Category Archives: My kids

Posts about or inspired by Joshua or Jordan Rose

Give us this day…

If you grew up saying “The Lord’s Prayer” or the “Our Father”, you know this phrase very well:

“Give us this day our daily bread”

I knew it, and I thought I knew what it meant.  It reminded me of the Israelites gathering manna in the wilderness and being told not to gather more than they needed for one day.  If they did gather more, it would be smelly and full of maggots by morning.  Yuck!  That lead me to believe that this “daily bread” had to do with guilt, not having more than our fair share, not taking more than we need.

What I didn’t realize was that, when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray and Jesus gave them “The Lord’s Prayer” and told them about daily bread, he was quoting Psalm 30:

“Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.”
-Psalm 30:7-9

When David wrote that Psalm, he was asking God for two important things:

1) Lord, please don’t give me too much, otherwise I’ll forget You
2) Lord, please don’t give me too little, otherwise I’ll steal and dishonor You

This had nothing to do with guilt and shame over having too much when others have so little.  This had to do with keeping our hearts right before God.  Very simple – don’t forget Me.  Don’t forget that everything you have I freely gave you because I love you.  And don’t forget that I will take care of your needs, even when it feels like I won’t.  My timing is perfect.  You may feel like I’m too slow to answer, but know that I am always working for you.  I am always right on time.  Please be patient.  Please don’t turn away from Me while you wait.  Please keep your focus on Me.  Hold My hand and let’s wait together.  I love you!

Thank you to Steve Norman for pointing out the “daily bread” distinction the weekend that K-Rock performed “Monopoly” at Kensington’s Troy campus.  I’m so glad I got to hear it four times that weekend so that it would sink in.  It’s so easy to forget.  It’s so important that we remember, so much so that I wrote about it here: Decide to Keep Deciding

And John Waller wrote a beautiful song used in the movie “Fireproof” about the importance of waiting, knowing that God is working:

“I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord
And I am hopeful, I’m waiting on You Lord
Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait”
While I’m Waiting by John Waller

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The Miracle Worker

I grew up in Clawson and John grew up in St Clair Shores.  We decided to settle in Clawson after we married, as John’s job at the time was in Clawson.  We bought a bungalow in 1994 and it worked very well for us and our German Shorthaired Pointer, Mandi.  Adding Joshua to the family in 2002 was a wonderful blessing and there was plenty of room for everyone.

When Joshua was about 18 months old, John found out about an opportunity at Lear Corporation in Roscommon, MI and we started looking at homes in the Houghton Lake and Higgins Lake area.  That job was put on hold for about 18 months, and then the home search started up again.

We were looking for a brick ranch with an attached garage and enough space to bring a trailer around to the back yard.  Many ranches with attached garages are smack-dab against the house next door and getting a trailer to the backyard can be a huge challenge.  We were also looking for a wood-burning fireplace, which you would think would be easy to find up north.  No such luck.  They either had no fireplace at all or they had been converted to natural gas.  In all of our searching, we never did find a home we could agree on.

Thankfully, that job never materialized.  We found out later that the plant closed up and, if we had sold our house and moved up there, John would have been out of a job.  I can’t tell you how thrilled we were that we never moved.

Along came Jordan Rose in 2006 and our bungalow in Clawson got a little tight.  Exer-saucer, play pen, high chair – it all takes room and in 2007 we decided to start looking at homes again.  In the 13 years that we owned the home, it had doubled in value and then started declining.  By 2007, it was still worth about 150% of what we had paid in 1994.  Good time to cash out.  John was then working at Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, so we really could live in either Oakland or Macomb County and still be close to John’s job, but Macomb County had several advantages:  1) We had a 19 foot Starcraft, so living closer to the lake was a draw;  2) We could get more for our money in Macomb County; and 3) since John grew up on the east side, he was ready to get back to his stomping grounds.

Kimberly Tomko, real estate agent extraordinaire, worked her magic and found us lots of good prospects to look at.  And when we walked into the house on Remick Dr, we knew we had found home.  It was being sold by the original owners who had built it in 1951.  Actually, it was the children who were selling it, as their mother had recently passed away, having raised her whole family in that house.  Her kids now had their own grandchildren and it was time to say goodbye to Mom’s house.

The woodwork was all original and had never been painted.  The kitchen and bathrooms were original and we loved all of it.  The plaster coves and original tile work would cost a million dollars to replace at today’s wages.  You just can’t get craftsmanship like that any more without paying a pretty penny.  It was a brick ranch with an attached garage and the lot was double-wide, so you could get trailers around BOTH sides.  And, I think God was showing off, because this house didn’t have one wood-burning fireplace.  It had TWO.

We had to do a contingent offer on the house, as we needed our house in Clawson to sell before we could purchase the house in Clinton Twp.  Did I mention that Kimberly could work magic?  She brought the family a picture of our family, explaining who we were and how much we loved their mother’s house.  They not only accepted our contingent offer, but they accepted the price that we offered.  We were astounded.  It took about 2 months, but Kimberly also sold our house in Clawson and we were off to Clinton Twp.

When we came to do the inspection, we noticed a large painting in the basement.  I’ve attached a picture of it below.  It’s 5 feet wide and 3 1/2 feet tall.  I don’t know who created it, but I do know that it was done for the owner’s retirement.  He must have been a shipping manager, as it shows him juggling phones, shipping quotes, tracer paperwork, trailer numbers, and there are boats, planes, trains and semi’s drawn all around the edge of the painting.  The top has a scroll with the title “The Miracle Worker” written on it.  It’s quite a piece of work.

Before I continue, I must tell you that I LOVE my birthday.  I was born on October 19, 1971.  Whenever we see 10:19 on the clock, everyone in my family has been trained to say, “10:19, Praise the Lord!”  Just my little way of acknowledging God’s part in my birth.

I found another poster in the basement that said “Good Luck on Your Retirement John” with the dates 1929 – 1972.  Upon closer inspection of the large painting, I noticed a calendar page on the front of his desk with a palm tree and the date, October 19, 1972.  The owner of the house retired on October 19, 1972.  He retired on my first birthday!

That was exciting, but I was even more excited when I realized two more important details.  The mother who had passed away was named Suzanne.  Her husband was John.  My name is Beth Suzanne and my husband is John.  So, John and Beth Suzanne bought the house that John and Suzanne had raised their children in and lived in for the rest of their lives.  And who is “The Miracle Worker”?  I’ll let you decide.

John the "Miracle Worker"
John the “Miracle Worker”

 

Robin Williams & (Not so) Helpful Advice

I found out about the death of Robin Williams just moments after writing and posting “Look Up“, a commentary on my own struggle with depression and anxiety.  The timing was uncanny.  A couple days later, in one of the ABC News reports about Robin’s death, they quoted a tweet from his daughter, Zelda Williams:

“I love you.  I miss you.  I’ll try to keep looking up.”

Gave me chills.  “Looking up.”  How do we keep looking up when life drags our eyes to dirt?

I was on Brian Craig‘s Facebook wall a couple days after Robin Williams’ death.  Brian had taken a picture of Joshua that he graciously allowed me to use for my “Joshua the Prophet” post.  On Brian’s wall, I found the “Helpful Advice” picture that I’ve included below.  Thanks to Brian’s friend for posting this.  Powerful message, but obviously not helpful advice.  Here are some things that I have found to be helpful over the years.  I hope you find them helpful too:

1) Find good news.  I don’t watch the news and that’s why I didn’t hear about Robin Williams’ death until the afternoon of August 12th.  I learned about it from a Twitter digest email, which also included some good news of the birth of rare panda triplets.  I’ve always said I’m not watching the news until I find the “good news channel”.  The kids and I started listening to Smile FM this summer.  The first time we heard one of their news reports, Joshua said, “Mom, that was all good news!”  Finally, we found it!

2) Laugh!  I’m thoroughly convinced that God gave me my children to help save my life.  God knows how important laughter, music and movies are to me and He gave me children who not only perform, singing, dancing and acting, but they also make me laugh.  Here’s a video of Joshua’s first stand-up comedy act from 3rd grade.  Their performances keep me focused on moving forward with creating something beautiful.

3) Watch uplifting movies and TV shows.  Even though I loved the movie “Dead Poets Society“, it was too depressing to make my “top 10” list.  My 3 favorite movies of all time, “When Harry Met Sally“, “Tootsie” and “Working Girl“, although not family-friendly (they’re all rated R), they’re hilariously funny, and more importantly, they end well.  Call me a sap, but a good, happy Hollywood ending is medicine for the brain.  Same thing for TV.  One of my favorite pastimes is watching “The Waltons” with John and the kids.  Great life lessons, very much family-friendly, uplifting and inspiring.

4) Make time to visit inspiring places.  We’ve had a membership to “The Henry Ford” for over 2 years and have visited Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford Museum countless times.  Greenfield Village is my very favorite.  Calm, clean, peaceful and definitely inspiring.   Leisurely exploring, chatting, eating, walking and riding around in a world so much simpler than our current world feels like a little bit of heaven on earth.  I feel like I can breathe when I’m there, especially when I’m riding in a Model T.  I often say it’s the next best option to Disney World.

5) Chose uplifting music.  As I’m writing this, Jordan is in the bath, listening to music shuffling on her iPod.  She’s been listening for over an hour, and the song “Oceans” just came on.  That’s the song that I included in the “Look Up” post.  Coincidence?

6) Notice the “coincidences” all around you.  I call them “God-incidences”, a term I learned from Gwen Shamblin years ago.  I believe God is trying to get our attention.  And when He gets my attention, it’s like finding the finest jewel on the treasure hunt.  

7) When you find the treasure, share it!  We have the ability like never before to share what we’ve found.  If you find something inspiring and uplifting, you can take part in someone else’s “coincidence” by sharing exactly what they needed at precisely the right moment.

If you find any of what I’ve written here, in the past or in the future, to be inspiring and uplifting, please pass it along.  I would be honored if you would share what I’ve written.  For me, the ultimate “cure” for depression is the thrill of connection, the sheer joy of knowing that someone who needed something was connected with someone who had something to offer.  That’s what “DreamSpace” was all about.  And if you do share something and one of those wonderful “coincidences” occurs, please share your story.  Don’t let the story end with you.  Pay it forward and watch it grow.

(Not so) Helpful Advice
(Not so) Helpful Advice

Don’t think about the bee

Jordan couldn’t sleep last night.  It was about 2:30am when she came into my room crying because she thought there was a bee in her room.  I prayed for her, checked her room and got her all snuggled in, but she was back about 10 minutes later.  She said she couldn’t stop thinking about the bee.

How many times do we repeat over and over in our minds, “Don’t think about the bee”, when we really should be thinking about something else?  Joyce Meyer teaches that the best way to get rid of a bad thought is to replace it with a good thought.  The Apostle Paul was kind enough to give us an idea of what to think about instead:

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  Phil. 4:8 (NLT)

The second time Jordan came, ruminating on the bee, we talked about that verse in Philippians.  I gave her some suggestions of what she could think about instead of focusing on the bee.  My idea didn’t work, so she was back a third time about 5 minutes later.  That time, instead of praying for her, I asked her to pray for God to give her something to think about.  She was so sweet, crying as she prayed, knowing that God would guide her.  I gave her another suggestion, but I told her that she should focus on whatever God leads her to focus on.  Ditch my idea if it’s not working.

And isn’t that what we’re here for?  Parents are here to guide their children until their children can learn to be guided by God.  We teach them what it means to follow authority, preparing them to follow the Ultimate Authority in their life.  We teach them to obey us, knowing that obeying God, who speaks in whispers, will be more difficult, but so much more important.

Thanks to my amazing brother, Rick Baumhauer of Baumhauer Photo, for the gorgeous bee picture.

Thanks to my amazing brother, Rick Baumhauer of Baumhauer Photo, for the gorgeous bee picture.  If you like the bee, be sure to check out his gallery.

Speak Life

I did some secretarial work for John this morning and he thanked me.  I answered with “my pleasure” and it reminded me of the mission trip that Joshua and I took to Costa Rica in 2013.  Most of the time when we said “Gracias” to someone in Costa Rica, they answered with “Mucho gusto”, which means “gladly” or “my pleasure”.  But occasionally we would say “Gracias” and we would hear “De nada” in response, meaning “no problem” or “don’t mention it”.

It struck me that “mucho gusto” or “my pleasure” felt like a “positive” response and “de nada” or “no problem” felt like a “negative” response.  Subtle, but significant.

TobyMac released a song called “Speak Life” at the end of 2012, but I just started hearing it a couple weeks ago.  At the end of his music video, he quotes Brennan Manning from the book “Abba’s Child”:

“In every encounter we either give life or we drain it; there is no neutral exchange.”

There is a poster at Shelby Middle School where The Eastside Vineyard Church meets every Sunday morning.  It says, before you speak, THINK.  Is what you’re about to say:

True
Helpful
Inspiring
Necessary
Kind

Gary and AnneMarie Ezzo from Growing Families International have said this for years in the “Growing Kids God’s Way” curriculum and in the new “Parenting from the Tree of Life” curriculum.  You can speak life or speak death to your children.  You can say, “Don’t spill your milk!” or you can say, “See how carefully you can bring your milk to the table”.  You can say, “Don’t be mean to your sister” or you can say, “What would be a kind way to answer your sister?”  You can say, “Don’t run!” and “Stay off the grass” or you can say “Let’s walk” and “Let’s stay on the sidewalk”.

But it’s not just children that this applies to, it’s everyone.  Every encounter can be used to inspire.

“Raise your thoughts a little higher,
Use your words to inspire,
Joy will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the things you say.”

-TobyMac “Speak Life”

You Gotta Have Art!

Joshua as the Ghost of Marley from December 2009
Joshua as the Ghost of Marley from December 2009 (courtesy of Mandi Tucker of LoverDove Photography – see below for more info)

If you grew up in the 70’s in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, you remember this commercial for the DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts):  You Gotta Have Art!

I really don’t know what the last 6 years of my life and my kids’  lives would have been if it weren’t for the Arts at Kensington.  “New Community Kids”, later renamed “K-Rock”, has been the only extracurricular activity my kids have been a part of since Kindergarten.  I could never justify any other activity, as this one includes singing, acting, dancing, and most importantly, God.  Add to that amazing teachers, incredible opportunities and great friends.  How can you top that?  I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped to make K-Rock happen over the years.  You all ROCK!

A couple years ago, my mom compiled a list of all of Joshua’s performances through the beginning of 2011 (before Jordan was old enough for K-Rock).  I just spent the afternoon compiling the last 3 years.  I’m completely blown away.

I want the kids to have a complete list of everything they’ve been a part of and I figured this is great a place to put them.  For the performances that I have video links, they will be in red.   I’ll put them in order with the newest first.  I’ll come back to this list in the future and add to it.

April 30, 2017: K-Rock Clinton Twp “Friends For Never” – Kensington original production of the story of the Good Samaritan, as told through the Rock N Roller’s and the Show Stoppers.  Jordan was a Show Stopper in several songs at the beginning and end of the service.

March 19, 2017:  Original video shown at all campuses called “Excuses“.  Joshua is the fundraising boy scout who won’t take no for an answer.  Love this 3 minute video!

December 4, 2016: K-Rock Clinton Twp “Lion Chaser” – another Kensington original production.  Jordan sings in “Carry On”, sings and dances in “Something Wild” and sings in the worship song “Ready Set Go” at the end.  Enjoy!

August 10, 2016:  K-Rock Summer Camp, Troy campus “The Games” (click on this service to the right) – Olympic-themed K-performance and a message from an NCAA First Team All American athlete.  Jordan Rose danced in the first song and she was one of the soloists in the “volleyball” song.  All of the kids come back out to perform again at the end of the service.

May 1, 2016:  K-Rock Clinton Twp  “The Whisper” – If you like “The Lion King”, you’ll love this original Kensington production.  Jordan was in all of the songs except the first one.  The kids perform for about a half hour at the beginning of the service, and then come out again at the end for one more song.  Don’t miss it!

March 20, 2016:  “May You Find a Light” kids’ choir at Clinton Twp – Jordan and several other kids sing towards the end of the service.  Really beautiful song and the video story before the kids was incredible.

February 21, 2016:  “Going the Distance” drama/song at Clinton Twp – Jordan and several other kids are bored silly at Sunday school until the teacher changes his tactics (about 22 minutes into service).

December 6, 2015: K-Rock Clinton Twp  “Who’s My Neighbor?”  (Mr Rogers & “Up”) – Jordan leads “Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood” theme at the beginning of the service and two songs at the end (“Little Drummer Boy” and “Let it Be Love”).  Very first Clinton Twp K-Rock!

September 20, 2015:  “Uptown Force” (Star Wars) performed at Kensington Shelby campus advertising K-Rock (new at Shelby and Clinton Twp this fall!).  Joshua got to stand in as Darth Vader for this performance.

August 12, 2015: K-Rock “A Summer Night in a Galaxy Not So Far Away” – K-Rock takes on Star Wars!  Jordan was one of the Jedi Warriors battling the Dark Side in “Watch Me” (and in all of the worship songs at the end).  Joshua was one of several kids who helped Steve Andrews teach the message (about 43 minutes in).  May the force be with you!

May 2 & 3, 2015: K-Rock “Singing in the Rain” – Jordan is in “Hard Knock Life”, the drama and “Waterfall”, but K-Rock actually performs 5 songs plus the drama (some at the beginning, some at the end).  This is the most K-Rock-packed service I’ve seen in the 7 years we’ve been involved.  Wonderful service!

December 3, 6 & 7, 2014:  K-Rock “It’s a Small World After All” (Global Partners – watch the video @ 52 minutes) – Jordan is in all songs, including “Beautiful Creatures” & Joshua and the K-Krew helpers are in the last song in the service

August 6, 2014:  K-Rock The Beginning: Songs Written from Young Hearts (CD release party) – Joshua does the greeting and both kids perform

May 29, 2014:  K-Rock “Frozen” Spring Workshop (parent performance in the chapel) – Jordan had a solo in “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and she was in “For the First Time in Forever”

April 19 & 20, 2014:  Clinton Twp Easter service (Nonsense) – Joshua as the paper boy and in the first song

March 19, 22 & 23, 2014:  K-Rock Monopoly – Jordan is in “How Bad Can I Be?” and “Grateful for Your Love”

December 4, 7 & 8, 2013:  K-Rock “Misfits” (Island of Misfit Toys) – Jordan is Elf #5 in skit and in “We Are Santa’s Elves” and “O Come All Ye Faithful”

November 10, 2013:  Joshua got to share about our Costa Rica trip (July 2013) with the K-Kids at Clinton Twp campus

October 6, 2013:  “Family Gone Wild” drama at Kensington Clinton Twp campus.  Joshua played the son Bobby.

August 7, 10 & 11, 2013:  K-Rock Superhero’s – Joshua is villain’s voice in comic strip cartoon, Jordan is in “I Need a Hero” (dressed as a baby in feetsy pajamas and pigtails), Joshua is “Aquaman” in skit and sings “Mr Cellophane” (his last official K-Rock performance as a 5th grader), both sing in “My Own Little World”

April 10, 13 & 14, 2013:  K-Rock Egyptians – Jordan is in “Walk Like an Egyptian” (front left in long white dress), Joshua is Moses and then sings “Jump!”, both sing “Desert Song”

January 20, 2013:  Clinton Twp campus – Home – kids sing backup for Phillip Phillip’s song at end of service (amazing service called “Finding God in Someone Else’s Kid” re: adoption and fostering)

December 23 & 24, 2012:  Clinton Twp campus – Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child – 2 songs and 2 short videos, then “Red Scarf” skit (Jordan plays lead, Joshua at the apple cart).  Both kids in both songs after skit (Joshua waves flag at back right and Jordan sings solo, but her mic isn’t on in this service – here’s my iPad version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” with her mic on)

November 28 & December 1 & 2, 2012: K-Rock Christmas – Jordan in “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” (duet), Joshua in trio in “Winter Wonderland/ Let it Snow“, both in “Rejoice Rejoice Emmanuel”

August 15, 18 & 19, 2012:  K-Rock Rascals – Joshua as Spanky and Jordan as Little Sister (and 1st solo in “I Won’t Grow Up”), Joshua in “Kids!”, both in “Worth It”

April 25, 2012:  K-Rock “Child of God” – Joshua in “I Am Me” skit (bullied on the bus), both in “Hangin’ Tough” and “City on Our Knees”

March 25, 2012:  Family video re: our sponsor child, Karelo, from Kenya, Africa, to be shown at K-Kids on a Sunday morning

November 23, 2011:  K-Rock Thanksgiving – Jordan in “Turkey Trot” (her first time on the big stage), Joshua as Mashed Potatoes in skit, Joshua solo in “Thank You”, both in “Once and Future King”

June 7, 2011:  K-Rock Spring Workshop (parent performance in the chapel) – Joshua stand-up (part of the Urban Arts fundraiser)

March 30 & April 2 & 3, 2011:  K-Rock – Joshua as Gene Kelley in “Singing in the Rain”, K-Rock kids perform “Singin’ in the Rain/ Umbrella” mashup from “Glee” (they really made it rain on stage!)

December 8, 2010:  K-Rock “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” – Joshua was a Who from Whoville

August 6, 2010:  K-Rock Summer Camp (parent performance in the chapel) – Jordan as Gretel in “So Long, Farewell” and Joshua in “New York, New York” trio

June 16, 2010: K-Rock Spring Workshop (parent performance in the chapel) – Joshua in “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

June 13, 2010:  Clinton Twp campus – “Swagger Wagon” commercial skit – Joshua and Jordan played Dave and Gwyn Kubiak’s kids (Jordan’s first time on stage)

April 28, 2010:  K-Rock “You Know I’m Bad” (Max Lucado’s “You are Special” story performed) – Joshua was a Wemmick in the skit

December 3, 2009:  K-Rock “The Muppet Christmas Carol” – Joshua was one of the ghosts of Marley in the skit with Scrooge and sang “Marley & Marley” (see picture above, courtesy of Mandi Tucker of LoverDove Photography)

September 13, 2009:  Clinton Twp campus – Joshua sang “This Little Light of Mine” solo and sang back-up on Matt Redmond’s “Shine” with Danny Rossi

September 6, 2009:  Joshua danced in a video called “Nobody Dances Anymore” that was shown on that weekend at all campuses

July 22, 2009:  K-Rock Summer Camp “WII Games” – Joshua played “Little Mario” in skit

March 25, 2009:  K-Rock performance – Joshua sang in worship song and had a solo in “I Feel Good”

December 3, 2008: K-Rock Christmas – Joshua sang “Scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmas’s long, long ago” solo (his first solo)

July 16, 2008:  K-Rock Summer Camp “Wall-E” and “Men in Black” – Joshua was one of the Men in Black and he sang “This Little Light of Mine” at the end of the service (first K-Rock performance for Joshua)

July 12, 2006:  Joshua’s first time on stage, 4 years old (Jordan was 2 months old and slept through the whole thing), dancing to “Every Move I Make” with Rob Cucheran leading worship at a Summer Nights Midweek service.  Thank you, Rob, for encouraging Joshua!  He had a blast that night and he’s never stopped.

Joshua The Prophet

KRock BCP
Love this picture of my “Joshua the Prophet”.  Special thanks to Brian Craig Photography for sharing his talent with us.

John and I were married in January 1994 in a Methodist church in Royal Oak.  He was Catholic, I was an atheist, so Methodist seemed like a happy medium.  And it was the church that my Granny and Great Aunt Edie belonged to.  Oh, that poor pastor.  I asked him to please use “God” as little as possible in the ceremony.  I really did.  What a gracious man.  I think he really tried to accommodate my request.

Three months later I was working at Franklin Quest in Troy selling Franklin planners.  One of my customers came in on a Saturday morning and was showing me how she was using her planner.  She had Kensington business cards in her planner and she asked me, “Do you go to church?”  I said I was married in a church, but that I didn’t go to church.  As we chatted, she said that she had a group of 27 people from her church who were going to see “Phantom of the Opera” in Toronto.  Really?

Every church I’d been to was full of grey-haired old ladies trying to get into heaven (or so I thought), and I couldn’t imagine a place with young people who loved “Phantom” as much as I did.  I was intrigued.  She wrote her name and number on the back of the business card and I called her later that afternoon.  John was going fishing the next morning, so I had nothing better to do.  I met her at the 11:40 service and was completely blown away.

Not only did Ed Bellaire sing Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (one of my favorite songs), but Dave Wilson spoke about a God-shaped hole in our soul that we try to fill with possessions, food, shopping, perfectionism, all the things I had been pursuing for the first 22 years of my life.  Was this what I had been searching for?  Jesus?  Really?

About a month later, in the bedroom that John and I lived in upstairs at my Mom’s house, I knelt down and prayed, asking Jesus to come into my life, to take over, to lead me and guide me, to be my Lord and Savior.

Fast forward 20 years to last Wednesday night, August 6th, when the K-Rock kids released their brand new, kid-written, kid-performed 6 song CD at Kensington Church in Troy.  Our son Joshua was asked to do the greeting that night.  And as he spoke these words, I was in awe:  “Kensington was started almost 25 years ago, and it was started because a lot of people had given up on church.  So, Kensington came together and made the church experience a little different.  So now more people are coming to Jesus and getting help around the world because of the generosity of people here at Kensington.”

John and I weren’t going to have kids.  I was an emotional mess and John was gone working, hunting or fishing.  I wasn’t going to raise a child by myself.  John believed in God, but he was very happy with his life.  He saw no reason to give his life over to Jesus.  But after I accepted Christ as my Savior, I started praying for John.  After about 5 1/2 years, John decided that he was done running from God.  In December 1999, John decided to turn around let Jesus have his life.

About a year and a half later, John and I were at Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner one night.  I said, “I know we’re saving up to buy a cottage up north some day, but who are we going to share the cottage with?”  We had both been feeling that maybe the Bacarella family should be more than John, Beth and Mandi the German Shorthaired Pointer.  Maybe God had other plans.  So, we began praying about expanding our family and God answered.  Joshua John Bacarella was born June 14, 2002.

So, as I watched that 12 year old young man say those words last Wednesday night, I realized that he would not be here right now if it weren’t for a church that was started for people who wanted to “make the church experience a little different”.

If you’d like to see last Wednesday’s service, click here. The kids perform for the first 40 minutes of the service.  Our little Jordan Rosie is singing and dancing in there too.  She wouldn’t be here either.  If you haven’t read her story, check it out here: Fresh eyes: Jordan Rose and Dr Chub Andrews.  Enjoy!

"Kensington was started almost 25 years ago…"
“Kensington was started almost 25 years ago…”  Special thanks to Brian Craig Photography.

Find more of Brian’s work at Brian Craig Photography.

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.”

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!)