Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bigstuf here we come...

Chelsea and I are counting the days until we head to Bigstuf camp with about 40 students and leaders from Grace Community...Panama City is a great place for a camp and we can not wait to get to know the students during the week. We pray God really does a great work in the heart of the kids that go. it will be wild to see what God does. This will be the first time we leave our kids with my parents for thew entire week of camp so I am pumped about Chelsea being able to go. We have a great group of teens and leaders going and if I did not already say this, we will be in Panama City and Louie Giglio is our camp pastor, I think we will be ok. If you get a chance pray for God to provide safety and really reveal Himself to us during the week.

We are in week three of our new position here at Grace Community and it just keeps getting better. God is really working in the lives of people each week. Chad and Ron keep hitting home runs when speaking and the music has been crazy good the past three weeks. God is giving our family ministry team some huge dreams for the fall of 2007. It is gonna be fun to see what comes next.

AT our house we only have one room painted and done - many more to go but with camp coming we will wait till we get back. I get to build a swing set after camp also! HELP ME I am building another swing set!

Friday, May 25, 2007

painting break...

We are learning that painting your house when you have 2 preschoolers running around can be stressful, this may have been one of the most stressful days off I have ever had, and we are just now painting room 1. Kozbi and Kelyn's room will be done tonight and it is gonna be pretty sweet if I do say so myself. We paint and decorate because we care, we want our home to be a place of refuge and creativity for the kids and this is just one part of it but creating while the kids are right at our feet is a new challenge, the last time we did this we just had one kid. Well - heres to learning. We got some good ice cream tonight as a reward of making it through the day!

Man this week was sweet, got to connect with some of our best friends in the world , Rissa and Ed Larson and got to eat lunch with Steve and Susan Griffith today (Steve is one of my closest mentors) It is so wild to have the guys back in our life. We are so blessed to have so many incredible friendships here in Clarksviile. it has been so great to get to renew so many of those connections so soon. It is for sure a blessing from God for us. We can not wait to slowly get to connect with more folks we did ministry with in the past and celebrate what God is doing. At this rate we might just have to get them all to come ot our house to paint so we can work and catch up!

There are a ton of kids we know graduating this week here in Clarksville - I will not be able to be at all of them but way to go to all of ya. It is so incredible to see how God has working in your lives over the past few years. (I got to see Jessie Beth Cates and Emily Averitt this past week - wow they are graduating!) You guys in Va just have 8 more days! Hang in there!

Friday, May 18, 2007

we have a buyer...

We are so stoked...we have a contract on our house in VA. We signed a contract on Thursday with a young couple who is buying their first house and we could not be more excited. Our prayer was that God would bring the right person who needed our house. The housing market in Chesapeake is basically terrible...OVERPRICED is the name of the game. Everything on the East Coast is overpriced but that is another story. Our house and neighborhood were a blessing to Chelsea and I when we moved to VA and we thought it would still be a great place for people moving into the area. God brought that person our way and we are so thankful! Thanks for all who prayed...we will be closing in just a few weeks and this part of the adventure will be over.

Kids Update - Koz and kelyn are sharing a bedroom! It is working so well. Tonight, Kelyn would not go down until Koz was in her bed so she could see her. They like sharing...they are also loving the bonus room with THEIR TV and THEIR toys, it is so sweet to see. You would also not believe our neighborhood, we have a street full of people with preschoolers and grade school kids! They play outside everyday...it is wild!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

week 1 with many more to come...

1. First week in the office
2. First staff meeting with Chad Rowland and Daniel Doss together in three years (it is good to RE-UNITE)
3. First week in our new house
4. First time to have crushed ice from my fridge at HOME - yea!!! that is the best one!

It has been a great week here in Clarksville. God has been so good to us this week as we have started to get settled, meet neighbors, and set up my office at work. Loving the office flow, we have a great team and it has been a blessing to connect with the team. I have been hanging pictures trying to sort through books and get my pc working with our network. Praise the Lord I get to jump head first into my message for Sunday night on Wed. morning and I am ready to get into that instead of unpacking boxes or fighting with the pc.

Sunday night went so well, It was so incredible to see some of the high school students that I did ministry with three years ago as Middle School Students. Some of them were driving now and that freaks me out. Met a ton of new folks also on Sunday morning and Sunday night. The student gathering has been going for about a year and the team has done an amazing job of getting it rolling. It is great to be a part of the adventure. Thanks to all who prayed Sunday night for Chelsea and I as we tried to jump on in the deep end.

My little girl turns 4 on Sunday - it is so crazy to see her grow. Tonight she watched Idol with us and she is picking Melinda while I route for Jordan. Blake will end up selling the most albums but the girls are gonna take it this year. ANYWAY - Kozbi is so incredible, it is great to be HER DAD as I am called by all of her friends.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

nervous energy...

oh man, in just a few hours I will speak for the first time here at Grace Community in our student worship serve on Sunday night. Stoked, yes, nervous, yes. It is so weird to still get nervous before I speak. I think it is because I want to connect, I want God's Word to connect. I want kids to see God for the Glorious One He is and not just another guy talking. We will see how it goes. It is exciting, Jeremy Bullock and I are gonna team team this round...

We did get moved in, we are stoked to be kind of settled. We are loving the new house and we have the basics arranged and of course the Internet and cable are flowing. My girls, ESPN, the world wide web - home is great...We were so blessed with about 7 guys to help unload the truck on Friday. It went great.

Church in the morning - I am going to bed...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

so many thoughts from ORANGE...

Well, I am sitting here in the Atlanta airport, waiting for my plane to take me back to VA to pick up the moving truck and come on to our new home in Clarksville TN. I have been at the ORANGE conference here put on by the REthink group and Reggie Joiner. We took 13 of our team from Grace Community and spent three days dreaming of what could be if preschool, children's, and student ministry planned, ministered, and worked together to influence children and students in our city and partner with parents as they raise their children.

For so long each area of ministry has exsisted independently, taken their group of volunteers and huddled in their own world with no care for the other area of ministry. I know this because I have led student ministries in 2 "megachurhes" during the past 7 years and the environment was no different at either one. Every are of ministry did their own thing, fought for bigger budgets, announcement time, and energy from the church as a whole. We all just kind of did our own thing and stayed busy as ever going from THING to THING, EVENT to EVENT, WEEK to WEEK. We had great intentions and great plans but we did not work together. We were busy and did some good things but at the end of the experience I wonder if there might be a better way.

We dreamed about this better way for three days at ORANGE. Well for that matter I have come to GCC to see what can happen with a Family Ministry concept since I am the Director of Family Ministry. So many people wonder what in the world I am going to do and I can prmise you this is is going to be different no mater how many times you will just refer to me as the "youth pastor". Well here it is...I basically lead some of the sharpest preschool, children's and Student leaders in the world to try to develop a master plan for leading children and teens to follow Christ and empower parents to be the biggest spiritual influence in their lives. Family Ministry is about partnering with parents to influence their children for Christ. Parents are the most powerful spiritual influence in a child's life so why not do everything we can to help them build into their kids. The great thing about my new job is that I get to dream about what could be if a team of preschool children's and student leaders worked together to invest in the family together. The other great thing is we actually get to carry our our dreams and live in faith. We do not have all the answers and we are committed to being life long learners. We lead together, we plan together, we share one budget, we go to battle together, we pry together, we worship together, we help each other, we create for each other. We are one team who work together and what i learned this week by being with my team is that God has put some incredible people in this little year and a half old church. If you get a chance go to http://www.orangeconference.com/ and check out what went down this week. It is gonna be wild to see what happens at Grace because of our time to dream and pray together this week. God is gonna do some wild things!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Gone to TN...but got a race in...

Today was so wild, we loaded the Uhaul, then I left with five guys to go to Richmond International Speedway to see a Nascar race...it was so wild. It was redneck heaven for sure but I really liked it. It was really loud, there were some crazy crashed and we had great seats - more later...not it is 2 AM and we leave for TN in the morning! Here we go!
Check out the pic from my cell phone! There were like 60,000 people at this thing...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

the final countdown...

I am here blogging on a borrowed Internet connection. I thought I would write out some of our final countdown issues of moving. On Monday we had several things go down that were cray. One one day untility folks cut our phone line which cut my Internet connection then that night my xbox broke, then I screamed then I picked up a book and started reading. I may be the only guy in the world who has xbox, Internet and reading all on the same level. Do not play xbox much but in the middle of packing a 11 pm session of Madden is good for the soul. BUT like many things this week I had to change plans. Changing plans seems to be a skill every parent must get good at. Kids are ready to go to church, one year old poops her diaper. House is clean, 4 year old decides to put play makeup on the floor. Got tickets to go to the big game, someone at home is sick. It seems if you can not change plans this parenting thing will be hard. I am learning that changing plans means being willing to admit life is NOT about me but about serving those around me and relationships that matter. Go figure, this is hard for a selfish guy like me. I get told I am selfish by certain folks in my life and I am working on it. But enough, this week I am learning to be flexible, enjoy changes, trust God is going to sell my house here in VA, have fun in the middle of change, and laugh - laugh alot.

went to the zoo with the kids for the last time yesterday and the beach for the last time in Va on Sunday. Kozbi and I have 2 jars of sand coming to TN with us so that when we need to be at the ocean we can run our hands through the sand. Kelyn tried to eat sand Sunday night but man she had fun. At the zoo, a goose tried to attack us and Chelsea threw a box of crackers at it then I went after the goose with Kelyn's stroller, you should have seen me chase that goose. I was protector guy right then!