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Archive for August, 2006

Truly Blessed

August 22, 2006 2 comments

For the past two years I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with the Holmes Road Church of Christ in Memphis, TN. This congregation showed my family love, acceptance, and the grace of Christ. It has been a problem for many congregations that I am in an interracial relationship. On some level many people are not comfortable with this, but I believe this was an advantage at Holmes Road. The makeup of this congregation made this congregation a great place for my family. Holmes Road welcomed us with open arms and we are thankful that God sent us here.

The elders here are a great mixture of men with a heart to serve God. We met just about every Monday to discuss and pray about the congregation. Each of them are humble and serious about the responsibility that they carry as elders. They work wonderful together and are a blessing to the congregation.

The congregation can be described only as unique. I have never been to a congregation before that is as diverse racially, economically, and theologically as Holmes Road. It was a pleasure to learn and serve among this group of people. I know that God will continue to bless this congregation.

The teenagers here are among the best young people I have ever worked with. They were smart and very talented. They would challenge me with difficult questions, and always gave me grace when I did not know the answers. This group of teens allowed me to be real with them and in return they would be real with me. Realness is a scary thing and I enjoyed that process with them.

God blessed my family richly by allowing us to come to Memphis and Holmes Road. We will miss everyone who we have grown to love here. Holmes Road will always have a place in the heart of my family. God bless each of you.

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Categories: church, Family

Whew!

August 12, 2006 5 comments


We spent almost 18 hours in the car beginning Wednesday night to come to Lebanon, PA for the weekend. We finally arrived on Friday afternoon and are leaving on Sunday morning. It was a 1000 mile trek. I am definitely tired of driving my car and spend $3 a gallon for gas.

We had our home inspection done today on the house we purchased. In case you didn’t know, this was our first time actually seeing the house besides a few pictures that were sent to us. We have been more than nervous for the past several weeks because this is our first house purchase.

We had no idea what to expect when we walked into the house. I wanted Dana to go in first because if I heard any screams of despair I wanted to be the first one back in the car. She entered the house slowly, but I did not hear any cries–that was a good sign. The house was very nice! I think I looked in every room atleast five times just to get a feel for it. I was not a fan of some of the wallpaper (or any of the wallpaper), but that is why paint was invented. It was very cool to see the look on Dana’s face and to know that she was satisfied.
We walked around and took lots of pictures. We also made notes of things we would like to do in the future. It was a great feeling knowing that we finally have our own home. The neighborhood had a lot of kids and seemed to be nice. I will miss the drunk people who wander around in my backyard every night in Memphis, but we are willing to make this sacrifice.

This feeling of joy because of new home ownership faded quickly. Dana and I returned to a friend’s house and immediately began signing the mortgage paperwork. On some level it should be wrong to be able to spend over $100,000 with just a few quick strokes of the pen. I know that I am not the first person in the world to get a mortgage, but I think my heart slowed down with every page signed.

I thank everyone who has been praying for us during this transition. May God bless you for your prayers.

Categories: Family

Winding Down

August 6, 2006 6 comments

Friday was my last official youth event here at Holmes Road. We had a lock in for approximately 35 people. It was tiring but very fun. I thank Robert Besinger for suggesting that we play dodgeball. It was awesome! I would have been out of my mind to turn down the opportunity to throw a ball at a teenager and not get in trouble for it. We played from midnight until 1:30 a.m. Normally I would be very tired at this time of the night, but after drinking three Vaults (energy drinks) and having a stressful week at work I found the energy to blast people with that little rubbery ball. It was very therapeutic to see that ball whiz by the head (and hitting some) of people who were not paying attention. I think I am going to quit ministry and open a dodgeball court and charge overly stressed business execs to come and play. (I am in the process of getting a patent on this idea.) I think about 90% of the people at the lock in played that night. We all went away sore and happy.

Today was Michelle’s last day at Holmes Road. She has done an excellent job working with our youth group. She was hired specifically to work with our young ladies, but our young men learned so much from her also. She was fun to have around because of her personality, but mostly because of her dedication to seeing the teens grow spiritually. I am glad that I had the opportunity to teach her what I know about youth ministry. Hopefully she will be even better prepared to work with youth because of her experiences here. She has been a blessing to all of us and I am thankful that God allowed our paths to cross.

I have about 2 1/2 more weeks here before the move to PA. I have been so busy that it has not really sunk in yet. It is a scary proposition that I am going to be a pulpit minister somewhere. I have been trying to mentally and spiritually prepare for all of this. I am determined to have my preaching planned out for the first 2-3 months so that I will not be playing catch up after I get there. I must also prepare for my last sermon here, train someone to take over our church website, and finalize the plans for our youth rally before I leave. Did I mention that I have 2 1/2 weeks to do this? Anyhow I am glad that things will be a little bit slower here for the next couple of weeks. I need the break and the breather. I am confident that all that needs to be completed will be completed and God’s grace can cover the rest. I am praying that I will keep my sanity.

Categories: Family, intern