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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Great Quotes

Now I know what you are're thinking that this is where I go all historical and starting pontificating on ancient quotes and their impact on me, my life, and our world. Well, sad to say that's not totally true.

This new fun segmant in Held Up High is about movie quotes - the best kind of quotes for my generation. So without any further ado, here's the first quote that is fitting of the season from The Elf starring Wil Ferrall.

Buddy: Who the heck are you?
Gimbel's Santa: What are you talkin' about? I'm Santa Claus.
Buddy: No, you're not.
Gimbel's Santa: Uh, why of course I am! Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.
Buddy: Well, if you're Santa, what song did I sing for you on your birthday this year?
Gimbel's Santa: Um, Happy Birthday of course. Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho. How old are you son?
Kid with Santa: Four.
Gimbel's Santa: You're a big boy. What's your name?
Kid with Santa: Paul.
Gimbel's Santa: Now what can I get you for Christmas?
Buddy: Don't tell him what you want, he's a liar.
Gimbel's Santa: Let the kid talk.
Buddy: You disgust me! How can you live with yourself?
Gimbel's Santa: Just cool it, Zippy.
Buddy: You sit on a throne of lies.
Gimbel's Santa: Look, I'm not kiddin'.
Buddy: You're a fake.
Gimbel's Santa: I'm a fake?
Buddy: Yes!
Gimbel's Santa: How'd you like to be dead, huh? Ho, ho, just kidding.
Buddy: You stink.
Gimbel's Santa: I think you're gonna have a good Christmas, all right.
Buddy: You smell like beef and cheese, you don't smell like Santa.

Some "Outtakes" of Family Pics of 2006

Here are just a few silly shots that make me laugh when I see them. Still so cute, but funny, too. Enjoy!

This is the model pose. Just a little belly. Work it girl!

I just love this one of Parker. It totally makes me smile.

The sweet sister and the cheesy brother - cheeesssee!

Kelly can't get enough of the tongue.

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Family Pics of 2006

Here are some recent family pics (4 of 246 taken). Tons of thanks to our good friend and resident pro photographer, Mickey. You are the best! How can we ever thank you for your love, generosity, and time spent with us? Don't know if we ever will, but we'll sure try!

We had a great fall day at Forrest Park walking and talking in the train yard on the train tracks. It was a pretty cool setting I have to say. And there is nothing quite like roaming the tracks with two year adventure around every corner and in every car!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Line Rider

While in Cincinnati over Thanksgiving, my nephew Mark, showed me this simply, yet insane game called Line Rider. Click HERE to play the game or watch some movies of people who put together spectacular runs for the little guy in a scarf. Then you can go to YouTube and see the gazillion other Line Rider demo's out there. Talk about creative!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sarahfina Ballarina

Here are a few pictures of Sarah's first ballet class. As you can imagine she absolutely loves it. The dressing up, the dancing, the music, the other kids, and the teach are things she talks about all the time. It is so stinkin' cute.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How Much Do You Love?

When I close at Costco, I usually get home around 9:00pmish. If the kids have had a big day or not had a nap (usually Sarah), then the kids are usually asleep when I get home. When they have had a normal day and/or had naps (especially Sarah) then they are usually awake when I get home. I say hey to Kel, give her a kiss and make my way back to the kids room. If they are up Parker is in his bed playing with one of his trucks and Sarah is in her bed reading one of her books. When I come in they are pretty stoked and say, "Daddy!" It brings a huge smile to my face.

So the other day I get home and they are both up doing their thing in bed. I come in and we talk about their day for a just a couple of minutes. Parker talks about playing with Thomas choo-choo and Sarah about ballet. We talked, hugged and kissed and I was about to leave the room when Sarah called to me and said:

Sarah: Daddy.

Me: Yes, baby?

Sarah: I love you.

Me: I love you, too.

Sarah: I love YOU everyday!

Me: speechless.

It was pretty sweet...enough so to make this daddy tear up and give his girl another big hug and kiss. Wow. And so we've adopted a phrase to say how much we love each other in the Rings family...I love you everyday!

So how would you describe or how do you describe the love you have for people in your family and life? Just curious.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What If

What if... What if grass were red? What if you had to drink through your nose? What if you had to sneeze out your ears? What if every person in the U.S. of A. took their right and responsibility to vote seriously? What if people really mattered? What if every person on the planet could come to grips with the life and love of Jesus? What if...

What if my former (maybe someday, future, who the heck knows) profession could transform my current pursuits of a profession? Can the things that I believed in so radically about youth ministry bring life and love to the educational system and school counseling? What if...

What if the principals of contact ministry were really taken seriously by educators? What if every teacher was compelled to really meet kids on their turf and love them for who they are and all the potential they hold in their head and heart? What if we could retake the ground that was given away by jacked-up teachers and youth pastors that have given "one on one" time with kids a twisted connotation? What if...

What if leadership were really taken seriously by teachers and administration? So much so that life change was not just dream for a few kids, but a real possibility for every student. What if we really poured our life in a few who then turned around and poured their life into a few more, so on and so forth? What if...

What if we really thought about coming alongside families that are hurting and looking for hope and healing in their homes? What if we resourced them not so much on how to manage time and homework for kids and more supported them with relationship and training that prompted them pursue grace for and love of their kids? What if...

And what if, at the center of it all, was a new generation of youth ministry minded (maybe even trained?) teachers and counselors that fixed their eyes on Jesus, their hearts on love for Him, their feet pursuing Kingdom values? What if...

For so long youth ministry has been the red-headed step child of the church - beat down, laughed at, and taken for granted. Times are changing in the church and that is good. For so long there have been amazing servants, leaders, teachers, and counselors willing to come alongside the misfit generation of adolescence and do whatever it takes to make a difference. They live radically with little pay and little respect, but day and day out are out there helping the next class, next kid figure out this thing called life and where it might be taking them.

So...what if? I guess I'll be finding out pretty soon the answer to that question. Should be fun! Care to join me?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bends in the Road

Bends in the road of life. How do you handle them? Me, I'm still figuring it out. I'd say for the most part that I handle them fairly well. But I am finding out that the bigger the turn, the more difficult the handling.

Case in point...For those of you that haven't heard, it seems as though the calling I sensed so strongly almost 17 years ago from God is being shifted in a slightly different direction. It looks as though I'll be going back to school - what's a guy supposed to do with just one Master's degree these days?! I am applying to the University of Dayton and their Master's program in Education and School Counseling. It's a two year program that will set me on track to be a licensed school counselor for K-12 grades. It would involve a move to Dayton, Ohio so that we could get some help from family with the kids as I hit the books full time (and hopefully a graduate assistant position) and Kelly gets a significant part-time or full-time job.

This is pretty big turn right now for me. I am almost done with the application process (apps are due in January) so that's good. But two emotional things are at work (and sometimes at war) in my heart and soul. One is that I have not had this much hope or excitement about future vocational opportunities in a long, long time. That is awesome! But two, there is a great sense of grief and loss as I move away from full-time vocational ministry. I truly have loved serving and leading God's church, his people (both near and far away from Him), and students for well over a decade. And with that comes a deep sadness almost like a relational breakup or separation. That's how my brother-in-law put it and it's right on. One day I'll be totally stoked about the new direction God is taking me and the next I'll be bumming big time about letting God, Kelly and the kids, and people I have pastored in the past down (even though in my head I know I haven't). It's nuts - talk about your roller coaster ride sometimes.

But you know what? I am so grateful that I am not alone in this. Jesus is leading me through it as I keep my eyes on Him because He is gracious, compassionate and His love endures forever. I've been keeping company with God by reading and praying through the Psalms over the past few months and Psalm 121 has been water to my soul. Here it is:

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

That's how I'm managing this stretch of bends in the road. How about you?

Halloween 2: Revenge of the Nerd

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Happy Halloween

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Rings Family Pumpkin Carving

Our Fearless Pumpkin Leader

Keeping Daddy on Task

Look at those Smiles!

Big Helper

Hard at Word

Silly Face

Scary Face

The Hunger Site

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