Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dancin' Machines


Tonight - these two little cuties had their mini, end-of-season dance recitals. They were pumped...

Two very different styles - both full of AWESOME.


Mebbie was up first bringing us her ballerina style!


She nailed it - she is such a perfect size and shape for this dance that she loves so much!


Mommy and daddy are so proud of you girl!


Next up was MC Sassy Pants brigning us her hip-hop style...


She killed it - attitude and all!


Meron - mommy and daddy LOVE watching you be you girl!

Super proud of these two girls doing something they like and sticking with it... KEEP DANCING HOMIES!

The Day The Pastor Called Me an A-hole


Pastors are just people. They aren't divine. They aren't better able to call on the Holy Spirit. They don't possess any sort of supernatural power that lifts them above the rest of us. They're just people. Who call themselves "pastors."

People who pray. People who seek God's will. People who try to be a witness of the love of Jesus to others. Wait... we do that around here too. But we stop short of calling ourselves "pastors."

I guess legally we really have to stop short - I mean nobody in our camp is ordained or spent time in seminary (though I do think the amount of God in the early lives of all of our kids trumps any degree from any bible school).

Because when ya toss that word "Pastor" on there - things change, don't they? Francis Chan has warned us time and time again to not fall prey to this - but we do it anyways. We put these folks - these "pastors" on some sort of pedestal. We start to believe that they actually know God better than we ever could. And then... then the inevitable happens. They fall - and our image of them is shattered. And even worse - our image of God takes a hit.

I did this recently.

I had placed a pastor - a human being, flesh and blood sinner like me - but a pastor - on a pedestal. The guy was worthy of it in my opinion - he had shown a lot of love for people in the name of Jesus, had done a lot of amazing deeds in His name and usually wrote really encouraging and inspiring tweets, Facebook statuses and blogs.

So there he was - perched atop the pedestal on which I had placed him. Willingly perched I should add. He wasn't fighting it. And he sat on that perch for several years - doing good, saying good and rallying people along with him.

But then... something changed. All of a sudden - his posts became less encouraging and less inspiring... and more antagonizing. Instead of bringing people together - his words were divisive. He had become racially charged and let racism and his narrow and singular view of it... become his god. And in the process - he had begun rallying people to follow him - instead of Him.

Some other people saw it and commented. He belittled them. He threw his education at them and claimed superiority over them because he was so schooled. He basically acted towards anybody who did not agree with him like the Pharisees did towards Jesus. Not a good look for a pastor.

I fought the urge to weigh in. Everything felt so wrong about this guy for the last couple months but I fought it - maybe it was me - maybe I didn't get it. But when the Holy Spirit prompts ya to say something - it usually ends up happening.

And so I did.

And I was promptly banned from the public discussion he had started and had asked for people to engage in.

That's when I emailed him and let him know that banning people (myself included) from partaking in the public conversation he had started left it a really one side conversation - which isn't a conversation at all.

He didn't like this. Not one bit. And after a couple email exchanges, I left it with this comparison for him to see.

A comparison between me - just a dude trying to chase God, stand for truth and be more like Jesus - and him - a PASTOR trying to chase God, stand for truth and be more like Jesus.

I said: "I respect you, looked up to you and still love you."

He said: "You're a self righteous asshole."

I said: "I am praying for you." and "Best to your family."

He said: "Leave me alone."

I said: "the stuff you write was encouraging and spirit filled."

He said: "For you to write this mean spirited bullshit... is just weird..."

And there ya have it... April 29, 2014. The day a pastor called me an "a-hole."

My take away? Well - there were several:

- Stop putting humans on pedestals Tymm... they don't belong there.
- Stop allowing people you don't know to have free access to your mind.
- Check people's theology before buying in to what they're saying.
- be more thankful for a torn veil and direct access to God.

And for God's sake... I mean literally for the sake of God and His Kingdom - read the bible yourself and form your own opinions.

And so - I go forward - with my eyes opened a bit more - reading a lot more and listening a lot less - and wondering if being called that by a pastor makes me an "ordained a-hole."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Visitors!


This tired crew just got back from the Denver airport...

Let the fun times begin with Granny and Aunt Connie!

YAY for visitors!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Looks Like Jesus Could Walk Right Down...


After a kinda cloudy day today - God sent some sun just bursting through the living room windows this evening...

Everyone in the house noticed it...

But Z-Dogg... he more than SAW it.


He was kinda mesmerized by it.


He was dancing in it and slapping at it and raising his hands in it and saying "Pretty!"

He loved it. And Meron described it like this:

"It's beautiful. It looks like Jesus could just walk right down it into our house!"
And it really did.

And truthfully - we wish He would. Cuz this is NOT our home. But He didn't walk down that sunbeam tonight...

So in the meantime - we'll do everything we can to enjoy all He gives us like this - every day - and point the simple beauties of every single thing around us right back at Him.


Thanks guys - for not missing these little pieces of Him and forcing your old daddy to stop and take them in with you!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Late Show with Mebski Love


Too bad they already picked Stephen Colbert...

Cuz even though her tooth gap is down and to the side a little - I think she could fill the role just fine!

Missing teeth rule!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Design By Meron


Meron has been WAY into dress designs lately. I love that she is tapping in to something creative in there...

Recently she made this design for Laura. It has signs on it that read (translation):

"I love God."

"I love Heaven."

"The one I always loved was God."

"I love my husband."

"I love my wife."

"I love my family."
I mean... seriously? if you EVER question how important a family unit is to kids... DON'T.

It means everything to them.

So does their mommy rocking their new designs...


Keep it up Meron... you're bringing lots of glory to Him baby girl!

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Z Face


He has so many of them...


And the problem with every single one of them is...


that he absolutely knows...


HE IS IRRESISTIBLE!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Long day


But we're still smiling...

Even if our shirt just says so.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

He Heard Us


When we left Atlanta - you might remember us blogging about how we walked through the entire house and prayed over just about every square inch of that place.

I mean - emotional, big-teared, heart-wrenching prayers. We prayed prayers of thanks for the love we had experienced in that house, we thanked God for keeping us safe and growing our family there - but mostly - we prayed for the family that was coming in next.

And then - when we moved to Colorado and had to pay rent AND a mortgage - we went out of our way to really just try to keep praying for the family that God was bringing there. Sure - we wanted a house sale. But we REALLY wanted a family to be as blessed as we were there and to know God like we got to know Him there.

Then suddenly, the house sold, we closed all the way from here and that was it. We wondered a little about the family who moved in and hoped all was well.

Today - 33 days after that closing - we got this email from our friend and former next door neighbor Chrissy:

Hey!

I just got to meet the new neighbors. The mom, Audra, was telling me that she knew as soon as she walked into the house that the people who had lived there were wonderful. That you were a very loving family, and caring.

She said that she had never lived anywhere in her life where she has felt so comfortable, and like she could finally "breathe". :)

And, she mentioned that she wishes she could have met you at the closing, because she wanted to put a face to the people who had made the home that way.

I just wanted to tell you that. She seems very sweet. They have 2 boys who are 8 and 6. So, your prayers were answered, and God's blessing still resides in your old home.

Love and miss you guys!

Chrissy
A house is just wood and metal and shingles and paint and stuff. But a HOME... well a home is something totally different. And when you invite God's presence into that space - it changes everything.

And that's what we prayed for them. And it sounds like He totally heard us. Because that thing she feels in that house has absolutely NOTHING to do with us and absolutely EVERYTHING to do with Him.


Prayer works people.

Audra and family - here's to as much joy in that HOME as we had.

Thanks God - for hearing and caring and showing up for that family...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Well... It's About Time!


After almost 4 months here - we FINALLY managed to make some time to hang out with these guys!

This is Caleb and his family. His relentless posting of Colorado photos is a large part of what made us consider this area to live in. And he cheered us on as we moved across country...

Shame on us for waiting so long!


Zechie got to chill with an older version of himself...


And everybody had fun just hanging out.


Luckily... none of these showed up!


But God did!

We had a great time just chilling. But unfortunately - it'll be our last time because we found out that Meron's love for the Yankees butted right up against Sakari's love for the Red Sox....


JUST KIDDING!

We love us a friendly rivalry! Thank's David family for showing us a new park and sharing your awesomeness with us!

P.S. Yankees beat the Red Sox 9 to 3 tonight... there's room for you over on our side Sakari!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Body At Work


Tonight our whole family was given an awesome opportunity to go do what I feel like Jesus intended for us to do in His name. At least part of the time.

No - we weren't picketing something or touting laws. We weren't even stuffing our faces with Chick Fil A. Cuz that ain't the kind of work He is in to.

Nope - instead we hopped in the car as a family - drove to another family's house that we had never met - got to know them a bit and hear about their needs - then stood around them, placed our hands on them and prayed with them.

A couple weeks ago - some friends of ours in Atlanta who we love and respect and who have poured so much love into us - reached out to us and asked if we would go pray for their dear friend who had fallen sick by some freak reaction to medicine. I'm talking hospital, liver shutting down kind of sick.

First of all - that they would even ask us to do this - is quite possibly one of the most humbling things ever. They trusted us with their dear friends. But more than that - they trusted our relationship with God.

So of course we jumped at the opportunity to do this - and as God would have it - He blessed us FAR more than we could have ever blessed them.

We left that house and talked about them the whole way home. We prayed for them again at bedtime. Cuz this camp believes in it! Prayer... IT WORKS.

I'm super proud of my family tonight - every last one of them circled up for that prayer and ya know - that ain't an easy thing to do. In a world that says "keep your faith private" my little camp is practicing making it public.

I love them so much.

And to our new friends we prayed with tonight - here's to healing and a story that brings ridiculous amounts of GLORY TO GOD!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Death... Defeated!


No new, matching outfits here. Shoot - we're lucky to all be dressed if I'm being honest!

But we did spend the day celebrating Jesus punching death in the face. We don't need new clothes for that!


Laura kicked things off with some resurrection rolls this morning - sounds corny as can be but the visual of the disappearing marshmallow as His body is awesome! Look 'em up - the kids loved 'em!


Next we read the historical account of why we're celebrating today and then it was off to church.


After an awesome service and lunch out - we headed to the park to just hang out on a beautiful day.


Then we had a competitive egg hunt...


With a pretty amazing view!


We wrapped the day up with some egg coloring and a dinner full of thanks and happiness for what this day represents.

Do you know Him? Do you wanna know Him and what all the hype is about today (outside of bunnies and chocolate and that annoying fake basket grass stuff)?

Please - feel free to ask ANY member of our family - and we'll be happy to share with ya about how Jesus TKO'd death and WE won because of it!

Happy Easter, everybody.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Thuggish Ruggish Meron


Sometimes - I have no idea where this girl gets this stuff.

I mean - this is her "tough girl" stance. It seems to come out when she rocks the vest and the backwards hat...

And truthfully - it's a little scary!


I mean seriously - if she rolled up on me I might just toss her my car keys and wallet and split...

But I know the truth...


This girl is actually harmless and full of joy!

Keep thuggin' Meron - we're seeing RIGHT THROUGH IT!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Old Colorado City


We've been taking what we're calling little "vision trips" - you know - checking out cool spots around us that we can take folks when they come visit us... cuz you ARE gonna come visit us, right?

Tonight's vision trip led us to a section of town known as "Old Colorado City" which is a super neat, super old part of town with a bunch of fun history.


I wanted to get more pictures but we were too busy checking out the crazy amount of restaurants and planning a trip back for us!

And of course - trying to get these three lunatics to be all serious at the same time is close to impossible.


Almost had it here - except for whoever yelled:

"Nobody look in the same direction!"
Almost guys. Almost...

We did get one more - which had me laughing so hard...

There is this building that was built in like 1859 and I said "Everybody go up on the porch and let's get a pic..."

Meron immediately grabbed my leg in a bear hug and said:
"No way! I am not touching that place or going near it. it's too old - it HAS to be haunted..."
I laughed so hard because I can TOTALLY relate. This little girl is my daughter for sure...


We got the pic. But notice Meron isn't touching the place - rather she is sitting on the ground in front of it.

I feel ya Meron. I feel ya.

Who's coming to go back and visit with us?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stellar Speller


Meron brought this home today... way to go girl!

As she told me:

"I am now a stellar speller!"
She even got her name in the class newsletter for nailing all the words!


Man - I am super proud of this girl. She's worked so hard these past few weeks on this - and seeing it pay off was good for her.

She's like a regular alphabet ninja - complete with aggressive face and stance.


And you know - around here - nothing is sacred. Not even celebratory spelling test pictures.

We wouldn't have it any other way.

Way to go M-E-R-O-N! Keep up the G-O-O-D W-O-R-K!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Two Pieces of Wood


Man... this week has me reflecting a LOT on a LOT of different things.

During chapel at work today (yeah - we get to go to chapel during work) - I could not get the thought of the cross out of my mind. it was just gnawing at me...

So I had to write it outta my mind...

TWO PIECES OF WOOD
two pieces of wood, on the top of a hill,
on the darkest of days, while the world stood still;

two pieces of wood, that's all it would take,
unbroken wood - yet His body would break;

two pieces of wood, simple by design,
that held up all of sin, all of yours, all of mine;

two pieces of wood, they played a big part,
a stake in the ground, tied right to God's heart;

two pieces of wood, the last thing to hold Him,
He did not want to be there but He did what God told Him;

two pieces of wood, when He took his last breath,
they were there when He did it - when He saved us from death;

two pieces of wood, the unmentioned partner,
right there by His side for His earthly departure;

two pieces of wood, they stand for so much,
required by us - we all needed a crutch;

two pieces of wood, a silent killing machine,
in death it means life, by it all were made clean;

two pieces of wood, on the top of a hill,
on the darkest of days, while for us He was killed.


And here's a little video of Meron reading my poem for me - I dunno why - but the sound of kids reading stuff that has to do with Jesus just sounds SO PRECIOUS to me. So there ya go...




Here at our camp - this week - and always - we are striving to remember what happened on those two pieces of wood - and to keep our focus on the One who it happened to.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sweet Treats


After walking almost 3 miles roundtrip to a friend's baseball game tonight - these guys earned themselves a treat!

It was a cup of whip cream for this dude - and he was STOKED!


Meron - forever the big girl - wanted to sit in the comfy chairs (near a group of older girls of course...)


While Mebski Love made the loudest slurping sounds ever - not missing a sip of anything in that cup.

But what none of them realized is this...


The biggest treat of all was mine - getting to spend some time with these guys!

Best moments of the day - hands down...