Sunday, December 5, 2010


So, call me crazy, but this week I'm going to try something. Ben has to be out the door by 5:00 a.m. to head to work now and I am going to attempt to get up and walk with some ladies from church at 5:15. (Like I said, call me crazy. Seriously, do.) When I get home, my goal is to actually start doing something (like finding a good time to do my Community Bible Reading or BLOGGING!) before I head to work. I that not a lot of people read this, but maybe that's because I never actually write anything on it anymore! We shall see. For now I will leave you with a link to my friend, Laura's page with a yummy late fall/winter drink recipe. I'm off to find cinnamon sticks so that I can whip some up myself! Laura is an amazing event planner here in Lakeland. Seriously, I wish I had known her better before our wedding. But I digress...the yummy drinks: Apple Cider Hot Toddies. While you're there check out some of her work! Have a great night and see you all in the morning!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hutchmoot recap

*Sheepishly enters the blogosphere after 4 months of silence*

I'm back to share another newsletter article that I wrote for our church! I've included the intro that our Arts & Worship Director wrote as well. I know that there is still more bits of wisdom from the conference floating around in my head. Hopefully I'll write more soon. (Famous last words...)

When Heather mentioned the conference she describes below, I was immediately excited for her. She was not asking me if I thought she should (or could) attend, but I knew it would be a great adventure for her to spend time under the same roof with people she has followed and supported for many years. When I decided to offer her financial support from the A&W Ministry for the trip (with permission from our supervisors!) it was certainly because I hoped she would be changed for the better by the experience (even it is just a little polishing and not a reshaping, the Potter's work is never unfruitful). But more than that, I certainly believed it was a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to one who has cheerfully served me and this ministry for many months. I hope you enjoy her thoughts on her experience.

In August I had the privilege to go to a conference in Nashville put on by Andrew Peterson and The Rabbit Room website. As someone who has frequented The Rabbit Room since it began, I was thrilled to have the chance to rub shoulders with the folks whose writing, song-crafting, observations about everyday life have inspired me over the years. They called the conference a “Hutchmoot” {Hutch- n. A coop for the housing of small animals, especially rabbits. Moot- n. An ancient English meeting, especially a meeting of the freemen of a shire. v. To discuss.} and this is how they described the event:

“We want you to come and enjoy a weekend of music and conversation about the stories all around us in song, film, books - and most importantly the story being told through our lives; our own story - what it means to get to the holy hidden heart of it, how to tell a better story with the days we’re given, and how our stories intersect each other's and connect to the Great Story.”

The Great Story. We’ve used the term many times here at Trinity. Last year around this time the Women’s Ministry held a retreat with the title “The Stories that Shape Us.” This past Spring the Student Ministry went through a series titled “The God Stories.” We are all a part of this “capital-S” Story. We know this, but we rarely stop to think about it. It takes someone pointing it out to us for us to really take notice. Thankfully we had plenty of people to point it out for us that weekend.

The keynote speaker on Saturday night was Walter Wangerin, Jr., author of The Book of the Dun Cow, Saint Julian, and Ragman. He spoke to us about our duty as scops in the lives of those around us. Scop (pronounced “shop”), he told us, as he wrote on the imaginary blackboard in the air, is Old English for “shaper,” “poet,” or “artist.” The Scop is a “heaper into heaps” and a “piler into piles,” one who crafts or shapes into something tangible. “We come upon the mess and apart from our own wisdom we make order of it.” We have the ability, as well as the duty, to shape Truth and reality into something that can be understood, to “weave the world around those who have no world or personhood or name.” The bottom line, though, is this: “We tell the Old, Old Story over and over again - but we introduce the moments of Now.”

Most importantly is the context in which this Story-telling takes place. You can tell your Story, but unless you have an audience or a community to present it to, it ends there where it begins. Until this event the community that we had shared was an online community. Part of the inspiration for the event was to remove this barrier. Andrew told us at the opening dinner that someone had asked the author Wendell Berry what he thought of online community and his answer was this: “You’re not in community with someone until you’ve pulled their cow out of a ditch or spanked their child.” I think that sounds about right! These days we are much more inclined to have a network of “friends” online than to really be present in honest community.

How do we break this mold? How do we find somewhere to tell our story and live our story? Community Groups are one of the many outlets that we have here at Trinity to aid us in doing this. I’m sure that there are many other ways that we as a church and as individuals can find to break into the realm of true community. Whether it means starting a book discussion group, seeking out other artists (of all kinds!) to collaborate with, reaching out to your neighbors or simply taking advantage of the tools already in place, it is well worth doing. Of course, this also means that we have to drop our guard and let people truly know us. Trust me, I know that this is a scary thought. I am just as scared of this thought as the rest of you (if not more!). The encouragement is that we have an Author who has gone before. He invites us into the Story and infuses us with the courage to tell our story. And as we drop our guard, it becomes an encouragement for others to do the same.

My hope in sharing what I learned is that it will spark conversation that will hopefully lead to more opportunities for intentional community. I certainly don’t have the answers, but I’m willing to try to find them. As I write this, it has been close to two months since the conference and I’m still trying to process everything that I experienced that weekend. It takes time for a new perspective to become a part of you, but it is time worth spending. And if we, the Church, the body of Christ are strengthened and encouraged it is especially time well spent.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday

In no particular order of importance, mainly just order of happening:

1. Melanie Penn
2. "The Reckoning (How Long)" by Andrew Peterson. Cannot wait for the full album to come out!
3. Catching up on the "Song(s) of the Day" at The Rabbit Room (see above)
4. 5 Free songs from Amazon (see above...)
5. Finding out that Andy Gullahorn still does "Haiku Reviews"
6. Almost finishing The Hobbit (I am so close!)
7. New music from Andy Osenga!
8. Naps at lunchtime
9. Massage (even if she did use too much lotion...seriously...WAY too much)
10. The fact that most of these things were done BEFORE 8am (1-6)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

speaking glory

For those of you who don't know me very well, I love to sing and am on the Worship Team at my church. I also happen to work at the front desk of my church. One of my many tasks is to harass people to turn in their newsletter updates so that they can be published. When I was doing my monthly harassment rounds in May I was asked "Do you want to just write it?" I started thinking about it, wasn't sure if I wanted to go THAT far just to have something to publish and thankfully I received an update. But I kept thinking. This is what was just published in the June newsletter (available in mailboxes - literal and virtual - today!).

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God.
How unsearchable His judgments, how unknowable His paths.
Who knows the mind of our God? And who can bring counsel to Him?
Who has given to God that God should repay?
For from Him, Through Him, to Him is everything.
To God be the glory, forever and ever, to God be the glory forever! Amen!*

If you have been at Trinity in the last five months, chances are you have heard the Worship Team sing this song at least a few times (hint: we sing it during the Offering every Sunday). The title of the song is Doxology (Romans 11) and the text is taken from Romans 11:33-36. For those of you wondering, like I was, the word “doxology” comes from two Greek words: doxa, meaning glory and logos, meaning word or speaking. It is generally used to refer to an “expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn.” (Thank you, Wikipedia.) I have been around the church and church music for my entire life, but until a few weeks ago I never really thought about what the word meant. We are to speak glory, and not just glory about some created thing – glory that belongs to the only true God, our Maker and Redeemer. We spend so much time speaking our own glory, that often speaking of His glory is an afterthought. Not to Paul. Paul speaks of His glory and His glory only. More importantly, he doesn’t stop there. I decided to look up the verses in Romans and found that directly after this speaking of His glory are these verses:

1I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

As Tim (our pastor & my one of my bosses) often reminds us, the chapter notations were not originally in the Scriptures. This is a continuation of chapter 11. The “therefore” is referring back to the speaking of His glory. Looking at the holy and incomparable wisdom and knowledge of God, how can we not praise Him? How can we hold back our worship? There really is no separation. When we see His holiness, we are to be transformed to have a mind for Him. Making this connection has only made the words of this song sweeter as I sing them on Sunday and as I call them to mind throughout the week. It is a weekly reminder of just how glorious our Maker is. I pray that you will think about this as we all sing together of His glory.

-Heather Parker, Worship Team Vocalist

  • Pray that we will learn to speak His glory, rather than our own.

  • Pray that we will live out Romans 12:1-2 in light of verses 11:33-36.

  • Praise Him for His wisdom and unmatchable knowledge.

  • Praise Him that He has given us His Word that we may be transformed and learn what is good and acceptable and perfect.

  • *Doxology (Romans 11) By Andrew Peterson ©2004 New Spring Publishing, Inc (a division of Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.) used by permission

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    Bad blogger

    I've been inspired to do a better job keeping up my blog. Thanks, Lindy. That isn't going to happen at this particular moment, since I don't have time to stop and write much right now, but stay tuned.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Monogram Chick Give-away!

    Enter to win until noon today!

    I could definitely use one of these bags. Of course, I could also use a free vacation to go with it! We'll just have to see how our annual Valentine's Day lottery tickets did after the drawing tonight...

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    stolen quote

    “The great thing with unhappy times is to take them bit by bit, hour by hour, like an illness. It is seldom the present, the exact present, that is unbearable. Remember one is given strength to bear what happens to one, but not the 100 and 1 different things that might happen.”

    C.S. Lewis, Letter to An American Lady

    From: S.D. Smith (Thanks!)

    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    passing by

    So, I just realized that we took 0 pictures of our apartment at Christmas, 0 pictures of our cute little Christmas tree with our 1st year ornaments on it and the happy little train going around it, 0 pictures of us at Christmastime (other than the family pictures up in Ohio). How sad is that? We will have to go on our failing memories for everything having to do with our 1st Christmas. The way our memories are going I think we're going to be in trouble.

    Not our tree
    Not our Christmas tree.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    yogurt & granola

    I have a new love. Don't worry. Ben isn't in trouble. My new love is yogurt and granola. You know how you can buy the Yo-Crunch that has it all nicely packaged for you? Yeah. That costs way too much for me. I decided to come up with my own snazzy packaging so that I could take it to work with me. I bought the big container of strawberry yogurt at the grocery. (I usually buy Yoplait, but they were out of it the other day, so I bought the Wal-Mart brand. I actually really like it! It has strawberry pieces in it.) I then went to Publix because it is the only place that I've found granola. They have it with the nuts in the produce section. I then took my wonderful "prep bowls" from Pampered Chef (To get some of your own Pampered Chef "Prep Bowls" click HERE to go to my friend, Jenifer's page.)

    I filled the bowl up to the 1/2 cup mark to leave room the granola.

    I added the granola.

    I ate a tasty treat. (And did it inexpensively!)