Saturday, November 7, 2009

Moving....

I'm moving my blog to WordPress. Blogger has been great, but I have a few more options at WordPress that I like. I took some time (a lot of time!) to look back over this Church Planting journey and document some of what happened and lessons learned. You can check it out here. Hope you'll come with me.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Who do you look like?

Sometimes I look at Caleb and see myself or Tim in him. I think he is a really good mix of both us, he doesn't look JUST like either one of us only. But every now and then I look at him and think, "WOW! I can really see Tim in him right now!" Or another time I'll see something in him and think, "WOW! He really looks like me!" And then there are a lot of times when I see him and just see how much he looks like Caleb!

And I got to thinking, do I resemble my Heavenly Father? And I don't want to over-spiritualize this, but I've really been thinking about this lately. When people look at me, do they see characteristics of God in me? Do I reflect Him? Or do they just see Vicky?

What does that mean to look like God? The Bible says that we were created in God's image. What would it mean for people to look at me and see God?

I think a great measuring stick for this would be the fruits of the Spirit. If God is working in me, then this list of characteristics will describe me. When we look at how Jesus lived when He was here on earth we can see how these words described Him.

Living up to this list is tough. And it's a lift long process. I will never attain them perfectly. BUT, I need to try.

I need to become more and more like my Heavenly Father so when people look at me they can think, "WOW! She really looks like her Father!"

Friday, October 23, 2009

But good things don't happen to me!

I was talking to a friend last night who said those words. And when she did I shared a time in my life when I said the same thing.

I found out my cousin was pregnant just about a month before I found out I was pregnant. My sister doesn't want to have children and no one else in my family was at a place where they were planning a family either. I had resigned myself to the fact that if I ever were blessed with a pregnancy that I would do it alone. I wouldn't have a family member of close friend to walk that road with like I've seen in my family or friends.

So, when I found out I was pregnant and that my cousin and I were due only a month apart I was excited...but only for a moment. I really didn't think this was actually going to happen. I figured something would happen and I would lose the baby or something. I've seen so many people I care about miscarry and just thought it would happen to me.

Because good things don't happen to me. Not things THAT good!

I told this to Tim and he looked at me and said, "Why can't God give this to you? Why can't you be given this experience together with your cousin?"

I didn't have an answer. Except that I always feel like good stuff happens to other people, not me.

That's a pretty bad attitude to have about life. About a God who loves me. Especially when I do have so many blessings.

There are some things happening in life right now that could make life go better. Way better. Some dreams could maybe be fulfilled. These could be some really good things that happen "to" me. I can't go into it now, but hopefully soon.

I have to get past this "good things don't happen to me" thing! If God wants to bless me, then I need to be thankful and ready for it. And then RESPONSIBLE with it. Treasure it. Remember it in times when the blessings seem few and far between.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dear Church of Veritas


I greet you in the name of our loving and powerful God.

I have heard of your struggles and your triumphs, your challenges and your lessons. I am proud to be linked to you. You have been through a lot, but you have not turned your back on God. He has been teaching you and stretching you and you have been obedient. You love those around you. You seek God's voice and His Plan. You serve without complaint. You hope and believe.

But your hope is waning. You are letting fear sneak into your thoughts, your prayers and your lives. You are missing opportunities for God to work because you fear and don't follow God entirely.

Do not lose hope. God is not done with you yet. He asks us to follow Him, but He will only show you the steps beneath your feet. You must learn to trust Him to lead and not get in front of Him. You must take the steps He asks you to take even when you don't know where it will end.

The road before you has not been traveled by many, but God has it well planed out. Travel it boldly. But don't travel it alone. This is a command! This road is not only for you, but for those around you who God loves and longs for.

You are not alone in this journey. God travels it with you, even when it feels like He is far away. And there are many who are traveling this journey with you in prayer. They are doing what they can to support you in your journey, don't get lazy and not do the work where you are.

I cannot wait to hear more from you and your progress, your adventures, your lessons, your tests, your successes, your failures, and how God uses you. I will write again soon.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. {Hebrews 10:24-25}

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Highs and Lows for 10-11-09

This is my first time "playing this game"! :) Check it out on Slightly Cosmo's blog!

Highs

1. Monday, October 5, my and Tim's 13 year anniversary of our first date. We had such a special time! It was WONDERFUL! Wished it didn't have to end so fast, but we had a sweet little guy to get home to.








2. I got to have dinner with a former student and be a listening ear for her as she goes through a lot of heavy stuff right now. And I got to treat her to dinner!



3. Saturday I had a little alone time. Grammie and Pa decided that morning to take Caleb for the rest of the day. He had a GREAT time with them. Tim was at a conference, so I was home alone. I can't remember the last time that happened!





Lows

1. I missed the message and hearing Sara's story at church. BUT, I will listen to the recording...soon I hope!







2. STRESS!!!!

LOADS AND LOADS OF IT









3. Not sleeping well due to the STRESS!!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Remember


I am a big fan of the David Crowder Band. This is not a secret. I think his music is interesting and creative and his lyrics are poetic and speak to emotions that are so deep inside us that sometimes we (I) can't find the words. He does!

His latest album "Church Music" is blowing me away.

There are some things going on in life right now that have serious consequences. The decisions that need to be made could change the trajectory of our lives quite a bit. I went through a dark time and wondering what was going on and where God was. I felt very alone and lost.

I'm not going to say that things are all peaches and roses now, but it's better. Things still need to be decided, but I don't feel hopeless anymore.

Anyway, we bought this album when it came out. This song really spoke to me in a different way in light of my circumstances. It's called "Shadows" and here are the lyrics (the music that goes with it is great too!):

Life is full of light and shadows

Oh the joy and oh the sorrow, oh the sorrow

And yet will He bring day from night

And yet will He bring dark to light

When shadows fall on us

We will not fear

We will remember

When darkness falls on us

We will not fear

We will remember

When all seems lost

When we’re thrown and we’re tossed

We’ll remember the cost

We’re resting in the shadow of the cross


I listened to this song for the first time at a time when I was feeling so completely hopeless. I felt that "all was lost". I was FEELING the shadows. You know when life just seems so dark that you can actually feel the darkness, the loneliness?


The lyrics of this song gave me strength. "And yet He will bring day from night, He will bring dark to light... We will not fear, we will remember...We're resting in the shadow of the cross."


I don't like to just get inspiration from musical artists. They can say anything they want and they can come up with beautiful lyrics and phrases that make you feel all warm and fuzzy, but that doesn't make it truth. So, it got me thinking about my Bible.


In my LTG right now we are reading the Psalms. That book is PACKED FULL of highs and lows. And the highs are really high and the lows are really low. I see numerous times when he feels that the world is closing in around him, when he feels hopeless. There are Psalms that talk about enemies plotting to kill him and he's trying to hide from them. And yet he never gives up, and recalls times when God has been faithful, rescued him, crushed his enemies, loved him. He remembers them.


And just look at when Jesus was crucified. Imagine how hopeless it looked for them at the time. People who followed Jesus believed He was going to save them all from oppression and lead them to victory. These people had been changed by His teachings. Then he was killed. They probably waited for Him to fight back, to come down off that cross...but it never happened. Then they watched His body be put in the tomb and the giant rock get rolled in front of it. The scene was hopeless. They were alone. I'm sure they could feel the darkness.


BUT....


That's not the end of the story! In our times of darkness and hopelessness we can remember the rest of the story. We can remember how God kept His promises. We can remember how Jesus defeated death and kept His promise to leave us a Helper. We can remember that He promises to always be with us. We can remember that His power conquers all...even death.


Does that mean all our dark times with have happy endings and we get all that we hoped for? Absolutely not.


What it does mean is that we are not alone in our darkness. We can have hope...if we remember. If we remember God's promises, His power, what He's done in the past - both in the Bible and in our own lives.


He is Light. He chases away darkness. He is Hope. He is Peace.


You may need to remind of this in future!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cider and doughnuts

Today, October 5, marks the 13 year anniversary of our first date! It was such a nice night.

Our first date was to a cider mill in Michigan. I had never been to a cider mill before as we don't have them here in Wisconsin (to my knowledge anyway). They make FRESH apple cider and amazing doughnuts. We bought some of each and sat outside sipping our cider...among TONGS of bees!! The bees are as much a part of a cider mill experience as the cider is, I think!

So, tonight we warmed up some apple cider and Tim bought some doughnuts and we enjoyed them together. We went to a secluded part of Bay View park and sat on a lake listening to the waves lap up against the shore. The sun was setting and painting the most amazing sky! The colors were gorgeous bouncing off the clouds. At one point the sun lit up the breaker wall rocks so they looked like gold!

I SO wished I had my camera with me!

We sat there together reminiscing about the last 13 years and where they have taken us. It was so peaceful. So beautiful.