Dear family and friends, September 20, 2011
Wow, has it really been three months already? One great thing about Georgia is that it has felt like fall for the past two weeks. We’ve been sleeping with the windows open and it has been dreadfully difficult getting out of bed in the mornings because it has been so cold. Well, on to the news.
We had a successful trip to Memphis over Labor Day weekend. We were there for Kate’s dental appointment, which went well. We were able to see my brother and sister-in-law from St. Louis and their two kids as well as my sister and her family. We had a large family cookout on Labor Day, which was a huge blessing seeing all of our family and reconnecting. It was definitely weird sleeping at my Mom’s house and being a part of the “out of towners” group. The Saturday after we returned to Georgia we held our Grace Valley “Morning of Solitude”. Talk about a blessing! Sitting out in the woods on a beautiful Saturday morning, listening to the stream roll over the stones, while immersing myself in God’s word, and praying and just letting myself be quiet to hear his “still small voice” was such an immeasurably valuable experience. We had a group of sixteen people attend and each one left feeling blessed by the time spent alone with God. If you have never attempted or been a part of something like this, or if you have experienced a time like this, I urge you to experience it for yourself and block out a time every month or quarterly where you can engage God in this way. We will be putting a link to the guide/information booklet that we made for this event on our Grace Valley website.
In other news, Phil and I started the youth/assistant pastor’s group. We will be meeting every other Thursday for the next six months. As of now we have four members in the group and are interviewing a few more youth pastors to put our group at six to eight members. The need is there in the community of ministry workers, and so far it has been expressed to us that it has been a much needed blessing. Phil will also be looking to start another pastor’s group in the west part of canton in the coming weeks.
My big tasks at the moment are to develop documents for our philosophy of counseling and the services we are able to offer at this time. I am excited about developing these and allowing people to see how we can serve them and how we view brokenness in life, but at the same time it is a large task and can become overwhelming without the proper perspective and much prayer. I hope it will help people feel more comfortable seeking out our services and bring visibility to our availability.
On a personal front we will hopefully begin renting our house in October. We have a lease agreement for a year with a wonderful couple that God blessed us with. At this point our only obstacle is to have our lender approve our decision to rent. Melissa’s tutoring is going well. She was selected from a large group of tutors to receive further training so she can do more specialized tutoring in the future (I am very proud of her). Kate and Maggie are still doing great. Our only complaint there is that Maggie seems to be speeding into her terrible two’s a few months early. I am still looking for a part time job so we won’t have to live quite so month to month. But for the most part we have been really blessed in our transition here. Here is our prayer list for this month:
- That God would bring the pastors who are in this area who need community and restoration to find out and inquire about joining these groups
That we would be approved to rent our house and God would bless the family that moves in
That God would fortify our faith and give us encouragement to be bold and steadfast in our calling here
That I would be able to find part-time work that would help us alleviate some of our financial burden
That through part-time work and/or support we would be able to afford health care for our family in the near future
That I would have wisdom and steadfastness in the development of our philosophy of counseling and scope of practice
That God would begin to provide the ways and means to acquire and begin developing the property so we can start receiving pastors for restoration from crisis
I want to praise God for opening up the option for our house to be rented. It was beginning to look like we were going to have a negative outcome, and God completely surprised us by opening an unexpected door. I also praise God for what we feel will become our home church, Christ Community Church in Kennesaw. God has really given us several signs that this could be the church for our family. Finally I want to praise God for the many wonderful things he has allowed us to accomplish and experience through our work in this ministry so far. I pray that those of you who read these updates and keep up with Melissa and I will find encouragement from them, and that God blesses you in the mission of your daily lives. I would love to hear from you by phone or e-mail if you have any questions, comments or just want to catch up. Don’t forget to check out my blog at www.gracevalleyministries.org over the coming weeks if you would like to stay up to date on what’s going on until my next update.
435 Colmer Rd., Canton, GA 30114