Saw an amazing sunset last night here in New Mexico, and as we conclude this amazing year of 2005, I wanted to shamelessly direct you to a previous post: Righteous Day Mapping. I think it has some great thoughts for beginning a new year with new discipline, direction, and devotion. (OK, so I sometimes stoop to alliteration. I am a pastor, you know.)
2005 has been so eventful as to be dynamically sublime. Let me summarize it, if I can…
- Journey Church began its third year! We continue to live by faith in God’s provision for our family. Journey pays us a housing allowance, but we depend on Caro’s photography business and my intermittent design business for our “livings.” The Lord was so faithful this year to meet our needs AND to help us make significant progress on our debt reduction plan.
There’s no way to accurately describe how stressful/trying/overwhelming planting a church and being bivocational is at the same time. We are so dependent on people’s prayers and encouragement. We’ve been so blessed to have such a great support system.
- However… in the beginning of 2005, we knew we would be facing the year with a fight. Caro’s Hodgkin’s Disease had come back late in 2004 (this was its 3rd time). For eight months of 2005, we as a family endured chemo and radiation treatments (Caro had to go five days a week to Little Rock for her radiation.) It was an extremely hard, difficult time for us, yet in the middle of it all, we experienced peace. Thank you to all of you who lifted us up in prayer and sent notes, emails, and cards.Today, Caro is cancer-free again!
- In the middle of it all, our kids’ lives began to dictate our calendars to a greater extent than ever before. 🙂 Caro and I saw our social lives devolve to Netflix and Wal-Mart trips. But hey, living in south Arkansas means that a Wal-Mart trip is a social event! from ballet, dance, baton, baseball, peewee football, our minivan was screaming around town. I coached Sam’s peewee football team to a second place finish (ok, it was a 3-way tie for second in a 4-team league, but it was still second place!).
- I began blogging in September. And learning how to podcast (after getting my first iPod!).
- Finally, we began facing some important decisions at Journey in the last two months of 2005. We have restructured our leadership team in some ways, and had to cut staff support due to a decline in finances. At the same time, however, we were provided with a new spot to meet for worship at the same amount that we were paying for the movie theater. We now have space to the right and left of Stage in the Northpark Shopping Mall.
I am excited about the months ahead for our church. 2006 will be days for Journey to flesh out everything we’ve defined in the past three years. I believe it will be our most significant year yet.
These are just thoughts and ramblings I’m having on this last day of 2005 in New Mexico…