Friday, April 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Yesterday after we toured the Arts and Crafts District, major skill and talent that has been passed down generations, we had a lazy day in the condo. So lazy that I got restless about 3 and headed out for a walk in the complex. While this complex is wonderful ... sidewalks would help (just a suggestion BlueGreen). I was also able to feel the terrain, we are on some major hills! Most notable during my walk (the message from MarsHill Bible Church on Jonah was GREAT) but the Red SUV that stopped was truly the most notable. I walked by this SUV that was parked and pointing towards the woods. I continued on my way through the complex ... then the SUV began to drive and stopped me ... to let me know there was a bear in the woods.... "it's just a little bear, we was feedn' it pizza" (the guy laughs!) another one in the SUV says " yea, it was little only about 50 pounds or so"
My response, big eyes, realizing that I would need to walk that way to return to my condo ... very clam- "Thanks for letting me know". The SUV drives away.
On the inside "there is a bear and they were feeding him pizza!!! Just a little bear .... a bear is a bear ... if there is a little bear there is a big bear close!!"
I began my walk home at an increased clip, i moved from the bear area (i did not see the bear) and to get to the condo had to walk up a monster incline. By the time I got to our condo I was out of breath. Aaron was surprised, he knew I was on a WALK ... not really something that would take my breath away. Then I told him about the SUV, pizza and the Bear. what an adventure!
Tomorrow we are back to the grind - it has been excellent to be removed from day to day business and upcoming stuff. Truly mind clearing - we are so appreciative that we had the time to get away.
Thursday is the first class of Poverty 101, a 6 week course that will help to educate the Northview congregation regarding serving in the urban environment and building relationships. It is our prayer that through this course Northview Urban Ministry will have a slew of volunteers that will impact Brookside Church and the neighborhood. ... one person, one family, one block at a time ....
Monday, April 19, 2010
What a get-away. completely unplanned - but desperately needed.
Thursday Aaron, Liz and I had an Urban Ministry meeting - we have these 2 times a month. As the meeting came to a conclusion, Liz asked Aaron and I when we were going to take time off -- as we scoured through the upcoming dates, weeks, months ... it looked like JULY.
looking at the dates, if we could line up some one to preach Sunday April 18th ... Aaron and I could get away for a long weekend.
So Liz, in her quick thinking called her dear friend that works in Vacations, to see if there was anything available. By 5pm Thursday evening Aaron and I had a reservation for a condo in Gatlinburg TN. We headed out the next morning.
After driving about 5 hours we found ourselves in Pigeon Forge (yep DollyWood). The streets were lined with chairs and people .... at first we thought are they all here to welcome us! The drive should take about 15 min, took us an hour of rolling through the bumper to bumper traffic, with the sidewalks filled with people. We knew we had left the comforts of home when we saw a truck with 5 lawn chairs, with guys sitting in them - in the truck bed ....
We finally made it to our mountain retreat, and learned there was a BIG car show Friday. The lining of the streets was NOT for our triumphal entry to Vacation. We enjoyed it anyway!
We got settled in our HUGE condo, it is bigger then our house ... well maybe not - but having a second floor make it seem bigger. Got settled and headed to dinner and the grocery store. Dinner was at an Italian place, VERY good. We split the sampler platter - got a good taste of everything. Then went to the grocery ... when we got back to our place Aaron got started on his course work and I flipped through all the cable channels. We are not used to SO many channels.
Saturday we packed lunches and headed out to explore "downtown" Gatlinburg. What a tourist attraction! Ripley sponsors EVERYTHING, yeah from Ripley's Believe it or Not to an Aquarium ... the streets where packed, bumper to bumper traffic and sidewalks covered with people. We loved it!
Sunday we headed into the Smokey Mountain National Park ... I picked a trail to explore/hike. I picked one that was 2 miles with a spectacular view (I am a sucker for advertising!) It was a hard hike, Aaron and I were moving at a serious clip - when my heart was pounding and my breathing was super hard ... I asked to stop and rest (I think we had been walking about 35min?)
While stopped I said "My goodness, I am working so hard - who am I trying to impress?
Aaron replied "He's already impressed"
My heart melted, what a perfect answer! :)
The trail was very rocky, steep - sometimes it seemed that we were walking in slow motion - the streams flowing around us provided tranquility while we pressed on. Several other couples and families were traveling the same trail. And on a few occasions If there had not been others in front of us I would have thought the trail ended ... to get to the top of the Chimney Trail you actually scale the rocks ....when we got there we opted not to go all the way ... 2 reasons: 1) it was crowded, about 6 people on the peak. 2) i did not trust the strength remaining in my legs
The return allowed us to recognize how steep the climb actually was! WOW ... when we returned to the car the hike took us 3 hours, I looked at the guide book and we had hiked 4 miles round trip ... the guide also ranks the trails; easy, moderate, strenuous ... our trail was listed as strenuous - wheew that made me feel better about how hard my heart worked and how my body was feeling!
I am inspired to look for areas around Indy for similar opportunities for Aaron and I to increase our "Recreational Companionship" ...
Today, we are going to tour the "Arts and Crafts Loop" ... Aaron is such a trooper!
Tomorrow we head home, thankful for the time away - a drastic contrast to our 5 days in the city!
Pictures to come ...
Friday, April 16, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Lord, I give You my permission to do in me and through me whatever You desire. Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and your ways are higher than my ways. If I try to control, I will totally miss the good works that You want me to walk in, and the good fruit that You want to produce in me and through me. I give You permission to take control, to direct my thoughts, to lead me where You want me to go, to teach me and to instruct me in what You want me to do. I invite You in, and I give you the deed, title and keys to my heart, my life and my affections. Please enter every room of my heart and make it yours; the rooms that I see, and the rooms that are hidden. Strip away and remove everything that does not honor or bow down to the Name of Jesus. Fill me instead with your Spirit. I give this ground, my heart, back to You. Amen.