Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kind of like a picture.

Right now, Andy and I are reading "The Jesus Storybook Bible", which is excellent (but that's another post). Throughout the book, there's a certain phrase about God's love for His people that is used over and over that I really like - it's referred to as His "never stopping, never giving up, unbreakable, always and forever love". We have just reached the life of Jesus in the book, and in the Lord's Prayer Jesus prays that we would know God's "never stopping, never giving up, unbreakable, always and forever love."

Here's the conversation between me and Andy about this:

Me: "That's kind of like your love for me, 'never stopping, never giving up, unbreakable, always and forever love,' huh?"
Andy: "Yeah, but my love for you isn't near as good as God's love for you."
Me: "But your love is sort of like a picture... It's not the real thing, but it reminds me of the real thing."
Andy: "Yeah, it's like a picture."

May we all be reminded today in and through the beautiful things in our life of the Real Thing, and of his "never stopping, never giving up, unbreakable, always and forever love".

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Andy!

Look how grown up we all are.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We're famous!!!

Well, if this counts we are...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Free Stuff

I have been determined to become a better shopper, and make our money last longer. I always hear about great deals and combining coupons, but it always seems impossible for me to actually do. Yesterday however, I beat the system. I will make money on all the above items. Here's how I did it:

Walgreens has a catalog, called the Easy Saver catalog, that is full of rebates. It comes out every month, and each month, there are a few items in it that are free after rebate. This month the Garnier Hair Styling products and the Colgate Advanced toothpaste were both free after rebate (limit 1 each). These are both things that Andy and/or myself use. The Glade flameless candles are on sale this week at Walgreens for $5.99 (regularly $7.99). In the Easy Saver Catalog (which can be found with the weekly ads at all the Walgreens stores) there is a $2 rebate for these (limit 3). Now if you combine this with this $5 off coupon from the Glade website, you will actually make $1 for each candle when you get your rebates back. (The coupon from Glade will only print 2 times per computer).

So, this is a picture of the things I made money to buy this week :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jesus died for pink-haired people too.

This weekend Andy and I went with a group from our church to Albuquerque, NM, to team up with City on a Hill - the Acts 29 church that we're paired up with (they are in a way our mentoring church). We were really encouraged and challenged by the entire trip, but here's a few things that stood out to us.

City on a Hill is located in the Lobo theatre in downtown Albuquerque. This is a very rough part of town, and at night there are prostitutes, druggies, and lots of "rifraf" all around this area. This is also one of the poorest areas in the city. The location is very strategic for the church, and they have structured much of their church around reaching the lost. They have what they call "neighborhoods", where they have split their small groups in to focuses on areas of the city they want to reach - there is a group of artists who want to engage with the unbelieving art community in the city, a community events group, a group that is working with the elementary schools in the area, etc. What we did was basically tag along with these groups to see what they are doing. It was extremely exciting to see how the Lord is really using City on Hill to reach the neglected people in their city. For example, the community events group is attending an AIDS walk in a few weeks, and they were asked by the people who were organizing the event if they would like to set up a booth, which of course they do. So, what they are going to do is have cards that say on one side "We are sorry for ignoring the AIDS epidemic" and on the back side have a place asking how they can pray for them. Wow!

Saturday morning we did some good old fashioned manual labor at a housing complex called Casa Shalom. Basically, Casa Shalom is a couple of apartment complexes in a below-poverty-line neighborhood near City on a Hill that was just put together by a man who really has a vision for reaching this neighborhood. He has gotten 18 low income families who are almost entirely Spanish speaking families together, who would otherwise be unable to afford home ownership. They have all gone in to purchase individual apartments, and will be living in this complex, eating meals together weekly, and hopefully reaching out to the violent neighborhood around them. This area has major problems with drugs and prostitution. The man who is heading this ministry up was probably around 40 years old, white, highly educated, and is married with 2 children. He and his family have moved right in the middle of the complex with the vision of really enabling the residents of Casa Shalom to reach out to their neighbors and share the love of Christ with them.

The exciting thing about all of this is that when you go to a Sunday morning service, you can really see the diversity of the church. They are now about 40% minority. Yesterday morning they had a baptism, with everything from a 9 year old girl, to pregnant woman, to a rough looking old man, to a girl with short pink hair. It was such a reminder to me that the gospel can transform, and is transforming, all types of people. The Church really is diverse.

This trip was also very challenging to us. Andy and I have been hashing out how we can really care for the people in Lubbock that the church ignores. These are the people that Jesus was engaging on earth - broken people. "For the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost." Luke 19:10 Jesus was contstantly being criticized by the religious people of his day for eating with tax collectors, prostitutes, the poor and sick. Why should we think we should be any different?

Jesus is actively calling people to Himself right now, and has commanded us to be his means to do this. These people are broken down and needy, and they don't necessarily look like me. They are people that might have major problems like drug addictions, poverty, or broken families. And they are people that I will probably be criticized for spending time with. If Jesus Himself made broken people a priority, why should I do any different?

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I am now officially closer to 30 than I am to 20. Weird.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Love & Marriage: Luther Style

Today I stumbled across a really interesting article on Martin Luther and his impact on the institution of marriage. You can check it out here.

A quote from Luther I thought funny: "If I can manage it, before I die I will still marry my Katie to spite the devil."

And a quote from a Luther scholar I really like: "Luther's faith was simple enough to trust that after a conscientious day's labor, a Christian father could come home and eat his sausage, drink his beer, play his flute, sing with his children, and make love to his wife — all to the glory of God!"

There is also another interesting article I found on marriage called, "Get Married, Young Man."

Anyone can comment!!!!

So, I have now opened my blog to where anyone can comment - even if you don't have a gmail address. If you're a lurker, please comment.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Billy Faier the Banjo Legend

Every year for nine years in a row, Andy has performed at the Texas Cowboy Poetry gathering in Alpine, TX. Two years ago after one of his shows, a man by the name of Billy Faier introduced himself to Andy. Immediately, he recognized the name - it was Billy Faier from Ramblin' Jack Elliot's song "912 Greens", the incredible banjo player. Last year when we were in Alpine we stopped by Billy's house in Marathon (just 30 minutes from Alpine), but Billy had just had heart surgery, so we didn't stay too terribly long. However, I was extremely impressed with this 77 year old man who played Bach on the banjo.

This year, however, we had the great privilege of spending extended periods of time throughout the weekend with Billy. Billy joined Andy on stage at his gigs in Alpine, we went with Billy to his gig in Marfa, and we had a great jam session at his house. During this time, we heard stories about folk musicians Billy knew and knows, including Woody Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Pete Seeger, Mississippi John Hurt, Leadbelly, and many others. We heard traditional folk songs the way they are supposed to be heard. We heard stories of the Dust Bowl, the Civil Rights movement, and the rise and importance of work unions in our country, and the importance of American folk music in all of these things. Not only is Billy an incredibly talented man and fascinating (he hitchhiked all across South America and is an expert juggler), but he his also a very kind man. We spent the weekend with a piece of American history. I am now privileged to call this piece of American history my friend.

I highly recommend checking out his website,, and buying some of his albums. Pete Seeger once introduced Billy as "the best banjo player I have ever heard." I agree with this.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Best Steak Fingers in the World

Andy had a show in Alpine, TX, this weekend, and us and our good friend Ben made the trip. On the way, we stopped in Andrews, TX, at Buddy's - home of the best steak fingers in the world. If you ever happen to be passing through Andrews, you need to make a stop and discover what steak fingers are really supposed to be.