Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Watching World Cup like crazy too!!! :D Love it! I'm really for Ghana at this point!

2Pac isn't the only one going through Changes....

Baahaha ok, lame title buuuut :) So graduation is complete and I am officially a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center! I have an interview tomorrow morning for their school of world missions for a possible third year, so pray that goes well! I am kind of nervous for it!
My roommate just bought a house so I moved in with her, well renting from her, and its awesome. I never realized the freedom a house has over an apartment, but its great! :D My room is still covered in Africa stuff, and my heart still beats for it daily. I know I'll get back over, but it's all on God's time. :D
I am about to head back to IA for a month! It will be so good to see corn and green again! I love the south, but there is nothing like home. 'Ya'll' has become an official word in my vocabulary, so I am hoping that people can understand me when I get home.
The new jam for the month is called "He wants it all" by a family band called "Forever Jones". Check it. Love it. Cry to it. :D
I will let you know how the interview goes tom! I need to catch up on my sleep! Heart, Ria

Enduring Humor

After all these years, this is still hilarious!

The Only Thing That Could Improve Dairy Queen

Sunday, June 27, 2010

World Cup


I have, obviously, been loving the World Cup. I love the beautiful game. The roar of victory. The almost heart attacks while watching the U.S. play, while at work. The fact that there IS more to life than soccer, because of Jesus! I don’t know if you know this, but the U.S. goalkeeper, Tim Howard, is a Christian. As is famous Brazilian player, Kaka. Here are some links that really encouraged me: (He is involved – or was – in Athletes in Action: Soccer)√° (I wasn’t able to find an official site…but check out the bottom on Personal Life!).

There are many other Christian soccer players (;; on the U.S. Men’s National Team and other countries’ teams but I wanted to say I’m encouraged by all you athletes who play for Christ and to make Him known.

Love you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

To Christ The Lord Let Every Tongue

To Christ the Lord let every tongue
Its noblest tribute bring
When He’s the subject of the song
Who can refuse to sing?
Survey the beauties of His face
And on His glories dwell
Think of the wonder of His grace
And all His triumphs tell

He saw me plunged in deep distress
He fled to my relief
For me He bore the shameful cross
And carried all my grief
His hand a thousand blessings pours
Upon my guilty head
His presence gilds my darkest hours
And guards my sleeping bed

To Him I owe my life and breath
And all the joys I have
He makes me triumph over death
And saves me from the grave
To Heaven the place of His abode
He brings my weary feet
Shows me the glories of my God
And makes my joy complete

Since from His bounty I receive
Such proofs of love divine
Had I a thousand hearts to give
Lord, they should all be Thine
A thousand men could not compose
A worthy song to bring
Yet Your love is a melody
Our hearts can’t help but sing!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


BJ (left) and I spent last week in Haiti. Northern plateau, not an area directly impacted by the earthquake. Although, the very nice and talkative lady above hosted over a dozen extra house guests for quite a while as people were displaced from Port au Prince.

Part of our week was spent helping install concrete floors in existing homes. What a difference it makes during rains and decreasing rats and parasites. Generally, better health. BJ snapped the following picture, which I believe could be interpreted as me in charge - or, more likely - step away from the hoe. Perhaps even, "Talk to the hand." :)

On a related note, I just ordered the book Friendship at the Margins: Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission from Amazon. I believe it will discuss the purpose of mission work and the role of forming friendships. You, Miss Kelsey, excel in this area. Shrinking the world. Making Christ known by example. And when in other countries, making sure we crazy Americans have humility and look for what we can learn from others. In Haiti. In Czechoslovakia. Wherever. You already know that, of course. Praying for you and excited about the difference you are making in this world. Talk to you probably sooner that I think, Kelsey. Blessings!
- Lee Towe

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'm studying for an ethical research training. I have to pass all of the quizzes before class begins on Monday. Here is an example of a review, pre-quiz question. After sifting through all of the legal jargon in the explanation of the case study, I click on the answer. "Yes, the investigator does need to obtain new informed consent."

There is nothing more dejecting than to hear that you may be correct. May! May be correct?

This class is going to be terrible...

The Bachelorette

Please tell me you are watching this season. It's the most ridiculous, therefore entertaining thing ever.

Head here for some recaps:

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

Last week I began a new workout plan... and let me tell you, it's incredible! On any given week night at 6pm you can find me, an ex-marine, and 200+ Lawrencians stretching, jack-jumping (it's ok, I made it up), lunging, and running until our legs won't run us anymore. Correction: running until MY legs won't run anymore. It's called Dog Days, and it's a free workout program for anyone in Lawrence to meet in a big grassy area on campus at 6am and 6pm 4 days a week for a good sweat and even more encouragement. Apparently it's been going on for years but I just found out about it all from a coworker last week and I've been sucked into it ever since. If I go 22 more times this summer I even get a Dog Days t-shirt :)

But there's a bigger point to this all... and as long-winded as I usually am, I'll get there eventually. Lately I've been feeling sluggish in too many ways. My motivation was dwindling, my workouts were boring (and few and far between), my eating habits were far from healthy, and the busy-ness of work was sucking my energy to do anything fun after I left the office each day. Life wasn't miserable or even hard, it just didn't have that extra spark that usually gets me through my days.

Moving to a new place is scary. There will always be struggles, long days, good days, and friends to miss, whether you're 45 minutes, 4 hours, or 7 time zones away. As much as I still miss my friends when I'm in Kansas, I've slowly adapted into an attitude of appreciation; for the friends I have here and the others who are near and dear to my heart but living all around the world. But what I'm starting to miss more is the community, a place to belong. I miss walking down the sidewalk and seeing someone I really know, or even just more than one familiar face. As fun and adventurous as life can be in a new place, it's hard not knowing a lot of people. But every time I feel this way I'm reminded to pray for you, for your neighbors, for the strangers that surround you daily, and for your familiar faces. I pray that you're encouraged most on the days when it's needed most.

You see, the other day when I started my first Dog Days workout, I was greeted with more smiles than I could've ever expected. High school girls were meeting up with friends after school, middle-aged women were pushing strollers on their way to meet up with their friends, and the surprisingly large 60+ crowd was already stretching in the grass. The woman at the check-in table smiled at me, even looked me in the eyes. Then later one of the white-haired guys ran past me uphill (talk about motivation!) and on his way by gave an encouraging "good job!" to the group of runners around him. But my favorite part is at the very end of the run, after the hills and stairs and laps and turns, when I finally get back to the end of the course. All the runners who've already finished crowd around the sidewalk and wait for the rest of the runners, clapping and cheering us on as we get to the nonexistent finish line. One woman in particular gave me a pat on the back as I slowed down and we walked toward the parking lot together. I have no idea who she is or what she does, but she smiled at me. Congratulated me on finishing one of the "tough runs" and joked about the old guy that passed her, too.

I still don't know who she is and I haven't been able to pick her out of the crowd since, but she gave me something that day that I'll never forget - a little extra hope. Now every time I go back, I think of her and the women pushing strollers and the old guys who will soon pass me on the running trail, and I can't help but feel so encouraged by their presence. I wonder how many people might feel the same way after bumping into you today...


Monday, June 7, 2010

What Empty Hands Can Bring

A love song, You must have heard a thousand times
How can mine compare
For so long I've wondered if I'm lost behind
A thousand tongues there, a thousand tongues there

It's all been done before, but I'll do it again
Cause I know that You want me to
It's all said before, but I'll say it again
Cause I know that You love to hear it from me

I see all the ways I don't add up
And all that I never did
But You seek empty hands still lifted up
With nothing to give, nothing to give

More beautiful to You
Than the songs of Angels and gifts of Kings
More beautiful to You
Are what empty hands can bring
And what desperate tongues can sing
And when broken hearts cling to you

An update from the cube with high walls...

Thats right, its officially unofficial that I've started my new position and moved to the cube with high walls; and let me tell you, I'm loving it!
Officially unofficial? you ask. Well, I'm still doing both positions until they hire a replacement but they let me move down to my new home on May 10th and I'm doing research and development about 70% of the time. Its pretty awesome. I love being in the lab more even though I can't skype as much as I used to (I know, I know; when I was skyping I was stealing).
My new manager is from India and she is teaching me some crazy stuff about the Indian culture. Last week she started teaching me how to write the Hindi alphabet, which is really weird but very interesting. She is also very open to learning new things and discussing Christianity which is fun and nerve wrecking at times.
In other news..... I'm having a really hard time thinking of other news.....
Oh, I went to Chicago for 4 days over Memorial Day weekend and it was great. I didn't get to go to a Cubs game like I've always wanted but hopefully I'll get to do that next time. I did however get to spend some great quality time with my friend Josi. She mentored me for a couple of years in college but our relationship has shifted to a deep friendship and its always really great catching up with her. We stayed up late almost every night talking about some heavy stuff. One of my favorite questions that we talked about was, "Have you let anyone really know you?" More often than not, I think people just know the bare minimum of me. I think one of my greatest fears is that when someone gets to know me they will feel like they've been fooled for a long time. Or that they will be shocked by some of my thoughts, sins and elements of my character. However, it feels so good to be known. As Jos and I layed there talking in the dark there was no fear or shame or guilt and as we dug deeper into each other's closets of junk it was almost as if those secrets and revisited confessions melted away into a profound peace, one that I hadn't felt in a long time. It feels good to be known.
In that moment there was also a painful and beautiful feeling of God's presence. Painful because it had been so long since I felt so close to the Lord and it made me feel very very small, tiny in fact, and so beautiful that it nearly moved me to tears. (No tears actually fell, I couldn't ruin my tough rep) It reminded me of a time that I was riding in a car with a great friend listening to Kari Jobe's "You Are for Me" for the very first time and God's presence being thick and tangible. Its moments like those that make me desire Jesus.

So faithful
So constant
So loving and so true
So powerful in all you do
You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to you

I know that you are for me
I know that you are for me
I know that you will never forsake me in my weakness
I know that you have come down
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who you are

I miss you Kelsey Keizer. And, I'm praying that you'll be given an opportunity to be seen and known and to sit in the thickness of God's presence.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

Now this is perfect imagery of my relationship with Christ.

Psalm 86:11-13

Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.

I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.

For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Worldwide Bulldogs

You've probably seen this. But who doesn't love to see so many kids runnin around in Bulldog gear?!

Go to 5:30 into the video.