September 23, 2006

Not Your Normal Saturday

It's been a good, long day. This morning I got up and played a little more with my new Macbook. I'm still learning my way in a new operating system. From there I headed to Great Lakes Christian College for Alumni Fest. I got to see some old friends, listen to some good Christmas music by the Alum Madrigal Singers, and hear a great message from Sam Wrisley. Sam talked about being a church that was focused on touching the untouchables rather than being a church that touches the comfortables. Very challenging thoughts to chew and act on.

After the morning worship time, I headed back home to spend the afternoon with my girls and play with my new computer a little more. I took a little road trip in the middle of the afternoon--I needed a 000x sized screw driver to install some new ram into my Macbook. I needed a simple, tiny screwdriver. I ended up spending $10 on a screwdriver pack because that was the only thing that anyone had. Why is life always that way?

This evening I had the priviledge of leading worship for our Solemn Assembly. A solemn assembly comes from Isaiah 1 and Joel 2. It was a time in the life of Israel where the people would fast and reset their lives to what God wanted. Our solemn assembly focused on the confession of sin and prayer for our church. It was a moving time in my opinion. The only issue was there were only a few people there. Certainly not the amount of people a church of our size should have. There are too many issues that bubble up out of this to discuss here, nor is this the place to really chew on pointed items.

What I do ask for, as I did in my last post, is multitudes of prayer. Pray that God will move around us at South. Pray that we will be the people that God wants us to be and that we will stay faithful to Him in every inch of our lives.

September 13, 2006

Cornerstone Coffee

In my quest to find a new coffeeshop home, I headed back to the Dragonfly this morning for a second visit. However, they weren't open at 7:00am. How is a coffeeshop not open at 7:00am? So, I headed to Cornerstone for a second visit there. I had a brewed coffee and a strudel (I had the strudel because I felt bad debit carding $1.50 for a coffee). Coffee is good. Strudel was very good. The atmosphere is still lame, but I might just have to get over that.

Life is busy now. I'm in week three of teaching at GLCC. It is a lot of fun, but more work than I anticipated. I'm not teaching difficult stuff. Yet, I still put in 4 or 5 hours of study and prep for each lecture. At South, Ron's time is winding down. The fall kickoff went very well. Tonight is the kickoff of our Building U Wednesday night program. This weekend is the prayer seminar with Dean Trune. There is also the clothing drive for Masters Provisions this weekend. I started teaching a young adult Sunday school class this week and I will begin teaching our 101 class for Building U next week. Balancing all that with planning worship week to week, rehearsals, search committee meetings, prayer meetings, and everything else is a little challenging.

So, with all that in mind, I come to you with a prayer request. Pray that God keeps me sane, focused, and movitvated. Pray that I will make space for my family, who is the real victim in all the fall programming that I'm involved in. Pray that I have stamina and energy, and most of all, a passion to show God and His Kingdom in all that I am doing.

Also pray that the new coffeeshop opening west of me, Elven Bay Coffee, might be my new sanctuary. Peace to you!

September 6, 2006

The Dragonfly

Well. It has been some time since I last made a post here on this site. It's not that I don't have anything to write. I have tons of stuff in my head. Tons of observations and reflections that are bouncing around in my head. I simply have not had time to sit down and dump out my head. I'm going to attempt to do that today.

Over the last week, my family and I did some traveling. Last Wednesday we drove to Ohio to see family and friends. It was a great time at home. Hannah got good grandparents time and slept in a big bed. That was a first for her. We were a bit concerned about her falling out of bed, because she flops around like a dead fish when she sleeps. She did ok the first night. The second night she fell out of bed at 3:30am. It's not a good thing to be woken by a screaming baby and a frantic wife.

On Friday we got to hook up with my best friend from my high school years. We had lunch with his family and my brother. Then, that evening, we had dinner with my family and waited for my sister and her family to drive into town. That evening was probably my favorite of the trip. My dad was his normal ornery self, tormenting grandkids and giving my mom a hard time. That week he had been trying to catch a groundhog. He had a trap from my uncle that he had baited with corn. About every 1/2 hour he would go out and check it to see if he caught it. At one point he thought he caught it. He came in exclaiming he had it, with a big "I've overtaken the world" type of smile. I went and checked the trap--there was nothing. We figure he got close enough when looking at the trap with his flashlight that he thought he saw something and didn't want to go any closer. He's afraid of animals like that.

The biggest highlight for me was playing Euchre. Euchre is always a loud and wild time at my family's house. When you add my brother, my dad, and me to the mix, it gets even crazier. We giggle and laugh and chide one another constantly. It's the activity with my family that really helps me realize and feel at home. I know, you may call that crazy. That's what it is for me.

My sister and her family finally arrived at 10:30pm. They had a long drive from Virginia through a tropical storm and the hills of West Virginia. It is always good to see them. We don't get to see them as often as we would like. But, that's the way things are.

Saturday we had breakfast with my family. My family knows how to eat. There were doughnuts, biscuits, sausage gravy, eggs, ham, sausage patties, and fresh fruit. No one goes hungry at a Lowman feast and there is always left over food. (I continually tell my mom that she and my family's eating habits are the main reason I've always been bigger than I should). After breakfast, I headed to Dan Johnson's Custom Guitar Works. He is currently repairing a Gibson 12 string I recently acquired and my Larrivee. He is the step brother of my brother-in-law. He's toured with numerous groups as their guitar tech. He's been repairing and building guitars for at least 15 years or more. He does great work. Plus, his shop is a guitar treasure chest. There are no less than 50 guitars in various states of repair there.

Saturday night Steph, Hannah and I drove to Detroit, Michigan. We needed some time to ourselves to relax and unwind from the last few months and to rest up for the next few. We found a hotel with a pool close to Macomb Christian Church and settled in for the night. The next morning we went to Macomb to worship with Eric and Mary. It was very nice to be a participant and not a leader. It was also good to reconnect with a couple people I hadn't seen in awhile. From there we had lunch with Eric and Mary and then headed to the Detroit Zoo. The zoo was great. It's much bigger than our zoo here in Lansing. Hannah was running on low sleep because of our vacation and the fact that we were at the zoo during her naptime. She did exceptionally well and really enjoyed herself. It was cool to see all the animals. My favorites were the bird sanctuary and the baby monkey. I definite favorite would have been the butterfly room, but they locked us out of the building before we got there. That gives us a reason to go again sometime. From there we found another hotel with a pool, got some dinner at Cosi, and relaxed some more. The next morning we hit Great Lakes Crossing for some shopping and worked our way back to Lansing via another outlet mall, Walmart, Target, and Kroger.

Though we were constantly busy, our time away was relaxing and refreshing for me. Being at another church always gives me good perspective for where I am at in my ministry at South. Driving in the car with my wife is always a fun time. We always end up driving around to find things that sometimes we don't find. It always gives us time to talk, giggle, and dream. Reconnecting with our families is always enjoyable. It helps me to remember where I came from and who I really am. It helps me to remember that I am unconditionally loved and supported by those I don't really see that often. That brings me much comfort. It also makes it hard to leave sometimes. Being in the place where you grow up is always refreshing to me. Why there is comfort in driving up over the hill and seeing the Apple Barrel, I will never know. Maybe its because it is a place of familiarity and memory. Maybe its because it reminds me of the past and the wonderful falls northeast Ohio always has. Maybe its because its only a mile or so from my home, and it symbolizes another journey close to an end. I don't think I need to completely understand. I simply need enjoy and bask in its comfort.

Speaking of comfort, I think I might have found my new office away from the office. The Dragonfly is a coffeeshop in a tiny plaza by the highway. It's small, quaint, with decent coffee and wifi. It doesn't feel stuffy like the last place I visited. The music is good and the people working here seem to be friendly. We'll see how it goes over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.