Monday, January 26, 2009


My dear friend Lauren tagged me!

Here are the rules:
1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer. **
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder.
3) Explain the picture.
4) Tag 4 people to do the same.
No cheating (cropping, editing, etc.) Have fun!!

May I have a drumroll please?

Here it is:
This is my sweet friend, Jordan. This picture was taken towards the end of August 2008, and I'm pretty sure she was 9 months pregnant at the time. But doesn't she look cute??? She looks like she has a basketball stuffed in her shirt. I hope I look this cute when I'm pregnant!

And here's a sweet picture I took of baby Sayla who I love so much! (I know, I'm not supposed to post 2 pictures, but I couldn't resist!!!)

Now, here's who I'm going to tag:
1. Jordan
2. Kristen
3. Anna
4. Jason & Shannon

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Without Steeples or Stained Glass

Since the birth of our church almost exactly one year ago, we have been meeting on Sunday mornings at the Lubbock Civic Center. This was not by choice - we could not find a building in the right location that was both cheap enough and large enough to meet our needs. We all prayed and begged the Lord to provide us with something that would fit our needs, and nothing seemed to open up. Finally, about a month and a half ago, a building opened up and everything fell into place. Two weeks from today we will hold our first church service in this new building.

As Andy and I were greeted at the Civic Center this morning as we pulled into the parking lot with a large yellow banner that said "Liquidation Sale", we reminisced on some of the bizarre events that have been running at the same time as our church services. Here are just a few: a bridal fair, the cowboy symposium (complete with live animals and booths of cowboy merchandise to buy on the way into church), a car show (not old cars, but new tricked out cars with blue lights and deafening stereos), and, my personal favorite, a dog show (accompanied by all breeds of prissy dogs and nervous dog owners in the "church" parking lot). You better believe it that I made my way into the dog show after church that Sunday morning.

Andy plays in the Lubbock Cowboy Symposium every year. During this year's cowboy symposium, our good friend Kristen came in town to visit with her two little boys. Davis, her four year old loved it. We spent all Saturday there, and the next morning when we returned to the Civic Center for church, he turned to his mom a little confused and asked, "Isn't this where the cowboys were yesterday? What IS this building?" Kristen's answer: "Well, it's kind of an everything building." This caused little Davis to realize you don't have to have a steeple and stained glass to have church.

It seems like every Sunday we have giggled about the many random events held simultaneously with our church services, and anticipated the next bizarre event that we would walk through on our way to our next church service. On top of the odd events we see on Sunday mornings on the way into church, add our ghetto baptistery we've had for the last year. We've had baptisms in the most unusual fashion - usually a blue kiddie pool like the ones you remember buying from Wal-Mart as a child, and even in a swimming pool in a backyard. Watching a six foot tall man get baptized in a one foot deep kiddie pool was extremely akward, albeit beautiful.

Although I will forever get laughs out of the poodles I saw the dog show in our "church" parking lot at the Civic Center, I must admit that the whole process of having church at a place like the Civic Center, buildingless, has been extremely endearing to me. It is something that has reinforced in a special way a concept that I always knew: the Church is not a building.

So as a church, we are entering into a new era. We now own a building, though it's quirkiness would cause some to argue that it is not that much of a step up from our previous building situation. It is a classic church building, complete with burgundy carpet, children's rooms, and a real live baptistry. But the principle still remains: the Church is not a building, nor do you need a particular building to have church. It is a living, breathing organism set up by Christ and redeemed by his blood. It is a powerful thing, not tied down to a specific location, vastly different than organizations familiar to our culture like the Lion's Club, the YMCA, or the Red Cross. It was established by God himself, and will stand the test of time. When Jesus established his church, he described it this way, "Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Haides will not overcome it" (Matt. 16:18). I saw that baptism is a sweet picture of redemption, no matter if it's in a kiddie pool or a swimming pool. I saw the church growing and active, regardless of whether we met at the Lubbock Civic Center or at the Holiday Inn. I saw that the Church is alive, growing, and powerful - just as Jesus said it would be two thousand years ago. And I have had the priviledge of being a part of this.

While I'm very excited about the ammenities of having a church building, I have to admit that the switch will be bittersweet. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be reminded once again that the Church is God's, and is not constrained to any particular location. I'm also looking forward to the new things I will learn or be reinforced by this ghetto building we'll be meeting in shortly. Any ideas of what it will be? There has to be something to be learned from mismatching carpet in every room of the church....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Special Thank You (A Guest Post from Andy)

So, I don’t usually post on the blog but I did want to make a special post today. I was about to start writing thank you notes for graduation gifts and I just wanted to say a special thank you to my wife for helping me through school.

Many folks have encouraged me to go to school over the years, but she was the first person to actually help me look into different schools, get enrolled, take placement tests and figure out what classes I needed to take first. She also helped me pick out a degree plan and from day one as been my adviser, making sure I was taking only classes that I needed.

All through the last four years, she has helped me study for tests; edit papers, and constantly encouraged me whenever I felt like quitting or taking a break for a while. She has always said that we are in school together and she was always willing to help me study for a test or help me write a paper whenever neither one of us had time for it.

Furthermore, for the first two and a half years of our marriage she has endured me being in class two or three nights a week and she has always had hot meals waiting for me, and shopping and house work finished so that we could hang out. And, she has never once complained about it.

I am certain that I would never have started much less finished school without her help and encouragement.

Thank you babe!

28 is the Year to Graduate, 2009 is the Prime Time

Let me clarify... 28 is the year to graduate if you start school when you're 24! I'm so proud of my little husband. When he started school 4 years ago, it seemed like an almost unobtainable task to actually finish. He went to school full time and worked full time almost without a break for 4 years and now he's done! Not only that, but he graduated Summa Cum Laude, with highest honors. And on top of all of that, he had the highest GPA of everyone that he graduated with!

To celebrate, my mom had a lunch at her house following the ceremony for family. We had a wonderful time!

Then on Saturday evening, our good friends Drew & Jordan grilled out delicious chicken and sausage and we had a celebration.

Congratulations, my love! You are awesome!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is it just me?

On my way to work I saw a bumper sticker that said:

If you take God out of America,
it will cease to be America.

Is it just me or does this statement seem to make America somehow synonymous with God?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Home Improvements

For quite some time now, I have been itching for a new kitchen sink. As you can see, our old sink was disgusting. It's quite possible that it is the original from 1984.

So, Andy and I decided to tackle a home project: learn how to remove a sink and install a new one. It wasn't sheer determination on our part, it was largely due to the fact that our crummy little disposal quit on us for good. It has intermittently quit since I bought the house, but this time it was for good.

With the help of google, Ron Hazelton's how-to video, and the maintenance man's advice from my bank, this weekend we successfully removed our sink and installed a new one. (We also ran into a kink with our plumbing which we had to get help with, but the rest we did on our own!!!)Lest you think too highly of my clean sink, here are the dirty dishes I removed for the sake of this pretty picture (note that there were 15 times this many just last night).And here is Old Faithful, God rest her soul.

Bringing in 2009

Happy New Year!!! We brought the new year in well, as you can see by the fun pictures :)

Andy and I sat down on New Year's Day at Dion's Pizza with our journals and set goals for 2009. We did this last year and it has proved to be very beneficial in helping us re-orient and prioritize. Hopefully it will be a family tradition!

From our reflections here are some things we are thankful for that went down in 2008:
  • Helping plant our church, Redeemer Church, which has been a tremendous blessing to be a part of.
  • Seeing another Perspectives class finish this past fall.
  • Having one new niece on my side of the family and a new niece and nephew on Andy's side!
  • Finishing year two of marriage and still being in love with each other.
  • Starting a new position at work (me).
  • Beginning a new record (Andy).
  • Finishing college (Andy).
  • Being a part of our tremendous small group.
  • Caring for and being cared for by lots of great friends.
  • Learning how to save gobs of money by couponing.
Here are just a few goals for us in 2009 (I'll spare you the long list):
  • Host another Perspectives class, along with a concurrent children's class.
  • Become more consistent in our prayer and Bible reading, individually and as a couple.
  • Increase our savings and our giving.
  • Make healthier choices (walking more, eating more fruits and veggies, eating smaller portions).
  • As a couple treating each other with our best and most kind attitudes, instead of treating each other with less kindness and respect than we would others.
I am thankful for God's tremendous provision for us this last year, and my prayer is that this year would give us a fuller understanding of his grace!