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Thursday, March 02, 2006

You're Welcome - I Think...

This is our newest newspaper add. I designed it - in case you wanted to know. Kinda catchy if you ask me...You're more than welcome to come. OK so I know that half of you are pastors of your own churches and the rest of you are friends or family that live across the country, but you can still be welcome can't you? Whether or not you come - you can still be welcome. I think you can. Really.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

New Church - New Job

There is a new and exciting church opening on the East Coast. What is its name you ask? Well this up and coming church is called...

For the past year we have had a fifth service in an elementary school up the road in Waldorf. When we preach we actually drive back and forth between the two campuses each week-end. Well there has been a steady attendance and core leadership group there for over a year now and we decided that it was time for this campus to become a church. In this process God began to work in my heart until I felt called to that church. And so it was time to make a big transition in my life and begin moving from youth ministry to preaching weekly in a church of all ages. I am blessed with a great group of leaders and people who attend and have been excited to work with them as we have been preparing to launch the church.

This is Berry Elementary School where we hold services each week. The school has been great to us and is set up very nicely for what we need as a church. We decided to launch the church with two new service times at 9:00am and 10:30am which was a step of faith, but one we felt God would bless.

This is the half page color add that was in the local newspaper the week before the launch. This Launch Sunday featuring a new service, 2 new service times, and my first day there preaching as the pastor. All of the work seemed to pay off as we had a great day more than doubling the church's regular attendance for the past year as we started with 248 people our first week.

I was a little unsure about all of this at first but I knew that God had called me and I knew that I loved to preach and am now having a blast. I have had some victories and have made some mistakes but I am learning a ton and things are moving forward fast. I think that is what life and ministry are all about. It does help to have the confidence of God's call, the comfort of a great church family, and the support of the woman I love. I am so blessed and so excited to see what God has in store.

Emergency Snow Route

Katie and I found out that the biggest snow storm in two years was coming so we decided that it was a great time to head to the beach before it got here. Come to find out my parents were going to be in Florida for the week so we decided to stop by - for the entire week.

We left the snow behind us but brought the cold weather. We didn't get much sun the first couple days but we don't let anything keep us from having fun. It heated up later in the week so we were able to get in a good bit of beach time.

Katie and I were able to spend more time together than we ever have (9 Days in a row) and believe it or not at the end of it all we still liked each other! Truth is we left Florida even more in love than when we got there. Sorry about the mushy stuff - it's over.

Looking Good - Real Good

There were two people I didn't recognize at this year's missions banquet. Look out for these guys - that's all I have to say...

Looks like I caught the attention of this pretty lady. She happened to be the best lookin girl in the room so I asked her out, and she decided to give me a chance. Stay tuned I think we may have a future.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

So This Is How It Happened...

Let me catch you up for a minute before we begin. This is obviously going to be a summary of a much larger and deeper story, but I will try to catch the highlights. Just three months ago I pulled up in the IKEA parking lot (halfway between her and I - she lives outside Balt.) to meet my blind date Katie McCuen. I had been on more blind dates than I can count and say every time that it will be my last. Who knew that this one actually would be my last. When she got out of the car I could tell that she was by far the best looking blind date I'd ever had but I wasn't sold just yet - there had to be something wrong with her. There always is.

We went out to eat and got dessert. We had a great time together talking very openly about all sorts of things. I didn't kiss her goodnight (sorry if that is too much information), but she did wink at me so I think she had a good time :) Our second date was by far the best date that I had ever been on and was the moment I knew that I would never date another. We went everywhere around the Baltimore Harbor but what I remember most was feeling as if I had known this girl her whole life and feeling as if I wouldn't mind knowing her for the rest of mine. Everything was perfect except for me getting my car locking in a parking garage overnight. (sorry no time for that story though it is funny) On my way home I called mom and dad and told them she was the one.

On the third date I asked her to come to Indiana with me for Christmas. A little fast I know but she was honored and excited. All the typical games and rules just never seemed to apply with us. We dated long distance for 2 and a half months - I would drive her way - mostly she would drive mine and then she came to Indiana. I think we were both pretty sure before the Indiana trip but still had some unanswered questions though both of us were excited about our Christmas together.

Once she flew in and we got home we exchanged gifts. I gave her kind of a lame gift (only in comparison to hers really) an I-Pod that she had been wanting, and she gave me a great gift, a trip to New York City because she knew I had always wanted to go. Our time with family and with my friends was unbelievable and I think as I left her at the airport we both knew something had changed, something was different, and we knew the other had felt it too, we knew, we were sure.

Well once I knew - it didn't take me long. I bought the ring while I was home in Indiana with the plans of asking her to marry me in Florida on Valentine's Day, but once I had the ring it was driving me crazy! I couldn't wait! I was afraid I was going to call her and ask her on the phone - so I decided to ask her in a couple weeks during our trip to New York City.

I worked it out with her parents so I could talk to them before she got home from work. She asked a few questions but didn't catch on and then we left for NYC - no turning back now. Here is NYC at night. We got there during the day but you get the picture.

Once we got there we parked in a garage and began walking towards Central Park. We walked down 5th ave. We lit a candle and prayed together at St. Patrick's Cathedral. I got to go into Trump Tower (sweet) and while in there Katie began looking at jewlery and hinted about a ring (funny cause I had one in my pocket) Then we walked by Tiffany's where she hinted about a ring for the second time (If she only knew) and then to Central Park. Katie loves pretzels so we got her a pretzel from the street vendor and then hopped in a carraige for a carraige ride around the park.

I thought this would be a good place to do it but I wasn't really sure I liked the cabby guy enough to want him there all up in my moment so I decided to wait. Once we got off the carraige I asked her to walk through the park with me and so we did. We walked down to the water where I asked her to stop for a second. She said, "Baby it's cold I want to keep walking." While I'm thinking, "Trust me girl if there has ever been a time you wanted to stop it's right now." She stopped and I told her how much she meant to me, got down on my knee (that's where all the girls say ahhhh - trust me I've told this story a few times) and asked her to marry me.

She didn't say yes, well yet, she said, "Are you serious?" My goal was to suprise her - I guess it worked. I said, "Yes I'm serious." I think it is a bad sign if you have to say yes before they do but anyway she then said, "Yes of course." We then hugged and all that stuff but lets keep it clean for the children. She then pulled me off to the bench so she could get the whole story.

I totally suprised her which was great. They were taking a poll at her office as to when I would ask and Katie took April (It's January by the way). The earliest was Valentine's day which I think makes me the winner though I haven't gotten my free lunch yet. She then started calling her family.

She looks happy doens't she - oh and isn't she beautiful by the way. I know, you don't have to tell me - she is better looking than me. How she became my best friend, my partner, and the love of my life in such a short time I have no idea. I think it is magic of some kind that she has I don't know I just hope it never wears off because I am the happiest (and the luckiest) man alive.

I guess when she says yes you still go on with your life so we walked back up 5th avenue and saw the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Notice that we had to switch sides for pictures now so that the ring is on the outside. She's so cute.

Next we got all dressed up to go out on the town because part of my gift were tickets to the famous Broadway show "The Producers!"

The show was in the St. James theatre which I thought was special for some reason though I can't remember why now. After the show we walked out to Times Square and I was overwhelmed by the site of it all. It was like Disney World for Adults - lights everywhere. I couldn't believe it. About a year ago I felt as if I was tired of seeing things on my own, that I was ready to start sharing things with someone. This was the greatest week-end of my life and I am so glad I got to share it with the greatest girl I've ever met. My fiance' and soon to be my wife - Katie. Man I love that girl!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Guess The Big News

This post is going to be a little more interactive than the others. We are going to play a game. I am going to give you two hints in the form of pictures and then you are going to try and guess what the big news is. It may be hard to figure it out at first so look very closely at the pictures......ok - you they are.

Do you have a guess? Ohhhhh no I'm sorry.....Sarah and I are not going into the T-shirt business though we are rather attractive T-shirt models if I do say so myself. Nice try though we have some great parting gif...Oh sorry back to the news - much better than you thought - a few months ago Sarah and Scott took me to one of my favorite restaurants (Red Lobster) to sit me down to tell me that I am going to be an UNCLE! It was the greatest news ever! I always thought that I would make a great uncle, but I couldn't believe that they would go to such lengths so that I could prove it to the world! OK so maybe it wasn't all about me, maybe they are having the baby for themselves, and maybe they invited the rest of the family there too but hey - who cares - I'm going to be an Uncle!

I know that Sarah is very excited and I am so happy for the both of them! She has wanted this for a long time and it is finally a reality for her. And there is one thing I know for sure and that is that she will make an amazing mom. She is 15 weeks along and besides a cramp here and sick stomach there everything is going great! (sorry sis you gotta watch what you tell me)

The baby doesn't know much about websites yet but I figured I would give it the chance to tell the world what it was thinking - I figure what else does it have to do in there, really? I did get to hear the baby's heartbeat over the phone this past week - or at least that's what mom said it was, just sounded like a lot of swishing around to me. I think the baby is just in there laughing at all of us.

Oh and I'll tell you all this, but try and keep it quiet - I didn't want to tell mom but I thought I heard three heartbeats not just one. I'm rooting for a surprise come April! Don't you think that will be so much more entertaining?! Can't wait to see Scott's face.