Thursday, November 12, 2009

Expected Bundle of Joy- Selah Zavia Zull

My beautiful neice, Selah Zavia Zull was born November 7th, 2009 at 2:52am weighing in at 8lbs 10oz and 21 inches long.
She is a red head like her momma (much to her momma's delight). We hope it stays red as she grows.
I am amazed at how fantastic new birth is! It is excruciatingly painful (according to the experts-my sister-in-law included), and somehow produces this soft little bundle of joy, named Selah! Her proud Aunt has had the privilege of helping by using her lactation knowledge and expertise. I love it!
New birth seems to transform the people around it. I am amazed by now enamoured Selah's daddy (my lil bro) is with his daughter. He never liked newborns before. He never paid much attention to babies or children in general. But all of a sudden he is singing to his"little princess" and loving every second of having her wrapped snugly in his arms.

It makes me think of how our "new birth in Christ" changes us. Our lives should be flipped upside down. We should be enamoured with our Heavenly father just has he is crazy about us! Selah is a tangible picture of God's beautiful gift of grace to us. How has it changed me today? How is my joy at having a relationship with the creator of the galaxies making me glow as a go through the check-out line? Even if my birth is not entirely new... shouldn't we act like it? Shouldn't it be a wondrous thing? What do you think?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

God is Good. (I've used this title before??) Well, its still true.

This may be a bulleted update: quick and simple, due to the large amounts of activities and new things that have happened in the past 1.5 months.

  • I moved! Yey! I love my roomies, my new city and saving gas by no longer commuting to work each day!

  • I started teaching two different English conversation classes on T/Th. One is especially for Chinese, using the Bible for pronunciation and discussion. I have learned a lot about Chinese culture.

  • I am still learning the ropes; learning how to juggle a people-job, relationships, partnership development... whew!

  • I got a raise by the mercy and provision of God so I quit my axillary job at Old Navy.

  • I am learning to be completely dependant on Jesus for my health, provision, wisdom in relationships, and work.

  • I am learning how disgustingly deep my pride goes. How many time "youths grow tired and weary", and how I need to accept that.

"The Love of God, is greater far, then tongue or pen can ever tell. It goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell. The guilty pair bow down with care, God gave His Son to win. His erring child He reconciled and pardoned from his sin." An old hymn

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Moving.... for the 8th time in 8yrs!

Why??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... you may ask (more politely then I ask myself). I may give you some round about answers that also may seem like excuses for restlessness to you. You may stop to ponder and analyze the deeper meaning beyond my simple answers. But here's the plain and un-complex truth. Are you ready?

All those reasons are fact, complete, and true. I have moved because my roommies get married, graduate, move, I get a different job, this apt will be better, cheaper, a bigger kitchen, my own bathroom or my favorite... "Because God told me to move back home with my parents." In a way I envy those who have stayed put throughout their entire college experience, or young adult life. Yet in a bizarre and scary way, as much as I dislike moving (with a passion really), and as much as I complain about it, my life has never been boring. I enjoy change as much as I enjoy a good run! You may be tired at the end of it, but it is invigorating and new {muscle} memory is created. I have cherished memories everywhere I've moved. Maybe it's also the MK in me that needs and craves that change. oh! That's why I change my hair style every six months! That's why I subject myself to shoving pans and bowls in flimsy cardboard boxes (might as well be made of Hallmark cards for what they can carry) and plastic Kroger bags that will only break the moment I pick them up (duct tape is not really that strong, by the way).

For some strange reason, I expect the groans and complaints every year as much as that promising new hair cut. I think we are all about the same really. what do you think?

I move to Lafayette Aug 1st because of God's amazing provision and your prayers.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Retreat or Advance?

Thank you for praying for me during the ISI conference and the 20s-30s retreat. (even if you didn't, someone did because God did some wonderful things).
I was so excited to hear about what God is doing in the lives of these wonderful members of the body of Christ-ISI chapter.

Special people deserve special mention. Prayer is the best mention of all. These smiling faces (as well as the other table in the back) are my colleagues and fellow laborers in Jesus. We enjoyed camp cook'n at the Golden Bell Camp and Resort.

A scramble of happy faces. It's pretty much impossible to get every one's face in a 15 passenger van; but I tried.

Although, a bit blurry, these faces represent the 20s and 30s (minus our mentoring couple Teri and Gil) that were able to go to the retreat in the mountains above Colorado Springs, Co July 1-3rd. The theme was encouragement and prayer. We had fun together, playing Mad Gab, Dutch Blitz, hiking, and having the police called on the fired we started that was apparently "huge!". It was just burning coals when the police arrived, Ha!
My support continues to increase (all glory to God b/c I really haven't done much to make it increase so much). I will soon be able to move out of my parents house to have a kitchen and bedroom of my own!!! Yey! Pray for perfect timing and obedience on my part. He is good.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The month of May

I am overwhelmed by the goodness, the shear immenseness of God's love! A good friend recently suggested I should continuously look back. Not in a regretful way, no, as a way of introspection and thanksgiving. I have been told multiple times that I am a summarizer. After years of trying my hand at story writing and poetry as a young girl I have come to grips with the painful fact... I am a fact and to the point person who is just too analytical for short stories and not patient enough to write poetry.
Here is my summary of what has happened the last month. Take it or leave it... It's how I am :)

1. God provided a car and also a brother who is willing to teach me how to drive a stick w/o yelling hysterically when I stall!

2. God has given me many opportunities to speak about my int'l student friends w/ many listening and generous ears. They pray and give on behalf of the world in our back yard.

3. I have been able to develop friendships with people at my church that I treasure and that are amazingly sweet and giving people. One kind gentleman keeps making sure I have ample gas in my car by providing gas cards.

4. I have been given a love of musical worship, lifting my voice in song. Because of that God has given me the chance to be involved in the worship team at church. I love it and will miss it when I move to Lafayette.

5. I have been given many opportunities to speak w/ int'l students about the hope of Jesus.

6. I have been given a part time job at Old Navy where I can be an example of Jesus to those I work with. (I also get a great discount).

I love you all and am so grateful for your prayers and encouragement. Love-Bethany

Monday, May 4, 2009

April Showers

My nephew Gabe the baseball player, turned 8!
My nephew Lincoln, enjoying a dandelion puff.

So many blessings that stretch and move us. So many things I don't understand. So many lives that are touched by Your hand. So many. Why don't we choose faith first? Why don't we love You first? Why does life spin by so fast? I choose to let You heal me from the past. I claim today.

Summary of Events this past month:
1. Support raising kicks off to a good start and keeps my head spinning (in a good way)
2. My neice and nephew's birthdays.
3. My car (Fancy), dies of a Transmission Attack.
4. My wonderful God provides me with another car (curtisy of my friends in Muncie)
5. I find a house in Lafayette with two believing women.
6. I look for a part time job and try to trust my God. :)

19 of us went to the Easter week end Passion play in April. We had a great time talking afterwards. Many of the students had a lot of questions about the story. Many commented about their beliefs. I find it amazing how truth brings forth questions and curiosity. Please pray!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

May Truth be my Theme!

I have an idea. It's just a thought really. What if... there wasn't any truth? What if the pastor of that baptist church I met the other day is right? What would happen?

If the truth be told, we would all be liars; every single one of us. We all believe in truth whether we deny it or not. We all believe fiercely in something. Its just how humans were made (in the image of... God). It's the way we live our day to day lives that proclaim "I worship my job... church... house.. car.. money etc". There have been many prominent Christian leaders recently that have just renounced Jesus as the "Only Way". If that be so, then Jesus is a liar, (John 14: 6) and so am I. If that be "true" (oh wait, there isn't any truth) then we need not follow the Great Commission because missions is now unnecessary and a waste of time. Why did Jesus die, if indeed there is no basis, no fact, no foundation of the "truth" that we needed Him to?

Someone is wrong, some religion out there is not going to cut it. With all the contradicting beliefs ... we can't all be right! Wake up and see!

At this time of year more and more people are questioning what is true. We need to seize the day in love and in hope. "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life. No man comes to the Father, except through Me!!!!!!" John 14: 6
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile". Romans 1:16

"Awake you sleepers! Rise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you!" Ephesians 5: 14

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Colorado Springs Promised Pictures

When I go up to the mountains You are there.
When I go down to the depths still.. You are there.
When I rise up to meet the dawn You are there,
still I flee across the seas still You are there!

Where can I go farther from Your spirit? Each place I stand your presence I can see.

Garden of the Gods

Only take me by the hand and guide me safely in Your steps

Fellow Newbies and Me at the Garden.

There is no where that I go, You don't do with me.

I lift my eyes up, up to the mountains. Where does my help come from. My help comes from You, maker of heaven, Creator of the earth.

Oh how I need you Lord! You are my only hope. You are my only friend! Oh how I wait for You, to come and rescue me, come and give me life!

Pikes Peak from my hotel window!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On High Places

They say pictures are worth a thousand words... I promise I will have some wonderful pictures for everyone to enjoy after I get home from New Staff Orientation (NSO) in Colorado Springs. I didn't bring my connecting cord from my camera to my computer.

I have been so encouraged the past two days. I arrived in beautiful, sunny, Colorado Springs, CO on Sunday afternoon for ISI's NSO. I get a wonderfully comfortable suite all to myself with big windows facing God's splendor... Mountains! I love it.

The past two days have been filled with meetings and presentations and folders and more information then I can process right now. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of it. I work with amazing people! The administrative staff and training staff her at ISI have been phenomenal! They are men and women of integrity and strength that lean on Jesus for accomplishing The Task. They desire to see the world reached for Jesus and that is why they poor themselves into campus staff such as myself, to see that we are properly equipped to sow and reap the harvest.

They have encouraged all of us 7 newbies to share our vision and passion with others and not be afraid to ask for consistent monthly financial support. It is ministry to include others in the amazing opportunity to reach others for Christ. So.. That is what I'm doing. I have just asked one of my friends, who is also one of my biggest cheerleaders to support me and be my networker and Champion and she was thrilled to agree! Praise God for His provision and encouragement!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Morning Has Broken

Morning has broken.. like the First Morning! Isn't that picture amazing? It reminds me of new beginnings in such an awesome way!

I look at a scene like this and want to laugh and cry at the same time. God is so good to give us new beginnings in our own lives just as beautiful.

Last Thursday (Feb 18th) I received a letter from ISI "officially" inviting me to join their Campus Staff. I am very excited to begin the process by going to New Staff Orientation, March 8-14th. I have a lot to do, think about, and pray about. God has brought me a long way. From having no desire to stay in this country at all, to believing God's purposes for me and having joy in the prospect of helping Int'l students and their families. He is chipping away my independence and my pride, and giving me joy! What a mighty God we serve!
Please continue to pray for me as I begin the search for partners in ministry to serve along side me prayerfully, financially and voluntarily!
Please feel free to comment and send me your prayer requests and praises!

Monday, February 16, 2009

John 15

I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.

2Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.

3You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you].

4Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.

5I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

6If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned.

7If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

8When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.

9I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [a]">[a]continue in His love with Me].

10If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father's commandments and live on in His love.

11I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.

12This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you.

13No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.

14You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do.

15I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.]

16You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as b]">[b]presenting all that I AM], He may give it to you.

17This is what I command you: that you love one another.

18If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.

19If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.

20Remember that I told you, A servant is not greater than his master [is not superior to him]. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they will also keep and obey yours.

21But they will do all this to you [inflict all this suffering on you] because of [your bearing] My name and on My account, for they do not know or understand the One Who sent Me.

22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin [would be blameless]; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

23Whoever hates Me also hates My Father.

24If I had not done (accomplished) among them the works which no one else ever did, they would not be guilty of sin. But [the fact is] now they have both seen [these works] and have hated both Me and My Father.

25But [this is so] that the word written in their Law might be fulfilled, They hated Me without a cause.A)">(A)

26But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me.

27But you also will testify and be My witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

What would you have "highlighted"? What message is the most important in this passage? Leave a comment and I will compile the answers in a later post for all the learn from.

The Lord Jesus has given us a precious gift in the Holy Spirit. Listen to Him. Let the truth ring in our hearts as we ignite more of the Holy Spirit's truth in our lives. We are God's. Let that be made obvious. Let us truly love one another. Live and breathe and function in the Vine!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lady in Waiting

What is a "lady in waiting"? Does it really mean I have to wait? I'm not good at waiting. Traditionally a Lady in Waiting was like a personal servant girl for royalty. Does that mean that they were experts at "waiting" for the royal Somebody to give them a task? It makes sense, now why I'm still waiting.. for a lot of things... maybe I haven't been listening to my Master, or maybe I am too distracted.

I am waiting for an answer from ISI whether or not I am officially hired. I am waiting so that I can begin raising support. I am waiting so I can move to West Lafayette. I am waiting so that I can find a team of volunteers, eager to partner with me to help int'l students and their families. I am waiting for many other things... but I am thankful for God's faithfulness in the waiting process. I used to write poetry, short stories, and songs. I was never very good at it, but it was a creative outlet that I believe helped in worship. I have had numerous hobbies throughout my life time. I always seemed to get bored with them after a while and crave something new to try. Ever curious and always asking why, (yes, I was that child) I am ever searching and waiting for something new. Is this a good attribute or dangerous? Is it just a neutral personality trait?

What do you think?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hello 2009, Fairwell 2008

End of semester English class party.

Goodbye to 2008. It ended with a bang, as I hit my head on the pillow b/f midnight last night. I thought it would be good to go over this past year and thank God for what He has done.

January: I decided to obey God's voice and go to Ukraine for the Summer to serve w/ Pam Nelson and Bear Child Ministries.

February: God provided above and beyond for my Ukraine trip and I was able to purchase plane tickets. My best friend Jodi and my friend Daryl married each other on the 16th.

Lincoln(nephew 18mon) Mireil (neice 5 1/2 yrs old)
March: Continued to raise support for Ukraine and being overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of God. Preparing to move, be in my roomie's wedding, and go to the Bahamas to visit a friend.

April: vacation in the Bahamas, visiting Shanti Treese. Last day of working at WIC April 28th. Packing up everything I own.

May: Moving to my parents in Waynetown, In (a corn field in west-central In). Packed everything i own in my car (amazing feat). Celebrated with my friend Lauren by being in her wedding on May 10th.
(Christmas Party on the Farm)
Flew to Ukraine May 15th. Breastfeeding classes, material support, borscht, Ukrainian food in general (yummy), amazing Ukrainian friends, and so much more.

June: Learning how to "really" play guitar from my friend Julia. Visiting Vijta Hungary and Budapest. Calvary Chapel Conference. Eating ripe roadside mulberries. Visiting babies and loving on them.
July: Saying goodbye to mommies and babies of Ukraine. Packing up Pam's apt and center. Saying goodbye to my Ukrainian peeps. Adjusting to life in the cornfield of Indiana. My nephew Lincoln turned 1.
August: Eating raspberries, fresh garden veggies, and summer apples. Finding a job at a coffee shop in Lafayette. Looking for a "real" job, ha ha! I speak about Ukraine at Emmanuel and Strickland Baptist.
September: I start volunteering teaching English at the International Center near Purdue. I meet a lot of new students especially my Thai friend Pinthip.

October: I speak at my home church in Muncie. Muncie Alliance, all about my Ukrainian Adventure. I travel to Valpo and see my friend Lisa while speaking at Valpo Baptist Church, who also supported me in Ukraine.
I also was given the opportunity to go to Ashville N.C. for the ISI Regional Retreat. There I met some wonderful staff that did there best to recruit me. I think they won :)
November: I finally decide to apply to ISI!!
December: ISI Christmas Party on the farm was a huge success. (pics above) I turned 26, yikes (I entered a new "age bracket"). Quiet Christmas w/ the fam. Started working on the ISI modules for my candidacy.
Happy New Year 2009!!!!!