2010 was a BIG year…

13 12 2010

As I sit here looking at the Christmas tree and surrounded by folded laundry just begging to be put away, my mind wanders to the events of this year.  It has truly been a very challenging season for Sara and me, but when I think of all that has been accomplished, I realize how much God has been with us through every bit of it.

I just want to take a little time to give glory to God for some of the highlights of the year…

In the fall of 2009, I began to feel God leading me to further my education.  I began to research graduate schools online and had two schools to choose from.  After seeking counsel from my pastors, I decided to go with Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.  I completed all of the necessary paperwork and enrolled.  Classes started on January 18.  I had signed up for full-time status (2 classes per 8-week term).  Even though I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of reading and writing assignments, I loved every minute of it.  After receiving very positive feedback from my professors, I began to see that I was going to succeed and surpass my expectations.  Although I have had to have student loans to attend graduate school, I somehow know that God is going to provide.

I began seriously running at the beginning of the year.  My goal was to complete the Gusher Half-Marathon.  In the process, I went to Tyler, TX to run the Tyler Azalea 10k with a friend of mine that I met on Twitter, Caleb Canal.  It was a really great run, and I exceeded my time goal!  I made a great friend and found out that the hills of Tyler were rough on the hamstrings!!

Gusher – I still cannot believe that I completed the Gusher Half.  13.1 miles without stopping…  I would have never dreamed that I would have completed such an insane event.  I can remember that I trained all during the winter/spring for the event with great weather conditions.  We had a cool winter with relatively no humidity.  The morning of the Gusher, we had an unbelievable amount of humidity, and it was HOT!  My body was not happy, thus my time was not great.  Hopefully, I can beat my time next year.  Even though I was a little disappointed in my result, I still can’t believe that I ran the race!!

In May, Sara and I moved one step closer to adopting our boys.  I can’t discuss any details of the case, and we’re still in the middle of a long battle; but I just know that these are our little boys forever and ever.

The summer of 2010 was a great year in our music department.  In May, I sat down to plan the entire summer’s music selections and gave all of the material to our phenomenal band leader.  Martin took all of the stuff and got to work with the band.  The vocal team worked very hard, and the end result was a power-packed summer of fantastic music and intense worship experiences.  To cap it all off, in August, we introduced a song – “You Are Worthy”.  It really was an amazing moment and one that I will not soon forget!

Also in August, Sara and I were able to participate in Israel Houghton‘s worship conference, A Deeper Level 2010.  This was my third year to attend and second time at the One Church Worship Academy.  God always meets us in a special way at this conference, but this year somehow seemed different.  The weight of the deposit from the Holy Spirit was just unbelievable.  I am still gaining strength from what we experienced this year.  Thanks, Iz!!

In September, I decided to join Triumph Church Physical Training as a part of the “Challenge”.  It is an military-based exercise program that’s just insanity defined.  We met 5 days a week at 5:20am at that Nederland track for 10 weeks.  Our instructors led us through some really intense regimens that challenged me physically, mentally and spiritually.  I got hurt at some point in the process and thought I was out for good, but the instructors made some adjustments to the program to allow me to be a part and ultimately graduate.  Speaking of graduate, the final challenge was AMAZING!!!  I don’t know how long it lasted that night, but I really felt like they were going to kill us.  As much pain as I was in, the feeling of accomplishment at the end was worth every minute.  I can’t believe that I was able to do all of that at 35 years old.  Either I’m stronger than I realized or am just plain STUPID!!

That brings me to December…

Sara and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary.  I can’t believe it has been 6 years…  I have the most amazing, talented, strong, funny, interesting, beautiful wife on the planet.  Thank you, Sassy, for being my best friend and love of my life.  You are an incredible mommy, too!!

Last Saturday night, Sara and I went to Grace Church of Humble, TX to attend their Christmas Concert directed by Pastor Hector Soto.  Pastor Hector and his wife Roxann have become dear friends and mentors of Sara and me over the past year.  God placed them in our lives, and I will be FOREVER grateful.  Anyway, the concert was BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING, WONDERFUL, SPECTACULAR, etc…  The musicianship was unbelievable.  I’m still just amazed at what we saw.  That truly was a highlight of my year.

Tomorrow is my boys’ 4th birthday.  I wish I could talk more about them online, but privacy laws prohibit it.  Just know that I could not be more proud of them and all that they have accomplished this year.  They are still dealing with the effects of the events of their lives before they came to live with us, but they are doing so good and growing up so fast.  They’re my BOYS!!!

I know there must be more that I am missing, but these were the moments that really stand out.  Thanks for reading about some of my all-time favorite moments of 2010.

2011 is gonna be even better!!!!

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Sunday Setlists and other things…

13 10 2009

Good morning, folks.

First, let me get this thing going by discussing Sunday’s Setlist. I read someone’s blog from this weekend on FredMcKinnon.com that called this past Sunday “full of opportunities.” I like that. This Sunday for me was FULL of opportunities!

We had stage challenges from the very beginning of the day which sparked numerous sound problems. Some scheduling stuff got off with some of our musicians, so we were unable to start rehearsing until 9:05am when we are to begin at 8:30am. Considering this is the only rehearsal in the week, getting less than an hour to go over everything isn’t cool.

Enough about the “opportunities”, here’s the list:

Celebrate – Derrick Horne – Led by P Kirk Ellender
Saved By Grace – Israel & New Breed – Led by me
Heaven On Earth – David & Nicole Binion – Led by me & Sara

Choir Special:
Bless The Lord (Son Of Man) – Tye Tribbett – Led by me & Sara

Taking into account that I am being over-exposed, this Sunday didn’t go over well. I think the congregation needs a break from me. They shall get it.

Other stuff…

I started week 3 of Gateway to 8k this morning. I woke up at 5:15am and heard rain outside. I checked the radar on my phone and saw that it wasn’t going to last long, so I got dressed and got going. It was a slow steady rain, more like a heavy sprinkle, that lasted for about 20 minutes into my run. It was actually quite nice and refreshing. Every week, the program pushes me to run my personal best, and I have to say that I always feel as though I have more in me when I finish the run. I suppose that’s a good thing as my goal is to compete in 10k & half-marathons by the spring. Is it a sign of addiction when you can’t wait until your next run and get mad when you have to take a day off?

Yesterday marked the month from our final court hearing for the boys. We really don’t know how this is going to turn out; and honestly, we are tired of trying to figure out all of the what-ifs, so it’s ALL in God’s hands now. The guys are growing up so fast, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. Nicolas jumped out of bed this morning with the biggest smile and said, “Morning!” It was so cute. Nathen was dragging as usual, but they are learning to help more and be patient. They know the routine and are so proud when they do something to help. Jesus, please let these boys be ours forever!

So, here I sit in Rao’s waiting on my bacon, egg and cheese wrap. It’s been 10 minutes since I ordered it, and I haven’t seen it yet. They also don’t have the special coffee of the day out. If these guys didn’t have free wifi, I wouldn’t come here every morning!!!!! IMHO, they need new management. I think I shall share my opinion with the main office.

Christmas is still rapidly approaching. As much as I want it to, it just won’t go away!! I have to say that I am proud that I have found some really good music. We have already started learning some of it in our rehearsals. I think that it will be much less stressful of a season if we can have a real plan early enough. All of the last-minute stuff is what kills me! Hopefully, TPTB will come together soon and get a plan.

Enough of that… Until next time!