Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas newsletter

Merry Christmas

Dear friends and family,
It is my wish that you all are having a wonderful Christmas season. God sent His Son to earth to become flesh. He is the reason for the season! He faced many temptations and witnessed great sins of humanity. But He was perfect. He was put to death on the cross so that you and I might have life (more abundantly). He was raised from the dead to demonstrate the power of our Savior. His blood paid the price for our sins! May you focus on Jesus Christ, and live out His Will for your life.
What a year it has been! I have survived my first semester at seminary. So much has happened this year. It’s hard to imagine that it began while finishing up my last couple of months as a US/C-2 missionary in Lexington, S.C., and is ending in North Carolina.

Thank you
So many of you have prayed for me and supported me in various ways. Thank you so much! Each time I receive a message or note or a gift/donation, I feel that God is watching out for me and using you to do it. There have been so many instances of trusting in God, and receiving something from one of you that encouraged me or helped me in some way — even paying some unexpected bills along the way.

Early year recap
My last two months on the mission field (January-February) and really up through May were part of the May newsletter I sent out. Of course, many more people have been added to the mailing list since then … so welcome! One thing that God has always gifted me with is the ability to make new friends. He has truly blessed me here in Raleigh/Wake Forest with new friends at work, seminary, church and in my apartment complex … and a veritable plethora of friends around the world who love me and pray for me. I am so blessed!

“Backpacking in Europe”
After my term ended in South Carolina, I had no clue where my next step would be. I was still trying to figure out if seminary was the next step or if I needed to find another job at a newspaper somewhere. This section is titled “Backpacking in Europe” because that sounds much cooler than what I actually did. Some wonderful friends allowed me to stay in their house while I figured things out. I paid for gas and some bills while working as a pet sitter and errand girl. I even did some office work. While I didn’t actually go to Europe, I did do some exploring of the spiritual, my-life’s-about-to-change kind (and without all the weight of a backpack). Upon much prayer and research I settled on attending Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

Raleigh – Here I Come!
I moved in May and began work at the Biblical Recorder ( You can view some of my work there; just do a search for my name and you’ll find articles I’ve written over the last several months. God has truly blessed my time here. I have some amazing neighbors at my apartment complex and very diverse too! I spent the summer getting settled in and learning my way around some of the major spots – it took me forever to find the closest Wal-Mart. I mean, most of the time map quest is OK, but searching for the closest Wal-Mart did not cut it on that site. There was no major signs directing potential customers to the store. I live less than three miles from work, so that’s nice. I spent the summer catching up on some reading and trying to get organized and ready for school.

First semester
This semester was quite busy with work and school. I managed to be a full-time student and employee. I don’t have my grades yet. My first three classes were Baptist History, Hebrew I and Biblical Counseling. History was pretty easy for me. Of course, it was one of my majors in college (eons ago). Hebrew was challenging but good. I mean, I am reading the Bible in Hebrew. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s really slow and sometimes excruciating when I have to look up every word and figure out the order in English. My brain doesn’t work in Hebrew yet.) Biblical Counseling actually was my toughest class. All my grades came in the latter part of the semester. The professor’s tests were extremely challenging and covered a great deal of reading. But, God brought me through it. I should find out my grades in the next week or so. I know one professor who promised he’d have it in before Christmas.

Scholarship help
Thank you all so much for those who have sent money to help with seminary and supplies. You have made it much easier on me in helping me pay for tuition, fees and books. I am in the process of scholarship applications right now but that is something I can’t count on … yet! Please be in prayer as I apply.
If you are a member of a Southern Baptist church, please make sure your church gives to the Cooperative Program; it helps Southern Baptist students pay for school. If it wasn’t for the CP money, my seminary costs would be at least double what it is now.
If any of you still want to contribute, you may do so:
Christian Women’s Job Corps
2626 Hebron Dr.
West Columbia, SC 29169
Please make sure you put Dianna Cagle in the “for” line on your check.
Also, please do not use this address for personal correspondence. Please contact me through the information provided below.

I’ll be home for Christmas
This statement is true. I’m flying to Alabama before Christmas and staying almost a week. I know my family is excited — as am I. I haven’t been home since early March.
I don’t have many scheduled plans, but there are some people I would like to see and some restaurants I would like to go to …


My break is super long since I’m not taking January classes. Spring semester starts at the end of January. Right now, I’m planning on taking three classes again: Christian Ethics, Counseling People with Addictions and Hebrew II. I’m thankful for the long break, although I do have some Hebrew “not-a-break” homework, and I’m trying to familiarize myself with Turabian, the writing style used most often by the seminary. So far, none of my professors were sticklers for it, so I avoided it. But I know one of my classes will emphasize that style. I also have several projects in the works to get a little more organized and get caught up on filing. Of course, preparing for tax season is always a lot of work too!

Mailing list
Many of you are joining me via my web site. I apologize for not mailing you a newsletter. I am trying to save on postage, as my mailing list is rather large. If you would like a hardcopy, please contact me. If you need multiple copies, feel free to copy this one. Or you can contact me if you need extras. If you wish to be removed from my mailing list, please contact me. If you feel that you have received this newsletter in error, also, please let me know. Sometimes a person is added to the mailing list because of another mutual friend or by request, and of course, being human, I do make mistakes, so I could have inadvertently mailed you one through a wrong address (especially if it’s through e-mail — really some of you do have unusual addresses — I’m speaking to myself as well)

Giving to missions
This time of year is very special. Not only is it the celebration of the birth of our Savior, but it is also the time for the collection of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Please, if you haven’t given already, pray about doing so. All proceeds go to support missionaries on the foreign field. While I’m here I’ll also plug the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering that is coming soon (to a Baptist church near you).

Contact information
(A lot of information has changed, please make changes in your address book.)
1031-C Hunting Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27615, (919) 414-6999
e-mail:; web site:;
blog:; work web site:
Jeremiah 29:11 — “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Remember, God is always there for you no matter what.
May you have a blessed Christmas,

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