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even though i won’t be around to take advantage of them, C-HOP (cincinnati house of prayer) will be offering a handful of classes. i’ve never taken one of theirs before but i would encourage anyone able to try it out. i really believe they’ll be deep and rich and enlightening.
Fall Semester Classes at C-HOP

For more information on all these check our website or more specifically click here.

1.  Israel’s place in the plan of God: Mondays 6:45-9:00pm beginning September 8th.

This class aims to equip us with a biblical understanding of Israel’s place in the plan of God. Beginning with the call of Abraham, we will develop a theology of Israel that demonstrates God’s continuing faithfulness throughout history to this “firstborn” nation. This course is an essential foundation for anyone who is called to stand with Israel and pray for her salvation as we approach the end times.

Cost: $25 for individual, $40 a couple
Register: Israel

2.  The Omega Course: Thursday, 7:00-9:00pm beginning September 4th.
The Omega Course is an 8-week DVD curriculum (We will be adding several additional weeks for further teaching and discussion). Mike Bickle (director of KC-IHOP) gives a broad overview of the End Times in eight sessions, describing the people, places and events that matter most at the end of the age. The curriculum includes additional audio teachings, complete outlines, appendix, glossary and a guide to leading small group discussions. It’s about preparing the worldwide Church for what the Bible promises will be its most glorious hour. Omega is helping to prepare people to be ready, and its one of the resources we use at the Cincinnati House of Prayer.
Cost: $25 for individual,  $40 a couple
Register: Omega

3.   The Eternal Glory of an Intercessor
: Wednesday 6:30-9:00pm beginning September 10th.
A course made popular by Corey Russell in KC is now being facilitated at the Cincinnati House of Prayer.
This course will focus upon ushering in revival through prayer. With the Church as a “sending out” community it is important that our future leaders understand the urgency of the hour and the great need for a people of prayer to emerge. Walter Wink suggests that, “history belongs to the intercessors.” Biblical evidence supports his assertion and calls us to equip our people in the privilege of praying God’s will into the earth. This course studies the lives of great biblical and historical intercessors and how they changed history through the power of prayer.
Cost: $25 for individual, $40 a couple
Register: Intercessor


4.  A study in the Song of Songs
Wednesday’s 12-2pm beginning Sept 10th
A line by line study through the book of Song of Solomon, revealing the heart of God for His people and our response to this love.
Cost: $20 per individual
Register: Song of Songs


5.  A study in the Psalms of Ascent: Monday’s 10-12noon beginning Sept 8th
Traditionally, these were the psalms that were sung as the priests as they ascended the temple stairs to minister at the Temple of Jerusalem. Singing and declaring the prayers of the heart, is a firm foundation of the “house of prayer”.
Cost: $25 per person
Register: Psalms

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actually now that i think about it, i’m not surprised that the devil was attacking me like that. i was just reflecting about what these next few days/weeks will hold for me and i realized how tightly they revolve around seeking God and his will:

  • tonight i’m going to c-hop with my small group
  • before visiting the prayer room, mal and i are going to be hanging out with a girl who used to live in grand rapids
  • on sunday, i am going with mal + cathy from my small group to chaperone a youth group trip to CIY, which i know will be as enlightening and recharging for me as it will be for the kids
  • i reached out to a woman i look to as a role model and we’re going to meet the following week to talk and just for me to get the chance to seek any counsel or wisdom she has to offer, about relationships (i admire her marriage and the way she’s raised her kids) and God and everything else inbetween
  • then i return to grand rapids to continue to see what that holds

those are all areas where God is at work and where I’ll be seeking him and searching for him. so i suppose the devil figures he ought to try to get some really deep digs in now, before that process takes place. of course the devil really should just stop trying so hard because he already gets his own share of successes each and every day when i mess up in some sort or another. but fortunately, he’s not winning these kinds of battles any more. i know the day will come with those other battles–even the small, seemingly insignificant ones–will be vanquished and overturned, too.

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,

Psalm 65:5

amped because these next two weeks are pretty (ahem, prepare yourself for a string of musical puns) jam-packed.

(sorry, i can’t help it. really. it’s what i get paid to do.)

for instance:

monday night: date night with Holly. now that our lives are going more smoothly (meaning i’m not stressed out 24/7) i’m quite looking forward to having both a roommate and a BFF Lovely back again.

tuesday night: Lovelies night, as per usual. and if all goes according to plan, i believe this will also include my favorite Dylan-monster who i’m sure will keep us more than entertained. he’s the coolest 4-year-old i know.

wednesday night: small group, also as per usual! which means lots and lots of girl talk and analysis and suggestions and…yes…starbucks.

thursday night: where the “amped” comes into play: MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK + ANBERLIN + MAE. seriously. talk about an amazing line-up. i’d never listened to anberlin before, only seen them on the cover of Relevant, but Holly, being the daredevil that she is, was able to get her music-snatching little fingers on a copy for me. and yes, i’m in love. see for yourself:

this is the show i’ve been looking forward to since July when we saw MCS last. i’m already whispering to myself, “i’m on fire, and now i think i’m ready to bust a move, check it out i’m rocking steady!”

friday night: Lovelies annual $5 gift exchange. if last year’s can set the stage: I received a book of examples of “Big Hair” (there were even ones with women whose hair was braided all over their face to look like masks!); gnome-ish socks (and if you don’t get it, then You Don’t Gnome Me); and, the gift that took the fruitcake: a set of postcards that featured catalog pages of menswear from the 70s (think polyester jumpsuits and neck scarves and ever so appropriately posed tighty whiteys).

saturday night: a roadtrip to go to a play in Dayton (The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever). i love the movie, so am pumped to see it come to life!

OK, that’s enough looking forward. i wish it weren’t so gloomy outside, but at least i have all that spirit-making to look forward. plus i only have one more present left to buy. how splendid is that?!

my favorite time of year. the other night i was driving to church and drove through old milford, and the white christmas lights were already strung on the trees through the downtown part. it was beautiful, and just reminded me that–as much as my boyfriend doesn’t want to admit it–it’s official: the holidays are here!

this stretch from thanksgiving to christmas is hands down my favorite time of year. i wouldn’t go so far as to say that winter is my favorite season because that’s exactly the opposite (give me spring or fall any day), but i get all antsy just thinking about it. i’ve finally gotten to start wearing my coat and scarves. of course i still mutter under my breath at how chilly it’s gotten (albeit not cold enough to start wearing socks, which i hate). soon it will be time to inaugurate the tights and (cute) knitted winter hats!

newcoat.jpg

and with all that, not to mention the extra excuses for pumpkin pie or even more trips to starbucks, it calls to mind a couple reasons why this is my favorite time of year, that i thought i’d share: for thanksgiving and christmas eve, we celebrate with my mom’s side of the family. these are filled with good food and lounging in front of the tv, while everyone pages through the store circulars, or my aunt tells loud stories, or my cousins bicker about sports or who could beat up who, or my other aunt or my dad run around with a video recorder, documenting all of this. it will be interesting this year, because there will be two newbies added to the cast. this past summer my younger cousin got married and this coming weekend, another will. both are boys and so this adds more girls to the mix (growing up, there were only three of us, versus seven boys).

and another element that’s already begun (you can tell i’m growing up), is that i’ve already started my christmas shopping. that’s one of my other favorite things. i hate forced/obligated shopping because the presents that come from that usually suck and end up being a waste. but getting to find a perfect present that you’re pretty darn sure that someone is going to love? that’s my favorite part. getting gifts for my sister is like that, and is why she’s my favorite to shop for–because i know that i can always pick something out for her that she’ll get excited about. we have a tradition at my house where, on christmas eve, the kids each get to open one present that the others got for them. (in my entrepreneurial youth, this was a tradition i instituted as an attempt to tide over having to wait through another night to open presents. it still lives on today.) and without fail, my sister always chooses a present that i got her.

so if you want to sneak a peek, feel free to dig under my bed, which is where i’ve been storing the gifts until trees and ornaments go up. in the past, i’ve found that if i can get my shopping done earlier, then it makes things feel that much more christmas-y, because rather than feel obligated/stressed about running around and checking things off lists, i have the time to enjoy the season. so we’ll see. for now, i’m just happy there isn’t any snow…yet.

that’s a pretty quote that i read in this lady’s blog. she seems like she lives such a pretty life, always cooking and baking and sewing clothes for her kids. seems very peaceful and serene in that it’s probably chaotic and crazy, but just the way you’d want it to be. who knows. anyway, yes, i liked the quote.

tomorrow i leave for good ole birmingham, alabama. i’m actually really, really looking forward to it. it will be me, becky, and an 8-hour car ride from here to there. and “there,” we’ll meet up with jackie, my old roommate from way back When; when we used to live in a little southern cottage and chase the flying cockroaches with bug spray and try to smash them with phonebooks and textbooks and when i burnt a whole pan of baked beans and our other roommate hated us and there was a visiting mouse and melted strainer and we worked at big-name magazines and hung out at southern bars and learned every word to “sweet home alabama” and watched “life was we know it” until it was cancelled and took a road trip to new orleans and got ourselves in all sorts of youthful debacles. and then she stayed there and i packed up my car and then on Christmas Eve 2004, drove back home through a snow storm with no idea what awaited me in my old hometown.

it was a really scary time in my life. i remember driving down there when i accepted the internship. jackie and i had never met, i had no idea what i was in for and was taking this as a leap of faith. i remember listening to the allister song that talks about starting over from “scratch”, which is exactly what i felt like i was doing:

you better start from scratch
it’s now or never
but we can’t look back
I need you with me
for another day
she’s so far away
yeah far away

I know there’s no time left for second chances
Still we’re right despite these circumstances
You’ve changed me more than you could ever know
So we will just hang on until tomorrow
so take my hand
don’t ever let me go

take our time
making sure that everything feels right
it won’t be easy
but I’m not afraid
she’s so far away

you better start from scratch
it’s now or never
but we can’t look back
I need you with me
for another day
she’s so far away
yeah far away

and as with so many other things in life, it all turned out beautifully. we made memories, i found a perfect job and moved back home and made amazing friends and an amazing little life for myself. so it will be interesting to journey back, now at the point where i am, and look at it all through that lens. on Friday, we’ll head over to Jackie’s and do dinner and reminisce and then head over to Innisfree, the bar that we used to walk to every weekend, and on Saturday our friend Liz is tying the knot so we’ll get to experience a proper Southern wedding. and then on Sunday… we make the trek back. maybe we can stop in Nashville for dinner or something? i’d enjoy that i think.

so we’ll see. but i’m looking forward to the break and the moment to catch my breath. i feel like i’ve been running full speed ahead and so now i realize that that isn’t healthy. so if you pray, i’d appreciate those kinds of prayers. just learning how to strike that balance. i went so far as to scribe a little list of rules: things like leave one night a week with nothing planned, do nothing (phone, visiting, etc.) after 10:30pm, and only schedule 2 things a night. (last night for instance involved a happy hour from 5 to 7, small group from 7:30 to 9:15, and stopping by paul’s from 9:30 to 10.) i just recognize that by running myself ragged i get stressed = fretful = crabby and that’s not worth it. that’s not me.

so thanks for any prayers, internet friends. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

(also, in regular list-making fare, i got started on my christmas list. and that’s a month later than most years!)

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