Thursday, August 09, 2012

Spiritual Retreat

The focus of my second month of sabbatical was fun.  That meant that I needed to get some time away and really connect with God by myself to help with some of the spiritual healing I needed.  Thankfully we have some great friends with a cabin up in Duck Creek Utah.  I have been able to use this house for a family vacation, personal retreats and even did a man weekend with some of my small group guys one summer.

This trip was the longest trip I have taken by myself.  I was alone for four days where I just spent time; eating, sleeping, reading, praying journaling and refreshing my spirit.  I am so thankful that my wife encouraged me to take the time to get away and connect with God.  While I was up there I ventured out of the cabin on a few day adventures and took a cool hike over to Cascade Falls.  Here is a picture of the view on the hike to the falls.

The following day I took a hike to Strawberry Point but it was super windy so I didn't get to the edge to take any pictures.  While I was up there I also read a book called: "Forgiving the Unforgivable".  I will be reviewing that book in the near future as it was very helpful in some healing I needed.

When I share with others that I spent that much time alone I often get varying responses.  For my personality it is pretty difficult to spend that much time alone but I have put in some structure to the time that helps me refresh.  Generally I have done these trips when I get exhausted; as I move forward I want to schedule in trips like this to keep me from getting exhausted.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.  Mark 1:35

Monday, August 06, 2012

Bay Area Bound

Yesterday our church made an announcement that will change our life.

Almost 8 years ago I accepted a call to minister at South Hills Church Community as the Middle School Pastor!  I will never forget driving home, from our first visit, when I distinctly recall feeling the call of God to Henderson.  November 18th 2004 I started my new role at SHCC and it has been a great time in my life!

Through out the last 8 years I have served in almost every capacity at our church.  I started as Middle School Pastor, then became Student Ministry Pastor, then High School Pastor (with a sprinkle of Missions), after that I helped lead our church in the absence of a Lead Pastor, back to High School Pastor and finally Pastor of Discipleship.  During my time in Vegas I got married, started seminary, got ordained, had a kid, kept doing seminary, had another kid and graduated seminary.

While on sabbatical I received a call from a great pastor in the Bay Area asking if we were serious about considering a Campus Pastor role that one of my buddies had told me about.  I never really saw myself in this kind of role but for some reason felt God leading us to check it out more.  After spending five days in the Bay Area our family came home and prayed.  We prayed, we asked for prayer, we asked for council, we prayed some more, we spoke with our leadership and prayed more.  To make the long story short; a month after our visit we were offered a role to minister on the Peninsula and accepted the role.

Now the hard part.  I always thought that writing a resignation letter would be easy but it was SO difficult.  I love South Hills Church.  I love the people that we have worked with.  I love the volunteer teams I have spent time with and that made it all the more difficult to resign.  I am going to miss our church family dearly but I trust that this is a Kingdom call and I am so excited to work with the team of pastors up in the Bay Area.  I am excited for the training I will receive working alongside the staff up there and I am excited for God to stretch me in this new role!

On August 15th my pastoral duties will be complete and I will move my family to Foster City to work with a team at Central Peninsula Church.  Will you please take a quick minute to pray for my family during this transition.  Will you please pray for us as we transition out of Vegas?  Will you please pray for us to find a great place to live?  Will you please pray for God to prepare us for CPC and to prepare CPC for us?  Thank you for all your prayers and support!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

May Lake Day

As I said yesterday, the goal I had for the second month of my sabbatical was to just have fun.  This included a whole bunch of fun with my family but also some fun with my friends.  One day I went onto the lake with the guys, and a few girls, for some: wake boarding, wake surfing and cliff jumping.  I love hanging out with these guys and all the crazy things we have done together!

I don't have all the pics that we took but here is my favorite one of me wake surfing.

Here is a pretty cool video that Spencer filmed

Here is Spencer killing it wake surfing!

The spiritual side of this, for me, is that when I was a young man I thought that being a Christian was boring.  I thought that all Christians did was sit around and talk about the Bible.  One thing that I have hoped to do in my life is to teach young people that you can be a Christian and have LOTS of fun!

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Dodgeball Tournament

The goal for the first month of my sabbatical was to disconnect from South Hills Church.  The goal that I had planned for the next month was to have fun!  Part of that included playing a dodgeball tournament with some of the guys who grew up in our church and have become friends of mine!  The tournament was held at Lake Mead Christian Academy sometime in mid-May.

Our team did pretty amazing but in the end we got second place.  Here are some pics from the day!  Love you guys!

The team in action

Stay focused on the start

Thats a happy team!

Moving up the ladder to the finals

The Team!