Saturday, December 31, 2005
We've been playing tons of PIT and Risk, Monopoly, Stratego, Phase 10, etc... The joys of hearing my Dad scream "3, 3, 3, 3, 3 ..." on the top of his lungs is music to my ears. I lost my voice for a while after screaming "1" for a round. Monopoly is my brother's and my unending battle. We are pretty even in our victories, and our strategies are very predictable in both Monopoly and Risk. The Christmas tree is beautiful as always with its 25 year old decorations and the weather outside is wonderful. The rain right now is unwanted, but the past two weeks of 70-80 degree weather is nothing to complain about. I wish I had brought shorts and a bathing suit. Not kidding! I have to soak it up before I return to my winter wonderland of snow ... where I have to slush around, dig out my car with 3 weeks of snow, scrape off the ice, and sit in the unheated interior. The beauty is worth it though.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
*2nd Temple Judaism
*Biblical Customs & Geography
It's going to be another heavy load, but probably more enjoyable classes. :) We'll see. My roommate bought tickets to the midnight showing of Narnia. It was GREAT! I don't remember the books too much, but I remember enough to really be excited. My mom read them to me when I was little, and it was exactly how I imagined it would be. I was really pleasantly surprised to see the Gospel in it. When Aslan died, it helped be remember how much it was a gift! Edmund was insignificant and small (and a traitor) in contrast to Aslan, the RULER OF NARNIA! Like me, insignificant and small in contrast to CHRIST, the RULER OF THE WORLD!!!!! Wow, it was pretty humbling and so unexpected to get out of a smash hit movie. It is definitely a must see.
Friday, November 25, 2005
I have met and will continue to meet with my adviser. I'm currently in the process of getting my 2nd semester schedule approved, some last bills paid, etc. Registration time! This time I have a major! Linguistics and Ancient Language & Culture. Phew. My adviser is pushing for about a year and a half for me, so I should be done with my B.A. by Spring '07. It feels impossible, but it's in the Lord's hands. Please continue to pray as I have not been as committed to Greek as I should be. Two words: uphill battle.
Other than school... God is so great, so strong and so mighty; there's nothing my God cannot do! I have been brought back to my childhood for a moment and a sweet refreshing feeling came over me as I remember those innocent carefree days. Worry consisted of not falling out of trees and not loosing tag against all the village kids.
Prayer is the the only power against worry and the only weapon that can be used to solve the cause of worry. The Lord is in control! If you are reading this, please pray for one of my dearest and closest friends as she faces an uncertain problem that is completely out of her control. She rests right now in the peace that God has given her and she depends on his wisdom, his guidance, and his healing touch. Whatever happens, he WILL be glorified! Trust. Every blessing he's poured out, we must turn back to PRAISE!!! [My dear precious friend, God is so good. Blessings on you as you take the next step tomorrow morning. I love you.]
Another prayer request: Grandma Ottesen is at the ER right now. She fell off a chair in the kitchen and possible broke her arm or hand. Pray that no permanent damage has been done.
These are a couple of incredible pictures of my Grandpa and Grandma Ottesen with my mom. I think of them often and the incredible lessons they have passed down of being sold out for Christ.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Top left to right: JoAnna and Abbey
Bottom: Emily, Lauren, Mandy, Rochelle, and Me
JoAnna is an example of a gentle quiet spirit.
Abbey takes care of me and lets me vent.
Emily makes me laugh and chears up my day.
Lauren reminds me of the joy of the Lord.
Mandy brings out my wild and crazy side and makes me think.
Rochelle cleans up after me and teaches me discipline.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Life is good. I met with my adviser today and things are looking pretty good. She is very encouraging and positive. (I love that.) Right now I'm in the process of deciding what classes to take for my Linguisitics/Ancient Languages major, what topic I'm going to adress for my capstone project, and also choosing people for my commitee who are willing and able. One possible option that I have been playing with is addressing all the errors in the Santali Bible and tying that in with linguistics and theory. Hmm... if anyone has any ideas, that would be much appreciated. I'm looking forward to working on all this, but right now it seems so big and past my ability of understanding. Greek right now is my biggest concern with trying to catch up so I can get into Elementary Greek II at the semester. "Lord, multiply my time." It's looking like an impossible task, but I'm so glad that the Lord's strength comes through in my weekness. I've only done 1 of 5 tests, but I'm happy with my grade, so it was encouraging. Here are some things that I would really appreciate prayer for:
*Motivation and drive for the things I am going through right now
*Patience as to what my future holds
*Guidence as to what steps to take with classes and goals
*Joy at my workplace (beginning to close on Thursday nights which is a pretty big step)
*Beginning therapy for my knees
*LIVE FOR HIS GLORY ALONE!!!
I can only end with: PRAISE THE LORD, HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!
Friday, October 28, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
The other day I went into work sort of flustered and feeling a bit crabby. Well, we get totally slammed and I just want to cry. I go to the back where I have a party of five and take them their 5 waters with lemons. They place their orders, and the man on the right looks at me. "I have two questions for you... 1 does the Greek salad come with dressing?"
"Yes, it comes with oil and vinegar."
"2 is there anything that you would like prayer for?"
I almost fell on the floor. I had tables everywhere, the place was swarming and this table, in my section wanted to pray for ME!
"Yes!!! As a matter of fact, I do."
I proceeded to explain to them my decision to study linguistics and ancient languages and how I was feeling overwhelmed and I didn't really know what the Lord has for me in the area of Bible Translation. (I had a meeting with an adviser earlier that day)
... I ran and got their salads, and I found no new tables and none of my other tables needing anything! (Very rare) I went back to the table and they all put their hands on me after they asked me if they could. All 5 of them prayed for me right there in the restaurant as I stood over their table. They prayed for school, guidance, finances, that the Holy Spirit would anoint and guide me, and that I would remain strong in the faith. What an encouragement. I don't know why I'm so amazed at the way the Holy Spirit works, but I am! He is amazing! They left and I ran to the front giving them the bill and a quick note of thanks. I went back to work and saw that they had left me a $26 tip. I don't know what the Lord was thinking, or what he fully intended, but the encouragement and comfort they left me is indescribable. It also convicted me and my attitude at work. What am I there for?
Later that night, I had another opportunity to talk with a grandfather of one of my co-workers... a believer! He spoke of his evangelism opportunities and encouraged me to be in the word and pray everyday, promising to pray for ME!
"Thank you, LORD!"
Monday, October 10, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
[I got these from www.joshmelissa.com --Josh and Melissa Jore are new members of WMPL to Bangladesh. There is more at www.wmpl.org] I sure miss living there.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Today's chapel was awesome. The speaker talked about how we shouldn't depend on our feelings. Though we have spiritual highs AND lows, we are still in God's hand. What a comforting thought, especially for me. These past couple weeks have been rough. Not really academically, but emotionally. Extreme highs and lows and swings. I don't really understand completely what is going on, but I'm trusting the Lord's leading and I'm depending on prayer. Some major molding is going on and it's out of my control. My ignorance and idiocy hit me hard last night and the Lord's grace really came in full. I desire to live for Christ and bring him glory, but I find it hard in the midst of the world and all the trials and temptations. I really desire to be blind to all that is not pleasing to the Lord so that I might in some way bring Him glory. He is so gracious and I have no idea why he has saved a wretch like me.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Friday, September 02, 2005
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Body- I'm realizing that I'm taking for granted so many blessings that the Lord is giving me. Recently I've had sort of a built up fear of health and the uncertainty of it. My knees and ankles are giving me problems and some other health issues ... Then the Lord reminds me of his control on my life and my dependence on him for every breath. Praise God for that! He reminds me how fortunate I am. Even though I possibly might not be able to do the rugged bush traveling that I want to do in the jungles of no where (or something like that) he still commmand me to glorify him. Whatever I do. I think of Joni Eareckson who is paralyzed and paints with the brush in her mouth.
Mind- "The Christ-like mind counts for nothing what the world holds dear and holds as all-important what the world counts for nothing." (Elisabeth Elliot) Wisdom is pure; and then peace-loving, considerate, and open to reason; it is straightforward and sincere, rich in mercy and in the kindly deeds that are its fruits. I pray the Lord gives me a mind like a child. Innocent and curious, and PURE.
Place- I am so grateful to my parents for teaching me respect and place. I just have to put it into practice. As a kid, everyone was either Mr/Mrs or Aunt/Uncle. Growing up, I'm learning that people address each other by first names. It is very awkward for me. If I am placed under my elders and must submit to them, should I not address them with honor and respect? I'm still learning. Elisabeth Elliot writes of how honor is not necessarily a feeling, but a command. Give honor where honor is due. Due... "owed, payable". "It is not something above and beyond the call of duty, but something obligatory, just like bills, tolls, or taxes. It means also as much as is required, as 'due care,' or 'in due time.'" Reverence, respect, honor...
Time- "Oh, Lord, this is a continual surrender." I have to remember that everything is not about accomplishing something. It's a learning process, and discipline lesson. The Lord may decide to put me through something for years even when nothing comes of it, but a lesson learned. I mustn't do something expecting a result, but do something for God's glory. Yes, I can have goals, but I have to let the Lord direct every step.
Possessions- I read this chapter just in time to praise God for my bad alternator! I was pleasantlly surprised at what praise does. Instead of crying over my car... (I still might) I am finding that the Lord continually provides and will do so always. He supplies my needs. I was supposed to move into my house tomorrow and my landlord is going to help me move my stuff with his truck which will save time and gas money. I pray that my car will continue to run and provide transportation to and from work and school, but if it doesn't God be praised. He give and takes away. Everything He gives must be lifted back to Him in praise!
Work- I've addressed this before and I am ashamed to admit that it is hard to walk into work and think only "Lord, how might you be glorified?" and not about paying the bills. It's a battle, but there is victory with Christ and his continual much needed grace and mercy.
Feelings- I'm learning, like everything else. I'm a pretty emotional person, but God made me this way and I have to remember that everything I feel must come under His control and be in obedience to Him. Help!
I am sharing this, not so that everyone can see every detail of my life, but so that maybe if you read one thing that might encourage you, my job is done. :) It's taking me a long time to learn a lot of these lessons and I'm far from done, but I am so grateful for everything that the Lord is teaching me right now. I pray that you might learn from my mistakes, so why should I hide them?
Saturday, August 13, 2005
"There can be no peace until you are willing to accept My (God's) terms-unconditional surrender ... One who demands and deserves our wholehearted allegiance ... Through an internal work of the Spirit and the grace of God, our willful, rebellious hearts were conquered and we were each given a new heart-a heart to love God and to obey and follow Christ as our Captain and sovereign Lord ... Christian surrender means that we come to Him on His terms ... The terms of our surrender to the Lord Jesus are non-negotiable and unconditional ... 'I surrender all' ... Christian surrender brings us what we now see is beauty, life, joy, and true good ... I had little comprehension of the implications of full surrender. I had no idea what God would ask of me down the road. What I did know was that Jesus is Lord, that my life belonged to Him, and that to surrender myself completely to One who possessed infinite wisdom, love, and power was the only course that made any sense. With all my heart, I knew that I wanted to follow Christ-whatever that might mean, whatever it might require, and wherever it might lead me ... 'Here's a blank piece of paper. I want you to sign your name on the bottom line, hand it back to Me, and let Me fill in the details. Why? Because I am God; because I have bought you; because I am trustworthy; because you know how much I love you; because you live for My glory and not you own independent, self-promoting pleasure.'"
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
Exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
*I made it safely back to the cities and am staying with Kathie
*I got my luggage that was left in Grand Forks
*Great summer!!! Details to come ...
*First day on the job today went well at Baker's Square
*The ministry there, I can see is already opening when my supervisor said she had a lot of questions to ask me about the Bible. I can hardly believe it! Day #1 and the Lord is already blowing me away. Praise God!
*My move on the 15th that everything goes smoothly
*School starts on the 24th
Some special emergency prayer requests ...
*My dear friend from bible school, Jeremy Crowell, called me the night before last. He told me that his dad, Pastor Michael Crowell, was killed in a plane crash on the landing in Oshkosh, WI. He was alone in a home-made airplane from his home in Arlington, WA. He was the head of the mission organization MATA that teams up with JAARS and others to do mission aviation. Possibly someday flying me somewhere! Jeremy is praising God with his mom and 15 year old brother and 22 year old sister and husband. Please keep the family in your prayers as they grieve this loss and look forward to the blessing the Lord is abundantly pouring out on them. Jeremy is still with MATA.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Thanks for the prayer when I called. I really needed it. But God used my bad health amazingly!! I went to the emergency room, I was in pain, and they didn't really do anything to help me. I felt really rotten afterwards and was just having a bad day. So I wanted to get out of the house to get my mind off of my rotten day. So I asked Christina (a foster-child staying with us for a week, she's twelve) to go to a movie with me. I just wanted company so that I didn't have to go to the movies alone. But God had plan for that night. Christina threw a barrage of spiritual questions at me before and after the movie. I could tell that the Holy Spirit had been working on her. And we started going through verses and she came to Christ! She was the first person that I had the privilege to lead to the Lord. He is so good, He saved another soul! Since then, I bought Christina a Bible, she's been reading, and I saw a 180 degree change in that girl in the span of one week. I had been grumbling the entire day before Christina came to Christ. JESUS IS SO AMAZING!
I thought that would be encouraging for you. I hope your studies are going well, I'm praying for you Ruthie! Please continue to pray for me, my health is not getting any better, I have little energy, and I have to take narcotic pain relievers at night so that I can sleep. The chest pain gets so bad that I gag. I spend a lot of time in bed. But since God is not granting me wellness at this time, He must have a plan to use this in some way. I've already seen what God can reap from what I am going through right now. Please pray that I'll have a soft heart and open ears to hear and see what God has planned for me through this. I also have a couple of unpleasant medical tests scheduled, please pray for those as well. You're an amazing friend in Christ Ruthie. I know that we don't talk much, but I know that you are praying for me.
In His Love,
Friday, July 29, 2005
"Surrender is not the surrender of the external life, but of the will; when that is done, all is done. There are very few crises in life; the great crisis is the surrender of the will." -Oswald Chambers
God- gracious Sovereign- acts, initiates, directs, sets boundaries, supervises, and lovingly rules over HIS creation
Creation- looks to HIM, waits for HIM, bows before HIM, surrenders to HIS control, and simply does as HE directs
"To surrender to the Creator's control is not onerous or burdensome; it is, in fact, the place of blessing, fullness, and peace ... HE's GOD- we're not ... He's the only one capable of running the universe ... He is autonomous, independent, and self-existent, needing no one and nothing- we are dependent on HIM for our next breath (Ac. 17:24,25) ... the very points on which you refuse to surrender will become 'enemies' that rule over you ... Even if you are stubborn and think you will not submit to anyone, you will always be submitting to someone or something- and that can be extremely dangerous. Even life-threatening ..."
This is the beginning of a little journaling I'm going to do from "Surrender: The Heart GOD Controls" (by Nancy Leigh DeMoss)
I began reading this book a month ago and it has given me a fresh perspective on surrender and the importance of it. The LORD has really given me a desire to dig deeper and study this topic not only in this book, but in HIS Word. "What is our purpose?" is a frequently asked question, even among believers. I really believe that it all comes down to the glory of GOD. What does he delight in? Us. What must we do? SURRENDER!
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Today's chapel hit me. Albert Bickford (SIL director) spoke on the great commission and how emphasis is wrongly given more to it than the 2 greater commands. The Shema from Deut. 6 and loving your neighbor as yourself. It made me really think about my motivation for going on the field. "Lord, do I have the right intensions?" I really think that there is a balance that's hard to find. Please feel free to comment on this.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
This past week was pretty tough and I've been really on edge. I had a paper due for sociolinguistics, 2 quizzes in phonetics, 1 quiz and paper in 2nd language acquisition, 1 test in syntax & morphology ... And *sigh* the lovely word "etc." The Lord gave me the strength to remain sane, and score the highest I have yet on my syntax test. Whew. It's rough, but I'm really glad and grateful for all the preparation that I'm going through.
There are only 2 weeks left of classes and I'm beginning to notice the end coming fast. Finals and the volleyball tournament hopefully will find a good balance. :) My 3'' folder is now too small and bursting, my book bag strap is ripped and broken from the weight, my books are full of marks and scribbles. Yes, it's coming to an end ... This is what I say as I burst into finals and stress. Hmm ... life is good and we live everyday for the LORD (at least attempt to). As stated above, "Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!" Enough said.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I just want to ask you to pray for a friend of mine from AFLBS. Her name is Vanna. She is such a dear and I have had a great opportunity in getting to know her and praying with her. She has been having quite a bit of health problems and they have been getting worse recently. Last year, I only knew about it toward the end of the year when it got really bad. The Lord has been so faithful. She and I are both learning lessons of surrender and dependence on God. I hardly know any of the details, but I think the medicine is effecting her heart from what I understand. Please, if you think of her, pray that she would be encouraged, be filled with joy, and find hope through all circumstances. Also, that she would know that she doesn't need to know what's wrong in order for God to work His miracle. I trust the Lord will bring healing in HIS time! I really appreciate it. Also pray that the Lord gives me words of encouragement to uplift her. Thank you, thank you!
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Proverbs 16:3,9; 20:24; 21:30
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. ... In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps. ... A mans steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way? ... There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord."
"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. ... Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we CANNOT HELP speaking about what we have seen and heard."
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Please continue to keep me in your prayers. I'm trying to seek God and his will and I just pray that all distractions would just fade away. I know that the Lord can give me wisdom to prioritize my time and really focus on what's important, but it's hard. I really don't know where he's leading me. I know that this is good, where I am. Is that all I need to know? Sometimes, I'm content just knowing that, but there are so many times when I go crazy with questions. If you know me at all, you will know that this is true. Where am I going? What should/will I be doing? Right now I'm thinking about doing an abroad study/internship. With who? Where? "LORD, please pass the guidance!"
Thank you for the vent. :) I'm better ... for the now. The Lord will direct my steps!!!
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Thursday, July 07, 2005
I'm learning my gifts ... not syntax ... :( Life goes on. I am really enjoying all the sounds in phonetics though. (I wonder why.) I made it through yet another day.
My beautiful niece Lily Margaret is blossoming into a girl now rather than a baby. Well, I suppose that people don't blossom into babies. Hmm ... you can figure that one out. Check out the link on the right that says Dapelos. What a little shnukum. I'm not even kidding you! She is now 3 months and 2 weeks-ish. Amazing!
I am learning so many lessons on when to lean back and kick off my shoes, and when to study. Who'm I kidding? It's boot camp. No no, I am having quite I fun time. We won our VB game last night. What a relief - by one serve. Yikes I thought I was going to hypervenalate I was so excited. ;) Life is good and full of little bursts of joy.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I'm still alive. Made it through yesturday. I have a phonetics production test in about 25 minutes. We have to say really long words with nasals, fricatives, stops, affricates, voiceless and nasalized things, etc. Sound exciting? There are several of us in the computer lab right now with our head phones on, repeating the words over and over again. (Just a little glimpse of my world.) We say the words in the halls, in class, on the volleyball courts before we serve ... If you don't want phonetics to take over your world, don't study it. I'm not even kidding you. As for syntax, we have a test tomorrow. We were slowly becoming friends (me and syntax) and then bam attack, war, fight. Hopefully I'll come back sane.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Tomorrow our volleyball team plays the only team we haven't played yet. We're the top 2, so I'm pretty nervous. My depth perseption and hand eye cordination are horrible, but I do have a party though.
I know that it sounds like I'm going insane, and that the only thing left really to say is "If I only had a brain!" but I am having a lot of fun and the experience is totally worth it.
The fireworks were great last night!
Monday, July 04, 2005
I'm at SIL... AKA Linguistic boot camp. I'm doing good, but my brain is getting too full. The LORD is really teaching me some amazing lessons through Lamentations 3. HIS mercies are new every morning. Wow! That's refreshing.