Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why I do what I do...

My last post I wrote about my church's 40th Anniversary. At times in my life I have been asked the question of why my church does all that it does. And honestly some times I wonder the same thing. Many times going to the Nursing home week after week and seeing no salivations or going visiting and catching no one home, and going door to door to spread the gospel only to have the door slammed in your face can get discouraging... Many times in my life I have come to a time where I wonder why I am do all that I am doing. Why do I go visiting every Saturday? Is it really worth it...
Last Sunday proved to me that it is worth it all..
Last Saturday I went visiting with my little 10 year old partner, Sabrina. Sabrina was dressed as a birthday present to show everyone that it was the Church's 40th birthday. We went from house to house not catching anyone home. As I drove to the next place I got a text from a fried at work telling me that she wasn't going to come to the service the following day. I was devastated. I had been praying that she would come out for such a long time. She had promised me she would come, and now I had no visitor for the big day. It seemed like I had asked everyone possible yet, still no one was willing to give of their Sunday to come to church with me. I was feeling a little bit down...
I drove up to a house Sabrina and I hopped out of the car, I knocked on the door. There was no answer. I began to walk to the car when I noticed two little girls riding their bikes. I figured I might as well give them a flier and invite them to ride the bus to church. The girls were so very excited when I told them about the events that would take place the next day. I could easily see they wanted to ride the bus to church. So I went up to their house to ask their mother's permission. I went to the door and talked to mom- and she said yes!
I was so excited, I gave her my phone number and walked away.
However, part of me was still pessimistic. I mean, this is Chesterton! People don't just let their children ride on church buses with strangers.
However the next morning as a got on the bus my phone began to ring. I answered it. It was the mother, Lila, she told me that her daughters were up and waiting. She continued to say that both she and her husband were going to drive to the service as well. I was ecstatic! As we drove up to the house- I was filled with such joy as I watched those three little girls climb on.
After the service I was told that Lila would be a little late getting to the bus- you see, both Lila and her husband were getting saved.
That evening I watched both of them get baptized.
My friends- that's why I do what I do... because of people like Lila and her husband.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Anniversary in Pictures

Yesterday my church celebrated its 40th anniversary. I count myself so very lucky to have been apart of the best church in the entire world all of my life. Some of my very first memories are in my church, some of favorite memories take place in my church, and I plan on making many more memories at my church, along side my friends here at church. I love my church for several reasons, however one of the reasons I love of my church most is because the people are constantly busying themselves in the work of the Lord. From the time I was a little girl I watched as my parents, and many other church members gave of their time, efforts,and money. Never once did I hear anyone complain about the many under privileged children who messed up the hymn books and the carpet. Never once did I hear anyone complain about the Spanish, handicapped, or crippled elderly. My church is certainly one with a great heart. I am so proud to be a member of the greatest church ever.

Every anniversary we have a helicopter candy drop for the children. I love watching the faces of the children as the helicopter flies overhead dropping hundreds of pieces of candy to the ground.
Every five years we celebrate our Anniversary with an Old Fashioned Sunday service.

We all dress up in old fashion attire and eat in a large tent.
After the food, several old fashion games are conducted for the children- such as bobbing forAlign Center apples, searching for money in the hay etc...
My life long friend Josh and his beautiful finance, Brittany

Align Center

This year we even had a small petting zoo for the children...
After the evening service we all headed to the gymnasium for cake and fellowship. We presented our pastor and his wife with gifts for their 40 years of faithful service.

I had a hard writing this post. I didn't know quiet how to put to words my love for my church. My church is absolutely everything to me. I honestly don't know how people can survive without a church. I tried my very hardest not to be bias, but I can't help it- I have been a part of this great place all of my life and it truly is one of my favorite places on earth.
Happy 40th birthday, Fairhaven!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Back to School...

School started up again... I can't believe I am a junior. I can hardly believe that I have already successfully completed two years of college, and now I have only have two more years to go. I have half way completed my college degree! This school year, however, seems to be especially difficult. My classes include: Church History, Christian Education, U.S. Constitution, Economics, Systematic Theology, and Articulatory Phonetics. I am sure throughout the year you may hear a story or two about my "favorite class", Articulatory Phonetics. I walked into the classroom for the very first time two weeks ago to be greeted by some strange guttural noise coming from the mouth of my teacher. I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh because my teacher sounded and looked absolutely hilarious as she pronounced that strange noise. Cry because I knew that this course was required for me since I am a Speech minor. Cry because I knew that my teacher was going to expect me to make those strange guttural noises as well. However rather than laughing or crying I just looked at her in complete shock. My eyes got big, real big, as I watched her lips form in ways lips should not form, and her tongue go back so far that it almost touched her uvula (that dangling thing in the back on her throat.) I gaped as I watched my teacher almost gag over her own words. All I could think was "what type of people would honestly speak this kind of language!" Now, I am two weeks into the course. I have now learned to keep my mouth closed even though I am completely in shock and horrified at what happening to my teacher's mouth, lips, and tongue. I have to simply giggle, a nervous little giggle, because in just one week I have my first Phonetics word lists. In which I will have to say words that are spelled with letters that I have never seen before. So- just pray for me to pass this class! I think I will really need it!
School is going well so far. I will try very hard to keep my blog updated. But during the school year I am so very busy, but I will do my best... So until next time

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine years ago...

I am a History major. So, obviously some time and some where in my life I became interested in history. Actually, I became interested in history nine years ago today.
Although I was only 11 years old I remember the day like yesterday. I remember hearing my mother frantically call my dad who was at work and ask him he had heard the news. I remember how confused I was when my mom told me a plane had crash into the Twin Towers. Honestly, I had never even heard of the Twin Towers, but I figured they must have been pretty important buildings. I remember going to school that day, nine years ago. I tried so very hard to intelligently discuss with my friends what I thought was going on...
I remember going home that day, nine years ago, I remember sitting down and watching my country get attacked. I watched in horror as I saw people jumping to their death. I didn't understand, why would someone want to hurt America? I fell asleep that night to the sound of radio. That night, nine years ago, I fell in love with my country.

The very next summer I was able to take a trip out East. One of the places I was able to visit was New York City. Everywhere I looked I saw the American flag, my flag, flying high in the sky. As I walked down the streets of New York, I saw the many vendors selling pictures, books, shirts, etc..all in remembrance of that fateful day. I then approached Ground Zero. I remember the distinct smell that I breathed in. I stood there thinking of all the Americans that lost their life that day. I remember reading the papers posted all over vehicles and store fronts asking if I had seen their son, daughter, husband, or wife. I then approached a wall- the most beautiful wall I had ever seen. A dirty white wall, covered with the thoughts of my people- Americans. It was that day that I fell in love with the people of America. I picked up a pen and I signed the wall. "I love you America, I will never forget." I put my pen back in my pocket. As I walked along I continued to read the wall, although I was only 11 my heart broke as I read of the many who had lost loved ones that day. I then walked into a small store and for the first time in my life I bought a book- not just any book, a history book. A book that gave a detailed outline of what happened that day. A book filled with pictures of my country, the land I had grown to love, and my people being attacked. And for the first time in my life I loved history. That day, as we drove out of New York City I quietly flipped through the pages of my new book and for the first time in my life I vowed I would never forget. And America- I don't plan on ever breaking that promise.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Waking up in Glory

In my life time, I have been to several funerals. Funerals for teenagers and young people that I grew up with, funerals for those who lost a long and difficult fight with cancer, and funerals for those who passed away after a long and successful life. Yet in all of these funerals there has always been one thing common to all: the deceased person was in heaven. There was doubting- we all knew that that person was now with God.
Of course I do not like funerals. However, every time I attend a funeral at my church I get a little excited to one day meet that person in heaven. As the soloist gets up and sings:

Just think of stepping on shore and finding it heaven,
of touching a hand and finding it Gods
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial,
of waking up in Glory and finding it home.

I like to imagine what would it be like to wake up in heaven? To reach out and grab the very hand that was once nailed to an old rugged cross. What would that be like to awake and look into the eyes of Jesus?

The entire congregation stands and sings:

It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus,
Life's trials will seem so small,
when we see Christ
one glimpse of his dear face
all sorrow will erase,
so bravely run the race till we see Christ!

When I finish singing those words I can only encourage myself to keep at it. I then think of that dear person in heaven who is now cheering me on. The family and friends cry; however, they think ahead to the day when they will be able to join them in heaven.
Since I was a child, I have watched people go up to the family and remind them that now their loved one is in a better place. A place where there is no pain, no sorrow, and no cancer. I have listened while people told the family that now their father was looking down from heaven cheering them on. I listened intently as the church family encouraged them with so many verses of hope and encouragement.
However, a few weeks I attended another funeral. A funeral of a young man that I only had the opportunity to work with for a very short time. This funeral was so very different from the ones that I attended all of my life. In all funerals people grief and cry. However at this funeral the people cried a different cry, they grieved in a different way. You see these poor people cried and grieved without hope.
As I stood there I tried to comfort his sister (a co-worker of mine) but how? What do you say?
I stood there silently observing the grieving people all around me. The people were all so saddened- their loved one was gone- would they ever see him again?- what happened to him after he died? As I left the funeral home I was surprised to see a group of people outside of the funeral home drinking. That was their only consolation. They had to drink-they couldn't deal with life- they had no one to turn to- nothing but alcohol.
As I got in my vehicle and drove away I could only thank God that someday when I pass away, my funeral will be so different from the one I had just attended. Yes, there will be crying and grieving. Yet, the tears will be filled with hope. My loved ones will not have to wonder what happened to me. They will know for sure that I woke up in Glory, that I reached out and touch God.
Funerals are time filled with sadness- for both the saved and unsaved. However, the Christian's funeral is also a kind of "celebration"- the celebration of another one going Home.