Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Buddy Gets It!

Last night Josh and I were breaking down the Boundless booth at New Attitude. I noted that the mannequin looked like a chalk outline.

Me: It's a crime scene.

Josh: He was caught being someone's buddy.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wisdom From Kids

My friend Kelsey forwarded this to me.

Words of Wisdom From Children

  • No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
  • When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let Mom brush your hair.
  • If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
  • Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
  • Whether he's real or not, you should believe in the tooth fairy if you like money.
  • You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
  • Reading what people write on desks can teach you a lot.
  • Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
  • Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a tic tac.
  • Never hold a Dustbuster and a cat at the same time.
  • School lunches stick to the wall.
  • Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Back to NA

One of my best experiences from last year was attending the New Attitude conference in Louisville, Kentucky. (This is me at the Boundless booth with editor Ted Slater and author/speaker/pastor Joshua Harris.) Besides learning that I should have taken pictures with my own camera, I came away with so many challenging insights. I wrote the following entry the day after I got home.

Over the past few years my faith plan has come down to two goals: loving God and loving others. This is based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (vs. 37-40).

As I’ve sought to do this by reading my Bible regularly, being active in my church and reaching out to nonbelievers, I’ve found myself feeling burned out at times. In fact, while there are definitely some rewarding moments, most of the time I feel I have a minimal amount of passion in my striving.

This weekend I was reminded of the power of the gospel. The gospel is mentioned 91 times in the New Testament. This would lead one to believe it’s kind of a big deal. As I heard messages on the gospel — the fact that God crushed His Son for me — I found myself being deeply grateful. And that gratefulness quickly turned to love for the One who dreamed up and carried out this merciful plan.

Paul says the gospel “is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). The gospel is the source; love for God and others is an outcome of plugging into the source. For me, the connection has been broken. I have been running on low power as I try to apply the Scripture to my life rather than apply my life to Scripture.

David says, “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12). Remembering what we were saved from leads to joy and desire to do God’s work. It’s also very freeing because when we understand what God has done — substituting His own Son for a debt we could never pay, and then raising Him from the dead to give us life — we recognize that we can do nothing apart from Him. No wonder it wears us out trying.

I was convicted this weekend that I have been worshiping the functions and fruits of Christianity — Bible study, church participation, worship, service, evangelism — instead of the One who deserves my worship. But when I consider the rich truth of the gospel, my response will be awe. And at that place of humility, God can begin to use me for His plan.

I am excited that I will be returning to NA this coming weekend. The theme is discernment, and I will be blogging about it on the Boundless Line. The messages, including those of John Piper, will be available at the NA Web site following the conference. May God fill you with the wonder of the gospel today!

Monday, May 21, 2007

In Bloom

Tonight Josh and I had a special celebration dinner, followed by an impromptu photo shoot. The life and vibrancy of this bouquet is representative of a refreshing and beautiful relationship.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Saturday night Josh and I joined friends to watch the Colorado Rockies take on the Kansas City Royals. This is the first major league game I've attended since watching my M's back in the day. It was a beautiful night in the ballpark. The Royals took the lead early in the game with two runs. But between the fourth and seventh innings, the Rockies managed to hit two home runs and accrue six runs.

Tony and Brian: rally cap time.

Christy, Josh and I were the only Rockies "fans." (We're the worst fans ever! Christy wore a Rockies cap because it was "cute and pink," Josh had never been to a major league game and I, well, you know What's that?) The rest of our crew cheered for the Royals. In the final few innings, when the Royals were lagging, Brian and Tony wore their baseball caps rally style. The Royals did score two runs in the final inning, but it was too little, too late. The game ended in a record two hours and 38 minutes.

Tony and Christy: We were celebrating lovely Christy's birthday.

Brian and Kristin: two of the coolest Royals fans you'll meet.

Still, we had great fun and enjoyed some refreshing beverages afterward. The Wynkoop serves a mean honey root beer!

Estes Park

I spent Thursday through Saturday in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado, for the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. When I first arrived, I snapped this turkey shot of some elk. I soon learned that they considered YMCA of the Rockies their home. I could have taken hundreds more similar photographs!

On Saturday afternoon, I explored the town and had a delightful experience at DeLeo's Park Theater Cafe. From the owner's opening greeting of, "Hi, dear, I'm Tom DeLeo," to his fantastic Reuben sandwich, my experience with DeLeo's was fantastic. I enjoyed watching Tom banter with the locals. His deli was featured on the Food Network as one of the best places in the U.S. for picnic food. I definitely recommend it!

Estes Park is just beginning to bustle. My short trip reminded me of the time I spent there with my parents last summer (You can read about it in August 2006!). I told Tom how my parents had met at the Trail Ridge gift shop in Rocky Mountain National Park. And because he's such a nice guy, he cared.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Physical Faith

Fresh on Boundless, an article dedicated to Susan DeVries, a woman who deeply impacted my spiritual life and passed away on March 15, 2007.

It's been 12 years since I left CTL, but I still think about that step and the passion it instilled in me. I left the choir supremely more confident in my faith than when I started. Last month Susan passed away suddenly after a rapid battle with cancer. She had planned to have a reunion concert this summer.

While that concert will never be, many young adults walk devotedly with Christ because of Susan. And perhaps that is the most fitting tribute to a woman who helped us take our first steps.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I meant to put up this post much sooner, but I've been suffering from a miserable cold. Last Monday, Josh and I explored Savannah, Georgia. It was a beautiful day. We began our exploration by walking through several of the wooded squares downtown.

We came upon Christ Church, one of two churches in Savannah where the Rev. John Wesley preached. Cool!

One thing in particular I was in search of was the square where they filmed Forrest Gump sitting on the bench discussing the similarity between life and a box of chocolates. The actual bench is now in the Smithsonian, but we found a similar bench in Chippewa Square, where the movie was filmed. (Me doing my best Forrest Gump impersonation.)

Walking along Savannah streets we noticed this cat. When we passed by again, we noticed a postcard in the shop window, which contained an image of the cat along with the words, "Frankie says hi!" We went inside, bought a couple of postcards and talked with the shop owner. Evidently, Frankie used to mingle with the tourists in the square. Unfortunately, she was hit by a car, and $2,700 later, her owner keeps her tied to a water jug. She didn't seem worse for the wear.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hilton Head

This past weekend, I accompanied Josh and his family to Hilton Head, South Carolina. I am a beach connoisseur, and the Atlantic coast did not disappoint. The weather was gorgeous (sunny and 80 degrees). And following the snow we'd had in Colorado the previous week, the warm weather was especially welcome. Josh and I woke up early one morning to see this beautiful sunrise.

We stayed in a great house by the beach. This was our view!

Self-portrait of Josh and me—beach-enthusiasts that we are.

Josh's nephew Zach spotted this little guy out on the porch while we were having breakfast.

My not-so-great attempt at photographing the dolphins we saw shortly after sunrise.

I give Hilton Head (and Josh's family) two thumbs up.