Monday, December 19, 2011

We Call It Christmas

From my journal:

I'm kneeling by my bed. I need refreshing. I need to see Jesus in a special way again tonight. I ask, and I'm drawn back through that old story to the beginning.

The day had arrived. He must go. The songs of angels hush as He steps down from His throne. The Father meets Him. They embrace. 

They've never been apart. Even the thought of separation is painful. With a love that can almost never let go they cling, yet the Father is about to do the impossible. He's about to let His Son, His only Son go. And for what?...For me? I shudder.

In that long embrace, both Father and Son can see down the corridors of time. They see the lowly stable, the ungrateful crowds, the sneering, the mocking. He would receive little welcome from those for whom he had left everything. The trials He must bear are seen- the pain, the rejection. And as if this wasn't enough, there was the lingering thought...They knew well the hatred that Lucifer held against Christ. They knew that he would throw all his furious darts at the Savior. He would do all he could do make Him fall. Would it be to much? The risk of eternal failure and loss was ever present. The thought was horrifying. Nothing could be worth the risk..... or could it?

Were there tears, cries of anguish, sobs of grief in the heavenly mansions? I cannot tell, but my eyes are filled with tears. I choke a sob. 

Through it all, They see the cross. They know He would have the most fearful death. Why? Those who he'd come to rescue would be the ones jeering, mocking, crucifying Him. Right now, the Father doesn't have to let Him go. The Son doesn't have to leave all for the dark and sinful world. They still can say "no".   The price could be, no, it was to great... Except for unimaginable love.

This was the only way to bring their children home, and if one would accept Him, it would be worth it. Still, this good-bye was the hardest the universe had ever witnessed.

Jesus finally breaks away from His Father's arms. He smiles. He's thinking of His children that He will be bringing home. His voice rings throughout heaven, "Lo I come. Sacrifices and offerings Thou wouldest not, but a body thou hast prepared me. Lo I come to do Thy will O my God."

Angels wonder. They can't understand it, yet their hearts are filled with a deeper love and joy for Master who would lay aside all for His children. They await the command to share this joy with the world. They watch...but something is wrong. The people don't recognize Him. They aren't welcoming Him with the love and honor they long to pour out to Jesus. Human hearts are slow. Human eyes are weak. 

But a few hear the heavenly singing. A few see the glory. A few recognize the king.

Where would I be? I shudder again. I cannot tell.

All I know now is that I've had a glimpse of Him. I whisper my thanks.

The words are no longer lifeless, old, repeated words. They are true, alive, yet still not comprehensible to me:  "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. "

Sunday, December 18, 2011


A dozen posts have been written in my head. Oh for time to get them on paper! But finals are done. Christmas choir program is done (we still have more to do:). Our household has been too busy to do any of our Christmas traditions. Only one thing we have done is the music, and hey, it's one of my favorite parts of the season. We love sharing it, practicing it, listening to it.  The new CD from the Nebbletts plays again and again. We love it! Check it out: I Cannot Tell

There nothing to say for a transition, but I'll move on:) 

I'm reading my Bible. Taking the book of Luke at an extremely slow pace. I write, and I learn, and my heart loves my Savior more. 

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."

Way to make me wish I was poor!  I've always been like 'well, guess this wasn't really written for me'.  In literal life, I've never gone hungry for too long, never been cold for too long, never had nothing...or at least I've thought. The phrase 'poor in spirit'  used in Mathew has never been tangible for me either.

That all changed with this thought:

Poverty or being poor is not necessarily having nothing, but recognizing that everything you have is nothing. 

What are our earthly possessions in comparison to the things God has prepared for us?...And we hold onto them? For what? 

I get a glimpse of why God promises the kingdom of God to those who are poor: they want it. 

If we think ourselves rich and increased with goods, guess what, we don't need for more... all the while He pleads, "'Buy of me.' What I offer is far better than the filthy rags you think are so amazing."

Then it clicks. I realize what He's really calling for. It's a call to His church...and it's a call to me:

"You say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear."

Recognize, everything you have is worth nothing. Your righteousness. Your goodness. It's nothing. You are poor. And when you get that, you'll buy. I will give you more than you can imagine: A character molded by my hands, a garment of righteousness that's truly pure. 

But understand.

Vanessa, you won't get this by trying really hard. You must come and buy it from me. 

When we are willing to see ourselves in our true state, the promise is ours. The kingdom of heaven is ours. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trip to Canada

Vacation was sweet. Journey to the north was good for everyone. It's been a long time- had to brush up on my Canadian:) It's amazing. It's been only a few days, and I find myself splattering "eh" over everything again. We really enjoyed being with family, and we treasure the moments.

Here's some of my journal entries from the trip:

Isaac came with us to see Grandma at her new place. I followed him down the nursing home hallways to her room. We peeked in. She was sleeping. I looked in again. I've never seen Grandma sleeping in a bed before.

Grandma has always been a busy kind. Always talking to someone or reading, and when she's slept, it was most always in her rocker. We are encouraged to wake her.....We feel the gap of time since we were last here......

Eventually we make our way to the lounge room where there is a piano. We sing. We ask Grandma for a  favorite. She says my "Jesus I Love Thee". I smile. Tis one of my favorites.


It's our last night of vacation. Dad and I visit Grandma one more time. She's more perky tonight. We sit on her bed and talk. She asks about the twins who have both gone to bed. She particularly is interested in James who Uncle Peter, the cousins, and now she has nicknamed Jimmy.  She says, "He's a nice young lad isn't he?".  She asks about Memere and Pepere.  She points to the picture on the wall and reminds us of our old grandpa.... But what impresses my heart most is her favorite theme: the goodness of God, His faithfulness, His love. She recounts the times He has been there for her.

She reminds us of how her American father died in the US while she was very young leaving her large family in England fatherless. They were poor, but God provided for all their needs. Their teachers at school had no idea how needy they were. Grandma says, "The Lord blessed and they respected us despite how poor we were."

Then Grandma talks about their time in Africa. "The Lord provided everything we put in our mouths. He took care of us. He really did, and He takes care of all His children as they put their trust in Him. We've just got to trust and obey".  She starts repeating the chorus of the old hymn "Trust and Obey". "You know if you're walking with the Lord, you can just walk around wherever you go and talk to the Lord. It's not just a couple of hours here and there.  No, it's everywhere you go." 

"Walking with God"  is no wordy metaphor to Grandma. It's literal. It's apart of her everyday life.

She talks about the privileged of prayer. "We have a Savior who wants us to talk with Him. He does! " My soul thrills as she continues. I love this gospel theme too. It's been Grandma's for many years. I've heard it many time before. Tonight it's fresh. I brush tears from my eyes and stair at the floor. I'm not quite sure why I'm crying.

Dad picks up Grandma's Bible, and asks if she wants Him to read. He turns to John and begins somewhere in the middle.  Grandma repeats the verses by memory as Dad reads.

We pray.

We get Grandma Hugs.

We say good-bye.

She won't let us go without seeing us to the door. She stands and waves until we're out of sight...

There are two things that matter to Grandma: her family and her Lord. Grandma is a prayer warrior. We've heard her story of prayer told by numerous speakers who know nothing else of her. Small details are changed as it's passed on by word of mouth, but the core of the story stays the same. It's of a lady in Lillooet that was used by God through prayer. That's a story with results that have been witnessed. How many more will we learn of in heaven?


We hope to be able to go visit again soon. We just have to wait until visas and passports and....++ are taken care of. Oh the joys of being foreigners:)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Write Them On My Heart

"Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers. Write them upon the tablets of thine heart. "Proverbs 7:2-3
My laws. My Commandments.Without them, happiness would not exist. But though created for the blessing and benefit of creation, they are looked upon as burdensome.

Why? Perhaps it's because they're deeper than the superficial and external- greater than human will can resolve. They're founded on love- love for God & love for man. God love-humanly impossible to attain to.

We might say it's a heart problem. It's a big one indeed because I've discovered that I cannot change my heart. And if the essence of His law is love, though I might be able to grit my teeth and pull it off (for awhile), external obedience will not cut it. I cannot make myself keep His law because I cannot make myself love.

But He commands: "Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers. Write them upon the tablets of thine heart. "Proverbs 7:2-3
Sometimes it takes a few days of mulling over a verse for it to really click in my brain. The 'click' came with two kindergarten memory verses.
 "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write them on the tablets of their hearts" Jeremiah 31:33 .

He recognizes our weakness to obey in completeness, and so He says, "I will do it in their hearts".

But get this: "The Lord looketh on the heart."1 Sam. 16:7.

It's an amazing picture to me. God, the same God that wrote those laws with His powerful finger in the tablets of stone, has promised to write them on my heart. Then when He looks at my life, he looks at the very place where He has inscribed His law. What He sees is His own beautiful handwriting, his perfection, His goodness.

 Our part in all this?

"The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth “the fruits of the Spirit.” Through the grace of Christ we shall live in bedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked. Through the prophet He declared of Himself, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. And when among men He said, “The Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:29." {PP 372.2}

The last part of this paragraph finishes my trian of thought. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Whatever's in my heart will show in my actions. When God's law is written there, my actions are only the product of the work being done inside.

The Link below is a song by the Bonds--my newest favorite. It sums up this whole beautiful concept. It is my prayer.

Write Them on My Heart

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Father

It was a most fearful task. Painful. Heart-wrenching. Disgusting. Cruel. Only one other father would have to bear the command. Yet Abraham knew that voice so distinctly. It was God, yet how could it be?

Agony. Confusion. Frustration. Doubt.

All clouded the aged father's mind. What about the promise- the promise that through his son should come a nation so great that they would be numbered as the stars of the sky? Why had God changed?

The Bible records  none of the heart-struggle that he must have born- only the command and the action. "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took his young men with him, and Isaac his son and went up unto the place of which God had told Him." Gen. 22:3

Tears must have flowed down the old man's cheeks as he bound his pride, his joy, his dearest treasure on earth. His hand must have trembled as he held the knife to kill his son. This was for real- no dream, no fable.

The Bible details none of his emotions, none of his thoughts - only an overwhelming faith and obedience, faith that not even the greatest earthly human tie could quench, a faithfulness that nothing could sever.

Then comes the voice. "Abraham, Abraham, lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do anything to him: for I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me." verses 11-12



Faith rarely demonstrated. Calling never so great. Principle forever the same.

It was a demonstration of surrender so complete.

Also, a demonstration never before matched of the other Father. A Father whose love for His Son was so great it was divine, yet who was willing to surrender Him..."For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

Monday, October 24, 2011

In Love...

...with HIM who first loved me.

He's an amazing friend... His love so pure.... His faithfulness unending. He's Jesus.

I love His promises.

"Because she has set her love upon me, therefore:
  • I will deliver her.
  • I will set her on high because she has known my name.
  • She shall call upon me and I will answer her.
  • I will be with her in trouble.
  • I will deliver her and honour her.
  • With long life (eternal life), I will satisfy her and show her my salvation." (from Psalm 91).
How can I not trust Him,  love Him, serve Him forever?

We had a great time at camp this weekend. The theme was end times. Learned survival skills ++...was a blast! But ultimately, nothing I do, nothing I learn now, or practice will be strong enough to hold me through those times ahead. Only His grace.

His grace is sufficient for me...because He has promised, "I will be with her in trouble".

If His grace is able to hold me through then, it is certainly strong enough for today, and I claim it as I dive into the halfway mark of the quarter.

He loves me. He loves you. He's shown it again and again. Ever doubt? Read HIS promises.

Monday, October 10, 2011


There are a few pricks to having dual citizenship.

Today, we celebrate Canadian thanksgiving. Next month, we celebrate the American.

Unfortunately, because school, work, and appointments do not recognize anything special today, here in the States, life carries on as normal. So it's thanksgiving...just a reminder to me that everyday can be a day to give thanks.

In another light, since Canadian thanksgiving falls close to the start of a new year for me, it's a great time to say thank You for the blessings of another year of life.

Seventeen was the age I looked forward to since I was eleven. I'm not exactly sure why, except that I met a very godly, sweet and caring seventeen year old girl that year who I looked up to a lot. She was my counselor at YD camp my very first year there...and one of the best camp counselors I ever had! 

Looking back on this year, seventeen is still my favorite year...and I am thankful....

  • The challenges I faced,
  • The tears, triumphs, character and scholastic development through my first year of school,
  • The old cassette. in the car that would sing Jesus Never Fails, One Day at a Time, Walk with Me and so many other songs that would turn me to Jesus when I needed Him most
  • The drives to school  where I just talked to God all the way there...and all the way back
  • My mom and dad who encouraged and helped me
  • My sister moving into my room..I love having a roommate:)
  • My whole family growing, stretching, reaching for the mark He has set for us
  • A beautiful garden--lots of fruits and veggies:)
  • New experiences
  • All that I learned and did at Youth for Jesus this summer
  • My new and special friends
  • That I've learned to LOVE to read
  • Prayer
  • My Jesus --who is real, who loves not just me but every single person that I meet plus the whole world
  • The opportunity to be a laborer together with HIM.
  • That this was the year that I learned the most, grew the most, loved Him the most, and realized the intensity of the moments we live in the most
  • That this is one step closer to when He comes to take us home.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brain Transplant?!

Amazing Sabbath...eventful day!

Many Blessings.

One conversation that tickled me: 

Me: "Is your dad on an emergency flight?"

Twelve year old friend: "Yea, he flies hearts, livers, and brains, stuff like that for transplants."

Me: "Probably not brains."

Friend: "Hmm, well maybe not brains so much."

Me: " I don't really think they do brain transplants." (I'm trying to think this through logically:)

Friend: "Oh they do!"

Me: "Maybe it's more like brain surgery."

Friend: " No they do brain transplants."

Me: "Well, let's think of it this way. If something happened to me but my brain was saveable and you needed a new brain, so they put my brain in you. Would you really be you?"

We both concluded that brain transplants would be a slightly difficult task...highly uncommon indeed!

What a strange and complicated world we live in.

It did remind me of how great a miracle God's "brain transplant" on me really is. The changing of my sinful character to become like His and His righteousness imputed to me...It is a miracle of grace.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


"True education is missionary training." MH 395

Formal education has resumed. Summer was great...Not blissfully relaxing...It was power-packed! I will not even go into the lessons learned, the ways God touched my heart, the amazing experiences had....(not on this post anyway:) I truly believe taking the summer "off" from college was no mistake and no time wasted!
I do enjoy school though. I am taking chemistry, and so far, I like it (first time taking this subject in my life), also taking Spanish II plus music. 

In a way this year is so much better than last. My friends are around! We're not in the same classes, but we have strong comradeship. We have the same goal. We are here to be missionaries and to prepare for the future mission field God has for us. We pray together and encourage each other that we may reach this goal. The four of us are taking lessons from Daniel and his three friends. May we be as faithful as they.

As I look back on last year, it was so different, yet I don't regret it. God used aloneness to grow me. So many times, I realized that I didn't have anyone else but God there for me. I learned to trust. I learned to pray. I learned that Jesus even cared about my schoolwork.

I remember tears. I remember fear. I remember wondering if I was going to make it, and why I was in college at 17. I remember cold sweat and heart pounding in class as I tried to force an answer out of my petrified lips. I remember bombing my first quiz...But I also remember a God who never let me down. I remember a peace that He gave. I remember that when I am weak He is strong. 

I start this new school year, and I remember....

"My Redeemer is faithful and true...everything He has said He will do. And every morning His mercies are new!" I will trust Him, and learn to trust Him more.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

At the Cabin

"When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, 'Be still, and know that I am God.' Psalm 46:10. This is effectual preparation for all labor for God. Amidst the hurrying throng, and the strain of life's intense activities, she who is thus refreshed, will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. She will receive  a new endowment of both physical and mental strenth. Her life will breathe out a fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach many hearts." Adapted from Ministry of Healing pg. 58.

This is the phrase that ran through my mind while paddling the canoe across the lake in the moonlit evening yesterday.

My soul has been refreshed by our weekend at the cabin.

Climbing a mountain, canoeing across quiet water not once but four times in less than three days, maneuvering alongside a beaver, watching a moose, listening to the morning song of birds, looking into the beauty and grandeur of the mountains, staring into the embers of a fire, I am still. I claim His promises. I see His faithfulness.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September and Pear Orchards

Leaves are rustling. Crickets humming. It's September. One of my favorite times of year.

I'm not quite sure why.

It's the last of the warm days...the beginning of cool breezes and crisp mornings.

It's the culmination of summer harvest...apples and pears ripening.

I love red bins dispersed among through the orchards, bin-liners flapping in the breeze, the hum of tractors, a pear for breakfast.

My family isn't in the business. We do small-scale tomato farming at best. But the orchards are in away a very real part of life. They're the indicators of the season - apart of our valley's identity.

More than this, they are reminders to me even when life gets crazy of peace that my God gives.

From my perch above these blanketing orchards, I sing, "This is my story this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Youth for Jesus

Unforgettable experience! 

My team!

Words can't really describe it!
Friends forever! Yep, bunk-buddies & outreach partners! 

An army of youth

Outreach at the mall:)

 One o'clock prayer group.

My group at our church

Special Night!
Good Memories!
The experience of a LIFE time!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Special Day!!

So much has happened in our lives in the last couple months since I posted a real blog post. It's all gone by so fast that I have not had time to write any of it.

 Our family has grown today...well sort of...although the twins have been apart of our family for 13 months, today it is official! Many of our special friends met us at 9:00 am at the courthouse to witness the adoption.

The twins aren't sure that it feels any different to have their names changed, but they were excited! We are too! We love you James and Anna-Joy! 

 Other changes aren't so life changing, but we many of them are never-to-be forgotten memories.

Like setting up the greenhouse and getting ready to have our first market garden! After our experience at 10pm trying to set the frames up, our friends came and gave us a hand- actually many hands. Thanks gals for your help!

School seems like a faint memory as I've been on spring break for almost two weeks. I am so thankful for the Lord's continual help and guidance. It was an extremely challenging quarter for me. I learned so much and I really enjoyed all my projects, but oh, so glad to be done! I'm planning for a lighter load this quarter. Why am I saying this? I actually have no idea what is going to happen this quarter. I am trusting God to work everything out and show me where I need to focus my energies. So far, I am only in one class- history.

Classes start Monday. I'm planning to talk to some teachers and see if I can get into a chemistry class. I'm eleventh on the waiting list. 

Maybe God has a different plan for me. I got a phone call last night. Sounds like another option....we'll see... or maybe I'll be spending some serious hours in the green house:)

Lot's of changes on this little homestead. I'm a big sister of four. We're not perfect. We make lots of mistakes, but we love each other. We're learning to be a family. We've been trying to do this for over a year. We haven't mastered anything yet. Today is just one more step. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BIG Thanks... everyone who helped out with this survey. Each one of your resposes count!

I'd better get writing now.

Thanks again!

Blessings~ Vanessa

Monday, January 24, 2011

Home Sweet Home

There's just something about being home...after a long day at school, it really feels good to be home .

But, just now, I'm not only thinking about the place where I'm sitting right now, typing up this blog post. I'm thinking of a another place that has been home to me since I was seven years old.....

...for ten and a half years. I still remember my first time coming here for church. We had just moved to the area, and after one Sabbath of visiting this church, my sisters and I had decided that this was our church.

It wasn't about a fancy building. It was definitely was not big or elaborate, but what seven year old cares about that? It wasn't about there being a  bunch of kids to play with after church (although there is plenty of them now!). No, it was because we came to know love- church family love- here. 

Our sabbath school teachers were awesome! I still remember so many of the things that we learned and did in kindergarten. It's funny how most of what I learned back then can still apply now, and how I am reminded of that stuff all the time. My Sabbath school teachers put time and effort into what they taught us. They still do. In fact, my six year old brother and sister have one of those same teachers now. (They love Sabbath school, too!)

Church, for us, never ended after the sermon though many of those were so vivid that I still remember them now. There always was hiking, singing at the nursing home, picnics ,  popcorn and worship at someone's house or just a long hour or more of talking in the parking lot ( the church foyer was too small to hold  half the crowd). 

My church has nurtured me as I've grown up in so many ways. People cared about me. They taught me. They challenged me. They gave me opportunities. I enjoyed working in the community service building with the church ladies when I was nine. I started playing the piano for church when I was about thirteen (they always only encouraged even though I sometimes blundered through the hymns). About the same time they let me start helping with the janitor work.They helped me go on several mission trips to both Tanzania and Mexico. They gave me opportunities to learn to lead song service, to do special music, to help with sabbath school  superintendent remarks, and teach the cradle roll lesson. What other church would give the amazing experience of leading VBS to a 15 year old? 

I love being involved with my church. It's energizing! 

My church is a place where people carry one anther's burdens.When we're having a bad week, people are praying for us. When we have to bring one of the kids to church in pajamas because they have got many hard lessons to learn, people understand. They smile, but they only encourage us. Prayer request time is never dry or boring, everyone feels welcome to share.  When someone's struggling people are there for them. It's wonderful! 

Our big problem was: our building was to small. We did not have enough room for visitors, and growing is one of our reasons for existing. So....we decided to update our building. I don't think any of us really understood what that really meant back at the beginning of last year because the project was supposed to take about six to eight weeks. That time stretched to more like eight months! We thought we were being sarcastic when we, in late summer , said that we might not be back in the church until thanksgiving,  but now Sabbath, January 21st, we finally are back, and it's well worth the wait!

It's far from completed but the entry and the sanctuary are beautiful. The warm rich colors match the atmosphere of our church. There were several work bees to prepare to get back in there, but most of the work, besides that of our hired workers, was done by our building committee which worked extremely hard through this whole process but especially the last couple weeks.There was much rejoicing this Sabbath. The music was better than ever with flutes and violins and probably angels. Plus, the acoustics have improved! 

Our pastor who fell of the ladder while working on the church had his first sermon since the accident last month. Although he is still using a cane, it was amazing to see him even up front. He used the verse from Psalms where it says, " I was glad when they said unto me let us go unto the house of the Lord", but he also pointed us to our final home. That is the purpose of our church. It's to prepare for when we can go and have church in heaven with Jesus in person! That will be a day for rejoicing....The day when we are really, finally home at last!

So, where's home for you?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Known and Read of all Men

A few months ago, I listened to a sermon that Elder Wilson preached at one of the general conference meetings. It was entitled, "Remember Your Name". What name? Seventh-day Adventist. He said, "You preach a sermon every time you say, I am a Seventh-day Adventist." The sermon was inspiring, but I don't think I really 'got it' then.

I've heard, even read in the Bible, that our lives as Christians are supposed to represent Christ. It has made sense to me, mostly. Obviously, we don't do everything that the world does because we have something so much greater to live for.

I read the good book this summer, Do Hard Things. One thing that has really stuck with me is that I shouldn't be known for what I don't do but rather, by what I do.

This last fall was my first experience in "real school". I was pretty nervous- cause it was college. I started out kind of shy even though I really don't think of myself as shy. I wanted to witness for the Lord, but I really didn't know what was allowed or what would be accepted in that kind of public setting. I didn't really have a clue how to practically share Jesus with my teachers and classmates.

Fast forward a little bit. I was sitting in my English class. The teacher had just announced that the next assignment was supposed to be about an argument against someone's idea that we did not agree with. Right away I thought about mission trips. I had an acquaintance that had suggested that short term mission trips were not a  worth while endeavor (taking in consideration the expenses ect.) I felt differently about this because of how mission trips had affected my life (I'll save this for another post). I actually didn't want to use this topic for my paper because I would have to express a lot about how God had worked with me and stuff like that. I didn't think my teacher would really understand, and at first when she heard what I was going to argue against, she didn't get it. Anyway, I couldn't think of anything else to write, so I wrote about mission trips. As I explained why I felt that they were so important she started to see them from my perspective. Somehow, through this paper my teacher and I started talking after class about missions, extra. We became really good friends. I started to just be who I was at school. I began to write papers that weren't so blah to me because I was writing about what I was passionate about: God and missions.

Okay, now I'm starting my second quarter in college. I know a few people. I've learned to be more out going, and I'm even more determined to live for Jesus no matter what.

First day of school was Wednesday. Our first assignment for communications class was to ask someone in the class a list of pre-assigned personal questions, answer the same questions for that person, and then get up and introduce each other. The last question was kind of icky: "What would you want people to say about you in your eulogy?" I found it interesting though that almost 50% of the people said they would want to be remembered as "nice". Umm... I guess that's better than mean, but I really hope that's not all my life would stand for.One or two people said that they would want to be remembered as fun or hard working, and pretty much everyone with children said that they wanted to be remembered as a good parent.  I wanted to be honest, but I really felt intimidated by telling everyone what I would want my eulogy to say. I  said that I would want  to be remembered as a true Christian- someone who knew Jesus. It might seem silly, but I was nervous to be the only "different"one, and I was.

Day two of school: Thursday. I was sitting in my English 203 class -shaking in my shoes a little bit again.(note: I have a different English teacher now)  The assignment wasn't going to be graded, but our teacher just wanted us to write a paper in class that would give her some idea of where we were in our writing/grammar skills. The writing prompt was: "If you had a hundred days with unlimited resources to change the world, what would you do? How would you do it? What the world look like in the end?" My first thought was: teach everyone to truly know God, help them to understand His great gift to humanity, and then give them a vision of missions, of service, of a life of giving. These are really the only things that could and will someday (when this world is made new) change the world for good, so that's what I wrote about.

Today, I was standing outside my classroom for communications waiting for the door to be opened. I was shuffling through my backpack looking for something when a guy from the class says hello. I said," hi" and turned back to what I was doing. Then he said, "So, do you go to a church around here locally? This was not what I was expecting to hear right then. I was like, "Ahhh what?"
"Do you go to a local church?" he repeated.
Oh, I go to the Cashm*r* Seventh-day Adventist church. The guy looked at me and said, "that old little church there? I said, "Yea, well, we're rebuilding right now." Then he said, "That's where I met..." I didn't hear the last thing he said. "You what?" I asked. "That's where I met God." I must of just stared at him funny because he began telling me that he had been there years ago when he was eight years old ( he looked over 30). He said that the pastor was having a big long sermon, but in the middle of it, he had stopped and said, I just feel really impressed to tell you the simple steps to salvation right now, so he did. The guy said, 'That was for me." I said,"Praise the Lord!" Then I asked him if he had visited since. He said he hadn't it was a time when his family was struggling that they had come. I invited him to come visit again. The conversation was cut short as the door to our classroom was opened and we walked in, but the exciting thing is I have a whole quarter  in the same class. Could this be a divine appointment?

I'm learning to trust the Lord. I'm learning what it means to live wholly and unashamedly His. I'm in awe that God could use even me. I'm realizing what my name really means: I am a Seventh-day Adventist. I am learning that living the Christian life is not about what I don't do. It's about what I do. It's about what I do because of what Jesus has done for me. I am learning that my life is an epistle know and read of all men. (2 Cor. 3:2)

This is a long blog post, but I'm just so excited to see how God is working in my life and in the lives of those around me. He is giving me new opportunities everyday. I'm so excited!

Generation of Youth for Christ Convention

Well, Its been a week since I arrived back home from GYC dead tired but on fire. It was a long exhausting trip since our flight, on the way there, was canceled leaving us in the airport for six hours until 5:30 for an all night flight. We also traveled all night coming back home, so I still feel like I'm kind of recovering. The trip was priceless though. I learned so much, had so much fun meeting my old friends again, and just really appreciated the strong spiritual atmosphere. I especially enjoyed spending time with Daniella who I miss so much since she left to Bible work in another state. I wrote just a little snippet of what GYC is all about for our church paper. This is it:

GYC. The name really captures what this movement is all about. It truly is a generation of Youth for Christ.

About 5000 young people from about 41 countries attended the convention in Baltimore this past week. It was really an inspiring privilege to be apart of it-not because of its big numbers but because of the dedication and commitment to Jesus that so heavily permeated the atmosphere. We met so many young people serving the Lord in many diverse ways. Some were working at an Adventist hospital in Ethiopia; many were Bible workers that my friend Daniella***Pusic had trained with; some were involved with evangelism programs such as ASI Youth for Jesus, and some were just living ordinary life like me-going to school, working at home, and trying to live for Christ where they were. Many of the speakers were young, but their messages were urgent, practical –what our generation needs not only to hear but to live today. The main theme was No Turning Back…I have decided to follow Jesus…No Turning Back.

The most exciting thing to me was that as this army of youth had come together to become more inspired and equipped to serve God. The leaders of our church were there right behind us, supporting us, discussing with us, teaching us, and just being apart. Our general conference president Elder Ted Wilson had the sermon on Sabbath. He called for us to be more committed to Christ and His church, to be more involved with ministry in our churches because if we truly believe that the Seventh-day Adventist church is the end time movement and that Jesus is coming soon, then we can do nothing but be involved working with all our hearts to prepare for that day. The young president of GYC, told us that on Christmas Eve, Elder Wilson had called him and said he was praying right then for GYC and for the young people that would come. Before he hung up, he said, “Save me a seat on the bus for outreach.” So, in the 72 buses that brought people to go door to door were leaders, true leaders of our church. One girl shared on Sabbath night that she had had a partner with a little bit of experience. It was Mark Finaly. She found it funny to walk up to a door, introduce herself and then say,..”and this is my friend Mark.”

Next year, GYC will be held in Texas, and I hope that more of us will be able to go. The theme is on the Holy Spirit- “Fill Me, Our Earnest Plea”. It’s time. We need the Holy Spirit in our personal lives. The charge given to all of us was to begin praying now.

I just want to tell everyone this great news: the year after next, GYC will be held in Seattle. I’m elated. We all can go!!!! Plan ahead. You will be blessed!!

When asked how Generation of Youth for Christ would be described in one word or what kind of legacy we would want it to leave for others (if Jesus has not yet come), the president of the conference answered, “Faithfulness”- Faithfulness to Jesus, Faithfulness to truth, Faithfulness till He comes. The convention is inspiring, but thankfully we can be apart of this group even if we can’t attend the conference. Faithfulness is something you and I must live out for God because of His faithfulness to us. Let’s be faithful with no turning back!