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

In His Strength

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Job Search

When I first started looking (not all that seriously), there were plenty of positions advertised in the paper. Problem was I was still in the last weeks of completing my internship. The thought of starting a job and completing an internship sort overwhelmed me. One thing at a time.
Now that I am done with my internship and seriously looking? Nada
Career sites online did not help any, they kept giving me outrageous positions w a-a-ay out of my league in which I had absolutely no interest nor qualification!

I came across an article a few days ago that had 100 possible interview questions. I did my best to answer the questions in my head, as if I were sitting right there in front of a potential employer. Some questions made me laugh, like "Why is there fuzz on a tennis ball?"
Funny, butI had to look this one up. I was curious to see if there was an answer, and what it might be.

There has always been fuzz--it's key to the way the ball bounces, it does slow
the ball down, and it also reduces some of the "curve ball" effects it would
otherwise experience. The fuzz increases the wind resistance which slows down
the ball, allowing for longer volley's. Without it, the ball would fly off the
court after every serve! It also helps players control the ball, keeping it
stuck to the racket longer so you can hit it.

other questions were:

Tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn't want me to know.
(Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of not wanting you to know?)

How many times do a clock's hands overlap in a day?

How would you weigh a plane without scales?
(I don't do math!)

and the very last question...
Tell me 10 ways to use a pencil other than writing.
(I can only think of one. My brother and I when we were much younger would ball up foil and stick it on the end of a sharpened pencil...Voila, a microphone!)

I hope to in the next couple of weeks polish my resume that I may send it to Head Start. Why Head Start you may ask? I was a Head Starter as a preschooler. In fat, I still remember a few things about my time in the program. A few people have asked me "what about the CLC preschool?" I may just inquire about working there too, since more than one person brought it up. I take that as a hint.

I have been working with Vocational Rehabiltitation as far as schooling goes, and now that I am done they are willing to help me with job placement. I couldn't get a meeting with my counselor until the end of June. In the meantime, I'm taking a breather.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Prayer of a Righteous Man...

Some nights I fall into bed, and its the last thing I remember. Other times I start,... and don't ever remember finishing (meaning I fell asleep somwhere in that time). Most of the time it's as if my prayers are nothing but a "wish list" to God...and who knows if He will answer.
A few years ago around the same time my grandmother was ill, I was awakened one night by a dream. I saw my grandmothers face, contorted in pain. I spent a good part of an hour at least, praying for her comfort and rest. The night my grandmother passed away I prayed for her. I lay in bed, not even knowing what to pray for as I didn't feel it would make much difference. I knew she was in a lot of pain (masked by the medications and other therapies). Something inside me released her to the Lord as it was the only thing I could think of to do. The next morning as I get ready for class, my phone rang and I immediately knew who was calling and why. I cried my eyes out yes, but strangely, there was an inner peace about me, hard to explain.
The Lord's Prayer, the Five Finger prayer (dear God help me now!), Prayer of Jabez, and the Acts of prayer (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication) ...and so many others! it amazes me how many different ways to pray that people emphasize, as if one is better than all the rest. (Though I can't say I haven't tried them).
I tried using a prayer journal, only to be frustrated at the number of entries and the so few answers (He's still working on my patience, probably forever will be!).
The wife of a previous campus pastor once told me before our Thursday night meetrintgs that she felt I had the gift of prayer. I love to pray for people, Often times I used to find myself racking my brain for things I could pray when I heard others praying (praying aloud is getting better, however still not my strongpoint). Now though I rely more on the Hloly Spirit's promtings adn pay more attention to what otghers ared praying. Sometimes in their prayer, something sparks an idea of what to pray for.

Meanwhile, God is still teaching me about prayer.

I can remember as a kid, praying with mom just before I go to bed. Even when I was older and on my own, for years that's what I did...saving prayer time for just before falling asleep. Today, I can be anywhere and say a silent prayer for whomever God lays on my heart at the moment. Today, I have a reminder stuck to my computer to be praying for the Slovakia team. (Scott, Jess, Sylvia, Courtney, Megan Sherer,...). I used ot bring a radio of some sort into teh bathroom as I get ready for the day. Now I spend that time in silent prayer.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Too busy?

Lord, may I never be too busy as to lose touch with the little ways in life in which you catch my attention.

"Can I pet your puppy?!" I heard a little voice say as I sat at my kitchen table and read 'Sacred Romance' for what seemed like the umpteenth time (and yet it never seems to get old). This little voice, of which I happen to know belongs to a little blonde cutie who lives across the street ( and who happens to be a preschooler). I heard it again four more times (and increasingly louder each time). I just happened to look up from my book and see a woman walk by my livingroom window, walking her dog. Apparently, she had ignored the little girl's request for a pet. Maybe the dog doesn't like children, or perhaps she just didn't want to be bothered. Couldn't she say something to her?
When going to and from campus I too am stopped by a little voice, the same voice I heard just moments ago. "Can I pet your puppy?" It happens on numerous occasions and with each request, I can't resist the temptation of interacting with a child. At times I have told her "not right now" and explained why I am in such a hurry. Other times I have stopped, not caring if I am even five minutes late. I ask forgiveness for the times I have just wanted to get stuff done and don't want to bother ( which, I might add, have been few).

Hebrews 13:2
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May 13th, 2006---Graduation Day, Part II

(pictures to come at a later date)

In our departmental graduation ceremony, our associate dean starts off the second half with "despite our best efforts..." (what, are they wanting to keep us around?! *enter hysterical laughter*!) Oh if I dont get out into the preschool classroom again soon, I think I just might go ca-ra-zay!

The class president walked up to the podium and gave a short speech before our guest speaker. A comment he made -something about looking back on our lives propelling us forward- really struck a chord in me. Looking back on my life, reflecting on it's triumphs and tribulations has really pushed me forward. With each challenge comes a greater desire to overcome and win the battle that rages before and within me. This desire in me to become more and more like Christ and having His complete control in my life is intense!

Emotions the past few weeks have run wild. Whilst preparing graduation announcements I wept, reflecting back on my journey to receiving my first and even what is now my second college degree...a feat that many said was impossible. The day of graduation I felt I was riding an emotional rollercoaster. weeping one minute, so excited and feeling like I could jump out of my skin and dance a jig the next. Just the other day I was talking to my mother on the phone and had to appologize for the moments I was even a bit snippy.

The speaker for graduation ceremonies was Governor Brian Schweitzer, someone I do not really care for from what I have seen of him on TV, but because of a few things he said graduation day, moved up a few notches on the scale. After he had sat down, I felt like I just had a lesson in Economics, half of what he said my attention wandered elsewhere. He mentioned becoming "World Citizens". I would love to one day be able to travel to different parts of the world. I just don't know about the sitting on a plane for that many hours, and their extra-small bathrooms are more trouble than they're worth. God bless the man who invented the internet.

Am I too much in a hurry to enjoy/experience life and what it has to offer that I would miss opportunities God has laid before me, even the small things? This is a question that rolls through my mind as I think about what Governor Schweitzer said about not being in a hurry. What opportunities have I missed because I was in a hurry to get to a certain stage in life or to experience what others have experienced?

At the ceremony, there were only two of us (at least that's what the guy behind me said) that received a Bachelor's of Applied Sciences degree. Later, as I looked in the program, I noticed more listed, but later thought he meant of those who were listed only two of us showed up. Sad.
There was the announcement made a little later that of the students studying diesel mechanics, only one was a woman; on her cap in masking tape read the words 'Diesel Diva'. Cute.

Gonna make the XA Guy's house jealous with the graduation presdent from mom and dad. When I opened the card mom's comment to me was that it was "something I had been asking for a long time". My immediate thought was "surely not a big screen TV!" My bottom jaw dropped, my eyes about popped out of my head, and I just sat there staring at this piece of paper for what seemed like an eternity. The next day, I receive an email saying that the TV my parents ordered is "out of stock". :'( My parents are contacting them in a day or two.

Now that I am graduated the first word that comes to mind when I think 'College Graduate' is

As I am typing this evening I am listening to WOW cd's. A line here and there in a song will pop out at me and my mind immediately relates it to this new phase in life I have just recently entered. One line in Raze's song 'Follow Your Dream' on WOW 2001 says

Anything you want you can achieve... breaking down these walls you will be free
The breaking down walls line reminded me of an experience I had a fesw years ago. It was at SALT (Student Activist Leadership Training) and I was frustrated with the way college classes and my health were going. When i prayed abotu it with the wife of a campus pastor, I saw a wall bnefore me and every time I tried to jump over it I slammed against it full force. My dreams were just on the other side. As I was praying wtth this woman, I saw the wall crumble and it sounded like shattering glass. That was six years ago and I still remember her comment to me that day,

Since when is the absence of money the indication of god's will?

Financial aid was not going to pay if grades were low (which they were), and neither my parents or I had the finances.

Now that I have completed my degree, I am anxious to see what God has in store for me next.

My graduation; truly a Happy Birthday for my mother


Alehe @ the Dog Park

So I took Alehe to the dog park on Tuesday. The weather was absolutely gorgeous! About halfway there she became really really excited and broke out into a fast paced walk, almost run. Ya think she sensed where we were going? Well, when I got to where I wanted to be inside the park I let her off leash. There were five to six other dogs and all wanted to see who the newcomer was. The second I let her off the leash she bolts for the river. She wouldn't even let me take her pulling harness off first. I'm glad I didn't have anything important in the pocket of her harness. Everything got w-e-t, wet. From the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail. But Oh, did she have f-u-n, fun.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

May 13, 2006---Graduation Day

...(enter Halleluiah Chorus)
I have been counting down the days for the past three weeks.
A day I thought would never come is now before me in a matter of time. All my credits are in and acounted for, fees have been paid. Nothing can get in the way of May 13, which just so happens to be my mothers birthday.
I cried while preparing graduation announcements to send to friends, family, and family friends, almost sixty of them! One chapter in this book called life coming to a close, another one yet to unfold.
Only God knows what is next for me, and I leave it in His hands. My dream... to work at Head Start as a Preschool teacher and I hold out for that, in the meantime I still look in the paper for anay possible work in the field. So far? Nada :( But I did talk to a gemntleman whom I know works at HS and told him to keep his eyes and ears open for anything. Months ago I did email a man about wanting to work at HS. So far they did not have any openings, but if I send in my resume' he would keep it on file. Now I just have to update my resume and send it in. My supervisor for my internship offered to help me put together a portfolio of lessons I have taught, journals I kept. I thought I would toss in a few pictures I have of me working with the children. Give it a little flair.

"No more pencils, no more books. No more teachers (professors in my case) dirty looks!" A phrase many often hear (though I havent heard it since middleschool) at the end of the schoolyear as one heads into summer. It has been going through my head the past few days.

I almost had a summer position at the preschool where i am an intern. Te last three weeks of June, Learning and Belonging Preschool has a day long summer program for preschoolers. My supervisor let me know about it. I was told to talk with the head of the preschool. Unfortunately, all positions were filled, paid and volunteer. I was told I could show up after the first week to see if there was room for me. (crosssing my fingers)


New Pastor at Christian Life Center

Our church these past couple of months has been in the midst of transition. Back in October I think it was, our then pastor announced he was stepping down and moving on to what he did before pastoring CLC, traveling evangelism. This being the only pastor I have known my time attending CLC, it shook me up a bit. I did my best to be in prayer for the newbie ("Lord, You know best who belongs here").
Our church formed a search committee and began the arduous task of interviewing for a replacement. What seemed like an eternity passed before the board came down to their final pick. As soon as the board had submitted the name, it was up to church members to decide if he was a keeper.
Talk about the Divine Hand of Providence, but it was a unanimous descision all the way around. The search comitee, board and church members all voted for the same person, and he came to CLC to preach his first sermon the last Sunday in April. Wow was it ever good.

Facing an Uncertain Future - Pastor Dave Phillips

Joshua 3:1-5

God often brings us to uncrossable rivers. He wants us to look to Him for direction
4 things to help us keep focus:

1. Recall God's Faithfulness
vs. 1
in the past, present and future
Psalm 106:7,13
vs. 20,21
the best way to prepare for the future, reflect on the past

2. Redirect Your Focus
vs. 2-4
Keep your eyes on Jesus

3. Get ready to See God Move
(on our behalf)
vs. 5
Psalm 66:18
Waiting on God = Waiting for God
Psalm 37:7
Am I waiting on God, or the gift?
Want to know your future? Wait on God

4. Respond to God's Promises
vs. 5
Stand firm
Believe the promises of God
vs. 14,17
Believe God to do as He promised
reflect on God's promises
focus on Jesus
purify your heart

prayer = waiting on God

don't look @ the promises, look @ God

The water didn't part until they got their feet wet

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

"This Is Ridiculous!"

A phrase uttered by a preschooler, frustrated at the fact that none of the other children he is playing with will listen to his instruction. The other teachers in the room were surprised at the fact he knew such a big word. Then there's me, trying so hard (and failing miserably) not to laugh. You have to hear it coming from this child in order to really appreciate it.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sunday Sermon - A People Who Wrestle with God

There is something to be said about coming to a church service with an expectant heart. I came expecting...and God delivered.

Scott preached a message at CLC two Sundays ago. His sermons never cease to amaze me. In my opinion, there are only two types of sermons he preaches: ones I can wholeheartedly agree with, or ones that mess me up royally. This was a mess me up royally as I sat there at the end and cried.

When we wrestle with God it's best to hold on knowing it's the best for me
What's on the other side is something beautiful (singleness?)
(my prayers often feel like a wish list to God)
Israelites - people who wrestle with God and overcome
Unless we wrestle, we will not know the heart of God (my desire, to know God's heart)
When we sin we hide, and and are not engaged with God
God's goal when wrestling - 1. pin Him
2. get him to submit (for me, it felt more like this one)
This made me thing of Job in the Bible
Am I only worshipping God when He blesses me?
3 things God does when wrestling - 1. Admit who we are
God can change our identity
God may not be done creating us into who we are
when we are blessed
Who we are does not have to be who we are for
all eternity
2. See who He is
Look for more than regulations when we read His word
God is God in every moment
3. Bring us to a place where we put our trust in Him
GOD - "Do you trust me?"

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