Thursday, December 27, 2007

Go Ahead - Google Yourself.

Something really funny happened to me today.

This afternoon I began working on an application for the Colondar - a calendar modeled by young colon cancer survivors created to raise money for colorectal cancer awareness. All year I've had my heart set on applying, and so today, with only four days left in the year, I decided to apply.

One of the questions asked if I had ever shared my story with anyone, especially the public. I wrote a nice paragraph about how I have done several media interviews. Then it asked if my story was anywhere on the Internet.

I didn't think my story was - it used to be after I did an interview my Freshman year of college, but I was sure it wouldn't be popping up anymore, it was so long ago. But much to my surprise, after a nice Google search of myself - or the old me, Danielle Ripley - I found that I am indeed on WebMD! Crazy! Check it out: http://www.webmd.com/video/kids-with-colon-cancer

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The New Adventure

So I've been in a whirlwind the past few months. Some of you have known bits and pieces along the way, and some of you I haven't had the chance to share with you about what's going on in our lives!!!

Mike and I joined a church plant team at our home church, LSCC, almost two years ago. We had checked out a church plant in LA and were prepared to move out there to help with that. But upon our return home, we realized that we were being called to stay around home and be a part of this church plant.

The core team has been meeting for a couple of years, without a lot of activity going on. We've been patient and waiting for God's perfect timing in all of this.

This summer, some movement began when Nick Kendall (my youth minister for years, the pastor at our wedding, a close friend mine) began praying and seeking out God's will if he was being called to launch out and be the lead pastor of the church. After several weeks of praying, he and wife Leslie said they were being called and would lead the plant.

In the meantime, throughout the year, the tug on my heart to be doing full-time ministry continued to grow. While I LOVED my job, the people at work, and so much about it, I knew God was asking me to leave it in order to pursue what he *kept* me here to do. As the church plant team began to meet more and more this summer, I felt very confident that this was the right opportunity, and the right timing to dive in.

I began to talk to Nick about what this looked like for us. It's been a perfect fit for me to dive in now, and at this timing, because now is the time to start thinking about what we want the church to be, how we want to project who we are, and how to go about that. The marketing experience I've received after working at the advertising agency will really help with this. I'll also get to use a lot of my PR knowledge from college as I help produce our newsletters, weekly bulletins and other things like that.

So that's what's up with us. My last day at the agency was this past Friday,and I'll begin working the first of January. Mike and I are in place where we've begun to raise my support in order to do this. My dad has been an incredible blessing and has hired me to work some hours at his State Farm agency and help him with marketing as I raise the full-time funds I need to work at the church. It's a scary time, but also very exciting. And I am sure that God will provide.

Thanks to you all for your support and encouragement already. I would have loved to have lunch or coffee with you all and tell you about all of this in person but that just wasn't possible. But now, give me a call or an email and we'll get together and have coffee or something like that - and we'll keep talking about what God's going in our lives, and yours!!

Bless you all, and Merry Christmas!
danielle

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Al-bu-quer-que

Oh going to the desert is so much fun, especially when your home is getting hit with cold weather and snow.


Our New Mexico getaway was very fun.

We did some hiking (okay, so it was about an hour or so our last day, but it still counts and it was way fun!);



eating New Mexican food - green chili please (they say green is milder, but it's still HOT!);


shopping along the street;



touring the town and the stadiums;


browsing the gallaries and churches in Santa Fe;


checking off the state capital from our "lets see all of the US State Capitals" initiative;



and rooting - for the Scorps, the hockey team;



There were a few of the photo highlights, Mike has the rest of them on his facebook.

In other news, I have less than TWO WEEKS left at the advertising agency. Man how time has flown! I've been working on writing a letter to send out to everyone as a Merry Christmas/Here's what's happening with us greeting. If I get all of this done in a couple of weeks, it really will be a Christmas miracle!!