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Moving In (part 1)

We're spending all weekend working on the house. We started by cleaning the walls and baseboards this morning. We had to take all the blades off the ceiling fans and wash them. Everything was SO dirty!

Anyhow, two trips to Lowes and way too much money later, we've got tons of paint and accessories, and I think we're making a little progress. Plus, I'm getting much better at using a paint roller. The second room I painted today looks much better than the first one. I'll share some pictures as we go. For now, it's bedtime. zzz-zzz...

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We're home owners!

It's official. We closed on the house today. I must have signed my name on sixty something pages! Now I get to spend the weekend cleaning and painting and ...

We think we're still about two weeks from moving in, but we'll see. Maybe we'll be surprised. Maybe.

Shannon has a "new-teacher-orientation" at her new school tomorrow, and her school year starts Monday. I think she's excited and looking forward to getting into a regular schedule and routine again. I know she's relieved to have some of the questions about the house settled (or, well, at least settling).

For the past few months I've really been dwelling on the concept of God as a provider. I have come a long way in trusting that God is our provider. When the need to move began to surface in our life last winter, I started to worry about all sorts of things. The biggest things were my position in ministry, Shannon's job, and a place for us to live. As we made the decision to move, doors started opening.

I was put in contact with a great church that we are now a part of. The early conversations went well, and the potential for ministry here seemed to be a great fit (and so far has been great). Big issue number one - CHECK!

Shannon interviewed with a few schools in the area, and next week is starting with a teaching position that is just what she has wanted. Big issue number two - CHECK!

We began looking for a house right after deciding to move to the area, still a few months ahead of the moving date. The process was a bit slower and more frustrating that we had hoped for, but eventually worked out (and looks like it might even be a better situation than we had originally expected). And in the mean time, while we were looking, were offered a place to stay for the summer, giving us the extra needed time to find what we really want (and can afford!). Big issue number three - CHECK!

I can see how this really has been a growing process for me. I'm not a worrier. I'm actually more of a not-worrier. But these were some big decisions, decisions that impacted more than just me; me, shannon, our families, the church we were leaving, the church we were coming to be a part of, on and on...

It really was a time that I was learning to trust God to lead where we were to follow and to trust that he would provide all our needs. I suppose Mick and the boys were right: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need." I just don't think they realise who it is that provides for our needs...

"Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide." -Gen.22:13,14

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Does he remind you of a GIJoe action figure?

So, um, this is cool.

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Do you want a revolution?

Yeah, it's a Beatles title.

From YSMarko, 06.01.10:
What I mean by that is this: youth ministry needs some re-thinking. There’s much we all know about what makes up good youth ministry and what makes up, well, less-than-good youth ministry. But we believe our changing culture (and our deepening understanding of the Kingdom of God) calls us to constant change and evaluation, growth and revolution. And we feel called, as an organization, to be a part of that process.
After all: the gospel of Jesus Christ is (not just was) revolutionary. And our youth ministries must reflect this!
(Emphasis mine.)

This is a bit of a back-logged quote from Marko, but something I had held onto that caught my attention and got my wheels cranking.

Our culture is obviously constantly changing. Given the media-driven consumer culture of the US (from radio, to movies, to television, to magazines, on and on…) and the around-the-world influence of the instant information flow available online, coupled with the speed of innovation in technologies, it almost seems the world can’t help but change. There’s always a new headline, a fresh hit single, the next blockbuster…

I guess when you boil it down into ‘duh’-level simplicity, culture is defined by the lives of those individuals within a given community. (I’m speaking of a community in a broad, general sense.) The decisions and choices of people dictate the qualities of a given culture that we can identify and then talk about; what they value, what they consume, what activities they take part in. Our culture is now, and I would argue always has been, changing.

Perhaps those changes are simply perceived to be more rapid (and may in fact be more rapid) than in the past because of the increased access to information and shared ideas. Obviously printed materials moved this along, was nudged further through radio, nudged yet further via television, and then given another swift kick in the rear by the internet. With every new technology that makes communication easier, multiple communities are brought together, and thus the individual cultures are brought together, each adapting to the other.

I think that these modes of communication have aided the deepening of our understanding of the Kingdom of God, too. Conversations have been sparked not just more often, but people from tremendously different backgrounds and perspectives are engaging one another, and that moves forward our understandings of what Jesus was teaching.

One other thought, and I’ll close.

Marko said, “the gospel of Jesus Christ is (not just was) revolutionary.” His message was revolutionary because he called people to a reality different from what they were currently experiencing. He called people to experience the kingdom of God, to live in tune with what God intended for Creation. And his message was revolutionary precisely because it called people to something different than their current state.

Communicating the message of Jesus today requires that we share the same message he shared, that we invite people to that same harmony with God that Jesus talked about. And as long as the people around us live apart from that ultimate reality, that message will continue to be counter cultural. Perhaps as this message is effectively shared, it will seem less revolutionary as the worldwide culture shifts to more closely align with God’s dream and hope for Creation.

For now, our teenagers, who grow up in that media-driven, consumer culture I was talking about, must hear that counter cultural invitation to living life in step with God.

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I nearly wet my pants

I don't see movies in the theatre very often, but I saw a trailer last night that might be worth shelling out the $45 it'll cost. You have GOT to check into this one! Total stupid humor, and looks like it'll be so quotable everybody who's not a fan is gonna be sick. ("...my two beautiful sons, Walker and Texasranger, and of course my red hot, smokin' wife, Carly... woo, mmmm, oww...")

That's all for now from -THE JACKHAMMER-. Woo!
(i couldn't get the racecar nickname code to work. did i mess it up?)

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Can we mount it on the wall like a deer head?

Since before our move to Brooklet, Shannon and I have been house hunting. Now, after weeks – nay, months! – of stalking our prey, we have finally bagged our game and captured a home of our very own.

Last week, we agreed to buy a house. We had the house inspected Monday, met with the bank lady to finalize the loan today, and are supposed to close on the 20th. We were beginning to get a little frustrated with the whole process (at least I know I was), but we’re pretty excited about where we’ve ended our hunting.

The house is in a little neighborhood called Brooklet Plantation that is in the city limits. It’s close to the church on the Statesboro side of town. It’s not a bad drive to Shannon’s school. It’s in the SEB school zone (which, while not important now, may be nice down the road). Basically, we think the location is great.

The house was built in 2004, so it’s relatively new. It’s three bedrooms, two baths with a dining room and unfinished bonus room upstairs. The yard hasn’t been cared for, so I’ll be taming my piece of the urban jungle. We’ve got some cleaning to do and we’re planning to paint…

…side note here: Who gets paid to sit around and name the crazy little paint colors. Seriously! Fairy Lily, Spanish Chestnut, Saratoga Sand, Red Fox! For normal people, that’s yellow, two beige colors, and a red. (For Luke, that’s three lights and one dark.) end side note…

…before we move in, but we’re looking forward to it.

My only question tonight: Who wants to help move some boxes and furniture?

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Basic Update

So the transition of moving and a new job has provided me with yet another set of excuses for avoiding a regular posting schedule. I don't have much routine in my life yet. I have, however, several times over the last few weeks, thought to myself, "I want to write about this." Unfortunately, I haven't done well carving out the time to think things through and write out my thoughts. I hope for this to be a forum for journaling my thoughts and spiritual journey as well as keeping in touch with distant friendships. For now, here's a basic update with post to follow over the next few days.

The big news: We've found a house! We meet with the bank tomorrow and should close by the end of this month. Details coming soon. (Told you it was a basic update.)

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