Monday, October 31, 2011

It now feels like we're grown-ups...sorta.

CaryAnne is pretty settled in at her new job (UNC), and so am I. I started last week teaching drum lessons at a music store up the road from us (Falls River Music) on Tuesday afternoons. This week, I have my first recording session at a studio in Wake Forest (PureMix Studios). If nothing else, we're staying busy.

We went to the state fair a couple weeks ago. It was very crowded but we had a great time. We rode two rides -- the thing that takes you straight up then drops you, and the ferris wheel. When we got on the ferris wheel, fireworks went off. I'm not being romantic, there were literal fireworks that started going off as we rode it. We have good timing, I guess.

Last weekend, we went with the church on a "Reformation Retreat" up to Oxford, NC. We got there Friday night around 6:30, ate supper, then had a time of singing and teaching (Donnie and Tony). Tony talked about Martin Luther's life and how God used him to change the Church. Then, we made smores -- inside, around the fireplace, because of rain -- and watched the movie Luther. Saturday, we had breakfast, a time of discussion, then hung out and had lunch before leaving. It was a good trip.

When we got back Saturday night, we went over to some of our new friends' house and played games. It got heated a few times, but it was a lot of fun!

I've recently been meeting with a couple missionaries from a different faith. They stopped by one night and we talked for a while, and they've been back twice since then. We're trying to find another time for them to come back. Through talking with them, I have seen how easy it can be for someone to be deceived. My eyes have been opened to how gracious our God is. That He would take our filthiness and give us His righteousness in return is a mind-blowing thought. Not only has He done that, but it's through nothing that we have done or can do that He does it. We can't earn it, but He gives it to us! His grace is sufficient.

That idea is what Tony has been preaching (from Galatians) since we launched. We are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Pray for those guys -- Perez and Chase -- that God would open their eyes to the truth and give them a new heart.

CaryAnne is a little sick from the weather changing, and I think I'm getting sick too. It's cold. It's a cold.

My parents are coming to visit in a couple weeks. We're looking forward to seeing them.

Imago Dei is going great. We love our small group and the overall attitude and vision of the church.

If you're reading this, we miss you...unless you live here, in which case we probably saw you yesterday. We miss you too, though!

Happy Reformation Day. Come visit!

"Christ lived the life we couldn't live, and He died the death we should have died."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Golf, Jobs, and Ford Aspires

Last week, Donnie, Michael and I decided to play golf. Michael and I had bought a coupon from that gave us a round of golf for 2 for $24. Thursday afternoon we loaded up and rode to Wake Forest to play at a 9-hole course by Southeastern Seminary (formerly Wake Forest College, I think) which is where Arnold Palmer played when he was in college. So, the course has some pretty cool history, in my opinion, although it's nothing special.

We had a great time and all played pretty well, actually. I had my best score ever ( 105 :/ ). There was some drama involved, too. Going into the last hole, Donnie was ahead of Michael by one stroke. Michael, being the golfer that he is, ended up birdie-ing the hole and Donnie made a bogey, making Michael the winner of the day. We plan to play again soon.

Saturday, we went to a driving range up to road and Michael, CaryAnne, and I hit a bucket of balls. CaryAnne got in the swing of things (see what I did there??) and was hitting pretty well by the time we left. I guess she has some of those Gary/Cathy Rake genes in her. She also was giving me pointers when she had finished hitting all her balls. After talking with her mom, I found out that her advice was good. She's just a golfer at heart, I guess.

We ate lunch with Michael and Alex after the driving range. Outside of the Mexican restaurant where we ate, there was a car show going on. I know what you're thinking -- a bunch of tricked out, fancy-looking cars with "cool" paint jobs -- well, you're wrong. There was a parking lot full of '90's era Ford Aspires and Festivas. No cool paint jobs, just straight out of the '90's, or maybe even late '80's. It was pretty incredible. We just had to walk around and check the sweet rides out.

CaryAnne's grandparents from Hattiesburg passed through Raleigh last Wednesday morning so we got to see them for a little while. We ate lunch at Panera Bread on their way out.

We had supper with two couples from our small group last night -- Shane and Alicia Shaddix and Cameron and Erica Keith. We cooked burgers and played a game called Bezzerwizzer. It was a lot of fun, but the girls pretty much kicked our butts. It was embarrassing, really.

Nothing else new has really happened, except CARYANNE GOT A FULL-TIME JOB! No biggie, she's just a full-time CT Tech at UNC Hospital. She started yesterday and seems to be really enjoying it, so far. Maybe I'll be able to talk her into writing a blog about it.

I also got a part-time job this week at a pharmacy in Wake Forest. It's Monday - Thursday 9-2 and I'm basically a cashier with a few other duties. It's good stuff.

Guess I should turn in now. Justin is coming to town tomorrow, so I better rest up.

"Christ lived the life we couldn't live, and He died the death we should have died."