Thursday, December 31, 2009

Book Review: The Spirit of Disciplines

The Spirit of the Disciplines - Reissue: Understanding How God Changes Lives The Spirit of the Disciplines - Reissue: Understanding How God Changes Lives by Dallas Willard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a comprehensive look at how and why to practice spiritual disciplines. It's a call to get back to the basics of the disciplines in order to be transformed and in order to obey God. As Willard puts it, "Jesus calls us to follow him - to follow him now, not after death." I very timely finished this on New Year's Eve - good time to set some resolutions and put some of these disciplines into action for 2010.

Dallas Willard breaks down the disciplines like this:



Which ones do you need to work on this year?

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 in Review

It's been a wonderful year.  Hard to believe all that has happened in 2009...

The biggest event was, of course, moving back "home" to Kansas after spending the first 3.5 years of our marriage in St. Louis, MO.  It was incredibly sad and difficult to leave all our friends and church family in St. Louis.  Our small group there ("The Sharks") is definitely irreplaceable.  Probably a once-in-a-lifetime kind of family that we still miss every single Sunday night; but that I know we will keep in touch with and have lifelong friendships with those friends we made in St. Louis.

We sold our first house.  Sad to leave it, but if all goes well, we will be closing on a new one January 20, 2010.  It will be our first house that we have lived in that is NOT yellow.  Even our first rental in dogtown was yellow!!!  Strange...

So, Eli is now at Johnson County Med-Act where he actually did his paramedic training.  And I, after my second full year in real estate, found myself working at the company my grandma and grandpa started in 1973 - Crown Realty.  Guess we really have come full circle now.

We've had lots of adventures - camping in Branson, Silver Dollar City season tickets (that we didn't use nearly often enough!), SCUBA diving in Bonaire, and many, many trips between St. Louis and K.C. on I-70 - especially in June-September when Eli and I were often on opposite sides of the state (definitely the roughest year of our marriage with all the time apart AND adjusting to Eli's new 24-hour schedule).

2009 was also a year of weddings!  Congratulations to the many couples we love and celebrate with (in order, roughly):  Cory & Maggie, Darren & Stacey, Mike & B, Keith & Kendra, Micah & Christy, Tim & Jessica AND OF COURSE Mom & Steve who are living a real life fairy tale... and are something of local celebrities... really, check it out.

Spiritually, God taught me (and is still teaching me) that even if I *NEVER* thought I could do something (i.e. Junior High Ministry - hypothetically speaking) that it's really not that bad when you are relying on HIM, and that wherever I go and whatever I do, He will be there, in spite of myself.

I know I have a lot more to learn and grow in in 2010, and it's bound to be another fun year.  I'm looking forward to more adventures for sure!  2010, here we come!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends, I wish you all a very, very merry Christmas.

It's almost noon on Christmas Day, and I am happy to report that we are enjoying a WHITE CHRISTMAS here in Kansas!

As you can see, Denver, Cooper & Boone are having lots of fun in the snow...

And, for your viewing pleasure, here's a video from Eli's and my recent trip to Branson, MO.  This was at the Shepherd of the Hills drive-through light display (which was a full hour of driving, and well worth it with all the displays they had!).

Merry Christmas!

Eli & Katie