So now that I’ve had a little bit of time to breathe and collect my thoughts about last month, I’d like to review what God has seen fit to let me do these last few weeks.
July started off with a bang – I had the immense honor and pleasure to officiate my very first wedding for some dear friends Corey and Alli Claunch down in Austin, Texas. It was a beautiful wedding, and despite the fact that I dropped the rings (twice) I felt as though things went really smoothly for my first time out. I got to see lots of old friends and loved celebrating with them in such a worshipful atmosphere. During that trip I also had the joy of introducing Melissa (my girlfriend of three months now) to Texas history and culture. We visited the Texas state capitol building and I recounted a few stories and nuggets from Texas history, and we had a great time together.
Another first happened the next weekend as I kicked off the first session of Aspire – the prerequisite theological training for several men who aspire to eldership at LifePoint Church. I’m proud to be leading these discussions and helping to sharpen these men as they learn, grow, and lead. We began by discussing the doctrine of Scripture, and these guys definitely didn’t disappoint. They’ve learned much thus far, and I’m looking forward to the next ten months of papers, discussions, and readings.
A couple of weeks later I had the opportunity to preach from Galatians 5 on the Fruit of the Spirit in Community at LifePoint Center City. Though I felt very rusty (my first time preaching in over a year), I am thankful for the people who were there, and I am very excited about the coming months as we follow Christ together in covenant community for his glory. I am also thankful that the Holy Spirit teaches, Christ leads, and God receives the glory when his Word is opened among his people.
Not only did I take a brief weekend trip to Texas for the Claunch wedding extravaganza, I also had the opportunity to take about a week to visit my home town of Abilen, Texas toward the end of the month for a family reunion and to celebrate my Grandmother’s 90th birthday. It was a sweet time of celebration, amazing food, and remembrance. I got to meet family members I’d never met and reconnect with those I hadn’t seen in 20 years – in short, it was a wonderful time to be sure.
While in Abilene on that same trip I also took the opportunity to visit with my mentor, Jack Ridlehoover. We sat down for about an hour with a video camera and talked life, ministry, theology, and anything else that came up. I hope to edit that footage and either turn it into a series of posts on here, or maybe to turn my experiences with him into a book someday. Either way, I’m thankful for Jack’s ministry in my life, and was glad to see him again.
Before heading back home to Missouri, Melissa and I took a short trek over to Fort Worth, back to my old stomping grounds where I had the joy of preaching at CityView Church. I delivered a tough message from Romans 3:9-20 (you can find it here), but am thankful that Christ brings us joy in the midst of hard times, and that we don’t have to feel the oppression of sin when we follow him faithfully. I dearly loved getting to see my old home church again – there were many new faces, and many old friends that I was able to reconnect with, and it was a joy to see what the Lord has been doing in and among his people there.
So now that I am a couple of weeks removed from the craziness that was July, I am thankful that God brought me through it and thankful for the opportunities that he provided. I do look forward to hopefully restructuring my schedule some so that my weeks aren’t so jam-packed, and I seem to have figured out what this whole ‘sabbath’ thing is about. It was a myth for so long, and now I know (or at least I think I know) what I’ve been missing all along. Praise God for his wisdom in allowing us to work, rest, and glorify him in all things.
I do have a few other writing projects in the works, and I’ll keep you updated as to when you can expect them. Thank you for reading, thank you for your support, and I look forward to our continued conversation.