Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I See Dead People...

or at least I'm reading them! My next class has begun! Including this class, since it has just begun, I have five more classes until I graduate with my Masters in Pastoral Ministry! WooHoo!!! So I'm heading feet first into Philosophical Foundations of Ministry. Philosophy in undergrad was excruciating for me! I could not stand it. Perhaps it was the teacher and perhaps it wasn't. But I felt that everything in that course was about proving the non-existence of God. This course is about using philosophy to better understand how to share the gospel effectively to our world. I believe the premise is that philosophy is so engrained in us now, that we have to know how to share the message with proper communication skills including words and there meanings, and logical inferences.

I'm not sure that it is going to be any easier now than it was then. Even though I know the context of philosophy is not going to be propogated in the same fashion. We won't be using philosophy to prove anything, especially the non-existence of God. We will be learning to use philosophy is such a way that one can't help but have a clear, conscience and coherent understanding that there is a God! Today, however, while reading Aristotle, Plato, Lucretius, and Descartes, I couldn't help but to have my mind wonder and there were several times that I just plain and simple fell asleep!

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's a NO

Here's a portion of the email I sent to the pastor about the position in Missouri. I know some of you are at the edge of your seat wondering what I am thinking and doing. And some have even staged protests! But rest assured, I am not going to consider this position.

"My husband and I have been speaking quite a lot since yesterday about this opportunity and praying as well. And I believe we have come to the decision that while I am confident that I could do the job that you need done, I am also confident that I would not be content in it. I know that I would, like your church board is afraid of, use the position as a stepping stone or a notch on my resume to reach a position that I know for a fact I am called for. I would not be able to take the position and stay in it for the long haul, which for children's is mandatory. I do not know where God is taking me, but God has thankfully used this process to clarify to me that where I am in adult ministries is the path that I need to be on."

So we remain where we are until the next opportunity or rather the right opportunity presents itself.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A busy weekend...

Well, my women's retreat came and went this weekend! But not before depositing some great insight and wisdom into my life. The weekend was just a blessing. It is amazing how God ties things together because Tracy preached again today and I could have swore that he was at our retreat. He wasn't. His message tied into the retreat on so many levels that I found it hard to hold my emotions this afternoon at our worship service. Here's the biggest thing that I learned over this weekend:

All those things of my past that I try my hardest to forget, all my sin and mistakes and regrets that I know I have been forgiven of, but just can't seem to forget - aren't supposed to be forgotten!!! That's right - the Bible never says and Jesus never taught us to forget our pasts, our mistakes, our sins. I spend so much time trying to forget those things and blot them out, because that's what we're supposed to do. But I can't and I beat myself up about those things. And I am not alone! Everyone goes through it!

My past is part of who I am today. I don't have to brag about it and I don't have to talk about it or share it with everyone, but i have to remember it! For two reasons: 1) and I think this is the biggest - when I put my past in a box and stick it up in the closet of my mind, forgetting all about it, that's when i forget that without Christ I am just that box. That's when pride slips in and causes me to forget the grace that was so undeservedly given to me. 2) my past is mine, and when i forget it, I'm not able to help others through their circumstances. God says he is faithful to use our mistakes for His glory, to work all things together for good for those who love him. If we've forgotten those things, how will we recognize God's work when we see it!

I am so blessed to have been given grace and mercy, instead of the justice that I so deserved. I am so grateful that Christ stepped in for me and took my punishment because he loved me so much. He didn't just take my punishment but he offered me grace. He gave me something that I definitely did not deserve, forgiveness, grace and mercy. It was a phenomenal weekend and I thank God that he was able to use me, a sinner saved by his grace to be a small part of it.

Rob is such a good daddy and supports me so well in my ministry. He kept the kids all friday after work and all day Saturday. I didn't receive one panicky phone call, or one call for that matter during the retreat. I came home to a clean house and to a big tall snowman in my front yard with a mohawk and a goatee!

The weather finally warmed up enough that the kids were able to go outside and not suffer from frostbite just from the wind touching their skin. They had a ball and were so proud of their creation!!!

As for the opportunity that was presented to me. Many factors going into it, Rob and I decided that if for nothing else it was good for me offer my availability for consideration for that position just to gain experience in the hiring process since it is completely different than any process I have ever been through. At any point, I can say "no, this is not for me." And I have already learned some valuable lessons from this already.

So I took the next step and called the pastor today. When we made the decision to take the next step, there was definitely a peace that came over us. The pastor and I spoke for over an hour today, however, my gut is telling me that it is not a position for me. It is for a children's pastor and that I am not. There is promise for something more in the future in ministering to families but the reality of the position is that it is a children's ministry position. While I may have children, children's ministry is not my calling. It's not my passion.

I was upfront with the pastor about that and he asked me to pray. Which of course I am. It just means that if I were actually consider taking the position assuming that they offer the position to me after all the interviews and things, I would have to be willing to work with children and establish a children's ministry....and those are things that would be WAY out of my comfort zone. There are also other variables that are huge like location (Missouri), like pay, like Robs job, like our home, like our children. There are just a lot of things.

The reality is that I will have to take a job soon. And this is an offer. I don't think a feasible offer for my calling or my family, but it's a start. It means that people are reading my resume (even though I definitely have to tweak it now for some clarifications on my ministry focus.) So that's where we stand on this ministry opportunity. I'm looking for godly advice and praying that God opens the doors for the right position, at the place that He wants my family to be.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Just to clarify because I've had a few people ask me when I'm moving. I have NOT made a decision to accept this invitation. If I do accept it, that doesn't mean I get it. It just means that I will be consider for it. There would be several trips to this church, interviews with many people. But just to reiterate I have not stated my availability yet. Beyond that let's talk about other stuff.

My friend Charlene has been going through some really tough stuff these past couple of weeks. Tough really doesn't even begin to describe it. She is suddenly losing her mom. I don't have words for her. I have a broken heart with her. But I can't fathom how to begin to console her and comfort her. I began looking for Scripture for her this week and I was led to this scripture.

"When three of Job’s friends heard of the
tragedy he had suffered,
they got together and traveled from their
homes to comfort and console him.
Their names were Eliphaz the Temanite,
Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite.
When they saw Job from a distance,
they scarcely recognized him.
Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and
threw dust into the air
over their heads to show their grief.
Then they sat on the ground with him
for seven days and nights.
No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was
too great for words."
Job 2:11-13
This is something that I have done often with friends and for friends. And it seems that several of my friends right now are suffering. I am the type of person that when my friend hurts I hurt, when my friend cries, I cry. This passage means so much to me because I can relate to it. Char, I'm praying for you and crying for you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An Invitation

"He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purples and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers--all of them master craftsmen and designers. So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded." Exodus 35:35-36:1

Yesterday, I received my first-ever invitation to a paid ministry position as pastor to young adult families with children. It's not as simple as it may seem. I don't just accept and I'm gone tomorrow. There is a long process. I have to offer my availability. I have to interview with the lead pastor and I have to interview with the church board and the church. There are a lot of steps. It takes time. But the first step is my offering my availability, my willingness to fulfill the position.

This invitation is a huge deal for many reasons! It's my first call! Which means, someone read MY resume and liked it! Someone read MY resume and thought I could perhaps fulfill a need. There are so many emotions that come with that. But to be perfectly honest, it's mostly, fear and doubt. You know, did they read the right resume? There's part of me that is telling me that I'm not ready for this, that my family isn't ready, that my husband isn't ready. We just aren't ready. And of course, I could give you a list of all the reasons, if I had to. You don't need to tell me that this is just Satan trying to tear down God's stuff, I realize that this. Fear is not of the Lord. (For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7) But it's a reality for me and I have to deal with it.

Also, this is huge because it would constitute a completely change of life, including moving. I never imagined that it would be this hard to just say, "Yes I'm interested!" Somehow if it were just a little more northwest instead of the slight southwest that it is, I wouldn't even consider location as something to consider in my availability. It would be that much easier to say sure, if it were in Idaho or at least in a state where I knew someone.

Discerning whether or not it is God's will that I open my availability to this position is a hard thing. It's going to take a lot of prayer and time in the Bible. Things would have to just fall in place because there would be a lot of issues, like a job for Rob, selling our home, moving, the transition of it all. There's just a lot to consider. Of course, soon I will transition to worrying about those I serve here and those that God might be calling me to serve there.

Rob's, first response, and mine too a little, was a reaction to the location of the position. However, we can't simply so "no" because it's not ideally where we would like to be, but that is also not a reason to assume that our answer should be "yes" simply because it is out of our comfort zone and that's what God requires. So we are praying about it. And we are asking God to make it abundantly clear to us what to do .

Pray for us as we consider all these things.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4

Monday, January 19, 2009

First Quizzing Invitational of the Season

Jourdyn has been working very hard every Sunday since school started to study and learn the book of Exodus. Yesterday was her first quizzing invitational of the season. These are a big deal. She has one more then zone then district, then regional, then world!!!! They don't do world every year because of the expense of it. It is only done every four years! This is her first and only opportunity to make it to the world competition in Orlando, Florida. Our church stops Bible quizzing after 6th grade.

Jourdyn brought a home a gold! She missed three questions during the whole meet! She also got a Bible Memory verse ribbon for memorizing Exodus 3:7 "The Lord said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering."

Happy always takes the easy road...

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. 2 Timothy 1:8-9

Listening to Tracy yesterday deliver the message that he was called to share so many things came rushing to my head. Tracy wasn't Bible-thumpin'. He was telling us what we should do or how we should do it. He spent his brief time with our congregation explaining what Paul meant in this letter to Timothy; how it was that Paul could ask someone he considered his son to join in his suffering.

The world has painted Christianity as some social or even political salvation. Our society has shoved Christianity into a box that's labeled - the Happy Life. As Christians, everything is supposed to go right. As if magically somehow when we accept Christ, the perfect job is given, one that can pay all the bills, and our road is mark with good fortune. We mystically have everything work out for us and we have no worries. This is such a crock! It's a lie that the evil one has masterfully conned our culture into believing with even some Christians proclaiming it.

Satan has set up so many people to fail at this thing called faith, this religion called Christianity. He has sold them a bill of goods; a bill of happiness. So what logically happens when the happiness isn't there. They turn and run and blame it on God. "This wasn't what I was promised!" "This isn't what I signed on for!" "My life with you God is supposed to be easy!"

Oh, how my heart ached during Tracy's message! Suffering happens! It's guaranteed! There's no way out of it and there's no way around it. This is why it is so important to have a relationship with Christ. With Christ there is always a way through it! And there is always a promise of something coming from our suffering.

God never once calls us to a life of happiness, don't be tricked! Don't let a trap door be sprung on your faith! As Paul says we were called to a holy life, a life set apart solely for the purposes of God. Tracy said something like, "Happy always takes the easy road. Holy takes the road that needs to be taken no matter the cost."

Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

Paul understood that there is suffering and pain in our lives. But he also understood and believed that with Christ he could do (make it through) anything - all things.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sleep Study

Rowan had his sleep study last night. He was very excited to go into the hospital room. It didn't have the same hospital aura about it. And we was also excited to play with all the wires that were going to be connected to him. He was able to put his own stickers on for his leg monitors. He didn't like the electrodes on his face but with a little coersion did well. The hardest part was putting the tube under his nose. I believe he probably had a flash back to the ER last month. He was screaming "don't put it in my nose." We got it on and he was still upset about it but realized it wasn't going deep into his nose. It just had to rest there.

At about 1:30 am, woke up and pulled it out. So the nurse had to come fix it. But he went back to sleep and I laid next to him to keep him calm. Several times he awoke trying to pull it out.

Overall, he did a fantastic job! We don't have any answers yet. They analyze today and then I'm assuming we'll hear back from our primary care.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Wide Lens

Arthur Schopenhauer said, "Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world."

We walk through life almost as if we have blinders on. It's like we only see what concerns us and even then maybe not clearly if it's not we want to see anyways. One thing God has been working on me with is seeing my world through the wide lens of His Resurrection.

The Resurrection of Christ to some may seem like a fairy-tale, and if honest, at points in my life it seemed like something out of yesteryear, not relevant to me. But for those of us, who have come to know Christ, His resurrection has given us hope, given us life, no, has given us new life. With the resurrection Christ has defeated all that is bad in this world. With the resurrection Christ has given the opportunity for renewal for every person.

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only
Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him,
anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of
sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it
was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is
acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death
sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to
believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him." John 3:16-18
The Message

The world was different after the Resurrection. Something had changed. And for those who believe it has become reality for them. For me it has become my salvation. I have been given new life.

What we too often forget to do though is to see our world in light of the resurrection. We walk through our day with blinders to those around us because we fail to see them in light of Christ's resurrection. You probably thinking what the heck is Sharon talking about.

In verses about we are told that Christ came for the world, the whole world, that no one need be destroyed. The resurrection lived out and applied to our lives should affect us in such a way that we see with the eyes of Christ. We should see that every person is His, and He's not willing that one of them should parrish.

Seeing through the wide lens of resurrection doesn't mean that we have to see everything, although wouldn't that be great. It means "Lord, give me the eyes to see what's right in front of me." Give me the eyes to see what you see in each circumstance I face, in each relationship I'm in, in each moment that I'm given. Give me your eyes to see the love you have for them, no matter how different they are from me or how much they are the same. Give me your eyes to look upon them with unconditional love, the unconditional love that you gave me.

Something else that God is driving home for me is that the world is full of problems and needs. And even those things that I do see, might not be mine to fix. I like to fix things. I love to interject and try to move things forward. But maybe not everything that God shows me is mine to do something about, maybe it's mine to find someone else to do it or maybe its just mine to pray about. This is discernment. We have to learn to understand why God does reveal things to us and what we are supposed to do with that revelation.

It maybe something direct and simple and we may know just what to do. You know, you see a homeless man, you give him food or shelter. But maybe it's not, maybe it's huge. Maybe it's a life-changing situation for not just those in front of you but for many around. It is in these times that we must learn to understand and discern, not only what we see with the eyes of God, but what to do with what we saw.

And the simplest answer for me is I wasn't shown whatever it may have been to be a judge. I was shown it to show the love of Christ, perhaps to have a moment to be Christ to that person and in Christ there is no condemnation, there is love. Perfect love.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winter Retreat

Well, I have been really busy over the past week working on our Ladies winter retreat. It is going to be a real blessing and you know I like things to be well, mostly perfect! So I have been assembling all the curriculum, planning, thinking and getting it all together! I am very excited about it! It will be a great time of healing and restoration and believe if God-willing lead to a time of revival among the attendees.

Today, Rowan and I went to my neice, Stephanies wedding shower. He did a great job helping her open presents. He guided her to the largest ones. Because of course, the "big big big ones" must be the best. He ate cake. And I unfortunately ate cake! (Get's me every time!)

That's about it with us right now. We haven't been doing much because we have 12" of snow and it's cold!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Snow Day #4

Sadly, today was labeled with Snow Day #4. The state allows for 5 snow days without makeup. However, everyday after 5 has to be made up at the end of the school year.

Rowan had his appointment today. Our doctor is great! And ordered a sleep study and a sleep EEG. This way we can find out how often he's doing this and what is happening to him when he does do it. However, the hospital can't get him in until Jan 30th. Our doctor's office is arguing with them though to make this appointment sooner. So tomorrow we will have the date of the test.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Appointment Rescheduled

Yesterday, I was able to have Rowan's appointment moved from the 13th to the 8th. So he will be going this Thursday to see our primary care physician. However, the PCP nurse thinks that he will just be referred to a specialist and that our doctor won't do any testing himself. Which would leave us hanging in limbo again. If this is the case, I will be asking for him to go to whichever specialist can get him in immediately, even if we have to drive to Cleveland clinic to do so. I am also going to ask if our doctor can get him on some type of in-home monitor, so we will have an alarm go off when he does this. Or at least order a sleep study immediately.

I was able this morning to watch Rowan sleep and at one point he did stop breathing but he started on his own at about 10 seconds. It was much like just holding his breath, except his lungs weren't full. He stopped when he had expelled everything. This is what I think is going on nightly and probably multiple times.

So pray that our doctors will not only be diligent to find the problem and correct it. But also that they will do it expediently.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Check, Call, Care

As of today, I am officially Red Cross Certified in Infant and Child CPR and first Aid. I already feel more euipped to handle the sometimes scary nights that we encounter. Not that they will be any less scary, but I will be more prepared.
I am going to call our doctor on Monday morning to see if they will get Rowan in this week. Or just order a sleep study immediately before his Jan 13th appointment. So we'll know what to do then instead of having to just be pushed off for testing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Wright Patterson Air Force Base

The kids have been off school now for what seems like months. In fact, Nadine believes that she just doesn't go to school anymore at all. What a shock she'll have come Tuesday! Yes, Tuesday they return to school, only four more days of break. So today, Rob was off and we decide to take the kids down to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio to see the National Air Force Museum. It's free and interesting - all in one! And since Rowan loves planes we figured at least he'd have a ball.

It was a great day! Besides me being sick! I have a really nasty head cold/sinus thing going on. You can see it in the few pictures of me. My eyes look like I've been crying for days and I feel like someone is sitting on my nose. The kids loved it! I haven't been since my senior year in high school and Rob hasn't been since he was really little.

Rowan, of course, was very excited. After we rode the Simulator, he wanted in every plane. And he wasn't really taking no for an answer he wanted in them all. However, he kept talking about how he was going to crash his plane. In fact, we saw a crashed plane and he said he could fix it!

Nadine and Jourdyn had fun too! Nadine wanted her picture taken in front of every plane, especially the ones with colorful art and the ones that were little. And Jourdyn had fun taking her own pictures of everything. Some of these pics are hers. There was a mobile holocaust exhibit. I had to ask myself several times exactly what they are teaching in history class in school these days. Because many things Jourdyn had no clue about like Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Tomorrow, I am going to the Red Cross to take a Infant/Child CPR class. Rob and I were talking today and decided that it would be the best thing to do because one day Rowan might stop breathing and blowing in his face and rattling him might not be adequate. I was happy that when I called today the next class was tomorrow. So that's what I'll be doing all day tomorrow! Wish me luck and pray I never have to use it!

Visit www.moblyng.com to make your own!

Another Episode

Since our hospital visit with Rowan, I have called and made an appointment to talk to our primary care about sleep apnea. It's for the 13th. When we were in the hospital the alarms went off three times, however, they were short instances by the time the nurse came in he was breathing again. This is what we have suspect happens on most nights. However, there are those occassional nights that his breathing stops for a much longer period of time. And last night was one of those.

At some point after 2 am, he came into our bedroom screaming and very upset. So he came into bed with us and went to sleep with us. Sometime after that, I rolled over and he just felt weird. I can't explain it. This time he wasn't ice cold, he just felt weird. So I reached up to his face to feel if he was expelling air through his nose and nothing...his face felt kinda rubbery. Again, I don't know how to explain it. Rob was there so I yelled "he's not breathing." I lifted him and he was completely limp, he really felt like putty in my hands. Any other time if he was just sleeping he would fight back, his body would respond to being lifted. But he didn't. It was quite evident that he was not breathing. He wasn't holding his head at all, it just dangled there. Rob turned the light on. He wasn't blue, he wasn't cold, just completely limp and not breathing. I blew in his face and shook him a bit, pleaded with God to let him start breathing, opened his mouth and he started breathing. He opened his eyes. He was startled a bit, but not fully awake...and then he said, "I want to lay back down." He curled up in my arms and snuggled. And was back out within a minute.

It makes for a long night for me. I don't sleep soundly anyways. Ever since having children, I have a built in mechanism that keeps me from ever getting real sleep. It's like super-sensitive sonar, I hear every little noise and feel every little movement or lack of movement. This is why I have been fortunate enough to wake up when Rowan does this. However, it seems to be magnified when this does happen because I am then not sleeping at all and instead watching and worrying about my boy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I believe I have scanned all the negatives of Slovenia that I can find! I feel like there are definitely some missing and I know that I am missing at this point my whole wedding and all of my Spain pictures. So please pray that I find them!

These pics are mostly of Slovenia. There are a couple from Scotland mixed in. When in Slovenia we did a lot of day trips. One of them was to Bled. It is a quaint little town. Huge tourist attraction. It just so happened that we came on a day that there was some type of to-do going on. There was a festival-type thing going on down in the city with Croatian dancers and performers. But we headed up to the castle. Once there we found food, wine, dignitaries, tv cameras, a reenactment, etc. We weren't sure if we were supposed to be there. And for the most part we were under-dressed. But hey, no one kicked us out and they handed us the food! So we stayed and enjoyed! It was a celebration of a tourism agreement between Slovenia and Croatia. Very neat!

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Happy 2009!

A new year is here! A new day has dawned! Instead of wasting my time with silly promises I may keep for a month or two and then sadly fail at, I've decided this year that there will be no resolutions that I am not resolved to keep. No promises to make it to the gym everyday. No pledges to try that new diet that I just saw on TV. No undertaking to keep my house clean everyday, to not go to bed with dishes in the sink, and so forth. This year I have decided to keep it simple and to try not to disappoint myself with an almost certain failure.

In 2009, I resolve to build and strengthen relationships that my gracious God has so blessed me with. I resolve to fortify the friendships that God has already placed in my life by spending more time with the people I treasure. I am determined to take relationships beyond their current borders, to reach out to those in my sphere of influence and create opportunities to get to know everyone even better.

Happy New Year to all of you! May God so richly bless you and your family in 2009! And may He tarry just a little longer, there is still much work to be done! May He give us all perservance to make it through the tough times that lie ahead clinging to Him as our foundation. May we all keep the faith and stand firm in His glory and Word. As Isaiah said, if we do not stand firm in our faith, we will not stand at all! I pray that God will give us the peace and strength to stand firm in our faith together!

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