Wednesday, October 29, 2008


A great comment from a blog post by Pastor Perry Noble in Anderson, SC:

"For a Christian to claim that the world is going to be doomed to hell because a particular party happens to “control” the White House is a slap in the face of a Sovereign God."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Senior Night @ Fairfield High School

We're in Cincinnati this weekend for Maria's Senior Night - her last marching band game after 4 years marching @ FF.

The seniors got to wear funny hats, and Maria's hat with a feather in it was definitely the best. All for one, and one for all!

At halftime, the seniors walked out onto the field, escorted by their parents, and the announcer called their names.

We're so proud of Maria. She's grown to be a beautiful, smart, confident woman and we're excited to see where God takes her next! We love you, Maria!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I guess its about time...

I have been getting yelled at for not ever writing in the blog anymore. I guess though since Mark has been so consistent at it I have sub-consciously removed it from list of things to do. Mark did say at one point that he thought everyone would quit reading if I didn't start writing in it.. :)

Well I don't have tons of exciting things to say. It has been a beautiful fall and it has felt really normal. The weather has been gorgeous and I have spent way to much time at Starbucks. I have had lots of amazing time with my husband and not enough time to relax. I have grown closer to God than I have ever been before and I have been challenged more than I ever have been before. In general life has felt good and peaceful. One of the highlights of the past few months has been the new addition to our lives--Justin and Elizabeth. I work with Elizabeth at Starbucks, she is my age and we have a lot in common. She is getting married next month to Justin and Mark and Justin also have a lot in common. In a very short time they have become very special to us and a necessity in life :) I have been so thankful to have someone that I really connect with and love being around and is also my age and in my stage of life. She is God sent Im sure :)

We also scheduled a trip to Nashville next summer with Justin and Elizabeth which will be amazing! We are very excited.

Well I need to make dinner so off I go!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Introducing, Mr. and Mrs. Ryan and Tara Jonker!

Jen and I were invited to Ryan & Tara's wedding on Saturday. It was a beautiful wedding through and through. Classical church, elegant ceremony, and CLASSY country club reception.

Jon, Erica, and Ben were there too. Unfortunately Erica had to run home to get the girls after the ceremony, but we sat at a table with Jon & Ben.

I'm REALLY happy for Ryan and Tara. They both waited a lot longer than most people to make the marriage commitment, and it paid off because they are PERFECT together.

Everything went off without a hitch, and they even showed up at church the next day! I hope they're having a wonderful honeymoon together right now. God bless their life together.

Monday, October 20, 2008

We got Punked!

Last night, and the end of our trek up 3 flights of stairs, we were greeted by 18 paper plates covering the door to our apartment!

Is this the apartment version of getting TP'ed?

The colorful decorations were a surprise pastor-appreciation gift from FUEL, the youth group here at Journey Church. The students had written brief notes and drawn pictures on paper plates and staked-out our apartment complex until someone let them in to "punk" us.

Statistic count:
Most popular word: "rock" !!!!!!! (haha! is there a 'rock-on' smiley?)
Second most popular word: "Mark"

And seriously guys, HOW LONG did you have to wait until someone let you in to the building??? (I think you just need a gmail account to leave comments - please do!)

Thanks, FUEL! You guys are the best!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Worship Conference

Today, tomorrow, and Friday I'm at Integrity Music's "Seminars4Worship" hosted @ ResLife Church in Grand Rapids. Should be loads of fun & very refreshing. Great speakers like Paul Baloche, Mia Fieldes, and Jon Egan.

Today I'm in the "worship lab" called "Worship Leading and Songwriting." I'll let you know if I learn anything groundbreaking by adding comments to this post!

-Mark- +

Monday, October 6, 2008

If World Hope had $700 billion...

I had lunch with my friend Justin on Saturday, and he brought up a RADICAL idea that made me even sadder about the bailout just passed by Congress.

Justin was trying to imagine how much $700 billion is, and he said "Can you imagine all the good that much money could do if the rich people getting it weren't so materialistic?" WOW! As I took that thought and chewed on it, my world began to change. Justin again said something profound: "The top 500 richest people in America probably have enough EXTRA money to end world poverty." WOOOOOOW!!!! He's right! And that makes me SO UNBELIEVABLY ANGRY! Especially after Justin pointed out that most of those people literally have more money than they will ever be able to spend or even experience.

This is just wrong. Do you realize that Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or Sam Walton could each probably end the AIDS epidemic or African genocide single-handedly? They could probably even keep everything they have in the bank and just accomplish such a feat by selling their extra houses, cars and boats. Keep the biggest one, even, but what does someone need with more than 2 houses???

And so that led me to think about the $700 billion bailout. And do you know what I thought? What if World Hope International, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking and "alleviating suffering and injustice," was given $700 billion? Could you imagine?

What if Congress saw human souls as more valuable than corporate wealth, and decided to give $700 billion of taxpayers' money to World Hope International? First of all, it makes me sick that corporate wealth is more important to them than genocide or AIDS or starvation. Humans across the ocean have no dignity left and struggle to survive each day. Shoot, some of our brothers and sisters in Africa don't even know what hope is any more. But if we did give $700 billion to World Hope, could you imagine the possibilities? GET THIS, PEOPLE - we would live in a different world.

As Justin said, World Hope's first reaction would be "Where do we start!!???" That money would be in such better hands with them. I know it's just a very small corner of the world that reads this blog, but maybe sharing these thoughts will help play a small part in turning the tide on the fight between greed on this side of the ocean and desparation on the other horizon.

-Mark- +

Friday, October 3, 2008

Can we flip the tickets?

I watched the VP debate last night and both candidates did such a great job, it left me wondering - can we flip both tickets around and vote for Biden or Palin as President?

I agree with pastor Perry Noble and what he wrote in a blog a few weeks ago: I'm tired of hearing why NOT to vote for the other guy. I want to see respect among the candidates, and I want to be inspired and convinced of why each candidate SHOULD be President, not why the other guy SHOULDN'T. Last night, both VPs were cordial and avoided, for the most part, blasting each other or each other's running mates. Instead, they showed us where they stand and who they are.

Senator Biden showed EXCEPTIONAL knowledge and understanding of the Constitution. Which is, after all, our government's foundational document and seems to often get overlooked in this process. Biden showed severe respect for his opponents. He showed passion, wisdom, and poise.

I'm pretty sure Governor Palin blew EVERYONE'S expectations out of the water last night. She really did an outstanding job. She showed the confidence that had been drained from her after a rough first few weeks as McCain's running mate - the confidence that I think her supporters have missed and are glad to have back. I learned two major things about Governor Palin last night that give me more confidence in her as a VP candidate:
1) She is a quick learner.
2) She has surrounded herself with wise, knowledgeable people.
There's no question that she's a different person than she was before "debate boot camp," and I think she was well prepared and well educated by her staff.

One last comment about the VP debate - AND THIS IS IMPORTANT:

If you watched the debate last night, did you notice the one topic the candidates agreed on? Gay marriage. I was EXTRAORDINARILY proud of our country as Biden and Palin represented us. In a nutshell, this is what they said:

Whichever way America votes, the VPs said we will not discriminate against people for the choices they make. We will not, at this point in history, make people behave the way they should.


It was made clear last night that America - Republican and Democrat alike - still has a stand. Both candidates firmly stated that they DO NOT support or approve of gay marriage, and they claimed the same stance for their running mates. THANK YOU, Senator Biden and Governor Palin, for standing firm, being honest, and representing us well on an important issue that (because of the exceptionally loud voice of one minority position) can be a politically dangerous stance to take.

However you think the government should act on issues like this (and I would not argue with you for feeling differently) , the VPs' stance on gay marriage parallels how Christians should behave. It is NOT our job to hate, shun, abuse, or criticize. It IS our job, however, to be honest with people in a loving way and tell them A) it doesn't have to be that way, and B) there is a Way that they will surely find to be immeasurably better and freeing to their souls.

-Mark- +

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Every year I get so excited about fall. Fall seems to bring this aroma of expectancy and anticipation. I always feel like if I don't act fast fall will come and go and I won't be able to enjoy any of it. Fall always seems to hold exciting times, new memories and a feeling of peace. I love the sunshine and in just a few months I am sure I will looking outside longing for sun. But today I am enjoying the cloudy brisk day. God shines through in everything and I love it. We launch our second service this week at Journey. It is our 1st birthday at Journey and it is so exciting to look back a year ago and see how much has happened and how many lives have been changed. Even is our life there has been significant growth. In fact I kind of giggle when I think about where I was a year ago. God has taught me so much this year about relying on him. I have learned so much about his plan for us. God doesn't want us to live in sin and we don't have to. I have learned how to look to him for peace and guidance, patience and strength. He is such a wonder to me. Im thankful that if we seek him always he will always change us. Im thankful that life with God is never easy but always rewarding. Im thankful that he gave me a bestfriend to walk every step with and that he would never make me do it alone.

Just like with fall it feels like if we blink it will be gone I pray that we would have that same anticipation with God. Afraid that if we look a way just for a moment that we might miss something beautiful and magnificent. God is so good everyone. Try to look for him in all that you do. Everyday. I promise you he is there. Even on the cold, ugly and hard days. There is beautiful God who loves you more than you can ever imagine and he has his eyes on you, just waiting for you to fall at his feet.
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