Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Dip, swipe, press, snip, stitch, wrap, tape, mix, bake--these along with "Go Tell it On the Mountain," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "The First Noel," and other holiday classics filled my days leading up to our Christmas celebrations.

Then dinner with extended family: the hustle and bustle, the smiles and introductions with your grandmother's extended family who many only half know (and I have never met). Aromas drift through the air--from both delectable treats, as well as through the conversation, giving a taste into each person's life. "Really, they are married now? How time flys." "Yes, well, coming from Australia, being in the United Kingdom is practically in your neck of the woods so I stopped by." "His new haircut really makes him look so hip." "We are so blessed he was protected." "Oh look at you, how'd you manage to sit at the young table?"

Hubs with his new coat and Skyrim
Then Christmas Eve morning, and my man and I have our own sweet Christmas celebration together. After days upon days of jesting and certainty that we each got the other the best gifts this year, the anticipation was not uncalled for: I received some gorgeous riding style boots and my very own sewing machine(!!), and my husband loves his Jack Bower coat and Skyrim video game.

We enjoyed some amazing homemade french toast from yours truly, and enjoyed finishing up some gifts for our family during the afternoon. Then we spent the evening with my parents, sister, brothers, grandma and great-grandmother exchanging a few gifts and sharing my mom's traditional Christmas dinner together--green bean casserole, Sam's Ham, and amazing hashbrown casserole. I made one of my favorite Christmas treats--Bonoffee Pie (I hope to share the recipe here some day--it's incredible.)

Christmas Eve Dinner with my Family
As the sun was rising Christmas morning we returned to my parent's home to share in gift giving with my family. My family makes quick and delightful work of opening gifts and it is always a wonderfully fun time. We opened more than we expected to receive--including the super surprising gift of my parents buying our tickets to go to Walt Disney World with the family in February!!! Next we worshipped our amazing Savior together at church, and after receiving an exciting gift to each other (and mainly WorshipArts) I'll tell you about soon, we headed out to Grandma Webbs to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening opening a plethora (read, over 100) gifts together with another group of Peter's family.  Smiles, laughs, crinkling paper, the pop of plastic toy boxes, and the occasional tears of joy filled the home.

On the road to Ohio
Then another pre-sunrise morning and a drive down to Ohio, to Tami's parents home--a lovely haven of rest, fun, movies, games and family. I'm loving how chill and relaxed it is here, but I also can't wait until Peter takes me on our annual trip to Easton for my birthday, and then our trip down to have some serious encounters with Jesus at the conference Winter Ramp!

I hope and pray you too have had a beautiful, relaxing, time with your family, receiving and giving gifts of love and time (and of course a few actual presents as well). And most importantly, I hope you have met and experienced the love of Jesus in this time--be it in a private moment with him, while singing his praises in a carol, or through the wonder of family love--as we celebrate his birth together.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Adventures of the 20th

Today was one of those perfect Christmas vacation days. Peter and I slept in until the crazy hour of 11, spent some quality time together lounging around the apartment, and went out for brunch at Cracker Barrel thanks to gift cards and the generosity of awesome people we know. 

On the way home we ran a few errands to grab some more supplies for Christmas gifts, paid a visit to some frogs and their gnome friends, and then headed home. I spent the next 5 or so hours crafting my heart out creating some fun presents to give our family during this weekend's festivities while listening to pretty amazing Christmas music. 

I love living life with my best friend. Peter keeps me positive even when at hour 4 of creating it's starting to feel less expressive and just plain laborious. He challenges me to keep writing (especially by setting some pretty hefty goals of his own for next year) and to not let my standards of perfection keep me from getting things done. Anytime anything that doesn't line up with Christ (stress, worry, frustration etc!) enters my mind he doesn't hesitate to call me out on it and straighten out my thinking with an encouraging word that points me to Jesus. He's brilliant, and as you can see for yourself, "a genius." 


Thanks to you, hubs, for making the holidays amazing with our own little family time to rest 
and delight in all the blessings Jesus has given us.

Interested in that fabulous Christmas playlist? Check it out:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


"You did WHAT? What the ----"

We've all heard it somewhere: a slightly too colorful word or phrase. Swearing, cursing, profanity, vulgarity--it's all around us, and as Christians, it is super easy to add it to our vocabulary. But is it right?

I've talked about swearing and cursing with a lot of people over the years, and the first response usually looks something like: "Well, who defines swearing? What is ACTUALLY a swear word? What is vulgar?" In essence: isn't it all relative anyway? My church recently did a series called "Is it Relative? Living Morally in an Amoral World" and I think that truth summarized in that title applies: words are amoral, but the way we use them can be moral and immoral.

But back to the questions they pose. Lets look at some definitions, shall we? Vulgar is defined as " indecent; obscene; lewd; crude; coarse; unrefined." Swear, in our context, means "to use profane oaths or language." Profane goes a bit further, and was originally in relation to taking the Lord's name in vain: "characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious." It also means "not devoted to holy or religious purposes; unconsecrated; secular ( opposed to sacred)." (Vulgar is also a definition of profane, coincidentally.) And, just to be thorough, I pulled up profanity: "The quality of being profane; irreverence. Profane conduct or language; a profane act or utterance. Obscenity."

So to recap, swearing is using words in a way that are indecent, crude, coarse, not devoted to holy purposes, and obscene. Regardless of context or intent, this is the definition of swearing.

I feel like the recap definition above answers this question on its own, but I'd like to state it because it gets asked: "Doesn't the culture define what is swearing? I mean what about: 'Those who reject Christ's salvation will not enter heaven, but will enter hell.'" This goes right back to words being amoral. Using the word hell in that context is appropriate and is not offensive. Yet often times, when a word becomes profanity, the actual definition of the word loses any "clean" meaning that it had (ex. the alternate for "donkey") or in many cases it wasn't something decent to talk about in the first place.

Though a search result for "profanity" doesn't bring up any scripture, the Bible has a lot to say about how Christians are supposed to live, the conditions of our hearts, and controlling what we speak.

The Psalmist pleaded that God would "Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips" (Psa 141:3). And then in Proverbs, there is an actual reference for the idea that we will "eat" our words: "A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled" (Pro 18:20). James, as he likes to do, lays it down straight in verse 26 of the first chapter: "If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless."

Clearly, there are things we shouldn't say. Isn't this just about the obvious stuff, like dishonoring God's name, or tearing down someone else? I'd say yes, that's included, but I'd say there is also a lot more on the table here.

In Luke 6:45, Jesus clarified it even more: "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." We get a peak into the condition of our heart through the words we say.

In fact, Jesus expands on this concept in Matthew 12:33-37: "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

Every word we say matters--even if done thoughtlessly or ignorantly, we will have to give an account. Our words are very important: "It's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth" (Mat 15:11).

So what are Christians called to be, do, and say?

We are called to a higher standard, to live our lives in a way that leads others to Christ. We are called to live in accordance with the Kingdom of God, to make our bodies, God's temple, a place that He is comfortable in and wants to dwell in because it is laid out according to His desires.

A few things that God doesn't like in His house include "fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness." In fact, He had it written that we should "let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks" (Eph 5:3-4).

Instead, God wants His house (ahem, you and me) filled with "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things" (Phi 4:8). 

And there is an even bigger reason than just making God happy. He wants us to keep a clean house--a clean spirit and mind--for a purpose. It's like "in a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work" (2Ti 2:20-21). That good work is being a representation of Christ to those around us because "we prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love" (2Cr 6:6).

If it is at all in our means, we need to live at peace with everyone around us--and the people around us are a part of our culture (Rom 12:18). We "work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will [otherwise] not see the Lord" (Hbr 12:14).

Speaking with peace and holiness while using profanity cannot go hand in hand; they are contradictions. Think about the context of nearly all swearing: either tearing someone or something down, expressing frustration vulgarly, or simply being idle in a careless, profane way with your speech. Does this promote peace and give an example of living a holy life? It's OK for us to express our feelings, but it's not OK for us to violate God's desires and standards when we do so (Eph 4:26-27).

It's about a lot more than the words you say. It is about living a life that is pure, which is an antonym for vulgar. From my perspective, God doesn't care about the act of swearing; He cares about what the act of swearing means about your heart.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I love ideas.

I'd go so far as to say discovering ideas is my hobby. I love spending my time finding new ideas and dreaming about all the things I could do, or that I could inspire others to do. I've realized it's more than just a general love of information, which I've written about before, but actually specifically I love thinking about, discovering, and especially sharing ideas that are helpful and generally brilliant!

Onto this stage of my life, with this setting of loving ideas, entered a new character: Pinterest.

Oh my goodness, friends, this website is incredible. It is completely about sharing ideas! At it's simplest, it is like the bookmarks you can make in your browser, except public and it uses pictures. You set up "boards" where you "pin" photos that link to different websites. Let me warn you now: this will easily eat up hours of your time if you aren't careful!

I have used boards for collecting ideas for my parents 50th Birthday Party, keeping track of decoration ideas for parties/weddings that I may help with in the future, my Christmas/birthday wish list, a list of more practical items I'd like to purchase, home decorating ideas, tips & tricks, recipes, and ideas for our future children to name a few!

I definitely see myself writing posts in the future about ideas I've found and used from Pinterest--so keep your eye out! And if you don't have an account and you'd like to be invited, I'd be happy to invite you. It is set up so that the pins that show up in your home screen are from boards you follow--so you can fairly easily eliminate the odd crude photo (honestly, I've only stumbled on like...two) by only following the boards of your friends or a few carefully selected other boards. (It's also good to note you cannot make a board private at this time.)

Ideas are incredible, and I am so privileged to live in an age where the internet has enabled sharing of ideas like never before. I cannot wait to see where this new technology and idea sharing will change, shape, and build interactions with people throughout my lifetime!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Powerful Love

I've started following Whitney's blog (which has the fantastic and memorable name of Elm Street Life) and wow, has it been encouraging or what! I had been lacking inspiration for my own blog, and she helped me get out of my rut. I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon her (maybe Pinterest somehow?) but I'm definitely thinking it was a God-thing.

Besides the clean layout style that inspired my blog's new makeover, she posts about real life in straightforward, well-crafted segments. It's not any one theme other than her own life, but she's so creative and I can tell she loves Jesus. I know its a long stretch to say after reading only a few of her posts, but my heart says we'd be "kindred spirits" if we ever were to meet.

Today I just had to share this powerful little clip she showed in her post "A Picture of Grace". I didn't have time to listen to the whole message from her pastor, so I skipped to 29:15 like she suggested. And wow. What an incredible picture of our Father's grace and love!

Lord, help me understand your heart towards me consistently. You are so good.


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Realities of Heaven

I am so favored to be alive in such a time as this!

That statement, I believe, is probably rarely thought in our country. The economy is doomed, schools are less successful and more dangerous, families fall apart at every turn, non-profits that care for the poor are carrying so much more that they are forced to close their doors, and not just in some abstract part of the nation: It's happening on many "Main Streets" in our country--even right here in Kalamazoo. The message is everywhere--the front page of the paper, the headlines on the news websites, and the conversation you over hear in the coffee shop: "FEAR." 

If modern news stories, conversations and your circumstances are what influences you, then you're probably dealing with some serious fear as well. Times are rough. Prices aren't going down. Hours at work aren't going up. So many of my friends and acquaintances are dealing with serious problems--from lack in finances, transportation problems, to relational issues and everything in between. "What if..." is a mercenary-thought just waiting to murder your day, week, and outlook on life.

But this is only a fraction of reality, only the surface tension trying to keep back the depth of the water life is!

God is moving in a powerful way. I am hearing testimonies multiple times a week of the wondrous ways He is working! More and more are praying as they drive and walk throughout their lives and are seeing real differences. My sister was miraculously healed of TMJ and was able to open her jaw completely without pain for the first time in two years. I know 26 people who were baptized a week and a half ago. 

God is moving His people across the nation in powerful ways! 

Last Friday (11-11-11) four major prayer events took place in the north, south, east and west of the United States. In the north, tens of thousands gathered from across America at The Call (led by Lou Engle) in Detroit to fast, pray and cry out to God to end abortion, end racial divides, and unite our nation under God. In the south in Dallas there was a citywide call to prayer at the Irving Convention Center. The culmination of 40 days of 24/7 prayer, worship and fasting led by James Nesbit in the east in Washington, D.C. ended that night. And to the west "a call for Unity, an Outpouring of the Holy Spirit and to see the Glory of God for Revival and a Harvest of Souls" occurred as thousands gathered in the Rose Bowl to intercede for our nation.

Powerful, life changing messages are being shared in local congregations and through nationally known speakers from Bethel Church in California and The Ramp in Alabama, to name two that God has use to impact my life.

God is calling us to listen to His voice in this time. And from what I have picked up "fear" is the last thing He's focusing on right now. Now is the time to press into Him; now is the time for new intimacy with our Savior. We must "set [our] sights on the realities of heaven...not the things of earth" (Col. 3:1-2). He is looking for the ones who are watching, listening, their ear ever tuned to Him so He can move in powerful ways. 

In order for this to happen, we are going through a refining fire. Those of us who have less than wholehearted devotion are experiencing distance, less tolerance, and pain--this refining fire burns hot.

The enemy is throwing trial after trial in our path and highlighting our every weakness in order to keep our eyes on the things of earth. If he can keep you consumed with the day to day life without Christ, then he has the victory. My friends, don't wait until you "get a moment" to tune into what Christ is doing. Make the moments. Listen to worship music every chance you can (I can recommend a few artists that keep me focused on Christ). Turn on a sermon podcast while you're doing the dishes or driving in the car. Open your Bible instead of checking your "Words With Friends" app (I'm guilty here for sure.) If we don't make the moments, we will miss out what the Spirit is doing now.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's Facebook In-Real-Life

Here I am, sitting in McDonald's with nine WorshipArts students. The layout of the restaurant, intentionally designed to accommodate the average American family of four (or maybe six if the generous parents allowed the two kids to bring their friends) didn't have a place where we could all sit together. So the Genesis team is clustered seven people around a four person booth, and myself and two others are at their nifty laptop bar.

Even though the Genesis team is officially meeting (and I know they are truly being productive) it's been interesting to observe them and the other WorshipArts-ers interact. What might seem a bit unusual is that half of this interaction is happening...on Facebook.

One person was on Facebook, and then hacked into another person's account who is here. They made a humorous status, and then another student commented on it. I've also posted and interacted with them on Facebook here, too. It's very intriguing to see the Facebook World and the In-Real-Life World crossover; it has taken "passing notes" to a whole new level. 

It is incredible that this group is so tight knit and laid back, that one of them just referenced the post, and the other eight people are all in on the joke already, and they laughed along. Then almost immediately they have seamlessly integrated back into their topic, back on focus and on track.

Yes, to the traditional teacher, this certainly looks unproductive. But WorshipArts is successful in obtaining its goals, and in addition their community is so strong, loving, supportive, and fun! I don't completely understand Peter's model for the program, but I know it works, and it is blessed.

Who knows how social networking will continue to become a normal integrated part of communication? Though it could look like the kids were zoned out once in a while on Facebook, they were actually building their own community. What looked divisive, was actually strengthening and unifying. And how will social networks effect and change traditional teaching? I certainly don't know, but I'm excited to see the growth and evolution of communication!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Dove in Mind

At the Three Streams Convergence Conference in Toronto, Canada October 3rd though 6th, 2011, I heard amazing teachings from major leaders of Bethel Church (Redding, CA), International House of Prayer (Kansas City, MO) and Catch the Fire (Toronto, Can.). (Hows that for a sentence PACKED with details...)

Out of the cascade of incredible testimonies, stories, and revelations shared, one point from Pastor Bill Johnson's teaching on Tuesday night has not left my mind. 

He told the story of when the Holy Spirit descended on Christ like a dove "and He remained upon Him." Bill Johnson said, think about that: if you have a dove on your shoulder that you don't want to leave you, how are your going to act? As Bill said, "Your every movement is with the dove in mind." 

He illustrated it with a white cloth on his shoulder, and he walked slowly, watching the "dove", paying attention to it. It got me thinking about my own life, and if I am truly living it every moment mindful of the dove on my shoulder, the Holy Spirit's presence in my life. 

This would mean that I would be constantly looking to Him and talking to Him, to know where He's at. I would be checking every action that I did, because I would be completely aware that the slightest wrong movement would mean He could "fly away."

Or to look at it another way: As Christians, we have accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord, and the Holy Spirit has taken up residence inside of us. What type of residence do we provide for Him? Am I a dwelling He likes? 

Am I spending my time honoring Him, or do I act as if His opinion is really negotiable, and it doesn't effect my decisions? Do I choose to err on the side of caution so I don't offend Him, or is His opinion a bit of a "grey area" in my life? 

I've been fairly convicted in this: if I'm not concerned about what He thinks, if I'm calloused about spending time with Him, or I don't "feel" the conviction of crossing His lines, then that means I've let myself fall out of love with Him. 

I want to sow daily into my relationship with Christ, honor Him with my thoughts and actions, and be mindful of His presence in every moment so that never happens!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Like an Earthquake

I was sitting minding my own business tonight as I used facebook (which is what everyone does on facebook you know) when I saw a friend's profile picture. In it she had the words "People get ready...Jesus is coming!" That reminded me of the incredible 10 minute long song by Misty Edwards my friend was referencing, and I couldn't get the quote out of my head as I continued surfing.

Naturally, I did what makes the most sense--I decided I should play the song.

And oh my word, the Holy Spirit just showed up right here, while I'm in my PJs alone in our apartment surfing Facebook, of all times and places!

I started crying as the power of the lyrics sunk into my spirit--"He's coming. He's coming. He's alive!"

Even before I was half way though the song, He started stirring His words in my heart--"I am coming to Kalamazoo. I am coming to Michigan."

"People get ready. Jesus is coming."

God is steadily, drumming, beating, yet whispering:
Growth is coming. Freedom is coming. That which was unhealthy in relationships, thoughts, actions and has been tolerated will no longer be tolerated. 
I've seen many, many relationships hit the true crisis point in the last two years. Marriages, friendships, work environments, family relationships--everything. And I've seen these relationships either be restored...or destroyed. It has been both humbling and sobering. "Once again I'm going to shake / Everything that can be shaken / Once again I'm going to break / Everything that can be broken."

And yet the release of freedom has been even more humbling!

I just spent the evening with my amazing parents(-in-law) and I heard story after story of the incredible freedom God is releasing in the lives of those in Paw Paw. I've heard and seen God's presence show up and miracles occur downtown at my church's young adult group, Dwell. My Facebook news-feed continues to have more and more verses as statuses. Our church has finally, after many years, broken the 200 member barrier, and are nearing 250 people gathering to seek God together. I just heard on the radio--Kalamazoo is the best city in Michigan in terms of the economy--I credit that to God and the prayers of His people here.

As this song was going, all of this was running through my mind. All this freedom that I've witnessed isn't the end--it is the beginning! God started pounding it into my heart--these are what come before the earthquake. I wasn't sure of the term, so I googled: "what are the little quakes before a big earthquake called" and found this site. I started reading and before I found the term "foreshocks" I was immediately hit--they were using snapping as an illustration for how an earthquake works! My co-worker, a leader at our church and my good friend often snaps when she is praying, and lately I've been doing it, too. I had always figured the snapping was probably a God-thing, and low and behold--this was thrown to the front of my mind as I read!

"People get ready. Jesus is coming!"

And the revelation continued to grow: before the song was 3 minutes into it, I remember The Call. This gathering of thousands and thousands of intercessors who fast leading up to the event and press into His power to bring change and spiritual freedom for the United States of America.

And The Call is coming to Detroit 11/11/11.

A spiritual earthquake is coming--and the freedom and trials many are experiencing now is this release, the foreshocks of an amazing quake to come. I believe The Call and the 40 day fast leading up to it are going to be mightily used by God in this coming earthquake.

People, are you ready?

People Get Ready Lyrics

I couldn't find the full lyrics for People Get Ready by Misty Edwards, so I watched this video (http://youtu.be/dHnltIkuM1k) and added them up here.

People Get Ready
By Misty Edwards
He's coming
Awake, awake oh sleeper
Awake, awake oh sleeper
He's coming

He's coming, He's alive
Jesus of Nazareth
The Son of David
The slain Lamb
He was born to be a King

He's alive
The Jewish man
He's alive
He's alive

Prepare the way
People get ready
People get ready
Surely, He is not a man that He would lie
He said He would come again
And He will come again
People get ready
People get ready

People get ready
Some said a carpenter
Some said a teacher
They said a prophet
They said "He's a fraud"
He is God

But He is fully a man
Born to be a King
Though He was silent
Like a lamb to the slaughter
He was silent
In His patience
He endured

But I know the end of the story
And we're only at the beginning of the beginning
He's coming
He's alive
He's alive

Look upon the One you've pierced
Look upon the One you've pierced
Who is this King of Glory?
Who is this King of Glory?


The root and the offspring of David

I can hear the rhythm
of the Lion of the tribe of Judah

He's alive

The same way he ascended
He will descend again

He's doing a new thing
Are you ready?
Are you ready for this?

I can hear the rhythm of
the Lion of the tribe of Judah

He's doing a new thing
So we're singing a new song

He's not a baby in a manger anymore
He's not a broken man on a cross
He didn't stay in the grave
And He's not staying in heaven forever!

He's alive
He's alive
He's alive
He's alive!

People get ready!
Jesus is coming!

We join in the song of the ages
It's a new song
It's a new song
It's a new song

We say to the One who was slain,
"You have proven Your love,
And You have shown us, shown us
That You can be trusted."

So take the scroll and open
And open, and open the seals
We trust You, Jesus
And we want you to come back
So take the scroll and open the seals
So take the scroll and open the seals

I can hear the rhythm
of the Lion of the tribe of Judah

He's doing a new thing
So we're singing a new song

He's not a baby in a manger anymore
He's not a broken man on a cross
He didn't stay in the grave
And He's not staying in heaven forever!

He's alive
He's alive
He's alive
He's alive!

People get ready!
Jesus is coming!

People walking around
With their fingers in the their ears
Singing, "Da da da da da."
"I don't want to hear the sound
of the coming King."

But He says, He says,
"Well, I have held my peace for
A long, long, long, long, long, long time
And in my silence you thought
That I was all together like you.
And in your heart you were settled in complacency
You said, 'He won't even respond.'
You said, 'He's not interested."
You said, 'He's dead and gone."
But I've been silent for such
A long, long, long, long time
But I'm about to gasp, to pant,
To cry out, to cry out,
To cry out, to cry out,
I'm going to shout!"

Once again I'm going to shake
Everything that can be shaken
Once again I'm going to break
Everything that can be broken

Are you ready?
Are you ready for this?
x 5
Are you ready?
Are you ready?

People get ready!
Jesus is coming!

He's coming!
He's coming!
He's coming!
He's coming!!!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

His Presence

Generally, my life is the battle between two facts. The first is my knowledge that planning ahead, going to bed early, getting up early, eating well, exercising, doing chores etc. all equal a good, happy, productive life. The second is a husband who loves spontaneity and late nights, my own desires to read, write, create, and explore new things online (yep, that is a fancy way of saying research) spend chill time with my hubs watching movies, and, of course...the occasional computer game...which also equal a happy life. However, combined with work, sleep, etc., these two lifestyles could collectively eat up about 30 to 40 hours a day. Yep. That's not possible.

But you know what? I react differently to this now. I used to get stressed out, frustrated, annoyed, ornery, exhausted... and generally joyless. But my Jesus is so good and so faithful. No matter what I get in, from just listening to a few worship songs to spending legit time reading His Word and journaling what He says to me, my attitude is totally different.

Yes, we do have something or another going on practically every night. Yes, I do work thirty full hours a week. Yes, my husband has back to back 10 and 12 hour days. And yes, it is amazing what spending time in God's presence does.

Take today. Mind you, I didn't get up until like 8 because I was up late last night. I hastily threw some chicken in a crock-pot (score for planning ahead!) and rushed out the door. I only ate half a breakfast. My husband didn't eat a good lunch, which always weighs on me. Oh, did I mention I worked nine and a half hours today, starting at 9:30 AM? Yep. But I spent time with my King this morning, and I'm full of His joy right now.

I challenge you right now--take your relationship with Jesus to the next level. Play one more worship song in the morning than you do now. Read one more verse today than you would. Spend one more minute in prayer. And start expecting the favor I know He will give you.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

JC Awakening 2011: Banning Liebscher Part 2

Here are some more tidbits from Banning Liebscher's message at the Jesus Culture awakening conference in the beginning of August 2011.

We have all been called to be different than the world. On this topic of our calling, and how we are all called to something, Banning quoted the story of the King inviting people to his wedding celebration, and how the esteemed had excuses and didn't come, so the King invited anyone his servants could find along the highway, "both good and bad." Banning continued with Matt. 22:14, saying "'Many are called, but few are chosen' because few say YES."

"Jesus makes it easy to leave and hard to stay." Banning stated that, "It is the most hardcore thing in the world to follow Jesus...When He calls you, he is asking for your entire life." Jesus doesn't make it easy. In fact, in John 6 it recounts when He stated that to be apart of what He had you would have to eat his own blood and flesh, and many were offended and left him. But the worth is incredible.

Count the Cost. In Luke 14 we are told through a parable to count the cost of following Christ before we embark. "Salvation is a free gift," Banning reminded us, "but salvation will also cost you your entire life."

He laughed, and then told us that he is sympathetic for those who genuinely have a difficult time giving their tithe of 10% of their finances to their local churches, because God does not want 10% of your finances, He wants not only 100% of your finances, but 100% of your life. He also humbled me, and probably many others in the room, when he acted out our thoughts of debating back and forth with God. "Well, God, are you sure you want me to give that up completely? I mean, it's really only worth this, right?" and continued with the usual auction-style dialogue. "No," Banning said. When God asks or commands something of us we must remember: "God does not barter."

Things that don't cost anything aren't worth anything (2 Samuel 24:24). With the full weight of seriousness, he said, "I am concerned about a generation who's salvation costs them nothing."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Prayer & Worship

For many years now, God has put prayer on my heart. Whenever I ask Him about how He wants me to spend my time, He has repeatedly exhorted me to press into prayer, specifically interceding for others and what God wants to do in this world.

God has been so faithful to answer my prayers, too; time and time again He comes through with new income for our family, physical healing, breakthrough in perspectives, and so many other provisions.

And prayer, when partnered with worshiping God, always seems to open up a new level of experiencing God's presence. This is why Peter and I have decided the best thing we can do for WorshipArts and the students we want to grow this semester is to have a night of Prayer and Worship!

We are going to be specifically focusing our prayers on this next semester of WorshipArts. We want the students who participate to have their lives changed and encounter God in new ways. We want them to be given boldness and opportunities to step up in their local churches and start impacting the people in their lives for the Kingdom of Christ. We want the youth of Kalamazoo and beyond to know Christ intimately, and take Him boldly out into there communities with the power of the Holy Spirit!

If you believe in the power of prayer, I'd love to have you partner with us and pray for this next semester of WorshipArts and the greater Kalamazoo area this coming Tuesday night. All the details you need are right here on Facebook. And even if you can't come out, I covet your prayers for God's blessing and favor over these next four months!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Message Team

Some of you may have heard about a big, exciting change coming up in my life this fall. (No, I'm not having a baby.) I'm going to be leading a passion-filled team of youth resolved to use their writing and speaking skills to bring God glory.

I am charged up about what God is going to do in the students own lives and through them as they impact the community. I hope to empower them to both explore different writing styles and be able to hone in on whichever style they are most passionate about.

Most of the time we will be using a less traditional style of teaching where students receive a themed prompt and then they get to choose to run with whichever specific writing style they want. I'm excited about this because we will get a variety of topics but also they won't be forced to write in a style they hate for the majority of the time.

Here's an example of what this might look like:
Tommy reaches his hand into a hat and pulls out the topic “Proverbs 17:9 “Disregarding another person's faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends.” He decides it would be fun to try and do this week's assignment as lyrics to a song, and what do you know, that's allowed!  
As long as the theme is evident (through a story, real-life example, through direct quotation, etc.), he can be as creative as he wants. Throughout the season Tommy will have to do a minimum of 2 persuasive papers, 1 reflective paper, 1 informative paper, 1 song lyrics or poem, 1 fiction paper, and 1 script (drama or video) but he has to write a total of 12 assignments—meaning 5 of his assignments are completely up to him to decide on the style. (Actual required assignments subject to change before season starts.)  
Tommy will also have to share at least 3 of his works publicly, and he will also have the opportunity to work alongside other tracks (like the video production and drama tracks!) to bring some of his work to life. 

I'm telling you, this is going to be amazing—I definitely wish I had been able to be a part of something like this when I was in high school! If you know anyone age 14-18, send them on to www.worshipartscentral.com/message-team to get them plugged in with this awesome experience.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

JC Awakening 2011: Banning Liebscher Part 1

Banning Liebscher spoke during the afternoon session (following Kim Walker-Smith) the first day of the Jesus Culture Awakening 2011 Conference. His message centered on leadership and our callings, and was, to be expected, packed full of challenges and truth.

His message conveyed that when we were saved, we became the head, not the tail, meaning we are all meant to be leaders in some way or another. He challenged everyone present in Allstate Arena in Chicago to remember that what happens in America is dependent on our leadership.

Banning said a problem he has seen is that many of us would be content to simply sit back and believe that we will not be a part of anything, say, a revival, and that we think it is acceptable to just "be along for the ride" with Christ.

Wow. Talk about a slap in the face. I can, unfortunately, say that the majority of my days I have settled for just going through the motions and routines without actually diving into any pursuit of fulfilling my calling or being a leader. I so often think, "Oh, that day will come...but for now I can't do much." Lately I definitely think about it often, and plan a lot, but so little of the time do I actually take action into real pursuit of the calling God has for me.

But I want to be different. I want to actually pursue God every moment, and that choice has to be made every day. I need to take ownership of my identity as a "co-laborer" in Christ and actually WORK more for His kingdom!

So, how about you?


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jesus Culture Awakening 2011: Kim Walker-Smith

Kim Walker-Smith kicked off the Awakening 2011 conference in Chicago's Allstate arena with a concise, power-packed message. She shared what has been the theme of her life and what Peter and I have heard in many of her youtube videos (like this one) before hand, but hearing it again was fantastic and challenging.

Fighting for a constant connection with God throughout the week is not only important, but essential. She said we should never live without it. Even if you don't always feel it, you need to know and be aware that His presence is there, and that alone will completely change how you live your life.

 Fighting and pressing into God throughout the week empowers us to experience corporate worship on Sundays that goes above and beyond what we expect or consider "normal" now. Kim is eager for where corporate worship is headed, and is passionately longing for the day when everyone enters their sanctuaries ready to start deep and intimately praising Christ, rather than requiring anything (such as a particular type of song) to get the congregation's focus right.

Kim mentioned that she has had times and seasons where her prayer life felt dry, but she kept on diligently seeking. This truth would keep her going: "Someday I will bear the fruit of this moment." She credits this attitude and discipline for where she is today--an internationally renowned worship leader and songwriter.

Jesus took that phrase even deeper into my heart. I will bear the fruit of EVERY moment someday. I knew this as head knowledge earlier in my life, but it has taken root and I have realized every second I spend I am sowing into my future and reaping from my past. I will reap from the moments I spend in worship, from the time I invest into reading scripture, from the idle moments (ahem...hours) I have spent on Facebook. I will harvest something in my future from the encouragement I give to my friend, from the tip I give my waitress, from the words I say to my husband. I want to be mindful in every moment and be certain I am using every opportunity to bring God glory. Every moment you spend sows into a kingdom, be it Christ's Kingdom, your own, or your enemy's.

Kim Walker-Smith leading worship at Awakening

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jesus Culture Awakening 2011

I'm writing right now from the parking lot of Allstate Arena and let me tell you, Jesus is here!

My husband and I drove down to Chicago yesterday and the moment we entered the parking lot, I've felt the Holy Spirit's presence like a thick joy here. It is incredible. Even from the parking lot volunteers greet you with the most sincere handshakes, smiles, "Praise God!" and "Are you ready for what He's going to do!?" exclamations.

God is moving powerfully. This gathering is nothing like the many other youth conferences and adult conferences I've been to. From the moment you walk in the door you feel Jesus. These people came for a different purpose. They did not come to salve their wounds, or to spend day the first third of the conference "getting right" with Jesus. These people didn't even come to get healed or have their problems solved. These people are here with one purpose--to seek God and give Him glory. They are seeking first the Kingdom of God, and all these things are being added unto them. It is astounding and it has opened Heaven to rain down the love and freedom of Christ!

I have been so impressed and inspired by these faithful people. The biggest thing I've noticed is unashamed worship and adoration. Seeing 30,000 hands raised in praise for entire worship sets is unbelievable. And it hits home with incredible impact when the majority of the time it is unprompted by a leader on stage (though they do that often too!!). On top of these, it happened from day one. Day one, and people are pressing in so hard and Jesus' power is being released in love, hope, and miracles.

I can't wait to share more with you about what our Great and Mighty God is doing in America and the world, starting right here in Chicago! Today has been even more incredible than yesterday. God is moving, building, and this revival is going to be birthed in our nation!

I urge you to tune in tonight at www.awakening2011.com. You can watch free from your computer. God is pouring out His power, blessing and authority and you have the opportunity to partake of it with more than 15,000 people tonight! Please, spend your evening tonight with Christ and share with me what He highlights to you!

Other posts about Jesus Culture Awakening 2011:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

God's Moving in Michigan

Ladies and gentlemen, Ijust have to start this post with this exciting news.

My husband is blogging again!!

And seriously--you need to head over there and read up on the awesome things God is doing in the greater Kalamazoo area. It is inspiring and encouraging!

For example, God is pouring out His presence in powerful ways during RooTs in Paw Paw! Many kids are experiencing God's presence for the first time, or stronger than they ever have before. People are even getting healed and speaking in tongues for the first time! It is incredible to see this youth group, that started out with more youth leaders than youth, explode this summer to hosting 80+ people at a time! God is moving and reviving His people!

Then, there is the WorshipArts Camp. It started Monday, and we had some crazy adventures that day when the storm went through. Yesterday also went fabulously, and God is showing up again today!

If you love worshipping Jesus, it would be awesome to have you come out to the end of the camp for our Camp Worship Night at 7 PM! Right now the two bands we have playing are practicing; let me tell you, they sound great and it's going to be amazing time because God is always faithful to show up when we worship!

My life is full of God's blessings and I'm so delighted to be busy living it to the fullest. I am so excited to be a part of so much that He is doing! Experiencing RooTs and WorshipArts is just one small bit of His blessing in my life!

Monday, June 13, 2011

In My Mind

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've recieved I will sow


Sunday, June 12, 2011


I have realized lately that I enjoy researching online a lot.

I've found myself diving into many different topics, trying to find out of authors and websites actually know what they are writing about, and then examining the ideas stirred up by what I find. It's actually relaxing for me when I don't have a deadline or pressure to find certain information!

I am so thankful to live in the "Information Age" and to have access to, for example, "495,000,000 results in 0.18 seconds" when I type in the terms "what to look for in a church."

And the revolution of videos online! Wow, to be able to actually see as someone speaks on a topic? TED.com videos have been very interesting and thought-provoking. I love the concept of TED Talks--get experts in the field to share information and ideas with other experts in different fields. Crossing entertainment experts with science experts, artists with math wizzes, and musicians with technology brings even more innovation and ideas! It is just one of the many new venues that exist thanks to how "small" the world has become with technology.

There is so much knowledge available, and I want to use what is at my fingertips to be "prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." (1 Peter 3:15) I want to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." I hope being knowledgeable in many areas will help me be "as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wearing Nothing New

One of my friends posted this on facebook today, and I thought it was pretty inspiring and worth sharing. How about you? Do you shop at thrift stores?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Alen Menken Mashup

Come with me now to see my world
Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest
I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
There's more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
So prepare for a chance of a lifetime
Be prepared for sensational news
A shining new era
Is tiptoeing nearer
Let's get down to business - to defeat the Huns!
I can go the distanceI don't care how far
Somehow I'll be strong
I know ev'ry mile
Will be worth my while.
Why should I worry? Why should I care?
It's the time of your life, so live it well!
Everybody look left, everybody look right
Everywhere you look I'm
Standing in the spotlight!Some other folks might be
A little bit smarter than I am
Bigger and stronger too (Maybe).
When I was a lad I ate four dozen eggs
Ev'ry morning to help me get large
And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs
So I'm roughly the size of a barge!
It's barbaric, but hey, it's home!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Emily Time

I met with Emily at Panera to write blog posts.

We've talked the whole time.

Topics have included: small government vs. big government, Glenn Beck, Grover Cleveland, Pixar, Doctor Who, Where's George? Dollars, Vlogbrothers, ozone levels, dress codes, panera food, medicines, vlogging, old blogs and when we started blogging.

Now I believe we're going to make a vlog. (It's awkward writing while you're being videotaped.)

How's your day going?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

February 16th, 1887

It is February 16th, 1887, and President Cleveland removes his coat as he walks inside. He has come before the House of Representatives, with his response to House bill number 10203, "An Act to enable the Commissioner of Agriculture to make a special distribution of seeds in drought-stricken counties of Texas, and making an appropriation therefor."

He clears his throat, and begins.

"It is represented that a long-continued and extensive drought has existed in certain portions of the State of Texas, resulting in a failure of crops and consequent distress and destitution." His gaze meets Speaker Carlisle's, and he continues. "Though there has been some difference in statements concerning the extent of the people's needs in the localities thus affected, there seems to be no doubt that there has existed a condition calling for relief; and I am willing to believe that, notwithstanding the aid already furnished, a donation of seed-grain to the farmers located in this region, to enable them to put in new crops, would serve to avert a continuance or return of an unfortunate blight."

Texas representatives Charles Stewart and James Jones sighed as Cleveland stated, "And yet I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose." Another veto.

Cleveland met the gazes of the House with determination. "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution." Many eyes flared at his blatant disregard of their judgement, but he continued steadfastly on. "I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit."

A few agreed, glad to see their votes which had been overpowered agreed with the President, as he went on.

"A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people." Cleveland paused, letting his point settle in.

Then, he smiled, and continued on, reminding the House of this truth of the American people: "The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood."

He continued on with alternate solutions but it is interesting to note that the private sector raised much more than the government was going to give to these Texas farmers.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Have Decided

Night of worship, singing lessons from my husband, and 1 Kings 16.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Answering the Call

Have you heard about what God is doing is Kansas City, MO?

Last year, I believe, revival broke out and God showed up in some powerful ways, which is what got many people in my circles talking about the International House of Prayer (IHOP). However, their mission and vision is truly inspiring.

They aim to have "24/7 Worship with Prayer and 24/7 Works of Justice." This dedication to combine passion for fulfilling God's work constantly and the amount of administration that takes is mind-blowing and inspiring.

One aspect that caught my eye is their NightWatch ministry. This is a group of dedicated people who have changed their lifestyles to man their worship and prayer room from midnight to 6:00 AM. In one sense, out of all the ministries out there in the world, this one could seem small or insignificant. Yet God has called people to pray, and they have answered that call. Who know what dynamics their prayers have changed?

These dedicated people inspire me to fulfill whatever task God puts in my life, no matter how odd, different, or challenging it may be.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Reflections on WorshipArts

It is amazing to think we have completed our fifth semester of WorshipArts. I remember when we started with just 5 students and one worship team; now we have 27 students, two worship teams, a drama team, a Beginnings team, and one photography student. Last Saturday we had our Friends and Family Worship Night and the culmination of their hundreds of hours of practice was so rewarding.
It was incredible to start the night off with a group of 8 to 12-year-olds strumming and singing away as Peter stood on the side and played along with them. One of my friends came up to me afterwards and pointed out that it was a beautiful picture of God the Father's love for us--sometimes we get off tempo and sing out of key, but He just keeps smiling at us, playing along, delighted that we are worshiping with all our hearts!

In between everything as the night went on our drama team performed 4 skits from the OneTimeBlind drama scripts, and they blew us away with simple, funny, and truth-saturated skits. It's hard to pick a favorite, but I think The Stool would be it because it really illustrates the fact that giving God control is important and not as easy as we say it is. Plus our students did a fabulous job! I also enjoyed the monoluge by "The Devil" about our memories and how shocking it is we remember TV commercial jingles and nursery rhymes, but we don't know scripture. They also performed an incredible human video (read this wiki article if you don't know what that is) that shared God's redemption for us all in a powerful, impacting, and relevant way. I will definitely share the video here when it's up!

Our team Horizon did a great job leading everyone in worship and it was phenomenal to see new and returning students go to the next level in not just their skill, but also in their passion for Christ. Finally, Genesis, our student ministry team which has traveled to multiple youth groups and bible studies this year, ended us off with an intimate and passionate time of worship. I've been privileged to see these students from day one, and I must say that the word for this team is passion--their passion for excellent music and their passion for Christ has skyrocketed!

It is a blessing, privilege and honor to be the wife of the man God has called to lead this ministry experience training program for youth. Next semester we are expanding to teaching a full photography track, video production track, and message track (writing) all with the purpose of training youth to use their gifts to get plugged in with their local churches.

(Technically though the semester is done, we are preparing for the WorshipArts festival and Horizon and Genesis are playing, as well as the drama group will share their performances. Check out the facebook event!)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Closing The Book

I have realized I have a bit of a chronic problem.

I don't finish reading books.

I think this may have started the year of our engagement. We were recommended A LOT of books, and I wanted to get all the knowledge I could before we got married. So I started just about every book that was recommended to us, and I dragged Peter along on the word absorption adventure with me. So we started Love & Respect. And I Promise. And I Promise You. And about 3 other books related to more specific aspects of marriage.

Then we got married, and the plague of starting to read or reread books and leaving them unfinished continued. Too Busy Not To PrayA Wrinkle in Time, Emily of New Moon, FoundationAs Sure As the Dawn, and Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children.

Wow. That's a lot of books.

I definitely feel like I get the gist of a book before it is over, but I know I'm missing out on a lot. Maybe it's my constantly full and changing lifestyle? Maybe it's that I find enough to apply to my life that I just stop before I get overwhelmed or forget things? Maybe I'm just suffering from the short attention span of my generation?

I don't know what the reason is, but I definitely want to finish more of what I start.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writing Rebirth

I think I need to get better at writing.

I need to make it a priority. And I think that means I need to plan. But planning takes time and discipline, and right now I don't feel like I have an excess of either of those to fuel my thoughts of penning (or typing) more about my life.


However, today is a great day to start writing. Today, my friends, is June first. First's are new and clean, they are usually untouched and full of optimism. I've got a clean slate, the reset button has been pressed, I've just eaten a new mushroom in Mario and booya, I've got another life and I can last longer.

Would it be crazy of me to try to post a blog post every day this month? Could I stick with it? Am I going to fail after day two like my last attempt and just get discouraged again?

Maybe if I'm less particular about it. Maybe if I just WRITE, instead of being dissatisfied and putting myself down for not writing something stellar, I just share what I'm thinking, and tell you what I'm doing.

Is that simplicity really worth writing? And more importantly...is it truly worth reading?

It would take planning. I'd have to make time everyday. I did it for a few weeks back when I tried that whole 750 words thing. (We both failed, by the way. It was a good thing we stopped though because it was making us a bit irritated with each other for appearing to make writing more important than spending time together.) So I know it's possible to write every day.

I've learned about ProBlogger's 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, and I might start looking into that, because I want more purpose to my writing. I want to make an impact, and they have tips to get your words out there. But I know I won't always stick to those rules.

Plus, June means summer, and summer is busy, but not as busy as the school year. So maybe it'll be easier for me!

What about you? What are you going to change in your life this month?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

UAOAL Update


Updated 8/7/11

Today, due to lack of time and motivation, I've decided to bless you all with an update on my Ultimate Accomplishment of Awesome List. (The goal is to get all of this done before next January!)

I have (roughly) 21/36 completed, so that is about 58%! I'd say I'm doing pretty good!

My List:
  1. Get Anna K. (or her photo style) pictures taken of Peter and I Done! (though if Anna reads this and wants to take pictures of us, she's VERY welcome to do so) =)
  2. Make a vlog and have at least 12 videos by next January 2/12 Done!
  3. Get our office functioning and cleaned Done!....and now it needs to be done again!
  4. Send someone an anonymous prayer/prophetic word
  5. Own three more Munchkin games/expansion packs 1/3 Done!
  6. Thy three main dish recipes I've never cooked before 3/3 Done! 5/3/11
  7. Be recorded singing a worship song
  8. Go to IHOP or Bethel (EDIT: Going to see Jesus Culture, Hillsong, Bill Johnson etc. is probably going to count for this in August!) Done! (Jesus Culture Awakening 2011)
  9. Leave someone an obnoxiously large tip Done! on 5/11
  10. Write 20 blog posts (at least) 22/20 Done!
  11. Get coffee with my girl friends more (ideally at least 3 different girls a month) Begun!
  12. Memorize 10 verses (key, important, powerful ones, not cheesy easy ones) Begun!
  13. Play catchphrase with at least 8 people
  14. Prank someone
  15. Play bass more Begun!
  16. See a good live orchestra perform
  17. Look amazing and go to a nice restaurant
  18. Hold a baby Done!
  19. Visit my friends at IWU
  20. Visit my friends at Ferris
  21. Finish reading a fiction book I've never read before Done!
  22. Finish reading the Bible Begun!
  23. Make something at Art Bayou Done on 1/15!
  24. Make a quilt
  25. Be in a crazy picture Done!
  26. Work out 105 days this year (beginning end of December '10) Begun! 1/21: 44 Days completed!
  27. Work out 210 days this year
  28. Bless my neighbors
  29. Make 4 videos for work
  30. Save a lot of money Begun!
  31. See at least 4 live theater productions 2/4 Done! (Annie Get Your Gun, The Importance of Being Ernest)
  32. Catch up with someone I haven't talked to in a long time
  33. Do something amazing with Emily
  34. Give someone something I've wanted to for a long time
  35. Encourage someone Done!
  36. Get better at cutting hair Begun! 4 hair cuts done this year!
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