Monday, July 27, 2009


We're back.

Wait a minute. I didn't tell you we were gone. Well, we left. California. Carlsbad. Sun. Beach. Fun. 75 degrees. It was fantastic.

And now - we're back.

Vacation is always a good time and many years its really hard to come back. While I wish I could bring the beach and weather with me, I really was eager to come back this year. I missed Grace Church. There are a number of people in the body who are walking through hard life situations and I was eager to get back and see them.

Being at church yesterday was such a blast! My good friend Jon Payne came up to preach and did a bang up job on Psalm 130. It really served our church and we had time of prayer and ministry afterwards. We are just one more week in our house before we move over to the Rio Vista.

Next Sunday we are having our first baptism at Grace Church! It will happen right after the meeting offsite - so lots going on as we enter into August!

More posts to come after we unpack....

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Anniversary, Wedding, and the Picture of Marriage

This has been a week of thinking on the beauties of marriage.

Yesterday, Tara and I celebrated our 9th anniversary! It's amazing to recount how much God has changed us, stretched us, and matured us since 2000. Proverbs 31:10 says, "An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels." I can HONESTLY say after nine years of marriage that I have struck gold with Tara! And if someone came and offered me a billion dollars (and all the pleasures that it would bring), but required me to leave Tara......I would laugh in their face as I graciously tried to explain how much they have undervalued her worth to me. No jewels, no money, no anything can replace her in my life.

(Incidentally, why me??? I'm blown away by the mercy and kindness of God. The course of my life would be radically different if not for Tara)

And then on Saturday, I have the privilege of officiating the first wedding in Grace Church - the marriage of Bonnie Gregory to Lance Sullivan. They have no idea what awaits them - good times or bad, for better or worse, they are covenanting to live their lives together for the glory of Christ. They will say "I love you", and over the years they will see how little they actually did in comparison to how much they WILL love each other with each passing year.

It will not be easy. It never is. Marriage is hard work. Marriage involves pain. It brings conflict. It is not rose-colored glasses, or non-stop sex, or dinners always on the table when you come home from work, or every dream being fulfilled. It is a crucible of sanctification, where two sinners learn to extend forbearance, and patience, and forgiveness, and love in spite of their spouse's weaknesses.

How is it possible to do this? Only from understanding the depths of Christ and his covenant-keeping love for His bride. He died to sanctify his bride and promises to never leave nor forsake us. As we experience His redemptive love for us, it transforms our hearts so that we love our spouse like this, too. This is how love is maintained. Oh how grateful I am that true love isn't contingent on my perfection, but on Christ's!

So, here's to you, Tara - may God continue to use our marriage for the demonstration of His glory. Here's to you, Lance and Bonnie - may God bless you with joy, love, children, faith, forgiveness, and forbearance. To Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to Him be glory!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Interview at Life Connection Church

We had a great time with the people of Life Connection church Sunday morning! They were so welcoming and friendly - its amazing to show up some place you've never visited and feel like you've been there a thousand times before. Pastor Aaron Dailey led the meeting and we had a blast talking about the gospel together. You can listen in by visiting the site below:

Two highlights: At the end of the time, we took communion together and Aaron led the church in taking up an offering for us. So unexpected! It was a great expression of their love and generosity!

Also, there was a man named Woody who prayed to receive Christ afterwards! He was 57 years old - and had been coming for 3 weeks. I heard somebody yell, "It's never too late!!"

Praise God!

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