Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jonathan the Actor


So one day a few months ago one of the residents walks into the coffee shop and chats with me over the counter. I hardly remember the conversation when I get a call a few days later from the same woman, asking if I would be interested in being an extra on a TV show. Apparently I have "a look". She doesn't give me any additional information except for a location, an appointed time, and the promise of $50 and a free meal. Always up for an adventure, I went.

Turns out I was needed as a background extra for the show "Hell Date" on BET. In this picture you can see me snacking on my nachos while the main people do their thing. For those of you who aren't avid BET watchers, the premise of this dating show is that one of the daters is really an actor with an over-the-top personality or quirk. You can catch all the episodes online, and this one in particular is the last clip of Episode 10.

If you'd like, set your Tivo or DVR to record the show... I have a larger part in an upcoming episode, though because of nondisclosure agreements I can't tell you what I do.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vacation

Sorry for the lack of posting. Things at work have actually picked up. It's been wonderful having the chance to help people and actually do something, but I'm also missing the free time. Again, the best and worst parts of my job are often the same. I get to make my own schedule and can often be home by 3ish or so to start doing my paperwork. But, I make my schedule around my clients going to work, so, depending on the day, that can be painful too. Last week, I watched someone sort clearance items at Macy's for 10 hours altogether. This past week, I drove 45 minutes to Alpharetta to spend Monday-Thurs from 8-12 watching someone put plastic filters together. Next week, I have someone going to work at TJ Maxx and at a nursing home cafeteria. The kicker is that mid-August, someone will be starting a position loading UPS trucks...from 3:45am-8:30am. I'm going to need to be there for at least 3 full shifts. At least I'll get off really early!

We've also been travelling a lot. Last weekend, we met up with all of Jonathan's family in Jacksonville, FL for the weekend. We had a blast hanging out, laughing, and the parents even made up a "newlywed game" for the 4 couples there. Jonathan and I came in second. We got every question right except I answered that he wanted 3 kids instead of 4. Oops! And this afternoon, we leave to go to IA for a family reunion. We're so excited to meet our 1 1/2 month old niece, Domini! Ali has been staying with some friends of ours who have a big house, a dog run, and Charlie, an energetic lab. They said they'd never met another dog who had as much energy as Charlie until Ali. Ali came home from the weekend with them and slept for 2 days straight, not even getting up to greet us when we came home.

A big highlight of the month of July is a sewing class a friend and I have been taking. It's a general intro to sewing class, so I can do some of the things, but most of it is new to me. I'm learning the difference between making something that looks homemade and something that looks professional. Here are a few of the things I've made so far. (You'll notice they progress in skill as I've had more classes.

These are just some normal napkins. I tried to use my thread to draw a star on them, but didn't finish because I wasn't really digging it.

Here's a bib I made for Domini. I wasn't super skilled with the velcro, but everything turned out well.

My favorite: a reversible tote! I adapted the pattern a bit so I could make the purse bigger, and I added a pocket for my cell phone and keys.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Church

Church is an interesting word. From what I've seen, the meaning has come to be interpreted as a building where people usually spend too much of their time in programs.

There are the pretty churches (i.e. cathedrals) hundreds of years old. There are the churches with pews, hymnals, and a huge pipe organ. And there are the "modern" churches that look more like a movie theater than anything else. Some have crosses and some don't. Some have pools for baptisms, and others just rent hot tubs every few months. Many "modern" churches have stadiums and LCD projectors and cutting-edge sound systems and lights in order to "enhance" worship.

Funny that they think they need to be cool like everyone else to get people to walk through the doors. I guess that means Jesus was wearing the hip clothes so the Pharisees would think He was cool too.

I've had the honor of participating in many different kinds of "churches." Throughout high school, I was a part of a large church with an amazing youth program that talked a lot about the right and wrong things to do and how God is good and loves me no matter what. Then, I spent a couple of years in a "charismatic" church that emphasized radicalism and the "Gifts of the Holy Spirit." In Egypt, I attended an international church a couple of times that housed very spiritually hungry people with little depth to the teaching, but the diversity in language, culture, ethnicity, and nationality was awe inspiring.

And then, in January, Jonathan and I found Cumberland Community Church. The first week we went, they asked for someone to come up who was feeling discouraged in the new year. A woman volunteered, and then the church spent time shouting out encouragements and blessings to her. Wow. But, they also did the "Bible wave." When the pastor told everyone to open their Bibles, they started doing the wave--like you see at baseball games. When a few of us refused to participate, he told us we were "too cool for school".

We left with a desire to try CCC out again. At first, we didn't know what to think: the pastor wore jeans, we took communion every week without any liturgy, the pastor of small groups actually wanted to meet with us one-on-one and hear our ideas, there wasn't a consistent order of worship, and it definitely lasted longer than an hour. People recognized us as new and spent time getting to know us at the newcomers lunch. We immediately were invited to join a transitional community group (which was a big deal for us since we had been told we were "outta luck for the next 3 months" from one of the high-profile Atlanta churches when we requested to join a small group).

We quickly fell in love with the honesty of the people we saw on Sundays, and the passion in the heart of the leadership. And before we knew it, we became a part of the Holy Spirit's movement among His people every Sunday morning in this place. And suddenly we had friends who we started a community group with that weekly cries out for a different one of God's beloved nations. And soon after, we were even bringing friends with us on Sunday mornings! What a joy it is to actually want to bring people to the church you're attending!!!!!

What I'm experiencing at CCC is incredible and wildly expanding my view of the church. Before, I knew that the church wasn't a building, but I wasn't living it. And now, I'm tasting the church in the life I'm living alongside others. We're all different, and yet we come together to enjoy God, grow in our marriages, play games, eat, and countless other things. This is the beauty of His bride. She is glorious and full of life when she is one!!!!