Saturday, July 22, 2006

Out for a bit...

This blog will be a little slow these next few weeks. I'll be

In Indiana for John's ordination...
In Toronto for a high school missions trip from July 23-28...
In Niagara Falls for a middle school missions trip from July 30-August 4...

Yes, I am doing two back to back missions trips. I'd appreciate your prayers. :)

Feel free to check back for update in August. And in the meantime, if you get sick of seeing this post, check out John's...he's much better at putting up fresh posts anyway.

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Longer Lasting Baptism

Last month my senior pastor was talking with a young child about the significance of her upcoming baptism. He was trying to explain to her the importance of this powerful act and how this water will effect her whole life and serve as a reminder of her new life in Christ.

Her response?

"Why don't you use paint? It will last longer."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

My Dad has a Blog

After 30 years at Central Wesleyan Church, my father is taking a long overdue 6 month Sabattical. He's recording his findings and experience in a blog of his own. Those of you who know my father know this is quite a feat--this is the man who prints out e-mails and snail mails them to my mailbox.

My parents and younger siblings are leaving tonight for Europe (why couldn't he have done this when I was in high school?). Check it out for highlights from his travels as well as marital insights that he and my mom have come to learn (the first part of the Sabbatical was of a "marital check-up" nature).

Feel free to look over his itinerary and suggest hotels/cafes/etc. If nothing else, check out his blog and scroll down to the initial post where you can see a rather humorous video.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mistakes and Regrets

The girls in my youth group were horrified when they learned of the dress code for our upcoming missions trip. No tank tops. No sleeveless shirts. No short shorts. Their horror grew when they learned they were not allowed to bring blow dryers or straighteners. After listening to about five minutes of, “But Pastor Amanda, I’m gonna die. Seriously I’m gonna die,” I finally spoke.

“Look, these are not our rules, they’re the company’s rules. We can’t change them. So you have a choice. You can either follow the rules and complain, or you can follow the rules and not complain. I’d prefer latter.”

I must confess, I was rather proud of my reasoning skills in that moment. And I was relieved when they got on board with my proposal.

Two days ago I made a mistake. In the middle of a serious crisis I said the wrong thing and alienated the very person I was supposed to be comforting. If I were to explain the situation to you, many of you would try to reassure me that my intentions were good and that the person on the receiving end of my thoughtless comment was simply too sensitive. Nevertheless, the fact remains that I messed up and may have relinquished my right to give counsel in this crisis situation.

Despite the fact that I’ve apologized, I’ve been experiencing serious regret all weekend. I’ve been berating myself and relentlessly wishing that I could go back in time. I even baked a batch of cookies that I’m planning on giving away as a bribe to get back in this person’s good graces. I’m racked with guilt. I even dreamt about the situation last night.

But I’m trying to look at this situation from a different angle. The way I see it I have a choice. I can either know that I screwed up and beat myself up over it. Or I can know that I screwed up and accept God’s grace, believing that I’m forgiven. I’m trying to do the latter but it’s a struggle. I know I’m forgiven, but it just doesn’t feel like it. Any suggestions?