June was a whirl wind, and I'm amazed that it's not only over, but that by God's grace, I made it through it. I am sitting here... yeah that is a huge statement for me, sitting! and it feels so good to be on the trail to complete recovery. I feel like God is fulfilling his promises in my life in the most spectacular ways. He is burning up the chaff in my life so that he can build something of real quality. Take my back for example... I have been putting up with spotty patchwork for so long and praying and hoping for a miracle, well God broke me down and tore out all the ugly patches and is now allowing me to do the real work of transforming my back into something that is healthy and strong.
When I look back on June I think about all the people that surrounded me with prayers and encouragement and helped me get back on my feet, literally. It was a great time to discover strength in weakness and to think about identity. How can I be a youth pastor when I can barely stand? Well God gave me the strength to hobble through the activities he laid out before me and gave me the time to prepare and foster a deeper prayer and devotional life; qualities essential to pastoral ministry.
By this time last year my wife and I were on our way to Jamaica, now I'm excited to be going back on July 18th for ten days. I look forward to this every year, and I'm especially eager to see how God will provide for Mr. Whitter the gentleman we are raising money to get a leg for. I'm excited to see my friends the Englands and very eager to get to know the MKs that are going for the first time. There is nothing like a mission trip to bond a group. This year we are going to be painting a house for a family in the church and then visiting the orphanage, handicapped facility and Flankers.
The total cost for the trip is $1600 and it you are interested in partnering with me in this cost and in the work that I will be doing you can click on the tab at the top of the page "Supporting the Work". I'm so thankful for your partnership both financially and spiritually! I could not do the things that God has called me to do with out his calling in your life as well. Thank you so much!
Next week I'm looking forward to celebrating ten years of marriage to my beautiful Diane. I still remember like it was yesterday her graceful body gliding down the aisle toward me. Her beauty was overwhelming (and after three kids and ten years with me it's amazing that she is even more gorgeous today!) and I couldn't hold the tears back as I thought about how lucky I was to get to pledge my love to such a wonderful Godly woman and spend the rest of my life with her. As the tears of joy flowed down my cheeks I knew this was the best thing that God had yet given me and through her I have been blessed so much to get to share a family and an adventure with the prettiest girl inside and out that I have ever come across. Here's to you Diane my princess, my queen, the bride of my youth! You satisfy me, and through the ups and downs you have been the best friend that anyone could hope for and I'm looking forward to many more years with you!
I feel like so much has happened lately, I guess that is how life works when you can actually move around.
Well, two Tuesdays ago was the Cowan Car wash, which is one of my favorite service projects. I was a little nervous about pulling it off half crippled, but everything came off without a hitch, and it was great getting to serve with the kids and hang out at the pool afterwards.
The following Saturday was one of my families favorite events of the year "Celebrate Freedom" an outdoor all day concert at South Fork Ranch (where they filmed the TV show 'Dallas'). The weather was toasty but the bands were great, and the day was capped off with Toby Mac and Switchfoot. My wife went up to the front for Toby Mac... she is so cool! It was great to have Kelsey in town to go with us and that was Marks last day before he left to see his family for a month. The kids loved it as you can see from the pictures :). I really enjoyed seeing some of the MK's there, they love Switchfoot.
This last week in MK we studied how God's love is kind and it made me realize that I had been viewing God incorrectly lately. After my back injury and a myriad of other misfortunes I started feeling like God was punishing me for something I had done and stopped thinking about his kindness and how that leads us to repentance. It seems to me that God doesn't try and force us into something by threatening us, he woos us to himself by showing us kindness. Well, when I started focusing on that my perspective changed, and I began seeing the amazing kindness of God to me during this past month. One of the things that God used to help bring perspective to me was the movie 'Slumdog Millionaire'. After watching that I was overwhelmed by God's goodness to me and all my problems seemed so little.
Monday passed and before I knew it Thursday was knocking on the door, and so I crawled out of bed and like so many other fathers got dragged to the Duncanville parade by my amazing wife. She really does so many good things for our kids and I'm glad that I get to be along for the ride. The parade was a lot of fun and a great way to start the 4th of July celebrating. I got donuts on the walk home and we had a restful morning together as a family cramming our faces full of sugar and watching the Cosby show.
After a fun day we packed up the family and headed off to enjoy an evening of Shakespeare in the Park. We have a good friend who works closely with the program and she was able to get us (a wonderful mix of good friends) great seats! We had a picnic on the lawn and after getting Creeds face painted and Liam to sleep we had a peaceful night watching fireworks light up the sky behind the actors.
For my family while I am in Jamaica
For a good reunion between Mark and his family
For a good celebration with my wife... ten years... oh baby!
God is healing me and renewing my spirit
God has protected Mark and his things in his journey thus far
Ten years of wonderful marriage... not sure I mentioned that yet :)
Alas it is Friday yet again and I'm in the midst of a wonderful four day weekend with my wife. I'm enjoying the extra time with her and the kids. As I look forward to the rest of July I think about what I'm learning and what God is doing and I want to leave you with this verse.
1 Cor 3:7-9a
7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9For we are co-workers in God’s service;
I praise God for you and pray for his blessings in your life. May we never forget that our work is that only of obedience and the results belong to God.
If you want to support what I do a little or a lot, on a one time basis or a recurring basis, click on the tab "Supporting the Work" at the top of the page and search for Caleb Robbins and then click on Caleb and Diane Robbins. Diane is my beautiful wife and the mother of my three precious children Creed 6, Asher 4, and Liam 1.