Sunday, July 19, 2009

When Heaven touches earth


It’s Sunday afternoon, VBS is over, Nic has gone home, and after Roger and I (well he fell asleep in the recliner) watched a movie, he is out in the shop, the house is quiet, and I’m trying to find a project to work on but in the mean time I want to record some things about our VBS.

We had a great week at VBS last week. Rome with Paul and the Underground Church was our theme, and the kids learned:
1) God’s Love Is a Gift
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
2) God’s Love changes us
“Don’t copy the behavior and custom of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (Romans 12:2)
3) God’s Love is Always with us
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:38)
4) God’s Love saves us
“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8)
5) God’s Love is worth sharing
“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.” (Romans 1:16)

These were the basics of each evening’s lessons.
They would go and visit Paul and his extremely grumpy guard Brutus every evening where Paul would share the above points explaining them to the kids until grumpy Brutus ran them off. Then they would wind their way through black plastic lined hallways down the stairs into the cave of the “Underground Church”.

Here they learned what it was like to live a life for Christ under the fear of being arrested and chased by Roman Guards. Then it was on to the Roman Market place where they learned to work with leather, metal, and wood, while visiting a toga shop and cafĂ©. Every evening a drama depicting the lesson for the evening was acted out in the Market Place for the children to witness. On one evening it was a thief being shown God’s love by receiving unmerited forgiveness, or another evening it was a lady being arrested for standing up for her faith though being threatened with her very life. Fun and games ensued also, just one being chariot races that were held every evening where the kids were pulled through an obstacle course in the grass by two Family group leaders on large pieces of cardboard.
Now lest you be yawning at this point thinking that our little ones were carefully told Bible stories and made cute crafts and played fun games, think again. Brutus was so very angry that he was forced to guard Paul, that his temper flared on more than one occasion literally sending one little girl into tears, and others scurrying from the room when he would turn red in the face and scream “GET OUT!”
Another night they got to experience the fear of not knowing what might happen to someone they loved while cowering in a corner of the underground church while the soldiers were right outside the cave entrance, threatening to come in and find us. As they clung to the adults and buried their faces in our robes they were sure we had been found out.
But in the end they saw the transformation that Jesus can make in a life when on the last night when they went to visit Paul, Brutus had accepted Christ, and would no longer be working as a guard in a prison, but as a stable hand in the emperor’s stable.
Marcus who had been chased off by the Roman soldiers returned to the underground church safe and sound, but that night when they left the followers of Jesus had to leave with them; their place of worship had been found out. So in joy they departed to find another place to worship.
Our intention was not to scare the children, but our actors did such a wonderful job portraying their characters that the kids got caught up in the stories, and each night had things to share with us, and questions to ask before we even launched into our scripts for the evenings.
Complete families came to church together all week and parents followed as their children visited Paul and Brutus, the underground church and the market place. They came as families to church this morning and we all sang and worshipped together, and Brutus stood and gave his testimony about what it was like to accept Jesus.
When I have times like this I can see that heaven has touched earth, lives have been changed, and families are supported in ways they hadn’t been before. I’ve had a tough week, and yes we are tired, but the feeling in our souls and hearts is so great the weariness is worth it all.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My noisy neighbors..........


By virtue of the fact I want to get the toilet picture from front and center on my blog page I am "inspired" to write a new post.
Actually I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago and intended to write about them but other things interfered.
These are my noisy neighbors. My neighbors flock of ducks and geese that graze all over the place. They stay in their own yard by virtue of the fact that I have a dog they don't like, but they are out and about all the time.
If you have ever seen than movie "Sneakers" there is a part where they are trying to help Robert Redford's character remember what he heard while being locked up in the trunk of a car to help determine where he was taken. At one point he recalls hearing something akin to a cocktail party. This of course is impossible, as he was locked in the trunk of a car while moving. However the blind guy who is a wiz at noise distinction knows exactly what he was hearing. As they get in the car and begin to retrace the trip, sure enough the noises begin to line up to what Redford remembers; the seams on the highway, the railroad tracks, crossing a bridge, then...........the cocktail party which turns out to be a huge flock of seagulls at the reservoir. Who knew that a flock of birds can sound like a cocktail party?
They can believe me. As I sit on my deck in the evening and hear them "talk" to each other as they move around the yard, I hear the conversation, and every once and awhile one of them will QUACK!QUACK!QUACK! really loud, like they are either laughing really loud above the din of conversation, or calling everyone down for getting to rowdy; either way it is actually quite comical.
I have these guys, cows that bawl when feeding time is late, and horses that get quite vocal when they are talking to the horses across the road. I don't mind any of it, actually it is comforting, sitting out on the deck drinking iced tea, reading a book, and listening to the "cocktail party" going on next door.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The "Project"...........almost done.


O.K. the whole reason for the bath redo was because we got a new TOILET!!!! now that is a huge deal in the Cerretti household. When we built our house Rog wanted everyone to have their own "pot". With the addition of the shop, we even have an extra one for guests; no waiting :) If your not laughing out loud you should be.
As promised, pictures of the new pot, tile floor and vanity top. When he got ready to lay the tile, Rog wanted to know if I wanted it put down at an angle. (Like he thought he needed another challenge!?!?) Now if you know us and have seen our house we are BIG into angles; so I said, "why not?" I think he did an outstanding job, as usual. It is B-E-A-U-Tiful!

Nic's floor is done, the wallpaper up, and we will re-set "the pot" this evening with more pics to come. I really should have had some before and after shots, but how often do you actually take pictures of your bathroom?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Just what I need.........a project!

Well, I’m married to a Carpenter/Contractor, but our house needs to be shingled, new flooring, new toilet in the master bath, and the deck added to the south side of the house so the French doors we put in our bedroom a few years ago will actually lead to something other than thin air; “watch that first step” type of deal.
You know the old saying? "The cobblers children have no shoes, the mechanics car never runs, and the carpenters house is never finished." Wish I’d had know that saying about 33 years ago. :)
I digress……………..
It has started, in the process of replacing the master bath toilet, the idea of replacing carpet with tile has sprung up. Then maybe a new counter top on the vanity. While we are cutting and laying tile, why not tear up the carpet in Nics bath and put down the tile we had left over from building the house. Well, while we have the toilet pulled, I'll paper that wall and put up the border I intended to put up, oh, about 12 years ago!?!?
I’ve started running back and forth to the flooring store, bringing home samples, and trying to choose.
Mind you, I DO NOT want to redecorate my house----FAR FROM IT!!! I am perfectly happy with my dated colors, and out of style.......... um, style. But I am thrilled to be “cleaning” up some things. Rog is a whirlwind when he gets to going (one of the reasons, people love him, he is fast AND good), so when he is ready to DO something, we DO it!
The first evening we had the carpet, pad, tack strip torn out, the sinks pulled, and new formica on the counter top and the sinks back in, all between supper and bed, oh! and part of the subfloor down. Last night, we pulled both toilets (don't ask. Lets just say YUGH!), pulled the carpet, pad and tack in Nics bath, and he glued and nailed the subfloor in our bath. Today I paper, and he finishes getting the floor upstairs ready, then I am thinking that over the 4th we lay tile, and finish. I'll post pics when we are done. So in the next few days……………pray for us :) By the way, the toilets are sitting outside, one on the deck out back, and the other out front on the porch downstairs..........can you say YARD ART!!! :)