Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Homes for Our Troops

Last night Jon and I met a man who is a plumber with Homes for Our Troops. This is a group of homebuilders who build new homes (or upgrade existing ones) that are handicap accessible for troops who return home in wheelchairs or otherwise impaired. It seems like a great program- I never would have even thought of that need!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kids' Church

I began a new ministry today. Well... the ministry isn't new... I'm just new to it.

Anyway, I'm helping out with Kids'Church at Ft. Stewart.

With so many of the chaplains deployed, these ministries are severely lacking in volunteers... and with the surge and accelerated deployments, it is all happening quite quickly... as in... last week.

There are about 80 kids Kg-5th grade who come on a Sunday morning- this is one of those ministries that is all the chapels on post, plus unchurched kids that the bus picks up or whose parents drop them off. In that way, it's more like an AWANA program than a Children's Church. It only lasts about an hour, though, so there's barely enough time to realize what's going on before it's over! This morning they took a count of how many kids have a parent deployed right now- about 75% of them do. As you can see, it's vital that we keep reaching out to these families right now.

There is actually a possibility that I could be hired as a contract worker for the children's ministry. There's a bit of a process that has to happen, but it would allow me full reign of the ministry- and get paid for it!! From what I know of the position so far, it seems perfect for me! I won't know anything for a few weeks, but it looks promising!

Since the gospel service continues well after Kids' Church, I was able to go and be with Jon for the last half hour or so of the service. And... I didn't have the urge to cry AT ALL! Improvement... (funny sidenote... I was talking to one of the other KC volunteers who attends the gospel service, and she comes from an Anglican background- she said she was entirely caught off guard her first time!)

Anyway... I'll keep y'all posted... happy Sunday!

Friday, February 23, 2007

amazing grace?

we saw it tonight. today was the opening day of the amazing grace movie. my parents went to see it earlier in the day and had given it good reviews, so i was quite excited. i won't comment on the movie for now except to say that you should go see it! Christian cliches were kept to a small minimum... and after googling them when i came home, i realized that john newton (who spoke them in the movie) actually originally penned them!

that is all i shall say on the movie... for now...

no, coming home at close to one in the morning, there is something else pressing on my mind: the woman who sat next to me at the theater. she was the epitomy of what you don't want the person sitting next to you to be! She talked through the entire thing... it seemed like every thought she had she vocalized. any moderately emotional part, she responded with "mmm... how cool..." or "that is so cute" or "good for him!" or "that's just great"- it drove me crazy. i digress.

the point is that, between the previews and the movie, a coke commercial celebrating black history was shown. this woman, the SAME one who sang the praises of william wilberforce and the abolitionist movement, she said during this commercial, and i quote, "blah blah blah."

BLAH BLAH BLAH?? you're at a movie celebrating abolition of slavery and you "blah blah blah" the black history commercial?

so what... we should abolish slavery but supress the race after that? we should avoid any contribution they have made? it's a 30 second coke commercial... you are bored with history after 30 seconds? you glorify the "amazing grace" of God (and rightly so), yet you are unwilling to extend his grace in your own life by recognizing what a particular race has accomplished?


if there was anything i could have changed about the movie, it would have been that woman.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

i am so stinkin high-tech.

here it is, folks...

getting annoyed with trying to remember to stop by?

not stopping by much because you don't remember?

i have solved your problem!!!

all you do is enter your email address in the top right column of this page, and you will get an email notification every time i post. no more wondering when in the world i'm going to post or if it's worth your time to check.

happy subscribing!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

just in case you were wondering...

tomorrow's expected high here in hinesville is 78 degrees.

Monday, February 19, 2007


i have realized that, in spite of my valiant efforts to make what i say make sense to civilians, there are some things that need to be explained. keep in mind that everything i'm about to say brings with it about 5 other things that should be explained, and if you have military experience, you'll look at this and will want to add several exceptions and specifications- this is not an exhaustive explanation, but hopefully it will help this life we now lead make more sense for most of you!

each installation (for our sake, an installation is a fort- like fort stewart- it is the geographical location) has a chaplain that stays there and runs the chapel ministries at the installation. each brigade has a chaplain, and each battalion has a chaplain. there are typically several battalions in a brigade. in the active duty world, the first several years of your career are spent as a battalion chaplain. (this is what jon was in iraq and will be after this year of being a trainer.) battalion chaplains serve their unit (battalion) AND usually a post chapel.

ft. stewart currently has 5 post chapels. these are basically church buildings and are run similar to a large church that has different campuses across town. each faith group (protestant, catholic, islam, wiccan, etc) has access to these chapels. for example, at ft. stewart, there is catholic mass; protestant traditional, contemporary, liturgical, and gospel; as well as other meetings for varying faith groups.

when we say that jon is the "associate pastor" at the gospel service, that is not his full-time job- he is still a chaplain trainer. however, he also has responsibilities at this church service. the gospel service has about 300 people who regularly attend and has its own small groups and ministries- just like any other church. the difference is that some of the ministries are post-wide- for example, the youth group is the post youth group- regardless of what service you go to on sunday morning (or if you go at all), the youth group meets at one of the chapels on sunday nights. ladies Bible study (pwoc), single soldier ministry, and kids' church are other examples of this.

i've also had the question- "what is the gospel service- aren't all services gospel?" a post gospel service is predominantly african-american; the music is the style of gospel music you may hear on the radio (NOT southern gospel, mind you!).

i hope that clears things up a bit!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

comfort zone? what comfort zone?

i'm drained.

if you read my husband's blog, you know that he was assigned (and gladly accepted) the associate pastorate at the gospel service here on post. if you know anything about me, you know that i am not exactly "gospel service" material.

in my background, "expressive worship" means you smile. and... that's about it. during songs, you probably fell into one of four categories:
1) stood there and looked grumpy
2) stood there and looked pleasant, sometimes mouthing the words
3) sang (most people were in this category)
4) smiled while you sang
those in the fourth category were the charismatic expressive folks. they may have even raised their hands on occasion, but you brushed it off because, well, they came from a different background.

if you are like me, you also attended a service that ended by the designated time (either noon, or possibly 12:15) to allow for the lunch crowd to get to their favorite restaurant- and if you weren't out by that designated time, the pastor probably heard about it. you may have even had a burnt roast on those sundays because the longevity wasn't expected.

fast forward to february 18, 2007. picture me, with the afforementioned religo-cultural background (i may have made that word up), standing (even swaying sometimes!) in a service, a quite expressive (putting it mildly) service... for two and a half hours... suffice it to say it was a different experience.

i have to admit, i enjoyed it. the people were loving and friendly, welcoming us into their congregation with open arms. i am quite excited to get involved in the group and get to know these dear folks better. the senior pastor (a chaplain) and his wife seem like really neat people that we will benefit greatly from working with.

there were times during the service that i just wasn't quite sure what to do. each tradition of worship has its own mores and norms... and this was not my tradition. i'm sure that the more i attend there, the more comfortable i will become with it. in "prepping" me, jon had encouraged me to just do whatever i felt like doing, and not try to make myself be someone i wasn't. on the other hand, i didn't want to look disapproving (my resting facial position, i have been told, looks "mad" or "stern"). so, this morning, i decided to stretch myself... i smiled.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

long, but worth it...

in honor of black history month, i thought we should take a moment to think of the slavery that still is happening worldwide.

there is a movie coming to theaters next friday called "amazing grace." it is a story of true events that led to abolition of slavery in england. i have been excited to see it ever since i first saw the trailer a month ago... i would encourage you to check out the amazing change campaign - it is a website dedicated to helping slaves- both literal and economical- worldwide. look around there to see some of the things that are happening globally.

yesterday at pwoc (the army wives' bible study i have been attending), there was a special speaker who worked in vietnam and northern thailand for several years as a missionary. one people group he talked about especially stuck out to me- the shan living between myanmar (burma) and thailand. this people group (300,000 in number) were forced from their villages in burma and told that they would be killed if they returned. however, thailand won't allow most of them into their country, either- most of them are literally living in the jungles between the guarded gates of both countries. children are often either abandoned or sold into slavery or prostitution (which are really synonomous...)

have you heard of the dalit? they are a people group whose name literally means "untouchables"- 250 million people who have been told by the upper castes of india that they are less than human. if even a dalit’s shadow falls on an upper caste person, that person is polluted according to caste rules. (that description comes from this website.)

if you want more information that any of these sites have, just do a google search- you will be amazed what you come up with.

if you are like me, you will look at this information and say, "so what? what in the world can i do about it? nothing." you know, in some ways i agree. i don't believe that signing a petition will honestly end slavery- it is a much deeper issue than american popular opinion. however, i do believe that we do the body of Christ good to be informed on these issues, to at least KNOW what is happening. to pray over these people groups. to do what we can to help the truly needy in our world.

keep in mind, too, that these people also have little to no Christian witness- some are persecuted horribly. we have brothers and sisters who are suffering in chains even today.

and honestly, i think that many churches and Christians- not wanting to be named among the social gospel movement- have gone too far in neglecting the physical needs of those around us. yes, you will get taken advantage of. yes, you may feel like it's just a drop in the bucket. is that what you would tell Christ? you didn't contribute to the food pantry because people take advantage of it? that you didn't give to a charity because you think it's probably some grand conspiracy to take your money?

maybe so. i know that i would rather err on the side of showing love. isn't that what Christianity is all about? helping the poor, the widows, the orphans... showing love to those who would never see it otherwise...

here are some practical suggestions if you'd like to get involved. this is just the tip of the iceburg. if you can't give, then pray. pray for these people to know Christ, and pray also that they would be free from the physical torment in which they are currently living.

World Vision
Samaritan's Purse (they have a cool catalog at christmas that you can actually buy "gifts" for someone in a third-world country- gifts like chickens, bibles, school supplies, a well, farming equipment, etc)
Amnesty International
Peace Gospel
Compassion International

if you know of other groups that focus on enslaved, displaced, or impoverished people groups, feel free to list it in the comments section.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

where in the world is hinesville?

so for all you northerners who aren't really familiar with georgia geography, here is where we live. as you can see, it's near the tip of south carolina.

by the way, last night at 9:00 when i was driving home from class, the bank sign said it was 59 degrees. nice.

Friday, February 09, 2007

on this day in history...

a baby was born.

he would grow up to be an incredible man.

he would be thoughtful, sensitive, fun, and driven.

he would also be my husband.

happy birthday, darling!

(go over to and tell him happy birthday!)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

only in the military...

is the background "music" of your ladies' Bible study artillery and such going off at a nearby field, shaking the entire chapel...

(by the way, we can hear it booming loudly at our house- miles away...)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

an open letter to customer service reps

if you are a customer service representative and you ever get me on the phone, please, i beg of you, do not call me "hun." or "sweetie." or any other term that makes me feel like an 8-year-old.

actually, unless you are my husband or a very close friend, please do not use any sort of term of endearment whatsoever. i am NOT endeared to you.

i may sound like a teenager on the phone (and look like one in person...), but i assure you that i am a grown adult.

i am not "playing wife." the account i'm calling about is real.

and especially, ESPECIALLY, if you can't give me any information because my husband's is the only name on the account, ESPECIALLY then i am NOT AT ALL endeared to you.

never mind the fact that i can spout off his social and date of birth faster than i can my own (when people ask me for mine, i have to think a minute- his comes to mind first these days).

unless you want me to start paying my bills with pretend money, please start treating me like an adult.