Wednesday, April 27, 2005

How good is God???!!!

I so easily loose sight of his faithfulness in the little things. I keep waiting for revival at Trinity, for our youth to get seriously filled with the Holy Spirit and change Mesa for good, for Joel to walk through the door and declare his undying love...um, wait a second. Anyway, point being, I keep waiting for big things, all the while missing what God is doing right in front of me!

Here's what just happened less than 5 minutes ago.

So last month I was having some crazy problems with my cell phone. They told me I had used over 300 of my 400 minutes within the first week of my new billing cycle. Considering I used just over 300 minutes in the entire month before, I found this pretty hard to believe. They said they couldn't do anything until my bill was printed though. Well my bill came last week sometime, and I finally had time tonight to give them a call, and seriously, I just asked a couple questions like totally nice, not getting rude, or even like defensive, I was just trying to figure out what could have happened that resulted in like $10 in overage charges. So just in the course of talking to the guy, he offered to credit my account $20.00! We found out that we went to the same jr. high and some other stuff like that and he was just like, "Well I get off in 10 minutes and it's been a rough day, and I just feel like helping you out, so here's $20!" So that brings down my bill to less than like my monthly fees before taxes. I do not understand how he can do that. But I am so thankful. And I am so thankful for how God provides in the most intersting ways.

I would also like to say that I was made very happy yesterday when I heard John Butler Trio's "Zebra" on the radio. I really think that the Austrailian government should start paying me to move back and forth between the States because every time I do more aussie bands/actors/singers make it here. The first time is was Kylie Minogue (ok, I apologize for that one. I didn't say they were good singers) and that cute actress that dated Heath Ledger for a while...for some reason I'm drawing a blank on her name. Anyway, this last time it's been Jet, and JBT. I'm still waiting for Guy Sebastian and Delta Goodrem. And Kath and Kim. Seriously, if there are any kind hearted Aussies out there that want to send me Kath and Kim dvd's (or dvd copies) I will love you forever. Last week I found a website where I can watch the latest episodes of Neighbors, and channel 9 news. uh huh, I'm a dork.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Wow, I was definitely falling asleep at the end of that post. I'm kind of tired right now, so who knows how this will turn out.

So I did the highlights, right? Only it looked like I had Michael Jackson's disease and that random blotches of my hair were loosing their pigmentation. Not cool. Actually, not only was it not cool, it just looked horrible. So, in the middle of all this L, called and I told her what I was doing, and while she laughed at me, also said she wanted to hang out and that I should call her after I'm done. So I called her back after the blotches appeared and told her I wasn't going anywhere until the hair was fixed and she said she would help me if I went over there. We decided after some thought to go to my aunts house and die my hair again, but this time just to do the whole thing and hopefully get rid of the spots. This was also partially fueled by the fact that I knew I was going to have to go into a store to by hair dye and I didn't want to go into a store by my house where I might run into someone I know, so I figured we could go to a store by my aunts house in phoenix and be pretty safe.
Back to Wal-Mart I go. Only this time it's incredibly ghetto and scary Wal-Mart, and Liene asks if we can please find another one because she fears for her safety. This is where the bit about the people at Wal-mart on a Saturday comes in. There's a huge difference b/w the people at Wal-mart in the upscale suburbs of Mesa and those in central phoenix.
So we got a color that looked close to my natural color, but a bit darker to make sure it covered the leprosy spots. Once we get to my aunts house Liene chickens out and claims that what she meant by "help" me was to cheer me on as I did my hair by myself. I finally convinced her that she would not ruin my hair and that I trusted her. In the end, my hair turned out ok. It's a bit darker, and a bit redder than I expected, but at least I don't look like a retard.

After we went out to dinner with my aunt, uncle, and cousin we watched Sideways. A movie I would not reccomend to anyone, ever, for any reason. It's horrible, and I'm kind of sorry that I sat through the whole thing myself.

And that is my story about going to Wal-Mart twice on a Saturday, and my warning to never buy highlights in a box.

I'm pretty sure, if I really put my mind to it, and had all the time in the world, I could write a book about the people you run into at Wal-Mart on a Saturday. Today is Saturday (well, I guess it was Saturday now) and I was in Wal-Mart. Not once, but twice. Not even the same Wal-Mart at that. I mostly shop at Wal-Mart because it's cheap, and I'm poor. I don't necessarily like the place. Although, if I was rich I'd probably still shop there because you gotta make your dollar go as far as possible. Actually, maybe if I was rich I would do some real research on how Wal-Mart treats their employees, where all of their merchandise now comes from since it is no longer all made in America, and why everything ends in 97 cents, and then if I didn't like what I found, or discovered that there are similar stores that are doing a better job of these things, but their generic brand Aleve is 30 cents more than Wal-Mart's generic brand Aleve, I might stop shopping at Wal-Mart.
Until then, I don't have time to conduct the necessary research, and most of the other information out there on the store is really more opinion and bias than fact, so I will continue oppressing my fellow American, or my fellow human being of another race so I can save 30 cents on Aleve. Did I mention I'm poor?

Anyway, the reason I was at the devil store twice today was because I had a bit of a hair emergency today. The first time I was there was to deposit a couple checks at the branch of my credit union that is there, pick up some cereal, hair spray, and be on my way. Well while I was getting my hairspray I remembered that I needed to die my hair because it is gray, but I thought I would go for a more subtle look strait away and do highlights. Now there were many flaws in my thinking, mostly having to do with over estimating my skill and ability to give myself decent looking highlights. I would like to be able to blame the lame hair color company entirely for selling me a product that doesn't work like it says it will at all, but I know I'm a tom boy and the reason Jesus gave me curly hair is because it styles itself and I wouldn't know what to do with regular hair....to be continued.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

*Hecka cool website of the day* (week, month?)
http://www.verticalmusic.com

I think this is a record co. or distributor or something for worship music. Anyway, whatever they are, they have a lot of awesome worship leaders and bands (including United) and if you register on their site you can download and print unlimited chord charts WITH lyrics for FREE! And worship leaders everywhere cried Hallelujah.
So yeah, just register, then go to the drop down thing at the top that says "Worship Leaders" choose whoever you are looking for and then on their main page should be a list of albums, if you click on an album then it opens up a page of detailed track listings and there is a little icon for "sheet music" (which really isn't sheet music, but chords and words) and there you go. Seriously, I was blown away. I just printed out all the music from the new United album. Guess what we are going to be singing in youth group???

Anyway, I figured that would be beneficial to some of you. enjoy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Dad,

Why am I here? What is Your purpose for me here? Why can't I see what You're doing? Why am I only filled with frustration, doubt, disappointment? Why do I want to leave so badly? Why have you called me back to this church? I don't even feel like I fit here. I feel like I'm a square peg trying desperately to fit into a round hole. And yet, You keep me here. I feel like so much of the gifts and talents you've given me are going unused and are probably just shriveling up and dying. I don't feel like I'm being fed, I definitely don't feel like I'm being built up, developed, encouraged. Why don't we have more leadership training?
And for as much as I want to leave and go somewhere else, I want to stay so badly if only to prove to You and to myself that I don't always run when things get hard or aren't going my way. I always run. I always choose the easy option.

Lord help me! Strengthen me. Encourage me. Let me see why You have me here. I used to be so passionate for this place and for these people. Give me the faith I used to have for this church. I don't want circumstance or what is percieved as reality to eclipse Your reality. I want to see what You see. I want to love this body like you do. I want to live out the change that I believe is coming for this church, I don't want to conform to it's current mod of operation. Help me, help me, help me. I don't want to give up. I want to stay planted and see the blessing of all this sowing 10 years down the line. I need You.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Saturday.
11:41 AM.
Still in my pajamas.
Life is good.

I've been looking forward to this Saturday for a long time. It's the first Saturday in I'm not sure how long where I don't HAVE to be anywhere. Not even tonight. I can do whatever I want to. This morning I really wanted to spend some hard core time with God. It's amazing how when you plan towards something like that, it's almost like God just can't wait and He just shows up and blows you away. It definitely wasn't what I expected, but it was totally what I needed. I started out just by sitting down with my (new) guitar, playing a new favorite progression and just singing whatever came out. *Tangent* Yes, new guitar. Ali C., you always knew I wanted to be just like you when I grew up. Well my first step was to buy your guitar. And I did. And I love it. Except for a buzz on the 2nd string 3rd fret which I still haven't figured out how to fix, I'm in love. *End Tangent* It was amazing what came out during that time. I need to do that more often. I was going to say "worship" like that more often. But I really think it was more like prayer. Not that prayer can't be worship, but you know. There was repentence, and thanksgiving, and pouring out my heart, and God responded and encouraged me, and it was so good.
Thing have been getting heavy. There's a lot going on. And I think a lot of burdens I have been bearing unecessarily. Yesterday was a day out of that book you read as a kid, "Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day". And at one point I went to the bathroom at work and just broke down in the stall and cried out, "Jesus, I do NOT want to slip back into depression". Cause that's where I feel I've been heading. And it totally freed me this morning to just be honest before Him, and let His Spirit minister to me.
After that God lead me to start going through the notes from my Leadership Development class I had at Hills with Catrina Henderson. Which again, was not what I expected, but totally needed. I've been struggling a lot with leadership I'm under, but also with being a leader myself. I've been feeling a serious lack of any type of leadersip training in my life, and I've been looking to the people above me for it, and getting frustrated that it's not there. I do think it is the responsibility of leaders to train and encourage those under them, but at the same time if you're not getting it, find it for yourself. Feed yourself, let the Holy Spirit teach you. I've missed that boat recently. So yeah, started going through these notes and was just totally encouraged.
There are a few areas where I have leadership responsibilities right now, but the one that is closest to my heart is for the girl's retreat we are planning for our Senior High girls this summer. There's a core group of ladies who have been praying and planning for this retreat, and I could write a book about the vision, expectation, and dreams we have for it. I don't really know how but I am the leader of this group. Honestly, I can't remember how I got in that position. Maybe it was just because I was the first to suggest it? Though I don't think I was. I dunno. Anyway, somehow I landed there, and just in the past couple weeks I've really been starting to feel the weight of that. Being raised in mainstream evangelical churches, I never really saw a model of strong leadership until I went to Hills. Because my whole life, churches have always been overly democratic, voteing on everything, forming committees for every event, and seeing arguements over the smallest descisions. So even though my thinking regarding leadership has changed a lot, I'm still in a church that operates in a different way, and I keep wanting to defer to that comfort. When there are 5 women, it's so much easier to talk about a descision until a conclusion is reached because then no one can take the blame. But when there is definitely one leader, it's your head. The stuff I read through this morning was so encouraging. And honestly, I am so blessed to be leading this team of women. I also felt like God was encouraging me, that by our "little" (I really don't think it's little at all, but that is kind of the perception from people on the outside.) girl's retreat having such a strong and Biblical model of leadership, team work, submission, encouragement, etc. that it can really be an example to the rest of the church. Not that anyone really notices us right now, but I really have a feeling that when we come back from this retreat with girl's who left broken and are now whole, and see the FRUIT of what God has done through us and in their lives, then they will notice.

I think I'm going to start reading through my Hills notes more often. They feed a side of my Spirit that doesn't get fed at Trinity. They teach me in ways I don't get taught here. I can just read through them and remember the passion, energy, conviction, and urgency with which they were first given and it inspires me to keep going. It's amazing how God's truth, even when given by other people and not necessarily directly from Him or from His Word, is still alive. I read the truth in these notes and they are alive. God's truth is alive.

Well, even though I don't have to be anywhere today, there are some things I have to do. Like learn French, German, and Italian. Ah the joys of being a vocal major. Adieu.