Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dream Giver

  I graduated from DLA yesterday. I'm done. I can't quite believe it. It hasn't hit me yet. I'll blog about that later. However, I wanted to share something Jesus has done for me over this last year. Do you know those little prayers that you utter up to God but you don't think He hears. Sometimes they aren't even prayers you speak out loud. They are more like thoughts in your head? Well, I had one of those experiences again. More like a year of them. :)
   I have always had a list of places I have wanted to go and things I have wanted to do. I just realized the other day how I have gotten to go/do several things on my list this past year in DLA. I LOVE traveling....I have a goal of going to all 50 states in the United States. Over my time in DLA I went to 8 new states. That's pretty great for one year!
  I have always wanted to go jet-skiing before. This last weekend we went on a boating trip & I got to jet-ski. What made it even more fun is that I got to ride with some incredible friends (instead of just riding by myself)......who are all very dear to me. Earlier this year I went skiing - always wanted to do that as well. I've always wanted to go white-water rafting as well. 2 weekends ago I did that for the first time.
  Yep, life with Jesus can be pretty exciting. There is a song that says it best...."Come Away with me (Jesus)....I have a plan for you, it's gonna be wild, it's gonna be great, it's gonna be full of me." Basically if we follow after Jesus He has an incredible life in store for us, and it isn't just in the spiritual realm. He has a wild life of fun things planned for us as well. He wants us to enjoy life!!!!!!!

  "Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord 
and He will give you the desires of your heart."
-Psalm 37:4

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cone of Focus

 We currently just finished the last day of our Desperation conference. The second one. I can't believe how fast the summer is flying by. They told me it would be quick, but really. Does it have to go so fast?? I am sure it is just because I am going to be done with DLA in 9 1/2 days and moving back to Kansas for the year or so that I am noticing the speed of life. Oh goodness. I just want time to freeze!!
  Okay, enough rambling. I have a cool story to share with you. On the first night of Desperation I walked into the Living Room (our auditorium) to see somewhere around 4000 students and adults worshiping God. Such an incredible sight!!! While in the room I got a cool picture that I wanted to share with you.
  Have you ever seen the movie Get Smart? Well in that movie Steve Carrell's character is having a meeting with a group of people and he asks to use the 'cone of silence' because he has exciting news and he wants to go and shout in happiness without anyone hearing him. It turns out that his cone doesn't work so he is shouting in the middle of a room full of people who can all hear him. (That is really beside the point). Basically - I want you to get a visual of this 'cone of silence' - a light coming from above in a cone shape that ends up centered in on one person.
  During the conference I just saw each one of the thousands of people in the room with a cone around them, coming from up above...connecting them with God. The people who were actually focused in on God, truly hearing His voice and experiencing His presence had their cone lit up with light. Those who were distracted and not truly experiencing God had a cone that wasn't lit up. Each person that finally locked eyes with God and was connecting with Him had a cone that lit up upon connection. God's desire was that each and every person in that room had a lit up cone.
   Just imagine....thousands of people in a room with a cone of light coming from heaven centered on just them. In their cone it is them and God. The other people in the room are a blur and Jesus has His eyes on that person alone. It is so great, and exactly what God desires for each and every one of us to experience.
   Have you locked eyes on Jesus recently and removed the day to day distractions or is it time to ask Him to light up your cone?? Food for thought. :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Different Kind of Peace

   I've been on a journey lately. A journey of having God weed out the bad in my life. The things that aren't of Him. The thoughts and ideas that have been placed there by others. This means it isn't always easy, but so rewarding in the end. What is better than really TRULY living in what God has for you?  - Nothing. :)

  "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
John 15:1-2

Just a little bit of the smoke over the city...
   This verse basically says it all. In case you haven't heard, the state of Colorado has been experiencing some wildfires this summer. The city of Colorado Springs especially. Now, the pictures on the news kind of made it seem like the whole city was under fire, which wasn't true. However my house was evacuated for a few days. Those few days happened to be in the middle of our first Desperation Conference. 
   Getting evacuated AND helping work at a conference could amount to lots of stress. At first it did bother me. However God got a hold of me. :) He reminded me of His incredible peace that He wants to offer to us.

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

HIS incredible sunset. Just a piece of His majesty.
      God reminded me that although troubles come, His peace also comes. The thing is that I like to trust that everything will be okay in the end. But sometimes bad things happen. About 350 houses got burned in the fire in Colorado Springs. My house could have been one of them. However, it wasn't. God wanted to me to have peace in Him regardless of the outcome, not just if my house was fine. This was a great chance to learn to trust God and have peace NO matter what happens. Peace that He is in control even if the situation looks bad to me. I am not God. I don't know everything He knows. So, maybe it is just time to step back and trust Him. Allow the peace that transcends all understanding to wash over me. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Random Life

  This season that I am in right now is the busiest season of DLA. I LOVE it!! We took finals, went on a summer retreat, had some fun late nights with the high school/junior high students, took part in a conference, had time to hang out an enjoy Colorado, and survived a fire evacuation. This Friday we are going on a rafting trip. I'm excited as it is my very first time rafting! :)

    Here are just a few pictures from my adventures.

We have 'family' groups in which we spend time together hanging out and serving in the city. This was our day at the park. We had some difficulties lighting our fire...whoops!!

This is what we do in our free time at school. ;-)
I lead a group of junior high girls in a Bible discussion on Wednesday nights. We had a fun day, but only a few of them were able to come.

Ruth and Ruth Ann :)
In May we had what is called the Youth Pastor Prayer Summit. Youth leaders from across the country come together to pray and worship God and be encouraged in their leadership. It was such a blessing to be able to serve these youth leaders!!

We had leaders representing all across the nation. :)
We spent our summer retreat in downtown Denver on 16th street. It is such a fun place to stay. Also, there are so many homeless people wandering the streets and other people that it is a great place to speak to people about Jesus.

Of course I would find the cupcake store. ;-)

While on our retreat we went to a Rockies game. They are about par with the Royals in their skill level. Nevertheless, it was fun watching the game!

Me, Jessica, Hannah, Dorie, and Lexi
Marisela and I!! :)

It was raining on the walk back to our hotel, so Caleb found cover under a stranger's umbrella. ;)

I went out to lunch with a couple of the girls in junior high and our other leaders. Such fun!!
Me, Christelle, Janae, Haleigh, Lindy-Joy, and Shilo
 I had a vacation weekend the beginning of June. I really wanted to hike the incline again one day, so I did. :) It was definitely a challenge, but worth the struggle!!

I like the warning of EXTREME trail. You got that right!
Long ways to go......

View from the top.
I made it. Success!!  

On another day off I hiked Blodgett Peak with some dear friends.

Me, Marisela, and Rachelle

Rachelle and I spent an evening of our vacation time at 7 Falls here in Colorado Springs. It is a pretty waterfall to visit, if you want to spend money. My goal is to explore a water fall deep in the woods before I leave!! :)

Part of the climb up to the top. Lots of stairs!!
All 7 of the Falls.
My favorite - I love the name! ;-)

Me and Rachelle

More vacation time.......sleepover and delicous ice cream with some good friends!!

Me, Lindy-Joy, Shilo, Marisela, and Rachelle
Josh & John's = BEST ice cream in Colorado Springs
Every Wednesday night after DSM in the summer we have late nights, all with different themes. The last one was a luau themed evening with limbo, smoothies, and water dunking the pastors.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spring Break

     I got to come home for my spring break, 2 months ago, and spend some much needed time with friends and family. Such a blessing whenever I get to spend a short while at home. I just wanted to share a few pictures from that wonderful week. :)

I stopped at Monument Rocks on the way home. If you ever drive through KS, it's worth the stop!!!

I am SO glad I got to see Gabe play soccer while I was home AND see Mikaela at her track meet!

My buddy :)

My niece is officially taller than me. It's okay.
I went and played putt-putt with Mikaela and Shaun. Such fun! I have a goofy family. Mikaela talked in a British accent the whole night...and so did I. ;)

Practicing their balancing skills...

I gotta represent!! ;-)

Yeah, she's got skills! ;-)

My mom does a Bible study with the grand kids. I got to join the girls at Orange Leaf!

We spent the day at the Salina Zoo. Fun stuff!!

Someday I'll get over my fear of lions but for now....

Can't stop in Topeka without a summer visit to Tad's...or Billy Vanilly. ;)

So, if you can't tell I kind of LOVE Zechariah. He's my special buddy.

He just looked toooo cute reading his book in the car. :)

Silly guy. He got himself stuck on the car.
All in all it was a great trip home! :)