Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Fry

Residing Hope has fried turkeys before thanksgiving for several years now. The thought is BYOB (bring your own bird) and we provide everything else. The first year was at our apartment complex in The Colony at the Bristol Oaks and we froze. This year we had great weather and another awesome time to connect with friends.

I think we fried 4 turkeys, 4 chickens and 20 pounds of hotwings.

Unfortunately I had to work during the first part of the fry at REI. (They just started giving me more hours, there was just no way that I could ask off. It would have been weird.) But Terry headed up the endeavor and led everyone through the process and I am proud to say nothing was caught seriously on fire and all the food turned out great.

I got home that night and we continued frying till a little after 1am. Got to bed a bit before 2am and the alarm went off at 3:45am to open at Starbucks.

The thing I love about the turkey frys it gives a great opportunity to connect with the neighbors. My neighbor, Tony, also saved the day when one of our burners stared acting up.

We stole Sandi's slide show! Kerre's glad Sandi's gotten hooked on blogging because she's no longer the only crazy one with a camera around her neck at everything we do!! Thanks Sandi! Great pics! (yes... they are mostly of Jack. That may be why they are such good pics!)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

in case you weren't amazed enough...

...Jack is on the move again! He's now pulling up all on his own with no help! Check him out!! Today he even pulled up on his walker and it rolled a little and he just walked along with it! I tried to catch it on video, but before I could get the camera started he reached over to Indee's orange bucket of dog food (don't worry it has a lid) and left the walker stranded as he switched over to the bucket!

He's also discovered the trash can that we have for the desk. It also has a lid and I taped it shut so trash wouldn't spill out. He knocks it over pulls up to his knees and rolls it a little ways then pulls onto the couch and bangs on the cushions. But then he figured out how to take the tape off of it so I had to retire the trash can!!

And my parents were afraid that we didn't have appropriate baby surfing furniture!! buckets...walkers...trash cans...couch... what more could a crazy kiddo like ours ask for?!

He loves to bang on things! We gave him some metal mixing bowls to play with because the loves Indee's water and food bowl and he just bangs away on them! The banging doesn't bother me too much because at least when he's banging he's sitting in one place. This is a rare occurrence. His cousin Eric would be proud of his percussion skills.

Most of our days are spent with me baby proofing something and then him figuring out how to "un" baby proof it! He may be smarter than me!

He's such a happy kid! As you can see here. He was more interested in laughing than eating yesterday, but we made it through dinner time... he has no clothes on because he had already had sweet potatoes in his little mesh baggy baby food thingy (i don't know what it's called) and a teething biscuit that Indee actually ate. He's already figured out how to make friends with the dog!

Our Not So Concrete Adventure

I've always been at least somewhat amazed that creatures that I consider wild still live in this concrete world of ours... wild bunnies that Indee loves chasing playfully, the wolf mom (not "man") and her pups that live next door to the fire station (we can hear them out and about at night when we leave our windows open), the armadillos that tore up the yards at our apartment in The Colony, big lolly-gagging turtles crossing major streets, hawks, opossums, cougars...

I love that we can still witness this part of the wonder of God's creation around us... even in Dallas!

Yesterday our little family troop took a pretty easy hike! It was all paved, but for out of shape little ol' me it was quite a trek. Jack loves being outside and I hope that we can do a good job of instilling a love and respect for nature in him. Aaron was just excited that he got to finally use his "piggy pack" for Jack. It was a great mini adventure in the woods in heart of our city.

It's was refreshing to find a place where the sounds of cars on the highway melt away and are replaced by the trees being blown in the wind and birds chirping and water gurggling in a stream! We did get a reminder that we were still in "Kansas" (as Drothoy might put it). But all in all it was a wonderful way to "waste" an hour or so.

Jack loves looking up at the tops of the trees... something taller than daddy to be amazed by. I hope we haven't missed our chance to do this some more as the weather is starting to turn colder.

I love my family!

The Church

“Like every human organization the Church is constantly in danger of corruption. As soon as power and wealth come to the Church, manipulation, exploitation, misuse of influence, and outright corruption are not far away.

How do we prevent corruption in the Church? The answer is clear: by focusing on the poor. The poor make the Church faithful to its vocation. When the Church is no longer a church for the poor, it loses its spiritual identity. It gets caught up in disagreements, jealousy, power games, and pettiness. Paul says, “God has composed the body so that greater dignity is given to the parts which were without it, and so that there may not be disagreements inside the body but each part may be equally concerned for all the others” (1 Corinthians 12:24-25). This is the true vision. The poor are given to the Church so that the Church as the body of Christ can be and remain a place of mutual concern, love, and peace.” - Henri Nouwen

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Advent season is almost upon us. Advent is a season of waiting. Waiting for Christ. Waiting for redemption. Waiting. It is a season of hope and love. It is a season of peace.

I think I have a better appreciation now having waited for Jack to come.

Words From Video

In this Advent season we await the coming of Christ

Child of promise come,

Revealer of God come,

Bringer of life come,

Come to the beaten and the battered,

Come to the despised and rejected

Come to all in whom the divine image is still distorted

We wait in joyful expectation.

Come not as an distant emperor but as a helpless babe

Come not as a prince in a gold palace, but as a displaced and frightened refugee

Come not as a man of power, but in love and compassion

Come to those outcast like shepherds in the field

Come to foreigners like Magi watching from afar

Come to rich and poor, young and old, male and female,

We wait in hopeful anticipation

Come to bless all creation with your love

Come to bring salvation on the earth

Come to rule with justice and in peace

Come Child of promise, open the windows of our hearts

Come Christ of compassion, open the doors of our homes

Come Prince of Peace, open the pathways to our lives

We wait with all the peoples of the earth

Child of hope we welcome your coming

Christ of life we welcome your coming

King of glory we welcome your coming

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Texas Baptist

I was at a friends house Monday night and Picked up a small "newspaper" for Texas Baptists.

Here is the article I found on the Inside cover page. Don't bother reading it, but it's title struck me, "Future Focus committee recommends name change for convention"

And then the topic sentence...

The Future Focus Committee will bring only one recommendation to the Baptist General Convention of Texas annual meeting, but it potentially could reshape the organization’s identity.
It is scary that a committee who responsibilities were to look to the future of the convention only came back with one recommendation and it is a name change. In all of their discussions they didn't come up with anything else? How about the inability to plant churches in all cultures in Texas? How about poverty? How about ______? (Fill in the blank with any of our inadequacies.)

I love Texas Baptists and owe alot to Texas Baptist. The church I grew up in was a Texas Baptist Church. My undergraduate, Wayland Baptist, was Texas Baptist. And although I do not work with a Texas Baptist church now, I still have a heart for Texas Baptist.

I am not sure why I am surpurised though, many seem to be promoting this idea that the greatest thing wrong with the church is its marketing and branding. Here is a video that seems to be all the rage in the blogosphere this week, which is funny and makes some nice characterizations of program driven church, but I think that the problem with the church is the church not acting like the church.

Well, that is my rant that has been rattling around in my head since Monday evening. Do you have any thoughts?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Christmas Get Together

Maybe it is because this is Jack's first Christmas, but I am so excited. I have a ritual of watching Christmas Vacation hundreds of times between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Well, I went ahead a got started on it last weekend.

I am sending out feelers to see who, of the old Amarillo Crew, would like to get together over the Christmas Holiday. It looks like Friday or Saturday would be good. We could do lunch or dinner. Let me know what your preferences are and we can get planning.

So, if you are interested, please email me at aaronlthorne[at] as well as send me you phone number. What is your preferences for a day and any ideas that you might have. If you have info for any of the gang, please pass along the info or shoot me an email.

I am so excited and can't wait to see you guys!


...son of mine!!

Jack has really gotten the army crawling thing down! He's just about on his knees, but really can get everywhere he needs to by scootin' along. He's lightening fast and he's now taken to a new adventure!

The boy loves to climb under things!! (I don't know, if you are going under something are you climbing??) Anyway, he's like my little spelunker, exploring caves! Yesterday I was able to catch him in action some...

... under the chair

... under the table

... under the desk (the spaces kept getting smaller and harder to get in (and out) of)

...under the walker (this was my favorite)

... and even under Mommy's feet! (I now fully understand what being "under foot" means!)

I love being home with my baby! He surprises me and makes me laugh and grow a little (or a lot) everyday...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Autistic Art

this is amazing

(ht marko)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Pocket Frogs...

...Are Made For Little Boys!

So, I'm slowly careening this learning curve of the blog world. I decided today that I would change our background and I found this website to help me out -

Aaron made me promise that I wouldn't make the blog "Girly." I have no idea what would give him the impression that I would make his blog girly, but I promised! I was a little nervous by the name of the site, but checked out anyway... maybe they weren't ALL "cute" layouts...

"Lucky me," I thought, "they have a 'boy' section!"

That's when I found this layout and had to use it! Aaron's mom loves to tell a story on Aaron about when he was a little boy. It had been raining a lot, and a small frog infestation had plagued Amarillo.

Well, one day as Janet was lovingly doing her family's laundry she opened the washer to a drove of not so alive baby frogs! It seems her sweet little boy had filled his pockets with frogs and unknowingly Janet washed her sons trousers along with their pockets slimy contents!

Son many fun things to look forward to as the mother of a son!

So in honor of my wonderful Mother-In-Law and the love she has for her baby boy, I give you the Pocket Frog Blog Layout!

Converting Leadership

I don't much enjoy reposting material, but this struck me this morning...honestly it hit home.

What sort of leadership leads communities into genuine transformation? One book which got me thinking this month was "A New And Right Spirit: Creating An Authentic Church In A Consumer Culture" by Rick Barger. In the book Rick has a lot to say about adaptive leadership, which he contrasts with technical leadership.

Today I would like to draw your attention to a few comments, not from the book itself, but an associated article on adaptive leadership at Rick writes:

Conversion, not information, is the cause of transformation. In the use of conversion here, I am not talking about the naïve miraculous one-time conversion experience. I am talking about a process that begins by acting converted. The Jesus formula for transformation is certainly not information based. Jesus did not put his disciples into classrooms or simply provide the right information as to what a disciple is. If that is all it takes to convert people to the God-life, then God could have sent a fax rather than a person.

Adaptive Leadership is a converting leadership that brings about transformation. The unconverted church asks the wrong questions. Why can’t we get our youth more involved? How can we increase our worship attendance? Why don’t people give more? What new program do we need? Congregations that behave like Jesus and thus are converting congregations ask different questions: What is God doing in the world and how can we get in on it? What does God need for us to do? How can we make God proud? When congregations seek to join God conversion happens and transformation happens.

The place to begin, however, is with the leader. Does the leader reflect in his or her life that the leader’s home is clearly in the sacred story of the church? Does the sacred story and total devotion to and dependence upon God emanate from the leader in lifestyle choices; in radical generosity and leading in giving; in presence and courage in the midst of conflict; in informed and disciplined theological and biblical ways of thinking, analyzing, and deciding; and, in an always-hopeful, tomb-is-empty attitude? Do Jesus’ seemingly impossible words about loving enemies, unlimited forgiveness, and not losing one’s life in trying to gain the whole world seem to be less impossible in the presence of the leader? If so, then you may have a converting leader.

I found this very timely as I am currently in the process of reworking the introduction to Christianity course for our church. The current course is very technical, very much of an information download. Yet for all this I do not think it leaves people which much of an appreciation for the biblical story and how our life stories fit into it. So I am working towards shifting the focus, from a systematic theology focus to a chronological storytelling focus. I want to spend more time exploring how we live the story, how we breath the story, how the ancient story becomes our story.

I am encouraged by the leadership of Jesus in this. For him, leadership was not about being efficient, leadership was about being authentic.

I guess this hit home, because I have seen and I have tried to be an "effective leader." But the key is in the authenticity. This has been forming in the attic of my head, I just had not found any words. My experience tells me that people respond when I am authentic with them.

So I guess the question I am asking is what is your experience with authenticity?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dark Knight--Toy Story

We got up thinking it was almost 6:30am and then figured out the time change! oops.

this is quite possibly the best movie trailer mash-up i have seen. it’s the audio from the dark knight trailer - unchanged - with visuals from toy story 2. (ht marko)

anyways we are off to breakfast!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


The Halloween Party Carnival Thingy at Jonathan and Sandi's house was awesome!! Aaron said many times yesterday that this was the most excited he has been for Halloween as an adult. And for good reason!

I'll need to get Sandi's pics to include here. There was so much going on at once that one camera couldn't catch all the fun! But here's what we got just to get you started.

Here's our Halloween family! The Mad Hatter... Alice... Captain Huggy Face!

We had some great costumes... including -- Indiana Jones and Short Round, Alice and the Mad Hatter, Teen Wolf, Army Man, Word Girl and Captain Huggy Face, Spiderman, Snow White, a Transformer, a Witch, a Spider, a Lumber Jack, A sushi Chef or Karate Kid, Pokemon Squirtle, Cloud, Pokemon Trainer Ash, Kitty Cat, Pumpkin...I think that is all.