psalm 23 (from the AIV, Angie’s International Version)

February 26, 2008

The Lord is my caretaker, I shall not have to do it in my own strength.

He makes me lie down in restful places, He leads me beside quiet places, He restores my soul.

He guides me in the paths of truth for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of a wedding and work to-do list that’s endless, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your fatherly boundaries, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of people who don’t always undertand me.

You anoint my head with precious and costly things, my cup overflows.

Surely You will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


february newsletter: I see you

February 8, 2008

I See You

There’s Cathy, the 50ish woman who offers samples at my Publix grocery store.

There’s that guy who has grease on his hands and “assistant manager” on his shirt at Shell.

There’s a 20-something in the Jazzercise class (where I sometimes sub) who is fighting for her marriage.

I want to know them. But I don’t…yet.

In Process

I really want others to know the abundant life available as a Christian. But it’s easy to let life and busyness get in the way of really seeing someone.

So I’m asking God to open my eyes to who He sees that I’m to see. (I was challenged about that, again, last night as I read Matthew 25:31-46.) My heart—more than ever—wants to see them, not because it’s the “right” thing to do, but because my love of God moves me to love those He loves.

The cool thing is that it’s not up to me to conjure up emotion and outreach. It’s Him and His power. Since He lives in me, He’ll give me the boldness or compassion or whatever I need to reach out. I think of it like, Jesus, will you love this person through me today?

There’s that blond high school grocery store check-out girl at Clemens.

What would it look like if I intentionally went to her lane every Saturday morning, asking her how she’s doing and really stopping to listen? Maybe she offers something about school or boys, and I ask her about that the next week. Maybe I find something at the dollar store that I would’ve thought was cute at her age, and buy it for her?

The 6 o’clock news doesn’t report news in process, just after-the-facts. But life’s a little more in-process.

At least mine is.

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More Big News!

 

Scott’s Applying to Join Me As a Missionary with Campus Crusade

My friends joke that I’m a natural recruiter, and say that I’ve recruited myself a husband to join me in ministry. I laugh but am so grateful. Who knew that would happen?

Before me, though, God had been working in Scott’s heart, causing him to consider full-time Christian work. Over the time we dated, he’s learned about Campus Crusade for Christ and how his gifts and skills with computers and technology are greatly needed at our World Headquarters.

(Think of your computer frustrations and multiply them by 1,000 and that’s part of the role of the Information Technology department.)

In November, he came to Orlando for my birthday and to talk with the people in the IT department. As we drove away from that meeting, he turned to me and said, “I want to join Campus Crusade.” I was floored. Woo hoo!

Next Steps

Scott is in the process of applying to Campus Crusade to become a missionary. If accepted, he will go through New Staff Training this summer, a month after we marry.

After that training, we’ll move to Iowa/Nebraska to raise financial support we’ll need as a couple in ministry.

After we’ve gathered additional supporters for Scott, too, we’ll move back to Orlando and both work at our headquarters.

WOW…It’s a sweet season of ministry and personal life, that’s for sure!

Please Pray:

  • For Scott as he fills out his application.
  • For Scott & I as we continue to get adjusted to him living in Orlando. (He moved in with friends a month ago so we could finally be in the same city.)
  • For both of us to continue to grow spiritually—together and separately.
  • For me as I continue to direct the Staff Web—wisdom in how to best serve our staff members through the Web site.

 


humility

October 31, 2007

On Monday, in our office devotional time together, we talked about humility. Diane, my coworker who led us, told us this quote and I couldn’t write it down fast enough.

“Humility is deciding to let God be God.” — Martin Luther


of grace and upgrades

September 25, 2007

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So I’ll be honest. I saw that anonymous comment on my last blog entry and my heart skipped a beat…and then I beat down my heart.

“Wow, they’re good at spam these days.”

Amazing how quickly I shut down my heart that it might actually be true: that God might have moved someone to be His hands in providing for me.

When people would ask I’d say, “I guess I’ll see Tuesday,” wanting to believe but being scared of a big letdown.

So at various times today I felt like a cowboy approaching a showdown at high noon in the dusty street.

I came home from work at 8 and drove up to the mailbox to find only letters — no mailbox key indicating a package.

Then, driving up to my house, the lights were on, signifying Jodi or Deb had been home. But I hadn’t received a frantically-excited voice mail from either.

No package outside the front door.

I schleped all my bags and sundries from the garage into the house. I passed by our kitchen island long enough to allow my lunch bag to fall on the counter. Walking to my bedroom, I kicked off my shoes…

And then I saw it.

Oh my word.

The box that brings joy: the brown cardboard with “Amazon” stamped on it.

My new iPod.

I LOVE that it’s green. It’s the big sister to my little green friend — this one has double the space for Jazzercise songs! (8MB!) It even has video so that I can watch the DVDs of Jazzercise routines and can learn them when I’m away from home.

Wow.

Thank You, Jesus, for this incredible lesson about grace. It’s not only amazing because it’s wonderful and a gift, but — I think this is the most flabbergasting thing — if anything, I didn’t deserve it with how I’d lost the other one. And in this case, God even lavished me with an upgrade.

If I was God I’d say, “Angie, I provided one for you. You’ll have to suffer the consequences of being unwise in losing it. Bummer to be you.”

But He doesn’t.

And that’s grace. That’s the gospel — the very good news that it’s never been about what I bring to the table; what I earn. It’s about God. Period.

Thank you, God. And thank you, dear anonymous friend, for playing a key role in this life lesson I’ll never forget.


of iPods, Plan Bs & Intentionally Resting (September newsletter)

September 21, 2007

Settling into my seat in 12D, I looked across the aisle and noticed a well-dressed woman my age, listening to her iPod.

My stomach turned like I’d just plummeted a rollercoaster drop. And suddenly I knew.

I’d lost my iPod 4 GB Nano.

My last recollection of it was on the flight into Omaha, 5 days prior, when I came on vacation to see my boyfriend, Scott.

I had a coat draped over my lap. Overtop that was a pillow. And, somewhere in the mix had been my iPod; I’d been listening to an inspiring sermon from NewSpring Church before we were told to turn off all electronics.

A vision of my tiny green friend falling silently and helplessly to the floor flew to my mind. Ugh.

That little iPod was more than just an electronic toy—it’s a key component to each free Jazzercise class I teach for our missionary women at headquarters. And my heart hurt, too, remembering how my girlfriends pooled their money and bought it for my last birthday.

I felt so irresponsible. My brain automatically spun with Plan B options. I’d already tried to call the airlines to document the loss. Scott had even driven to the airport in Omaha to talk with Northwest Airlines in person and came back with empty hands.

What would I do? I thought, I teach again in a few days. I’ve got to bite the bullet and just go buy another one. I don’t know how I’ll pay for it, I guess I’ll dig into savings. What else can I do?

Then, I felt God nudge my heart: Angie, rest. Don’t be so quick to self-provide. Wait. Let Me be your hero in this.

Sigh. Will this be my life-long lesson? To fight against the constant temptation to make life work for myself? I think it just might. But then, it sure keeps me humble and coming up against the truth that Jesus has a better plan than my Plan Bs. (Although they keep me hanging until the 11th hour, more often than not.)

I may not be seeing growth in how I still default to making my own plans, but I’m grateful to say that I have a quicker turn-around time than in the past as I turn and choose to intentionally rest. And I learn to talk to God and others about my needs, my shortcomings.

Taking a nervous breath, I vulnerably confessed the debacle to my friend, Sadee, Thursday when I got back to the office. I told her about the loss and how I was fighting to rest.

“I have an iPod that I just use to listen to talks,” Sadee said. “You can borrow it to teach class until you figure out what to do next.”

Wow. A sweet, small gesture that had “Jesus is Your Hero” written all over it.


our high priest came as a baby

December 22, 2006

I’m in chapters 5-7 of Hebrews and am standing in awe, yet again, how we’re celebrating God becoming man for our sins. But not just to pay for our sins, but to give us life. Here’s what strikes me afresh:

“We don’t have a high priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to Him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

“Every high priest selected to represent men and women before God and offer sacrifices for their sins should be able to deal gently with their failings, since he knows what it’s like from his own experience. But that also means that he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as the people’s….

“So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself. Unlike the other high priests, He doesn’t have to offer sacrifices for His own sins every day before He can get around to us and our sins. He’s done it, once and for all: offered up Himself as the sacrifice.

What a contrast Jesus is to those high priests! He did what the Law and those earthly priests (and their good intentions) could never do for us: make us perfect and blameless. Amazing.

May you enjoy this Christmas, grateful for our perfect high priest who came and slept on hay as a baby…and died on a tree as a man.


the anointing

November 29, 2006

A neighbor of mine, Stephen St. Claire captures truth on canvas. I first noticed “The Anointing” for its bold beauty.

Tonight, I notice the hand of Jesus on Mary’s head. And I feel it on mine.

Worship is often a mixture of sacrifice – like Mary’s perfume – and tears. And trust for the unknown.

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