Monday, July 30, 2007

Last Day At CCC...:(

Ron writes:

With only about four days left here in Rochester, we are experiencing a lot of "lasts". The last day at work, last dinner with a certain family, etc. This weekend marked our last times worshipping and fellowshipping experience at CCC. WOW! What an emotional rollercoaster. We have made so many awesome friends and acquaintances that this was incredibly emotional. Feelings of sadness and loss tempered by our continued underlying feelings of extreme excitement for the next chapter were the main sentiments.

Saturday night was like standing at the edge of the canyon thinking "Oh, I am getting ready to jump into this canyon." Sunday morning's first service was a lot the same. Not much emotion involved. In fact as a group, It was mentioned a couple of times and people prayed for God's blessings on our family but we were all trying mot to think about it. Then came second service; the last time I will play worship at CCC as a regular worship team member. It was more than my heart could bear. During the backstage prayer, I finally broke down. Then the first song of the set I got pretty choked up. Then when the last song came, the final time I would get to lead this amazing congregation in worship, the last time I would get to play music with all of the friends I have made on the worship team at CCC...I LOST IT!! I lost it in a way I haven't lost it in years, right there on stage in front of God and everybody...literally. The tears were streaming, my face was all wrecked out of shape, and Ed Rho and Mike Forde, who were both playing guitar, both said they could here me sniffling from behind the drums. I was blubbering people. It was all I could do to hang on to the sticks and swing for the fences.

After we got off stage we all had a good cry and some of us said our final good-byes in the back room. Then as the service let out, as people saw us they said they good-bye's and blessings. it was very nice. I really felt loved and special. Our family will definitely miss all of the friends that we have made, and the amazing church home that has been Christ Community. Everyone has been so special to us. Thanks for everything: for letting us use our gifts to minister, for helping us in our times of need, for praying for us, and the list could go on for days.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

The BIG 40!

Well yesterday was the big 40 birthday for me. I had a great day!

We had a yard sale in the morning to prepare for moving. It was a good time with many of our neighbors coming over to say good by and see where we were moving to. It was really nice to visit with them. We found a new home for Kevin the cat. He will be living with our across the street neighbor. We are not able to take him with us. Veronica is allergic to him and has been taking medicine to help with that, and we can't have him in the house we will be living in.

After the yard sale I went to church to volunteer at the Welcome Desk. I really enjoy doing this. I get to visit with people and say hello to everyone. Ronnie also had to be at church for big church worship as well as play worship and speak at the singles ministry group. Then around 9:15 pm we went to the Youth Pastors house to play a final game of Settler of Catan. Ronnie actually won last night. They were all being nice to me since it was my birthday and didn't totally kill me in the game.

Today I have to work this morning and then we are going out to eat with the family that gave Ronnie money to go to Cambodia. They want to hear all about his trip as well as say good bye.

Well I has a great birthday! I haven't felt any changes yet, but I am anxiously awaiting for them. I want to start acting like I am out of my teen years. :)

I hope you all have a great week. We will be packing, eating with people, packing, eating with people, some sleeping, eating with people, and again some more packing.

Muck Love,

Ebby Ray

Friday, July 27, 2007

Another Dinner...Yummm!!

We went over to the Deiter's last night for dinner. It was so fun. It's too bad our families din't connect sooner. They are really a great couple. Heidi is on the worship team with me, and she volunteers in the children's ministry with Ebby. Her husband Michael is a Pharm. Rep for Roche. They have two little girls. We ate BBQ kabobs and a plethera of other delicious foods. Half of which they MADE us bring home.

Our house is an absolute wreck! We have boxes and stuff everywhere. We are having the yard sale tomorrow. So we will be able to move a bunch of stuff down into the garage for easy loading of the moving truck...NEXT FRIDAY!!! IT is unbelieveable that we are moving next week. Iy still feels like we have a ton of stuff to do. We got our address. We will be living on Barnacle Ln. in Little River SC. Barnacle Ln. ...only at the beach. I LOVE IT!!

THis weekend will be my last time playing worship at CCC. My emotions are not mixed. I am going to be sad. There may even be tears. It has been one of the extreme joys I have experienced living here. I hope I find this again in MB.

Gotta go for now. I am having lunch with Dan Howe.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Game Night!!

So we have been getting invited to people house and out to dinner a lot since we are moving. It is really nice to spend some quality time with the people we love here. Last night we went to the Howe's house and the Elker family came over too. Dan Howe is on the worship team with me. He plays the bass. We have become good buddies. KEvin Elker helps with the middle school group. We had delicious barbequed food and other stuff to. Ebby bought an ice cream/custard cake from Culver's...YUM-O!

SO anyway, we played games too. We played Time's Up--one of our favorites--and a new one to us called Wise and Otherwise. That one was a blast. It is like Balderdash. Except instead of making up definitions to words, you finish ancient sayings from cultures around the world. It was fun. Here is an example:

Here is an ancient Scottish saying:
He who drinks longest...

Then everyone has to finish it. My answer to this one was, "Is still pissed(drunk) in the morn'." That got a good laugh. As a parting gift, they also went in together and bought us Settlers of Catan. We were suprised and delighted.

We will figure out how to spruce up our blog within the next week or so. I will include some pictures of us and of the trip to Cambodia. So stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

For the first time...

Well, here is our innaugural blog entry. We are wrapping up our time here in Rochester MN. We have absolutely loved and enjoyed our time here. We have made friendships andconnections beyond our wildest expectations. We have had fun and good times here. We have had heartaches and challenges. Yet the thing that has made this such a meaningful experience is all of the people who we have bonded and connected with here. We have created the deepest, most intense relationships we have ever enjoyed. People who laugh with us, people who cry with us, people who have helped us in times of need, people who have accepted us for who we are, people who I personally have ROCKED OUT with, people who I have worked side by side with. The times that we have spent here with our friends will be some of my favorite lifetime memories. The relationships that we have created are what we will remember for the rest of our lives.

This is going to be difficult, because we are leaving a GOOD situation. It sounds crazy...I know! "Why would you leave this good thing you have going?" we have been asked. But in the end, things that are incredibly important to our family have risen to the top of our lives and called us to relocate to be near family. All the meaning full things that we have not experienced for the last several years are calling out to us...and we are answering. Holidays spent with grandparents, birthdays celebrated together, fishing with grampa, dinners together. The exciting and the mundane moments that will be etched in our memories long after they are no longer with us. If we did not sieze this opportunity, it may never come again and we would regret it for the rest of lives.

With that said, I am incredibly excited to get started with this new chapter in our lives; so is the family. We are beside ourselves and chomping at the bit to get going. We will use this blog to keep everyone updated. You can add this to your favorites menu and check it occasionally to see what we are up to. You can also use it to post comments and greetings back to us. It is always great to hear from friends.

One final greeting. In the words of Bob Hope, thanks for the memories. We love you and cherish your friendships.