This is going to wild, wierd and wacky. But you know what, I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I've been sitting through training for the past three days with five more to go and it's like I'm on a roller coaster ride trying to figure out if I like it enough to get back in line or dislike it enough to hit the exit and never look back. Now just to let you know, I am getting back in line - God's provided it, my family needs it, and to be honest I need it. It's good to be out of the house and at some level feeling viable. It's good to be connecting with people for very different worlds, backgrounds, and experiences. It's good to be trusting God in a world so radically different than the one I've prepared to lead and serve in since I was 17. It's time to practice what I've preached and see that any world in which we live, breathe, work, and connect with others is a world in which to love God and love others for the sake a of the Kingdom. So here I go into a brand new world...Jesus, give me strength and power to be brave, courageous, and full of faith and love!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
If you haven't heard yet, I'm going to be working for the USPS starting Monday, December 12. Though I am very thankful for the job, it is still a little wierd to be thinking that my next position of employment will NOT be with the church...wild. I'll be a Temporary Rural Carrier (TRC) delivering mail to homes and business. In the beginning I will have to use our personal car, but I'm hoping to work my way up to bump in one of the those rockin' mail vehicles! I also got a packet in the mail for the Carmel USPS asking me to apply and interview Rural Carrier Associate (RCA) given the fact that I passed my postal exam.
I'm not sure how I really feel about all that, but it will take some getting used to. And who knows how long this will be for. As of right now, I think it's only for a season. My heart is still drawn towards the church, full-time ministry, and leading/serving God's people and students. But you never know. I continue to pray that God will use all my gifts and passion for people...to reach and love those I work with in the days, weeks, and months to come. This is going to be a challenge because it's such a different context. It is also going to be really exciting and I anticipate God doing some really cool things.
There you have it in a nutshell. But as always, my hands are held up high surrendering my life to the One who loves me, cares for me, and knows my heart and needs...Jesus. It's one step at a time as I walk by faith, stumble more often than not, and reach out for grace and help from God and others.
Monday, December 05, 2005
The fun with cats: Ranger, Uncle Don and Parker.
The fun with waxing. Bret you are such a man!
I'd show you the fun my sister, Marcie, and I had with cameras, but I'm pretty sure their are laws prohibiting those kind of photos. If you are curious, just ask Matt and Toni...they loved a couple of self portraits of Don and I...too funny!
One of the coolest places to visit in Indy is the Children's Museum. Kelly and I took the kids last week and as always had a blast. One of the really unique attractions this season is the tribute to the American artist, Norman Rockwell. It's probably more for adults than kids even though they have some kid friendly, interactive pieces to tribute. Here are just a few pictures that we took having fun with the lifesize depictions of Rockwell pieces.
Here are just a couple of pictures of the fam having fun at the museum. Parker and I are on one of those old time bikes with the hug wheel in front and the tiny wheel in back. Sarah and Kelly are riding on the merry-go-round. Both kids totally love riding that. It's so fun to watch them laugh and laugh and laugh as they go round and round and round.
One of the interesting insights to the Rockwell exhibit is the social consciousness that he portrayed in many of his pictures. This one below is one of many that were on display. They were powerful and moving and probably had a profound effect on white America during a time when white America was turning a blind eye to racial injustices.
Monday, November 21, 2005
It's my big 3-4 birthday today. It was a great day with the family: birthday donut in bed, chasing around the house, swiss roll/oatmeal pie birthday cake, and so much more. Kelly and the kids really spoiled me.
But I have to brag on my brother-in-law, Jim. He'd hate me doing this, but this picture is of last year's xmas/this year's birthday present...a very hip, two-level side table made of mahogany and cherry. It seriously is one of the coolest, most special gifts I have ever received. Jim...you da man! Thanks! If anybody would like to have him make something for you or a loved one, let me know. I'll get you his email address and let him wow you like he has wowed me and many others in my family.
Friday, November 18, 2005
There are lots of expressions of love and lately we've recieved some tangible expressions in our lives and I've come to thank God big time for His amazing goodness and generosity that He displays through others...
1. Our small group (those folks to the left - not pictured: the Bronsteins, Tolentinos, and Haynes) gave us a date night: two tickets to the movies (Kelly and I saw Dreamer - very sweet, true story) and some cash to go out to eat...too stinkin' cool and just what the doctor ordered. The couple on the far left - Chris and Anne even watched our kids (it was really practice - they are due at the end of December with their first)!
2. We got a $100 gift card to Wal-Mart...huge...and we don't even know from who. It just showed up in the mail with a small, gracious note. That just about covers groceries for a month. How sweet is that!?
3. My bro and sis-in-law, Bret and Leigh Ann, send us a box of clothes for the kids just about every other month like clockwork. It blows me away. Our kids are clothed, we save a ton of cash (we haven't bought clothes for the kids in like two years), and we get to experience God's love in a very tangible way - very cool!
4. Family that watches our kids - thanks Mark, Bryan, and Jeff (and of course Jackie and Carl for providing the drop in center). That allowed us to spend some time at the funeral of Emma Katherine Richey, the daughter of some of our best friends, Dave and Annette.
Those are just a few of the many way in which God has loved on us through His people. Thanks all for loving Him and loving us!
Drug tests are fun...seriously...well, maybe not that fun, but when the stongest drug you have taken in the 5 years is Advil, it's commical to think of taking a drug test. But while I was waiting for the results I couldn't help but think to myself, "Did I eat poppy seeds last night?" The reason for the drug test was for employment possibilities at the USPS. How wierd to think that I could be delivering mail to somebody...maybe even you! What a wierd season to think that could be my next vocational move. Who woulda thunk it?
Things are moving on for the Rings family here in Indy. Kelly and I are being patient with each other during this season of transition. She is especially patient with me more often than not. I on the other (who am usually pretty patient) am having to work really hard at producing that fruit in my life. I think it's because I'm so impatient with myself that it spills out into other areas and on to other relationships.
We've had a ton of people continue their faithful, gracious pursuit of us during this tough time. People who know when we want to get serious and others who know when to just hang and talk about the normal, goofy, fun stuff of life. Thanks, y'all!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Held up high, that is what my hands are...it's a sign of surrender and trust: a picture of where I am right now (I think). I surrender to where God has me and what He's got for me. I, also, trust Him completely...my wife, my kids, my life...I hold my hands up high for my heavenly Dad to lift us up, hold us close, and carry us forever. We are yours...thank you!
So here I go...bloggin' for the fun and journey of it. By the way...that's my boy in the pic. And sometimes I feel like that picture: With so many pumpkins to pick and choose from and so much to think about and do, I just need to deal with the pumpkin right in front of me before feeling overwhelmed by the "patch" I am in. This blog is the pumpkin right now; tomorrow it will be something different. But this I know...my hands are HELD UP HIGH!