Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Cincinnati ho!

No, I don't mean "ho" as you might hear in a P. Diddy number, instead more like a pirate. Just picture me w/ a pirate eye patch on and wearing stripes (do they wear stripes? i don't remember)--anyways that's funny to think about. If you're ever sad just think of that for a little chuckle. For real though I'm heading out to Cincinnati in about an hour and it'll be nice to escape this office for a few days. I'll be back Friday after I attend the Lauren/Ryan Sarver wedding in Catlin on my way back. Then I'm headed home for "Streator's 4th/America's Best"--we've got some pretty darn good fireworks! Some have said they're better than Chicago's fireworks...I'd like to agree but I've never seen them in chi-town.

You might be asking, "what are you going to Cincinnati for?" Well, funny you ask. Unfortunately it's for the Bible Bowl national tournament downtown...quite a rowdy time if you ask me! I have no idea what I'll be doing but during my non-exhibit hours I'll be wandering around the Hilton Netherlands Plaza or the mall that is connected to it. The other 3 hours of the day I'll be standing by the LCC display wondering if any students will talk to me about LCC or not. Well, I should make sure I'm ready to go. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, June 28, 2004

Great snippets from my weekend...

I'll fill you in on some things that made me smile, made me laugh, made me think, made me inspired, or something else this weekend:

*I was INSPIRED when my mom and aunt came friday and helped me do some more decorating in the apt. Thanks aunt Irene--she's so darn good at that stuff!

*It made me SMILE when I got lots of cool cheap deals on stuff at garage sales and mission mart, etc. for my apartment that further inspired my decorating!

*I LAUGHED really hard when I saw this little kid running around his/her yard in Bloomington in this bright green, hideously scary, furry, fluffy, animal-looking costume that covered him/her (i couldn't tell) from head to toe in the heat of the afternoon!

*It made me THINK a lot last night at Fuel and yesterday at Eastview about a lot of things: how I care too much about what other people think, how I should care more about my character on the inside and what people think of THAT than what they think of the OUTSIDE, also just about how much I focus on me, me, me in my faith rather than just the awesomeness of Christ and his sacrifice--it's all for His glory and not mine!

*It made me THANKFUL just today at lunch that I have a job, an apartment, food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe, and it could be taken away in just one second. God's so huge and so powerful!

*I'm EXCITED b/c I just got these two cd's from a booking agent to listen to possible people to book for fall campus challenge. My current selection is Shawn McDonald, a new artist, who is extremely creative and talented from what I've heard so far.

Well, that's all I'll throw out at ya for now. There's plenty more that was inspiring, uplifting, happy, or challenging to me but I'll spare you. Have a great day and thank God for something or someone today! Be reminded of how powerful and awesome He is!

Thursday, June 24, 2004


So last night I came home from work w/ a stomachache and decided I didn't really feel like going to the women's Bible study that I attended the week before. I just wanted to be lazy and not go, and I kept telling myself "Mandy, you know that if you go you're gonna end up completely glad you went!" And so I went. Know what happened? You guessed it! I was blessed beyond belief! I was learning things right and left and listening to women talk about their marriages, their kids, their struggles and doubts and sufferings, their past experiences when they were my age, and how they've grown through it all. It's amazing what honesty they shared about how it's just so hard some days to be a mother and a wife. One person mentioned this: As a parent, sometimes you're the only image of God that your children see. How you treat them and love them is the only reflection they see of how God loves them! WOW--what a huge responsibility! Parenting is such a ministry! So high-five to all you mothers and fathers out there--I hope I'll be a great image and reflection of God someday to my own kids!

In this Bible study it ends up being just a big discussion about daily life and other things. We also got on the subject of doubt and suffering and how some Christians deal with it. If you're ever struggling w/ something and someone throws one of those stupid Christian cliches on you like "God is with you" or "Smile, Jesus loves you" or "Things look up when you look to God" or "It's OK, God has a plan"--ugh!! How does that make you feel? Those are annoying, frustrating, and just plain hindering to one's growth during a time of struggle or doubt or suffering. Growth only happens through those times of struggle! The best thing for someone to do is to get into that boat WITH you, just listen, cry with you, and just BE there. You have to meet people where they're at, and that's how they grow. Why else did God send Jesus to earth as a human? He didn't just look down on us and say "I'm here for you" or "I love you" but instead he showed it with Jesus' life and death. He came here, walked the earth, loved people, and died for us to meet us where we are! If Jesus had never come to earth, God would seem like some far-off, distant being to us!

Anyways sorry about the soapbox, but that was my breakthrough last night. It's so amazing to understand the greatness of God and why on earth he sent Jesus. So, Christians, forget your silly little cliche lines and just love people. Forget the little phrases and goofy bumper stickers and live it out! That's my goal...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

It's crazy how when certain things happen throughout my day now, I think "I'll have to write about that in my blog!" It's quite sad, actually, that I think of things ahead of time to write in here--there's just so much self-inflicted pressure to make sure everything noteworthy is in here and well-said! In reality it just doesn't matter what I write about...

But I will tell you something I saw and wanted to write about the other night. While driving in Bloomington Monday night I passed this car and in the driver's side of the backseat, there was the cutest dog ever and it just seemed to be smiling at me! It just looked so darn happy to be riding in the car w/ its family! I can picture it still, and it just makes me smile! He (or she) was just adorable, and I wondered--Do dogs really smile? I wish you could actually see the difference between their normal face and their smile, but maybe it's more fun to just assume they are. Oh, the silly things I ponder...

It has been a great day today--met some new students who came to early registration and will be here in august. They were cool and I'm really hoping that our campus has a fresh spiritual energy (that sounds a little too new-age-ish but you know what i mean) this fall. I'm looking fwd. to see what potential leaders and awesome students God will raise up out of this new class.

I also almost had Shaun Groves booked for Fall Campus Challenge, but I had to turn that down a minute ago b/c we need something a little more w/ a full band. If he would have been w/ a full band it would be a go, but nope. SO, cross your fingers for Dave Barnes--he's my next possibility and how awesome would that be? (you're thinking "i have no clue b/c i've never heard of him") If that's true, go to and listen--good stuff. OK this is long enough (as if there's a requirement!) so I'll free you up for awhile. Post a comment and let me know what you think about the dog smiling thing--can they smile? how about some other fun dog info? later dawgs...

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

It has actually been a busy day! I had a visit today at 11:30, which went well (my first one by myself), and then ate a really late lunch (ordered First Wok--yum), and then helped M.K. move her office. So, all in all, I've done some useful things and I have some things on my desk that I'm leaving unfinished for another day!

Nothing too exciting to write today... I got a new journal last night from B&N, that was fun! I love to journal these days--especially on here b/c I can type faster than write. I'm looking fwd. to a night of just relaxing in my apartment and reading, maybe watching one of the 3 channels I get on TV for a bit, making a frappe from my sis's yummy Homemade Gourmet mix, and then going to bed early.

I wish I had something more interesting to say, but I don't. It's kind of like one of those bottlecaps that you open with excitement hoping that you won $1000 or even just another free pop, but you're sadly disappointed with the words "You are not a winner. Try again." So I apologize that there's no prize value to the words of my blog today! Try again tomorrow!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Time: 3:37 p.m.

What I'm waiting for: a student to arrive to meet w/ him about coming to LCC

On my list of CDs to order eventually: Nickel Creek's "This Side", Bethany Dillon's self-titled, Ginny Owens' "Beautiful", and possibly Jonathan Barnes' "File Under Agrarian."

Plans for tonight: Go w/ Chantell to see her son Ryder play baseball

Plans for tomorrow: If the sun's a-shinin', I'll be a-tannin' at the pool all day, then heading to see Brad Paisley at the Sangamon County Fair! Yay!

What I plan to have for supper: Hm....First Wok anyone?

What you're thinking right now: Why is Mandy's blog in this weird format today?

My answer: I have no idea...I'm just cool like that I suppose :-)

I'm off to see the wizard...the wonderful wizard of Oz!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Turn the page...

I'm really getting into looking for good books--i've just gotta start reading them! I just bought two books today from the bookstore (i love having a staff gift card to put them on!) Anyways, I bought "Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel" by Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo as well as "Faith, God, and Rock & Roll: How People of Faith Are Transforming American Popular Music" by Mark Joseph. I hope they're good!

I've been reading a book called "A Childlike Heart" by Alan D. Wright, and I got it on clearance really cheap like two yrs ago. I'm really loving it so far, and I'm quite surprised at how good it is! Here is an excerpt from the chapter on Childlike Failure:
Failing is what little children do best. Little children fail a lot but seldom feel like failures. Adults, who fail far less, tend to feel like failures. How many times would you be willing to spit up on yourself in public before giving up on warm milk? How many times would you be willing to strain the muscles in your entire body just for the chance of rolling over? How many times would you be willing to fall on your bottom in front of cheering onlookers just for the chance to walk? How many times would you let the asphale skin your knee just for the chance to conquer a bike without training wheels? Most of the time, a child's failure is public. Conversely, one good public failure is enough to send many adults into seclusion... Little children never focus on their failures; they focus on their goals. Adults, on the other hand, become so consumed with their failures that they forget their goals.

The writer then refers back to Peter's faith/lack of faith in walking on the water in Matthew 14. Though it's a simple train of thought, it's quite profound I think. And quite a good reminder for us as well.

Other than that, I have spent some time helping josh design new LCC t-shirts. Josh also tightened the battery in my car for me today b/c last night i had yet another scare w/ my lovely little Grand Am GT in the Dollar Tree parking lot. I was about in tears when after pulling halfway out of my parking space my poor little pontiac stopped and refused to even shift into neutral or start. SO thankfully this lady, a wife of a mechanic, came and helped me...she messed w/ a few things, kept moving my steering wheel up and down, and eventually got it started several times and said that my battery just needed to be tightened. Also I might have a short in my steering wheel. Out of fear, I am still driving w/ my steering wheel all the way up so now i look like an old lady.

I'm also concerned about this bump on my leg...looks like a mix between a bruise and a bug-bite. what is it? i haven't a clue...though i did kill a scary looking bug in my apt. the other day...could it be? i doubt it. well this is a long bunch of blog, so i'll free you from the ramblings. oh--surprise! brad paisley is at the sangamon county fair in 2 days--i want to go! yay! keep it country ya'll.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Let me just say that Bethany Dillon is freaking amazing. She's 15 and has more talent that I've ever seen a 15 year old girl have. She definitely has more WISDOM than your average 15-year-old girl. Go to her website: and read her lyrics, listen to her music, and read her online journal and tell me she's not brilliant! Just try!

Right about now I'm REALLY hoping that some of YOU start your own blogs someday soon b/c I'm extremely bored and I feel like I've researched the internet to the farthest extent. actually I'm lying about that...b/c every day I do find something new and cool to look at. I've been spending a lot of time at checking out some cool articles and what-not. I have read every person's blog that I know of (which isn't many) and I have checked up on all my favorite musical artists' websites. I have cleaned out the drawers of this thing in Greg's office. I have cleaned out the admissions closet a little bit. I have organized and labeled all my file folders in my file cabinet. I have cleaned up my desk. I have entered students' names and info into the computer and I have nothing left to do. so please, start a blog! i'm kidding, you don't have to. (as if i had convinced you anyway!)

Well I'm about to try to find something else to do around here before I leave and go to the bank. keep it real folks. layta.

Monday, June 14, 2004

It's a new week and I've had a lot of new ideas and perspectives as of this weekend. Good weekend of fun, fellowship, and friends. Hung out w/ amanda and went out in b-ton and had an eye-opening experience at a bar actually. We realized that the awkwardness we feel in a bar is probably quite similar to the awkwardness some of those people probably feel coming to the church. Now whenever I sit in a church service I'm thinking, "what on earth would those people be thinking or feeling at this moment if they were here?" to get a new perspective on ministry and how the church can reach out to a different generation and culture than it's known for...without compromise, of course. I do have a huge vision for that and I am praying for new opportunities to get involved in a church community and to serve where I am gifted...but I'm still figuring all that out. So if you have suggestions on where to serve or what areas you think I'd do best in, I'd love to hear it b/c I have a hard time figuring that all out at times.

Last night I went to Fuel at Eastview and felt an urge to serve there, but I'm still praying about it. I'm beginning to see more of how this job is first and foremost a ministry rather than a job, and I'm going to have to remind myself of that on the days when I feel like it's more of a job, or even a time to just sit in front of a computer all day. We had a girl visit today and she had an amazing testimony, and it's encouraging to see incoming students/transfers who have a willing heart to do ministry and are already so passionate that you can see them being successful in God's eyes. She was a blessing today.

Now it's even past time to leave work but I had to get in my daily blog...I didn't even notice that it was time to go and I was organizing my file folders. I need to continue doing that tomorrow, that's for sure! I do have stuff to do but i'mjust now realizing it! Well I'm out of to the bank to set up an account. (which will soon be empty due to my bills that will soon arrive and smack me in the face w/ the warm message of "welcome to life after college!!!" On that note, God bless your day! :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2004

TGIFO! Thank God for Fridays off! It's almost the weekend for me!

I've been feeling mighty inspired to do some things that are quite out of the ordinary lately. I'm enjoying writing a lot, and I think I'm going to contribute some Music Reviews to Relevant Magazine--the coolest magazine ever. I was looking around their website today and actually found an article from Mark, a long-lost friend from CIY last summer. He's from England and none of us from last summer had heard of him since he left in the middle of the summer. It was good to know he was at least alive and writing! If you want to read his article, go to, click on GOD on the left, and then go down to an article in the right column called "Searching for Community." It's a good one.

I'm also newly (is that a word) enthused about Internet radio. I found the greatest standard jazz station today that I listened to pretty much all day long. I hope when Josh gets back to the office he doesn't hate me for playing music all the time!

Not sure what to do w/ my thursday night...maybe sit in the coffee shop I live above? I haven't even been in there since I moved in yet, so I should go. That's the plan for now unless I find something else to do, which I might--I have now compiled a list of things I want to do this summer--goals and dreams and silly little things. Maybe I'll tackle one tonight! I'm out. Have a great weekend, but before you go...check out this link--it's hilarious!!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Aaahh...another long day of work has almost passed. I don't think I'll ever reach the end of lists of prospective students to be called on the phone, unfortunately. It's a darn good thing I like to call people--except not really. I really don't like to call people that I don't know, so it's not my fave thing to do but it's my job.

Last night I experienced God's providence through answered prayer in an awesome way. The sad part is, I was kind of surprised that my prayers were answered for some reason. I'm not sure why I was surprised, but possibly because it was such a quick response! Without making a short story long, I basically just wanted to know that there were people around to hang out for the summer so I wouldn't be bored and lonely by myself in my big apartment. Then, Kate called me to go out for dinner, and when I got home from that Amanda called and came to visit me! I was just praying for some good, meaningful conversations and last night was just full of them! I love catching up w/ my friends. I get to do that again tonight w/ Becka before she moves to Cali, so that's good news.

After Amanda left last night I was making banana bread (yeah i'm fun i know) and finishing up the book Fresh Faith by Jim Cymbala. Great book...great reminder to have faith and trust in God's promises. Unfortunately I'm too tired to remember some of the great quotes in there that I underlined, but I'll be sure to plug them in here someday.

For now, I'm almost out of here. Good thing b/c my eyes might just close and stay shut if I sit in front of this computer and phone anymore. I was going to drink coffee to wake me up but I forgot GT shut it off and now it's cold. I still took like 3 drinks of it, but it's gross. So, tip for the day: don't drink cold coffee that wasn't meant to be cold.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Well, well, well... It's been a long time. Isn't that what everyone says when they haven't written in a journal or a blog or a diary in forever? It's if we need to say it to the inanimate object--"Sorry journal, how have you been?"

Life is all new for in Lincoln and working here at the school now for good. Some days are pretty boring so far, so I have been reading other people's blogs and realizing that I need to get on the blogging ball! I love reading other people's blogs yet I feel like I'm spying or eavesdropping if I "find" someone else's without their knowledge. It's kinda weird. I want some of my friends to get blogs too!

Yesterday was like the end of the world least for half of Lincoln. I was leaving to head back to work from my lunch break and found out my car wouldn't start. That was upsetting. So I called for a ride, got back to the office within 4 minutes, only to find that there was a power outage in half the town including the entire campus! (looking back there was about a 5 min. span between me coming downstairs from the apartment and the power outage, and it's a good thing I didn't happen to take the elevator and get stuck--thanks for looking out for me on that one God!) Well, needless to say, there was not much to do at the office w/o power, so we all had the rest of the day off! And I got a new car battery and it's fresh and roarrring to go!

Living the single life in my apt. by myself is already boring...but it is making me read more and that's a good thing. I'm deeply in need of spiritual refreshment--no not punch and cookies--but a tighter relationship with J.C. -- That just reminded me of the line on Meet the Parents where he talks about Jesus and calls him that--funny. Well I'm off to do some more work! Just taking a blog break and catching up with my poor empty blog.