Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I've never seen such a thing

That, my friends, is a diaper castle. A few couples in our Sunday School class threw a surprise couples' baby shower for the Griffins. Jamie and Jill made them a diaper cake, and not to be outdone or left out, their husbands, Kuy and Kyle, decided to make a diaper castle. Much more manly, right? It even had little flags and A&M fabric. I thought it was hilarious, and the Griffins seemed to like it too.

And of course, it was so much fun to play with Avery at the party. My heart melted when Brandi said, "Avery tell Miss Allison thanks for playing with you," and she did the sign language for thank you! Adorable.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Grace Window


Dedicated in loving memory of Myron B. Deily
"The window on the far left represents the grace of God and the love of Christ. The two hands balancing the globe are made of two-way mirrors so we can see ourselves and those beyond (much like the hands in the Diversity panel across the room.) This is meant to address the grace of compassion, a core of our Christian faith. The grid in the sphere is meant to represent the many different peoples who are all connected throughout God's diverse world. The black and white glass is meant to represent humanity. The flowing green and turquoise glass is meant to represent the lushness of the human spirit, rooted in and guided by the Holy Spirit of God. There are two plates at the top by the cross which represent the blessing and grace of a holy union."
What the program DOESN'T say is that Grandad Mike's wedding ring is embedded into the window and the cross at the top bears the same knot that made up his ring. The program also doesn't say that the artist used several of his cufflinks, including 2 monogrammed with MBD in the window. The program doesn't say that the colorful grid also represents the structure with which he loved to live his life. The program doesn't mention the Puerto Rican coqui frog in the bottom right corner, is meant to symbolize his heritage. What a beautiful memorial to him and what wonderful art to inspire intimate reflection. Grandad Mike would be the first to tell you that his life wasn't perfect, he wouldn't have expected a window in his honor. None of us are perfect...but there is grace.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hoodrat stuff with your friends...

So, there we were in small group doing our Old Testament survey study, and all of a sudden a loud splash of water hits our front door. I was sitting pretty close to our door and it REALLY startled me. Our door is pretty deep in our porch so I was confused, to say the least. Everyone jumped up and went to look out the windows- it was hard to see, but then we figured out SOMEONE WRAPPED OUR HOUSE DURING SMALL GROUP! They turned on our sprinkler and pointed it at the door to let us know. We went outside to assess the damage, and this is what we found:

Still perplexed, and a little in shock, we kinda stood around, noticing all the work the vandals had put into their escapade:

And based on a few clues, such as an offer for "Free Financial Advice" on our sidewalk, and shoe polish on Dr. Houser's car offering free eye exams, we thought, "Hmmm the perps must know us. This was not a random act by any means." :)

So we decided, it must've been the Rabes' small group...we couldn't believe they had driven all the way from Cypress to Meyerland for this act of Sunday School terrorism. We were a little flattered, honestly. So, after we waited awhile, thinking we might see our friends, we cleaned up,

and went back inside the house to finish up. We still had to get through Joshua and Judges, you see. We had our speculations, and even accusations, along with a growing pile of clues. And even though Kuy and Cory are friends, we found it odd that Cory just happened to call Kuy at 10:00 that evening as we were wrapping things up. Our suspicions were confirmed when we found some of THESE posted on the class website a couple days later. You moms-to-be should be especially ashamed- what kind of example are you setting for your child, bringing them into lives of crime?

Just crazy. :) That Cypress small group- always up to hoodrat stuff with your friends...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Here and Now-There and Then

I must say that Tuesday night Bible Study has a special place on my calendar and in my heart. This is my second Beth Moore study to do "live" with thousands of other women from all over Houston, congregating together at our church. I didn't really know what to expect as we began to study the book of Revelation, but I must say, it has been in-cre-di-ble. It's just an added bonus that my mom is doing it this time as well- a perk of her being a new empty nester!

Please allow me to share the tip of the iceberg of this past week's study of Revelation 4-5; I am just going to hit a few highlights that begged me to sit in my seat in the sanctuary till morning came, just to try and process it all. As Beth kept saying "Lord this is just too much." Too much goodness, indeed!

--Revelation 4 gives a pretty crazy description of the throne room in Heaven. Poor John...he was just trying his best to convey what he saw in terms/animals/descriptions we might understand! The description was so overwhelming and detailed, but he did not describe God himself on his throne- just the surroundings. Beth likened this to the times when we drive by an extravagant home. We might not know who lives there, but we know, based on their surroundings, that they MUST be important!
--Another aspect of Revelation 4:6-11, is that it gives a CLEAR representation of a theocentric Heaven. Everything and everybody was surrounding the throne of God, praising him and placing their undivided focus on Him. Unfortunately, our imperfect world does not always share this theocentricity, but we can realign our focus to be in line with Heaven. We talked about how self-centeredness is such an illusion. We feel the most indulgent and like we are entitled to this, that and the other when we focus on our problems or complaints, or how people around us are wronging us. Self-centeredness is guaranteed to bring misery for the simple reason that it goes against the order of Heaven- how perfect creation should operate. We need to let go of ourselves- which is hard, because it is our biggest temptation to focus on ourselves.
--Revelation 5 delves into what will happen with the scroll and the lamb. In 5, the Lord is holding the scroll, and an angel "proclaims in a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me 'Do not weep! See the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.'" (2-5) Okay so bear with me. There are some major things here. First-scholars have not agreed on the content of the scroll. There are innumerable interpretations, but it is definitely understood to be a scroll of destiny...the plans for the new Jerusalem? The title deed to earth? The scroll needs to be opened in order for the eschatological events to be set in motion. The daily, applicable points are these (very boiled down) if the Lamb is worthy to hold this magnificent scroll, what are you and I STILL unwilling to hand over and trust him with? Aren't we silly people? The second point is this: the Greek for the weeping that John did is the worst sort of grief that can be expressed in the Greek language. John was at the depths of despair over the fact that there was no one worthy to open the scroll. The elder then reminded him of the Lord's ability to handle it. He is good. He is worthy. In our day to day problems, when we try to do it on our own and figure it out in human terms, God will let us feel that despair of failure and what it's like to try our own way, not to punish us, but to then feel the absolute joy and fulfillment of what it's like to be filled by Him. Too bad we have to repeat this lesson so much. :)

I hope you made it this far in my post-I just was so blessed by those 3-4 points (not to mention the entire study!) that I had to share...and I didn't even go into the crystal sea part! For those of you who don't have the opportunity to go to this study on Tuesday nights, I highly recommend it whenever it comes out in DVD/book form.

"Then I heard every creature in heave and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!'
The four living creatures said, 'Amen,' and the elders fell down and worshiped." Rev. 5:13-14

See how beautiful theocentric living is?