Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jesus to the Nations

This past weekend was the 10th annual Atlantic mission festival Jesus to the Nations. It is hard to describe all that happened. Every moment was crammed full of talking, walking, laughing, learning, worshipping, praying, growing, discovering, listening, reading, and very little sleep. I am glad because I have been anticipating the conference since last year when Joseph D’souza was announced as one of the speakers. If you ever listened to Caedmon’s Call’s album Share the Well, it is Joseph speaking about the plight of the Dalits India. This is how the weekend went:

Friday Night I…
* Visited mission organization booths.
* Checked out what missions books were being sold.
* Reconnected with friends. It is amazing the bonds that can grow year to year chatting at a booth over a shared love.

Saturday…
* For the first time ever I had people from the church with me, three students and Becca, another youth leader. All four are going on the short term mission trip to Toronto in August. It was exciting watching them discover what God is doing and the rich history of the church around the world. I helped two of the teens complete a three page scavenger hunt. Super neat thing was one won a t-shirt. I really enjoyed the meal time. The just sitting together. Sometimes we talked about what was happening sometimes just joked and teased each other. It was good.
* For the two small group session I sat in on Joseph’s talk on “India at the Crossroads.” With each moment I felt my burden for the Dalit people and the desire to see India someday grew.

Sunday…
* We, Jason, Becca, and I, drove back up to Halifax after lunch for the final service. I am so glad we did.
* I stopped at the Open Doors table and only bough three books (this is a new Jesus to the Nations record for me, less the five books.)
*The closing service was indescribable, the worship, a flag parade, dancing, testimonies of how God changed lives on mission trips all shone glory on God. The most amazing of all was the final moments. The message was the passion of Christ followers, true bond-servants around the world. With each new account of sacrifice and willingness to live fully for Jesus, God was waking something deep with in me. I was having a crisis of faith, which I would even dare to say was ES. It wasn’t emotional but the tears just streamed down my face. Ron Pearce gave ten seconds to decide if we were willing to be Christ’s bond servants and I was on my feet before he was finished speaking. Things have been different in a beautiful, full, satisfying, joyful, whole, clear way ever since. I am so grateful for God’s goodness.

Jesus to the Nations –worth visiting.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that...

...my car's repairs didn't cost as much as they could have.
...I have people that care for me.
...God isn't finished with me yet.
...Monday's interview went well
...God is faithful and things are happening even if I don't seem them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Unanimously

I just received word that the ministerial board unanimously recommended for ordination, the next step a vote at district conference.

Thank you everyone for your prayers!

Rate the Fun: Settlers of Catan

For along time this was my number one game choice. The game is interesting and innovative. It won Spiel des Jahres (the German Game of the Year Awared) in 1995. There have also been a number of additions and expansions that have increased the overall play experience.

However, recently I’ve noticed my overall interest in the game has dropped. I still enjoy it and am willing to play if the group is but it is not my first choice.

The Scores:
Basic Settlers of Catan = 6
Seafarers of Catan = 6
Cities and Knights of Catan = 7

*If adding fish (an element from Traders and Barbarians expansion) add .5 to score
**If there is also Barbarians Attack! (another element option from Traders and Barbarians) and an additional .5 to score

My Favorite Set-Up:
Settlers set up would be five players (so you have build rounds in-between) cities and knights with fishes. Rating 7.5

The Rate the Fun Scale:

10 = Outstandingly Awesome Game
; Always want to play it and I expect this will never change.
9 = Excellent Game; Always want to play it.
8 = Very good game; I like to play. Probably I'll suggest it and I'll never turn down a game.
7 = Good game; Usually willing to play.
6 = Okay game; There is some element of fun or challenge; will play sporadically if in the right mood.
5 = Fair game; Slightly boring, take it or leave it.
4 =Not so good; It doesn't get me but I could be talked into it on occasion.
3 = Bad; Likely won't play this again but could be convinced.
2 = Extremely annoying game; Won't play this ever again.
1 = Clearly broken; You won't catch me dead playing this.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The DBMD Interview

In a few moments I will be driving up to Halifax for my annual DBMD (district board of ministerial development) interview. Hopefully, this should be my third and final meeting with the board, if all goes well. And if it does I will be reverendized (ordained) this summer at Beulah, which will be happy. Even more exciting is it will mean a visit from my family. But before any of that can happen I have to survive the interview.

I know it will be fine; all the questions are about what I believe and who I am. All I have to do is be honest and speak from my heart. Even with that knowledge and reassurance I am getting a little nervous, mostly because it is an interview and I just get nervous before they happen.

If you’ve read this before 1pm, Monday, March 23, 2009 (Atlantic Time) could you say a prayer for me that my words will be clear and my nerves will be calm?

Thank you.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rate the Fun

With my growing interest and love of board games I have been considering including game ratings to my blog. Before this idea I didn’t have any way to compare or evaluate games. I either liked it or didn’t the. So, I asked Franklin (who owns over 200 different games) about his rating system, which he gladly shared with me. I have since adapted his system for my blog rating.


Games Rated:

Carcassonne = 5.9
Dominion = 8.8
Pandemic = 8.2
Settlers of Catan = 6
Stone Age = 8.9
Thurn and Taxis = 8.9
To Court the King = 7.5


For a game to be rated I must have played it a minimum three times.

The Scale:
10 = Outstandingly Awesome Game; Always want to play it and I expect this will never change.
9 = Excellent Game; Always want to play it.
8 = Very good game; I like to play. Probably I'll suggest it and I'll never turn down a game.
7 = Good game; Usually willing to play.
6 = Okay game; There is some element of fun or challenge; will play sporadically if in the right mood.
5 = Fair game; Slightly boring, take it or leave it.
4 = Not so good; It doesn't get me but I could be talked into it on occasion.
3 = Bad; Likely won't play this again but could be convinced.
2 = Extremely annoying game; Won't play this ever again.
1 = Clearly broken; You won't catch me dead playing this.

*Ratings are subject to change. If, for instance, I love a game but if everyone I know hates it and I never get play the rating could fall. Or if I'm "mleh" about a game but everyone loves it or it is a good social game the rating could grow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

This past week has been full of good, joy, and highs. It was good and I was able to do good. But it had low points too. I came face to face with me in someone else. Their actions were like a mirror to my soul showing all the things I dislike about me and my reaction wasn’t pretty. I was frustrated, bitter, and angry. I gossiped, criticized, and was down right mean. I was so discouraged with my failures and flaws.

God restored my hope with through Brandon Heath's song Wait and See:



This Thankful Thursday, I am thankful that God isn’t finished with me yet…just wait and see.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Revelation Tour = Amazing

I love concerts. Words fail to capture everything that happens at a show but I am going to try.
We arrived with enough time for a quick look at the merch tables before anything started. I took advantage of a CD special and bought each of the groups CDs. Brent signed up for the Third Day Wired “club” which also gave him an opportunity to met Mac Powell and the band “backstage” after the show (and me more time to buy things and get stuff signed by the other two groups).

First was Revive, a band from down under that Mac Powell discovered and also produced there first CD. You can hear Mac Powell interview them here.



I got to chat with there wives before and after the show. They are super sweet.

Next was Bandon Heath. I really enjoy him music. His album What If We has quickly become my current must listen to CD. I think we listened to it five times on the drive back.

And then Third Day…WOW, what a fun, great, balanced, well-done, high energy, worshipful, perfect, show. With the lights and movement it was easier for my camera to take videos instead of pictures. But videos take up tons of memory so this was the best I got:


Half way through they moved from the stage to behind the sound booth for an acoustic set. They were so close it was almost hard to seem them. This was the best picture we could get:


And that was the show.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend Highlights

Five friends. Four days. Three bands. Two cars. One concert = Priceless.

Actually, I can place a price on this weekend, I just don't want to think about it till the VISA bill comes in. I think (verdict is still out) that it was well worth the time away. Here are the highlights:

  1. Becca and I left around 8ish Friday night, picked up Heidi in Halifax and continued onto Moncton where wonderful Steph let us crash for the night.
  2. Saturday began with sleeping in and hugs. I enjoy spending time with Steph. 
  3. Before leaving Moncton I fell in love...with yarn. Steph took us to Cricket Cove, an amazing yarn store, full of wonderful yarn and knitting related things.  I bought three beautifully soft green skeins.
  4. There was much driving but we arrived just in time to go out to for supper with Kim and Brent at this Irish pub. I had rattlesnake pasta. Other great weekend eating experiences were bottomless soup, salad and bread at the Olive Garden, and appetizers at Chili's after the show.
  5. There was fun shopping. I really like Target. My visa not so happy about Target. Some of my ducky bathroom accessories have needed to be replaced for awhile but none of the stores in my area carry ducky lines. Target had very cute ducky things. Now my bathroom has new ducky things.
  6. And the greatest part and reason for the whole weekend -Third Day Concert. It was everything I hoped it would be. Once I upload pictures I'll share some of the details.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

One week can make all the difference. Nothing changed yet everything was different tonight. I’m in a better place and frame of mind. It’s amazing what prayer can do…why am I always surprised. So without delay things I thank God for:

-Becca, yes again she tops the list! When I didn’t know when I was going to find time to eat/cook today and she called and asked if I wanted to come over for supper. She is such a blessing.

-Tomorrow (and Third Day on Sunday). The promise of a weekend away has helped me to have something to look forward to each day.

-An all night talk that helped me put so much into perspective.

-The ability to make things.

-My friends Kim and Brent and Doug and Terry.

-Soup and games on Sunday.

-Encouraging words.

-Community.

-Clean desks.

Life is good. Thank you God!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009

From Yesterday to Today

The journey from the last night's discouragement to now has been a slow process but well worth the experience (mind you, if i had a time machine to take me back to speak with the last night me i doubt she would have agreed). This is how I've gone from darkness to joy.


-Watch CSI and Eleventh Hour with the Morgans and Becca. It helped me unwind and put time between me and the youth night. It helped that it was one of the best CSI episodes in a while.


-Folded laundry which surprisingly was a positive thing.


-Read a ministry leadership chapter on discouragement. Very good reminder and helped me put thoughts into perspective.


-I spent time in prayer.


-Had two really encouraging comments this morning. Thanks Aaron for your insight and Becca for the email.


-Talked with two close friends. There might have been a bit more venting that necessary. I am glad they still like me.


-The summer “VBS” curriculum arrived this afternoon. It is pretty and shiny and happy.


-I enjoyed a fun night with Becca starting with a huge (30 maybe 40 people) community supper and ended in the Acadia Christian Fellowship's annual coffee house and dessert auction.


And with great joy I can share this amazing news:


I have joined a new knitting group! I was introduced to a knitter at the coffee house and was invited to their weekly knitting group. I can only make it every other week but bi-weekly is better than no knitting.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Attempting To Be Thankful in Spite of Discouragement

How did the Old Testament prophets faithfully teach day after day, year after year, without being continually discouraged when the people they spoke to didn’t listen and wouldn’t change? That is something I desperately would like to know at this moment because right now I feel deflated like old balloon the week after the party.

Youth group ended less than a half hour ago and it seemed pointless. The night was like every other youth night over the past two and a half years I’ve been the youth pastor. Nothing was different but I am left wondering “have the activities of tonight made a positive impact on anyone’s life” and “if this is a failure is it my fault?”

In spite of my discouragement, Becca reminded me to see the good and be thankful. So this is my Thankful Thursday (and I’ll reflect and evaluate the discouragement tomorrow). I thank God for:

-Becca. She is a JOY!
-Breakfast foods. I have a supper date tomorrow.
-Soup! I LIKE SOUP. I like soup on Sundays with friends.
-Hugs from children.
-Friends that support me
-Making cards and new craft supplies. It helps me to relax.
-Good books.
-BBQ ribs and meals with friends.
-Playing new games with Kim and Brent
-Saturday I am going to see the Vinyl Café with friends
-A week from Sunday I’m seeing Third Day –LIVE, Yay!

And Becca just reminded me that youth group ended on time this week. That’s a good thing.

Watch the Lamb

Sunday we are starting a new discovery unit with the child called CSI: Christ Seen Investigations. The first week the clues teach us that Jesus is the Lamb of God. I am thinking about showing this video in the middle of the teaching part:



The original couldn’t be embedded but you can find it here without subtitles. It is the version I would use. Only thing that is holding me back is the length. Seven minutes is a long time to ask children to sit.

What have you seen or done to explain the truth of Jesus to children that worked?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

C is for Continuing

In January I set a number of life goals for myself that could be summed up in 6 Cs. These "Cs" are more than New Year’s resolutions. They a way for me to be intentional in areas I claim matter to me. This is the journey thus far…

Connecting (with God) –These first four days of Lent have changed everything. The lost of media (alone)hasn’t been as painful as I first whined. After that first day I haven’t missed it. Without that distraction I have been able to re-force my mind, heart, and energy. I have enjoyed my days more fully and have been more satisfied with how I spent my time. Without the TV always on I have been listening to more music (which doesn’t count as un-allowed media) that helps focus on God. I have also added reading from a one-year Bible.

Learning to partner sacrifice with seeking God has been a blessing. I know there are just 36 days in which a lot can happen but I choose to celebrate this day as a victory. I am living out of joy not duty. A sidenote: AP’s most recent post ‘Out Emergins Emergent’ was really good. The Eugene Peterson’s Eat this Word quote really connected with me.

Community –I haven’t had people over to my apartment yet but I have been very intentional about putting people first. There have been great games nights, the knitting (so sad it has ended), stamping/card making parties, and yesterday a group had a summer time bbq with mouth watering ribs and three amazing summery salads. So GOOD!

Creativity –This area is going better than I had expected. Three projects that havd been in hibernation for four year are done. I started some new projects Friday and have been thinking more creatively in general. Clichés can be true like, "use it or lose it.”

Correspondence –I’ve sent two packages and two letters. Not bad for a girl who took three years to send my dear cousins their Christmas gifts. The card making has really helped.

Challenges –I also gave myself 12 challenges for the year. I’ve started challenges 3, 5, 6, 6, 8, and 9 and am confident that all 12 will be completed this year.

Commitment –Last is my commitment to personal growth, good habits, and living the other 5Cs. One of the ways I am trying to keep this happening is by setting a monthly focus. January’s was "Get Organized"; February’s was "Spring Cleaning". Both were started and are on going. March’s monthly challenge is to edit the Novel, which I have begun.