-- In His Strength: February 2006 www.superfluousbanter.org

In His Strength

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength --- Philippians 4:13

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Winder Advance ----Journey Home, Day four

February 20, 2006

Darn it if I wasn't wide awake at 6 a.m. this morning. That and I had a bit if a headache too, as I would for the next three days. Nothing I did semed to get rid of it, until that second dose of Tylenol.

We left the Copper King Hotel in Butte, Montana and headed home to Missoula. It was around 9 a.m. We wanted to be at breakfast by nine thirty.

Our end-of-the-retreat traditional place to eat was always at Denny's. Throughout the meal, I sat silent, too overwhelmed by events of this weekend to really say anything. Scott asked the tables to share about their thoughts of this weekend and I still sat silent, still processing what happened the night before.

It was all I could think about on the drive home.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Winter Advance ---- Evening Service, Day Three


Tonights worship was simply incredible. In fact, these first two songs were ones I had never heard before.

The enemy has been defeated Death couldn't hold you down We're gonna lift my voice in victory We're gonna make our praises loud Shout unto God with a voice of triumph Shout unto God with a voice of praise Shout unto God with a voice of triumph We lift your name up, we lift your name up.
I love you forever
I love you forever
I love you forever, Lord


There is nothing like
There is nothing llike
Your love
Your Love

(repeat as desired)
In the song Worthy is the Lamb, the line "crown you now with many crowns", didnt have much meaning to me until tonight. I pictured me throwing my crowns, (daughter, sister, friend, student, everything God has allowed me to be) at His feet in worship.

God has reminded me just how far He has taken me. I wish that it wasn't just in hindsight that I saw the Hand of God working in my life.

My aim: Being obedient to God and refusing to conform to what the world feels I am capable of accomplishing

God has aleady given me the tools to be as He has called me to be.

I am a living testimony to the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ


Winter Advance, Day Three


During worship this morning, His spirit spoke to me about living by faith and not by sight. just because I dont see something happening, it does not mean that God is not working in that area. I learned this a while ago, but this morning it resonated within me, and took on a whole new meaning for me regarding being single.
1Peter 1:13c
set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus
Christ is revealed.

Hope = Trust
Do I trust God with my dreams for the future? I began to ask
God what His dreams were for me, and to tell Him that "If you're not in it, then
I don't want it."

Once again, concerning the Great Commission, the Lord seemed to say to me through the speaker that "passing on the grace of God does not simply mean sharing the Gospel, but simple acts of kindness". I have been doing that all along.


Friday, February 24, 2006

Winter Advance - Evening Service, Day 2


From this point on things became interesting.

I have known for a few years now that the calling on my life is for children. In what capacity is was not made clear, but teaching preschool...could things get any better?! Even deeper is this desire for a spouse. But was God calling me to singleness forever? I did not know. I have had this desire in me ever since I was young child. I would love to be able to one day have children of my own, yet if that is not possible, then adoption is my hearts desire. But not unless there can be a father in the home too.

Anyway, there were points in the evenings message that made me think, "In terms of breaking free, what did I have to break free from?" I thought back to previous XA events and recalled the areas that God was working through. I couldn't think what else therecould be. Then God reminded me of my singleness. I had been struggling to be content in that area. Part of me wanted to be. Part of me was afraid of being alone my whole life. I see people, even those younger than I that are getting married. Addictions and emotions were areas the speaker mentioned. The Lord showed me I struggled with the latter, breaking free from the need for someone to meet my needs. It was the next statement he made that I had to catch my breath.

The calling on my life, can I give that up for a spouse?

But put that way, teaching children seem more important. He then said something that made me smile ( I couldn't help it either).

God will bring a helpmate along as you fulfill His calling for you.

(big smile)

I think I can be content with that

At the closing worship time, Eric had an altar call, for exactly what I cannot remember. I felt in my spirit I should have gone, but something kept me in my seat. So I silently prayed where I was. For the first time in my life I was able to let go of the refusal to be content. Something that was said earlier in the service by one of our own XAers resonated within me. "Trust God in the relationships".

God spoke again as we were singing "I Surrender" and "No Sacrifice"
"Write down your dreams. Give them to God. Not just once, but continuously." See what I can do with them."


"Oh My Freakin' Goodness!"

I figured this deserved it's own post.


After the service tonight, the worship team was going to play one song to end the meeting. Six or seven songs later and our time wasn't done. We went into a mixed time of worship and prayer. Somehow it went into a time of prophecy. Our speaker (Eric) would prophesy over three or four people by the time the night was through. One of the girls he spoke over was sitting right next to me.

"There is s a young girl dressed in blue"... At this point my adrenaline beegan to pump because I just happened to be wearing a light/dark blue sweatsuit. but the stuff he was saying didn't sound like it pertained to me. When a woman came over to pray with the girl, I realized it was a girl I know from a previous retreat sitting next to me and I placed my hand on her shoulder and silently began to pray for her myself.

I was a bit bummed, but if that's not what God had for me at the time, I was okay with that. Just as I got done with that thought, our speaker began to say "There is another young gal dressed in blue, this time in a wheelchair...". At this point I grabbed the sides of my wheelchair and out of my mouth comes "oh my freakin' goodness!" He proceeded to tell me God has been speaking to me. He mentioned things about dreams, both the ones that I have for the future (of which "He longs to fulfill", and about dreams I have at night. (I havent had a good dream in years.) Something was said about God speaking to me in my dreams. I have been praying that God would give me do this in place of these not so good ones that I haev been experiencing. ("Oh my frekin' goodness!")

By this time I realized that I was shaking, and breathing likef I had just finished working out. I had tears of joy running down my face.

When all was said and done, he asked if a certain woman from across the room would come pray for me. The only thing I remember her praying for me was for the gift of faith. I had prayed that God would at least strengethen my faith in Him ("Oh my freakin goodness!"). I got excited. Something I have wanted for a while. No sooner did she leave then another young woman walked over and said "I feel like I am supposed to pray for you" ("Oh my freakin ' goodness!") and so she did, stopping at first to ask me if the gift of prophecy had been something I wanted (I had prayed to be an encouragement to the girls living in the house and to others whom I come in contact with).

A monment or two passed after she had finished praying for me and went back to her seat. I saw a gentleman walk past me and just as I noticed him, he turns to me and says he felt the spirit impress upon him te same things that Eric said to me. ("Oh my freakin' goodness!"

We had another l-o-n-g night of worship afterwards, of which I was glad. I sat singing the songs, raising my hands, smiling and thanking God for all that He had revealed to me this weekend. He had one more thing to show me. Before this weekend, I was having a rough time spiritually. Reading the Word was good, but my prayer life seemed dry, and I for some strange reason wondered if this all wasnt just a fad, a phase and what if there was nothing to come of life after death? Yet at the same time I was frustrated with myself for even thinking that. God seemed to bring me to a place where he could work in me this weekend.

It was one o'clock in the morning by the time I went back to my room to retire for the night. It was three in the morning by the time I was able to calm down enough to go to sleep. Shoot, I had to be up at seven to be ready in time for us going to breakfast at Denny's before we headed home.


Breakaway ---- The Christian Thing

February 18, 2006
Panel discussion with UM campus pastor Scott Barnett
During the day today, we had a few hours of free time after lunch. Optional seminars were called "Break Away" sessions, and I debated whether I wanted to go. I thought it would be a bumch of stuff I already new about the Christian faith. Scott had led the panel that consisted of other campsu pastors and staff from the different college groups in attendance.
Students had an opportunity to pose questions to Scott who in turn directed them to specific people on the panel. He even threw out a few questions himself. All did an excellent job. Althogh I have been a Christian for many, many years, and in teh last seven have become more serious about my walk with Christ, I still came away refreshed. Most of the information I had heard before in other conferences, but it was great encouragement hearing it again.
For some time now i have wrestled with God's Great Commission in the New Testament book of Matthew. I can be a great encouragement to seasoned believers, but have no idea what to say to those who are not yet believers. A number or things go through my head that leave me too nervous to say anything relating to God. Slowly but surely, that is definately changing. Through listening to the panel discussion, here is what I felt God telling me
through what the speakers were saying
Stop battling with non-christians and just love on
Our part- praying for open doors, God's part-drawing them to
God is in conversation with everyone we pass
Connecting with people begins by asking God what is going on in
their lives


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Breakaway ---- Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Campus pastor to UM Bozeman, Dick Schroeder has a seminar on the Holy Spirit every year. This is my third time I have heard him speak on this topic. Only having the experience five years ago, I still feel new to the experience.

I was surprised to learn that he prays in tongues sometimes hours a day. I was put at ease when a comment he made cleared my understanding of John 3:5
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a pre-requisite to getting into Heaven.

I was only able to sit through the last half of the meeting as a few of us went to play "Ballistic Bingo". Curtis Cole XA pastor in Dillon, Mt was the emcee for the afternoon, while somone else was the caller. The idea behind "Ballistic bingo" was that we played Bingo a number of different ways, The Ballistic part happened when we played a game using everyones card. When a number on a card was called, we would place a marker on it if we had it. Then, walk a step or two to the bingo card next to us and do the same thing, thus moving around the room in a snake-like fashion. I never won a game, but came close to winning twice. The young gal sitting next to me won a prize, a 3-pack of crazy straws, which she shared with two of us at the table.
Talk about getting ones excercise. I slept good that night.

When I returned to the room as we still had some free time left before dinner, my two roomies, Susie (From a Joyful Heart) and another young lady who joined our group in September, Tina were watching the Olympic sport of curling. I got a kick out of it, mostly watching the sweepers frantically sweep with a pushbroom the path of the watcha-macallit speeding down the ice. At one point I had to get a picture of Susie crawling across my bed (she was trying to avoid hitting my wheelchair). Which made me laugh even harder.

After that was over, it was off to bed.


Winter Advance, Day 2

February 18, 2006

There is nothing like, Your love!" (song lyric). Throughout the week, God kept penetrating my inner being with lyrics to songs tht we were singing. I had to write them down. One song in partricular (later on in the weekend) I wrote down the whole thing. It spoke to me that much. Some were from song I have been singing for years, some, I just learned that night.

Each night of worship during the retreat God's presence was strong, at least for me. I could actually feel my lower back getting sore as I would find myself bee-bopping to the worship songs. At one point I was getting tired so I sat still, only to find myself dancing once again. . My spirit just couldn't get enough. Tonight during worship I found myself looking foward to Heaven, where I could worship with abandon. (I love to worship!)

On the lighter side, I became a toddlers best friend. Here is a young child of a campus pastor, not quite two, and she walks right up to me and puts her arms up as if to say "Pick me up!" She did this two more times during the weekend, sorta scoping me out I guess. What a cutie!

Krysty K Had a fixation with Maccaroni salad. She went nuts at dinner when they had it out more than once. She also caught the attention of our speaker one night with her laugh. Thought she sounded like a goose. For that he gave her a banana. (we love ya Krysty!)


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Winter Advance, Day 1

February 17, 2006

The first night I didn't get much out of the speakers message, but worship was amazing (as it was ALL weekend). His message on salvation made me think the entire weekend was going to be a "been there, heard that, know it already" experience. I was a bit surprised.

Our speaker used 1 Peter 1:1 - 16 all week, but only went to verse 12 today, preaching a message on salvation - what I thought was a great way to start a retreat, with anticipation of what God was going to do. He even gave an altar call at the begginning of his message, of which I thouight "hmmm, different". I thought it pretty was cool.

One comment he made tonight struck me. He said that "Our #1 sin...we are selfish!"
I could whole-heartedly agree with that statement, thinking back on my own life and what I wanted out of it. I had a "ME!" mentality. I wanted a job that made me a lot of money, so I majored in Business Management when I got to college. I wanted to live on a large piece of property where I had horses, dogs, cats,you name it. I wanted to be out on or near a river. At one point I didn't care if the person I married was a follower of Christ or not. (makes me shudder today!) I wanted my own way, wanted to do things my way, and wanted things done my way.

Then, in the Fall of 2001, God bathed me with His Spirit, when I thought my world was spinning out of control, and my dreams beyond my grasp.

The first night of this conference I thought was going to set the stage for what else to expect the rest of the weekend. I was preparing myself for boredom. God was preparing for something far different.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Winter Advance

"Oh my freakin' goodness!" - four words that basically sum up my experience this weekend.

God is up to something. The past six months have been divine. Fall retreat was so much more than I thought it was going to be. Even though I was only able to go to the Daughters Retreat the first night, it still blew my mind. Our ladies bible study and reading Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge was exquisitly divine. And now, Winter Advance. A four day winter retreat with over 200 Chi Alpha students from Idaho, Louisiana, Washington and Montana. God is definately up to something.

In the Words of fellow blogger Knit n Play

I can tell God is making me who I need to be for whatever that something
is...But the not-knowing-what is absolutely killing me. He may be weaving
something upstairs, but heck if all I don't see is a large tangly web.
And fellow blogger Tot's comment on Knit n Play's blog

I feel like i'm so average and can't see how and why i feel that there's
something crazy/remarkable that God is going to do.
Eric Truill was our guest speaker and is currently the campus pastor to the Chi Alpha group in Louisiana, and boy was he funny. Our church's very own Masters Commission led worship for each morning and evening session with Eric. They did an excellent job.

When this retreat was first announced, of course I wanted to go. Apparently I was mistaken in thinking it was to be our annual SALT conference. I dont know what was up. Anyway, at first I had the finances to go, and I was excited. However, something came up and finances were suddenly tight. I started to think that maybe, I wasn't supposed to go. I felt sick about it. One night at Chi Alpha, Scott made an announcement about the trip and said that if anyone ws not going simply because of finances, come talk to him. I hesitated. God is working on me in the area of asking for help when I need it, or when it is offered. Even as I type, I think of something Julie Austin (wife to Paul Austin, XA pastor to ISU campus) said to me at WORLD SALT a few years ago. "When is the absence of money the indication of God's will?" I talked to Scott and everything wss hunky-dory, that I could pay for the trip in monthly installments if I had to (Thanks, Scott). Within a short amuont of time I realized I had failed to record two deposits into my checkbook register and was able to come up with the deposit the day we left for Butte, Montana (affectionately known as Butte, America). Had they the finances to do so, mom and dad would have helped pay.

I will post pictures as soon as I can find the cord to my camera :(


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Forresters Ball 2006

Blast if I did not bring my camera!

Saturday night was the 89th annual Foresters Ball that is put on by the Forestry Department. This is a pretty big event for UM every year. This was my third year in attendance.

My first year at the Foresters Ball was rather interesting. one of the guys in our group (gotta love him) shows up in a ski cap and parachute pants tht you could smuggle four children in. Two on each side. Everyone usually dresses in western or logger attire for this event. Also tht night, one of my female classmates form a communications classes asks me if I wanted to dance adn so we di. My first thought as she is spinning me around ( as I had a feeling she was a bit sloshed) "Good grief! I am sober and I am going to be sick!" But I still had a good time.

My second year(last year) was my favorite. I started off dancing amongst roomates. Next thing I know, a guy whom I have never met comes and asks me to dance. I danced with him for three songs before I had to sit and chill. I felt a little foolish for not having enjoyed my tienm with him all that much. But when you constantly run me into people and yell at the top of your lungs for people to give you some room, byt the third dance it got rather old. So I went and sat wtih a roomate at a table. I thanked him for a good time anyway and turned my attention elsewhere, and proceeded to catch my breath. I forgot how much energy that takes out of you!
Well no sooner than I sit down and try to catch my breath, another gentleman comes up and asks meif I would like to dance. Good grief did he look hot in a cowboy hat! And he ws so sweet. I said sure, and he puts his hat on my head, gently takes my hands adn leads me to the dancefloor. I wondered if he had ever danced with someone in a wheelchair before because he was smokin'! I had an absolute blast! I had to sit ouot a song or two after we danced two, so we sat and talked a few minutes. He's a junior in business management from Los Angeles and loves it here. Anyway, he asked if I was up for one more and I just had to. Again, his hat went on my head, he genmtly took both my hands and led me to the dancefloor ( and did not run me into anyone). What's strange (and sad) is I have not seen either gentleman since.

I looked all over for "Colt" this past Saturday and did not see him :'(

I still had fun though, dancing with the group that I came with. J9 and I cutting a rug, Court, and Rael from the house. I danced with Zach from the guys house and then Clay who attends Chi Alpha on Mondays.

See, I used to do this during my highschool days. I would have a lesson with two or three other couples one day a week. We eventually did wheelchair dance exhibitions in nursing homes, and once in front of customers at a local bar ( I usually danced with the instructor and boy iod he make me look good!). The biggest thrill was our annual Del Mar Fair exhibition.

If God ever grants me a husband, he better know how to dance, and love it.
I miss doing it so much.

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With God, ALL Things Are Possible

Saturday afternoon I had the most amazing most glorious conversation with my mother on the phone. I don't even know where to begin.

My dad wants to start going back to church. He was baptized many years ago (I swore it was my brothers I witnessed, but no, it was his. Sweet!). Dad was always a sporatic church goer if I remember correctly. His church was going to the swapmeet on Saturday and/or Sunday morning. Mom would go with him occassionally.

There was a church in Hamilton, Montana that we attended when we lived in Corvallis. Dad liked he pastor and played golf with him occasionally. The other churches he visited after moving back to California just didnt seem to meet his needs.

They started going to a different chuch not too long ago after movign once again. Mom told me on the phone that he and the pastor are going to get together sometime. I became excited. Well, they went to the swapmeet together on Saturday. Passing by some books, my dad noticed two and asks mom to buy them, that he would like to read through them. One of the titles..."The Power of Praying Together." I started to weep with joy, and by this time I have to hold my right hand with my left as to not drop the phone, but not after I picked my bottom jaw up off my lap.

I have prayed for mom and dad on occasion, For weeks I have felt the Spirits nudging to be praying for them on a mpore regular basis but just hzavent known what to pray for. I expressed this to God one night in my prayers. I had been prayong for them as far as their health lately. Mom has had surgery on a spinal disc and dad just recently had surgery on his shoulder again. But that's as far as it had gone. I briefly mentioned something about where my dad is spiritually. I didn't expect anything this fast. Part of me wanted to say "Gee I wonder how long this phase will last", but quickly stopped myself adn just believed God could do something this time 'round. Not too long after adn i felt the Spirit inside me"Even when all seemed lost, I ws still working".
So if I looked a little more animated in my worship this morning, you now know why.

With God, ALL things are possible

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