that my car was running.  Running!  As in.. I completely forgot to turn it off and remove the keys from the ignition.  Good news, I did remember to lock the doors!

Not only is this the most idiotic thing I have ever done; I have heard few "dumber" stories.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Summit && Grandmom.

This week was Summit at IWU and God has been doing incredible things.  I'm off to bed after writing a five-page paper, but my intentions are to write more about Summit tomorrow afternoon (between meetings, homework, work, and a nap!)  Look forward to it, because I have a testimony to share.

Sidenote:: This is my Grandmom and I love her very very much.  Grandmom means the world to me.  I have been thinking alot about her this week, and I miss her very much.  She comes to our house every Sunday afternoon for dinner, but I've been at college and do not always go home on the weekends.  I love you Grandmom!  mmmwaa!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

"friendly company" 2

Last night our Bible study group decided to have revenge on Pastor Phil & Stephanie, after they tp'd my house and painted our car windows (and Paul and Haley's) because we did not invite them over for cookies and a movie.  On August 25th I claimed "Revenge wouldn't even be worth our efforts..." but then Phil & Stephanie went on a Caribbean cruise without us, so we took action before they return today.

Here we are not looking suspicious in Wal-Mart. Some nice devious couple wanted to take our picture, so we allowed it..

Here we are on the scene..

& here is a little taste of what happened..

I really love this group.  We all attend Brookhaven together, 6 of us attend IWU together, and we meet on Wednesday evenings in one of our pastor's homes.  There are 9 of us including Pastor Phil and Stephanie, and we would love to grow and welcome people into our group.  We are close, and have alot of fun.  I have been very vulnerable at Bible study - I have shared things that only 5 or 6 other people know.

All this to say that I love you Jessie, Amber, Phil & Stephanie, Paul & Paul, Richard, & Haley!

Overcoming spiritual warfare..

I wrote this blog on August 25, but somehow actually publicly posting it never happened. So here goes!

Missionaries to Cambodia, Tim & Tiffany Gallant

Tim with children in Kampong Speu, CAM

Tiffany & I on an elephant at Angkor Watt in Seam Reap, CAM

You may remember I went on a missions trip to Cambodia in May.  You may remember that the missionary couple at the Wesleyan Bible Institute in Phnom Penh Cambodia attend my home church, Brookhaven Wesleyan, and we are very close.  I miss them very much, but I know that they are in the center of God's will.

Tim and Tiffany have been in Cambodia since July/August of 2006, and they are preparing to depart in October for a yearlong furlough.  In a Buddhist country, Tim and Tiffany have faced a great spiritual war.  Just days ago, Tim and Tiffany moved into a new apartment.  On day 1 the interior of their apartment was flooded with 5" of rain, with an 8" flood on the exterior, and rain still pouring from the sky.  That was Monday.  On Thursday, just 5 weeks after their previous house was broken into, they were robbed again and the thieves took the ministry money that was hidden throughout their house.

In their Aug 23 blog they write this: "In the middle of all of this trouble, we still know that God is good and that His Will is for us to be here in Cambodia. We continue to strive forward in encouraging the national leadership and the pastors. We continue to supervise the construction of the new WBI Building. We continue to trust in Him, to have confidence in Him, because we know that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is always dependable."

Please pray for these missionaries to Cambodia.  They are not only incredible friends, but they are incredible servants and missionaries.  Tim and Tiffany are very dear to my heart.  Satan is attacking them because he knows that they are winning many battles for God's Kingdom.

You can read their blog here:: Gallant Gazette.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

It has been a very long time since I have blogged, I realize this.  There are so many things that I could say, but I will leave it at this::

 God has been good to me. I encourage you to again read Psalm 91.

Now here is a portion from Savior King by Hillsong United. (YouTube.)

And now the weak say I have strength 
By the spirit of power that 
raised Christ from the dead 
And now the poor stand and confess 
That my portion is Him and I'm more than blessed 
I love you Lord, I worship you 
Hope which was lost, now stands renewed 
I give my life to honor this 
The love of Christ, the savior king