Monday, September 23, 2013

So it's been awhile since I've written anything. Life has changed significantly since the last post. Matt and I now live in St. Louis, in the middle of the city. Grand Center, they call it. It was August 3rd we moved into the Metropolitan Artist Lofts, an artist community of loft apartments on the corner of Grand and Olive that feature sound and dance studios, pottery, woodworking, and painting rooms for use when desired.

Life in the city is definitely different than it was in the quiet suburbs of Winter Springs, Florida! I park in the basement of our building, opening the door and then gate via a couple of buttons that hang from my key chain. Matt parks in a nearby parking garage. We live on the 3rd floor, so we usually ride the elevator to get from the car to our apartment door. The structure we live in was built in 1908 and was eventually transformed into loft apartments after sitting vacant for awhile. It's really fun to live in something so old!

Speaking of old, that's the highlight of living in this city. There is a lot of history everywhere. This place wreaks of the past, whether it's magnificent dated cathedrals that pierce the sky with their steeples, laundry facilities or shoe company buildings from another era with large faded letters still barely visible on the side of the crumbling brick, all outdoor excursions are a feast for the eyes and feel a bit like stepping back in time.

Nearby is an ice cream shop called The Fountain. We have probably been there about four times now. It's within walking distance, so it's a tempting place to have around the corner! They serve some of the best food and ice cream we have ever eaten. The decor is unique, an art deco style that is often photographed by its patrons. Our last visit we shared "Brownie in a Cup," a coffee mug filled with delicious sweet and salty brownie, rich vanilla ice cream, homemade fudge sauce (they make their own), and whipped cream. It was amazing.

Matt reads a lot these days. He has been plowing through book after book as he struggles to keep up with the heavy load of seminary. He is enjoying his classes and is learning a lot! Judy gives him work here and there. Most recently he worked on a marriage conciliation and saw the gospel come alive for the couple in ways they hadn't experienced before. This Thursday he drives to Columbus, Ohio to present some material with Judy and Daniel from Live at Peace Ministries about the importance of critical thinking in peacemaking.

I've been reading the book "Bonhoeffer," by Eric Metaxas. It's the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Oh, how I love this book, and I feel such love for a brother I will one day see in heaven. There are a few reasons I love this material. First, it is about a servant of Christ who loved Jesus intensely and lived an all-out life for his Lord, which eventually led him to martyrdom. Secondly, it centers around one of my favorite eras in history: World War II. Thirdly, it is inspirational historical nonfiction, a genre that I enjoy. Fourthly, Bonhoeffer was a big fan of reasoning and never shied away from talking to someone about an alternative view. He believed that truth could stand up to any scrutiny and he was not afraid to continually put it to the test.

This past Sunday Matt and I attended the Journey church and heard Pastor Darrin Patrick preach live at the 11AM service. It was a nice treat to hear him speak in person as opposed to watching him on a screen like we normally do. His words from James 1 about temptation and the role of God in our lives during trial were penetrating to my own heart, and at the end of the service we were all so taken up with our Lord that the music lifted us to an almost unearthly plane. I was transported in my worship and felt as if I could not contain the emotion that welled up inside of me as I sang songs like "Jesus Paid it All." The man next to us, Charles, the leader of our weekly Bible study/community group clapped and whooped "Amen!" as we sang about the forgiveness of sins and the coming of Christ. I found myself raising my hands high before my sweet Father, uncaring of everyone else around me. It was a joyous end to a clear meeting with God that day.

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