Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This is War.

One of the most powerful Christmas songs I've ever heard (and the video is pretty moving itself).

The gunfire, the shots, the injustice, the battle, the war, the sadness, the shadows, the darkness -- they will all cease, they will take a knee, they will bow to the King.  The darkness will cease in light of the King.  He has come.  And He's coming again.  And He rides on the clouds of victory.  Redemption rings out from a manger in Bethlehem to all nations, to the ends of the earth, for all people.

"This is war like you ain't seen.  
This winter's long; it's cold and mean.
With hangdog hearts, we stood condemned,
but the tide turns now at Bethlehem.
This is war, and born tonight, the Word as flesh -- the Lord of Light.
The Son of God, the low-born King -- who demons fear, and of whom angels sing.

This is war on sin and death;
the dark will take its final breath.  
It shakes the earth, confounds all plans
 -- the mystery of God as man."

Monday, December 12, 2011

90s Christmas list

If you were a 90's kid with me, I can safely bet your Christmas list looked nearly identical to this:

1) Moon Shoes

2) Skip-It

3) Creepy Crawlers

4) Koosh Ball

5) Tamagotchi

6) Gak

7) Silly Putty

8) Super Soaker

9) Roller Blades 

10) Super Nintendo

11) Talkboy

12) My Little Pony

13) Pogs

14) Beanie Babies

15) Tickle Me Elmo

16) Micro Machines 

17) Bop It

18) Stretch Armstrong

19) Power Wheels 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One of the Best of Its Kind

Advent: God With Us from The Village Church on Vimeo.

"In their waiting, they had hope.  Hope that was fully pledged to a God they had not seen, to a God that had promised a king.  A king who would reign over the enemy, over Satan's tyranny."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Now, I know this is a little dramatic...but in the spirit of today:

And, for sheer hilarity factor:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Waiting for Christmas

Ever since I understood what Advent meant, I look forward to the coming of it every season.

You see, I didn't really grow up going to church.  And when I did find myself in a church pew, I was checked out -- thinking about how I could beat my brother in Tetris, or the boy I wanted to date, or about how I thought religion was painfully boring.  I remember seeing people light Advent candles from time-to-time but I had no idea what they meant or why they had any real relevance to my life.

Since I decided to follow Jesus -- to trust him and believe him -- Advent seems to have taken on much greater significance in my life.

Advent is the season of waiting.

In short, the world was waiting for a king.  The Jewish people, specifically.  The Jews were under harsh Roman rule and things seemed dismal.  Things seemed broken and they were waiting for someone to come fix them.  They believed God had promised them a king (a "Messiah") they waited.

And he came.  The king, this promised Messiah, came.  This was Jesus.
(He was a little bit of a different king than they expected, to be honest, though.  They expected a king to rule with majesty and power and a throne and maybe even some superiority.  Instead, however, he was a king who came in humility, and grace, and obscene forgiveness.  But, that's besides the point, I digress).

But, before he came, in the waiting, the Jews had a choice: "will we trust what God has said?  or will we not trust what God has said?  Will we believe this king will really come as God promised or will we not believe?"

I relate.  I face the same question daily:
will I trust God or will I not trust what God has said?

So, with that, I enter into the season of Advent.  Enter into the season of waiting.  Enter into choosing to trust or not trust God with what He's said.

So, I don't know who you are reading this blog.  I don't know what you consider yourself to be -- a follower of Christ (like myself), a skeptic of all religion, a seeker of things that are true and satisfying for your life, a "how-could-this-ever-be-relevant-to-my-life?" wonderer, or maybe simply a lover of the Christmas season, etc.  But whoever you are, wherever you're at, whatever you believe, I simply want to invite you to join me this Advent season.  Join me in asking the question, "will I trust what God has said or will I not?"  Join me in a plan to read a small piece of the Bible once a day between now and Christmas.  What is that -- like 10 minutes a day, 30 days or something?  Child's play...easy peasy.

This is the plan I'll be following.  Join me in the same plan if you'd like.

I'll be blogging along the way.  Reading the Bible is much more fun when done together.  I'd love to hear your thoughts if you decide to join with me in this.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This is Not the End

A glimpse into my latest obsession:

My soul finds hope in the things to come.  In the making of all things right, of all things new, of all things in the just-how-they-were-supposed-to-be.   My soul finds rest in the Lord.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So sad

Every day it seems like there's at least one small moment when I whisper to myself, "I can't wait for the all the sadness in the world to be gone."  "I can't wait for all the broken things of the world to be fixed and made whole."  "I can't wait for complete goodness and rightness."

In recent days, however, those thoughts have become much more than one small whisper-to-myself-moment.  It's the constant thread.  I can't stop thinking about it.  I can't stop longing for the tears to be wiped away.  I can't stop longing for the liberation of enslaved girls.  I can't stop longing for goodness to reign.  For evil to be condemned and punished.  For unfilled dreams to finally be realized and fulfilled.  For the lame to walk and dance and jump.  For the mute to talk and yell and sing.  For the blind to see and behold the greatest glory of all.  For the deaf to hear the most beautiful words ever spoken.  For broken hearts to flow with life again.

Dreams I have dreamed.  They will go empty.  Visions I've had.  They'll never be fulfilled.

Hearts that should work.  And they don't.
Some of my dearest friends in the world, Ben and Shaina, with a 3 month old baby.  With a heart that's not working like it should.  It was created to bring life.  To sustain life.  Her name is Chaia, which is Hebrew for LIFE.  She should have life.

But, in this world, death and poison and unrightness and weeping and "not supposed to be this way's" have tainted and twisted.

Dreams unfulfilled are a letdown.
Hearts don't work like they should.

And it's sad.  I feel sad for the way things are.
I feel sad for the mess and poison my own hands have created in this world.

I am sad.
All I can do is hope.  This world makes me sad.  There's not much hope for a better tomorrow here.  It keeps getting worse.  The days keep getting darker.  And the sadness drives deeper.

I don't hope in today.  I can't find hope in tomorrow.

But faith is saving the world.  Faith in a King.  in a Good King.  in a King who will reign with goodness.  with justice.  and grace.  and sweetness.  in a King who has power.  in a King who loves.

in a King who makes the dead hearts beat again.  who unlocks the shackles on the feet of women in the brothel.  who feeds the greatest feast ever to tent city.  who hugs the fatherless.  who gently lays a hand on the beaten.

I'm longing for the King's return.
But in the meantime, may faith be the hope offered to the world.  Faith is beautifying the world.

Chaia Update from Wadsworth UMC on Vimeo.

Chaia is a warrior.  Her parents are heros.  God is saving the day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kick off

It seems like, for me, blogging comes in seasons.  Fall, winter, and spring -- I'm full of thoughts and stories to share.  Summer, however, the ol' blogspot is hardly an open tab on the computer.

But as summer fades to fall, it seems Wags' seasonal blogging days are ahead of her.

To kick off such a season, there could be no more appropriate video.  Enjoy:

And may the countdown to Saturday noon begin...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Glimpse into Wildwood

A brief photographic recap and glimpse into Wildwood Summer Project 2011:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's all happening

Staff Arrival: check.
Staff Orientation: check.
Student Arrival: check.
Student Orientation: check.
Summer Project: happening.

121 E. Maple is filled.  Filled with 45 college students.  Filled with laughter.  Filled with rich, meaningful conversation.  Filled with games of Apples to Apples.  Filled with sweet grace and with precise truth.

We have a great staff team, who I just continue to find myself enjoying.  We are a totally low-key/low-maintenance group -- which I am loving.  We had a great week of just staff together; we formed a sweet family with one another.  We welcomed our students into an already-family.  And our students are a blast -- relational connections are being formed, significant conversations are happening, and steps of risk & faith are being taken.

Too much ice cream has been consumed.  Wawa has become a dear friend quickly.  I'm wishing Floody's Grill was still around.  Every day has been characterized by sunshine.  And did you know there are just as many stars in the galaxies as there grains of sand in the world?  That's been blowing my mind.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

En route...

Tonight the boardwalk sits empty.  

The shops haven't opened, the ferris wheel has been stalled for 8 months, the games sit quiet, and Curly's French Fries' smell has waned to a minimum.

But tonight, I will arrive in Wildwood.
After 6 months of planning and praying, I will finally arrive in Wildwood.  I'll sleep at 121 E. Maple St. for the first time in 5 years.

It seems a bit surreal.  I'm currently en route and I can almost already smell that distinct ocean smell once you cross from the mainland into Wildwood.

If you are the praying kind, would you pray?
Pray for my summer.  I am nervous.
Pray for our summer.  We want to love.  and love well.

 ... In just a few days the rest of our staff team will arrive -- we eagerly await them!
 ... In just a few more days, 50 students (from across the country) will make their summer home with us in Wildwood, New Jersey.
 ... And in just several more days, the Wildwood boardwalk will open, and hundreds of thousands of people will fill the town with life.

We believe not one person will enter this town by mistake. 

May souls encounter the divine this summer.

And may Wildwood make its way into peoples' hearts as a remembrance for things witnessed and encountered.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How You Can Play a Part...

I never thought I would put this on my blog...
but after several blog-followers have been asking, I've decided in favor of it. :)

Some of you have asked how you can be a part of my story with CRU, and specifically support my summer in Wildwood.
     2 Things -- 
1: Go to can financially give right here on-line.
2: If you believe in prayer -- pray.

If you'd like to be part of my summer, part of my ministry with CRU, these are my 2 biggest needs.

Thanks to those who have asked!
Thanks to those who so desire to be a part of my story and my journey!  I am grateful for you.  May you be blessed.  :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

This is awesome...

From the teeter-totter, to braces, to the volleyball locker room, to Prom, to Mount Union's Nat'l Championship, through to today...
Every #1 Billboard Hit from 1993-2011:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

40 Things That Will Make You Feel Old

The full post here.

Top 5 Songs 15 Years Ago:

Surge hasn't been sold in over 10 years.

The cast of Boy Meets World's ages:

Goosebumps books were released between 1992 and 1997.  There hasn't been a new one in 14 years:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tweets that Didn't Quite Make the Cut...

I thought all of the following today.  And I wanted to tweet every single one of them.  But I didn't want to overload my followers; I like to think of myself as a "sensitive-to-my-followers Tweeter."

Tweets that Didn't Quite Make the Cut today:

I claim to like Edamame for its vegetable value -- really, I think it's because they serve as 100 mini-salt licks for me.

I'm naturally a bit pigeon-toed -- there are moments when it is severe.  For some reason, the more pigeon-toed I walk, the cooler I feel.

The amount of times I said "I would never..." -- and then did -- keeps me fresh in remembering I am not above anything.  Ever.

Change is a slow process (and can feel like watching water come to a boil).  Looking through 3 years of journals today, however, I am totally different at 24 than I was at 21.  (Thank God).

"Friday Night Lights," my current Netflix obsession, has too many plot lines to keep itself going for more than 5 seasons.  Which is a shame.

Chapman needs to add a 6th Love Language to his current 5: Facebook wall posts.

I'm gonna start making Polar Pop art.  Those BIG ol' cups are asking to be made into a mural.
 (I will NEVER actually follow through on this [when's the last time I followed through on anything?] -- but you should -- and you can give me props when your famous).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I cried over bumblebees?

Earlier this afternoon I found myself snuggled up on my couch with all the doors and windows open (following a day spent on the Maumee River and a date with Mr. Freeze).  It was the first enjoyable summer breeze I've experienced all year.

I sat on my couch simply dazing out the window.  It may have been the first time in months where I had just gotten to sit -- with no agenda, no thing to check off, and no place to be.

Two bumblebees were making their way into the flowers of the tree and I couldn't help but be engrossed by watching them.  By watching their next move.  And, then, all of the sudden, several unexpected tears began to roll down my cheek.  Not being much of a crier, I began to ask myself, "what the heck is wrong with me?  Why the crap am I crying about two bumblebees?"

But I began to realize, I wasn't crying over some stinkin' bumblebees, but I was overwhelmed by the amount of life that was bursting forth outside.  The purple flowering tree, the tulips, the dogwoods, the mini purple crocus, the daffodils, etc.  I was remembering just a mere few weeks ago the deadness that weighed like a plague.  The trees were bare, the sky was gray, it was cold, and there was not even a hint of a flower.

But, today, there was life.  Life bursting everywhere you looked.

The dead has been brought to life.  The empty, barren branches are now filled with greenery -- with leaves and colorful flowers!  The empty, barren soil is now bearing life -- daffodils, lilacs, tulips!  It's really a beautiful thing.

There is hope for the dead to be made alive.

And, generously, that sweet purple flowering tree of life gave forth life to those sweet bumblebee lovebirds.

The story of death to life we see outside our window points to something greater.

May dead, barren trees be made alive and bear fruit as they were meant to do.
May dead, barren souls be made alive and bear fruit as they were meant to do.

May trees full of life give forth life as they were meant to do.
May souls full of life give forth life as they were meant to do.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dads are the Original Hipsters

Let's just be honest, our dads were hipsters way before our generation.  Our dads wore deep-V's way before us, donned ugly sweaters decades before us, rocked the 'stache before we even dreamed of it, and tube socks were his staple.

Bein' a hipster is cool, but let's give credit where credit is due.

Sorry hipsters, your dad was the original hipster and he was killing it back in the day.