So much happens this time of year that I feel like it's impossible to keep up and tell you things in a linear fashion. So here is a picture throw-up post that will titillate and tantalize you as you see a cacophony of photos and hear an assortment of associated tales.
Thursday night my dear son got to sing with his school choir out in the frozen tundra of Cedar Hill Texas. Yes my friends, it was the coldest night of the year so far and my wife bundled up and went with my parents to support this future American Idol... if that show is even still around?!. No sooner had they left than I finished the final touches on cleaning up our delicious supper and fell into darkness... ah yes the power goes out on the night that it's supposed to be in the 20's. No fear! Dad is here and comes to save the scared little ones who are quite unaccustomed to this event that was a normal part of Dad's life growing up. I lit the candles and got out Prince Caspian. A few cozy minutes later found us lost in Narnia for the next hour or so. After that I tucked the kids all in one bed filled with many blankets and continued to read to them until Diane got back and I had to go. Memories like that are choices we make. We can't plan for the power to go out, but we can take advantage of it. I won't soon forget that wonderful time with my kids... and maybe just maybe I'll try and learn something from it about the joy of shutting everything down and just reading together on a cold night.
For the last... long long time... I've been in workshops. Two Fridays ago I embarked on this non-stop ride that ended last Saturday. First I took 'Roots of Care' with the lovely people pictured below. It was a great refresher and educator on learning how to care better for Missionaries and their amazing children!
Then I had the joy of helping to teach a Story Based Trauma Healing class. It was really fun getting to work alongside my parents! Needless to say, it was a lot of fun in a short time with the other bits of my life stuffed all around it. I'm grateful for the opportunities to learn and grow and serve and I'm grateful that the marathon of workshops is over :).
Sometimes I wish I could just jump in some leaves... but that's why I have kids... So I can live this dream through them! I love the energy and joy that leaves can bring! Go Asher and Bella!
We just had our family Christmas party and with it a nice time of remembering my cousin Laura who passed away January 1st of this year. A lot of firsts without her leave this time feeling a little more tender. I'm grateful to know that she is well and I'll see her again. The party was fun and afterwards we went and enjoyed a house in the neighborhood that takes Christmas decorating seriously to say the least.
And now some cute pictures to melt your heart!
I married an amazing woman! She is a scientist and master chef and mom and wife and much more! Here she is helping her wonderful children with their Science Fair projects. Thankfully as I write this they are all turned in and finished for another year! Yay Diane and Asher and Creed!
Oh yeah... I also work with youth... in case the pictures haven't communicated that yet :). Here is a wonderful picture of an event I fondly called "An Afternoon of Odds and Ends". I often find that I have too much to share with these amazing kids and can't fit it all into a Monday evening. I just collected a bunch of those random things I wanted to share and created an event to let me share them. We talked about grace and righteousness, we talked about cell phones and social media and how they are linked to depression and then we ate and watched Wonder Woman! Odds and ends! I was blessed by how many showed up! The evening was very fun!
And now for some more cuteness and holiday fun! Decorating the tree (much smaller tree this year because we need the space for hosting :). Thanksgiving with David... on a Friday this year because I got to go to the Cowboys game! That was such a special treat! One of the parents of the kids in my youth group invited me and I was so blessed to have a wife that said yes! So we moved the food fest to the next day and may have found our new family tradition :).
I turned 35 this year! I enjoyed having people over to celebrate with me. Here we are taking some time to worship around the fire together. It was a great evening!
Along with Thanksgiving comes all the fun feasts with our kids at their schools. Here Diane is with Liam and Bella. It's a fun time!
This was my last time to visit the college and see those great MK's before the break! I love these kids so much and it's so cool how they love on my kids! What a great ministry I get to be a part of!
It's a busy time of year, but a really good one! I have enjoyed listening to Christmas music and thinking about the wonder of Christ's birth! I want to share my favorite song this year and encourage you to read John 1 after you listen to it :).
I love you all so much! Thank you for your part in my ministry! God is blessing what we are doing and lives are being touched and transformed by His power. Thank you for letting me be an instrument in His hands. Your prayers and financial gifts make a really huge impact on a lot of lives and people are richer because of you! Thank you! I'm thanked frequently by parents for the ministry that I'm a part of and the impact that it has had on their children! You get credited with that too!
Lots is left to do these next few months! I just finished up one Trauma Healing group I was a part of and will finish up the other one by the end of this month. Pray that we end well and people find real healing.
I'm doing a college retreat early next year. Pray that we can provide a great time of rest and growth for the students that are able to come!
Diane and I are preparing to leave for the Solomon Islands soon! I'm so excited! Please pray for us as we plan and pack and for safety along the way!
For health and strength and a God that is with us, in us, and for us!
For time with my parents!
Thanks again for your friendship and support! You are mighty warriors and the battle is already won! Praise God!
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