Monday, December 8, 2008

Where To Start?

Where to begin?

We have been so busy working on the new house and with ministry that I haven't had time to post! Well, here it goes.

Youth @ HHC is going great.
- We are practicing our STOMP routine for the Sunday morning Christmas service the 21st. It is going great and we have like 22+ people in it. They are having a great time with it.

- We had our Concert and event a few weeks ago with like 150 students here in our youth facility rocking out! We hooked up with some other great churches and had an awesome time. Many students responded to salvation and rededicated theirs lives to Christ.

- Zion was in her fist live drama last Saturday night at the Salvation Army for the Legend of the Candy Cane. Erin, me & Zion all had our own parts in the play. It went great and she did amazing. She remembered her lines and all her cues. She is a natural at acting and she LOVES it.

- I have been leading worship here @ HHC on Sunday mornings lately when Gary hasn't been able to be here and it has gone great! We have an awesome team of people that are great singers and musicians. I love worshiping together and leading our great church into God's presence.

- We have installed our recessed lighing in the house and have been painting like CRAZY. I and my dad & father in law layed ALL the tile in our upstairs bathrooms and laundry room.

- We are getting ready for our big formal Christmas dinner here in a few weeks. New Life Drama Company from Tennessee will be coming in to perform that night. It is going to be a lot of fun dressing up and playing some fun games & eating some great food for Christmas to celebrate Jesus' birthday.

- I got a new MacBook computer that I am setting up. I am pretty excited about that. I guess I sold out to Mac now and became on of "those" people (Jared Day don't say anything).

- Many other things but that's all I can write for now. God bless!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Family Pics

Well, things are going great as usual! We have been busy as always getting the new house ready, ministry, life, voting, and everything else in life. We are only getting a day or two a week to work on the house since things are so hectic right now with events, services, and all that is going on in our lives and the churches. We did get some time a few weeks ago to get some amazing pictures of our family made and they turned out great! I love my family more than any other part of life and these pics capture the essence of that I think! Check them out!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Need To Blog More

Well, it has been busy like normal. We close on our NEW house this FRIDAY, YEAH!!! God opened up a HUGE door for us to get a house here in Martinsville this last month and we are walking through it! We have a lot of work to do to it, but that is always the fun part. Fixing it up and making it yours is always an exciting thing! Erin and I are looking forward to getting in there and working on it!!!

Things are going great. We had our campout a few weeks ago and it was a BLAST! We got both the youth groups together from HHC and 4Twelve and had a fun night of eating, playing games, hanging out, and camping together! Then a few Sundays ago I got the opprotunity to speak at our main Sunday morning service and it went fantastic. We did a human video at the end that really solidified the message and drove the point home about serving each other. You can check out the message @, tell me what you think.

The other day we took our family out and went to Apple works and had a great time. It has been super busy so we took advantage of some time and hung out together playing. I love being with my awesome family. Here are some pics of that.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


What a great month this has been so far!!!

Youth is going great on Wednesday nights. We are running about 30 students consistently (which has really been growing). Numbers don't mean everything but we know that anything healthy is going to grow. I think of numbers not as a statistic but as an individual soul that is being opened up to the things of God, so when you look at it that way numbers really do matter to God. Every number represents a life being reached out to! Also it shows that our core students are excited and proud to bring their friends to a place where they are confident they will have fun and more importantly come to know Christ!!! When you gain the trust of the people you gain their confidence to connect to and get involved. God does not want us to sit on the sidelines watching He wants us in the game playing and working our hearts out for Him!!! It's about serving others and reaching out to those around us everyday!!! That was the mission of Jesus to reach out to others!!! He was not here for Himself He was here for others!!! He humbled Himself and made no reputation over people but for them. He was the ultimate servant! We want to serve others and reach them to show the love and power of Christ!!!

4Twelve has been going great as well. If you do not know yet Erin and I help out with my dad's church the Salvation Army in Brown County of Thursday nights. We started a youth service called 4Twelve which is reaching about 30 students weekly. Some of our students from HHC have come over and hung out. It is great to see students get exposed to God in different places and with different people.

Last weekend we were super busy. Friday night all the youth groups in Brown County came together for a big tail gate party before the football game. Our band played out there and we cooked hot dogs. It was a great time of getting into the community and reaching out! Then Saturday night the Salvation Army had a community block party in front of the church downtown. There were around 450 people that came through. We had blow up games for kids, our band played, free hot dogs & lemonade, prizes for kids, face painting & more!!!

Needless to say Erin and I are crazy busy but for the Kingdom of God for sure!!! My family is awesome and I cherish every moment we get together to hang out and be with each other. I value our time together very much. On a side note Zion asked to pray for our house to sell in Oklahoma and Erin said she prayed and not only asked God to sell our house but for another family to buy it so they could have a house to live in like us. How cool is that? She is learning about others and to always think of them!!! God ROCKS!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Things are going great! We are rocking and rolling! Our services have been going great and growing. Last week we had 5 STUDENTS GIVE their LIFE to JESUS in our Wednesday night service. God has been bringing us new students that are getting connected and we are starting to see them respond more and more!!!

We have an awesome Campout coming up next weekend with HHC & 4Twelve it is going to be awesome. We are camping out, playing capture the flag, eating, and more! WE are going to have a blast! It takes these kind of events to really connect on a personal level with the students and get to know them in a fun atmoshphere!

This is going to be a VERY BUSY month so I will keep you up to date!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Capture the Flag & Captured

My goodness!!! I am back!

Well, Sunday night we had our annual capture the flag event and it was awesome!!! We had 125+ students from 6 different youth groups there connecting together. Cory Joy did an awesome job putting it all together and planning the event that reached across county lines and many churches. The heart behind it was to get the students ready for, "See You At The Pole" Wednesday morning. We wanted to rally the students together and encourage them to take a stand at their flagpoles tomorrow morning! It was a great event that really went well.

I am here in the office going at it getting things created, planned, organized, scheduled & more! We are super busy up here at the church moving forward and doing the things God is calling us to do. Wednesday nights have been going great here @ HHC. We are growing and adding new students weekly. We are starting a new series tomorrow night called, "Captured" We will be talking about what we are captured by and how God captures us.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


WOW! Time is going too fast. It has been forever since I last blogged (sorry). Anyway, we have been super busy with great things going on here! The youth are doing great here @ HHC and things are getting better and better each week. We had our Back to school Bash a few weeks ago and had about 50 students (which is a great turnout). We had a fun, awesome time! Then on Thursday nights we have started a youth ministry called 4Twelve for the Salvation Army in Brown County. We go over there once a week to help them out. My dad is pastoring there since the spring time this year. They started with about 8 people and have grown to around 70+ in a matter of months. Erin and I helped start the youth ministry for 7th - 12th grade and it is going great. We started with about 3 students and are running about 15-20 on Thursday nights. Things are going great there. So between the two we keep pretty busy with ministry and events. We love being a part of the local church impacting others for Christ, so it is more of an opportunity than anything.

Last weekend we went to Holiday World with Erin's family and had a BLAST! I rode the best roller coaster of my life called the, Voyage or Voyager. Anyway, absolutely amazing to say the least! Zion had a great time there as well with all the kiddy rides and games! It is so great to be with family and spending time together!!! I love my family and doing life together with them!!!

Well, we got lots and lots to do today so I need to get at it. I will try to blog more (famous last words I guess). God bless!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Student Leadership Team & The Park

Well, Sunday we had our 1st student leadership team meeting. This team is for students who want to step up and be the core of the core in our youth group. We meet outside the church right after the baptisms after service. Which I might add Erin got to baptize a girl in our youth group already! How cool is that! What a great opportunity! Anyway, we had some pizza for the student leadership team and hung out and talked about what the students want the youth group to be like in one word. Some of the things were: Helpful, fun, Spirit-Filled (wow), amazing, spiritual, super-duper, different, welcoming, etc... It was a great time of talking and getting to know these students a little deeper in a laid back environment. We have a great group of student to work with here!

On a personal note, this last weekend Erin, Zion, Allie & I went to the park and hung out playing. Allie got some shades and was style'n. We had a great time outside! Zion LOVES going to the park and swinging!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fair, Salvation Army & Date Nights

Yesterday my whole family went to the Indiana State Fair! We had a great time eating, looking, riding rides, eating, listening to some bands, playing in the kids areas, did I mention eating? Anyway, it was a lot of fun! We left right after church and didn't get home until 10:30 or so. It was a long day but always good going to the fair.

Saturday we went down to the Salvation Army where my parents are pastoring in Brown County and hung out for a bit while they had a School Supply Drive. People were donating school supplies and money for supplies as they set up in town and gave away free hot dogs and drinks. We had Zion ring the bell and get some training for the Salvation Army. She did a great job. It was a biker drive so there were a bunch of bikers there donating and helping out so Allie got to sit on her first (and I might add last) motorcycle. Then Erin and I got to go out on a date night while my family watched the girls. We had a great time going out to eat and shopping. Those do not come as often as they should but we are working on it. It is so wierd to be out in public and actually walk around with having to keep an eye out on the girls and have them with us. It still seems wierd whenever we do go out but date nights are VERY important to us!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Isn't God so AWESOME? He is always there, always comes through, always protects, always loves, always equips, always provides, always is moving, always is working. He gave His life on the cross for such a sinner like me and everyone else. Without Him we have nothing, do nothing, hope for nothing, feel nothing, work for nothing, live for NOTHING! But in Him we live, move and have our being!!! Sometimes I think we forget the power that God has given us through the Holy Spirit to accomplish the great tasks He has for us and others. We get to caught up with the immediate, the status quo, the average, the money, the fear, that we live not jumping over the edge but living on the ledge watching and wondering what it would be like if we truly had the faith to be ALL that we want to be for Christ. We dream of the day when we will be everything we want to be but why not just become who we are? We wait for the day that we will arrive but maybe life is more about the journey than it is the destination. Because when we arrive it will be the end of this life and the beginning of eternity within the safety and comfort of our Almighty God!!! Myabe life is about growing and becoming rather than arriving and being. Not that we don't be who God wants us to be but maybe being is becoming. Or let me rephrase and say that maybe life is ALL about the process rather than the event. Because when we finally start being there is a whole new level of becoming again. So maybe instead of beating ourselves up for not being who we want to be we just start embracing who we are becoming by the grace of God. Life is a journey and it begins with the 1st step and continues with step 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc...

Just some thoughts.

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's Been Too Long

Wow! Time is flyin' bye lately! It has been forever since I last blogged. Things are going great here and we are keeping busy for sure! Last Wednesday we had our 1st overnight called, "AllNight" we had 35 students come to service then stay all night at the church. We had a great service, played some crazy games like Kenjavi Can-Can, ate pizza, had a choclate fountain, rock climbed, had Halo tournaments, facials for girls, movies, sumo wrestling & more! It was a blast staying up all night well until about 4 then it was zombie time! We have such an awesome youth group and things are only going to get better and better.

We are doing a series right now called "buildIt" we are talking abut building an awesome youth group and what it is going to take. We gave all the students nails last week and told them you are like a nail that God wants to use to build this youth group, "so get hammered for Jesus". It was a good start to building this youth group! We have some strong leaders in our youth that we are going to challenge to step out for the things of God!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Yesterday we had my Grandma Barrett's funeral. She passed away last Saturday night. The service was great my dad directed it. It was great to see all the family again. Some of them I haven't seen for 20+ years. After the service we went to Golden Corral and had lunch. My grandma was a great lady that loved the Lord. I remember going to her house and playing as a little kid. I also remember living with her for a summer in high school while I worked at a carpet warehouse. I had super long hair and one day decided to cut it all off and bleach it. I never told her so when I got home and knocked on the door she would not let me in. She said she didn't know who I was even though I was trying to tell her. Finally I convinced her it was me and she let me in. She is now with the Lord in heaven having the time of her life in God's amazing presence.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Lot Going On

WOW! What a busy last few weeks.

1st of all we took 39 students to King's Island Thursday and it was AWESOME! We rode rides, ate good food, and the Newsboys were there, Hawk Nelson, & others! We had a great time hanging out and getting to know the students. There is nothing like bonding together flying down a huge hill with your stomachs in your throats!!!

Also, we have been doing Wednesday night services and they are going great and growing. We have been talking about how we view God and making sure we have the right view. This week we will be talking about how we view youth group. So many times we see it as a social club or something like that. But in reality it is the life source for teenagers to get connected and be used by God to change the world!!! I love the LOCAL CHURCH!!!

I also had the opportunity to speak last weekend at the Sunday morning service. It was an honor that Pastor Chris allowed me to share the pulpit and speak about this generation. The students all got together and did an awesome drama that involved like 15+ kids on the stage. They LOVED it! They all were super excited and felt so connected. It takes things like this to plug them into the adult service and life of the whole church!!! It was a great morning!

I also got my new iphone! Praise the LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it, it makes life so much easier with being able to get my email whenever, wherever. Also it makes connecting with students, leaders, & just people in general so much faster and more efficient. Not to mention it also is a great tool for GPS, searching internet (easily) keeping my calender in sync (which is huge) and so many other things it can do. I think it cooks dinner as well but I am not sure I have that application yet, jk.

Anyway, I could write all day but I won't. I will try to blog more often now!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Logo

I have got the new logo for HHC Student Ministries, it's pretty cool (Daryn Crawford inspired me). Anyway, tonight we are having youth for the first time with our students. This weekend I have the opportunity to speak at our Sunday morning service and I am super excited. We are going to get the students involved and do a big drama thing. Tonight we will work on it and get the kids involved. It will go along with my message and all that so it should be awesome! Then tonight we are having a game night just hanging with the students getting to know them! We are excited for the journey ahead of us and all that God is going to do! I also start working with the worship team tonight and will start to train them up. Dave Hubbard has been doing a great job working with them and now I will start to come on board and go for it! It is great to have a group of students to work with and raise up!!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Another Day Getting Settled

Well, I am getting settled into my office and the flow of things here @ HHC! Sunday was our 1st service here and it was GREAT! Pastor Chris did a great job speaking and the service had a great feel to it! We are so excited about being here and getting things going! It is always hard to start new and get to know so many people and all that but we are doing it! Tonight we have dinner with a great couple that has been leading the youth for the last few months. They have done an amazing job at keeping things together and planning some wonderful events like next week to King's Island (yeah)! We are eating together at Jesus' kind of favorite food (Mexican)! We are anxious to get to know them and serve together.

My office is all decorated and set up so hopefully this week I can get acclimated with computer stuff, paper work, and all that. It is so hard transfering everything back onto a new computer, especially when you have so many files and stuff! Well, I am sitting here in my office getting ready to head out to dinner so...Adios!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Busy, Busy

I really need to blog more I know! I have been super busy this week getting oriented into the life and flow of HHC as well as unpacking and building bookshelves, desks & decorating! It has been a great week getting to know the staff and getting settled in. Wednesday night for service pastor Chris interviewed Erin and I for the parents & teens and it was great! We were able to share vision, get to know you stuff, and more! We had a great turn out of parents that were supporting their church and kids which is awesome to see! This next Wednesday we are going to do a game night to just hang with the students and get to know them in a fun atmosphere. This Sunday we are being introduced to the church and it will be our 1st service, so we are anxious and excited!

Well, we are waiting for our house to sell in Oklahoma so we can begin to take the next step here and get unpacked. So be praying for the favor of God with all that! We can't really do anything until that situation gets settled.

Our heart and brains are being filled with vision and anticipation for the great things God is going to do with this area. We are ready to move ahead and be the willing ones God wants to use to bring His glory to this world!!! Get ready!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Back in Indiana

WOW! We are here in Indiana getting settled in (as much as we can). We have been super busy with seeing people, looking at houses, hanging with family and already practicing for worship and planning ministry stuff! Tomorrow I am going to lead worship at my Dad's church for their Sunday morning service. Thursday night we practiced with the team! I am excited about being there tomorrow and seeing first hand what God has been doing with the church. They started with 6 or so people and now have grown into 40+ each Sunday morning within a few months!

Monday morning I start at HHC (our new church) in Martinsville, Indiana. We are excited about getting started and getting to know everyone. We start with a pretty busy week getting oriented on all the operations of the church and all the leaders. This next week will fly by I am sure. Tonight we are sitting at my parents house relaxing for the first time and just doing laundry and getting some things organized for this next week.

To ALL of our AMAZING Journey friends we LOVE you and miss you guys!!! You have been such a huge part of our lives over this last year and a half and we are so grateful for the time together. We will be back soon to visit when our house sells (which you can be praying for) and say hey to everyone there!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Diamond Daze & Game Night

Well, Diamond Daze is coming up tomorrow night for the next few days!!! We are super busy getting ready for that up here @ Journey! The students will be doing an awesome STOMP and also our youth band is going to rock out for the community wide service tomorrow night @ 7pm. There will also be some bands from others churches, we are doing the HUGE Disney drama, and much more!!! We are going to bring a great service for the community tomorrow night that will be upbeat and inspiring. Of course our mammoth booth will be set up with the flat screens, lights, an outdoor cafe, bookstore, games, and more! What an opportunity we have to show the life that Jesus gives! We are taking full advantage of it!!!

Tonight we are having our annual GAME NIGHT for the students and it is going to be great! We will be playing dodge ball and some other great games. We will have prizes for best dressed gamer, best dressed team and other random things! We have refs all suited up with whistles and air horns, this is the real deal!

Also, if anyone can we are asking for Journey members to donate some baked goods for Diamond Daze. In the youth section of our booth we will be raising money for the students. So bring in some brownies, cookies, cakes, pies, etc... on Thursday or the latest by Friday @ noon! Every little bit helps so just come by the church and drop it off with us!!! Thank you so much!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


WOW! This has been a big last few weeks! If you haven't heard already Erin and I will be moving to Indiana about mid June. We have been so impacted by Journey, Pastor Jeff, and ALL the people here in Sallisaw! We were not looking to move or anything like that but how circumstances played out we felt the Lord was calling us to a church in Martinsville, Indiana. The timing was a lot sooner than we anticipated, but we felt the Lord was strongly putting a vision in our heart for the people of Indiana. Before we moved here to Sallisaw we didn't really have a heart for a certain region just a heart for people. But by being here in Sallisaw and being exposed to one of the healthiest churches we have seen God began to put a vision for the region of Indiana. Pastor Jeff & Mrs. Steph have really opened us up to the vision behind small county America and Significant churches making an impact in their local communities. I remember hearing Pastor Jim Graff (Pastor Jeff's pastor) say when he went into a small town to minister he felt like he knew what to do since he had grown up in small towns. I remember when he said that I felt in my heart that I knew what needed to happen in Indiana for God to reach the area. Journey has impacted Erin and I's vision of what a community church can really be. The church exist to reach the lost and that is what we have been immersed in. We LOVE the people of Journey SO much and feel like we have made relationships that will last a lifetime. It is bitter-sweet for us to be moving but we know God is in the midst of it. Not to mention the fact that Jarred Day will be taking over as youth pastor here @ Journey and that is amazing!!! He has worked so hard and has been so committed to the vision that God has taken him to a whole 'nutha level! Pastor Jarred Day will be perfect for the fit here @ Journey and will take the youth ministry into the next phase! Praise GOD that He knows how everything will work out at ALL times. He is in control and with God in the driver seat who knows what amazing places He takes us!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Well, last night we taught Yogurt (Rachel Gluesenkamp the Master's student living with us) how to paint Bob Ross style. We told her at the beginning of the year that by the time she left she would have done a painting. So last night we walked her through the process and she did an awesome job. Painting is so much fun, I just started about 8 months ago and I'm learning more and more and enjoying it more and more! Check out her picture!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In The Zone

Tonight we are ending an awesome series we have been doing called, IN THE ZONE. The first week we talked about living in the zone with Christ. We talked about not being consumed with the land of ING meaning datING, sportING, playING, doubtING, survivING, BLING, BLING, BLING! We need to live in the zone white hot for Jesus! Then the next week we talked about the O-Zone the OBEDIENCE zone! Jesus said if you love me you will OBEY what I command. So we talked about the umbrella effect! When you are obedient to God you live under the spiritual umbrella where God's protection and blessings are. But when you step out from the umbrella (obedience) you start to get rained on, dumped on, and pounced on by the enemy and life!

Tonight we are talking about the Cal-Zone! I will have a piece of dough with all kinds of good stuff to stuff it with and some nasty stuff like worms, dirt, etc... I am going to talk about what are you filling your life with? God wants to fill us with His awesome plans. When we open our heart up to God we get filled with the right stuff. But when we allow and give in to temptations in our life then the enemy starts to empty us of God's BEST and fills us with junk and nastiness! It is going to be an awesome night!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rock Band Highlights & Magazine

Here is the video highlight from the Rock Band Tournament last Friday night! Also, is a magazine cover we are making and framing for each of the winners!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rock Band Tournament

Well, we had our Rock Band Tournament last Friday night and it was awesome!!! We had a bunch of bands and tons of students come out to play and support their bands!!! We took the video game Rock Band and had teams sign up for a competition to see who the real rockers really were! We also had a panel of judges who critiqued the bands and judged the results for us! Each band was judged on creativity, skill, crowd involvement, and stage performance. By the end of the night we had a winning band called, Big Tim and the South Side Boys. Each band member won many gifts like, School of Rock the movie, candy, toys, a photo shoot and a real rock band t-shirt with their band name and cool photo. It was a great night of hanging out and building community within our students. Many parents were there hanging out and watching the concert it was great! The kids were asking when the next one was right after we got done! We will have a video up tomorrow from the night but here is a sneak peak at the photo shoot of the winning team.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

HUGE Weekend!

Oh my goodness! What a huge weekend it was this past few days!!! Saturday we had our HUGE, Arts & Crafts, Swap Meet festival in the parking lot of Journey and it was AMAZING! We had over 50 booths set up from people in our church selling, crafts, garage sale items, candy, food, etc.. We had the children to adults set up doing all kinds of stuff. Teenagers were doing a carwash, getting eggs smashed on their heads for money (which actually worked well) crafts and all kinds of great things! I set up my painting and actually sold 15 of them! I set up my easel and did some live paintings and that seemed to really draw people in. I was so blessed to be able to use a talent I have just learned to help out in this event! ALL the money that we raised went into our first offering for the great investment which will be for our new land and new church!!! Everybody did their part and worked so hard all day! I got fried out there in the sun, my face is peeling off right now as I write! Then Sunday morning Chad (our worship leader) got sick and I had the opportunity to fill in for him! We had a great service to end our series, MY OFFERING.

Then Sunday night we had our vision night where Pastor Jeff shard the future vision of our church. We had 200+ people there for the service. When we took up the offering for the great investment we raised $25,000 that night!!! What a testimony of the faithfulness of God's people stepping up and using their time, talent & money for the Kingdom of God in Sallisaw, Oklahoma!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Haircuts & Late Nights

Well, today Erin gave me my first haircut! We We decided that getting some clippers and just doing it ourselves is a much better investment of money, time &efficiency. So I got some clippers and Erin went at it! She did a GREAT job. She is so good at figuring things out and doing them well! She is a natural at oil painting with Bob Ross and now a master hair cutter! She picks things up fast and well, I am so proud of her! She really is the brains behind so many ideas, ministry and creative things that we do. Sometimes when we talk about stuff I just overwhelmed with ideas because she has so many stinking good ones. I know I can always count on her to help me out when I am stumped or not sure what to do!

Right now I am watching baby Allie while Erin gets some rest! I have been listening to one of my favorite speakers, Ed Young. Fellowship Church (which Ed pastors) does a monthly leadership training called Leadership Uncensored! It is an amazing resource that any one in ministry should receive. Ed is one of my favorite communicators of all time! When we went down to his church in Texas for the C3 conference a few months ago we were blown away with the church and the level of creativity they have! Anyway, I have been sitting here on the couch with my ipod taking notes and writing down so many thoughts as I learn from the best! I LOVE learning and growing in the calling God has called me too, the local church! I have heard it said that pilots have to under go strict training every year again and agian no matter how long they have been flying. Someone asked why they have to keep doing training and the response was, "Because lives depend on my skills." I believe that as Christians and as leaders in the church lives depend on our skills to reach out and challenge people to become ALL that God has called them to be!!! If it were simply up to God to reach people don't you think EVERYONE would have been reached? Of course they would have, but He chose us to be His ambassadors and servants to go unto all the earth and share the good news! I don't know about you but I want my skills to be sharpened by the Holy Spirit as I press on to the calling God has for me!!!

By the way, Zion took these pictures! Isn't she the smartest 3 year old ever?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

JSM & Allie

Man tonight at JSM was great! We had 55 middle schoolers and over 80 people in the zone for service tonight! Daryn Crawford spoke about not just living the normal American dream but to live the dream God has for you! He did an awesome job communicating! We are getting more and more students every week! The service was fun tonight too, we did our own American Idol game tonight that was pretty fun!

Here are some more pics of little baby Allie! Things are going great! Erin's dad and step mom were in town here for a few days and left early this morning. It was great to be with them and show off baby Allie. Zion had a great time with her grammy & papaw too. Right now I am watching Allie and letting Erin try and get some rest! We are a little lacking in the long block of sleep stuff. We or more so Erin only get a few hours of sleep at a time then it is up with changing diapers or for mommy feeding Allie! It will be nice to get back to at least a 5 hour chunk of sleep, but we are cherishing every moment of this season. Well, I just got done watching American Idol and I am going to read a bit and study then hopefully try to lay down and get SOME sleep.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday What A Great Day!

Well, we are doing great with little baby Allie! We went yesterday to her check up and she is doing perfect. She gained 4 ounces which I guess would be like 30 pounds in a few days for an adult (sounds like something I could do easily). We are having a blast with her and Zion! She is a very peaceful baby! Is is somewhat hard to get up in the morning now on schedule since we are getting interrupted sleep throughout the night (well at least mommy, I just moan for sympathy and turn over telling her what a great job she is doing).

Youth has been going great these last few weeks. Danny has filled in leading worship which has been a great opportunity for him to grow and get some experience leading. There is no better teacher sometimes than just jumping in the lion's den and learning how to survive and conquer. Different leaders have been speaking each week to the youth. It has been awesome for the students to hear different leaders and there unique way of talking about great issues we have been dealing with in our series. I love to get leaders involved and give them opportunity to use the things God is depositing into them. To many leaders and churches just depend on the "LEADER" to do everything. They never give people chances to step out and be used in fear of it not going the way they WANT it to go. Sometimes you have to give up your control on things and let others step up to the plate and take a swing. You can't get anywhere being a ball hog and never passing the ball to others and let them shine. I would rather be a stage for someone to stand on and shine than be someone who stands on others to try and shine for myself. God is good and we are called to lift others up into their destiny. What you make happen for others God will make happen for you!!! If you just help enough other people get what they want out of life you to will get what you want out of life! And more importantly what God wants for your life! Serve then be served! You are blessed to be a blessing! Be a lifter not a sifter! When you are around others lift them up rather than letting them be sifted down to the bottom.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

1st Full Day Home

Well, today I wasn't able to make it to church! We were up most of the night getting Allie situated, fed, diaper changes, walking, etc... about the time church came around was the time that Erin HAD to get some rest and I held Allie and watched her. Erin is such a trooper, she is running on like 30 minute naps here and there and still able to do all she does!!! I married a mommy machine, she is the VERY BEST ever!!! Allie is doing great, we are home now settled in our routine (kind of). We are doing our best to switch duties every now and then letting each other get some rest and share the parental stuff. It is a little different than last time having another little one too. We have to take care of Zion and make sure she is getting what she needs too, baths, play time, food, sleep, learning, etc... So it feels like a full house with 2 little ones, but it is AWESOME!!! Rachel (the 1st year masters commission student living with us) is a HUGE help. She is always doing dishes, cleaning, playing with Zion, and just being such a servant. It has been a huge blessing having her live with us!!! We are so excited to show Allie off to everyone here and our family back home! We are so proud of both of our super duper awesome girls! The church is making us meals all week and tonight the Starnes family brought us some amazing food! It is such a blessing being part of a loving and thoughtful church!!! Here are some more videos of our family!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Baby Allie

Well, Thursday morning about 12:30am Erin felt like she was going to have little baby Allie. So we left in the midst of the nasty storm and headed to the hospital after packing EVERYTHING of course. She had dilated to a 2 by the time we got there, then as they monitored her a 3. So we got checked in and got ready to get the adventure started. Not long after getting everything going Erin started moving right along and after 10 minutes of pushing baby Allie entered the world at 11:55am Thursday, April 10th weighing 7 pounds 4 ounces and 19 and a half inches long!!! Erin did such an amazing job at giving birth as usual!!! Now we are hanging out in our post-partum room until tomorrow. The doctors want us to stay one more night to keep checking things and all that so here we are! We have had some visitors and some awesome gifts (like the cookies & fruit from the McClanahan's man they rock! And some awesome flowers from Journey!!!) We are doing great and trying to sleep every second we can since they don't come often here! We have the most perfect family ever!!! Zion is so excited about Allie she kisses her and pets her head all the time and keeps telling her, "I'm your big sistol"

On a side note shouldn't churches be like hospitals (besides the smell)? I mean think about it the church should be a place of healing & restoration. We should be saving souls that are broken, hurt, dying, sick, lost, etc... I think the church should be reaching these kinds of people. A hospital isn't made for the well but for the sick, and Jesus said he came for the sick not the well! Don't get me wrong though the "saved folks" should be like the staff at a hospital. They are the ones who are serving the sick and making sure the hospital is doing what it is supposed to do! If you are in a church and saved you should be serving the vision of the church not for your own well being but for ALL the people who need you (the sick & broken) When church becomes about the well being more well then you might as well turn the church into a daycare feeding spiritual babies who complain about wanting deeper bible studies, deeper worship, more theology, more of the really "DEEP" things of God they say! I think the deep things of God are doing what He COMMANDED us to do all throughout scripture, come follow me and I'll make you fishers of men!!! God wants fisherman not yacht tanners! Meaning He said if you want to follow me then you have to go fishing for souls not sitting on your spiritual lazy floaty getting more "SUN or SON" as the spiritual deep people say I guess. The church should be like a hospital where the saved and Christian people should be serving the broken and hurt of the community! I think the emergency room should be our Sunday services! That's where the intense good stuff really happens. If someone is sick that is where they usually go to get better quick. If someone is going to come to church it will probably be the Sunday morning service! So we better be ready to medicate them with Jesus! Man I am starting to preach now! Well, I could go on and on about this as I write it is coming to me! Then the different wings of a hospital should be like the different ministries and on-ramps we have for people to get well and restored! Anyway, you get the point! Man this is good! Well, we have a new baby and it is awesome!