Sunday, October 25, 2009

The men in black

The men in black...
Originally uploaded by the gladdings
Last weekend I spent a rowdy and wonderful evening with four friends who span 25 years of my life. I first heard John Smith speak at Greenbelt in 1983 (I think) - his preaching profoundly changed the way I thought about Jesus and the life he invites us into, and in many ways John set the course for the way my life has unfolded. I met Matt Russell at Capernwray Bible College in England in 1986 where, after a wary beginning, we became firm, and then best friends. Matt has shaped my life in more ways than I will ever know. Greg Leffel I met in 1998 when I began graduate school at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky, and became part of the experimental grounded missional community that he and John wanted to have a go at - Communality - which we have returned to 11 years on. Greg is one of the the brightest people I know, and I will continue to learn much from him. I met Travis Reed in Houston six years ago. He is the creative genius behind "" - providing visual liturgy and provocative film for the church on mission. He also makes me laugh more than any other person I know.
We spent 4 hours talking, laughing and creating another pub memory together - caught on film, of course, by Travis. The only thing missing was other dear friends of more than a decade here, Geoff Maddock and Billy Kenney.
Good times.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Seth turns 4

Seth & birthday cake #4
Originally uploaded by the gladdings
We celebrated Seth's 4th birthday a couple of weeks ago, with a shindig at the Ferrell's home, joined by Jeremy, Erin and the boys. We played lots of games on the lawn, some dug up from Sean's childhood ('pin the tail on the donkey', 'musical statues'), others from Rebecca's outdoor education background ('pin the clothes peg on someone', 'giants, elves, wizards'). Lots of laughter, and a beautiful butterscotch sponge cake a la Nigella Lawson.
Seth is a delightful little boy, and has a variety of states of being. He loves to run ahead of us when we're walking somewhere, climbing on steps, or walls, and laughing out loud.He has a rock star mood, when he plays air guitar with a very serious face, then cracks himself up. Or his construction mood, when he's concentrating hard on building a tower with wooden blocks or 'Wedgits', which he got another pack of for his birthday. He is into cutting paper with his scissors, spending this afternoon drawing and coloring ghosts, cutting them out, then sticking them to the walls with scotch tape. He enjoys being with Maggie about 96% of the time and we love watching the creative play they engage in.
We are deeply grateful for the gift of Seth in our lives.