Today is Josiah’s birthday,  so I want to say “happy birthday son” and take a moment to share publicly that I am proud of you. You love Jesus and have been such an display of God’s grace as you have gone through the process of healing after your accident. You still bear, and always will, the physical marks of God’s grace in your life. Those scars are there to always remind you of His love for you, and that He has a great plan for you. When you look on those scars, remember that. You have been an inspiration to many. Continue to use that for God’s glory. Here is your story, or better yet, God’s story written in your life over the last 15 months.

Merry Christmas! It is hard to believe that this time if year has already come around again. Time flies they say, and this year it seems to have gone much faster than any previous year.

As I have studied, preached and contemplated the Christmas season this year, one thing has really grabbed my attention over and over again; and that is this: Jesus was born into a mess. The world was a mess, religion was a mess and all the circumstances about His birth (born of a virgin, Joseph and Mary were not married yet,  the public perception of the events was not good) were messy. God could have sent Jesus to a respectable, rich and royal family, but He didn’t. God still works in messy situations today, and that should bring great comfort to us.

We have had a year of great transition… again! Let me share the brief highlights:

We started the year focused on Josiah and his healing after his car accident. The months after his accident were filled with long days of therapy, phone calls and traveling to Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Jennifer and I were able to keep working through all of this. Our jobs were very accommodating to us for scheduling, to which we were very thankful. We made it through those very busy and hectic days gaining an even greater appreciation for family and friends that loved on us and cared for us during this time.

In June, I started corresponding with Christ Community Church and their Pastor Search Team about becoming their next Pastor. Over the next few months we went through the process of answering questions and phone calls and then took a couple of trips to the church to seek God’s direction. On October 23rd, the church unanimously voted for me to be the next pastor of the church. We moved down here to Bartlesville on December 1st and feel like we are home! The church is so loving and has a great desire to reach people that are far from God. We are excited about the days ahead as God leads us in this new adventure!

As far as the kids go:

Jordan, Daniel and Madysen are still living in Wichita. Jordan is enjoying being a stay at home mommy, and Daniel works for Haverty’s furniture. They are now only about 3 hours from us, which makes seeing them much easier, and hopefully more frequent! They are expecting their second baby on July 4th!

Josiah is doing fantastic! He has made great progress in his healing. He was able to return to school and graduate with his class on time! He also returned to work at Starbucks and went back to almost a full time schedule after school let out. He also returned to driving and purchased a yellow 2003 Mustang to drive around in. He is currently looking for a job here in Bartlesville and plans to go to college starting this fall.

Joshua is in 8th grade and a typical Jr High boy. He enjoys being outside playing ball and riding anything with wheels. He also recently purchased a chameleon as a pet. He has a tender heart that I am praying God uses to reach others.

Jenna is in 6th grade and thinks she loves Justin Bieber. Her new room is scattered with posters and has the high-pitched sounds of his music coming from her room at most times. She is turning into a beautiful young lady and has an amazing love for people (as long as it is not her siblings).

Jaidyn is my little princess. I seriously think she believes she is a real princess. She has a great fashion sense and displays a different outfit about every three hours. She is full of joy and compassion and loves being around people.

Jennifer is enjoying being at home right now. God has blessed us with a house that has a lot of space in it, so she is enjoying setting up and decorating. We are both very tired of living out of boxes and storage facilities so we wanted to set up the house as soon as we could. It is great to feel settled and home. God has brought us through one of the most trying times of our lives. It has not all been good, looking at it from a human perspective, but it has all been part of God’s plan for us and has led us in our next steps as we follow Him.

We look forward to leading our family and our church in the new year. God has placed us right where He wants us and has great plans for us; of that I have no doubt! We pray that you know that you matter to God and to us, and that you see His hand in your life.

Praying you have a Merry Christmas and a God-sized New Year!

The Petermanns

Today I am enjoying my family, eating good food and hearing from friends all over the world. I am counting my blessings and weeping as I do it. God has been so good to our family. He has always been good to us, but the last two years have brought me to a new level of gratitude and appreciation for the simple and little things in life. We can move so fast that we take things for-granted. Take time everyday to taste and see that the Lord is good… because He is!

As for me, I am thankful to have my family around me today. I am thankful that my kids and grand kids are ALL healthy and whole. I am thankful that I have a wonderful group of people at Christ Community Church that I get to pastor starting this next week as we move to Oklahoma. God is good!

What are you thankful for today?

Our Next Steps

Jason Petermann  —  November 10, 2011 — Leave a comment

For nearly two years my family and I have been praying for God to show us where our next steps in ministry would take us. We know that being in full-time ministry is where we need to be. It is our calling and our driving passion in life. We also knew that our next steps would be different than any steps we had ever taken before because the desire that I have to be a lead pastor of a church.

With all of that being said, we have had nearly two years to learn from not only many life experiences that we have had, but also to learn from a church that is growing and reaching countless people for Jesus. It has been a huge blessing to be a part of Granger Community Church. We are thankful for the time we have had here. We have made friends that we will have for life. They have made a mark in our lives, and they have caused us to love Jesus more.

Now for our next steps, I am excited to announce that on October 23rd, I was unanimously voted to be the next pastor of Christ Community Church in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. We are packing up things on this end and making plans to move down there right after Thanksgiving. My first official Sunday there will be December 4th.

We will be closer to our granddaughter (and Jordan and Daniel too). We will also be close to Josiah at Baptist Bible College, where he will be attending starting in January.

We appreciate the many prayers, calls and notes of encouragement on Facebook over the last two years. God has been good to us. He has shown Himself so faithful in so many ways during this time.

We are excited to lead a church of people that love God and are doing their very best to love and reach people for Jesus. Please continue to pray for us as we make this transition. And pray even more that God will show Himself strong at Christ Community Church.

Vulnerability

  • “People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.” – Samuel Johnson
  • Vulnerability – capable of being physically or emotionally wounded; open to attack or damage; liable to increased penalties but entitled to increased benefits.
  • Being vulnerable can bring great reward.
  • Being vulnerable brings pain and suffering, which is counter-cultural.
Three fears that keep us from being vulnerable:
1. The fear of losing the business (the fear of being rejected)
Rejection is something we are called to.
  • We have to enter the danger.
  • We have to speak the kind truth.
2. The fear of being embarrassed
  • When we are serving others we have to do things and ask things that may embarrass us.
  • When people know you are there to help them do better, they will let you in.
  • We have to celebrate our mistakes. When we acknowledge our humanity it is attractive to people and they want to be around us
3. The fear of feeling inferior
  • Do the dirty work.
  • Show people you are willing to do whatever you are asking them to do.
  • We need to be be more interested in others than we are interested in ourself.