It what has become sort of an annual tradition…because you know I’m all about doing things the traditional way :)…I wake up on Thanksgiving morning and blog about what I’m thankful for in the past year. It’s cool to look back and see how things change from year to year to year. With that said, here we go with the 2010 edition.
- Jesus– Funny how He keeps getting the number 1 spot every year…hmmm could that be because He is the number one love and priority of my life? You bet it does. I hope the same is true for you. Every year I realize more and more how much I need Him and fall woefully short as a fragile, sinful human being. If not for Him and His love, forgiveness and mercy I’d be miserable. I read yesterday a quote I loved…”His grace just as powerfully has kept us from sin as it has forgiven us of it”. Thank you Jesus for all you do, have done and will continue to do in my life!
- Lisa- No surprise here either. She is honestly the most loving and passionate follower of Jesus that I know. I would be nothing without her. I’m not quite sure how she does it all, but she serves me, others and the church all week long, plus runs a successful business as well. Add on top of that the health issues she faces that depletes her of energy for about half the week and she puts me and so many others to shame when it comes to discipline and work ethic. Oh and did I mention that she’s super hot and sexy? I am definitely lucky to have her as my partner in life…15 years of marriage and it just keeps getting better and better!
- ExponentialChurch.tv– A new entry this year…partially because last year at this time it was just a figment of my imagination. In fact at this point last year only 5 people knew it was something I was even considering with my dad becoming the 6th on a walk we took after eating our Thanksgiving turkey. Now here we are and after a very busy summer the new church launched 6 weeks ago and so far things are going great. 35 people in just 6 weeks have made first time professions of faith in Jesus and the stories of life change we’re hearing are awesome. Many people don’t know this, but like the majority of small businesses, most church plants fail. We are by no means out of the woods yet, but it seems we’re building a solid foundation that should help us get out of the critical stages and allow us to stand on our own two feet. None of this would be possible if not for…
- The Team God has Given Me- Our staff; Bill, Chad and Chelsea are incredible. They are each hard workers and are already pulling off stuff that many established churches don’t or can’t do. Each of their stories of how God brought them to my attention is a fascinating story of how God works in mysterious ways. So thankful that He does! Now with that said we couldn’t do it without the incredibly hard-working launch team and group of apprentices that all gave and are giving of their time. Many of our launch team member voluntarily gave up 3-5 nights each week of their summer to make ExponentialChurch.tv a reality. For that I’m extremely thankful. And from our first Sunday, it takes 41 people serving in various capacities to pull off a Sunday morning…incredibly we’re doing it! Thank you to everyone who has been serving and thanks in advance to those who are not currently but are reading this and saying, “Hey I want to be a part of that”.
- My family- I’m always thankful for my family and again this year for the most part everyone’s health has been good as well and when it wasn’t through prayer and medical support everything has turned out fine. However, this year I’m extra thankful for my mom, dad, sister and niece. Mom and dad decided to visit our first launch team meeting back in July just to be supportive. They live an hour and 45 minutes from Harrisburg but thought it would be nice to see what was going on. They been back every week since…sometimes multiple times in a week! It’s been so cool not only getting to see them so often but to know we’re working together to make an eternal difference. Along the way they started bringing Tara and Taylor and they too have been a huge help. Love you all!
- Supporting churches- 37 different churches from all across the country and many different denominations have helped support us with people, financial and equipment resources. This includes the church closest in proximity to us here in Harrisburg and the one that’s closest in style to us. It’s awesome to see God’s people working together instead of arguing like two ants about who gets to eat the elephant. With 425000 people in the Harrisburg metro area that don’t currently attend a church, it’s smarter if we work together instead of compete and that’s exactly what we’re seeing. Also I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the help that Chuck Frank, the Commission for Church Planting and the entire Eastern Region of the Churches of God have been in helping us. Extra thankful for the trust and support they have shown us throughout this whole process.
- Kevin Elworth- Sort of weird to thank someone I’ve only met once, but Kevin is the pastor that took my place in the United Worship Experience at the Chambersburg First Church of God. As much as I wanted to come to Harrisburg to plant the new church, it broke my heart to leave behind a group of people that I loved in United and CFCOG. We worked hard to build United and many people came to Christ so I and so many others prayed God would bring the right person to not just sustain what I had done but to take it to a whole new level. From what I’ve seen so far it appears Kevin is that man I’m so happy for him and them!
- My friends- Andy, Gayle, Bill and Nicole. In what has been a very tiring and stressful year they as always give me a safe place to chill and just be myself. I’m extra thankful this year though for Andy and Gayle (Dan, Jan, Dylan and Hannah). When I told them I was moving to Harrisburg I asked them to make the move as well…And they did! For them it meant job changes, school changes, etc., but they believe in me and the vision God gave me and so for that I’m beyond words thankful for your sacrifice.
- Our new house…ok just two parts- It’s 1200 square feet smaller than the one we had in Chambersburg, but there are two things it has that I love. The first is the 6 foot by 8 foot shower. It’s got all those fancy shower head things, a sitting bench, lighting, music, and it’s a sauna as well. Great place to relax. Also, for the first time we have a pool. It was so nice this summer to get home late at night and be able to go out and relax.
I need to stop there because it’s almost time for us to leave to go eat some turkey…there’s so much more I’m thankful for…God is so good!