Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Camp...this one word brings back wonderful memories for me.  I LOVED camp as a child and teenager and am so glad that Claire is now old enough to go to camp because I can go again!!  Here are a few fond memories from my camp experiences.....Early mornings around the flag pole at GA Camp @ Tall Timbers singing the Johnny Appleseed prayer before breakfast,  striving to be voted "Cleanest Bunk", listening to missionaries share there stories,  spending the night with my grandparents Lloyd and Myra Ortego before Kingsville Camp @ Kiwanis and waiting for my Papaw to bring me coffee in bed, listening to morning devotion by Bro. Jim Spencer around the lake at Kiwanis Camp,  seeing my great-grandmother Eliza Harper and my Aunt Marie in the kitchen each day, meeting new friends at Super Summer at many different locations in Louisiana, cracking my tailbone  coming back from the community shower at Southeastern, seeing the love of my life for the first time and babysitting with him at Super Summer '96 at Northwestern State University!  I love the "high" that I always felt upon leaving camp and returning home to share it with those who wouldn't go.  

OK....back to the point....Claire had her first camp experience this past week at Chip Dickey's Kids Camp @ Clara Springs and to sum it up....she LOVED it!  A girl after her mother's heart!  Of course, I was there as a chaperone in case anyone had a bout with homesickness.  That is one thing I never had trouble with.....I never even thought about calling home and cried when it was time to go!  Claire is a little more of a home body and a lot more shy than I ever thought about being, so I thought I should go (and secretly I was more excited than her)!  We had three other girls from our church who attended (two of those were first timers too)  and my presence eased there mothers fears.  Here are a few highlights of our week at camp...


Recreation--Crab Soccer

 Meal Time

Of course, Worship and Bible Study were also highlights but I didn't think it would be appropriate to snap pics during these times.  
All in all, it was a great week and we are looking forward to next year!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just the two of us!

"Just the two of us! we can make it if we try...just the two of us (just the two of us). Just the two of us, we'll build a castle in the sky; just the two of us, you and I..." These famous lyrics from the 1981 hit by Grover Washington, Jr. could have been spinning in our head as we descended the Jetway on to the Delta Airlines flight to Atlanta, that led to another short flight to Orlando. Jana and I were privileged to hop a plane all by ourselves and fly off into the sunrise Monday morning (June 14th). We were guests of the Southern Baptist Convention at several congenial business sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. I say congenial because while this year's meeting swirled with "controversial" topics like Great Commission Giving and Great Commission Resurgence, I found the meetings to be an excellent example of what it means to be autonomous Baptists who work cooperatively. Wow, that was actually a mouthful! Basically, though clumsily, we effectively voted to amend the GCR report and then voted in the new amended version which will certainly call for changes in the way CP monies are allocated to NAMB and IMB. Hopefully this will make us more effective in what we do as Southern Baptists ...time will certainly tell.

Now, back to the two of us. Jana and I had a great time together. We hadn't done anything like this in...well,...never. Hmmm, maybe this is a signal that we should try to do this more. We desperately love our children and thank God for them everyday, but it is rather nice to focus on each other for a few days. I was reminded these last few days of many reasons why I married Jana. Actually the first may be that she was the only one I could fool into thinking I was marriage material. You know, on the other hand, she probably felt sorry for me and decided to do what she could to save this ole' boy from falling into the pit. Well, whatever the case, I am so glad that God gave me such a godly, gorgeous redhead to love and cherish throughout my short time on earth. Throughout these few days together, I really enjoyed just tooling around in our sleek and stylish Dodge Caliber (it was either this or a KIA Forte'). We had a great time eating, shopping, and just being together. For a brief moment, I thought we were back in Seminary in our early days. Those days when we would zoom around the Metroplex in our Dodge Shadow and take in dinner and a movie. Ahhhh.....those were the...wait a minute...those don't just have to be fond memories, do they? No, we should do this more often even if our kids are with us. You know, we can be this much in love and fun with our kids around. I think it may have more to do with our mindset and demeanor than anything else. After all, I sure would love for Claire and Levi to see Mom and Dad in love with each other and learn the importance of having a spouse who lives this way. I guess that is what God had in mind when he said, "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up (Deut. 6:7)." We need to have those times for just the two of us, but we need to model the same heart we have for each other then, for our children when we are all together.

So, Orlando was great. We loved the food (especially Maggiano's), fellowship, and fun, but we were glad to bring the love home to our kids. Thank the Lord for those times when it is...just the two of us.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Back at the Ranch

VBS 2010 has come and gone at Fairview Baptist Church and we all had a blast. I must say that as fun as it was, I am glad it is over. Exhausting is the word that comes to mind. We had an average of 86 children and most nights almost one worker per child. Music was my mission and I think I will be singing...."Don't be a tumbleweed, blowing anywhere the wind may lead"....for weeks to come. The theme was, Saddle Ridge Ranch, and it called for cowboy decorations. These weren't hard to come by since we have several real "cowboys" in our church and they work on real "ranches." Claire and Levi enjoyed every minute of it and will be participating in the same VBS next week at Nana's church. Enjoy this glimpse of VBS at FBC...

I'm still learning how to post pics....and for some reason can't get anymore to post. I will try again later!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Well....we've finally done it! Our family has entered the blog world after much prayer and consideration....okay...maybe not much prayer but a lot of consideration of whether we would have the time to give and stories to tell. Time will be an issue, but stories should come easily.

The title of our blog, Home Away From Home, is a reflection of the way we are living. This world is not our home...we are just passing through and looking forward to our eternal home in Heaven.

Hebrews 11:13-16
13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them..

We hope that our blog will be a source of encouragement to you and a way that our friends and family can keep up with us. We look forward to sharing our crazy lives with you! Check back later to find out what has been happening in the Endris home this summer!

Much love,
Matt, Jana, Claire and Levi