Thursday, February 28, 2008

writing a blog...

So here i sit. 11:15pm Thursday February 28th. Happy Leap Year by the way! Writing a blog.

Tonight at emerge the basis of the message was carefully and nicely written/spoken from a comment that a friend made about blogging. So therefore the message not only successfully challenged the way we think as far as life, faith and truth; it also challenged the way we write a blog. I had a lovely conversation with two of my blogging friends(check out Bo and Jessica in my links) after the message and told them about a blog i wrote a while back that i soon deleted after writing, because it was written out of Anger not Love. This of course made them curious... well lucky for them and you; i actually saved the deleted blog on my computer! So after some thought and re-writing. I have decided that the content is actually really great, and not morally wrong... without further ado:

Honesty and Authenticity: the re-write!

"Thank you for choosing Character To-Go what can i get for you today?"
"I would like some Honesty with a side of Authenticity!"

If there was a restaurant type of place that you could go and order Character traits... this is for sure what i would order.... However this would be my order for some people i know.... and for myself i would get some Patience and Wisdom.

Why Honesty? Why Authenticity?

hon·es·ty –noun
1. the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness.
2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness.
3. freedom from deceit or fraud.

au·then·tic·i·ty -noun
1. The quality or condition of being authentic, trustworthy, or genuine.

Honesty is the #1 quality i look for in friends. In light of this i try and be a very honest person. My name means; Speaker of Truth. Way to go Papa and Mama... thanks for the VERY cool name! It really helps me to think about who i am and what i say. Not only in the way i talk and the content of what i say, but how i live. I try so SO SOO stinking hard to be honest and real in every situation. I am Cassie. You get what ya see when you're around me. I am not going to pretend with you. I am not going to pretend i am someone i am not. I am not going to act a certain way so you like me. I am not going to jump through hoops in order to meet some social status quo. NO WAY. I won't. I am me. Cassie. The crazy girl who runs hard after the purpose of God. I am not pretending. I'm not trying to be "super spiritual". I AM WHAT YOU SEE!! I WON"T FAKE IT! i won't.

So Please stop. Stop trying. Stop pretending with me! Stop trying so hard. Stop being so fake. Be who God created you to be. If you have to stop for too long and think about what that means... than get off your butt and go figure it out; BY YOURSELF! Stop letting the people you "hang out with" define who you are. Stop letting the way you dress and do your hair be who you are. Stop pretending you like me to my face and 2 minutes later ignore the fact that i am standing RIGHT THERE while you are planning your "hangout" and obviously are trying to not not invite me, but let's be real; you didn't want to invite me so talking in hushed tones will for sure make up for the fact that i can hear every word. Seriously people! I don't care that much if i am in your social circle! I don't! Please stop pretending. Be real. I would rather you ignore me all together out in the open. it would HONESTLY feel better.

Lord of Lords by Hillsongs Australia

Beholding your beauty is all I long for
To worship You Jesus is my soul's desire
For this very heart you've shaped for your pleasure
The purpose to lift your name high

Hear and surrender in pure adoration
I enter your courts with an offering of praise
I am Your servant come to bring you glory
As is fit for the work of your hands

Now unto the lamb who sits on the throne
Be glory and honor and praise
All of creation resounds with the song
Worship and praise him the Lord of Lords

Verse 2:
The spirit now living and dwelling within me
Keep my eyes fixed ever upon Jesus' face
Let not the things of this world ever sway me
I'll run 'till I finish the race

This song perfectly states how i feel. "i'll run till i finish the race." I will. I will run it in Honesty. I will seek out Wisdom I will walk in Patience (look it up in the dictionary and try it on for size).

I hope i didn't step on toes.... it really is WAY nicer than when i first wrote it.

I have come to the conclusion though that it is better to say some things in honesty and with real heart than to leave lots of real things un-said. Risky? oh yes. Hard? you bet. But something i also learned tonight at emerge was to not let the history of my life put conclusions on who i am... for example; in 7th grade i was at a Young Life Summer camp and one of my leaders looked at me straight in the eye and said, "Sometime you should just learn to shut up and not talk." This has stuck with me since then... what is that like 10 years? CRAZY! I can't even believe it, but in this situation i can't just shut up. I won't anymore.

Now please hear me out. I WILL choose my words and i will try VERY hard to make sure i sift what i write and say through the Jesus filter(hence the re-written blog); but i won't stay silent. I WON'T let things that need to be said go un-said. So after you have processed this blog. and re-read the re-written part one or two times... this is my challenge to you; PRAY. See how and where you might fit in this story. Are you living an honest life? Are you jumping through hoops to meet a social statue quo? Are you letting the people decide who you are and where you go?
just a thought.

Pilot Butte; the adventure

Today we had an adventure.... to the Top of Pilot Butte!

We decided to be very "Tom and Huck" and instead of taking the trail we just blazed a trail up the side of the Butte. We had no idea how much snow... that's right sNOW was left over from the last few "snows".... there was a lot! After a few slips and falls, mud on the fingers, shoes to tie (again) we made it to the TOP! here are some pics from the Adventure;

Before the climb started...

Hosanna and I are post people...

so are the boys...

And of course the classic jumping shots!

Monday, February 25, 2008


We are a game playing family. From Hand and Foot, Killer Bunnys, Warrior Knight to UNO we love games. On my latest adventure to Lynden me and 4 of my amazing brothers decided UNO was the game for the week. We played it a lot!!! We decided to document it with pictures! Best part about playing with siblings who love you...they let you win...well at least sometimes!

This is what happens to Elijah after to much Uno...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

i don't hate Lynden...

It seems the last post has caused some confusion... Please allow me to say a few things...

Let's review a few things from my post.
The part where i say, "I MISS THIS SILLY TOWN" ... "I LOVE WHO IT SHAPED ME TO BE." ...
I feel like some people may missed the whole point. I love this town. I don't understand a lot of the "cultural musts" of it and the way people treat people, and the questions i get as a person who moved away. I don't like that people turn their head sideways when i talk about my new siblings or my big family. I love the small town feel Lynden has. I love NCCTK. I love the earnestness of it as a church. I love our big BLUE house on the corner. I love that i can drive for 5 minutes and be in a different country. I love that my neighbors have a "dinner schedule" and you can guarantee when they leave and come back from the dinner date. I love that no matter who you are you get the same amazing service at Safeway and Woods. I love that when you come home you feel like a hero... if only because people miss you lots. I love that God is moving in the VERY religious town. I love that everyone takes pride in the state of the front yard. I love the tree lined streets, the lights that twinkle on the Fairway Center ALL YEAR ROUND. I LOVE LYNDEN!

I think if i did not love this town and the people in it...I would not have come back EVERY MONTH for the last 10!!!! I miss my family a heck of a lot when i am gone. I did not leave to try and get away from them. I did not leave to try and get away from my church. I did not leave because of a bad relationship. I did not leave to try to find the "perfect"; church/town/relationship. FYI- they don't exist. I love Lynden and could see myself moving back someday... not any day SOON, so don't hire me yet! But i had to move away. I had to get a perspective on life that was not confined to Lynden. I KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT God's best for me was to move to Bend. I cannot say when i will be back for good. I cannot say if i will work at NCCTK again. I cannot promise you that i will live on Front street. But i will promise you this;

I will do my VERY BEST to pursue God, Pursue Righteousness, and Trust that even when i don't see the Big Picture HE DOES! And knowing that i when i listen to his voice, follow in his leading i may indeed find myself strolling down Depot Rd on the way to Lynden City Park with little kids of my own.

shall i make a t-shirt?

Monday, February 18, 2008


How odd it is to be a stranger in a place i once called home.

Lynden is a quaint town of 10,000 situated nicely on the Canadian border. Full of Dutch heritage and shops, there is no doubt that this town is full of culture. Supported mostly by the Agriculture of Dairy farms and Berry fields; there is a certain smell to the air. Boasting 2 records in the Guinness Book of World Records (most churches per capita and also Most people attending church in Lynden without living in the town) Lynden is a unique town to be sure.

I am closing in on a year of not living in this nicely situated, Agriculture rich, record holding town. This is the first time being back to visit that i feel like a stranger here... and i like it!!! I like not knowing every 3rd person at Woods Coffee (the baristas having NO IDEA THAT i used to work there!). I like going to church at NCCTK and being "just another person". I like having to process how to get somewhere and what the quickest way is. It's fun one someones says, "oh you're a Diacogiannis?"

However somethings never change; The Dutch are still out-numbering everyone else 100/1. They are all still Blond, Blue-eyed and TALL! If you are "unfortunate" enough to not be Dutch in Lynden, people still try as hard as they can to be Dutch, they dye their hair, play basketball and wear blue contacts in the vain hope that they will be accepted. I will never understand High Schoolers in Lynden. They LOVE high school so much that after they graduate they hang out "pretending" it hasn't ended. They still go to every game. They still go to Dairy Queen after "the game". They wear the "LHS" or "LCHS" sweatshirts and colors. They like high school so much that people volunteer at plays and games;FOUR YEARS LATER! If you are fortunate enough to "get out" of Lynden your choices of acceptable things to do are as follows:

Go to one of the following colleges; Dordt College; Northwestern in Iowa; SPU; Trinity Western University in B.C.

If you don't got to College you might;
- Get Married a month after you graduate and have a kid 1 year later
- Go to Bellingham Beauty School and work at one of the 50 Salons in Lynden's City Limits
- Work Construction
- Go to YWAM IN HAWAII... cause it's Hawaii and YWAM "sounds cool"

Oh Lynden. Oh the silly things that define who you are. I will admit that when i am in Bend Oregon I miss the AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL scenery here. The endless amount of Red Barns and Silos in every green field, Mt. Baker and The Twin Sisters creating the most amazing Backdrop... and the Bald Eagles that flock to Whatcom county every year for about 2 months. I miss walking anywhere i want without fear of being mugged. I miss smell of the cows... as weird as that sounds. I miss the "lame" and silly festivals that grace Lynden every few months. I miss the buzz around High School sports. I miss Woods Coffee. I miss the Trackers. And yet now, i am a stranger. A tourist; silently observing life in Lynden. I love this silly town. I love who it shaped me to be. I always stand out with my dark hair and GREEK last name. I love that although it made me who i am it doesn't define where i will go, who i can be.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ghana Adventure

This is a picture from the Safari my family went on in Ghana.....

So amazing.... check out my Mama's Blog over there ---> for stories and more pictures!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Elijah Joel Diacogiannis

Elijah, E, Monkey, 'lij.. These are just a few of the nick names we have for our youngest family member! and i'm sure more that i am forgetting. When i think about Elijah I think of a lot of great stories. The time when i lost him for over half an hour and was in hysterics; We found him hiding under the futon. Not funny. I think of his 2 missing teeth that give him the cutest little lisp. I remember all the fun times we have at Lynden City Park. I hear his little voice in the sea of people at my track meets.

The biggest memory is one that anyone who knows it will never soon forget....

It was August 2005. Hot, sweaty August. E was 3 years old and the spunkiest, most energetic 3 year old there ever was. He had a normal saturday, playing outside with his partner in crime and big brother Josiah. That night however was no normal night. I remember waking up at 2am to blood-curling screams. I awoke with a start, and was FREEZING cold. It's august people.... cold doesn't happen, even at night. I could hear Elijah crying. I thought it was probably a bad dream. I grabbed my covers and tried to sleep... about half an hour later i woke again... this time i was having the bad dream! I was in a pool of my own sweat and tears. All i could do to calm down was pray. Sunday morning finally came and life seemed fairly normal. Elijah, however had a fever and was complaining of a stomach ache. As the day went on he was either awake and crying or asleep and moaning. The next 10 days flew by... the details are clear in my head; Seattle. Children's Hospital. Bacterial Menengitas. Doctors. Nurses. Kidney Dialysis. Tubes. Medications. It was Elijah's body, but where was our little guy? Where was the laugh? Sometimes we wished we could hear a cry. After 10 days in ICU. He came through it all.

2 months later, my mom and the kiddos were driving through Seattle and my mom mentioned that the hospital was down "that way". Elijah piped up from his car seat and said, "yeah, i was at the Hospital with Jesus." And though we always knew that we felt the presence of God those crazy 3 weeks at Children's we now wondered what Elijah could mean.

Over a year later Josiah and Elijah were discussing death... Yes we have very deep thinkers for a 7 and 5 year old =) Elijah mentioned "casually" that he had died twice, gone to Heaven, Talked to Jesus, and Jesus had told him that it was ok and that it was time for him to "go home to Dad and Mom". when we asked Elijah what Jesus looked like he very plainly told us, "He was bright and shiney."

I have no idea what God has planned for this little Treasure, but i know it's big. Elijah is our miracle brother. He has seen Jesus. He faced death. Today he is back to our very energetic 6 year old who loves GI Joes,, and anything related to computers! He loves to play outside, ride his bike... play football. His laugh is amazing. His smile melts everyones heart. The scars from the Menengitas are the only things remaining from that hot August sickness. The stories of how God moved go on and on. The stories of his healing will never be forgotten.

Elijah Joel, God's plan for you are so huge. I'm excited to see them unfold.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Gregory James Diacogiannis

So for the next little while... i am going to write posts dedicated to some of my favorite people in the world. Let's get started with my #1 real life Superhero....

Gregory James Diacogiannis

Romans 8:35-39
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This is Gregg. Greggy-pooh, Greekkid31, my brother. I am so blessed. When i was little i didn't have any idea how blessed i am to have such a guy in my life. He has been my protector and hero for as long as i can remember. He has never been afraid of what people think. He is one of the most passionate people i know. He puts his whole heart into everything he does. When he joined the ARMY i was so scared for him. I had know idea that 4 years later he would be where he is. Doing all the amazing things he is doing. He has recently started a blog(see link over there -->) and it has been so wonderful to hear his heart. One of my favorite things ever is seeing someone surrender to God and see where He takes them. Gregg has gone so many places and done so many things but i believe this is only the beginning of what God has planned for him. He is "more than a conqueror" He has overcome everything the Enemy has thrown at him and will continue to battle life out... on his knees and with the amazing perseverance and strength God has given him.

So here's to real life heros. Here's to Gregg. My brother, My hero, My friend.

Monday, February 04, 2008

First Meeting!

There are few words to describe how this video makes me feel... so i will let it do the talking!

This is the first meeting of my Dad and Mom and my 3 new siblings from Ghana; J., Sarah and Rachel!

it's ok to cry... i did.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl 42-New York Giants

Can i just say i am really really happy that the Giants Won!!!!

Anyone who knows me knows i LOVE football!!! Even more than that i love a GREAT game!!! This years Super Bowl was packed with amazing plays, heart stopping moments, and guts! I have this thing with Underdogs coming in and playing their hearts out!!! Hooray for Eli Manning and the hole team!!!!! Eli sure proved he can play with the big boys!! I'm sorry Tom Brady, but you got worked! The Giants defense was incredible. Major props to the linemen who pushed the limit when it came to attacking the Quarterback! Woot-woot! I will say that Welker sure had sticking power when it came to catching that ball, but sure enough right there were the Giants to push, pull, drag, knock him to the ground! Amazing.

oh and props to the Refs for calling a fair came!

Better luck next time all you Patriot Fans....