Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Sort of Homecoming

Juli and I worked with the Nottingham Church of Christ in Stapleford, England from 1998-2000.  That's actually where we met.  But we haven't been back to England for over 7 years, so when we fly to the London area tomorrow morning, so it'll be a sort of homecoming.

During World War II my grandfather, Rip Turnbough was the pilot of a B-17 bomber.  His crew, Stormy Weather flew over 30 successful missions, bombing German targets on the European mainland.  He was stationed at Bury St. Edmunds in southeast England and the pub that was near their air base was renamed the Flying Fortress.  On Thursday evening, my parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandmother will visit the pub, have a meal, and drink a pint in Papa's honor (well at least I will).

While my granddad was bombing the Germans, my grandmother was awaiting his return while working in a factory in Nebraska.  They met right before he flew to England and they were married after the war.  She grew up in Chicago, but her family had immigrated to the States from Denmark when Gigi was just a girl.  That's how a Danish girl wound up in west Texas via Chicago and Nebraska.  On Saturday my family will fly to Denmark and visit the village on the island of Fyn where my grandmother was born and raised for a time.  We may even run into some 2nd and 3rd cousins.  At any rate, it'll be cool to see where 1/4 of my DNA originated. - Shay 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Small World, Small Church

Our friend Scott Karnes has a saying, "It's a small church."  I guess that's why were in Dublin trying to make it just a little bit bigger.  But sometimes its nice to be a part of a close-knit fellowship.  For instance, at last night's house worship we were blessed to be joined by Kara Dubose.  No one present had ever met Kara before, but she had learned of our group from a friend of a friend.  Kara went to ACU with Amanda McVey who had been in our youth group.  Amanda's mother, Margie passed on our details to Kara's boyfriend who passed them onto Kara.  Kara just happens to be spending a couple of months "gigging" around Ireland with her band and so she took time to join us for worship and wound up staying the night with Juli and me. 

We were also blessed to be graced with the presence of Dale and Vicki Hawley (Missions Resource Netowork) last night.  Dale and Vicki's son, Caleb (who also happens to have been on the most recent season of American Idol), had recently played a gig with Kara and her band.  Small world, or as Scott would say, small church.  Either way, our singing sure was good last night! - Shay

Monday, April 11, 2011

Beaten by a Basket

Way back in August I joined a Dublin men's league Basketball team.  We're Sutton, but we don't train or play in Sutton and no one on the team actually lives in Sutton.  But hey, the Dallas Cowboys don't play in Dallas either. 

Anyway, we finally finished our season this past Saturday as we were edged by 2 points in our semifinal with Inchicore (I think their team is actually from Inchicore).  It's been great to be welcomed onto the team by the other 12-13 guys who play.  Most of them have been playing ball together for nearly 20 years and I've not even known them 20 months.  I look forward to building a friendship with them over the next few years and I sincerely hope that we'll have the chance to share more than just a sport together.  Until then, we have a few pickup games lined up for the summer.  Should be fun. - Shay   

Immersed in the Irish Sea

For the past couple of months, the Hutson, Karnes, and Smith families have been assisting a family from Nigeria with house worship.  The couple, John and Bridgette (I don't know how to pronounce their last name, let alone spell it) live with their 5 kids (aged 2 months to 7) in Balbriggan, about a half hour north of Dublin.  John and Bridgette have been Christians for a number of years and because its hard for them to get their massive family all the way down to the south of Dublin for worship, they've decided to create Christian community right where they live. 

A little over a month ago, John's friend Samuel began to join us for worship.  Samuel became interested in the Christian faith because of the passionate and faithful life of John.  9 days ago Samuel spent his Saturday afternoon in a deep study of God's word with John.  The following day, Scott Karnes and I had the privilege of hearing Samuel confess Christ as Lord and witnessing John baptize him in the Irish Sea.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and from where we stood on the beach we could see all the way to Northern Ireland where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.  I have no doubt that we'll be witnessing many more brothers and sisters being immersed into Christ in the Irish Sea over the next few years.  And I hope that John and Bridgette have a few spare chairs because their house worship is going to get crowded! - Shay     


Okay, so it's been nearly a month since my last post here.  That's too long.  I repent.  I will do my best to update this blog far more often (maybe even weekly?).  Who knows, maybe I can even convince Juli to post a few pictures...

Patrick's Day was great.  We went out to Ashbourne and watched our friends Scott & Davis Karnes march with their respective Baseball teams in a small local parade.  We caught a U2 cover band and though they were pretty good, they were far from even better than the real thing.  Ashlyn must have caught a bug at one of her playgroups because she came down with something and lost her lunch, literally.  So our first Paddy's Day ended a bit prematurely, but it was memorable nevertheless.

While I'm on the subject of repentance, make sure you read the post above. - Shay