16 May 2008

Summer 2008 Kick Off

I have just been adding pictures to my other blog: jippjourneys.blogspot.com. . .I really enjoyed blogging every day while I was in China. I think I want to do more blogging over the summer. Unfortunately, internet access won't always be available (ghetto, I know), but I'll do my best.

Honestly, after coming back from China, I had a tough time with motivation. Maybe it was coming off such an amazing trip. . .or just being at the end of the year. Who knows?! But I am happy to report that we just came back from a week at Young Life's Sharp Top Cove Camp where we had InterVarsity's SouthEast region chapter camp. About 30 Emory students came. . .and truly, the Lord answered prayers there for me - for restoration, renewal of vision and motivation, sweet time with Him, and great time with students in training, discipleship, and fellowship.

Now we are preparing for our summer of travel - back to the midwest first - KC for my 10 year H.S. reunion. Yes, I also went to Blue Springs South along with David Cook. I am disappointed, though, that out of over 380 in our graduating class, only about 25 classmates are registered for the reunion (thankfully with spouses, guests, and children added I think we are up to 50 total). I am praying more people show up. . .then we're off to Iowa to spend time with Josh's family and for his family reunion - then, to the Twin Cities (a kind of third or fourth home for us) - then Madison, WI for training for InterVarsity - then Germany!!! for a month! The summer wraps up with a wedding of a dear friend, then InterVarsity divisional meetings back in Pigeon Forge, TN. We'll finally be back in ATL by early August!! Ready to welcome Emory students back!

Lately I have been really re-inspired by Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret - what an fantastic biography! I am re-reading it as I prepare to really dive in to more fund development for IV, seeking out more faithful and generous ministry partners.

Now, actually, I am really tired - and to honor my new commitment to make the most of the mornings (as I used to do, but has been lost for the past 2 years), I need to go to bed.
Later.

28 April 2008

Still Reveling from China and Getting Ready for Summer

This will be short, but I wanted to say that my time in China was absolutely incredible. God is working so powerfully in the city where I was, and it was so electric joining Him in this ministry!! I felt so fruitful, fulfilled, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. What a blessing!!

Josh is right in the middle of final papers. . .and not a little stressed. You can pray for him to be renewed in God's vision for being here in this program. This end of the year time is always full of pressure and insecurity for students.

I, too, am wrapping things up with Emory students. It has been an exciting year, and I am totally looking forward to all God has in store for next year.

InterVarsity chapter camp in northern Georgia is fast-approaching. We look forward to that, as well as celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary, which is officially on May 20, but we'll be visiting St. Simon's Island, GA just a few days before the official anniversary day.

The exciting is shaping up to be really fun and exciting. We are both looking forward to the change of pace.

21 March 2008

Two Months in a Nutshell

Yes, it is inevitably true. I have taken 2 whole months to post a new blog!
Is this a joke? NO! Well, it is not meant to be, but it is becoming that way sort of naturally, I suppose.

What have the Jipps been up to since January 19?? LOTS!

Highlights:

Jan 20-21 we had a 24-hour retreat with IV at Emory. It was great!! I particularly enjoyed a few hours of Karoke - what a bonding experience to rock out to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "I'm a Survivor"! Of course, I was also thrilled to give a seminar on Islam and Christianity, which has born great fruit, namely, a Qur'an/Bible discussion that meets in our apartment every Saturday and has a lovely group of Muslim and Christian students alike.

I joined an Atlanta women's ultimate frisbee league - it was very fun! but let's be honest, I was so busy and the weather was so fickle, I think I only played 3 Saturdays total, but great idea!

The "Brown Girls Annual Reunion" was February 8-10. . .Beth C, Bloom, JT, and I rallied together here in ATL for such kindred-spirit time together! LOVE those sisters! Then JT stayed the whole rest of the next week with us. What a treat!

Our cousin, Paul, also stayed one night with us. . .and our dear, dear friends, Eve und Andi from Germany stayed a few nights with us. That was a huge blessing to see them again! (you all might remember them both from our wedding)

Josh and I spent 1 night/2 days at Hilton Head Island, thanks to mama jo's amazing Starwood hotels employee discounts! We walked up and down the beaches and on the zillion miles of bike trails - I am pretty sure we walked almost 10 miles in 2 days. It was great. It was a very refreshing time for us.

Lastly, our Easter Celebration Service at Emory was 2 nights ago. . .Praise God for answered prayers. We were so happy to share with many of our non-Christian friends the why and how of Easter and Holy Week.

Now, final preps for my East Asia trip. . .I leave Thursday.
I am actually hoping to post blogs daily?? we'll see?? while I am gone.

19 January 2008

Here Comes the Snow

Truly.
We live in "The South," AND it has snowed 2 days in the past 4 days. . .I am honestly in such shock!

You wouldn't believe that though we from "The North" would consider this a light dusting, here. . .churches are canceling, etc. etc.

As I explained to a friend today, who assumed me brave enough to drive out in this today b/c I am "from the North," you see. . .the farther North you go, the more prepared and effective snow removal teams are and the more competent the drivers too - the converse is true. That is, the farther South you go, the less prepared and effective the snow removal teams are, and I think the drivers are actually disproportionately competent - I am honestly scared of southern drivers (no offense intended), so we are just staying in today.

I am actually working on a seminar I am giving Monday, and Josh is working on course stuff for this semester. He is much more prone to cabin fever than I, so he just stepped out to get a McFlurry at McD's with a gift card he received at Christmas! Since I have been FREEZING all day, I will not be sharing this treat with him.

This post was mostly nonsense, but just thought I would let you into my thoughts as I gaze outside at the wintry mix, as it were.

29 December 2007

Ms Bhutto and the Gospel

As often, I have had good intentions for days to post a reflection on Christmas. As I tossed and turned last night in my bed, struggling to rest deeply, recalling over and over the tragic and horrific assassination of former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto. . .I was compelled to post a reflection today.

I kept thinking: that is SO anti-God!

These terrorists and suicide bombers are committing crimes against humanity, and in the name of Allah/God, whom Muslims claim in their prayers to be "the most merciful" - isn't that ironic? and I am only getting started. The radical Islamists kill 'enemies of God/Islam' - so called "infidels". . .I find it so striking that God the Father, who is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, at just the right time, while we were still sinners, enemies of Himself, chose NOT to violently kill His enemies, pushing people to fear and to cower at His caprice - RATHER, God the Father, who is most merciful, chose to reveal Himself to us in His Son, Jesus Christ - who did not destroy His enemies, but quite oppositely, gave Himself up as a sacrifice so that we could no longer be enemies of God, but in community with Him AND He gave His Holy Spirit to us so that we could forever be dwelling with Him and we could become more like His Son, Jesus.

This IS indeed Great News!

Our prayer is that the Spirit of God would reveal this amazing Gospel to all those who don't know Him, Jesus Christ!

16 December 2007

Christmas parties, crafts, and sermons!

I am always a little ashamed when I finally look at our blog and realize so much ridiculous time has gone by since we've updated. I have over promised and under delivered too many times. . .so I won't say it will change in 2008, but I'll do my best.

Find us on facebook for a day-to-day update. . .

anyway, SO much has happened since Thanksgiving - a few of our favorite things include the following:

1. I had some Emory students over for a Christmas party - these are wonderful girls - about 8 of them - 2 Christians; 6 Muslims - we get together often. I made a Christmas dinner for them, filled some stockings for them, and we talked a little about the Advent wreath. I love these girls.

2. Today was a FULL day - Josh preached from Luke 2 at the CUP worship service for homeless men. . .I spent 2 hours making Christmas crafts with homeless children at a Day Shelter here in Atlanta (with our amazing small group). . .and we just got home from me preaching at our 3rd service -oh, from Matthew 2.

3. Celebrating Advent together - I really treasure the sweet times when Josh and I celebrate Advent together about 3-4 times per week - we gather around our little Advent wreath, light the candle(s), read some Scripture, and sing a few songs.

We look forward to heading back to the midwest on Wednesday. . .

Merry Christmas!

02 November 2007

Trick or Treat Carnival and Party

Since October 3, Josh and I have been hosting a young adult missional small group in our home on Wednesday evenings. . .WE LOVE IT!!

We have around 17 people (including the Jipps) in our tiny apartment living room each Wednesday. We enjoy fellowship and community; we study the Gospel of Mark together; and we break up into groups of about 5 or so to pray for one another and what God is doing in the world.

Our group is MISSIONAL in that we serve together in urban ministry. For the first 6 weeks we are volunteering together at the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children from 1-3pm on Sunday afternoons. We usually spend those 2 hours playing with the kiddos and just loving on them.

This past Sunday, we hosted a Trick or Treat Carnival and Party. It was amazing! I was blown away by the creativity, generosity, flexibility, and love of our small group members. We had 9 different carnival stations (people from the small group planned a carnival game, provided the materials/props, and brought candy and prizes to give away) - after the kids visited each station in groups of 5-6 for about an hour, we had a party in the cafeteria. . .some Emory Medical School students diverted us with their dance of Michael Jackson's Thriller, then we had a huge spread of food and drinks for everyone to enjoy!!!

What a joy to serve together - and I know the kids and mothers were so blessed!!
This was definitely a highlight of the semester!