Thursday, April 28, 2016

Do I really have to love my neighbor?

Loving others is a repeated command in the Bible. I think it's repeated because we are so prone to forget. We wake up with good intentions to love others and then we get stuck in traffic and end up flipping off the car next to us. We enter the office with good intentions of being kind to our co-workers but someone doesn't complete a part of the project and we think oh how we'd like to strangle them. We enter our home with good intentions of loving our family but our selfishness gets in the way. In the book of Romans Paul gives this instruction to the church in Rome:
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10
It makes perfect sense for Paul to instruct the church in love. Over time Christ followers can grow inward and forget about loving their neighbor. Just think about that real quick. When as the last time you actively loved your neighbor? We all know neighbors can be difficult. We can also be difficult neighbors. Some of you have neighbors, in your apartment building, who play the music too loud. Instead of loving them you curse them. You may have a neighbor who allows her dog to do its business in your front yard. What about that neighbor who always park in front of your house when it is clearly your space! These are just a few examples.

Loving your neighbors can be a tricky thing. You see this in Scripture but don’t always apply it. Let me share a few ways you can actively love your neighbor this week.

1)  Smile at them
Smiles break down walls.

2)  Introduce yourself to them
Start out by learning their name. This helps to make them a real person who is known and loved.

3) Engage them in a conversation
When you see them in the hallway, outside or walking on the sidewalk. Its amazing where God can lead unplanned conversations with your neighbor.

4) Think of ways to serve them
Think of what would be meaningful to them and then do it!

You have to start somewhere in loving your neighbor, why not start today? If you are a Christ follower you are not given an option on loving others. I resonate with what C.S. Lewis says on this topic, “Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did.”

You may not want to love your neighbor. You may have valid reasons not to love your neighbor. If you are a Christian, you are commanded to love your neighbor so start acting like you do.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Isaiah's First Birthday

This weekend we celebrated Isaiah's first birthday!

My first thought is, "I can't believe my son is 1!"

We had such a fun weekend. Family came into town. Friends came to celebrate. We got a bounce house. It was great being with our family for this special weekend. Isaiah is such a great kid. He is so full of joy.

As I look back on his party I am reminded what a great mom and great sisters Isaiah has. At his party his sisters wanted to be right there when he got his first cupcake. They sang happy birthday to him. Leah kicked off the singing with so much love. When he tired to grab the candle, Sophie was right there to protect him.

Charity made his party so awesome. She took so much time to make sure there was a rocket theme. She asked our neighbor to make a special shirt for him to wear. She had great snacks. When I look back on this party I think about how blessed Isaiah is to have his mommy. She cares so deeply for him and loves him so much.

Isaiah has been such a blessing to our lives. The smile on his face shows how awesome he is!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Helping people get connected

One of my passions for people is to help them get connected in the local church. God has placed me in a large church setting and let's be honest, this can be tough. People walk into our church and think, "This place is big." After that I believe people either think about how to get connected or are thankful to be able to grow in a setting where they can just sit and learn.

Knowing how tough it can be to really get connected in a large church in a large area we started something new about nine months ago. We call it our New People Dinner. Since it was a new event for us we needed to make a plan. Our campus staff got in a room with a whiteboard and began to sketch out what the day would look like.

We knew we didn't want this to be something that didn't feel organic. We didn't want it to be too scheduled but we wanted a good plan so we could accomplish helping people who are looking to get connected. We came up with the whiteboard dream to the left and since then we have tweaked and made this better!

After doing three of these we have learned a ton. We've learned about location, timing and who needs to be there. We've learned about how to invite people and how some people will just come on the day of. Every two to four months we send out an invite to anyone who has filled out a connection card that says something like this:
You’re Invited!
Finding a church community is a big choice. We also know that the larger the church, more difficult it can feel to connect and we want to help out. We’re hosting a dinner for our new guests to CPC Foster City. This will be a time for you to meet our campus staff and Elders. Our hope is to provide an opportunity for us to connect, for you to learn a little more about CPC and for us to have a meal together. Children are welcomed. Will you join us on Sunday April 17 from 4-6pm?
After we send the invite out we wait for the day to come so we can hang out with people who are new to our church. This has been a great time to connect with people and learn more about people. Whether your in a big church or a small church people are looking to get connected.

Don't forget this: "People want to be known and loved." -Vicki Pettingill

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Catalina Fun- Day One

We really wanted to go to Maui for this spring break. We also realized if we did go that we would need someone to come help us because we couldn't go snorkeling together. The next best option, head to a different island; Catalina Island that is.

We sailed in yesterday afternoon. Our boat was a little delayed but we got here safely. After checking into our hotel we headed straight down to play in the sand. Sophie caught a crab while Leah build a Sandcastle. 

After Isaiah woke up from his nap we headed out to dinner. We went to a place called the lobster trap it was pretty good but not great. 

After dinner we headed to a local spot for some fresh ice cream! It was super good and then we were off to bed. 

This trip is a constant reminder to me of much I love spending time with my family. My kids are growing so quickly and this time is precious. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

A Full Day at Legoland

Yesterday we had a full day at Legoland. We entered the park an hour early with early entry from the hotel.

Within the first hour we were able to hit three rides, take our picture with Emmit and sit with the Lego friends. 

Taking some advice from the workers we made our way back to Kindgom Land. They advice was, "People will go right to the front rides and make their way back. If you start in the back and work forward you can miss a lot of that."  They were right! Leah and I walked right in the dragon roller coaster. She did awesome!

From there the girls rode the joust horses

From there we went to the Lego Mini City. This is a must see when coming to the park. They have all different mini cities here from Washington, D.C. to London to Vegas. Finally we had to get our picture with our city. 

After looking at the mini city we stopped for a boat race! 

From here it was on to a few more rides that our kids totally loved! They have a fun water ride that Leah really wanted to ride with me. She insisted on being the driver. I wasn't a fan at first but was so stoked to spend time with her! 

From here it was off to the new Lego Friends area. It was a good change of pace. We hit the 2 pm show and the girls enjoyed just relaxing and watching. Afterwards we snapped a pic with some of our Lego Friends in the car! 

After this we went back to Fun Zone (I really think this is what the area is called). The girls drove cars, boats, planes and helicopters. It was so much fun! 

One of the best things about Legoland is how close the rides are to each other. We didn't have to trek from ride to ride. We also found a fun Lego factory tour to see, rode a cool boat ride that tells you about some of the larger Lego builds in the park and let's you see a different view. Overall we had a fantastic day! 

I totally recommend Legoland to anyone. Would you? 

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Legoland in an hour

Today was a long day! 
A long but good day. 

We left our home at 8 am and headed for Carlsbad. After a long drive (we made it in one tank of gas) we checked in to the Legoland hotel. 

After landing in the room we went on a fun hunt they have for the kids. It was a hunt around the hotel to find clues to get into a secret treasure chest in the room. The girls loved it and found Lego treasure! 

After our hunt we decided to go to the park. Now we only had about an hour left because it was closing soon. Thanks to a tip from a friend we figure out how to do this for free. 

After riding three rides we exited the park and went back to our room for dinner. To save a few bucks we used Door Dash to bring us yummy Mexican food. 

To top the night off we went to a disco party and then hopped in the pool. We had an awesome day until I lost my wedding band at the pool. Oh well...

Final thought for the day: super thankful to God for this time with my family. They are so important!