Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Amazed by the story...

So it's been a while since I've posted. Bad me (again). So of all the times not to post - now is not one of those. A ton has happened since my last post and I really don't know where to begin, so I will pick the most recent - experiencing the Awaken drama ministry here in CR (at Ceadar Hills Community Church) on Sunday night - amazing.
Awaken ( is a traveling drama ministry based out of Ames, IA. It has great roots from Riverside Bible Camp (which I love) and worked for many years in HS/college and now take my kids to camp - each week of summer camp, Thursday night the counselors put on the mime. It is an incredibly moving portrayal of the life of Christ put to music (all acting, no speaking by the actors) - which the music and the acting tell the story.
I would have to say that over the years I have seen probably over 100 mimes (my high school youth do one for Holy week) - and not that the story (of Jesus) ever gets old and the music changes from year to year, but sometimes I am over critical of them and can be un-impressed. Sunday night however, God moved mightly and the story was portrayed in a way that was unlike anything I had seen before - yea for God inspired work!
I would really do it injustice to try to explain it - check out the website, and go to one if you can (or come see my high schoolers during holy week). But I would have to say this type of drama ministry is one of the most amazing ways God portrays Himself and reveals the story in deeper and grander ways to those watching.
A great reminder that we all are a part of God's great story - and yet the story is still all about Him!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New things

Ok, so this week one of my students who graduated early from High School, started interning with me. It takes a little getting used to finding things for her to do - all the while, not making her to overwhelmed or bored yet still teaching her and showing her what life in ministry is like. I can already tell I am going to get REALLY spoiled having the extra pair of hands to do things. Plus, having her there also makes me much (ok, maybe not much, but....) more focused and on task. I think it will be a grand semester. I am even having time in the evenings to read and watch TV - that doesn't always happen :).
I am really sick of the winter weather here in the great state of IA - I want warm. Which makes me want Feb. 14 to get here even faster (who cares about Valentines Day - I'm going to Dallas!!!!!).
Well, I am off to my volunteering at the elementary school - the 4th graders crack me up. I work with 5 students as an encourager reader and I also work with 1 of the guided reading groups. It is quite fun.
"Enjoy" the snow we are "supposed" to get later 2night/tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2008

song lyrics

So with my kids at church, I am sometimes known as the queen of cheese :) - but they know it is me and they laugh, go along, and usually learn something about life and God through it.
The idea I had for this week was much the same (or so I thought) - but it turned out to be even better.
I have a thing for song lyrics. They will randomly pop in my head and relate to a situation. Which is what happened one night last week when I had drunk caffinee (sp?) too late in the day so was laying awake in bed.
Our lesson for Wed. PM was "new creation" (the 2nd Corn. 5 passage) - because it was the new year, talking about how Christ makes us new and our lives are different (from the old and from the world) when we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us (or they should be).
Faith in Christ changes things. So, lying awake in bed, a song from High School Musical (yes, I secretly like the movies) pops in my head. And as I grab my i-pod and take a listen, the lyrics of the song TOTALLY work for our faith lives - "Start of Something New". So we listened to the song and I told them to wipe every thought/idea they already had about the movie out of their minds and listen to the song as if it were about their relationship with God.
And they were highly impressed at how it worked :). I will include the lyrics here (but go to itunes or somewhere and listen to the song - it really is good), enjoy!

Start of Something New
High School Musical

Living in my own world
Didn't understand
That anything can happen
When you take a chance
I never believed in
What I couldn't see
I never opened my heart
To all the possibilities
I know that something has changed
Never felt this way
And right here tonight

This could be the start
Of something new
It feels so right
To be here with you
And now looking in your eyes
I feel in my heart
The start of something new

Now who'd of ever thought that
We'd both be here tonight
And the world looks so much
With you by my side
I know that something has changed
Never felt this way
I know it for real

This could be the start
Of something new
It feels so right
To be here with you
And now looking in your eyes
I feel in my heart
The start of something new

I never knew that it could happen
Till it happened to
didn't know it before
But now it's easy to see

It's a start
Of something new
It feels so right
To be here with you
And now looking in your eyes
I feel in my
That it's the start
Of something new
It feels so right
To be here with you
And now looking in your eyes
I feel in my heart
The start of something new
Start of something new

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I'm back - for now

After all of my other friends keep us up-to-date about themselves and happenings on thier blogs I decided I'd better get back in the swing off things.
Short one today, as I am soon leaving for Dubuque - riding up with some friends from CR cuz they are going to a YMCA swimmeet, and I am meeting a friend from college (Megan) for lunch. Fun times.
Then, tonight, I get to babysit (2nd shift - Bridget is taking the first) the 2 bestest girls in the world, Grace and Mary (my cousins). All around, it should be a grand day.
Plus, I am liking the bit warmer weather. Wootwoo.
Ok, I will make it a goal to post at least 1 more time this coming week and work at getting some pics up.
Happy Saturday y'all.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Toronto - Day 4

So again I apologize for the lack of updates. Things are going great - we are serving and learning up a storm and they are keeping us very busy, which is great.
Some new serving areas have been Booth Industries - a branch of the Salvation Army which "employs" mentally ill people; we got to work along side of them - what wonderful people they are.
We continue to serve at our anchor spots (Good Shepherd Center - homeless shelter for men; Redeemer - Breakfast and lunch serving; St. Francis Table - restraunt style meal service; and another food service).
Tuesday evening we did our "street walk" where we were divided into 4 groups yet each of us as individuals - pretending to be a 14 year old runaway on the streets having only $2 left to buy food. We had to find a place to sleep, things to eat, how to do hygiene, what to do for entertainment, and how to stay "safe" and under the radar. We walked probably at least 6 miles around the city from 7-10pm. At the end of the night the entire group got to experience public transportation.
Last night - our group did praise and worship and had a bit of time to play in the park.
We have been learning a lot of our faith, God's role in our lives and the lives of the homeless, and many many other things - things we cannot wait to share with you upon our return.
Please keep praying for us - we can tell we are "covered". See you Saturday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Toronto - Day 2

Sorry for the delay on getting this updated. CSM has kept us extreamly busy, I must say. Our travels here went well. We arrived a bit late to the church in Sandusky, OH (which was an amazing host and great church - with a great youth room! - where we role played a wonderful "game" of being homeless vs. provided for. Many funnies and jokes emerged from the Friday van ride :).
Saturday we had a fantabulous day at Cedar Point - some of the highlights included the Dragster (going from 0-120 in 3 seconds), the new Mavrick roller coaster, and fun food (most of the group ate at Famous Daves at one point or another).
Sunday AM we crossed the border with no problems, got our $ exchanged and had a bit of extra time so we hung out at a park by the Detroit River (in Windsor, Ontario).
We then attended the church service at St. Aidans Anglican Church where we will be staying this coming Friday night! They were very friendly people who are excited to have us back. They also gave us a suggestion of where to eat for Father's Day lunch - Giligan's - so we all had huge sandwiches and all got to try Putton (fries w/ cheese and gravy on them!). It was yummy.
Then it was off to Toronto. The trip on the 401 took a bit longer than expected so we arrived at CSM a couple of hours late - but their model is be available and flexible so all was well.
We had our "orientation" and then off to eat some Carribian food. After being "very full" (we are fed quite well here at CSM) we split into 2 groups and did a prayer tour of the city. We were all quite tired but it was a neat way to see and experience everything.
Monday AM began early. Especially for our group who gets to ride the transit system to their ministry sites. We are split into 4 groups and each group serves at 2 various locations each day. Some of them include a kitchen that serves breakfast and lunch to the homeless, another just lunch, making beds/helping at another shelter, being waiters at another "restaurant-like" site, making sandwiches for the sandwich run we did last night, etc.
Another great experience we had last night was doing the sandwhich run - going out onto the streets and giving homeless people a bag lunch - no strings attached/questions asked.
We all have been learning a lot and having amazing experiences. The Lord is teaching us a lot about justice, his love, and how we should treat people (in His name).
Hope all is well with you. We will try and update again in the next day or so. Love and miss you all. Thanks for the prayers.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pre-trip post (Daily Prayers)

This is the first post for the FLY Toronto Mission Trip. I am including here the daily prayers we would love for you to pray over us. You are joining us in this mission with your prayers. May God's blessing be with you.

2007 Faith Lutheran High School Mission Trip
Toronto, Ontario, Canada; CSM (Center for Student Missions)
Friday, June 15 – Saturday, June 23, 2007

As we are gone on our mission trip we would love it if you would be covering us in prayer! Here are

Before Departure: That our team would be working on our own spiritual preparation and that we would be in personal prayer and working to set our attitudes as ones of servanthood. That we would also be preparing ourselves to go serve in a different “culture”.

Friday, June 15: Pray that our team would see our travel as ministry opportunities within our group and the people we meet. Could we share the good news of Jesus Christ with someone even on our way to Toronto? We will be spending this night in Sandusky, OH, praise the Lord for North Coast Community Church and the hospitality that they provide.

Saturday, June 16: Pray that our team would enjoy our day of “play” at Cedar Point Amusement Park. Pray for our safety while at the park. We will be journeying on to Detroit, MI, late that evening, so pray for safety of drivers and travel.

Sunday, June 17: We crossing the border – pray for smooth passage and $ exchange. We will be attending worship at St. Aidan’s Anglican Church in Windsor, Ontario, Canada (where we will be staying Fri. June 22) before arriving at our CSM site in Toronto. Pray for good bonding and fellowship time for our team before really getting into our servant work.

Monday, June 18: Our team will begin our ministry opportunities at various shelters and locations around Toronto. Please pray for our safety while assisting at these sites.

Tuesday, June 19: Our team will be continuing at the ministry sites. Please pray that amidst our busy schedule we would have the hearts of Jesus for those less fortunate than ourselves. Keep those we will be ministering to in your prayers this day, that they may be lights in our hearts and that we may be Jesus’ love to them.

Wednesday, June 20: Please pray for continued open, willing attitudes and hearts to know that we are serving Jesus in all that we do.

Thursday, June 21: On this day, we ask you to pray for our team and our attitudes. We have been together for almost a week now and when you live in close community, sometimes it can create challenges and friction. Pray that we handle conflict with integrity and courage. Pray that we think of others as better than ourselves and approach our relationships with humility.

Friday, June 22: Pray for the CSM staff. As we leave this AM, we will have made many great new relationships. Pray for the staff and counselors who will be continuing in ministry in the Toronto area for the rest of the summer. Please also pray a blessing on our time at St. Aidan’s Anglican Church – with their youth and leaders.

Saturday, June 23: Pray for safety and alertness for our drivers as we make the last leg of the trip from Windsor, Ontario, Canada back to Cedar Rapids. Pray for a smooth boarder crossing. That even in our tiredness we would find opportunities to “be Jesus with skin on”.