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Archive for July, 2006

Kailey’s Wedding

Saturday, July 29th, was my best friend’s wedding.  Kailey Enloe married Mark Leesman in a 5:00 pm service at First Baptist Church, Jefferson City.  It was a beautiful ceremony and an even more beautiful bride.  It has seemed like a whole week of festivities.  I spent Thursday with the bride and her mom running lots of errands.  The flowers arrived from South America so we prepared them; we got our fake tans and our manicures and pedicures. We made the necessary Walmart run.  Friday was a full day again with decorating the church and reception hall; a beautiful bridal luncheon hosted by Kailey’s aunts; the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.  Mark and Kailey both have incredibly large families so it was a large crowd all weekend.  Kailey, a bridesmaid and a her friend stayed at my house Friday night.  Saturday we went to get our hair done.  Kailey and I then went to Clinque for our make-up and on to the church for pictures and the wedding.  It really has been tons of fun. The wedding was so beautiful, elegant and flawless.  It was a wonderful ceremony.  Then we had a blast at the reception that evening with dinner and dancing. 

I posted a few pictures in the "Random Life" section and will post a link later when the professional photos are posted.

The following is the toast that I gave at the reception Saturday night so you can read my love for Kailey.  She is an amazing friend and she has found a great husband in Mark.  Mark – I’m glad to call you friend as well.

While in college, I was strolling pass some display windows in Springfield, MO, when an artwork print caught my attention. I was mesmerized by it. I could not get it out of my mind.    My gracious sister surprised me that next year on my birthday with that print and I cherished it.

It was several years before I found the right frame for my print. Most of it was due to my patient search for a frame that was worthy of it.  It was a challenge to find one that suited it, that enhanced it, that looked like it was made for it. But it was worth the wait and eventually, I found a frame that together with my print, created a masterpiece.

Kailey – you are a true work of art.  You have been a portrait of friendship that is inspiring and humbling.  I’m touched by your compassionate spirit and awestruck of your strength and courage.  You are wise beyond your years and my life is more beautiful because of your presence in it.

Like my cherished painting, I want the best frame possible for you.  You’ve dreamed, we’ve talked and we’ve prayed about the kind of man that would compliment you best. And you never found him.   You found someone even better than you dreamed of, someone more perfect for you than you hoped for . . . in Mark.

Mark – you bring such joy and happiness to Kailey.  I love to watch the two of you together.  I delight in the way Kailey’s face lights up when she talks of you or when she is near you.  You frame her out well because you are quality yourself. Steady, and strong, a protector of her heart, not overpowering but complimenting her beautifully. She has found a frame that suits her and I can rest with ease because I know you realize you are sharing your life with a work of art.

Kailey and Mark – We raise our glasses to you and look forward to seeing the beautiful masterpiece that God will create with your life now joined together.   Congratulations.

Congratulations Mark and Kailey and many, many happy years to you!

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Friday Five Post

From My RevGal Blog Ring:

Many areas of the United States are having a heat wave. Global warming, anyone? Look on the bright side of melting glaciers and enviro-destruction by taking a crack at the Friday Five:

1. What’s the high temperature today where you are? 94

2. Favorite way(s) to beat the heat.  Chocolate Ice Cream

3. "It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity." Evaluate this statement.  A very popular statement in Missouri.  It is the excuse we give in response to those in the South that complain about "100" degree temperatures compared to our complaints of "90s".  Not wanting to be thought of as pansies, we respond, "Well, it’s not heat, its the humidity." Take that.

4. Discuss one or more of the following: sauna, hot tub, sweat lodge, warm-stone massage. The most amazing hot tub experience I had was at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Frisco, Colorado, during an annual ski trip with friends.  The frigid walk from the condo to the hot tub, shuttering as I go wrapped in a towel as my flip flops crunch in the snow.  "Something is seriously wrong with this picture," I thought to myself. But once I slid into that steaming hot tub and enjoy the contrast of the cold mountain air and the boiling hot water under the canopy of the majestic mountains and sparkling stars, I understood the enticement of such an odd winter activity.

5. Hottest you’ve ever been in your life. Working in the kitchen of a homeless shelter in New Orleans several years ago on a mission trip with youth.  Combo of summer heat, oven heat, dishwasher heat, body heat and no airconditioning created a very intense sauna like kitchen to slave away in as we prepared and served lunches.   But it really wasn’t the heat . . . . it was the humidity.

MatthewmcNon-temperature related bonus: In your opinion… who’s hot?

Matthew McConaughey – HELLO!!!!

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Open a Vein

"Writing is really quite simple; all you have to do is sit down at your typewriter and open a vein."  Red Smith

Open a vein . . . quite simple?  I think not.  Painful . . . most definitely.  Messy . . . usually. In the days of early medicine when people would be under the daze of a high fever, doctors would open their veins to bleed out the "bad blood" so that the person might heal. 

Do successful writers open a vein?  Do writers who resonate with people bleed out?  In doing so, do writers heal? Does the opening of the vein benefit more the writer or for the reader? 

It seems often that Christians don’t want to bleed.  There doesn’t seem to be much blood-letting in the Church these days.  Few people speak honestly of hurts and pains.  Even fewer people confess their failures or the temptations that they struggle to shake.  We put a lot of work into making sure no one knows we bleed.  How tacky and weak to open a vein in the Church. 

But in private, oh, do we bleed.  We gush.  Having worked so hard to hide it from others, by the time night makes its appearance we can no longer hold it in.   How scary and frightening to bleed alone. To wonder if it will ever stop.  To fear that someone will see the stains or that perhaps one time in the light of day you will not be able to stop the flow. And then your secret will be out.  You bleed.

Then one Sunday you stand up timidly in your pew piercing the quiet of the sanctuary with your presence. You slowly roll up one your sleeves revealing bloody bandages covering wounds.  Without saying a word or meeting a glance, you tear the bandages off and open the vein.  You pour out to this community, this gathering of people who have no visible scars or blood stains.  When you finish, a young woman stands up in the back and rolls up her sleeve revealing the truth.  An older gentlemen stands up behind you, removes his tie and unbuttons his shirt to reveal the bandage across his heart.  One by one they stand.  They open the vein.  In that moment with all of our wounds exposed and our pain gushing from each wound, we see what church should be.

Who will stand and bleed first?

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Cuteness

100_0557_1 Could he be any cuter?????   NO!!!

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We believe in you.
We dream for you
to know the God who loves you so.
He’ll never ever let you go.

We hope for you.
We pray for you
to find a way through the night.
God will be your guiding light.

Children of Villa Vermendi – we love you.

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Calling

It’s storming oustide.  I love storms.  I sat on my deck for awhile, listening to me IPOD and letting the wind whip me hair all over the place.  Fantastic!

From my devotional this morning:  "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet." – Frederick Buechner.  He says it another way, “The work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done.”

We seem to get one or the other right but often miss finding a place where the two intersect.  I am blessed to have found my place at this time in my life.  Helping people brings me deep gladness.  Youth and the world hunger for God whether they realize it or not.  So, where the two intersect is where I find myself. 

Think about what brings you a deep gladness.  What you most need to do.

Think about what the world hungers for.  What the world most needs to have done – whether they realize it or not. 

Perhaps in that intersection you will find some clue as to where your vocation is – the work that God calls you to.

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We returned Sunday night from an 8-day youth mission trip to San Antonio, Texas, and it was simply amazing.

First – I love my youth.  I love them, I love them, I love them.  They are amazing, beautiful, giving, imperfect humans who sometimes get it right and sometimes get it wrong but their hearts and motives are good.  I had such a blast hanging out and working with all of you last week.  I could have traveled to San Antonio and back again with you.  I’ve missed you the past two days and thank God every day that He gives me the opportunity to share life with you.  You inspire me.

Sa_grou Second – I love some children in San Antonio that I never knew existed before last week.  I see them in the day and I see them in my dreams and my heart hurts for them.  It truly does.  I worry about them and wish I could give them a different environment to grow up in.  An environment where they were safe and they had plenty of food and clothing.  A place where they would have adults loving them and telling them each day how beautiful and special they are.  A place where people believed in them and helped them become the best person they could be.  An environment where everything around them reminded them of the God that loves them.  Some people are born with several hurdles in front of them that others don’t have to jump. I wish it wasn’t so.  Me_and_jasmine To Erik – you are gifted and smart. You are here for a purpose.  You are better than what you’ve been born into. You are loved and cherished by God.  Never forget this.

Third – My heart broke at the Mission Oaks Center for adults with disabilities.  I spent the time talking with an older lady who was sentenced to a wheelchair and a disease that stole her memories.  We listened to the youth sing. We cried.  She shared memories that didn’t make sense to me but communicated something deep in her mind.  That place really saddened me as my heart hurt for those who are forgotten and cast to the side in society.  Those adults were someone’s mother or father; someone’s son or daughter.  Some had not always been the way we found them in that place.  Some had lost their ability to function normally along the journey of life. My heart really cannot stand someone’s dignity being taken from them.  Nothing makes me angrier than seeing this kind of injustice.  Every individual – every adult, every child, every race, every station in life, every homosexual, every heterosexual, every person as a creation of God – deserves to be treated with dignity.  Shame and pain on those of us whom treat people otherwise.

Youth and sponsors – you were a breath of fresh air this week in San Antonio.  You were the face, the hands, the feet, the shoulders, the heart of Christ in San Antonio.

Now – may we commit to being a breath of fresh air in Jefferson City.  May we be the face, the hands, the feet, the shoulders, the heart of Christ in Jefferson City.

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