Monday, August 30, 2010

Franklin... and more.

I'm so sorry its been more than two weeks since I've posted anything! Its harder than I thought to keep up with a blog!

I'm so excited to tell you about our new pet! James went "creature hunting" as he likes to call it with his two younger brothers out at heritage lake. They went kayaking around all the little coves searching for frogs, turtles, snails, lizards, bugs, anything a young (or old) boy could get hands on... :) After four hours of doing what they love, they found two turtles and a bunch of water snails (that no one kept because they smelt HORRIBLE!). A snapping turtle...which now has a wonderful home in the Neighborhood Academy classroom and a BEAUTIFUL painted lives with James and I and I named him Franklin. ;) He's just so cute, if I say so myself!

There's so much thats happened lately...I'll try to cover all the highlights... :)

James and I used all of our wedding target gift cards and had a BLAST picking out stuff for our new home. Actually, let me re-phrase that... we had a BLAST when we got home with all our cool new stuff. The picking out stuff part was another moment where was had to re-say our vows... if you know what I mean... just kidding. haha. No, it wasn't that bad, we just had to have priorities and be willing to compromise. Anyways, we got some much-needed bedding & rugs & some other stuff for the apartment. I think my favorite part of the entire process was that when we got down to our last 20-30 dollars, James and I decided we should just splurge and buy all the "fun" food that we never get to buy because its never in our budget. So, we got 2 tubs of ice cream, each of our choice, pizza rolls, mozzarella sticks, fruit snacks, vitamin water, gardetos, chips and queso, and chocolate chips to make cookies! :) It was fun and we enjoyed pigging out when we got home.

James found out that he has to preach two sermons & teach two communions & lead two small groups before the end of the year! I think its great and I'm very excited for him. He hasn't quite seen the good in it and is trying to forgot about it!

I was so blessed last Sunday and this Sunday--God has definitely shown his faithfulness and continues to move on the eastside of Indianapolis. Last Sunday, we could not get ahold of any of the kids' parents to see if they wanted to come to church with us, so none came. Well, three songs into worship, all of the sudden Trayvon walked up to me and sat down. I looked at him and asked him, "How did you get here?" He said, "Zion and I walked." I guess the boys realized that it was 3pm and it was time for church. So, Zion and Trayvon walked from their house (only 5 or 6 blocks away) to Neighborhood Fellowship. I was so thankful and just wanted to praise God over and over again. To the kids, they are starting to see that Neighborhood isn't just for James and I, but its their church too. We want them to be apart of the church, apart of the community, of the family even if they're 3, 4, 7, 9, or 11 years old. We also want them to know we aren't the only ones that love & minister to them, but also the entire church of Neighborhood loves them too and want them to see Jesus. Progress is being made and we're oh so thankful and excited for what's to come!

Yesterday we had something AWESOME happen as well. Johnea, one of the girls, that comes with us to church on a fairly regular basis, her mother came to church yesterday with her and her 3 other siblings! Although there wasn't a decision made or radical change in her heart, a step was made. Kourtney, Johnea's mother, recognized that she needs the church and was willing to give it a try. She brought a bunch of neighbor friends with her and hopefully an impact was made, even if it was very small, like they want to come again because they serve dinner after service every sunday. I think Kourtney's kids, Johnea, Reshay, Cory, & Mikey, appreciated having her there and in a small way, felt more loved. God is good all the time! I pray that she'll come again and pray that God moves in her heart to make more "little" steps and to draw near to Him and follow His will.

Lastly, the ESL class is a GO! Starting September 12th, we will be serving a meal and teaching an English class at a church in Broad Ripple to all limited English speakers that want to come! I'm so excited for this opportunity to build more relationships with the Latin people of Indianapolis. Also, I'm excited for this opportunity to serve with my awesome, loving, hard-working husband of mine! :)

So, I think thats a wrap! I've got to get a little cat nap in before I have to leave again to meet with some friends & show off some wedding pictures! :) Next post, I'll make sure to get some of the professional pictures loaded!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Call on Jesus

I heard Nicole C. Mullen's Call On Jesus at Kids Church a couple Saturdays ago and fell in love with it! The lyrics are incredible and such a good reminder daily. Enjoy!

Call on Jesus
by Nicole C. Mullen
from "Talk About It"

I'm so very ordinary, nothing special on my own.

Oh, I have never walked on water,
And I have never calmed a storm.
Sometimes I'm hiding away from the madness around me
Like a child who's afraid of the dark

But when I call on Jesus,
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles' and soar
When I call on Jesus,
Mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call

La la la la la, la la la la la

Weary brother, broken daughter,
Widowed, Widowed lover you're not alone
If you're tired and scared of the madness around you
If you can't find the strength to carry on

When you call on Jesus,
All things are possible
You can mount on wings like eagles' and soar
When you call on Jesus,
Mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue you when you--

Call Him in the morning', in the afternoon time
Late in the evening' He'll be there
When your heart is broken,
And you feel discouraged,
You can just remember that He said
He'll be there

When I call on Jesus,
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles' and soar
When I call on Jesus,
Mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue me

La la la la la, la la la la la, la la la la la-a-a

Saturday, August 7, 2010

ESL Class?

Something cool happened last week and I would like ask all of you to be praying for this opportunity....

James and I were at Neighborhood on Wednesday for communion and the Jim, the pastor, was talking to me about how they want to start a ministry to love and care for the "stranger in the land". Jim knows that all immigrants (mainly hispanic in the Indy area) have to learn English to a certain degree and some want to and some don't care if they're making it fine right now. He would love it someone would be willing to start an ESL class to reach some of these immigrants, and to bring them into the church. He told me that they are not looking to control, but to only to guide this ministry.

So, I would love to do this and know that God would use this opportunity to build more relationships with Latino families and to help me practice my spanish!!! But, I'm not sure where to start. So, be praying that if this is the Lord's will that He will direct our steps and make them firm.

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." --Proverbs 16:9

Friday, August 6, 2010

A very humbling day...

So, I apologize for not writing until now. The internet in our apartment has been down for the past few days and we're not sure why. :( So, I'm taking advantage of being out at the Nilsens' and catching up with the entire world. Not really, but it feels pretty close to it without the World Wide Web always at my tiny little fingertips.

Today has been a good day except for the fact that James & I had our first really big fight. I'm not going to go into detail of what exactly it was about, but I will say that it ended in me dropping James off at his parents house, him slamming the car door, and me peeling out of the driveway and driving away as fast I could to the nearby marina to get some alone time. 30 minutes later, James came to marina in his brother's truck to meet and to talk things through. The first thing he said is " I want you to know that I love you, and that mom says don't worry about the mailbox." I look at him very concerned and about to burst into tears and say, "What are you talking about? I hit their mailbox?" I really had no idea I did that. Immediately, I busted into tears. I was so embarrassed.

James just looked at me and said, "Hannah, don't worry about it. Its okay." After a little while, I started to calm down and James started to explain to me something in regards to our big fight that wasn't quite settled yet. And what he said to me, I will never forget. Also, I realized today why the Lord gives us husbands, to not just love us like Christ loved the church, but also to give us the truth.

Lovingly and firmly, James said something like this to me...

"Hannah, I've encountered many things in my life that over time became either an identity or an idol or both. I've spent over $1500 on North Face stuff, I've spent countless hours trying to make a "ministry" work for myself, and I've spent lots of time and energy on things that I valued above spending time with the Lord. Finally, the Lord got ahold of my heart and showed me that these "idols" needed to go, so the Lord did just that. I had a conviction in my own heart, so I dropped off all my North Face clothing to the Wheeler Mission Thrift Store. God took away ministry from me more than a few times to show me that he is in control and that my ministry needs to glorify Him first and foremost, not myself. The Lord has also taken away relationships from me as He has seen fit.

You have this idea that when you achieve this or that or attain a certain certificate, license, or degree that you will be fulfilled. Chasing after these ideas and thoughts not brought to you by the Lord and consuming yourself with them is an identity.

Hannah, I want you to know that you have already been bought with a price and you are a precious daughter of the King. You are loved and cared for oh so deeply. You don't need an identity more than that."

James shared this with me and I just wept. I knew deep down that he was right. I was just fearful of all the other little circumstances if I let something this big go again...

As I was crying, feeling broken, humiliated, embarrassed, and now humbled, I realized that Lord calls us to something bigger and better than what the world offers us. This moment I had with the Lord and James, was a moment of "we walk by faith, not by sight." God doesn't promise us an easy life or even a fair life, but he does promise us that all things will work out for the good if you love Him and have been called according to His purpose. Not only that, he promises us an eternal life with Him, the Kings of all Kings, the Creator of all! Now, how cool is that!

The Lord is good and I'm thankful that he examines my heart daily and continues to use others and His Word to keep me in check. So, needless to say, I was very humbled by this experience today. But, I guess that's a good place to be, right?

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." --Philippians 1:21