Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shane Ernest Ray Stewart!!!!!!


Mandy and Eli gave birth to Shane Ernest Ray Stewart at 8:22 cst. 8lbs 10 oz! Mandy and Shane are doing well. Thank you Jesus for a healthy baby boy! More pictures to follow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Update...

*Had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Jonathan and his family in Corpus Christi. It was fun with all of his friends and family!

* The snow has officially started falling here in Colorado, and we have had 5-8 degree temperatures this week. I just got back from a great snowshoe- a cold blue bird Colorado day! , I love Colorado!

* Jonathan is headed up here with Johnny and Amy for the weekend!

* Baby Shane is due, yesterday 12/9. Being praying for Mandy and perhaps a natural labor, if there is no action, Shane will come C- Section on Tuesday, so exciting!

* I am headed to Texas to be with my family, everyone will be there from CA to be with the new addition to the family.

* I will post updates and pictures when the new baby is here!

Monday, October 26, 2009

272 Days until I am married!

Guess What? 272 Days. Until. I marry Jonathan. I can't wait! Jonathan and I have another 9 months until marriage- engagement so far has been wonderful! It has been so sweet to dream together of what life will look like and think about what God has in store for us. I am looking forward most to togetherness and doing life with each other. Laughing, cooking dinner and the daily things of life you get to experience when you live with someone. Jonathan has a wonderful-full-of-life personality and I think life will never be boring or same old with the life ahead of us, thank you Jesus! Most of you ( my friends that read this) were married 5+ years ago and it is hard for me to remember all that you anticipated when you got married, what did you like most about engagement and what is your favorite part of marriage? For those of you not married- The Lord has someone so incredibly knit together perfectly made for you, pray, wait and live out all that the Lord has for you right NOW. So for my single sisters, I waited, most of you know my story.. Jesus is faithful! So for you girls, any encouragement?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jonathan's Birthday Weekend



Jonathan was here in Colorado this weekend! We celebrated this brithday, which is actually today! We had a wonderful weekend. Jonathan took me out to dinner a few times, we went on hikes, I cooked some yummy fall meals and a cheescake for J's Birthday. It was so wonderful hanging witht the love of my life and best friend!

Mexico



Mandy came with me to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I was able to go down on a vacation that my work gave me, which was pretty sweet. Mandy and I had not had that kids of total sister time since 04', just the two of us. It was wonderful! We sat by the pool, rested, read, talked, went on walks and ate too much chips and salsa. The weather was wonderful and we had a blast together! It was a nice break from the blustery snow that rolled in to Colorado while we were in Mexico!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bryan Stupar's Blog

If you want some good stuff to chew on other that granola... go to Bryan Stupar's Blog the last two posts are incredible! MAKE SURE to view, "Tears of the Saints", that Bryan posted, you will be blessed! DO IT!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Orange Crasin/Cherry Granola Goodness



Orange Crasin/Cherry Granola Goodness

4 Cups of Oats
1 Cup of Coconut, you can add more if you like a richer taste
1 Cup of Almonds
5 Tsp of Sesame Seeds
1 cup of Crasins or Dried Cherries
2 Tsp of Oil
1 Cup of Orange Juice
¾ Cup of Honey
2 tsp of Cinnamon, if you have nutmeg you can add a little of that in addition to cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix Oats, Almonds, Coconut, Sesame Seeds, Dried Fruit, Cinnamon and whatever else you would like to throw in.

Mix, OJ, Honey, Oil in a sauce pan, mix together and heat over the stove. Pour mixture over dry ingredients. Mix well.

Spread on cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, and then mix granola with spatula around and bake for another 15 minutes. If you like it more crispy then you can bake another 5 or until golden brown.

Cool on a chopping board or wax paper until completely cool. Store in a air-tight container.

A lot of granola recipes call for ½ -1 cup of oil, the OJ adds a really nice tart flavor without all the fat/calories. You can also add flax seed, grains, etc. If you add additional items, increase honey to 1 Cup.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Today's Moutain Bike Ride.....




First Signs of fall.







This was crazy... I was riding up Bachelor Gulch and litterly seconds before I started up the hill, I thought " What if I run into a bear" and 5 second later I look up and the bear looked at me and started to run the other direction......pretty wild, the good thing about bears is that they are more scared of us, generally.....

The summer is starting to come to a close here in the mountains, it always goes so so fast. The fall will be here in a few weeks!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We have set at Date! July 25, 2010



We have set at date for next summer! July 25th, 2010 in Yosemite- near our family cabin in Wawona. We will have a weekend celebration. We need the people in our lives to be praying for us and all that we have ahead of us. We are thrilled and our hearts are FULL of JOY!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Canning Palisade Peaches











Mandy and Eli spent a few days here in Colorado on their way back..... They were able to pick up some wonderful Palisade Peaches. I found a farmer that has no pest issue on her farm and completely organic, they only thing they use are praying mantius to attack pests. The peaches are incredible! We grew up having my Grammie can peaches and thought we better get started on carrying on the tradition. Mandy and I had a great time canning together. I won't bore you with details, however if you interested in learing how to can email me @ jenschlenker@hotmail.com. It will be great to have these for the Winter.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jonathan and I are engaged!



Jonathan and I were engaged at Deluge Lake in Vail, Colorado on June 19,2009. We could not be more happy and are thanking the Lord for the beautiful day he gave us. So here is the story- Jonathan was working as a Youth Pastor overseas this summer and I picked him up at the airport last Saturday. I woke up and did the Beaver Creek Xterra Triathlon, had a great time, threw my bike on top of my car and drove down to Denver to get my man. We drove straight back to the mountains and stopped at Beuj Joe's Pizza in Idaho Springs. We had a great drive back up just talking, laughing and having fun with each other. We were supposed to have dessert with some friends and we all were so tired that we just talked on the porch. Jonathan mentioned wanting to see Carol and Doug, so he called them to come over. I thew together a Berry Cobbler so we could have dessert together. Carol and Doug came over to my house and Jonathan greeted them at their car. He gave Carol a big hug and then was super awkward and close to Carol, kinda throwing himself in the car looking inside their car. Weird- I said, " Jonathan, What are you doing" Oh... you are looking at their car. ( Jonathan and I had a conversation about Toyota Trucks earlier in the day). I thought thought he was being hyper and werid.... and I was trying to get over how wild he was being. Little did I know the exchange of the ring had happened between Carol and Jonathan. Jonathan had shipped my ring to their house while he was overseas this summer. Anyways.. we all hung out, had dessert and Jonathan was excited beyond imagination and was going on 48 hours with zero sleep. I took Jonathan to the Schneider's where he was staying and some much needed sleep happened......

Jonathan knocked on my door at 8 am on Sunday Morning. Our Friend Debi had dropped him off on on her way to Church. Jonathan woke me up and brewed a fresh pot of coffee and started to make breakfast. We started to make plans for the day and decided to hike to Deluge Lake in the Gore Range in Vail. So we got lunches packed, water bottles filled and were off for the day. I was praying we would have good weather as I looked out from my house there were thunder storms just hanging over the valley. Those of you who know Colorado know you can get 85 degree weather and snow in the same day, so who knew what we would get, we just knew that beautiful back country awaited our day.......

Jonathan is a lean 6'3 packed full of sweetness- but let me tell you.... those legs can crank it up a mountain..... so he lead on the trail and I followed. The minute we set foot on the trail...the vivid colors and bounty of wildflowers made my heart swom...... and we enjoyed our 10 mile hike to the top. At one point Jonathan and I were so amazed at the flowers he said, "Wildflowers are like God's Wedding Band to us, he pursues us and impresses us with this creation...." Ok, Mr.Romantic spilling out of your mouth.... this actualy did not give anything away... Jonathan is full of words so this was pretty normal.

We made it to the top and there was still snow melt so the lake looked nasty. We ate lunch under a tree and headed back down the mountain. As we were still near the top there was a meadow full of wildflowers with every color of the rainbow. Jonathan asked if we should walk down and I insisted that it was not a effcient use of time and that we would have to walk back up. We walked a little bit.... and then I asked him, "As we serve God with our lives, what are dreams on your heart..." ( man, I know how to give someone a good lead into a proposal). Jonathan at that time walked off the trail into the meadow (ingoring my commentary about having to come back up). There we sat next ot a stream in a meadow and had a 360 degree view the the Gore Range. It was stunning! Jonathan got his journal out and began reading me a covenant that he wrote about marriage and his commiment to a constant pursual of my heart as we serve Jesus with our lives, the greatest force of any ministry will be our marriage together and in the four walls of our home. As he is reading the long list to me... I started thinking.... "Oh my goodness, is this happening?" I was not sure... he is pretty romantic and him reading that could have been pretty normal.... until he asked me to stand up...... Jonathan got down on his knee and asked me to be his wife... that part was a total blurr.....then is slipped the most stunning elegant ring on my finger, a ring that we went to great lengths to study and find.... We sat in the meadow and I was amazed at all it how happend.... how God has brought a man who fought for my heart and pursed and prayed and pressed in and just hoped that this California girl would soemhow be his friend ....and somehow was able to get thought to some walls that had been build aroud my heart. For now..... Jenny Schlenker is engaged to a man who I could have even dreamed of..... Thank you for all of your love and prayers and just loving me for me. Jesus lead us.........

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Taming of the Tongue

The Taming of the Tongue
By Leonard Ravenhill

Until recently, we were pretty much in the dark about the human body. But
then came the X-ray with its peeping eye...a marvelous instrument which has
saved us much human misery. It was able to show us the human heart, but it
couldn't show us the soul or it could show us the throat, but not the voice.
The brain, but not the mind. Nevertheless, medical science has done much to
help this outward man that perishes. If our eyes are getting dim, we can get
glasses. If our kidneys or heart fail, we can have a transplant. But as far
as I know, there is one member of the body that has never been transplanted.
If we used our arms and legs as much as we use this part, we'd be incredibly
stiff and sore. But this member never gets tired, and I've never seen one
with a splint on it. As you get older you may get dentures - but you will
always have the same tongue you were born with! There are artificial joints
made these days, but no artificial tongues.

My mother was pretty smart when it came to the tongue. She sprinkled
her daily conversation with wise sayings like "Keep your tongue between your
teeth" and "Think twice before you speak once." The Scottish people have
some proverbs, too: "Keep your tongue a prisoner and your body will go free"
and "A long tongue shortens friendships." My mother would also tell us,
"Remember, one day you'll answer to God for every word you say."

The Bible mentions many kinds of tongues:
a flattering tongue (Psalm 5:9)
a proud tongue (Psalm 12:3; 73:9)
a lying tongue (Psalm 109:2; Prov. 6:17)
a deceitful tongue (Psalm 120:2)
a perverted tongue (Prov. 10:31; 17:20)
a soothing tongue (Prov. 15:4)
a healing tongue (Prov. 12:18)
a destructive tongue (Prov. 17:4)
a mischievous and wicked tongue (Psalm 10:7)
a soft tongue (Prov. 25:15)
a backbiting tongue (Prov. 25:23)
James also talks about the tongue. He says it's a small part of the body,
and yet it boasts of great things. He calls the tongue a fire, the very
world of iniquity. James says it is untamable, a restless evil full of
deadly poison, used both to bless God and to curse men. But James also told
us that a man who doesn't stumble in what he says is a perfect man. (James
3:2-10)

I wonder how startled James would be today to find out how much man
has "conquered." We've put men into big, fancy tin cans, and shot them off
into space. We've sent men into submarines without coming up to the surface
for months. Man has had the moon under his feet and he's left his footprints
on the ocean floor as well. We've also put some fantastic canisters up into
the sky, bouncing our voices off these satellites to countries around the
world. Look at how we've harnessed the wind with giant windmills, and made
the rivers and waterfalls drive our turbines. What incredible power man has
over his world! And yet, he has still not conquered his own tongue.


A Damaging Sword

In Psalm 64:3 the tongue is called "a sword." This sword has certainly
damaged, bruised, wounded, and killed more people than all the swords in all
the wars since history began. You've seen it many times. That newly married
couple - so lovey-dovey for days and days on end. But one day the fellow
lost his temper and slashed into the heart and affections of his wife with
uncontrollable anger and with words he might regret forever. But it was
said. The damage was done. How often we need to remember that old saying: We
cannot call back the arrow we've shot into the air, the water under the
bridge, or the spoken word. One of the earliest poems I ever learned was:
Angry words, O let them never
From the tongue, unbridled slip.
With the soul's best impulse
Ever check them,
Ere they soil the lips.
Angry words are quickly spoken,
Bitter thoughts are rashly stirred.
Fondest links of life are broken.
By a single angry word.

Is there something that could be numbered greater than the
incomprehensible amount of stars in the heavens? What about the sands by the
sea, every blade of grass, or we could add all of these things together.
There would still be something that would exceed them in number! It's the
things said by this little monster called the tongue. This uncontrollable
little red rebel that lives in a red cave guarded by two rows of white
soldiers called teeth. Think about how many words are being spoken today
just over all the telephones worldwide. And how about all the words slung
around the globe by our TVs and radios? The tongue has done more damage than
any other instrument in the human body.

We are responsible for the words that we speak. "And I say to you,
that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for
it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by
your words you shall be condemned." (Matt. 12:36-37) Our own words snare us.
(Prov. 6:2) We are ensnared by vows and promises spoken, but not kept. By
reckless criticisms and rash judgments. "How can you, being evil, speak what
is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good
man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good; and the evil man out
of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil." (Matt. 12:34-35)

The human heart can be a snakepit, a dungeon of devilry, a foxhole of
filth, a pit of perversity. Actually, it's the manufacturing place of all
uncleanness and all sin. The showcase of the heart is the tongue. My simple
words cannot exaggerate the corruption of the heart. And the filth that
comes out of a filthy heart comes through the lips. But when I've said all I
can about it, the strongest thing is surely said in Proverbs 18:21 - "Death
and life are in the power of the tongue...."


A Rolling Story

A rolling stone gathers no moss, but a rolling story gathers something
fresh every time we say it. Every time we repeat it, something is added and
something is taken away until it's nothing like the truth. Some little bit
of gossip starts with a whisper, then it swells and becomes a tumult, and
somebody's left heartbroken. Do you wonder that Proverbs 10:19 says, "When
there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his
lips is wise"? Or Ecclesiastes 10:14, "The fool multiplies words..."?

How often we sing (full of self-pity) "Oh what needless pain we
bear...." Someone should write a verse about what needless pain we cause
when we lacerate people, wound them, and bruise them with our tongues. I
want to sound a word of caution about the flippancy of our language, and the
carelessness and exaggeration in the language used by preachers. What awful
things come from their lips these days that cannot be justified by
Scripture!

Just this week I spoke with a big, strong professional football player
who has now become a full-time evangelist...a very godly man. He broke into
tears as he told me about the slander and deceit used against him among
Christians. He said through his tears, "Mr. Ravenhill, I've suffered
character assassination." I said, "Friend, you're under a delusion that most
Christians are under. There's nobody that can assassinate your character.
Character is what God knows you are. Reputation is what men think you are.
They might have lied, wrecked your reputation, and made it almost impossible
for you to get into other pulpits, but remember this" (as you read this, you
remember it too): "The only one who can wreck your character is you. God
doesn't listen to gossip except to judge it. The only one who can lower or
higher you in the estimation of God is you by your obedience or by your
disobedience."


Products of the Tongue

Have the Christians of today improved over the Christians in Corinth?
They didn't have a Bible to read but Paul wrote boldly to them, "For I am
afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may
be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there may be strife,
jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance,
disturbances." These are all products of the tongue. Hey, friend, before we
go any further, make out your checklist. Have you been in unprofitable,
ridiculous debates, arguing just to win someone over? So very often we win
the debate and lose the friend. Paul said that among these professing
Christians there was strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slander,
gossip, arrogance, and disturbances.

After Jesus Himself, I believe that Paul was the greatest preacher who
ever lived. But when writing to the Corinthians, he said, "And when I came
to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom,
proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing
among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in
weakness and in fear and in much trembling." (I Cor 2:1-3) That doesn't
sound like the Apostle we think of, clothed with all the armor of God,
pulling down strongholds and putting the devil to flight.

But then he goes on in verse 4, "And my message and my preaching were
not in persuasive words of wisdom..." I doubt he was a fascinating preacher,
juggling with words that sparkled. His job was to glorify Jesus. If we
preach and people remember us, we've missed it. He says that his preaching
was not with persuasive words of wisdom, "but in demonstration of the Spirit
and of power." He didn't spend hours like some preachers, selecting the most
fascinating and flashy words. Maybe we might say "fleshy" words. His concern
was to project Jesus Christ only and Him crucified. There was nothing
flippant or fleshly about what he said, and certainly nothing foolish.

Paul warns us, "In reference to your former manner of life, lay aside
the old self...be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new
self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and
holiness of the truth...Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but
only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the
moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. Let all bitterness and
wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all
malice." (Eph. 4:22-31)

Paul also exhorts us, "There must be no filthiness and silly talk, or
coarse jesting, which are not fitting..." (Eph. 5:4) I've heard preachers
eating dinner together get into borderline jokes, and then someone pushes it
further until it's totally disgusting. I like humor, but I don't like
stupidity, filthiness, or coarse jesting. Oh how many silly, stupid things
are said. Dr. Tozer used to say to me, "Len, be careful. Remember, never,
never, speak lightly of the devil. Don't tell any jokes about hell." The
devil is not almighty, but we must not forget that he is mighty. All too
often Christians speak too lightly of the kingdom of darkness, as if to
treat the whole thing as unimportant. (Jude 9)


Muzzle Your Mouth

David says, "I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle." (Psalm 39:1) We usually think of
other parts of our body as being agencies of sin, but not our tongue. David
says "I will guard my mouth."

Colossians 4:6 says, "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned,
as it were, with salt." Not pepper! Sometimes anger gets in our speech and
spoils everything that we've said. Psalm 12:3 says, "May the Lord cut off
all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks great things." These surely are
stern warnings to believers.

Psalm 15 asks, "Lord, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy
holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks
truth in his heart." So there you have it: walking and talking. Walking
uprightly, speaking the truth in your heart. And in verse 3, "He does not
slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a
reproach against his friend." I believe we sabotage a lot of our prayers
because we're doing what James says - one minute we're blessing God, and
then afterwards we're cursing men. Not blaspheming or using vile language,
but criticizing them. One minute our tongues are speaking about holy things,
and the next, unholy things. You see, the tongue is an index of the heart.
Do you wonder that I shudder when I look at a large congregation singing,
"Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise..."? Goodness
me, if they did have 1,000 tongues, there would be 999 times more gossip and
criticism and slander than there is now! Earth would be hell and the Church
would be as bad. Oh, no! If we can't control the one we have, how could we
manage 999 more? How often do we sing our great Redeemer's praise? For five
minutes in two Sunday morning hymns? And the rest of the week it's careless
and silly talk. Talk of anything but the deep things of God.


Showcase Of The Heart

Our words reflect what's in our hearts. If a man loves sports, he
talks sports. If he loves money, he talks money. If he loves art, he talks
art. I marvel at the slackness of speech among Christians and at how often
preachers are guilty of gross exaggerations in their reports about their
meetings, and at how carelessly they slander others. I was at a ministers'
conference some years ago and we drove back and forth in packed buses all
week between the hotel and the conference center. But never once among all
those ministers was the conversation about God or holiness or the coming of
Jesus. It was sports, or golf handicaps, or how big their Sunday School was.
It was just senseless chatter even among preachers. But preachers aren't the
only ones guilty of conversation which is unprofitable and unedifying.

Do you wonder that the psalmist in Psalm 51 cries "Create in me a
clean heart"? We've already considered the foulness of the human heart, yet
God can take that heart and make it pure and beautiful and eloquent for
Himself. There's nothing that gives us away as much as our speech. Our
speech shows where our hearts are.

You can't cover up your heart. If there's bitterness in our hearts, it
will come out through what we say and how we say it. If there's hatred,
hatred will come. If there's anger, anger will come. No wonder James says
that the tongue can't be controlled. The heart is engineering all that the
tongue is going to say.

The heart is the factory that produces all these vile things, and the
tongue is the showcase of the heart. Surely one of the most amazing things
about the transforming grace of God is that man loses his filthy language,
lying tongue, and unholy anger when he gets saved. There's little use
carrying a big Bible and wearing a lapel pin saying how spiritual we are if
we explode at the office, speak unkindly to our children, or if we're
critical and bitter and become known as somebody who carries on.


Stick Out Your Tongue

In the springtime my mother used to say, "Put out your tongue and let
me see what it's like." She'd say, "Oh, no! You're not in good condition,"
and then she had some horrible concoction that we had to take. I wonder, if
we had to put out our tongues at the end of each day if they would be
unclean with gossip, slander, criticism, or bitterness? Or do we have them
under control, as Paul says, "sound in speech which is beyond reproach"?
(Titus 2:8) Is our speech always with grace, seasoned with salt?

I helped at a funeral once where there were several teenage children.
They sobbed and groaned and carried on as I'd never seen anyone do at a
funeral. I said to my senior pastor, "Oh, how much they loved their mother!"
He said, "No, they're just crying in remorse. They were the most
disobedient, backbiting, sarcastic children ever. They always abused their
mother with their words. They gave her an awful time. They just cut her to
pieces with their tongues." Many of us suddenly feel this same unbearable
guilt when someone dies and we can't take back the words we've spoken or
heal the wounds we've made.

This is a day when people are screaming about ecology. We want pure
rivers and pure air. What about pure hearts? It's a pity we don't raise our
voice in the Church and call everyone to recite Psalm 51 and cry with David,
"Create in me a clean heart!" Or, as Wesley put it,
O for a heart to praise my God.
A heart from sin set free.
A heart that always feels the blood,
So freely shed for me.
A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
My Great Redeemer's throne,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone.

If Christ were speaking internally all the time, we wouldn't come out
with the rubbish that we utter so much.

When you get to my age, you look back and it's an awesome thing. I
think about the millions of words I must have said in 60 years of preaching.
Speaking at least 120 words a minute, I can speak 1,200 words in ten
minutes. In 60 minutes I've spoken 7,200 words and I've done this twice a
day sometimes and done it for years. Then there's all the words I've
written.

What a day when all the great orators stand before the Lord. Oh, that
we might find men today whose hearts are burning with love and devotion, and
because their hearts are burning, their speech will burn - with love, with
adoration, and with hatred for sin. My prayer is, "Lord, teach me to hold my
tongue. Teach me to do as the psalmist says, set a watch at the door of my
lips that my speech may always be seasoned with grace. My tongue never a
sword. My speech always edifying, uplifting, and that which glorifies God."
Amen.

For further study

Psalm 12:3-4
Psalm 34:13
Psalm 37:30
Psalm 39:1,3
Psalm 120:2-3 Proverbs 20:15
Eccl. 5:6
Romans 3:4,13-14
II Cor. 12:20
James 3:2

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I am back....

I am back from a whirl-wind trip in California. I was in Cali about a week and a half. Jonathan came out with me. We had two weddings back to back ( fri & sat) My cousin Justin and friend Tawny. Jonathan was thrown into the craziness of my family right off the bat :). I was able to help Mandy with Ava- while her and Eli were off to Oregon to pick up their new car. Then we ventured down to San Diego, My cousin Nic graduated from UCSD Med School!!!! He was the recipient of the Leadership Award, Humanitarian Award and Emergency Medicine. He was also the speaker of his class- there were 17 of us that were down there to celebrate. We are a proud family for sure! We all showed up in scrubs and hats to his graduation... we were quite the site sitting in the front row! We had a great time as a family and I will follow up with more pictures of my time in Cali.

Jumping back into life, getting caught up at work and with people. Just wanted to check into the blogging world.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Travis & Ann's Wedding in Estes Park

This last weekend I was in my friend Ann & Travis' Wedding in Estes Park, Co. It was a beautiful wedding in EVERY WAY. They have the most incredible friends and it was great just being in the midst of all the people that they love. They had a worship service on Friday evening before the wedding, which was incredible. We all left the Church and it was lightly snowing. The forecast was for rain and 50 degrees on Saturday. We woke up to bring sunny skies and 65 degree weather. Thank you Lord! It was a stunning day and It was memorable to be apart of the weekend. Here are a few pictures from the weekend. Jonathan has my camera, so I am unbale to upload mine from the weekend, which I will do soon.


Beautiful Couple. So Ann and I operate on many of the same levels. I did her hair for the wedding. She has a curly mop like I do. We started doing her hair at 10:05 for a 10:30 wedding. We pinned some curls up, thew a Vail on ( which she forgot at her house and had to send someone out to get) and touched her naturally beautiful face with a little make up and the girl was good to walk down the isle. I loved it!
She was beautifully adorned, but it was sweet to not obsess over little details and be consumed with vanity on that day.




This is Tommy and Debi Schneider. He is my pastor here at Calvary Vail Valley. These two are PRECIOUS, WARM, JESUS PEOPLE LOVING, VIBRANT, FILLED WITH LAUGHTER PEOPLE. I am so grateful to have them and be apart of this Church. These two know how to laugh and have fun and I am so thankful for that.






This is Carol and Doug Wilson. Everything that Carol puts her hands to is amazing! She did the flowers for Ann's Wedding and did a incredible job. I love Carol to pieces- I met Carol working at Kanakuk Colorado 3 years ago. I love this girl, she is warm, incredibly hospital, fun and challenges my heart in so many ways. This girl loves deeply.



These are some of my favorite people here in Colorado! Love every single one of them to pieces!





AND THIS IS MR. JONATHAN! This is his first real introduction to the blogging world.... welcome Jonathan! ha ha ...... look at those blue eyes! So Jonathan is here for the month of May. He is staying with Carol and Doug. This week he is in Costa Rica him and some of his cloest friends are in the Jungle this week. They are helping build along with a variety of other tasks for a single 65 year old female missionary who has has been serving there her most of her life. I am sure it will be a incredible trip! He will be back on Friday.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

So the news is out....

Mandy and Eli are having a baby! The baby is due Dec 9. I am so excited for another niece or nephew! You can check The Stewart's Blog.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Almost done moving.....



I am almost done moving into our new little yellow house. I am excited and can hardly wait to get settled. It is wild that I moved out here with a Toyota Corolla full of stuff and now I have car loads and I am due for a good garage sale. My company helped me move all furniture this morning, which I was so greatful to have 3 guys come over with a huge truck to help. I am exhausted from the week and greatful for great friends who have helped me. This is the 4th time moving in a year for me!
Our new little house is yellow with a sweet porch, patio, grill, lots of sunshine, a view of Vail and a awesome neighborhood full of wonderful people. So I have a weekend ahead of unpacking and taking stuff to the thrift shop. I am thankful to have 2 wonderful roomates to share life with. I will be sure to post some picture of our new place. Does anyone want to guess how many roomates I have had ?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mexico



So... it does not look like Mexico is going to happen. I was supposed to leave on a work trip to Mexico on Thursday. The Center for Disease Control is advising agaist all non-essential trips to the Country due to the Swine Flu. I am so looking forward to some warm weather, I guess I will have to wait. I am still in the throws of moving and will move officially on Wed to a new place in town. I am looking forward to being done with boxes and cleaning. Thankful for the help of sweet friends.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Amy Wevadau's Wedding


Hannah Yeakely, Betsy and I





Hannah is my college room mate and I love this girl! It was wonderful to see her and Steve, catch up on their first year of marriage and laugh together. I love these people.




This last weekend I went to Amy Wevadau's wedding in Denver. There was a huge storm that hit Denver. It was wild driving down there. The orginial venue shut down due to power outages, so at the last minute the venue was changed to the other side of Denver to a church. Their family and friends rallyed to change the entire event just a few hours before the wedding.... jut one of the adventures of living in Colorado weather. Amy had a beautiful wedding and at the end of the day all the people she loved were there and she is married! Congrats!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blog update.......

Sorry for the absence in the blog world… I am back on it! So a little life update for you all. The mountain has officially closed, so things naturally slow down, the sunshine is out so we pray for lots of snow melting so the summer can begin! I am grateful for sunshine and long runs after work right now, until the next spring storm. The last month has been great. I was in Texas with Jonathan, Mandy and Eli for Easter and had a great time. The wildflowers were beautiful there and we had a sweet time just hanging out and all of us being together. Oh yes, and of course Miss Ava is too much to handle, is talks a ton, she is putting words together and is full of life and laughter.

As far as the next month goes- I move next week – April 29th into a cute yellow house on the bike path. I am so excited for a little more space, a patio to entertain and more space for more people.

April 30th- May 4th I will be in Mexico for a work trip, I know someone has got to do the job. May 4th Jonathan comes into town for a month. He will be there May 4th (will meet me at the airport in Denver) and will be here thru May 31st. Jonathan will be staying with Carol and Doug and some other wonderful people from church.

May 7th - 9th - Wedding festivities for my dear friends Ann & Travis’ wedding in Estes Park, Co.

May 9 or 10th- Jonathan and I will meet up with my friends Steff and John Winder who used to live here and now are on staff with the Navigators at Oregon State- dear friends and precious people- can’t wait to see them.

The rest of the month I will be working, playing hard, and spending time with Jonathan and friends before he leaves to minister in the Middle East for a few months.

May 28th- June 7th I will be in California for a few weddings ( a friend from high school and my cousin Justin’s wedding) & My cousin Nicholas graduates from UCSD Medical School in San Diego. I am looking forward to the first week of June to be with family and friends.

I am looking forward to the next month being full of being with wonderful people.

Oh yeah… did I mention that Jonathan is the boy that I think is pretty great?

I will post pictures & ramblings along this next month......

Monday, March 30, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Before the Facebook Rumors start flying......

So I am at my office working on taxes, filing, going thru bills, paperwork, etc..... admist all the piles of paperwork are wedding response cards that I need to repsond to.... So on my facebook status , I wrote..........

" Jenny Schlenker is mailing off wedding invites..... spring time here we come! April 18, May 9, May 28 & 29 Wedding Time!

Apparently that sounded like I was mailing off my wedding ivites- HOLY COW! Just for the good hard details....... I AM NOT GETTTING MARRIED !!!!! Let's just say that the wall was going a little wiid.......

So Funny........

I called Sherry and said..... "Get a load of this " and had her log on and look at my wall ...... so instead of being productive I have spent this past 25 minutes cleaning up my mess!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sara Groves on Parenting...

I know I have lots of mommy blogger friends... so here is for all of you!

“My parenting approach before these past couple of years was to pray for my kids to go to college, end up happily married with good jobs and a nice home. Now I focus more on wanting my kids to open their hearts and love God and love their neighbor. I’m excited to see what they do in their generation. I want them to be leaders, and I don’t want them to be afraid. I want them to believe in a God who is real and is bigger than all of this and has a plan for their lives. The way I parent them now is not about protecting them from everything, it’s about creating in them a sense of the story that they are a part of, and the idea of the good use of their lives.”

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Knowing God's Will

Knowing God's Will
by Winkie Pratney

"How can I know the will of God?" If you haven't asked this question openly or secretly you are probably not a Christian.

Walk through the halls of time and you will see the men of God who changed history. Look at them carefully. They were not special men. You will not often find the naturally gifted among their ranks. But all had one thing in common - they knew and did the will of God in their generation, and God did a work through them to shape the course of history. Those that God used in the past were just ordinary people with an extraordinary Master. They were not all champions of great faith, but little people who saw their own need, and put their small faith in a great God. The driving force in their lives was the sure conviction that God had called them to His work - and that as long as they were faithful to that call, He would work with them and through them against impossible odds to victory. They KNEW His will! Living in His purpose, they could be natural and let Him be supernatural.

Scripture Is a record of common people who found the will of God. Jacob met an angel Joseph with his multi-colored coat had a dream. Paul saw a blinding light. Samuel heard a voice. John had a vision. God is wholly involved with us as human beings! He spoke to men then, and He has not changed. At every point of history, He waits to show the way.

God is looking for willing hearts - those who whole-heartedly decide to do the will of God. (II Chron.16:9) You can know God's will! God has no favorites. You do not have to be special, but you have to be available. You do not have to be clever, but you must be willing to learn from Him. You do not have to be talented, but you must be willing to obey whatever He commands. You do not have to possess much, but you must give everything you have.

Has the "will of God" been a mystery to you? Have you longed to know what He wants for you, but somehow never found the way? Then read on. If you will faithfully apply these Biblical principles of guidance to your life, you can know the voice of God and do His will as surely as any man or woman of God that ever lived.

Goal and Plan
God's will for your life is a GOAL, not a blue-print. His one ultimate goal, or purpose, is for you to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus. God's goal NEVER changes. A goal is the point you are trying to get to - it sets your direction. While on your way to this ultimate goal, you will encounter many smaller goals and purposes along the way.

Guidance is a lifelong process. God will reveal goals, help you reach them, then set new, higher ones. Therefore, knowing God's will for your life is a continued discovery of the present most effective plan to help you eventually reach (through a series of sub-stages) His ultimate goal for you. Should you miss God and make a wrong decision at one of these sub-stages, all is not lost However, many times there are consequences to pay. Sometimes you may miss an opportunity that may never again come your way... and many times good years that belong to God are simply wasted. But the moment our self-dependence or mistakes are confessed to God, and His pardon obtained, He will take you where you are at and work with you, daily pointing out the best course to take in order for you to reach His ultimate goal for you - to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus.

Conditions
You cannot expect to hear from God until you are fulfilling these essential conditions for knowing His will. Check your life against these before you ask for guidance:

A Desire to know and do all the will of God.Don't ASK for guidance unless you are prepared to ACT on it! God is always willing to make His purpose known. If you "cannot" find an answer, it may be that you have some secret reservation in your heart. God will not show you His will if you are merely considering doing it. Unless you are prepared to trust His wisdom and love, and DO what He shows you, don't ask Him. Many say they can't get God's guidance, when they really mean they wish He would show them an easier way. God promises to show us only if we are ready to act on His revelation. (John 7:17)
Be a love-slave.God guides the meek, or those with yielded wills. If we have unyielded rights or stubborn wills, we cannot expect His guidance. A love-slave lives to serve, not be served. He owns nothing of power, possessions, or personal rights. He has no plans of his own that are not subject to the command of his Master. God does not guide those who want to run their own life. He only guides those who admit their need of His direction and rely on His wisdom. (Matt. 10:24,37-39; Phil.2:58; Psalm 25:9)
A willingness to be counted a fool.Doing God's will often conflicts with what's going on in our surrounding selfish world. Some Christians don't really do anything for the Lord, excusing themselves by saying they are "not sure of God's will." We need not always expect a voice from the sky when the path of service is clear. God gave us common sense, and He expects us to use it. Most of the time, His will makes sense to our reason and intelligence. God's will is usually an area of general direction, within which He leaves us relatively free to work for Him. (Proverbs 6:20-22,11:3) However, sometimes His direction cuts across all human reason, and even goes totally contrary to it! When the inner voice of God speaks clearly, obedience may be counted as madness in the eyes of the world. But if you are willing to be God's fool, then you will see His power. (Matt.11:25; Acts26:24-25; Mark 3:21; 1 Cor. 3:18-20)
A clean conscience from the past.Guidance will always be hindered or misunderstood if there are still sinful things in your life that God has urged you to get right. How can He show you more if you have not obeyed the things He has already shown you?(Luke16:10) Every time you kneel to pray, the finger of His Spirit will point back to that thing He wants you to get right. A clear conscience is absolutely essential for distinguishing between the voice of God and the voice of the enemy. Unconfessed sin is a prime reason why many do not know God's will. It is the "pure in heart" who will see Him. (Matt. 5:8,23-24; Psalm 24:3-6)
Regular time of prayer and reading the Word of God God's will is expressly revealed in His Word. It is indeed a foolish and inexcusable thing to neglect the Scriptures if you have access to them. Bible study shows us what God expects in daily living. No guidance will ever go against Scriptural principle. Prayer teaches us by experience what the presence of God is like, and how His voice sounds. Many do not recognize the call of God simply because they have never taken the time to really talk with Him long enough to know what He is like. It is not enough to know about Him - you must know HIM! (Proverbs 6:23; Isaiah 58:9-11; John 17:3)
Methods
God speaks and has spoken in many different ways. Guidance breaks down into three basic categories - personal, corporeal, and supernatural. Study the following examples in Scripture.

I. PERSONAL (Individual Direct Guidance)
The Word of God - The Holy Scriptures, the foundation of all guidance.
A. Regular Bible Reading - The "jigsaw" principle. You fill in a portion of a "puzzle" each time you read a section of the Bible. A key piece fitted in will suddenly reveal a whole picture.
B. Open Page Method - Definitely not to be abused! Ask God in faith to guide you to the right Scripture for your need. Open the Bible, trusting Him to speak to you from it.
C. Mental Suggestion - In prayer God will sometimes bring to mind a verse, a chapter, or a book of the Bible. Turn to the place and begin to read until God speaks to you.
D. Recalled Memory Verse - Often, during a time of temptation or difficulty, God will bring to your mind a verse of Scripture that will give clear instruction. It is to your benefit to know and memorize parts of the Word of God. (Psalm 119:9-11,15-16, 33-35, 65-68, 97-l05; Proverbs 2:1-20, 3:1-6, 4:1-13; II Tim.3:14-17)
The witness of the Holy Spirit- An inner voice known by all true children of God.
The Holy Spirit is able to "check" you inside as to whether or not something is of God. You must NEVER act on a doubtful impression, especially if it is accompanied by haste. God leads, not pushes! Rushed urgings are usually of the enemy. There is never a feeling of worry or fear with the voice of the Good Shepherd. His Voice is gentle, familiar-sounding, loving, and leaves you with a sense of spiritual uplift and rejoicing, never fright (John10:3-5,14-16,27-28) Test all of your spiritual leadings by the Word of God, especially whenever you feel a sense of uneasiness or fear. (Rom. 8:14-16; John 14:16-17; 1 John 2:27, 4:1-3,13; Col.1:9-11)
Waiting on God - Listening to Him in prayer and getting to know His voice.
God has three answers in guidance - (1)"Yes" (2) "No" and (3) "Wait". We cannot have a demanding attitude towards God. Sometimes there must be delays. Our lives are bound up with others, and many times God has to wait until they are ready (or until we are), before giving us the go-ahead. "Wait" is the most difficult of all answers, but sometimes it's the most necessary. Here is the test of a love-slave.(Psalm 62:1,5, 33:20, 25:5, 27:14, 40:1, 130:5, 37:7; Isaiah 40:31, 49:23; Hosea 12:6; 1 Chron.28:9)
II. CORPOREAL (Other Christians)
Although God greatly desires to speak to each of us personally, He also likes to use other members of the Body of Christ to pass on needed pieces of the "puzzle" to us. This helps teach us gratitude for His work in the lives of others, and the needed lesson that none of us are a law or light to ourselves. We can learn a lot from other Christians, although in the end, we are responsible to no one but Him.

Godly men and women- The advice of experienced Christians sought as confirmation.
Counsel from those who are known to have a pure and trustworthy walk with God is often of great value when seeking further light on some major decision. This counsel should be more in the area of principles, not pronouncements. Carefully concerned and loving suggestions aren't necessarily final or direct statements from the Lord. True godly counsel will of course always line up with the Word of God and Scriptural principles.(Proverbs 15:22, 12:15, 13:10, 11:14, 24:6; 1 Thess.2:11-15)
God's servants in the ministry - Preaching under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes God will use a message or sermon anointed by the Holy Spirit to bring needed light when you are facing a difficult decision. Perhaps the word you need to help give you direction is waiting for you at the next meeting! (Exodus 4:10-12; 1 Samuel 3:10-21, Isaiah 6:8-9; Rom.10:14-15; I Cor. 2:1-2; 1 Pet. 4:11)
The gifts of the Holy Spirit - In line with previous leadings from the Lord and the Word of God.
Scripture records incidents where God has confirmed direction through such gifts in His Body as prophesy, words of knowledge, and words of wisdom. Study their function in Scripture. Such words are simply spiritual parallels to individual godly counsel and preached messages, and should not be looked on with more authority than any of the other means the Lord chooses to use. Never act solely on a "word" given to you by another.
Remember, the key is individual responsibility for our own actions, and it is you that must make the final decision, and not someone else for you. (Rom. 12:6-8; I Cor. 12:1-12, 27-31, 14:12,26-33,39-40; Eph. 4:8-11; II Tim.1:6)

III. SUPERNATURAL
The instances of "supernatural" guidance, or special Divine Intervention in our lives are more rarely recorded. These cases are rare, but not because there are only a few who ever reach the "exalted height" of such direct contact. In fact, God may sometimes choose to act in this way because those on the receiving end are so spiritually insensitive and dull that they might otherwise never hear or understand! Although it is not wise to generalize principles from such occasional interventions, it is certainly clear through Scripture and history that men and women have received authentic direction from such Divine channels of contact

The audible voice of God.God can and has spoken to people audibly. I know a very trustworthy person who became a Christian as a result of God answering his prayer for help in this way. He described the voice like this: "Like everyone I had ever loved in my life all rolled up into one, like someone I had known all my life, yet I knew I had never met" As in the case of Saul and the crowd that witnessed the Lord's baptism, it is apparently a real sound and not just a mental impression. Examples: Samuel (I Samuel 3:1-10); Elijah (I Kings19:9-13); Saul (Acts 9:1-7); the Lord Jesus and the multitude (John 12:2730).
Visions and dreams. The early Church gave much more attention to this subject than do most Christians today. A dream is like a spiritual TV commercial - short, easy to understand, and given at the time when our whole attention is undistracted. Visions, on the other hand, are superimposed over the normal visual reality around us, and do not have to happen when we are asleep. If you believe that God may be trying to speak to you in this way, prayerfully consider the details of your dream or vision, remembering that they may represent symbols or principles - not necessarily absolutes. And finally, talk it over with a trusted and mature friend in Christ. Both dreams and visions, when inspired by the Holy Spirit, can be powerful means by which God speaks to His people. Examples: Peter (Acts10:9-16); Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-8); Daniel (Daniel 8:1-27, 7:1-28,10:1-9); John (Rev. 1-20); Elihu (Job 33:14-18); Joseph (Matt. 1:19-21).
Visitation.It appears that angels in Scripture do not "guide" in the same way as the Holy Spirit Himself does, but they have been sent to warn believers of danger, as well as provide for their physical needs and safety. They also have made significant announcements, as in the case of Mary. Many believers throughout history have had authentic vision or visitations - and many numbers of Christians have seen either Jesus or ministering angels at their deathbeds. Examples: Abraham (Genesis 18:1-33); Moses (Exodus33:19-23); Joshua (Joshua 5:13-15); Jacob (Genesis 32:24-30); Manoah (Judges 13:2-23); Zacherias(Luke 1:8-20); Mary (Luke 1:26-38).
A word of warning before we leave this area. Young Christians can easily become fascinated with the "special cases," and exalt these above the more simple and ordinary daily ways God uses to speak to us. To deliberately seek or glorify any form of guidance Is an outright invitation to spiritual deception, We are not to seek or specify how God should speak, but only seek Him in any way that He wishes to make Himself known. And as previously mentioned, for God to have to use such methods is no guarantee at all of our superior spiritually - it may instead be an indication of spiritual Immaturity.

Steps
The following method of receiving guidance combines most guidance principles into three basic steps:

Give up your own desires. Take your own desires to God in prayer and place them aside for the Lord to crucify. In prayer, give your desires to Him, and ask Him to give you His desires. Tell Him that you are willing to "die" to the things you want most to do, in order to do the things He has for you.
Resist the devil.Be on guard against the tactics of the enemy, and the temptations that may come your way. Each child of God has been given power over sin through Christ. Standing in His authority, drive back the enemy's voice. As Jesus did in the wilderness, you can quote an appropriate Scripture, and like the thrust of a sword, it will force the enemy to retreat. Do it simply and clearly, trusting that the power of Christ will back you up. (Proverbs 18:10; Eph.1:17-23; James 4:5-10; I John 3:78; I Pet.5:6-9)
Listen to the voice of God. The Lord wants to speak to you - He doesn't want to hide or make you play guessing games. If you have fulfilled His conditions, the lines of communication between you are open. Ask God to show you, in faith, expecting Him to answer. Look for an immediate, definite impression. Do what He tells you to do. If nothing comes immediately - thank God for His answer of "wait". Be faithful to what the Lord has shown you, and patient as you wait for further guidance. If you are being tempted, cry out to the Lord, for it is through Him that you will find your strength to stand firm in righteousness.
Your Move
Ahead of you is a generation that desperately needs a voice of authority. Men are tired of the constant failure of human wisdom - what they need most of all is to hear from Heaven. Can you be His vessel to proclaim "Thus saith the Lord!" to a lost and dying world? Dare YOU be guided by God? Will you accept the challenge to hear His voice and do His will?

Friday, February 27, 2009

A few pics over the past few weeks....

Here are a few pictures over that last three weeks. My dear friend Ann just got engaged to Travis- a group of us gathered after their engagement. My friend Carol thew a party for our friend Laura who is leaving for the Peace Corps next month. Miss you all!







Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Utmost For His Highest

Are You Ready To Be Poured Out As an Offering? (2)

I am already being poured out as a drink offering . . . —2 Timothy 4:6Are you ready to be poured out as an offering? It is an act of your will, not your emotions. Tell God you are ready to be offered as a sacrifice for Him. Then accept the consequences as they come, without any complaints, in spite of what God may send your way. God sends you through a crisis in private, where no other person can help you. From the outside your life may appear to be the same, but the difference is taking place in your will. Once you have experienced the crisis in your will, you will take no thought of the cost when it begins to affect you externally. If you don’t deal with God on the level of your will first, the result will be only to arouse sympathy for yourself.

"Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar" ( Psalm 118:27 ). You must be willing to be placed on the altar and go through the fire; willing to experience what the altar represents-burning, purification, and separation for only one purpose-the elimination of every desire and affection not grounded in or directed toward God. But you don’t eliminate it, God does. You "bind the sacrifice . . . to the horns of the altar" and see to it that you don’t wallow in self-pity once the fire begins. After you have gone through the fire, there will be nothing that will be able to trouble or depress you. When another crisis arises, you will realize that things cannot touch you as they used to do. What fire lies ahead in your life?

Tell God you are ready to be poured out as an offering, and God will prove Himself to be all you ever dreamed He would be.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A beautiful day....


It is stunning today! All my Colorado friends would agree, although I am not sure what Colorado friends even read this blog ( Ashley & Mark could be the only ones ) You never know! Anyways.... for everyone else.... it is stunning here today! 45 degrees and bright blue skies! Nice to have a break from all the snow. Here are a few pics of the last few days... some random lady from London asked to take my picture as I was thumbing thru my camera... so here is a shout-out as I stepped outside from my office......

Missing These two......