when you break an egg

The other day Kim came home with groceries–ALL the groceries! Our cupboards were nearly bare, so she was stocking up against the oncoming summer invasion of hungry teenagers. She said her cart was so full it was like playing a game to see where she could fit the last few items.

The last item out of the van was the eggses. They are especially precious to me. I start every morning with a delicious and predictable 4-egg, meat, and cheese omelet. I’m pretty simple and boring like that.

As Kim walked in holding the last shopping bag at arm’s length, I noticed a familiar slimy substance oozing from the bag. Much to my dismay, the carton of eggs decided to commit egg-icide, taking a dive onto the driveway. 11 of the 18 contributors to my morning repast were broken, lost, wasted.

I was a little irked. Maybe more than a little. Irked. Miffed.

Then Kim went all “Kim” on me. Ever the optimist, she separated the whole eggs from the broken and began to pool the shattered eggs into a bowl. A few minutes later she had several frying pans buttered up and was cranking out the beginnings of some delicious omelets. Toss some meat and cheese on those little egg flats, add a little heat and some hot sauce, and breakfast is ready!

I love the fact that my wife is an overcomer. She continually sees things from the positive. Whether it’s breakfast or something much bigger in life, Kim is good at reminding me that a few broken eggs isn’t the end of breakfast. There’s always a shot at redeeming the moment. It may not look like what we expect, but all things can turn out for the good.

guess who got a new job?!

This girl! Say hello to the newest employee of State College’s landmark restaurant The Tavern!

Josie job

Josie applied at a few places around town, but hadn’t heard from them. So when our friend Ali suggested that she apply at The Tavern, Josie jumped at the chance. Ali (who used to work at the Tavern) talked to one of the managers, then took Josie down to meet him. At the end of the interview, Josie had a job bussing tables! She’s set to start in July.

She’s never done anything like this, so I’m interested to see how she handles a new role and new responsibilities. She’s not afraid of hard work and she learns systems and structures pretty easily, so I think she’s going to do well.

I wish you could have seen the look on her face when she told me she got the job–absolutely beaming! And it’s all the more sweet to know that she’s working at mom and dad’s favorite date spot!

You go, Josie girl! I’m proud of you!

a little love for Sadie

Sadie got a year older over the weekend. Somewhere in the mix of theater, concerts, final presentations, church stuff, and the general craziness that develops in a house of 10 people, 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 rabbits, and somewhere between 1 and 3 goldfish we managed to sit everyone down for a time to celebrate the gift that is Sadie.

While she dove into her presents Saturday night after the final high school thespian show, after church Sunday morning the fam gathered around the lunch table to talk about some of the good things that we see in the youngest daughter. It’s always fun to listen to the brothers and sisters share some of the glimpses they get. They often see a different side of her.

This was a bit of a breakout year for Sadie. She is growing into a young lady, and she’s maturing all around. She had a big role in her school musical, and her musical ability is growing with every passing season. She’s clearly the most artistic among our kids, and her creativity with paint and color is fun to see developing. In fact, her creativity shows up in the kitchen (she’s a heck of a baker), the toy-room (if we had one), and the occasional hand/arm (doodling with sharpies?). She’s good with the little brothers, and has been one of Levi’s best buddies for years. She’s into comics, and she reads more books than almost anyone in the house. She’s an includer who wants all of her friends to get along, but she also appreciates one on one time with friends. I can see leadership potential in her, and I am excited to watch her grow up over the next few years.

Happy birthday, Sadie. You’re growing into a remarkable young lady.

Here’s a clip from tonight’s concert at Esber Hall on PSU’s campus. Sadie and Isaac are standing next to each other.

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oh but he’s at a fun stage

I don’t know how long it’ll last, but I’m going to hold on to this as long as possible.

Charlie wants to go with me everywhere I go. Today that meant riding out to Spring Mills to pick up the truck, hanging out at Josie’s end of the year rugby picnic, then immediately over to the church building for another round of worship team rehearsal.

The truck is back on the road and running well. Last week my buddy Andy and I replaced the brakes and rotors, but I got something misaligned, and the right brake was squealing. So the good folks at Bierlein Automotive tweaked it and threw on two new tires to make it all road-worthy.

The picnic was a blast. We got to hang out with some of the fabulous rugby parents while the girls chattered about the season. Charlie was more interested in playing in the creek and on the playground. But can you blame him? He’s got the soul of an Adventure Guy growing inside him, and I want to feed that.

Since he handled last week’s worship team rehearsal so well, I thought we’d try it again. He was a trooper. He spent about 30 minutes chasing a wiffle ball around the room, swinging righty and lefty (mostly lefty!) and driving the ball the length of the room. It was pretty fun to watch. He was even able to connect with a couple of Happy Gilmore swings, running as he approached the ball and swinging as he ran.

He’s asking me to spend some time with him tomorrow having an adventure. I’m not sure that I can pass that up! We may have to find a little trail or creek to play in…

a little night-walking

Ponder the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
    turn your foot away from evil.

Those were the helpful words that I heard as I listened to some Scripture tonight on my walk home from XStream. We dropped the truck off at the garage last night, so Kim and I had one vehicle for the day. She expected me to get a ride home from church with someone. I forgot that I didn’t have my truck until after everyone was gone for the night.

So I walked. And it was actually kind of fun. Over the 2 miles home I got to listen to Psalms 4-6 and Romans 8, and the night was just about perfect for praying as I walked.

I don’t know if I’d want to walk everywhere, but it definitely wasn’t a wasted night!

One another note, Ali Bruce shared the talk tonight at XStream. She talked about how God can use our acts of service to help us grow spiritually. I didn’t get to hear her speak, but I got lots of good feedback from folks who did. Ali is one of our key leaders, and is part of our youth ministry staff. She is the real deal, loves Jesus and teenagers, and I couldn’t be happier to have her with us.

Ali & Josie Ali, Josie, Annabelle

I think we’re ready for summer

What a weekend! We did some gardening and pruning, played on the trampoline, watched one of the black cats (I can’t tell them apart) play with a little snake, practiced a wedding, helped lead worship, performed a wedding, and spent a day playing in and around the pond. We capped things off with our girls’ middle school orchestra concert. Whew! I’m ready for another weekend.

We’re a few weeks behind our normal schedule for getting the yard into shape and planting some things in the garden, so we took advantage of the beautiful weather to get some plants in the ground. That’s typically how we spend the Mother’s Day weekend, but we were sick/busy (sick of being busy?) The rototiller that I borrowed wouldn’t start, so I got Charlie and Isaac on the job!

Kim and I got cleaned up for Saturday evening’s wedding rehearsal. Our dear friends Artur and Laura asked me to perform their ceremony, which was an honor. It was a beautiful weekend for a wedding, and they are such a precious couple. We’re excited to send them off into life as husband and wife.

Monday found us out at Harvest Fields, just like usual for Memorial Day. We played around in the pond, grilled some hotdogs, and feasted on my buddy Andy’s doughnuts made over the fire! That might just become a new tradition for us. By the time we got home, Jase was slapstick-silly! And as you can see, the hair on those boys just begs to reach for the sky!

Tonight’s middle school orchestra concert was a sweet reward for a day at work. I don’t know many youth pastors who enjoy a middle school orchestra/band/choir concert, but the students in our district can flat out bring it.

Any way you slice it, I think Team Sublett is ready for the summer.

 

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my shadow Charlie

Charlie has been my little sidekick for some time now, so it didn’t surprise me that he wanted to tag along to worship team rehearsal tonight. He’s pretty quick to jump in the truck to ride along for any and all errands, picking up kids from rehearsals, or impromptu trips to the store.

But I wasn’t sure how he’d do at the church while I spent a couple of hours setting up, rehearsing, and tearing down. That’s kind of a long time to an almost-4 year old boy, especially close to bedtime.

I shouldn’t have worried. He crushed it. Plus he got to chase a dog around the worship room, entertain a baby, and work on his worship dance moves.

I should’ve snapped a picture, but I was too busy laughing at him. I love that kid…

God uses people to push us

Tonight at XStream I talked about how part of God’s plan for us to grow and develop in our faith involves the people he brings into our lives. We’ve got to be open to their influence, and there are certainly some folks in everybody’s life who wouldn’t be a good influence. But if you’re paying attention and willing to be teachable, there are people around you who will shape and sharpen you, making you a better person.

I told XStream about a few of the people who have shaped my life. This list is by no means complete, but I thought I’d post a public “thank you” here.

Charlie Walker was my 7th grade English teacher. It was 1980 in Warner Robins, GA, and Charlie started the year by introducing himself: “My name is Charlie Walker, and I’m your English teacher. You might not learn a lot of English, but you will learn two things: 1) Jesus loves you, and 2) I love you.” Turns out he was right about that. Over the next few years Charlie showed me what it meant to live simply, radically, humbly, loving others more than self, and loving Jesus more than anything. He’s a large factor in why I’m a youth pastor today.

A few years later at Toccoa Falls College this kid from Nyack, NY heard my boom box blasting Petra tunes and stuck his head in my dorm-room doorway. He saw my nerf-hoop and made himself at home. Phil Human was a loud, large Yankee who liked basketball and loved Jesus. Over the next 3 years he’d become a brother to me as we shared lots of stupid, funny, serious, and spiritual moments. We talked about everything. He challenged me to grow as a man of God. I could call him right now and it would be like no time has passed in our relationship.
Us at Kings Kids Kamp Phil and Jody

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Mylin is–other than my wife–my best friend. We’ve played in the outdoors, traveled the country talking to middle school boys about sexual purity, and had countless conversations about adoption, parenting, and being a godly husband. He knows all my secrets, and I trust him with my soul.
Red Mo Andy & Janet

I am grateful for the men God has given me over the years to mentor and shape me. They have prayed for me, laughed and cried with me, modeled righteousness and grace, and challenged me to be the man God has called me to be. They inspire me to lean into God’s provision, to walk in a manner worthy of God’s call on my life.

Who has been influential in your life?

sometimes you get a little dirt on you

Every Tuesday Charlie gets to hang out with his buddy Jack. Jack comes over to the house and they do guy stuff. At this point in his life, that mostly looks like playing with trucks in the flowerbed dirt, chasing the cats around the yard, throwing sticks into the bushes, bouncing on the trampoline, and trying to figure out how to make the swings work.

I hope that things don’t really change that much for him. And yet I hope they do.

Guys–most guys, most dads I talk to–walk a more solitary road than we should. I know that’s a generalization, but it stands up. Friends are often hard to come by, and I think it stems from our level of sharing. Ladies seem to be quicker to open up, to go deeper, to share how they’re feeling. Some of us guys don’t even know how we’re feeling, even when we’re feeling what we’re feeling. It’s not easy to talk about your feelings if you don’t know what you’re feeling.

But I’m hoping we can turn that tide. God uses people to shape us, to help us grow spiritually. But that only works when we can share about how we’re doing, when we can be vulnerable and get real with others.

Guys are pretty good at hanging out to watch the game, fix the car, or grill the burgers. We have to learn how to get from casual conversation down to the stuff that matters.

That means that sometimes you’ve got to be willing to get down into the dirt of life. Good stuff grows in good soil…
Charlie dirtThis is Charlie after hanging out with Jack today. Charlie claims that Paisley (our one-eyed wonder dog) “digged up dirt and throwed it on” his face. I think it’s a good look for him. Adventure guys get dirty together.

somewhere in China, 18 years ago

our sweet little Zhou Ming Ping was born. It took an act of God–several times over–for us to be able to call her Josie Sublett. But man, was it ever worth the wait!

I got to travel with the State High Girls Rugby team out to Pittsburgh over the weekend for their national tournament. It was wonderful to get to spend time with those girls and their parents. We had a good bit of time to hang out together, and their coach (Bernie Cantorna) does a fabulous job of getting people talking about the things that really matter. One of the unexpected blessings was hearing how much some of the other parents and rugby girls love our Josie. They see a side of her that we don’t always get to see, and it was encouraging to hear.

The Josie we see with regularity is loyal, mostly quiet, hard working, responsible, and faithful. She’s great with the little kids, happy to be part of a big family, always willing to pitch in, whether we’re cleaning the table, working in the flower beds, or playing a game. She doesn’t really like school but she is diligent with her homework. She doesn’t like to sing, but she loves music.

As we sat around the table tonight (Kim’s parents stopped in unexpectedly to help us celebrate!) we all got to share a fantabulous Josie memory. Each one of us shared something that could’ve simultaneously produced peals of laughter or a torrent of tears. Of all the things I find most notable, Josie is learning how to love, and how to express that love.

You are a wonder, daughter of mine. You weren’t born into our family, but you were certainly born for our family. You have shaped us, blessed us, and taught us. We are better because you are with us.

Happy birthday, Josie. I love you.

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This was their first game. Josie wears #7. As you can see, her opponent is about twice her size!

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We got to go to church Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Rugby girls love Jesus–who knew?

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My girl looks fierce.

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Final team shot of the year. 5th place at nationals is no small accomplishment!

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Charlie was excited to make you brownies!

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