Madness Beginning

And…..let it begin!!!

Today kicks off warp-speed-ahead crazy conference season here in the regional office. From this point forward (until February), sleep is optional, breathing goes unnoticed (good thing it is natural), time passes at double-speed and work hours become irrelevant. The days will begin to pass at an alarming rate, and before you know it Staff Conference and IndyCC will be here and gone. There is much left to do before either of those two things arrive and the only way it will all get done is with the help of the Almighty who holds time in His hands and never sleeps.

Please pray for us:

*that grace abundant will be experienced by our team and given to one another freely

*to walk closely with the Lord, trusting Him with our days and details rather than ourselves and our own talents and strengths

*to have clear minds in remembering all the little details that need to get done

*that we will rest physically and let things go as needed

*to find joy in the Lord and in seeing Him in the midst of the busyness

*to keep short accounts with one another

*to enjoy this season and the conferences we are planning

 

Thank you!

IndyCC Preview Weekend, Take 2

Here we go again!

[This post was started on Saturday….and not finished until now] Year 2 is off to a great start. We are here at the brand new JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis, checking out the hotel and planning for our upcoming IndyCC. A group of staff and students from our campuses around the region have come together for a 2-day event of prepping, testing, planning and vision casting.

Let me just tell you. This hotel is sweet. Our room is on the 20th floor, facing the city. The beds are comfy, the elevators fast and quiet, the views incredible, the decor beautiful.

But that’s not really why we are here.

We are here to figure out the best way to proclaim Christ, lift up the students’ eyes to see Him clearly and provide an atmosphere where people will be drawn closer to Jesus during the 5 days of the conference.

Being here gets me is so excited for IndyCC this year. For the first time ever we will be under one roof!!! That’s right. For the past 15-ish years we have been split between 2 hotels, with our meetings in the adjoining convention center. This year we have moved to the biggest JW hotel in the world, right here in Indy!! With a ballroom that seats 4500 people, we have lots of room to grow in the coming years, and everyone will be staying in the same hotel. Pretty sweet deal.

We worked out the numbers while we were there, and figured out something pretty incredible. The 5-day conference costs $199, including the nights at the JW Marriott, a 5 star hotel. If you were to go to the same hotel, at the same time we will be there (12/27-1/1), with 4 people per room, it would cost a whopping $350 PER PERSON, just for the hotel!! That doesn’t even include the actual program cost for the conference!! So, it is amazing that the Lord has provided this place for us, and for a price that students (and staff too!) can afford! We are excited to see all He has planned for the students and staff who come to IndyCC this year!

Here are a couple photos from the weekend:

Conference Team Ladies!
The Conference Team and IndyCC Design Team in front of our new main ballroom!!

Thankful Thursday

I got this idea from my friend Tasha (who I mentioned in my last post). She does hers on Mondays, which is awesome. I love alliteration though, and today is Thursday, so I thought it would be fun to start a weekly thankful-for post.

So, without further ado, things I am thankful for this Thursday:

1. Getting to know this group of awesome Butler athletes, and grow in our walks with God together! I am going to miss them this summer!

Part of our weekly bible study group!

2. The privilege of praying for our world (and having it be part of my job!!)

The Operation World room during our day of prayer on Tuesday

3. My team (last picture, obviously…..I’m still trying to figure out wordpress, and how to get the post to look like how I type it. Grrrrrr)

Don't you want to come work with us???

4. Rest/down time

5. Our Friday morning training group (SO excited to see all the lovely ladies tomorrow – I’ll take a picture to post later, because they are all just so beautiful and precious)

6. God’s word being living and active and working continually in my life!

7. 2 more days of the One Dress Campaign!

8. Family dinner thursdays

9. Medicine that works, and fewer headaches

10. Tomi, Katie and Erin, and the weekend we are about to have in NYC!!! 🙂

Intern Kickoff Weekend, and the specialness of 17

We hosted the Great Lakes Intern Kickoff Weekend here in Indy the past three days, and it was so fun working together with my friend Lisa and our team to plan and run this training weekend! This is one of my favorite conferences (I feel like I say that for every conference……but really, I love this one a lot). On this same weekend in April four years ago I was sitting in a metal folding chair in Asheville, NC, surrounded by a host of fellow almost-graduates about to embark on a one-year Internship or STINT (overseas internship) with Campus Crusade for Christ. We all felt excitement over what God had in store for us, terror/apprehension/anticipation and sometimes even enthusiasm about graduating from college and developing our teams of ministry partners in 3 or 4 months, awe that we actually got to be a small part of expanding God’s Kingdom, and exhausted after listening to a weeks’ worth of details and information in 2 very short and full days.

Four years later all of those emotions and feelings are still true for our interns, and even for me. It is so exciting to sit in a room with 130 new Interns and STINTers and imagine the impact their lives are going to have on eternity this year!! It is fun listening to story after story of how God brought each person to take this step, especially from those who never imagined they would be doing this (I was one of those people 4.5 years ago). It is AMAZING to see the legacy of God’s provision in developing teams of ministry partners for missionaries all the way from the Apostle Paul to today, knowing that He can and will do it again for this new group of faithful disciples. I am still in awe that God allows us to be a part of His plan in taking the gospel to the world. And finally, I and they are also very exhausted after an intense weekend of vision, paperwork, ministry partner development training, team bonding, fun time and more vision.

Our theme verse this year was Habakkuk 1:5 “Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! For I am about to do something in your day you would not believe if you were told.” We are watching with great anticipation to see what our great God does to blow us away this year. Please pray for these 130 interns as they begin inviting others to join them in ministry and prepare for life after graduation!

And about 17. Today marks 17 days of wearing the little brown dress! I’m looking forward to posting more this week about what I am continuing to learn. It is also a special day because one month from today, I will be having eye surgery.  I wish I could be super cool and say that it would be my 17th surgery, but alas, that milestone has already come and gone.

A few photos from the weekend:

Meet Emily and Emily, two of the new Regional Office Interns! Its gonna be a fun year next year! 😉 Any suggestions for nicknames??
Taking a break from practicing their VACA presentation for a quick smile 🙂
Vision and Calling Albums (or VACAs) that we use when meeting with potential ministry partners!
More VACAs with some awesome staff!

Life, really?

Do you ever feel like walking in the Spirit should be routine by now? Or at least easier than it was at first?

After 17 years of walking with the Lord, I keep thinking that it is going to get easier. But it doesn’t. My flesh still wants to rear its ugly head at every opportunity. Sin still creeps in. Frustration with others is still my biggest downfall. When I am tired and grumpy the guard over my mouth always seems to remain unlatched and swinging on squeaky hinges.

Can I be honest? I was really excited for 2010 to end. Really, really excited. As one of the most challenging years in my life thus far, I was waiting with great anticipation for December 31st to come and go, and for 2011 to dawn new, bright and full of possibilities. I fell into the trap of thinking that a new year would bring an end to the bad/hard/sad and a host of good.

And then I woke up on the 1st. To the reminder that I had left my brand-new CamelBak water bottle in a meeting room a couple days before and within an hour it had been taken or thrown away. To $200 of incorrect charges on my hotel bill from the conference last week that had to be taken off. To a car that wouldn’t start because the parking attendants had let my car alarm go on for days until the battery finally died. To a stereo that is now on lock-down as an anti-theft measure when the alarm had been going off for so long.

Hello 2011.

As I look back over that list, I realize that those are mostly small things. But they smacked me right in the face and reminded me that January 1st only brings the start of a new calendar year. That’s it. We don’t get to hit the “re-start” button. Life doesn’t start over. Pain, hurt, loneliness, sickness, brokenness, financial woes, relationship issues, spiritual lethargy, frustrations, happiness, new babies, great relationships, good friends, joys…whatever was a part of your life on Dec 31st is still going to be there on Jan. 1st. So true in my own life.

Frustration set in. I was already exhausted from the conference, and began to despair. What is the point? Is this life, really?

————–

Enter Jesus.

He is good, no matter what the circumstances of [my, your] life may be.

He stays the same, no matter what changes come.

He is enough.

He is worthy of praise, even when my life is filled with frustration and petty things that need taken care of.

He is rest, when I am weary.

He is Faithful and True.

————-

I’m so thankful that I didn’t wallow in my pity party and frustration. I came straight home and spent some good quality time in His presence, and was reminded of why I keep going, even when life is really, really hard. I read this prayer from the book “Valley of Vision”, which is one of my favorites (this is part of it):

O God of the Highest Heaven,

occupy the throne of my heart | take full possession and reign supreme | lay low every rebel lust | let no vile passion resist Thy holy war | manifest Thy mighty power, and make me Thine forever

Thou art worthy to be praised with my every breath | loved with my every faculty of soul | served with my every act of life.

Thy presence is to me a treasure of unending peace

– From “Regeneration”

No matter what 2011 brings, may His presence be to me a constant treasure of unending peace. Amen.

grace and peace,

emily

ps. Happy New Year! I pray that you are doing well and have a blessed year with the Lord, whatever it brings.