About Impact

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Living Examples of Jesus, Part 6

This summer I thought it would be such a great idea to share each week about one person who had been a blessing in my life this last spring. Well it has become more of a long stretched out process but this will be the last. So here it is…two in one! (Although only about two people actually read this.)

Sometimes encouragement comes from places we least expect it. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Wally and Stephanie over the last several years and over the last two years I have appreciate all of the advice and encouragement I’ve received from them.

When I started looking at grad schools, Wally was quick to share with me the right questions to ask and things to look for in different programs. Even though I decided not to go Emmanuel, like him, over the last several months of working on my last two distance learning classes he has encouraged me to push through the tough papers and impossible readings. I’m not sure I would have finished if it weren’t for him constantly asking me how it was going and telling me I didn’t have a choice but to keep plugging away.

This spring and summer I went through some pretty tough times and in every conversation Wally and I had he never once pointed fingers. He took the time to hear me tell my story and allowed me to ask him tough questions. He didn’t always have answers but just having someone listen was a huge help. On top of all of that it was an added blessing that he understood some of my struggles. He understood the pressures of grad school and trying to find a ministry position. He understood the stress that comes while living so close to your work and ministry. It is amazing the difference a listening ear or a simple word can make.

One of my favorite things about Christ is that he always has time for me and will always listen. He just wants to talk with me and listen to my frustrations. Wally has been that person for me many times since last winter and I am grateful for that. Thank you Wally for showing me Jesus!

DJ Olson is one of the most amazing people you will ever meet and one of the greatest bosses you will ever work for. This poor man has had to deal with me working for him the last six summers. Last spring when I was student teaching DJ was always encouraging me and helped me count down the days until it was over. After that was over and it was time to start the job search He always kept his hears open for positions and was willing to offer what little work he could so I could attempt to pay the bills. But the thing that will always stick in my mind is the fact that DJ is patient and always quick to do whatever he can to help.

This summer I had to make an incredibly hard decision to leave camp before the summer was over and move home with my parents. It was a very painful decision and one I wish never would have had to be made. Almost every week I was in DJ’s office talking through the junk and most of it had nothing to do with my job at camp. And each time instead throwing a bunch of solutions my way, he always asked what he could do to make life easier. He would go out of his way to do anything possible to help me or any other staff member. When the time came to tell him I had to leave he didn’t try to convince me to stay or tell me how awful I was for quitting. He again asked what he could do and told me that even though he didn’t like the fact I was leaving, he knew it was okay and I was making the right decision.

DJ has a very large heart and is always looking for ways to serve. Christ’s life was all about service. Christ went to great lengths to serve and help those around him. DJ does the exact same thing everyday. I know this because he has done it for me over and over again. Thank you DJ for going the second mile and showing me Jesus!

Part 1: Jeffrey Myers (August 9th)
Part 2: Michael and Jeannette Cox (August 15th)
Part 3: Nellie "Granny" Hubbard (August 20th)
Part 4: Eric and Mary Christian (August 21st)
Part 5: Jason Miller (September 3rd)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Many lessons...

I watched Patch Adams tonight. I hadn’t seen the movie in a long time but knew it would be a good one to watch while I was working on the GCS music handbook. (Yea, we might not have any curriculum and very little music, but we will have a handbook!) It was much more emotional for me than I expected.

There is so much to take away from this movie. At least for me there was. While Patch is in the psychiatric hospital he meets a gentleman who teaches him to look past the problem and focus on the solution. I was immediately reminded of how God has taken me all sorts of places I never wanted to go in order to get me where he wants me. God sees the solution and it is so easy for me to focus only on the problem. I’m learning and getting better at remembering there are steps to get to the end that aren’t always enjoyable.

I love Patch’s heart for people. He is an extraordinary example of what it means to love people. He didn’t care who the person was; he wanted to get to know them. He didn’t want to know all about their illness or all these facts about them; he wanted to know the individual. I think that is how it is with God. For one he wants us to know HIM not ABOUT him. I know I get caught up in the study of God that I just know all this information about him but forget about the actual person of Christ. Make sense? Also God looks at us like Patch looks at people. He doesn’t see how we are damaged, but he sees the ones he created. That is the type of person I want to be.

I’ve been asking God to help me forgive and love people that have hurt me. It seems to me I’m able to do it to a certain extent, yet there is still this corner that is broken and bruised. I think the problem lies in the fact that I’m still learning how to let God heal me. So many lessons to learn and so much growth to happen. Praise God he isn’t finished with me yet and he isn’t giving up!!!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Living Examples of Jesus, Part 5

I know I said earlier this summer I was going to write about a few people who have been great examples of Christ over the last five or six months and now it is past the few point. Oh well…deal with it! I’ve been packing and writing papers all day so I’m going to write about something more exciting. But first why is it we always have lists in groups of ten? What if I wanted to do 7 or 17?

Jason has been a good friend of mine for quite some time. We use to spend much more time together than we do these days, mostly because we were involved in the same ministries and groups at Bethel. Now I look forward to the occasional 30-second hello and a quick hug on a Thursday night after church. Many times it is the short, simple conversations with J that become the most meaningful. I decided to go with the list method this time. So...

Ten Things I Appreciate About Jason (like normal, in no particular order!)
1. I can go months without talking to him, then go grab coffee with him and it is like we just hung out yesterday.
2. J and I have had several disagreements in the past but I usually end up walking away from those disagreements learning several things from him and he usually forgets them.
3. He is a genius!
4. He won’t let me lie to myself and kicks my butt when I try.
5. He doesn’t mind that I always ask to pray when a bunch of us are hanging out together AND he’ll let me.
6. He isn’t afraid to take huge leaps of faith that don’t always make sense to those around him. Since I struggle to take small steps, I admire him greatly for that.
7. He has introduced me to several great coffee shops...and coffee itself.
8. He shows up at the most random times with words of encouragement.
9. He is always reminding me the importance of taking care of myself.
10. I’m always surprised at how well he knows me. Or maybe I should say I’m always surprised how much we are alike. He seems to be able to articulate all the thoughts in my head far better than I can. Usually this happens before I get a chance to even try and explain it to him. Honestly, sometimes it drives me nuts!

Earlier this year there was one of those moments. We met for coffee to catch up on life before the craziness of camp hit. It had been a long time since we had spent anytime together. He started asking me about life but pretty much answered each question for me. How he knows this stuff, I don’t know!! But it is always so refreshing to know that someone else understands, at least to some extent. That conversation became a major part of the encouragement I needed to start the summer.

And several times throughout the summer he was a great source of encouragement. I know God has great plans for Jason and I’m excited to see what they are. Thanks, Jason, for encouraging me and showing me Jesus.

Part 1: Jeffrey Myers (August 9th)
Part 2: Michael and Jeannette Cox (August 15th)
Part 3: Nellie "Granny" Hubbard (August 20th)
Part 4: Eric and Mary Christian (August 21st) - I just added a new picture from camp!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Guarding Hearts...

Earlier this year on my xanga I posted some reflections from a message I heard on guarding your heart and the hearts of others. I’ve been wrestling with this for the last two or three days, so I went back to my notes from the message. Here are few ideas that still stick out to me:
--There is an obligation to guard others’ hearts.
--We protect our bodies but do we protect the heart of the matter?
--You treat things differently once you discover it has worth.

I’m not really sure what it means to guard the hearts of others, but I do think it is something we should be doing. After all we are a body, created to walk with each other in our journey. I think it includes an aspect of accountability. If I know someone is putting him/herself in a situation where his/her heart is at risk, I should lovingly express my concern. And as a sister in Christ, I should be very intentional about not putting those around me in those situations. Does that make since? Is that what it means to guard someone else’s heart?

There are a couple situations where friends of mine aren’t guarding their hearts and definitely not the hearts of those around them. In one situation an individual is continually allowing things to happen that aren’t healthy for others involved, or them for that matter. I know this person has had people mention things about it, but he/she just doesn’t seem to get it. I’ve even made a comment a couple times and all I get back are these excuses that supposedly justifies things.

This has been weighing pretty heavy on me all day. My heart aches because I know what is coming down the road. It has happened before…more than once. In the end everyone involved will lose and it is going to be painful. I don’t understand why you would willingly put someone in a place where you know they are just going to get hurt. Do I need to draw diagram, paint a picture or just be more intentional and blunt about it?

I can’t help but cry about it all. I hate crying! I hate seeing people hurt. I hate knowing that it all could be avoided but not having any way to change it. I hate the sometimes you have to just wait for people to learn things the hard way. It infuriates me that the whole thing is happening because it is stupid. And I hate the ignorance card that keeps getting played. The only thing I know I can do is pray. I don’t hate praying and praying is what I am going to do!

I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on this idea of guarding each other’s hearts, so feel free to share!