Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Update from the life of a crazy person.....namely me :)

     I'm finally on Christmas break! I've have been so cotton-pickin-it busy lately, I haven't had time to blog at all! So here is an update!
     I just finished my first semester at Ozark Bible Institute! I love being there, and my experience there has been amazing!  I loved all my classes this past semester. God really uses the teachers to speak to us straight from God, or at least it sure seems like it. It isn't always the most comfortable thing in the world, but the Lord knows what He's doing.
     One of my favorite classes was our Personal Evangelism class. Just let me say, I've never been so convicted in my life! For the first time in my life the reality of the Great Commision was made so real to me. One of our assignments was to go around town and just observe lost people; just watch them. Yeah, scary right?!? Don't worry, I don't normally stalk people. :) That one was say the least. Our next assignment, though, was a little more on the awkward side. Really, really talking to people. You should have seen our class when Bro Perry gave that one out! Like typical students, most of us waited till the last minute to actually do it. Some went out to finish it and hour before class started. However, now that I'm on the other side of it, I can definitely say that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! I found that just starting a normal conversation with people, whether or not I even mentioned God, helped me to get used to talking to people in general. (Hard to believe, right? Me, having a hard time talking??) It was a learning experience!
     I have also been working 3 nights a week at Walgreens, where I worked in the summer. I really like working at Walgreens, though I wish that I didn't have to work while in college. The people I work with are nice, and they try to help me get home at night asap.
     God has truly helped me in so many ways, some that I like and some that I don't. He is definitely teaching me to trust in Him, and not rely "on my own understanding," or, on my feelings, because if I did, I think I would have left after the 2nd week! There has been so many challenges that I've faced, yet God has been there for me with every step I took, even though I couldn't always feel Him there. But that is where I learn to trust Him. Before I went to Bible school, I always thought I would have more time to pray and read my Bible, because, after all, it IS Bible school, right!?! Wrong! It seems that I have less time! There is so much scheduled prayer and Bible study time, it's hard to find unscheduled prayer time. It seems that something else always gets in the way. But, I guess you can always find time to do what you want, right? Slowly, but surely, I think I can see that it is consistency is what really matters. Maybe I can't pray for an hour or even thirty minutes a day, but I can probably pray for ten minutes! It's really super hard, but I know the Lord will be my strength.

    So, there is a basic update!

Peace out! (The peace that passeth all understanding, that is!) :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Look out, Kansas City!

I have a car!

1995 Honda Civic

Have I mentioned lately how good the Lord has been to me? He is good to us all, no matter what happens to us in our life! I have this car paid, no monthly payments or anything! Praise the Lord! He is great and greatly to be praised!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Concert with the Stevens Family

"Yes I know, yes I know, Jesus' blood can make the vilest sinner clean.."

I sat on the front row of my church, camera in hand. It was a Wednesday night, and we where sitting listening to a family trio, the Stevens family, sing.

"I've got a mansion, just over the hill-top, in that bright land where we'll never go old..."

They had said they sung a mix of Southern Gospel and Contemporary, but as I sat listening to their first two selections of the night, I was beginning to figit a bit. I mean, I grew up on this type of music, but the rest of my church.....well, I'll put it this way. My boyfriend wonders why I don't wear earplugs while singing on the worship team. I was thinking, "Surely ya'll coulda started out with something more, well, upbeat?!?!"
Now don't get me wrong, they're harmony was perfect; flawless. I was enjoying it. But what about the others?
OK, rule number one. Never assume. Got that? Good. It is always a bad thing to do. Something I tend to do all the time, sadly. All right! Whew! Got that one outta the way!
Now on! Then they sang another! I started thinking, "Wow, this is really awesome!"  Here's the ending....

I really realized that night how much I really missed listening to more of a variety of music. I miss having a Sourthern Gospel radio station to listen to.

I really liked this song. It's truly unique.

One thing I really like about this trio was their abilty to maintain their stage presence even though we didn't exactly have a house full that night. I believe that is a mark of true professionals.
Last, but not least, we had an awesome altar call. It was really nothing terffically wonderful in a sense, but the Lord really dealt with me and touched me. There was such a sweet spirit, the Holy Spirit in that sanctuary!

Anyway, afterwards, I met Erin Stevens.

She is such a sweet soul! We were able to talk and share a lot and we had a really good time! Poor Erin, I think I talked her ear off! lol
So anyway, the next time you're faced with a decision to do something different and out of the ordinary, do it! I think so often we think and even live in a box and we live in a rut! We need to break out of it and do something different and see what God can do!

by Maria Rice

My Graduation....


I truly had a wonderful Graduation! It was so good to spend a little time with my family and friends; a lot of them drove a long ways to get up here! I love them all, you all, to death! Thank you for always supporting me and loving me! :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Orginal, or a copy?

This last Tuesday and Wednesday, we went to Adat Yeshua, a Messianic Jewish fellowship, to hear scholar and author Daniel Gruber speak. I always enjoy going to Adat Yeshua. It always challenges me to search deeper in the Scriptures to discover God's truth. Dan Gruber, a true scholar in every way I'm sure, brought some very interesting thoughts to the table.

One of the things he said that still sticks in my mind is this statement;  "Everyone starts out life as an orginal, but ends up a copy."

Chew on that for a while! Think about when a baby in born. It's so precious and innocent, untainted by the peer pressure and drama of this world today. Soon, it begins to grow up. It learns how to talk, walk, eat, and do everything like his parents and siblings do. "Ok," you say, "That's true, but he's still not a copy!"
Move up about 6 years. He's in kidergarten. Not a lot of pressure yet, but there's a little.
Fast forward.....high school. Peer pressure, all the things you have to deal with in public high school. I'm not saying all kids become a copy of their peers, but look around at most. People in general are afraid to be themselves. They're afraid of being rejected.
Now, don't get me completely wrong here. I don't mean we're not to listen to other people and just be however we want to be!  The Bible says in Romans 12:1-2 that we need to present our whole lives to God and to be completely transformed by renewing our mind. By doing that, we become who God wants us to be, which is an orginal you! God doesn't create copies! We can try, some times without even realizing it, to make ourselves into copies by trying to be like our peers. But that is not what God wants us to be. The Bible said, as Dan Gruber said many times the two nights I heard him speak, that His thought's are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. Ever wonder why we just can't understand why things happen a certain way. Well, that would be the reason! God's way of doing and thinking is not even close to ours! So what does God think about everything? How do we figure it out. We in ourselves can't, but by the Holy Spirit that lives within us, we can! Praise the Lord! I'm so thankful for the Holy Spirit! The Comforter has come!

by Maria Rice

Saturday, May 8, 2010

So Blessed

I was just sitting here thinking how much the Lord has blessed me lately. I'm almost done with school; I have 1 english pace to go and I'm done. I just got a job at Walgreens, which is a really good place to start out as a first job! I have't started yet, but I'm sure I'll really enjoy it.
I am blessed to be healthy, and not handicapped, able to get up out of bed in the morning and praise Him with my mouth. To be able to get down on my knees (and be able to get up again), and pray.
I'm thankful to have a family who loves me and supports me and who know the Lord.
I'm thankful to know the Lord myself, and to know I can go to Him anytime with my problems and issues, or even, just to talk to Him. I know I don't do that often enough, really, none of us do. We get so caught up in our situations that we often forget that telling God about our problems and praying about them is only a small part of prayer. But too often it's all of our prayer! It's sad. I say Jesus is my best friend, but I'm not a very good friend to Him if I only take and never give. Have you ever had a "friendship" like that? Have you ever had a friend that constantly took but never gave anything in return? I know I have. And I never could really get close to that friend. I often say and plead with God that I really want to get closer to Him. But what if He's looking down at me, and thinking, "Now what will I get out of it? I've seen how you are, you take but never give."
Now I know I'm looking at this from a human point of view. I know God is full of mercy and grace, and He so often blesses us so much even though we don't deserve it! But, what are we doing to bless the Lord Himself? I think He deserves it, don't you? Isn't He worthy of more praise than we could ever give Him?
I think this is something I'm going to be meditating on. What can I do to bless the Lord?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What in the world?!?!?!?!

I'm sure that's what all the neighbors were thinking when they saw this!

Believe it or not, I put those out there for a specific reason, but.....the wind never cooperates with me, so this is what I got.
But, here is the question, what were they out there for? Anyone wanna guess?

Got a better idea now? Nope?!?!

So for my graduation speech, I figured out how far my paces would reach if I laid them from end to end.

Just a sneak peek for my speech! :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Job hunting is a full time job

Can I get a witness?
But seriously! Mom and I just spent all morning and afternoon looking for a job. I have 2 paces to go before I'm completely done with school, so I can have a full time job. I found out today that a whole lot of places are hiring! So now I have a stack of applications and a ton of places online I'm doing applications for. So here are the places I went to and applied or will apply online.

Hobby Lobby
Old Navy
Famous Footwear
Payless Shoestore
JcPenny Outlet
Burlington Coat Factory
Little Cesaers
GNC Health
Office Max

OK, so I'm really sure I can't remember them all! I went so many places they're all running together!
Now I'm not complaining. I really enjoyed getting out and talking to people today, even though I do have sore feet. There were a lot of really nice people. I found out once you get out and do it once, it's a lot easier the second, third, and fourth time, and so on.

SO, if any of you out there are thinking about getting out and looking for a job, DO IT! Right now a lot of places are hiring because of summer coming up soon and all! And take time to actually go to the store! People will most likely remember you when they see your app that way. That's especially helpful if its all online, like a lot of it is now days.
So happy job hunting, folks! I was telling Mom earlier that I hope this is all worth it, and I have a sneaking suspision that it will, once I have a paycheck coming in! :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

*Drum roll, please!!!*

Wait for it.................wait for it................... finally, the long awaited moment is come!!!

Here are the rest of my senior pics!

Yep, there they are! Oh wait, forgot one.

LOL Ok so maybe that's just not me! It's my evil twin, right?!?! lol
I ordered my senior ring today! I'm really excited about it. I won't get it in time for my graduation ceremony, but I'm extremely thankful I can get one at all! I'll post pics when I do get it.
Btw, has anyone come up with any other good ideas for my photography name?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Recent Photography

So I've seen the back of the camera a whole lot lately! I've so far, done 2 weddings and an engagement session. A week ago I did engagement pics and a wedding in the same day! Just today I saw something very special and I had to capture it! 

Yes, two, full, rainbows! It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen! This was only a few minutes ago!

Here's the other halfs. You can hardly see the second one.

About a month ago, I did Danial and Beatrix's wedding. It was beautiful! Last week I did Corey and Michelle Oatney's wedding.
Mr. and Mrs. Corey Oatney

Michelle, the beautiful bride.
I never knew how much work it was to do wedding pictures! You have to be everywhere at one time it seems! Luckly, at the next wedding, Mitchel and Brie's, I will only be in charge of before and after the wedding, and the reception.
 Jim and Vanessa's engagement pics went very well. They had me use their camera, which I was happy to do. I really enjoyed doing them!
This is my favorite! ^

And let me not forget, my senior pics! I didn't take them, (Mom did. Thanks Mom! She becoming quite the photographer!) I did edit them!

These aren't the best! I'm waiting till later to post them. Check back in a few days!

But, now, I have a problem. I am having the opportunity to do all these pictures, and I don't have a name for my "business." Do ya'll have any ideas? Plz comment! Thx! :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Passover Experience

It happens that the last day of the Jewish Passover falls on Resurrection Sunday this year, so last night me, my brother Keith, and my Dad went to a Messianic Jewish meal, called the Meal of the Messiah. It was awesome! I've never been to a Passover sedar so I can't compare them, besides that I know a sedar looks back to the past and the Meal of the Messiah looks to the future; Christ's coming. There are so many things that were completely foreign to me, like the music for example.....

Some of it was in English, and some in Hebrew. I tell you, trying to twist my tongue around some of those Hebrew words took some doing, and some of them I didn't even get. But I tried!
During the Passover, the Jews cannot eat anything that is we had matza instead of bread.

We ate a lot of it! I really enjoyed the taking of the bread, well matza, and of the wine...which is really Kedem grape juice lol. We sat at a table with five other people. Our bottle of grape juice was only 32 ounces, the leader of the meal said, "Pace yourselves so they'll be enough for you each to have 4 cups." The cups were not very big. He also said, "In a traditional Jewish home, they wouldn't be drinking Kedem's grape juice, and they wouldn't be pacing themselves." lol

 There were many songs we sang, but my favorite was called Nishmat Kol Chai. This is an English translation. It was absolutely beautiful!

All in all, I really enjoyed the evening. There were a lot of things that were a little, no a lot, foreign to me. But there was just something about being in a company of with some of God's chosen people, and participating in their tradition. Who knows? In Heaven we might be worshiping like the Jews did then and a little like they do now. We may be worshipping in Jerusalem next year! That's is the statement they ended the evening with, "Jerusalem next year!" Amaiyn!


OK do ya'll know what's REALLY humilating.......? To go around trying to change your blog's template, and then completely mess it up! That's what I did! Oh here I am, starting over. Sorry about thi, you guys.....I won't try this again! lol