Friday, June 27, 2008

More Than You Wanted to Know About Not Very Much

Hello my loyal readers! (all two of you!)

I know it's been a long time since I wrote, I got bored with myself and just had nothing to say. But! I'm back! Still pretty much bored with myself, but I have stuff to say about the Saddleback Worship Conference that me and 8 others from our team attended this past week. Here is a condensed version of things I learned and experiences we had this week.

1). Leeland is cool and a he paces... a lot.
2). As much as I appreciate Gospel music, I can still only handle about 20 minutes of it. The repetition gets to me, but I love how God ministers to different people through different types of music. I like more of the rock stuff... David Upton anyone? 
3). Rick Muchow still dances
4). Christy Knockels and Buddy Owens preached exactly what I needed to hear.
5). I Went to some songwriting workshops and got some really good advice and insight into writing from some of the top worship songwriters out there.
6). Guys are gross no matter what age they are, but also a whole lot of fun:-)
7). Drums are so much more of an art form than i've ever known before
8). When 3,000 worship leaders and band members are singing along with a choir and full band you can't hear when the fire alarm goes off.
9). I ran into someone that used to be a leader in my Jr. High youth group who I haven't seen since Jr. High (Hi Bobby!)
10). Tim Davis hugged me
11). 90% of Erin Wible's jokes go right over my head.
12). I sang one of my songs at an open mic thing and wasn't booed off the stage! 
13). God is incredibly faithful

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hi, My Name is Ellie and I'm a Baseball-aholic

I just voted 25 times (the maximum amount allowed) for every single Anaheim Angel that was nominated for the 2008 All-Star game and entered a contest to win a trip to the game and the Homerun Derby. If you haven't figured it out already... I love baseball.

The All-Star game is in New York this year (Yankee Stadium). If I won that contest I could not only go to the All-Star game for free, but I could go to New York for free and get paid $2000! New York... Baseball.. $2000... free!!! YAY!!!!! Everybody do a little jig with me! The only problem is... I never win anything. Let's hope that changes because I've entered two contests now to win trips to games (one in Chicago which gives you $500 to spend). Everybody pray I win. Ok? If I win I might take you... actually, probably not. Please don't get angry. Just think good happy thoughts... See don't you feel better? Ok, where was I... oh yeah, baseball! Yay!

Both of these trips combine 3 things I love. 1)Baseball. 2)Shopping. 3)visiting big cities that i've never been to before and am dying to go to (i.e. NY and Chicago).

Until then, I will continue to loyally and fiercely love and defend my Angels (Vlad Guerrero in particular... i loved him before he became the face of the Angels by the way!)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Hospitable: It's easier to be than to spell

Paul has a very clear list of qualifications for elders and deacons of the church in 1st/2nd Tim. and Titus. How seriously does the church today take these qualifications? Of course we look at the negative ones like making sure he is not cheating on his wife, an alcoholic, greedy with his money, and has a bad temper, and we do our best to keep people who have demonstrated those characteristics out of leadership in the church. However, do we look carefully at the the characteristics he should be showing? Is he hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined? If he's not the negative things than he must be the positive ones right? Wrong. 

This post is going to be focused on the area of hospitality and how so many of the men and women who serve so faithfully in the church are often overlooking this one qualification. The early church and Paul knew what hospitality is. In fact, that culture still does. They would be appalled at our lack of an open door policy. Our western culture is so concerned with privacy and having time to ourselves that we miss out on the ministry that simply keeping our porch light on and actually being home is. Don't get me wrong, there is a balance that must be had for the sake of the family unit. Also, hospitality does not mean allowing yourself to be used and abused by anyone who feels like coming to your house at midnight and staying until they feel like they've been ministered to on a regular basis. Rather it is people who are really in need knowing that you are available, it is inviting your small group to your house for a barbecue more than once a year, it is opening your home to new people in the church and the community, it is taking cookies to your new neighbors, it is taking meals to the sick the poor and the needy, it is opening our eyes to the need around us and doing something about it even if it means we don't get that bubble bath we've been dying for because someone showed up and needs love. 

My prayer is that we as the body of Christ would take seriously the charge to be hospitable, and open our hearts as well as our doors. 

If you would like to see how the body of Christ can minister to people because of one woman's heart and ideas to reach the community around her for Christ and take care of the poor and the needy, check out these websites.