Month: May 2012

Restoring My Soul

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Last week was a doozie.  Rarely do I feel stressed out, but I sure felt it last week.  Between work, remodeling the house, and everything else going on…. I was exhausted…mentally…physically.

But my soul was refreshed!

I had the great fortune to play bass again with the Cross Church – Pinnacle Hills Worship Team this last Sunday.  And I have to say that it was an absolute blessing.

The event was definitely less eventful than my first outing a few weeks earlier, but it was just what I needed to fill my reserves.  For me, there is nothing more awesome than being able to praise and worship Jesus through music.  And it was like a fresh wave washing over me….restoring me.

The worship band has fantastic musicians and it is an honor to play along side of them in leading others in to worship.  While I love all of the songs we played, I must say that O the Blood is one of those songs that makes your soul cry out!  I love it!

Check the video!  Crank the bass!  And enjoy!

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One Smart Cookie!

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Today was Emily’s last day of 3rd grade!

She is one smart cookie too.  She finished her school year with all A’s!  …and not just for the quarter…she had all A’s for each quarter this year.  We are so proud of her!

For her accomplishment, we decided to take her to her favorite restaurant for dinner…Red Robin.  And it was good! Yum!

I can’t believe she is going to be in 4th grade.  She is growing up so fast.

Great job sweetie!  We love you!

Jenga Playdate with Dad

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This evening, Emily had hip-hop dance class, so Ava and I were left alone.

Ava said, “I don’t have anyone to play with.”  So, like any good Dad, I said, “What about me?” – hoping all the while that she wouldn’t choose to play princess dress up or anything with makeup.  

She lit up and said that she wanted to play Jenga.  I was pretty happy with that.  It’s a fun game.  Right?

So, I got the game out and we played a couple rounds.  She’s actually pretty good at it when she wants to be.  But I discovered pretty quickly what she really wanted to do.  See below:

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Sometimes, you’ve just got to smash stuff.  🙂

Ava’s Awesome Antics #8

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“Hey Mom, remember when Emily got sanitized?”

-Ava, 4, referencing Emily’s baptism

Emily Baptized!

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Just a couple short weeks ago, Emily told her Mom and I that she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior during an altar call at Cross Church.

We were both absolutely thrilled by this decision.  However, I am always skeptical of children when they make this claim because of the importance that it will play in their life.  I worry that they are just doing it because they see others do it and don’t really know what it means.

I talked to her about it extensively and was pleased to see she had a good grasp on her decision and what it meant.  This last week, Em and I went and talked to Pastor Jamie (her youth pastor) about her decision.  Pastor Jamie is very good at probing the decision with questions and explaining things along the way.  I was very impressed with Emily’s responses as she showed a great deal of maturity.

At one point, Pastor Jamie asked Emily if she knew why people were baptized.  She responded simply, “Yes, it’s like a wedding ring.”  I was shocked by her answer and thought to myself, “Oh, I’m interested in where you’re going with this one.”  She continued, “You wear a wedding ring to show people that you made a decision to get married.  People get baptized to show others that they made a decision to follow Jesus.”  I was super impressed!  I asked her about the ring story later and she said she heard Pastor Jamie say it once, which means she was listening! 🙂    Pastor Jamie also did a great job further explaining the symbolism.  In the end, we were satisfied with her answers and scheduled her baptism.

This morning, following first service, we met Pastor Jamie and some staff to get ready.  Pastor Jamie spent some additional time talking to Emily and then we took time to pray with him as a family.

As second service started, Pastor Jamie and Emily walked out to the baptistry and got ready.  April, Ava, and I watched close by.

Then when it was time, they walked further out in to the water and Pastor Jamie began.  He introduced Emily to the congregation and talked about her decision.  He then asked her if she had accepted Jesus Christ to be her Lord and Savior.  She said, “yes”.  He then submerged her.  And when she rose back out of the water we all CHEERED!!  The band started playing Glory to God Forever!  It was a moment I will remember forever.

What a glorious decision and glorious day!  Praise God for great people like Pastor Jamie and the other staff members that have been a great influence on Emily.  Praise God for my daughter’s decision.  As parents, we couldn’t be happier.

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Dashing at the Gold Rush!

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Starting Line. If you squint, you can see Em and I in near the right side.

Today, Emily and I ran our second race together.  We did the 1-mile fun run at the Gold Rush 5k in Bentonville.

Emily has been involved in the running club at her school this semester and this race was the capstone of her efforts.  The Gold Rush running event was a race that benefits the Bentonville School district and at last count there were allegedly over 2000 runners in attendance for both the 5k and the 1-mile fun run.

Each of the schools were represented by a different color t-shirt.  Emily’s school, Apple Glen Elementary, wore purple.

With the weather about to pour down rain on us, Emmy and I lined up at the starting line, stretched and got ready for the sound of the gun.

There were so many people, I told Em to run in front of me so that if she was tripped I could grab her.

Mike Rush, who runs Rush Running in Bentonville, was the MC that started the race.  He told the parents that their kids had better not beat them.

Then he gave us a, “runners to your mark…get set…”.  And with a bang from the gun, we were off.

Emily did just as she was supposed to and got out in front of me.  Sure enough, some kids got tripped up and took a tumble.  Emily did great though and we were off to a quick start.

Em and I off to a quick start!

The pack thinned pretty quick, but we kept a pretty brisk pace and were near the front.

Em kept trying to dart in front of me and I said, “What are you trying to do?”  She said, “You told me to run in front of you.”  I laughed and said, “Oh, you can stop doing that now.”  I thought she was trying to beat me or something.

The shape of the course was basically two loops and a couple straight aways. After the first loop (a little under halfway there), Em asked, “How much further?”  Of course, I replied, “We’re almost there.”

As we got in to the second loop, we were surprised to see a big downhill slope, followed by a big uphill slope.  Unusual for a one mile run.

As we kept passing parents and kids that were already out of gas, we trucked down the hill then back up.

Halfway up, Em slowed just a hair.  I started the, “C’mon Em!  You can do it!  We’re almost there!”  She furled her brow and sped back up.

Pretty soon we were in the beginning of the final straight away….and sped up.

I remember looking down and thinking that my stride was pretty long and then looked over at little Em who was keeping up.

As we got within 100 yards, we sped up again and Em said, “Hold my hand Dad!”

I grabbed her hand and we sailed in to the cheers of the home stretch.

We crossed the finish line and it felt so good!  Instead of medals, they handed out bracelets for the finishers.

Em and I are all smiles post race!

I picked Em up and told her proud of her I was.  She said, “That’s great Dad, but I need some water.”

April and Ava were there cheering us on and taking pictures.  April tried to time our run and we think that we finished somewhere right around the 8 minute mark give or take a few seconds.  This is a huge improvement over our last run together.

As best I could tell, Emily was the third person to cross the finish from her school.  And quite honestly, she raced faster than most of the others.  What I am most impressed with is the pace that she kept up and that she didn’t stop running the whole time.

Just as we finished, it started raining.  So we headed for the suburban and off to dinner.

It was a great time and I was glad to be able to share that once again with Emmy!