Jun 30, 2010

Summer Sunset

So after church tonight, I went over to my sister's house to help her walk her two dogs. She's very preggo now, so peanut should be coming anytime!! Yay =) Anyways, while I was driving home, the sunset was SOOOO beautiful! But I didn't have my camera with me, so I raced home (I only sped a little, lol) climbed out the window onto the roof to see if I could get a better view, which didn't work. So then I climbed down the antenna tower, & ran barefoot out into one of our fields to get a good view. It was so worth it!

Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork."

Jun 22, 2010

Chlorinated, tanned, & lovin' summer!!

Hey there! Just sat down to relax & decided to update the good ol' blog. =)
These past two weeks have been great. I've been teaching swimming lessons Monday-Friday from 8 to noon with some of the most awesome lifeguards ever! The kiddos are a ton of fun...most of the time. There's always a troublemaker or two, but over all they're all good kids. Thankfully we have two teachers per group, & the guy that I team-teach with is a lot of fun to be around, so we basically just have a great time! We also have about an hour & a half where there are no kids in the pool, so I basically get paid to swim laps. I'm lovin' the butterfly this summer! It is definitely the most fun (& my new favorite) stroke. We also just goof off & hang out; best job ever! Lol. The only problem is all the chlorine....it is intense! Haha! After 5-6 hours in the pool, a headache & extremely chlorine-scented-skin is inevitable. But it's all good =)

Last week we also started a Bible study with the girls in our youth group at church. Me & Stephanie have been praying about starting up a group study & it finally worked out. Thursday night we talked about Ephesians 4, & unity in the church body as sisters in Christ. It was really encouraging to get to know some of the younger girls that I hadn't really been able to talk to before. Then on Monday night, Stephanie shared her testimony & what God has been doing in her life lately. That was such a huge blessing! She has been growing so much in her relationship with the Lord & she is such an amazing friend. I'm so excited to see how God will work through this Bible study. Please be praying for us as we prepare for next Monday night; I will be talking through Isaiah 43 & also Psalm 139.

Sunday night in church, I was able to share about my upcoming trip to Haiti. It went well, thank the Lord! I also got to talk to our Pastor's son-in-law, who was in Haiti for over a month immediately after the earthquake. He is just about to finish medical school, so he was among some of the first responders to go over & provide much needed medical care. He's an awesome guy. So it was really nice to be able to talk to him & get an idea of what to expect. God has been providing for the trip in an awesome way; I'm at about 75% with my support level =)

Well, I can't really think of anything else to share, so instead of rambling, I'll wrap it up! Haha. I hope that you all are having an amazing summer as well. Make sure you enjoy the sunshine!! Thanks for stopping by =)

P.S. Go USA!!! Gooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllll!!!!!! Hahaha! (The U.S.A. vs. Algeria World Cup game is tomorrow for all of you non-soccer fans. Hopefully we won't get robbed again like we did against Slovenia...I'm still bitter. Lol! ; )

Jun 20, 2010

Urgent Prayer Request

Hey amigos. I just received a very urgent prayer request from Dr. Matt Olson, the president at Northland. His family has been going through a lot lately. I can't help but think of 1 Peter 5:8 right now: "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." Satan is on the attack here. Please take the time to read the email & pray for this amazing family & servants for Christ. 


Normally I would run this through our office as a prayer request but it is the weekend and I am in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - and really feel I need to get this out as quickly as possible to ask you to pray with our family.

Our son, Ross, has been leading a team of college students in Ghana, West Africa, for the past month.  They have seen some incredible works of God.  There has also been a lot of testing and spiritual warfare along the way.

We just learned a day ago that Ross had contracted some internal physical condition that is closing his esophagus, keeping him from swallowing and causing severe pain and internal bleeding.  Efforts were made to get him out of the country and to a hospital in Europe but they would not put him on a commercial plane fearing he would not make the trip.  We have been waiting for an air ambulance and it has finally arrived - praise the Lord.  As I am writing this they have just taken off with him on an eight hour flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.  We don't know what is causing all this - just that it is very serious.

Diane and I would covet your prayers for Ross.  Most of all we want God to be glorified, and His purposes fulfilled - now and for eternity.  We are also praying for healing, strength, and encouragement for Ross in the will of God. 

He will be taken to Millpark Hospital, #9 Guild St. in Johannesburg.  If you know of a missionary or person living there that might be able to help - please let us know.  We know of no one at the moment.

We will try and give you an update as we are able.  Our daughter Sarah Neighbors is keeping updates on Facebook - so that will be most current.  Thanks so much.

Your friends and fellow servants,

Matt and Diane Olson

Jun 15, 2010

A Real Man...

Well last week, I shared with you a list that had the traits of a "real" woman. This week, I want to share with you the list that goes along with that one. These are character qualities of a "real" man as defined by two teenage girls. I don't know how many, if any, guys actually read my blog, but I just want to clarify my purpose in sharing this list with you all. I'm not trying to set an impossible standard for guys or girls, but these are all qualities that we should always be striving after. We should each be praying for our brothers & sisters in Christ & I think that these lists give a good place to start. And if there are any guys reading this, I just want to encourage you. If you've ever wondered what a Christian girl is attracted to in a guy, I can definitely confirm what those things are. (Hey, you don't spend 2 semesters in a girl's dorm without hearing all about their "dream" guy! Lol.) For most girls, it isn't that complicated. (i.e. You don't have to look like an Abercrombie model or anything, ;) The majority of girls really just want a spiritual leader. A guy who isn't afraid to let God work in his life & then live out the result of his own relationship with the Lord. Yeah, not going to lie, I love it when a guy is a gentlemen in his actions (opening doors, helping with heavy stuff...etc. It's nice =), but I've met too many guys who are a gentlemen in their deeds but not in their words. They try to fit in & impress other around them & it's really hard to respect a guy who will say things, or make off-color jokes just to be accepted. I have quite a few really good guy friends who hold themselves to a higher standard in this area, & let me tell you, I respect them & appreciate their leadership so much! So anyways, without further delay...or my confusing chatter, I give you the guy's list. What makes "A Real Man"

Lori Hainline & Rebecca Chandler co-authored this list at the respective ages of 19 and 17. Their closing comment: This list is not exhaustive and men like this do exist!

A real man . . .

…understands and lives according to the basic purposes for which he was created: to worship, honor, and serve God. 
(Romans 12:1-2)

…values and carefully handles the scriptures. 
(2 Timothy 2:15)

…doesn’t pride himself on being knowledgeable in the sinful ways of the world. 
(1 John 2:15-16, James 4:4, Philippians 4:8)

A real man . . .

…isn’t embarrassed to worship God and pray in a group setting.
(Mark 8:38)

…is wise, yet humble. 
(Proverbs 2:1-10, 1 Peter 5:5, Romans 12:16)

A real man . . .

…takes leadership in a self-sacrificing way. 
(Ephesians 5:25-28)

…is kind because, “What is desirable in man is his kindness”
(Proverbs 19:22)

…doesn’t try to prove himself but is simply confident as he walks in the fear of the Lord. 
(Proverbs 14:26-27)

…doesn’t put others down with his actions, attitude, words, or his strength. But on the contrary, he affirms and builds others up
(Proverbs 15:4, Ephesians 4:29)

A real man . . .

…treats his sisters and mother with as much respect as he would treat a prospective wife. 
(Matthew 25:21)

…not only respects but appreciates a young lady’s purity and innocence. In our culture innocence isn’t retained by accident. 
(2 Corinthians 11:2-3)

…values his purity as much as he values a young lady’s purity. He is not ashamed to live and act differently from the world in order to guard himself. 
(1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Ecclesiastes 7:26)

…can look a girl straight in the eye without communicating any impurity. 
(Proverbs 20:11

A real man . . .

…isn’t ashamed to identify himself with his family 
(Ephesians 6:2-3)

…is a gentleman. He is polite and shows women honor in everyday things such as opening doors, etc. 
(1 Peter 3:7)

…has no desire to be gross in order to impress other men. He doesn’t burp, swear, or tell disgusting stories. 
(Proverbs 13:5, Ephesians 5:4)

A real man . . .

…shows by his actions that he loves children. 
(Matthew 19:13-14)

…is pleasant and expresses joy rather than feeling that it’s masculine to be sullen. 
(Proverbs 21:29, 1 Thessalonians 5:16)

…doesn’t blame others for his own problems but embraces responsibility. 
(Proverbs 12:27)

…can accept correction 
(Proverbs 12:1, Proverbs 29:1)

A real man . . .

…is mature in his emotions and his expressions of them. He can deal with the trials of life logically, with wisdom, not on a basis of emotional instability. 
(Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 17:27, Proverbs 12:18)

…understands the value of work and is financially responsible.
(Colossians 3:23-24, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, Luke 16:10-11)

…expresses himself with intelligent words rather than using “street talk”. 
(Proverbs 17:20, Titus 2:6-8, 1 Peter 4:11, Ephesians 4:29)

Jun 8, 2010

A Real Woman...

So I came across two lists on The Rebelution blog that had the quality traits, each based out of scripture, of  "real" men & women. By real, I mean godly. The more guys that I meet, the more I realize how rare it is to know a guy who is really a leader. Someone who isn't afraid to talk about what God is doing in his life, be a gentleman, or be the one to make decisions. (Just an encouragement ladies, genuine, godly guys DO exist! You just have to be patient.) Yes, it's hard to hold out for a genuine, godly leader, but it's not all on the guys. There are a lot of girls who are making it very difficult for guys to step up & be what God intended them to be. Girls who flirt with guys, just for the attention; play with guy's emotions, or act silly, to be "cute." I'm guessing most girls do want to wait for a good, godly guy, but it is hard. One of the things that the Lord has been teaching me is this: you will attract what you are. Meaning, if you are truly satisfied in God, seeking to serve Him, & growing in your walk with the Lord, that is most likely the kind of guy you will attract. I see so many girls who are settling for any guy that shows them attention, so when I was reading the list of character strengths that three girls had put together to describe a "real" man, I wanted to just share it right away. I though, maybe if every girl saw the traits of a real man, they would be more willing to wait.  But we have to realize that we can't just put together a list of traits that we desire in a future spouse if we aren't willing to look at our own lives first & seek to become a "real" woman. Hopefully this is making sense. Lol! Sometimes things make sense in my head, but when I say them, or write them out, I confuse people =) Anyways, here is the list, compiled by three authors, of a "Real Woman." I challenge you to really dig into & find things that you need to work on & pray about over the summer. I know there are definitely points in here that I fall short on!

Written by Philip Hainline, Heidi Reimer, and Maria Reimer at the respective ages of 16, 19, and 17.

A real woman . . .

…is glad she’s a woman and rejoices in her femininity, expressing it through her attitude, appearance and bearing. 
(1 Timothy 2:9-10)

…does not compete for equality with men or chafe at God’s design for male and female, but delights in and understands the importance of her calling to complement man’s role. 
(1 Timothy 2:11-12, Ephesians 5:22-24)

…values the cultivation of her mind and diligently seeks after wisdom and knowledge. 
(Proverbs 22:17-21, 2:2-6)

…realizes her imperative need to allow the Holy Spirit to control her emotions and expressions of them. 
(James 1:19-20)

…does not wallow in self-pity or make a habit of voicing complaints, but radiates cheerfulness and joy. 
(Proverbs 15:15, Proverbs 17:22)

A real woman . . .

…appreciates her father’s protection, and respects and submits to his authority. In so doing, she is preparing herself to exercise the Biblical role in her relationship with a possible future husband.
(Ephesians 5:33-6:3, 1 Peter 3:1-2)

…is trustworthy and gains the respect of those around her.
(Proverbs 31:11)

…restrains herself from listening to, or participating in gossip, but instead speaks with wisdom and discretion. 
(Proverbs 11:12-13, 22, 20:19, 3:11)

…encourages and builds up those around her instead of criticizing and tearing them down. 
(1 Thessalonians 5:11, Ephesians 4:29)

…does not have a nagging, contentious or manipulative manner in which she deals with others. 
(Judges 16:16, Proverbs 21:9, 19, 26:21)

…is not boisterous or loud in her speech or actions but is characterized by a gentle and quiet spirit. 
(Proverbs 9:13, 1 Peter 3:4)

A real woman . . .

…portrays chastity, modesty and reverence in her manner, and wears the ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is her true beauty. 
(1 Peter 3:3-4, Titus 2:4-5)

…is not offended by respect shown her through gentlemanly courtesies (opening doors, etc.) but cultivates the differences between the sexes that make her worthy of this deference. 
(1 Peter 3:7, Mark 10:6)

…seeks to make God her number one desire and the Lover of her soul, knowing that only He can fully satisfy. 
(Psalm 73:25, Psalm 63:1)

…uses her years of singleness to seek and serve God without distraction, and is content to leave the details of her future to Him. 
(Psalm 73:25, Philippians 4:11)

A real woman . . .

…does not relate to members of the opposite sex in a flirtatious or forward manner, but instead saves all her passion for her future husband. 
(Thessalonians 4:3-8, Proverbs 6:25, 1 Corinthians 7:1)

…holds her virginity before marriage sacred and will not compromise it for anything. (This one goes for guys too)
(1 Timothy 5:22)

Jun 4, 2010

Something Beautiful

A friend sent this video to me & I just thought I would share it with you all. Beautiful music for another beautiful summer day! This is an arrangement of "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" by a very gifted pianist named Carlton Forrester. He has quite a few videos on youtube if you feel like checking those out as well. =) I hope you enjoy it!