This year I am going through My Utmost For His Highest, by Oswald Chambers and the lesson for the other day was on intimacy with Jesus or knowing Him.  So I started to ask myself, “Do I really know Him?”  Sometimes I think I do, but many times I feel like I don’t even though I deeply desire to really know Him.  There have been some rough patches and difficult things in my walk with the Lord, as happens with everyone at some point, but I have decided to make a change and work on following hard after Him.

I want the impact that I leave on the people I minister to and with this year to not be of me, but to be of Jesus.  I want to truly bear fruit here and not just meander along doing just want needs to be done.  Chambers states, “Fruit bearing is always mentioned as the manifestation of an intimate union with Jesus Christ,” he also says, “The saint who is intimate with Jesus will never leave impressions of himself, but only the impression that Jesus is having unhindered way, because the last abyss of his nature has been satisfied by Jesus.”

I want to Know Him and leave His impression on the places and the people I minister to. That is my prayer for this semester as I work with the students at Berea College, the people that come through the Gilmin Home, and the many other paths that I cross in day to day life.  I would love some encouragement and help on this journey of learning and getting to Know my Lord and Savior better.


Berea Week One


Wow! This week is flying by! It seems like yesterday that I was in my gorgeous hotel room in Houston ordering room service for the first time in my life, when in all reality that has been over a week a go and I am now starting my sixth full day in Berea. And I’m not even in Berea right now! I am at Laurel Lake Baptist Camp where I’ve been since yesterday morning for our BCM Leadership Retreat. Five of my seven students were able to come and we have had a great time of learning, preparing, and sharing with each other.
Yesterday, Virgil Grant came and talked with us about leadership and conflict. He also helped us begin the journey of casting our vision for the ministry and the year.
After Virgil left we worked on calendaring, brainstorming, and casting a vision for the BCM this year. After dinner we shared our stories with one another. I wanted this group of students to hear where I was coming from and what my background was. I also wanted to hear more about their lives and how they got to where they are today. It was so awesome to hear how the Lord has worked and moved among them to mold them to where they are today.
Oh yeah, did I mention that I drove the students hear on the Akidio? Aka, a bus that holds almost 20 people. Crazy! I never thought I would be able to drive it, but I did and I can.  There is so much more I could say about the retreat, but I want to get to what the rest of this week has looked like as well.
Let’s go back to last Wednesday, the day I officially moved to Berea. I left my parents house that morning and headed to Louisville to pack up the essentials and then headed to Berea. I arrived at Travis and Christie’s house around 4 pm. Here I was welcomed in like part of the family immediately.
Travis and Christie run a boys home and non profit Christian home for people recovering from drug and alcohol addictions as well as an array of other problems and issues. Their ministry is called the Gilmin Group and they run it out of their actual home. They have the capacity to host up to 15 people right now at any one point in time. When I moved in their were 8 people already there, Travis, Christie, Gracie & Andrew,their kids, Margarite, Michael, and Nikki who were all part of the Gilman Home, and then Ben, their foreign exchange student from South Korea.  Oh yeah, and on top of all the people there are 4 dogs, Gabe, Brutus, & Angel, the Lynch’s dogs, and Bo Bo, Michael’s dog. Not to mention I plan on bringing Baylie down to stay with me eventually.
Travis & Christie have had more than 40 people come through their home in the last 3 years. Before I moved here I couldn’t imagine what that would be like, but I am learning more and more everyday.  It has been an eye opening and humbling experience to live with and serve with them.
I could go on and on about this, but let’s look at what the next few days looked like. After I moved in and we had dinner I went with Christie to take Gracie to a wednesday night program at a near by church. Then we came home and had our bible study.
Thursday, I woke up and went with Christie to take Gracie and Michael to school in Berea. Then we went to walmart in Richmond to go shopping. After that we went home and I working on some stuff for the Progressive Dinner before I headed back to Richmond to meet with Jon. We met about the year and ran a couple of errands before I headed back home. Not a lot went on the rest of the day, other than Nikki leaving the house. She had been my roommate, but that didn’t last long.  She couldn’t handle the rules and policies of the house and chose to leave. It was hard! I really wanted her to stay and get some help. She reminded me of my sister in more ways than one and I wish I had had more time with her.
Friday I took G & M to school again with C, and we went grocery shopping for the community mentor meeting I was going to have and for the Leadership Retreat. Christie and I also drove around meeting different people I would be working with. Then we headed home for a little while before going back to Berea to take Christie’s grandma to her hair appointment before delivering pillows to the international students at BC. Then we picked Gracie up from school and went home. That night I went to Richmond to meet Trenton and drive an EKU International Student to pick up her boyfriend from the airport in Lexington. It was an extremely late night, but a lot of fun. I got home around 2 am and went straight to bed.
Saturday was our sleep in day and our waffles for breakfast day. Yum! Not a lot happened Saturday. I went to Richmond for a little while, but other than that I hung around the house and prepared for Sunday and the retreat
Sunday I got up and went to FBC Richmond with the entire house. I liked it, but I do want to try other places out before I commit to going anywhere.  As soon as we got home from church, I ate really fast, loaded up my car, and headed to Berea for the Carnival of Congregations on campus. This was going to be where I met some of my leadership for the first time. Rosemary met me at the old BCM building and helped me load more stuff in my car before heading to campus.  At the CC we made contact with about 35 students and I also got to meet, Brittany, Courtney, and Tommy. After the CC was over we went to Bethel for our community mentor/leadership team dinner. After that was over and I dropped the students off on campus, I headed to Richmond to pick up the bus before heading home.
That brings us to Monday morning. I met the leadership team on campus at 8am and we left from there for Laurel Lake. Which brings us full circle to where I started writing. There is much more that can be said and I am processing through a lot right now, but that is what is going on in my life. Hopefully I won’t wait almost a week before writing next time, because this took me an hour to write out on my phone.
Now to finish what I had been typing on my phone Tuesday morning and hopefully get my blog up to date.
Tuesday I woke up way earlier than I planned (5:30 am) so I took the time I had to myself in the quiet to write what you have read to this point.  Later that morning we met for breakfast and then I sent everyone out to spend some time with just them and the Lord.  Reading his word, praying, and reflecting.  For me it was an awesome time to pray for what is next and ground myself in the Word that He has given us to follow.  After that time we spent some time in prayer as a group for the year, for the campus, the students, the faculty, and our ministry at Berea College.  After that we loaded up in the Akido and headed back to Berea.  I dropped them off on campus and headed to Richmond.
In Richmond I dropped the bus off, dropped stuff off at the BCM for Jon, and then went to lunch with Kaitlin (the one friend I had before moving that lived in Richmond and was not in college. I do know a few others who are in college).  Kaitlin is “inducting” me into Richmond life while I am here.  Our first stop was Opal’s – a southern cooking restaurant.  The food was yummy and not super expensive! It was so great to catch up with her and share what was going on in my life.  I am excited to have someone so close that I can talk to about stuff.
After lunch, I headed home to rest for the rest of the day. Which was much needed after the retreat.
Yesterday, Wednesday, Christie and I started our running plan.  We are running/walking/jogging 2.2 miles everyday now in Berea after we take Michael and Grace to school.  It went well yesterday, minus the fact that I wore the wrong socks and developed blisters on my heels.  Then we ran a few errands before heading home for awhile to get some work done.  In the afternoon we went to Richmond to run a few errands before picking the kids up.  We had some free time before picking them up so we also went to the candle outlet in Berea. It is so awesome, and I doubt I will pay full price for a candle again.  Well at least not as long as I live in this area.  The rest of the day was pretty low key, we picked G&M up, went home and had dinner as one big family.  Then we did our daily bible study, before Travis, Christie, & Grace went to Pilot Knob for G’s Bible and Bow’s class.  She got to shoot a bow and arrow for the first time last night.  Which she really enjoyed.
Today, Thursday, Christie and I took M&G to school and then hit our running path.  We increased our actual running distance in the beginning by about 1/2 a mile.  My heels were killing me from yesterday, but we took about 40 seconds off of our entire time from yesterday.  We aren’t going fast and we do walk about half of the time if not a little more.  Hopefully before long we won’t walk at all, gotta get this blisters gone though.  After our jog we went home and got ready for the day.  I had a really good discussion with Travis before I headed back into Berea.  I am currently at BC&T (Berea Coffee & Tea) where I just finished up a meeting with Rosemary, the BCM President.  I have a few things to do the rest of the day before heading back to the house.
I am hoping to post soon about what I am learning and delve into a little more detail on a couple things.  Here are some prayer requests that I want to share with you right now.  1. for my personal relationship with the Lord, that it is consistent and meaningful. 2. for my Leadership Team and their walks and their ministry this year. 3. for the BCM and its impact at Berea College.  4. clarity for my job and some of the issues I am dealing with. 5. The Gilmin home and the ministry that we have there.
If you have any questions let me know!

Taking the Leap

Do I go for? Do I not? Is it a smart idea? Is it the right thing for me to do? Is it what God has planned for me? What if it is the right thing and I do not do it? What if is is not the right thing and I do do it?  Is this a selfish choice?

These are all questions that I have asked myself many times, but they have popped up a lot recently as I have considered taking a job in a new place where I do not really know anyone and I could not even tell you how to get to the McDonald’s let alone Kroger or Wal-Mart.  I have asked these questions as I decide to move to my 4th city in a less than a year and as I am around a month away from moving yet still do not have a place to live.  These questions and more are all ones that have been brought up in my mind as my church has been going through a series called “What If?”

So this week when Jason preached on What if you took that leap? I was really impacted.  I had already felt sure that going to BC was the thing I was supposed to do, but even that hadn’t stopped the questions and I can’t say that there aren’t still moments when I ask if this is the right thing, but I have been put at peace with where I am headed.

Here are some of the highlights from the sermon that really spoke to me.

We were examining this question using text from 1 Samuel 14.  Where Jonathan and his armor bearer move sneak away from their army and go to the Philistine outpost. (To get all the details you should totally read the story).

In this story Jonathan had conditions that looked really bad and appeared stacked against him, but he considers the situation and the facts and trusts in the Lord’s provision.  He didn’t just blindly make this decision, but he didn’t let all the What if this and that questions get in his way of taking the leap.

The more impressive part about the story deals with the armor bearer, who from what I know about history and Jason filled in is young, unexperienced, and weaponless.  Yet when Jonathan asks him to go with him to the outpost he follows with out hesitation.  He doesn’t have a weapon, let alone know how to use it, and is headed straight into the opposing army.

Through Jonathan and the armor bearer we can see that the leap is not contingent on our conditions nor our expertise and is not done blindly.  Taking a leap means having courage.  Instead of asking all of the questions, that do not get us anywhere and are really quite stupid, we should just stop and say I’ll do whatever.

There is one more person in this story to consider and that is Saul, Jonathan’s father.  He is the king and is leading the army into battle.  At the time that Jonathan and his armor bearer sneak off he is camped out under the pomegranate tree.  Waiting, he is full of fear and panic.  He is also engaging in a form of idol worship because the tree means more than just a place for shade and rest, it is an idol in their land.

The same thing happens to us when we are not using what God has given us to honor him.  When our time is more consumed with what our Facebook friends did on Friday night, what the trending topic on Twitter is right now, or who the newest “it” couple is then we are engaging in a form of idol worship.

After the sermon I was no longer thinking constantly about if the choices I was making about BC were the right thing or wrong thing and so on, but instead this is what I have been asking myself:

1. What am I holding higher than God (What is my pomegranate tree?)?

2. Am I Saul? OR Am I Jonathan and the Armor Bearer?


So as of late I have been struggling a lot with where I am at in my life.  It all started as I transitioned from college, living in BG, having some amazing friends, and being connected to a wonderful body of believers at LHBC to living in Lville, being a Master’s student, not having a church, or a friend group.


As I made this transition I hit a low place in my walk with Christ.  I stopped having a quiet time, I stopped opening the Word, stopped praying, and didn’t really want to do any of those things.  I was going to different churches trying to find one to call “home” but believing that I would never find one that could be seen as a home. I missed LHBC, the people and the ability I had to serve there and that is where I wanted to be.  I had become very close-minded.


Not only had I become close minded towards churches, but also people.  I didn’t think there could be people that cared about me like the ones I had left in BG.  I didn’t think that there were friends to be had and I didn’t really make an effort to make any.


Needless to say my close-mindedness had made my life a huge struggle from day one of living in Lville.  So where am I now?


Well, life is still a struggle, but I have learned and seen that God is still sovereign and in control.  He has put me at an amazing church, among amazing people, and really blessed me and opened my eyes to see that I do have a “home” in Lville.  I have been so thankful for the community at Springdale.  If it wasn’t for the people there and the Lord so noticeably moving in that place I would probably still be stuck in my close-minded mess.  This doesn’t mean that everything is hunky dory and I am always the best person and in the best mood, but it does mean that I am human and that I am moving towards being closer to God like I once was.


I have still had trouble finding a friend group, but have met some pretty awesome people that are beginning to fill this role.  Thankfully.  I am so ready to have the community I once had, because life without it has been super hard.


One a slightly different note – another reason Lville has been such a struggle has been my work situation.  The family I work for seemed great at first but as I got into things this was not the case at all.  They are good people, but they are not the fit for me.  I love their children, but cannot continue working with them.  So this coming Friday will be my last day as thier nanny.


Another struggle of Lville has been my class schedule.  I really like one of my classes, another one has huge potential, and the other I thought I would like, but is way harder than I expected and I just do not like it.  It might be the basis of me changing my degree.


Hopefully things in my life will continue to get better, getting involved at Springdale is just the tip of the iceberg for what the Lord has for me I feel.  I am working on getting my quiet time back on track, hoping to get involved more in a small group of believers to hold me accountable and to live life with, and hopefully I will find another job soon, because if not then my life will be another set of worries and struggles.


Well that is my rant and dumping of how I feel right now.  This is what I am doing instead of working on my Systematic Theology Paper that is due Tuesday.