Sunday, May 29, 2005

Summer Days

Can I just express my love for the sunshine here real quick?! OH MY GOSH! It's about 90-95 round here. We're been sitting around and loving it. Today I went for a hike and I watched a movie (against the rules, BAD PAM) and drank coffee and it's soooo hot! It feels like summer which = good. So I thought I'd write about things I like about summer back home, or just in general. So here they are - my top ten favorite things about summer in no particular order... just as I think of them.
1) Playing in water - preferably sprinklers or a slip 'n slides or waterballoons... cuz that's just plain child-like but any water will do.
2) Bar-B-Q chicken... and how the air always smells of Bar-B-Q around town.
3) Smothies from Paul's place
4) Driving with the windows down and doing that wave thing with my hand out the window.
5) Going on picnics. Any picnic but it is definetly at least 10 times better if an actual picnic basket is included.
6) Floating down the river on inter-tubes... especially mill creek.
7) Being outside when it's dark and yet still warm.
8) Playing frisbee
9) Longboarding on the waterfront in Corvallis (after dark so the cops don't bother you... mwahahaha, I am soooo bad-ass)
10) NO SCHOOL!!! (Duh).

yeah, ok maybe that doesn't cover the whole spectrum of my top ten favorite things if I really sat and devote thought to it but they're good enough for being right off the top of my head. Hope you are all having lovely weather wherever you are in the world as well.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

To my Dad

This is the best way to contact you besides calling. For some reason when I send e-mails their not going through to your account... I wrote you a really long kind of important one today (not immediately important I just want to make sure you get it) and it said it wouldn't send it for a day or something. I can't handle this! My letters are supposed to arrive the moment i send them... none of this waiting around for a day crap... much less trying to send them across the atlantic, right dad?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

"Put your hands up, what what, put your hands up, let me hear ya now" is the name of A-dog's and my new rap album due to come out March 2006, and this is the cover photo. Posted by Hello
Allison and I went on this great hike the other day and we had some reading to catch up on so we just plopped down in this field here and read for a while after we got to cold reading at the waterfall we had climbed up to just before this. Sooo beautiful! It definetly helps me understand verses like Romans 18-20.  Posted by Hello
This is possibly the funniest picture I have ever taken in my life. We've been having basically "Spirit week" this week at school where each day has a different dress up theme. Simultaneously our principle from capernwray is doing the lectures. Well yep, you guessed it, that fine thug of a man in the middle of us gangsta hoes is Mr. Rob Wittaker, principle of Caperwray bible college. Mwahahaha! It was a little hard to take him seriously when he lectured dressed like that but it was soooo worth it. Good times. (btw besides Rob, on my left is gangsta-hoe Allison and on Rob's right is the ever thuggin Anna Stewart) Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Brent was just plain dead sexy at the premier. I tried to tempt him with my little off the shoulder number but for some reason he was only interested in Jimmy that evening. Hmmm. ;-) Posted by Hello
I couldn't resist - I had to post this picture as well. This is my little friend Julia who I've shown a picture of before. She dressed up for the premere as a little Austrian charmer (she's actually a little American charmer) so I let her wear my flower wreath because it just doesn't get cuter than that. One of my favorite parts of the whole evening was when they were still setting up for the "after party" after we all watched star wars (no not the new one but the 1st one made) which included much dancing and fun and so everyone was outside and they were playing some Dave Matthews while they set up - I went in with Julia cuz it was cold out and she (being a little ballerina) danced around the floor like a little fairy. So cute! I joined her for a bit but just couldn't match her uninhibited grace. Posted by Hello
This is my roommate Sheena and I wearing the flower wreaths fashioned by our own hands during the football match on Friday. We're dressed up for our "social night" which was a mock movie premere. Have I mentioned Sheena on here yet? She's become a very dear friend over these past 5 weeks. I couldn't ask for a better roommate.  Posted by Hello

Gender roles and love.

Here are 2 of my favorite people who love each other even more than I love them - my darling Chaz and Rebecca. Becks is ever domestic (ha) and Chazzy the maniliest woodsman you can imagine (ok, no, that part's true). They, Rahel, and I all camped out one night last weekend. Us girls put that tent up and Chaz built the very impressive fire. The camping was possibly my favorite part of the whole weekend (during which we also went to Vienna as the previous few pictures show). The 4 of us sat around the campfire and ate noodles and roasted marshmellows. We also sang and read psalms together. It started raining at night so we carried our tent under a nearby shed. Ah. It was a good weekend. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

This is my mommy and daddy. Aren't they soooo cute. I love them. Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 14, 2005

This is the group I went to Vienna with. Just in case anyone still doesn't recognize them it is (left to right) Rebecca, me, Papa (his real name's David but we all call him Papa... props to J for that one), Chaz, and Rahel. He had wild and crazy times (in the most legal and safe way possible of course) in Vienna. We're at the fountain of a big mannor house in this picture. The night prior to this picture was taken sleeping out under the stars on a little grassy knoll in a residential part of the city. Good times were had by all.  Posted by Hello
This was another one of my favorite parts of Vienna. It's a building used for low income housing by the city of Vienna designed by a man named Friedric (or something like that) Hundertwasser. He is an amazing archetect - we actually got to see another one of his buildings when we took a rest stop driving back to school. It's very post modern and very hip, and so naturally I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even better is the fact that Hundertwasser was an old guy who died in 2000 with a big old beard - not some hip youngster. He was cool. I dig his style. Posted by Hello
Excitement! This weekend was travel weekend so Papa, Rahel, Chaz, Rabecca, and I hopped in Papa's car and took a road trip to Vienna. I'll tell more about it in other pictures but this here was my favorite part. We got to go see Romeo and Juliette (the ballet) in the Opera House. it was so amazing! It made me dream of ballerinas and dance about like a little angel... and how much did this little venture cost you ask? Well we just so happened to get standing room in the top balcony (whatever, it was still rad and beautiful) for only 2 Euros! Heck yes we did. Aahhh. I love ballet.  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

To him be the glory and honor and power forever and ever amen.

This is a copy of the devotion that I gave this morning for the school. Each student writes and gives a devotion everyday after breakfast. Today was my day. I just thought I'd share it will you all just so you can see a little more of the main part of what I do here which is studying the bible. Enjoy:

In the past few years as I’ve really sought to make my faith my own I have often questioned why God did what he did. In my pride I have even criticized him at times – which, by the way, is not something the omniscient creator of the universe really appreciates. But I think the reason I do this is often very simply because I don’t understand why he does things. I tend to think he created the world and everything in it for my benefit – or at least for the benefit of all mankind.
But he didn’t.
As I read straight through the Old Testaments last semester, a few major themes seemed to stretch across the whole thing. One was his overwhelming love and patience for Israel. The other was the reason behind that love and patience. It’s something we don’t’ talk about as much because it doesn’t always bring the warm fuzzy feelings but basically all God does comes down to one thing:
God’s primary concern in all that he does is to bring glory to himself.
Isaiah 43:7 says he created man for his own glory.
Exodus 14:4 says he hardened Pharaoh’s heart for his own glory.
Time and time again God seems to consider destroying the Israelites, but he doesn’t. Why? For the sake of HIS righteous name.
God loves us and cares for us not because we deserve it or because we’ve earned it but actually because it displays his glory to do so.
Maybe my immediate reaction is to feel a little disappointed, like I’m less important in the whole scheme of things, which is probably true – but the more I think about it the more freeing this idea is. It really isn’t about what I do, he will love me no matter what because his primary concern isn’t me but himself.

This brings me to my second point. At the same time as I often don’t understand why God does what he does, I also fail to realized why he asks me to do what I am asked to do. I’ve been a Christian for a long time and for most of that time I’ve just tried to be good for the sake of being good. I always figured God asked me not to sin because sin will eventually hurt me and he wants what’s best for me – again, this is true – but it’s more than that. Doing good without a purpose is difficult. It gets empty before long.
So what is the purpose behind all that I do as a Child of God? – simple: it’s the same as the purpose behind all that God does himself. – To Bring God glory.
Again this frees me – obviously I’m not good enough in my own strength to give glory to God through what I do – so it’s only by him shining through me that it’s even possible for me to bring him glory. I’m simply the conductor of his light. Again – it’s all about what he does and nothing about what I do.
1 Cor 10:31 says “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
So this is my challenge to you all this week. Walk with purpose. Do good for a purpose. When you see an opportunity to make a right decision make it, but not just because it’s the right thing to do: rather, do it because it’s a chance to glorify God, because no one else, not even you, is worthy of being glorified by the good you do.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

This is a coffee shop in a nearby town which Austrians claim as "the best in the world." It was pretty amazing. Very fancy with really ornate desserts. I think the bathrooms were my favorite part. Jenny and I agree - we love fancy bathrooms, but the coffee is alright too. No, it's not the best in the world. I've definetly had better... but it was up there and was a fun experience none-the-less. Posted by Hello
This is my outreach team. We're a choir (the first I've ever been in) and we go sing in churches and hospitals. This sunday we went to a church and did the service for them. Our leader, Tobi, who very seriously looks like one of my brother's GI Joe dolls in human form, gave the sermon in German (and I could actually understand the gist of what he was saying!) and my roommate Dawn gave her testimony and we sang songs in English and sometime even in German. It's fun. It's cool to be able to serve God in ministry at the same time as taking in so much in lectures and whatnot. We really are kind of the Vontrap family too... we always sing Doe a Deer to warm up and we travell around the Austrian Alps singing. What more could you ask for? Posted by Hello
This photo of a shrine to "St. Barbara" was taken in honor of my mother - the real St. Barbara. Seriously - no offense to others of you out there with mothers but I'm pretty sure we could, or should, all agree that mine is really the best. She's an amazing cook, really good looking, the biggest prayer warrior I've probably met, HI-LARIOUS, a children's bible teacher, and over all just the best mom I could dream up. If I'm half the woman that she is when I grow up I'll be a great lady indeed! I actually mean that too... I'm not just saying it. Happy Mothers Day mummy! I miss you and I love you and make sure the other kids are super sweet to you today. Have Charles give you a big hug and Julia give you a back massage from me. Once again - I love you and you're the best! Posted by Hello

Pam and Jenny and the Alps

Ok, it wouldn't really be fair to Jenny if the only picture ya'll saw of her was dressed as a futuristic version of Paula Abdull... so this is a picture of us when we went on a trip to Hallstadt - a near by little town which is home to the oldest salt mine in the world. It's been a blast to have Jenny here. It's really cool that she gets to have a real picture of where I live and meet my friends and everything so she won't be quite so bored when I chatter on about it back home. Jenny just finished a semester abroad in Lithuania and is spending 3 weeks travelling before going home. Isn't she just cute as a button?! Aw. Posted by Hello
This is my dear friend Jenny (from home) and I dressed up for 2080's night! The "social comittie" (yes, it is very high school... but we have fun anyway) decided just plain 80's night was overdone so they decided to spice things up and make it 2080's night! Which was described basically as "80's with more in foil." Good times were had by all - although the highlighter some used to color their eyelids with is yet to fully wash off... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Contact Info

Just so ya'll know my address here in Austria is:
Coburgstrasse 50, A-8970
Schladming, Austria
And my phone number is:
0043 3687 24190
I'm not like begging or anything... I know you all have very busy lives and limited recources and I know I'm in the Alps, so far removed from everyone's memory... but letters and phone calls are always welcome. Besides, the kids here make fun of me because I never get any. (Ok, not really... but they COULD and that's the point...)
This is Chaz (Rebecca's boyfriend) and Papa (my husband... kind of... ok not really for all the people out there who read this but know my parents and not me) only what's different about them? They switched clothes! Papa is very German and loves his "sexy" lace up shirt and white slip on shoes, where as Chaz is a simple Californian (origonally Japanees but that's too hard to explain). This was so funny. I'm sorry, I know most of you can't appreciate how funny it was because you don't know them... this is for the benifit of those who do.  Posted by Hello