Saturday, December 29, 2007

I need answers

I've been a Christian for about 12 years now. I've had my share of doubts and questions and there have been numerous things that I have not understood. But I was a good little Christian girl (if you care to define what it means to be a good little Christian girl) I never really questioned my Faith very deeply. I always figured that God knew what he was doing and I wouldn't question anything, I would just take it on faith and let that be that.
But shouldn't we question our faith? I think faith only goes so far and right now I'm finding myself feeling like I've reached the end of faith and I need some answers.
It's not like I'm doubting God, I still believe in Him and my heart is bursting with love for him, but I feel like the answers to my questions could change my entire concept of God. That could be a good thing. I don't know. One of the things I have to ask myself when I have these questions is if it really matters and you know what... this one does. I think the answer to the question burning in me right now really does matter, and that's why I feel like faith isn't enough right now.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I'm done! I'm done! I'm done!

Finally! The semester is over and I couldn't be happier. My grades aren't all I hoped they would be, but considering how crazy this semester was, it's okay. I am really proud of my grade for Effective Teaching in Youth Ministry. It was an A-. yay. I was so sure I was going to get like a C or something, but I got an A- and it made me so happy. Especially since I didn't do very well on my last two messages. I'm still waiting for two more of my grades to come in and then I'll see how I really did this semester.
So now I am at home and I'm going to enjoy a good 3 week vacation before I go back to school and start a new semester. I'm only taking 14 credit hours this semester (I may add another class before the beginning of the semester).

I am free... and I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I would rather be doing anything other than what I'm supposed to be doing right now.... which is restoring my interpersonal communications paper to it's formal glory. Friday was a rough day for me. I'd been living on very little sleep for 3 days and Friday I just broke down. If people weren't worried about me, they might have thought I was hilarious. I was crying uncontrollably, and then somewhere in the mix I started laughing uncontrollably. So here I am and I can't control my emotions. Have you ever cried and laughed at the same time? It's a strange sensation. It's confusing because you don't know how you really feel. So anyway, I cried and laughed uncontrollably for the next few hours. I've never had anything like that happen before, but the further away friday gets, the less I remember about it. When you are severely sleep deprived and extremely stressed, I guess the mind just loses it for a few hours. I also had a horrible headache and I couldn't concentrate. I felt really horrible about myself. I just kept saying that God had been really gracious to me and I'd overextended his grace and I didn't deserve anymore.

So I decided to try to catch up on sleep gradually instead of sleeping for 15 hours straight and ending up being on a sleeping pattern where I didn't sleep at night. So pretty much I've been trying to get between 9 and 10 hours of sleep and I'm just not feeling it.

The weekend was way too short this week. I went to the midnight breakfast on Friday (even though I should have just stayed home and slept), Friday I worked, Sunday I spent most of the day at house church. And now here I am, nothing to do until noon tomorrow (today?) which is just turning in a paper anyway.

Finals week is the best week of the semester because it's the least stressful. No worries about classes. If you don't know the material by now it doesn't matter because you're screwed if you try to memorize 500 vocab words in a week. Yeah... freedom to do what you want, when you want, but yet still a need for responsiblity and great socialization.

oh yes... it also snowed. It was great.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Everything makes me think of him!

Do you ever have one of those days when no matter what you do, no matter who you encounter, whatever you see, read, hear, and experience, you think of one specific person. Do you have those days when you find yourself in a contast state of daydreaming because everything makes you think of that person? I just spend the last 20 minutes writing in my journal just about the way he makes me feel.
It's weird. When I fall, I fall hard and I never expect it, but it's not like it's a sudden thing though. I gradually develop feeling over a period of several months until one day it hits me. Wham! There we go.
He's so distracting. I have to concentrate on my schoolwork. AGH.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

SNOW!!!

It's snowing! I love the snow. It reminds me of my fond memories of growing up. Building snowmen, and snow forts, digging tunnels through snow drifts, snowball fights, making snow angels, and just having fun... back when life was simple.

We've gotten away from simplicity. We run and go and do things. Our schedules are packed. We buy more stuff, do more stuff, accomplish so much. But we're tired out, worn out, stressed out, and burnt out... Arent' we?

But sitting here watching the snow fall... it's so peaceful.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tomorrow is......

MY BIRTHDAY!!! yay!

Friday, November 23, 2007

"The List"

One of the things Professor Brandt (my youth ministry professor) has told my class several times is not to set out looking for the right person to marry, but instead to seek to become the right person. It's profound.
I have a list that contains all the different qualities I want in a husband. The list was large and growing ever more whenever I thought of something else I believed would make a man worthy of my love. It was so petty. I envisioned the perfect, ideal man, and I fully believed I would find him, fall madly in love, get married, and live happily every after. I dreamt in fairytale colors. But love isn't like that. Love is profound and beautiful, but it is sacrifice and selflessness... it is transformational.
I've changed my list. I wrote a new one without looking at the first list to inspire me. I dug into my hearts deepest desires and developed a list that is truly profound (at least to me). It contains only three "qualities" and my heart desires nothing more than what is there.

First, I want a man who has a real and personal relationship with Christ. What a beautiful thing, someone who knows Christ and knows Him intimately. Christ needs to be the foundation and center, not of anything, but of everything. We live and move and breathe for Him.
Second, I want a man whom I can work alongside in ministry. It has been my hearts desire to be 'ezer kenegdo', as God has created me to be. And because I believe very firmly that God has called me to minister to youth, I also believed that the person I marry must be someone with whom my calling can merge with.
Third, I want a man who views me as and treats me as an irreplaceable treasure. And then everything else will fall into place.

Even though I've created this list, I'm not sure I want to be in a relationship at this time. Of course, I have fleeting thoughts about it, and I look forward to maybe being blessed with marriage someday, but I realized how overwhelmed I am right now. It was just this summer that I realized my call to youth ministry and finally feeling like I have a clear and direct purpose for my life gave me the desire and the drive to do really well because I'm taking it seriously. I want to be in my youth ministry classes, and I want to learn the material, and I want the insights and teaching because I want to be effective. If God were to put a man actively into my life, then so be it, but right now I feel like one would be a distraction. I think it's just that I realize that a relationship, especially a dating relationship (since I don't plan to marry before I graduate), would require a lot of me. There is so much I would have to deal with emotionally, physically, spiritually... and I especially don't want to deal with the sexual temptation right now because if I fell to the tempation it could jepordize... everything. Just when I'm so close to graduation and everything. I know it will be a tempation later in life too, but I believe that God is still working on me. And I'm also still working on myself, trying to lost my excess weight and overcome obesity. I have a year and a half before I'm done with college and I'm excited because I have the opportunity to concentrate on other things that I want to do before I get married.

*sigh* Would you believe this entire post started because I was thinking about a person.

Oh well, I'm getting pretty sleepy and it's pretty early in the morning. I'm going to curl up under my blankets and sleep.

Amanda

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Well, Thanksgiving Break is upon us. I've been waiting for Thanksgiving break for a while. It's nice to be able to relax and not have to worry about getting assignments done for a few days (even though I've been working on my youth ministry HW, but it's work I *want* to do, so theres a difference). The only not so great thing about this moment in time is that I developed a cold. I've got a headache, a nose that is stuffed up and leaky and dry at the same time (however that works), no energy, I'm achy and tired, and so stinkin' restless. But other than that, I am fantastic. Actually, I don't think the cold is as bad as it probably sounds. I hate taking medicine, so mom has me taking Vitamin C because it's something that's more natural and will get to the heart of the virus and not just mask my symptoms.
It's weird, I don't know where in the world I got a cold from. I don't know where I was that I would be exposed to the virus.
I am so excited about being able to go back to Life Bridge. What's even better is that my mom requested Sunday off of work so that she can come with me if she's feeling good. Yay. Christine and I might also hang out on Friday. She wants to go shopping and thinks she might end up in Valpo. I'll be happy to tag along, but I haven't any money to shop with.

Well, I'm bored with this already, so thats all the update for now.

Amanda

Friday, November 16, 2007

They say a picture is worth a thousand words... Well, I drew a picture today. This is what I drew. Yeah, it's not very big is it? But I like it. I was working with a charcoal pencil and I wanted to do something with contrast. I like the eyes. They are black. Just simply black. I also thought it would be artsy and cool to only draw part of the face. That's okay, the mouth would have been really hard to draw anyway, I kept practicing it with a light pencil and I couldn't get it right, so I just dropped it completely. I do like how it turned out, though there are always things you feel like if you had done them differently the drawing would be better. I wish I could have made it so that the face doesn't look so flat.


Anyway, what thousand words can you come up with by looking at this drawing? What age is this person? What race and nationality? What is the situation? What is the person thinking? Do you see emotion in the eyes? What is the situation? Is it good, is it bad? Does the person understand what is going on? Take these questions and write a story using them. It will be fun.

Anyway. Today was good because it's Friday. (well, I guess it was technically yesterday) I keep thinking I'm going to get the chance to sleep in but that isn't likely. My old boss from when I did housekeeping is getting married, and I was thinking about going to the wedding. I don't really feel like doing much at all though. I just want to relax. Relax and crochet a baby blanket for Hannah's house. I keep thinking about some of the homework I have to do. It's nothing intense. It's actually some really good homework, but I wish I didn't have to do it. Who always wants to do homework? The funny thing is that I do want to do homework right now, but not the homework that I'll have to turn in Monday and Tuesday. Go figure. :-)

I am excited for Thanksgiving break. I am eager to go home and see my family and spend Thanksgiving with them and visit Life Bridge once again. I love that church. When I think critically about churches, Life Bridge Christian Church is the church that I imagine is most like what the church should be.

Well, that's all for tonight.

Amanda

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Victory in Jesus

Well, I have the intentions of writing every two or three days, but I guess I don't really think much about it lately. They say no news is good news... whatever. I like hearing news even more when it's good news and no news drives me nuts. Anyway, what has been up in my life recently? Well, November is still a great month. I still feel like my world is right side up, although I do wish that I would have planned ahead a little more instead of allowing myself to crash for two weeks. But it shouldn't cause me too much trouble, just a late night or two.
I was trained for data entry, so hopefully this week I'll be able to get in a few extra hours. I've been trying to work at least 10 hours every week so I have about a $100 paycheck every two weeks. It's been a bit of a stretch this semester to try to pay SLE dues and my cell phone bill. That's not including expenses for laundry and toiletries. I also have a few things to buy for my classes, I need to pay Scott a few dollars for buying the CD's for Effective Teaching, I need to pay Kari for ordering my Book for Effective Teaching, I need to pay Naomi my part of the child sponsorship she and Katie and I are doing, I need to buy a 4 inch binder for L&A. If I make about $200 a month Im sure I can get everything I need and maybe be able to save some and do some of the ministry projects I've been wanting to do.
I'm excited about the ministry projects. They're nothing huge, but I want to do them anyway. One of the things I'd like to do is simply to leave a waitress a HUGE tip (like a $50 tip for something that cost $5, or something similar) with a note that says "the greatest among you must be a servant, for who ever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself with be exalted (Mt. 23:11-12). Thanks for humbling yourself and serving us tonight. "
I think one of the things that gets to me about evangelism is that some evangelistics give waiters and waitresses religious tracks instead of a tip. If I were a waitress, that would turn me off to the gospel. I think if you're going to leave a religious track, then you'd better leave a pretty hefty tip, and when I say hefty, I mean HUGE. (for those of you who are wondering, no, I've never been a waitress).
I wonder how long Operation Christmas Child is going to go for because I want to make a shoe box gift, but I have to wait until payday and if it's ending this week, I can't start in until Thursday. It may have to be turned in Friday. I'll have to double check.
Well thats all for today.

Love
Amanda

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy November!
I know it's after 2am, but there's something about it being November that makes me feel good. November is a special month, I can't really tell what it is that makes it special (well, there's Thanksgiving and my birthday, but it's something different than those), but it is.
I had a good night tonight. My heavy work just sort of ended for a moment yesterday. I finished the final assignment for my Saturday seminar. Now I just sit back and hope I passed. Some of the stress from this semester so far is leaving me. Yesterday someone asked me how I was doing, and I sighed and said I was relieved. Then she said it sounds like I've been having a rough semester because every time she's asked me how I'm doing, I sigh, and never tell her I'm doing great. Well, God has sustained me, and I hope that things can get a little easier from here now that I don't have to worry about Saturday Seminar stuff. But that's not to say that the work for the Saturday Seminar was the sole reason for my stress either, because it wasn't.
I've been discovering a lot about myself lately. At least since I've decided to go ahead and pursue a degree in Youth Ministry. (I've not actually made the official switch yet, my major is still Christian Ministry). I really feel like I'm headed in the right direction, I didn't feel that way when I was studying Christian Ministry, although I do not regret taking the time to study it. I think it will help me my future. And I believe the classes I take for Youth Ministry will always be essential no matter what I end up doing or where I end up in my life. But really, I feel like I'm discovering the heart God has given me for ministry, I am not without direction anymore. and I am so happy, even though this is sooooo much work.
Dr. Brandt expects a lot out of us as his students. But I'm not discouraged, I am determined and excited that he will help develop me into an effective youth minister.
I think I'm going to write Josh a letter sometime soon.(youth minister, Josh).
Well, as far as updates go, that's enough for tonight because I am sleepy. I'll tell more later.

Amanda

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How weird, my last entry posted for Saturday instead of Sunday when I actually wrote it. Anyway. I had to update today because God's grace to me this week has been absolutely incredible.
When I got back from Fall Break I was really overwhelmed with some of the things I realized that I had to do thi week. I had three things I had to do for today, including a test which I never did study for (but I only missed 9 question out of, I think 33, so it's still a passing grade which I think is pretty swell for not studying at all). But I also had to finish writing my youth sermon, plus work 6 hours minimum this week,plus a project for L&AinYM (due Friday), plus do a group project for the Saturday Seminar (due Friday) and write a paper for the Saturday Seminar (due Friday also) and meet with my partner for our interpersonal comm research project (some part of it is due Friday), and I was so overwhelmed knowing that I do not have the time or patience or sanity to get all of this done, let alone do it well, so I was pretty stressed. And it didn't really help that I tried to register for my classes and found out that I have a hold on my account because I still owe money to Bethel because a parent loan my parents weren't even technically supposed to have to get because my EFC number on my FAFSA was zero hadn't gone through yet. Poo! Not only had the loan not gone through, but the school wouldn't even give my parents the ammount they requested so once it does go through I will still owe over $300 out of pocket. STUPID!!! Anyway, I suppose it's been needless to say that I've been pretty darn stressed. So this morning I got up at 6:30am and went to breakfast where I read my Bible and ate a nice hardy meal. Then I went to the Shiloh Prayer Chapel and talked silently to God and sat in what I believe was His presense. I felt much better going into the day and I went back to my room, tried to work on homework that was due today (wednesday, but I suppose it's after midnight, huh?) but I didn't accomplish much because I was exhausted, so I tried to get a littlemore sleep in and couldn't fall asleep. I think it was because I knew my alarm clock would be going off soon. So I got up and went to take Chapel attendance (sometime I wish I didn't have that job, but it's an easy way to make money without causing too much interuption to my schedule).
The Gospel Choir, Undignified Praise, sang in chapel today. During the second song I could imagine Jesus dancing in the aisles and enjoying the praise. It made me smile. Neither Christine nor Naomi showed up to chapel. Shame Shame. It was a task force chapel. I wonder if I'll ever go on a task force trip. After chapel, Dr. Pennix approached me, said hi and asked if he would be seeing me in voice lessons next semester. I said probably because so far I only have 14 credit hours that I'm planning to do. After Chapel I skipped lunch and came back to my room to try to do more with my homework and print it up. I checked my email and Dr. Brandt had emailed our L&AinYM class saying that the project due Friday is now due on Monday instead. So I went to classes feeling quite literally much lighter, as though a huge heavy burden was lifted off of me. So I get to my last class and finally it's over and I run back to my room because I heard something about the seminar stuff that's due and I checked my email. It turns out that both seminar projects are now not due until Wednesday. It was a PRAISE JESUS moment!!! Again, a burden was just lifted off of me, and suddenly everything else that sucks just isn't so bad anymore.
Well, I need to go to bed, so I'll update another time.

Amanda

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wow, I haven't updated in a really long time! Well, today is as good a day as any to let you all know what is going on in my life.

Well, life has been going pretty quickly and I've been finding myself struggling to keep pace. Sometimes I just don't know where the time goes and I don't even have a television this year! But somehow I am accomplishing everything I need to accomplish. I have been trying to make sure I am getting 8 hours of sleep every night and getting all of my homework done in a timely manner. Well, I'm also involved in SLE, so that takes some time; but it's definitely a good way to take time. I love the fellowship I have with everyone in SLE, especially since I've been talking with them more.
I've been having a great Fall Break this week. Christine and I were going to camp in her back yard, but the storm prevented us from doing so. Instead we stayed inside and watched scary movies. Sleepy Hollow, Darkness Falls, The Lost Boys and an old Odd story called the Mummy (that was not what we thought it was). Christine had drank a bunch of coffee so she could stay awake. Well, it worked, I was the first one to fall asleep, and she stayed up for a little while because the coffee kept her awake. Then Friday night we went to a grave yard with her brother Eric, because he wanted to take pictures and find orbs. We did find some, but you'll have to ask me about that.
So yesterday I came home at about noon and spent some time with my dad, then my mom got off of work at 8pm. It was a relaxing day, but I didn't get any homework done like I had thought about doing.
And today started off pretty well. I woke up at 8am, before my alarm, and reset it for about 10 and went back to sleep. It was nice to get a couple extra hours of sleep. Then I got up and my mom and I went to church at Life Bridge. Dad had to stay home because our dog Bear is dying and he doesn't want her to get hurt because she is basically top dog in our home and right now her status is being threatened. Anyway, I think my mom really enjoyed church. She said she felt at home and wants to visit again. I'm really happy about that. Even if my parents don't make Life Bridge their church home, I'm thrilled that mom came this week because that is a great victory in the kingdom. Praise God!
I really missed going to LifeBridge and to be there today made my heart swell with Joy, especially since I was welcomed back and I knew people missed me. When I went to WEFC I wasn't welcomed back, I was lucky if people noticed I was there. I'm going to go to Amped tonight.
Well, I have some things to do, so this is all for an update today.

Amanda

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Simplicity

Well, today seems like a good day for an update. This week has been interesting. Some things have happened that I'll write about in my personal journal instead of in this blog. I am really really really really really (how long should I go on?) really really really really really tired. Last night, and the night before, I have had trouble sleeping. I've been in this state where I feel that I'm almost there, like I might fall asleep at any moment... but the moment never comes. I tried to take a nap twice today, but the same thing happened. I couldn't fall asleep. So right now I'm having a little bit of trouble focusing my eyes, so I had to pull out my glasses. Oh yes.... My glasses, lovely. Normally they make the world look kind of surreal, but they're actually helping right now.
Outside of all that, the weather is kind of chilly right now (but that's okay, I love slightly chilly weather!). I'm tempted to put on some compfy pajama pants and a long sleeve shirt and a blankie and go sit outside and do my reading. Yes, in the dark and cold. Or I just might just curl up with a blanket inside. Who knows.
I still have to get in six hours of work this week. I want to try to get 10 because I'll get more money to do stuff besides pay my expenses. For example, hang out with my friends at Steak-n-shake, go to the movies, go camping, etc.
Let's have a serious moment and talk about something I've been thinking about lately. Sometimes I feel like life just goes by too fast. We live in a fast paced world. We have to get this done, and that done, and go here and there, and accompolish so many things. We just do and do and do and do without hardly ever stopping to breathe or take a moment to realize that the sun is shining and that God is so good. My life is characterized by School, homework, work, time with friends, activities, and so much junk. I just want simplicity. I want to feel free to take an hour and just sit somewhere and crochet. Except for a few things (like checking my email 6 times a day) the things I do are not bad in and of themselves, it's just there's a lot. I pray that God teaches me what I can cut out of my life and do just what's important.

That is my desire.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tonight as the wind blew and the sky was growing dark, you could feel a change in the atmosphere and suddenly it was as though God had manifested his presense on Bethel's campus. It was like in the movie, the ten commandments when the angel of death moves over Egypt as the 1oth plague, except, it was God. His presense falling and resting on the campus, penetrating the air, weaving into the very fabric of our lives... God is here. He's doing something right now. Sonia and I were sitting outside talking about it and we feel like something is happening, something is about to happen- A dry and barren land will receive rain again, and something is happening tonight. Im not claiming that when we wake up in the morning and go to chapel that there is going to be a super revival or anything.... ooh....that would be cool. but anyway, I'm not claiming that. I'm just claiming that somethingn is happening, and I am here in the midst of it not knowing what's going to happen, but praying that God sends the rain. I couldn't help but think of this song:
Rain Down by Delarious
Looks like tonight, the sky is heavy
feels like the winds, are gonna change
Beneath my feet, the Earth is ready
I know it's time, for heavens rain.
It's gonna rain,
yeah yeah
Cause living water we desire,
to flood our hearts with holy fire
Rain down, all around the world we're singing
Rain down, can you hear the Earth is singing
Rain down, my heart is dry but still i'm singing
Rain down, rain it down on me.
Back to the start, my heart is heavy
Feels like it's time, to dream again
I see the clouds, and yes i'm ready
To dance upon, this barren land
Hope in my hands, yeah yeah
Cause living water we desire,
to flood our hearts with holy fire
Rain down, all around the world we're singing
Rain down, can you hear the Earth is singing
Rain down, my heart is dry but still i'm singing
Rain down, rain it down
Do not shut, do not shut,
do not shut, the heavens
But open up, open up, open up, our hearts
Rain down, all around the world we're singing
Rain down
(Rain down)
Give me strength to cross this water,
keep my heart upon your altar, rain down
(Rain down)
Give me strength to cross this water
keep my feet, don't let me falter,
rain down(Hey,'ey,'ey)
Do not shut the heavens
But open up our hearts, open up our hearts,
Do not shut the heavens
But open up our hearts,
open up my heart

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So there has definitely been a lot going on lately. I don't know where to begin, how to say it, or if some of it is even appropriate to mention.
I feel a lot of tension, like I'm walking on eggshells.
I feel disconnected, like nobody ever tells me anything.
I feel like my identity has been severely attacked. I've been to the point of hating myself because I feel like people think I'm too silly. I have this internal conflict, this struggle in myself because I feel like this silly person is just how God made me to be, but at the same time I feel like it's not okay. I feel like people don't believe that I can be an effective minister and still have an element of silliness in me. I've talked to people who say they don't think that about me, and I've talked to people, who deny it, but their faces and the way that act toward me confirm it. I don't think people realize that there is more to me than just my face value. I think they see me being silly and just dont appreciate the fact that sometimes you just have to laugh at life to keep from crying. Life is hard. I mean seriously. Life is really, really hard. I feel things very deeply. I struggle with a lot of things that few people know about, and a lot of things I've told no one at all, things that are out of my control, and most people don't care. I am complex, I'm not looking for a hero and I am not something to pitied, but I also cannot be 'that girl who is too goofy to take God or life seriously enough to make an impact.' That tears me apart because I don't think it's just students that see me that way.
I read something in my devotions this morning that made me feel better though.

"For consider your calling.... .... God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise..."

This is from 1 Corinthians 1. Ofcourse there are more to those verse, and they are equally important, but I wanted to focus in on this because I don't want you to miss why this passage was important to me. In the worlds eyes, I am foolish. I am terribly foolish, but God chose me for what He has chosen me for anyway, and He will serve His purpose for me because when He created me to be a "silly person", He had my calling in mind.
hmm. This was a good release. Perhaps next time I'll talk about a 'weighty' issue.

That is all,
Amanda

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Humbling Experience

All week I've been anticipating going on a fieldtrip with my classmates for our class Leadership and Administration in Youth Ministry. Today was the day. None of us knew where we were going, because our professor refused to tell us. We all loaded up into vans, speculating where is was that we could possibly be going. Imagine our surprise this afternoon when we pulled into a graveyard.
We unloaded from the vans and Professor Brandt talked with us for a moment and told us to spend about 20 minutes just walking around and looking at the graves, what they said, what they looked like, the dates on them, the surroundings.
I looked at the area that had the babies first. The first stone I looked at said "Lost but not forgotten." I didn't think much about it, until I was further down the line of the baby graves and saw places where there was a stone, or a marker of some sort, signifying that a baby lay there, but time had faded away the name. Have these children been forgotten?
After I looked at a long line of childrens graves, many of which the stones said "our bright eyed child", "or beloved child" and other variations of those two, I visited some other graves. One of the ones I saw had a stone for two people, and the date of thier marriage was on it. The date was in 1996. The date of the death of the wife was in 2000. Someone else said they found one that had the same thing, except the date of the death of the wife was the day after the wedding. I saw a lot of war veteran graves. But they were forlorn, by themselves, and out of place with the rest of the graves. Alone.
A lot of the stones had poems, or epitaphs on them. Beloved Mother. Beloved Father. Beloved (fill in the blank). It was interesting to realize that people want others to look at their family members graves and know that they were loved.
The last grave I looked at had passages from the Koran on them, but there was something remarkably different about these graves than the rest of them. All the foliage around these graves were dead, or dying, and covered in spider webs. I'm sure it was just a coincidence, well... I'm not sure I believe in coincidence, but it just made me think. As a Christian, I know that death is not the end for me, for there is life after death, an eternity in heaven with Christ. I can't say that I know for sure that these islamic graves held people who's names aren't written in the book of life, but I can make an educated guess. It just dawned on me that these graves symbolized life without the saving grace of Jesus. It's death. Spiritual death.
It was a pretty intense experience. Life is short.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Psalm 23

Christine sent this to me in a forward, I thought it was so neat. I wish you could see the pictures that go with it.

Psalm 23
This is an eye opener... Some probably never thought nor looked at this Psalm in this way...


The Lord is my Shepherd-- That's Relationship!
I shall not want-- That's Supply!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.--That's Rest!
He leadeth me beside the still waters.--That's Refreshment!
He restoreth my soul--That's Healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness.--That's guidance!
For His name sake--That's Purpose!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.--That's Testing!
I will fear no evil.--That's Protection!
For Thou art with me--That's Faithfulness
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me,--That's Discipline!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.-- That's Hope!
Thou anointest my head with oil,--That's Concecration!
My cup runneth over.--That's Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.--That's Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord.--That's Security!
Forever.--That's Eternity!

Face it, the Lord and I think you are special.
Send this to the people you think are special.
I thought this was pretty special, just like YOU!!!
What is most valuable, is not what we have in our lives;
but WHO we have in our lives.



Monday, September 17, 2007

College life makes me emotional because I lack the discipline to get adequate rest, eat healthy, and exercise enough... That among other things. I don't like being that way. I like to be a pleasant person to be around, and I don't want to cause trouble for anyone else.
So, I'm definitely doing laundry right now. That's right. It's after midnight. I should be in bed, sleeping.. getting rest. I don't have a class until 11am, but I would like to go to the computer lab and get my assignment done for Effective Teaching in Youth Ministry. I have to study a passage where Jesus is interacting with people, not like he's teaching large crowds, but like one on one interaction or something like it. I have to study it inductively, then I have to make a powerpoint presentation out of it and get it emailed to Brandt like 2 hours before class. AHHHH.
I'm just slightly overwhelmed. You know what? When I was going to bed early and getting up early, I accomplished so much more that I have been lately. What happened???

You know what. I'm tired of complaining. Let me tell you about all the good things in life. I got the opportunity to talk to my grandma for a little while the other day. She called me and we had a nice conversation and I told her about school and everything that's going on. It was nice. I love my grandma. I also talked with my mom on the phone. My family isn't doing too bad... well, nothing is too terribly different from what's normal, if that means anything to anyone, so life is definitely not worse. And to me, that's really good.
Also, I'm a part of a website; www.writing.com and I have the free membership and I logged on yesterday to add another poem to be reviewed and I found that someone had anonymously bought me a three month upgraded membership. Yay! How cool is that?
I've also had some opportunities to bond with my roommates. which is always nice.
Well,that's about all for tonight. I'm going to work on my assignment while I wait for my laundry to finish.

Amanda

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Life is Interesting

Well, Bethel just went through our Spiritual Emphasis Week. It's strange because it seems like it just came so early this year. For the first time in my college career... I skipped night chapel during Spiritual Emphasis Week. I am such a heathen. :-) I went through several emotions doing this. First, I went on Monday night and was quite honestly... bored. So I had no desire to go the next night so Christine, Naomi and I went to the Dollar Theatre Tuesday night and saw Evan Almighty, which is a wonderful movie, I highly recommend it. But it has a lot of religion based inside jokes, so if you're not familiar with that the movie will probably just be stupid to you and in that case I don't recommend it. It was a little strange, it felt wrong, and liberating to skip that chapel (by the way, no, I'm not required to attend evening Chapels). So Wednesday night, I didn't go again but instead hung out with Christine, and the same for Thursday Night, and there is no evening Chapel on Friday after Spiritual Emphasis Week. It felt great all week not to go to Chapel, to not do something out of duty. However, on Friday I kept feeling like I had missed some great things and wished I had gone. But this was a good experience because going to night sessions had become a legalistic thing for me that I really needed to break. Besides, I can always download the chapel sessions from Bethels website. Anyway, I feel good about not going because it broke down a part of me that had become legalistic, but also because now I feel that when we have other evening chapel sessions for our special weeks, I will be going because I want to hear what God has to say and not out of a sense of duty. It's those little things that make life interesting. By the way, I also didn't go to Prayer Watch, I stayed in my room and studied the book of Romans.

I've had my share of ups and downs this week; no better or worse than anyone else. It's just life. My interest has a girlfriend. He's really happy about her, and I would hate to interfere with that, not that I would, but I don't want to do anything accidentally, so I'm going to back off. It's probably better that I back off anyway. A guy should have to fight for my heart, and if one actually does (in my condition) then I know that he just might be worthy of me. Right?
In other news, Ive had some annoyances with some people here... but those thoughts are reserved for me to work out in my private, handwritten journal. It's nothing terrible anyway.
Did I mention that my phone broke? Well, it finished breaking to the point that I can't really use it. The sound went out for some reason. Bummer. Im ready for a new cell phone that I can actually use, but I need a hefty paycheck before that will happen. I have a lot of expenses to take care of with my first few paychecks.

Well, That's going to have to be all for an update because I have a few things I would like to do. Hopefully I'll be able to update this thing a few times a week instead of once a week.

Amanda

Saturday, September 8, 2007

My Spirit is heavy.

Okay, so I am just not having the best day today. It started out fine, but it's just becoming a pain. I went to bed at midnight last night and I slept until about 10:30 today. I must have been exhausted. Naomi called me on my phone and I couldn't hear a thing, so she called on the house phone. She and I, and Naomi J and Katie all went and worked out today. It was a good work out and I felt really good afterwards. We relaxed for a few minutes, then went to the DC for Brunch. After Brunch I went to work for a few hours to do Student Calling. I have 10 hours of work this week, so hopefully that, alongside Chapel Attendance will put a few dollars into my pocket when I get paid. I could really use the money.
Okay, so up to this point, everything is going pretty good, nothing really horrible. Actually, nothing really horrible today has really happened at all, I'm just unhappy. I'm unhappy because my phone is broken beyond use now. And also because money is always an issue for me. I never have it. And I could really use it. I won't go so far as to say I need it because technically, I don't really need a cellphone at all, let alone a new one that will actually work for me. There are lots of things that I don't need. There are a lot of things I should just rely on God for.
*sigh* I wonder why some people are blessed with riches, others are blessed with comfortable, though meager, living, and my family, well... I suppose we have just enough for the day, which is more than the majority of the people on earth have, so I know I'm not bad off. Just wishing for something better. I didn't have a job all summer and I could've really used one.
I had a bad dream last night. I dreamt that I was in the backseat of a car and my parents were in the front seat driving, all of our stuff was packed up to move. I don't know where my brothers were. My parents were in the front seat and they were really depressed, so depressed infact, that they talked about driving into the lake and just ending it, everything. I was in the back seat crying and telling them not to do it, but they drove into the lake anyway. It was strange though because we didn't sink to the bottom of the lake. We floated on the top to the other side and drove out of the water. This dream repeated a few times before I actually woke up. I was sobbing, and I guess my heart has been a little heavy all day. I want to talk to my mom, but I have no way of contacting her at the moment. Well, I'm going to shower so I can go to prayer watch withouth stinking.

Amanda

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Give it all to Jesus

Well, today seemed like it was just an incredibly busy day for me. I dont know how it seemed so busy when I didn't have anything to do until 11am. Oh wait! That's right, Christine called me at 7am and asked me if I wanted to go to breakfast. I said yeah and I got up and showered, went to the DC, ate, came back here, spent some times reading my Bible, praying, and thinking about all the wonders of theology and God's universe. Then Christine called me again saying that she locked her keys in her car and she wanted to know if she could come hang out at my house for a little while, so she did, and we talked about some of the things I was thinking about, then some things she was thinking about. Then I had to go to my Bowling class. My Bowling class was a blast, even though all we really did was take roll. The Bowling professor is hilarious! Let's just say this, he was so fun that calling roll took half an hour by itself. So we got to leave early and I went to find Christine and met up with her in the bookstore. I bought a few more supplies, some Bethel pens, and the book Wild At Heart. Then the two of us went to lunch at Sufficient Grounds, then I waited for Christine's Dad to show up with her spare set of keys since Christine was supposed to be in a class when he would get here. But she showed up right when he was about to leave so I just gave her the keys then and she took her dad to her house so he could see it. Then I came back to my room and finalized some homework I had to get done, went to the computer lab... saw Justin. I was planning to give Justin a copy of Wild At Heart as a kind of surprise gift, and it was supposed to be anonymous, but seeing that he is off campus this year, and not knowing how to get it to him, I just gave him the book in the computer lab. I told him that it was supposed to be anonymous, but I didn't know how to get it to him, and he was like, "Oh, you could just leave it somewhere around campus and it would get to me." Somehow I doubt that, but yeah... I really wish I could have given it to him without him knowing it was me. Anyway... We are also thinking that we may want to have lunch instead of dinner so we can share about our summers. So then I finally got my paper printed off (there was a problem with the printers, I'm glad I showed up at 15 till) and I went to my class 'Effective Teaching in Youth Ministry.' Of all the classes I take this fall, I am sure that this class is going to be one of the most essential... perhaps also even in my college career. After that class I visited my advisor, Brother Tim, I got the drop/add form, he signed it, then I went and visited Dr. Beals. We talked and he wrote up a letter to get me into his NT Lit class even though it was full. So that was accomplished. I came back to my room. I did something on my computer. I'm not sure what it was, but I'm sure it was important. By this time it was about 5pm I went to our Student Caller meeting, worked until about 6pm, came back to the House, had dinner with my SLE Family, went back to work at 7pm, made a bunch of calls. I had some really good calls too, some of thepeople were really friendly and we were having some good 5 and 10 minute conversations, some were probably more like 15 or 20 minutes. I worked 3 1/2 hours and made a total of 25 calls. I'm a little nervous about that. I didn't space off or anything, I just made calls, and I was trying to make them quickly, but I still didn't make more than 25. I did spend a lot of time with several long calls, so I hope that they notice that, because 25 calls in 3 hours is just not good. Anyway, I did have 8 completed calls though, probably more because I talked to some parents, but I didn't put them down as parent calls. After work I went straight to my audition for Pride and Prejudice. I was so nervous, I calmed myself down a little with breathing and went in and auditioned. Overall, it wasn't a bad audition, I think, but I did forget my lines a few times. Auhhhggg. But it's okay, they gave me some good comments. They liked my inflection and pauses. Then they asked me to do it without an accent and to put more energy into it. I tried... not sure how I did, but I forgot the words again. Well, we'll see what happens. I hope to have at least a call back. That would be nice. It would be a 100 percent total blessing from God if I get the part of Mrs. Bennet. I hope I do, but God's will be done. I trust Him, even if it means this is not the time for me to be in a musical. But I still hope it is. So I came back to the house, changed into my pj's because I was really super sweaty. I had to cool off. And well.... here I am.
Wow, I had a really busy day today. I didn't even realize how busy it was. Too add to everything, I totally just added another class for MWF... Perhaps I should have just gone with 13.5credit hours because I added more homework. I'm a little nervous about my Saturday Seminar because there is so much more to it that I expected. I'm sure that I will be able to get it all done (God willing, yay). And it's spread out over time, so it's not bad, it's just overwhelming to look at it all at once. So I've decided not to try to get a job on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. If I'm going to try to be in the play it would just be better for me to leave that open to do stuff I need to get done. Well, that is my update, I'm sure it's pretty long.
Okay... breathe.... life is good.

Amanda

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Thank God for 3 day weekends!

I am so glad that we have a three day weekend this week. I don't know how I would survive if I had to be ready to start classes again tomorrow. But I suppose this coming week will shove me back into the college routine.
Speaking of routine, I've been going to bed between 11 and 12 and getting up between 7 and 8. It's so weird considering the sleeping patterns I had this summer. I tried to have good sleeping patterns, but I guess it just didn't want to kick in until now. The great thing, though, is that I have had the chance to get up each morning and have a devotional study and pray. Pretty soon I will probably add homework to that.
I've decided not to try to get a job on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those will be good days to get my homework done. Especially if I get a part in the play. That's right. I'm trying out for Bethel's production of Pride and Prejudice. They had monologues for us to prepare with and I'm practicing the monologue for the part of Mrs. Bennet. At first I didn't know which one I wanted to try for, but Naomi and Sonia think that will be the best part for me. Then they instructed me on how I can do the voice of Mrs. Bennet and got a really good laugh at me. Tonight Naomi helped me to own the character a little bit and also to memorize the monologue. It's not perfect, but it's getting there. My audition is Tuesday at 9:45 pm. I can't wait. Well, I can, but I kind of want to get it done because if I can do this, it will be my first time acting in a Bethel production and I really want to do it. Pray for me. Pray that I will do my best. Pray that God's will be done even if it means I won't have a part at all. I've been wanting to be in a Bethel production since I came here. Maybe this is the year for it. I hope so. I would love to be able to call my mom and surprise her with this. Then her and dad could come watch the performance.
So anyway... My homework load isn't terrible, but my World Civ homework is really getting to me. It's those danged maps. Thank God I don't have to turn it in until Wednesday. I still need to get some colored pencils. Tonight I will do it in high lighter like Nora suggested and hopefully that will be acceptable to him.
Well, I'd like to try to get all my homework done tonight, and maybe get a little extra done, so this is goodnight.

Amanda

Friday, August 31, 2007

Brokenness, brokenness is what I long for...

No. Actually, I do not long for or desire brokenness. I don't want my heart to ache. I do not want the pain... but I do realize that it is an important part of Christian growth. It's so easy to get stuck in your own ideals that sometimes the best, most effective way for God to get through to us is brokenness. This is my life. It is so easy for me to offer my life up to God and then try to take control of it, to want to know every single detail, to be satisfied where I am spiritually, to put off the hard stuff off, to be lazy, to seek my own will above Gods. Yes, I am so human, I have programed it into myself to do what opposes God, and I live in a state of brokenness for it. And I hate what I've become.
A few weeks ago I was listening to the radio (WFRN) and there was a message, It might have been from Chuck Swindoll (sp?), but I'm not sure. Anyway, the person was talking about Jacob. His name meant deciever, and for the first part of his life, it defined him quite accurately. But later, Jacob wrestled with God, he struggled, he fought, but he overcame. that's a weird thought for me, I often wonder if I read it correctly. But Jacob wrestled with God and with man and he overcame. As a result of this, God redefined Jacob. He gave him a new identity. Jacob was no longer Jacob the deciever, he was Israel, Father of the nations.
It struck me. I have always defined myself. I believe that our names are important part of who we are, which is one of the reasons I despise being called by any nicknames. I've always liked my name because it means "worthy of love", and so I tried and struggled and fought to be worthy of love. I still hope that I am, but there is one thing about the definition of my name... Worthy of love. Sure, even if I really am worthy of love, that doesn't mean that I have it, or that it will come to me... It only means that I am worthy of it.
But how I define myself goes beyond just my name. I just wanted to follow the Biblical example of Jacob. Anyway, I also define myself in other ways. I define myself by what I do, what I'm good at, who I hang around, who my family is... it could go on. I want God to redefine me. I want him to show me who I really am. When God redefined Jacob, it changed his life, and the course of an entire nation. God could do the same for me.

Amanda

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Well, here I am

Well, I am here. It was a bit of a rough ride to get here though. We left before 10am and didn't get here until about 4pm. My dad checked everything out on the van to make sure everything would run smoothly and get us there and back without leaving us stranded. Everything checked out okay, but one part looked burnt up so my parents used our emergency credit card (since we are virtually broke right now) and bought the part and replaced it. Then we went on our way. The van was working really great, better than it had been before we replaced the part until we got about half way to Bethel, then it just pooped out. We pulled over a few times so dad could check things out and try a few different things to see if the van would do better. At one point we pulled into the parking lot of a church and I joked to my dad that we should get people in the church to lay hands on our van and pray for it. We were there for a few minutes and my mom went in to the church to use the restroom. She told the people inside that we were going to drop me off at college and our van just broke down, so when my mom came back out, two ladies did too. Then, ironically, they laid their hands on the van and prayed for it. I was really amused by it. :-) And then they prayed for me, and one of the ladies percieved in her Spirit that I was supposed to work with Youth. So that was this major confirmation on my decision to change my major to Youth Ministry!
So my family and I climbed back into our van and left, the vehicle still didn't work properly, however, it did work, which was a major plus. The van wouldn't go more than 40 miles an hour. We would climb the hills at 5 miles an hour and top out going down hill at 40 miles an hour. Then there was a lot of clanking noise and the smell of something burning, so we pulled over in this rest stop and my dad was checking things out and we finally decided to call my Aunt to come and get me and my mom and take me up to Bethel while my dad stayed with the van to see if he could find the problem. Around 4pm we finally arrived and got me all moved in. By this time I was pretty stressed, and not in the best mood.
Not too long after my mom and aunt left I went out to dinner with Christine and Doug. Came back, then spent the rest of the day with my new roommate, Sonia. By the way, Sonia is awesome! Finally at 12:30 last night I went to bed, slept wonderfully, but woke up at 7:30 so I got up and went to breakfast, then spend the day running errands.
I was able to change my classes, but I have to get permission from the instructor to get into one of them. I also bought my books, had telecounseling training, went to Sufficient Grounds, had breakfast with some friends (not in that order, haha) and it's been a pretty productive day. KatyJoy moved in today, so now I have two roommates and I adore them both!
My room is huge!!!!!! I am not kidding or exagerating in the least bit. This house is so big! Maybe I'll add pictures later if I can get my camera to work for me again.
Well. I need to get to bed so this is goodnight.
Amanda

Monday, August 27, 2007

Returning to Bethel... tomorrow

Well, I have to admit that these past two weeks have just flown by. I was so afraid that they would go unbearably slow... actually I don't know if I'm really ready to go back. I mean I know I am, but I'm not sure that parts of me are ready. Know what I mean?
Last night was such a special night for me. It was my last night at Amped for a little while. During Amped Josh gave me a card that everyone had signed (or tried to, apparently I kept coming around when some of the people were trying to sign it). It was a good surprise. I probably got 3 or 4 hugs from each person. BL (the guy who sniffed me earlier in the year) gave me a hug and hung on telling me not to leave. He cracks me up. He is... eccentric? I don't know. I love all of the students at Amped. Some of them have become really good friends of mine. After Amped ended a bunch of us walked over to Pat's IceCream Parlor, and Josh treated me to ice cream. Needless to say, I got a huge ego boost last night. My heart wanted to cry with joy when I got home.
I've spent the good part of this morning trying to simplify my packing. I don't want to bring a whole bunch of stuff, but it seems like my stuff just keeps piling up. So I finally decided to take a break and check my email and facebook, and blog a little. I got an email back from Dr. Linhart. It's totally possible to do the Youth Ministry degree!!!! They'll work through any problems that might arise from the Saturday Seminars. (and only five are needed, instead of 7, when I take the new catalog, yeah!) Guess what world! I'm changing my major! I am thrilled. Josh also told me to let him know if my school has me do internships, and I assured him that they do, and I need one.
Anyway, that's everything important for the time being.
Love
Amanda

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm feeling this song tonight

"Stand"

You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless
Like you've lost your fight
But you'll be alright,
you'll be alright
[Chorus:]
Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you Stand,
Then you stand
Life's like a novel
With the end ripped out
The edge of a canyon
With only one way down
Take what you're given before its gone
Start holding on, keep holding on
[Repeat Chorus]
Everytime you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place
Oh

update

Well, I'm watching high school musical with my brother. From the way he talks about it, it sounds like its a good movie. I had figured it would be something that only adolescent girls would enjoy watching, but apparently he thinks it's good, so I'll watch it.
My aunt came back from visiting missouri and dropped off some clothes from my grandma and I got some great new clothes. I'm excited to be able to wear them. They'll probably be best for winter but they look so good, it's nice to own nice clothes.
6 more days until I go back to Bethel. I can't wait. I've been thinking it through. If I go through with changing my major, it will be youth ministry with a minor in communications. I'm going to be emailing Dr. Linhart soon to talk with him about some of my concerns, and we'll see what happens from there.
This Sunday will be my last Sunday at LifeBridge for a while.
Well, that's all for an update for now. Maybe a longer one later.

Amanda

Thursday, August 16, 2007

No power is not a bad thing

Last night there was a viciuos storm that came upon us very suddenly... It took out our electricity. For me it wasn't all that bad. I mean, the tornado sirens were kind of scary, but I actually thought it was kind of exciting.
I thought the weather was nice, but my dad and brothers got overheated, and my mom got a migraine (It was only 70 degrees!). Despite everyone elses misery, I though it was really nice to have the electricity go out. Everyone sat in the same room, we listened to the radio, and we talked as a family. We don't do that very often, and I felt close to them for once.
And the electricity came back on eventually, it was just a small inconvenience.

Today is Rebecca's birthday, and Jessie's Birthday.
12 more days until I go back to Bethel. I've been giving serious consideration to changing my major to Youth Ministry. Ha, yeah, a senior in college and I'm considering changing my major. I suppose the thing is that I have been hiding from this major since before I started college. Yeah, I know, that needs explanation, huh? Well, when I was a senior in high school, and thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I felt very strongly that I wanted to work with youth. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find a job, so I thought maybe I would just minor in youth ministry, and get a professional degree in something else. So I chose English, with a minor in Youth Ministry. Right before I was supposed to come to Bethel, I decided to go undecided. After the first semester I felt another tug to full time ministry, but I was scared. Really scared. What kind of job can I get as a female in ministry? I went to the carreer office and took one of the carreer tests and my highest marks, by quite a few, were in the feild of ministry. I thought, okay, I'll declare a major in ministry. I was still passionate about youth, but I wanted to keep the major pretty broad, just to leave my options a little more open. So I did. Sophomore year passes, junior year passes. It must have been a hundred plus times I've thought about changing to youth ministry, of looking at the classes I would need and reading through their descriptions, wondering if I could do it, desiring to do it, but always deciding to stay right where I am because I could be wrong, God might not want me to work with youth, so I'm safer answering my call to ministry just by keeping my major broad. Besides, I don't need a degree in Youth Ministry to work with youth anyway, right? During my junior year I decided to just take Foundations of Youth Ministry and ended up deciding to take an extra year at college because I wanted to add a youth ministry minor. Well, this summer I have been working with the Youth Group at LifeBridge Christian Church, and also doing a bit of an independant study, and once again I feel pulled in that direction. Youth. Whatever God has me do in my life, its going to involve youth. I know that. I've always known that, there's never really been any question about it. But like I already said I don't need a degree in Youth Ministry to work with youth professionally, so I may as well just finish out my degree in Christian Ministry. Well, last week I was looking through the list of classes and everything needed to complete the degree and I realized that there are more classes to take than just those required in having a youth min. minor, and I want to take the other classes too. I want the information that they offer, I want the expereince and the training. So then I started looking to see if I could complete the degree in the appropriate time, taking only 5 years like I had already decided I was going to do, and it seems really likely, with the exception of the Saturday Seminars, by the time I graduate I would only have 4 and I would need 7. So, I decided to pray about it. Do I keep studying Christian Ministry, or do I switch majors? I felt peace. Now I'm extremely cautious about this for some reason, and I decided to ask the people who know me well what their opinions were. So far they have all said that I sound like I'm taking the right steps in seeking leading from God, they think youth ministry fits me very well and that if I'm sensing the leading, then I'm probably being too cautious and might be required to take a leap of faith. So now I want to talk with someone in the Youth Ministry department and get their imput. I feel like I am at a critical point. We'll see what happens.

Amanda

Sunday, August 12, 2007

LifeBridge

Well, I had a really good day today. Besides not getting a whole lot of sleep, I went to church. Church is always fantastic, I love it. We were supposed to have another class today, a servant leadership class, but everyone else who was planning to attend the class couldn't make it, so Pete cancelled it until next week, so I will be missing the last class because I'm going back to Bethel.
So instead of having the class, I went to the drama writing team meeting and helped plan some great stuff for the time when I won't be here. Sigh... that's why I need Bethel Life to mix with LifeBridge... my life would be perfect. haha.
Anyway, After that meeting I took a little nap on the couch. I wasn't expecting to fall asleep but I woke up when a few of the other leaders and some students showed up. We had a cook out tonight and it was so much fun! Josh talked with the students about how their spiritual life is going, who desires a deeper spiritual life, how they can acheive a deeper life, what's holding them back. It was a short talk despite everything they covered.
I love this group of students. They are so cool. But do lose focus quite easily.
After Josh talked with the students we had the cook out and ate hotdogs. Some of the girls started a burping contest. I wanted to join them, so I drank a mountain dew, But it didn't quite work as I had planned it. I was eating a hotdog as I was drinking the soda, so I never was able to get any burps up, instead I kept burping small burps while I was talking with Josh.
Also, for some reason Josh appears to think I'm sad. Am I presenting myself as sad lately? By the way, the person in this photo is the Life Bridge Youth Minister, Josh.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

For the sake of an update

Well, I have almost solved my rubiks cube. I tried to look up how to do it online, but I can't understand those directions. They are too stinkin complicated. But someday I will solve the rubiks, and I will have the pleasure of being able to say that I solved the cube without any help or cheats. But wouldn't that be something if my mind could eventually figure out how to solve the cube, but it couldn't understand the directions? I laugh.
Nineteen days until I return to Bethel. Can't wait. Last night at Focus (Wednesday nights to go deeper at LifeBridge) we had a prayer meeting. The meeting reminded me of Prayer Watch, I miss it.... Well, what I think I really miss is seeing the power of the Holy Spirit working in such a dynamic way. I wonder if Scott is going to be heading up Prayer Watch again this year. I think Thiago is totally done with school now, so I don't think he will be there, but we'll see.
I think Bryce and Kim are working on figuring out how meals are going to work for our SLE Family. I think we will probably be okay just having the ten meal plan, and our community dinners. I suppose everyone could put in some money each month or every two weeks, but I also know that for someone like me, I don't exactly make a lot of money, and some people might not even have jobs, but it will be really hard for us.
Anyway... just for the sake of an update, that's all for now.

Amanda

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Not too much going on

Well, my weeks are considerably less busy.... Not that they were terribly busy to begin with. I just have very little going on. I go back to Bethel in 21 days. I can't wait to go back, yet I'm bidding my time to stay here, fearful that it will be gone too soon. I love my family, but they're not the reason I want to stay. Life Bridge has just been an incredible church. This summer I've actually looked forward to going to church, sleeping in does not sound better than going. I am actually motivated to go every Sunday, and I love being at the church. During the school year last year I often skipped church to sleep in, well, in the end I was going to house church pretty consistently, but I still had to make myself get up and go. and that's why I'm bidding my time to stay.
I can't wait to go back to Bethel because I want to see my friends, I want to learn something, I want to participate in SLE, I want to work my jobs that I have lined up, I want to visit chapel, I want to have class with.. :-) ...you know who, etc etc... but also because I'd like to sleep in a room that keeps my dry when it rains at night. When it rains, it quite literally rains inside my room. Last night I discovered that I don't have enough buckets to catch all the rain.
Dad tried to patch my roof, but it just started leaking again. The roof needs to be redone, but we don 't have the money, Besides, if anyone stands on our roof, it might just cave in on them. I'd hate to imagine if for some reason a house inspector had to inspect our house. He'd probably condemn it and then my whole family would be homeless. I hate it when it rains, and I don't get much sleep, but I'm gone most of the year, I'd rather just put up with the rain and leaking for a little while than make a big deal of it to anyone.

I wish I could combine Bethel and Life Bridge, two parts of my life that I love.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Just a quick update

So yesterday, Right out of the blue, Christine called me and asked me if I wanted to go to the beach. So we went swimming last night, after it was dark. I've never been swimming in the light of the moon at the beach, so naturally I had a blast. Then Kym called me this afternoon. My phone died and I had to recharge it, but I really appreciated the phone call. And Stephanie asked for a phone date sometime soon. It is so nice for friendships not to be one-sided!
It's kind of funny. When we are at our lonliest, when it seems like people have stopped caring, it's then that people remember you. I don't know if any of them knew about my last blog, but it's ironic that after two weeks of feeling so low, and after venting a little, suddenly there was a response. Strange how things works out, huh?
I went to the Wednesday night meeting at Church, learned about another connection power ministry. I didn't sign up for it though. I wanted to think on it since I don't have the same computer access that I had before. Then Thursday I went to the worship arts meeting. I just observed, I didn't sing or anything, but I love the way the lifebridge band sounded. Why don't they sound that way on Sunday mornings?

I made some baby booties, mittens, and a hat for Brandy's baby. For those of you who don't know, Brandy is my cousin and one of my best friends, and is expecting her second child, a little girl, at the end of this month. The babies name is going to be October Serenity. It's a unique name no doubt.
Im also still working on making hats for the less fortunate. I have six hats, and three more started. I work on three or projects at one time so I don't get bored. I'm hoping to have 12 to 15 done before i go back to Bethel.

I am beyond ready to go back to Bethel. I'm excited for my new classes, for the new living situation, for my senior year (i won't be graduating just yet) for my jobs, for chapel, for a chance to make things better than they were the previous 3 years (don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved the past three years... expect for the end of last year, that wasn't much fun), for the incoming freshman, for some secret project idea's i've been formulating, for the fall break camping trip if it works out and so much more.

Ah... the fall break camping trip. Christine and I had an idea for a camping trip over fall break.. that is if there is anywhere to camp in October.

Well, that's all the update for now, I need to do some research.

Amanda

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jesus doesn't hug me...

Sometimes I think I have a sad existence. I've been really lonely all summer and I feel like I've reached the point that it's at its worst. I feel like my friends have all forgotten me. I try to be such a good friend. I call them, leave messages for them on facebook, write them letters, pray for them...and I'm lucky if one of them calls me back or replies to my messages and letters. If they can't even bring themselves to respond to my efforts, I sincerely doubt that they're praying for me. And I'm not talking about my casual friends.. These are the people I would call my best friends. Sad, huh?
For once I would like one of my friends to call me out of the blue and ask how I'm doing. For once I would like my friends to remember me without me having to promt them first, But I guess for that to happen, they would first have to respond to me when I try to contact them. It's easy to have friends during the school year, but when summer comes, everyone is concerned with their own. I may as well accept right now that the people I get to know in college will slowly drift away... just like they did in high school, and throught out my life the friends that I have will only be my friends for the moment. Then *POOF* the moment's gone... and I am reduced to this... loneliness, wondering why I wasn't good enough to remember.

Why?

Amanda

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wow, what a week!

Well, I've had quite a week this week. Last Friday was my last day running a booth at the fair and I'm pretty sure that the day was excellent. We finally didn't run out of prizes. Infact, we actually had to start just handing them out to people as they passed by. I suppose my system worked really well. Thanks be to Jesus.
Josh was being ornery (that doesn't look like it's spelled right) on Friday. He was doing the trolley work and I gave him his tshirt because Tammy had told me that she wanted to get as much use out of the t-shirt as she possibly could for the rest of the fair. Well, when Josh left without the shirt, I thought maybe he had forgotten it. So the next time the trolley came around I had Pete's son, whose name is also Josh but I am going to refer to him as Joshie for journaling sake, take Josh the t-shirt and have him tell Josh that Tammy wanted us to wear them today. So Joshie did and came back and when the trolley began to roll away again Josh not only refused to wear his t-shirt, but he decided to basically take glory in the fact that he was being rebellious. So I played along with the game and kept bugging him, through messages from other people, to put on his lifebridge shirt. And I told others to give him a hard time. It was quite fun. He makes me smile. :-)
Angi was supposed to come help out at the fair on Friday and she never showed up. I just figured she wasn't able to get a ride there, and didn't worry about it. Today I found out that she's a bit epileptic and had a seisure on Friday. Poor girl. I'm glad she's okay. I really like Angi a lot.
Yesterday I recieved a God-kiss. For those of you who don't know what a God-kiss is, it's when God does something for you or gives you something you want without you asking for him to and not because you were obedient so anything specific, but just because he loves you and is romancing your heart. Anyway. All week I have been telling my brothers to win me a fish at the fair, and neither of them would because they claim they suck at the game. So I thought, well, i'll win myself a fish because I've never failed to get one yet, but I didn't have the money and I didn't want to ask my brothers to give me any money, so I conceded that I would just not win a fish this year and well, that's life, it's not a big deal. Well, anyway, yesterday Eric and Emily (my younger brother and his girlfriend) came home and handed me a bag of fish. I was like "aw, you won me a fish!" and Eric said he hadn't, but that when he and Emily had come back to Emily's car there was a coupon for a fish on her windshield. (the game gives out coupons so when people win a fish they can just come and get it later instead of carrying it around all day.) So they took the coupon and went back into the fair grounds and grabbed me a fish. Yay. I haven't decided on a name yet, but I'm considering him to be Sir Poopalot the second. At least my other fish has a friend now.
Amped tonight was the same as usual, but there weren't a lot of people. I, once again, get to ask the students the questions about "what do you think about this quote" and the entire rest of the page. I don't mind doing it, but I would like a chance to look over what I'm doing before I have to do it, even if I was only given a small heads up of ten minutes where I could look at it, consider it, and think about what it means for myself without being distracted before I have to explain it (i have to explain it a lot, and tonight I was just really off the ball because I needed a lot of help. Thank God I'm not having to help with a small group all by myself)
Anyway, thats the quick jist of everything.

Amanda

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day 2 at the Fair

First of all, the families main computer got a virus and died. So I'm using my brothers computer. The key board is much easier to use because the 'e' key doesn't stick, and both shift keys work. I wish I could just use my own computer. I have a laptop, so it would be convenient to be able to take it anywhere in the house that I wish, but sadly I can't use it for two reasons. First, it's plug broke... second it only takes wireless internet access so I can't even hook it up to the internet here anyway. I'll be able to use it when I go back to Bethel... that is once my dad fixes my wire for me, but until then, Im just glad my brother is nice enough to allow me to use his computer.
Anyway...
Well, day two at the fair wasn't actually a bad day. I showed up a few minutes late, but things like that happen sometimes. I guess it sort of offsets me showing up an hour early the first day, haha. Other people were already there working, and they made my job so incredibly easy. It was almost ridiculous, but really, it was great! So I just counted out the blue and green bottomed suckers and calculated how many we could put out each hour. I had help all day, except for two hours out of the day. It was then, go figure, at the beginning of those two hours that I had to use the bathroom. Truly, my life is a comedy; but I wouldn't have it any other way.
One of the people who had volunteered, Sarah, asked me who my dad was, so I told her and she was like, "I thought so" It turns out that she knew my parents. Cool. We also got to talk about about Life Bridge and she asked me why I wasn't on the worship team. I said that I figured that if anyone wanted me on the team they would invite me. She considers asking why I'm not to be an invitation. Then she said I was hiding my light under a bowl. Ouch. I don't know if I'm going to try to get on the team, but she gave me a stab of conviction.
Later in the day we started running out of glowsticks. Again. I seriously need to calculate how many glowsticks to give away per hour because I'm not liking this problem. We also discovered that we had way too many suckers for the water bottle prize and not nearly enough waterbottles. I don't understand what I am doing wrong. Toward the later hours of the evening, a person who was not on my list to volunteer came in. He was the guy that helps Josh out at Amped and he did a great job making me feel like a horrible person. When he realized we were running out of prizes he got angry. I tried to tell him that we only had like 5 beanie baby/coloring books suckers and like 22 water bottle suckers and he basically called me a liar saying that no, I'm supposed to get a certain number of suckers for each prize for the day. Then he accused us all of giving away the wrong prizes, ran to the store, and bought more water bottles. When he came back I felt like he was monitering the place as though he expected things wouldn't run fine without him there.
Later I made the comment that I was really tired and he said, 'Then go home', and I told him that I needed to stay and close up the tent when we were done, he said he would do it, so I let him and I went home an hour early. The last hour or so at the Fair wasn't as much fun as the first 9 hours. Everyone had their days though. I just have to remember to extend him grace for those moments and not be fearful or bitter towards him. I'm still looking forward to Friday, though. I have one more chance for everything to go smoothly. And Christine might come visit me.
Yep.

Amanda

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Update Anyway

I know in my last entry, I said I wouldn't write if there was Amped tonight, but I got home soon enough that I am able to get onlin and do a short update.

Mostly I was inspired to write because I finished reading Battle Cry For A Generation and I was really inspired by it. I don't think I've felt so passionately desparate for youth in a really really long time. I brought my copy to Amped and I told Josh if he wanted to read it I would lend him my copy. He took it. I'm really glad that he's going to read it.

You know... it was actually kind of humbling to read that book because I realized that there really is more I can do to help Josh, and the reason I don't feel like I'm really there helping is because I act more like a student than someone trying to volunteer to help out. I also feel bad now for being annoyed with him the other day. So anyway, I asked Josh a couple of questions.
I asked him why he got involved in youth ministry.
I asked him what kind of support he gets from: Pete, the church body, parents, and college age students.
I don't think I asked him what kind of support he would like from them.. oh well. I asked what kind financial support was available to him, what he would do if he had no supportive or financial restrictions, how I can pray for him, and how I can serve him better.

I think he was really honest with me, and I really appreciated that more than I can express. I also got to see a little bit into his heart and now my heart cries and bleeds for the youth and childrens ministries at LifeBridge.
One of the things that Josh told me when I asked about finances is that he has no funding for his minstry and the stuff he's brought into it he payed for out of his own pocket. I just can't believe that! That is something that I would really like to do something about. I wish I could give him funding of some sort for the two ministries, but I'm not in any financial situation where I can. I think that's one of the things I will pray about.
I firmly believe that Josh could do some really amazing things if he had a few more resources.

Well, I didn't want this to be too long of an update, so I'm signing off for now.

Amanda

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I was looking for Harry Potter spoilers. I will give none away, but the ones I've found so far from the supposed unreleased copy were far more exciting than the other possible spoilers I found. I still need to read the sixth book, but from what I gathered, as much as Harry Potter fans don't want him to, I think it makes the most sense that he would die in the end, specifically that he and Voldemort kill eachother in the 'final battle'. But that's just my opinion. I'm eager to read whatever Rowling decided to do with Harry.

Anyway, yesterday I had my first day running the booth at the fair, and I know that God had to have been with me through out that entire thing. Heres why:
First of all, my dad thought there was going to be a lot of traffic going in and out, so we left early and I ended up getting there and hour early. No big deal, I helped Tammy set up and she showed me everything I needed to do. During the day I was alone for a little while then Roy, (my families landlord who goes to the church, too) showed up and... well, he's an old man, and I did not enjoy his company. He kept giving away the big prizes without people having pulled a prize winning sucker. Glowsticks were fine to give away, but he was ridiculous giving away the beanie babies and coloring books. Aside from that he kept making sexual and lewd comments about people walking by, and he actually grabbed a young girl by the wrist. I think he was scaring people. I prayed that God would make him leave
.For a little while, while he was there, the person who had signed up to be there for a three hour time slot showed up, but then only stayed for one hour. I spent some time explaining to her what we were doing and where things were and the rest of the time she talked on her cell phone. Then she left to go get a drink and came back with a lemonade for me and then left. Pete's wife Traci also came by during that time and asked how things were going, so I told her about Roy giving away the prizes, but that was all I told her. I still may tell her what else he was doing. So Traci gave me her cell number and then had to go back to her daughters dog show.
After Roy finally left I was all by myself, since the other person who was supposed to be there stayed only an hour. The two people who were supposed to show up at 2pm never did.
At five BL and Bobby showed up, so I showed them were everything was, told them what to do and made a quick trip to the bathroom. Tabby didn't show up until much later. Becca came by when she could. And Josh also stopped by to see how things were going before he worked the trolley. Before I knew it, 4 teens turned into 8 really hyper teens who weren't really being very helpful, except for BL. I had to keep getting on their cases about keeping the table clean and trash picked up and maintaining the image LifeBridge was trying to get across. They were just too hyper.
When Josh came back after working the trolley, he wasn't very helpful in keeping the teens in control, and he left to go home before too much time had passed, which was okay because he hadn't been signed up to help, so I didn't expect him to come at all. He left his phone number with me so I could call if I needed anything. I opted not to call, I already feel like just another kid in his youth group, I don't want Josh to think I can't handle anything or that I need him in anyway.
At, I think it was 8:30 (at night) , I finally went to eat for the first time that day, but I brought my food back to the tent because I felt like I had to continually supervise everything that was going on. Then there was a problem with us running out of glowsticks too quickly. I called Tammy and she stopped by and I talked with her about what was going on and she asked if Josh had been helpful when he stopped by. I told her that he did well at drawing people in and she asked about him controlling the teens and then I was like no, not really. So she said next year they would have to have another, separate training session for the volunteers who are helping in the booth but aren't booth leaders. Then she went and talked with the teens and they settled down a little and were a bit more enjoyable to have around, and a bit more helpful, but at 10pm I was still ready for them to leave so I could start shutting everything down. I started closing up the tent at 10pm, I asked BL to help since he was tall, and the most helpful.
By 11 everyone had finally left, I had cleaned up, put everything in the tent, hid the prizes so if anyone got in the tent they wouldn't see them, and left. I called Eric and Emily so we could go home, but then we walked around the fair for another 40 mintues. By the time I got home it was almost midnight. I spent almost 13 hours at the fair.
And when I got home, yesterday had seemed like a fairly good day. See why I say God had to have been with me? Looking back I'm surprised that I kept my cool.

But I suppose I can't tell about all that bad without mentioning the good.
Well, BL *was* helpful, and it was nice to not be alone.
Angi, a woman at church who I suspect has a partial mental handicap showed up to help for a few hours and I got to talk with her and learn some nice things about her. She's a wonderful person.
I got the opportunity to talk with some people about LifeBridge and they might show up. I don't expect them to, but it would be exciting to see them this sunday.
My brother Eric also came by the booth and gave me $20 for the next few days that I was there.

Well, thats all for the time being. I'll probably update on Monday, or Sunday if they're not having Amped.

Amanda

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I found this,I liked it.

Oh, God, do You think I'm beautiful?

No one else has been able..so is it You? Are You the One who longs for me--the One who can fill this desire to be known? There is so much more inside of me, a great well of passion and dreams. A place I never let myself go. Is it safe to trust You with the rest of my heart? What will You do with me if I show You everything? Every desire? Every longing? Every doubt? Every weakness? If I am exposed before You, will You still love me? If Your forgiveness truly irreversible? Is Your grace really free? Will You hold me and care for me in the dark? Will you take me back?Oh, God, hold me, please hold me and tell me that You love me.

Tell me that I am desirable.
Tell me that You'll fight for me.
Tell me that I am beautiful.

My lovely daughter,Your desire has served its purpose; you have finally brought your true heart to me. Are you tired of the weight of pretending? Are you tired of hoping that someone else could fill the place that was meant for Me? I see you, all of you, and you do not have to hide anymore. I see your sin and I see your flaws, and I still desire you as My own. I am crazy about you. I am the answer of your longing. The "more" that your heart waits for is Me.Yes, dear one, yes, you are incredibly beautiful to Me.

Psalm 45:11
The King is enthralled by your beauty...