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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Wedding Weekend

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Last weekend I took a trip to West Lafayette, Indiana for my roommates wedding. While it rained all the way there on Saturday, it cleared up just in time for the rehearsal dinner and was nice the rest of the weekend. Here are some shots for everyone.

My roommate(the groom) & I before the wedding

Bride and Groom night before the wedding

Best Man and Groom night before the wedding

The ring barrier(Best Man’s son) locked himself into a locker by accident, we ignored him for a couple min. Mad?

Bride and Groom first dance.

My date…everyone was jealous.
(Find the rest of the photo’s on my flickr account)

It was a great wedding.
Fun.
Beautiful.
Everything you hope that a wedding is.

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Written by vagabondrunn

June 10, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Posted in Family, Life, Weddings

Throwback Thursday (6)

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My selection of photos to choose from continues to shrink each week. Sure in albums I have hundreds and hundreds. Online however I only have a few.

This week’s photo selection was taken in 1984 with my brothers and cousins at Christmas time over and Mamaw‘s. You can find me at the very end on the left side.

If you’re reading this, you should join in on your blog. Find an old photo, post it(be sure to post the year or the “year-police” will come find you like they did me), and then be sure to leave a comment here so we can find our way over to look at yours.

Ready.
Set.
Go.

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Written by vagabondrunn

June 5, 2008 at 8:22 am

DIALOGUE IS OFFICIAL

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This is the big news.

READ IT:

Dialogue Church is officially a non-profit organization. Sort of an exciting day for Dialogue and our family of friends.

Sorry it took so long to post the news.

Written by vagabondrunn

May 8, 2008 at 11:37 pm

Blogger Small Group

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i’ve been excited for this weeks small group since, well, last week. So here it goes, diving into James chapter two. (Side Note: If you haven’t read James chapter two(2), but want to participate. Read it now and write about it. Any input is better than no input. Everyone is welcome.) [Mr. Linky is at the bottom]

[James 2:1-7] – Does it seem funny to you that clearly James is showing favoritism to Jesus as he’s telling us to not show favoritism; “as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ”? Sorry, just something as a side note that I found funny. Anyhow, carrying on. Wow, this was said thousands of years ago, yet still, we are so far away from where James was leading us in this teaching.

One of the first things that come to mind while reading this is christians and homosexuality. It’s safe to say that majority of christians disapprove of the lifestyle beliefs of a homosexual. However, it’s also safe to say that the majority of christians also discriminate against these particular people group. We either tell them they can’t participate in a ministry, we tell them they aren’t welcome at our church, we tell them they can’t eat lunch with us, or we tell our kids to stay away from them. That list could go on and on. So many times we discriminate against different people groups because they don’t fit in line with our visions. Isn’t James here being lead by God and telling us that we are to love these people. Is it possible for someone to be living a lifestyle of homosexuality and still have a relationship with Christ? I believe it is. Is homosexuality not just the same as lying, stealing, gossip, etc? I know lots will argue that it’s a constant lifestyle they’re choosing to live. They’re not repenting for that sin. So they can’t have a relationship with Christ? Are there parts of the bible that we read and translate as truth, that probably isn’t? Most definitely. However, we stick by that because we believe God has told us that it is His truth. Perhaps certain people groups, they felt it was God that told them that that was His truth. Maybe we’re all guilty of the same sin…hearing what we want to hear over what the truth of scripture really says. Less of us, more of Him. The particular sin here in this scripture; discrimination and judging. I’ll save the rest for another day, unless you wish to COMMENT now.

[James 2:8-11] – Here we are told that these sins are equal. If you love your neighbor but judge, then you are a lawbreaker. He doesn’t classify which lawbreaker you are. All James says here is that you are a LAWBREAKER. One category. Equal. Not separated. Judging. Not loving. Discriminating. All the same and equal in the eyes of Jesus.

[James 2:12-13] – Oh man I love this, “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom“. Powerful stuff. A law that gives freedom. He doesn’t refer to the law that punishes but states that there is freedom in the law. Grace. Mercy. “Mercy triumphs over judgement.” Thank-you Lord. I mess up enough that this scripture makes me wanna lift my hands and spin around.

[James 2:14-17] – This convicts me. So many times I have encouraged someone to do something, when I was able to not just encourage but to also supply. It doesn’t stop there. Once that person I encourage doesn’t reach that goal, I normally blame it on their lack of effort or ability, which in reality, it was my lack of effort, my laziness.

[James 2:18-24] – I love that James compares our faith to the faith of demons. Seems extreme? Sure. James was definitely being lead to make this point. To make it clear. I don’t believe he could have used a better example to make it anymore clear to anyone.

Lets see…

  • If you have faith but put no action behind it, you’re on the same level as the demons
  • If you have faith with action, you are worthy of the blessings that God will give you

Simple enough.

[James 2:25-26] – This I found interesting. I love the reference to Rahab. Rahab lied. A sin. Yet it was her faith and love that saved her. Her love was her action. God blessed her.

James ends this by telling us that our faith with no action is just as dead as the body without the spirit. Most would agree that we NEED God in our lives. Most would also agree that we should put action in our faith. However, we are much quicker to relax on the efforts in our action for our faith. Why is that? Because we believe that since we have Christ in our hearts that He will still bless our faith? Or is it because we are just ill-informed? Me personally? I too often feel I have a strong enough relationship with God that He will bless me because I’m “good enough”. Wow…I’m an idiot.

I enjoyed this weeks scripture. I know I could type about homosexuality and judging for hours, so if warranted I will write more in another post, depending on the response in the comment section here.

Now, go, write in your blog over this weeks scripture and make this a small group. If you’re unsure of what to do, the original instructions link is below.

INSTRUCTIONS

[p.s. Don’t forget to link back to here so everyone can go back and forth easily and to leave a comment. Be blessed]

[due to wordpress.com to post your link or see links to others blogs and findings from this weeks scripture, you have to click the Mr Linky icon]

Written by vagabondrunn

May 5, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Blogger Small Group

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I apologize if my thoughts and findings in this current weeks scripture seem to be surface level. Through my week this week, I have had so much on my mind that has caused me stress. In reality I believe that maybe God took this weeks reading and purely placed it just for me in my walk, more so than perhaps what God wanted for me to write on the blog. For those who have prayed for me this week, I thank you. Here I submit to you, what God has spoke to me about the scripture. [Mr. Linky is at the bottom]

[James 1:1-2] – Doesn’t it just sound ludicrous to say “consider it pure joy” when referring to going through trials? This is the first reminder to me as I start this small group, which it is important to always to continue to read and not just stop at the current scripture. If we just read one scripture and ignore what comes before and after the particular scripture then the true meaning of the scripture will never be found. The meaning will always fade to the back. I know that had little to do with one and two of James chapter one, but I believe it’s important.

[James 1:3] – Here he tells us why to consider it pure joy. I find it funny that he doesn’t tell us like it’s the first time, but merely reminds us what he knows in our hearts we know. He says, “you know…”. I think it’s important to remember that we our a born creation of God and therefore God is in us.

[James 1:4] – After he reminds us of what we already know he then gives us more details on why we know this. This verse has hit me square in the face. I’ve been going through some trial times in my life right now and this verse has been extremely hopeful for me. I actually received an email today with this message:

‘To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did’
When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better.

It says, “…not lacking anything”. For me as I’ve gone through some of the most trialing and hard times in my life, I’ve been able to fully meditate on this, knowing that God is building me up to do something that I could never do as an incomplete person without Christ.

[James 1:5-8] – He goes on to tell us that God WANTS to guide us. He not only does not expect us to do this alone, he desires to take part of this with us. However, He so much wants us to be a part of this, He knows our desire for knowledge, so He tells us that he will only give us this knowledge if we have complete faith of His knowledge over ours, with NO doubt. Not a little doubt and most hope, but to have complete faith and no doubt. If you’re like me, this might be the hardest thing to do; to trust completely in Him. As a human I have this sense of selfishness to be in control. This is the part where I ask you, the readers: how do rid of that sense??

[James 1:9-11] – I’ll be honest…while reading this, my vision and thoughts have been blurred all week. I know what my thoughts are on these particular scriptures, but never could I desypher my thoughts to put in writing. I will continue to try.

[James 1:12] – Refreshing? Sure. Scary…even more so for me. What about the man who doesn’t believe he has perservered under trial? There are many times that I just feel hopeless. I lack the faith that I need. I struggle with hope. Sure there are times where I have went through something horrific and felt like a new person. I knew at thost moments of my life that it was God that not only pulled me through, but sometimes, pushed me into, so he could form me, so that I could praise Him instead of praising myself. This verse left me with lots of questions.

[James 1:13-15] – This scripture allows the fear of God to kick in. The fear that anything not of Him, is sin, and gives birth to death. Here he doesn’t mean physical death(at least not exsclusively), but here he is talking about a spiritual death. If we give into sin and allow sin to control our lives, it ultimately pushes away the holy spirit, and blocks all walls for the holy spirit to enter. In return, we lose the holy spirit, we lose our connection. It does not lose us. It is our choice, our sin, that disconnects us from God. Never does God tempt us, remember that. I cannot say that enough. Satan can turn beautiful things into the most evil things with a snap of a finger. So be careful, set boundaries, and connect with God daily, ask him ,with full belief that he can, to deliver you daily from the hands and temptations of Satan.

[James 1:16-18] – I think here he just reminds us that these beautiful gifts that God gives us does not change, and that he “does not change like shifting shadows”, aka He does not change beautiful into evil as Satan does. Then we’re reminded that if we wonder if it is of God, to go to the Word, our sword, and he will reveal the truth.

[James 1:19-21] – Here he starts talking about Listening and Doing, which is by no means supposed to be a different topic or disconnected from that last. He reminds us to listen, to be slow to speak, because Satan will attack our tougnes, he will attack our hearts and our minds. He then refers back again to His Word as a savior for us. If we are believing in this scritpure, then we need to believe that it can heal and save us.

[James 1:22-25] – Wow, “Do not merely listen to the word…”. How many times can we quote scripture, tell someone else what scripture says about their current situation, yet when it comes times to living it out ourselves, we lack the true knowledge of the scripture. We don’t know how to apply this scripture fully to our own lives. It makes me question myself and ask, “how am I giving advice through scripture if I do not even fully apply it to my own life?” [Read Pete’s blog for a great perspective on this] With that said, it’s important to remember that we are not perfect and that God knows our hearts. That when we desire, and when our intentional work is for God, that he knows this, he will bless us with the ability to do things outside of our own power. Only He can do all things, in which we are the tools he uses to do it through.

[James 1:26-27] – This is just a reminder to me, that He uses us. Useless, no good for anything, pointless, us. He chooses to use us in amazing ways, and the way we choose to live our lives can either build or destroy His kingdom. He desires for us to love, everyone, not just anyone, but everyone. If we subject ourselves daily to not loving, then we will drift from God, and then in return will be polluted by the world, and His love cannot shine when we desire the things of the world outside of his desires.

As I have been studying James, it was no accident that God placed these scriptures on my heart. I’m in a time of my life where I am facing trials of the largest kind. It has been hard to stay faithful and hopeful to God and his calling in my life. While I was reading God completely opened my eyes and heart to His truth, giving me an amount of strength that there is no reason I should have.

I truly look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts on the scripture and the findings and compassions placed on your hearts while reading. Now go, post your thoughts on your site, link back to here, and post your link in Mr. Linky.

If you’re unsure of what to do, the original instructions link is below.

INSTRUCTIONS

[p.s. Don’t forget to link back to here so everyone can go back and forth easily and to leave a comment. Be blessed]

[due to wordpress.com to post your link or see links to others blogs and findings from this weeks scripture, you have to click the Mr Linky icon]

Written by vagabondrunn

April 29, 2008 at 7:41 am

Church Plant Update (6), Small Group, Twitter Kills

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[If you don’t care to read about the Church Plant Update, scroll down to the Red font and Blue font.]

Last night was our initial meeting for the start-up team. We had thirteen in attendance, which was basically everyone besides a few that were expected to show up. It went really well. Again, like I’ve said in the past, I love my team. Not only do we make each other stronger, but they[Kim and Ashlee, thank you ladies] also feed me when I’m hungry. Who does that resemble? That’s right Jesus. My team is better than yours! No, seriously, they’re amazing.

Anyhow, because I love all of you so much I am going to put all of my notes on my blog every Monday. Feel free to read through, comment, make suggestions, tell us we’re stupid, or whatever you want to do. Remember, these are just MY notes, MY opinions of what was said. Also, when you see titles like “Values” or “Vision” or “Finances”, or any for that matter, know that those are not our visions or values underneath, just my notes to some of the values and the vision we discussed. On a handout that was made for everyone we did put specific Values and talked about our Vision, and discussed a lot of the finances. Once everything is decided on, I will start to post our vision statement, our values, and such as well.

Anyhow, here are my notes from the first meeting:
[ALL NOTES AND FILES CAN BE DOWNLOADED, FOUND ON THE “DOWNLOADS” PAGE.]

Dialogue Startup Team Meeting- April 20, 2008

  • 6:05pm – Opening
    • Prayer (Ashlee)
    • Worship (Ashlee & Ryan)
    • Prayer (Myself)
  • 6:25pm – Ryan Start Up Discussion
    • “How Do We Get There From Here?”
    • Why do a church different?
    • Faced with a world and a cultural that is CHANGING.
    • Change/Questioning = uncomfortable.
    • We cannot stay content in comfort, but be willing to step out in the uncomfortable in order to reach the unchurched/the lost/the broken hearted.
    • What used to reach the world, what used to speak truth…aren’t reaching like it used to.
    • “Times have changed, what are you doing to reach me now?”
  • 6:45pm – Discussing Initial Agenda
    • What does a startup team do? (pt.5)
      o A Family Committed to:

    • Each Other
    • The vision of Dialogue Church
    • Faithfully supporting Dialogue Church with prayer, finances, and ministry
    • Nothing we can or will do will be in conflict or will be intentionally to hurt Calvary Christian
  • 6:58pm – Meeting Date/Time
    • Sundays @ 6:00pm
  • 7:02pm – Church Name/Logo
    • NAME:
      o Dialogue (winner)
      -Join the Conversation
      o Mosaic
      -Old Fashion
      -www.masaic.org (Church in California)
      o Ethos
      -Confusing
      o Montage
  • 7:28pm – Finances
      Facility

    • Spending
    • Auditorium Location
    • Faculty
    • Size of Auditorium
    • Technology
    • Transportation
    • Ron has been looking
    • Marketing
      o Website Needed

    • Mailers
      o Week before
      o Week of

    • Equipment
    • Tables
    • Children’s Ministry Supplies
    • Legal
      o 501-c-3

    • $80,000 for Launch
    • RUMMAGE SALE
      o June 14, 2008
  • 7:51pm – Vision
    • (pt.2)People Hate Church, not Jesus
    • (pt.3)The Bible = Post Modern
  • 7:55pm – Values
    • Stronger together than we are apart
    • We have to allow people to be wherever they are, and love them regardless of.
    • Has to be a church that is about caring about the needs of their souls as much as their body
    • LOYALTY – HUGE
    • We will make a lot of mistakes on the way to figuring out what it is God wants to do
    • Beauty and Creativity, reaching an authenticity in our relationship and worship in Christ
  • 8:03pm – Timeline
    • Decide if you’re in or out for Startup team
    • Each week decide on what this vision is (within the context of Ryan’s original vision)
    • Financially support is your option, but should be an expectation for all Start-up team members
    • Be willing to be active and a part of the start up team by inviting members and helping the team locate items and funds that are needed and will be needed
    • FORMING “OPEN DOORS LAUNCH TEAM”
    • Location for small meetings
    • SEPTEMBER LAUNCH DATE!! [Lift your hands and spin around]
  • 8:08pm – Q&A
  • Environment over Rules
  • 8:34pm – Closing
    • Prayer

    Anyhow, read through, leave some comments HERE, suggestions, advice, put downs, or whatever. We can take it, no matter how great or harsh it is.

    REMINDER:
    Blogger Small Group starts this Wednesday. The scripture will be released Wednesday morning around 10:00a.m., Indiana Time(we have our own time zone because we’re Indiana, it’s true). For the guidelines and structure details of the small group, go HERE.

    ONE MORE THING:
    If anyone wants to buy me an extra battery for my phone so I can Twitter all day. I have an LG 8600. My battery was dead by 4:30p.m. =/ HELP!!!

  • Written by vagabondrunn

    April 21, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Let’s Just Be Honest…

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    [If you are reading this as of May 25th 2008, you probably found me while googling the word “alcohol”. I just want to say welcome and to invite you to look around. You might find some interesting stuff here. Enjoy!]

    Am I a christian?
    Yes.

    Do I love community?
    Yes.

    Do I like to have a drink with my friends?
    Yes.

    Now that you know those three answers let me discuss something on my heart.

    The more I am introduced to family’s who have been torn apart by alcohol, the more I hate the idea of drinking alcohol at all.

    My friends and I are big fans of going out, having a beer, and building a community. Most of us are big sports fans, which creates many opportunities for us to hang out and just talk. Again, most of the time all of us order a beer.

    Nothing wrong with that right?

    Or is there?

    You see recently I have been introduced to a family who has been completely torn apart by alcohol. The dad has allowed alcohol to take over his life. He is drunk more than he’s sober. He has four kids ranging from the ages of 4 to 18. The two younger kids are not sure really what’s fully going on, the second oldest(we’ll call him kid3) however, it has affected the hardest. The mom has finally had enough. She has chosen to separate from her husband, which in return has been really hard on kid3. It had gotten to the point where the dad would always be drunk, and mean, and make everyone feel less because of it. Once the separation took place, he insisted that kid3 was the only person that could save the marriage, unfairly placing that pressure on kid3. In all honesty, that just pissed me off. Kid3 does not need his father telling him that for him to feel that way. As someone that has gone through his parents divorcing, I’m certain kid3 already feels like it is his fault in some way.

    I won’t continue any further to save the idenity of the family. However, since choosing to separate it’s only gotten worse in every fashion.

    I guess my question to you and to myself is this. What good has ever came out of alcohol. If there is something good that came out of alcohol, then imagine replacing that alcohol with something non-alcoholic. I believe you would probably see the same results.

    Pray for that family. Pray for wisdom. Pray for strength. Pray how you are lead.

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    Written by vagabondrunn

    April 9, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Posted in Family, Life, Relationships