Tag Archives: the forge

Friending

Michael and I have been watching a sermon series by Pastor Craig Groeschel entitled “Friending” (you can watch it at www.lifechurch.tv/watch).  The series is about friendship, as you could probably deduce from the title.  The second and third messages really hit me hard—in a good way.  Pastor Craig claims that we may be One Friend Away (message 2) or One Community Away (message 3) from changing the course of our destiny.

 

There are three types of poverty, Pastor Craig says: material poverty, spiritual poverty, and relational poverty.  Our nation is being overcome with relational poverty.  Someone might have 500 facebook friends and 200 followers on Instagram, but the chances are, they don’t even have five close friends that they could call in the middle of the night, or who have “refrigerator rights” at their house.  We can “connect” with hundreds of people around the world, but we might not have anyone we regularly sit down with and have a deep face-to-face conversation with.  In the same way, many people can not say with confidence that they have a community of other Christians that they “do life with”—rejoicing and crying together, bonding as true family, encouraging one another in Christ, ministering to others together, etc.

 

As we have watched these messages over the past three weeks, I have been convicted and challenged.  I realized that I am relationally impoverished.  Sure, I have a lot of people that I am “friends with”—I get along well with a lot of people, and I can have surface level, and sometimes even semi-deep, conversations with dozens of people.  But I have very few people who I would say know me and I know them.  And aside from my husband and family members who I am particularly close to, I haven’t done a good job of staying in touch with the close friends that God has blessed me with over the years.  In the same way, I have experienced true community, both in the Forge at Pine Cove, at college, and with different Bible study girls and couples.  But honestly, the last time I “did life” with someone other than my family was years ago.

 

So I invite you to join me in being challenged to get out of relational poverty, and begin forming (or rekindling) close, deep, face-to-face (or phone-to-phone if they live far away) friendships.  I am going to start by contacting friends that I am removed from physically, but I can still be close with relationally.  And then I am going to pray that God will show me other friendship possibilities.  But most of all, I am going to work on becoming the kind of friend that I would want to have—reaching out to others, being transparent, encouraging them, and just being present.  One year from now, I want to be able to say that I am relationally wealthy instead of in relational poverty.

 

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 NLT

 

The Forge

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–Staci

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How are you doing relationally?  What is one thing you love about one of your closest friends?

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Woo-Hoo! Harry’s Here!

For the past two weeks, I’ve been called “Calvin” more times that I can count.  On the 4th, Michael used a Calvin and Hobbes comic to go along with his message for the youth.  I’ve looked all over the internet, but I can’t find it.

Basically, Calvin sees that you can get a beanie if you mail in 6 proofs of purchase.  After he mails them in, all he can think about is getting his beanie in the mail.  EVERY day he comes in and asks if his beanie came yet.  He talks to Hobbes about his beanie while they’re trying to go to sleep, and it’s all he thinks about at school.  Finally, after weeks and weeks of waiting, he comes home from school and says, “I bet my beanie didn’t come in.”  But that was the day it arrived!  After he nearly failed trying to assemble it, he realized that it didn’t make him fly and was therefore worthless–but at least it came in a great cardboard box!

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ANYWAY, so what does that have to do with me?  I ordered some books from Amazon on the 3rd and they shipped on the 5th–WITH NO TRACKING INFORMATION (how am I supposed to check the status multiple times a day?!)!  Every single day since then, one of the first things I say when I get home from work is “Did my books come in today?”  And every single day I’ve gotten a “no”.

Today I’d decided that the mail was probably coming via BICYCLE from San Fransisco.  That’s the only way I could justify it taking over two weeks to come in.

BUT…when I went to check the mail after my lunch break, IT WAS THERE!

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You’re probably wondering what book could get me this worked up…  But I’m gonna have to be honest:  ANY book that I order will get me this worked up.  I’m a nerd.  And I think it also has to do with getting a package in the mail.  Who doesn’t like that?  Plus, I’d like to act like I’m a super patient person, but anyone that knows me will tell you that I’m not.  At all.  I try to be, but I’m not.

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So what were the books?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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And now for the back-story:

At one point, I owned the first four books.  Then I decided that I’d jump on the bandwagon and get rid of them.  I watched the first three movies when I went on a movie binge before the Forge (I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch TV or movies for the 9 months I was there so I watched a TON during the weeks leading up to the program), and I really liked them.  But by the time I completed the Forge, I’d forgotten that I wanted to watch the other ones that were out.  Michael and I decided to rent the first one last month, and within a few weeks we’d gotten all caught up.  We both REALLY liked them, but it made me want to read the books again.  Books just add so much more detail and they’re usually better (A Walk to Remember is my only exception so far).  So I decided to buy the books and read them again.  Oh–and by the way, I got each of them for $4 a piece–including shipping!

Needless to say, I’m really excited that they’re finally here, and I can’t wait to start reading them again!  I might even talk Michael into reading them.  But I’m not holding my breath on that one.

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–Staci

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Q for you:  Have you read the HP books or seen the movies?  What are your thoughts on them?  What was the last thing you couldn’t wait to get in the mail?

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And I feel like I should have a disclaimer:  While we really enjoyed the movies and I’m excited to read the books, I don’t plan on encouraging kids to read/watch them.  Some of it does get to be too much for kids (especially #4).  That being said, I don’t feel like they’re any darker than some of Dekker’s books (esp books like “Boneman’s Daughters”), and the movies weren’t as creepy as “The Lord of the Rings” movies.  But that’s SOLELY my opinion.  If your kids have read them and you’re ok with it, great!  If you choose to not read/watch them, great.  These are just my thoughts.  🙂

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Funfetti Cake and Rainbow Chip Icing

Yesterday I had to stay home from work because I’ve messed my back up again.  I injured my upper back in the Forge (a leadership training program) in January of 2008, and then that summer I injured my lower back at Pine Cove Camp.  It’s never been the same since.

Even though it usually doesn’t hurt me to the point where I can’t do anything, there are times it gets bad again.  The past few days have been one of those times.

While I was sleeping for 3 hours (painkillers will do that to ya…), Michael left to run some errands.  When I woke up, I saw a surprise on the counter!  He said that he’d tried to buy my popcorn that we can’t find anywhere (Orville Redenbacher Pour Over Butter Popcorn), and Wal-Mart still didn’t have it, so he bought me something else instead:

Funfetti Cake and Rainbow Chip Icing!  This is our favorite!  We’ve both loved it since we were kids.  We made one round cake and 12 cupcakes.

It was VERY yummy, and it cheered me up to know that my husband was thinking about me and wanted to do something special for me.  It’s little things like this that make me love him even more.

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–Staci

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Chile + Austin = love

This past weekend, I was able to be a part of my REALLY great friend Cecily’s wedding.  Cec and I were roommates in The Forge together, and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding too!

Cecily was in Chile this past year (from Jan. to Jan.) and met/fell in love with Marcelo.  Michael and I were able to meet him a few months ago, and he’s a GREAT guy.  I’m so happy for both of them (even though I hate that they’re moving back to Chile for two years…)!

On Friday, I drove down to Brenham, TX for the rehearsal.  I was actually surprised that the drive went at fast as it did.  Thank goodness for phones and music.

We found these awesome “bouquets” to practice with

That night, we made all of the bouquets!  I had never done anything like this, so I was really excited about it.

I worked with another girl and we did Cec’s bouquet.  We had to use all of our hair bands to hold it together–and it became her “something borrowed”!

The bridal luncheon was at a really cute little place in Brenham.  I think it was called something like Funky Cafe…

Right before the ceremony

The ceremony was absolutely gorgeous!  It was outside, but there was a really nice breeze.  Cec was gorgeous, and everything was perfect.  Marcelo said his vows in Spanish and Cec said hers in English–and I definitely teared up.

After the ceremony pics

The other Forgie girls that were able to come

Their cake had little strings coming out of it, and as part of the Chilean wedding traditions, they had all of the single ladies come and pull a string at the same time.  Whoever got the toy ring was the next to get married!

There were 9 Forgies there including Cec!  It was SOOO good to be together and catch up.  We missed everyone that couldn’t be there (and the hubbies that couldn’t make it), but we had a great time.

Cec and Marcelo did the National Dance of Chile for us.  It was so fun to watch.

We had a ton of fun!  All of the costumes are another Chilean tradition.  Halfway through the dance, the wedding party passes out costumes to liven things up again.

Love you, Cec!  Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day!

–Staci