Monday, January 31, 2011

Yum.

I have a new-found love for bran muffins! Thanks, Bev, for the recipe!
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Narnia!

It's not even my birthday yet, and I've been getting spoiled! Mark and I had an early birthday celebration on our Sabbath last week. We went to Mama Lada's Enchiladas downtown (so quaint, eclectic and yummy). We also went to Narnia in the theater - like our 3D glasses?


I LOVE Narnia. I am finally reading the books in order, and I am so addicted. I am a sucker for Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and other epic stories, but Narnia is quickly overtaking them all as my favorite. Those of you who know how much I love Star Wars have your mouths open in surprise now that I am suggesting that another epic story might overtake George Lucas' masterpiece in my list of favorites. Crazy, right? We'll see...it does look promising.

I never really cry when I watch movies...even really dramatic, sappy ones. They just never stir up much emotion for me. However, just about every stinking time I see Aslan, I have to fight back tears. Oh my. I cry at the sight of lions in kids' movies. There is just so, so much about Aslan that represents so, so much of what I love about the Lord. He is not a tame lion. But he is good.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We have been SO busy lately. When will life slow down? I just opened our Google calendar, and it looks like we might have a little down time in March. Yikes.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sacred Seven: Chapter Two

So crazy... Well, not crazy... Providential? Yes. Providential.

To review, here is the sequence of God starting to work in my heart regarding evangelism and the Gospel...
  1. I read Luke over the summer and am convicted that I don't know the first thing about real hospitality and sharing the Good News.
  2. I start praying (but doing nothing) that God would help me wrap my mind around it all and lead me in ways to start doing a better job.
  3. As I continue to pray, I start processing stuff. God started showing me that sharing His Gospel isn't just about "getting people saved".
  4. Mark & I start a "Faith Steps" class at our church. We learn a lot about the fullness of the Gospel - what it is and what it isn't... Sounds pretty simple, but let me tell you, it is very different from what our culture seems to be telling us.
  5. I pray that God would help lead me to a couple people who don't know the fullness of the Gospel, or who aren't saved, so that I can start being more of a testimony to Him.
  6. He lays two people on my heart.
  7. I go to Faith steps last week (see this post for the story) and get the final push I need to get out there and share some good stuff.
  8. This week, I actually DID share some things with one of my two people. It was so good. I learned that I don't have to force conversation in a way that leads up to the question, "If you died tonight, would you go to heaven or hell?" The Good News is so multi-facted and wonderful that just about any, good-ole, natural conversation leads into a place where Truth can be shared. The point is to PAY ATTENTION for those divinely initiated moments.
  9. A gal from church called me this week to ask me to do special music. I asked what the message is about. You know what I found out? The message is about "Telling it With Love" - reaching out to people, sharing the Truth, sharing the Gospel and focusing on our Sacred Seven. I am extra excited because now I have a chance to sing about exactly what God has been speaking into my heart over the last few months. When I sing "The time is now, come Church, arise! Love with His hands, see with His eyes!" it will actually be the song in my heart and my personal encouragement for our church. Now, that is providential. Here is the song by Christy Nockels:
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Terry Peak Leader Retreat

Mark & I spent this past weekend near Terry Peak in the Black Hills with a bunch of YoungLife leaders. We had lots of fun and lots of great conversation. I'm starting to help Mark more and more with YoungLife, so it was an especially good weekend for me because I got to know his leaders a little bit better. They are a GREAT group. Lots of different personalities, but so much unity and respect for one another. I can barely believe how much of a family it feels like. Here are a few highlights from our weekend:


This was the view from our bedroom!


From our prayer marathon! Oh, how I love prayer rooms.


Mark shared some great stuff this weekend. Proud of him!


The guys playing Rock Band. They are considering recording a CD to raise money for YoungLife.... :)


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Thursday, January 13, 2011

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things: Coffee Cups

Mark is home! Hooray. We had a great day yesterday! Spent a lot of time catching up and just hanging around the house...apartment, I mean. And speaking of our apartment, I love it. I finally have it just the way I want it...for now. :) Here's a picture of one of my favorite spots in it.


Oh, how I love coffee, tea, cider and cocoa! Anything warm in my tummy is wonderful. As you might guess, I collect coffee cups. These are a few of my favorite things! This is only one place, out of many, that they are hiding around our apartment. They are just so cute and cheap! All of them are either from Goodwill, flea market stores, or gifts from friends. This is my little shrine to all of these good things.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow!


Oh my. Isn't it funny how bent out of shape we get when we lose control?

My husband is caught in the snowstorm of a century in, of all places, Atlanta, Georgia. His flight home has been cancelled and goodness knows when the South will be able to dig out of the drifts. One of USA Today's headlines is entitled, "Winter Storm Paralyzes Air Traffic in Atlanta". And, what do you know, Good Morning America's very own weatherman, Sam Champion, was reporting live in a snowbank from downtown Atlanta this morning. So nice of him to travel all the way there to update me on my husband's predicament first-hand.

Needless to say, I am not a happy camper.

I am so dumb though. My husband is happy, healthy and safe. I will see him soon. I think I am just used to planning and controlling and having my way all too often. Thank You, God, for healthy reminders like this.

Oh, it's not too nice in SF either. The picture I posted is the view from my patio window...

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sacred Seven

Oh my word. Church was so good this morning. In our membership class, one of the pastors was talking about the church's mission and vision. One of their values at the church is for their members to be reaching out, loving and investing in unbelievers - people who don't have an active relationship with Christ yet. I was especially thankful for that sort of focus this morning because God had already been working in my heart and convicting me a lot about the same sort of thing. I will try to sum this up without being too rambly...

Ever since high school, I have been surrounded by Christians. All. The. Time. I'm not kidding. When you go to a Christian college in a community that has a church on every corner...when you have Christian friends and family...work with Christian praise team people...and when your job is to sit behind a piano and sing nice songs about Jesus, you don't really run into many people who have never heard about the Gospel.

Over the years, I have rationalized that some people are called to be evangelists and that some are called to be disciplers and some are called to be worship leaders. To put it bluntly, I was assuming God called me to sit behind the piano and bless people with music, and that in that, I was somehow exempt when it came to the Great Commission.

Over the last year, God has been changing my heart and showing me that it is every Believer's obligation, privilege and joy to share Christ with others. (Duh, right? Wish I would have learned that earlier...) I started by praying that He would send some people (even one person) into my life that I could invest in and befriend, with the hope of earning the right to be heard, and to share the Gospel. I prayed that He would help me start looking and watching for those people, and that I would respond to Him in obedience if He pricked my heart and said, "Share Me with that person!" I also started praying that I would find JOY in thinking about sharing His love with others. And what do you know...He answered my prayers.

I know that our church encourages us to have a "Sacred Seven" - seven people to pray for, invest in and share the Gospel with throughout the year. However, right now, I only have a Sacred TWO. I am still praising God, though. Two is a good number to start with. My prayer is that, in this new year, I will be faithful and obedient to His call with these two gals.

Do you have a Sacred Seven? How about a Sacred one or two, even?
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Friday, January 7, 2011

To Culver's:


Dear Culver's,

I do not like Strawberry Tuna ice cream. Would you replace this Flavor of the Day with Chunky Peanut Butter Dream?

Thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Liza Jane DeYounge
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Where's Your Victory?

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain. -from I Corinthians 15





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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jealous of Georgia!

Mark is still in Georgia. He’s taking seminary classes. Georgia is so lucky to have him there. I am jealous of Georgia.

When we got married, I knew that the Lord would no longer look at Mark & I as separate individuals, but as one flesh. Understood. Check.

In Mark’s absence, though, I am realizing what it feels like to be one flesh. It feels like he is my other half. (And for the record, he is the better half.) When I am eating supper and doing dishes and Mark isn’t around, half of me is missing. When I am hanging out with my family and having fun and Mark isn’t around, half of me is missing. When I am driving six hours across the state and Mark isn’t in the seat next to me, half of me is missing. I am not fully “there”. I feel half “out of it” and half distant and half grumpy and half impatient and half lonely.

Actually, whole lonely.

When my other half is missing, life feels hollow.

...insert a huge dramatic sigh... :) Five more sleeps!

I am praising God for the great work He has done in stitching our hearts together, bit by bit. May He continue to stitch both of our hearts to His, bit by bit, too.


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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The view from my parents' kitchen window Sunday morning. This sort of scene usually replays once every time I'm home - not uncommon at all! They must love the apples! Deer hunting, anyone?


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Monday, January 3, 2011

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Mark and I spent a few days over this past weekend (New Year's) with my side of the family. We had a belated Christmas and lots of fun.

Mark left NE Iowa today for some seminary classes in Georgia, so I am staying with my family for a couple of extra days and working from my laptop. Here are a few pics from today - Mark left to head back to Sioux Falls to catch his flight tomorrow. My dad is a pilot, so he flew him home! Fun, fun.

Pre-Flight Fun

My sister, Micah, directing some traffic...(or not).

Mark & Dad


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Cheap Ways to... Decorate & Wrap Presents!

I know that this post would have been more fitting before Christmas, but welcome to my life. I am usually two steps behind. Regardless, I had tons of fun wrapping presents this year, so thought I would share.

My preface is this... I only used what I already had! Dig through your cupboards and drawers the next time you need to wrap a gift. You might find treasures! (Scroll down for pictures.)

  • Ribbon (not just the curly kind - fabric or satin ribbon, string, thread or twine works!)
  • Stickers (I used up a bunch of letter stickers I had, but use whatever you find. Stickers work best on presents that are wrapped in plain paper.)
  • Paper bags (I used a bunch of bags that the grocery store gives you when you buy wine. I asked Hy-Vee for some, and they gave me over 50 for FREE. Cut them down to size.)
  • Old brooches or pins (attach a ribbon and you've got a super-fun-and-creative bow!)
  • Scrapbook paper or scraps (use for tags or other decoration)
  • Tissue paper (or fabric!)
  • Newspaper
  • Markers
  • Stamps
  • Lace
  • OR...don't wrap stuff at all. Just attach a cute tag and throw in some tissue paper. Some gifts are too cute to be wrapped. (see coffee cup below!)
That's certainly not a full list, but you get the point. Use what is laying around. I'm not kidding. See what you find and try making something up. Just try it. Even if you screw up, it might be fun. Call it an exercise of your creativity.

(There was a gift card in Casey's bag. I just cut the top of one of those wine paper bags I mentioned earlier, stuffed in some tissue paper and made a tag.)

Happy wrapping, friends! - LDY

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