Saturday, March 31, 2007

Musings on Starbucks, Isella, and community

It's no surprise to any that I love Starbucks and having a baby won't stop me from enjoying my favorite soy beverages --which lure me there often. Besides it's not just the sweet java that brings me there but the community element that I also love. I love that I am known by name and that I can call the baristas by name. I love that Starbucks is not just a place where I get coffee, but a place where I meet with God and "work" for God. Not only do I love spending time journaling and reading there, but I love being able to get in conversations with people there about God. I love hoping and praying for each barista to be blessed and find the transforming love of God. I have even been able to pray and study the Bible with some of Starbucks' finest baristas! Now, Isella is also a part of this, too. My hope and prayer for her life is that she would learn to value all people and see that each relationship she makes is significant in eternity. My prayer for her is that she seizes any and all opportunities to bless people and live out Jesus' words in Matthew 5:16 to let her light shine before all people so that they may see her good words and praise God, too. (BTW-Ella means Bringer of light). She's already on her way and being used to usher in God's kingdom. I love it.

Isella's Baristas!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Learning about God's love with Isella

Everyone says becoming a parent teaches you about God's love. It's so true for me. I love this little girl and she has done nothing from me. Just because she is mine I love her and want to be close to her! If I could only get that fully for myself with God's love for me!It's good to be home!
Welcoming her home were pink roses and some pink balloons! Mom dressed her up in her pink velour BABY GAP and she took her first ride in the car!

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Our sweet little girl spends a lot of time sleeping, but don't let that fool you, she has no problem expressing her opinions. As of her first 48 hours, she doesn't like being changed. We hope that changes!

She's already earned a nickname for this cry. We call it the VULTURE CRY because she screeches at the cold of wipes or just cold in general. After all, she's used to being in the warmth of the womb!

Important prayer request:
Isella's (2nd) cousin was born on March 23rd.
Cooper Joseph Wooldridge along with his
mom, my Aunt Jerri, is still receiving
medical treatment at the hospital in Illinois.
Please pray for both of their recovery and full healing!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Life

Here's a brief update on the new addition to my family!

She finally arrived. The kisses are now Hers, and hers, and his!

We'd like you to meet:

(Pronounced E-sella. In Italian we say "I" as "E")

Born Sunday March 25th at 2:57am.
7lbs 13oz, 19.5 inches

We are very much in love and therefore very much tired! What a wild ride. Thanks for all the visits and calls from everyone!

JUST A NOTE TO ALL MY PCC PEOPLE AND YOUNG ADULTS COMMUNITY: I hope you'll understand my absence from events, mentoring times, Street Church, Sunday dinners, and other community happenings while I spend time getting to know my new daughter for the next two weeks--and trying to get some rest! :)


and..introducing our new family logo!

This was waiting in my inbox from my good friend Glenn Wong. He designed our original Gapastione Cafe, and then "one on the way," and tonight when I snuck home real quick to get a shower this surprise was a gift to add to our blog! Awesome! Thanks Glenn, Jenn, and Owen!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Blessing of Titus 2 relationships

Word from Titus 2:1-8
You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Now that Wendy is officially a stay at home mom, (Baby Gap is still in utero) we were able to go out to lunch with these great Godly women. Elizabeth and Ernestine take our friend Lorraine out almost monthly. We love to join them and here their wisdom and love for God.

My hope is that our community builds great relationships with godly people like this!

Bring a quart of Chinese food and a donation of $6 at 6:30pm for a fun time of hanging with the whole Church family at PCC and especially those in the 50plus ministry!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Crabby Crab

Saturday March 10th a bunch of us worked the Kiwanis Club Annual Crab Feed! We served 400 hundred hungry (gluttonous) people buckets of crab! And then at the end of our shift, we got to eat this succulent seafood, too, The whole place was decked out with decorations like a scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean and The Little Mermaid.

It was a fun time of serving together. Our group was asked back for our fourth year in a row by a PCC member who is part of the Kiwanis Club. Every year they generously donate to our ministry and give us a chance to have fun and I also was reminded of a spiritual truth, too. Did you know that food can have power over us?

It was our job to keep the bowls filled with crab on each table. Hundreds of people had paid to come and indulge in this annual all you can eat ritual. There would be times when the ravenous crabbers would roar to get our attention for a refill. Their bowls would be half full and they'd already be waving us down for more. These people were determined to get there money's worth. I think some planned to be wheeled out on a stretchers ready for a stomach pump. It was hilarious. But because our own personal crab feast had to be prolonged until the end AFTER the starving "paid" guests had got their fill, I too joined the gluttonous spirit club. As we kept refilling bowls I started to worry if there would be any left for us at the end. I started thinking of strategies to horde some of the crab in the back room. I was panting my tongue like a dog hungry to stuff myself with crab, too.

Why does food have that affect on people? Answer: there's a connection with food to love and satisfaction. We often don't think about this but food has a huge connection to God and our spirituality. It's true and hard to admit. Remember Pascal's God shaped vacuum theory? Everyone has a desire and longing for God and we all try to fill it with everything but Him. I fall in that camp. I can use food for a quick fix. Some use sex, TV, drugs, adventure, work, shopping, and some use food (to feel full, kill pain, comfort, etc). God will speak anywhere. I love that these deep thoughts came while pirates pranced around with helium dolphin balloons.

I am happy to announce that I did enjoy A LOT of Crab, but stopped before getting full! Thankfully eating crab is a lot of work and takes a lot of time to eat cause you have to crack open all the shells. I didn't have the patience to overeat! :) And I wanted God to make me full.

Next year I want to be a pirate!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Squirrels: Pure fun!

I seriously like squirrels! I'm glad God made them because I get a lot of personal laughs from watching them in my backyard. Like clockwork every day they come out and play and while I eat my breakfast I get a little show so I started filming the little guys. The following WAS purely for my own entertainment BUT I thought I'd share this little piece of art with whoever might find the same enjoyment from it as I do! So for all the squirrel lovers out there and for THE GLORY OF GOD- for creating these magnificent creatures!

When we were kids my dad would always make the voices of animals (he still does this) and my brother and I would crack up (and we still crack up). This video is proof that I share my dad's genes.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Stealing, double-dipping, uncle Ben, and Amaing Grace

This past weekend held some really memorable moments in community!

First of all, I wholeheartedly recommend Amazing Grace the movie. I was choked up and given chills numerous times. What a story about Wilberforce and John Newton (who wrote Amazing Grace) and their experiences with the slave trade in Britain. What a sweet story of fighting for value for all people.It was also a phenomenal reminder of God's call for us to be salt and light-for Christians to serve God in secular settings and to take a stand for truth that will change the world. I also was reminded of the awesome role a woman has as a wife to her husband. It was Wilbur's wife who rekindled his passion after 15 years of feeling like a failure at his his cause.

It made me appreciate my wife so much for the ways she spurs me on to be who I am today.

Other fond memories of the weekend were:

*Crowding into a packed Amelia's Restaurant for dinner, that of which I had to leave before my meal ever came because it took so long. Thanks to Ben Matthias I got my quesadilla delivered to my house in a doggie box!

*The Deep, as usual was encouraging and so many shared, prayed, and stepped up to give insight into God's word and our communal journey of faith.

*A cool prayer experience praying for Eric's Uncle Ben who was lost for four hours on a mountain walk and was found within minutes after we prayed. That was awesome and humorous at the same time.

*Welcoming Chris Taylor, a new believer as of two weeks ago, into our community with prayer.

*Communion with cookies.

*Honest conversations about what it means to steal and confessing ways we have and ways we still do while chowing down on Franklin St. Cafe fries (the best seasoned fries around) with Jeff, Azzadeh, Jill, Aftan, Jenni and everyone else who double dipped in the bowl of ranch.

Thanks for being great community everyone!



If you RSVPd on the Evite. Please show up at Menlo College cafeteria by 5:30pm and be ready to serve it up! Remember this is a great opportunity to be a light and rub shoulders with people in our community!


Taize service of prayer-awesome Biblical meditation Friday at PCC 3/16

and hang out for Chinese food and Bunco with the PLUS ministry Saturday 3/24 at PCC

And Daddy Daughter Dance Fundraiser 3/31--email Kehau to help