I finally said good-bye this week to an old friend, my car Effie. I got the car used when I was 16 and I've had her for the last 13.5 years. Finally the transmission started to go out and I finally realized it was time to get a new car. I decided to donate her to the Texas CAN! Academy. As I was cleaning her out, getting her ready for donation, lots of good memories flooded back.
- trips to Pres. Point
- random times at the University of Richmond
- driving around Pasadena
- driving up what I used to tell my dad was my "favorite hill" in Durham, NC
- trip to Yosemite
- driving with one of my best friends from CA to Texas and camping along the way
- and so many other memories I couldn't even begin to list them all. She was a great car. Love my new car, but I do miss Effie....
2: Crazy Love by Francis Chan
The FPCA summer intern and I have started reading through it together this week, and I'm a huge fan (even though I've just started).
It's a book I've owned for awhile, but haven't read.
3: 3 Duke National Titles so far in 2010
(ok, so I realize that Platform Diving isn't a team sport. But hey, Nick McCrory - cousin of one classmate's at Durham Academy did win the National Championship for Duke. When Duke Lacrosse beat Notre Dame in overtime (it was an amazing overtime goal if you didn't see the game. It was 5-5 at the end of regulation. C.J. Constabile hadn't scored a goal in the entire regular season, but he won the faceoff. And he ran straight towards the goal, and scored. And within five seconds, overtime was over. Duke had won).
Getting to be there to see Duke when the Men's Basketball Title was priceless, and this only added to a great 2010 for Duke!
4: Our upcoming trip to Galveston!
It's the first trip of the summer for FPCA and we're headed down to Galveston, TX to continue with the relief efforts for the destruction caused by Hurricane Ike in 2008. I leave Saturday and will be preaching at First Pres Galveston Sunday morning. The rest of the team heads down Sunday. Looking forward to a good week!
I am ridiculously out of shape. But to get our selves back in shape, Michelle and I decided to run/walk a 5K on Memorial Day to jump the process of getting back into shape. It felt good to run again. It was also just a fun morning. An apache helicopter flew over Cowboys and Texas (home of the Rangers) stadium just before the race. And after the race lots of kids (and Michelle) took the chance to sit in it. It was a great way to kick off Memorial Day.
Last winter, we had one day when the Metroplex had a little wintry mix that lasted all of a morning - but this year we've had snow on several occasions. And this past week we had a record breaking snowfall, with places getting 10-14 inches!
This is what we woke up to Thursday morning:
Everything, including the church, looked so beautiful covered in snow!
By Thursday afternoon, the snow was falling faster,
And by Friday morning there was a nice blanket on the ground.
Unfortunately it started melting that day, but we did have that morning to go out and play in it.
This past weekend I was able to travel out to California to celebrate with Becca as she was ordained to be a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church.
I arrived late Thursday night, and Friday morning Becca took time to model her new robe and stoles for us (we were hanging out at her parents house in San Pedro) - the purple one was my favorite.
But I thought the shoes really made the outfit.
And so I put my robe on too so we could see how we looked in them together.
That night we went to one of Becca's favorite restaurants, the Green Onion.
And then after dinner we decided to brave the rain to hang out at LA Live (a new part of downtown LA across from the Staples Center).
The next day was the actual service. So after getting ready we made sure we had some of the details together.
And then, it was off to the church!
It was so fun to see the many friends who had gathered there to support Becca. The Kennedys (who have almost been married a year now).
And Dave and Tera who are getting married on Feb 13.
And Karen, who came in from Houston.
Becca had pulled together a very cool commission to be at her ordination.
It included Pastor Rex, the pastor at the church where she works,
and Clayton, the pastor of Saint Peters by the Sea where she grew up.
One of my other favorite parts of the service was the combined choirs - she had people from St. Peters, Calvary (where she works now), Bel Air (where she often worships,), and San Marino (where we both worked/interned during seminary).
Then it was time for the ordination questions,
and the prayer of ordination.
Brenda Mitchell gave her a charge,
and then she was presented with a few gifts, a stole
and a robe (by her parents), among other things.
I was honored to be a part of the service, and to have a chance to serve communion with Becca.
We closed with a hymn,
Becca delivered the benediction,
and then we headed for the reception.
I stayed for a bit in the reception, then headed for the airport so I could be back in Texas for Sunday morning.
It was a tease to be in California for only 48 hours, but I wouldn't have missed Becca's ordination for anything!
I was on the phone with Tim Tam from the Word at Work this fall touching base about Moises, our upcoming March 2010 trip to Belize, and a few other things when he mentioned a workshop that would be happening in January in Belize. The idea for this workshop came because there are currently only two women's shelters in the country of Belize (there are more animal shelters on the island of San Pedro than there are women's shelters in the entire country). One day Tim was talking with the director of one of them, asking how the Word at Work could help them. She answered that they needed training. Well, after some careful thought the Word at Work realized that instead of just providing training for that one particular shelter they could provide training for anyone in the country who wanted/needed it.
A counselor from Canada (but who volunteers a lot of her time to work/teach in Belize) came down to do the teaching/training. My roll was mainly to be there as a resource, to lead devotions, and pray. The Mission and Evangelism team at the church wanted me to travel with someone, so my friend and roommate Michelle agreed to go with me.
We landed in Belize and then made the drive to Belmopan for the workshop. It was held at a place called Banana Bank, a lodge owned by a wonderful American couple who is very generous in letting us use their space. The event (food, lodging) was completely underwritten by the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust (who has formed an amazing partnership with the Word at Work) so it was completely free for everyone who wanted to attend.
The event was very well attended by people on the domestic violence unit for the police force, people from the Belize Central Prison, and various social service organizations including churches and places like the Belize Family Life Association. In addition to providing training one of the other goals of the workshop was to allow people to network.
Michelle didn't know it before we left for Belize, but she played a very critical roll at the workshop as well. She quickly became the go to person for everything technology related. And, we both ended up being a part of the table group discussions as well. She was a wonderful travel companion and a huge help at the workshop.
One of my favorite parts of the weekend happened Saturday evening after dinner. There was a lot of laughter/singing coming from one of the huts/cabins where some of the women were staying. I went over there to see what was happening and found a group of the women from the conference dancing and singing any song they could think of, just having a wonderful time being together. It wasn't long before they started singing worship songs. At some point in the evening I decided to be brave and get up and try dancing with them - the woman loved this and had a great time trying to teach me how to dance. It was just a wonderful evening together - laughing, singing, dancing.
Banana Bank is an amazing place to stay. It's on the edge of the Belizean jungle, and they have a wide range of animals there at the lodge - a couple of monkeys, a collection of birds, a jaguar, and so as you walk around, you really feel like you're in a different world.
When we were in Belize in March of 2009, we didn't spend a lot of time in Belmopan - we spent most of our time in Belize City. I quickly realized that being in the jungle was different when I pulled a tarantula out of my back pack on Friday morning as the conference was beginning (I guess it had crawled in there as I was walking around the grounds Friday morning).
The workshop officially wrapped up on Sunday, and so we spent Monday scouting out the places where we will be serving in March. The school at the "Burial Grounds" in Belize City that we helped with last March is now complete, so we will be working on a completely new project. We will be working with an organization called YES (Youth Enrichment Services), helping with the young women who are a part of their various programs who and helping with various construction projects to help update their facilities. We also went by BERT (Belize Emergency Response Team) because a few of our firemen/paramedics are going to lead a training for them because they are in need of training. We will also have the opportunity to send a few of our team members to the prison to help there as well.
It was a whirlwind of a trip, but we accomplished a great deal in just four days. It was a little hard to leave the beautiful tropical weather and come back to the freezing temperatures, but I am thrilled that we will be going back in March.