Tag Archives: community

Dust Yourself Off & Try Again

Even though we’ve had a few more lemons to add to the lemonade–primarily Joel having ripped a tendon in his hand and being scheduled to  have surgery next Thursday–God is still on the throne (a favorite Beth & Dave Calvert quote) and we are still moving forward.

Here’s the DL on what’s been going on around here…

Despite having our condos robbed, we had a great trip to the beach with 24 adults and 13 children from our church! (Sorry for my lack of photos–my beloved camera was stolen.) But here are a few of my friends reviews :)

My favorite moment’s of the weekend were our “topical conversations”. We thoroughly discussed everything from raw foods to skin care, date nights to mentoring. Praise the Lord for friends with whom you can have REAL conversations!

Another highlight in life was our “Greek Impact Fall Retreat” to the Auburn vs. USC football game. It was aaaawwweeesome!

We took 40 students and stayed at an amazing lodge in Loachapoka, Alabama, that the Lord provided for us. The CCC staff at Auburn were incredible as they organized a BBQ for us, came and spoke to our students, and provided us with a place to watch the game!

Joel and I scored some free tickets and saw several of our staff friends at their tailgates. (Too bad we were obnoxiously dressed in Gamecock attire and was hobnobbing in the Tiger/War Eagle zone! OOPS!)

Our students had a phenomenal time and so did we. Here are a few silly highlights.

Camping out. (Don’t worry–girls were inside, boys were outside!)

Sleeping out under the stars.

Hanging around the lodge.

Teaching time.

Getting ready for the game! (This ain’t no jeans & t-shirt wearing school, you’ll be sure to note!)

And remembering that life is NOT football. Sorry Cocks.

It was by far one of the most fun retreats I’ve been on. We are praying that God would continue to grow the seeds that were planted during the weekend!

So, that’s a little of what we’ve been up to…what about you? We’d love to hear how we can specifically pray for you. We will be designating some time on Friday to praying for our supporters. Just let us know! Thanks to those of you who have shared with us recently.

Thanks for reading!

Movies in the Park

For all you fabulous Columbian readers out there, “Movies in the Park” begins tomorrow night at Finlay Park.

Our church, Columbia Crossroads, has partnered with the City of Columbia for several years to offer a fun, family-friendly environment where people in the downtown area can see a church reaching out to them. Please pray that great gospel-centered relationships will form from this low-key outreach strategy.

Have you heard Joel and I mention how much we love our church?

This past Sunday, Brad Bird, one of the teaching pastors, challenged, encouraged and rebuked us with the words from Hebrews 10:32-39 (it should be download-able from the website here in a few days.) It was so encouraging to see the Christian life portrayed in it’s true form–one that presents challenges, hard lessons learned and opportunities to depend on grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We always walk away from church on Sundays not focusing on “Wow, wasn’t church great?” (Even though it typically is.) But rather, “Wow, isn’t Christ great? No, great’s not the word…the greatest thing that’s ever happened to humanity!” What a blessing to walk away from church with that thought.

Another thing we are so grateful for here in Columbia, is the community of believers God’s provided for us.

Our staff team has served as a great family away from home, as have the Culbertsons, Parkers and Murphy’s and a few other families in town who always welcome us in their homes for a meal or an encouraging conversation. God’s provided some great opportunities for both Joel and me to be mentored by these families, our Newlyweds class at Shandon, and from meeting from time to time with Bonnie and the Clays.

(How do I not have so few pictures of these precious families that have poured into us? I’ll work on that…)

Another fabulous aspect of community for us has been FRIENDS!  We are so grateful for the way God has answered our prayers by provided us with friends from our Newlyweds class, around town and at our church.

Honestly, it’s kind of awkward to be friends with Joel and me. Anyone else who’s in full-time ministry, I’m sure can relate. (Anyone out there? Don’t leave me hanging in my vulnerability.) Our work hours are soooo random. We often miss out on things because of hosting events during the week or traveling for conferences on the weekends. We can sometimes know more about what’s going on in the freshmen dorms than in the local news. In the summers we can be hard to nail down between support-raising and living in Kyrgyzstan!?! Sometimes we have initiated so much with students that we can put friends on the back burner (which is NOT ok).

So, here’s to some of the fun friends here in Columbia (because we couldn’t even begin to thank those in other cities!) who will wake up at 4:30 am and go to Yard Sales at the drop of a hat…

Who will consistently give up freedom during nap time for prayer time and time to connect…

Who will do amazing meal swaps (seen below), help us with back-to-school cookouts, meet us in the middle of the day for coffee or just text us and see how they can pray for us and our ministry…

Who will laugh with us and cry with us. Who will sharpen and encourage us and challenge us to give your lives away to help fulfill the Great Commission…NOT because it’s our job.

All that to say, to those precious people who have consistently pursued friendship with us, we are forever grateful. Thank you, Lord for how you provide answers to prayers!