Saturday, July 29, 2006

Another One Checked Off! =D

So I wanted to go to a Bats Game while I was here, and tonight Ashlea, Ryan & I did! It wasn't much action...and we lost :(, but it's all about the experience, right?

Baseball games: smells of hot dogs, cotton candy, nachos, and funnel cakes, the huge blue icees that turn your tongue violent shades of azure, the smuggled-in apples, the itchy grass seats, the one brave cheeseball who proposes to his girlfriend over the wide-screen TV, the songs that play for a scant few seconds-just long enough to get you dancing, the clouds as the sun falls...

The more personal aspects, too: the roommate who looks great with blue teeth, the adorable little boys behind you who dance whenever we score, the boyfriend who unexpectedly flicks peanut butter all over your face and doesn't seem at ALL deterred by threats to never speak to him again, the guy at the concession stand who nearly falls over when the answer to "how old are you, sweetie?" is "20..." (he thought I was 14! FOURTEEN!!...maybe it was the ribbon in my hair...)

And then admiring the brave skaters [and often rediculously imprudent and stupid] at the skate-park on the way back to the car.

Yes, I'd say it was an enjoyable end to a very encouraging, full day. (the clouds looked very cool as we left)

Two non-baseball pics for my sisters. And all you other grinners. =D

(The short brown Asian-looking man is John Miller's long-lost-twin...John Letoto. Also known as Toto.)

(ps there are lots more where those came from!)

My First Immanuel Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Mimbs, ladies & gentlemen...
[ok, ok, Ryan took that picture. So don't compliment me.]
Pastor King, Amanda & Josh-- this is in the Seminary Chapel. The pews are tall and lock! It's like being in box seats. Not nice when you're coming in late!! *sheepish grin*
Pastor Jeff King, his lovely wife Christie (did I spell that right? This church has TONS of Christies!), and their kiddos, Alexis (2) & Rachel (6 mos.?). So cute!! (oh, and you all should ask them about their Charter-Fishing Date. But don't ask while you're recovering from hernia surgery. You'll laugh WAY too hard, and it'll definitely impede your recovery...)

I must say I'm rather proud of Ryan for getting this one! I told Jeff his daughter walks like a little princess, and he got all stern and was like... "No-- she's a King!!" CHEESY!! Anyway, this is the beautiful Alexis Marie King. Definitely an effusive little personality! =D
Baby Rachel attacking/hugging Jacob Fullerton.
And look at that good-lookin Father-Son combo... Nathan & Jacob Fullerton, folks.
Glen's kiddie tie made me laugh SO hard. That's his wife, Bethany beside him, and they're talking to Mr. & Mrs. Aaron R-longnamethatican'tspell. Apparantly, the Mrs. R (Candace) thought that just because SHE was up 'til now Immanuel's most recently-wed bride (June), she could be the bouncer and keep certain individuals from entering into the celebration...just because the signup list wasn't there after the first Sunday... *wink* She kept saying something about patience. No idea WHAT she was talking about.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Read With Us

Yay I don't have to get up at 4:45 tomorrow!! ...instead...only 6, lol. I'm babysitting Robbie instead of my 8-hour daybreak shift at The Patio. Great last few days-- crazy, so less posting going on (I'm no longer unemployed!)-- but I DID manage to introduce Ashlea to Bryan Adams and crazy disco pop. We were celebrating our actual co-inhabitation of our apartment (a rarity these days with opposite shifts worked), with crazy music and dancing!! DJ Sammy's"Heaven," Aqua's "Tarzan" & "Dr. Jones"... Shakira... Billy Joel... crazy country...

Wanted to post some pictures from Read With Us, though. I talk about it enough--and enjoy it enough! These are from tonight. The 3 sisters from Clay St. came again-- Clara (4), Emma (6) & Mina (7)-- they came to Sunday School on Sunday, and are regulars at the Saturday Bible Club and Read with Us. Their grandmother, Miss Nancy, who is an English teacher, and their cousin came tonight, and so did their friends, Sierra (5) & Kristi (6). They'd both come to Read w/ Us before...Sierra clung to me. I was glad to coax smiles from her-- she's such a sad, drawn little girl.
Me reading with Sierra, Renaisha and cute!!

Sierra almost looks happy...

Listening to Miss Debbie (another English teacher, who lives on Camp St.! Ryan & I had dinner w/ her tonight afterwards, actually! She was a teacher @ his HS) read Jack & the Beanstalk, a great success!

Rob reading...ok...there are policemen with flashlights in front of our house... anyway. That's Emma he's reading to.

Ashlea & Clara. ...hmmm...more police cars with lights least there aren't any sirens?
A very dramatic reception from Ryan... (ok now there are cops running, and a guy in handcuffs...hmmm. it's all been very quiet, at least. No, Ashlea-- not cool!!)

[Ok, now there goes the poor Domino's guy. Now he's backing up. Is HE going to stop in front
of our house, too??]

I'll close with this one of Sierra-- it seems to sum our ministry up well.
We want little girls like her to grow up with an imagination that can hold onto Hope. That can turn into Faith... and faith into love... and love into joy.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I'm at work-- apparantly we have wireless at The Patio! Ummm...raw, local, yummy honey on gluten-free homemade bread, a quiet 30-minute lunch break with my newfound friend, coworker & sister in Christ...on our finished Patio... can it get any better?
I submit that it cannot! ;D

Lord, thank You for this job!

On the Inside

On the Inside

Monday, July 24, 2006

The more things change...

I know you've heard that truism. Haven't you? "The more things change, the more they stay the same..." Comforting if you believe one of those things that doesn't change is God, and His Love...and His Control over everything. Downright depressing if you don't.

The first post I ever made on a blog (xanga) featured this poem. I wrote it after a conversation with a friend, meant less for me than for their encouragement. After a phone call last night, its words came back to me. Now it's for me, and the one for whose comfort it was written stands in quite a different place. Quite a different place. Ironic, really. Yet the words are true...and so they whisper comfort... Y'all can tell me what you think.

Bruised By the Eagle’s Grip
~Exodus 19:4 "...How I carried you [Israel] on eagle's wings and brought you to Myself..." (this after He took them through the Sea, and then the desert!)

The wild-rolled eye-
A wind-ripped cry-
The talons curl around the prey
The iron-grip seals and draws away
Helpless, her prey to die.

A desperate fight
Ensuing night
And still beat wings of certain doom.
The flower cut off at the bloom,
No more to know the light.

And the sun glows hot and brighter still-
Intense and steady heat!
And the light, it burns- it blinds, it hurts
Yet- up!- there’s no relief.

Surrender at last-
Trapped sure, held fast-
The prey goes limp, hopeless, resigned;
Return to Home gone from its mind
Exiled from that dear past.

Suddenly, the drop!
Plunging towards rocks-
Again the terror-rigid scream!
But wait! Salvation is no dream:
The nest is where it stops.

The arid ground unwinds below
Consumed by storm and fire
Yet I lie safe, above it all,
Snatched from the warring mire.

Not here to die,
But taught to fly!
Nourished, and fed, and loved.
Now peering from the crags above
Beginning to learn why.

Blood, pain, and tears
Sharp anguished fears…
How strange this path to rest!
The helpless victim now more blest
Than Earth’s most wise of seers.

And I’ve been bruised by the Eagle’s grip,
Then healed by those same Hands.
Dragged steadily, relentlessly-
Or carried?- Through harsh lands.

~CMT, May 12, 2004

"Every blessing You pour out I'll
Turn back to praise.
And when the darkness closes in, Lord-
Still I will say:
"Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
Blessed be Your Name!
Blessed be the Name of the Lord--
Blessed be Your glorious Name."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More Picnic Pics

Lynn & Warren

Who is that cutie!? ;D

Rob, aka Guitar-man
(he serenaded us upon request)

Me 'n' Cassie


<--the dynamic (matching!) duo...the R-roommates... Should I be worried? ;D

Warren on Rob's guitar-- "Mahogany" (sp?)

Saturday, July 22, 2006


We're having a potluck-picnic here at St. James Ct.
after church this Sunday!
Bring-your-own-sandwich, and a blanket
Ashlea & I'll provide the dessert, drinks, and the grass! =D
Anyone is invited-- that means YOU!
See you at noon tomorrow!


The Crew who showed up =D

My co-worker, Christie, came to church with me!! YAY! =D Her roommate, Arin, came too. Doug, Toto, Matt, Lynn, Ashlea, Cassie, Christen, Warren, Rob, and Ryan (all from Immanuel) came, too, and it was a wonderful, fun time of encouragement for least it was for me! You might need to ask Doug about his, ahem,
"questionable" aquisition of peanut ressee's peices, though... ;D

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Leaders & Followers

...I read this verse in Judges the other day, right at the beginning of Deborah & Barak's Song of Victory, and it has stuck with me: “That the leaders took the lead in Israel, that the people offered themselves willingly, bless the Lord!" (5:2)

It hit me as strange & wonderful. I mean, that's not usually something people sing about. When was the last time you heard someone get up in church and burst into tears, praising God, because they're so pumped that some people are leading and others are following? But... it also makes absolute sense. Whenever things work "like they should," in this broken world, that's a miracle! God gets praise every time the rain waters the earth, every time animals bring forth babies, every time the earth rotates cleanly one more time on its axis, because that means the Curse has NOT utterly won!

And what is more unnatural than the right people stepping forward to lead, and the rest of them happily, willingly follow instead of griping that they're always just shuffling along at the back? That's usually more how it goes. But go back to Genesis, and you realize that there's nothing that SHOULD be more natural! The rest of Creation falls in order way better than we do, with our smart big brains (and bigger pride).

I thought of all the leader-follower relationships, and realized that there HAVE BEEN many times when I gave thanks for something similar: when I see dads or moms, & their kids all loving & respecting each other; when godly elders or deacons are ordained by a loving congregation (I was in tears the entire ordination service at Immanuel 3 weeks ago!); when a team works well together, united behind its leader(s); when an orchestra follows perfectly its conductor, himself following the music's composer, and the result is a gorgeous symphony... Most beautiful, I think, though is the relationship of a husband and wife. I say that's the most beautiful because it's meant to reflect The Ultimate Leader's relationship to His Bride. What man ever took more initiative at a higher cost to Himself to lead, to rescue? [how's THAT for a standard for manliness??] And what wife has ever followed more delightedly, and sacrificially than the church, watered with the blood of the martyrs? We haven't followed nearly as perfect as He has led-- but one day, we will!! (Rev. 21)

I can sort of make this personal, because I am deeply thankful for the relationship God's brought me into, with a man who is actively pursuing godly leadership, and I really WANT my relationship with him to be characterized by that beauty that comes from "as it should be." [and that desire doesn't just apply to dating relationships!] I'm really enjoying watching this work out! Ryan hasn't exactly died for me, but I'd say baking gluten-free-from-scratch-blueberry-muffins in an un-aircondioned kitchen (you know how gas ovens heat up!) in the Louisville July heat comes pretty close to defining "sacrificial!" [And Rob (his roommate) is one of my heroes now, too, as he got nothing but hot kitchen out of it.]

Seriously, I know our relationship isn't, and won't be perfect by any stretch-- because, let's face it-- this relationship was doomed to flaws the moment I stepped into it! But...because God is so good, and so generous with His grace, He lets even the less-than-perfect enjoy the benefits of obedience!... "But He gives us more grace..."

For any who are wondering what the heck I DO with Ryan, here are some fun pictures from last Saturday, when he came over to the Shueys' (I was staying the weekend with Sina & the kids while Dave was out of town for a wedding) for dinner, and then we went to Seneca Park for dessert! We had a very sweaty time, lol-- climbing trees, playing frisbee, and then jumping on the trampoline, all with the kids.

Jenna started licking the top of the ice cream container! Little girls and ice cream: something else that just "fits."

John, enjoying our gluten-and-lactose-free scruptiousness-- apple crisp & vanilla ice cream!! Oh, it was SO good! One fresh from the oven, perfectly cooled off by the equally-cold ice cream. Another beautiful relationship, lol. ;D

I like this picture the best of that night, I think.

Morgan took this one-- that's as high as Ryan & I went, and it's a little blurry. But it's fun. =D Didn't you ever wish you could be a squirrel??...
I've been on this computer long enough!
Here's Christina [most recently dubbed 'Boss' by Jack, and 'Maiden' by Toto] in Louisville, signing OFF.

My Job @ The Patio

I took these last Saturday during one of our MANY training sessions. I really like working there- Randy & Kim, the owners, are really sweet, and the other employees & I get along. There's a good mix of believers & non-believers, of high-school & college age kids. I'm learning so much, too-- from hot-dogs to coffees to smoothies to salads to non-tilty-ice-cream cones!

It was a very fascinating hotdog... ;D

Latte Mustaches-- me with Priscilla, the owners' daughter.

My boss, Randy. Does he not look like Don Donell!??

Tavi & Steph working the cash register.

Grand Opening tomorrow!! Soft opening tonight, which means free ice-cream, etc., for those invited, and lots of practice for us!! Should be fun-- whoopee!



Games! We started every day at 6:30 in the park, with Game-Master Ryan commanding. Thursday we had a water balloon toss/fight...and I got to bond with Ricky filling those up. It would seem long piano-fingers are good for tying them off! Someone else didn't come until way later...when Ricky & I were already wearing 1/2 the water....

Morgan made friends with this little girl, who is Somali & from a Muslim family. She and her brothers & uncles came every day to the games, and they come on Saturdays to our park Bible Clubs, but Muslims may not enter a church-- something I did not know!

"Mr. Ryan" Gamemeister himself.

"Miss Laura," who does the Bible clubs in the park with us on Saturdays!

Rob Smythe & Jin Gil leading singing. By the last day, the kids were really into it!

"Out of the mouths of children You have ordained praise, to silence the foe & the avenger..."

J.C's group, hard at work during Application Time. (they discussed the lesson while doing crafts)

Practicing the Bible verse.

Game time downstairs!
(the hand is J.C's...)