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!