Happenings around here

This past weekend was our Winter Retreat put on by our church. It started Friday night with a time of games at the church building as well as a skit, some singing and snacks. For one section of games the Tracy, Keren, My kids and I made several games on the genealogy of Jesus, the fruit of the Spirit, the days of creation and the Ten Commandments. Mary Locke made some on the beatitudes, the ten plagues and the apostles. Some of them are pictured. For the games you would either have to pick out the correct apostles or fruits of the Spirit or you might have to get them in the correct order. We had a fun time making and playing the games.

We also played a game where everybody had to take off their shoes and put them in a big pile. Then one person from each team had to go up and find the shoes for everybody else. All of this done without anybody else on the team doing any talking. That was rather humorous.

The skit that we watched was a really neat one that was put on by Mathew and Jake. In it Jake was on trial (Mathew was the judge) for the charge of public nudity. Jake declared that he had been wearing clothes but then Mathew explained that it wasn't about regular clothes that he was talking it was about whether or not he had on the Christian armor. After some discussion Jake admitted that he only had on the helmet of salvation and had skipped putting on the rest of the armor of God that it talks about in Ephesians 6:10-17. The skit had a very good point that we all should think about.

On Saturday we ended up meeting at the high school which is about 2 minutes away from our house so that was very convenient. The space we had was very nice with lots of room for the kids to play.
There was a nice crowd.

Kevin Bibbee had some very good sermons on "For all God has done". He used each verse in the theme song (For all You've done) as the subject for each sermon. In the first two sermons (I didn't hear the last one as I was teaching kids) he also used Psalm 51 a lot as well as many other verses. In the first sermon Kevin talked a lot about how God cleaned up our mess and how he is willing to do that for everybody else as well. He also emphasized how we as Christians need to make sure that everybody else realizes that we also had a huge mess in our lives and that we are not any better than anybody else. It is only by God's grace that God was willing to clean up our mess and continues to clean up the messes in our lives. Also to make sure that everybody understands that we don't have to get clean to come to God (We can't on our own!) , He wants us to come as we are and He is willing to come in and clean us up.

I enjoyed getting to visit with many friends as well as meet some new ones. We also had fun with music, singing and playing. On Saturday afternoon Mara was in a skit with Tracy which they did a good job on. I also participated in a skit about the Body of Christ with Emily and Keren. I was pretty busy with various things and then I also ended up having a sick little boy to take care of so I got very few pictures. On Saturday evening Megan also got sick with the flu so Ken ended up caring for her on Sunday while the rest of us went to church.

On Sunday I with help from Irindee and Evie taught the kids class. We had a larger group than I expected and I was a little nervous that we wouldn't have enough craft materials but it was just perfect. We did a very simple puppet play about how the paralyzed man was let down through the roof and healed by Jesus. We also had a craft and sang some songs. It was pretty fun.

Through the Retreat and then for most of this week we were privileged to have Jason, Michelle, Kelsey and McKayla staying with us. (all except Jason are pictured above) Jason and Michelle have been friends of ours for quite a long time now. As a teenager I went to church camp in Iowa with them. Then when Ken and I attended Midwestern School of Evangelism in Ottumwa, IA , Jason was also going there and Michelle lived in Ottumwa. I ended up getting a job at the flower shop where Jason worked as well. The school we went to was quite small and we all got to be involved in ministry together as well as spend much social time having fun. Jason and Michelle moved up here after getting married but then several years ago they went to help out at a church in Louisiana. We are always happy when they come back to visit. We have a wonderful time visiting and just spending time together.

On Monday we had fun celebrating my sister Martha's 25 birthday. Martha and her family live in North Carolina but she and her kids are back visiting for a while as her husband is currently deployed overseas. We are enjoying getting to spend time with Martha, Molly, Heidi and Lars.

Well that is some of the things that have been going on around here. I am hoping I will get back to more regular posting again!