Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A little glimpse into life in Central Oregon!

Here is what we see when we go outside everyday. Is there any wonder why Bend is the fastest growing town in the entire Northwest.

Crooked River Dinner Train

Here are some photos of our weekend with Scott and Terri. The first night they were in town they treated all the Benningtons to a Murder Mystery Dinner on the Crooked River Dinner Train. The old 1800s train runs from Redmond, Oregon (30 minutes north of Bend) to Prinville on a two hour tour of the beautiful high desert. The train, with its 19 century era characters, was two hours of non-stop laughs as the cast acted out the "Who-Dunnet" murder mystery. As you can tell by the photos we had a lot of fun.

Friday, April 20, 2007

God's Love

I was talking with a very good friend the other day and he was challenging me on spending more time in God's word (a challenge I both welcome and appreciate), which I sadly had to admit I do very little of. I proceeded to complain to him about how boring and how difficult it is for me to sit down and read my Bible. After I was done ranting and raving, my friend taught me two very important lessons. The first was that I was approaching God in the wrong way. Being in the Word to me was one of many things on the "Good Christian To Do List." When I am not in God's word I feel guilty and insufficient, and since I am rarely in God's word, I feel guilty and insufficient most of the time. My friend reminded me that Jesus died so that God could say "Well done." Whether I read the Bible every minute or not at all, God loves me. There is nothing I can do to earn that love. Through His son, Jesus Christ, He has given me that gift. It is through the understanding and appreciation of that gift that I should approach God. When I see myself as God sees me, living out His commandments becomes more joy than chore. The second lesson my friend taught me was that there are many different ways to connect with God. Reading the Bible is one of them, so is attending church, listening to a sermon on CD, watching a Christian themed movie, taking a walk alone in the woods, praying, meditating, or even talking about God with a friend. God loves us so much. He just wants our love in return. -RB
P.S. Listening to a book on CD sounded like a great first start so I bought a book called The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out. The focus of the book: God's love.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Our trip to SoCal

What a fun time! Robert and I spent last weekend traversing literally the whole of Southern California. We spent Thursday night with my mom in Whittier, and on Friday morning headed to San Dimas for lunch with my mom's side of the family. Then my Aunt Laurie picked us up and we headed over to Palm Desert for my Grandpa Smith's 80th birthday. The party was fantastic, and almost all of the 150+ guests followed the rules and wore red. Sunday we celebrated my nephew Donovan's 8th birthday and then made our way back to Cerritos. Andrea and Bryan came over Sunday night for dinner and then the four of us took in a movie in Hollywood. I kept joking about seeing someone famous, and we did! Apparantly Ted Danson (Cheers) wanted to see a movie that night as well! After the movie we hung out at Urth - the best coffeehouse in the state of California- and then Monday were back on a plane to Bend! We're exhausted, but it was worth it!