Tuesday, August 25, 2009

These boots are made for walkin'....

Benjamin loves his boots. He wears them as often as he can. I tried to hide them because I got tired of them being on him all the time but yesterday he remembered he had them and asked to wear them so I let him. He wore them to the ball game last night.

He is such a silly boy. He likes to ride around in Marymae's doll stroller. He spills right out of it.

More boots...this time with his pajamas. I've never had so much fun with a kid in all my life. He's awesome.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oh Crud! Why am I such a moron?

Yep. I goofed again. I am a sinner, a helpless soul who cannot get it right. I'm thankful my God loves me so much and made people around me who love me also--even enough to come to me and correct me. You remember that post? The one entitled "Remember that Post?" Well, it was a scathing, anger filled post about the goings on at our ex-church. (It is still up but modified somewhat). First, I shouldn't have called anyone names--it's so 3rd grade of me. Second, if I want to BE the church then I have to try to be like Jesus and He wouldn't have sinned in anger. Last, I honestly felt like my blog belonged to me and that what I write is for my friends and family and that they would "get it" because they know me so well. Unfortunately, I didn't consider the gossip and the hype that would occur when word "got out" about what I wrote. Oh Crud! So, here I am, a helpless soul trying to gather the hurt back that I didn't mean to inflict on random people who read my blog. Shoot! What's a sinner to do? First, if you are one of the folks who read my blog and were hurt by it, I am sorry; please forgive me. I spoke in anger. Second, I left the post up (but revised) because the truth is the truth and Jesus spoke the truth in order to convict people who were sinners. And, finally, my blog is not intended to hurt people in any way; it is a place for me to vent and to be the honest person I am. I am not a "cookie cutter Christian" so I am not going to pretend to be perfect. I'm not even going to try to convince you that I even remotely have it together so don't think you're going to come to blog and read peace and love and joy all the time. My blog is mine. And, if you don't like something you read on MY blog, then close it down and move on. Don't keep reading just so you can disagree and go talk about it to someone. And, you know me, if you have a problem with something I've said, pick up the phone and give me a call (as outlined in the Bible), I'll be more than happy to talk to you about it. There, now, I've said all I feel like I need to say. So, in the words of Forest Gump, "That's all I've got to say about that."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Concan 2009

On our annual trip to Concan this year, I turned 40. To celebrate my 40th, I went off a rope swing! Woohoo! It took me about 20 minutes to get up the nerve but I eventually went off and was really glad I did.
My brother, Brandon and his wife Stephanie, bring all of the kid's birthday presents to Concan every year. Benjamin got this submarine and he loved it. He still says, "Uncle Brandon gave me this."
Marymae and her twin cousin, Austin. They both have white hair and the same personality. Can you tell?

Big group of kids!

Benjamin goes for a ride of Daddy's shoulders.

Concan 2009

We go to Concan every year with my family. There is a group of about 60 or so that go. We stay at Neal's Lodges in Concan and spend the days on the river. The kids love it! I do too. This year, I wanted the kids to bring me heart shaped rocks and I bribed them with ice cream if they did. Here is our ice cream stop one night at the Neal's store. We went every night we were there. I got a lot of heart shaped rocks and I was broke by the time we got home!
Harley, Marymae and Henley

I turned 40 the first day we were there. This year, we did Concan a little different. We met Jerry's family up there on Sunday and stayed at Frio Acres with them and then on Wednesday, we went to Neal's. So, Jerry and I and kids spent a full week on the Frio.

Benjamin and Marymae enjoy a Diet Rite on the steps to the river.

Benjamin liked my birthday hat!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Remember that post?

Remember that post? That one where I decided I was done. Well, guess what, I am. Jerry has resigned as a deacon at our church and we are free. Free in Christ indeed.

Huh? What's that you say? Why? Well, let me tell ya. We had three elders that were making decisions based on neutrality, money, and their own cowardice. When asked, the elders insisted they had to remain neutral in church leadership. Neutral equals lukewarm-ism in my book.

The elders were also very concerned because a few members had stopped giving their tithe because they didn't like some of the things going on in the church (like clapping), so instead of asking these members to buck up, the elders appear to be reverting back to hymns, no clapping and no new songs, thus alienating a population of young families and college aged members who thrive on those types of worship.

In addition, the elders didn't have the guts to confront a former elder over his anger issues. In fact, this former elder cussed people out on a couple of occasions and the elders saw "NO SIN" in what he did. Furthermore, this former elder sat on a child in the name of restraint, pounded the ground next to the kid's head and punched him in the side. And, our elders saw "NO SIN" in it. They did ask him to take a sabbatical but only after a small up rising in the staff. Furthermore, the elders never went to the boy who was beat up on to check on him. Recently, when they had an opportunity to talk to this boy about it, they did not go to him. They said the reason they didn't talk to the boy was because they weren't "child psychologists". Huh? But, you ARE shepherds, aren't you? Truly, our elders were not willing to confront sin in member's lives, they were not willing to shepherd a hurting Christian even when they were asked to do so, nor were they willing to give a Biblical explanation as to why their decisions were made. To make matters worse, the plan is to reinstall the man who beat up the kid--that's right, take that elder off of sabbatical.

I think the final straw in all of this was the "firing" of the preacher. Actually, they didn't fire the preacher, they asked him to resign. It makes me crazy because we tried that already. They fired a preacher five years ago and it didn't work then; it's not going to work now. It's typical church politics, isn't it? Someone doesn't like the color of the carpet--"Oh, I know. Let's fire the preacher!" The truth is that church had two very different groups of people who needed to get together and talk things out in a forum--maybe even with a hired mediator, but the elders were not willing to get the two sides together. Even now, the elders will not answer questions in a large group setting. They ask that all questions be asked privately. It makes me wonder what they are trying to hide or if they want to tell the two groups two very different things. We were just tired of all of that. We wanted honesty, integrity and leadership.

Since all of this has happened, the elders still are not being honest with the congregation. They are choosing to leave "secret" important information. They have not told the congregation that our children's minister resigned; they have not told the congregation our worship leader resigned (They have mentioned that he is on sabbatical, which is a lie.) and they have not told the congregation about deacon resignations that greatly affect the congregation. These men are being dishonest in the name of sovereignty and I'm tired of it.

We tried meeting with them and talking about our concerns and nothing ever happened. In the meeting, they didn't even know what I meant when I asked them how God spoke to them in their decision making. We tried. We stayed as long as we possibly could but now God has given us the GO through Zechariah 11.

What will we do now? Well, I'll tell ya. Now, we are waiting on the Lord. He has directed us through this journey and he will continue to direct us past this journey into our new home. Jerry and I no longer want to DO church. We want to BE the church. What does that involve? What does that look like? I don't know. We are going to meet tomorrow in someone's home and begin there. If you're still reading this long, anger-filled post, then you probably love me and don't think I'm absolutely insane and will actually understand that we need your prayers. In all seriousness, we made relationships at our old church and we are grieving. We are being still and listening for God's guidance and we know He will speak to us in His time. Our denomination in greatly shaken, but our faith in the Lord is firm.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Holy Bat Caves, Batman!

While on vacation at the Frio river last week, we got to go to a bat cave! There were millions of bats in this cave located near Concan, TX. We got to stand at the mouth of the cave and watch all of these bats take flight for their evening of frolicking and eating all sorts of insects. Once you get past the smell, it is really a fascinating thing to watch. It's even a little eerie at times because the bats fly really close to your head. The kids loved it except for Benjamin who had another idea of what a "bat" looked like. The picture below is Jerry's nieces, Kerrigan, Kailey, then Allen, my sis-in-law Crystal, Benjamin, Marymae and I.

Check out the bats.
I love this picture because you can see detail on one of the bats really well. Not bad for a picture taken with my iphone.