Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trunk or Treat

I was reminded this morning of a song Beautiful You. I think the lyrics went something like: "You may have dyed your hair a shade that freaks your mother out. It maybe green but it looks clean did you try to rinse it out?" The melody continued to play as I stared at my turquoise-greenish-not-really-blue hair in disappointment.

Last night we attempted to dye Mollies and my hair blue. It is now the colour of swamp sludge. I am a little worried that one friend didn’t even notice the change in colour.

Other big news today was the successful Trunk or Treat at the church. This was a first at our church and it went so well. I've been working on the plans all month and the youth group has been helping me set up the past four days.
Mollie and I went as Thing 1 and Thing 2…we found away around the lack of blue hair. Everything came together better than I had expected. The game stations went well. There was joy and laughter in all corners. And the best part children from the community came. One family with four children said they would be back on Sunday. These are exciting days.


Just 23 minutes till nanowrimo begins, you can still sign up.

Cat Tales

The other night Kima was sitting in front of the living room bay window on an end table. She was peacefully eating my poor plant when she noticed something on the other side of the glass just out of her reach. She began to swat at it in hopes, I assume, of catching it. She must have been getting frustrated because she tried a new tactic. She crouched down into the "I am a hunter about to pounce" position and leaped into the glass. I jumped at the loud thud she made and laughed as she shock herself off…and tried again. My cats are dumb.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ministry Monday

This morning a saint in the church saved my job. The supply closet/room recently had three new sets of shelves mounted. While the work was being done all the markets, crayons, papers, glue, and everything else was strewn across one of the classrooms. Before Scott left for the Ukraine we were talking about the different things that needed to be done. He asked about the resource closet. I promised that it would be organized before he got back. He then asked what if it wasn’t and I told him he could fire my butt. With five days to spare the closet was organized, my job was saved, and it was well with the world, all thanks to the hard work of one very wonderful servant.

She was amazing. Everything has a place and can easily be found. There were things in the closet I didn’t even know we had like frog costumes, seashells, and a cloth nativity that I thought was lost. She also found boxes and boxes of old Sunday school curriculum, dated lessons, and old clubhouse programs. What do you do with material once it has served it purpose or is out dated?

Sixth Hour

It has been a good day. I preached this morning, had lunch and a study with some teens, and tonight was Driven by Eternity. The video’s subject was Heaven. My favourite part was right near the beginning. It wasn’t a thought or anything deep but rather just an odd quote. Bevere was speaking about the beautiful of heaven and said, "I just preached myself happy."

Heaven is always an interesting subject. I found myself nodding in agreement most times but a few had me tilt my head to the side and think "interesting…" These are a few his interesting or new to me thoughts. (Paraphrased so I might have it wrong; he did have verses to back up his thoughts) In the final battle after the millennial reign there will be those who are neutral. They are not the saints but they are not in torment. They live outside the city after the judgment the saints will rule over them. Another is that saints will be able to travel about in an instance. The last was that in the land outside God’s city it will be possible to look down and see those suffering in torment as a deterrent from rebellion.

After we watch the videos we have a group discussion time, with Scott away I facilitated the questions. We had a guest visiting the study for the first time. She mentioned that she was confused by the fact that we could see the suffering and said that she was under the impression that Jesus’ death was for the salvation from everyone why was he sending people to hell. We asked her question which lead to more questions. After I closed in prayer a few woman gathered with the guest to talk with her some more. They came over twenty minutes later to tell me she had excepted Christ into her life.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What a Wonderful Whoopah Wahey Weekend

Main Street Baptist (St. John) was hosting this year’s NB Sunday School Conference last night and today. I spent Friday before the conference started with my dear friend Steph then crashed on her couch last night (while she hijacked my blog). Whirlwind would be another good description of the past two days. There was much driving, hugs, apple cinnamon tea, meeting of new people, free samples, resources bought (3 CDs, 2 books, and a DVD) and crazy kid action songs….oh and I won a DVD for traveling the furthest. Bigger news would be that I drove in St. John for the first time…and didn’t get lost. Credit should go to the high quality directions I was given.

I love kid’s ministry and connecting with others but the draw to this conference was Doug Horley. He lead worship. I was introduced to his CD, Whoopah Wahey! while at Bethany. I am so glad I went. Everything was...whoopah wahey, and I got close to Jesus. Only downside: I can’t get the Okey Dokey song out of my head.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Liz's 26th and a Half Birthday

This is Steph. Liz doesn't know what to blog, so I'm going to help her.

10 Wonderful things about Liz

1. she's so sweet she doesn't think there should be "10 wonderful things about Liz" on her own blog.

2. She as driven 6 hours on three different occasions to come see me.

3. She's beautiful.

4. She knows how to laugh and have fun in any circumstance.

5. She reads intersting books.

6. She knows how to listen and respond.

7. She's more creative in discussions than just saying "that's stupid and you're wrong".

8. She happily changed a wet diaper for me, even tho she had never used cloth diapers.

9. She tells people wonderful things because she really loves them and means what she says.

10. She's letting me blog this anyway.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #34

This week was full of blessings and joy. My heart is truly thankful for

-My church family that appreciates me
-Pink roses
-My mummy
-Pastor Scott and his family
-For the youth groups parents
-My AMAZING youth leaders
-Good friends
-That I am seeing Steph tomorrow
-Old movies, I watched "Paris When It Sizzles" last night. It was very enjoyable
-Sleep
-A clean apartment, even if I am the one who has to clean it

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ministry Moments

Tonight was the second practice for the Christmas children musical. A few days back I was worried that I’d end up being the choir director. The very thought scared me. I may have taken Music for Children at college but I don’t think I have the first clue about the subject. As it was I ended up being a human metronome clapping the beats for one song. Those who know my un-giftedness with music and rhythm will be amazed to know that I actually did keep the beat…for the whole song.

October 31st is just a week away (eight days till the start of nanowrimo). The church is hosting it’s first ever trunk or treat Halloween night as a "safe fun alternative to traditional festivities". I am really excited but at the same time really nervous it is going to flop. There is still so much to prepare and I am not sure we have enough people signed up to help and there are a few programming issues. I’m also looking for some fun site/carnival game ideas…any suggestions?

Cat Tales

My cats are jealous of the laptop.

This has been an on going issue the last few weeks. I sit down to blog and they suddenly want to be affectionate and the only suitable place to sit is on the keyboard. This affectivity blocks my sight of the screen and the ability to type. Then they try make up for it by be all cute and loving -rubbing my cheek and licking my nose. If I put the computer down to pet them the jump off till I pick it up again to try and type. It’s been frustration but I never expected it to get worst.

I was wrong. Inu managed to pulled out the cable connecting me to the internet. Not once but twice, with a few failed attempts. He is now hiding in the other room because the last attempted gave him a squirt of water in the face.

In unrelated news, this is bowl of stew(art)’s 300th post, maybe that's why the cats are jealous.

Monday, October 22, 2007

This Day

Nothing went as expected today. When does life ever go as planned? It’s been a normal week of ups and downs but for whatever reason the downs have been holding a firmer grasp in my memory and setting the tone for all other things that might go wrong.

This morning I overslept, it was a case of last night thinking I was turning on the alarm while I was actually turning it off. It made getting out the door looking presentable a hectic task. And then I remembered the youth were coming to my house after church and nothing was ready, there were dishes in the sink, the litter box wasn’t changed because the store I buy litter from closed early last night, there was nothing to feed the youth because the same store closed early last night, and the cats had knocked over a plant while I was sleeping. How was everything going to get done? There were tears and prayer followed by almost tears and desperate pleas to God. Even when I made it to the church and wonderful people were helping set up I felt like I was behind and messing up. Everything in my head kept rushing around causing traffic jams of thoughts. The thinking dug up the inadequacy I felt Thursday night and built on it. The end result was doubt and frustration. Seemed the day couldn’t get any worst….

…and it didn’t. Somewhere from the moment I told God I can’t do this to the start of the service everything changed or at least things in my head did and if that was all that change it was enough. The day was good. And this is when the unexpected surprise came in. It’s Pastor Appreciation Sunday, which is connected with Pastor Appreciation Month. I had expected a finger food type fellowship after the service and maybe a card. I was surprised. Speechless. Wow. The congregation had given gift baskets to Scott’s family and me. Shari (Sr. Pastor’s wife) and I both were given a dozen roses…I got roses. Beautiful pink ROSES! And the best was the cards of encouragement from the church family included in the gift. I counted 22 cards. In a week when I was discouraged God provided away to be pulled out of it. It was not the day I expected.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Movie Night: Pan’s Labyrinth

Since it came out I’ve wanted to see Pan’s Labyrinth yet I avoided renting it. After reading Steph’s review I didn’t want to watch it lightly. I kept passing it over for lighter subjects and predictable plots till tonight. Tonight I finally watched Pan’s Labyrinth. It carried me away from the first note of its eerie lullaby till the closing credits. It was breathtaking and horrible and depressing and scary and wonderful. Nothing happened as I expected and that was a good thing. The evil was dark and the good struggled. There was hopelessness and joy. It brought me into the story so much I forgot I was reading subtitles. And there were so many beautiful visual concepts. I loved the chalk doors. I will watch it again before it has to go back. Take the time to see it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #33

I drove home tonight anything but thankful. I was talking to God about it and searching for the joys of the week through tainted glass, upset by a minor thing that felt major. The idea came that it might be a case of faking till it was true. I didn’t want my thanksgiving just reason. I wondered if this was one of those times you need to be thankful even in the wasteland. I was just asking God that question when I saw the smoke of a warehouse just a km from my place. The closer the more noticeable the blaze became. The fire changed my thoughts.

Tonight I have a place to sleep, food to eat, friends to visit with, a job I love. The things I forget to notice matter the most. Today I am thankful that God is in my life. Everything good comes from him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Message From Myself (Or At Least My Imagination)

I got an email from my imagination the other day. Actually it was misdirected to NaNoWriMo, they passed it on to me. It went like this:


This is your imagination. I know work, school, and general craziness have been keeping us apart lately. But there's something we need to do together this November. It's called National Novel Writing Month. For it, we'll bash out a
50,000-word novel, from scratch, in 30 days.

You and me. Writing a book. Together. I need you to sign us up. Because I don't have any arms.

Love,
Your
imagination


Anyone else interested in signing up? Just fourteen days till the mad writing begins. I have a vague forming of a characters, crisis, and plot. I hope the details don’t get lost before I am officially allowed to start writing

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cat Tales

I got into a mini debate with my dear friend Gina this afternoon. We need your help to determine who is right or at least who the majority agrees with. The following poll has each of our thoughts plus two other options that people have given me. Please help us end the dispute. If you want to suggest a different number just make a comment.


How many cats does it take to be a 'crazy' cat lady?
Three
Four
Eight
Ten
Free polls from Pollhost.com

In other news, Inu and Kima are loving their new scratching post. I like it because it means I am 48% less likely to be used as a scratching post and the furniture has 23% less clawing appeal.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nursery Notes

Weeks back the church was launching a new nursery ministry. I asked about nursery sign in systems to help formulate one for our church. The suggestions I got from the blog and a few other sources helped shape our current system. The magnetic white board picture is what we are using. The clips hold the child’s information and the parent gets the card with the matching number. Right now only a few families use the nursery but when it grows we will also have stickers for dipper bags and bottles with the same number.

In other ministry news, a local artist began painting our preschool classroom. The murals are the finishing touches too a project we started in January. I loved the storybook sketches Moni showed me I can’t wait till the walls are done.

Moni at work

Rough sketch


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hours Three and Four

Sitting through two back to back sessions of Bevere’s Driven By Eternity tonight was intense. We were playing catch-up from last weekend’s Thanksgiving celebrations (a happy belated Canadian Thanksgiving). The stuff was good but there was a lot to take in…my mind is the consistency of oatmeal.

Hour Three was on those who have been deceived. They believe that they are going to heaven, but are found amongst those that Jesus says, "away from me, I never knew you." Much was said, it is a 45 minute video, different reasons were given. He came down hard on seeker-sensitive churches for making it too easy to join the "born-again-club" and not explaining the call of Christ to come die and take up your cross. Hour Four Bevere walked through Scriptures warning that believers can lose their salvation.

During both I remember thinking "good word, good word" but none of those instances stand out right now. After the second video a lady I was talking to said, "He’s saying the things I think better than I can." I agree, nothing he is saying is new, but it is all concentrated with an eternal focus. It’s like I’ve been looking at an art book full of studies, a snip it here or a section there, but here’s a large picture. The subject tonight rubbed a few people the wrong way, the discussion time was good. I am glad we are doing this as a church. I am now off to bed in hopes that my gray matter with but less goo like tomorrow, I leave you with the passage that stood out and encouraged me the most tonight:

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Jude 24-25

The Pursuit of the Golden Elephant

This has nothing to do with cult and everything to do with the success of today’s ultimate scavenger hunt. It was good even when nothing went as expected. The biggest disappointment was the turnout, eight students and four drivers showed up. Based on the sign up sheet I was expecting 12-15. The extra driver wanted to play and willingly joined a team, making three teams of three. The other was the delay in teams getting back. Turned out to be a good thing because we were able to get a game of Settlers in.

How the hunt worked: Each team was given a bag with a mascot (I love the dollar store), a disposable camera, game instructions and rules, and a list of 50 items to photograph; they could double up items they wanted. Thank you to everyone who gave suggests, it made the list of 50 possible! They then dropped off the cameras for one hour photo developing and I picked up after the event. I couldn’t wait so I took a peek right in the store. Hilarious, the teams did wonderful. I earned a few weird looks due to my great laughter.

Some of the fun things gathered that got me giggling:
-helping an old lady cross the street
-rolling down a hill
-eating ice cream
-a pink car
-dinosaur eggs…the group that got this went to a grocery store and took a picture of a box with cartoon dinosaur eggs

My favourite picture was the whole team in the library with their frog mascot and a librarian holding 26 books, each of the books starting with a different letter. I’ll be announcing the winner in church today. The winning team claims bragging rights, heralded as mayor of Catan…wait wrong game, and earns the golden elephant (an elephant figure glued to a upside down plant pot painted gold. I love the dollar store). Happy Days!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #31

I am thankful for…

Everyone’s scavenger hunt suggestions. If you have an idea to add please leave a comment
Those who are willing and able to do the things I am weak at like budgets and accounting
Invitations
Encouragement from unexpected places
My friends
Long talks and phone calls from family
This day.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Advice Request

This Saturday the teens are gathering at the church for the Ultimate Scavenger Hunt. The idea is for them to be divided into groups based on the number of drivers. Each group will be given a disposable camera, a team mascot, and a list of things to capture on film.

I’m struggling to come up with a picture list. If you have any suggestions funny, practical, impossible, out of this world, or realistic that could make for interesting pictures or interesting adventures trying to take the picture please leave a comment. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Cat Tales

The kitties are growing and finding more ways to get into mischief. To help entertain them and save my furniture I bough them a neat scratching post. I hope it helps. Since disappearing into the framework of the couch Kima has expanded her hide and seek skills. Things have been going missing all across the apartment. Recently I heard the phone ringing but couldn’t find it. Kima had knocked it off the cradle and dragged it under the couch. Mom had hung up before I could retrieve the phone. Currently mysteriously missing the spray bottle used for disciplining…how convenient.

Inu keeps showing me how might he is. He viciously pounces on every spider or ant he sees. The Sunday before ministerial he was outside showing off his hunting skills to the youth group. Sadly, his prey turned out to be a bee and stung his paw…I laughed. I am just glad he’s got a hunter instinct; there will be no mice in the apartment this year, mahahahaha, mice beware.
Picture is from weeks ago, when Inu was still just a little thing. He's getting big.

It Is Easy As 1-2-3…

I am frustrated with the way the current church culture presents the idea of evangelism. That might be too sweeping of a statement. In resent weeks I have had a few different things shared with me about telling the good news. Each method was presented as easy, simple, and a sure thing. They gave me two thoughts or images. First the dialogue would flow smoothly and second while buy groceries with a friend you could tell them about God and before you know it they are leaving over the dairy section excepting Christ.

It’s not that simple. There is too much of a human element the systems don’t take in to consideration. Conversations never go the way you expect. People aren’t working off the same script as us. I shared my faith last week with a few different people. None of the talks went as I had pre-planned and none ended with kneeling for prayer. A few I wanted to pull my hair out afterwards, one left me in tears, a the rest left me hopeful that the conversation isn’t over. This is what I believe: Evangelism is who we are not what we do (got that from Mike McNeil). None of my failures were failures. We shouldn’t have to give a sales pitch to "win the lost". We are here not to convert but to make truth known so that the Holy Spirit can work. Just some thoughts going around my head.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Movie Night

Last night Sheri Horsemen and I went to see The Game Plan. Normally it would not have been my first choice for a movie but it was worth the chance to visit with Sheri. She’s doing her internship at a church in the area. It was wonderful to hang out in person and we were both surprised by the movie.

Before going I had checked out Rotten Tomatoes to see how it rated. The consensus that it was predictable but good for families. That is what we expected from the tough-guy-soft-hearted-football-players to the cheesy predictable plot and lines, and yet it was great. I haven’t laughed so much or been that entertained for awhile, could have been my mood but I think it was that the movie was well done. And then right near the end Shari and I were surprised by an unexpected twist.

If you like this genre or are looking for a family movie its worth seeing.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #30

God is good. I am thankful…

-For the days when my allergies don’t bother me, without the help of meds, they are few and far between and wonderful when they happen. Only I never notice till the symptoms come back how wonderful it is.
-Conviction
-Long phone calls with my mom
-Libraries
-Plans and the promise of plans with friends

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More Books

Do you remember The Pretender from the mid-90s? It lasted four seasons (or so wikipedia tells me) I watched it a few times in high school; mostly nights I was babysitting. I’m borrowing the first season from the library. I’ve watched the first three episodes. It’s very enjoyable. I wonder why I didn’t watch it more often.

While signing out The Pretender I was surprised to find two other holds were available, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and the newest Pride and Prejudice movie. Sunday I picked up The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poittier. I’ve been on the waiting list for all three since the first of August. I am glad they’ve finally here but how I am going to read both books in the next three weeks? Grrr…why did they have to arrive at the same time?

Just twenty-nine sleeps till NaNoWriMo.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Deadline Needed

Months back I randomly found NaNoWriMo. Wondering what wasNaNoWriMo, I stayed to explore. Turns out it is short for National Novel Writing Month. It is an international community devoted to the challenge of writing a novel in November. The basic rule is you start writing on November 1st and aim to finish before midnight the last day of the month. "Winners" are those who completed a 'novel' of 50,000 words. Their philosophy is that people are more likely to write with a deadline (November 30th) and if they have a connected to those in the same situation.

I was intrigued. I've been waiting to sign up because registration didn’t begin till October 1st, but the idea has been in the back of my mind for months. I register this morning. I am now officially participating in NaNoWritMo 2007. Thirty sleeps till the writing mayhem begins.