Sunday, November 30, 2008


"strength is quieter than most people think" - Andy

we will yet praise Him

Purple banners adorned the sanctuary. The wreathes on the wall mimicked the greens which had been placed next to the podium. Its purple candles mirrored the new banner at the front of the sanctuary declaring this season's theme: "Hope for the expectant heart." I shared a meditation that had been reworked for this very occasion. After sharing the story of a young couple who desperately wanted children, and reminding the congregation how we wait for the day that Jesus will return with expectant hope much like this couple who was waiting for their promised child, I quietly took my seat among the congregation.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about hope in preparation for this advent season. I am struck by the way it changes our lives. When all hope dissipates from within us, when the supply is depleted, when all is dissolved and nothing remains, life is empty. Those are the darkest days for me. The days I question my purpose, my reality, and God's existence. The days I would sooner give up than fight. But, when just a little hope creeps its way back into the cracks of my heart, it is then that I am able to take one more step and move a little closer to victory.

Hope is this marvelous thing that is granted to those who believe that God is true to His word. It is a beautiful assurance that God is doing something and has not left us to ourselves. It is a confidence that is willing to trust in the darkest night that there will yet be light. The words of the Psalmist echo in my mind "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." I will yet praise Him! No matter what the circumstances that surround me, I will yet praise Him! Rest, oh weary soul. Worry not about the troubles that you find yourself in. For we will yet praise Him, our Savior and our God!

Holding a small child, they approached the advent wreath. With one arm he held this most amazing gift. With the other, he lit the first advent candle of the season. Then his wife began to read one of the most amazing prayers I have heard in a long time. It was one of strength and honesty. Courage and love. It was a prayer that revealed their struggle to believe in the darkest night, and yet one that brought the Lord tremendous glory as their hope turned to reality. Their little one a precious gift, a kingdom response, to their desire to have a child.

just so you know....
You are invited to share your thoughts, ideas,
prayers, etc. on the comment card posts...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

more waiting

"For the Hebrew, waiting on the Lord was not primarily a matter of spending time but was rather an attitude of trust and expectation. It could bring the reward of exchanging one's own weakness for divine strength. God is represented as one who works for those who wait for Him." - E.F. Harrison (ISBE)

a protest

"Hope is a testimony to man's humility in the face of his finiteness. It amounts to a protest against any assumption that the present contains the ideal situation for mankind." - E.F. Harrison (ISBE)

Friday, November 28, 2008


from cats to cattle

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

but, i want to have superpowers

me: I want to be Spiderman!
Samuel: You can't be Spiderman.
Graham: How about you be the girl we save?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

rather simple

It's rather simple. Nothing profound. A few words taught to young children as they begin to speak. And, it seems rather commonplace and customary to bring it up just now during this season of the year, but the truth is, as I stood holding hands with all of those gathered to lead worship at Faith this morning, thankfulness ran over the edges of my heart. It spilled into my prayer and my smile. It doused my spirit, and I just keep resting in it as it seems to seep into every corner of my life.

Yes, I'm thankful. It's rather simple. Nothing profound.

just so you know....
You are invited to share your thoughts, ideas,
prayers, etc. on the comment card posts...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

shiver me timbers!

"You might have a long commute, but at least you don't have to worry about pirates!" - Chris

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

sweet words

"I'm especially fond of you..."

Monday, November 17, 2008

loving the old hymns

"even our sin becomes an opportunity to worship." - Matthew Smith

manageable Jesus

"If we have a manageable view of sin, then we will have a manageable Jesus." - Matthew Smith

on what we should sing

"If it's a tiny purple thing, we don't need that." - Steve

Saturday, November 15, 2008

the goal

"to be holy not just happy," says Brianna

Thursday, November 13, 2008

very good

There are moments in life when I am sure I have the best job in the world. I'm not saying that it is easy, just that it is very good.

jewels and gems

that we are

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

quote of the night

"I guess we are the Obama-nation." -Sarah

Sunday, November 9, 2008

oreo satisfaction

The other day in my Bible study we were discussing how we remember the things in our lives that the Lord has done. Shortly there after I was reading through my blog and thinking about it, and I realized that a lot of the things that I want to remember I put on my blog. So, I want to invite you to leave your thoughts, ideas, learnings from the past week on my Sunday Symposium posts. I hope it is an encouragement to many!

Here's my thought from this Sabbath day:
So, Matt preached this morning, and for his children's sermon he pulled out a bag of oreos. I wouldn't have thought about oreos without his suggestion of them. But, once I saw them, and he started to share about them (that they have 12 flowers on each cookie, that they come in 12 different types, that they started in something like 1916, that if we wrapped all of the oreos even eaten around the earth it would go around like 6.5 time), then I wanted to eat one! After he got done sharing, he said, "boy, I'm full!" And then, he asked the children if they were full. He revealed to us through his oreos that it is not satisfying to merely talk about oreos, but it is satisfying to eat them. And, the same is true with God. It is not satisfying to merely talk about God, but He says, "taste and see that I am good." Matt promised the children oreos, and I sat there and thought...after church, I'm going to go on over to Cub and get myself some oreos! The power of suggestion is a mighty thing. And, I believe that perhaps one of the best things we can do to encourage each other is to talk about our faith...tell people about the oreos. But, we can't stop there, we need to help them get their hands on some oreos to eat as well.

How many of you are going to head to your nearest grocery store and buy some oreos after reading this post?

just so you know....
You are invited to share your thoughts, ideas,
prayers, etc. on the comment card posts...

Saturday, November 8, 2008


well, i have a new job, a new home, a new family, a new haircut, a new car...a new life.
and now, a new blog! welcome!

little altars

It strikes me that when Noah and his family and all the animals left the ark and walked on the ground, Noah built an altar. After they survived the destruction and devastation of the flood, after the Lord had shown His faithfulness to Noah, after the Lord brought about new life on this earth, Noah build at altar. His first response was to worship, to attribute the success to the Lord, to do something monumental that later could be looked back upon and rememebered.

And so, I am building my own altar to the Lord.

I've created a new site for my blog. Here you will see my own feet as they stumble along the path. Though the path has taken a different direction than I had planned on, I have watched as God has moved in tremendous ways. How He has taken what was dead and breathed life back into it. How He has redeemed the painful parts. How He has used me in spite of my weaknesses and failures for His glory. So, here you will read about those things.

The crazy thing about this journey is that even though it isn't what I had dreamed of or expected, it is very good. In fact, it is far better than I could have imagined. And, when the road takes turns through dark places, I want to be able to look back and say, "truly God was in that place and that place and that place, so certainly He must be here, too."

I invite you to read along as I leave my little altars in this space. And, I also encourage you to leave your markings on this trail...sharing your thoughts and ideas...making your own altars in order that you, too, would worship and remember our very faithful God.

Come along, friend! You are most welcome here!


michelle: gonna go get some golden grams
me: k
michelle: is there an H in grams?
me: grahams
but i knew what you were saying
michelle: Thank you!
me: and that's what communication is about...not perfection

Friday, November 7, 2008

favorite thing number twelve

Jopi's laugh

Sunday, November 2, 2008

who is this person?

me: “I feel like someone has crawled into my body, and she’s content and peaceful and full of joy! Do you know this person?”

bri: “Yeah! I’ve met her before!”

Saturday, November 1, 2008

someone thinks like me...

My soul is weathered but green
When a storm passes over the roots are unseen
until all is laid bare
and the hope that I needed was already there

Iowa, I don’t know how to leave you
don’t know how to tell you goodbye
Iowa, I am a field after harvest
sowing under a new sky, Iowa

- Alli Rogers “Iowa” (my new favorite artist! check out her free download on noisetrade)

woo hoo!

I just bought gas for $1.94/gallon!

conversation at the wendt home

As I was making apple crisp, my mother was gathering the ingredients for me. Making sure I had all them she said:

Mom: Do you have everything you need?

Me: Yes, Mom. And, do you know what else?

Mom: What?

Me: I have everything I want, too.

Mom: Isn’t that a blessing?

Me: It sure is!