Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Opportunity

We have been reading this book by Paul Tripp as a youth staff. It's a great read, and since beginning to read it, I have given it to two different sets of parents outside of our church, that they might also benefit from reading it.
While the major content of the book addresses the parents of teenagers, I will be the first to admit that my own non-teenage-parent heart has been convicted of its sinful nature page after page. We started reading the book when I was still in the nanny phase of life when chapter 2, Whose Idols are in the Way, brought me to my knees.
Now we're on chapter 8 (yeah, it's been that long) and I want to share a bit of what Mr. Tripp writes to us. This chapter is appropriately titled Convictions and Wisdom, as it addresses strategic ways to help your teen develop godly, wise choices based on their personal spiritual convictions. First off, I think it takes a lifetime for most of us to reach this point in our own lives. I'm definitely not there yet. Second, for all you god-fearing parents who stock my blog (all 2 of you...:)) may you be encouraged to start developing wisdom in your child's life even now. Paul Tripp writes why encouraging wisdom at an early age is important:
The truths of Scripture are like a great symphony orchestra. You do not really understand or experience a symphony by hearing the separate notes of one violin, oboe or drum. You do not experience its rich beauty by hearing a duet between the trumpet and the bass viol. It is only as you hear all the instruments played together that you really understand the majesty and the beauty of the symphony. In an orchestra, each instrument is made more beautiful by the other. Each complements and balances the other. Similarily, Scripture gives us a symphony of truth. Not just one not but many contribute to the rich, harmonious tones of truth. As parents, we need to have a symphonic mentality as we train our children for godly living. We cannot hammer away at one note. We must introduce them to the whole symphony of biblical wisdom so that they can make biblically sound decisions.
Oh how this applies to all of life! Let us not forget that our God is a God of many facets and that His nature is not merely one, two, or even three-fold. He has written a symphony for us to pay close detailed attention to. Don't miss out on this grad opportunity!
ONWARD.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Sherbet Monsters

Abby and Griffin,
ushering in the summer heat with ice cream sherbet!

She won't let even a drop go to waste! Atta girl.


31 cent scoop night tonight, by the way!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hallelujah

In the midst of worshipping God through His Word yesterday morning I was reminded of the song Bethany Dillon wrote, Hallelujah.

Who can hold the stars
and my weary heart
Who can see everything?

I've fallen so hard
Sometimes I feel so far,
but not beyond Your reach.

I can climb a mountain,
swim the ocean,
or do anything.
But it's when You hold me
that I start unfolding
and all I can say is

Hallelujah, hallelujah
whatever's in front of me
help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
whatever's in front of me
I'll choose to sing hallelujah

The same sun
that rises over castles
and welcomes the day

Spills over buildings
into the streets
where orphans play

And only You can see the good
in broken things
You took my heart of stone
and You made it home;
set this prisoner free

Hallelujah, hallelujah
whatever's in front of me
help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
whatever's in front of me
I'll choose to sing hallelujah

Psalm 121

So all of us who have ever heard Pastor Bob preach pretty much have a mutual understanding of his bomb.com sermons. Yesterday's sermon was no exception. And in the Lord's perfect timing, Psalm 121 came at us yesterday. I revisited it in my quiet time this morning and have the urge to blog about it again now. Enjoy it with me:

Psalm 121

I lift my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber or sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep you
your coming out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

PB's points
We can give our anxieties to the LORD because:

1. He is POWERFUL
* literally, the One who made the heavens and the earth also holds me in His hands
2. He is PRESENT
* He won't allow you to slip
* He does not sleep
* He is your shade
3. He PROTECTS
* He guards our coming and our going
* He keeps our soul
* today, tomorrow and for all time
* He is literally a "hedge" around me

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hello Poolside, Goodbye Pedicure

Tuesday started my first official day of the season as a swim coach!
I'm working at a racquet & swim club, coaching 3 different teams of mostly elementary age.
Once school is out for the summer I will start teaching swimming lessons to the younger kiddos. I'm excited about having a fun, outdoor job and all the benefits that come with it...including a sweet summer tan! The main downside is that any pedicure or nail polish will shortly thereafter fall away. Oh well. I'm willing to endure the trade-off!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sky is Falling

Here's a little funny to lighten your day!
The game is that I put my iPod on "shuffle" mode
and used the next 30 song titles to answer the following questions:

If someone says, "Is this okay?" what do you say?
My Love Hasn't Grown Cold (Bethany Dillon)

What would best describe your personality?
Falling Down (Bebo Norman)

What do you like in a guy?
Found (Hillsong)

What is your life's purpose?
Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (U2)

What is your motto?
Nothing But the Blood (Jars of Clay)

What do your friends think of you?
Sparks (Coldplay)

What do you think about often?
Run Away (Live)

What is 2+2?
Out of this World (Josh Zegan)

What do you think of your best friend?
Smile (Mona Lisa Smile soundtrack)

What do you think of the person you like?
Where's My Head (Copeland)

What is your life story?
Shoot the Moon (Norah Jones)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Life is Wonderful (Jason Mraz)

What do you think when you see the person you like?
Famous One (Chris Tomlin)

What do your parents think of you?
Home (Phil Wickham)

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Holy is the Lord (Andrew Peterson)

What will they play at your funeral?
Strong Tower (Kutless)

What is your hobby/interest?
Mother India (Caedmon's Call)

What is your biggest secret?
Remedy (David Crowder Band)

What do you think of your friends?
Empty Me (Jeremy Camp)

What's the worst thing that could happen?
Edge of my Seat (Switchfoot)

How will you die?
Collide (Howie Day)

What's the one thing you regret?
Cold, Cold Heart (Norah Jones)

What makes you laugh?
Micah 6:8 (Charlie Hall)

What makes you cry?
Misery Business (Switchfoot)

Will you ever get married?
Saturday (Dizmas)

What scares you the most?
No Matter What it Takes (Jeremy Camp)

Does anyone like you?
Love is Here (Tenth Avenue North)

If you cold go back in time, what would you change?
Waging War (Shane & Shane)

What are you wishing for?
Rain (Jordan Yee)

What will you post this as?
Sky is Falling (Lifehouse)

This was kinda funny! Especially that I'm getting married on Saturday and that 2+2 is out of this world. I'm sorta wishing for rain, because I would love to go snowboarding again this season, but my life's purpose is definitely not riding wild horses. Nothing but the blood would be a rather quality life's motto, though. Michah 6:8 does not make me laugh; on the contrary, it's a pretty sobering verse. The most ironic of them all has got to be Mother India as a hobby or interest because there's talk of me going to India! Anyway, hope you enjoyed it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Identity



Last week I had a few encounters that led me to thinking about personal identity. How do you introduce yourself? What do people know you as? What's the mini-bio speech you rehearse for a group of new people? Recently mine has been something like,
"Hi, I'm Kate Wright. I graduated from Master's a couple of years ago and now I work for a chiropractor here in Santa Clarita."
I get a few "oh's" and "hmmh's," and occasionally someone will ask if I get free adjustments.

At the gym people often comment to me if I'm wearing a USC t-shirt. "Did you see the big game last night?" "Go USC!" "Fight on!" Recently there was a guy who saw my USC shirt, yelled "fight on!" at me, and after seeing that he was wearing a UFC t-shirt, I replied, "let's get it on!" It was great. And then last week as I was exiting the gym there were a couple of older men in front of me, and one of them turned around as he opened the door and said to me, "I guess I'll hold the door open for a Trojan fan." Turns out he's a Notre Dame fan (that's a no-no).

Sometimes we are even identified as our marital status. Single. Divorced. Waiting. Married. Betrothed (okay, maybe just engaged).

At church I am oftentimes introduced as someone who is on high school youth staff. And even after four years of this ministry people still have to double-check that I'm not in fact serving on junior high staff. All in all, I'm starting to realize that our identity is based on what we do.

This is my friend Carly. She's Macy & Cameron's mom. She taught high school Spanish until she had kiddos.
Have you met Anna? She's a kindergarten teacher and is married to our high school director.
My sister Tamsen is a senior at Sonoma State University.
Oh yeah I know Eric. He teaches at Santa Clarita Christian School. He heads up a club there, too.
You know Michelle, too? Yeah, she works with me at Dr. Standifer's office.

All this has got me to thinking about what I want my identity to be. In a fleeting moment a few weeks ago I realized that I've been introducing myself in a way that identifies with only where I work or what I have done in the past. This isn't necessarily wrong or bad, but I realized that it's just like the rest of the world. It's like the heathen who is perhaps merely living. What do I want to be identified as? I want to be identified as one who loves the Lord and pours out her life in appreciation for the salvation that she has received. Forget being a USC fan, or a swim coach, or a chiropractor's assistant, or a seamstress or surfer or former nanny. I don't care if people know I can play a musical instrument or have skill x, y or z.

Last week Tim mentioned in youth group a scenario from Old Testament times. The Israelites literally identified themselves and each other as "Kate, who loves the Lord but struggles with materialism" or "Daniel, who isn't quite sure what to believe about God yet." How about "Naomi, who runs herself out serving Christ through church and is continually trusting Him for provision." And then there's "Chelsea, who sends her children to a Christian school, professes to know God, but is consistently intoxicated and is known for dealing with anger." And many of us know "Cory, who doesn't even believe."

I so desperately want them to know my identity as being alive in Christ. Not for selfish reasons, but quite the opposite, that they, too, might align their identity with Christ.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Humor Comparison

This post is specifically for Jon & Carly Pray,
but everyone else is welcome in on the fun!


Cameron & Macy Pray, 2009


sister Sarah Wright, circa 1990

me & older sister Sarah, circa 1990

Yes, playing with coverings on one's child head is "normal," Jon Pray. Here's your hard evidence. :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Flutter: The New Twitter

For all you Twitter fans, here's a little mocumentry on the concept of "micro-blogging." Yes, I am a Twitter fan, and this short clip is pretty humorous, but it causes me to think a little more deeply on the issue.



What thoughts do you have?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

4 Landmarks

When I was in high school my youth pastor had us do a little activity at the beginning of the school year. We divided a blank sheet of paper into 4 quadrants and drew pictures of 4 "landmarks" in our lives. We shared our drawings, landmarks and experiences with our small group and had a significant time getting to know one another.

We did this same activity with our high school students last night and it inspired me to think more thoroughly through those landmarks in my own life. Allow me to share them with you, one at a time.

Landmark #1: Disneyland

Disneyland is famous for being "the happiest place on earth." While some may disagree, we'll follow that general guideline for this activity. The Disneyland landmark of life is the happiest time in life. Looking back on my not-so-many life experiences, I'm compelled to say that one of the happiest times in life was when I myself was in high school.

During my sophomore year of high school three other girl friends and I drove down to San Luis Obispo, Ca, to visit one of their brothers (who was a student at Cal Poly, SLO) during a 4-day holiday weekend. I had never been on a road trip with just my friends before, and to be quite honest, I was surprised that my parents allowed me to go. We took off on a Friday morning and came back home the following Monday evening.

The weekend was full of friends, fellowship and adventure. We did things like backyard BBQ, meanderaning around downtown SLO, going to the movies, surfing, going to the shooting range, going to church, hiking Bishop's Peak (a MUST if you're in the area), swing dancing at Modonna Inn, and a myriad of other things that I can't remember. We left the weekend exhausted and her brother with much homework to catch up on.

Why was it my "Disneyland" experience? Because it truly was fun. It was perhaps the first time I had traveled away from and without my family. I was challenged that weekend spiritually being around a ton of more spiritually mature people. It grew those three girl friends and I together in a way that we hadn't experienced and left a sweet memory on us all. Each time I have been back to SLO those memories come flooding back and I will forever have fond memories of that little college town.surfing at Pismo Beach
Naomi, Jenn, me & Shannon

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