Our church is getting a new roof.

Just now, I ran out to my car to get something. As I was re-entering the building, I realized that I was being welcomed by “Rockstar” by Nickelback. The roofers had it blaring from their truck.

Kind of a strange feeling walking into my church with “rockstar” playing. I’m sure the neighbors are enjoying the “free” music. It goes right along with all the banging and other loud noises.


Home For the Holidays

Our church had a combined worship service and luncheon yesterday. It was wonderful to see so many of our members in one place! Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, so it was sort of a new year’s party for the church. We were blessed with beautiful music (2 harpists played together, the adult choir and children’s choir sang, and the congregation sang out loud), a worshipful gathering, and great food!

The ladies hard at work.

Willie Ann and a great big knife.

The choir warming up.

The ladies put a lot of work into setting up for 168 people.

The luncheon after church.

The front of the sanctuary with the addition of two harps, which were played by Jubalate Duo.

Reverend Wally Renner, our preacher for the day.

The children’s choir singing in the service.

The children’s choir and a men’s quartet sang at the luncheon.

The children, age 3-9 in children’s church (and my 2 middle school helpers). Stripes are in this year, by the way.
Jason and Evonda.

My December Church Newsletter Letter

Dear Church Family,

The other night, Jason and I were watching T.V. A commercial came on for scratch off lottery tickets. The announcer urged something like, “We need to take a step back and remember the true meaning of the holidays. Giving.” I assume he meant giving lottery tickets. It was like fingernails on a chalkboard. It seemed rather irreverent to me to tie the real meaning of the holidays to $2 scratch off tickets. And not to be cliché, but isn’t Jesus the reason for the season? I started to think about how it is that we’ve gotten so off track during this time of year.

When I was growing up, I attended a church in Merrillville, Indiana. I can remember a banner or wall hanging that hung in the Narthex of the church. It was made of felt and had baby Jesus in the manger. The verse on it was John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Christmas is actually about the biggest gift of all time. One that we could never match, no matter how many trips we take to the mall.

So, I’ve decided that I will just close my eyes when that commercial comes on and I will remember John 3:16. Because what the announcer says is correct—giving is the real reason for the holidays. But not lottery tickets or just any other gift—The Gift. Let’s make sure that we take time this December to celebrate and remember God’s gracious love. I’ll see you at church!

God bless you and Merry Christmas!

Presbyterian Church Mascot

At early church a few weeks ago, several of us became a little distracted during the sermon. Dr. Skelly was preaching a good one, no doubt, but when there’s a squirrel climbing a tree right in front of you, it might grab your attention. When there’s a squirrel climbing that same tree with a large biscuit in its mouth, you have to see how it’s going to end.

Well, today, I was summoned to the office to watch a squirrel running around the courtyard. This squirrel also was carrying a large biscuit in its mouth, so of course I decided it’s the same squirrel. Since we’ve needed a mascot for awhile now, I decided that Biscuit the Squirrel is our new mascot.

Figures our church mascot would always have a mouthful of food…

I’ve started to post several times…

But I never have time to finish!

Life is full of good things, that’s for sure! (That’s the positive spin of “I’m sooooo busy!”).

We’ve been enjoying all sorts of activities and events. I think things are due to slow down in the next week and then we have fall break–a whole week off!

The bad news is that at the end of that week off, our beloved interim pastor will leave us to accept a call at a church in the Atlanta area. I’m excited for what the future holds for him and for our church, which should call our next pastor very soon.

Jonas is keeping busy with school and cub scouts. We’re so proud of him because he’s doing very well in school and not getting into any trouble! He’s really growing up…but not too quickly!

We survived his school’s fall festival this past weekend. I was in charge of the prize counter, which meant I had to sort prizes, set up the “booth,” recruit volunteers to work it, work it myself, and clean up. Whew! But it was really a lot of fun.

Yesterday, we had our pinning ceremony for our Brownie troop. It’s always a pretty big deal each year.

Today, I helped set up for dinner tonight (our custodian’s on vacation), prayed with one of my youth minister friends, ran some errands and had after school club.

This weekend is our yard sale. Enough said.

Faith that Could Move Beyonce

Here is something remarkable I witnessed at after school club yesterday:

The backstory: Lilianna (grade 1) and Kayci (grade 3) have been building a paper structure that is clearly a castle. It’s got towers and a drawbridge. They began a few weeks ago and have worked on it whenever the art room is open. For reasons unclear to me (maybe they sold ad space), they named it “The Black History Queen of England Castle.” They put signs on it that read “Do not Toush.” Here are some pictures:

When they started, they had a great idea. What if they could show their castle to everyone at Jefferson Elementary School? So they devised a plan.

Lilianna: We should show this to everyone at school.

Kayci: Yeah. We could take it to all the classrooms.

Lilianna: YEAH! Wait….will my teacher let me?

Kayci: Oh, you’ll just say you have to go to the bathroom.

Lilianna: Oh. Yeah.

Then yesterday, they were continuing to work on it. Apparently, while I was gone, the plan had become slightly more complicated.

Becky: So, girls, how’s the castle going?

Lilianna: Great! I’m going to make the goodie bags!

Becky: Goodie bags?

Lilianna: Yeah, for the whole school. We’re going to give them out when we show them the castle.

Becky: Who’s going to make those?

Lilianna: Me! I have lots of candy at my house!

Kayci: But we’re kind of scared of the 4th and 5th graders.

Lilianna: Yeah, they think they’re “all that.”

Becky: Oh, so you’re still going to show the whole school. Do you know how you’re going to get permission to take it to each classroom?

Kayci: No, we’re not doing that anymore! We’re going to have an assembly!

Becky: An assembly? Where?

Kayci: In the gym.

Becky: But…how?

Kayci: We’re going to ask the principal to call everyone to the gym.

Becky (carefully–I didn’t want to discourage them.): Well…that’s a great idea….but do you think the principal will call everyone down to the gym to look at your castle?

Lilianna: Not just for the castle! We have goodie bags, too.

Becky: Wow, that will be a lot of goodie bags.

Kayci: Yeah, but Lilianna’s going to make them.

Lilianna: Well…actually…I might not want to give my candy away.

Kayci: Well, my mom has lollipops! I’ll get those.

Becky: How many goodie bags do you think you’ll need for the whole school?

Lilianna: Maybe 50.

Kayci: No, maybe 100.

Mrs. Becky: Well, I would guess it’s more like 400.

Kayci: Lilianna–we’re going to have to get more lollipops!

Magdalena (Lilianna’s big sister, who has been rolling her eyes so much they might fall out of her head): Hey, maybe you’ll be famous and get to go to Hollywood (the sarcasm is evident only to me).

Kayci and Lilianna: SQUEAL!!!!!!!

Lilianna: Hey–wait! How are we going to get there?

Kayci: I don’t know…we’re just kids.

Lilianna: Oh, we’ll just take an airplane.

Kayci: Okay.

Magdalena: I was kind of joking…

Kayci: And while we’re there, we’ll take our castle to show Beyonce! I just love Beyonce!

Lilianna: And Jesse McCartney! And then he’ll give me a kiss! (about an hour of giggling followed)

Kayci: But if we’re going to take our castle to Hollywood, why are we making tickets to raffle it off? (That’s another part of the project, by the way. One lucky student was going to get to keep the castle when they raffled it off at the assembly)

Lilianna: Good point.

Kayci: I know! We’ll just make another one.

Wow. Do you remember having faith in yourself like that? Never once did these girls doubt that their castle was worthy of world renown. They doubted that their teachers would let them out of class or that they could find a way to Hollywood, but never that their project was destined to be the star of an assembly, the prize of a raffle or something to show Beyonce.

May we have this kind of faith in the things that God gives us to do.

Little Pink Hair Clippies are the New Parachute Pants

Okay, so here’s what happened to me yesterday:

One of my little Brownies, Lexi, gave me a little pink hair clip during our meeting yesterday. I put it in my hair and showed it off.

As I was driving home later that night, I reached up to brush my hair back and my hand hit the little pink hair clip. I proceeded to first be shocked and then laugh hysterically the whole way home. You see, after the meeting, I went to the grocery store. While there, I chatted with several people that I knew. All the while, I had a little pink hair clip randomly placed in my hair.

So, don’t be surprised when little pink hair clips are the new trend! You’ll know where it started.

Something else that’s making me laugh this week:

Here’s a converation I had with Austin on Monday. Austin is in Kindergarten.

Him: Hi. Can I call you Ms. Beck?
Me: I guess so.
Him: Great. Thanks, Ms. Beck! You wanna hear a joke, Ms. Beck?
Me: Sure
Him: Where do cows go?
Me: Where?
Him: To the mooooovies in Cow-afornia! (laughs hysterically)
Me: That’s really funny!
Him: Here’s another one. Knock knock!
Me: Who’s there?
Him: Orange
Me: orange who?
Him: Orange Banana
Me: (pause) Oh, that’s funny, too!

Seeing Jesus Behind Jacob’s Eyes

Jacob is in first grade. Today while I was trying to fix a problem with his favorite computer (it has a game he really likes to play) he was standing next to me, barely able to wait until he could play his game again. I wrote this conversation down in the art room as soon as I could.

Jacob: Ms. Becky–is it fixed yet?

Me: No

J: Will it be fixed soon?

Me: I hope so.

J: Is it hard to fix?

Me: Well, yes. So don’t get your hopes up because I don’t know what’s wrong.

J:I know! I’ll ask Jesus to fix it! He’s way better. Dear Jesus, please fix it. Will you? Okay. Thanks.

Me: (still working with the cables)

J: He said yes.

Me: Oh?

J: Yes. I can see Jesus behind my eyes and he nodded his head.

Me: Awesome!

J: You know, if you really believe in Jesus and you’re quiet and stuff and look deep into your mind, you could hear Jesus and ask him questions and things like that.

Me: You’re so smart, Jacob! That’s absolutely true.

J: But I get to see him behind my eyes when I close them.

Me: (click, click, click)

J: Yay! It’s fixed! You did it, Jesus! Tell him thank you, Ms. Becky.

Me: Thank you, Jesus. And thank you, Jacob.

J: For what? I just looked at Jesus behind my eyes.