Monthly Archives: July 2014

Fresh eyes: Jordan Rose and Dr Chub Andrews

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Field and Stream Team sign that has lived in Jordan’s room since we moved to Clinton Twp in 2007.

I was dropping off the kids at K-Rock Summer Camp this morning and chatted with Nancy Andrews Zott before I left.  I told her the following story about her grandfather, Dr Chub Andrews.  I originally wrote this story down and shared it in an email on April 3, 2007, the week of Easter. I’ve printed it in its entirety below. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it inspires you to look around you with fresh eyes today.

“Many of you know that it was the life of Dr Chub Andrews that inspired me to want to try again to have a second child, after our blighted ovum miscarriage and months of unsuccessful attempts.  Seeing the legacy he left through his 5 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren made me say, “I don’t need 5 children, but 2 would be wonderful!”  Dr Andrews died in July 2005 and was memorialized at a weekend service at Kensington Community Church in August 2005.  We had given up trying that April and had decided that Joshua would be an only child.  But after that service, we talked and began praying about trying one more time.  When we finally said, “Yes, we will try again,” Jordan was conceived about 3 days later.  She was God’s plan, His timing, His idea.

I was looking for some boxes in the basement a few nights ago, so that I could start packing up our house to get it ready to sell.  What I thought was a box, was actually a couple pieces of cardboard taped together to protect something inside.  I pulled out what was inside – a 2 x 3 foot sign advertising the very first Kensington Field and Stream event, held at Bass Pro Shops at Great Lakes Crossing.  It was “A Day at the Range with Dr Chub Andrews” and it had a lovely picture of Chub sitting in his taxidermy room, surrounded by the many mounts he had done with his own hands, with the most lovely, bright shining smile on his face.

Then I looked down at the date.  Tuesday, May 23.  That was the year 2000.  Six years later, on Tuesday, May 23, 2006, Jordan Rose Bacarella was born.  How amazing is our God!  He wanted this little girl to be born.  He used Dr Chub Andrews to inspire us to try again.  He knew the date and the day of the week that she would be born.

Even that date was a miracle.  Jordan was originally scheduled to be born on Wednesday, May 24 with another doctor.  I had done all I could to try to schedule her birth with Dr Huston, who also delivered Joshua, but the dates and Beaumont’s O.R. schedule just didn’t jive.  But then I got a phone call that there just happened to be one opening on May 23 with Dr Huston and I could have it.  “Just happened.”  There is no such thing as a coincidence – they are ALL God-incidences, as Gwen Shamblin used to say in her lovely southern accent.

Don’t miss the God-incidences in your life.  Especially not this week.  Look around you.  Evidence of the God who loves you is everywhere!  This is the most important week in all of our lives, whether you know it or not.  God sent His perfect son to die a horrific death on a cross to pay for our sins.  We are not perfect.  We cannot atone for our own sins.  We can never do enough to be good enough for God.  We are eternally separated from Him due to our imperfections, our sins, our rebellion against the Lord who made us.  But Jesus made a way for us, a path, a bridge.  He took on our filth and gave us His perfection so that we could stand before the Lord our God.  All He asks is that we acknowledge the gift He so freely gives us.  We must accept the gift.  We can’t leave the package unopened.  He has SO much for us in this life and we’ll miss it if we miss Him.  Don’t miss Him this Easter.  Accept the gift.”

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Buckets and pipelines

I came home to cook dinner, all by myself and feeling tired, worn down and rather discouraged.  Nothing in particular wrong, just an unsettled feeling.  Is what I’m doing really making a difference?  Do I matter?  Does God still speak?  I haven’t heard him lately.  I feel like I’ve been listening, but I’m just not getting anything.

I had been catching up on Wednesday night services while Jordan has been at day camp this week.  I worked my way up to mid-June today and I turned on the “Vision Night” service while I started to cut up vegetables.  Steve Norman quoted Alex McManus (Erwin’s brother) who said that “The gospel always comes to you on the way to someone else”.  And then Steve said that we’re not buckets, but pipelines and I stopped mid-chop on my clove of garlic.  What did he just say?

Alex McManus had done a workshop on his brother’s “Character Matrix” a few years back when he was on staff at Kensington.  I had attended that workshop and I sat at a table with my friend Denise from the Clinton Twp campus.  At one point in the workshop, Alex had us share something with the people at our table.  I don’t remember what he wanted us to share, but I do remember that I had been thinking a lot about the word “conduit” back then.  I shared with Denise and the others at the table that we weren’t buckets, but conduits or pipelines.  We weren’t designed to be filled up and filled up and filled up, but we were designed to learn and then teach others.  Pay it forward.  Pass it on.

When we were done sharing at our table, Alex asked if anyone wanted to share with the whole group.  Denise raised her hand and shared what I had said about buckets and conduits, that our lives were designed to be a pipeline for God’s love to flow through.  And now I know that Alex shared that with Steve Norman and Steve just shared that with everyone at Vision Night.  I was a conduit and so was Denise and so was Alex and so was Steve.

And, all of a sudden, right there in the middle of my kitchen, chopping garlic and onions for homemade sloppy joe sauce, God spoke to me.  In that simple thought that Steve shared, God reminded me that I am making a difference, I do matter and God still speaks.

What makes us uniquely human?

That was the question Erwin McManus posed at Kensington’s Troy campus this past weekend.  His answer?  The ability to imagine.  We are human because we can imagine a future that does not yet exist.  We can imagine the best possible version of ourselves.  We can imagine a world without hunger, without thirst, without despair.

But that same imagination can drive us to despair when we realize that we are not yet the person we imagine we could be.  The world is not as we imagine it should be.  Our life has not turned out the way we imagined it would be.  And so we despair.  Or do we?  Our imagination can also drive us, compel us, toward the future that we hope for.

And that was Erwin’s conclusion.  Humans create futures.  Yesterday’s choices became the future called today.  Steve Norman wrapped up the service by taking that one step further. Today’s choices create tomorrow’s possibilities.

If you’d like to read more, check out Erwin McManus’s new book, “The Artisan Soul.”  And if you’d like to see more, check out the weekend service of the same name.

Humans materialize the visible from the invisible imagination.
Humans have the ability to materialize the visible from the invisible imagination.

 

Let It Blow

“Weird Al” Yankovic released a new album called “Mandatory Fun” on July 15th.  I was very curious to see if I would find a parody of Disney’s “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen“.  Just checked it out, and nope, nothing there.  But there are parodies of “Radioactive” and “Happy” called “Inactive” and “Tacky” that will probably do very well.

Sunday morning, April 27th, the Bacarella family was messing around before church and came up with an idea.  We turned “Let It Go” into a song about flatulation.  Yep, passing gas.  🙂  We were amazed that so many lyrics didn’t have to be changed at all, as they worked perfectly on their own.  The song may need a few more rhyming lyrics, but we had so much fun putting it together that we wanted to share it.  Enjoy!

“Let It Blow”

The beans are cookin’ on the stove tonight
Not a person to be seen
A kingdom of flatulation,
And it looks like I’m the queen

The wind is howling like this swirling gas inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried

Just hold it in, don’t let it out
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let it out
It just came out

Let it go, let it blow
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it blow
Turn away and slam the door

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the gas rage on,
Your own smell doesn’t bother you anyway

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything smell better
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

Let it go, let it blow
I am one with the wind, let it fly!
Let it go, let it blow
You’ll never see me cry

Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the gas rage on

My power ignites through the air into the ground
My scent is spiraling in convection currents all around
And one thought vaporizes like a fiery blast
I’m never going back,
The gas is in the past

Let it go, let it blow
And I’ll rise like the break of wind
Let it go, let it blow
That perfect girl is gone

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
Your own smell doesn’t bother you anyway

Doesn't Elsa look sad and Anna look concerned (oh, the smell!).
Elsa sadly walks away, leaving Anna concerned about the stench wafting behind her sister.  (Thanks to http://www.huffingtonpost.com for the great pic!)

 

An atheist singing a psalm

I believe it was back in 1985.  I was 13 years old and I was going to see U2 with my brother Rick.  “The Unforgettable Fire” tour had come to town.  I think I still have the t-shirt, even though it’s much too small now.  Why didn’t I buy a bigger size?

It was the first of several U2 concerts for Rick and me, but they always ended with the song “40”.  What I didn’t know at the time was that “40” was actually Psalm 40 from the Bible.  I probably wouldn’t have sung it if I knew that.  I was an atheist and I wanted nothing to do with God or Jesus or any of that nonsense.

Nonsense?  How could I predict that, 29 years later, having followed Jesus Christ to best of my ability for the last 20 years, my own son would be in our church’s Easter service so appropriately titled “Nonsense“.  You can read about that by clicking here.

Back to U2.  Rick and I loved U2.  Still do.  We don’t collect the albums like we used to.  We don’t memorize every word like we used to.  But that was a very special time in both of our lives.  Singing the songs, going to the concerts and films, learning what we could about the band members.  Special times.

And as I watched this film clip of U2 singing “40” and heard the crowd start singing again at the end, it brought me right back to us singing and singing as the house lights came up.  An atheist singing a psalm.  Who would have thought?

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 40:1-3)

“If they asked me, I could write a book…

…about the way you walk and whisper and look.”

Over the past several years, every time someone says to me, “You should write a book”, I hear Harry Connick Jr singing those words from the soundtrack of “When Harry Met Sally“.

A book?  About what?  I write and write and write about all kinds of different things, but nothing works together into any kind of cohesiveness that I would call a “book”.  So, I keep writing and writing, waiting for a book to pop out, but it never does.  Hmmm…

Then yesterday, my dear friend Rita writes to me, “You need to start a blog”.  Ah, now that makes more sense!

So here we are.  Let the blogging begin!

Oh, and if you love “When Harry Met Sally” as much as I do, then maybe you’ll enjoy this (Harry Connick Jr singing “I Could Write a Book”):