Saturday, July 31, 2010

Times of Refreshment

Philemon 1:20 "I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ." (Paul to his friend Philemon)

Although we are physically spent from a summer of non-stop going, our hearts have been deeply encouraged and our spirits revived, especially over the course of the last couple of weeks. And I thank God for that. He knows us in and out and is so good to refresh us in deeply personal ways.

This time, it came in the form of a visit from some dear friends from Nashville, Kevin, Janet & Isaac Shrum.

These are friends who we love deeply but don't get to see very often. They came with a need to be refreshed, yet their presence and friendship offered that gift to us. I think it's an amazing thing when God connects people in such a way that they can encourage one another in the Lord in very meaningful ways, building each other up to serve Him more faithfully and more passionately. It's a perfect picture of the body of Christ at work and that's what happened in & out of our home through everything from eating together & playing basketball, to taking on new adventures & laughing until it hurt, to sharing hearts & praying together. God is amazing, extravagant in His care of us, fun... I love the life He's given us and the many wonderful people He allows us to live it with, both near & far. And I'm especially grateful for this time of refreshment with the Shrums. Stay tuned for pics! :)

What Happened?

So, I go on my blog today and my background is gone and the text has become invisible. Have lots I want to post in the up and coming days, but you'll have to bear with me as I figure out this thing. You may see some crazy stuff for awhile - the combination of me not being blog-design savvy and not having a lot of time to spend on it right now. If anyone wants to come to my rescue and give me some design tips, let me know! Thanks! :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Good Times on the Road

What do you get when you have non-stop 90-100 -degree heat, a view of a tractor out of your hotel window, an overnight stay in the Twilight Zone, a week spent with teenagers, and 9 days of very little sleep? If you're with the right people you get a stinking good time! And we were with the right people. :)

Dale and I recently took a little vacation. It was a vacation to us - no kids, no cooking, little responsibility, much laughter and catching up with old friends. We first flew to the grand city of Fayetteville, AR, where we really did have an awesome hotel suite despite a lovely view of a tractor from our window. Only in AR! I can say that because my dad is from AR, and I spent many summers there as a child. :) One of our former youth, Patrick, asked Dale to be one of the officiating ministers in his wedding, and we were so glad it worked out for us to be there. And this girl was pumped about spending a couple of days by the pool soaking in some sun, which is exactly what I did. That plus time with dear friends made for a very refreshing weekend!

Here we are all done up!

My good friend Janet just wants to be like me! ;) Actually everyone else just wanted to be like us. I bet there were 10 women all in black & white print at this wedding!

Sat. night after the wedding we began our roadtrip back to the Nashville, TN area with Kevin, Janet & Isaac Shrum & Alanna. The reason? Super Summer 2010! This is a youth camp we had been involved with for several years when we lived in Nashville and Dale had been asked to come back to be a part of the leadership. But, before we got there, we had to stop overnight to sleep for a few hours. Our stopping point - because it was midnight & we were exhausted - was the thriving metropolis of Loanoke, AR. They actually had a variety of inexpensive lodging options, some not too shabby. You'd think we could have gotten rooms at just about any of them. Nope. There were no rooms in the inns... except for the Economy Inn. All I'll say is that it was several steps down from EconoLodge. And, honestly, I love to camp in the woods and can sleep just about anywhere. But this place was straight out of the 1970's and the room the guys stayed in probably hadn't been used since! I tried not to touch the sheets as much as possible and prayed against bedbugs! The rest of our experience will just live in the memories of those of us who were there...

Super Summer was a blast as we got to relive our youth ministry days, spend time with former youth and great friends, and get 5 days of solid biblical teaching & awesome worship. Our cups were filled!

You just had to be there to understand why we are wearing camo togas!

The past & current youth ministers of IBC on dueling horns.

I knew these kids when they were born! My good friend Saundra drove to the camp to meet me for an afternoon of catching up. Hannah was a little jealous that I got to see her old buddies and she didn't, but I brought back this picture just for her. :)

Janet & Sarah, two of my favorite people!

Dale with our good friends at Las Maracas, an old Nashville favorite.