So as I look back at 2007, I smirk at what was and all the ways God awakened me to how measured my thinking often is. I've learned that there is no such thing as big prayer requests and small prayer requests. God must chuckle, or maybe frown, at how we put measurements on everything. God gave Sarah and I a son this year who, thankfully, is much more like Sarah than he is like me (especially in the looks category)! At a little over four months old he does seem to be a bit of a goofball, much like me, but his smile and laugh could make any photographer a brilliant artist, quite the opposite of my photogenic qualities. Parenting is one more example of how amazing my wife is, and it has showed me another beautiful glimpse of how God is Fathering all of us.
This past year brought the deep (new church community) into my life, which encourages my faith in the church. I love what God is doing and I am grateful for the team and faith community that has taken me in and believes in me. I am learning more and more where I can best serve as a shepherd and storyteller, and the areas where my best contribution is in giving leadership away. God has healed much of my past church experiences, as well as brought to light some new appreciations that I probably blocked out due to frustration and hurt. Looking back, Metro was a place of huge growth and change. The friendships made continue to be of so much encouragement to me and my family. The church gave me a salary and allowed me room to grow as a leader, to which I am very grateful.
This past year brought the end to my career at Panera, which was three and a half years of all kinds of lessons learned. I was able to see the church through new eyes and experience leadership in such a fresh way. As crazy as it is, Panera helped show me where I best contribute in leadership, and I was overwhelmed by encouragement as I left.
A few, of many, prayers for 2008: There is a house next to the Omni Fitness center that I love and believe God wants for us. In some capacity, I see it being a great place of ministry. Publishing for my first book, which I feel is the best ministry gift God has given to me at this juncture. I truly believe this story is laced with encouragement and ministry far beyond my feeble imagination. Opportunity, and wisdom within the opportunity, for my brother-in-law, whom I believe has the talents and gifts to make an impact on people and culture far beyond his imagination. I would enjoy the talent he has in his little finger, yet I would rather stand next to him, pray for him, and watch art get redefined.
Just a few thoughts and prayers afloat for 2008