2009 was a busy year. I'm sure if you've read any of my blogs, you've noticed what I've done this year. The first five months of the year were crazy. They ended with the biggest month of the year: May. Linds and I got married at the end of may right after I graduated from college. It certainly made this year interesting, but I have to say that the last 7 months have been great. I also started on my first year of Seminary this fall. It was certainly much different than college, and it is certainly better than college. I'm happy about where this last year has taken me and very happy to have my wife along with me in the journey of life. I'm very excited about where my wife and I will be going in the next year.
I'll write more about our Christmas vacation soon. Good luck in the new year.
"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." - Numbers 6:24-26
Life has been really busy which has kept me from posting. No much exciting has happened in Lincoln since the last post. There's still corn, it's still windy, and there's still homework.
Linds and I have been to Indy twice, however, since I last posted. The first time it was for Dave Ramsey. Linds' dad graciously provided tickets for us to attend Dave's Total Money Makeover. It was fantastic and we were very glad that we could go. Sadly, we were only in Indy for about 16 hours. It was on a Thursday night so we couldn't stay the weekend, since we had to be back to work on Friday.
Two weekends later we went back to Indy to see my sister, Julie, and her kids. She was in town and so we went home to hang out. It was a great weekend. It was nice to enjoy the amenities of Indy that Lincoln doesn't have (a used book store being one of them), but it was more fun just to be able to spend time with family.
Other than that, my time has been spent grading, teaching Sunday school, reading, writing papers, going to class, and working. Life is certainly busy in Lincoln.
My first week of seminary at LCU is officially over. Yesterday I had my first Hebrew Class and today I had my first "Shaping the Heart of the Leader" class. The experience is certainly a lot different from college. The classes are longer, the demographic is a little wider (everyone from new college grads to retirees), and the work is harder. I am very excited to push on and learn more.
Hebrew is what the name suggests, we will be learning Hebrew. Yesterday was sort of a linguistic "culture shock" for most. First of all the letters look like this ב ג ד, which is the equivalent of b g d. Second, what you see there is really d g b, because the writing goes from right to left instead of left to right. And Third, there aren't really vowels, for example one of my favorite words is "שמצ" which is pronounced "shema" but spelled (transliterated) šm' in English. So, needless to say, life is interesting in hebrew.
Shaping the Heart of a Leader is going to be a great class to start seminary with. Over the next three weeks we will be doing personality evaluations like DiSC and Myers-Briggs. Then we will integrate our personality in to how we do leadership. Also, all of that is combined with learning about and focusing on the spiritual growth of a leader. I look forward to learning about myself, how I lead, and also how to take care of spiritual life.
I won't start my third class until the intensive week, but I have enough on my plate currently, so the next few weeks should be great.
I have deleted my second blog that I posted a total of two times on. It was a failed experiment in to how much time I had to actually be in the blog world (can that be called the "blorld", if it can and no one has thought of it before I want credit for that). I will instead relegate any and all posts to this blog.
Also, as a side note. I LCCS will now be known as LCU. It was a big day for Lincoln Christian now University.
Well, I almost let an entire month of the calendar go by without posting anything at all. It seems like the month went by pretty fast.
Like I said in the last post, I spent the last week of July at Little Galilee in Clinton, IL. It is a Christian camp and I am friends with the dean of that week. The week was wonderful and went very well. Probably the best part of the week was being able to spend it serving beside one of my great friends, Sam Davis. I love working with him. We spent the week making up new games and figuring out how to get campers with water balloons and them not expect it. I also spent the week teaching at the campfire times. The theme for the week was built around Gilligan's Isle. So every night I used a different lost on a desert island tv-show or movie. For example, I spoke about who you are when know one is around using Castaway as an illustration. The week went very well and a good time was had by all.
A few weeks ago, Lindsay and I went home to Indy so that I could attend the no man left behind conference and so that we could go to the state fair. It was a great weekend, I learned a lot at the conference and enjoyed attending it with my Dad and the men of the church that he serves. The state fair was HOT, but fun. We spent the afternoon with my sister and her family. It's always fun to hang out with nieces and nephews and that certainly was the case that Sunday.
It's been a long month and I'm almost ready. Before September can come, however, I'm going to be sentimental. Today was the very last day that LCC&S will be known as such. Tomorrow is the beginning of Lincoln Christian University. And so, I share with you a picture of something that will not be seen again: the entrance to LCCS with the signs for the two schools, in the future they will read, Lincoln Christian Univerity. And thus, I bid LCCS a farewell.
Not too much has happened since the trip to Colorado. We had a very eventful weekend last weekend. We spent the weekend in Herrin, IL with Lindsay's sister's family. They are moving to Maryland and so we spent the weekend playing with the kids. It was a great weekend filled with aunt and uncle time. We love those kids and had a great time.
This next week, I am going to be at Little Galilee Christian Assembly. I volunteered to help and was asked to teach. I am thoroughly looking forward to this week.
As Lindsay and I were walking around Wal-Mart yesterday, we noticed that there were flowers for 50¢. So we bought a few flowers, some dirt, planting boxes and decided that we would start a little garden right off our patio. Then we went home and cleared out the garden area and picked up all the stones that the previous renters had put down to walk out on. Today we went to Ace to see what they had. They had tomato plants and pepper plants for 25¢. So we bought those. We also got some stepping stones to put down instead of lots of little rocks. So now we are trying to grow things in our small "backyard" space. Here are few pictures to show you what we're doing:
This is our garden space.
Lindsay planting some Marigolds next to the Vincas
If you've seen the movie Dan in Real Life you could get a basic understanding of my week in Colorado. Not the plot of the movie, but the setting. The movie stars Steve Carell as "Dan in Real Life" who is spending the week in a giant house with the rest of his family. And that's what I did.
This last week Linds and I went to Colorado and spent the week in a big vacation home with most of my immediate family. We went to Breckenridge, CO and the h
ouse sits at around 10,000 ft above sea level.
It was a really fun week. We spent a few days walking around the town and checking out the shops. We spent one morning hiking up part of a mountain. One morning we went to a little fun park at the base of Peak 8 in Breckenridge. We bowled another day. We did a lot of fun stuff.
The best part, however, was just being able to spend time with my family. The main purpose of the trip was to spend time with my brother's family. They haven't been able to travel since my nephew was born (that's my nephew on the left). He was born premature and has had numerous health issues since his birth. They were able to come out for my wedding in May, but we didn't spend much time just hanging out. So we took this trip out with my parents, one sister's family, and my uncle's family to Colorado and had a lot of great family bonding time. I can't wait to do it again and see them all again. Maybe this time, however, we can stay at a place with a little more oxygen than Breckenridge, CO.
I'm on my way back from Colorado. While you anxiously await my post about the trip check out my dad's blog. I'm sure that you'd enjoy it. His blog is an exploration into and his thoughts on discipleship. In his most recent post he asks the question, "Men, Where Do You Get Your Strength?"
If you're still looking for something to read after that, check out other blogs that I follow. They're all pretty interesting.
Saturday morning we got up and drove to Kansas. It wasn't a bad drive. We had a good time in the car. We met one of my sisters and my uncle's family in Hays, KS and spent the night there. Then on Sunday we got up and drove to Colorado. We stopped at my brother's house in Castle Rock for lunch. Then we drove to Breckenridge. Probably the most interesting part was the Eisenhower Tunnel which goes under a mountain. That's where we are this week and I'll have more from the week later.
Thirteen days ago, Lindsay and I got married. It was a long day, but a very good day. We spent along time waiting for the day and we were very happy for it to come.
The day itself went very well. The only problems of the day were my nephew, who was supposed to be the ring bearer (or barrier as he said), got sick the morning of the wedding and the unity candle not wanting to light. Other than that the day went according to the plan. My dad even remembered to do the rings.
For our honeymoon we drove from West Salem, IL to Nashville, IN and stayed in a house just outside of town. We had a great week. We spent sunday relaxing, and we drove into Bloomington, IN to do some grocery shopping. Monday we went to the zoo and hung out with my family. Tuesday and Wednesday we went to Nashville and Edinburgh. Thursday we went to see Wicked in Indy and ate at the spaghetti factory afterward. Friday was another day in Nashville. We got reservations for dinner at a small cafe called Cafe Interlude, and apparently we were the only ones who made reservations for dinner that night. So we had this little cafe all to ourselves with personal service and a guy playing guitar serenading us. It was funny and romantic all at the same time. Saturday we took off for her home in Bone Game, IL.
Since then we have moved into our tiny apartment and are trying to make everything fit. Eventually it will all fit, but for not we are dodging boxes and Rubbermaid's that are in our way.
It's been an interesting few weeks. For starters, two weeks ago I graduated from college. Now I'm moving on to seminary. in the fall i'll be starting my masters in Christian Education. I'm excited about moving on in my education even though most are glad to be done with school. I will say that I am a little envious about all those people getting a job in the field they graduated in, I will still be a barista come this fall and I will also be a teaching assistant for the head of my department in seminary. I love working at the coffeeshop and it will be good to be a TA, but I also would like to find a full time ministry to work in at some point. My time will come, and till then I make coffee and be a TA.
Since graduation, I have been relaxing and getting stuff done for the wedding and for after the wedding. I've been working on getting groomsman gifts and trying to plan for the honeymoon and anything that I can do to help Lindsay while I'm in Indy. She's down in Southern, IL getting ready for the wedding, setting up for the reception, and going crazy doing as much as possible. Tomorrow I'll head down there so that we can get our marriage license. Tomorrow night is the rehearsal, and then Saturday at 2 we'll be getting married. That's crazy.
Besides getting ready for the wedding, I've had a chance to see most of my family in the last two weeks. My brother and his family flew to Indy this Sunday. I haven't seen him since Christmas of 07 and this is the first time that my nephew Alex has ever left Colorado. It was great to be able to see them and sit down and have dinner with them. Yesterday, my sister and her family drove in from New York. I haven't seen them since this Christmas, and it's been fun so far to have them hanging out at the house. My other sister and her family live here in Indy and I've had a chance over the last couple days to see them and hang out with my niece and nephew when they come over.
It's been a good couple of weeks and I've almost made it to my big day. After the wedding we're heading to Brown County, IN for a week and then coming back to Lincoln to start living in our tiny little apartment.
Monday morning on week of e (the e, by the way, stands for evangelism) we were back at the church building painting. We were putting the finishing touches on the youth room upstairs at the same time part of the group was beginning work on the new coffeeshop downstairs in the main worship area. ECC was turning what was once a couch area where the youth met into a coffeeshop for Sunday mornings. Getting these two things done took the majority of the day. The evening we spent at home and we watched the NCAA championship game that night. Sadly, MSU lost.
Tuesday we put the finishing touches on the coffeeshop and moved all of the couches from downstairs to the new third floor youth room. Unfortunately, at least 3 of them were couch-bed combos. They were heavy, but we got them all up there. After lunch we split up into groups of 2 and 3 and went to pass out the door hangers for the Easter service on Sunday. Spencer and I walked two neighborhoods for 2.5 hours putting door hangers on doors. It was fun to walk and talk, but after a while our feet got tired. We did it though, and then came back and relaxed until wally-ball that night. We played at a local racquetball court with the small group that I met with while I was in Maine. When we got back we hung out at the church and ate food.
The next day was our day in Boston. This was another fun day just walking around and hanging out and seeing the sights. I've been to Boston several times before, and so it was a pretty typical day. The best part of the day was heading to Fenway Park. I've been to Fenway a bunch of times. I had, however, never been in the park. This time I made it in. Thanks to one of my friends on the trip, we got two standing room only tickets for Fenway and watched and inning of the game. It was fantastic. Next I go, though, I'm staying for a whole game.
Our last day was spent with the other New England trips celebrating what we had done. We flew back to Illinois that afternoon, after a 45ish minute delay. Thankfully, we got back to Lincoln before midnight.
That was my wonderful trip to Maine and Boston, and sometimes I wish I hadn't left.
Last week I went back to the place that I lived for 4 months. It's interesting how much being gone for another four months changes things. There were a lot of new faces to see and a lot of old ones that I didn't see. I also saw places and did things that I didn't see and do while I was there. It was quite an interesting to return to Maine.
We first went to the Root Cellar when we got to Maine. We spent a few hours there hanging out with teens and getting schooled in foosball (2 college students vs. 1 teen: we lost 4-10). It was a an interesting experience. The Root Cellar gets a lot of intercultural kids and when we got there we were outnumbered by teens who African. After about 10 minutes of awkwardness we started playing and hanging out and it was a great time.
The next morning we spent the day painting and getting the new youth room ready. It was a long day, but it was fun. We worked on the room with some of the youth group students and then that evening we got ready for the lesson the next night. Then we went home and spent some time with our host families and I got to stay and catch up with the family who kept me over my internship.
Sunday was mostly about Sunday morning Service and Fusion that night. In the morning we went to first service and the split during second service. Some of us talked to the high schoolers about bible college and others went to work with the children's ministry. In the afternoon we went to the Lobster Shack for lunch and saw some lighthouses, and then that night we went back for youth group. It was awesome to be back with the middle schoolers, they are great kids and really fun to hang out with. Afterwards, we sat and talked with the high school students about what it's like to be a Christian in a non-Christian world. This was very insightful. Then we went home.
That's all for now on Part 1 of week of E. Part 2 will come later. Part 2 will include walking for 2.5 hours, the Boston Red Sox, and an extra 45 minutes in Manchester's Airport.
For pictures of the trip see the albums down and to the right.
Last week was my spring break, and I took the chance to head home for a bit and hangout with my family. Here are the highlights.
After getting to my house, my first trip was to Half Priced Books. My dad and I spent a long time looking around and I finally found the set of the Lord of the Rings that I've always wanted. I
was very excited about finally finding this set and finding for half-off, so I purchased an early (very early) birthday present for myself. I already have the Hobbit book to match and now I just need the Silmarillion to match, too.
On my spring break I was able to accomplish something I have never achieved, I read two books over break. I was able to read Out of the Silent Planet and Till We Have Faces, both by C.S. Lewis. The first was for fun and the second was for my Lewis and Tolkien class at LCC. I was also able to get some research done for my research paper on the inklings from that class.
The best part of my spring break was spending time with my family. I spent time with my parents and my sister's family. One of the most fun times was helping my nephew Simon build a star wars lego set. We built Anakin Skywalker's fighter.
The week ended with a trip to my favorite eatery back in Indy. My wonderful mother took me to Skyline Chili for lunch, and then we spent the afternoon together doing some shopping.
That was my spring break, and now I'm back in to the flow of school. My next "break" comes in a few weeks when I take a trip up to Maine with a group from my school to serve Eastpointe Christian Church and the greater Portland area. I'm excited to go back and see the church and family that I lived with for 4 months.
First I want to say: yes it is the wardrobe you are thinking of, but probably not the ring that you are thinking of.
It was a pretty eventful weekend for me this weekend. It really started on Friday when I took a field trip to the Wade Center. The Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College houses a very large (and for some of the authors, the largest collection in the world) collection of original drafts and first editions of Lewis, Tolkien, and 5 other famous Christian authors.
I am taking a class on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Our class spent time studying Lewis and Tolkien. We each have to write some sort of research paper about Tolkien or Lewis or their works. I am working on a paper about the relationship of Lewis, Tolkien, and the group of writers associated with them (the inklings) and how it effects their writings.
Among the first drafts, original letters, and first editions, the wade center has objects, furniture, and even pipes belonging to those writers. One of the biggest pieces is the wardrobe belonging CS Lewis, the wardrobe that was inspiration for his book.
Also, this weekend, there was a ring. It was not Tolkien's Ring, however. Lindsay and I ordered our wedding rings two weeks ago. Saturday, we went down to Springfield and picked up her wedding ring. It's a beautiful ring, but I can't wait to finally have my ring which won't be in until March.
It's been about a month since I've been back at school. I've spent my time getting back into the swing of things and doing lots of reading. Since being back at school, I have read 4 books completely and I'm in the middle of 4 other books currently. I really wish that I had the time to read these books well, and other books for that matter. I am a slow reader and have to admit that some books get "mostly" read so that I am able to get the reading done. My semester is going to be a lot of reading.
One other thing that I wish I could do a lot more of I did a few nights ago. One of my friends was leading worship at the student lead worship service called Focus. I convinced him to let me play drums for the night. I played drums a few times over my internship and I've played congas once and drums once at Jeff St. CC since I've been back to school, but I can say that it's been a few years since I've really been forced to step up my drum playing. To understand why i had to step up my drumming, here are a few of the songs we played (these aren't us playing): overcome, all because of Jesus, and marvelous light. I was very grateful for the chance to break out my drum sticks once again and play the set.
Well, it has been such a long long time since I posted last and lots have happened since then. So I will elaborate in list form:
Came back from Maine, stopping in NY to see my sister and her family.
Visited friends in Lincoln, IL at LCC
Visited friends in Quincy, IL at Madison Park CC
Went back to NY to spend a few more days with my sister and my family.
Drove back through a blizzard in Cleveland.
Spent Christmas and New Years in Indy
Spent a weekend with Lindsay's family and met the new niece and nephew from Ukraine.
Moved back to Lincoln for an intensive class
Lindsay and I went to Target and Bed Bath and Beyond to register for wedding gifts (and I registered for a Wii)
Now, classes have started and I'm volunteering at Jeff St. CC
Now that everyone has been caught up, hopefully regular blogging can begin. Things are going well here at LCC, we've experienced sub-zero temperatures for a few days, but now it's back above 0°.
I've been through all of the syllabus classes and have a 3 day weekend. It's going to be a good semester, but I have a ton of reading to do. But it's alright, because this is the last semester of College that I have to get through before I graduate.