Can You Go Shopping For PCC?

We are so excited about having a facility from which we can do ministry in the community. The new Powhatan Campus of PCC is still a work in progress, but it’s been great to have a place to gather. We’ve already helped Powhatan High School host an event (a Winter Guard competition), had three Sunday services and one wedding. The offices are coming together and there’s lots of ministry work happening on a day to day basis.

This week we’ll celebrate our first Easter in this facility. It ought to be a great day!
There’s plenty that still needs to be done; one quick glance down the hallway makes that clear! Bit by bit, we are challenging one another – and YOU – to help pitch in to not only honor our commitments to the building fund (contact the office if you’re not participating in the REACH campaign – you need to be part of this!) but also help out in extra ways.
And here’s a great opportunity. We’re in the process of preparing the kitchen for events that require food. Who doesn’t love a chance to eat at church?
Please walk down the main hallway this week and grab a “gift tag” off the door. You can purchase the item on your tag on your next trip to Target, Walmart or Sam’s Club; bring it back to the church and know that you’ve played a part in stocking the kitchen for future fun!
And if you see Cathy Rusch, give her a high five. She’s organizing and stocking the kitchen so that she can continue to do amazing things like what she’s put together for the past three weeks. Cathy has provided breakfast – including juice, coffee, fresh fruit and hot breakfast food – for the early morning volunteers, many of whom arrive before 7:00 AM and stay until after 1:00. It’s a great way to honor the musicians, shuttle drivers, greeters, set up crew, tech team and others who work hard to make Sunday happen. Cathy is AWESOME in our book!
Cathy and her beautiful daughter Katie

Slow Sensible Talk

Garrison Keillor is one of my all-time favorites. I want to say “favorite author”, but it’s more than his writing. I could say “favorite entertainer”, but that seems so simplistic. After A Prairie Home Companion, I don’t feel entertained – I feel at peace.

I’d like to say that he’s one of my all-time favorite people, but I don’t really know him. So that doesn’t seem right.

Regardless, he’s special to me. And when I read this today, I paid attention.

Back in the day, you glanced at a couple newspapers and a handful of magazines and that was it, your duty was done, you had the evening free to sit on the porch and jiggle the ice in your glass and talk slow sensible talk with the friends and neighbors. But now, if you dare open your computer and go online, you are swept away into a vortex of surf and whirled around and around and when you finally gather the will to click Disconnect, you find that hours have passed. Weeks, perhaps. And you can’t remember a bit of it.

Made me think.

Read his entire article here.

Tangible Proof

I’m making some progress….it’s been a productive day.

I cleaned toilets – a lot of little tiny toilets, which get just as dirty as big toilets. I found myself wondering why toilets are designed with those swirly parts on the sides that make it so difficult to clean close to the floor.
And why is it that boys – it must be boys because I don’t know how a girl could manage it – always seem to leak down the side of the toilet?
I wiped down windows and window sills and watched the rain fall. Thought about how those brightly colored rooms would fill up on Sunday morning with laughter and smiles and happiness. I felt a tinge of grief that my days of mothering small children were gone. It must be really, really cool to bring kids to PCC and see the way the upstairs floor is completely dedicated to what will help them learn to love Jesus. I’m proud of our church and its commitment to kids.
I got to spend a bit of time in my office, doing work and organizing my junk. I have a HUGE pile of stuff for the trash, a box for Goodwill and a neatly organized small bookshelf.
Making sense out of this chaos helped me focus today. I’m grateful.
So here’s the top of my little shelf – for now. An Erwin McManus book (that I haven’t read), Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down, which I read years ago (this copy belongs to Kevin). the Heart of the Artist, which I believe to be essential for any artist of any type who wants to know more about themselves and their place in the kingdom of God. Walk On – also Kevin’s. I’ve read part of it. The Unexpected Adventure, which was the basis for a pretty cool series we did recently. Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton. Want to get wrecked? Read that book. Take This Bread by Sara Miles – brilliant book. Loved it. Positioning, which belongs to Jeanette Brannan. Great book on branding and marketing. Less Clutter, Less Noise – Kem Meyer, and absolutely essential. Two worship devo books – Your Love Is Amazing and The Air I Breathe. An old copy of The Screwtape Letters. One of my favorite devo books, Mornings With Henri Nouwen.

To the right is a pirated copy of the Baptist Hymnal. I will not admit where it came from, because I am ashamed that I still have it. It got packed in a moving box and never returned.
And the rock? That’s from a fun video project I did for a women’s retreat a few years ago. That rock got around town a good bit…
Tangible proof that some order came into my life today.
NOTE: Obviously I have stuff on my shelf that belongs to others; this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’ve given me a cd or book recently, cruise by and pick it up. I have a lot of things with no traceable connection to the owner. And, by the way, if you’re from Chagrin Falls, you can have the hymnal back….
EDITED NOTE: I stand corrected. That is not a BAPTIST hymnal; it is THE hymnal. For Worship and Celebration. Just FYI.


Listened to a great message tonight from my former pastor Jamie Rasmussen.

I base my life on the truth I find in the Bible.
So easily I forget that I can and should trust that truth in all times.
God delivers us from our circumstances.
Or in our circumstances.
Or, at times, even after our circumstances.

“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. Oh him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us…” 2 Corinthians 1.8-10

Jamie says, “He’s always up to something to deliver us. We just have to trust him.”

In Search Of Wonder

A photo of my as-yet-unfinished work space at the church. Eventually, I’ll get it done…
Here’s what’s smacking my internal attitude around today – a fascinating and thought-provoking quote from Dan Allender’s book Sabbath, via Pete Wilson’s blog:

Ambition leads to the demand for the shortest path between points to gain the most in the least amount of time; wonder calls the heart to explore the unexpected, nonlinear paths that often create a new unity that could not be expected when one first began.”

This really resonates with me today. I am struggling to make sense of the details of my life in this season, from the responsibilities and requirements of my job and my home to the emotional challenges of my relationships.
I want an answer. I want to get there. I want things to be right, and to be assured that I am doing things right. I want to know that I’m heading in the right direction, and that we – the “we” that collectively embodies my work, family and friends – are moving forward in grace and wisdom.
I want some answers, and I want things to be not-so-difficult.
I’m leaning hard into ambition and not much into wonder. And I hate that though I know better, I can hardly seem to help myself from getting bound up with anxiety and stress and concern.
It’s ridiculous, really, because time and again I have been whacked over the head with the same message.

Trust God.

Let go.
I’ve heard it from friends, read it in scripture, stumbled upon it in books and articles and know it, deep in the core of my being. And yet I am having a heck of a time living into it these days.
“I cry out to God most high, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly purse me; God sends his love and his faithfulness.” – Psalm 57.2

Crazy Heart And The Verizon Adventure

The weekend is a blur. We worked hard Saturday morning and then decided to hang out a bit during the afternoon. One of the family phones was dying, so we decided to visit Verizon to explore our options.

Off we went to the Westchester store. We played with phones, talked about new plans, debated Droid vs. Palm, wistfully considered leaving Verizon for the iPhone. We spent three hours working through the phones and comparing features.
We went back home that night, slept on it, made our decision (sadly, passing on the iPhone due to AT&T’s inferior coverage west of Richmond) and returned to Verizon Sunday afternoon to talk through a making some changes.
We came out way ahead financially. We essentially got two brand new phones for free, added a fifth line to the family plan (shhh….don’t tell Daniel….), set up all the lines with the music business (which gets discounted rates) and made a great friend in the salesman.
It only took FIVE HOURS.
I am not kidding.
At one point, after the store had been officially closed for two hours and we were STILL waiting on the business department to sign off on the deal, Tony literally laid down in the middle of the store – on the floor.
It was very surreal. However, we will simply count it all as loss. At least we were hanging out together. And we chose the Palm Pre phone, which – so far – is pretty cool. And we spent a total of eight hours in one weekend – the equivalent of a work day – in the Verizon store. And we bought our sales guy a coffee from the Starbucks next door, because he was pretty cool.
In the midst of all that and the gorgeous day that was Saturday, we took advantage of two free movie tickets (thanks, John Tiller – you ROCK!) and saw Crazy Heart.

Good movie – not as gripping as I expected, but good – but an incredible performance by Jeff Bridges. He deserved the Oscar.
Great music, too – authentic and impressive because Bridges really inhabited the character enough to sing the songs quite convincingly. And there’s T Bone Burnett behind it all, which is fantastic. I loved the music.
Bridges’ portrayal of a washed-up, worn out alcoholic at his worst was enlightening. I know some folks who have battled an addiction to alcohol but this was a stark and almost horrifying look at how desolate life can become when it’s chained to a bottle. There was a great redemptive aspect to the story, but in terms of the punishing power of alcoholism, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I left the movie with a tightness in my gut, thinking about what life must be like for some of the people I see every day who are living with an alcoholic. Or battling the disease themselves.
The movie is worth seeing. I suppose it would hit a tender spot for some. It sure opened my eyes.
So, the point of this post? Threefold:
  • Crazy Heart is worth seeing.
  • Bryant at the Westchester Verizon store is pretty awesome.
  • I like my new Palm Pre.

Family Snapshots

After a most incredible Christmas surprise, the big day finally arrived last weekend. My three girls, my mom and I went to see Wicked, and oh – what a day it was!

We had a wonderful brunch at the Strawberry Street Cafe and then went on to see the show.
Not much good blogging fodder, truth be told; the following content is simply photos of my family, having fun.
It was a wonderful day; the show is incredible. No matter who you are, whether or not you like musical theatre, if you love or hate going to shows – you need to see this musical. Go with The Wizard of Oz in mind, because Wicked gives you the backstory. It is clever, imaginative, emotional, powerful, touching and very, very well-told.
The music is brilliant. The sets are astounding.
Here’s some pictures of my family.
Have a great weekend!

Mom and I. Don’t ask why I look so astounded. I’m not sure what was going on.

Sarah, looking absolutely gorgeous, as usual…

Shannon, looking absolutely gorgeous, as usual…

Sydni, looking absolutely gorgeous, as usual…

At the cafe. No photo of Sarah, as she’s the one always taking the pictures…making us look absolutely gorgeous. As usual…