Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Funny post-election video

Maybe I'm just mean but I think this is pretty funny. Poor Obama supporters.




But this one by Mike Huckabee really speaks volumes.

Thanks Rebecca and Audrea for posting these videos.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Youth listen so much more than you think!

We have a couple of particularly lively youth in our youth ministry at our church. They just moved up from the children's ministry so they're quite young and interrupt others, get off track easily, and just talk nonstop. But they ask wonderful questions during Sunday School and have great insights (for example, does God want us to have a president or does He want us to have some other form of government?)! They are pretty blunt, which I appreciate because at I least know where they stand. During church lately, I've been sitting near them because they have a bit of a reputation for goofing off during church or getting up and walking around the church building. I sat by them last Sunday night to keep them from distracting others.

After the service during the youth fellowship, I went over to check out what they were up to (you just never know). One of the young ladies asked why I was always hovering over them. I explained that it was in response to their previous behavior of talking during church, leaving during church, passing notes, etc. They said they weren't children any more and could act good but I hadn't given the opportunity to be more mature. Good point. So, we had a quick test. I asked each of the girls separately if they could recount to me what the sermon was about. Both girls did a surprisingly good job so we've come to an agreement. They can sit several pews away from me during the service BUT they must speak with me after the service about what they remember from the sermon. They might goof off a bit, they might even get up to leave sometimes, but I think they are listening and growing. They'll mature with time and by giving them this room, which can grow into more room later on, I think we'll build good trust.

By giving the girls room to grow, I am also leaving open the opportunity for them to fail. Hopefully, we'll take it in reasonable steps so that they grow steadily but aren't in a position to fall too far. I do not want to set them up for failure by placing in their hands more than they can handle at once. But I also don't want to "hover over them," as one of the girls put it, never demonstrating any trust in their ability to grow in Christ.

Lesson: Youth listen far better than we think.

Friday, October 31, 2008

My Hero


So my gal Audrea is the woman (check out her blog at http://funkycoldmedinas.blogspot.com/). Not only is she a word wizard, she's also the blog whisperer. Now everyone can leave comments to their little hearts' content. :) Hopefully I'll post a recap of my weekend with Rebecca next week. No promises. Everyone have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quick Update

Kyle has had another one of those weeks. He preached Sunday night, had a test Monday night, and has a paper due this week, on top of his normal classes, teaching at church, and spending time with little ole me. He is so diligent.

Rebecca is flying in this Friday to spend the weekend with me. So exciting! I have a few ideas for things to do in DFW...we'll see which ones she's most interested in. Of course, it will include some good food at some of the great DFW restaurants. I want to check out the Pit BBQ up on Jacksborough HWY because it was voted to have the best ribs in Ft. Worth. Yum! There's also the Montgomery Street Cafe which is supposed to have wonderful chicken fried steak. I'm getting hungrier just thinking about it. We aren't going to just eat the entire time she's in so I'm thinking about other things like attending a local showing of Sleepy Hollow (very Halloweenish), going to the Farmer's Market (yay for fall!), and shopping is always an option as long as I spend very little money. There are tons of great places to shop and eat in DFW. It would be fun to ride the train into Dallas just because I've never done that before. I've been on the bus in Ft. Worth when I had jury duty but not the train. Oh the options. Then there's the good ole Botanic Gardens and such.

Mom and Dad are flying in for Thanksgiving so I'll have to start thinking of the Thanksgiving meal soon (it's almost November...holy cow!) and things for us to do.

Class is picking up for me as well. I have a group presentation in a few weeks that is supposed to last the entire class period on how to teach and work with youth. I also have to make a Teacher Training Manual with 10 one hour sessions. I really should get cracking on that manual.

Rylie is doing well. She's pretty crazy sometimes but she has a sweet disposition. Kyle is feeling better after his episode a bit ago. I'm getting antsy wanting to paint the kitchen hardware, the mailbox outside, the bench I need to finish. I also need to finish my final set of curtains and take the recycling somewhere that has piled sky high in my garage (no recycling in our town).

The youth are doing well. Kelsey spent the night last weekend and we took a few youth to a football game on Friday. I'm really enjoying teaching my Sunday School class and love the youth in there. They are all so different. I need to pray about being a better teacher to them, especially in light of the lesson today on all the different intelligences, learning modes, and styles that people have. So much to take into consideration!

Well, I think that's plenty of rambling for now. Oh...by the way...pray about the election and go vote. I already have so I don't have to wait in line!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Facebook is so much less complicated for users

Soooo.....apparently for some unknown reason and at some unknown time my particular blog has removed the "Comments" option. I'm not sure how this happened because I never edited the html. I don't even know what html stands for. For any of your code writers out there, please help! I want my dear friends and family to be able to read by blog. This is the only section on my blog html that mentions anything about comments. If you know what I should do to enable comments on my blog, please let me know. I messed with all the functions that the blogspot help sections said to mess with in terms of settings. Now it's up to you, faithful html decipherers, to help me. Please. Since you can't post comments to tell me how to fix my comments, please email me. If you should have my email address, you probably have it. If you know my phone number, you can give me a call and I'll provide my email address. (By the way, I'm also going to post this same blog in the blogspot forum and see if I get any help).



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Monday, September 29, 2008

Blow dryer help needed

According to several of my friends here at work, I don't do so hot with blow dryers. The current blow dryer has over the last few weeks been making some type of noise as if it is struggling to do its blow-drying duties. I flipped it on yesterday morning to get ready for church and it emitted some noise that I could only imagine a terradactyl might make. I quickly switched it off and resigned myself to heading to church with a wet mop. When I arrived at church, Kyle said, "You stayed in bed for a while this morning, didn't you?" assuming that I had slept in and hadn't had enough time to blow dry my hair (this from the guy who has slept through his finals!). Today, I also went to work with a wet head though it was considerably drier at work than it had been at church (thank God it is still 90 degrees here!).

My previous blow dryer met the trash can after it proceeded to shoot flaming fireballs of death at my head. That morning I went to work with half of my hair dry, much worse than either alternative.

So in short, I must purchase a new blow dryer. Does anyone have any reliable recommendations for a girl with straight, fine, thick hair that hates spending time styling her hair and does not like to fork out dough on anything, much less a blow dryer?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Strawberry Quick

Got this link from a friend and was absolutely blown away and pretty horrified. Makes me glad I don't have children yet so that I don't have to worry about this.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yay for a great weekend!!!

September has turned into super duper busy time for me and especially Kyle. Poor fella. Last Monday-Wednesday, he was in Birmingham, AL for a youth conference (drove the 10+ hours by himself there and back). Wednesday night he taught youth. Thursday, he had classes and then that night we had soccer practice. Friday he spent much of the day with one of our youth who will be heading off for basic training soon. Then we went to Camp Eagle for the retreat and didn't return until Sunday night.

Yesterday, he worked on homework, laundry, drove one youth to work and took another to Sonic, and then had class that night. The rest of the week is looking just as busy since he has class today, FedEx tonight, youth on Wednesday night, classes and soccer on Thursday, and Friday we have our senior retreat. The seniors will spend the night Friday night and then we'll head out early Saturday morning to go towards Tyler, TX for the retreat. Sunday night, Kyle is preaching. Oh yeah...and Rylie is being spayed this Thursday. Craziness! Hopefully things will slow down a bit, particularly on the weekends, after this week.

Our College and Career Retreat was fantabulous. The ladies I went with were wonderful, as expected, and John and Kyle had a great time as well. At 6:30pm Friday night our group hopped into the van to head to the Hill Country (beautiful!!!). We arrived at Camp Eagle at 12:30 am after a few bathroom stops and one missed road. Kyle did a great job driving to and from the camp, my little trooper. Stacy kept asking where he was taking us because it seemed like we were in the middle of nowhere, literally. No one had cell phone service and we drove down a dirt road for 8 miles to get to this place. Fun times. It was great to be so disconnected and have a chance to breath. Kyle challenged us through some Bible studies on the life of Noah to be obedient in the little and big things. We shouldn't be afraid obediently pursue great things for God. Here are some pictures from our trip. I hope you enjoy them! I've added some captions that should tell a bit of what we did. Those things not captured on film to show here are: kayaking, blobbing, swimming, hiking, zip lining (at least, not on my camera), and just tons of beautiful scenery.

View from the building we stayed in at Camp Eagle



Stacy, John, and Katie with Cedar the dog (amazing retriever that would dive down in the lake, deep into the lake, to retrieve rocks we'd thrown in). John really loved him as shown in the picture. Cedar really loved John because he fed him Honey Buns. Poor thing probably has diabetes now.


Quiet time next to the river


Pierre David Deer from the wild game farm across the river



Kellie blazing up the rock cliff we were climbing (I just love her expression in this picture)



We all made it to the top alive (sans John who hung out at the bottom with Cedar).

Now begins our Sherpa trek and then rappelling!




John and Kyle went mountain biking (wonderful trails) while Stacy, Katie, and I went kayaking and Kellie studied for an exam she had today (hope you did well, Kellie!).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Update and our little monkey

Just a quick update. Tonight we have our one and probably only soccer practice for our intramural soccer team. I think we're going to name ourselves the "B Team" since we don't expect to be a real threat to the competition. We just want to play for fun. And fun it will be! We'll see how my knees hold up. I played a few games of indoor and outdoor soccer my senior year of college with no major injuries. Amazing, I know. We'll have to see how this goes. (For those of you who don't understand the context of these comments...I tend to have trouble with soccer though I love it. I've had surgery on both knees, a broken clavicle, a broken foot, several sprained ankles, busted lips, etc. I guess it's more of a nonreciprocal relationship. I love soccer; it hates me).

Kyle and I are leaving on Friday for a retreat with part of the college and career class. I am really excited about the opportunity to get to know the ladies more who will be going. They are so much fun! I hope to post pictures of the trip soon (Note to self: remember to take your camera and charge your batteries and download the pictures you currently have on the camera).

Oh yeah, here's quick update on Rylie for all of you who care (Mom does because she calls Rylie her granddog since we don't have children yet). Here's a picture of Rylie on the way home from Lake Mineral Wells State Park. We stopped by DQ and gave her a small ice cream as a treat for her good behavior (she's just like Kyle in her love for ice cream) and this is a picture of her after her post-ice cream nap. :)We took her up there on Labor Day weekend to go hiking. She did really well on the car ride there and back. She did fairly well during the hike except towards the end when she got tired (she's still a puppy). The car was back up the hill but she only wanted to walk downhill because it was easier. She didn't understand that she had to go uphill to stop hiking and to get to rest (very deep and applicable to life but I won't go there). We're having her spayed on September 18 so I hope all of that goes well.

Some of you may know that she's been getting out lately and we first thought that someone was letting her out because we couldn't find any spot that she would've climbed under. Next we figured out there there were some spots in the fence where the chain-link wasn't attached to the top bar so she could put her weight on it and climb up it, wiggling herself out to freedom. Last Saturday we were outside fixing all of these suspected routes of escape. I was outside the fence helping Kyle secure the chain-link to the top bar. All of a sudden Rylie begins to climb the chain-link fence to get outside to me. She put her paws in the holes and climbed up and over. I wish I had a video because she strained terribly to make it and it's a very cute face. But now she must remain tied up in the backyard until we think of some solution. We're leaning towards the underground electrice fence but we aren't sure yet. In the meantime, she's awfully pitiful being tied up all the time. Poor thing. Anyone have any advice? We'll gladly consider it!

Friday, September 5, 2008

International Students

While I have been here at Southwestern I have been exposed to so many wonderful international families, families from Nigeria, Cameroon, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Romania, Argentina, India. It has been such an encouraging experience. These kind friends love Jesus and want to be best equipped to minister to His glory. They are great people. I could write so much about the encouragement and kindness I have been the recipient of from all these wonderful people but that would make this post entirely too long.

At the church fair last night (the church fair happens once a year where the area churches set up booths during the seminary picnic so that new students can find a church to join), one friend from Malaysia came to our church booth and introduced me to his wife and son. His wife asked if anyone at our church could help her practice her English. She wants to raise her TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score so she can study here at SWBTS. It reminded me of my friend from India in the D.Min. program who will often come to my office or Mike's office to practice his English on us. According to him, it is much easier to speak, and particularly to read and write English, than it is to hear and comprehend it.

This has gotten me to thinking about the wonderful opportunity our churches could have to minister to these wonderful people. How simple would it be for a native English speaker to sit down and converse with one of these international students to give them the chance to practice their English? It would only take time on our part, nothing more. And the benefits we both would receive would be tremendous. We would be helping fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to get a better grasp on the English language, allowing them to better function in day-to-day life in America as well as enabling them to better understand their studies here at SWBTS. (I'll tell you one thing, if I was pursuing a degree in a second language, I would be utterly lost. These are really intelligent people but without practice, English is such an intimidating barrier.)

In the meantime, we would be building relationships with believers from different cultures, reminding us that God is not just an "American" or "English" god but the God of the universe and He is worshipped by people around the world. We would develop a love and respect for their culture and their country, placing in us a greater burden for missions around the world.

What would be the best way to go about doing a ministry like this? I'm not sure if God is calling me to take part in something like this, but it's a great thing to think about. Let me know what you guys think, especially those of you who are part of my church family.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beth Moore Conference

I don't have tons of time to post (as usual) but the ladies and I from work had a wonderful time at the Beth Moore Conference in San Antonio this past weekend. I was a little skeptical because I tend to shy away from large groups of emotionally charged women. Yes, I'm a woman and yes, I do have emotional moments but I don't like to be submerged in such situations (I'm sort of a tomboy/outdoorsy girl at heart). But it was a delightful weekend. Beth is a wonderful Bible teacher. The praise music was beautiful and powerful and I got to know my sisters in Christ that I work with at SWBTS just a bit better.

This weekend made me think of several things. First, the topic was great. Inheritance. The Bible is laden with talk of inheritance. The main passage of the weekend was Psalm 16:5-6 (though we jumped often to different passages):

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. (ESV)

The 8 main points of the weekend were:
1. I am an heir of God. My life is not left to chance.
2. I am an heir of God. I am inheriting a kingdom.
3. I am an heir of God. He is my portion…And I am His.
4. I am an heir of God. The down-payment has been made.
5. I am an heir of God. My boundary lines form a pleasing place.
6. I am an heir of God. The will has been activated.
7. I am an heir of God. I can be secure.
8. I am an heir of God. I have a beautiful inheritance.

A few things that struck me during the weekend (many did but here are a few) are the facts that we're God's "glorious inheritance" and that we need to live in light of that fact. God values us so much so we should live with this in mind, without insecurities or being trapped in sin. Another thing struck me and I'm hesitant to say it here because I believe it could inflame some potentially volatile debate (such statements have in the past).

Okay, here goes: Beth Moore is a more skilled preacher than a great number of men I have heard preach. Let that soak in for a minute before I continue. Being a part of her Bible studies on Friday and Saturday was a blessing. But they weren't merely Bible studies because there were 10,000 women there in a venue where there could be little interaction. She was preaching. She was preaching to women but she was preaching. Beth acknowledges that her calling is to work with women and it is clear that God has gifted her to that capacity. It made me think back over some of the pastors I have had in the past and how she had so much more skill in laying out Scripture than many of them.

So this topic naturally drifts to the topic of women serving as pastors and/or teaching men. This weekend something was reaffirmed in my heart that I have often struggle with (not for myself but just in general). God chooses to use people regardless of their skills or abilities. God chose not to use women as pastors over congregations not because of their lack of ability or their tendency to be easily led astray (crazy boys drawing that from the text) but because of His sovereign choice to use whatever means He sees fit to best glorify Himself. If men argue that God placed them in their positions of authority because of their abilities, they are sorely mistaken. God uses the weak, unwise, and inexperienced to confound those that think are they are strong, wise, and experienced. If anything, maybe this speaks more highly of women (*wink wink*). Honestly though, this weekend helped to reinforce in my life that God chooses to use people because of His power, not their own. His choice to not use women in certain ministerial positions is no indication of a women's worth or ability. He has worked through Beth because He loves her and wants to glorify Himself in the way He has chosen.

Okay, to end on a less heavy note (and please understand that the above rambling hasn't been thoroughly thought out and could be erroneous in some ways), here's a picture from the conference. I'm in the second row, in the middle with an orange shirt on. The ladies who went with me are around me. Click on the picture for a larger view.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Infanticide

I don't have much time to write my thoughts on this article except.....gosh, what a travesty. We value human life so very little. We disregard and throw away the weakest members of our society because they are unwanted. This article is NOT primarily on abortion but on something that everyone can agree is horrible...well, everyone except Obama.

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=28732&ref=BPNews-RSSFeed0820

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Doctrinal Accomodation

I was struck by this quote earlier today:

"I pray that the younger evangelicals who are pondering where to put their energies will learn from history that doctrinal accommodation brings larger audiences in the short run but death and irrelevance in the long run."

Piper's comment above came at the end of a brief summary of an article on the death of Mainline Protestantism in the last thirty years. Joseph Bottum calls this decline the "central historical fact of our time" so I perked up and read Bottum's explanation. The objective of this article is not to point to Christ as savior but it is an interesting article.

Piper's closing remarks in his summary are reaffirming for our ministry in Everman as we try to do things of substance to foster growth in the youth there. Many churches' desires to be relevant to those outside of the church cause them to tolerate compromises in theology. This ultimately leads to their inability to minister to the true needs of the very group they are seeking to reach. According to one of the sources cited by Bottum, "the single best predictor of church participation turned out to be belief—orthodox Christian belief, and especially the teaching that a person can be saved only through Jesus Christ."

Orthodox belief...not well planned, non-threatening, relational family programs or utilization of the latest technology for worship or a focus on the social plights of the day or environmentalism or the economy or politics or even a spurning of "archaic" doctrines to accomodate those less comfortable with church. Belief in Jesus as Lord. Funny, isn't it, that the One who began the church blesses the church when its focus is Him? What else is funny is that when Christ is the center, all those other things are affected: our treatment of the environment, how we spend money, how we "do" church, what we believe about doctrine. Hmmm...

For the summary of the article by John Piper (brief and to the point), click here: Dying Protestantism. For the full length (and I do mean FULL length) article by Joseph Bottum, click here: The Death of Protestant America.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Quick Update from a Horrible Blogger

My lack of time and lack of home Internet connection (Kyle and I figure we have access at work so it's best to not have access to the addictive thing in the house at this time) causes me to be a pitiful blogger. Sorry family and friends. Here's quick update:

Monday: I'm facilitating Ph.D. orientation over at the Riley Center..should be a good time.

Tuesday: Kyle has FedEx on Tuesday nights so that's my night to veg out alone. Lately I've been finishing up the curtains I'm making for the dining room.

Wednesday: we're doing something different to welcome in the new seventh graders coming up to youth...can't remember for the life of me what it is.

Thursday: Paintball (also to welcome in the new youth...kind of like hazing, only in Christian love)! I'm excited but also a little apprehensive about this. Maybe I can play the feeble, delicate little flower part and then surprise them with my wicked bad sniper skills. It usually works when Kyle tries to wrestle me.

Friday
: Classes start back up for me (Thursday for Kyle). I'll work a few hours, go to class, work a few more hours and then go to San Antonio with a group of ladies from work for a Beth Moore conference. Should be a fun time. Kyle is having the youth lock-in this night. They'll be playing messy games, having a devotional, going to Group Dynamix to do team-building high ropes stuff, and then playing dodge ball in a nearby gymnasium. I'm sorry I'll be missing out.

Saturday: Kyle will probably be sleeping much of the day and I'll return that night.

We have two retreats in September, one with the upcoming seniors and one with the college and career group. Should be a great time. Kyle is pumped about football season (he's been talking about it starting for over a month). I'm more excited that the average temperature for the month will be below 101 degrees (no lie...that's what our electricity bill said for July).

Rylie is doing well. She's walking well on her leash and still as sweet as ever. She has, though, dug a tremendous pit in the backyard. When I say tremendous I mean several feet long and foot deep that could easily cause someone to break an ankle if they unknowingly stepped into it. That will be one of our projects next spring...grow grass where the weeds were so she can't dig as much!

Oh yeah...and we were phelpsaholics when he was swimming. We're loving the Olympics. Go Team USA!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman Family on Good Morning America 8/6/08

Wonderful interview with an amazing family. You can pause the music at the bottom of the page so you can hear the interview.

Monday, July 21, 2008

China pastor, wife forced from home

I came across this news story online today and thought it appropriate to post the link here. We should be thankful for the freedom we have in the states to worship . Yet, there is something to be said for the refining power of persecution. While I wish persecution on no one, it would certainly do America's watered down version of Christianity some good to be forced to choose between prayerlessness and fervency, comfort and eternal rewards, popularity and obedience, our way of life and the Way. It is too easy to get lazy and comfortable in our mediocre style of Christian living when we are not challenged. Praise God for those believers in China and around the world who stand fast in the midst of persecution.

Please pray for the believers in this story and if you have the opportunity, write the Chinese Ambassador, Zhou Wenzhong.

BEIJING (BP)--A leader among China's unregistered house churches and his wife have been forced from their home and hounded from shelter to shelter by Chinese authorities since July 6, according to the human rights group China Aid Association. The only explanation given by officials for the couple's treatment was that the pastor "met the Americans and destroyed the harmony of the Beijing Olympic Games."
Click here to read the remainder of this story.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ketchup: Kyle's Kryptonite

I was rushing off to work early this morning so I could open up the room for the D.Min. seminar that's going on for the next two weeks. As I stepped outside to get into my car, I just chuckled, walked back inside and yelled upstairs to Kyle that his car had been attacked. Kyle came outside to see this (see pictures below taken with my phone I got for $0.01). For most people, this would just be sort of humorous but for Kyle, it was disgusting, which made it all the more funny. Apparently, the people who did this are aware of Kyle's great aversion to ketchup. I thought it was hilarious. The ketchup packets are from several different restaurants, which makes it even better. Thanks for the early morning laugh, guys.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Colorado Vacation - Part 1

So...I'm a horrible blogger. I know. I need to be better about giving updates and posting pictures. I have tons of pictures to post of our Colorado vacation but...ya know. God gave us a wonderfully relaxing yet adventurous trip that helped to refuel us for our busy lives here in Texas. Here's a quick overview of how the trip went with a few pictures from my cellphone as a preview of what's to come.

Kyle and I left early (5:30am) Saturday morning and drove straight through to Colorado, reaching our destination at about 6:30pm. The drive through Texas was barren of any good scenery (sorry to those people who live in Northwest Texas...your portion of the state is just not aesthetically pleasing...you can't help that).

(notice the barrenness in the background...a very desolate drive except for the cute little prairie dog I saw!)

New Mexico was prettier but very sparsely populated, except for the pronghorn antelope. Amazing. I don't think I'd ever seen one before and it was nearly the highlight of my trip (yep, I'm still a Biology nerd at heart). We stayed in the Marriott Mountain Valley Lodge and saved a bunch of money by cooking nearly every meal there. I have more pictures of the scenery from my camera but here are a few from my phone (you know, the one I got for a penny).



(Notice the difference between the first picture of Kyle in this post and this one)

Here's a run down of the week:
Sunday: Church in Denver at Riverside Baptist with Pastor Jim Shaddix followed by a Denver Rockies game against the Mets (the Rockies won)

Monday: Hiking at St. Mary's Glacier. Snow everywhere but it wasn't that cold.

Tuesday: Georgetown Loop train ride and silver mine tour

Wednesday: Ended up hiking up to about 13,000 feet elevation on Quandary's Peak when we wanted to be on McGullough Gulch. Lotsa snow+no snowshoes=soggy feet. The quotable conversation of the trip had to have happened that day. I was worried about the quickly approaching clouds; Kyle was worried about mountain lions and then later, black bears.

Kyle: What do we do if a mountain lion attacks?

Rachel: I don't know. I guess we fight back or climb a tree or something.

Kyle: Don't worry. I'll fight for you.

Thursday: White Water Rafting on Clear Creek, the same creek where they get the water for Coor's Beer (so our guide said).

Friday: Hiking on the Mohawk Lake trail with snowshoes. I still ended up with soggy feet. I have two hilarious videos of Kyle from this trip...well particularly one. I'll have to post it later.

Saturday: Drove home all day but stopped at Capulin Volcano in New Mexico. Kyle was a little disappointed that is was all grown up inside but we did get to see free range cattle.

And now to wrap up with my favorite picture of the trip:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Moderation is less than you think

I'm not making a statement in any form in this post about my convictions on drinking. They're complicated and somewhat personal. I just want to give an appropriate warning: Ladies, be careful. Moderation for a woman is much less than you'd think.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Upcoming Vacation and New Do

So...Kyle and I are leaving for Colorado in a few days...super pumped. We desperately need a break. This year has been pretty busy and crazy with school, work, ministry, and all that has gone on with my family recently. I hope to have beautiful vacation pictures to post soon. :) In the meantime, here's a quick picture of my new hair cut. I cut a bunch off....a bunch. This is the shortest my hair has been in about 20 years. Crazy, huh?

Before the haircut:


(with cartoon effects added):


After the hair cut:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Vandals

We had some vandals come to our house on Saturday night. Not the bad kind of vandals...the fun kind that make you feel loved. This is a quick video of their work. In the video I point out two innocent people as culprits but now I know the truth. Those two were framed by some other youth. You know who you are. Be ready. It'll come. :)
video

Mother's Day at Six Flags

Since both of our moms live a thousand miles away, Kyle and I decided to go to Six Flags for Mother's Day. We only went for a few hours but here are a couple of clips and photos for your enjoyment. :) Love you, Mom!

New Rylie Photos

Rylie's been growing like a weed. She's a sweetheart and it's great to see Kyle enjoying her so much (he was severely deprived as a child, never getting to experience the joy of a pet because of his pet allergies). Kyle was mowing the backyard so I had to tie her to the tree in the front yard. I looked out the front door and she was digging full-force with both front paws in the empty flowerbed by the tree. When I came out to take photos, she was proudly laying in the nice new hole she had dug. Good thing we hadn't planted flowers yet!






Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Cell Phones!

Kyle and I just recently got new cells phone. His was on its last leg, sometimes not allowing him to hear people or people to hear him. Fickle little thing. Mine was still doing alright though I got it a few months before Kyle got his new phone (mine-12/04). We went to one of the local AT&T shops and saw a few phones that we liked, especially one that was going to be $79.99 after a mail in rebate (no, thank you). Instead, I decided to look around on the AT&T website to try and catch some web only deals. Kyle and I decided that we weren't going to be able to find those phones that we particularly liked without paying a little bit so we decided we would get them after our vacation in May and then count that as our birthday presents. BUT...the story doesn't end there.

I received an email from Amazon about some random product (don't remember what it was now) and a link on the page caught my eye: cell phones for $.01. I checked it out and they had the phones that Kyle and I wanted to get...for $.01 each! We ordered them on Friday and they were on our front porch on Monday, brand new and as promised and only for $.02 total. I was pretty excited to say the least. The phones are Sony Ericsson's Walkman W580i and have 2.0 Megapixel cameras, FM radio, the ability to synchronize with our calendars, contacts, notes, tasks, etc. on our computers, and serve as MP3 players. Kyle's phone (the white one) came with a small 256 MB M2 Micro Memory Stick but mine (the gray one) did not. So far, that's my only complaint. I've ordered a memory stick (4 GB) for mine so it'll be ready to go in a few days. Exciting times. If you need our new numbers, email me or call me quickly on my old phone before I shut it down.

And a forewarning...once I get the memory card all situated and ready to go, I might be able to do some video blogging. How exciting!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Another Helpful Tool For Spiritual Growth

I blogged a while ago about BibleMemory.us that sends emails with a link so you can practice Scripture memorization (it has since been modified and you can choose which verses are sent to you and personalize some other things). I've just found another neat little tool: Echo Prayer. It's a online resource where you can input prayer requests and then they'll send you email or text updates at specified times to pray for random or specific prayers. Seems pretty simple, straight forward, and useful. It also has options to add journal notes about prayers and mark that the prayer has been answered. I just started using it today and it will send me specific updates to pray for Uncle Bill.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring Break with (part of) the Family

I decided on a slideshow this time instead of a montage. The slideshows don't have sizing options like the montages do so it doesn't fit exactly. Sorry! Enjoy!

Evermazing Race, DNow 08

Just a random montage of Evermazing Race videos from March. I didn't get to take as many good photos as I would have liked. Sorry!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

An unexpected opportunity to minister

I saw this clip on a friend's blog and was encouraged by it so much that I posted it here. This should remind us that seemingly bad situations can be the perfect opportunity to share. Just watch.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quick Update

I haven't blogged in a few weeks so I thought I would put up a quick update until I have the chance to really post something. Okay...what's been going on...hmmm...

We had DNow this past weekend and around 25 youth showed up and we had a wonderful weekend. Kyle's messages were good, the teachers were excellent, and I think everyone had a good time. I think it was a time of spiritual growth and unity for the youth ministry. Josh Reardon flew in from KY to lead worship. He did a great job and I was glad to see Kyle getting to hang out with an old friend.

Rylie is growing like a weed. Kyle said we should stop feeding her so she'll stay little. I tried to explain that it didn't work that way but he didn't understand (silly boys). We're still trying to teach her how to walk on a leash but she's pretty well comprehended sit (in calm situations). She's gotten stay down about 75% of the time in non-distracting environments.

Mom and MawMaw are coming out next Monday so I'm excited about that. They're driving out and bringing a piano that Mom bought at an estate sale. They'll be here during Spring Break but I'll still have to work most of the week.

School is going well. I am about to start researching for a paper on Christian Perfectionism, a doctrine that Wesley developed that Christians could become perfect in this life (it's funny that he never claimed to have reached it himself and he drastically limited his definition of sin...it'll be interesting to research).

That's about all for now. I hope to post DNow pictures soon. I'm still behind on a few other sets of pictures. Sorry! Have a spectacular week!

Oh, yeah...I had jury duty on Friday and Monday. Our group sat through 6 plea bargains...very boring stuff but I'm glad I could help our judicial system.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Republican Debate Petition

Before I begin writing this post, I would just like to say that I am glad my grandma does not even know how to turn on a computer. If she knew I wasn't supporting Hillary Clinton, who she says has run the White House before and can do it again, she might disown me. Gotta love spunky little Grandma Ama (and for those of you who don't know her...I call her little because she's only 4'8"). Anyway, on to the post. I have never been involved much in politics. It all frustrates me, nearly as much as student loans and taxes. Last tax season I was nearly brought to tears in H&R Block because the man who was doing our taxes was completely boching them up. Finally, Kyle looked at me and said, "Are you comfortable with this?" to which I promptly replied, "No." We asked for a new person to help us and all was good. I'm dreading it this year. DREADING IT!

Anyway, politics give me a mild version of that feeling. Since I'm sort of an "adult" now I have been keeping up with the primaries much more than I would have in the past. The Republican field is down to two and almost one candidate. I received a link from a friend to sign a McCain vs. Huckabee debate petition. http://www.petitiononline.com/jkb1961/petition.html. The petition states the following:


To: Sen. John McCain

A Republican debate was scheduled to take place on February 28th, 2008. It was to be sponsored by the Ohio Republican Party. This debate has since been mysteriously cancelled. A rush to judgment has ensued following the Super Tuesday elections on February 5th in which more than 21 states held primaries or caucuses. Sen. John McCain gained an enormous advantage and squeezed out Gov. Mitt Romney. Gov. Mike Huckabee was left standing as the Party’s only other viable candidate.

We believe: 1) Sen. McCain should earn the respect of the Republican base by debating Mike Huckabee in one or more formal Lincoln-Douglas style debates. 2) that failure to publicly engage Gov. Huckabee in debate before March 4th should be considered a gross attempt to grab the nomination without properly demonstrating a viable candidacy. Thus, we hereby petition Sen. McCain to accept an invitation to debate Mike Huckabee with all due haste and prove or disprove his worthiness.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned


Makes perfect sense to me. If there are only two Republican candidates left in the race, why not let the voters get a clear picture of who to vote for? It seems that only those who are unsure of their strength as a candidate would shy away from such an event. I think Senator McCain is aware of how well Mr. Huckabee has performed in the debates that have been held and wants to shy away from any sort of event that could lessen his momentum as he bids for the Republican candicacy. But, then again, I'm not a politcal analyst, so what would I know?

I'm not sure how great of a leader either man would be but I primarily want a person with upright moral convictions to hold the office of President. Any leader can surround himself with a good cabinet to get the skills needed to successfully run a country. What we need is a leader who has integrity and honesty. That is something a presidential candidate cannot make up for by surrounding himself with highly skilled politicians. I hope this sort of mindset will drive each of us as we vote for the next Presidential candidate and our local politicians. If our leaders do not value honesty, integrity, and fairness, political advisors will not be able to compensate for these weaknesses.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rylie!

We got an adorable puppy on Sunday. Check out the pictures. I'm sure there will be more to come. When I have the chance, I hope to post Super Bowl pictures and College and Career pictures and then write more about little Rylie. Come visit soon before she grows up!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Phones in Church

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be theologically valid. It's just funny. Don't be offended.

I received this email from Susan and thought those fellow Kentuckians out there would appreciate it. Enjoy!


PHONES IN CHURCH

A man in Topeka , Kansas decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to San Francisco and started working east from there.


Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and making notes.


He spotted a golden telephone on the vestibule wall and was intrigued with a sign, which read "Calls: $10,000 a minute." Seeking out the pastor he asked about the phone and the sign. The pastor answered that this golden phone is, in fact, a direct line to heaven and if he pays the price he can talk directly to GOD.

The man thanked the pastor and continued on his way. As he continued to visit churches in Seattle , Dallas , St. Louis , Chicago , Milwaukee , and around the United States , he found more phones, with the same sign, and the same answer from each pastor.

Finally, he arrived in Kentucky , upon entering a church in Louisville, Kentucky . . . Behold - He saw the usual golden Telephone . . . BUT THIS time . . . the sign read "Calls: 35 cents."

Fascinated, he asked to talk to the pastor, "Reverend, I have been in cities all across the country and in each Church I have found this golden telephone and have been told it is a direct line to Heaven and that I could talk to GOD, but in the other churches the cost was $10,000 a minute. Your sign reads only "35 cents" a call. Why?"


The pastor, smiling benignly, replied, "Son, you're in Kentucky now ...... You're in God's Country, It's a local call."

American by Birth - A Kentuckian by the Grace of God!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Charlie Brown Christmas

The youth performed the Charlie Brown Christmas and did a spectacular job. Following the photos of that are a few of the church's wonderful Christmas musical.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bible Memorization

I know I said I was going to put up pictures soon....and I will. I just haven't had the chance to get them all off the camera. Don't give up on me. They should be coming. I vow to have them up at least before February, hopefully next week.

I wanted to put up this short blog about a program I've been using lately to help me memorize more Scripture. http://www.biblememory.us/. The program sends emails right to your inbox 6 days a week with a link you click that takes you to their website. On the website, you do certain drills to help you memorize a certain verse of the Bible each week. There are other customizable options, like choosing what translation you use, but it's a simple and convenient way to memorize Scripture. You can also choose to receive it as an RSS feed. And if you're like me and you check your email nearly every day, it's a great way to be held accountable too. So start memorizing!

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11

Friday, January 4, 2008

We're back in TayHoss

We made it back safely to Texas. Traffic was a breeze and it only took us a little over 13 hours to make it home. We made GREAT time. I did catch Grandma's cold and have been fighting that for the last few days (this is my first day back to work) so I haven't uploaded any pictures yet. Sorry. Check back in for another update soon! Everyone enjoy the first weekend of 2008!