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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Alex from China

Alex is currently in search of his Sioux Falls host family for the upcoming school year.  He will be a student at O'Gorman High School.  He's interested in basketball, dogs and outdoor activities.  

Chinese are very strict, so the comment about getting in trouble can be for something simple like talking in class. It is quite different as far as expectations go from the US to China!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Short-term Exchange Students

Shout out to my friends who are blessed with the gift of hospitality! I am working on placing some "Midwest" students for 4-8 weeks, mostly from France and Spain. Please PM for more details (or go online to apply as Jen Noble as your local coordinator - from Sioux Falls!)

 Cesar from France is 16 and loves tennis & soccer - his stay is scheduled from 6/20-7/18. Cesar enjoys hiking as noted in his photo...June 20-July 18 Midwest homestay!

 Emma from France is the perfect girls' girl - likes movies, games, cooking and swimming. Her stay is 7/10-8/21. Students come with their own spending money and insurance. (age 15)
Diane's 15 also and very talented at dance, drawing, ATA (taekwondo) and will stay from 7/3-8/28. She's from France as well!

Quick Links:

Short Term Independent Host Family Application:

Please use Jennifer Noble as your Local CCI Greenheart Coordinator.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Sum of a Few Spare Parts

Sept. 8th: Carolyn would have been 67. Getting through the day by remembering the good times and birthdays past. I'm grateful for having shared life and love with her for 20+ years. I'm also grateful for her example of strength, courage, toughness, kindness and compassion, traits that I try to carry with me each day to honor her memory. Miss you my love. --from her husband Gene

Over the past weekend I thought about Carolyn at a Lifelight concert by Burlap to Cashmere. Carolyn always loved something she owned constructed out of cashmere.  I started thinking about the band's name again..."Burlap to Cashmere."  

When I have sought fulfillment out of the world or my accomplishments, I've felt lost and represented the burlap.  With faith; however, I have access to cashmere in all it's glory!  

But I tend to "live" with burlap...

I remember when I had passed out getting an X-ray done for the removal of my wisdom teeth. It was placed far back in my mouth and it hurt, thus causing me to black out. The unfortunate event that followed was that I went by emergency room to the hospital from the dentist's office, only to find my dental X-rays were incomplete and my parents were stuck with a large emergency room bill.  I was very frustrated in that I would have to repeat the process, and my dentist asked me to find another location to get it done (he'd only been my dentist since childhood!) 

I lamented to my now-husband that I didn't know why I should even try to go through the X-rays as it would make me pass out again -- after all, this was how God made me...a FAINTER!  

So Chad suggested I pray about it to which I told him this didn't qualify for prayer because it was not something that could change.  He told me he'd pray anyway and see what God would do. 

Imagine as I went to the Twin Cities, and the updated technology allowed me to have my first panoramic X-ray back in the late 90's!  The X-ray film never even entered my mouth, and the problem was solved.

I really did laugh over the little faith I had that God could fix the problem, but later in life I've come to realize how many, many times I have prayed with virtually no hope -- and really trust -- that a remedy would be provided.  

Can we suffer from feelings that we don't really need or deserve what our heart desires or believe these situations that seem impossible to remedy (like my teeth) can be solved and neglect Him?

The subsequent provision can be missed because we base a decision not to pray from feeling disappointed. 

For me personally, I now see that I had a belief that Jesus took the penalty for my sin, but the faith of a mustard seed, often times has not even existed.  I am desiring to shift to having faith in small things or large, extending the request and seeing how God "handles" it.  There are long-term requests that I do keep asking about, yet I don't resolve so quickly that the delay is a denial.  How about you?  I'd like to hear your thoughts right now.
I've been noticing this over and over again, and taking my heart to the Lord.

I know there are many people out there who feel and respond to needs by a sense of burden and with a small response to a great desire.  On the other hand, I was blessed with a Grandma who when I asked her if I could pop come popcorn at her house responded, "Jennifer...You can have anything to eat in this house that you want to eat!"  I think this was after repeatedly asking her politely for various items, and she just figured it'd be easier to let me know I had full-access.  

Could our sight be limited in the wisdom God has to offer us?  I think so.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:7-8

So, thank God that He KNOWS what you need -- a Heavenly Father with a pantry of veggies and all the ingredients to help you grow S T R O N G physically and spiritually -- helping others, nurturing the heart and showing you where you're only believing for burlap. Remember, it's not very cuddly!  Let's seek HIM for revelation while struggling with life in the world.  It's only then we won't miss HIM singing through the birds  -- showing us how to proceed and taking care of the little things like dental X-rays.  Amen.

From "Skin is Burning" by Burlap to Cashmere - link below...
And my skin is burning with the fire of the world
Sometimes my eyes are tricking me
But when the words of His song
Are singing through the birds
I can't help but die, so He can take me higher
I can't help but die, so He can take me higher
And this dark small pain grows like cancer
Sometimes her eyes are speaking to me
But when the flesh is gone, my soul is all I travel by
And my guitar will vanish like the earth and the sea
Yes, my guitar will vanish like the earth
And my skin is burning with the fire of the world
Sometimes my eyes are tricking me
But when the words of His song
Are singing through the birds
I can't help but die, so He can take me higher
I can't help but die, so He can take me higher

Monday, March 09, 2015

In Step With the Spirit

As praying moms, we want to walk closely with our God. Come gather with Moms in Prayer women from across the state for a refreshing time of worship, prayer, fellowship, time alone with God and a deeper focus on what it means to walk in the Spirit. God wants to draw close to you! Step into His grace. And come get to know your Heartland Regional Director, Gayle Hadden.

 All praying women welcome to join us!

Central Baptist Church (in the Hearth Room) 3102 W. Ralph Rogers Rd., Sioux Falls, SD 57108

Sunday, April 12
5:15 p.m. Get acquainted/registration
5:30 p.m. Introductions & Worship
Sessions 1
7:30 p.m. Closing Prayer for evening

8:00 p.m. Informal coffee connection with Gayle (optional) at Comfort Inn & Suites

Monday, April 13
8:30 a.m. Get acquainted/registration
8:45 a.m. Introductions & Worship
Session 2 & 3
12:30 p.m. Closing Prayer

Please pre-register for event by April 1:
Email Debbie Reed to assure we have an event packet prepared for you!

What to bring:
  • Bible, pen and paper
  • Moms in Prayer Booklet
  • There will be an opportunity to give an offering
  • Invite young moms to join us to discover Moms in Prayer for their children!

Lodging Option

Comfort Inn & Suites

3721 W. Avera Dr., Sioux Falls, SD 57108

You must make your own reservations directly to this number: 1- 605-275-9577

  • Ask for Moms in Prayer rate/room block
  • Must book prior to March 31 for this rate
  • Group rate: $88 per room (plus tax)
Two queen beds in a room with up to 4 people
  • Example—cost for sharing the room with one other woman is $48.74 each or with three other women is $23.37 each.
  • Includes hot breakfast buffet

Questions? Please Contact
Gayle Hadden, Heartland Regional Director 316-491-3449

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Temptation Devotion for pre-teens/teens

We used the example of Jesus overcoming Satan by APPLYING God's word to help show the need to understand scripture in an emotional/physical/spiritual battle.  The drawings had to do with being connected to the vine (life source). Below were some scenerios we felt our pre-teens/teens may come up against.

You’ve been introduced to a song by a friend that has an upbeat rhythm and you love the way it sounds.  As you listen to the words, you notice the theme has to do with drinking and partying.  When it comes on again, you remembered liking the song but know the words aren’t a good message.  What verse would help you keep from listening to the song again? 

Your parents told you that you couldn’t play any technology until your homework was done and your room was clean. After the room was cleanedyou get tired of working. But you still need to prepare for school.  What verses will help you complete what you need to do? 

There’s a student you know who is not popular, and most people think he/she is kind of annoying.  
One day, while you were eating, this student walks by you and your friendYour friend says, “Quick put your book on that empty seat so he/she won’t sit here.”  What verse will help you respond to the temptation to follow this bad advice? 

Your sibling comes home from school and is excited about something.  You were listening to music and relaxing.  What verse will help you turn your attention to your sibling until their done talking to you instead of your own interests? 

You have been assigned a very long task to help one of your teachers over the summer.  After a few days on the computer, you’re bored and it’s taking longer to do the work you’ve arranged to do.  What verses would help you to focus on completing the  job and keep working or make arrangements to have the project take a longer amount of time than you originally arranged for? 

Your friend wants to get together Friday.  You were just together the past weekend and you know it’s a busy time for your family, yet you are also nervous that your friend is getting more and more involved with other people besides you.  What verses will help you not to be nervous that your friend won’t care about you anymore if you can’t be with him/her again? 

Your family made plans to go to a restaurant that you love.  The day before it’s time to go they tell you that instead of eating out, you’re going to need to eat at home.  What verses will help you to not be angry over this change of plans? 

Two friends are arguing and you can see both sides of the disagreement.  One of them is complaining about the other person to you.  What could you say that would be honest and help them not fall into the temptation of being critical of others? 

A family member makes fun of you and you feel very insulted.  They’ve said they’re sorry, but the words they said are still coming to your mind.  What verses will silence this negativity going on in your soul? 

Know where you’re vulnerable. Others may be able to handle situations where you will fall. Don’t go with them if it is a source of temptation for you. Develop a deep distrust in yourself that drives you to a desperate clinging to the Lord. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Giving Spinach A Second Look

If you've ever looked at the challenge of trying to consume 400 mg of magnesium in a day, you know that it's not an easy feat.  Dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds and avocado are some of the other beneficial sources of magnesium that are often neglected.  Although I know some of you have a good handle on the dark chocolate! 

Spinach has 24 mg per 1 cup cooked (you'll need 3-4 cups raw as it cooks down).  It is considered one of the dirty dozen in our supermarkets, meaning it's best to buy organic to not ingest all the pesticides.  Spinach has a high nutritional value, especially when fresh, frozen, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source (> 20% of the Daily Value) of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate and iron

With the grilled chicken and almond pesto, I used a few herbs from my garden and olive oil to add some essential fatty acids to the finished recipe.  After cooking, I poured the almond pesto on top.  Some will say that you can't call it pesto without the basil, but I guess I'm not following the pesto rules.

Heat through spinach in coconut oil

When it comes to high heat cooking, coconut oil or macadamia nut oil are very resistant to heat. Coconut oil is semi-solid at room temperature and it can last for months and years without going rancid.

Coconut oil also has powerful health benefits. It is particularly rich in a fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens. Polyunsaturated oils, including the omega-3 fats (olive oil), are extremely susceptible to damage from heat, light, and oxygen.

When exposed to these elements for too long, the fatty acids in the oil become oxidized, a scientific term that simply means that the oil becomes rancid. The oxidation of fatty acids produces free radicals, which are believed to play a role in the development of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

After cooking add the pesto-
1-2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. fresh parsley (come see me next summer for a stash!)
1/2 t. garlic salt or 1/4 t. garlic powder + 1/8 t. salt
Mixed in the food processor or blender until smooth.
Add 1/4 c. soaked, raw, unpasturized almonds and chop until partially blended

September 1, 2007 - The Day the Raw Almonds Died in North America
Learn more:

On Reasons & Procedures for Soaking Nuts:
To purchase raw, unpasturized almonds:

In addition to healthy fats and vitamin E, a quarter-cup of almonds contains 62 mg of magnesium plus 162 mg of potassium. Beings that this meal is suppling the Omega-6 fatty acids, look for ways to add in the Omega-3's. This chart shows how Essential Fatty Acids (needed everyday, that's why they're essential!) are metabolized.  (from

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Shepherding...Or So it Seems

"Have a Happy Family by Friday" and "The Storm Inside" were two books I read this week.  Nice and easy beings that one was from my mother-in-law and the other from the library.  "The Storm Inside" by Sheila Walsh tackles some interesting concepts like shame. I latched onto a new verse and learned about galbanum.

It reads in Exodus 30, 34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, 35 and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. 36 Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. 37 Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord. 38 Whoever makes incense like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from their people.”

Galbanum (Ferula gummosa) has an earthy aroma. It was used in ancient temple ritual incense anointings associated with springtime. Galbanum supports the immune, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and other body systems. It is also useful as an aid for troubled or mature skin. Galbanum has an approximate ORAC of 261,826 (TE/L).

Galbanum has an intense green fragrance with woody and balsamic elements. Often described as earthy or forest-like, this fragrance compound is valued for its ability to impart a rich, spicy green scent. Perfumers use galbanum both as a strong top note in "green" fragrances and as a base note in combination with musk and/or chypre elements such as oakmoss and pine.

Fragrances for women that feature the perfume ingredient galbanum include Chanel No. 19, Guerlain Vol De Nuit, Cartier Must, Balmain Vent Vert, Fresh Galbanum Patchouli and Azzaro Couture.

"Have a Happy Family by Friday" by Kevin Leman brought be back to my children and their strengths and weaknesses.  I'm excited that it's spurred on a family devotion that I'm preparing for this weekend. 

My favorite part was when Leman referenced some research he'd done for "Shepherd."  He said a group of psychologists recorded a shepherd's voice and dressed another person like him to imitate his persona among the sheep.  Fortunately, the sheep know their shepherd's voice so closely that a recorded version doesn't quite do the trick.  The next book I need to find is one Sara Grove's recommended.  "Long Obedience in the Same Direction" by Eugene Peterson-who's read it?