Friday, October 29, 2010

Church, Children & the Living Dead

If you know anything about me (Hi! I'm Sarah Lewis, by the way!) you know that I love the Bible. And if you know any secondary thing about me, you know that I don't care for children. There are other things that you likely know but those are the two pertinent to this conversation.

However, because God thinks He's sooooo funny, He has put me into a ministry that I NEVER expected to be in, nor did I ever expect to love. Since January 2010 I have been serving as the Director of Children's Ministry (the Orchard) for Veritas Church. It is extremely administrative (which I love) and it is kids-y (which I'm learning to be ok with). In spite of having no idea what I'm doing and consistently feeling like I'm going to ruin these children forever, God has continued giving me a spirit of purpose and intentionality for teaching these kids the truth of His word.

As the Director I've had the opportunity to decide how the curriculum will work and what our kids learn about the Bible and Jesus. And I've come to a deep-set conviction that kids should be as engaged with the Scriptures as adults are. Suuuure, they may not grasp it all, but if they can be exposed to the truths of Scripture early enough, it may not be as unfamiliar to them later in life. Therefore, whatever sermon series our adults are learning Sunday to Sunday is the same series that our kids will be learning (with some exceptions). We also hope that this will enable more ability for families to interact with the Bible and what they're learning.

All that to say: I'm having a great time.

However, since we've been writing (for the most part) the children's lessons alongside the sermons, I have had to write (with significant help!) the majority of the lessons. I was so hopeful that the internet would give me all that I needed. Boy, was I wrong! But since we've developed lessons for these kids, I thought it would be wrong not to share them.

Thusly, I am posting all of the lessons from our Fruits of the Spirit series and the Living Dead series on my other blog: Priscilla's Ponderings. Feel free to share them with your church or children's minister or use them for whater'e you need. We teach our kids to share, so I ought to practice it with ya'll! =)

Keep in mind that these lessons are designed for our very small church, with very limited resources. But they could easily be adapted for any size church or setting.

Hope you enjoy! (And if you don't, please don't tell me, cause I'm sensitive.) =)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Talk Thursday // Halloween

When I was a kid, I had extremely conservative parents. We were not allowed to trick or treat, talk about witches, ghouls or vampires, and all Halloween festivities had to be done under the guise of a "Harvest Party." Now as an adult, I just don't care for Halloween. I've never cared for scary movies, slutty costumes or masks (they give me the heebie-jeebies). Therefore, Halloween has never held much excitement for me. My Halloween tradition has become watching "Luther" after whatever Halloween party I attend (I like candy & people, therefore I'll go to a party).

However, since its Talk Thursday and I can smell pumpkins & candy in the air, mingled with the stench of costume sweat, let's take a Halloween survey:

1. How did you celebrate Halloween growing up? Or did you at all?

2. What is your favorite Halloween-esque movie?

3. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

4. What are your plans for this Halloween weekend?

5. What will you be dressing up as?
This picture still cracks my stuff up.
Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday is a Good Day for Bad Poetry

Fall is here

Winter grows near

Rain drips, drips, drips through the trees

And causes the falling down of brightly colored leaves

Cider, cocoa & coffee sound delighfully warm

This time of year makes me greatly miss Memorial's dorm

Pumpkins are being carved

While we're beginning to pull out the scarves

Soon the frost will come

Which is totally dumb

Much like the progression of these rhymes

But I thank you anyway for your time(s)

Go crunch a leaf

Or eat a bowl of soupy beef

Enjoy this season of fall

And I will bid adieu to you all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Talk Thursday // Fanilow

I once met Sandi Patty.

It probably would rank as one of the top 3 moments of my life.

If I could remember it.

However, I was so excited I blacked out from sheer joy of meeting one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world. (If my mom ranks as an 11/10 on the awesomeness scale, Sandi is like 10.95/10.) My mom tells me that I talked about how much I loved her "Friendship Company" tape when I was four and that we've had a 19-year relationship that she knew nothing about. Then she signed my Bible. I suppose if anyone was going to sign my Bible, it might as well be Sandi Freaking Patty.

Now I know that most of you are thinking "what is the opposite of name-dropping?" It would in fact be name-dropping Southern gospel singers. Or NHL players.

However, it is a pretty big deal to meet "celebrities" (in my opinion). Cause I'm a fanilow. (Two sitcom references in one post. Bonus points if you get them!)

So today's Talk Thursday is one of my most favorite "ice-breaker" questions:
If you could have lunch with anyone famous (dead or alive) who would it be? And a follow-up, have you met anyone famous? Have any good name-dropping stories?

And as another no-name-dropping bit o' awesomeness, at the Gaither concert last weekend I got to (re)meet Wes Hampton! And he remembered me from last year's Alaskan cruise! What a night! What a moment!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Talk Thursday // Old People's Rocktober Fest

This Saturday is going to be legen-WAIT FOR IT!-DARY! "Why?", you ask. Let me paint you a picture....

I'm gonna put on some bling...tease my hair...and put on a nice pants-suit. Oh yeah. Cause this gal is hittin' the town for the Gaither Homecoming Concert in Tacoma! My mom, my 76-yr-old Nanny and family friend Sue are accompaying me to this party of awesome.

Oh will they sing "He Touched Me"? You know it.
Will they sing "Because He Lives"? Without a doubt.
Will I cry? For shiz.

We'll get to hear the Isaacs, GVB, Charlotte Ritchie, & Lynda Randle, among others. I could not be more excited. It starts at 3pm. Because the party starts early w/ the Gaithers! Word.

I get excited about old people music. I get excited about country music. About Hebrew. About Bible trivia. About Jeopardy.

All this to say that I'm a nerd. And I accept this. I get mocked a lot for these things. And I deal with that.

So what gets your motor revved? What odd things do you like that earn you a river of mockery? How do you deal with this? Do you embrace who you are as an oddball? =)

And, please, in the comments section, try to keep your jealousy over my Gaither attendance at bay. It'll be hard, I know, but.... ;)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Guidelines for Coffee Shops

If there was a sport that involved the number of coffee shops visited in a single day with varying coffees tried I would be the Michael Jordan of this game. One might even call me a "coffee shop connoisseur." Because of the amount of homework that I have and my inability to focus anywhere with internet, I utilize coffee shops. I'm not necessarily partial to one type of coffee shop: This last Saturday I was at Panera with a cup of drip in the morning, that afternoon I was at Starbucks with a peppermint mocha and at a indie coffee shop (Zola's in Auburn shoutout!) with a cup of blackberry coffee in the evening.

Due to my extensive experience in and around coffee shops, I would like to share my observations and give some "guidelines" for acceptable Coffee Shop Hopping (CSH, if you will). These should help you a) get the most out of your coffee shop experience and b) keep from committing any CSH faux pas, which might result in getting a sneezer.

1. The Look
When you go into a coffee shop, always look like you're going to be there a while. Unpack a bag of books and papers or get out your worn copy of War & Peace. Make it look like you're about to snuggle into that oversized chair for the rest of the afternoon. This way the baristas think you could possibly buy coffee & food - every baristas hope! Now we both know that you won't be there after that first cup, but it's nice to share hope.

2. The Drink
Order either a grande or a venti cup o' joe. If you get a tall, everyone knows that you aren't planning on being there very long, which goes against the look that you're trying to establish. But since this may be your 1st or 6th cup for the day, always get a venti ice water. Then you can drag out the game a little longer.

3. The Work
In order to fully utilize the coffee shop experience, get right to work whatever you have to do. Don't dilly-dally or putter. As soon as you have coffee in hand or even while you're waiting, get everything set up. This then allows you to look like you mean business. But also, since you know you're not going to get a 2nd cup (cause let's face it, who orders a 2nd cup?), you have to work fast enough to keep pace with your cup of coffee. (This is also where the water comes in handy - if you drink coffee that fast, you'll need the water as a buffer for your poor kidneys.)
I made the mistake earlier last week of staying too long and not keeping up with my coffee and having to ask them to re-heat my coffee. I received many derisive looks for this. I'll assume it was because I was making them re-heat my coffee rather than the assumption that it was because I was taking up space.

4. The Shut Down
When you're down to the dregs OR you have completed some work, sigh loudly. This signals to the people within hearing range that you're moving on, but not necessarily because you want. Make sure to look at your watch a lot during these last few moments. That way you can let the coffee shop know that "it's not's time." And they'll be more willing to let you come back again.

5. The Hop
DO NOT GO IN TO ANOTHER COFFEE SHOP WITH A CUP OF COFFEE ALREADY IN HAND. I shouldn't have to capitalize that, but the point needs to be made. That's like being dropped off for a date by the last date. Awkward for everyone involved. This is where the sneezers come in. If you have another cup of coffee in your hand, then everyone knows you're just there for the free wi-fi and not for the beans. And it's about pretenses, people.

Sure, you could just kick it at one coffee shop for an afternoon, hoping that the barista there will be cool with it. And you could buy two cups of coffee and be real about the fact that they have internet and good coffee and you have neither of the above. But where would the fun be?

Are you a coffee shop hopper extraordinnaire? What tips/tricks do you have?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Talk Friday//Expectations

There is something that is coming in my life that is slated to be my new most favorite thing ever. I have been waiting for this for as long as I can remember and it is finally arriving. I would liken this expectation to how your IT friends felt when Halo:Reach came out. (Yes, it's THAT big.)

What am I talking about?

Let's be real, what else would I talk about?


They are building a new SUPER WAL-MART in Auburn! Granted, it's only about 5 miles from the other Super Wal-Mart. But that's 5 miles closer to where I live. And I could not be more pumped.

I watched with joy when they started making the frame of the building. When the parking lot was being paved, it was all I could do to not drive down and claim my parking spot. Those little blue & red posts have gone up in front of the store and I keep seeing Wal-Mart trucks being unloaded in the back. All we're waiting on now is the sign - that bright, delightful, flourescent sign that shouts from the highway "I'm Wal-Mart! You're welcome."

There is no shame in my Wal-Mart lovin' claim. I will continue to hope and wait for the day that I can walk into Wal-Mart and buy something...anything....because I know I can get whatever I need there. Wal-Mart has never disappointed. (Ok, there was that ONE time but honestly, how could Wal-Mart have expected that I would need white posterboard last minute? I forgive this.)

Some people might say that this is a ridiculous thing to be expectant for. But somethings are like that - in all honesty, our expectations aren't for anybody else. They just make our days a little brighter.

So what are you waiting for? Is it something ridiculous? Is it something awesome? Let's be real, is it the caliber of a SUPER WAL-MART less than 6 miles from my house?! What's coming up that you're super stoked about?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dr. Freud? A Moment Please

Which of the following is not true about my most recent dreams?

A. Reggie & Ladye Love Smith yelling at me while Michael W. Smith (no relation) laughs at me because I can't scrape an ice rink?

B. Being involved in a group psychiatry ADD assessment where they refer to Jesus as "Patrick" and my best friend performs an interpretive dance for Jesus/Patrick as a cracking egg?

C. Mistakenly sending a text message and subsequently defenestrating myself in horror as a way of escape from the ramifications of said text?

D. Creating a life-size Shark/Whale exhibit in a hollowed out boat hull with a team consisting of a small child, a 40-year-old HS dropout and (I think) Mel Brooks?

If you answered "None of the above", you would be totally right.

Apparently, my subconscious is a crazy person. If I didn't know better, I'd say this was a result of too many drugs/alcohol. But I know better. Maybe I should lay off the Dr. must be getting to me.

Is anyone out there a dream interpreter? Cause I have some questions for you!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Talk Saturday // A Repeat

Life is cyclical. Situations come & go, but inevitably, the same ones always return. We live in a world of repeated action. The stupid rarely grow wise and the penalties for actions reveal themselves again and again.

I could be talking about something political or life-altering. However, as we all well know, I rarely talk about those types of things.

No, no, I'm talking about exegeticals. Back in 2007, I wrote a post on my xanga (it's ok, no one else remembers what a xanga is either):

From April 2007: "It Sounds Like a Cuss Word"'s exegetical time again. My only one for the exegetical semester, but I've put it off 6 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes and I'll never have to write another one. Ever exegetical again. What will I do with myself? It's kind of a scary exegetical thought.
This one is for Jesus class. 2
exegetical parables: Matthew 25.1-13, the parable of the 10 Virgins (just cause I want to write virgins - ha) and...I have no clue for the second exegetical one. Anybody have any ideas? Help a sistah out.
Why am I playing on
exegetical xanga, when I REALLY ought to be writing? Cause I'm an exegetical slacker, that's why.
One to go! Push ahead! - nope, my
exegetical pep talk to myself isn't working.
Well ya'll....I'll be in the
exegetical library if ya need me...attempting to write.

In re-reading this post from well-over 3 years ago, I realize that at that moment in time, I was certain that I would never write another exegetical again. Yet here I am...three semesters into graduate school, 2 exegeticals behind me, 5 due this semester and an unspecified number beyond that.


Because life is cyclical. And I'm a glutton for punishment.

So today I pose a question: what in your life do you find yourself repeatedly doing that you thought you'd never do again? Are you back in school? Are you dating stupid people? Are you watching Anaconda yet again? (It's just so dang engaging!) Life is cyclical, so what bike do you keep riding?

Happy exegetical Saturday.