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a note from the editor I’m so excited for you to read this issue! It came together so smoothly and it was a joy to create. In light of spring blooming, I focused on bright colors and encouraging words. As bright yellows, blues, and greens are splashed on your screen, I hope your spirit is equally brightened. For the new column “What’s in Your Carry-On?”, I had the privilege of interviewing Sarah from Ampersand Photography and Ilene from Much Love Illy. Both are dedicated followers of Christ and fabulously creative. Sarah captures life beautifully through pictures and Ilene expresses herself through her whimsical sense of fashion. I hope you will enjoy peeking into their carry-ons and check out their blogs, allowing their creativity to inspire you to use the gifts God has given you. I have been anxiously waiting to publish the article “Culture Connection” by Shelby Abbott since June! I read his book Jacked this past summer and was so encouraged by his words. “Culture Connection” stuck out to me though and as soon as I read it, my first thought was, “I have to share this with my readers!” I’m so thankful Shelby let me publish it. I hope it impacts you the same way it did me. Finally, I hope your heart is challenged by Michaela’s column Heart of Worship. She has been writing it for three years now! It’s such a blessing to know I can always count on her to write something wonderful. This issue’s article is especially profound and I hope you’ll let her words swirl around your mind and stick.

-Courtney R. I love hearing from you! Send me a note at

table of contents On God

26 | Heart of Worship

On You

15/20 | Culture Connection

On TCKs 22/23 | True Joy

On Life

2 | Note from the Editor 4 | Quote 5 | Product Spotlight 6/13 | What Is In Your Carry-On? 24/25 | Strawberry Pie 27 | Spring Tip 28 | From the Blog




“Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.� -St. Catherine of Sienna

Product Spotlight summerharms. blogspot .com


What’s in Your Carry-On?


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1. Perfume: Never know when you need to freshen up a bit.// 2. Pens: At least three pens. Sometimes as many as ten. Always extra fine point. // 3. My Bible // 4. Face Cloth: no need for face wash when traveling with one of these! just use water! // 5. Lip Balm // 6. Camera // 7. A Good Book // 8. Moleskine Journal: "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train." — Oscar Wilde. I've journaled nearly every day for going on 13 years, and my journal lives in my purse— I rarely leave home without it. // 9. Longchamp Bag: Great  for traveling! Packs up small, but holds so much!

Favorite City So far— I loved most of the cities I visited in New Zealand. Queenstown, Christchurch, and Wellington were all great spots. In the US, I like Boston a lot, and Minneapolis. I tend to prefer smaller towns to big cities, though. I like the charm of quaint little shops and lots of local personality.

Dream Vacation Walking tour of Wales or Ireland, spending 6 weeks driving through backroads of New Zealand and staying in little bed & breakfasts along the way, Italy & Greece, or a South American tour.

Longest Trip This one is crazy. I visited China a few months ago, and our return flight was scheduled to land the same time that a massive hurricane was projected to hit the East Coast. My friends and I made it as far as Chicago, then rented a car to drive the rest of the way. 13 hour plane ride followed by 14 hours in a car, racing the storm home. Crazy awesome.

Train, Plane, or Car I like them all. Trains because I don't have to drive, but still get to see the country. Planes because I love the feeling of flying and get to see the world from a different perspective (as the crow flies). Cars because you can travel backroads and make stops at little places along the way.

Favorite Trip A joy shared is a joy doubled in my mind (one reason that I'm not a big fan of traveling alone). I think my favorite overseas trip was probably to Thailand in 2009, because of the friend I went with.

Favorite Part of Traveling I absolutely love being in airports. They're bright, and friendly, and full of excited energy, and almost always have good light. They make me so happy. They're the best place for people-watching, afterall. I also love time with people, and traveling lends itself to great conversation (and inside jokes).

Sarah blogs for:

Ampersand Photography


My name is Sarah, I’m a wedding and portrait photographer, I live on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, and I’m not a huge fan of talking about myself. But if you really want to know… I’m an outgoing, people-loving introvert. (yes, this is possible) I love my camera, but not as much as I love people, and I love photography, but not as much as I love coffee dates with good friends. I have my Dad’s eyes and my Mom’s smile. I make myself french-pressed coffee almost every morning. I think my family is the best on the face of the earth. We’re a happy, crazy, funloving, loud-laughing, movie-quoting group of opinionated people, and we love every minute & bit of togetherness. (and just in case you were wondering what I mean by “group,” there are nine of us siblings. no, I’m not joking.) I love weddings because I love people, and I love people because I love Jesus Christ. I love Jesus Christ because He first loved me, and that’s all the reason I need.

Visit Sarah’s blog here.


What’s in Your Carry-On?

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1. Hand Creme // 2. Lip Gloss // 3. Kindle // 4. Headphones // 5. Apple iTouch // 6. Instax Mini Camera // 7. JoTotes Allison Travel Bag

Favorite City Chicago, Illinois - it was my home for 8 years and I love going back to visit whenever I get the chance. It is also where I met my husband and we share many fond memories there.

Dream Vacation A tour of Europe - especially France, England, and Italy!

Longest Trip I grew up in a military family so we were always traveling the globe, moving back and forth between continents or between States. The longer flights I’ve been on were the several between Asia (we lived in Japan and the Philippines!) and the US - over 20 plus hours of traveling!

Plane, Train, Car Plane always! It's faster and I can sleep or read on a plane!

Favorite Trip When my husband and I eloped to Maui, Hawaii just this past December. We got married on a gorgeous beach at sunset and then honeymooned there for the rest of the week. Maui is one of the most beautiful places on earth and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Favorite Part of Traveling Taking lots of pictures and seeing people and places with your own eyes instead of just through books, the internet, or movies!

Ilene blogs for:

Much Love Illy

my name is ilene. the nickname illy comes from my fiance, who started calling me lil' illy, which was shorted to illy. but you won't ever hear him call me that regularly. it's more of a joke that stuck; however, when it comes to notes or emails, you'll find that nickname somewhere in there. i love life and try my best to savor every single sec of it. i'm learning and growing. not perfect but i'm living. the most important thing in my life is my relationship with Christ, followed by my love for Ryan and my family. a few of my favorite things include: art. writing. coffee. the color green. popcorn. music. movies. shopping. blogging. nail polish. laughter. Visit Ilene’s blog here.

you can’t remember how to say something because another language comes to mind #mkproblems

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Culture Connection by  Shelby  Abbott

“For though  I  am  free  from  all,  I  have  made  myself  a   servant  to  all,  that  I  might  win  more  of  them.  To  the   Jews  I  became  as  a  Jew,  in  order  to  win  Jews.  To   those  under  the  law  I  became  as  one  under  the  law   (though  not  being  myself  under  the  law)  that  I  might   win  those  under  the  law.  To  those  outside  the  law  I   became  as  one  outside  the  law  (not  being  outside  the   law  of  God  but  under  the  law  of  Christ)  that  I  might   win  those  outside  the  law.  To  the  weak  I  became  weak,   that  I  might  win  the  weak.  I  have  become  all  things   to  all  people,  that  by  all  means  I  might  save  some.  I   do  it  all  for  the  sake  of  the  gospel,  that  I  may   share  with  them  in  its  blessings.”   -­‐1  Corinthians  9:19-­‐23

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 creates a soapbox issue for me that I take very seriously. Mostly because a lot of the Christians I know have a strong urge to swing the pendulum to one side or the other on the issue. And to be honest, both extremes are rather irritating. These extremes are known as legalism and license. Let me explain what I mean. Many believers have a tendency to ignore a Bible passage like this because firstly, they don’t understand it, and secondly, it doesn’t fit in to their comfortable religious lifestyle. Someone once said, “Religion is the default of man.” True. We tend to find comfort in order and “doing things right” because it makes us feel better about ourselves and lets us draw comparisons between us and the people that just get it wrong. In short, everybody - in one form or another - is religious. Then, some people take it to the next level and throw God into the mix. Acting religious for religion’s sake is really easy to do when

...many believers have a tendency to ignore a Bible passage like this

you think that God will love you more and people will applaud you more if you behave correctly (i.e. don’t do what “the world” does). Scripture like this simply doesn’t fit well into a legalistic, religious lifestyle where piety reigns supreme and failure to fall in line results in shame, judgement, condemnation, and resentment. In case you couldn’t tell, I’ve had a lot of experience, both from others and that which was self-inflicted. The other side of the coin, however, is just that: a completely opposite approach to the aforementioned lifestyle. Many Christians will read a passage like this and embrace the idea of being all things to all people as a passport to ungodly living. That’s legitimate, right? Uh, no. The text in 1 Corinthians 9 is in no way a “Step Up to the Sin Plate and Take a Swing” invitation to the follower o f C h r i s t . Th e k e y h e r e t o understanding what it all means is verse 23. “I do all for the sake of the Gospel...” You don’t get drunk for the sake of the Gospel. You don’t lead a sexually promiscuous lifestyle for the sake of the Gospel. If you

think you’re honoring God by doing those kinds of things in the name of “connecting with culture,” you might be crazy. Probably the best way to interpret the apostle Paul’s intent in writing this passage is by using (you guessed it) more scripture. Check this out: “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” Hebrews 12:14. There are two commands here that I want to highlight.

balance your life by being connected to the culture but not immersed in it

The first command: “live in peace with all men.” Basically, connect with culture. Understand what people love, what makes them happy, sad, frustrated, or joyful. What do nonChristians “pound the table” about? Find out what it is so that you can be educated enough to engage in conversation with them and talk about the things that they want to talk about. The second command: “be holy.” Walk uprightly and dwell in the light. Be set apart from the norm and live your life differently than what the world says it should look like. Be holy. Now put those two together and this is what you get - balance your life by being connected to the culture but not immersed in it. In other words, be in the world but not of the world. That’s what it means to make yourself a slave to everyone in order to win as many as possible for the sake of the Gospel. It’s not about mimicking the ungodly lifestyle of those who don’t know Christ. It’s about drawing a healthy balance between being at peace with all people and living a holy life. And don’t forget the end of this text either: “...that I may share in its blessings.” What a privilege it is to be messengers of the Gospel and

share in its blessings. I can’t believe that God chooses to involve me in what He’s doing in the lives of people who don’t yet know Him.

Taken with permission from Jacked by Shelby Abbott. For more information on his books, beliefs, and public speaking, visit

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true joy by Liz J. BRRRRING! Grandma picked up the phone. “Oh, make it be them,” I thought. But then again, I didn’t want it to be them. In November 2001, as I sat in my living room, my parents were in Hungary considering an overseas assignment. I was mad about us even considering moving there, but sure my parents were just wildly dreaming. I grabbed the phone from my grandma and shouted, “MOM, WE’RE NOT MOVING ANYWHERE, RIGHT?!” Mom tried to calm me down and said, “Honey, we are moving to Hungary in July to be missionaries.” I began wailing and screaming and was so mad that I almost threw down the phone. While Mom told me what a wonderful life we would have there, I just made excuses about how life was better in Georgia. Finally, I went to my room to wail some more and call my friends and tell them the terrible news. Sadly, I went through my 5th-grade year and cried every time someone mentioned Hungary or even Europe. Even so, I was praying that the Lord would give me peace. We had already moved many times, and I always felt sad to leave my friends, but each time God provided new friends and a better situation for my family. I had learned that God knows what is best for us, but moving out of America to a country like Hungary was different. I

cried away the summer, and by the time we boarded the plane, I had no tears left. After settling into our new home and doing some sightseeing, I was convinced we had made a mistake. I had not made any friends and hated living in Hungary. God would never call us to a place where we were unhappy, right? Wrong! I knew that, but didn’t want to admit it. Finally, school started, and I attended the International Christian School of Budapest, a school not just for missionary kids, but also for people from the embassies of many countries. I immediately loved it and made lots of friends from all over the world. As the year went by, I realized that I preferred living in Hungary to living in America and started to feel that Hungary was my home. God has blessed me by sending my family here and has given me true joy, which only comes from Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Following Him rather than doing what you think is best might not be fun, and you might not even grow to like your situation, but He will give true joy.

To read more about transition and moving, check out Not of this World’s list of articles on TCK topics. Click here.

2 pints strawberries, mash one, rinse and dry the other 1/2 cup water 1 baked pie crust

1 cup sugar 3 T. cornstarch 1/2 t. salt

Heat sugar, cornstarch, water, and salt. Add 1 pint of smashed strawberries and bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 1 T. butter. Cool in refrigerator several hours. Slice the other pint of strawberries in bottom of prepared pie crust. Top with cooled strawberry mixture. Whip 1/2 pint of whipping cream with 5 T. sugar and 1 t. vanilla. Best if eaten the same day so crust does not get soggy.

Fragmented heart of worship by michaela f. Writing from a scattered and broken place is not unusual for me, and is sometimes very productive, therefore I am not apprehensive to write from there now. God is uprooting unhealthy and sinful attitudes in my life and replacing them with vertical and Lordfocused perspectives, so I thought I would share pieces of the Potter's current work of choice. The lesson that is reshaping my soul most sweetly is that I can and must expect big things from my mighty God. When I show up to church, youth group, Bible class, chapel, devotionals, etc., I need to ask for a fervent anticipation of what the Holy Spirit will do. God wants to work in my life, but He is waiting for me to have soul soil that is hungry for His awesome and transforming power. A few weeks ago, I watched a classmate whose heart was stone-cold and hateful towards anything of God be brought to humble repentance and acceptance of Christ as Savior and Lord. A group of friends and I had cried out to Heaven that very day, begging the Lord to make Himself known in an irresistible way to this guy, and God showed up in the most incredible way. We were expectant for the rain, and it poured. My prayer life has become drastically more bold because I have seen firsthand what The Lord can do and I know that when I come to the throne with trusting faith, the impossible can and will be accomplished. In my Valentine's Day blog post, I mentioned my plans to read through the Bible looking for vivid and specific illustrations of God pouring out perfect love on His people. I have gone through about 8 chapters and it has been amazing. When I peel back a layer or two, behind the words that I know so well lies the single best love story, full of pursuit, forgiveness, passion and affection. Through humanity's utter slaps in the face, the Prince remains a faithful and just seeker of His people. It must constantly break the Lord's heart, knowing that He is the only source of all the puzzle pieces we need to fill our empty soul, yet we forget Him, forsake Him, and directly go against the directions He gave us because He doesn't want us to hurt ourselves. I am so broken by the knowledge that during my brief time on Earth, I will never give The Lord the full honor, glory, respect, and obedience He deserves because my sin-ridden and ruined existence is not capable. I long for Heaven when I will finally be able to ascribe perfect praises to the only One worth living with, by, and for. A fragmented heart is precious in my sight. It means I am acutely aware of my need for a stronghold, shelter, and source of strength to complete each day in a way that honors my Creator. It means I am broken over my sin and want there to be none of me and my humanity left in my heart and mind, only Jesus and His peace, joy, courage, strength, and self-control.

"All I ask, all I seek is You, is You. All I want, all I need is You. Whom have I in Heaven but You? Whom have I on Earth besides You?" -Meredith Andrews

Keep fresh flowers in mason jars to put a spring in your step!

...the best of the blog in February ...the best of the

...the best of the blog

...the best of the blog

...the best of the blog

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[see you in may]

Romans 12:2 Not of this World for MK girls by MK girls

Profile for Courtney R

Not of this World - March/April 2013  

The spring issue of Not of this World, a magazine for MK girls by MK girls

Not of this World - March/April 2013  

The spring issue of Not of this World, a magazine for MK girls by MK girls