Wednesday, February 13, 2013

300 Posts

I was looking at the stats on my blog and realized I had posted 299 posts on .Redeemed.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share how far .Redeemed. has come in the 300th post.  300... I really can't believe it!

.Redeemed. started in July of 2010, when I set an audacious goal for myself to read the Bible in eight months and lead an eGroup about it.  I wanted to record everything that I was learning from my time in the Word.  So, I started .Redeemed.  I don't think .Redeemed. was even called .Redeemed. at the time.
... My first blog post EVER - Prof. Horner's Eight Month Bible Reading Plan
... I attended the NewSpring Leadership Conference and blogged about each speaker.  So glad that I did, because I ended up losing my notebook after blogging everything.  Happy that it is recorded on .Redeemed.
... My God Turns My Darkness Into Light was the most viewed post of 2010, with 20 views!

In 2011, I told myself I was going to blog more.  I shared some great moments with the world like...
... That time when 134 people were truly spontaneously baptized in an afternoon. 
... That time when God told me to write over forty individual cards for an Easter package being sent to my trainers boyfriend in the air force over seas.  Pretty amazing because the amount of cards I wrote was the exact number of people in his flight. 

I also shared some moments that made 2011 one of the most difficult years of my life like...
... That time when my grandpa passed away.
... That time when everything in my life sucked and I refused to give up.
... That time when I spent Christmas alone in my apartment crying all day.

In 2012, I told myself I was going to make .Redeemed. famous.  I revamped everything.  I got an email address for .Redeemed., removed my last name from twitter and started sharing my blog with the world. 
... I started Reflection Friday where I blog about what happened with my eStudents at eGroup.
... I started Sermon Sunday where I blogged my notes from church.
... I started doing blog link ups like It's Okay and Thankful Tuesday.
... I wrote about getting your self esteem back.
... This post on God still having a plan got over 150 views.

Here we are.. in 2013... 300 posts, nearly 10,000 page views [9,699 at the time of writing this], readers visiting from the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom and all over the world, and over 100 visits from google searches! 

Thank you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for making .Redeemed. what it is.  Thank you for sharing .Redeemed. with friends.  Thank you for giving my passion for writing and sharing the good news of Jesus a place on the blogsphere.  Thank you.  I wouldn't continue to write on .Redeemed. if it wasn't for you, the reader...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

45 Questions You Know You Wanted to Ask Me

I found these questions over at Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama.  I enjoy reading her blog about her life and her family.  Her posts are always funny.  I especially love her weekly, He Said, She Said posts.  Anyway... she posted this last week, maybe a few weeks ago, I don't honestly know.  Time is relative in my life these days. 
She posted "45 Questions You Wanted to Ask Me" because she has had writers block.  I don't necessarily have writers block.  I just have a lot on my mind that I'm not ready to share with the blogesphere.  So, in an effort to keep you coming to .Redeemed., here are 45 Questions You Wanted to Ask Me!  Enjoy!
45 Questions You Know You Wanted to Ask Me

1. Were you named after anyone?
Keirstin was my moms favorite name for her baby dolls growing up.  It's Scandinavian.  My first middle name is for after my great-great grandmother.  My second middle name is after my moms best friend.  Yeah,  you read that right, two middle names.

2. When was the last time you cried?
MLK, Jr. Day.  I had a major revelation that day, that was stressing me out to the core.  Which brought on major water works.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
Eh. It's okay.  I don't love it.  I don't hate it.  It'll do.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?
Chicken, if I must.  I'm not a huge fan of meat in general.

5. Do you have kids?
Goodness no!  This girl is not ready for children!

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
I think I'm pretty awesome.  Definitely, I would be friends with me. 

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Too much.

8. Do you still have your tonsils?
Yep. I still have all my original parts.

9. Would you bungee jump?
I don't think so.  It'd take some serious consideration.  Maybe...

10. What is your favorite cereal?
Captain Crunch! Yes, yes, yes!

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Goodness no. 

12. Do you think you are strong?
Not one bit.

13. What is your favorite ice cream?
Birthday cake... mmmmmmm... delish.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people?

15. Red or pink?
Pink, without a doubt.

16. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
Lack of self-confidence.

17. Who do you miss the most?
Philip.  My grandpa. Man, we had some good times.  I can't believe that he's not here.

18. What is the technique that you need to work on the most?
Cooking.  Bleck, convinced that I need to figure that, but the microwave is so much more convenient.

19. What color shoes are you wearing?
I'm not wearing shoes.  Typically you can catch me in a pair of TOMS or cute flats.

20. What was the last thing you ate?
I just enjoyed a bowl of Cheerios's.

21. What are you listening to right now?
Summer Hits of the 2000's on Pandora.  Currently playing, "Without Me" by Eminem.  Throwback!

22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Hot Pink.

23. Favorite smells?
I love Bath and Body Works 'Butterfly Flower' or anything cinnamon.

24. How important are your political views to you?

25. Mountain hideaway or beach house?
Beach house!  I love the Mountains, but would get little use out of a mountain hideaway.  A beach house though?  I could get a lot of use out of that.  My favorite is the beach on my birthday, in December.  No crowds, cool weather.  So good!

26. Favorite sport to watch?

27. Hair color?
That is a good question.  If you know, let me know.  I've forgotten.  Been seven years since I've seen it.

28. Eye color?

29. Do you wear contacts?
Probably should, but no.

30. Favorite food?
Fettachini Alfredo or Quesdadilla.  Depends on where we are.

31. Scary movies or happy endings?
I love both.  Sadly, few people share my love for scary movies, so I typically end up seeing something with a happy ending.

32. Last movie you watched?
Pitch Perfect.  Very good!

33. What color shirt are you wearing?
Maroon.  (PS.  Wearing black pants.  Total Carolina Girl.... South Carolina, that is)

34. Summer or winter?
Summer, summer, summer!  Hands down.  Waves, sun, tans, long nights and bleach blond hair.  So good! 

35. Favorite Dessert?
Cheesecake.  The Cheesecake Factory right around the corner from my house is dangerous.

36. Strength training or cardio?
Cardio.  I love a good run.

37. Computer or television?
Computer.  Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and blogs... endless entertainment.  Rarely is there anything worth watching on TV, hence why I do not have cable. 

38. What book are you reading right now?
A variety.  Mainly my textbooks; Apologetics, Inductive Bible Study and Intro to Youth Ministry.  Trying to finish the final book in the "Fifty Shades" series in my 'free time'. 

39. What is on your mouse pad?
I don't have one... Do people still have mice/mouse pads?

40. Favorite sound?
Waves crashing.

41. Favorite genre of music?
I truly do not have one.  I love contemporary Christian, country, rap, hip hop, and pop.  Pandora has been known to throw a few instrumentals into my play lists that I will even tolerate.  All depending on my mood.

42. What is the farthest you've been from home?
West Virgina.

43. Do you have a special talent?
Writing?  If that doesn't count, probably not.

44. What color is your house?

45. What color is your car?

So, did you learn anything new about me? Do you have any other things you'd like to know about me?  I'd be happy to share more.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Week in Review

Week in Review... a new series of posts about how I'm working toward achieving my 23 goals while 23, what I'm reading in my Bible and anything else monumental I'd like to share with you.

This week I...
... Got back to the gym.  I took 12 days off because school was killing me.  It was brutal, but it was worth it.  (Working on goal 10)

... Skipped school work to celebrate my roommate's last day of work and the greater things ahead in her life. (Working on goal 5)

... Am dealing with the weight of following God's call.  Realizing what it means and the cost that it will have on relationships in my life.  Realizing that losing everything is worth following God's call.  (Working on goal 15)

... Am dealing with a difficult situation in the life of someone close to me.  When a parent came to me for help, I was at a lose for words.  Following God's lead on how to deal with it.  (Working on goal 18)

... Took a mess of pictures from the eGroup I guest spoke at, as well as a trip to the Charlotte Nature Meusum with some awesome kiddos.  (Working on goal 12)

This week in my QT with God...

... I finished Start Your Day Right. It's a fourteen day devotional by Joyce Meyer. So, it took me a few more than fourteen days.  At least I finished, right? 

... I started Here I am, Lord.  It's a thirty-one day devotional about being in the moment and thanking God for what you have. 

... Realized how great the need for me to trust God.  If I delight in Him, my footsteps will be firm and I will never fall.  Really helped in relation to the calling God has placed on my life.  I've been scared, but I have no reason to fear if I delight in Him. - Psalm 27

... Realized that even though I don't have any biological children, God has placed an amazing group of eStudents that I have to thank Him for.  The influence that I have the opportunity to impress on them is a huge responsibility.  - Psalm 127

Monday, February 4, 2013

God Told Me To [ Pt. 2 ]

God told me to... I say this all the time. Sometimes, I get looked at as if I have three heads. Sometimes, people want to hear more. But, there is always a unique reaction to the statement, "God told me to..." I wanted to take a minute to explain some defining "God told me to" moments in my life.

Please read this all with an open mind. God wants to speak to you through this post. I'm merely a vessel of God, and He is using this post to speak to you. Don't read this story and not see past me. That will just lead to a missed opportunity for God to speak to you.

When God told me to lead an eGroup in Rock Hill...

I had unsuccessfully lead an eGroup for a semester.  I took a semester off of leading, to sit under the leadership of an amazing leader.  That semester was coming to an end, and I was asking God to guide me in the next direction.  I am a natural born leader, and was interested in leading an eGroup.  I knew God needed to be the center of my eGroup.

As I was in the midst of my hour long morning commute one morning, I began asking God to guide me as to if I should lead an eGroup or not.  God told me Rock Hill.  Rock Hill made no sense.  I didn't live or work near Rock Hill.  There was not Elevation campus in Rock Hill.  No one would come to my eGroup.  Right?!

That day, while about 15 minutes from Rock Hill, I saw five cars with Elevation Church bumper stickers.  Isn't God funny sometimes?  Immediately, I knew that God was serious about me going to Rock Hill. 
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Let's fast forward a few months.  I'd been praying about this alleged eGroup.  God told me the kind of eGroup to lead.  One day, a video from Pastor Steven went out to the leaders of the church.  A video announcing the two campuses that Elevation would soon be opening.  Rock Hill and University.  What I'd been praying for months about, was actually happening.

I immediately jumped in at the Rock Hill campus and still lead the eGroup that God told me to lead  months before I knew anything about the campus that would one day be there.

And, that concludes the story of when God told me to lead an eGroup in Rock Hill. 

PS. You can read an older post about when God told me to start an eGroup in Rock Hill by clicking on this link -- When You Listen to God.