Monday, February 27, 2012

Scripture and a Snapshot: February 27th

God loves to remind of the eternal security I have in him, especially when Satan tempts me to despair. We all struggle with doubts but God is faithful and he'll never forsake us. What a wonderful God! The Father loves his children and his desire is that none of us should perish, but that we should have eternal life!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday: February 26th

1. Crossed

My walk around campus by myself on Wednesday taking photos in Manual mode proved to be a great stretching experience. When I got back to my dorm I tweeted: I feel as though my creativity has soared to new heights since making the switch to manual. #freedom #Canon. This is one of my favorite shots from the day. I love getting down low and shooting down in the dirt. It's a whole new world waiting to be revealed.

 2. A Glimpse

Cedarville Jackets rocked the basketball game today, winning 78-72. It was their last official home game, and I was so proud to be able to attend and support the team. They've had a great season, winning all but one of their home games this year. In the words of the cheer, "Jackets go!"

3. Handwritten

My mom sent me a card and a large package of chocolate chip cookies with pieces of Heath bar in them through a lady who visited Cedarville on Saturday. She's so sweet and I love her! Can't wait to see her in less than a week for Spring Break!!

4. Bliss

Stoney Creek Roasters serves only the best coffee and if you buy a cup of regular coffee they provide you with as many free refills as you like. If I must do hours and hours of Christian Worldview Development homework, at least I have plenty of coffee to drink while I do it!

5. Gray

The sky was gray and colourless on Wednesday, but it was warm outside and I was able to go for a walk around campus with my camera, so I didn't mind the lack of blue sky.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Guinea Pig Withdrawal.

I'm going through serious guinea pig withdrawal. Anyone have a guinea pig you're willing to lend me for a week or two??? I promise to take good care of it. Just holding one close to my chest and gently caressing it would be enough for now. Honestly though, I don't think any guinea pig could ever take the place of the last two guinea pigs I had, Carmella or Pansy. They were so sweet and friendly and I loved their cute personalities. I miss dear Maple, Claudette, Spice, and so many others! The list could go on and on. I used to breed guinea pigs, and bred 54 of them over the period of several years, so they most certainly have a special place in my heart.

Someday soon after I finish college I have resolved to find the perfect little companion. I really miss having piggies. They make such great companions and I can't think of a better pet to have. My dream guinea pig is a Merino TSW (Tortoise Shell and White), but I really would just love to adopt any needy piggy. I just wish I could get one now but I don't think Cedarville would allow it... :(

Yes, I desperately miss my cavy pals.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mu Kappa Leadership Summit.

Last Saturday I had the privilege to attend the first of its kind: a leadership conference for Mu Kappa, called the Mu Kappa Leadership Summit. It was held at Cedarville, and we had mk guests come from Taylor, Indiana Wesleyan, and Mount Vernon Nazarene. I was blessed by the other students, especially Britney, who stayed in my room on Friday night. She has such a sweet, caring personality and a great love for God. 

We woke up early on Saturday morning and enjoyed breakfast with the other mks. Afterwards, Matt, Tiffany, and Mark led worship and then Matt shared an excellent devotional. Following that, Donna spoke about leadership and how we are called to be shepherds who care for the flock, just like Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep." -John 10:11

Spending time in fellowship together, we discussed how we can be good shepherds on our college campuses to lead and care for our flocks. Donna hung a few large blank pieces of paper with different questions and topics around the room, so we walked around in small groups and wrote ideas down on them and then gathered together to talk about them with the whole group. One of the questions was, "What is your best advice to freshman mks or internationals on how to manage life in North America?" to which people responded with a great wealth of practical, helpful advice, including, "Learn to have fun! Don't worry about being different!" 

One of the most important things mks and internationals new to life in the US should be told is, "Just be yourself. Do your best to make friends with Americans and try to understand their limited view of the world. Share your world with them, bit by bit, and be patient if they lose interest after a minute or two the first few times you talk about your life. They need a 'hook' to begin to take interest in a foreign culture, and it takes time to 'catch' them, but once you have and the Americans are truly interested, you have the power to give them a much bigger perspective of life around the world. Take your time; they'll come."

The Mu Kappa Leadership Summit was a great opportunity to fellowship with mks and internationals from other Christian universities in the Midwest, and my favorite part, by far, was the last thing we did: we made a huge circle in the room, held hands, and prayed for our Mu Kappa orgs and one another. God is good!

Once Upon A Walk.

Overcast and cloudy though the day was,
Her heart overflowed with joy.
The slight chill in the air
Cleared her misty head
And brought peace to her pensive spirit.
Overwhelmed by grace,
She looked up at the winter sky
And praised her Maker.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday: February 19th

1. Love

The leaders of Cedarville's Mu Kappa org are committed to providing a loving support group for all of the missionary kids and international students by praying, planning fun social events, and spending time with us on a weekly basis. I'm so thankful for their love for the Lord that is so evident in the way they live.

2. Duplicated

These furry little teddy bears bring back wonderful childhood memories. My best friend Mel and I would create furniture for them and then play house with them. She had several other creatures, including a duck, pig, and dolphin. Our sleepovers often consisted of a couple of hours playing with the tiny toys, where we would become completely engrossed in our own make-believe world.

3. Trend or Trending 

#10RandomThingsAboutMe has been trending worldwide today, so I decided to post 10 random things about me.

4. Paper

5. Plastic

I stole this shot from my archives because I was having a really hard time finding some good plastic to photograph. It's just a cup of soy milk that I had to go with my bowl of cereal for dinner one night in late August.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Scripture and a Snapshot: February 18th

This verse is such a sweet promise of God's power at work in our lives and it's my prayer for you if you are a Christ-follower. Praise the One who has set us free from sin and death! It's easy to forget the great pain and suffering Christ had to go through for us, but if we take the time to ponder his great act of grace for us, we begin to be overwhelmed by his amazing love for us. He saved us when we were still sinners! That's crazy love, friends. He's a God that I'm willing to surrender everything to. Are you?

Friday, February 17, 2012

It All Began with Coffee.

The special coffee Harish gave me is almost gone. I could be sad, but my dresser top still has plenty of other kinds of coffee sitting on it left for me to drink, including Blue Mountain and Eight O'Clock French Vanilla flavored coffee.

Something I've learned is that getting the perfect shot takes time. You have to be willing to spend time taking in your surroundings and focus on what's going on. When you're photographing people, if you blend in and act invisible they'll accept your presence and feel comfortable and if you stay long enough they might just ignore the camera. I learned this before, but it's being reinforced in Photojournalism class.

I miss PNG Kina so much. Large, heavy coins and plastic-y notes, and every one of them displaying the beautiful Bird of Paradise, Papua New Guinea's national bird. I remember rising bright and early at 6 in the morning and walking to the market place of Ukarumpa to buy home grown vegetables and fruits for my four sweet little guinea pigs. 

Romeo, one of "the four's" pups

Sometimes, on a cool June day I'd wake up to a blanket of fog covering everything until the glorious sun would burst through, strong and furious. After getting my coin purse and bilum from my closet, and grabbing a couple of plastic bags from the laundry room cupboard, I'd set out on the rocky dirt roads to the market, a short distance away. Upon my arrival, I would glance around from table to table and watch the Papua New Guinean vendors talk among themselves in the trade language, and as I did, a strange peacefulness would come over me. "Emi hamas?" I'd say as I pointed to a heaping pile of orange carrots, and the vendor would reply, "Emi Wan Kina." Holding out my plastic bag gingerly, I would allow the vendor to carefully drop the carrots in the bag before thanking her and carrying on to find a pile of green beans. Those were the days.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Gratefulness.

Have you experienced blessings so great and unexpected that you have to take a step back and just say, "Wow, God! I'm in awe of You and your ways." Today was one of the days for me. I took a step back and thought about everything that God has blessed me with. Which is a lot

God has blessed me with countless friends and a wonderful Christian community. I'm so thankful and grateful. My cup overflows.

The little things add up to make a huge difference. I had a splendid day yesterday and today is promising to be good, too. My classes were educational and really good. Intro to Lit ended early so I was able to go to chapel really early and say hi to Pastor Rohm on the way in. After my classes I ended, I trekked over to the SSC (Stevens Student Center) to work on homework, and while I was there, I made a new friend named Hannah. I also got to talk to Katie and Abigail for a while. 

Afterwards, I hurried to Zumba with Mia and even though I wasn't feeling very good, the exercises felt good. We left after half and hour and went to Chuck's (the cafeteria), joining the UCIS (Union of Cedarville International Students) people who were still eating dinner, after waiting in line for what seemed like forever (because the scanners were broken and the students who were working had to write down everyone's ID numbers by hand). Tonight was a special Valentine's Dinner so there was steak (it was Chuck's steak, mind you), raspberry chicken, and chicken strips. The cooks had also made green beans, rolls, and baked potatoes. All of the potatoes were gone when we got up to the line, so we waited for a few minutes and then just gave up since one of the student workers told us we'd to have 15 more minutes. I went to get a raspberry smoothie when I finished eating, which was delicious. Unfortunately, they ran out before Mia could get any. The raspberry smoothies were definitely a hit with Cedarville students!

Caleb arrived a few minutes before everyone but Mia and I left, so we stuck around to hang out with him, and ended up staying in Chucks until 8 pm. We chatted about life, our crazy friends, and food. Mia said that it reminded her of old times, like last spring semester, when Caleb, Mia and I would often eat lunch together and talk for hours on end. Those were good times spent with two wonderful friends. Seriously. God has used Mia and Caleb to teach and grow me beyond what I ever expected or imagined. If you read this, I really appreciate you guys!

Dinner ended, Caleb went off to work to clean up the mess that was left in Chucks and Mia and I headed out to do homework. Well, I didn't hardly get any homework done once I set foot in Willetts, (my dorm), but I did spend time on Facebook talking with several friends and won Valentine's Day cookies through a contest put on by Resound Radio's Monday Night Mayhem. Then to top it off, I received an email saying that my honeybun sent me a cinnabun, which I get to pick up tomorrow. Oh, and did I mention that my RA stuck a Valentine's card and a pack of fake tattoos on my door, Bethany sent me chocolates through the mail, and some angels made cupcakes for everyone in my hall? Wow. I feel so blessed and loved.

Thank you, Jesus. You have given me so much, and the best gift of all is your free gift of salvation! I love You and your Word.

How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. -Psalm 119:103

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thirty Days to a Better You

There's something about a challenge that makes me want to give everything I've got - to just go all out and be the best I can be. Do you react the same way?

The summer before my 10th grade year I participated in one of SUSIE Mag's 30-Day Challenges back when the magazine was called Brio and it helped to push me spiritually, mentally, physically, and intellectually. I'm so thankful for how the challenge encouraged me in my walk with Christ, and so I decided to have my own challenge for myself and you, my lovely readers. Also, lately Christ has been teaching me how our bodies aren't our own - they belong to Him and specifically to the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us. Thus, we have the responsibility to care for them in a way that glorifies God.

Therefore, for the next 30 days, we'll be pursuing holiness by offering our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is our spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1).

Starting tomorrow, for the next 30 days, (Feb. 13th-March 12th) commit to:

Give up sugar
Read the book of John and the book of Proverbs
Memorize Isaiah 53 (if you've already memorized this passage, then memorize Romans 12)
Read Radical by David Platt (if you've already read it, read A Radical Idea, also by David Platt)
Exercise for 30 minutes 3x a week
Keep a prayer journal every day for the next 30 days

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-12

May God give you the power, strength and endurance to complete the challenge! God bless.

P.S. I've created a Facebook event for the challenge, which you are welcome to join. =)
P.P.S. Please leave a comment or email me at hazzelelponi54 @ rocketmail dot com if you plan to participate in the challenge and let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lista para Día de San Valentín

It's been a while since I've shared a list of things I love, and so I've decided to share a list dedicated to Valentine's Day, which is coming up in just a few short days. <3

1. Look at this Valentine Word Search and Silly Valentine's Letter. It would be perfect for some fun with your kids or best buds!

2. DIY Oragami Heart Love Note. These look slightly hard to make, but I love the simple design.

3. Now you can play Scrabble and munch on the pieces after you've finished a round or two with these adorable cookies. =)

4. Me and You, You and Me. Aren't these necklaces so sweet? Be sure to take a peek at Lee May Foster's shop, which is full of cute stuff!

5. Get a heaping dose of encouragement with Life

//The victory is mine/
I’m taking back everything at least seven times/
I raise my sword and make you wish/
you never even tried/
I’m telling you, No More!//
No More by Beckah Shae

6. If you need an excuse to have a Valentine's Day Party, hit this site for some great ideas! From decorations to food to table settings, it covers just about everything you could possibly want for your party.

7. Fight for the lives of the unborn as an expression of your love for God and others. Abortion is wrong and it must sadden God so much to watch millions of babies be slaughtered in the womb every year. Visit Abort73 for more information and listen to this sermon that my pastor, Jonathan Schaeffer gave a couple of weeks ago titled, "You are the Light of the World."

8. Song of Solomon has beautiful love poetry:

My lover is mine, and I am his.
He browses among the lilies.
Before the dawn breezes blow
and the night shadows flee,
return to me, my love, like a gazelle
or a young stag on the rugged mountains.
-Song of Solomon 2:16-17

¡Feliz Día de San Valentín!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's Thursday Already?

I've been oh so busy with classes, homework, basketball games, and not getting enough sleep. Exhaustion sets in each morning but by the afternoon I tend to feel awake. It's weird how the sleep cycle works. Today I spent a couple of hours shooting portraits of a fellow student for a Photojournalism assignment. We walked all over campus shooting and met some friends along the way. I posted a whole ton of the outtakes to Flickr. My first Christian Worldview Development exam is tomorrow so I spent three hours studying Pneumatology with my friend, Megan. We love learning about the Spirit and his work in the lives of believers, as well as piecing the different stories and books together into one grand puzzle. The professor said that his multiple choice and true/false questions tend to contain only options that sound very much like the correct answers, which makes them really confusing. We studied for a good, long time, so hopefully we'll ace the exam!

A few of you asked about the rain shots in my previous post. We were getting rain last week and this week we are finally getting snow (which we haven't gotten much of all winter). Ohio has strange weather and this year the weather is extremely weird, not only in Ohio, but in the rest of the world, too. Has the weather been weird where you are?

On Sunday night my almost 92 year-old grandpa fell and had congestive heart failure. Now he is in the hospital recuperating and will hopefully be released today. Please pray for strength and healing for him. Thanks!

And now for some Thursday encouragement!

God bless you and your week!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Scripture and a Snapshot: February 5th

The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. -2 Peter 3:9

I'm holding on to this promise and believing that there is hope for those who have not yet received God's free gift to come to repentance! My heart is especially heavy for my unsaved family members but I have not forgotten all the rest who are still stumbling in the dark. I need to be more diligent about praying more for their salvation. May many more see God's light shining through you and me and may they come to know Christ, the only one and true God. The prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results, (James 5:16) so let's be committed to praying. Pray until you prevail.


Let me tell you, that's not what I was expecting from the Myers-Brigg Personality Test. As a child, I was always shy and very reserved. Calling anyone on the phone, and I mean anyone, was torture. I couldn't stand the possibility of being rejected. Walking over to my friend's house next door and knocking on the back door, waiting for her mother to arrive and say the fateful, "Sorry, Mel's busy," which was nearly always the case, (or at least to my young self it seemed that way), was almost too much for my desperate heart to take. All I hoped for was to be loved and treasured for who I was. Popularity wasn't what I was longing for; I just wanted love. The song Homemade that I shared in my last post sums up how I felt, and still feel somewhat to this day. However, in the last two years God has blessed me with way too many friends to count and I am grateful beyond words for each and every one of them. My heart still pines for love and even now I feel God filling me up so that I overflow with the love that only he gives. While I do have more friends than ever before, it's still a (nearly) daily struggle to initiate conversations with some of the people I interact with regularly, although when I really think on it, there's nothing to be scared of. God's been working on me BIG time in this area and I'm definitely changing, slowly but surely.

Thus I was amazed when I took the Myers-Brigg Personality Test on Thursday and my score showed me to have the personality type ESFJ. The F and the J made perfect sense in my mind, but the E and the S I wasn't so sure about, especially the E for Extrovert. I've taken the same test twice before, and both of those times my score showed that I was an I for Introvert, which I had always thought to be the case, but lately I've decided that perhaps I have become somewhat of an Extrovert. It's not that I'm afraid to converse with people. I just don't always know how to start talking, but once you get me going, usually I can hold my end of the conversation and I've always had a tendency to get lonely when I'm off by myself for too long. So it seems as if I'm leaving behind some of my Introvert tendencies and leaning towards being an Extrovert, which I'm totally lovin'!

Maybe I wasn't realizing before just how much God has changed me these past couple of years. He has set me free from unreasonable fears and given me peace about who I am. My hair's still messy, I have acne and the scars left from having lots of it in high school, I have thick eyebrows and tiny teeth, and there are girls skinnier than me, but all that doesn't matter. God made me who I am and I am who I am by his saving grace alone, which set me free from sin and made me holy!

Today I'm celebrating freedom in Christ. If you've been set free, you have a reason to praise because there's no longer condemnation! We have nothing to fear. God is for us, and he made each of us just the way he wanted for a specific purpose unique to each of us. And that's why I don't doubt personality changes or anything of the like anymore, because God is able to change us completely!

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." -Ephesians 3:20