Thursday, July 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Blake!

Today is Blake's 1st birthday. We are so blessed to have such a healthy and energetic child. He's a mover and shaker, and we are praying that God would use this for His Kingdom. Here's a couple of recent pics of the family and Blake's birthday. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Vote Now!

Check out my new poll to the right. The first one just asks what you'd like to see more of on the blog. You can choose more than one.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

One more week of being in my 20's

I can't believe I turn 30 next Sunday! I'm as old as Star Wars! I love birthdays. I'm not one of those people who dread them or are afraid to tell people their age. Maybe this will change as I get older, but I doubt it. I think you can look at birthdays in a few of ways: just a number, a dreaded event, or a milestone. I prefer the last one.

Turning 30 is a pretty big milestone for me. First, I can't believe I've actually been alive for 30 years. It seems so long. I know I'm getting old these days because I love to reminisce. I like to think about my childhood: the crazy things we used to do, the family vacations, the what-if's. I like to think about my teen years: awkwardness around girls, wishing I would have put more effort in being good at basketball, God really working on my heart. I like to think about college: getting my first job, surrendering to God's call to ministry, growing tremendously in my relationship with God, and meeting the only woman for me!

I think about when I got married...this August will make 8 years: scraping by on nearly no pay, working through our differences, praying about future ministry. I think about moving to Colorado: growing closer to Amy, meeting new friends, trying new things in ministry, and the excitement of sharing Christ. I think about having our first child: the thrill/fear about being a new dad, the late nights, and the 30 minute prep time to go anywhere. I think about moving back to Texas to attend seminary: being sad to leave a ministry/people/state I love and not knowing if we'd ever be back, wondering if I would be able to balance school, work, and family effectively, and the "light and momentary troubles" when we arrived. I think about having our second child: wondering if I could handle 2 of them, return to late nights, and the hour prep time to go anywhere.

Overall, I have been really blessed these past 30 years. God has been more than good to me and my family. I love my family and extended family. I feel like I'm still a work in progress for the Lord's work. I'm learning things all the time. I guess you could say I'm growing up.

I want to thank some of you out there who've invested in my life. I am bound to miss someone, so I'm not going to make an exhaustive list. Please don't take it personally.

  • My parents: for pointing me to Jesus and supporting my obedience to the Lord's call
  • Dad the missionary- thanks for showing me a heart for missions (both here and abroad). I still want to go on an overseas mission trip with you. You can minister with me anytime.
  • Mom the prayer warrior- thanks for being willing to show genuine emotion when God moves in mighty ways. You're a prayer warrior. You rely on God for everything. You sacrifice for the good of others...and it doesn't go unnoticed.

  • My brothers: a lot of people don't get along with their siblings, but you guys are my best friends. You each offer unique perspectives that challenge and encourage me.
  • Jeff the wise- I can count on you for anything. You're rock solid, man. I hope to learn more about the outdoors from you so I can pass them along to my kids.
  • Jay the theologian - I miss the days we got to spend more time together in college. You challenge me to not waste my life. Most of the time when we have deep conversations, I find myself disagreeing initially but later on realizing that you're wise beyond your years.
  • Brent the creative - You're one of my best friends. We've been through a lot. There's no one I'd rather do ministry with than you. You wear your heart on your sleeve, and I admire that tremendously. I love every opportunity we get to laugh, debate fantasy football, and worship together.

  • My wife: Amy the Amazing - Words can't describe what you mean to me. You have supported me in every new adventure...moving to Colorado...quitting my job at RadioShack...moving back to Texas...the possibility of church planting. You challenge me to lead our family for the glory of God. I look forward to continuing to raise our kids together, celebrating future anniversaries, and partnering with you in ministry. I love you!

  • My discipler: Jeff Hazleton - you showed me that the Christian life is more than just Sundays. You helped me develop a quiet time and held me accountable to maintain it.

  • My mentor: Weston Nichols - I was a young 20-yr old punk when you met me. We grew together in ministry in Bridge City, and God allowed me the opportunity to minister again with you in Colorado. Thanks for showing me what vision looks like in a ministry. You challenged me to pursue excellence but also to make relationships important.

  • My extended family: Joe & Susie - I consider myself your son. You guys bring so much fun to our lives, and we love spending time with you. We can count on you for anything.

  • My friends: so many to name, so I'll just make this one general so I don't forget anyone. You guys accept me for my quirkiness. You sometimes laugh at my jokes. Even if I haven't seen you for a long time, it seems like we always pick up right where we left off. I know I could call you, and at a moment's notice, you would do everything in your power to help me. I've prayed with you, laughed with you, cried with you, and been shaped by you.

All of you have held the chisel and helped shape me into who I am today. Keep chiseling away!