Sunday, October 24, 2010

I used to really resent baseball...

I used to really resent baseball. For years I hated being dragged to Little League batting practices and all day Saturday select tournaments. In fact, I thought it was a special brand of punishment that my dad and brother cooked up to torture me.
But, my dad loves baseball. He only loves two things more: God and our family. Not only does he love baseball in general, but he especially loves the Texas Rangers. My dad has been there from the beginning, cheering them on in the good years and supporting them in the lean years. No matter what kind of season they were having, he is there.
I used to really only go to Texas Rangers games to humor my dad. He taught me about the rules, the players, and the history, and eventually I became a true fan. I actually wanted to go to games and pay attention to what was going on. I started reading the sports page and voting for players for the All-Star game. I even worked for the Texas Rangers for two summers while I was in college. Even though my job taking tolls wasn't glamorous, I still loved it because I got to work for my favorite team.
When the Texas Rangers made history by winning the American League Championship Friday night, there was only person I wanted to talk to. There was only one person who could completely share my excitment and pride. There is only one person who understood the significance of the moment: My dad. Even though we are separated by miles and miles of ocean, we are brought together by our love for a game and a team.
My dad and I at a baseball game. One of my favorite ways to spend a summer night.
After Birkley's first Texas Ranger game. Please notice her bow and shirt.
He's learning to love them.

At Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona in March 2009. I met Josh Hamilton and he autographed my shirt! He loves God and he's my favorite player.

As the World Series approaches, there is only one thing left to say:


Sunday, October 17, 2010


This weekend Gosford Church of Christ had their annual family camp for members of ages called R Cubed (Revive, Renew, Recharge). Most churches in Australia have a weekend retreat for their whole congregation each year,which I think is a great idea. I was part of the planning committee for this camp and really wanted to help create an uplifting weekend of fellowship and study. The weekend started off a little bit rocky with a tire blow-out on the freeway while Anne, Amber, Sara, and I were driving to camp. Did I mention we were in a bus with the groceries to feed 70 people for an entire weekend? So, we were very excited to see the NRMA man (Like AAA) when he showed up to change the tire.

Faces of joy that our hour long wait on the side of the road is over.

Friday night was pretty low-key. It started with lots of people meeting at McDonalds for McFellowship before driving the rest of the way to camp. Once we got there, we get things set up and settled before having a devo to introduce the weekend theme of "Shining Like Stars." The night finished up with a massive game of Paper Chinese Whispers (which is like playing telephone but you draw pictures and write sentences).
Saturday was super busy! We had classes for all ages in the morning after breakfast and a devo. Hannah and I taught ten kids ranging in ages from 3-11 years! It was slightly crazy, but we lived and I think the kids learned what it means to shine like stars in the process. Right after lunch, we spent an hour teaching the congregation 4 new songs: "Mighty to Save," "Magnificat," "Ancient Words," and "Above All." People spent the rest of the afternoon playing ultimate frisbee, rock climbing, riding bikes around the lake, chatting, writing encouraging notes, and doing crafts. We were supposed to have a canoe race, but it was too windy and cold. The evening activity was playing BUNKO, which the Aussies had never heard of. Once everyone understood the rules and got the gist of the game, they were yelling out "BUNKO!" like they were veterans. Saturday ended with a great devo and s'mores around the campfire.
The whole camp playing BUNKO. The teens loving BUNKO.
Singing around the campfire.
Sunday morning began with an early morning prayer session and devo at 6:30 am. We originally planned to have a sunrise devo by the lake to focus on Jesus's resurrection, but because of the cold temperatures, we went with plan B. We had our regular time of worship at 9:30 am. A few of our older members who couldn't come to camp for the weekend came for worship and the barbeque afterwards. We also had an congregational meeting with the elders and kicked off our new small group program on Sunday. After cleaning and packing up and dealing with a dead battery on the bus (talk about a bad car weekend), we finally made it back to the Central Coast around 4:30 pm.
Even though R Cubed was exhausting with all the planning and organizing, it was such an awesome weekend. Not only did we spend time studying Philippians 2:14-16 and learning how to shine like stars, but we also got to spend lots of time in fellowship. Long talks were shared over cups of tea and relationships were taken to different levels. After weekends like this, I realize how much I love this church family and how sad I will be to say goodbye to it.
Gosford Church at R Cubed
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky...
-Philippians 2:14-16-

a nerf gun definitely makes camp more fun.
Lindsey and Mel
Amber and I (and Doug) about to watch the kids' play