Wednesday, December 31, 2008


On our way up to Leo, Indiana to visit my family, we stayed with Jaclyn and Brandon at their new home in Marysville, OH (right outside of Columbus). We also went bowling with Ashley and Dave (newlyweds) and Michelle and her boyfriend David. (Yes, we had three Davids...and ironically, guess what Brandon's middle name was...yes, that right. David.)

Jaclyn is prepared for the cold.                                                                                                

Dave and me                                                                         Ashley and Dave

Brandon and Jaclyn                                                                         Michelle and David

Exchanging Christmas presents

Our pups relaxing at Jaclyn and Brandon's house.

I finally have a homepage on my website I'm developing!! Check out I obviously have a long way to go with it (as there is essentially no information on there yet whatsoever), but just seeing something pretty on there has me totally stoked.

Kudos go to WebPlus SE and Webplus 10.0 for making my html-knowledgless life a LOT easier!! :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Emotional Bible studies

Well I had a wonderful Christmas break! I hope the same goes for anyone and everyone reading this. I will be posting pictures from the week sometime soon.

What I wanted to share today is my new realization that I do not do well with "emotional" Bible studies. If I open up a Bible study book and it says "How do you feel about this?" my immediate reaction is to walk straight to the trashcan and drop the book in. In fact, I've become quite talented at getting about one chapter through a book and then sending it to Goodwill (or recycling it if I don't want to encourage people to read it). I'm still thinking and contemplating why I feel this way and when it began. There was a time when the only Bible studies that captured my attention were the emotional ones.

I think that underlying it all is the knowledge that emotions are fleeting, unstable, and untrustworthy. If I have to feel emotional and excited to get closer to God, what will I do on the days when I'm feeling downhearted and sad? What about the days when I'm bored with life? Or the days when all I have to look forward to is a long to-do list? What happens then? And what about the fact that my emotions and my reactions to them have gotten me in trouble one too many times?

I have encountered a great struggle with the Beth Moore study my church is currently hosting. After talking with Dave, I've decided to stop participating in the study, which makes me sad. I have gotten to know some wonderful girls through my small group. However, every week I found myself becoming more and more frustrated with the Bible study, and it was carrying over and affecting my feelings toward the church. I decided to stop the study before my perception of my church was permanently stained. Beyond the emotionalism that her study encourages every week, I feel that Moore extrapolates and makes claims for which she provides little scriptural evidence. If her claims are true, then that's great. But she does not always provide references, and oftentimes when she does I do not see the link to what she is saying. I also have a hard time accepting scripture mixed with psychology within a Bible study. I want to learn about the Bible. I want to learn about God. I don't want to learn about all the fleeting emotions I can experience and see how those temporarily affect my perceived connection with God. I want solid, permanent, tried and true truths.

This is not to completely bash on Moore. I think she is a wonderful lady, and I know she has touched many lives. I firmly believe she is a follower of Christ and wants to bless others. However, her style and approach to Scripture do not set well within me, and so I've decided that her studies and books are not for me. I am very happy for others who are able to grow closer to God through her guidance.

If you'd like to read more from others who have opinions similar to mine, along with responses from strong supporters of Moore, check out the following links:

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm going to have a sister-in-law!!! :)

My brother proposed to his girlfriend last night!!! I'm so excited!!! She is such a wonderful girl and I can't WAIT to have her as a part of the family. :) Yay for Lewis family weddings!!!

Collin and Brittany

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holes, God's Best, God Cares

The first rule of holes:

When you're in one, stop digging.

God always gives His best

to those who leave the choice with Him.

Some good Bible verses to read and think about are listed below. They all remind you of the fact that God is in control. If you don't do well with the "ye"s and "thee"s, I suggest looking them up in NKJV (New King James Version) or NIV (New International Version). If you don't have a Bible, try or :)

"The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and
plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will
he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after
our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For
as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy
toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the
west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth
them that fear him."
Psalms 103:8-13, KJV

"If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall
Psalms 130:3, KJV

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto
thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed
on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Isaiah 26:3, KJV

"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This
is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand,
and when ye turn to the left."
Isaiah 30:21, KJV

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not. They are new every
morning: great is thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23, KJV

"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one
of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of
your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of
more value than many sparrows."
Luke 12:6-7, KJV

"And we know that all things work together for good to them
that love God, to them who are the called according to his
Romans 8:28, KJV

"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
1 Peter 5:7, KJV

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bald Head Island

Two weekends ago I went to Bald Head Island with Emily and her in-laws. It was a lot of fun!! Just us two girls piled our four dogs and all our stuff in my car, drove the 3 hours to the NC coast, then climbed on a ferry with the dogs and our belongings to head to the island for the weekend. Traveling with so many animals was pretty interesting, but it made it exciting. Thanks so much to Brenda and Dudley (Emily's husband's parents) for having us!!

Our awesome weekend vehicle got a flat tire. :(

The puppies slept the whole way home...

Piano and Christmas Decorations

Alright, I've finally found some time to write again! I'm going to take a few blog posts now to just share some pictures of what's been going on in my life lately. :)

Below you can see our new baby grand piano that we got about a month ago. I've been so excited about it!! It's been wonderful to play again and find some release through music. And, as you can see in the second picture, our living room doesn't look that bad with it in there!! I think we found a way to fit it quite nicely.

Second, below are some pictures from when Kristin and I decorated my house for Christmas.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Apologies

I just wanted to send out a quick apology to all my readers who have been saddened by my recent hiatus in blog writing.

To my dismay, work has gone through the roof. My stress level is sky high. Sadly, this means I have no time for breathers or writing short blog posts for your reading pleasure.

Hopefully my work stress level will meander back down to its usual level sometime soon and I will be able to continue with my writing. Until then, please hold in your tears and know that the days of Kara blog posts will be returning soon.

Thank you for your understanding.
God bless,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Unexplainable Experiences

I have been reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer, and I read something this morning that I just felt the need to share. I feel that these words can reach out to every person...

Everyone of us has had experiences which we have not been able to explain: a sudden sense of loneliness, or a feeling of wonder or awe in the face of the universal vastness. Or we have had a fleeting visitation of light like an illumination from some other sun, giving us in a quick flash an assurance that we are from another world, that our origins are divine. What we saw there, or felt, or heard, may have been contrary to all that we had been taught in the schools and at wide variance with all our former beliefs and opinions. We were forced to suspend our acquired doubts while, for a moment, the clouds were rolled back and we saw and heard for ourselves. Explain such things as we will, I think we have not been fair to the facts until we allow at least the possibility that such experiences may arise from the Presence of God in the world and His persistent effort to communicate with mankind. Let us not dismiss such a hypothesis too flippantly.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Ambitions

This is a constantly growing and changing list of my ambitions:

1) Figure out how to develop websites and then build my own Christian resource website for women (it's called
2) Read lots of CS Lewis books
3) Read lots of Tozer books
4) Figure out an organization plan for my house
- read books
- check out online websites
5) Put my new organization plan on my new website
6) Learn how to take great digital pictures
7) Learn how to develop graphics on my computer (to use for my website)
8) Learn music theory
- maybe buy a book or two
- look online for sources
9) Get good at the piano again (we're getting a piano this weekend or next week!!)
- build up playing strength again
- find new, exciting piano books
10) Read the whole Bible again. And again.
11) Do lots of Bible studies
12) Get back in bodily shape somewhat close to what I was in college
- workout regularly
- eat well
- stay involved in
13) Get my anxiety under control
- read books
- see a counselor
- learn to focus on God
- stay involved in
14) Constantly grow into a better biostatistician
- read books
- keep biostats website and blog updated
- teach others through seminars or classes

What Jesus Means to Me

It took me a long time to really grasp the concept of Jesus and salvation through Him. After a lot of thinking, struggling, praying, and reading, I finally arrived at what I believe to be the truth. It has been spinning in my head a lot lately, so I've decided to write it down. I will edit this over time as I think of different ways to reword and explain things. But for now, here it is:

God created the world and humans so He would have people to love Him and glorify Him and also so He could shower His love on them.

In wanting us to love Him, He had to give us free will. For it's not really love if it's forced.

In our free will, humans have fallen away from God. We've chosen to disobey and do things contrary to what God wants. (This isn't very hard to agree with. Take one glance around you.)

Everything we do that goes against what God wants is sin. One single sin, however small or seemingly unimportant, separates us from God and prevents us from spending eternity with Him when we die. God is perfect, and He cannot spend eternity with imperfect beings. (I once had a friend who said, "Why do we have to be perfect to get into heaven? Why can't we just be good people?" My response was, "If we don't have to be perfect, then where would God draw the line? And how would we ever know if we were good enough?")

So then, the next immediate response is, "Oh great, so what you're saying is that since I maybe did one little itty bitty thing wrong, I'm going to hell. Beautiful." But no, that's not what I'm saying. The story is not over.

So, in the Old Testament times, God would have the people sacrifice animals. To us this seems grotesque. (We live in a time when sacrifices are no longer needed, which I'll get to shortly.) But actually, God was being very loving in telling the people to offer sacrifices. Because, God accepted the life of those animals in place of the life of the people who were sinning. In other words, once the blood of those animals was shed, God saw the people as pure and perfect again (until their next stupid sin). Seems pretty nice, huh? If you were given the choice of burning a sheep or going to hell, which would you choose?

Well, ok, let me back up. Those animals didn't exactly completely take the place of the sinning people. But that was because God knew that He was going to provide the world with the perfect sacrifice to cover all sins eventually.

This is where Jesus comes in. God sent Jesus, His Son, to the earth. Jesus was all man and all God, as inconceivable as that seems. Jesus was perfect. In other words, Jesus did not have to die and did not need to offer any sacrifices. But guess what He did. He sacrificed Himself. That's where Jesus dying on the cross comes in. When Jesus shed His blood on that cross, God accepted it as the eternal sacrifice for all sinners. And why could God do that? Because Jesus was perfect.

Then Jesus came back to life. He overcame death. Jesus is stronger than death. Jesus conquers all.

So now, because Jesus died and came back to life, sacrifices are no longer needed and we get to go to heaven. We are all forgiven. We can all spend eternity with God. Every past, present, and future sin of each one of us is forgiven. God found the perfect Way to satisfy His own wrath against sin. He provided Himself, through His Son, as the One to die so we wouldn't have to.

So now, the next question is often, then why do people still go to hell?? Because...although Jesus died in place of us, we have to actually BELIEVE that He died in place of us. And when I say believe, I don't mean "Oh cool Jesus died, yay rah." I mean, BELIEVE. As in, you accept it with your whole being. You absorb its meaning. You feel it to your core and base your life on it. That's what I mean by believe. And if we don't believe it, God's not going to allow us to use it. A starving person who is offered food is not going to live unless he eats the food. If he turns his head away and refuses to accept the gift, it will do him no good. do we accept the gift? We just pray to Jesus and tell Him that we do. We tell him we love Him and that we're so eternally (literally) grateful to Him. We tell Him that we realize we owe him our life and so now we want to repay Him in whatever way we can. Then we start living the way He wants us to to the best of our abilities. Because, if a person is truly grateful to Jesus, the gratefulness will shine from within him. When we truly love someone, it is clear through our thoughts, actions, and attitudes. Same thing goes with turning your life over to Jesus. If you truly realize what He's done for you and truly accept the gift, the evidence of it will overflow from your life.

And then, once you have accepted the gift, you realize how much God loves you. You realize that you can walk in God's will and that as long as you follow Him, your perfect God will not let you down. He will not lead you astray. Suddenly, all the sufferings in life don't matter as much anymore. Because you know that there is a purpose and that, regardless of what happens, God loves you and you are going to spend eternity with Him. Life suddenly has purpose. I can't even express how full my life is now that I'm living for God. I yearn so much to know Him more and to please Him. And the more I do those things, the stronger my desire becomes. It's inexplainable, and I wouldn't trade it for anything or anyone. My Jesus is my All.

So...that's my rendition of Jesus saving the world. Leave it or take it...but I sure hope you take it.

Great Bible Resource

If you read the Bible on a somewhat regular basis like I do and enjoy reading commentaries for the verses, you have got to check out this free program I just found:


online version

downloaded version

There is both an online version and a free version to download to your computer which is FULL of optional goodies. E-Sword allows you to read the Bible in many different translations while having your choice of commentary and a Bible dictionary open simultaneously. Or you can have a concordance open. The downloaded version also has the option of graphics, devotions, a reading plan, study notes, copy and paste features...the list goes on and on. I am SOOOO excited about this!! I will probably send a donation since it's free...I'm sure they need support to keep such a great product free to whoever wants it.

So go check it out!!

Online version:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Night Vision Goggles

So last night I was driving down a three-lane road near our house (Duraleigh, for those of you who live in Raleigh) on my way to meet Dave and some friends for dinner. There were very few street lamps around and the road was very dark. Suddenly, as I was driving in the center lane, in the stream of my headlights I could vaguely see two figures emerging straight in front of me. I slammed on my breaks and stopped just in time before hitting the two figures in front of me. And do you know what the figures were? Two black people, dressed in all DARK clothing, one of which was on CRUTCHES, just moseying across the road. They were not speeding up their pace AT ALL when I almost hit them. I was like, ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? What is WRONG with people???? I mean, common, who on EARTH decides it's a great idea to walk across a busy road, in the dark, on crutches, in dark clothing??? Especially when your skin is dark, too??? PEOPLE DON'T WEAR NIGHT VISION GOGGLES WHILE THEY'RE DRIVING!!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Simple way to help others

Looking for a way to help others daily with only the click of a button?

Set the following page as your homepage:

Click to give a free mammogram!
300 clicks means a gift of $20,000 towards funding for a cure!

Please do this. I've been clicking daily.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pics I Promised

Here are the pics I mentioned yesterday plus a few extras...

Me and Grandma at the ultimate fields

Ring of Fire (Dave's team)

We're a very serious couple.


Rogan Melaney

Maggie May (see her odd-shaped pupil from the eye surgery??)

Daisy, Maggie, and Rogan...and nope they're not related

Di-oh-gee numero dos

I thought this was a pretty spiffy photo of Maggie (see my photographic talent coming out??)

Rogan is a happy dog

Um...I think we were trying to be sad (?)