Faith and Fire

It’s almost 10 o’clock in the evening. I’m sitting here on the couch while my little brother watches the movie, “Facing the Giants” nearby. The story line follows fictional football coach, Grant Taylor, who has coached the Shiloh Eagles for 6 seasons with minimal success. He and his wife are unable to have children and he nearly loses his job. Dreams lie in shattered pieces about them.

As the movie progresses, Grant and his wife seek a deeper experience of trust in God….an experience which paves the path for revival throughout the entire academy where Grant coaches, a winning football season, and a miracle conception. The message? We serve a God of miracles. We do.

In my last post I mentioned a far-from-comprehensive list of the miracles God has performed in my personal life. (EMT class is going great, by the way.) Still, as I sit here tonight, I struggle again with disbelief.

20160407_165444You see, tonight my mother is in the ER. She’s been there for over five hours and I still haven’t heard anything. I’m scared. Just like when I was younger, I’m scared.

My stomach twists, my appetite completely a thing of the past.

I’m almost finished with my EMT class, but I still can’t do anything. I’m helpless sitting here with the little siblings wondering if she’s going to be okay…and wondering how we’ll ever go on if this time she’s not.

Is it another odd scare? She’ll be just fine as soon as she rests a few days? Or is it serious this time? Is she going to come home?  Are they going to give her a short time to live? Are they going to give her a clean bill of health? Can they make her pain go away and spare her life?

I don’t know.

That’s the excruciatingly hard truth. I don’t know.

So I continue to sit here. I stand still and trust an unknown future to a known God. It sounds easier as a cliche, but it is SO hard in reality.

Almighty God, tonight I give my mother again to you. I love her more than seems possible, but I know somehow you love her so much more. Carry her, hold her, comfort her, strengthen her. When I am weak, You are strong…I trust Your strength to be enough.

Trust

It was back in 2011 when I first thought I had learned to trust God. After all, He miraculously provided for me to go to summer camp (which, by the way, I only started planning to go to one week before the camp began). How could I ever doubt a God like that?

But two years later I was questioning His ability to provide for me to make a missionary trip to the Philippines (which, again, I was late in committing to). After that, I thought I had really learned to trust God. After all, He miraculously provided for me to go on an overseas mission trip. How could I ever doubt a God like that?

Oddly enough, two years later I was questioning His ability to properly care for my beloved mother as I again traveled overseas. This step felt like the most trust I could ever put in a Being. For as long as I can remember she’s been my reason for living, my highest love, my inspiration. It was a struggle, but I finally surrendered to God and have since had peace even in the midst of the storm that is my mother’s health. After that, I thought I had *really* learned to trust God. After all, He miraculously provides life to each one of us every day. How could I ever doubt a God like that?

And then my life started getting really confusing.

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                                I call this “my cherry tree.” It’s a beautiful spot to get away from the bustle of the city to think and pray.

My plans were getting shaken out from
under me and I was so distraught. The main question of the moment was whether or not to stay in school (complicated situation, but that was my “movement” point).

The situation had started to have a major effect on my belief in my heretofore life motto, which basically states: “Impossible is just a word for people who are focused on ‘Im’ going to do this. If I don’t rely on myself (I’m), everything is simply possible.” I started using and fully believing the word, “can’t,” which, you might recall, I despise.

In a state of not caring much about even life itself, I sought advice from a godly mentor/friend of mine and decided to press forward toward my degree.

So much seemed easier after that. I was no longer confused and was better able to focus on what needed to be done for my schooling. Because of my friend, I had again seen the importance of my schooling and again I had a plan–this time one that would accommodate the constantly changing environment that I live in. I was staying in school. No matter what. That was that.

12901147_1079964748713353_4886936956258320070_oToday I learned that I am unable to complete required TB testing before the due date. In my class, that is grounds for immediate failure of the course. Again, I’m back to questioning whether or not I’ll be finishing this quarter.

Can I trust God with this? Is this problem different or harder in such a way that Almighty God can’t figure it out? No way.

And so I think back on how He’s been faithful to me in the past. I’ve attended that summer camp for 4 years; I’ve participated in foreign missions twice; I have peace to this day regarding my mother’s health; and someday I’ll tell the story of how He’s been faithful to me regarding EMT.

Friend, no matter what your current circumstances, no matter what matter weighs heavy on your mind, we serve a God who is not defined by what “I’m” capable of. We serve a God who only sees possibilities, who ever lives and loves to give you the best unimaginable gifts. I’m trusting Him. Join me?

 

P.S. This was written last night. This morning I got an email that my instructor will be able to accommodate the situation and extend the due date for my testing!

Mission Experience–Training

The very next day, after we arrived in Brooke’s Point, we began a week of training in preparation for two weeks of evangelistic meetings. I am amazed as I look back and see how God was working in my life, personally, and also through our team in the lives of the local people.

I mentioned in my post: Mission Experience—The Pre-Trip Stories, that I was very afraid of going on a mission trip. I was afraid of travelling and being so far from home, but most of all I was afraid to get out of my comfort zone and speak. I am typically a very shy person and just to introduce myself to someone who first introduced themselves to me is beyond my comfort zone! I knew when I applied to go on the trip that I would either be in the Public Evangelism (PE) team or the Child Evangelism (CE) team. Both teams included both public speaking and—as I would soon find out—our whole team would be given lots of opportunities to personally invite people to attend the meetings.

The parts of our day which were actually considered classes were first Group Training and then Child Evangelism for me and the rest of the CE team and Public Evangelism for that team. In Group Training we learned some basic things about speaking effectively and properly along with some Filipino culture. In CE, we learned about how to speak enthusiastically so as to keep the interest of the children, practiced reading our scripts of the stories for the different evenings we were assigned to and did a lot of preparation of craft supplies and such. But, while these classes did fill most of our days, we also had some time to do other things…Things that scared me terribly, but also gave me an opportunity to see God truly working drastic changes in me.

Each afternoon we had personal time and quiet time. During personal time we could practice instruments, for those who brought them; we could take care of laundry; we could just relax, chat or whatever else. I usually spent that time either sleeping or cutting crafts out for CE.

One day, Mr. Ted told us that he was going to take all the girls to the market if we wanted to go. It was not very far away and we walked there during personal time and wandered around for quite a while. I had a nice time just looking at everything.

A picture Mr. Ted took for me while we were walking Sabbath afternoon...We called him the "camera tree" because he was holding most of our cameras to take a group picture for us. :)

A picture Mr. Ted took for me while we were walking Sabbath afternoon…We called him the “camera tree” because he was holding most of our cameras to take a group picture for us. 🙂

As it was nearly time to go, Mr. Ted told us all that none of us could leave until everyone had invited at least one person to the meetings. I foolishly tried to get away without inviting anyone, but Mr. Ted had apparently already noticed a few days earlier (on a Sabbath afternoon walk with most of our team) that I was not one to just go up to people and start talking—I had not invited anyone Sabbath afternoon until Mrs. Evert told me to walk with her and she started the talking…Not to mention the fact that I made a terrible mess of that invitation. So…Mr. Ted asked me directly if I had invited anyone.

I shook my head “no” and he said that I absolutely had to. Ugh…I was so nervous! Seeing that I was practically frozen to the ground in 100 degree weather, he looked around for someone to invite and then said “Come on, Samantha” and headed toward her. He introduced himself to her, told her a bit about our group and then introduced me and said “Maybe you’d like to tell her about the meetings we’ll be having.” I think I managed to make a bit more sense of that invitation than the one with Mrs. Evert, but still…Mr. Ted had to fill in a lot of details (such as what time) just because my mind was so jumbled I couldn’t even think.

Also on Sabbath afternoon: a few people from our team got to go to a local AY (Adventist Youth) program while the rest of us stayed back at the lodge. I was very relieved to not have been chosen to go to AY! For those who don’t know: AY is pretty much a Sabbath afternoon get together for local SDA youth to sing, share testimonies and just hang out with a spiritual focus. Little did I know, shortly after we got back to the lodge from church, it was announced that those of us there were going to have our own AY program!

Long story short, I was one of those selected to share a promotional: a short testimony, thought about a Bible verse, or a mission story. Once again, my mind froze. A few friends and I were each supposed to choose one of the above options and come up with something to share with the group within about 5 or 10 minutes.

I couldn’t think for anything—even once it was suggested to me that I share how I ended up on Mission Experience. And I still couldn’t think even when Mr. Ted practically told me my own story. Finally he mentioned a quote which his father, Mr. Evert, had shared with me while I was fundraising and that struck a chord in my memory. I quickly scribbled down a few thoughts and then our time was up.

As we were walking back to the meeting area to share our promotionals, I said: “I’m going to have a heart attack!” To which Mr. Ted replied: “That’s ok, I know CPR…” I think that comment served its purpose and I relaxed a little bit…I was still majorly nervous but I didn’t have a heart attack… 😉

As I kept having these experiences where I was terrified and couldn’t even think, I learned how to wholly rely on God. I can assure you: my brain surely didn’t do me much good! But God is faithful! I know this post is getting long, but I just want to share one more story…These actually happened during the weeks of the meetings, but they go along with this subject.

A couple days after the meetings started it was my turn to go visiting in the local community. There were some of the local church members who came to walk around with us and we usually had at least one other from the ME team with us, as well.

I was quite nervous that first time I went out. I had not been away from the lodge, yet, without Mr. Ted and this was a new experience. As we were walking, one of the local girls, Jessa, told me that I was going to be the one doing the talking at the next house. My first thought was “NO WAY!” But she insisted, as did the others.

I opened my Bible to find a verse that I could share at the next house and, as I flipped through, I came upon Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Jessa asked to see which verse I had chosen and so I handed her my Bible.

She read it through and then said: “That’s your verse!” I was confused as to the reason she said that and so she repeated: “That’s your verse, Samantha…Fear thou not!” Wow. Here God was giving me the exact promise that I needed for that moment and I had applied it in my mind to far-off circumstances.

I wonder how often we do that to God. How often do we take the promises that He shows us and say “Yeah, when such and such happens 20 years from now, I will remember that promise and it will give me the strength I need to go on.”? And then we go on saying that God has abandoned us in our current situation, when really we’re just storing up His blessings instead of using them…And God is there saying: “No! This is for here! This is for now! Claim it, count on it, use it! Twenty years from now, I’ll give it to you again!”

By the end of Mission Experience I was almost completely comfortable walking up to random people on the street and inviting them to the meetings—all details included. It was on the last day of visitations that I wasn’t nervous at all as I was talking to someone I’d never met. I was practically jumping up and down! Hallelujah!

Whatever God is calling you to do, don’t refuse because you are fearful or unsure. His grace is sufficient and it is in our weakness that He can supply us with His divine strength because then we realize our total need.

And I pray that as we read God’s promises, that we will apply them to our lives now. That we will see His grace in the simplest situations, that we will accept His love for today—no matter how small or unimportant this specific trial may seem.

Blessings, my friends, as you endeavor to climb out of your comfort zones for God!

 

Until next time, (When I get to share some more amazing stories—this time about our two-week series…)

Samantha

 

Mission Experience–Journey to Brooke’s Point

So last time I shared a post entitled: Mission Experience–The Pre-Trip Stories. I shared about how I ended up applying to be a Mission Experience participant and how I struggled to trust in God through the fundraising experience. I vaguely mentioned that  God had provided in amazing ways and left it at that. Well, as I was washing dishes after writing that post, I was thinking about those “amazing ways” and decided to just share one short story with you.

I had received an email from YD that pretty much said that I needed to promptly apply for my Philippine visa…They had finally gotten our flight schedule worked out and we didn’t have a whole lot of time to spare. The only problem for me was that I didn’t have any money to spare. (Read: I didn’t have any money at all!) We were asked, if at all possible, to have our visas applied for by Friday.

That Sabbath I went to church still wondering how I was going to pay the $30 fee. I had learned that it did me absolutely no good to worry about it and that God would take care of it, but I still wondered “how?”. As always, God had an answer.

A friend came up to me just before the church service started and handed me a check–for $30. I was so excited! Isn’t God awesome?!

 

So now I get to tell you about our exciting journey to Brooke’s Point, Palawan! 🙂

 

Believe it or not, I got up on Sunday morning about 15 minutes before the time when I was supposed to leave for the airport…that was when my Mom finally decided that if she didn’t get me up–I’d be likely to miss my flight. :/ I jumped out of bed, dressed, made my bed, grabbed a bite (quite literally) to eat, threw my things in the car, and left the house headed for the airport.

We were running late (for obvious reasons), but as we were driving down the road I realized that I’d forgotten my water bottle at home. Thankfully that was the only thing I’d forgotten and we were able to quickly stop by a store and grab a new one.

At the Medford, OR airport, my Mom dropped me off and headed home. I was there alone with only my luggage as company. 🙂 Mom hadn’t been able to park anywhere that she could go in with me and so I was left to figure out how to check in. Kinda funny…as I think about it now I realize that somehow shyness doesn’t matter when you’re in a “great, big” airport and you have no idea what you’re doing!

I didn’t even consider trying to figure that place out on my own! 😉 I wasn’t sure how to check in so I asked a fellow passenger, who thankfully knew more than I did, and managed to get to my gate with time to spare. While waiting I was reading some worthless stories and God prompted my heart “Is this really what you want to share with those you meet during this trip?” The answer was “no” and so I turned my phone off and grabbed a book by Mrs. White to read.

I had been told to meet up with Helen, another ME participant, in Seattle, WA and then go and meet the rest of the team at the Alaska Airlines check-in counter. I safely arrived in Seattle and waited for about an hour before I decided I’d better just go find Mr. Ted–I still hadn’t seen Helen. So I walked all over the place trying to find the Alaska Airlines check-in, and I even had airport security starting to watch me closely. I finally asked someone and was told that I just needed to go up “those stairs”.

I went up the stairs and saw…nothing. Turning around, I saw that there was another set of stairs that I assumed I should climb. Once upstairs I saw about 5, yes FIVE, Alaska Airlines check-in counters!!! Oh, which one do I choose?!?

Those shirts were sure helpful when trying to keep track of each other!

Those shirts were sure helpful when trying to keep track of each other!

Soon I spotted some other people with red ME polos on and ran over to them. It was so good to not be alone anymore! We chatted for a while before we saw Mr. Ted and the other people who drove with him to the airport carrying things into the airport. Now I totally didn’t have to know anything…Mr. Ted already did! 🙂

We spread out the supplies, that needed to be brought, among all those traveling. We each had one YD box or bag and one personal bag to check in. Mr. Ted was able to contact Helen and soon she joined the rest of us. I’m pretty sure we flew from Seattle to San Francisco, CA, to Taipei, Thailand, to Manilla, Philippines, and then to Puerto Princesa, Philippines.

We had a lot of fun together, although I have to say: the trip home was even more fun! But you’ll just have to wait to find out why. 😉

All throughout the trip I was very nervous. You see, I’d only flown once before and had never been outside the United States. Security and customs were the most intimidating part, besides the constant fear that somehow I’d get lost or Mr. Ted would get separated from us. But through the experience I learned an important lesson.

Most of us know that in order to really live a victorious Christian life we must constantly keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, right? Now how do we make that practical? We can’t really see Him…

For just a moment let’s use my airport experience as a parable. I represent a Christian, striving to become more and more like Jesus. Mr. Ted represents Jesus.

Here’s how it’s practical…

To put it simply, I was nearly constantly thinking of Mr. Ted during the whole entire trip. Where was he? Would he be likely staying put? Or heading somewhere else? If he was going somewhere else, where would that be? What was he doing? Was there any way I could get closer to him? (Within reason, of course….) Will this activity I’m doing put me in a position where I might lose sight of him?

Do you get the point?

Friends, if we are to stay close to Jesus we must fill our every waking (and even sleeping) thoughts with Him! I didn’t exactly ask myself those questions, but I was constantly answering them. If our group was doing different things, and I had the choice, no matter which looked like more fun–I chose what he was doing. No matter how entertaining or fun the things of this world seem…We must choose to follow wherever Jesus leads. I would only go somewhere if I was absolutely sure that Mr. Ted would both approve and be there when I returned.

You see, I had no idea what I was doing in those airports that make MFR look tiny. But Mr. Ted knew exactly what he was doing (most of the time) because he had traveled through them before. Hasn’t Christ traveled this path of life before us? I assure you, He does know the way!

When we arrived at Sunset Lodge we were greeted by this awesome sign. :)

When we arrived at Sunset Lodge we were greeted by this awesome sign. 🙂

 

In Puerto, we met up with Mr. and Mrs. Evert and a few people who had flown from the East Coast and arrived in Puerto a day or two before the West Coast group. We stayed the night in Puerto, had breakfast at the mission there and left in a Jeepney for Brooke’s Point the next day.

Sunset Lodge, in Brooke’s Point, would be our home for the next month…which is a story for another day…

Until next time,

Samantha

Mission Experience–The Pre-Trip Stories

I love YD!

It was a wonderful time of the year…The most wonderful time of the year, if you ask me, although it has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas or Winter and everything to do with Summer. Any ideas what I’m talking about? YD camp, of course! 🙂

To catch you up on events:

Early in 2012 I received an information brochure and application for Mission Experience from Young Disciple. I read over it and asked my Mom what she thought (She totally thought I should go!) and then placed it in my drawer. I wanted to forget about it because the idea of going overseas was terrifying.

Yet I was constantly nagged by the thought that this was something God wanted me to do. This nagging got unbelievably worse when I went to YD camp last year.  I did my best, I could not forget it.

Now for the story…’Twas the most wonderful time of the year:

I arrived at camp on Sunday extremely excited! It was an amazing two weeks (of course!), but all throughout those weeks I was trying very hard to ignore everything shouting at me to surrender to God and apply to go on ME (Mission Experience). I finally did that when, during choir, Mr. Tony asked which of us would like to introduce the song “I Will Go”.

No one else was volunteering–and I certainly wasn’t! But there’s something about wanting to do things to make others happy that is very powerful in driving a person to do things they didn’t want to do. 😉 I nervously raised my hand, agreeing to speak in front of way-too-many-people for me to stay in my comfort zone.

He put my name down for the program Sabbath afternoon and I was stuck. If there is one thing I won’t do, it’s tell you to do something I refuse to do myself. So if I have to remind you  of the Great Commission and urge you to go and fulfill the mission Christ has for you, I also have to give in and fulfill my mission.

The thought constantly in my mind for the next couple days was: “How can I introduce the song ‘I Will Go’ without saying ‘I Will Go’?” You would not believe how ridiculously hard I tried to figure that out–from asking Mr. Tony, to asking my unit counselor and even the head girl’s counselor…It was unavoidable.

So that Sabbath afternoon, as I introduced the song for choir, in my heart I told God “I will go.”.  As soon as I got home, I filled out the application and sent it in. Long story short, I was accepted and started on the fundraising journey.

Fundraising:

In the beginning I was very excited to see what the Lord would do in and through me–the miracles He would work–as I sought to raise the funds needed for the trip. But, as so often happens, I soon became discouraged by the disbelief surrounding me and began to wonder if it was really possible.

A few people had asked me what would happen if I wasn’t able to raise the whole amount that I was supposed to raise and I had to tell them I had no idea. I told my parents this and they advised me that I should call YD and ask them. I didn’t really want to (have I mentioned that I’m terrible at phone calls?), but ended up calling anyway.

I’m so thankful that most–if not all–of YD staff are perfectly willing to have mostly one-sided conversations, if you can’t figure out what to say! I tried to call Mr. Ted, but he wasn’t there so I just called the main office number and ended up talking to Mr. (Will) Evert. Here’s the gist of our extremely encouraging conversation.

Conversation:

I asked Mr. Evert what would happen if I was unsuccessful in my fundraising and he told me that no one had ever been unable to go because of a lack of funds–some raise more than they needed and some less, but either way God provides. I told him that was encouraging and he said “Oh, so you need encouragement too, huh?” We ended up having a rather long conversation during which he shared some awesome things with me. I’d like to share the two which have really stuck in my head ever since.
1. “When we give ourselves wholly to God and in our work follow His directions He makes Himself responsible for its accomplishment. He would not have us conjecture as to the success of our honest endeavors. Not once should we even think of failure! We are to cooperate with One who knows no failure!” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pg. 363

2.”Work hard…Pray hard…Trust hard…And God will answer prayers!” –Mr. Evert

So when we give ourselves completely to God, working faithfully for Him, cooperating with Him through prayer, and trusting in His power, God will answer our prayers–through Him we CANNOT fail!! That’s awesome!

After that I went back to my fundraising with a renewed hope and energy. God provided in so many ways and on Sunday, March 26, I was on my way with an amazing team to experience my very first overseas mission trip. Scary, but amazing…And that’s another story for another day.

Until next time,

Stay Faithful!

Samantha

Of Lessons Through Illness

Written October 13, 2012

I sit here tonight, in my cool messy room. My head is a bit painful, I’m congested, and my throat is less than comfortable. WHY???

Well, because you need it.

WHAT???

You need it.

SERIOUSLY???

Yes, my child. You need it. Remember you’re struggling with keeping your voice gentle? Well, I’m offering you some help. 🙂

So I sit. Yes, Lord, I think I understand.

Seems to be going around blogs, these days. I’m sick. Why? And God replies: “I have the best in mind.”

Quite recently I prayed that God would help me with my terrible habit of endless yelling. Raising my voice at the cute 3-year-old because he made a mistake. Or the growing 8-year-old who just never seems to get it.
I posted a while ago about getting quite ill after YD camp and thinking that I had whooping cough. You know how that finally got cured? I quit yelling. That simple. Shortly after, old habits returned…And guess where I am today! My throat hurts!! (I really was sick, and I managed to get over that…but my throat needed rest in order to fully heal…)

You see, I have a dreadful temper. If angered deeply enough I’ve been known to physically be a bit awful. Seems I yell my life away nearly everyday (if not every day). I hate to admit being controlled…but my temper controls me.
(Did you notice in the dialog above the all-caps in my responses? I didn’t think about writing it that way–that’s just what comes naturally to me. I’m frustrated. WHY AM I ALWAYS SICK??? [Isn’t CAPS the online way to yell?] For the record: I’m really not always sick.)

So I ask God for victory…He, in His infinite mercy, grants me some help when I can’t seem to do it on my own.

Last night, I lay on the couch. I was frustrated. I came home from babysitting for the day and suddenly noticed that the tiredness that had been in my eyes all afternoon was fever. I was having difficulties with changing the offices and positions I hold at church. (Last two years I was: chorister, Kindie Sabbath School assistant and greeter. It didn’t work out when different agreements came together and I was the Greeter, Song Leader, and Sabbath School Teacher all in one week! So, this year I’m only accepting Kindie Sabbath School assistant. But, the work is great and the laborers are few.) My room was a mess–and there was NO way I wanted it to stay that way! But I was tired. I told Mom all I wanted to do was sleep…And she said that was probably a good idea. But, no! I didn’t really want to sleep.

My sweet sister then came over and felt my forehead. “Oh, you’re quite hot!” And off she ran. Before long she was back with a cool washcloth and placed it on my head. I said something about freezing to death (quite the exaggeration, and I wasn’t even talking about current situations), but off she ran again. Quickly she returned with her warm feather comforter and snuggled me up cozily, there on the couch. Then she got another bright idea. “May I go in your room, Samantha?” “Uh, I guess” (She didn’t seem in the mood to get into mischief 😉 ) Off she ran again and soon returned with Mr. White. (My teddy bear…that I seem to not sleep well without.) She lifted the blanket and put it in my arms. Touching the washcloth she exclaimed, “this is already quite warm!” and again, off she ran to cool my washcloth. The timer went off and she ran to get dinner out of the oven. Dinner time! I considered getting up out of my cozy bed to get something to eat. Not for long…My dear sister was soon by my side with a plateful of food.

How could I be angry???

It makes me think: God in His great mercy came down to this earth, suffered for me, paid the price for my sins, served His whole life long, went back to Heaven and sent us the Comforter, and is currently preparing a place for me.

How could I be angry???

He did the same for you.

How could you be angry? Or depressed? Or troubled?

Jesus longs to give rest to the weary soul. I think it’s about time we ask, don’t you?

“Dear Father, thank you so much for coming down to this dreary place to save us. I pray that you would draw very near to all who would read this, that you would grant them the peace you have promised (John 14:27). I thank you for hearing and answering this prayer. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.”

This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us!

Until next time,

Samantha

College and such…

Well, I’ve been really busy these last couple weeks. I’m sorry for my lack of weekly posts, but it may continue all summer and perhaps into fall a little bit. Maybe I’ll just give you an update when I get a chance on what’s happening around here and when I have some poetry or music to share I’ll do that. Any objections? I don’t hear any… 😉

Coming into this summer I got the idea that it might be kinda busy. I was underestimating! Here’s the last three weekends…

We stopped to see this waterfall on the way to WWU. It was BEAUTIFUL!!

Three weekends ago my parents and I visited Walla Walla University in College Place, Washington. It is a really nice campus and the people there are quite friendly. The drive took us about 9 hours so we drove up on Thursday, went to appointments on Friday, visited a local church on Saturday and drove home on Sunday.

Two weekends ago I went to a Women’s Retreat at MAA (Milo Adventist Academy, in Days Creek, OR) with some ladies from a church we used to attend. I had never been to a women’s retreat before, but I can assure you I’d love to go again! Rise Rafferty was the featured speaker and Tawny Sportsman, Rosalie Hurd (author of Ten Talents), and Donna Griffith did breakout sessions. Rise spoke on a couple different subjects over the weekend-and I enjoyed them all-but I think the one that hit me hardest was the fact that “we will never be good enough”. We might try–and we should–but the reality is that only Christ can be our perfect righteousness. One day we’ll be changed into His likeness, but only because we have allowed Him to cover our sins with his perfection. Tawny shared about efective apologies and how to show people that we really mean it. Be willing to make restitution, don’t make excuses, and take all the blame as did Abigail in the Bible story. Rosalie shared some about diet and the foods God intended for us to eat. And Donna shared about the rapidly increasing natural disasters in our world-the end is near.

Last weekend my family and I went to a Restoration International family camp meeting. We’ve been to the ones in WA and CA before, but were unable to make it that far this year. Then a couple weeks ago a friend called and told us that RI was having a camp in OR! We were excited and had a wonderful time! There were many great messages, but I think the one that Paul Rayne shared on the first night was the one that got my attention the most. He shared about our thoughts and how we must be careful to guard them. He said “You may not be what you think you are-but what you think, you are.” Consider that.
This week most of my family (including me) is recovering from a sickness that was going around at FCM. Praying that we’ll get over it soon…This summer is BUSY!!

Besides all that, my parents and I are seriously reconsidering me going to WWU. We have discovered that Weimar college has values which are a lot closer to our’s and therefore are praying about the possibility of sending me there. We have also had trusted friends tell us that it would be a much wiser decision. At the moment it seems a lot more impossible than WWU, partially because I’m quite young, but I believe that whatever is God’s will He’ll make possible.

And when I get my voice back in all it’s strength I have plans to record a video for my blog. I’m excited about it…so there’s something to look forward to! 🙂

Until next time,
Samantha