Friday, March 20, 2009

I was notified that one of my staff is being laid-off. I was completely blind-sighted by it! One more person without a job . . .

I'm Still Alive

Still no Internet. I'm finally starting to get used to it . . . but I still don't like it.
  • Kimberly's birthday was March 18, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIMBERLY!!! We are celebrating tomorrow. Its going to involve Kimberly going to the spa and us eating together at the Melting Pot. Its going to be a blast!
  • I've been writing a few songs simultaneously, which is making me feel a little crazy. On top of the fact that I already am a little crazy.
  • Work has been . . . work.
  • I am totally stoked to sing Break Me at church this weekend.
  • I'm going to a men's retreat next weekend.
  • Next week is Spring Break for all my kids at work, which means they will be in the cottage ALL day, ALL week long. It's not that I don't want to see them, it's just that they become antsy when they have nothing to do and its hard to get much work done with 12 teens bouncing off the walls.
  • Reading the bible has been going great. I've fell behind a couple times but it's been really easy to catch up. It's really been a blessing to me to dedicate more time to God.
  • -V- stopped by for a little visit the other night. It was good times!
  • I love worship practice. It rocks!
  • Super Mario Galaxy is super addictive.

That's it for now. Hopefully I'll be able to post again soon!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Some More Random Displays of God's Awesomeness

For about twelve days now I've been committed to reading the bible in ninety days. Its been a great experience and it feels awesome to commit to doing something consistently for God. I've had some wonderful blessings this week, as God has provided me with a couple different opportunities to share about Him with some of the kids I work with. One kid in particular seems to really be benefiting from these discussions and has really been focusing on relying on God, worrying about nothing but praying about everything. This teen has so much on his plate to deal with and its been very inspiring to watch him begin to surrender control to God. However, one goofy quark about witnessing to this population is that one of these kids I've been having these talks with told me that he's starting have . . . special feelings for me. And by special, I mean inappropriate. AWKWARD! So that kinda throws a wrench into things a bit . . . We've also been having a group come to our campus to run the ALPHA Course, a program designed to introduce adults and teens to Christ in a way that's very casual, comprehensive, and entertaining. One of my kids has been participating, and his progress in general has been outstanding as he's learned more about God. Hmm, coincidence? NO! This particular kid has been in placement for about two years, and has been plateaued for a very long time. He has made more strides in the past ten weeks that he's been in ALPHA Course than he has the entire two years he's spent in treatment! AMAZING! The course is being wrapped up this weekend with an overnight stay at Camp Tecumpseh. I was so excited to send him on his little trip! It's the first time he's stayed outside of the cottage since being admitted! Yep. God rocks!
Ephesians 2:1-10 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Something Different

I thought I’d share something positive from work.
I know. Weird, right?
(What? Did you think I was oblivious to the fact that I’m typically a Debbie Downer? ;o)

Anyway, a lot of my kids have learned to crochet since being admitted to the cottage. The program therapist teaches them how to, and because they’re so limited in activities they can participate in, they usually pick it up pretty quickly.

Well, the program therapist decided it would be a good idea to have them crochet blankets to donate to a nursing home. About seven of our kids did a wonderful job crocheting thirteen blankets. We took the kids to a nursing home and allowed them to give their gifts in person, individually.

It was actually a very beautiful thing.

Many of these kids have done terrible, cruel things and show little regard for other people. But at the sight of an elderly person breaking down into tears because a stranger decided to hand them a blanket, something inside some of these kids clicked, almost as though their hearts just began beating for the first time.

After returning to the cottage, they wrote reflections on the experience. Here are some of my favorite blurbs. Enjoy!

• “It really felt good to help others and it makes me want to go on missions and help more people.” “I want to actually do something good with my life and time.”

• “I feel happy because I made someone else happy.” “Out of all this, I learned that you don’t have to do everything for just friends and family. You can do things for people you do not even know and when doing things like this for other people it can make you feel really good inside.”

• “Seeing the look on that old woman’s face took all the sad feelings away and made me warm inside. One of them said to me, “How much do you charge?” and I thought to myself, “Seeing you smile is payment enough.” I learned a valuable lesson.”

• “This has helped my self-esteem because I learned I really can care about other people.”

What a breath of fresh air!

God is awesome.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Isn't It Weird?

Isn't weird how you feel drawn to a particular verse, but it just doesn't quite click, then one day, perhaps months later, you just get it? Or maybe thats just me . . . I am a pretty slow learner. Hmm . . . I wonder how many other things I'm waiting to just get. Definitely a lot :o)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It's Been A While

Yes, I am still alive. We haven't had internet access in a while, which has kept me from blogging. Not much new. I was blessed the other week and got to share a song at church that Nate C. and I wrote called You Are. It was awesome to see the congregation worship our great God along with the song. What a blessing! Things at work continue to be about the same, but I've been working very hard to refocus my efforts more towards sharing about Christ with my clients. I suddenly realized one day last week that God has something in store for me to move on to . . . after I serve the purpose I've been given for where I'm at now. This new motivation has led me to commit to studying the bible beyond just leisurely reading. Prayer that I remain dedicated to this would be appreciated ;o) Speaking of work, we were informed last that we will have an 8% employee reduction for cost containment purposes. This is roughly 35 employees who will be losing their jobs. No word on who it will be yet though . . . And this really got me thinking a lot about the current economic condition of the world and how the headlines are deceiving us to believe something has changed suddenly, which is simply a lie. God has always been, and is still completely in control. And our wealth is in Him, securely. I've had a lot of thoughts about this since our meeting on Friday, and have been doing a little writing about it. We'll have to wait and see what it turns into . . . Overall, life's good! Peace!