Building Blocks & Special Advice

So apparently someone had too much time on their hands and they loved google maps. So they created this really awesome website where you can type in anything and get buildings around the world to spell it. Check it out!

NEW ADDITION: I have a very important piece of advice for you over this Christmas holiday.


A Brother Who Sins Against You

So I was reading Matthew 18 today (still following the rabbi) and I came across this part of it:

15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

This jumped out at me because when we were at the youth conference a speaker brought this passage up. He mentioned how when we see our brother or sister sinning we usually think to this verse but we don't follow it exactly. As we can see you handle a problem by you alone talking to the person first. If that doesn't work then you bring some witnesses. If that doesn't work you tell the church. And if that doesn't work you treat them like a pagan. What I had always thought of the verse at the end was to kind of kick the person out of church or something because who wants a pagan messing up the church....BUT this speaker brought new light to the verse for me. The question is, "How did Jesus treat the pagans and tax collectors?"

Well this verse helps us answer that:
10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples.
11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
12On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

13But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

So from the passage it seems that Jesus wouldn't kick the sinning brother or sister out. Instead he would be having dinner with him. He would act like they did not know God and love them and have compassion on them. He would act like a doctor who cares for the sick. So even when our brother or sister sins against us and even when we go through the whole process to correct them if they still don't listen to us we treat them with love and we begin to show them the love of Jesus Christ like we would do to a non-Christian.


Line Rider

So today's post is something fun! I had some not so fun news today so I needed something to lift my spirits and hopefully something that might make you chuckle a little. So here it is: LINE RIDER. Man this thing is cool. I think that you can get the guy to do a flip or something if you get the right aerodynamics. I had one where he actually fell through the slope and lost his tiny sled. Anyway, try it out!


Tears of the Saints

If we really look at these lyrics I think a lot of us will realize there is a lot more we need to be doing. Wouldn't it be amazing if every person you ran into that a burden for their well-being and their soul came over you. So let's make an effort to help our brothers who are poor and those that do not know Jesus. Let's lead them home.

There are many prodigal sons
On our city streets they run
Searching for shelter
There are homes broken down
People’s hopes have fallen to the ground
From failures
This is an emergency

There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them come back home
We’re crying for them come back home
And all your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home

There are schools full of hatred
Even churches have forsaken Love and mercy
May we see this generation
In it’s state of desperation For Your glory
This is an emergency

Sinner, reach out your hands!
Children in Christ you stand!
Sinner, reach out your hands!
Children in Christ you stand!

And all Your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home

Tears of the Saints

Matthew 6:1-4
1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


Follow the Rabbi

I learned so much this weekend at youth specialties. And I could literally talk forever how each session and seminar spoke to me and how I am going to do things to change the world now! However, that seems like those things could be a distant memory in a month. Instead I am going to tell you the one piece of advice that I felt like everything kind of fell under.

Wade and I attended "Jesus as Rabbi" a seminar led by Ray VanderLaan. He is an American Christian who decided to learn just how Jesus and the Jews did...by following a rabbi. So after instense rabbi learning things he is now a rabbi who can teach other rabbis. And although his seminar had some amazing things of the culture and times of Jesus there was one main thing that stuck to me. Am I doing everything I can, to do exactly what my rabbi (Jesus) did?

Well, I feel like I am taking steps to do that. I recently started trying to read through the Bible. I started over a month ago and I am starting the book of Leviticus today. Wade told me if I can get through this I can get through anything. But Ray gave me something else that would help me follow my rabbi and I think it might be something that anyone reading this should think about doing. Read one of the gospels each month for 3 years. So this December read Matthew, Jan. read Mark, Feb. read Luke, March read John and repeat that for three years. Each day you will be following what we know of our rabbi's life.

If you have a dedication to the word like that and you begin to do what Jesus did then I really think that all of the "other" things will fall into place. Even though I heard an amazing Christian at the convention talk about helping the poor I know that should just fall into place when I am really following my rabbi. And I heard someone say to put God before your dreams...but Jesus always did that so if I am following Him then that should fall into place too.

Wade said one of his seminars had this quote: God cares more about who you are rather than what you are doing for him. God wants to know us personally not just see us doing busy things because we think that is the next logical step in order to serve Him.

Really...think about doing the gospel thing. I am adding it to my Bible reading. This month I got Leviticus and Matthew!


Youth Specialties

So Wade, the youth staff, and I are going to be at the youth specialties conference this weekend. I think it will be really awesome to learn how to be a better youth worker so we can come back and use the practical tips to enhance Ignite.

I am also really excited about getting to spend an entire weekend with my wonderful husband. No work for me on Friday, Wade's cell phone completely bombed so he can't get calls, and we get to go to the twinkling city of Charlotte. It is our mini-vacation!

I think it is awesome when your husband does this stuff. Technically I knew about the conference but had not said anything about going and sure enough I found out we had our own hotel room and all I needed to do is take off one day from work. I will say Wade is amazing at making sure that he never puts ministry above me. I know that God is first in his life and that the things he is doing for God through ministry are extremely important to him. But he wouldn't honor God by putting ministry above me...instead he would have a lonely wife.

And I will tell anyone that I am extremely blessed to be married to Wade. He is the most loving, humble, patient, romantic, passionate, humorous, nurturing, exciting, and adventurous husband that God has ever placed on the earth. I don't think any wife has it as good as I do. I can't believe I got to marry him. And I will always see Wade as my hero and best friend. How can it ever get better than that?


Rescue an Animal

I was having another day of researching a totally random topic and decided to look up animal shelters. I found this documentary about a Las Vegas animal shelter that was pretty cruel. I got about 3 seconds into it and the camera zoomed in on the dog and the dog puts its paw on the cage door and then gets on its hind legs and paws for the camera man to let him out. So of course I begin to get teary eyed and I have to stop before I begin weeping in front of everyone. But soon I am going to finish the video. Video: Born to Die

I have no idea how many people look at this blog but I am hoping at least one person will read this who wants a pet and is making the decision between buying a dog from a breeder and adopting one that has had a shelter life. PLEASE pick adopting. There are so many of God's creatures out there that are in desperate need of a home and searching for a family. So if you aren't a show dog person then what better way to save a little life than adopting the shelter pet.

Just look at these adorable faces who need to be adopted here in Columbia, SC. I found all of these pets on the
Project Pet website.


da hot tub

Over and over again I hear these words from my husband..."I wish we could have a hot tub." Well Wade (and any others who love hot tubs), I have found a hot tub that our friends the Dutch have made. Check this out to see how our life would be better with this amazing invention!

Well, hopefully you checked it out. I guess it isn't what we think of when we hear hot tub. It looks so weird and massive, but hilarious. But I do have respect for people who make these new modern inventions. If you check out core 77's other photo galleries you will find endless inspiring products that people are coming out with. And since I love everything modern it makes me wish that I could go to these shows and buy furniture...I will just have to check out photos instead.


Missing Out

This weekend I went to visit the Ivester clan. We celebrated my mom's 50th bday! (HAPPY BDAY MOM!) And I got to see my sister who is pregnant with her first baby: Pressley. It was so fun to be there. You never really realize how much you miss your family until you get to experience being there and then have to leave. It is hard knowing that if I want to go see my family I have to plan this big event. I mean Sharlie is having all these baby things happening that I want to be part of but I miss out on a lot being here in Columbia.

I kind of had a realization with my relationship with God too. It had always been hard for me to just read the Bible through. I would start with Genesis every time and by chapter 5 I lost interest or forgot to read for a few days and then got in this cycle of trying to start over. However recently for some reason since it had been awhile since I had gotten in His Word hardcore I decided to give it a try again. And this time once I started reading I realized how much I was really missing Him. So now I am trying this reading plan that goes through the Bible how we believe it chronologically happened. So I finally finished Genesis, got through Job and I am now a little ways into Exodus. I am so excited that I am really getting into it. And I feel like God is really helping me retain what I have learned. It is so exciting. And on that note I am going to read some more of Exodus!


Small Group

Well, it has been awhile since my last entry but I meant to write something in here after I had my amazing small group last Wednesday. I have been with this group of girls for 2 1/2 years along with the best co-leader ever...Wendy. Over the past few weeks we were having great small groups (discussion wise) but I felt like the group had lost the feeling of unity and knowing that they were all part of the body of Christ. So we had a foot washing. Wendy and I washed each of the girl's feet to show how much we love them. We read these verses twice to show what it means to be a true christian:
Ephesians 4
Unity in the Body of Christ

2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

I felt like it really helped our group a lot. I then read the passage from John of what Jesus said after he washed his disciples' feet. Because Christ forgave us for so much it is our job now to forgive our brothers and sisters. Then the girls asked for forgiveness from one another and thanked each other and Wendy and me. They actually asked to wash Wendy's and my feet. I was so proud of them. It was a special moment and just reminds me of how much I really love each of those girls. If I was old enough I would think of them as my own children but since they are only 6 years younger than me it is more like a big sister!

So I just want to give some love out to my small group!
Wendy, Lauren, Leander, Olivia, Bianca, Brooks, Kathryn, Alex, Lexie....and Taylor who had to move but WE MISS HER SO MUCH!

I love you all.


Looking Back

As I was talking to Wade yesterday, I mentioned how I wish I had thought the way I do now back when I was in high school. I guess we hear stuff like this all the time, but I look at our youth and see what potential they have in making a difference at school. As the youth minister's wife I am kind of expected to make sure everyone feels welcome, but just think if I had thought that way in school. I could have been the person that sat at lunch with someone who didn't have many friends, or I could have made sure that I became friends with the new girl at school so I could show her the love of Christ instead of being jealous that she got all the guys, or I could have made sure I said "hello" to all the younger students in my youth group when I saw them at school instead of making the excuse that we aren't really friends. There are so many things our youth can do to make a difference in the lives of students around them. I pray that we are showing them how to do this and that we are raising leaders who can look back and know that they followed Christ's example in high school.

So now I look at today...am I making sure that I am following Christ's example in my workplace, around teenagers, in everyday life? I know that there is so much more that I could do and I will continue to pray that I am not missing opportunities to make a difference in lives around me.


My Sister and niece

Another beautiful day! A little chilly but gorgeous. I was just sitting here thinking about my sister and how I can't wait until I get a chance to visit her. She is close to being 6 months pregnant with a little girl. It seems so surreal that she is going to be a mom. I mean I think back to when she would drag me out of her room because I was cramping her style while she was on the phone with her middle school boyfriend. But I have always looked up to her...she has been one of my heroes growing up.

I hope when she has her baby that I will be the aunt that Pressley (that's the baby's name) can look up to. I hope that my sister Sharlie and her husband Benjamin will teach her how to follow Christ and tell her how He is the ultimate hero for us all. He will never let us down and He will always be there for Pressley. LIfe is going to be incredibly hard when Pressley grows up...violence in schools, war, bad enviroment, etc. But the only thing that matters is Christ.


Sunday Night

Tonight Nick's talk started out with a discussion about eyes. Eyes are intricate and complex, but to tell you the truth I complain a lot about my eyes. Take for instance this morning...I was at church where I do media stuff in the balcony for the services when all of the sudden my eyes go completely "foggy." Foggy is the term I use when my contacts get all dry and stuff so then I get blurry vision. So I sit there blinking like a mad woman trying to get my tear ducts to do something to make my eyes water. This is when I say to myself...why do I have to wear these stupid contacts?!?! Well I will tell you why I have to...I can't see without them.

Looking back at this dialogue between me and my inner self makes me wonder what else I have that helps me out but I still complain about. I've been thinking about how blessed I am and how much I have that needs to be shared with people who aren't so fortunate. I've been thinking about how I need to focus on things that further God's kingdom either financially or by prayer.

Tonight I was able to lead a teenage girl to Christ. We had an altar call at youth and she was the first one to stand and walk to me. I was so proud of her for not being scared or feeling awkward being in front of everyone. She didn't want to wait a second longer to tell someone that she wanted to become of follower of Jesus. That is just amazing. She was focused on what really matters-Jesus. And that is where I want to make sure my eyes (with contacts) stay fixed upon so that I don't miss an opportunity to do something amazing for Him.


Ambient Light

Ambient Light: Also known as "available light" or "existing light". It's the surrounding light within an environment.

So apparently I jumped on board the blog train. Of course my gorgeous husband Wade has his own blog... www.wadejoye.typepad.com and it got me wanting to have one of my own. It is so easy to lose a journal or even if you keep one you never share the amazing things you wrote that God is doing in your life with someone. But with this invention of blogs we are able to share with others some important things and some minute details.

However, in a way it is kind of funny that I am making a blog. As my husband can attest to I go on rants and raves about technology. So for me having something so personal as an online journal is the ultimate victory for technology. Well unless you count that technology won when I became a graphic designer...yeah I probably would give that as the ultimate victory for technology.

And finally for today's post, I wanted to share why I called my blog Ambient Light. As you might know this is an art term, also used in graphic design. The definition is above. And even though it is used for art I thought what better term to represent this journal. I am showing you a little piece of my life with each post by shining a light on myself. There is so much more to me that you will never know and I don't want you to know (except Wade), but I will shine a little light on certain areas to show you what God is doing in my life and then the randomness that goes with being human.