Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vacation pt 3

It Tuesday afternoon, I think...I haven't been sure of what day it's been for about two weeks. I am currently in Louisville, KY where the New Attitude Conference took place. Things wrapped up today around 1:00 pm after CJ Mahaney spoke on the doctrine of adoption. The conference has taken up the last four days and has been amazing. The amount of teaching we took in was incredible...Four days filled sermons from Josh Harris, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, CJ Mahaney, Eric Simmons, and John Piper. I know I will planning to relisten to most of the messages to take in things that I missed, which can all be found on the New Attitude website. I'm heading back to Lakeshore tomorrow and I'm looking forward to applying some of the things I learned at the conference and getting back into the swing of things.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vacation pt. 2 - the smell of lilacs

This week has been pretty great. I made it to Platteville yesterday to surprise my mom - it was fun...As far as I know she had no idea I was coming. Prior to arriving in Platteville I stopped to see my pregnant sister. I also got to spend a couple hours with my pastor, his wife, and son.
This morning I got my moped out and took a spin around town to look at what all has changed. Then I went for a walk in a favorite park of mine on my college campus. I went to visit a few of the places I spent hours in prayer and scripture. It was even more beautiful than I remember.

One of my favorite spots, a place I rode bike and hiked was now guarded by barbed wire fence. Maybe due to the old railroad bridge that was falling apart for the last several years.
And maybe one of the things that I have been looking forward to the most is the smell of the lilacs blooming in the spring.

Monday, May 19, 2008

vacation pt. 1

For a little update...

I've been away from Lakeshore now for a week and having a great time at my friends Jer & Katie's house in Chippewa Falls, WI. I'd forgotten how beautiful this state is...when I was flying in over Minneapolis then driving into Wisconsin just the beauty of the landscape the trees, the grass, the rocks, and the hills it's awesome.

I've also been able to reconnect with people I've met in here in the past or that have been to Lakeshore to volunteer. It's been a great, yet challenging week. I can't think of any time in the last several years that I've been away from the Internet for more than a couple days. While it has been hard for me to think of all the emails that are piling up and the things that I could be looking forward to on the calendar and all the interesting things happening on facebook :) – it's been great to be away from it with my mind not totally focused on those things.

It has also been challenging spiritually, yet renewing. I've learned a great deal about myself and what I need to improve on as I grow in my relationship with the Lord. I have had a lot of time to read as well, but sadly I haven't done much...almost every time I've sat down to read the eye lids close and I fall asleep. Maybe I've been a little sleep deprive, who would have thought? But I have begun working on what I would like to go through this fall with the ladies Bible study. If not for the ladies study, it's a great personal study of the attributes of God.

I am now looking forward to the next leg of my trip...a visit to see my sister and a surprise visit to my hometown for just a few days before heading off to Louisville, KY. Now I am just hoping no one will check the blog from Platteville in the next few hours before my arrival...

Friday, May 09, 2008

I wonder what the worship song would sound like...

I was reading Abraham Piper's blog 22 Words this morning, a blog that has become one of my favorites. He posted yesterday "10 things we don't mention in worship songs, but that I'm happy God saved me from" He gives his own list of things and as I was reading it over, I began to think of all the things the Lord has saved me from or is still working on in me (many of them still working on, but know in Christ can have freedom from). Some I wish I still didn't have to struggle with. It makes me realize how far the Lord has brought me and made me stop to pray and thank God for not only saving me or working on these things in me, but also for saving me from eternal damnation and adopting me as one of his own.

My list in no particular order:

1. Death (deserved or self-inflicted)
2. Self-injury
3. Immorality
4. Over Analyzing
5. A Psychology major
6. Self-Centeredness (woe-is-me attitude)
7. Fearing what people are thinking
8. Addictions
9. Uncontrolled Anger
10. The need to please, fear of failure

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Through the Lord alone

Because I've left most people out in the dark...read on for a brief update on what the Lord is doing in me and the ministry of Lakeshore Baptist Church....
  • I returned from Atlanta last month from my interviews with NAMB. Lord willing I will be finding out officially in the next couple weeks if I will be an approved missionary.
  • March and April were pretty amazing, many groups and a lot being accomplished.
  • Mrs. Diane's house is almost complete...just waiting on the county to install the grinder.
  • We began 2 new houses. (the Boyds and Calhouns)
  • My little home has been started.
  • Lord willing in the next week I will get to do a little traveling between Mississippi, Wisconsin, and Kentucky.
  • I've been enjoying experimenting and cooking...I don't cook much, but I love to learn and try things for myself.
  • May is low with the number of volunteers, but we do have an Americorp group that is staying on site and helping us out for a few weeks.
  • I've been enjoying time with Britt and Liz (a couple of our long term volunteers.)
  • I helped Tyvek for the first time ever (I send out people to do all these things and I watch them, so every now and then I like to put myself to the test to see if I am capable of doing come of these things). I installed collar ties for the first time too - I hope they are even enough to hang sheetrock on.
  • I've been reading Galatians in the mornings and trying to read a bunch of different books in the evenings.
  • I enjoyed seeing and spending time with the returning group from Providence Baptist Church in Franklin MA that was here last week. I've never seen a group consume so many snickers and m&m's.
  • The Lord continues to work in Lakeshore and in my life - conforming me more and more into his image. He's teaching me and reteaching me things through his Word and the counsel of other believers. I am grateful for all the Lord is doing in my life, the folks who I work with, and among the people in the community. May the Lord continue to be glorified and praised.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Last True Story

The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq has seen good reviews from most, but I wasn't as impressed. It begins with author John Crawford complaining that his National Guard unit was called up one semester before he was set to graduate and while he was on his honeymoon. I don't know about most people, but I've been aware that if you sign up with the National Guard, thinking you're signing up to get tuition benefits, there is the chance that you will be called up to serve (most of the time in a war you don't agree with). I'm afraid this affected my attitude as I read the rest of the book.

But I did feel for him as he was separated from his wife and as he told stories of relationships that ended in divorce while husbands were serving overseas apart from families for a year or more. He accounts life in Baghdad as we may not have heard from the nightly news: insufficient body amour, homesick soldiers, life always on guard, extreme weather, recreational use of prescription drugs and alcohol, grizzly things they are asked to do, and the people they are to protect.

But throughout the book it appears that Crawford has no agenda, but to reveal to us what he and others experienced in Iraq (of course in the most crude language possible) and to make sure we know that he wants nothing more to do with the United States Army.

Despite my feelings for this book, Crawford's story continues increase my gratitude for the men and women who serve in the armed forces and my support our troops, whether or not I agree with the tasks they've been sent to do.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Plans for New Attitude

I've got my plans set to head to the New Attitude conference in Louisville, KY May 24-27. This will be my first time to the conference, though not my first time to be under the teaching/preaching of most of these men. Over the past 5 years I've really come to appreciate the ministries of, the books by, and online sermons preached by John Piper, Josh Harris, CJ Mahaney, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, and Eric Simmons; all of whom will be speaking at the conference. I'm grateful the Lord has given me the opportunity to go this year and the church has allowed me to take the time away from Lakeshore to do this.

I will also be attending the conference with Kristy Miller who served here in Lakeshore last summer and into the fall. I'm looking forward to seeing her and spending time with her at the conference.