chelan rene’ russ

on ministry, motherhood, marriage, music, munchies…

2014 Easter Ping Pong Tourney

There were some major upsets (BB) and some victory howls too during this tourney, and it was a fast-paced elimination round competition. Here are the results!

Semi-finalists: Chelan, Marda, Schearon and…Schearon.
The finalists: Marda, Schearon.
Winner: Schearon!





Before the Triumphal Entry

He still heals today! If you need healing, Jesus can heal you any time, any place. Today will be dedicated to healing and testimonies at Father’s House City Ministries, Portland, 11am. Free PSU lot parking. If you need healing, go to this celebration of Jesus and his compassion! They will continue to join with Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry to help release freedom and wholeness to people here in Portland. They’ve already seen so many healed and deciding to follow Jesus since April 8th this week!

In Matthew 20:29-34 – just before the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, Jesus stopped in the road and asked two men who were loudly calling for him to have mercy on them, “what do you want me to do for you?” Of course, he knew, but he wanted them to speak their need to him…a courageous display of submission and humility. “Lord”, they said, “we want to see!” BTW, “Hosanna” is an exclamation of praise that literally means “save now”. So Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. “Instantly they could see! Then they followed him.”

This stood out to me this morning – it took place just before the triumphal entry. Jesus took time to notice those in need and touched them. It was instant. They could see. And so they followed him. It the literal sense, no one can expect a person without sight to follow anyone. They are blind, for goodness sake! But once they see, all bets are off. They can now follow, with no excuse, the One who cares completely. The One who dissolved their affliction.

Spiritually, no one can be expected to follow him either, unless their eyes are touched with the undeniable truth of Jesus’ love and power. An no one can judge their behavior. Unless their heart is supernaturally turned toward his truth and they receive it, they are blind. But once they see, see the Truth for who he is, he will be absolutely magnetic! The things of earth will grow strangely dim around him and like these two blind men, they will follow him, too. Healing is so amazing. But to be a devoted follower of Jesus is even better. May the Church rise up, bring the sick (heart, mind and body) to Jesus, infuse courage to speak loudly their need to him and believe with them for his healing touch and for transformed lives.

Going Topless

Earlier this week I had a dilemma that God and a friend helped me through. I had to address a girl about not covering up quite enough in front of my kids. I felt it was an important topic to not ignore…especially when there’s so much skin showing that everyone in eyeshot is distracted by it. God really helped me…even woke me up to pray about it, and when it came time to say something, it was received (in privacy & confidentiality) with understanding. I thought to myself with an internal sigh of relief, “Whew! That was tough. But thank you, Holy Spirit, for giving me the words and the courage!”


We have this mannequin Ricky got for a work video (don’t ask), and normally she’s wearing a jacket. But for some reason she “sat” shirtless in the corner today. Well as soon as Angel noticed her without a top, she gasped, ran over and tried to cover her up as best she could. I put my phone on silent and snapped this photo of her as she dressed the mannequin.


Then she walked past me with a sigh of relief, “that was a close one.”

I just thought that was interesting. I never brought up the incident from earlier that the Lord helped me through, yet my 7 year old instinctively knew the importance of modesty – even on an inadament object. It was a big deal. And that ‘s awesome. I pray that it remains a big deal to her for the rest of her life.

1 Timothy 2:9 says, “…women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works”

1 Peter 3:4 says of women, “let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

1 Samuel 16:7 says, “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

I’m a little more proud of her right now than usual. And the usual’s pretty high.


Courage Creek

Yesterday was the first day of Spring Break. And the last day of sunny weather for this Spring Break. So Ricky and I took the opportunity to let the kids have some fun on the swing Ricky made the day before. The swing that takes them, feet dangling, over Hess Creek, hovering the grass on the other side and then back to a slippery hillside where, with wide smiles, they hope to gain their balance once again. This day, in an effort to share the adventure, we invited the neighbor kids, T & E to join in. E went first with excitement in her eyes. She adjusted the rope-length and went for it – no issues. Then my two had their turns, while T stood by on the launching spot and watched. At first, he politely declined, but his sister E kept asking and encouraging him to try. I understand his hesitancy though. Although younger, he is on the bigger side. So the rest of us didn’t pressure him. He was just so unsure. But we all watched him as he gathered the courage to just go for it, and thought he’d get the idea after watching the rest of the kids give it a-go, that you need to run down the hill as fast as you can to build up the momentum needed to soar across. But something was missed there. He kept bending his knees and calculating the risks, and then before we knew it, he was walking nervously down the hillside, and pushed off.

He made it across, reached the other side, and started to come back, but hadn’t the momentum to get back to the launch hill and stay there. So he drifted back over the creek and just hung there. Ricky was close by (thank God!) and grabbed a rake to pull the rope above T closer to the bank…just close enough for for him to reach his legs and find his footing again. He was pretty worried as he hung vulnerably over that 12′ wide creek. Even though it was just waist deep water, it was muddy and cold. His hands gripped that pair of handle bars that Ricky had disassembled from his old bike, as he yelled out, “I’m gonna fall!” So when he made it back, we were all pretty relieved. Especially T. As the sun warmed us through hundreds of branches, Braylon, Angel and E had several more turns and then an unexpected “I want to go again!” came from T. We all looked to him to see if he was serious, but didn’t want to discourage his burst of risk-taking in action. He just wanted to have the same fun as everyone else. All we could do was stand there and watch. And of course cheer. And clap…until about 2 seconds later when he lost his grip…directly over the creek.


Our eyes all widened, I covered my mouth, then yelled out to him, “Are you ok?!” with near certainty that the only thing hurting was the sense of pride he had upon jumping. My heart was thankful and sinking at the same time as I watched him struggle to get his footing on the slippery mud that only added insult to emotional injury. Those couple minutes seemed to morph into an hour as my mind recalled when I was about his age, struggling with my own weight, and dreading all water activities for this very reason – for fear I would be left to flounder as I tried desperately to retain an ounce of grace as I found my way to solid ground. As I stood watching by the big tree, I was glad T was facing the opposite bank and didn’t see the inadvertent smirks that I saw. In an attempt to redirect those initial muffled outbursts of giggles, I solicited Bray’s help in going inside to get some towels. Once inside, I muttered a quick prayer for T as I ran upstairs to grab him a soft, dry shirt he could use our garage to change into. After he took me up on the offer, he came out sportin’ the clean shirt -backwards- and these few remarkable statements of gratitude,

“Thanks for the Tee shirt. Hey, at least I didn’t get my hair wet!”

…he said with the cutest half-smile ever. And that was the exclamation mark on our swing-time fun, the first day of Spring Break, 2014. I’m determined to get him a gift this week from all of us, to honor him for overcoming his fear. When he looks back at this day, I want it to be marked with a sense of pride and courage more than just an embarrassing moment. I want him to feel accepted, even celebrated.

The Surrender to Spring

The Surrender to Spring


The chill demanded tightened fists, a tightened scarf around my cheeks. Its frost, like fear, deceit cashmere in shadows.

It seems as though anxiety makes home a cold society…and lies awake in shivering and shallow.

Yet as the morning breaks and with it sunlight gently takes away the tense, it seems this warmth is really, grace.

Grace with which to operate, to view, to love, invigorate. Grace with which to saturate this day.

I watch intently crystal hairs that weaken, melt and drip and bare, the blades beneath their outerwear so blithe.

They are still, as they await the transformation. They unveil the season coming, and a brighter shade of life.

Braylon’s Night of the Notables

Braylon E Russ was quite the Notable character last night. His middle school friends dressed up for an event they’ve been preparing for since Janaury, “Night of the Notables”. Each student chose a figure in history who has greatly contributed to society in some way, studied and researched them, and made a tall, tri-fold cardboard presentation about that person. Braylon did an outstanding job, for this being the first project of its kind that he’s tackled.
We bought some used clothes based on old photos we found of his Notable, and to top it off his dad drew a great little ‘stache. The event, attended by Gamma, Papa Bob, Gigi and Papa Bruce (and the families of 37 other middle schoolers in character) was a cute idea – we all got to visit each character and ask them questions about their life, and they had to answer in character. Parents filled out a sheet with as many Notables as they could guess. Then about 40 minutes later, the kids were dismissed to their classrooms where the true identity would be revealed on their presentation boards.
I think Papa Bruce, the Bebb Jeopardy champion, got the most right in our family.

Can you guess who Braylon chose as his Notable person in history?











Protected: Nobody Wanted My Lunch

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Baked Potato Soup


 Baked Potato Soup

  • 2   large baking potatoes (about 8 ounces each)
  • 6   tablespoons thinly sliced green onion (3)
  • 3   tablespoons butter
  • 3   tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2   teaspoons chives or 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt and black pepper
  • 4   cups milk
  • 1 1/4  cups shredded American cheese (5 ounces)
  • 4   slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled
1. Scrub potatoes with a vegetable brush; pat dry. Prick potatoes with a fork. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 40 to 60 minutes or until tender; cool. Cut each potato lengthwise. Scoop out white portion of each potato. Break up any large pieces of potato. Discard potato skins.
2. In a large saucepan cook 3 tablespoons of the green onion in butter over medium heat until tender. Stir in flour, dill, salt, and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir for 12 to 15 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Add the potato and 1 cup of the cheese; stir until cheese melts.
3. Top each serving with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, remaining 3 tablespoons green onion, and the bacon. Makes 5.5 cups.
nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 377, Fat, total (g) 23, chol. (mg) 67, sat. fat (g) 14, carb. (g) 26, fiber (g) 1, pro. (g) 17, vit. A (IU) 1020, vit. C (mg) 14, sodium (mg) 801, calcium (mg) 434, iron (mg) 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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