Thursday, January 26, 2012

You Can Take a Girl Out of Iowa....

Fort Worth has been home now for over three months. Amazing how fast time goes. I moved down here on our 12th Anniversary, October 16 2011. I thought for sure I was going to die when I pulled out of my driveway on the long journey to my new home. Thankfully, Brad flew home so he could drive down with me. I don't think I could have done it on my own. Leaving "home" was such a traumatic thing for me to do. I felt as though I was abandoning my family. Being the oldest child in my family, I always felt as the protector. Even of my own mother. I felt like my nieces and nephews wouldn't understand why I was leaving them. The night before I left, my friends and family came over to say goodbye. It was like being at your own funeral. I felt as though I was slipping out of my body with each tear that fell from my eyes. (Mind you, I had never been away from my family before...not longer than two, maybe three weeks. Girl Scout Camping Trips to the UP of Michigan. Vacation with a friends family...Iowa was home. I even was forced to try going away to college at UNI...three hours away, but even that made me miserable...I have never been away from my family...and my friends! My life!)Back to the night before I left... Everyone gave me a card and said I could not read it until I was really homesick...until I needed a piece of home in my hands...I yielded to the temptation of opening them the minute they left but held out until two weeks after I got down here...Home..Fort Worth Texas. Let's just say they have been opened and reopened so many times since. Pieces of Iowa in my hands. It isn't the state that is so wonderful, it is the people. Now, the people in Fort Worth are amazing. Very friendly, helpful, and always carrying an easy smile. Their sentences are sprinkled with "darlin", and "sweetie", "y'all" and the occasional "bless your heart". The economy is booming. The best thing is the sun is out almost every day. Here it is the end of January 2012 and I am typing this sitting on the couch with the sliding glass door open. If this was Iowa, pigs would be flying. The weather is great! Brad and I feel like newlyweds. We go on bike rides or walks every day. We do everything together and have rediscovered the young hearts within us. We have long talks, and laugh a lot. We downsized from a King bed to a we have to snuggle...I would almost say it is perfect. We just miss our friends and family. But have enjoyed the new found life that has been set out before us. Everyone said we were crazy to move. But I have always been crazy!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enjoying the Journey

This Iowa girl is starting an adventure with her hubby! The new journey? Moving from Iowa to Fort Worth, Texas! Who would have thought! I should probably bring you all up to date on my life over the last year or so. I haven't been depressed at all...I have been busy living! :) My sister had three baby girls last year..Yes...three! Twins in January of 2010 and another baby girl the day after Thanksgiving 2010. Lara and all of her children lived with Brad and I until October of 2010. So we were busy helping raise her children and found out what empty nest syndrome really feels like! We feel blessed to have a four bedroom home that could keep them safe. Her and her husband worked some things out and got back together, but unfortunately, are now going through a divorce. Praying for the 5 kids and for Lara and Marvin. All things are possible with God, but you have to ask Him for the help. And a marriage takes three! You, your spouse, and the Lord! Please keep them in your prayers! So, now I have 5 nieces and 3 nephews. SO DARN BLESSED!! Pictures coming soon! I have also become quite the stained glass artiste! Started taking classes last July and have made amazing new friends, amazing stained glass pieces and have found that this "old dog" can learn new tricks! I will post my work soon and stories of this adventure soon. Brad and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary on 16 October. Cannot believe it has been almost 12 years that we have been married now. Life goes fast! Hopefully before our 12th Anniversary we will be living in Fort Worth, Texas...TOGETHER! Brad moved to our new "home" on 13 May. With the help of family and friends, I have gotten our home ready to sell. I am going to visit him over the 4th of July. So, if any of you have any leads to great jobs down there, hook me up! I can do anything! I am ready to sell my home and be down there with him to start the next chapter of this journey we call life!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We had to put Cletus down. He suddenly got very sick and was in a ton of pain. It was horrible to see him like that. Brad and I cried longer and harder than I have ever cried in my life. Ian laid his hands on Cleutus told him not to be scared because he was going to get to be with Jesus. He said, "Cletus, I am praying for you. Be sure to make friends with the other animals in heaven, don't be shy or scared 'cause when I get to heaven when I get out of this body, I want you to introduce me to all your new friends. I love you, and you have been such a good friend to my Uncle Brad. Don't be scared or sad." Well, go figure, there wasn't a dry eye in the place! Anni just screamed with a loud sob, " i am sooooo saaaaaddd!" Ugh...It was not fun. But we are going to get his ashes and have a "remember Cletus" party. It is like we lost our little boy, as absurd as it sounds, there is a huge hole, and emptyness at the house that shakes our souls. Maybe someday we will get another animal, maybe. Brad has never been so heartbroken. It made me fall in love more deeper with him than I ever thought was possible.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Word of Encouragment

I have noticed there is a huge amount of depression in this world, in my friends, my family, in myself. The only people who seem "happy" are those who are living in the world, and OF the world. Made me think...Satan is stealing our joy one second at a time. Seconds turn into moments, moments into weeks, and weeks into years. How can Christ’s light shine through a depressed mind? It cannot. Satan is trying to make us "hide it under a bushel". NO!!! I WANT to let it shine! My verse today is Philippians 4:8.... Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly: things to praise, not things to curse. Basically, it made me check my thinking...when I feel depressed I need to check my thinking. It is not God's will for us to be depressed! In the recent years, we have been led to study, search, and awaken ourselves and others to things we might not have understood 5-10 years ago. Sometimes, I feel as though we ate from the tree of knowledge. Although I have always had questions about all of the things we have studied since I was a kid, I feel as though, in my adult life, it has put a vice on my happiness, my joy. But then today the Lord reminded me....the joy of the LORD is my strength. NOT MY JOY! For my joy is futile, it is imperfect; it is based, mostly, on things that will not last. In 1 Timothy 1:11 Paul refers to God as the "blessed God". The word blessed means "happy", but the word "happy" today has been so trivialized that it fails to describe God properly. The word "happy" today has more to do with thrills than with a deep-seated joy. It would trivialize God today to say he is a happy God. Joy more accurately describes God. God is a joyful God and wishes to share his joy with us. God is the source of real joy, just as he is the source of love, of truth, of mercy, etc. In the book of Nehemiah we see the joy of the Lord powerfully impacting lives. Nehemiah 8:9-12 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, "This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve." Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. (NIV) So, if you have been depressed remember, even in the worst times, and the most horrible times to come, the Lord wants us to rejoice, for He has already won. People, government, those who believe they are in "power" can poison our skies, our water, our bodies, they can lie, steal, try to control, but they cannot poison our minds, or our hearts, only Satan can do that, and ONLY if WE ALLOW IT. We are NOT OF THIS WORLD! We are the Sons and Daughters of our Heavenly Father! Satan CAN NEVER STEAL OUR JOY IF IT IS THE LORDS!!!! I believe that in the coming years, there will be many new laws that will cause us to mourn and weep. We will feel out of control, hurt, fear, but the Lord wants our strength to come from HIS joy so we can endure all that the world will throw at us. I think we are here because the Lord wants us to love, not our kind of love, but to show others in this world HIS love. Do you know how angry Satan and his demons get when we love? When we love our enemies, when we rejoice in the fast the Christ has already won the battle? They get so upset they try to induce fear, depression, hopelessness...I know because I have allowed depression to quietly rule my life for years! Psalms 45:5-7 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king's enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. (NIV) John 15:11-13 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (NIV) Lately, I have had panic attacks about the "times to come". The "new laws" to come, the information I am inundated with on a daily basis has shattered the rose colored glasses I have worn for years. Because of this, I really want all my family to live on a big old acreage in the middle of nowhere, in a huge house, where we grow our own food, have our own well, have solar power, have a hidden arsenal, and I want to protect everyone I love. I want to live in a bubble of love. I guess we don't get to truly do that until we get to heaven, though. I was thinking this morning, those who suffer from mental issues, drug/alcohol addiction, just THINK what the Lord's plans were for them, and still are! Satan knows how to trip us up. He tripped me up, mentally, by Hypothyroid and depression, and guilt. This cycle I have lived in during my adult life is worldly. Not based on truth, not based on the Word. Funny how The Word and the World are only separated by an L, could the L equal Love? Hmm. I wonder. Why is it when I start moving forward in HIM, after a week or so, I spiral into depression? Probably, because I allow it, I am not putting on the armor of Christ! I am weak, HE IS STRONG!! Jesus loves us! He FIRST loved US! My friend Keisha, who took her own life a couple years ago, came to me in a dream last night. She said that everything in this world will pass. That it doesn't matter how skinny, beautiful, fashionable you are, the hurt will always be there because there is sin. Only the Joy of the Lord can combat the hurt, the day to day pain. Lean on Him and not on your own understanding. Death is death, life is life. We can live in the world, but not be of the world. Be strong in Him. Remember Psalm 16:11: “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” I just wanted to give a word of encouragement.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Do you ever wonder how caged animals feel? Claustrophobic? Like the world is small, like they are missing out? Especially birds...Bird cages are very small. Birds have a God given ability to fly, but cannot due to the cage. If they do, they can only fly in the same place they have been over, and over, and over again. There food spills into their water, as well as their feathers and turds. They either sleep, or chirp loudly, throw seeds at the outside world...It must be a horrible, hopeless feeling!
How many of us are doing the same thing? Going through the same motions, routines, every day, either avoiding life, or loudly complaining about everyone else in the world.. I admit..I have been in a cage. A cage of guilt!
Currently, I am ready the book, "Wild Goose Chase", by Mark Batterson for small group. I had read it a few months ago, but this time, my husband and are are reading it together. This is something I would totally urge couples to do. Read TO each other. He reads 5 pages, I read 5 pages, etc, etc. This intimate act stirs the soul in a way normal every day life doesn't even touch. To hear what the Lord thinks about ME coming out of my HUSBANDS mouth, is like a warm bath to my soul. Last night we read the chapter about the Cage of Guilt.
I think I understand now why I sabotage myself, why I shrink. I do not accept the Grace of God. It is as if it is my birthday, and there are many presents, large, small, etc, but I only open a couple, and then give the one's I have opened away. I am not receiving the gifts and promises the Lord has for me.
Seriously, I can think all the way back to being a child, and I STILL feel very guilty about things. I said, or did, or didn't do. When we ask God for forgiveness, God forgives and then does something amazing...He actually FORGETS. Who are we NOT to forget? He sent His Son to die for our sins. We have to pray for the Lord to take that memory, or hurt away.. As you all know, from reading this blog, I forgave my dad last year,. Supernaturally, the Lord took all the hurt, and pain away, and has restored our relationship. So now, I have to work on forgiving myself. The little girl in me has held on to too much crap for too long, and it has effected me in my adult life. BIG TIME! I think the amazing thing is that guilt is a time machine. I can remember everything about the times in my life I feel guilty for. The Lord doesn't want us to live in the past, Satan wants us to live in the past. The Lord has blessings, gifts, for us. We need to receive them in faith. It is overwhelming how much God loves us. He doesn't want us to be caged. His Son died so we may live, so we may fly out of the Cage of guilt and live for Him.
Below is a blog that I found of a sermon a pastor did on this book....It will explain this chapter in the book that truly spoke to my heart...
The Cage Of Guilt We become so fixated on our past mistakes that we forfeit our future opportunities! Before we find out what this cage is all about I bet you can already think of five things you feel guilty about this week. Come on its so easy to have this feeling we feel guilty about not spending enough time with family,missing our kids games, having that extra piece of cake, not praying enough for the lost, or not doing what we know honors God. I've got some news for you and its news that can help you feel not guilty!!! Daily I have to remind myself of this: "What I've done is not who I am!! I am not my past mistakes I am child of the King! I do not belong to my situations, I belong to Jesus" Two things you need to know about the Cage of guilt: Guilt v.s.Grace (1) Guilt S h r i n k s - guilt shrinks passions, dreams, relationships,goal,vision (2) Grace E x p a n d s- everything in our lives!! passions, dreams, relationships, goal, vision... Peter is a great example of some one who was bound by the cage of guilt in Luke 22:54-62 we see the simple truth that Peter woke up to the sound daily of how he has betrayed Jesus. {see the following link to read the passage:} *The sound of the rooster = the sound of the devil.
The devil will always remind you of your past mistakes and failures. *If you focus all your energy on the past you will never have energy to chase the goose! In the first passage we saw what brought on the guilt in this next passage we see how Jesus forgives Peter.John 21:3;15-17 Peter went back to what He did before he followed Jesus because of his guilt. You see guilt will always shrink everything in our lives, Peter felt that he was no longer worthy to live up to the calling that Jesus had spoken into his life. He went fishing
Jesus re-confirmed his love for Peter... He asked him three times if he loved him. He asked him more than once because he had denied him more than once by doing this he was calling him back unto himself. *Jesus wanted to turn the rooster crow from guilt to grace! The grace of God is more than enough to cover our past mistakes and failure.
Failure does not have to be fatal you can move on.
Life can change for you today all you need to do is give it over to God asking him to cover it in the blood of his son Jesus Christ.
What are the rooster crows that are keeping you in the cage of guilt every day? What past experiences are keeping you locked in this cage?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Haven't written in a while. I don't write when I feel insecure, down, worthless, or angry. This year has been tough so far. I usually start out the year with the optimal optimism, however, not this year. I got in an accident the day before was my fault...then, in January, I fell at roller derby practice and herniated three discs in my lower back. February comes and I find myself being treated for thyroid nodules. So, here are my thoughts. If you know me, throw me a bone here...why do I do these things? When I start something new, (IE: Roller Derby, Church, cooking for people, small groups) and I enjoy it, I love it, I felt led by the Holy Spirit even,and I think I might be really good at it, I totally sabotage myself and over think what I am doing. What people are thinking, that I CAN'T do what I am doing. For example, with Roller Derby, I was stoked, excited, pumped, thought I could do anything, and then I got in an accident, wasn't able to skate or go to practice either because I was in so much pain. So, when I finally do go back, I hear someone talking in the bathroom that I shouldn't be in the team picture because I have only skated three times. So, what do I do? I "shrink"..I think everyone thinks I am a looser, and that I don't have what it takes. I am fat, lazy, out of shape, an not "worthy" of being part of the Quad City Rollers, although I have brought people to the team, I have sold tickets, and I have been a supporter in the team. Now, since I fell at derby practice, I can't even skate, and each practice I miss, the lower my desire gets to skate. Maybe I will hurt myself, maybe I would suck.. Now, roller derby...let me just tell excited I am about it, I am terrified. The fall that made my head bounce three times off the floor (thank god for helmets) really scared me. I can't tell you how different it is skating and falling as a fat chick. It is horrible. I guess I just wonder if I can even do it. Maybe I won't skate this season. Maybe next...I really love being a part of something, it makes me feel alive... I am probably the "largest" marge on the team. That sucks, and I compare myself to them. I guess I am going to have to fight myself and stick with it. I might just surprise myself. Ya know, when I was younger, I would fight against anything, and anyone to show I was good at something, that I WAS someone, now, I don't feel as though I should fight...I usually feel as though I am NOTHING. Somtimes, I feel as though my life is already over. My dreams will never come true, I know they say what the Lord puts in you, he will see it through..But, I am so exhausted from fighting when I was younger, I don't have it in me anymore. I used to be pretty, thin, adventureous, and even though I was so insecure about so many things, I still fought. I fought for what was right. BUT, I always had to have a boyfriend, and most of them I became what they wanted me to be...but..I had this one boyfriend who didn't want me to "comply" and be who he wanted me to first anyway...he was my first love. We had such a co-dependant relationship,I can see that now, and we were both screwed up, came from roller coaster pasts. He wasn't loved by his mother the way he needed to be, I wasn't loved by my father the way I needed to be and well...we didn't know how to love eachother or ourselves correctly. So scared of being hurt, we still hurt each other, others, and ourselves. So we fought for our own futures with breakups, mean words, and we quit. Well, I quit..I didn't really want to... Looking back, that was the first time I really quit something as an adult that I really didn't want to quit, but I knew it was for the better.For both of us. Now, jump ahead to my marriage...Sometimes I feel bad for my husband, Brad. He didn't sign up to "marry a fatty"...I am so blessed to have him...Brad is the only thing I have never really quit..and he has never, EVER quit me...not when I gained weight, not when I got depressed, and still not now. My marriage is great it has had some ups and downs. Something I thought would never last this long is going on it's 10th year. So, I guess I am proud that I haven't quit Brad. :0) This year I am turning 35...I haven't ever been so "bummed" about a birthday, but this takes the cake! LOL! It is unusual to think I will be 35 years old. I am NO WHERE CLOSE to where I thought I would be, where I drempt I would be. But, I am sure everyone feels this way. Well, They say 40 is the new 30, so maybe I will enjoy the next 5 years. It is my choice to make. Brad just turned 38, he is sexier than ever. His eyes, his lips, his salt/pepper hair, his shoulders, the way he holds me, and the way he kisses. If they could bottle his kisses...HE WOULD BE RICH! I hope this next year I can start standing on the Lord's promises. I need to search for the adventures HE wants me to take. I will always fall short in my dreams, but with the Lords help, HIS will always comes to fruition. Lord, please help me, heal me, guide me, and protect my marriage, family, and friends.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Today is full of "W".

Waiting, wondering, wishing. That is what happens when you are 34 years old and do not have any children yet. I used to think it was something I did, something I didn't do, tried to convince myself it was better we didn't have them. Maybe I wouldn't be a good mother, maybe I won't be married long, maybe I shouldn't have ever done some of the stuff I have done, maybe I would mess them up. Maybe I couldn't handle it. But, now that my nieces as nephews are growing up, and our families are doing more and more things separately, I think, WHY??? Why don't I have children. Children are a blessing. How do you know if you are supposed to adopt? What if we leave it to God, and He decides to give us kids when we decide it is OK we don't have any kids of our own? God has that sense of humor.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To Live Your Dream

This is an old obituary, however, I think we could all learn from his life. Alaska Bush author Proenneke dies at 86 ANCHORAGE - Dick Proenneke, who lived alone in a remote cabin and kept journals published as the classic Alaska memoir "One Man's Wilderness," has died at age 86. Proenneke died Easter Sunday in California. Until 1998, Proenneke lived alone in a cabin he built at Twin Lakes in what is now Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. "I call him a modern-day Henry David Thoreau," said John Branson, a Lake Clark park ranger and historian who was a longtime friend of Proenneke's. "Thoreau lived at Walden for only one year. Dick lived there for 30 years." Proenneke moved permanently to Twin Lakes in 1968 at age 52 after retiring as a diesel mechanic and heavy-equipment operator in Kodiak. Branson said Proenneke wanted to live deep in the wilderness out of a need for simplicity rather than to escape. "He was not to be misconstrued as an end-of-the-roader or anti-social at all," Branson told the Anchorage Daily News. "He was extremely hospitable and gracious to visitors." "One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey" was first published in 1973, attracting visitors to Twin Lakes, 20 miles north of Lake Clark in the Alaska Range. The book was reissued in a new format in 1999 and won a National Outdoor Book Award. It may have sold as many as 75,000 copies over the years, a bestseller by Alaska standards, said Sara Juday, regional manager for Alaska Northwest Books, the publisher. "It has a kind of cult status. It has changed people's lives," Juday said.

Roller Derby Explained

Friday, December 5, 2008



It is coming to that time of year again when we start to reflect over the last 365 days and plan for the next year to come...2009. I can't believe it has almost been a decade since we sat celebrating in, my friend, Greg's garage counting down to 2000! We sat there blowing our streamers, wearing silly hats, and a little freaked out that jets just might fall out of the sky, or the world systems would cease to function properly, as well as secretly hoping, that at least, all our debts would be "wiped clean"! However, here we are. Life just goes on. Since 2000, I have worked at 5 different places, bought our first home, bought new cars. Three new family members have been added, I have lost three children of my own, been on many vacations, paid off all our debt, occurred more debt, 9/11, the war, family issues, health scares, family moving, new friends, marriages, funerals, well, the list goes on and on. But, this year, 2008, has been a defining year for me. This was the year I have put myself "out there". Learned to live again. This is the year I fell in love with my husband all over again, almost every day. The year that I learned how to forgive my dad, and allow the Lord to rekindle our relationship. I remembered how to love people. To be myself, to be comfortable in my own skin. To smell the air, to enjoy feeling the warmth of a sunrise, and the ambiance of a sunset. 2008 brought some sadness, loved one's passed. Illnesses came and went. But all in all 2008 brought real growth. Growth to my soul, to my family, to potential. I saw my brother and sister grow as well. My brother and his wife have fallen into such a deep love, and have learned to be even better parents. My sister and her husband have gotten through the first couple years of marriage, which is hard, and have become closer. My nieces and nephews have all grown so much. Amazing to see them learn new things and blossom into a little person of their own. I get a little sad to see them growing up so quickly, I understand now why my grandma's always said, "Don't grow up too fast". I always thought it was because they had some sort of secret grown-up fun which only made me want to grow up even faster! In 2008 I watched my mother remember who she truly is inside, and follow her dreams, make new friends, and enjoy life. I experienced so many wonderful things. Personally, I have been more than blessed. I got involved in a new church, and now am writing the Adult Small Group Ministry Lessons. Plus I greet and usher. Me! Crazy! I have been blessed with new friendships through the church, and have matured in my walk with Christ. I also have joined Roller Derby. My body is very upset with this, but my spirit is excited. I haven't been part of a real team in so long. This last year, I have reconnected with old friends and through them, reconnected with myself. I remembered how to gently take care of myself. Blessing run deep! This next year, I will be 35 years old. I can hardly believe it! I am so excited to see what 2009 holds. My life has become real. Real. I am finally, really living, after so long of holding my breath and going through the motions. I am alive in 2009! :0)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008



To me, it is amazing that we force other countries to do what we fail to do. Treat eachother as equals. Does America continue to be only a dream? This next story is about the "Harlem Hellfighters" who were an infantry Regiment in World War I. I saw a program on them last night and it got me thinking. Who is really free? And at what price does that freedom come? I believe the cost is blood. Blood of indians, blood of soldiers, blood of men and women of every race, no matter if they are young or old. We keep shedding this blood. Has anything really changed? First organized in 1916 as the 15th New York National Guard Infantry Regiment and manned by black enlisted soldiers with both black and white officers, the U.S. Army’s 369th Infantry Regiment, popularly known as the “Harlem Hellfighters,” was the best known African American unit of World War I. Federalized in 1917, it prepared for service in Europe and arrived in Brest in December. The next month, the regiment became part of the 93rd Division (Provisional) and continued its training, now under French instructors. In March, the regiment finally received its Federal designation and was reorganized and reequipped according to the French model. That summer, the 369th was integrated into the French 161st Division and began combat operations. Dubbing themselves “Men of Bronze,” the soldiers of the 369th were lucky in many ways compared to other African Americans in 1918 France. They enjoyed a continuity of leadership, commanded throughout the war by one of their original organizers and proponents, Colonel William Hayward. Unlike many white officers serving in the black regiments, Colonel Hayward respected his troops, dedicated himself to their well-being, and leveraged his political connections to secure support from New Yorkers. Whereas African American valor usually went unrecognized, well over one hundred members of the regiment received American and/or French medals, including the first two Americans – Corporal Henry Johnson and Private Needham Roberts – to be awarded the coveted French Croix de Guerre. Spending over six months in combat, perhaps the longest of any American unit in the war, the 369th suffered approximately fifteen hundred casualties but received only nine hundred replacements. Unit histories claimed they were the first unit to cross the Rhine; they performed well at Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood, earning the epithet “Hell Fighters” from their enemies. Nevertheless, the poor replacement system coupled with no respite from the line took its toll, leaving the unit exhausted by the armistice in November. Although the 369th could boast of a fine combat record and a regimental Croix de Guerre, the unit was plagued by acute discipline problems resulting from disproportionate casualties among the unit’s longest-serving members and related failures to assimilate new soldiers. After considerable effort by Colonel Hayward, the 369th was welcomed home with a parade in February 1919 and reabsorbed into the National Guard. Participation in the war effort was problematic for African Americans. While America was on a crusade to make the world safe for democracy abroad, it was neglecting the fight for equality at home. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) established that the 14th Amendment allowed for separate but equal treatment under the law. In 1913 President Wilson, in a bow to Southern pressure, even ordered the segregation of federal office workers. The U.S. Army at this time drafted both black and white men, but they served in segregated units. After the black community organized protests, the Army finally agreed to train African American officers but it never put them in command of white troops. Leaders of the African American community differed in their responses to this crisis. A. Philip Randolph was pessimistic about what the war would mean for black Americans -- he pointed out that Negroes had sacrificed their blood on the battlefields of every American war since the Revolution, but it still had not brought them full citizenship. W.E.B. DuBois argued that "while the war lasts [we should] forget our special grievances and close our ranks shoulder to shoulder with our white fellow citizens and allied nations that are fighting for democracy." And in full force, America's black population "closed ranks." During World War I 380,000 African Americans served in the wartime Army. Approximately 200,000 of these were sent to Europe. More than half of those sent abroad were assigned to labor and stevedore battalions, but they performed essential duties nonetheless, building roads, bridges, and trenches in support of the front-line battles. Roughly 42,000 saw combat. American troops arrived in Europe at a crucial moment in the war. Russia had just signed an armistice with Germany in December 1917 freeing Germany to concentrate her troops on the Western Front. If Germany could stage a huge offensive before Americans came to the aid of her war-weary allies, Germany could win the war. The 369th Infantry helped to repel the German offensive and to launch a counteroffensive. General John J. Pershing assigned the 369th to the 16th Division ofthe French Army. With the French, the Harlem Hellfighters fought at Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood. All told they spent 191 days in combat, longer than any other American unit in the war. "My men never retire, they go forward or they die," said Colonel Hayward. Indeed, the 369th was the first Allied unit to reach the Rhine. The extraordinary valor of the 369th earned them fame in Europe and America. Newspapers headlined the feats of Corporal Henry Johnson and Private Needham Roberts. In May 1918 they were defending an isolated lookout post on the Western Front, when they were attacked by a German unit. Though wounded, they refused to surrender, fighting on with whatever weapons were at hand. They were the first Americans awarded the Croix de Guerre, and they were not the only Harlem Hellfighters to win awards; 171 of its officers and men received individual medals and the unit received a Croix de Guerre for taking Sechault. In December 1917, when Colonel Hayward's men had departed from New York City, they had not been permitted to participate in the farewell parade of New York's National Guard, the so-called Rainbow division. The reason Hayward was given was that "black is not a color in the Rainbow." Now Colonel Hayward pulled every political string he could to assure his men would be rewarded with a victory parade when they came home in February 1919. Crowds thronged New York City's Fifth Avenue as the 369th marched to the music of their now- famous regimental jazz band leader, James Reese Europe. After the parade, city officials honored the troops at a special dinner. What kind of America had they come home to? World War I initiated changes on the home front that permanently affected the lives of Americans, black and white. While defense production was up, the war had cut off the flow of immigrant labor. Workers were needed in the North, and African Americans seized the opportunity. Eagerly they left behind a rural South of Jim Crow laws, lynchings, and oppressive economic conditions. The Great Migration -- the most massive internal migration in American history -- brought several million African Americans North before the Depression stemmed its flow. With the migrants, black culture entered the American mainstream, changing it forever. Musical styles never heard before outside the South became "hot." The Jazz Age had begun. The Harlem Renaissance blossomed in one of the nation's greatest artistic outpourings, bringing to the fore a great poet, Langston Hughes. On the political front, participation in World War I did little to directly advance the equal rights of African Americans. But for many Americans both black and white, it did heighten awareness of the gulf that existed between American rhetoric and reality. After the war A. Philip Randolph was fond of saying to his audiences "I want to congratulate you for doing your bit to make the world safe for democracy . . . and unsafe for hypocrisy." After much thought, the only blood that has changed anything is the Blood of Jesus Christ. The blood He shed for us. To save us from our own sin. By the blood of Jesus, we are truly free at last.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008


Take 42 minutes out of your day and watch this amazing video! It is worth it!
Check out the amazing sites of our universe.

WHAT WOMEN REALLY WANT Please press pause on the music player below, go to this site, and listen!!! It is an eye opener!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Woke up this morning feeling achy, bruised up, sleepy, and excited!! I strapped on wheels for the first time since high school, maybe even middle school. I remember how it felt then, like second nature. Getting on the cool skate floor, lights low, good music, wind in my hair, feeling Well, I felt anything but cool last night! As I laced up my skates, stood up on the carpet, and took my first step, I felt completely intimidated. What a sight I must have been. It didn't feel natural at all. It felt completely foreign, as if I hadn't been on skates ever in my life. I thought it would be better as I pushed off onto the sky blue skate rink floor. I used to live on roller skates. I remember my first pair. My cousin Kristy and I made laps in my great grandma's basement. I could go to the skate rink and even, dare I say, skate backwards! Comb in my back pocket, hair feathered, and praying a boy would ask me to "couple" skate. Well, last night, all I needed was a walker, a pillow taped to my derriere, and a motorcycle helmet! I was flailing around like a swarm of bees were attacking me. The little kids whipping around me, only to giggle as they went by this "old lady on skates", made it feel as though I was going faster than I really was. I went around once, muscles in my body I hadn't used in years woke up. My feet started cramping like there were nails in my boots. To top it off, I swear I was sweating, and out of breath. I think I held my breath for the whole minute it took me to go around. I was just proud I hadn't fallen....yet.
Finally, I took on a little speed, and remembered the faster you go, the easier it is to balance. My inner thighs were on fire, and my knees were shaky. But, I realized I had a huge smile plastered to my face. I was skating, and I hadn't fell. I stopped to take a breather along side the cement divider. Remember, I was stopped. Not skating. I fell straight down to the ground and hit my arm/elbow on the cement wall.
I got back up, and figured I better just skate. I woke up feeling more alive than I have in a long time. I have a huge green and purple bruise on my right inner elbow, and here is the kicker, I am proud of it! ROLLER DERBY, READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Your Beauty Psalm 45:11

Click on the title and listen to this! Few people are comfortable in the skin God gave them. The voices of Hollywood in the latest fashions meet us daily in the grocery line bombarding us with messages of success and power telling us what we should be. Will we listen to those voices, or will we listen to our Father, who loves us, created us in His image, and gifted us with purpose. In Him and Him alone do we find approval and learn what it means to truly be beautiful.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Congratulations to Uncle Ted

Fairbank city worker receives State Utilities achievement award.Ted Vorwald of the City of Fairbank receives the Individual Achievement Award at the recent Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities Fall Conference in Ankeny. He’s joined in the photo by his wife Jan. FAIRBANK - Ted Vorwald, who will soon retire after 32 years of service to the City of Fairbank, was presented with the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) Individual Achievement Award at the association’s recent Fall Conference in Ankeny. The IAMU Individual Achievement Award is presented to a utility employee who has been an active participant in utility matters for at least 20 years. Vorwald has served as the superintendent of the water, wastewater and electric utilities in Fairbank, in addition to being in charge of streets and parks. He has also supported the community as a volunteer firefighter, and he and his wife Jan ran a local dining establishment in Fairbank for many years. Ted has also been instrumental in training utility employees from around the state through his association with IAMU’s Water Safety & Training Committee. He has spent countless hours assisting in hands-on training at IAMU’s Ankeny facility to assure utility workers in other communities provide the safest and highest quality service to their customers. IAMU urges the residents of Fairbank to join in congratulating Ted Vorwald on receiving this award, and in thanking him for his service to the community

Great Story from Beth Moore

Beth Moore is an outstanding Bible teacher, writer of Bible studies, and is a married mother of two daughters. This is one of her experiences: April 20, 2005, at the Airport in Knoxville, waiting to board the plane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I'd had a marvelous morning with the Lord. (I say this because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons, not the least of which is your ego.) I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones. The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy, gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. His fingernails were long, clean but strangely out of place on an old man. I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I'd just had a Howard Hughes sighting. Then, I remembered that he was dead. So, this man in the airport, who was he, an impersonator, maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere? There I sat; trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served up on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while, my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him. Let's admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man. I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall. I've learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing. I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind. 'Oh, no, God, please, no.' I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into Heaven and said, “Don't make me witness to this man. Not right here and now. Please. I'll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but don't make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!” There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, “Please don't make me witness to this man. Not now. I'll do it on the plane.' Then I heard it. “I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair.” The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair? No brainier. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, “God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I'm on this Lord. I'm your girl! You've never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am going to witness to this man.” Again as clearly as I've ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. “That is not what I said, Beth. I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair.” I looked up at God and quipped, “I don't have a hairbrush. It's in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?” God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: “I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:17) I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies. I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely as possible, “Sir, May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?” He looked back at me and said, “What did you say?” “May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?” To which he responded in volume ten, “Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that.” At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, “SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?” At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Long Locks. Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, “If you really want to.” Are you kidding? Of course I didn't want to. But God didn't seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, “Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem. I don't have a hairbrush.” “I have one in my bag.” he responded. I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger's old carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man's hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don't do many things well, but must admit I've had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I'd done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull. A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man's hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair. I know this sounds so strange, but I've never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I - for that few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while. The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God's. His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's. I slipped the brush back in the bag and went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knee and said, “Sir, do you know my Jesus?” He said, “Yes, I do.” Well, that figures, I thought. He explained, “I've known Him since I married my bride. She wouldn't marry me until I got to know the Savior.” He said, “You see, the problem is, I haven't seen my bride in months. I've had open-heart surgery, and she's been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride.” Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we're completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment, and I'll never forget it. Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft. I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, “That old man's sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?' I said, 'Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!' And we got to share. I learned something about God that day. He knows if you're exhausted, you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you're hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you're sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed. He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need! I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way ... all because I didn't want people to think I was strange. God didn't send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me. John 1:14 'The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth' Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly shouting, 'Wow! What a ride! Thank You, Lord!'


Turn up the sound, turn off your phone, and listen!

Anger...He wants us to go to Him...even with this!

It is amazing how much the Lord loves us. Throughout life, we sometimes think He has forgotten us, forsaken us, or even is punishing us. But, the Bible says He wants us to go to Him even in our anger. How wonderful of a Father do we have? Psalm 77-78 1 I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. 2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. 3 I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah 4 You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. 5 I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; 6 I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired: 7 "Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? 8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?" Selah 10 Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High." 11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. 13 Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? 14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. 15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah 16 The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. 17 The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. 18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. 19 Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. 20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. Psalm 78 A maskil of Asaph. [a] 1 O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old- 3 what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. 8 They would not be like their forefathers— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him. 9 The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; 10 they did not keep God's covenant and refused to live by his law. 11 They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them. 12 He did miracles in the sight of their fathers in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan. 13 He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall. 14 He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night. 15 He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas; 16 he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers. 17 But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the desert against the Most High. 18 They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. 19 They spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the desert? 20 When he struck the rock, water gushed out, and streams flowed abundantly. But can he also give us food? Can he supply meat for his people?" 21 When the LORD heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, 22 for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance. 23 Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens; 24 he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven. 25 Men ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat. 26 He let loose the east wind from the heavens and led forth the south wind by his power. 27 He rained meat down on them like dust, flying birds like sand on the seashore. 28 He made them come down inside their camp, all around their tents. 29 They ate till they had more than enough, for he had given them what they craved. 30 But before they turned from the food they craved, even while it was still in their mouths, 31 God's anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel. 32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe. 33 So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror. 34 Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again. 35 They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. 36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues; 37 their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant. 38 Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath. 39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return. 40 How often they rebelled against him in the desert and grieved him in the wasteland! 41 Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember his power— the day he redeemed them from the oppressor, 43 the day he displayed his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders in the region of Zoan. 44 He turned their rivers to blood; they could not drink from their streams. 45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them. 46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper, their produce to the locust. 47 He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamore-figs with sleet. 48 He gave over their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning. 49 He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility— a band of destroying angels. 50 He prepared a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death but gave them over to the plague. 51 He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham. 52 But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the desert. 53 He guided them safely, so they were unafraid; but the sea engulfed their enemies. 54 Thus he brought them to the border of his holy land, to the hill country his right hand had taken. 55 He drove out nations before them and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance; he settled the tribes of Israel in their homes. 56 But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statutes. 57 Like their fathers they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow. 58 They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols. 59 When God heard them, he was very angry; he rejected Israel completely. 60 He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent he had set up among men. 61 He sent the ark of his might into captivity, his splendor into the hands of the enemy. 62 He gave his people over to the sword; he was very angry with his inheritance. 63 Fire consumed their young men, and their maidens had no wedding songs; 64 their priests were put to the sword, and their widows could not weep. 65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a man wakes from the stupor of wine. 66 He beat back his enemies; he put them to everlasting shame. 67 Then he rejected the tents of Joseph, he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim; 68 but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved. 69 He built his sanctuary like the heights, like the earth that he established forever. 70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; 71 from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. 72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


My sister went into premature labor and gave birth to her daughter, Naomi Rae Cooper. She was 15 weeks old in the womb. Five inches long, and 2 oz. She had ten little toes, and ten little fingers. A beautiful face and sweet lips, just like her brothers. It was one of the hardest days of my entire life. But it was an honor to be present, to be there for my sister and her husband, and to be part of the bitter sweetness of it all. Although her body was not alive, her soul was welcomed into heaven by the Lord Jesus Christ. We had Naomi baptised by Deb, the Chaplin at Genesis East. We were able to hold Naomi for about 4 hours. My sister, knowing that her daughter was not alive, still struggled with her motherly instinct to keep her baby warm. So she wrapped her in a pink fuzzy blanket and kept her close. October 6, 2008 3:15 pm was her "birthday" into the Glory of the Lord, and the death of her body here on earth.
Every child is a blessing. EVERY child is a blessing. EVERY CHILD IS A BLESSING!
Hold your dear one's close. This life is short no matter how long we are here. Live each moment.

Friday, October 3, 2008


-Got this from a friend today. It is awesome! Changing Your Behavior by Rick Warren Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. Proverbs 4:23 (GNT) *** *** *** *** One of the great psychological discoveries of the past century is that your thoughts control your actions.If you want to change the way you act, you must first change how you think. Actually, thousands of years ago, Solomon pointed this out when he wrote, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Proverbs 4:23 GNT). The Bible says our thoughts influence six areas of our lives: · My interpretation influences my situation. It’s not what happens to me that matters as much as how I choose to see it. The way I react will determine whether the circumstance makes me better or bitter. I can view everything as an obstacle or an opportunity for growth – a stumbling block or a stepping stone. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4 NIV). · My impressions influence my depressions. In other words, my mind affects my mood; my thinking determines my feelings. If I’m feeling depressed, it’s because I’m choosing to think depressing thoughts – about my work, family, or anything else. While you cannot always control a feeling, you can choose what you think about, which will control how you feel.“Hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught . . .”(Psalm 55:2 NIV). · My beliefs influence my behavior. We always act according to our beliefs, even when those ideas are false. For instance, as a child, if you believed a shadow in your bedroom at night was a monster, your body reacted in fear (adrenaline and jitters) even though it wasn’t true. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you are operating on true information! Your convictions about yourself, about life, and about God influence your conduct.“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” (John 8:31 NIV). · My self-talk influences my self-esteem. You are constantly talking to yourself unconsciously. When you walk into a room full of strangers, what do you tend to think about yourself? To develop more confidence you’re going to have to stop running yourself down! “Ashe thinks in his heart, so is he”(Proverbs 23:7 NKJV). · My attitude influences my ability. Winners expect to win. Your perception controls your performance. Mohammed Ali only lost two fights in his career. Before both of them, he said something that he hadn’t said before other fights: “If I should lose this fight […].”“All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23 NKJV). · My imagination influences my aspirations. In other words, your dreams determine your destiny. To accomplish anything, you must first have a mission, a goal, a hope, a vision. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). © 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My photos

These are photos I have taken in Rocky Mountain National Park. The world we live in is absolutely amazing. I love photography. I am saving for a new camera so I can get better at it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


By Laura Schaefer Love is mysterious, fascinating, and when you find it with the right person, there's nothing better. Here are 25 surprising love facts to puzzle over and embrace. Love is a many-splendored thing … and a very surprising thing, too. As if you needed proof of that, here are 25 funny little facts about love. Study them, scratch your head over them, and share them with someone you fancy. 1. Men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than those who don't. 2. People are more likely to tilt their heads to the right when kissing instead of the left (65 percent of people go to the right!) 3. When it comes to doing the deed early in the relationship, 78 percent of women would decline an intimate rendezvous if they had not shaved their legs or underarms. 4. Feminist women are more likely than other females to be in a romantic relationship. 5. Two-thirds of people report that they fall in love with someone they've known for some time vs. someone that they just met. 6. There's a reason why office romances occur: The single biggest predictor of love is proximity. 7. Falling in love can induce a calming effect on the body and mind and raises levels of nerve growth factor for about a year, which helps to restore the nervous system and improves the lover's memory. 8. Love can also exert the same stress on your body as deep fear. You see the same physiological responses — pupil dilation, sweaty palms, and increased heart rate. 9. Brain scans show that people who view photos of a beloved experience an activation of the caudate — the part of the brain involving cravings. 10. The women of the Tiwi tribe in the South Pacific are married at birth. 11. The "Love Detector" service from Korean cell phone operator KTF uses technology that is supposed to analyze voice patterns to see if a lover is speaking honestly and with affection. Users later receive an analysis of the conversation delivered through text message that breaks down the amount of affection, surprise, concentration and honesty of the other speaker. 12. Eleven percent of women have gone online and done research on a person they were dating or were about to meet, versus seven percent of men. 13. Couples' personalities converge over time to make partners more and more similar. 14. The oldest known love song was written 4,000 years ago and comes from an area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. 15. The tradition of the diamond engagement ring comes from Archduke Maximillian of Austria who, in the 15th century, gave a diamond ring to his fiancĂ©e, Mary of Burgundy. 16. Forty-three percent of women prefer their partners never sign "love" to a card unless they are ready for commitment. 17. People who are newly in love produce decreased levels of the hormone serotonin — as low as levels seen in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Perhaps that's why it's so easy to feel obsessed when you're smitten. 18. Philadelphia International Airport finished as the No. 1 best airport for making a love connection, according to an online survey. 19. According to mathematical theory, we should date a dozen people before choosing a long-term partner; that provides the best chance that you'll make a love match. 20. A man's beard grows fastest when he anticipates sex. 21. Every Valentine's Day, Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet took place, receives around 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet. 21. When we get dumped, for a period of time we love the person who rejected us even more, says Dr. Helen Fisher of Rutgers University and author of Why We Love. The brain regions that lit up when we were in a happy union continue to be active. 22. People telling the story of how they fell in love overwhelmingly believe the process is out of their control. 23. Familiarity breeds comfort and closeness … and romance. 24. One in five long-term love relationships began with one or both partners being involved with others. 25. OK, this one may not surprise you, but we had to share it: Having a romantic relationship makes both genders happier. The stronger the commitment, the greater the happiness! Laura Schaefer is the author of Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Satellite navigation (SatNav) is a lot older than previously thought. In fact, it’s even decades older than man-made satellites themselves. This fantastic contraption, called the ‘Routefinder’, showed 1920s drivers in the UK the roads they were travelling down, gave them the mileage covered and told them to stop when they came at journey’s end. The technology - a curious cross between the space age and the stone age - consisted of a little map scroll inside a watch, to be ’scrolled’ (hence the word) as the driver moved along on the map. A multitude of scrolls could be fitted in the watch to suit the particular trip the driver fancied taking. The system has several obvious drawbacks - a limited number of available journeys, and the inability of the system to respond to sudden changes of direction. Also: no warning of road works or traffic jams ahead. Not that there were that many traffic jams in 1920s Britain. The Routefinder, one of many bizarre patented gadgets now on display at the British Library, didn’t take off because there were too few drivers, i.e. potential customers, at that time in Britain. Or maybe also because it was a bit impractical, distracting drivers from what they were supposed to watch - the road.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ice Cream, You Scream, We All Scream for... Breast Milk??

In an interesting effort to protect the well-being of animals, People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) issued a request to Ben & Jerry's to stop using cow milk as an ingredient in their ice cream products and switch to, well, breast milk. They got the idea from some Swiss restaurant owner who apparently, "will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves." Uh, gross! In a statement on the PETA website, PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said, "The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense. Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."In the letter they even went so far as saying "Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer." While its an interesting idea, Ben & Jerry's decided to pass on the idea. "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child," they said in a statement.It's really unfortunate that Ben & Jerry's declined, PETA supporter Pamela Anderson could have had her own flavor, and hell, maybe she could have provided some "ingredients" of her own.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Say Cheese!!

You have to check out this girls photography work! She is awesome!

Suzy Sexton

Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert presets Suzy Sexton of Moline with the "Rehabilitant of the Year" award Tuesday from Trinity Medical Center. Ms. Sexton, 35, learned to walk again last year after being paralyzed in a single-car accident.
ROCK ISLAND – After a car accident last year, Suzy Sexton was paralyzed from the waist down. That she was able to walk again and serve as an role model to others earned her Trinity Medical Center's “Rehabilitant of the Year” award Tuesday. Ms. Sexton, 35, of Moline, was honored by Trinity's rehabilitation staff and previous winners at a lunch at the West Campus' Jardine Auditorium. “I consider it a great honor,” she said. “It's a wonderful thing to have the rehabilitation department in our local area, because my family and friends were able to come support me. That really helped me recover.” In April 2007, Ms. Sexton was driving the 90-minute commute home from her job at Galaxy 1 in Bettendorf to Seaton, Ill. She didn't feel tired, but she fell asleep at the wheel in Taylor Ridge and her car hit a culvert going under a driveway and went airborne for nearly 50 feet.Ms. Sexton suffered a broken back and was flown to Iowa City for spinal surgery. She was put in a back brace, paralyzed from the waist down except for small movements in her feet. “It was extremely scary, but at the same time I knew I would be all right, one way or another,” Ms. Sexton remembered. It took six nurses and therapists to transfer her in and out of bed at the hospital. At Trinity West, she was in rehab two months. After being confined to a wheelchair at home, she returned as an inpatient from July through September 2007 and walked on her own for the first time that August. After rehab, she was able to walk with the aid of a walker, then a cane, and finally was able to walk on her own by last Christmas. “I was going to make it through, to support myself,” Ms. Sexton said of her intense determination. “I was way too young just to give in. The number-one thing is to believe in yourself.” “I think of her and smile,” Trinity rehabilitation nurse Mary Petersen said. “She had an amazing attitude and would often make the comment, 'Mary, things could be much worse. I am lucky.' “The entire gym would go silent. Everyone just watched Suzy, and would cheer and clap,” Ms. Petersen said of rehab sessions. “She was such an inspiration to the other patients. Even when it got tough, she always had a smile on her face.”“I knew the first day I met her she would have a great recovery because of her motivation,” said Erica Cummings, Ms. Sexton’s occupational therapist. “Nothing was going to stand in Suzy’s way.” “She just knew she was going to walk again even before we realized it was going to happen,” said Marilyn Brown, her primary nurse at Trinity. “She was a joy to work with through the good and sometimes rough times.” Ms. Sexton said the rehab staff proved invaluable to her recovery. “They went from being my nurses and my therapists, to being my friends and like family. I still think of them as family.” Ms. Sexton now works much closer to home, as a Sedona Group employee at KONE in Moline. In addition, she and her husband Matt are expecting a baby in February after seven years of infertility. “We truly couldn't be happier right now,” she said. The Rehabilitant of the Year ceremony coincides with National Rehabilitation Awareness Week.“The ceremony is a celebration of hope and opportunity,” said Carol Ginneberge, Trinity rehab program coordinator. “It is an opportunity to recognize staff and to provide support and continued inspiration to the patients. Rehab is a journey, and we all strive to make the journey a success.” For 29 years, Trinity has honored patients who made amazing medical recoveries. “These patients have shown exceptional progress through their hard work and dedication,” Ms. Ginneberge said. Before presenting a plaque to Ms. Sexton, Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert praised the rehabilitants for displaying “acts of individual heroism that are an example to all of us.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I could feel the earth turning when I would lay in the grass on my back and watch the clouds. I could almost hear the rumbling of the earth on it's axis. The air, wind, and grass all had their own personality, and would dance their way down the valley. I watched a great movie last night called, "The December Boys". Watching this movie made me remember how it feels to be a kid. When I was a kid, going on vacation was like going to a different, alternate universe. I would make up my own stories about the people I saw in the towns we went through. The air would smell different, it was as if I was experiencing someone elses' consciousness. I always had a deep connection with nature. An appreciation. In Autumn, leaves blew across the road as if in some kind a race. A race to death. A race to an adventure. I always imagined how sad some leaves seemed being away from the tree they were attached to for so long, and how other leaves seemed as though they couldn't wait to be free. To set out on their own in this magical world. When we leave our "tree", are we on a race to death? Or a race to an adventure? I remember when I set out on my own for the first time. It was Girl Scout Camp. Camp Conestoga. I think I was 14. We were the Ugashontins. Our mission that summer was to hike the Upper Peninsula of Michigan..The Porcupine Mountains. Two week away from home. Away from Iowa. Away from civilization. It was the first time I was really going to have to truly depend on myself. Needless to say, it was hard, dangerous, exciting, and wonderful all at the same time. I came back a changed person. I was stronger. Physically, mentally, spiritually. I felt truly free for the first time in my life. I remember feeling I could do anything! Watching that movie last night made me wonder..When did I loose that feeling? When did I start to just hum ho my way through this life? To not feel the earth rotate, or hear the wind, smell the air? Was I even racing? And, if so, to where? When we are racing through life, I wonder..are we racing to death? Or racing to an adventure? Are we racing to the next house payment? The next car payment? Are we racing to death? As teens, we can't wait to be on our own, in the "real world". We honestly believe we can do anything we "set our heart on" in this race. Now that I am older, I think that statement is so telling. What is our heart set on? The World? Our Cars? Our House? Our Children? Are we racing for the right thing? I say we should set our hearts on the Lord, and race to an adventure! When you are racing to an adventure, your heart beats harder, you smile, you anticipate, nothing will stop you. You are living. Well, I want to race towards an adventure, towards life. Towards Jesus. I started this blog entry wanting to talk about songs we used to sing on the mountain, and at camp, instead, I wrote about the song my soul sing. To Live! To Adventure! To Race Towards Him! To remember the amazement of life. Don't race towards death, and be the leaf that despite all of it's beautiful colors and changes, sadly falls in a puddle and waits to die. Be the leaf who is amazed at it's changes, and knows we are only here for a season, so find your adventure! RACE!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Perry Nobel. If you have some time, check out this latest series NewSpring Church has gone through. You can choose audio, or video, you can even down load it to your ipod.. Choose one and listen to the whole thing. Or, listen to all of them. It will change your life! The Biblical answers for 6 topics you have always wanted to ask, but haven't!!


MORGELLON'S DISEASE... ever heard of it?
After years of debate and controversy, the CDC is finally looking into the mysteries of Morgellons, an unexplained and debilitating skin condition that many doctors don't believe exists. What do you think? Check it out now!

Friday, September 5, 2008


If you want to yearbook yourself, go to

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Here is a picture of Sylvia's class who was sponsored by people right here in the Quad Cities Area. Sylvia is the furthest one on the right, front row. Thank you for all of your continued support for this ministry, and please pray for more children to be sponsored.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Welcome our new family member, Sylvia Nanjala. Sylvia is a seven year old from Kenya who my husband and I have just sponsored through Sylvia is in first grade, and I pray I am able to go on the mission trip 2009 to meet her for the first time. Sylvia's parents are alive, by the grace of God, but are very poor, and not in good health. The Lord takes my $30 a month, and multiplies it in order to provide Sylvia with an education, medical treatments, clothes, a safe shelter, and the ability to know Jesus. I don't have any children of my own, not biological, but the Lord promised me many spiritual children. I thank God for what he is doing through Fishers of Men Ministries, and how it is not only touching the lives of the children and families of Kenya, but how it is touching the lives of the people in my community. All He asks, is that we may be found faithful, is that our hearts are pure, for every little thing we do, He gives so much in return, if we just do All He Asks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Coffee with a Cause"

Imagine changing someone’s life everyday just by drinking your morning coffee! I am offering an awesome opportunity to you to purchase “the world’ best coffee” from our non profit coffee shop in Rock Island, IL. Just this last month, we helped 25 orphans in Africa whose’ parents have died of AIDS. Now they have a place to live, clothes, food, and are getting an education thanks to those who frequent the coffee shop. Areopagus is our non-profit coffee house that donates all profits to fight hunger and poverty locally, nationally and throughout the world. Areopagus is 100% Fair-Trade and imports all of its coffee from Costa Rica. Grown in the Dota Tarrazu Valley, the beans, which have been certified over and over as the “worlds’ best beans” are specially roasted just for Areopagus. This is just an opportunity to help others. Something I am passionate about.
For more information: Go to Under “what we’re about” you will find the link to the shop. One ministry we support is “Please be rested in knowing that 100% of all profits go to fight hunger and poverty locally, nationally and throughout the world!” Any questions, please feel free to email me! God Bless!