Friday, May 26, 2006

Passport Update (aka God Is GOOD!)

So, after weeks and weeks of freaking out over whether or not Rick's passport would be here in time, I found a random phone number for Rick to call to check on it, since I already called it once and they would give me no other information other than, "It's processing."

Rick called on Monday of this week and the girl told him that it has been approved (YAY!) BUT there is nothing he can do about it to speed it up other than have it FedEx'd overnight. So, he chose to have it FedEx'd. Which is great, but we leave in 12 days....will it be processed in time???

So, he called again yesterday to check on it. No more news. I'm starting to sweat a little. 6 business days left until we leave....what if........

Then, this morning, I'm hanging around the house and should have already left for work but I have to wait on this darn load of laundry to finish so we have clothes this weekend when we go to the lake. La De Da...playing on the computer...when there's a knock at the door. Who could it be? THE FEDEX MAN!!! I wanted to jump out the door and hug him, but I figured he might run away with the passport, so I abstained. But it's here. In my lap at this very instant. Precious goods.

Ladies and gentlemen, we're going to Honduras.

GOD IS GOOD!

Monday, May 22, 2006

This could be ironic

I saw a spot on the news last week that really peaked my interest. I don't know why we were watching the 10pm news, we never do. Rick thinks the news is too depressing, and I tend to agree. But, for whatever reason, we were watching the news.

A spot came on about the National Transplant Games. Instantly, I was enthralled. I had no idea these things existed. The National Transplant Games were originally started by the National Kidney Foundation in order to raise awareness about organ donation, but specifically to honor the families of those who have donated organs. I could totally do that. So, I hopped on Google and found the site for the games and found the local contact person.

Unfortunately, registration for the games has passed, but he's checking with national to see if I can still participate. Who knows what will happen. I am excited, though. Even if I can't participate this year, I will be able to next year. These games are made up of people who have had solid organ transplants and the games range from ping pong and bowling to more active sports like swimming, typical track and field games, and basketball. I keep thinking about how ironic it would be if I were able to participate and get to play on the state transplant basketball team. We would compete on national, and possibly even international, levels. I may be getting the cart before the horse, but I'm amazed at the possibility that God could have worked in my life in this way. I was jerked off of a team that I loved that really stood for nothing in high school to possibly play for a team that really means something as an adult.

Again, I know at this point that this is all wishful thinking. But, I can't help but believe that God is in there somewhere. This would really help me get my story "out there" and tell many others about how God has worked in my life thus far. We'll see what happens. But until I get the official news, I'm going to remain hopeful.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

One Down, Two to Go

I have officially completed my first year of the master's program. *Huge sigh of relief*

I know that in the next couple of weeks, things will slow back down to at least a pace that I can keep up with, but, until then, Rick and I are having dinner and hanging out with friends we haven't seen much over the last few months. And we're trying to get things together for our trip to Honduras. (Oh, yeah....we leave in less than a month). And I'm playing softball. And I'm still working. And I'm catching up on all of those pesky doctor's appointments that come around only about once a year (eye doctor, dentist, vet (for my dog, not for me - ha!)).

God is doing great things in our life right now, and He's doing a pretty good job of keeping me calm through all of it. He's testing our church, but in a good way. I'm on the missions committee, and we have so many people we want to send out and help, but not enough money to do it. Since we just got a new building, I really feel like He's saying, "Okay, Otter Creek....where's your money? Landscaping and paint or evangelism?" That's a little more global than other things He's doing, but He's working in our lives, too. We found out on very short notice that we need $2100 to go to Honduras instead of what we originally thought was just $200 per person. So, we sent out letters about a week ago and already we have only $700 left to raise. God is good! He's really showing me and Rick that we're supposed to go on this trip. We have been flabergasted at the amazing response we have recieved from our Otter Creek family on such a short notice.

There has been a catch, though. Rick's passport is causing us serious issues. We applied for it long go, back in February, which should have been plenty of time for us to get it back. Well, we finally heard from them last week....asking for more verification that Rick is who he says he is. They wanted 3 different proofs of id that are over 5 years old. That sounds easy enough, but it's very difficult. They already have his birth certificate and we could NOT find his social security card. His driver's license is only 4 years old because he's only 25 and had to have it renewed when he turned 21. We did manage to find some old tax forms and we sent in an old transcript from college and an old college ID, but the problem is that on the ID, you can't really see his face. So, we ended up sending all kinds of things in, some of which are over 5 years old and some that aren't. We're praying that this will be enough and that we'll get the passport back in enough time for our trip. I really feel like God is in this, so I have faith that it will all work out, but I know all of your prayers will help.

I am going to keep you guys updated on all that is going on with our trip to Honduras and everything else that is going on over the summer. I'm back to blogging!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Donate Life

That's always the slogan for April, but I didn't know that until last year.

It's Organ Donation Awareness Month, so get out there and sign your driver's license. But don't let it end there. Be sure to tell your closest relative or two your wishes. Your organs will not be donated without your next-of-kin's approval.

I just went to my first Organ Donation Awareness event here at Vanderbilt. It was very intimidating, but good, I think. I got there a little late, so I missed most of the talk by a dad who's son donated his organs. After most of the people cleared out, I did work up enough courage to walk over to the Tennessee Donor Services booth to ask them about how to volunteer. I met some really cool people, and I'm excited about getting started. I want to give back. I've tried to give back and couldn't (another story), so now it's time to really do something.

If you want more information about donating organs, just click on the UNOS link in my side bar. They can answer all of your questions, or lead you to someone who can.

Please think seriously about this.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

This Week in Science News

There is an article in a recent Nature journal about chimpanzees and how they are so different from humans.

Like we didn't know this already.

The interesting concept of this article is not that we're different, but how we're different. They have discovered that when you give a chimp a banana and place with that chimp another friendly chimp or even a chimp that is new to the chimp with the banana, that chimp will not share his banana. Now, change those banana-less chimps to a very hungry banana-less chimps. The (non-hungry) chimp with the banana will still not share. So, these scientists, as smart as they are, decided that this was the key to the humans' evolutionary development over chimps. We're willing to share our bananas.

I really don't want to get on a rant about evolution and about my stand on evolution. Contrary to what you may think, I am neither pro-evolution nor anti-evolution. I really am somewhere in the middle, and, if I had a lot of time, I could go into science and biblical text to show why I stand where I do on the issue.

Anyway, I am facinated that these scientist think that our human desire to be altruistic is due to an evolutionary change in our DNA. I personally believe that this is just another example of how humans (and only humans) are created in God's image. God wishes none to perish, and because we are created in His image, we want to help others in our own way. We cannot save souls, but we can feed the hungry and help out a friend or loved one when they find themselves in a tough spot. Even a greater stretch, we are willing to reach out and help people whom we do not even know. If you think about the amount of money that Christians and non-Christians gave to the victims of the September 11th attacks, to the victims of the tsunami, and to the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, these are people whom we do not know and may never meet, but the piece of God in us shines through, even in those who do not accept Him or His Son.

Just another way that science is (in my opinion) proving that we are the Created.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Marriage

How do people learn how to be married? Most say just by watching their parents interact. I do agree that what you experience in regards to marriage growing up matters, but I think there is much more to it than that.

My parents are still married, so, by most standards, people may say that I have a good idea of what a marriage should look like.

haha.

I have no idea how to be married. I know there are rules about communication and fairness and all that stuff, and I'm still learning all of it, but what does it take to be a marriage that glorifies God? I mean, Rick and I still argue about the laundry, how in the world are we supposed to focus on the big things when we're so stuck on the little things?

I really wonder how we've made it as far as we have and through all of the things that we've been through. I can do nothing but give God the glory in bringing us through it, but did we glorify Him in the process? Now that we're through the rough stuff and back to the mundane, how do we make Him shine through it?

I'm clueless.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Podcasts are to Blame

I know I've been MIA for a while. Several of you have made that clear with comments like, "Although you don't read my blog anymore...." or "You're too good to read my blog anymore...", let me tell you: I still read your blogs. All of them. I just don't comment much on your blogs anymore. Truthfully, I like being quite for a little while. Sometimes I talk to much, and lately, I haven't had much to say that is of any importance, so I'm just using this time to read and reflect on what you all have to say.

One thing that I have been doing lately deals with podcasts. I've become addicted. I'll subscribe to several new ones each day, and then watch and unsubscribe and delete depending on whether or not I like them. A few that I will comment on:

1 Year Daily Audio Bible: An incredible podcast. This one was started at the beginning of this year by a producer here in Nashville. He simply reads a passage from the OT, the NT, Psalms, and Proverbs every day. They average about 20 minutes in length, but it's great. I can listen at work or anywhere on my iPod. And if you don't have an iPod, just download iTunes (it's free!) and you can save it to your computer or on a CD and listen in your car.

Ask a Ninja: This one is very silly. All of the episodes I've seen so far at least make me giggle. If any of you guys play Xbox live, at least watch Question 5: "Ninja Skills." I really don't know where this guy came up with this idea for a podcast. (This is a video podcast, so you have to either have an iPod video, or just watch them on your computer.)

Vintage Toon Cast: One of my favorites! Very old cartoons available for free download. Things like some of the old Merrie Melodies with Bugs and Elmer Fudd, Felix the Cat, and some other ones that I'm not so familiar with. It is rated Explicit, but that's because of "cartoon violence." I guess parents are freaking out about their children seeing Bugs be hit in the head by an anvil or something.....

And then, of course, Homestar Runner. You all must check him out at . There are two podcasts that you can find on iTunes, one is homestar runner shorts, the other is Strong Bad e-mails. My favorite (an archive from the website that you can't find on iTunes is the Fluffy Puff Commercial that you can find under "shorts."

Guess that's all of my useless information for now.