Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Top Ten Tuesday 5

Tonight, as I was accomplishing some very important tasks on my computer, I got an instant message from Kristi. She said, "There are only one and a half hours until Tuesday is over."

Not sure where she is going with that, I give a quick reply only for her to inform me that I have failed to post a Top Ten Tuesday for this Tuesday.

Because Kristi came to my rescue and saved me from failing at this habitual but very important task, I will devote this Top Ten Tuesday to her.

Top 10 Memories with Kristi

1. Being a "Dairy Fairy" with Kristi at Dairy Queen- spending numerous hours at the cash register, making products, and building a Treatzza Pizza castle out of Treatzza Pizza boxes

2. Pulling an all-niter with Kristi- details are posted in a recent previous post.

3. Going on many bus rides with members of the Mortonaires and their families to various church locations... and entertaining ourselves by playing Rush Hour

4. Walking around Six Flags... and eating elephant ears. Kristi and I do not enjoy rides, so when we went with the Sunday School Class in High School, we had fun keep each other company.

5. Making a dating game show at Kristi's house for one of her birthday party sleepovers, and having a very unfortunate occurence take place on VIDEO... I don't think we need to go into much detail about this one, but it could be used for black mail against me someday.

6. Watching Roseanne many times on the couches in Kristi's basement late at night.

7. The moment I said, "Kristi- your dog just lounged on me."

8. Running many errands together, and eating out at The Brick OVen about 30 times to use up Kristi's many gift certificates.

9. Going boating with Kristi- once. (Even though she promised me 4 years in a row to take me and just got around to it last Fall. No, I'm not bitter. Nope.)

10. Starting 2 Peas in a Palette with Kristi and becoming partners in crime for life.

What would be YOUR favorite memory to have? Kristi- I expect feedback from you. :D

I love you all! T

Sunday, February 26, 2006

From Paper to Web Log

I am going to do something a little different for today's post. I will start with a few good quotes from this past week. Then, I'm going to move on to my big endeavor with a small preface. But first, the quotes:

1. "I just shocked my cut." -Danielle, my blonde friend, after jumping (literally- she is just under 5 feet and couldn't weigh over 100 lbs., 20 years old, and she drives around this HUGE red truck) out of the truck at Steak 'n Shake

2. Me: The best part about Sunday afternoons is going home and changing into REALLY comfortable clothes.

My cousin, Kelly, nods.

Kelly: And the worst part is avoiding to do everything that you know you should be getting done.

*But hey, the way I see it- it IS the day of rest.

3. Morton Church: "Greetings from Sarasota."

Tracy: Taryn, if we lived in Florida right now, I would invite you to the beach this afternoon.

Taryn: And I would go with you. You would study on the beach, and I would frolick around in the ocean.

Ahhh... I'm torturing myself... I only WISH I was in Florida right now.

Anyway, about 4 years ago (wow, has it really been that long? 2002- I guess so) I started a journal to expel my writing overflows. I would print out my works of writing (usually a minimum of 2 pages, ranging up to 6-8) and put them in a folder I had called my "Faith Folder." The folder was given to me from my mom for Christmas, and it was purely for organizational purposes. It had colored dividers and tabs to use for my convenience, but seeing that I didn't necessarily have a huge amount of coupons, recipes, and family members' schedules at my disposal at that point in my life, I decided to ogranize my spiritual life. Well, the most successful section in that folder ended up being the "Journal" section, as it has a thick, THICK stack of papers in there, enough to make a novel with, I'm sure.

What I'm going to do is extract single sentences, quotes, or small paragraphs of genuis that I had during these past 4 years of journaling. Don't worry- I'm not going to walk you down the journey of my personal life. I'm simply going to enlighten with strokes of insight that occurred during this process- pretty rarely, I'm sure- but they did occur. Not only will I be sharing that, but also sentences that you are allowed to laugh at- some of the things I came up with were quite humorous. As you will see, my journal was a place for me to just WRITE about whatever I wanted to- much like what my blog is for me, today.

January 9, 2003:
"Sometimes, a person's dignity can be measured by how easily they let really small things get to them- or how easily they don't." (more context- "If something really small is going to set you off the edge, then what is something big going to do to you?")

January 12, 2003:
"This is crazy. I should be studying for finals- but I'm not." (STORY OF MY LIFE)

February 7, 2003:
"Do I try to avoid letting Him have control over a certain situation so that I don't have to face what He may have in store for me?" (I'm talking about giving God complete control of my life)

"You know, it can all seem so difficult, but in reality, it's not. If you step back and look at your life in a perspective that lets you view each part of your life as a puzzle piece- then you can see the whole picture. Maybe it's not all put together yet (it shouldn't be)- maybe you're only staring at a blank table with nothing but a piece. If you try to put the puzzle together, it won't work, because unlike most puzzles, this one doesn't have a box with the picture right on the front of it. Only One knows what the end pictures looks like- and if you let God piece the puzzle together, you'll get astounding results."

February 11, 2003:
"Am I strange? Yeah, I am."

March 6, 2003
"For breakfast, I had a Milky Way (Mmmm) and then a bowl of Honey Combs when I got home. (My eating habits haven't changed much)

March 18, 2003:
"It's amazing how much knowledge and insight you can gain from just learning your personality type...." "...I guess I should say that I'm quite obssessed with the subject..." (and still am)

March 24, 2003:
"This is suppossedly my spring break... and they expect me to be happy about it? All I'm doing is working and being busy this whole week..." (Welcome to the real world, Taryn)

April 7, 2003:
"Someday, I'll wake up from this fantasy I've been living in, and I'll wonder why I have been allowing myself to miss all that I have! A lot of my days are spent in my imagination..." (Taryn. Hey, Taryn. Taryn. TARYN!)

extracted from my "Mr. C" essay:
"James, Jim, Mr. Carius... but to all of us down at Dairy Queen, he will always be "Mr. C." It is safe to say that every time that man walks through the door at Dairy Queen, he doesn't leave without somehow making us all smile." (That was my boss all through High School- best one there ever was!)

June 5, 2003:
"Tonight I got pulled over for the dumbest reason ever. I was only going 50 in a 30, and the police man didn't seem to understand it was because I was drag racing with my friend. Then, he busted me for carrying a time bomb in my trunk, what's up with that? Only kidding. But I really did get pulled over, and it was for a stupid reason." (I'm not telling you what it was)

June 22, 2003:
"You know, there are only certain times when writers can write, and really enjoy it wile making the most of their thoughts and skills, and that time is only when everything is secure: the inspiration, the mood, the emotions, and the words."

June 28, 2003:
"The mind is one of the most powerful instruments we have... The mind is so powerful, that sometimes I think my mind has a mind of its own!"

October 19, 2003:
"See, that's the beauty of being a writer- being able to define something that you know almost nothing about. I love it, I just love it." (That might not make sense, but it's so true.)

November 10, 2003:
"I love to take pictures, to capture memories, to experience feelings, to share these feelings with others, to make other people moved by a production, to connect words with images, to show that underneath everyone lies the capacity for inspiration."

December 30, 2003:
"My characters take me places that I can't even imagine until they take me there." (when I write stories)

March 22, 2004:
(I was going off of the song "If we are the body" from Casting Crowns. This small excerpt reminded me of what we heard about today in church. Ted Wtizig, Jr. talked about the importance of having FAITH and WORKS. This also reminds me of the verse Romans 1:16, a good one to memorize!)

"Which all brings me to my life's prospect: spreading His love and being a Light to anyone, no matter what the circumstances and who the people... I cannot be ashamed. It is a horrible thing to think I ever would be, after all Christ did for me. I mean, really... the magnitude of His sacrifice for me, a sinful person, so that I can have an opportunity to spend eternity with Him... and all I can do is be ashamed? It's amazing. Absolutely amazing how ridiculous, selfish, proud, and evil the human mind and heart can be. However, that is why i must have faith, and trust Him. He knows, and that's all I need to know. If I just have hte faith, then the rest is smooth sailing as long as I let God be the leader... and I stay right behind Him."

April 21, 2004
"This isn't illegal," Eric reassured us.
...when low and behold, flashing lights and a siren went off behind all 3 of us. We all turned in surprise as the cop car rolled up behind us and "pulled us over" in a parking lot nearby. We all rollerbladed around to the front of the vehicle like 3 criminals, standing there in shame." (We got pulled over for rollerblading... evidently, it's illegal to rollerblade in the streets of East Peoria ;)

August 24, 2004
"These days, everything is so quick and easy, and we are trained to want instant gratification in all things. But God doesn't work on our timetable. He isn't sitting there twiddling his thumbs, waiting to jump up and pamper us the second we ask something of Him. One thing we do know, though, is that God is a perfect and loving God, who knows exactly what each and everyone of us needs. He created us for His purpose, so why would He not use us for it? Yet we sit around and want what we want, when we want it, and for our own reasons. And we fail to remember Who is in control. Sometimes, God has an interesting way of showing us that very fact, and although it isn't always a pleasant experience, He is able to give us the rude awakening that we need."

My last printed entry to that journal was in Fall of '04. Ever since I started my blog, it has served as a great outlet for my writing passions- and it also fulfills my need to want to share and collaborate my thoughts with others! It's fun stuff. My blog sort-of "replaced" my journaling habits. Blog stands for "Web Log," and it gives its users the opportunity to share writing and pictures with the capability for its design to be tweaked aesthetically... I couldn't think of a better replacement. It's so much more interesting than black typeface on white print-out paper.

Anyway, feel free to comment about anything you read here... I'm open to agreements/criticism/thoughts/expoundings. I love you all.


Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Fluff

Winners from Tuesday are as follows:

1st place= #5- people who curse a lot
2nd place= #7 and #8- people who are never wrong, and trying to coach our parent's generation how to do technology

Good job, guys!

The verse of the day on BibleGateway is “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ”- Jeremiah 29:11-13

That reminded me of the message we heard last night at ISU Bible Study. The speaker talked about God's will, which is a very important and difficult topic to master, and I thought he did a great job. One principle that was reiterated was that in order to really be in tuned with God enough to be doing His will in our life, we must stay constant in His Word and in prayer with the right mind and attitude of humility and surrender.

"Don't go to God with options, but with an open heart." It's not always bad to have preferences or options in mind, but is our attitude one in that no matter what God may tell us, we would be willing to accept the answer? It should be... but that's easier said than done. God isn't always going to tell us what we want to hear, lead us where we want to go, or let us keep what we want to have, but then...1.) life isn't about us, and 2.) He knows what's best.

Another point made that I appreciated was the analogy about calling our parents every time we had to make a decision compared to consulting God about every little detail of our life. We don't do that. Our parents would go in sane. Often- we could buy any car we wanted, and it would be ok. Or, we could take either job, and as long as neither of them were ungodly- it would be ok. God is going to use us wherever we are, like in Romans 8:28, and while this doesn't give us a ticket to live life exactly how we want to until we die, it also doesn't mean that there is one perfect way to do everything and that's it... if we screw up, GAME OVER. It's not like that. God gave us a free will, but with that free will comes the opportunity to give our life to Christ and commit our way to Him; and the only way to do that successfully is through His will.

Alright, there's just a small re-cap, but that's enough on the topic. My parents are still currently in Israel, and every few days we get e-mails from them about what they've seen. My mom said she got unexpectedly emotional through some of it, yet I don't blame her- how neat to see the very places that Jesus walked, taught, and prayed. I'm not one for traveling all around the world, but if I had to pick one place to go, I now know it would be Israel.

Which brings me to a tangent... I find it so fascinating how certain people are proned to enjoy and become excited about different things. For example, I was watching those Chevy moments about the Olympians yesterday, and one of the stories was about this guy who was an (aerial skier?)... anyway, it's those guys who ski really fast down a hill and up a ramp and into the air and do various tricks while airborne, and then somehow miraculously land on their feet. Whatever. But anyway, he was saying that he LOVES adrenaline rushes- skydiving, riding really fast on his motorcycle, and I'm just going to stop right there, because that's enough to illustrate my point. I am completely the OPPOSITE of that. I despise going fast uncontrollably. How is it that what one person finds thrilling and totally exhilarating, the other person finds absolutely terrifying? The same with traveling- I’ve never been one to have this huge desire to go travel to Europe or any other country, for that matter. Yet others (my room mates and friends!) would love nothing other than to travel the world. WHAT is wrong with me? Do I not appreciate culture? Do I not CARE? I think it’s simply just a temperament preference. And I find it fascinating. What one person LOVES, another can find totally boring… what one person is attracted to, another person can be turned off by… what one person can’t live without, another person would rather die than live with.

It’s great how we are all so different, or else this place would be VERY boring. I love you all!


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Jay Aye Zee Zee

What does that spell? Jazz. News, Blues, & all that Jazz. We have been on a jazz kick at our apartment this past week and I LOVE it. Whenever I hear jazz, I get an excited, bubbly feeling inside of me and I am just so happy.

Let's not stray too far away from weekly business, though. I have a Top Ten Tuesday 5 to conduct.

Today's topic: Pet Peeves. We all have them... those things that just GRIND to our very core and make us want to SCREAM. Here are mine:

1. Slow walkers. Seriously- if you have somewhere to be, join me in the right lane. If not- scoot over to the left and smell your roses. I don't know why, but my "regular" walking pace has always been considerably faster than an average person's fast walk, so I become angered very easiler when I am trapped behind huge clusters of slow moving people.

2. Semis on the highway. I've always thought they should have their own highway. It would solve a lot of annoyances.

3. Spelling and grammatical errors, especially in important documents.


5. When people curse a lot. It is disrespectful and it lowers their credibility... by a lot.

6. Going to the dentist. I don't mind it so much anymore now that I don't have to sit there with flouride in my mouth and gag over it for 2 long minutes. But still. I recently got 2 cavities filled and I thought I might die from having my mouth open for so long, with those shrill drills screaming into my mouth and creating pasty, bad-flavored debris that ran down my throat.

7. People who never have been, never are, and never will be wrong.

8. Trying to instruct people from our parent's generation how to check their e-mail, play a DVD, or use their cell phone.

9. People who don't eat regularly. I like to know that I am going to get fed, and better yet, WHEN it's going to happen. It's called nutrional secruity.

10. People who call me but don't leave a voice mail. Most people don't like listening to voice mails, but I like knowing why the person called so I can be on task when I talk back to the person.

Well, that's it. I'm officially annoyed. Kidding...kidding... but thinking about this stuff kind of gets me riled up.

I'll just end in a note of love- I love you all. T

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Ice Cream Store

This afternoon, Noah leaned over in church and whispered to me, "The ice cream store is open."

Ice cream store... ice cream store... Dairy Queen? No... it couldn't be.

"You don't mean Dairy Queen?" I questioned, trying to withold my excitement lest I be discouraged.

His eyes were twinkling. "Yes, the ice cream store."

I asked my sister for verification, and it was true. Later, as I was getting my coat on to leave church, Noah came running after me.

"T, are you leaving in you car?" he asked.


"Where are you going? The ice cream store?"

You gotta love the kid. And me... because I practice no self-control when it comes to Dairy Queen, and you shouldn't either. Life is too short and Dairy Queen is too good to try to deny yourself of it.

So this afternoon I went and got myself a small blizzard- chocolate extreme with some peanutbutter cup. Mmmm.... I polished every last bite off. I mean, seriuosly. It's been almost 3 months since I could enjoy one.

I then went with my friend, Laura, to the mall. I just "looked," because that is about all I can afford to do right now :) but I had fun helping her. After that, we ate at Panera and then some people came over to her house. Good times, 93.3

Speaking of which, my weekend was fun so I'll tell you about it. On Friday night, I told you I came home to be with my parents. Well, it ended up being a family affair; we all went to Monical's and then back to my sister's house (and she made this amazing chocolate-brownie-whipped-cream-pudding stuff). My siblings introduced me to "The Office." Has anyone ever seen that? They all think it is the funniest show that ever existed. It's on Thursdays nights at 8:30. I am uniformed about these things because I no longer really watch much TV anymore. The extent of my show-watching consists of Nick at Nite when I happen to be home in Morton.

Anyway, later that night Kristi came over after work. I was responsible for taking my parents to the airport at 4:30 the next morning, so we decided to stay up all night. Well, Kristi was zonked on the couch by 2:30 a.m. and I stayed up. Sadly, I have never really stayed up the WHOLE night before and I found that a night seems so much shorter when you stay up the whole time than when you sleep. You would think it would be the opposite, but it's not. The night flew. I just stayed up and did video editing; that is my late night weakness. That is one thing I could do for 4 hours and I would be like, "What? It's been 15 minutes? Oh- 4 hours... wow..." Anyway, I ended up with this way-cool DVD! On it includes a DVD menu, a friends video (with pictures and music!), the Florida video I made, and another rap-dancing movie which is only for limited audiences :)

So, 4:30 came before I knew it, and I woke Kristi up so we could take my parents to Peoria. We then drove to IHOP which is stinking CLOSED until 6 a.m. which leads me to be angry at their false "open 24 hours" sign. Oh well. We ended up at Steak 'n Shake in Morton... note to all: if you stay up all night, you WILL be hungry. I ordered French toast and bacon and I ate every last bite, and then I ate half of Kristi's strawberry-whipped-cream pancakes, which tasted like dessert. Mmmm. We were definitely asleep by 6:30 a.m. and didn't get up before noon.

That night was the spaghetti supper in Bloomington to benefit our Mexico trip to Magdalena over Spring Break! It went really well, and it was a lot of fun. Afterwards, Trish and I came back to my house and Tracy and Heather came over. It's always a treat to hang out with my room mates on the weekends :D and especially HEATHER, when we can actually get her lazy butt out of her house! Kidding, Heather.... I love you.

Well, I'm fresh out of ideas to write about. You know, I haven't really done a weekend report for awhile that wasn't about something specifically major, so I hope I didn't bore anyone. These are fun to write, though, so that's all that really matters. :) We got to hear Ron Heineger from Bloomington in Morton today, that was cool. May God continue to bless him and his ministry; I love listening to Ron.

I love you all! T

Friday, February 17, 2006


Results from Tuesday:

Number 3 and 6 tied... being called "a rainbow, filled with promise" and walking to class in glorious, bright blue sky weather that is OVER 30 degrees. Ya'll are very weather oriented.

Last night we had people over after ISU Bible Study. It was very fun. I believe the capacity of 131 Crossing Dr. was almost exceeded, but we had a nice hymn sing (I LOVE singing out of those books!) and great food, fellowship, and fun.

Tonight I am going to be with my parents. They are leaving tomorrow morning for 10 days to go to Israel! I'm so excited for them, as they have been looking forward to this trip (a tour) for a long time, now. I'm sure it will be very interesting and life-changing. My two aunts and uncles are going with them, so they will have good company.

So anyway- I'm sure I'll have a great time with them tonight. I love seeing them on the weekends and spending one-on-one time with them (or I guess it's one-on-two). There is something so special about being the "last" one in the family. Now that I don't live with them 24/7, it's a breath of fresh air to see them.

I may end up at the Jeremy Camp concert after the Rivermen game- but maybe not. I don't really know. I love going to Rivermen games, though. My friend, Laura, and I went to one last year and it was a blast. We sat and watched, then got lots of food (nachos and cheese and candy!) and then watched the blimp (?) thing float around and drop coupons down among the crowd. It is also funny to watch the hockey players get in fights.

The verse of the day on BibleGateway is:
“ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. ”- Romans 8:35,37

That is one of those verses I find myself reading over and over again, trying to comprehend it's depth. I undersand what it says; I just don't understand WHY other than because of God's mercy and because of the definition of the verse itself; His love.

We are conquerors through him who loved us! No wait- MORE than conquerors! But how? Through HIM. Him who? Him who LOVED us. It's all because of Love- a love so deep and wide that I will not even begin to explain it. It must be felt.

Jeff Thames talked last night, and one of the points he made that I loved was "God does not owe us an explanation." This will be getting off on a tangent that has nothing to do with the above verse, but I was thinking a couple weeks ago that often, it's easy to question the Bible. It's easy to ask, "Why?" or "What does that mean?" and although our intentions are good, these discussions end up in frustrating debates that get us nowhere. But is it really OWED us to know? Since when did we become as all-knowing as God? We didn't. And we won't. So we need to stop trying to figure out what God didn't tell us and start trusting Him for what He did tell us. Like Jeff said, there may not be all we want to know in the Word, but all we need to know is there.

Sometimes, my most comforting thought is, "I don't know. But... God does."

I love ya'll. I wish I had a Southern accent.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Were you this cute when you were a baby?

I'm sorry... I was checking my e-mail tonight and couldn't resist... how could you say no to that face?

Anyway, don't forget to comment on my Top Ten Tuesday 4, posted below.

This is Lola Mae

Top Ten Tuesday 4

Today's Top Ten consists of my Top Ten Biggest Happy Moments of this week. Pick the one that would make YOU the happiest.

1. Sleeping for 12 hours on Sunday night
2. Completing a web site
3. Being called a "Rainbow- filled with promise"
4. When David bought TP and I ice cream last night at Cold Stone (mmmm... Peanutbutter Cup Perfection...)
5. When 3 boys gathered into my room to watch the Olympics (because that's the only room that has a TV in our apt.- don't worry, TP was there)
6. Walking to class in glorious, bright blue sky weather that is OVER 30 degrees!
7. Making & frosting cookies, mmmm
8. Getting a plate of Valentine's Day cookies from my sister
9. Completing 3 self portraits in 45 minutes
10. Doing something for Tammy and getting paid in Starbursts and Wintergreens

Have fun. I love you all.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Founder's Weekend

I went to Founder's Week in Chicago this weekend with a great group of people. There are only three words to describe it: Ah Maze Ing. It sounds like I'm speaking Chinese but what I mean to say is that it was absolutely splendid!

We arrived at the Moody Bible Church on Friday night in time to hear a wonderful lesson by Chuck Swindoll- many of you may have heard him and others on the radio. We had a full day of speakers on Saturday, as well. Some of us from our group wandered around Chicago all afternoon, which was very random fun. I captured some great shots which are pictured below.

Holly, Kristi & I showing our Blow-Pop colored tongues (Strawberry is the best flavor, by the way)

Our car passengers with the best driver ever and Holly's new hero (who rises above President Bush)- Janelle

Beautiful House of Worship

Interior shot (disregard blurriness- I was trying to capture the spectacular lighting)

One of my favorite pictures- Maks and I trying to take a "cool" shot with the 3-way mirror action- Paul looming in the background

In downtown Chicago, they have the coolest McDonald's ever: it has a table which reacts to hand warmth or motion when you touch it. Looks like Holly and I have a pretty strong connection.

Enjoyin' some refreshing Starbucks tasties

Imagine standing in front of a gigantous, blinking face made out of thousands of pieces of screen.

We're ice skating! Ok, not really. It would be hard to top the romantic level of that: ice skating outside in downtown Chicago on a brisk, winter day. Ahhh...

Our group shot in front of the columns

Chicago is so fun to photograph from 4-5... the colors are so vibrant and breath-taking...

...and fast.

What a blessed weekend! Thanks to all who went who made it a fun, enjoyable, and spiritually focused weekend!

I love you all!


Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Price is Right

Well, I found it difficult to find a "winner" for my top ten music list, because you all took the liberty to make up your own. I like hearing everyone's favorite, even if they don't coincide with my list, and believe it or not, I pretty much love everyone else you all added in addition to my list. So good job.

Anyway, I feel guilty right now. I skipped my geography class for the third time in a row this morning. Let me explain, though. The first time, I purposely overslept because I had been up until 3 a.m. the night before. The next time, I was driving to class from my house in Morton and I ended up getting to Bloomington really late and I decided to skip it to go to the career fair. So it was for a good cause! Then today, and this is for real, I drove around for 20 minutes looking for a parking spot and never found one. I went to 4 different parking lots, and still wasn't successful. So I came back to my apartment and here I sit, watching Price is Right until my next class. This gameshow brings back many memories for me. I used to watch it ALL of the time during the summer when I was younger. I don't know what it was about this dumb show, but I loved it, and I still kind of do. Maybe someday I'll go on the show.

Wow, so many people get the chance to win cars on this show. Here is my dream car:

3 lessons I learned this week:
1. Never order chicken from Steak 'n Shake. There's a reason for the name.
2. If you hit a shopping cart in Walmart parking lot, it will fall over.
3. Never try to play a trick on Tracy while she is sleeping in the basement; she will retaliate before you even have a chance to make progress in your endeavor.

That's all I got. I love you all.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Top Ten Tuesday 3

I went to the Chris Tomline concert last night in Peoria. It was awesome! My favorite part of the evening was when Louie Gigilio spoke about the Universe and how HUGELY gigantous it is. I love stuff like that, and it really put in perspective how very "small" we all are. If WE are small, so are our problems, struggles, and trials in which we usually try to blow up into a gigantic deal.... yet ultimately, we are here to worship Christ and bring glory to Him! Yes, we my be small, but we serve a BIG God, which is a BIG deal!

Aside from the great points, we had some great worship time in song, and even a little dancing!

While we're on the theme of music, Top Ten Tuesday #3 will gladly use that as it's topic. Here we have it, folks- the top ten music artistst/groups. I'll try to stay pretty diverse. As usual, no particular order.

1. Chris Tomlin (suprise)
2. Brad Paisley
3. Caedmon's Call
4. Norah Jones
5. Jack Johnson
6. Nickel Creek
7. Toby Mac
8. Dave Crowder Band
9. The Beatles
10. Rascal Flatts

Have fun. I love you all.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Jars of Clay

Results from this Tuesday:

Our winner was #3, breakfast casserole (eggs, bacon, ham, & cheese). Second place goes to Eggs, sunny-side up, with bacon and toast. Looks like you are all pretty hearty breakfast eaters, considering 75% of my list was made up of sweets!

This morning I was reading in 2 Corinthians 4. Below is the whole chapter; if you don't want to read it all, scroll down to below it where there is a re-cap.

2 Corinthians 4

Treasures in Jars of Clay

1Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.

2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.

4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.

6For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"[a]made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.

12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken."[b]With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,

14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.

15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

That's a lot of Scripture... I looked at it to try to cut it down, but it is all so good I couldn't do it.

This is really encouraging, because it lays out a picture of what we are up against today. Those of us who are Christians and have taken advantage of Jesus' shed blood know what it is like to have God's mercy and grace upon us so that we may experience the Light of the World- something others are blind to.

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

Yet it is not our responsibility for us of ourselves to teach others, because we couldn't do it. We must let Christ work through us to reach others, for that is the only way they can be reached.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

At ISU Bible Study last night, we learned about "struggle." We will struggle, but we are encouraged to take heart! Since when do we become concerned about ourselves in this life? If we are, no wonder we struggle... it is the Lord Christ we serve, and not ourselves. We need to make sure our "struggle" isn't just a "pity party." Yet even if it is, we know Who will understand where we are and what we need to do to have a change of heart. Everyone experiences struggles in their life, so let's make sure our struggling is getting us somewhere. What I mean by that is this: Let it result in a growth, a change, and a purpose. The only way that will happen is if we keep our eyes on His kingdom, and not our own.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

Most of us don't know what persecution is, but even if we did, the Word tells me that we have a hope living inside of us that overcomes that!

"We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body."

Life is so short; last night, I had an epiphony that really kind of scared me. The speaker said we are on this earth for maybe 7 or 8 decades. I thought to myself, "Well, I've been here for 2 decades now." When I think that I only have 6 more to go and these past 2 have flown by, my life suddenly seems very short. That's besides the point, because I could die tomorrow, but with time comes aging. After awhile, our bodies start to show signs of this; wrinkles, gray hair, poor eyesight, loss of memory. But look at what the Word says:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."

Something I have heard a lot lately is the importance of staying in the Word in a way that helps us to build upon what we already have established as a foundation, and not just as a "re-fuel." We shouldn't treat the Word of God like a gas station, going to it when we need to charge back up again. When I first heard that, Ii was like, "Why not?" Well, it's because we should be building upon what is already there. It should moreso be likened to building a house- there should be a definite foundation with a representation of progress, not just a full-to-empty sort of picture.

Some days, we really will feel like we are on "Empty" for whatever reason. Like I said before, we all struggle. We all have trials in our lives. A great way to keep "problems" in perspective is to get out a blank sheet of paper and a pencil. If the sheet of paper is your life, how big is the problem you are experiencing? If you represent it with a dot, it's most likely just a small little dot on the page. Even if took up half the page, nothing is too small for the Lord to handle. In this life, the only struggles worth having are the ones that further His kingdom (yet I know that through them all, we grow):

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Forgive the length... it has been awhile since I've posted spiritual including Scripture, so it was long overdue. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

I love you all! T