6.25.2011

Making A List, And Checking It Twice


















In the past few months I’ve heard more people talk about making a list of things they wish to find in their future husband or wife. I was in a conversation with a good friend of mine about relationships when I was told that I should write out a list of all things that are non-negotiable in what I would hope and pray to find in a husband.

Where do you start when making a list of the so called “perfect” man? It almost seems like a joke to think that you would find someone that fits into this perfect mold of a man that you want forever. I fully agree that you should know what you like and dislike, and that you should know the things you are or aren’t willing to compromise. The thing about writing out the list isn’t so much that you are finding the perfect man. It’s that you are setting the guideline for the things that you know in your heart you can’t live without.

I won’t share my entire list with you but I can tell you that my TOP non-negotiable about a man that I desire (other than loving God with his whole heart) is that he NEEDS to be funny. Humor is too much apart of my life to be with someone who doesn’t make me want to laugh until I cry. After all, I can’t be the sole person with jokes in the relationship. To some people that may not be a big deal, to me, it’s a deal breaker.

The thing about lists is that when does it get to the point where it’s almost too nit picky. And who’s to say that it’s nit picky if it’s your list? For example: what if your list looked like this:

Potential husband: must be 6 ft tall or taller. Brown hair. Olive skin. Dark eyes. Must play a musical instrument. Must have at least two years work experience. Should have money saved in the bank in case of emergencies. Hair should never be longer than mine. No history of family diseases. Must love dogs.

When does it stop looking like a job description and start looking like you’re looking for someone to do life with?

I’m not an expert, but I think our list should start looking like this:

Loves God
Funny
Family Man
Supportive
Goal Oriented
Servant Heart
Wants Children
Challenges Me
Traveler
Intelligent

Everyone’s list will look differently. My thought on all of this is that sometimes things don’t always happen like you would think they would. Maybe you end up falling for a guy who is 5’7 and you always dreamed you would marry a guy who was 6’4. Maybe you end up with hot blooded Latina when you swore you would only date the typical girl next door with blonde hair and freckles.

My point to all of this is that God is much bigger than the lists we create. But I will end this with saying that God also created you for nothing but His best. Don’t settle for someone that doesn’t meet your non-negotiable. Make your list, and check it twice, but don’t be so rigid that you could potentially push someone away that could be the perfect fit even though they don’t fit into the cookie cutter you’ve created.

6.24.2011

Fan Friday
























Today’s Fan Friday is extra special. It goes out to none other than Nena Cornelis. Aside from being today’s pick, she is also graduating J. High! I specifically waited until today to post about her because I wanted graduation day to be extra special.

For those who may not know, I have known Nena since I was in my Kidzone days running the Jr. Leader program for Jr. High and High School students that wanted to volunteer in Children’s ministry. She quickly became one of my most dedicated leaders. I was also blessed with the honor of baptizing her just over a year ago.

Her servant heart has done nothing but continue to grow over the last year. So much so that she is now my assistant in the Remnant J. High ministry. Calling her a volunteer feels as though I am not giving her enough credit, hence the title that she has been given. I have never seen someone of her age with the ability to serve without caring who gives her credit. As much as I brag on her, I feel it’s not enough.


Nena,

I know you constantly say that I am a blessing in your life, but I don’t think you realize that you have been a tremendous blessing in mine. Not only do you serve with all of your heart to Remnant ministries and South Hills, but you have managed to take on a roll that even some adults cannot accomplish.

Your ability to know what I need, want, what I’m going to say and do is incredible. You being my right hand girl has empowered me to continue growing our ministry. What you do on a daily basis is a true gift to me. Thank you for treating me as well as you do. I sincerely mean it when I say I can’t do what I do without you.

You are so gifted, wise, talented, warm hearted, driven, funny, and intelligent, I could go on. I see so much potential in you that it blows my mind to think of where you will be in just a couple years from now. You being obedient to what God calls you to do is what sets you apart from every other girl your age. You have chosen to lead a life that builds His kingdom.

Today you graduate Jr. High. In a short four years I’ll be writing about your graduation from High School. Time will continue to fly by, don’t let it pass you by. Keep your head in the game and your eyes on the prize. Keep thinking about the BIG picture. Keep seeking after Him and He will continue to lead you where you need to go.

Your life story is already one that has impacted not only my life, but the lives of those around you. Can you imagine what your story will look like in ten years from now. When you write you book about everything you’ve been through and accomplished, don’t forget about me. I love you like no other, not just as a leader, but as my family.

6.18.2011

Weekly Weigh In
























Weekly weigh in results: -1

This weeks results I am actually quite shocked I lost anything. Big deal it's 1 lb. but to me it's still a win. Between In N' Out, Red Robin, Miguel's, and only working out two times this week, I thought for sure I would gain weight.

This week it's time to get STRICT!

6.17.2011

Fan Friday


















Today's Fan Friday: Ryan Dexter! AKA Ryan from "Ryan and the Dexters"

Ryan,

Where do I start? I knew from the first time I watched you lead a song that you would be someone special to our ministry. From the moment you strum the strings on your guitar you can feel the presence of God in the room. I can't help but smile watching you lead our students into a place of worship they have never been.

What I am always so fascinated by is the heart you have for worship. It's not always easy to find talented musicians who do it to please God, but instead do it to impress a crowd. I always love to see and hear that your heart and mind are in the right place. In the short time you have been with us you have brought us to a whole other level. You started taking out the "just" from it "just" being J. High and started going after it as if we were leading 1,000's.

Your ability to be a team player who is ready and willing to follow my lead sets you apart. To know that you are loyal to myself and our team means the world to me. Thank you for taking the vision and running with it. Every so often you get leaders that just "get it" and you are definitely one of those. I can't wait to see what God has for you. He's got some big dreams that are set out just waiting for you to go after them when the time is right. It's an honor to serve alongside you.

Love you, Dex!

"In an Instant"
















A few days ago in my previous blog titled "Pain Will Prepare You" I talked about how God can take you from your prison to your palace in an instant. Those words became real to me at 11:48 am Thursday morning. I received the following text from Pastor Chris Harrell "Can you get the 27th of July and/August 3rd off to speak to all the Jr. Highers at our A/G SUMMER CAMP!! In an INSTANT!!"

A few days ago I felt like quitting, a day ago I got asked to speak to 100's of students at a Youth Summer Camp. My mind can't process everything that has happened in the past 72 hours. I am beyond grateful for a pastor who believes in me, who continually pours into me and continues to guide me along the way. And who could forget his incredible wife, Brenda. She has been in my corner since day 1, no questions asked.

A year and a half ago I was running a leadership program for 5th and 6th graders in the Children's ministry. A year ago I started as director of J. High ministry. Months ago I started speaking weekly on Monday nights. In weeks I will be able to say that I am a "camp speaker". It amazes me how everything took growing steps to get here. You don't realize how pivotal the steps are until you get to a place like this. Funny thing about all of this, is that I'm sure God's looking at me saying "This is just the beginning".

This opportunity that I have been given is another launch pad into what He has for me. It's a open door that will elevate me to a whole other level of influence. As cliche as this may sound, I am honored that God would trust me with such great responsibility.

6.15.2011

Pain Will Prepare You

















At Remnant we are in a series titled "Pain Required" where we are following the story of Joseph. You can listen to the podcast at www.remnantfamily.com In this series our main focus is that your pain is a gift. The idea that the pain you went through can save someone else the same pain, and be a gift to them as well. And in turn giving that gift away blesses you in the process.

Last nights message titled "Pain Will Prepare You" may have been one of the most impactful messages I have ever heard. I felt as if I was having a one on one conversation, except I wasn't speaking so much as listening. The Spirit of God was ministering to my heart more than I ever thought possible, even now, typing these words He continues to do so.

I sat in the front row of the auditorium with my head buried in my notes, not just because I was writing like a mad woman, but because I felt this overwhelming vulnerability. As a leader you tend to feel like you should be the one who has it all together, be the example to the students around you, be there for them. Last night was the complete opposite. I felt like a mess, I couldn't keep my tears in long enough to wipe away the tears that came before. Me? Cry during a message? In the front row? Where all of my students and leaders were? Yup.

Before I get onto anything else I ask you this question: Do you ever feel like quitting?

Everyday I wake up to get ready for work, I feel like quitting. Everyday I clock in, I feel like quitting. Everyday I clock out, I feel like quitting. I'm sure at this point you understand that I feel like quitting my job altogether. This is the feeling that I have had for the past two years of my six years working this job. I have a great job that pays me well and has incredible benefits, I am incredibly blessed and I recognize that. My issue is when you know that God has more for you than sitting behind a desk for 8 hours for 40 hours a week.

Here's where last nights message got me, in one line, "God can take you from your prison to your palace in an instant".

A few months ago during worship I heard God say loud and clear "If I wanted you out of there I would have done it already" that literally did not click in my head until I started this paragraph. Amazing to me how He can give you a word and then come back around to remind you that He's in control, not me. Me getting upset that I am still here is a slap in His face that I don't think He's running my life the way He should be. This season of pain is preparing me for the blessing that is to come. He will never break His character to bless someone who can't handle it.

My goal for the past two years has been to quit my day to day job and be a full time pastor where I can do something that I love and feel passionate about. If I serve the almighty God who can change my life by the snap of a finger then why am I still here? I have fooled myself into thinking that it is man to blame for the reason I am still sitting at this desk. At times I have let myself get attacked by the enemy telling me that I should just go somewhere else, this is never going to happen for you, they don't appreciate you, they'll never give you the credit for all you do. No one cares or sees all the hours you put in. Just quit.

This pain is preparing me for greatness. How I choose to respond in these moments is where my true character is being built. This so called prison that I am in should be the place where I ask God to strip me of my selfishness, ego, and my pride. I need to be willing to let Him use me so that He can take out my imperfections.

The beauty of all of this is that God is still developing the plan to get me out of here. On the outside He's orchestrating this incredible vision for my life. I'll never fully understand how much He loves me. I'll never fully understand why He does what He does. But I will rest in the fact that He is in control, and I will thank Him for the pain that I go through, because I know that I am not going through it alone.

So again I ask the question: do you ever feel like quitting? How many 1,000's of lives won't be impacted if you quit now?

If I quit now I know I'll be quitting when I'm just three feet from gold. My time is coming. I look forward to the day when I can look back and say "Wow God, that's why you did what you did". Trusting and believing in Him like never before.

6.11.2011

Weekly Weigh In











Weekly weigh in results: -2


Yowza! I am one happy girl! Down 2 lbs this week putting the total loss in the past four weeks at 10 lbs. And complete total loss from when I first started last year is -23 lbs. I guess that just goes to show you that a little hard work really does pay off.

I am still exercising about four times a week and continuing to make healthier food choices. Cooking dinner at home has been a huge help to not eating fatty fast food all the time. Taking the extra time to prepare lunch, snacks, and dinner has made a world of difference.

The best part about all of this is that even though I am making healthier food choices, I am not depriving myself of the foods I like. I still have a burger every now and then except I either don't eat the whole thing and or I don't finish the fries. Everything in moderation is key. Even too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

As far as my gym membership goes, I am locked in to my contract until August 1st, which happens to be the day I leave for Summer Camp. So until then I'll be at the same place. I may even change my mind as to canceling all together.

Can't wait to see the results of this next month coming up!

6.10.2011

Fan Friday























This weeks Fan Friday: Tawny Ainis

If you don't know Tawny, then I can genuinely say that you are missing out. She is by far one of the sweetest, funniest, sincere, and down to earth girls you'll meet. I love her like a younger sister and couldn't imagine my life without her.

Tawny,

Over this past year I have had the privilege of watching you "grow up". It's not to say that you were immature before, but senior year was a big part of your life. Getting to be apart of the decision making process for your future was and continues to be a blessing. Over the past few months is when I have really seen you step up your game in the area of leadership. I've watched you love on young girls while coming along side them to show them the way. Without knowing it you are setting the bar for our female leaders to follow after.

There is an underrated brilliance about you. It's as if you are a well kept secret. Now is when the world is really starting to see your gifts and talents come alive. Your servant heart continues to impress me. Thank you for always being available to seeing a need and filling it. True leadership begins with us as leaders being the model and the reflection of Jesus as we serve those around us. Jesus came to serve by the washing of his disciples feet, not to come and reign as a king that wanted everything done for Him. Great job showing the humble heart behind the daily tasks.

I cannot be more excited about this next season of your life. LSSC will be an incredible opportunity for you to continue growing as a leader and also continue growing as a woman of God. Give God the green light to work in and through you and you will be amazed at what He can and will do. We say it a lot that "God has big things for you!" I say it a lot about you because I know it to be true. Go into this next season of your life expecting BIG things. I don't mean BIG in the material world, but BIG in the kingdom world. What you do makes an impact in His kingdom. Keep seeking after Him and His heart.

I love you Tawn Bawn ;)

6.04.2011

Weekly Weigh In
















Weekly weigh in results: -2

Considering I worked out one time this week, I am beyond pleased with this weeks results! I am actually considering canceling my gym membership and or switching gyms. The one I go to has the most horrible hours to work around. Working out on my lunch break isn't the most ideal situation.

As Summer continues it becomes pretty disgusting exersising and then walking out into 100 degree heat. My thoughts recently have been, "why do I even need a gym membership?".

Realistically, I can do the same thing by running at the park or finding a buddy to play tennis with in the mornings. I'll keep you posted on that, I'm sure you're dying to know what I decide (insert sarcastic tone here).

6.03.2011

Fan Friday
















(not all graduates pictured)


This weeks Fan Friday feature goes out to all of the High School graduates!

Last night concluded my week full of graduations, three to be exact. If I could have gone to all of them I most definitely would have. You would think you've seen one graduation you've seen them all. But each one was unique in it's own way. Each one had Remnant students that are dear to my heart.

Students,

You have all accomplished a huge milestone in your lives. For the past four years you have dedicated your time and talents to completing classes, participating in sports, performing in plays, or being behind the scenes making things happen. These past years of your life will soon turn from your day to day, to memories of a time when things seemed so much simpler.

Now it's onto the "real world" they say. This next step in your journey will be exciting, scary, joyous, stressful, and amazing all at the same time. My advice to all of you is to hit the ground running. The world is full of possibilities and is waiting for someone like you to come after it. Surround yourself with positive people who are going to fuel your fire and push you to be the best you can be. I'll never forget this quote I heard years ago "show me your friends and I'll show you your future". Get around people who are going to blaze the trail with you.

I can't tell you all enough how proud I am of each and every single one of you. You are all so unique and special to me. God has a special calling on your lives to be the generation that breaks the mold. This calling comes with responsibility, don't take it lightly. Continue to share with the world what He has done in your life. Submit to His will and He will take you further than you ever thought possible. The possibilities are endless.

Lastly, thank you for letting me be a voice in your lives. Watching you all grow has truly been an honor to see. And don't think that just because you're graduates that you're too grown to seek advice or wisdom. Know that I am always here if you ever need anything. Love you all to no end.

P.s. Never say never ;)

6.01.2011

June


















It's June 1st and I am in shock. I know we often say that time flies when you're having fun. It also flies by when you're extremely busy. Being that we are six months away from 2012, it makes me stop and look at all of the goals I set out for myself this year. Am I where I wanted to be? Should I be working a little bit harder? Or should I be working a little bit less?

Becoming a licensed pastor is the big one for this year. I began the process in December when I sent in my request for my application. My application was accepted. I passed my background check. My forms have been completed and submitted. My next step is my first interview with my presbyter on June 27Th. I am the type of person that gets ridiculously nervous when it comes to interviewing. I feel I do a fairly good job at communicating and I am very much a people person, but I still get nervous. I think it's the pressure to say the right thing. I also think it's the fact that this person doesn't know anything about me except for what I tell them. I get one hour to basically show how amazing I am. I say that in the most humble way possible.

I have been given the green light to schedule and take my final exam. This one I am in no rush to get to. I received my study guide in the mail of all the things I need to have a basic understanding of, and needless to say I was speechless. It's not that it's difficult information, it's that I'm that type of person that can remember something perfectly one day, and then days or weeks later I could forget it. This is why I constantly take notes when it comes to just about anything that I need to remember.

I say all this to say that for the next six months I am going to be pushing myself harder than I have before. I need to make a conscious effort to take time out every week if not everyday to study for this exam. I don't take this process lightly, and I know AG doesn't either. Please be in prayer as I prepare myself for this next step in my journey. It's time consuming, stressful, and nerve wrecking, but I know it's going to be so rewarding to know that I worked hard for that license that will hang on my office wall.