Pie in the face

Our kids attend AWANA at Grace Church. AWANA emphasizes memorizing Bible verses so that the kids can hide God’s word in their hearts.

One of their teachers, Mr. Rich, has a very unusual way to motivate the kids in the Sparks club to memorize verses.

He willingly lets the kids who complete the most book sections throw a pie in his face! He has done this for many years.

Our little Josie has long wanted to throw a pie in Mr. Rich’s face. So this year she worked hard — and she won!

And boy did she make the most of her opportunity!

See for yourself:

Josie Throws A Pie In Mr. Rich's Face from Josh Renaud on Vimeo.

Thank you, Mr. Rich, for being such a good sport.

Church signs in Ferguson

Just over a week after the Michael Brown shooting, I was struck by the idea of photographing church signs in and around Ferguson. I figured many of them would have messages related to the shooting and its aftermath.

On Sunday afternoon, I drove around for a couple hours visiting churches in Ferguson, Dellwood, Berkeley, Cool Valley and St. Louis County. I found some interesting, relevant signs, but not as many as I had hoped.

Here are some of the signs I photographed:

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Some of these photos were published in the Monday morning Post-Dispatch, and a gallery with more photos is available at STLtoday.com.

“We didn’t forget you. We ran miles just to get back to you.”


Wednesday night is church night at the Renaud Empire. We take our kids to AWANA where they play fun games and memorize Bible verses. We usually go to the service except for the one week a month when we serve in AWANA as parent volunteers.

Tonight I thought it would be fun for Yoli and I to use our short time away from the kids for a mini date night. It had been a long week for me at work. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually my weekend, but I had worked overtime on Tuesday for election night. The weather was nice, and it seemed like a little one-on-one time was just what we needed.

Continue reading ““We didn’t forget you. We ran miles just to get back to you.””

Fun away from home

Last night Yoli and I had a little “date night.” My parents guarded the Renaud Empire hordes while Yoli and I headed up to church for their Stars of Grace volunteer appreciation event.

The last time we were able to go to one of these appreciation dinners was about five years ago. The births of our kids had kept us from going since then.

It was an entertaining night. There was a video in which one pastor has a nightmare that there are no volunteers and he has to do everything himself, from directing traffic to teaching children’s ministry to leading praise and worship. The kids’ part included brief cameos by Jadzia and Ludi who participated in a free-for-all filming session a couple of Wednesdays ago.

The main event was a session by comedian Ken Davis. He had a pretty good set that kept everyone laughing. For Yoli and I, the biggest surprise came after he had asked for single men in the audience to raise their hands. He picked out one named “John” and interacted with him over the course of the set. After it was all over, he gave John a stack of DVDs and stuff. Imagine our surprise to see that “John” was actually my good friend John Wike! We spent the rest of the night hanging out.

There was also a photo booth for taking pictures. The folks told us that we would hear three clicks and that each click meant a photo had been taken. Yoli and I got in there and pushed the big green button and waited for something to happen… and nothing ever seemed to! Then the folks were telling us “good job, you’re done!” Out popped the photos and we looked like deer caught in headlights.

So we took them again at the end of the night with much more traditional photo-booth-esque results.

All in all, it was a lot of fun.

Sick Sunday

The last few days Jadzia has been getting sick. She’s had trouble sleeping, calling us at various times through the night. She isn’t really running a fever, but she has a runny nose and a cough, and she isn’t herself.

She still seemed excited about going to the FamilyWise service this morning. We thought we’d take her to that, but not take to her regular children’s ministry class where she would be handling toys and playing closely with other kids.

But just as we were suiting up to leave, Jadzia decided she no longer wanted to go. So we ended up staying home from church. She spent the next several hours laying on the couch, moving in and out of sleep, listening to Christmas music and Bible readings.

It’s always tough to watch the girls be sick. We want them to heal up soon … and we also want to make sure they don’t infect each other or us.

There may be one bright side out of all this, at least for Ludi: She’s been totally free the last two days. Free to run around without her older sister bossing her, taking toys from her, pushing her, etc, etc. She seems pretty happy about it, too.