Thursday, May 1, 2014

Two Years ...

I can't believe I will have lived here in Bozeman for two years within the next few weeks! Wow!  

As I have been challenged in many ways over the past couple years, I have definitely grown closer to the Lord through this time.  During a conference we simulcasted at Kirkwood, one of the speakers talked about being able to say "More than _____, Jesus is better."  More than choosing where I live near those I love, more than a comfortable job, more than any material possessions, more than worldly success, more than the approval of others, more than (fill in the blank with what you value most), He is better.  Are you able to say that in your life and surrender daily to Him?  Nothing of this world is meant to fully satisfy us.  The blessings of God always lie on the other side of the obedience line.  We can't fully experience Him unless we have a relationship with Him and surrender to His will for our life.  In Matthew 6:33 it says, "Seek first His kingdom and his righteousness ..."  When we do that, He truly provides everything we need.  The past couple years have definitely been full of many challenges, but through them, an opportunity to see and experience God in a way I wouldn't have otherwise.  He is faithful.  Please know how thankful that I am for all of your prayers and support!

The beauty of Big Sky country in April is breathtaking, especially in a big snow year ... 

View of Lone Peak on the drive up to Big Sky (April 19)

View from top of Lone Peak, 11,166 feet

View from top of Lone Peak, 11,166 feet

Top of Lone Peak

View from top of Lone Peak, 11,166 feet

View from top of Lone Peak, 11,166 feet

View from top of Lone Peak, 11,166 feet
Standing up there made me think of the lyrics to Keith and Kristyn Getty's "Creation sings the Father's song"

(Verse 1)
He calls the sun to wake the dawn
And run the course of day
Till evening falls in crimson rays
His fingerprints in flakes of snow
His breath upon this spinning globe
He charts the eagle's flight
Commands the newborn baby's cry

Let all creation stand and sing
Fill the earth with songs of worship
Tell the wonders of creation's King ...

We had an Easter egg hunt with a lot of kids in the community the weekend before Easter at Kirwood Baptist here in Bozeman.  Last month we hosted a simulcast of the Verge Conference that is put on in Texas each year and also got a small group together on Good Friday to watch Secret Church (by David Platt) where the topic was "The Cross and Everyday Life."  It was about making Jesus apart of everything we do on a daily basis.  We are now busy gearing up for summer missions teams that will be coming from Dalton, GA and Nashville, TN.  They will be assisting sports camp, Vacation Bible School and community outreach. We are also continuing to work on our partnership with Love Inc. that we are praying provides a way to reach students in the high school across the street from the church.  Youth Pastor Andrew Lane has also been serving as interim pastor since January.  Please pray alongside of us and the leadership team as we are seeking the direction God has for the church moving forward.

School will wrap up for the year at Heritage Christian next month - it's been a busy spring of getting games and schedules ready for the fall and attending the state-wide athletic director meeting in Helena.  Additionally, I am so excited because the board at Heritage has recently approved the building of a soccer field and track out back of the school before next fall and we are also being given the chance to host the 2014 Fall MCAA State Volleyball and Soccer tournament in October.  Many in the HCS community have prayed for years and years about the soccer field and it is amazing to see how God is providing in His perfect timing.  Please pray for all the details to fall into place in the time ahead as well as for the financial provision necessary to make this endeavor possible.  I am praying that this will lead to more sports ministry opportunities here in Bozeman in the time ahead.  It is sweet to be a part of a community that desires to share Christ and encourages and challenges one another daily.

The golf course also recently opened here and I am blessed to be able to work there on the side again as well throughout this summer.  I love the chance it gives me to meet so many people in the community.

From April 25-29 my childhood best friend Grace, who now lives in Washington DC, came to Bozeman for a visit with a great friend of hers, Griha.  What an action packed few days! The visit included trips to the capitol in Helena, Buffalo Jump State Park just outside Three Forks, a day trip to Yellowstone where we ran into a couple other sweet friends, a great Sunday morning at church followed by an afternoon of riding horses and hiking on a ranch just outside of Bozeman, a trip to the snow covered golf course and the chance for them to meet so many of the people the Lord has put in my life here.  We had SO MUCH FUN!  It was a week where God's fingerprints were just everywhere and I was reminded of His faithfulness in so many tangible ways.  The Lord has put some of the sweetest people in my life here in Bozeman and I was thankful for the opportunity to introduce Grace and Griha to them.

MT Capitol Building in Helena

MT Capitol Building in Helena with Griha and Grace

MT Capitol Building in Helena with Grace

Buffalo Jump State Park, Three Forks MT

Buffalo Jump State Park, Three Forks, MT

Big Sky, MT

Yellowstone National Park with Griha, Grace and Sandy

Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Fun on the ranch with Shelley & Grace!

Fun on the ranch!

Fun on the ranch!

Hiking on the ranch

Hiking on the ranch with Lynae, Griha, Shelley and Grace

Hiking to old wooden cabin on the ranch

Overlooking Bozeman

Overlooking Bozeman
Well, the golf course was open... And then it snowed April 28

Please pray for:
- For summer mission teams that are coming to Kirkwood to help with a sports camp and VBS and for the leadership team in following God's leading in the pastor search process.
- For the soccer field and track to be completed at Heritage before the fall and for preparations we are making to host the MCAA fall state tournament in October ... most importantly that these opportunities would enable us to be a light for Christ to the surrounding community.
- Partnerships in the community that open doors for more sports ministry opportunities here moving forward.
- That God would continue to prepare the hearts of those here in Bozeman to hear and respond to the Gospel.
- For my personal walk with the Lord - that I would be intentional in seeking Him daily and being filled and renewed so that I may go out and pour into others.

Know that I always love hearing from all of you!