Right now I am sitting atop Fort Mountain in my new office at Global Youth Ministry. It is approximately 15 degrees according to the thermometer in my car and the wind doesn't really help with the chill factor. I am wearing layers and hate wearing layers. Whatever.. It is beautiful here, though.
I miss my wife. She is not with me right now. She had to finish some school things at home and she graduates on friday. I am very proud of her. She is graduating at the top of her class! She hasn't made a B since the 6th grade and I just could not be more jealous or proud of her right now! I go back home to her and the rest of my friends and family tomorrow. Im looking forward to being with her again. I know its only been a few days but I am a newly-wed. I love being with her.
We are getting ready to move up here together the first week in January. Im not going to lie, this is a completely different feeling then I expected coming up here. It is a feeling of excitement for sure, but I am a bit more nervous than I thought I would be. This is all new. There is so much to be done here at Global. I have been given the title of Program Associate of Camps and Conferences. This just means I am overseeing camp and momentum activities. The responsibility is great and I am looking forward to the challenge. I am praying that I will be used by the Lord to put together some exciting things that the Lord sees that He can use for his kingdom. Please pray with Heather and I as we start this exciting new adventure in our lives together.
I just left a job that was a tremendous blessing to me. I worked at ARA West Jacksonville as a dialysis technician. This door was opened to me almost 2 years ago before I got married. Since then I have learned to stick people with needles and draw blood and clean blood and work machines that I never imagined I would be working. I was pretty much a doctor.... not really though. There was something awesome about helping those people in need though. I got to develop some pretty awesome relationships with people. The staff that I worked with was amazing. They were encouraging and like family to be around and I will miss every one of them very much. The patients were awesome as well. You saw the same people every time you went into work so began to know them like they were family. I got to share my faith with a few of them and got to hear them share their struggles in life with me. Looking back at some interaction I had with people I am regretful that I did not share more of my Savior Jesus with them. God has a plan for their lives though and I am continuing to pray for them. With that said, ARA was an important chapter in my life. I understood responsibility in a different aspect. I literally could have messed up some peoples lives if I did not perform my job as I was supposed to. I also began to understand that this was where a majority of my income came from for Heather and I. I had to be wise with my money. I am thankful for the experience and I know it has prepared for the things ahead in my life.
I am also living my church that I have grown up in. Westside Baptist Church has been an extreme blessing to my family and I over the years. I love that place and will miss it immensely. I have been privileged to be able to serve the people of this church as a worship leader or a youth intern and I would not trade this experience for anything. The leadership I have had from this place has been tremendous. Guys such as Adam Peterson when I was in middle school, to Ken Whitton who was my youth pastor through my junior year, to Sean Vickers who became my youth pastor my senior year and began to develop leadership skills and a love for Jesus that will forever impact my life, to Jody Phillips who has been an outstanding teacher of the Bible since I was in middle school and remains my Bible study teacher to this day. He is an example of what it means to be faithful and this is something I will carry everywhere I go. Kelly Johnson is now the youth pastor at wbcjax. He has become a brother to me and an encouragement in ministry and life. His office has become the place to hang and talk through youth ministry over the past six months and I will miss that next year. His wife Amber is someone who will be greatly missed next year also. She has developed an awesome relationship with my wife through encouragement and accountability and friendship and I know that it has impacted Heather's life. Anthony Poole who is the worship pastor at wbc has ministered and led me through the past two years of my life as a worship leader. He has such a great skill and passion for music and it is awesome that he uses it to minister to our church. I will miss being in his office next year and gaining his knowledge and insight on the task of leading a congregation in worship. Ryan Frontz has been the best friend a person could have over the years and has been a leader through some great times of my life. My pastor, Keith Russell, has been an incredible blessing. He stands every week and preaches boldly in an expository manner from the Word of God. I am praying that one day I can be given the gift of effective communication as he has. I am continuing to pray for his leadership over the church. It is an incredibly high calling to be the pastor of a church, especially today. It is as if he has to be a mediator sometimes between the old and the new and both ends are tugging against each other and yet he is gripping firmly to both ends and trying to bring them together. I feel as though our pastor has done a wonderful job at being that man. In a church full of life and running in the right direction I believe, under his leadership, there are great things to come at Westside Baptist Church.
It is not like I am saying "goodbye" to anything. As you read this I hope you are not gaining that impression. I am simply thinking through what has gone on recently to bring me to where I am today. I feel like I am starting a new chapter in my life. I love to sit and reflect on things like I just did. It brings an extreme appreciation to the things and places and people that have surrounded me in my life through ministry. I hope I did not bore you today this was just on my mind this morning and i wanted to share. Thanks for stopping by. Love you guys!