Wednesday, December 24, 2008


dad's office, bottom right boarded up

the main front door, black at the base of every door where karosine was poured

heading upstairs to view the damage

reconstruction begins!

dad's commentaries and books, those that were not burned were destroyed by water damage, his office was completely encased in ice the next day

more of dad's books and Bible studies

my dad's computer

A week ago Friday my home church, Wasilla Bible, was partially burned. Someone poured karosine around the perimeter of the building and at all the entrances. A group of women and some children were inside at the time doing a craft/project night. My family called me the next morning to let me know as I started my road trip west. The news hit me hard but at the same time I wondered equally as much how God will use this for His glory.

Three years ago this past October WBC began a financial campaign giving project with the goal and prayer of building our new place debt free. This past October (2008) marked the end of the campaign and the first phase completed nearly debt free. Two months after WBC's celebration Sunday of God's provision (land and a new building) it was lit up in flames. Who and why would someone do something like this? I don't know but I do know that this fire was not a surprise to God. He prompted the church to give like never before to get the building done and He will provide a means for it to be rebuilt and used to impact this community.

They have already begun the renovation on the building, gutting the lower and upper levels that were burned the most. The basement is being used as office space already . . . a very make shift set up, but the staff are pressing on not missing a beat. Because of the recent campaign and Palin publicity, the fire at WBC has made national news and churches around the nation have been responding in an overwhelming and encouraging manner. Hundreds of letters of encouragement have been read, sorted through and are being responded to. Being a member of WBC for the past 16 years I have to say this is an event like no other and I am excited to see how God will use this to further HIS Kingdom and bring Him glory.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Road Trip!

the best part . . . my man!

the house I'll be staying at until I find something more permanent, friends of Ben's

final destination . . . Los Angeles

Star Bucks stop just south of the Grand Canyon to keep us awake the last half of the day

crossed into AZ about 4:30 a.m. to get ahead of the coming snow storm

Christmas tree decorating with Joanna's family in Albuquerque, NM

remnants of tumble weed stuck in my car

Reunion with friends at a Mexican restaurant in Dallas, TX

I-20 from SC to Dallas

Sally Slaton good family friends of mine that we stayed with in GA

The past couple weeks have been a blur driving across the country, flying to Alaska, having the flu, seeing friends and family and soaking in the holiday season! Joanna and I were BLESSED with GREAT weather for our trip. With the exception of a wind storm in west Texas that had tumble weeds the size of small trees flying at us down the interstate and a threat of a severe winter storm in Arizona that we got ahead of we had excellent weather and NO car trouble! Thank you Lord for safe travel!

I left our travel log with Joanna but our total millage for the trip was just under 2,700 miles from Columbia, SC to Los Angeles, CA. We definitely covered some territory. Our travel philosophy was stop when the tanks are on empty and full . . . full bladders and empty gas tank. We had planned on "laying over" in the Grand Canyon one night but when we got to Albuquerque the severe winter storm warnings for Flagstaff, AZ and G. Canyon pushed us to press on and get through AZ before the interstate closed down. Because of the final push we ended up getting into LA just after 4 p.m. on Monday a day early.

Friday, December 12, 2008

moving on . . .

Today is my last day in Columbia, SC. My last class ended last night at 9:30 p.m., finals are finished, boxes have been shipped, I'm finishing packing my car and Joanna and I are driving to Atlanta, GA tonight to stay with friends of mine the Slatons.

Saturday the rubber really hits the road when we drive from Atlanta, GA to Dallas, TX about a 12 hour trip. We've got friends from seminary that live in Dallas that we'll be staying with Saturday night.

Sunday we'll be driving on to Albuquerque, NM and if there is time and no car trouble we'll split our final two days by spending at night in the Grand Canyon before heading in to LA. It's going to be a loooooooooonnnnng few days but we're excited for the adventure. I'll post pics later.

Pray for safe travel as we head out west, I've heard the weather is pretty messy closer to CA. Being from AK I can't imagine REALLY bad winter weather at this latitude but you never know.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

job update

For those of you who have been asking about and praying for my job hunting in CA I have exciting news! I was contacted this past week by TWO school districts in the northern LA area that want me to come in the first full week of January when I get back and interview! Praise the Lord for these opportunities! Thank YOU for praying.

Please continue to pray that the best fit for me will open up. I know one district is looking specifically for a long-term sub for a maternity leave and the primary student population I would be working with would be students who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or severly cognitively impaired. I have some experience with students that have severe multiple disabilities but very little experience with the deaf and hard of hearing population. I am always eager to learn about new groups but I will need to brush up on my signing skills!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

a farwell party . . .

my "Nort-da-koata" friends


my roommate!

my little "sister" Rachel

Tonight my friends from seminary hosted a farewell party in my honor. Twenty plus people stopped by to chat, eat great food, laugh, cry, reminisce, and have a time of worship. My first year at CIU people would ask what brought me to SC and all I could honestly answer was, "God did." He made it clear through my application process that this was the place He wanted me. It wasn't until this summer and final semester that I see a little more of the "big picture." I have learned invaluable life lessons through the relationships here. The follow verse rings true to me after my time here at CIU . . .

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

I have been truly blessed in Columbia and will miss my new friends and family here. Blessings on ya'll as you finish your programs and set out for all the adventures God has for you!

Monday, December 01, 2008


Ben and me

John and Tammi celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary

Ben and me

Midnight shopping at Concord Mills! Britt worked all night long midnight to 8 a.m.

someone I am thankful for . . .


Charlotte, NC at John and Tammi's house

This Thanksgiving was an absolute blast and blessing. Ben flew out from LA for the entire week. We both took a break from the craziness of class and work to tour the area, hang out with family, and have time TOGETHER! I have to admit long distance realtionships are not ideal. We spent the first couple days in Columbia where I live, toured the seminary, met my friends and then spent a day in Charleston, SC before driving back up to Charlotte, NC to spend the rest of the week at my aunt and uncle's house (John and Tammi) and some of my cousins.

Highlights from the week, time with Ben, a double date in Charleston with Mike and Cindy, friends from CIU, card nights with family, reading a book with Ben, eating lots of amazing food, midnight shopping with everybody, taking walks with Ben, white water rafting at the olympic training center in Charlotte, talking with Ben, wrapping up my week going to see "Australia" with my aunt Tammi. It was a week filled with blessing but also some emotion. After praying and seeking out options this week in regard to seminary Ben and I decided to stay/go to CA. We'd discussed the possibility of hiim moving to SC to finish seminary but he would lose several credits in the transfer so I am looking forward to a road trip with my dear friend Joanna to LA in 11 days but I am also sad to say good bye to everyone here. It is a bitter sweet time of change. I can't wait to live near Ben and be a part of his world in CA but I also am sad to leave so many great friends that I have made in the past 18 months here in SC.

Right now I am back in action wrapping up several papers, projects and preparing for two final exams along with packing up, shipping stuff to AK and CA, meeting with friends one last time, and continuing to fill out and pursue jobs in CA. It is a busy season! I hope this Thanksgiving has been a blessing to all! For those in AK I will be home with Ben Dec. 18-28th and would love to see as many of you as possible.

Charleston, SC

Shrimp and Gritts!

Mike and Cindy . . . a double date in Charleston, SC

Cindy and me

Southern style rocking chairs

Monday, November 17, 2008


I went to my first NFL game this weekend with my uncle John. The Carolina Panthers played the Detroit Lions. Carolina was expected to blow Detroit out of the water but they had a VERY close game and won it at the end of the 4th quarter 31-22. Thanks for taking me John, what great memory!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Trunk or Treat!

Hook, Tiger Lily, Tink, Peter

Tinker Bell twins

sweet hot dog twins

Candy Land trunk

My church here in Columbia, Grace Church, did their annual Halloween outreach again this year. They do a thing called "trunk or treat" for everyone in the neighborhood to come to. They rent some of those giant blow up jumping jungle gym/slide things for kids, have free hot dogs, popcorn and cotton candy along with a "trunk or treat" tail gate. Various people in the church sign-up to decorate their trunk with a theme and pass out candy.

Four of us from CIU that go there decided to decorate our trunk like "Neverland." We all dressed up as various Peter Pan characters and passed out candy. It was a blast! There were some GREAT trunk themes. One of my personal favorites was the pastor's trunk. He and his wife had twin girls in August so they had a 2 for $1 hotdog stand and their girls, Kate and Meg were in little hot dog costumes, TOO CUTE! It was a great way to spend a Halloween night.

Pumpkin Run

Last Saturday morning I ran a fun run 5K with some friends here in Columbia. I didn't have a goal in mind because I haven't been running much but it was a great way to start a Saturday morning and was a beautiful morning. For those who enjoy stats (dad, Dean, Dale) I ran it in 27:10 about an 8:45 pace.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Holy, Holy, Holy

Tonight in my Systematic Theology class the prof lectured and led discussion on the attributes of God. We are currently in the midst of studying Theology Proper, God himself and it has been incredible thus far. I was reminded tonight in a new way of the majesty and holiness of our Creator God. The last 30 min. of class we watched a video of R.C. Sproul preaching a sermon years ago on the holiness of God.

The passage he preached from is a familiar one, Isaiah 6, where Isaiah has a vision and just prior to his commissioning. This entry may get a little long but the content is worth reflecting and remembering.

Isaiah 6:1-3

"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.'"

Holy, holy, holy, this is the only time in Scripture that an attribute of God is repeated 3x in succession. No where in the Bible does it say mercy, mercy, mercy is the Lord, or love, love, love is the Lord. He IS those things and to a degree that no one and no thing else in the world is; however, HOLINESS is what Scripture emphasizes most as an attribute of God.

Sproul made a comparison of Queen Elizabeth entering the Abby at her inauguration as Queen Mother and how several attendants helped carry the train of her royal robe down the isle. When Isaiah looks upon the Lord HIS robe fills the entire temple! The visuals given in this passage are powerful to consider. Also the seraphs covered their eyes with two of their wings. Even as angelic beings they could not look directly at the glory or holiness of the LORD God. This was not new to me but it set the stage for another comparison.

Sproul went on to talk about the experience Moses had in Exodus 33:18-23 when he asks God to see his glory. No one can see God's glory and live (v. 20) but God allows Moses to see his backside briefly as his glory passes by (v. 23). Later in Exodus 34:29 as Moses comes down from the top of the mountain to meet with the Israelites and they cannot look at him because his face is so radiant. Moses' face is blinding to the people and that is from a mere brief glimpse of the backside of God!

Part of our class discussion prior to watching Sproul's sermon was on the presence and power of God. He has the whole world, the whole universe in His hands and at the same time, for those who profess faith in Christ, He resides in our hearts! God is infinitely greater than and more intimate than anything I can comprehend. There is no comparison to God.

In our post-sermon class discussion a comment was made how often times we as Christians become apathetic and indifferent to God's majesty. I didn't hear much of the conversation after that comment because I was pierced at how often I become apathetic and indifferent in my reverence, awe, and recognition of God. He alone is worthy of all my praise, worship, adoration, love and trust. I honestly don't remember the last time I prayed in awe of who God is, remembering that He is holy, holy, holy.

After class I went and sat in our chapel (an auditorium that seats 2,000) alone in silence pondering this truth again with a fresh perspective. God alone is holy, holy, holy and worthy of our admiration, our love, and our reverence. His glory is beyond what we can fathom and experience. That is powerful!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

headin' coast to coast...

Joanna and I had our first coast to coast brainstorm this morning over breakfast at IHOP. Joanna is a close friend here at CIU that will be making the road trip of the year with me in December from that South Carolina to California. Our semester wraps up December 11th and we're planning on heading out the evening of the 12th. The rough draft plan you ask?? Read the following and feel free to comment on any tips or quick stops on the way (close to the interstate) that we might want to check out or eat at.

Friday 12th: Drive from Charleston, SC (starting officially at the Atlantic Ocean) to Atlanta, GA

Saturday 13th: Drive from Atlanta, GA to Dallas, TX

Sunday 14th: Drive from Dallas, TX to Albuquerque, NM

Monday 15th: Drive from Albuquerque, NM to the Grand Canyon??? (possible reprieve, breaks the last two days into 6-8 hour days instead of the normal 12-13 hrs we'll be pulling)

Tuesday 16th: Drive from Grand Canyon to Los Angeles, CA (Final destination Pacific Ocean, Joanna gets to see her brother and I get to see BEN!!)

Wednesday 17th: Ben and I fly from LA to Anchorage, AK

Thursday 18th: My dad's 59th birthday and SLEEP!!

Seriously if anyone reading this has any tips on travel, time, especially the Grand Canyon side trip (short scenic side trip) let us know! We have friends to stay with at all the other places. The rough layout of the road system so far in our plan is basically: I-20, HWY- 78, I-40.