Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Sunday

Commercialism of Holidays DRIVES ME CRAZY. Almost as much as when people scrape their teeth on their forks.

Since when did bunnies and duck replace the fact that our Savior defeated death once and for all?
Don't get me wrong, I love Easter candy. Cadbury eggs? Possibly one of my favorite things EVER. Peeps? How can you go wrong with sugar covered marshmallows? I only eat them when they are stale and chewy though. Reese's eggs? Phenom.

But I think it has gone to far. Russell Stover's has chocolate crosses. I'm sorry. What? It really weirds me out. Like. A lot.

I know this has happened before (remember the Dixie Stampede Nativity Scene incident?) But since being at the Insty this year each holiday has meant so much more to me since learning all I have learned. I find myself reacting (or overreacting) to typical holiday activities.

I will never look at Easter the same again. I have had a good amount of Easters in my time. I know the story inside and out. The difference this year? Knowing and believing the importance of this event. Now in hopes of restoring any respect I have just lost, I know and believe that Christ dying on the cross and raising from the dead is a vital part of the Gospel but it is so different this year. I have seen the places where it all takes place.

Matthew 27:33, And when they came to a place called Golgatha, which means place of the skull

Matthew 27:5960, And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in rock; and rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

Matthew 28:6 He is not here, for He is risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.

I have studied the beauty of redemption. I have seen redemption throughout the Old and New Testament. I have seen redemption in my life and the lives of those close to me.
Redemption. What a sweet precious word.

And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His and He is mine,
bought with the precious blood of Christ.
(verse 4 of 'In Christ Alone')

My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things;
That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.
(John Newton)

Monday, April 18, 2011


Last night I was on gchat with a friend from the Institute (although she moved from the 'institute friend' category to the 'life friend' category a long time ago).

After catching up on life (I know it has only been 2 days since graduation but a lot can happen in 2 days!)
A piece of our conversation went something like this:
"When did we grow up?"-Me
"I think it was Friday."-Tanya

As we parted ways for the evening I was thinking about this small part of our chat.
It is so true. (yet we both still work at kamp so we aren't entirely there yet)

On Friday, I was a finishing a school year with my peers and Saturday morning we were driving separate ways across the country to start jobs. BITTERSWEET. Probably the most bittersweet event I have ever experienced.

The Institute graduation was a beautiful picture of how it is necessary for something to end so the Lord can start something new and exciting and scary.

One things I was convicted about this past week was comparing where I am called to the callings of others. I am called to Branson to intern with the Institute. End of story. I am where the Lord wants me. Even though some people in my class are called to pretty sweet locations (such as Ethiopia, Florida and the Dominican Republic) we all are doing what the Lord asks of us by following Him where He leads.

I am sad this season of the Institute is over. It was a refining year for all of us. But it is so exciting to see what is next up for me and my classmates.

A few pictures from Graduation:

A cord of three strands is not easily torn apart.
Long live the walls we crashed through, I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you.

I will truly miss this group of ladies. We learned so much from each other. Anywhere from Biblical truths to the beauty of the sassy arm in pictures.

Megan, sweet Kauai friend. Who would have thought when we first met in 2008 it would be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. And we would be where we both are today.

Sweet Caroline. This year would have been so much different without her. Her time at kamp is over but i am so excited for her next adventure: nursing school!

It's official. I graduated the Kanakuk Institute (also known as the Insty to the class of 2011)

(Thanks to Tanya and Mallory for picking out/forcing me to buy that graduation dress)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


One of my least favorite things to do is pack up a room and move. It just means that a chapter of my life has come to an end and I am having to say goodbye to people that I have come to love. First it was the move from Kansas City to Manhattan. Once in Manhattan it was from Boyd Hall to Viva Vattier to Kearney Krazies. Then once college was over it was from Manhattan to the current location of Branson.

Each time this happened I always forgot the upside to it. I always focused on the chapter that I was closing and what I was leaving behind and not what I was getting ready to gain. The move just meant that a new chapter in my life was about to begin.

As you can tell, I’m currently taking a break from packing up my room. This time it is different. I can see parts of this chapter that I will be sad to see go but the best is yet to come in the next chapter.

-I’m sad to say goodbye to this community but I am lucky enough to have had a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. I know that I will long for this type of community for the rest of my life.

-I’m sad that I will no longer be sitting in class learning but it reminds me that learning should never cease, especially when it comes to our Lord.

-I’m sad that there is never be a time in my life that my 54 classmates will all be together again but I know that our personal ministry will be better off when we are scattered among the Nations preaching the Word of God by our actions.

-I’m sad that I have to say goodbye to some dear people in my life but I am so excited to have another year in the Branson community to grow closer to the ones that are still here.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. (Theodore Roosevelt)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Dear friends
(meaning the 4 friends that actually read this, my mom and my mom's friends),

I changed my blog theme tonight. My previous blog theme was 'In the Land of Milk and Honey' because I stepped out on faith to move to Branson much like Moses when he was leading the Israelites to the Promise Land. Tonight I changed my theme to 'Life on the Lake Shore' and emphasized all the newness in my life but how my Lord is the same. Now with that being said...

I am OFFICIALLY staying in Branson for another year! The Lord is so good. I applied for an internship with the Institute and 6 weeks and a few miscommunications later I was offered a position titled 'Keith's Writer'. You may laugh, which is what I did when I first heard that title but I am really excited about it but I definitely will be needing prayer come next Friday if another job offer comes through. For the record, Keith is the guy who dreamed up the Insty and is the director of it, his wife is my Timothy group leader.

Now that announcement is over I can talk about PANELS. For those of you who don't know panels is the most dreadful/beneficial aspect of the Insty. All this semester we have been writing what we believe on 10 different topics and then each statement is backed up with Scripture. This week we signed up for a 30 minute slot of time that we go into a room armed with our statements and the Word of God and we sit down and 3-7 people fire the tough questions that unbelievers may ask you and we must have a response. TERRIFYING. But incredible. This time last year I would have never been able to tell you the answers to any of the questions, let alone the Scripture that goes with it. Incredible. Awesome to see the growth in 7 months.

Graduation is next week. Part of me is sad but I know that this chapter of my life is ending and I know that I have made some great friends that will be by my side until the day I die, regardless of our location. So blessed. I am so thankful that I choose the Insty and not Denver Seminary. The Lord had a much bigger and greater plan for me. I didn't realize that bigger plan included a smaller town, a group of friends who have become family, and an opportunity to work for a ministry that I believe in.

Sarah: the girl who told the Lord she would be in Branson for one summer in 2008 and somehow never got away.