Friday, August 27, 2010


I'm forgetful. I admit it.

And with the length of my to do/to pack list, it really shouldn't be all that surprising that I would start forgetting things. (More than just the watch off the Walmart shopping list).

But, I really did it this time.

On Tuesday, I went to Primed to get a TB test done. About the time that I heard that they only had one nurse that could do the thing, I started getting a little worried. But, I still went in there and got the thing done (that may or may not be required for my service site. Great.). And then during the ordeal, I felt a little unsure about the thing, because it wasn't the same as the last time I had one done. It took forever. Had a lot more of the TB stuff in the syringe. Oh- and that stuff went all over me and not all in my arm. So, needless to say, I left with the knowledge that I was "never going back there again". Well, until Thursday to get the test read, of course.

And then, as I posted about earlier, I got home. Felt lightheaded. And somehow passed out on the floor. Um, great. We decided to blame it on dehydration, lack of food, something along those lines. Until Wednesday night church when I talked to a nurse friend that said that the guy should never have shot me up with that much stuff. (And I thought it was supposed to bubble. Not be a shot). And how a TB test is something taught at the beginning of nursing school. So, technically, more than one person should have been able to do the test. So, I decided that I was NEVER going back there again after I got my slip of paper saying I was all good.

Well. Here's where my forgetfulness comes it. I was supposed to go back sometime between Thursday at 11 and Friday at 11. (Even though I know I don't have TB. You couldn't even see the site on Day 2). And guess who forgot to go in?

This girl.

And then I realized you can't see the test site. At all. AND it's over the allotted time. And frankly, PriMed is stupid and probably won't just read the test tomorrow. Which means, I'm probably going to have to get another TB test done. (Great.) But, I really don't want to because of the traumatic experience. And because of the fact that I'm leaving on Wednesday, so in order to get a test done and read on time, I would have to go in on Monday. And I'm just not that excited about having that much tuberculin put into my body in less than a week.

I mean, seriously. I don't have TB.

And this is why I'm writing every single thing down now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"I've gotta find me a frat boy to marry..."

So, a lot has happened since I last posted (um, yesterday). I got my TB test (that I'm not really sure if it's required for Mission Year or not, but I remembered reading that that might be a good thing to do, so I went and got it done) and I came home and promptly passed out (we think from dehydration). And then, two hours later, I drove up to Auburn. To see my friends before I leave for Chicago (which by the way, happens in a week!) and go to DIVE LIVE! (an on campus worship service my college ministry put on last night).

I didn't bring along my big camera, just took along the point and shoot, so my pictures aren't amazing, but I thought I would share. When I got there around 3, I walked to campus to meet Ivy. She was handing out flyers for the event and such. So, I hung out with her and we caught up on each others' summers. And discussed how much more polite these frat boys are when you try and hand them a flyer. (Um, they say "thank you". Enough said). So, therefore, decision made. I need to find me a frat boy. Well, a good one. Not one of those other kind. :)

And then, I met this girl for dinner at Chickfila (my fav guys, not even kidding. I wonder if they have these in Chicago and how I'm going to fit this one in my budget. I went there a total of 3 times last night. Not. Even. Kidding.) And I got her up to date on my life (since she was out of the country all summer and I couldn't exactly call/text her.)

And I forgot to mention said plan to marry frat boy. (Though, I did warn her not to get married in the next year and not invite me to the wedding. Um, important stuff people. Nobody can get married in the next year. Not. Allowed.) Then, Kayla had to leave (Sad day). She had chapter and had to get all dressed up.

And then, DIVE LIVE! started. Like, 20 minutes late (because who really runs on a schedule?). But, it was okay! The whole concert was the worship band leading songs (for almost 2 hours) that we normally sing at Dive (which happens at 8pm on Thursdays in the college ministry room. Fun stuff). And I took some pictures, but they really didn't turn out. This one is probably the best I have.

And...then we cleaned up and packed up and headed back to the college ministry building (because I have a friend who lives there. No really. For real. It's legit). And we went to bed. Because it was late and we (um, Ivy, Ali, and me) were sleepy. And so, the day ended.

Overall, I'm really happy I found time in my busy (haha) schedule to visit my friends. It was really encouraging. Sometimes I feel like no one really gets why I'm going to Chicago and all. And it's nice to see people really care and want to keep up with everything. I mean, I don't know that much about what I'm going to be doing in Chicago yet, but I can already talk for a long time about it. I'm just really excited. And blessed. I mean, I am incredibly blessed to be able to do this AND in all the support I've received so far (from a variety of people/places). It's awesome to be able to see God work in all of this.

And now, because I haven't done this in awhile...I'm going to name off my top 3 favorite songs. Just for fun and giggles. (You know you want to know!) In no particular order....(and I probably should mention, liable to change by tomorrow)

1. Keep Changing the World- Mikeschair

2. My Story- Addison Road

3. Light Up the Sky- The Afters

In reference to the original title- I don't plan on getting married in the next eleven months, so no worries guys (aka Daddy). I'm just making a statement. Those Old South frat boys (you know which ones) are awfully good at this whole southern gentleman thing. And you know me...I want one of those! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

just another friday...

It's Friday.

2 weeks exactly until Mission Year officially begins. 12 days until I leave Alabama.


So, I'm kind of scatterbrained this morning, so this post from this point is going to be in bullet list form.

Deep Thoughts from this week:

  • Henri Nouwen's Spirituality of Fundraising is something that if you're raising funds for something may want to read. I'm going to share some thoughts on this...later...after I get my copy out of my car. I was reading it (not while driving. I PROMISE.) in the carpool line. Gee that sounded Mom-ish.

  • I did a post on "Plans" a little over a week ago. And then, something during Wednesday night service stood out to me that kind of sort of related to that post. So, I thought I'd share it. Right here.

  • You see, we like to do/say things like "all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose". And that's all fine and all, I mean, it's BIBLICAL. But, we like to twist it around to say that "All things WILL BE good." And everything is always going to be amazing and easy and just how WE want it. Which isn't biblical. At. All. I mean, look at Joseph (the colorful coat guy) from Genesis. I mean, he was sold into slavery by his brothers. And then worked as a slave. And then some GOOD happened, he was promoted. But then, Potifer's wife wanted him (but he just wasn't that into her...) so, she claimed he raped her and then he got sent to prison. More bad stuff. Then, some good stuff happened and he interpreted the king's dream and was promoted to like....the vice president type position. And it was GOOD. I mean, he had some major ups and downs. It wasn't ALL good. Yet, it wasn't all bad. Because God was always there. At the end, Joseph says to his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20). God's always in control, we don't need to pretend like we're the one in charge.  End of mini sermon with super quick bible story. If you want to know more about Joseph and all the tiny, important details, go to Genesis 37-50.

  • And.....that's all the deep stuff from this week.

Links that I like this week:

In Conclusion:

Two quotes that have been tweeted by people I follow have stood out to me this week.

  • I don't think we have to evangelize more, although evangelism is necessary. I don't think we have to preach more, although we must preach. I think we must live together and show forth the Love that Christ has for us. ~George J. Taylor (tweeted by MissionYear)

  • Exciting things happen when the people of God believe the Word of God is worth spending their lives to teach to others. ~RadicalBook

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I have a to do list of things I have to get done before I leave in two weeks. One of the things on that list was to get a haircut. You see, I haven't gotten it cut since....last August. It's been awhile. And it was long. And hard to deal with. And I needed to fix that problem.

I was planning on getting a short trim. But after some calculations, I realized that I really wanted almost 10 inches off. I mean, I wanted it above my shoulders (I don't really like long hair) and I wanted something easy. And then, I remembered something on my list of things to do before I die. Donate to Locks of Love. So, off with the hair!

I didn't really realize how long it had gotten until today. I don't think it's ever been this long before. And things suddenly became a little bit lighter!

And Tada!

I really like it. I think I look a little closer to my age now! Haha! And so, now I have a gallon sized Ziplock in my purse with my hair in it! (It feels kind of weird to say that). I just need to go get an envelope to mail it off in! Yay for helping kids! ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Do not be anxious

about anything,

but in everything

by prayer and supplication

with thanksgiving

let your requests

be made known

to God.

-Phillipians 4:6


I'm a scrapbooker. I love pictures and memories. I mean, seriously, when I look at photo albums and scrapbooks I get that warm feeling inside and I feel like the world is really a happy place (okay, that was cheesy). I mean, I have pictures in frames and on my wall (and I'm still trying to figure out what to do about all this in Chicago....).

But, seriously? It can get expensive. I mean, shutterfly books and the such aren't cheap. get them at the right time! The book I posted about here? Free. I just paid shipping. For real 'yall.

I wish I could say that I just know these things, but I don't. I have 2 sites that I check daily for this kind of stuff, and one that I just discovered this past weekend. Jessica Turner normally posts some really good deals. The Frugal Girls also do the same kind of thing, except it's multiple times a day and they also do the whole couponing thing! I just discovered Chi-Town Cheapskate and I'm really excited about putting that one to use once I get to the Windy City! She posts about a bunch of Chicago (and some nationwide) deals, like Free Museum Days and such! (Hey- I need to learn about culture and history and see Sue the dinosaur or whatever!)

Now on to photo stuff (and the reason this post is entitled "Snapfish"). Oh rabbit trails.

Groupon has had some really great photo deals recently. Picaboo has had a $25 for $100 deal, Shutterfly had a $10 for $25 deal, and I saw another company that I didn't recognize and that I forgot the name of when I was checking this morning. I would have gotten the Picaboo deal, but it expires in a year and I won't be home for a I didn't know how that would work out exactly.

Another fun site is Kodak Gallery. If you go to the "Special Offers" page, they have some good deals. I got me some "Mommy Cards" (you don't have to really be a Mommy) with some of my MY contact information (Twitter, Email, Blog, etc) to hand out to people (I just keep forgetting. So, if you want one, let me know!). I think it was $3.99 to ship, but that's not too bad.

Okay. Now to what we really gathered here for. ;)

Snapfish has a GREAT (in my opinion) deal going on today and tomorrow. You can create a FREE 8x10 collage with FREE shipping with the code GRANDSHIP (it's on the main page of Snapfish if you forget. I just created one with pictures of my family (and now I just need a frame). I was going to post a picture, but it wouldn't save to my computer (which would make sense....). I don't think that this deal can be beat. Most places you still have to pay shipping....but not for this deal! Also, if you haven't ever ordered from Snapfish, you get 20 free prints! They have just redone their store, so they are doing some pretty cool deals (and no, I'm not being paid to say that.) So, yeah. Go. Upload. Checkout. And don't pay a cent. Yay!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


We went to the Big City today (also known as Birmingham, Alabama) to get some P.F. Chang's for lunch. we may have done a few other things while we were there, but my MAIN GOAL? Was to eat some P.F. Chang's. I mean, I love that stuff.

While we were in the car, Mom and I were having a conversation about "The Bed Intruder Song". And we (I mean I...) realized that my Daddy is SERIOUSLY out of touch with what is going on in the world around him. I mean, my Facebook newsfeed has been all about some Bed Intruder here lately. And, he hadn't heard of the leprechaun in Mobile either! So, I decided he needed some education about the great world of YouTube. And since he reads my blog (Hey Daddy!) I decided I could post the videos here so he could watch them if he so chooses to.

And I mean, I think the rest of the world needs a little education about what things are like in Alabama....well....kind of...not really. I mean, I don't think I shop at WalMart with these kinds of people.  ;)

Example 1: Mobile Leprechaun (this one happened in Mobile).

Example 2: The Bed Intruder (this one happened in Huntsville).

Okay. That's all.

Sorry. I'm in a band mood.

Max joined the Middle School Band this week and got his trumpet today.

Um, yeah. We'll end this now.

Friday, August 13, 2010

journaling phase.

We are now entering the journaling phase (imagine that being said in a deep, scary voice).

I began contemplating it when I realized how much I love blogging. And then, I realized that in 19 days I won't have internet access sitting at my fingertips. And yet, I want to remember everything I can about this upcoming year. So, I decided I needed to journal so I could remember stuff. (And blog about it whenever possible).

And you should know I like cute stuff. I mean, in my about me, it should say, "Hi, I'm Lauren. I like cute stuff." So, I knew that aforementioned journal couldn't be a one-subject 25 cent notebook. It needed to be cute. And girly. And Annie's journal inspired me somewhat. I mean, I love trying to be creative.

So, I found me a cute notebook and grabbed me a paint pen and went to work to come up with this. Life verse? Check. Monogram? Check.

And then I decided my journally thingy needed an introductory page. In case I ever became famous someday and someone stumbled across my journal.

I mean, I only had a pen and some scrapbooking supplies so I had to get pretty creative here.

But then, the other day at Target (we stopped to get a Strawberry smoothie and some transparency markers) I found the best thing ever aka Sharpie Pens. I mean, they're like a sharpie, but they're a pen! And they don't bleed through the paper and their acid free and they are super fun to write with. And they came in black, blue, red, and purple I think. Maybe green. I don't feel like finding the packaging to check.

And so now...I write in my journal with Sharpie pens. And I like to think that they make my handwriting prettier. But, my handwriting still isn't teacher perfect, so maybe a year of journaling will improve my handwriting??

(and I'm sharing the above in attempts to be a "transparent blogger" by sharing my personal journal entry. Ha. I mean, it's not like I didn't blog about it YESTERDAY!)

And that would be a summary of the journaling phase I'm going through. I think it might really work this time. Unlike when I was in third grade and kept a diary. Or fourth. Or sixth. Or seventh. Or the fact that I don't do really good at this journaling business and it usually only lasts a week or so. But, I think I have a chance for success this time!

On a completely unrelated note, I figured out how to upload my edited picture from yesterday in full size. If you want to see it bigger, click on the photo below!

On another completely unrelated note, I'm taking a poll (you can respond in the comments).

If you had a relation,that was say in the third grade and your little brother, and you recorded a really funny video of him (with his permission of course!) that would be perfect for blackmail purposes, say when he was seventeen, would you wait until he was older to use it against him OR would you go ahead and post it on the blog? I mean, it's not like it couldn't be recycled later....right? ;)

Thursday, August 12, 2010



You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:14-16


Today, I'm linking up to a blog hop over at Pixel Perfect (since I found it on my friend Annie's page and thought it looked fun!) While I was looking through my pictures to try and decide which one to edit (since I haven't taken pictures in FOR-EV-ER), I came across this picture of the Children's Harbor lighthouse from Mother's Day and it made me think of the above verse in Matthew and the whole "city on a hill" business (thank you 10th grade English teacher for getting that phrase stuck in my head!). And I decided that I want to be a LIGHTHOUSE and bring light into the darkness. Add that to my list of things: world changer, dream chaser, love giver, door holder, and lighthouse. I think I've got my work cut out for myself. ;)

Taken with the lovely Nikon d3000 and edited in PSE 7.

It's times like these I wish I had a little more than 400 pixels to post in. The edited version looks SO much better bigger. Grrrr.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

the one in which i show my dirty laundry.

My plans don't always go according to plan.

No really, they tend not to work out exactly like I plan them. Like, say for example, my laundry plans. (Yes, dear Mom, I have laundry plans). I have great plans for doing my laundry. As in washing and drying and putting them all away. But, they don't normally go according to plan. You can see that by observing exhibit A. (Sorry Mom!)

[caption id="attachment_461" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Exhibit A: Please don't refer me to Hoarders. I promise this was taken MONTHS ago."][/caption]

Okay, so maybe I don't really plan out my laundry (though sometimes it does appear on my To-Do list). But, I am a planning personality. I like to have all the minor details of my life planned out according the way I want them. I mean, HELLO, I have already planned out the rest of my college years, my wedding (and how that engagements supposed to go down), how many kids (and the names), how the house shall be decorated, how my future classroom will be decorated, what we will do on our first family Disney vacation, etc, etc, etc. You get the picture (And if you don't I have a handy dandy Excel document we can pull up). Basically, there was a point in time I thought I had it all figured out (Silly me!).

Like take for example the whole graduation from College thing. I have it all spelled out in a color coded Excel document. And I know exactly how many hours I have to take a semester to graduate in FOUR years. Well, until you throw the whole God and Chicago thing into the picture. That kind of screwed up that plan. I'm now looking to graduate in May 2013 instead of May 2012. To some people- not big deal. To some other people (like ME!)- a HUGE deal. Um, hello- I'm taking a year off of school. Um, yes, I know that's crazy insane. Sorry you need to talk to the big guy upstairs and not me.

Tonight in Bible group, the subject of God's plans was tossed around a bit. And so, I started thinking about God's plans and what that meant to me.

Over these past few months, God has taught me a lot about how little I really am. And how little my plans are. And how ginormously huge His plans are. I think it all started last February. I really didn't want to take Summer classes. I mean, it's SUMMER. So, I started thinking maybe I could do something mission-y this summer. You see, back in February, I started thinking that there might be something more to living than graduating in 4 years, getting married, and having 2.5 kids. So, I decided to apply for a summer program where I would work in a daycamp working with low-income kids in a rural part of Alabama. I mean, it sounded great. I could serve God in my comfort zone (and more importantly I would still most likely graduate on time). So, I went and applied. And interviewed. And I didn't get the job. I kind of wanted to give up right then and there. I mean, that meant I would be taking summer classes (Who doesn't want to take 10 hours in the summer?!). But, as a book entitled Plan B and a best friend would tell me...maybe God had other plans. And boy--he DID.

So, I started my summer classes in May. And they were pretty cool. I mean, for class during the summer. And then, I read a crazy book called Radical. And it kind of turned me right side up. And I started thinking about maybe taking the Fall off. Or maybe the Spring off. Or maybe the next Summer off. I mean, maybe I should spend a few weeks doing some Missions work somewhere. And then, I came across Mission Year. I'm pretty sure it was a God thing. I mean, I was Googling and I found it in the search results (Um, yeah, that was God). So, I prayed about it (something I hadn't really done with the other thing). And I talked to my parents about it. And some other special people. And then, like 2 days later, I applied. Um, crazy. You see, my plans didn't really have room for me to take a year off (though, it does add a year to "THE THREE YEAR PLAN"). But, I really felt God telling me this was what I needed to do. And then, I interviewed. And then, I got accepted. And then, I found out that I was going to CHICAGO. Um, that is WAY out of my comfort zone. I mean, I like helping people and all, but I'm going to be living in the inner city. I'm not going to lie and say I'm not a little nervous about the whole thing. You see, God had something way bigger in store, something that I could never have imagined. He didn't just change my circumstances; he changed my heart and my way of thinking of things. It was definitely a God thing and not a Lauren thing.

We like to throw the verse Jeremiah 29:11 around a lot. For those of you that don't have it memorized, it reads:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I mean, standard graduation present fare. It's a familiar verse. We like to throw it around and twist if our own way. I mean, according to this verse, everything is going to be sunshiney unicorns and everyone's going to be happy....right? Well...not exactly. What he's saying (to me at least) is that he knows what's going to happen. He's got it all figured out. His plans are going to work out for the good. We have a future and a hope by believing and trusting in him. Does he say it's going to be easy? No. He doesn't define the plans for us. This verse is just there to help encourage us during our moments of weakness, when the going gets a little too tough. It's a little "Hey, I'm still here!" reminder just when we need it. It lets us know that he has all of our plans worked out. I don't need to worry about creating those Excel spreadsheets and color-coding them. I don't need to plan for the silly little things that I think are important when I serve a God that is completely in control.

Should I still do my laundry? Probably so.

Should I still do my personal best to complete daily tasks? Sure.

Should I worry about what tomorrow holds? Not. A. Chance. If he knows the number of hairs on my head and the number of stars in the sky, and the path that I should take...I think I should leave it up to him.

After all. He knows best. ;)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dear Walmart

Dear Walmart,

I think you're pretty cool. I mean, really, where else can you go to buy clothes, cleaning supplies, food, and other miscellaneous items. (Other than Target, I mean. No offence). But, you've made a mistake in rearranging my Walmart. I know that you're trying to "keep up with the times", but I really don't like it.

I mean, first you get rid of the self check out. Um, dude? I liked those things. I'd really prefer to not have to be sociable and talk to a cashier you know.

And yellow walls? Really? When did you think that they went with the *new* green signs. I really don't like yellow. Sorry. Now, if you wanted to paint the walls pink...we could talk. I like pink.

I also don't like this whole relocation of items thing. I mean, we all know that baby clothes belong back by the milk, not in the front. And ketchup across the aisle from the candy--that's just WRONG!

The one thing I do like about the relocation is that the chocolate is across the aisle from the Chinese food. I mean, we all know that alliterations are cool. If you could just follow the pattern throughout the store, we'd be good. I mean, put the toasters across from the tires....and the shoes across from the salad dressing. I mean, that would make alot of sense. Or you could just alphabetize the whole store. I mean, I know that it would probably be a pain to do, but it might be good. I mean, all the local Kindergarten classes could take field trips to Walmart and walk around the store singing the "ABC" song. It would be educational and it's not like there's anything else to do in this town.

I think that the above would be *really great* ideas. Please take them into consideration. To review:
1. The walls should be repainted pink.

2. You should either alliterate or alphabetize your store. (I mean, it'd be good for the COMMUNITY!)


Lauren :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I've decided to start journaling. I've always said I wanted to be a "journaler", but I've never committed to keeping one. But, since I'm going to be leaving the Land of the Internet and still want to keep a good record of my travels, I decided I better start. I mean, technically after the 6 week technology fast we will have internet access at the local library. But, if I'm going to just be blogging once a week, I need to write stuff down so I don't forget it. I mean, I'm pretty sure I suffer from short term memory loss.

But with this whole journaling thing, I knew I needed to make it cute. Because I like cute stuff. So, I decorated my book. And I had intended on posting pictures of it...but I'm in a different room, and it's late, and I really don't want to pull out my camera. So, I'll post pictures another day. Haha! ;)


I got an email from my Mission Year alumni member today! (Um, yay! Exciting) I found out I'm going to be living with five other girls (or at least I think they're all girls based on names and some facebook stalking. But, we're not going to discuss my facebook stalking issues here.) I think it's going to be an amazing experience and I am so excited. 25 days! We are going to be attending Roseland Christian Reformed Church and working at Roseland Christian Ministries and Roseland Christian School. Obviously, I'd really like to work with kids in some capacity, but I know that God is going to place me right where he wants me!


Okay, so I'm pretty sure that I'm going to freeze my hiney off in Chicago. I mean, I think it gets cold here in Alabama! I did get a coat (this one) already, and I have long johns/scarf/hat/snow boots on my list of things I need....but if you're from the Lands of the North (aka where it snows) and you have any suggestions on specifics (brands and such) or think I need to add something to the list, please comment here or email me (it's on the Contact Me page beneath the About button). I'd be super appreciative. And I'm pretty sure my phalanges (that's fingers and toes!) would be too.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I'm currently working my way through David Platt's most recent Secret Church podcasts. They're on "The Gospel, Possessions, and Prosperity" and they've really challenged my way of thinking on some things. He began the first sermon by going through some statistics. I'm a statistics person; they put things into perspective for me. And normally, they bring me to action a little quicker than a cute story. Some of them really stood out to me, and I wanted to share them. Obviously, I'm recommending you go download this series (It has 4 parts, each about an hour long).

There are currently around 6,645 unreached people groups in the World. This comes out to being about 2.75 BILLION individuals.

Over a billion people live in desperate poverty (less than $1 a day). About 200 million of these individuals are children that are exported for labor. The children that grow up in this desperate poverty will suffer brain damage because of inadequate nutrition during the first two years of life.

Over 6000 people will die each day in Africa due to AIDS.

Close to 2 billion people live on less than $2 a day.

26,000 children will die today because of either starvation or preventable disease.

If you make $50,000 a year, you are in the top 1% of the world. When you examine the global economy, people making over $10,066 are considered High Income. The average American Christian income is $42,409 (which is in the top 2.5%).

North American Christians give an average of 2.5% of their income to the church. And these North American churches give an average of 2% of the their funds to missions overseas. This means that for every $100 a North American Christian makes, we give about 5 CENTS to missions overseas.
To put this in perspective, churches spend about $10 billion dollars on buildings.  We spend twice as much on cut flowers, one and a half times as much on video games, about five times as much on pets, about one and a half times as much on chewing gum, and twenty six times as much on soft drinks. (Craig Blomberg)

I think we have a major problem. It's an epidemic in our churches and in our individual lives. We life comfortably in our affluence and we would rather pretend that poverty doesn't exist. But, IT DOES. And these statistics are real people. Living real lives. Real people living real lives that need to hear about the real love of a Savior that we call Jesus. I can't go about my normal affluent life without thinking of these things anymore. Yeah, that Smart phone? Would be awesome. It's convenient, I mean, I could check my email every 5 minutes from it. But, really, think about how many kids you could help send to school with the money you would save by not buying that new gadget. Or the number of kids that might be able to eat a meal tonight. Or maybe, if you teamed up with some people, you could even buy a well so they could have clean drinking water.

But, it's not just overseas. Yes, there is a lot of need in places outside of our country. And honestly, it's probably (okay it is...) worse in some places. But, think about the people in your community. Maybe it's not telling them about Jesus, but maybe it's showing them love. Maybe it's about loving out neighbors because that's what God has called us to do. Maybe it's about giving up some "nice things" so that we can be able to be used as a vessel for God's glory. Maybe we're called to live a life of love (for God and the people he has placed around us).

Just some thoughts I've had. You?
Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me." They also will answer, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?" He will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

-Matthew 25:41-45 (NIV)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Adventures in Sunday School- Bieber to Bingo

Last Sunday (yesterday) was my last Sunday teaching my Second Grade class. I've had a really good year with these kids. Yes, some of them are boys. And they get a little rowdy at times (usually after we partake in a snack containing high fructose corn syrup or sugar!). But, they are a great group of kids. Whoever gets the opportunity to teach them Sunday School this year when they move up to the third grade class is in for a real treat.

We have had a TON of adventures over this past year. We have had all sorts of fun relay races and made some neat crafts. We've had some conversations about Jesus. And other strange, random topics that we won't discuss here. Like our conversations about Justin Bieber (who is apparently going through puberty according to at least one boy child. Try answering the "What's puberty?" question to a bunch of second graders at church. That's a fun one!). But yesterday, we had a pretty funny story, too.

As any proper Alabama citizen would know, the state of Alabama is currently arguing about gambling- and more specifically, electronic bingo. It's all a little ridiculous if you ask me, and I'm not going to get into the politics, but it's important that you non-Alabama people know that pretty much every time you turn the television to a local channel, you're going to see an ad that's either for or against electronic bingo. All of the kids in my class have seen these or heard their parents talk about the topic. And apparently, some of them have never played a game of Bingo at school (the good, old fashioned, you-win-candy kind. Not the illegal kind).

You see, as part of the lesson this week, we were to play a game of Bingo with words from this month's memory verse. So, I pass out the cards and the counters (which were sequins because that was all I could find in the cabinets. It's not like I keep peas and beans in there!) and I begin to explain the game. How I'm going to call out the word, they're going to cover it up, and when they get 5 in a row (across, up/down, or diagonal!) they should yell "Bingo!". And then it happened. A child (that shall remain unnamed here because I don't remember which one it was) asks me "Miss Lauren, but I thought bingo was ILLEGAL!" And I mean, we were at church and all so I could see his concern about doing illegal activities at church. And as I looked around my (tiny) classroom, I saw that the others were listening for my answer. So, I just told them that they weren't paying me (so they weren't gambling) and I was giving them free candy, so it was all okay. And they seemed to accept my answer and went along playing the game. After all, it was free candy. And they like candy.

And that's the end of this edition of Adventures in Sunday School.

Really, I'm thinking should write a book on this. It could be a bestseller.