Monday, November 29, 2010


Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ - Matthew 25:34-40

take a walk up and down the streets of chicago and look around. did you encounter and come across any homeless people? your answer will probably be, "yes." did you just walk by? did you judge? did you give them the quarter that was in your pocket? did you ignore them and think they would buy alcohol or some type of illegal substance with the money they had?

i am assuming that we can all answer "yes" to these questions. we have all been there, we have all done that. however, i had a different experience this past sunday with about 70 high school students.

it was the annual high school thanksgiving service project and this year we went downtown to hand out burger, blankets, and Bibles to the least of these. we split up in groups, bought some burgers at macdonalds, and started to walk. and oh boy, did these students encounter many individuals that were thankful to see these kids. a simple burger or blanket went a long way with these people.

we didn't just walk by or judge - the students EAGERLY approached every wonderful individual on the street asking them if they would like a burger to eat, or a blanket to keep them warm, or even a Bible to read. they would ask them their name and ask if there was anything they could pray for them about.

one guy's pray request wasn't for himself, but for those people who just walk by, that the Lord would open their hearts to the homeless. ugh - hit in the gut. remember when we said "yes" to just walking by... his prayer request was for me!!

after handing out many, many burgers, a few blankets and Bibles, and walking a few miles - the students were ready to just sit down. it was cool to listen to a few share what they learned or saw while we were waiting for the train and then taking time in small groups to pray for those we encounter. what a blessing those prayers had to be to the Lord!

"Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." the students not only served the homeless on sunday - but also our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. how cool. what an amazing picture.

i feel so honored to serve the Lord in this ministry alongside these students. it was so encouraging to see them so willing to give their time and money to help those who hardly have two pennies to rub together. looking forward to serving alongside these students for many more years.

here are some pictures of the students:

Greatest Small Group Girls :)

our group. about 18 of the 70+ that came!

Monday, November 15, 2010

One of those days...

Today, I get the award for being an idiot. Seriously.

Of course, my Monday morning had to start off right by scraping and denting the entire side of my husband's '05 Dodge Ram Pickup. Your welcome, honey.

I can't explain the feeling when you know you did something completely idiotic. I have been driving the truck for the past week in my work's parking garage with no problem. But this morning, I wasn't thinking and out of no where, a cement pole appeared ;). Now, his beautiful truck has a lovely white scrap/dent.

As I frantically got out of the truck this morning and ran over to the other side to see the damage - I got that awful feeling in my stomach when I saw what I had done plus the uncontrollable sobs that accompanied soon after ... man, did i just start my week off perfect.

On a better note: I am thankful for such a sweet, loving, and understanding husband. As he told me to breath through my sobs and tears, he also let me know it was going to be okay. Yes, it will be. It is just a vehicle and things like this happen. Just like when he scraped the same side six months back on a huge rock. Yes, we are very cautious couple. :) Merry Christmas, Danielle. A new side to our truck. :)

It's been a rough two days, but I can't dwell on the disappointments and anxiousness on how we are going to pay for this or when the Lord will answer my prayers that I thought he answered... He has a plan, in His time, and I know we go through things, even like denting our vehicle, to put us in our right place. God knew I needed that reminder this weekend, and yes, I am thankful.

So what, my week has started off not so well...but as everyone says, It can only get better from here, right? or is it worse? ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Favorite Two-Year-Old

Yes, I am a proud aunt. And it makes my role easier when I have the cutest nephew in the world.

I truly love children and I have zero of my own so who better to spoil than my favorite little two-year-old, Ethan.

It is Ethan's birthday today. He turned two. And what a blessing he is. I am truly thankful for him and cherish the moments I get to spend with him since they are few and far between.

So, Mr. Ethan - Happy, happy birthday from your Auntie Dani and Uncle Joey all the way from Cary, IL to Winston Salem, NC. Praying for you little man.

Enjoy your gift! That was the biggest box I ever shipped in my life!

Here are some cute pictures of him:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Short but Sweet (Isaiah 11 & 12)

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. - Isaiah 12:2-3

These were probably my favorite verses this past week as we went through Isaiah 11-12. This picture of quenching one's thrist by the desire to draw water from a well - demonstrates the desire for God and a recongnition that He is everything to you. The "water" He provides will fill you with unspeakable satsification and joy.

Yes. Spending that time with Lord daily, filling me with the "water" that provides unmatched joy. What a delight this has been over the past few weeks...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I am currently in Bible Study Fellowship every Monday night. We just finished chapter 10 in Isaiah - and wow, these lessons have been tough but sooo good. I want to write a brief sentence or two every Tuesday from now on to share what I have learned... so, here we go.

This past week we learned about God's discipline. We read through Isaiah 10 where God shares that he will use the Assyrians to destroy Judah/Israel (His People) because of their disobedience and ungodliness. However, God will not permit this destruction beyond His purpose - thus, leaving a remnant. PTL! However, through all of this, one of the principles we learned stood out to me the most: That God controls those He uses as tools of discipline for His people and that he disciplines those He Loves.

So, I thought . . . where is God disciplining me in my life? But before I go any further, I had to understand the difference between discipline and punishment because I think they so often get confused so I want to explain it: Discipline is training for the future. So discipline in your Bible study, prayer time, time management, etc. Punishment is pain over something we have done wrongly in the past. Choose to Sin, Choose to suffer.

So, thinking of where God is "disciplining" me right now, a few things came to mind...

Unfortunately, they are things I cannot share, too personal for the whole world to read, but let me tell you, it has been hard . . . and painful. However, I was so encouraged last night listening to the lecture as she said, "God will use anything to discipline, but HE KNOWS MY THRESHOLD." No enemy can come further than God allows. Amen!

But, I was convicted on my prayers. I feel like I keep asking God to answer my prayers, give me my desires, wants, needs - and while God does this, I think I am forgetting the point. Yes, God will answer my prayers, but in HIS TIME and in HIS WILL. That it might not be the time to overcome this just yet, or maybe never. -- and let me tell you, that is hard to say in this circumstance, but maybe I need to ask God WHAT should I be learning in this? or How am I suppose to be changing? He is teaching/showing me something and I need to come to that understanding before I receive...

So, Lord show me what I should be learning through these circumstances. Maybe there is an area in your life that has been hard to endure and painful - ever think God is disciplining you for the future? Teaching you something to overcome something for the future?

Glad God is in control - I know he is doing this for my good and for your good. I can't tell you the amount of peace the Lord has given me to endure these circumstances lately. I know He has a plan, and so I wait patiently on the Lord.