Project 365: Day 206 Chef Point Cafe after Apple Camp   Leave a comment

Apple Camp concluded today with the sharing of two dozen creative stories written by camp participants.

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We learned that Trey was right, a lot of people have never heard of dubstep music.

For lunch we journeyed over to Watauga and tried out Chef Point Cafe. This is a really nice restaurant surprisingly housed in a functional Conoco gas station. Delicious. The restaurant has been featured on “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.”

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Do you know of any great restaurant choices in odd locations?

Posted July 25, 2014 by erinjackso in Personal Blog, Photo Blog

Project 365: Day 205 Urban Air Southlake   Leave a comment

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I love that my kids have friends they’ve known since preschool, and I love that they still play.

Posted July 25, 2014 by erinjackso in Personal Blog, Photo Blog

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Project 365: Day 204 Apple Camp and a Horsehead   Leave a comment

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Wednesday began with the boys’ attending Apple Camp at the Southlake Apple store. They learned how to use the Story app on iPad. The three class session was free and they got pretty cool tshirts. Bonus, it was a convenient excuse to check out Southlake Town Square.

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The night ended at an FC Dallas international friendly match versus Aston Villa FC of England. Nate wore a horsehead mask. He is a very enthusiastic FCD supporter (understatement!)

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Posted July 25, 2014 by erinjackso in Personal Blog, Photo Blog

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Project 365: Day 203 FCDallas Meet the Team Night   Leave a comment

A perk of being a Season Ticket Holder for FCDallas is the occasional autograph session and meeting the players.

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Posted July 25, 2014 by erinjackso in Personal Blog, Photo Blog

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Project 365: Day 202 Indoor Soccer   Leave a comment

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Monday was a day of rest, laundry and family time. The highlight was watching Trey play in his first indoor soccer game. I love watching him play.

Posted July 25, 2014 by erinjackso in Personal Blog, Photo Blog

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Project 365: Day 201 Church Themes   Leave a comment

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Texas Youth Academy means, among other things, two weeks of really good, thoughtful and theologically thought out worship services.

As much as I love my church family, it’s a bit of a let down to return in the middle of a sermon series themed on “The Voice.” Sigh.

How are worship services planned at your church? Do you have pop culture themed worship? How does that go over? What works in worship to bring you closer to God?

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Posted July 25, 2014 by erinjackso in Personal Blog, Photo Blog

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Project 365: Day 200 Saying Good Bye Well   Leave a comment

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Saturday was the last day of Texas Youth Academy 2014. Farewell to my new family – you are loved!

Happy to be home with my family. There’s something about being gone for 2 weeks that makes it seem like everyone has grown so much.

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Posted July 25, 2014 by erinjackso in Personal Blog, Photo Blog

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Project 365: Day 199 You Make Beautiful Things   Leave a comment

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It’s the last night of Texas Youth Academy and I have this song rolling around in my head. The song is called “Beautiful Things” by the band Gungor. Some of the lyrics are:


All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

*

Being a part of Texas Youth Academy has been a transformative experience. It is impossible to explain to someone who is never been through this how important community and learning and doing things together can become. In just a few days we shared lives with each other and became like a family. It is Christian community at its finest, and indeed a beautiful thing.

As we prepare to go back to our homes and perhaps the chaos of life, it is my hope that we can always remember that the God of all makes beautiful things out of us.

He is making us new.

Blessings,
Erin

*(Source: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/gungor/beautifulthings.html)

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Project 365: Day 198 Social Justice and Poverty   Leave a comment

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This afternoon at Texas Youth Academy we explored the issue of poverty in America. Students and adults had a chance to role-play the experience of navigating public transportation and grocery shopping on a WIC or SNAP budget. There were countless life lessons learned including:
• It is really hard to balance watching children, grocery shopping on a very small budget, trying to consider nutrition, getting to work on time, and navigating bus routes.

• Roadblocks don’t have to be very big to make a significant impact on trying to meet a family’s needs. Even something as simple as a child wanting a birthday cake can impact a family’s budget.

• If you look clean-cut, you may receive special treatment that others do not.

• Life for the working poor is very stressful.

• Immigrants have the hardest lives.

• Sometimes service looks like using a paintbrush or a hammer, other times service means impacting the policies that keep systemic poverty in place.

The next steps after an exercise like this is to figure out what a person as a Christian leader can do to make life easier for others. What does your church do to make a difference? What can you do?

Blessings,
Erin

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Project 365: Day 197 Planning Worship   1 comment

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One of the things we do at Texas Youth Academy is have the youth plan and lead worship services. My group led worship last night in the style of “high church.” Complete with pipe organ blaring, the service was beautiful, not perfect but beautiful. Our prayer was that people would grow closer to God through it and we may never know if that came true.

Today during the time we would normally plan worship, our group debriefed and talked about how the service went. As you can see in the picture, we enjoyed a little playtime as we talked. We talked through details, and remembered when things didn’t go exactly as planned. We talked about how difficult it is to plan a good worship service.

I asked the group if they felt like they were participating in the worship when they were leading it.

As it turns out, everyone who was leading the service felt preoccupied with the details and stressed about making sure each part went well. They didn’t actually feel like they were in worship.

This makes me wonder how many pastors and worship leaders feel the same way. I also wonder where these people might get to participate in worship in order to reconnect to God that way. Who is making sure our worship leaders are also fed spiritually?

Thoughts?

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