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Archive for September, 2006

My First IPod

September 25, 2006 5 comments
I cannot believe that I we have almost been here a month already. Time has been flying by. It has been about three weeks since I have been on here. I would blame it on my lack of internet service for a few days, but honestly I have been too busy to send out any updates.

Thing have been going great at church. Sunday we have services outside at Lion’s Lake. We had a great turnout and everyone seemed to have fun. It was nice not to be in a building for worship. It seems like churches are so “building driven” that we never take the opportunity to go into the community where people are. I am glad that our congregation did that this weekend. I know we will do it again in the future but due to fall rapidly approaching it could be spring before it happens again.

My family has been undergoing much transition during the past few months. I have accepted this new job, moved to PA, bought a new house, Dana is working part-time, and I have become a stay at home dad in the mornings. I must admit that all of this has had our heads spinning, but it has been a great experience.

We found out a few weeks back that we will be having an addition to the Jones family. We are expecting a new child in April. The due date is only six days after Mikayla’s birthday. We are very excited about this. I must admit that this was not a “planned pregnancy” but I am old enough to know that not too many are planned. Mikayla is excited about being a big sister. She will three when our new one comes along. God has blessed us with a smart young lady. She does not understand everything that is going on, but I think she knows that things are changing.

I think it is funny that we get used to our routines, but inevitably all things have to change. God has built us to be mobile and flexible. He tells us to “count it all joy”. I just pray that I remember that over these next few months of adjusting, settling, and changing. God bless.

Categories: Family

Silence

September 5, 2006 5 comments

Today my family visited the Sweetest Place on Earth: Chocolate World. We took the tour at Hershey Park and saw how chocolate was made. I must say that I was very impressed with the chocolate making process. Who knew that the cocoa beans came from all over the world just so that I could enjoy a Hershey Kiss. I feel so special. I also found out that they make over 20 million Hershey Kisses a day. Now that is a lot of love! We saw enough chocolate today to give all of Memphis, TN diabetes. I had to do my part and support the fine people of Hershey by purchasing several of their tiny pieces of heaven. I am sure that I will regret eating all of that candy later, but I think it was worth it.

This evening around 10:30 p.m. I was feeling overwhelmed. We are closing on our house tommorrow, Dana has a job interview in the morning, Mikayla has been having a hard time adjusting to this new move, all of my possessions are somewhere between Louisiana and Pennsylvania on a moving truck, I just moved away from all of my friends, and some other personal things are going on in my family. I knew that I needed to pray and so I laid on the bed and tried. I was not sure what to pray about because I feel like I have sounded like a broken record to God lately. I feel like I am always asking for something, but I have not been taking any time to listen. I forced myself to do something that I have NEVER done before. I kneeled beside the bed, bowed my head, and just listened. I tried to slow down my thoughts and hear God speak to me. It took about 10 minutes before the phrase “God is in control” popped in my mind. For the next couple of minutes I thought about several things I had been worrying about and just repeated to myself “God is in control”. A few minutes later the phrase “These problems are temporary” popped into my mind. I sat there and smiled for a second and started to realize the truth in that saying. Nothing that I am dealing with is going to last forever. I don’t need to worry about ANYTHING because eventually that situation will change. Finally I “heard” the phrase “choose joy”. James 1 tells us to “count it all joy…” I have preached and taught that passage so many times, but have not been living it. I am in contol of my joy. It is my job to choose joyfulness and God job to be in control of this world.
Practicing silence was difficult, but I gained so much from it. I challenge you to pause your life for a few minutes and see what God is trying to tell you.

Categories: spiritual formation

Let’s Get It Started

September 4, 2006 Leave a comment

Today was my first day at the Lebanon Valley Church of Christ. I was so tired and drained by the end of the second morning service that everything seemed to be a blur to me that day. It was a strange feeling knowing that I was the new preacher there. I was wondering if they had made a mistake or if I would wake up and realize that I was just dreaming. I made it through in one piece and feel that things went well.

My sermon topic was “Finish Strong”. It was an expository lesson from Galatians 6:9-10. I used this passage to encourage the congregation to wait on the blessings of God and to choose not to give up on the good work that it has been doing. I believe it is very easy to get discouraged when our comforts and the things we are used to change when we were not expecting it. I don’t like change if I am not in control of things. I am sure this is the reason why many people do not like change. I am learning to trust God even more because change is inevitable.

We studied the first sixteen verses of James chapter one in Bible class. I believe that verse one impressed me the most in that study. We see here that James calls himself a servant of Jesus even though Jesus was his brother. I know if my brother was famous I would tell someone about it. I think that James shows a humbleness by not trying to be known by his relationship to Jesus. He uses the term ‘servant’ proudly. I pray that I can get to a place in my spritual journey where self promotion is not my goal anymore. The promotion of Jesus as Lord is my job and not being known.

I have a strong feeling that God has some great blessings ahead for the congregation here. I pray that my service here can be a benefit to the Kingdom and that many souls will have a better understanding of the love that God has for them. I solicit your prayers as I begin my journey in Lebanon.

Categories: church

Are we there yet?

September 2, 2006 3 comments

My family left Memphis on Thursday afternoon headed for Lebanon, PA. We had the priviledge of watching the movers pack all of our things as we collected our thoughts and anticipated the drive ahead of us.
We made an overnight pitstop in Henderson, TN to say goodbye to my parents. I have lived far away from my parents before, but leaving them this time was different. I was teary and noticed that my mother squeezed me a little tighter than she usually does. It was hard knowing that I would be so far from them, but I know it is for a good reason. I am sure that it is hard for them to see their children grow up and move off like that. I know that when Mikayla gets older it will be hard for me to see her leave. I can only pray that I will prepare her like my parents prepared me.

Dana and I are driving separately on this 1000 mile trek. It has been a tiresome little trip. We both have driven with Mikayla in the backseat. She has been an angel for this trip. I am surprised that she has lasted so long in that carseat without much entertainment. She is a special child and she amazes me more and more everyday.

We plan on reaching Lebanon late Saturday afternoon. We will be driving through the rain leftover from the almost hurricane. Please pray for us.

Categories: Family