Friday, November 4, 2011


A ginger man walked into a bank in New York City and asked for the loan officer. He told the loan officer that he was going to Europe on business for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000 and that he was not a depositor of the bank. The bank officer told him that the bank would need some form of security for the loan, so the gingern handed over the keys to a new Ferrari. The car was parked on the street in front of the bank. The ginger produced the title and everything checked out. The loan officer agreed to hold the car as collateral for the loan and apologized for having to charge 12% interest.

Later, the bank's president and its officers all enjoyed a good laugh at the "dumb" ginger for using a $250,000 Ferrari as collateral for a $5,000 loan. Then the employee of the bank drove the Ferrari into the bank's underground garage and parked it. Two weeks later, the ginger returned, repaid the $5,000 and the interest of $23.07. The loan officer said, “Sir, we are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out and found that you are a multimillionaire. What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow $5,000?” The ginger replied: “Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $23.07 and expect it to be there when I return?”

Oooh those gingers ... Smart cookies ;)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

So Long, Until We Meet Again

In 12 days, I leave for Cedarville University. Though I'm rather nervous, my excitement far exceeds the butterflies in my stomach. I'm ready to go where God has lead me and make a difference for him in this next stage of my life - College. It's hard to say what I am about to face. I really don't know what God has in store for me during the next four years but I know I don't have to see the plan to be certain that there is one.

It occurs to me more each day how difficult the first weeks of school might be. I've spent the past week and a half hanging out with my dearest friend Audrey Kennel every day, most the day, and some days not letting the days end stop us, one of us will spend the night at the others house. It's like we've both been hit with this desperate realization that we are about to be separated from our best friend and wont see each other for quite awhile. It's a sad thought. I know life is about to change in many wonderful ways, but leaving behind good friends is one thing I'm having trouble being okay with. I'm gonna miss her. My thoughts feel jumbled at the moment so I'm sorry if you are reading this. I just felt the need to ramble. =P I am sad to say goodbye even if just momentarily to my dear friend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Live the Cause!

At youth group on Sunday, my youth pastor began with an analogy of his son at dinner time. His son Carsten is a very picky eater. If he sees something on his plate he's never eaten before he will do anything to avoid eating it. So his parents will tell him he needs to try just ONE bite. Carsten promptly will take a bite of something else on his plate, take a sip of water, and then say in the cutest little voice, "All done!"
His dad isn't fooled of course and will ask, "Carsten, did you eat a bite of ____"
Again Carsten will go through the routine of eating everything but the one thing he's been told to eat and then proudly proclaim, "All done!" Again he is asked, "Did you eat one bite of ____"

Carsten is given one simple task; one thing he is told to do. Yet he busies himself with other things hoping that they will be enough. We Christians are just like Carsten. Before Jesus left this earth, he gave us one simple command, "Make disciples of all nations." When we get to heaven and God asks,
"Did you make disciples?"
what will you answer him? If I died last week, I have a feeling my only response I could give would have been,

"Not exactly, God. But see... I voltuneered as a Kids Hope mentor to change the life of an at risk 4th grade girl. And I was involved with different childrens' ministries at my church. Also I did my best to live a life that was different so my coworkers would know that I was not just a Christian by name."

I can picture the disappointment in God's eyes as he asks once again, "But Melody, did you make disciples? I only asked that one thing of you. Did you share you faith? Or did you expect the truth of the Gospel to simply jump at people from your actions alone?"

When my youth pastor made this whole analogy it really brought the point home to me. All that other stuff I'm doing is great. I have some really good ministries. But the call of the great commission - the call Christ placed on my life when I entered into a relationship with him was simple:
"make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
Once we've made disciples, we are to teach them to make disciples ("everything I have commanded you").
My youth pastors point was that, yes we all know we are supposed to share our faith but we generally let fear stop us. But when we think of it in terms of it being our only mission on this earth, it's hard to pass by. How many of us want to fail our only mission?? He gave out copies of a short book called Firestarter by Greg Stier. I highly recommend that every Christian read this book. I am a very slow reader and I easily read it in a day(which was also packed with a very busy schedule). The book again emphasizes the importance of sharing your faith and it's truly emboldened me to begin doing just that.

So I've started small. In the book there is something called 'THE Cause Circle"

The idea here is that you write names of people in your influence circle in the middle of the circle. It can be friends, family, coworkers, classmates, or just about anybody that you see on a regular basis and have some form of influence over. You then pick three people who you are going to begin praying for every day. You write their names on the three lines above "Pray" and then you pray for them every day. Eventually, you begin bringing up your faith in conversation. At this point you cross them off the 'pray' list and move them to the 'Pursue list'. When you've done this, you pick another person from the middle circle and place them on your pray list. And don't forget that even when someone has moved on to "Pursue" you still continue to pray for them every day.

Before I even got a chance to put names in my Cause Circle I actually got a chance to talk to a coworker. We were talking about death and I asked what she thought happened to people after they died. She had "never really thought about it" so I asked if she'd ever thought about Heaven or Hell. She said she didn't "believe there was a heaven or hell" so that opened up the opportunity for me to explain briefly that I did believe there was and that the only way to go to heaven was by God forgiving us for our sins when we ask him to. Sadly I didn't get to go into a lot of detail but I didn't scare her away with what I did say so I'm excited for future opportunities I get to talk with her about it.

So yesterday I made my Cause Circle. I just started by putting Christina (my coworker) under Pursue since I'd already gotten a chance to talk to her. Then, later I was talking to another coworker named Sia(who was on my prayer list). I talk to her quite a lot and we were just talking about decisions we make stupid things some people do that make no sense. And I suddenly realized it was perfect opportunity to bring up an aspect of my faith. So I asked her what made her not make some of the bad choices her friends were making; what helped her decide right from wrong. She said it was probably the main people she hung out with and her parents and then asked me the same question. So I got to explain that it was my personal relationship with Jesus that made me honestly have no desire to get caught up in all the junk lots of people do. And that since I got into that relationship I have just found joy in life and not felt any need to mess around (harmfully) just to 'have fun'.

I'm so hyped right now because in a matter of two days I've become brave enough to bring up my faith with two different people and they haven't acted like I was some kind of freak. They still talk to me just the same as they did before so I know that I'll have more chances to go into more detail with them on what I believe. It's such an exciting thing knowing that you are planting seeds in someone's life. Especially when it's someone that you truly care about. =) So now Sia is in my "Pursue" section as well. So I need to move someone else to "Pray". I don't know who for sure. But I am so excited for what God is doing in my life and what he's going to do in the lives of these people.

To God be all the Glory!

Friday, June 18, 2010

"I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh"

I just turned 17 on Wednesday and I was thinking about something. Almost every year for as long as I remember, someone has asked me on my birthday if I feel any different. Every year my answer was the same. I felt exactly the same as I did the year before. It felt almost like I never got any older. This is probably the first year nobody asked me. And this year, things were different.

I don't really know if I can put it into words, but I'm going to try. This year has just been so amazing! God has made some huge changes in me and I feel like a totally different person than I was last year. Addison Road has a song called What Do I Know of Holy. The second verse says,

I guess I thought that I had figured you out.
I knew all the stories, and I'd learned to talk about
How you were mighty to save.
But those were only empty words on a page.
Then I caught a glimpse of who you might be.
The slightest hint of you brought me down to my knees.

That is the best summer of my life up to this year when things started changing. Growing up in a Christian home I was well versed in how to talk spiritually. I could debate theology until I was blue in the face. But when it really came down to it, it meant nothing to me. I believed all of it. But I guess I never made that belief personal. I knew how to appear holy enough to belong in church and I was considered one of the good kids. But church was honestly nothing more than a ritual. And the saddest part was, I was so blind. I had absolutely no idea there was anything more. People talked about a relationship with God. I thought I had one. But it wasn't that great. I talked to Him when I thought about it but He never seemed to talk back. There was no intimacy. But I didn't know things could be different.

I see now how off my focus was. I tried to have it all together. I tried to live right so that even if I wasn't perfect I was better than most people. I knew God didn't ask me to be perfect. But I still wanted to be as good as possible. I tried to know my bible inside and out so that Sunday School teachers always knew that there would be one hand raised among the blank stares. I did everything I could to fit the stereotype for Christians. I... I... I... yikes! I feel stupid just thinking about how stupid I was. =P But looking back I can also see glimpses of hope. Places where God was working to soften my heart. To prepare me for this year; to prepare me for the last five months.

I think January is when he started some major reconstruction of my heart(Ezekiel 36:26). I was at a somewhat intense retreat. There were only 11 people there. We fasted and spent some serious one on one time with God and it was the first time I really hear God speak to me. What He said was so simple, but it was so amazing.

"I love you!"

Most of you are probably thinking, "Duh! Why is that so significant? Didn't you already know that?" Yes, I knew that God so loved the world that He gave His only son. But that's so impersonal. I've always struggled with major insecurities. I've always believed myself to be insignificant. In fact, if asked to describe myself in two words I'd definitely have said 'ugly' and 'worthless'. So I knew God loved the world. I even sort of thought He might love me as an individual. But at the pinnacle of my insecurities, sitting in a room alone, listening to Unbreakable by Fireflight, I heard Him speak three simple words that brought tears to my eyes and wings to my soul.

That was the beginning. The beginning of me knowing the reality of God's love. The beginning of learning to appreciate who God made me to be. And the beginning of an intimate relationship with my Maker. Whatever my past relationship with Him, it was not intimate.
"Taste and see that the Lord is good" -Psalm 34:8

After tasting his goodness, I honestly don't know how I survived life before. Intimacy with God is so... well, there is no word for it. Over the past five months He has taken me on a journey to show me the different levels of intimacy that are possible. That day in January, I knew Him as my Creator. Then He showed me what it meant to be a friend of God. No friend on earth can compare. He is indeed my best friend. I no longer say that because it's the churchy thing to say. He truly is my best friend!

Later he revealed himself to me as Father, Abba, Daddy. The daddy whose lap I can always crawl into just to feel His strong arms around me. Or to cry on His shoulder. I can always go to Him with my concerns, sorrows, and joys because even though he owns the cattle on a thousand hills, he's no workaholic. He ALWAYS has time for his little girl.

The last way he has revealed Himself to me is probably the one I'd least expected. I had never understood the analogy of the church being the bride of Christ. It was one of those things I accepted because I grew up hearing it but it never made sense. But WOW! God has revealed himself to me as my lover. I know, it sounds almost wrong to write that. But this is really important. See, for so long, I've looked to guys to give me a sense of worth. I longed for male attention. I craved love. I was never really content though. I wasn't satisfied by the male attention I got because satisfaction comes from Christ alone.

I had made the decision when I was 12ish to not date until I graduated high school. Technically it was a family rule anyway, but I made the choice myself as well. But I hated being single. I felt so alone. I wanted to know that someone loved me and I was pretty sure I would at least feel like someone did if I had a boyfriend. But, being the good little church girl that I was, dating was not for me.

But as God showed me who He is as the bridegroom, the lover, the romancer, things changed. I've stopped longing to be lobed because I know I already am loved. I no longer feel alone because I feel His presence so strongly in my life. For the first time in years I am totally content in singleness. I am satisfied in His love. His love is all I need. It is utterly intoxicating.

So for the first time in my life I have had a birthday and have felt entirely different from how I felt on any previous birthdays. I feel the intensity of God's love. I can now see myself through His eyes. And as I grow to know Him more in an intimate personal way, I grow to know myself as He created me to be.

"I've got this passion
It's something I can't describe
It's so electric
It's like I've just come alive
I feel this freedom
Now that my past is erased
I feel the healing
I've found the meaning of grace"
What I've Overcome ~Fireflight

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Yesterday I went to the most amazing wedding of some friends of mine and was inspired to write this. Enjoy!

In white silk she glides in slow
Every eye upon her
Her slender form moves gracefully
Causing each heart to stir
It's not the dress, though glorious indeed
That fills each one with wonder
'Tis the radiance of her face aglow
A spell she must be under

His name is strength and manly honor
But most of all 'tis love
There, up front he waits for her
Thanking his father above
He reflects her brilliant glow
As transfixed their eyes meet
He can't contain the growing joy
Barely keeping his feet

Beside him, noble friend supports
This momentous choice
He sees the love, God's hand at work
Some day it will be his voice
That proclaims the vows and says, "I do"
to the woman of his dreams
But now he waits for God's own time
As hard as it seems

Across from him a maiden fair
Wipes away a tear
Her beloved friend and sister
Takes a new name here
A shoulder to cry on, a listening ear
Always has she been
A gift of love, to be cherished and dear
From the One unseen

The mothers too begin to weep
Their children grown now leave
Hearts swell with a motherly pride
Most would not believe
Tears of mingled sad and joy
Trying to let go
Reminded of God and his promise
A hope for tomorrow

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is totally a senior!

Soooo.... today I finished the last assignment for school for this year. Which means.... I'M OFFICIALLY A SENIOR!!!! Oh yeah!!! Very excited about that! I'm so thankful that God gave me the strength to get through another year. A few times I didn't know if I really would make it. But God enabled me! =)

Summer plans are as follows: Work and save money for college, hang out with people from youth group, work and save money for college, sleep, work and save money for college, read some good books, work and save money for college, go on missions trip to Philadelphia with youth group, work and save money for college, and sneak in a few hours of school each week(hopefully) so I can get ahead for next year. Yeah, it'll be great. =P

And pretty much... yes this is a pointless post. But I'm so excited about being a senior I just wanted to scream it to the world. I'm done.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Frogs and Princes Part 1: Worthy of a Princess

When you become God's child, he becomes your daddy. God is the king of the universe. If your daddy is the king of kings, that makes you a princess. When a princess is ready to get married, she doesn't go to the dirtiest slums to find her husband. Her father who loves her dearly wouldn't allow it. In fact, he's decreed that she must only marry royalty. Why? Because she deserves nothing less!

As the daughter of the king of kings you deserve nothing less than a prince. When you settle for the slums, you're cheating yourself and distressing your daddy who loves you so much. But how do you know if a guy is a frog from the slums or a prince from the castle?

Obviously, this can be tricky because some of the slimiest frogs can appear to the be most charming princes. So don't just go for the first guy that comes your way. Seriously, if you're single, you WONT DIE! I know, hard to believe... but trust me, it's true.

I wont claim to have tons of experience with picking out good guys or anything. But here are a few characteristics of the Prince you should be waiting for.

A Prince worthy of a princess like you will respect you AND (this one might be a shocker) your future husband. Since he doesn't know if he's the one for you yet, he will be careful that every thing he does will honor you, God, and your future husband. He'll act like a protective big brother, trying to guard your heart from anything and anyone that might harm it (including himself). He'll seek to use your relationship to grow both of you closer to God. God will be WAY MORE important to him than you. He'll have a no compromise view of every aspect of life. And he'll encourage you to seek other people to keep you accountable. He'll help you learn to see yourself through God's eyes.

And if you are unsure about a guy, don't just ride on emotions. See counsel from a Godly woman with more experience. If there's one thing older women are great at, it's sniffing out the frogs.

I think the biggest key though is realizing how much you deserve in a guy not being willing to setting for anything lower. As the daughter of THE KING, wait for a prince worthy of your dad's daughter. One that will make your heavenly father proud to give you away.