Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Night

Well folks, Fall has officially set in here in the City. This morning the temperature was only 42 degrees, luckily it has gotten much warmer since then so hopefully we've still got a while before it gets too cold to breathe. This weekend we took advantage of the beautiful weather and carved some pumpkins! We had friends of mine from high school visiting, (shout outs to Eric, Katie and Meg for hangin with us!) so it was a great time of fellowship with people from all over. On Saturday night the kids came over and we though what better time to carve our very own pumpkin and make apple crisp and roasted pumpkin seeds. (so good)

We even invited over Charlie Callahan (or should I call him Ray?) but apparently he was the carving champ on his boyhood block in Alabama 5 years in a row so once the kids drew the "scary" face he set to work and before we knew it we had our very own jack'o'lantern (sp?). Sara even climbed out onto our little overhang over the door and set it out there all aglow and a couple neighbors were pretty impressed. One even told Megan (a friend from school who is filming a documentary about us) that he wished he could be a part of it and that that was what being a good neighbor was all about. It was so encouraging to hear things like this!

Also Megan was out on the streets doing some interviews for the project, and I was a little nervous at first that people would get the wrong idea. They didn't though, they loved her and we even met some new women who came over and Sara and I got to talk to them for an hour or so. Such a blessing, God is using us and our friends in ways we never could have expected! After the kids had eaten their fare share and were about to pass out we brought them home and grabbed some wine, and headed up to the roof to sing some worship tunes. Denny led us and it was a great time, we even resorted to interpretive dance to keep ourselves warm. All the dancing also got us a little excited and apparently we started singin a lot louder because all of a sudden we had an audience of a few people sticking their heads out of the windows . (I guess seeing someone interpretive dance on their roof at midnight is a bit odd). It was great though, a lady from across the alley told us we had beautiful voices. We figured we didn't want to keep people awake so we called it a night after that but what an amazing night it was. Some of my favorite memories as a child are of doing all these wonderful fall/winter holiday things so it was great to share that with the kids. Next up is Christmas cookies (I got really excited this morning and am trying really hard to wait until it is actually Christmas time)! Also thanks to everyone who has helped us out with money for the kids, I just went and picked up a whole bunch of apples and juice and even some great 1$ books I found at Strand, a used bookstore up here. Be blessed friends!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fresh Air!

After a couple of very busy weeks, Sara and I headed off last weekend to Vermont with our wonderful Navs family. I had been looking forward to the retreat since about July because Andrews Farm in VT is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. We always go up on "peak foliage weekend" and get to see the mountains surrounding the farm as if they were on fire. And the stars! They are amazing, I always forget about stars living in the city but they are phenomenal. Its hard to not find God in a place that is so so full of his beautiful creation. And so we did!

It was a great time of fellowship, getting to spend a lot of time with old friends and make some great new ones. We also got to run around and roll down hills which was a blast, shout outs to the shut out ultimate team and especially to the Mountain Kitties (our team mascot for football) mmmrrreeeooowww! It was also just a beautiful place to worship, as soon as we got there on the first night a couple of us went outside into the freezing cold air and Denny and Jim led us in a bunch of songs, it was so peaceful and as more and more people arrived the group grew pretty big. We were able to just dance around and sing out hearts out praising Jesus which is sometimes hard to do in a city where the man made noise and lights somehow seem to drown out God. Our fellowship also grew a lot in grace together and a lot of people took some really big steps in their relationships with Christ!

As Sara and I were reflecting on our own walks we each (individually) came to the same realization. In a world where the concept of grace barely exists I had somehow turned my relationship with Jesus into one of dependence on him towards one where I tried to earn His love and blessings through and endless list of service "for the kingdom" all of those acts are good on their own but I need to bring the Kingdom of God closer to my heart and just meet Him there and need Him there. Pray with us that we would really experience His grace and freedom in the coming weeks as we seek Him in new and different ways.