July 26, 2005

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

Periodically as I study here at Gordon-Conwell, I would like to share with you our readers some of the great things I am learning here and perhaps pass on the name of some good books. Here is my first recommendation: "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth" by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. This book can be read by anyone and is not by any means technical in nature. The book was written for the regular church attender who would like to be able to get the most out of reading their Bible like the title implies. This book does not really contain background info or commentary on the books of the Bible. Instead, Fee & Stuart show you how to approach the different books of the Bible based on the different literary forms. For example, how should we understand the psalms compared to the parables of Christ. Or how do we approach the Old Testament prophetical books or Revelations. The most helpful aid they provide is to give you the right questions to ask yourself as you read specific parts of the Bible. Are we to obey all the Old Testament laws and hold them to the same degree we do the Sermon on the Mount? Was the book of Acts intended to be a handbook about how to order the Church for all time or was it merely descriptive of the first century church? The way you answer these questions will drastically change how you read and understand these books of the Bible. The only way I can compare what this book can do for your understanding of the Bible is to compare it to a class I took in college where we studied the art of film and learned makes a movie a great movie and what makes a dud a dud. After taking that course, for better or for worse, I have never been able to watch another movie in the same way since. I believe that this book will have the same effect concerning your study of the Bible. You can find it used starting around $7 at Amazon.com. If anyone else has read this book or heard of it I would love to hear your comments. For those of you who attended Hillsdale, a lot of what is covered in the book was taught by Prof Westblade at different points in his Intro to Western Religion, New Testament and Old Testament courses. I am actually quite surprised that he did not have this as required reading for any of these courses. If I ever teaching an intro to Bible course, I believe this will be required reading for my students.

July 23, 2005

Following in Stiller's footsteps?

Good news! We're extending arts and crafts by four hours...
Will "Happy Gilmore" provide a model for Kim in her new job???

My new job

For all of those who have diligently prayed for my (Kim's) job search...your prayers have been answered. Actually, your prayers must have been really strong because I was offered three different positions! I went with a position with Brooksby Village (one of the Erickson Communities). The area in which I will be working (Rennaissance Gardens) in has 4 floors: 1 is rehab (a lot of turnover of patients) 1 is assisted care (more care is offered than an assisted living, but it is a little more independent than a nursing home) and 2 are skilled nursing (nursing home). I don't remember my exact title, but I'm working in the activities department and I will basically be the right hand man for the program coordinator (my position has the word "coordinator" in the title, but I can't remember exactly how it fits in). I'm very excited as I have worked in and with several nursing homes over the past few years and really developed a passion for working with the elderly. On top of that, this is the most amazing facility I have ever seen, with a great philosophy of care(you can find out more if you click on the link in the title). It is such an amazing and unexpected opportunity, and I am so excited. I officially start Aug. 8th (after I pass my drug screen an background check *fingers crossed*). So, this has been a day of much celebration. Although it was clouded when I broke the mirror in our closet...surely such a great day could not be the beginning of seven years of bad luck...Thank you all so much for your encouragement and prayers. They worked!

July 21, 2005

Acadia National Park

We're back. Kim and I spent 5 days in Maine. 2.5 days with family and 2.5 days at Acadia. We had a wonderful time with her cousin Wendy and husband Josh and their three adorable kids, Isaac, Anna and Noah. We played a lot in their backyard; hockey using a ball and baseball bats, frisbee golf (it was Isaac's idea!), plain old catch, trying to get me to master the unicycle only to laugh at me fall down, riding bikes, and my personal favorite trying to knock each other out of the hammock. By the way, I had a very nice nap in that hammock on Sunday afternoon. All of this was so nice especially after Kim's continuing job search and my final exam, which I got an A on and an A also for the class! We had some great talks with Josh and Wendy and look forward to going back up there soon. Monday morning we continued up the coast of Maine and were a bit exhausted from trying to figure out how to get there and setting everything up. But we did manage to go for a car tour around Acadia to see the sights. Tuesday was our adventure day. We got up nice and early and made eggs and sausages over the campfire(nothing like food cooked over a campfire). Then we set out for Long Pond and Mt. Mansell. We decided to take the Perpendicular trail, which was recommended in our guide book. It wasn't until we reached the trail that the "Perpendicular" part of the trail's name became so understandable. What was interesting about this trail is that much of the hike consists of a staircase made out of slabs of granite. It felt as if we had found the secret staircase that leads to Modor. After a challenging climb, we evetually made it to the top. And what did we see? Absolutely nothing because it was so foggy! Fortunately the fog cleared up... 2 hours later once we were squarely at the base! Nice. After the climb (and a desperate search for restroom, which ended successfully) we made our way to an enchanted rope swing that took some time to find; unmarked dirt roads and trails. But the time we put in to find it was well worth it. Not only was there a rope swing, but there were 15 foot cliffs to dive off of, which seems a lot higher when you are standing on them. The mountain in the background of the rope swimg picture is Mt Mansell. The lake was so refreshing especially since we had not showered for a couple of days. Later that afternoon we drove to the top of Cadillac Mountian which is the highest point on the island and, interstingly, the first place sunlight hits America each day between October and March. The picture of us was taken on Cadillac Mt. We spent the rest of the day in Bar Harbor, the main city closest to Acadia, doing some window shopping and going to Reel Cinema. This is no ordinary movie theater. This is a pizzeria and theater. You order your pizza, go and sit down in either regular movie seats that have a tray in front of you or in the couches closer to the front that require TV trays (we opted for the couch) and keep an eye on the elcetronic Bingo board for your order number to lite up signaling that your order was ready to be picked up. While most of the US was under a massive heat wave, it was nice and cool there, requiring us to wear jeans and long-sleeve shirts for most of the time. What a great place to get away from the daily concerns of life and enjoy the beauty of God's creation and not shave for a week. Gotta love that. School starts again on Monday (Hebrew II) and Kim continues the job search. Thanks go out to the seven folks who left us comments! Love getting home and having messages on the machine, e-mails in the inbox, and comments on the blog! Keep um coming!

July 15, 2005

Hebrew One, Done

To our faithful readers,
It proabbaly has been apparent that there has been a take over of the blog by Kim (I knew once I showed her how to do it that would be it for me!). I have been working hard on my Hebrew and have had little time to post. This morning I took the final exam, and I am pretty confident that I got an A on it and the class overall. I have enjoyed Hebrew much more than I expected. I especially liked that it was condensed into an intensive 4 week summer session. Not having a job or a church yet has allowed me to devote as much time as I need to the language. I receive a week off from Hebrew and start Hebrew II next Monday, July 25. As Kim mentioned in her last post, we are heading up to Maine for the next 5 days. Half that time with her cousin's family and the other half at Acadia National Park. We'll have lots to share next Thursday. By the way, I think Kim is getting close to landing a job. She had a second interview today for one job and a second interview tomorrow for another! Please pray for wisdom for her as she will be making some big decisions soon. We know that many of you are continually praying for us, and we want to let you know that we appreciate them and that your prayers are being answered. Hope there are lots of comments when we return...

July 13, 2005

Tid Bits

Since our 4th of July adventures there hasn't been much to post, but here is a collection of the things that have been keeping us busy lately. Last week we spent a few days recovering from our adventures (a testament to how out of shape we are). Sunday we visited the 3rd Evangelical Free church on our list, and we really liked it. Lucas met with the president of Gordon Conwell (who is also EV Free) to discuss becoming a pastor in that denomination and finding a church. He suggested that we attend an EV Free church during our time here. This is nice because it narrows our search, but we really liked 2 out of the 3 and now we're trying to figure out what will be the deciding factors. Sunday evening we had dinner with our neighbors, the Moodys. We have been so blessed to have such amazing neighbors, and we had a wonderful time. The highlights of the evening were Lucas eating meatloaf, hearing Josh's great stories (he was a police officer in Baltimore; it was better than watching COPS!) and learning speed Scrabble (even though Kim Moody beat Lucas!). Lucas is finishing up his last week of Hebrew (he has a final this Friday and I'm sure he would appreciate your prayers), but he found some time to play disc golf with our neighbor Seth (from the other side of us). Although, it sounded like they spent a lot more time looking in the woods for the discs than actually playing, and I ended up having to do a tick check. Last night we split up, girls in one apartment watching Big Brother and guys in our apartment watching the All-Star game. It was a nice time to hang out with friends of our respective genders - girl talk for me and male bonding for him. It seems that all of your prayers have helped as I (Kim) have a job interview tomorrow. It is for a receptionist position at a chiropracter's office, and I'm so excited. We have more adventures ahead as we are leaving to spend a long weekend in Maine visiting my cousin and camping at Acadia National Park, so you all can look forward to some exciting posts in the future!

July 12, 2005

Crossing the Finish Line

My Uncle's Amazing Race Part II:

I know a lot of you wanted to hear how my uncle's race went, so I wanted to give you a follow up. Due to time constraints they weren't able to fully complete the race, but they did finish the 2 1/2 mile run, the 10 mile bike ride, a portion of the 2 mile canoe race (I don't know exactly how long they went), and the mystery events before they crossed the finish line. It was a difficult undertaking, but they all crossed the finish line in one piece (from what I hear they were VERY sore and tired, but they finished nonetheless). They did a lot more than I have ever done in one day, that's for sure. I know that they really appreciated your thoughts and prayers. I definitely did (it was hard to be so far away. I really wanted to be there to watch the race and offer encouragement). In the picture above my uncle Jon is in the bottom left and my uncle Paul is bottom right. My youngest brother Matt is the one in the back. They look so happy and relaxed that I'm assuming this was taken before the race. The bottom picture is of one of the mystery events. You can see my uncles doing the wheelbarrow while my brother Matt (the young and fit one of the team) is resting in the sand.

July 08, 2005

Who wants Cake?

For those of you who read about Lucas and Hebrew and wondered what I do all day...this is pretty much it. I still do not have a job, and since staying at home looking for jobs on the internet (I check the local papers' Help Wanted ads and Bostonworks.com) has no dress code, I do it in my pajamas. Lucas often comes home to me looking exactly like our darling friend pictured here. I thought looking for a job would be a full-time thing, and it was for a few days, but, having exhausted most of my resources, it is now part-time with few benefits. One would think an entire day of free time would be lovely. I, myself, once thought an entire day of free time would be just that...but I'm going crazy! To fill up the extra hours I've been doing Pilates and a lot of baking...which are truly as counterproductive as they sound. It has gotten so bad that I deliberately make messes in the apartment so that I have something to clean up later. Now you would be right if you're thinking that applying to so many jobs and not getting calls for interviews would be depressing, but I'm dealing with it as best as possible (you think here that I'm going to say keeping a positive attitude and waiting for God to bring me the right job, but I'm much more human than that) - I make a lot of cake. I'm not posting this to make you feel sorry for me. I'm actually well within the normal time frame for job-hunting, and my patience could use a little practice. But I would appreciate your prayers. And if you happen to call and I sound dissappointed to hear your voice on the other end of the phone, don't take it personally.

July 05, 2005

My Uncle's Amazing Race

If you click on the blog title (My Uncle's Amazing Race) you can read an article that was feautred on the front page of the Sports section of the Lincoln Journal Star (very big in Nebraska). I just found out about this from my dad (I had heard my uncle wanted to attempt it, but didn't know it was official). I'm sure they (my uncles Jon and Paul and my brother Matt) would appreciate your prayers as they undertake the race. I'm new at posting links, so I hope you can actually get to the article. I know I'm close to the story and may be a little biased, but I thought it was an inspiring story and definitely worth sharing.

Lucas and Kim's Amazing Race

This rather long post is a tribute to one of our spring tv obsessions, and is dedicated to our friends who loyally watched with us.

July 4th, 8:42 A.M. We departed from our apartment on our way to the Hamilton depot to meet a train into Boston, our destination. After Lucas' careful research of train schedules we decided to meet the Hamilton train in order to make it into Boston in time to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the balcony of the Old State Building. The only setback was that the last train to return to Hamilton was the earliest of all the trains leaving Boston after the fireworks which would mean a fast getaway was needed after the fireworks, but we felt up to the task. We caught the train, made our connections on the T in Boston and made it to the Old State House just in time to hear them announce the end of the ceremony. BUT we caught a lively parade complete with veterans, modern day soldiers and Minute Men and soldiers from the Revolutionary War! The highlight of this was spotting one of the Minute Men in line at Starbucks...apparently even the Minute Men need a little something to keep them alert.

DETOUR! Since we missed the reading of the Declaration, we wanted to take in one of Boston's touristy things from the 4th while still making it to Joel and Alli's relatively on time. We had to choose between seeing the USS Constitution go out for her once a year turnaround, complete with a cannon salute, and participating in the debate over the tax on tea at the Old South Meeting House. After considering each choice we went to the tax debate and were each assigned parts - Lucas being a Loyalist Stonecutter (Long live the King!) and me being a Patriot Wine Merchant. Unfortunately we did not get to participate in the debate as another girl had my part and was called on first, and the moderator was too busy calling on little kids to notice Lucas' hand and give him opportunity to speak his line (which he still has memorized in case anyone wants to hear his fiery delivery!). We made it out at 11:30 and quickly headed to Joel and Allie's.

We met up with Joel and Allie and after a scrumptious, and cost-effective, lunch at Boca Grande we headed out to claim a spot to watch the fireworks (with the hopes that we would be the first to reach our destination - a.k.a. the perfect spot...). After a little wandering we found it. THE perfect spot right on the water, across from the firework barge, with shade and sun and a great view of the Boston skyline. The reward a restful afternoon filled with frisbee playing, good company (in the form of Joel and Allie Schellhammer) and a delightful walk, during which we encoutered the smiley button man ("Smiles, smiles, frowns, clowns, downs, bowns....").

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about some of the especially delightful events of the day that have nothing to do with our amazing race, but are nonetheless noteworthy. There was the chance meeting with my college friend Gail Nelson. The alliance with our chair friends (which proved to be helpful when people closed in for the fireworks and they protected the Western border of our blanket). And the highlight: Allie's flag cake (mmmm...so good). Then we saw some AMAZING fireworks. Due to the close proximity of our perfect spot and the direction of the wind we did end up being covered with soot and hit by the paper remnants of the fireworks, but it was still enjoyable. As a true fireworks lover, I have to admit that this was not simply a conglomeration of colorful explosions in the sky, this was art. They were choreographed with music and I was enthralled as I watched the display and thought about the work that had to have gone into it. Bravo.

10:53(ish): The fireworks are over and the race truly begins. We grabbed our stuff just as the last fireworks were fading away, and without folding or packing what we grabbed we ran for the subway station; bobbing and weaving through the crowd with Joel leading the way. It was like we were in one of those movie where aliens are invading the planet (or some other natural or unnatrual disaster is striking). We were the heroes of course, because the heroes are always the ones who make it, and we were passing everyone in our mad dash. We made it to the station and on to our first subway train without a glitch (special thanks to Joel, our amazing guide. We couldn't have done it without you!). We got off two stops later to jump onto the green line that would take us to the North station to meet our train.

ROADBLOCK! Our train announces at the next stop (two stops away from our connecting train) that this is their last stop and all passengers must get off. Lucas and I exited the train without knowing where we were or how to get where we needed to be. We waited for the next train, hoping it would keep going to our stop, but it was kicking off all of its passengers as well. Notably frustrated, we waited for another train knowing now that we missed the train that will get us back to Hamilton, but also banking on alternative options. The next subway train that came through was going to our connecting stop and we crammed on with hundreds of other people (it smelled like that many at least) and thanked God that we were moving on. We got off and precious minutes were lost as we ran around trying to find the train station and we finally found it and confirmed that our train left, but we could take another train to Beverly (about 15 minutes from our final destination) and then take a cab back to our car). We did that, and thanks to John from Lowell and a Boston taxi driver we made it back to the Hamilton depot and our car.

We were truly excited, despite the countless hassles and frustrations, to have this Amazing Race-esque adventure. It was a wonderful day. Joel and Allie, thank you so much for being amazing hosts. We look forward to many more similar adventures in the future!

July 03, 2005

Castle Hill Celebration

For my (Kim's) birthday, Lucas' mom (Denise) gave us tickets to a 4th of July celebration at Castle Hill on Crane Beach near where we live. Now, the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays (did you know that ,Denise?). In part because I was surprisingly patriotic as a young girl - for a little while, if asked my favorite color I would immediately respond, "Red, white, and blue," - and in part because the 4th is a very social holiday usually spent outdoors with many exciting events and friends all around to share it with, but mostly because I am a sucker for fireworks. I can't get enough of them. So I have been anxiously awaiting this evening and the first night of our 4th celebration. But we had a few problems. The first was that we didn't know what to wear, and although that sounds very high school cheerleader the truth was that, from what we read online about this place, we were going to be hobnobbing with the social elite and we didn't want to be dressed too casually for the event. So we went with "comfortable but churchworthy" hoping that would at least let us blend with whatever the dress turned out to be. It turned out that the dress was typical 4th - shorts, t-shirts, capris, tank tops...the usual. It also turned out that the event wasn't what we expected at all. There was a Big Band concert, we expected swing dancing...there was none. We expected people walking around and mingling, instead there were two big hills covered with blankets and lawn chairs and you found a spot and plunked down your stuff. The area is affluent, the people that are coming are probably used to being pampered, we expected food...there were 4 carnival like food stands that provided roasted nuts, sauage sandwiches, fresh squeezed limeade, or fried dough. We did notice that a lot of people brought picnic baskets and I lookeed around to check out their picnincs (soooo hungry!) and I noticed that these people do not do paper bags with turkey sandwhiches. They brought their own little tables, with table cloths and candles. They had smoked salmon and extravagant pasta salads and breads and cheeses and wine...with real, glass wine goblets, and this was not a few here and there, this was everyone around us. Now that's what I call a picnic. Anyways, Lucas and I finally gave in and payed ridiculous amounts of money for sausages in a bun (that made me seriously sick) and after walking around a little we settled down and realized that we had 4 1/2 hours left and NOTHING to do. So we scavenged around in the car and found the game SMESS (which was in there because we were going to give it away before we moved, but we never did, thank God). So, desperate for somethingto do we settled into a game...and another...and another (I would like to note that the winner of the 3-games series was me!!! And for anyone who has beat Lucas at anything, you know how thrilled he was about that). But, after the clothing crisis and the hunger and the food that made me sick and the boredom and the playing of the random game that I now love and will never give away, the fireworks started (with an orchestra playing suitable patriotic music in the background) and they were amazing, and I was so happy, and the entire evening was SO worth it (Thanks, Denise!!). We think we might do this again next year...we'll just plan a little better now that we know what to expect!