Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Love Mail

I had an orthodontist appointment this morning (I broke another retainer). After I'd told the secretary at the front desk that I was there for my 9 a.m. appointment, she looked at my file and said, "You know that your appointment is really at 10 right?" Obviously I didn't otherwise I wouldn't have been there an hour early. So, I headed to a nearby Target to kill time. Right when I walked in, I saw their overly punctual Valentine's section filled with $1 trinkets. I looked and saw some cute things, but amid all the normal stuff this little guy caught my eye.

Now, when Nick and I first got together, we were very diligent in writing each other love notes, words of encouragement, etc. One of our favorite times in our relationship was when Nick was on a month and a half school trip to Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon. Not because we were separated, but because we wrote long and beautiful emails to each other on Facebook. We anticipated each others emails so much. Even though Nick was seeing pyramids and other grand sites, receiving my messages or talking for a few minutes on Skype were the highlights of his trip. Mine too :)

After we got married, the message writing died out a little so I'd like to bring it back, and I think would Nick would appreciate it too. This is the deal I made with Nick: whenever we write each other a letter, we'll put it in this mailbox and put the red flag up. Since we'll see this mailbox sitting on my desk everyday, we'll be reminded to do it. And once someone starts the writing, the other will start too. Who will be first?

One thing that's been hard in recent years is growing deeper friendships. Although I've been having a blast traveling, being a missionary, and getting married, it's been difficult to develop deep relationships because of constant moving. I was telling this to Nick and his reply was that I had him. Of course Nick had suggestions of how I could develop friendships here, but he also said that he could be 10+ friends for me! He could be my funny friend, sweet friend, adventurous friend, moody friend, exercise friend, cooking friend, etc. Now, he says he can be my pen pal friend too.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Looking Up

One of our New Year’s resolutions together is to read the whole Bible in 90 days. We got this nice round number from our other resolution, P90X. Haha. To become more physically and spiritually fit in 90 days is a great goal I think. You can ask us about our results at the end of March.

Yesterday I started the book of Numbers. With its unfavorable reputation for being an extremely boring book, I honestly was not expecting much from my reading. However, as He repeatedly does in my life, God surprised me with an important lesson that I needed to hear. It came from Numbers 9:15-23. In this part of the story, the tabernacle had been set up. From the first day it was set up, God covered it with a cloud during the day and at night it looked like fire. Whenever the cloud lifted off the tabernacle, the Israelites knew that it was time to move and continue their journey to the Promised Land. Whenever the cloud settled over the tabernacle, the Israelites set up camp and stayed where they were. It says in Numbers 9:22, “Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted they would set out.”

During this period in our life, Nick and I are waiting. I’m waiting to find out where I get into graduate school and Nick is waiting to see where he lands a job. Unfortunately, I’m not a very patient person. I like to know what’s happening and to constantly be working towards a goal. So this whole waiting thing is not easy for me. I’ve been praying for a while now that God will show us where our “Promised Land” is going to be. But I’ve been so focused on the Promised Land, that I’m not watching the cloud. You see, there are lessons of growth and maturity that God wants to teach me right now while I’m waiting. But I’m not allowing Him to teach me because I’m not looking to Him. All I can focus on is an answer to my specific question and nothing else. To think that the Israelites would sometimes stay in the same place for a whole year is unfathomable to me! What if God wanted to put off my grad. school for a whole year? Would I complain and whine and pine just like the Israelites did? You bet.

How incredibly wonderful it is to have a God whose patience is enduring. He wants to teach me things and grow closer to me everyday! Is there any reason that I shouldn’t want that for myself? So here’s to looking up instead of looking around.


Monday, January 10, 2011

My Rendition of Mark 1:21-28

    This is such an amazing story.  Imagine people so accustomed to the scribes telling them how to sift all of the flies out of their soup or keep every detail of a law, telling people that if they are really good (perfect) God will bless them, but if they screw up they will be punished by God and persecuted by the lawyerly scribes.  Bummer!  All of the sudden Jesus bursts through the doors and starts proclaiming His message from Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent, and believe in the gospel.”  In other words, the corrupt ruler of this world is about to be removed and eternally replaced by the king and creator of the universe. He loves and wants to save you so you can enjoy the unfathomably awesome life you were meant to live before Satan deceived Adam and Eve and stole it away.  Stop serving that liar and become a believer in the God of salvation.  Believing in Him is the work that will save you and only He can help you to do that.  Don’t wait because you don’t know when it’s going to happen. 

    The people who were used to coming and doing their duties were amazed at the difference between Jesus and their usual teachers.  They were inspired instead of burdened.  Jesus had just told Peter, Andrew, James and John that He would make them fishers of men and they were more stoked than ever to be on board.

    Immediately (in the classic style of Mark’s writing) a demon possessed man shouts out, “Leave us alone (remember, it’s one evil spirit possessing him so he must have meant the whole audience when he said “us”).  What do we have to do with You Nazarene?  We don’t care about what You care about or want what You want.  Or did you come to destroy us?”  The misleading questions he blurted out were confusing fear filling lies.  Then he topped it all off by saying, I know who You really are...The Holy One of God, the Messiah!  He was trying to fill the people with fear of punishment and judgement, but Jesus stopped him in his tracks.  He didn’t back down but ordered the spirit to shut up and get out of the man.  This showed what Jesus was really about...freedom from sin and freedom to love the God men and women were created for.

    The spirit struggled but to no avail.  After some ugly convulsions and a satanic scream it was gone.  Talk about authority.  Though the spirit fought to stay it was no match for the Word of God.  The one the people had been waiting for had finally arrived.  Speechless for a moment I can see them slowly breaking into applause that soon rivals that of a World Cup Soccer match. People exclaim, “Whoa!  What was that?  Who is this guy?  What power!  Even Satan and his evil angels have to bow to Him!” Jesus blew their minds like a hurricane and the news of His arrival spread like lightning.  May that storm system role into our lives, shake us to the ground, and refresh us with the powerfully healing rain of His Spirit.


The Grand Beginning of Snellections

Welcome to Snellections! (shared selections from the Snell's lives)

Who- Nick and Deanne Snell
What- Anything we find interesting, inspirational or shareworthy
When- Ideally everyday, realistically...we'll see
Where- Wherever the wind may take us...as long as there's internet
Why- We truly believe that sharing is caring...caring for our friends and family and even ourselves b/c teaching/sharing is how we really learn and grow!
How- By reflecting on our day and the things that surprise, anger, inspire, convict, challenge, bring joy to us etc.

Enjoy and God bless,
Nick and Deanne