Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Old Testament & The Old Family

This week I've been in Tulsa participating in a concentrated course for my MDiv. program. So far it has been a whirlwind of ancient cultures, figures and stories; some that date to before 2000 BCE. It's wild to think about stories that circulated over 4000 years ago still inform the faiths of the majority of the world's population. My appreciation for the Hebrew scriptures is growing.

But other than that, things have been pretty calm. We got home from a great weekend of Beck family reunion action in Bixby (pix to come) on Sunday night, and I left to come to Tulsa early Monday morning. The reunion was nice. I felt like I was meeting some people for the first time becuase it was literally 20 years since I had seen some of them.

I got to play some fun pranks on some folks, including Aunt Sally - which is always a good time. Especially when she blames it on her kids! I was able to involve the hotel staff on it too.

The other prank is like Fight Club, you don't talk about it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mission Trippin' part two

On Saturday at the Oklahoma City Rescue Mission, we cleaned up trash and debris from under I-40, near downtown. I'll get back to that in a minute. First, Oklahoma City Rescue Mission sounds like an animal shelter, but actually it is a homeless shelter and addiction rehabilitation center. They're completely privately funded so they can introduce spiritual and religious themes in their mission and counseling work.
A good friend of mine worked there as an addictions counselor and hooked me up with some volunteer work chatting with men enrolled in the rehab program about the intersections of faith, life and personal decision-making.

Back to the Mission Trip. When myself, another adult and 4 students were under I-40 picking up trash, a gentleman yelled to us to come over to where he was. So 2 of the students and myself went over to talk to him. He was nice and polite enough, and introduced himself as Leonard. Then he said "are you scared of me?" and the 2 students that were with me left to join the rest of the group further back. I told him that I was not afraid of him, but that his question probably lead the students to think that he was going to harm us. He reassured me that he would not hurt me.

All he really wanted was one of our cool hot pink mission trip t-shirts, which I told him that we didn't have any more. So he said that if he found the leader of our group that "he" (the leader), would give him (Leonard) one. I told him that I was the leader, that I designed and ordered the shirts, and that I was certain that we had none left over.

So we got into a little theological discussion about who the real leader of our group was - myself or God - and I finally said, "you've got a good point, but it still remains that I don't have a shirt for you, and good luck getting one from God." Then he waved his hands in the air and called me Pontius Pilate and walked away.

Eh, I've been called worse.

Friday, June 12, 2009

to-do list

This happened to my computer the other day:

Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Noah are off to KS for the weekend to see Elizabeth's grandparents in Tonganoxie (Tawn-guh-knox-ee). In their absence, I have a few things to do:

1) Write 2 papers over the history and culture of the new testament

2) Hang new trim around the garage door

3) mowing and other necessary yard work

4) watch the movies I don't get to; like Lord of the Rings, Bull Durham and Blazing Saddles.

Other suggestions on how I might fill my time?

Friday, June 5, 2009

mission trippin' Part I

Today was the first day of our local mission trip. Last summer we broke the piggy bank on our trip to KY, so we're stayin' close to home this year, which is good because there's always mission-y things to be done locally. Here are some highlights:

Noah came with me today when we went to the church camp to paint the benches. He had fun but fell and skinned his knee a little. We walked around the camp and went to the Rock Grotto, a favorite place for campers to sneak out to meet up with their love interests. I bet 90% of those kids go home with poison ivy in strange places.

We also had a "drinking from the water spicket" game - which really was just a ruse for me to get a mouthful of water and then spew it out at my youth like a classic spit-take. It was glorious. Unfortunately the video below cuts off right before the good part. Oh, tilt your head 90 degrees to the left.

After lunch we planted some ground cover plants along a sidewalk and then headed back to the church for rest and dinner. It was nice to be out at the camp again, and nice to see my friend Susan, who is battling lung cancer.

There was a Make Promises Happen camp in full swing, and one of my old youth group kiddos was there as a counselor. She's been really active in that program, and it always reminds me of when Adrian talked me into volunteering for a weekend event.

While I have the patience and skills to handle 100 Jr. High students as a camp director, I was humbled by the challenges I faced as a counselor for a child with a disability. This all to say that I hold in utmost respect those who work with the disabled, and the amazing work they do to provide a life of dignity and meaning to so many who all too often are neglected or ignored in our society.

Cheers to MPH staff, directors and volunteers!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I dont have anything interesting to write about - nothing like bears attacking my campsite - but our clothes washer drain is backing up every time we do a load, so the wet/dry shop-vac is getting a workout. Oh and the modem pooped out, so i'm currently hijacking the neighbors internet. Shhh. dont tell him, he just moved in.

It's 2 days before mission trip and i cant sleep - too much rolling through my head i guess.

On the first day (thursday) we're going to the church camp where i grew up and had my first real job. I was the morning dishwasher. So when all my friends were enjoying summer camp, i was washing their breakfast dishes.

The next day we're going to the OKC animal welfare center to wash, groom and walk dogs for an adoption event. should be pretty cool, though we have a few students with pet dander allergies.

Saturday we're spending the day at City Rescue Mission where we'll serve lunch and help with some cleaning and landscaping at the center.

Sunday is a semi day of rest, just some little work around the church and at some church members homes.

Monday we're working with Mobile Meals, preparing and delivering meals to shut-ins. We're also painting some class rooms at Del Crest middle school.

Finally Tuesday we're working at two different local outreach and assistance agencies, stocking shelves, sorting clothes and observing the "intake" process.

As far as family stuff goes, we'll find out if the baby is a girl or a boy in mid-july. My guess is that it will be one of those two. Noah has taken to calling me "daddy-o", saying "excuse me, Kate" when she's blocking his way, and wearing glow-in-the-dark spiderman underwear instead of pull-ups. WOO WOO~!!