October 4, 2008

Ode To Women In My Life

Hey Everybody,

This weekend I have been in seminary class ALL of Friday and Saturday! If it weren't for the long hours and not seeing my wife, I think I could do this all the time. It has been an amazing weekend and my brain feels stretched and filled with great ideas and new thoughts to chew on.

The class that I am taking this weekend is an intensive course called 'women in church history' and is a study of the different women from biblical times to current day that have shaped and molded Christianity, despite persecution or hardship. The issue of women in ministry and ordination of women has also been a great discussion and debate throughout the weekend and this semester.

As I have been sitting in class and hearing about these amazing women throughout history and also learning how my experiences and upbringing have played such a huge part in my understanding and belief of women in ministry and in our culture, I have been thinking back and appreciating so much the women that God has blessed me with in my life.

God has empowered and used women in my family to reveal His incredible nature and power of creation and love in families, marriage and communities. I have seen women in my family face tremendous adversity and overcome, battle challenges with grace and courage, and unconditionally loved and supported me and others throughout their life.

I could write pages and pages on the incredible things that women in my life have done, but here is the 'ode to women in my life' in brevity:

Annabel Hughes Thorson
: My paternal grandmother; valedictorian in her high school class, a teacher and mother of three children, providing comfort, support and love to her children even after her divorce with her husband. I will forever remember and cherish the way that she lavished her love upon us and how she taught me to shuffle cards.

Margaret Prew: My maternal grandmother; a teacher, widowed forty years ago, she continues to love and care for her three children as well as faithfully serve in the community church of sandy. She has passionately and faithfully supported me and my siblings in all of our endeavors and even folded our laundry for us while growing up.

Carol Thornberry
: my grandmother-in-law; another incredible women, she loved and cared for her three kids as a teenager while her husband was serving in the military. Raised them with love and unconditional support, served in the public school district and continues to be the 'matriarch' of her family, keeping records of geneaology and planning family outings and meals.

My Aunts: Amazing women who have taught and preached throughout the United States, each having tremendous impact using their gifts to shape kids and adults into followers of Christ. In Texas, California and Nevada, they have shared the love of Christ through words and actions.

Dottie Thorson: My mother; Words cannot describe what my mother means to me. She is a rock, a woman that stands against adversity and pressures and overcomes. A woman who has positively influenced not only our lives, but the lives of hundreds of children through her years of teaching. She has modeled to me a faithful wife, mother and follower of Christ. Her honesty and love of her family and her church our some of her greatest virtues and she loves us without end.

Tanya Atkins: my mother-in-law; A woman who held her family together through love and care, who has a passion and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and who cares for and supports her kids. She is a woman of great strength and great love and she is the one of the reasons I have such an incredible wife.

Michelle Thorson:My sister; A woman with one of the most sensitive and caring hearts i have ever seen. One of the most selfless women I know, she has been to more sports games throughout her life than most people. She has a passion for serving Christ and using her gifts to bring Him glory. She cares and unconditionally loves the people in her family and those around her.

Kealy Thorson:My wife; The most beautiful, loving, strong, courageous, caring, adventurous and amazing woman I know. The first woman in her family to gain a college education and master's degree, she selflessly gives herself to me and our marriage. She is sensitive and has an attractiveness of love and kindness that I have never seen. People are drawn to her spirit and her advice and love. She offers insight and truth into relationships and ministry that is invaluable. Most importantly, she is my best friend, the one whom I will spend my whole life with, sharing adventures, hardships, joys, struggles, victories and mysteries. There is none like her.

These women have changed and continue to change my life! Without them, my life is incomplete. Without them, the world would not have been affected by their love and courage and the tenacity with which they live life and serve Christ. These women, who fear the Lord, DESERVE TO BE PRAISED!

In Christ,

October 2, 2008

Living The Dream

Hey Everybody,

Its interesting how we (at least me) try so hard to get into the everyday flow of life so that I can get used to a new schedule (creature of habit that I am) that sometimes I forget how much fun everything that I'm getting to do is. I was tired and a little worn out at the end of the day yesterday, and then I stopped and realized to myself, 'self, you got to do some really fun things today'. Sure they were a little tedious at times, but I got to hang out with fellow pastors at the church, share about our ministries, have lunch with a student, study ancient hebrew, learn about women in church history, hang out with my gorgeous wife, eat three great tacos from Taco Bell and hang out with ten guys talking about the Holy Spirit. What an awesome day! I missed the point when I was going through the day that the passions and things that I love most I was getting to do! I was so consumed with getting through my 'to-do list' and how busy it was that I missed the realization that I was 'Living the Dream'!

My hope and prayer in MY life is that I can take moments throughout the day and stop and realize how blessed I am by God. Kealy and i were talking at the beach on Tuesday just how many amazing experiences we've had together and what amazing relationships and family God has given us. It totally changed our outlook on our life, while we're still settling in and Kealy's finding a job she'll enjoy, that even though there are things we still WANT in our life, they have no comparison to the amazing things we already have.

Praise God for the gifts He has lavished upon us, and give me strength, Lord, to be appreciative and acknowledge the incredible gifts Thou hast given!

In Christ,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

just some of our amazing family and friends: