Thursday, December 27, 2007

one last time for 2007...

One final post for 2007, here it is here we go. We just got back in from celebrating Christmas with our family in Shelbyville and the trip was a ton shorter this year. we cut our trip from 13 hours to one and a half, wow. We did miss our VA friends but man we did not miss the drive. Chelsea and I got to celebrate 12 years of marriage last night. I surprised her with a night away from the kids with a little overnight trip to downtown Nashville and the Melting Pot, wow what a great place to eat. It is wild to look back and realized we have been married for 12 years. Our hope and prayer is to make it another 12, we have to many friends and family who have not but hey we are going for it. We love each other and understand each other so much more today than we did 12 years ago. I am so blessed with my family, God dropped a huge blessing in my lap and wow I am blessed. with 2 girls now and a wife I am learning what it means to balance being dad and husband. STILL learning, everyday I am learning, got to keep learning and living and loving my girls.

Looking back on 2007 I am blown away by all the changes and how much personal growth I have experienced. God brought so many dreams to reality in 2007. So many ideas that have been exploding in my head for the past 7 years are beginning to be lived out in my everyday life. I learned this year that I am not crazy for thinking the thoughts I have about church. I am not alone in the mission to redefine "church life" here in America. There are so many of us who have surrendered to God's call to create environments for people to connect with God not just preserve or maintain. I have been called to think dream and create and in 2007 I have been released to do that very thing. In 07 I discovered that relationships MATTER. Yes that seems so simple but for years most of my relationships have focused on people inside my local church, my volunteers, my group of teens and this year I have been awakened to the relationships I need to maintain and nurture outside my little safe Cristian bubble. There is so much to learn from those around us from those who follow Christ and those who do not. Those who are like me and those who are not. I have learned this year to listen and be aware of the people around me and look for the relationships God has intended for me. People matter so much to God, they should matter to me. In 2007 I am learning the art of being generous, yes it is a an art to me because it does not come natural for me. Giving away my time, money, and the grace I can give to others matters. In 07 I have learned that High def tv is sweet especially when I am watching the Titans or Vols (sorry had to get that in). Thanks a little to this blog I am learning to express my thoughts a little better in 2007. In 07 I have have learned even more the art of leading a team of people who are incredible leaders. Leading leaders mean listening, means casting a big vision, and it means being willing to accept other ideas. It is fun but challenging and I get to work with some incredible people. In 07 I have been reminded to live and enjoy day is guaranteed. In 07 I have been reminded to pray - sounds simple but how can we gripe about stuff we never talk to God about, yea thanks Chad for that idea! In the middle of life, kids, bills, problems, parties prayer seems to be the one thing that gets pushed, learning I have to fight for it, want it or it will never happen. 2007 was a wild year and I know there is so much in 2008. Chelsea and I are gearing up for new challenges and new lessons. God has amazing plans,we are blessed with every day we get to be a apart of His mission. Here comes 08 - happy new year "yall"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Catie, you are incredible...

A few years ago my friend Kathy Patterson, a teacher at RMS, told me about a brave 8th grader who was fighting cancer. Kathy introduced me to Catie Summers that day. Catie was taking chemo and still going to school by watching her classed by video feed in Mrs. Pattersons office. I will never forget that smiling girl I met...she had already lost her beautiful brown hair, and was tired from the treatments but still there was a joy that flowed from Catie. I moved away and spent 2 1/2 year doing ministry in Virginia. Kathy kept me up to speed with what was going on with Catie. When I moved back I got the call that she was not doing well and was not winning her fight against the disease. Catie's cancer was was the kind that takes lives. Catie kept fighting...Catie never stopped going to school...Catie never quit living life...Catie found faith in midst of struggle...Catie never stopped smiling. About three weeks ago the doctors told Catie she only had a few days to live and oh well, she made it 3 weeks. She smiled as she told her parents she wanted to call that doctor and let him know she was still here. I was blessed to be be able to hang out with her and her family these past few weeks. It was amazing to watch Catie let her family know she loved them, watch her hang out with friends, see her watching movies! She never stopped living, she never let the cancer beat her and when it was time she simply rested and allowed God to give her healing by taking her from this world. Catie fought an incredible fight! She lived life to the fullest and probably impacted more people in 16 years than most do in 80. Thanks Catie for showing us all how to enjoy every moment of life. Viva Catie (if you go to CHS you know what that means!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

my first Christmas lights...

Yes you are looking at the first lights I have ever put up at my house during Christmas. My folks were just not lights people, we did the tree and all that but no outside stuff was done. We lived in the sticks so there was no one to see your lights so WHY DO IT. For years I have just told Chelsea I do not do lights. I was at a friends house and saw his lights a few days ago and all of the sudden had the idea - let me get some lights! HA! That was it, I got some and put them out and actually enjoyed it. Taylor Hughes was another guy telling me how much he liked putting out lights...he was right...I liked it! SO MERRY CHRISTMAS!

This week has been an incredible week for many reasons. Brandon Reed got engaged! I am so stoked for him. Kozbi is getting ready for her first ballet recital, wow. A friend of mine who is fighting Cancer has made it another week, she is a fighter and such an inspiration. I have also been reminded how great a team I work with. This week was just sweet as we served God together. It is just amazing to see the great team of folks I work with, great people with great families! This is the verse that God keeps drilling in my head these days, thought I would close this blog with the thought...

14 Don't be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.
Psalms 27:14

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Saturday night and no BCS bowl fo vols...

Well, the vols just lost the SEC championship by throwing 2 huge picks in the 2nd half and missing 2 kicks for the game. I am not surprised to loose to LSU but hey the defense did their job all game and the offense lost the game. It is hard to be that close to a championship and not bring it home. I will say that a 9-4 season for this team is huge. Great coaching job for the second half of the year, we will improve next year on both sides of the ball and see if we can win the SEC. You know you have a problem when you loose and immediately stat dreaming about next year, YES I am ready for August already. Thrilled to be back in TN so I can at least see all the Titan games for the rest of December. Hoping we can see a Titan run to the playoffs but hey, we will see.

Christmas is in full gear here at our house. last night we took the girls to see the Christmas lights on the Cumberland river here in Clarksville. It is not even close to as cool at driving through the lights at Va Beach but hey it was a good time. The picture I posted is of Kelyn at Chili's last night...yes that is a cardboard advertisement thing she is wearing. It was too funny. I will add more on this later but I am wrestling with the giving idea this holiday. When I look at Scripture and the Christmas story I see giving everywhere...Mary, Jospeh, the wise Men, the Shepherds, God, all GIVING. Why do I strive to Get when God is calling me to give? In the season of giving our culture calls to to get all we can. Can I give away more time, money, Grace this Christmas...can I be generous? I am not sure...I am gonna try and gonna have fun trying. Christmas is in full gear here's to hoping I can keep it all in perspective. (hard for a guy who likes to get)