I am definitely behind on posting some things regarding 2012, but have a few things I plan to share with those who care to read and know my thoughts. For those of you I am thankful that you continue to hear some of my thoughts, what God is doing in my life and the ministry that I am blessed to be a part of. I want to share today some of my favorite moments from 2012 both personally and in student ministry.
-All the ways that God worked in me. I can not even begin to thank Him for all that He continues to do in my life. I guess my favorite moment overall in 2012 would have to be the fact that He continued to allow me to live another year and would use me for His glory.
-Getting to meet people- Phil Wickham, Shaun Groves, and Newsboys. Phil Wickham has been one of my favorites for several years and I had the opportunity to see him at two shows within 10 days of each other. One with full band and the other acoustic. Both were great nights of worship. It was definitely an honor to meet him.
We brought Shaun Groves to Clearwater in July to lead worship and speak on behalf of Compassion International. It was also the beginning of our Younite week. There were 43 children were sponsored. We had a great day of worship and getting to know Shaun a little bit. His heart is just amazing. His manager is also a good friend Micah Watson and it was great getting to catch up with him.
We were also blessed to see the Newsboys twice in 2012. I have never seen a concert as great as theirs. I have always been a Michael Tait fan and he simply does a phenomenal job with these guys. Not only are their shows entertaining, but also a great time of worship. We were so excited to get to meet them recently. I also gave them some Younite '11 shirts that say "Running to You" and shared with them that we used their song for our camp theme.
-Seeing some healing in my wife Belinda. If you really know us, you know that the past couple of years have been extremely difficult. We lost Belinda's dad tragically, and it is something that we will never get over. While there will always be scars, I saw Belinda take some tremendous leaps in her healing. She shared about it in her Upward testimony in February. Then she again shared it with her track group at MFuge. These may seem like small things, but were huge in this situation, and I am extremely proud of her. I am proud of the ways that God continues to grow her and use her.
-Getting to coach my nephew Noah in Upward basketball. Well I was the assistant coach to my brother in law. But I was still extremely thankful to have this opportunity. Noah is such an amazing child. His love, care, respect, etc. that he shows for everyone makes me want to be more like him.
-Speaking and worship opportunities. I had a few opportunities outside of my regular weekly duties and really appreciated them. I actually preached twice on Sundays (which meant that those services were extra short). I also got to speak at Jamin's 16th birthday/celebration of Biblical manhood. I was able to share some encouragements and challenges and it was an honor. I had the chance to speak again this year at See You At The Pole at Niota Elementary School where around 100 students gathered to pray for their school and nation. As a youth band we were able to play and lead worship at an FCA event at the Athens Middle School. Speaking at Upward was another great moment. Each of these opportunities were a blessing to be a part of.
-Our family trip to Disney World. What else can be said.
-Younite. This is definitely my favorite part of youth ministry. Our local camp serving others. Not only is it a blast, but God works in so many ways. This year going into it I was having second thoughts on the theme, but God proved me wrong. The theme "Alive" was definitely my favorite so far. God used the theme and the verses to impact our students even beyond the camp. I am so thankful to be a part of this and thankful that God placed this dream in my heart back in July of 2008.
-All the ways that God has worked in our students. I am blown away by how God is working in and through them. I have had a few conversations with students over the past few months who God is leading them to missions/ministry either on a full-time or part-time basis. I am so proud of them and proud to be their youth pastor.
-There are so many more things that I could post. 2012 was a great year and I am blessed beyond imagine. I am looking for God to do greater things in 2013!