Saturday, December 31, 2005

As I surfed through "blogville" tonight (Yeah, instead of partying and ringing in the New Year), I came upon the following and thought it was kind of fun.


bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C. /

I think I have "passed through" a few more than those mentioned above, but these are the ones that I've truly spent more than a few minutes in.

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Life Changes

So, the unthinkable happened today...I was let go from my job. You always go into meetings thinking the worst is going to happen, and then is just a normal meeting...blah, blah, blah.

Then you go into a meeting, your heart starts racing, you start praying, "No, this can't be happening.", and then you hear...."I'm sorry the numbers just haven't been adding up....we haven't had any new sales....we might have failed in our just aren't a good is partly me...blah...blah..blah."

Yep, that's right, for the first time I was actually let go from my job. They never said "FIRED", but more politically said your position has been terminated. The feeling of utter rejection and an overwhelming sense of OMG...what now! How are those bills going to get paid (thank God, Freddie the Ford Explorer got paid off last month), how am I going to find a new job when this one took me 8 months to find, how do I explain this to friends and family without sounding like a failure?


But I guess it comes down to the fact that I serve a greater God, and He has me in the palm of His hand right now and is whispering, "It's going to be ok...I have better things in store for you. I love you and I will never leave you nor forsake you."

And as I am typing those words, I have tears streaming down my face, because I do truly believe it, even in the midst of what seems like disaster!

Sit up straight, chin up and march forward. God's in control...I'm not...He's got something awesome for me.

Please pray!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Year in Pictures

As I was web surfing today, I came upon MSN's Year in Pictures. As I sit and think about the past year for my personal life, the problems and concerns that I have don't seem so significant when reflecting on the lives of the men, women, and children featured in the slide show.

Make sure you grab a kleenex when watching, and remember to send up a prayer for all these people that represent the world....a world that is truly hungry and crying out for the hand of God.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Christmas!

As I sit and think about the holiday season and Christmas day that is just around the corner, I realize how blessed I am to be celebrating such a holiday. Not only do I get to choose how I spend my Christmas, and why I celebrate Christmas...but I get to celebrate without being in the midst of civil wars, bombings and other terrorist activities that are happening around the world.

This past year has been great! Yes, I have had a lot of changes, and a lot of depending on God for things that I didn't have a clue about. But since I serve a great God, I was never failed.

I started my second year as the administrator for Puyallup Foursquare's Masters Commission program. For me this has been an awesome opportunity, as I have seen God working in my life just as much as the student's lives. He has been restoring the broken cords of leadership and relationships that have had a decade or so to unravel. It is amazing what God can do when you are willing to go where He leads. I had the opportunity to travel with our MC group to Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia for two weeks last February. What an exciting, eye-opening opportunity.

I moved again (what else is new people are saying)....I am staying with a wonderful couple right now--Charlie and Barb Goodman. Thank You for opening your home and taking me in as another daughter!

Probably the biggest shift for me this year, was a new job. I had been working for my family for the last few years, which was a very laid back job (the couch and taking naps with Mason was my favorite part of the day); however, they moved to California (who I miss tremendously...especially my bad bad Mexican...Maddy)this summer and I had to find a new job. That was one of those leaning on God trust factors...I started at Renewal Construction, in Puyallup on August 1st. It is a great job, and I actually like going to work. However, I am not used to not taking naps during the day, and being able to do what I want and when I want....but I guess that is part of being an adult. RIGHT?

The next year looks to be a wonderful year as well, as I am working my way out of debt and God is seeing to all my provisions. I am heading back to SE Asia again in February...where we expect to see awesome works of God. God blessed me financially to even go on the trip ($950 donated anonymously! Only need $325 more...WOW!), and my boss let me have 2.5 weeks off work to go as well. This next year is going to be spent getting myself on my feet financially so that I can better use my finaces to further the kingdom of God.

I pray blessings for each and everyone of you and your families. I pray that you will see through all the hoopla of Christmas, to why we really celebrate. And then have fun (everyone loves getting presents!). I also pray traveling mercies on all you as you travel to see families and friends.

Rachel Ann

Friday, December 16, 2005

For the Girls!

Remember this at Christmas Time...

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers until after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.

We should've known... ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.

Thanks to my friend Megan who sent me this!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Playing Cards

Tonight I was asked, "On a deck of playing cards, who were the original French Kings and what suites were they?" What a fascinating question to I did a little internet search and here is what I found out about the history of the playing card:

...It is believed to have originated in China once paper was discovered, and all cards were then created by hand.

...As it was hard to mass produce cards made by hand, they moved to making cards with stencils.

...And the orignial decks consisted of 56 cards, not 52.

The Parisian Design of Kings are as follows:

King of Spades: David
King of Diamonds: Caesar
King of Clubs: Alexander
King of Hearts: Charles (Charlemagne)

Just to go a bit further....

Queen of Spades: Pailas (warrior goddess)
Queen of Diamonds: Rachel (mother of Joseph) I particularly like this card! :)
Queen of Clubs: Argine (anagram of regina which is Latin for queen)
Queen of Hearts: Judith (Book of Judith)

and a bit further, shall we?.....

Knights or Knaves:

Spades: Ogier (Knight of Charlemagne)
Diamonds: La Hire (Commander in arms with Joan of Arc)
Clubs: Hector (prince of Troy)
Hearts: Judas Maccabee (led Jewish rebellion against Syrians)

What a completely fascinating history of the playing card. Thanks Greg for the lead.

I know this is a subject that is completely out in left field; however, I find these kind of topics quite interesting. Now if there is ever a lull in conversation, you have a great conversation starter....

Blessings from the Queen of Diamonds Rachel

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

I am not usually a person that gets "spiritual" thoughts out of movie; however, I watched the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" last night. It was a greatly intense movie, and gave me much greater insight into the crusades of that time (also helps that Orlando Bloom is easy on the eyes).

Things I learned...

....The crusades lasted for 200 years. Think about that! That is at least five generations of men, if not more who went to war to fight for the privelege of "owning" the City of Jerusalem.

....It wasn't a war that accomplished anything. It was merely a bragging rights of whose flag flew from the highest point in Jerusalem...Christians or Muslims.

....God was NOT in the middle of this war. I can't even imagine what He was thinking as the crusades drug on for years and years.

This is my journal entry today:

"As I sat watching the movie last night, I commented on how lame it was that the very city these men were fighting for was the very city they were destroying in order to gain control. The Syrian (I think) Prince wanted nothing more than to see the Muslims in control of Jerusalem once again, so they laid seige to the city they claimed as theirs.

Then I got to thinking--my life is the "city" God wants to control; however, I stand at guard not allowing God entrance. He then starts "attacking" areas of mylife that need to die. Sometimes I feel as if they are personal attacks, and that I won't survive. Other times I just hunker down and pray that the debris I see falling all around me won't hit me. Yet I am praying against the very debris God is sending down as a notice to get my attention. Sometimes God does have to destroy us or our shell in order to get to the prize He is looking for. So do we stand at the gate of our fortress defending it or do we come out to surrender and 'give terms'? God very much wants my full cooperation and surrender.

Now I need to realize what God was trying to destroy in order to build me back up. Is it the lies of the enemy that I thought I had been prevailing against (loneliness, fear of never being married or a mother, discouragement)? Is it the plans I have laid out for my life? Do they not truly match up with God's plan for my life? Is it the need to have deeper relationship with Abba Father?

The crusades lasted for two hundred years. At the end men were fighting each other in a war, that neither side had been alive at the onset of...NOR truly knew the reason for the continued fighting. I don't want to have God trying to destroy things in my life for 2 years, nonetheless 200 years.

I come out!
I Surrender!
I come to terms!

I am yours. Kill that which needs to be killed and breathe life into that which you want to see be fruitful and alive."

So where is my Kingdom of Heaven? In the city of Rachel waiting to rise up as a powerful force in my life and in the lives of those around me. A city that is ready to march and do battle in a Godly way and for a Godly reason.

Where is your Kingdom of Heaven? What are you fighting for? What is God fighting for in your life?