Thursday, March 27, 2008

College Spring Break mission trip

At the beginning of March, seven young women embarked on a journey. A journey to a place known for fried foods. A place where banjos reign supreme (run if you hear one). A place known as "Sweet Home Alabama, where the skies are so blue."

We went to the State Park and played in the sand and collected shells from the lake.

Sami and I pose for our "senior picture" in the southern sun.

We saw emus chasing donkeys.

We worked on a farm, ho-ing for Jesus. That was our motto for the week.

We transplanted little veggies.

We spread mulch. We learned about sustainable farms

The farm also had Scooby, a dog "worth his weight in dog food." As you can see, Scooby is not small. He keeps the deer, rabbits, mice, and snakes away from the farm.

The farm had guineas, a type of hen.

Here we are with the owners, Les and Jay. Their hoop house (a manmade greenhouse) is in the back ground. They have made almost everything the need. Jay built a drying tower for herbs, they have a root cellar, and he is working on a sand filter for their water. They are amazing people. I know I learned so much from them. It seems like we gave so little to help out so many.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Could you choose?

I am making dessert for our Easter dinner with my parents. That sounds easy enough. I love dessert. I love baking. I love trying new things. I had found a dessert that is a chocolate swirl cheesecake. That sounds yummy. I've been wanting to try it for awhile. Here's my chance! But I just stumbled upon this delectable looking dessert and now I'm torn! What to do?

This is a Truffle Tart with Raspberries. Normally, I'm not a fruit in my dessert kind of gal. But I can get on board with the raspberries. The whole thing looks so delicious! I am in a dilemma. What to do? Typically I choose something because maybe I already have half of the ingredients laying around. Not this time. I have parts of both and would need to buy some for each. This is not helping!!!

I love dessert. I love chocolate.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring brings new growth

Thursday marks the first day of Spring. I am excited. I love the snow, but it's been a long, snow covered winter. I am ready for green! *

Last week, the sun shone almost everyday. It was glorious. In fact, that sun brought out little shoots of green. My crocus were blooming! I couldn't believe it. They did not get the memo that there will still be frost and probably at least one more snow fall. This is, after all, west Michigan. It's not spring if it doesn't snow in April!

I was looking out into our back yard and noticed that our climbing rose is also turning green. Soon all the little pink flowers will start to appear.

New growth is happening outside. Is there anything in your life that is growing this spring? Our church is discussing our spiritual gifts during this Lenten Season. Along with the sermons each week, there are several Bible study classes that are using this topic as their focus. I am in the young adult one, and have found it very fulfilling.

Our text uses more then just the Bible definitions. We are also examining our gifts, and talents. The book uses the acronym S.T.R.I.D.E.

Spiritual Gifts

This week is our last week. We'll be discussing what we are passionate about. What are you passionate about? What are you most grateful for today? What excites you most about the world? If you could do anything with no chance of failure, what would you do? Are you interested in sharing your thoughts?

I'm going to add to this; Saturday I spent the better part of the day being UnLeashed again. What a wonderful sight to see over 200 young adults gathered in the name of the Lord. One of the better break-out sessions I went to was on: Changing the World. It was led by an incredible woman, Cheryl Bistayi (her son is the one who started UnLeashed). Her session was taken from "Twelve Lessons to Change the World" by Jim Wallis. She summed it up in six steps.
1. Get out of the house
2. Listen... outside your house and inside your heart
3. Do something!
4. You don't need to do it alone
5. This should be fun!
6. This is a spiritual task

I'd like to go back and use my brief notes to discuss these a little further. 1.) this can physically be your own house, God's house, or your mind. Cheryl asked us, What might you find that God would want you to act upon? 2.) Cheryl reminded us of the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. He told her that she was sinning, but he didn't walk away from her. Instead he walked with her to show her the way. Cheryl asked us, Your passion is your power is your purpose. What is your purpose? 3.) we watched a video about Johnny the Bagger, without explaining the entire video, Will you do something to make a difference in this world? I was also at a camp meeting yesterday where the man in charge, Corey, related his own story to us. He said he was finally married and was out of his twenties. He looked back and saw that he had done nothing to make a difference in his twenties. He had done plenty of stuff, and had plenty of memories. But nothing that was a positive difference. He knew that now was the time to start making a difference. The difference he makes is through camp. 4.) share it. Jesus wasn't alone. He had at least twelve others that he shared his life/works with. Stay connected. Do not disconnect from others. 5.) "If I can't dance, I won't join your revolution" -Goldman. Find the fun. Look for reasons to laugh and 6.) "Plug into God". Her quote was, "if going green is good, going God is better."

Maybe I started to sound as if I was preaching. I am not trying to. I just felt the need to share what I've been learning these past couple of weeks. I'm motivated to make a difference. I feel that starts by sharing it!

*note: I am also writing this on St. Patrick's day, so I have green on the brain.