first, I’M FINISHED WITH MY LAST D.MIN PAPER FOR THE “DOCTRINAL FOUNDATIONS OF MINISTRY” SEMINAR I TOOK! WOOHOO!
secondly, i was kind of attacked while running this past saturday. it was by a dog. this kills me because i love dogs. in fact, dogs usually love me. it’s part of my charm. i like dogs and they like me. except for this dog. he was not a fan.
i actually don’t blame the dog. it’s owner was walking along on the trail without holding on to its lease. the lease was just hanging to the side of the dog while the dog was running around. when i was about ‘100 away i could see the dog running free. he would run off and then come back to its owner and then run off again. it was also at this time that the dog saw me and decided that it’s goal for the day was to bite me. so it ran full tilt in my direction. i screamed for the owner to grab her dog but she was too busy with what was obviously a very important cell phone conversation to help me with her dog. it must have been an important conversation because surely no one would allow their dog to attack a runner just so they could continue a conversation concerning “twilight.” when the dog reached me and jumped at my throat i kneed it in the chest to knock it away. this worked pretty good so i moved quickly into my second line of defense which was to stretch my arms out and look as big as i could. i wasn’t really trying to scare the dog as much as i was trying to get the cell phone talking owner’s attention. it worked. she ran over grabbed the dogs leash and told me “you did the right thing” as she pulled her barking and lunging dog away from me.
i really wish i could tell you that the dog was a toy puddle or something so you could enjoy a fun visual image but the dog was about the size of a german shepherd and it put a decent amount of fear into my day. the only thing i rememer afterward is thinking how odd the lady’s statement was. “you did the right thing.” thanks lady. nice to know that i did the right thing while you were ignoring your runner chasing dog and talking on you phone. it was really not what i was expecting to hear.
it’s my birthday tomorrow but as has been our family tradition for the last 15 years pam and i will be in two different places on my birthday. the ASHAconvention is always on my birthday and when i was a youth minister our fall retreat was always on my birthday. it was just the way it was. this is a long way of saying that since pam will be gone tomorrow for the ASHA convention tomorrow the family celebrated my birthday tonight. i had mash potatoes, fried chicken, and FRIED DILL PCIKLES! mhmm! my stomach is now making room for a piece of homemade chocolate chip pound cake. double mhmmmm!
best of all pam bought me a BAMA hoodie which had to be special order because we don’t have many of them around wisconsin. oh yeah, i love this woman. she also bought me an electronic knife but that has more to do with her growing up than it does my birthday.
i’m pretty excited about how tapestry is celebrating CHRISTmas. last year we participated in advent conspiracy. we brought it into the worship gatherings and took up an offering for clean water through living water international. it was a great thing so this year everyone agreed to do it again and push it a little further. so for advent conspiracy this year we’ve decided to give the entire church offering through december 31st to provide for clean water (we’ll pay all our expenses through money we already have in the checking account.). the goal is to raise $5,000 to buy a well in central america. this is a big goal for our little church but we’re excited about it. we started last week and as of tonight we $925. woohoo!
SIDE NOTE – tonight one of my friends brought a guest to tapestry. the guest is originally from kenya. i immediately challenged him to a race because i’ve always wanted to say i ran with and beat a kenyan.
as we discussed at tapestry last week there is some military terminology used within the new testament to describe the life of a follower of CHRIST(ephesians 6:11-20 for example). yet i think many CHRISTians do a really poor job of using these military descriptions in front of non-believers in such a manner that they are not perceived as threatening. i was most convinced of this when pam and i watched “JESUS camp” with some non-evangelical friends. i understood the lingo was being used in the movie so while i didn’t agree with it i wasn’t scared by it. that’s part of the problem of being in a culture, you get used to things that others might not understand. our friends were alarmed by the terminology. they were reminded of al quaeda. i didn’t really blame them.
the above video is another example of such terminology being used in a manner that could easily be perceived as scary. it’s from my alma mater, swbts. the point of the video should be a good thing … let’s share the gospel with our neighbors. instead it is a video of some students caring guns and talking about “taking the hill.” i think some of my friends would be truly scared of this video.
curling season began last night! woohoo! we didn’t win but i am on a team with one of the best skips in the league and we lost last night on the last end by one point to one of the other great skips of the league. it was a really good match. it should be an excellent year.
also, adam holte decided to join the league and learned how to curl last night. woohoo!
btw, if you need family photos you should talk to adam. he is an amazing photographer. here’s the link to his business.
and now for yet another reason i love being a part of tapestry.
one of our guy’s life has changed dramatically over the past 18 months (i will call our friend “fred” from now on). he was doing some things that are no longer who he is. a girl that he “hooked up” with over 18 months ago called him to tell him that he was the father of an 8 month old baby boy that he didn’t know about. surprise.
fred’s son lives with the girl back in fred’s hometown in the upper peninsula of michigan. this is around 5 hours away. fred wants to be the best father he can be, supporting his child, spending time with him, and generally fathering. therefore he drives back to his hometown every weekend to take weekend custody of his son and then he drives back to point for school to go to uwsp on monday mornings.
so he sent a message to me asking if tapestry could pray for him. he wasn’t sure how everyone would respond but he really wanted people praying that he would be a good father to his son. i passed it along he got more than he asked for … in a good way.
the next day i received a phone call from someone asking for fred’s address so they could send him a gas card to help with all the travel. this quickly moved from a gas card to a gas card baby shower. fred came over to pam and my house thinking he was coming for supper and was surprised with a male oriented baby shower (brats, root beer, etc). some groups might have responded in judgment but tapestry responded with an awesome night of grace and love. it was a terrific night.
yesterday i received the following message from fred:
I cannot express how much the congregation of Tapestry means to me. As much as I appreciate the many gifts, I appreciate something else much more: friendship/family. People who are already counting pennies giving up money because I needed it, brings tears to my eyes. When I told my parents, my mother was crying and I was fighting the tears at the party. I am proud and thank God for each and everyone from Tapestry. I LOVE YOU ALL!!