Monthly Archives: December 2011

Emmanuel, God With Us…

The Wedding of Kyle & Tiffany Scheller

It is in the Christmas season that we are reminded once again that God is with us. He has not abandoned us and left us to our own devices. He is with us even now, ever present. One of the things to remember is that God is often found in the midst of or in the work of His people. There have been several reminders of this in our lives over the past few weeks.

The first reminder was at Kyle & Tiffany Scheller’s wedding in Reno on December 17th. They are great friends of ours and it was a honor to perform their wedding. Unfortunately I was still in school at the time so the trip had to be brief, but it was an awesome experience. What a blessing to see a young couple honor God with their relationship and through their wedding. It was evident by the ceremony, the reception, and all of the toasts that this is a remarkable couple and God is living in them.

Another reminder was that a local church, not even the church that we are attending, decided to “adopt” all of the students at SMAT who are married and have children. I simply came to school one day and I was told that a church would like to bless my family over the Christmas holiday. So, the pastor’s wife stopped by last week and dropped off a few presents for Adelina, some holiday decorations, and a few items to fill our pantry. It was such an unexpected blessing. They said, “We appreciate what you are doing and how you are preparing for the mission field, and we just want to be a blessing to you while you are still here in the U.S.”

The last thing has been the fellowship that we have experienced with friends and family. We spent some meaningful time with Jessica’s mom and step-dad. We had some great conversations and they got a lot of time with Adelina. Some of Jessica’s close friends in Reno threw her a surprise baby-shower and it was a tremendous blessing. Jessica was able to stop by Summit over the weekend as well as during the week to see some of our friends in the office. And, I had a great flight out to Reno and I just so happened to be on the same flight as Josh Ortiz.

It is amazing to see how God weaves all our lives together and He uses each of us as vessels of His love and grace. It is our prayer that you would experience Emmanuel, God with you, during this holiday season and spend time with friends and family.

My beautiful wife and I
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One of a Kind Opportunities…

Personalized Airplane Parts

It must be at least once a week when I stop whatever it is that I am doing and think, “Is this life for real? Am I attending an awesome Christian Aviation school in order to pursue  our dream to serve the Lord as missionary pilots?” I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am for this opportunity. The school that I am attending is something special and I am getting to do some amazing and practical projects to learn how to be an aviation mechanic. Watch this link to see some of projects I have been working on.

Another opportunity is that I have been asked to speak at two different churches. I do not have a date set for either church, but I am excited to be able to use any and all of my gifts for the glory of God.

I have also had the opportunity to get to know a young man name Ryan Flaming who is my flight student. He is a great young man who loves the Lord and loves to fly. He is training to be rated to fly into clouds using only the instruments in the plane as a reference. He has to fly several long flights in order to qualify to take the instrument flight test, which allowed us to pay a visit to my brother and his family in Baltimore, MD. My brother has been completing a residency and now a fellowship at John’s Hopkins for 3 1/2 years and I finally got to visit! (It took me long enough!) We had a great time in the plane and we even had the chance to get some actual, which means to fly into some clouds.

All in all, our family is blessed and completely blown away by the goodness and faithfulness of God. He has given us these and many more opportunities to share some incredible experiences, the greatest of which is living out the gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!!!

Somewhere over the rainbow...
Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay
Niece, nephews, and the sucker who had to power the paddle boat!!!

Ministry…

Most of you from Summit will remember the series that we did for the first half of the year in I Peter entitled, “True Grit: It Ain’t Easy, But It’s Worth It.” For those of you who were not a part of the series, the discussion revolved around the fact that the Christian faith does not come with the promise of health, wealth, prosperity, and freedom from all worries, pain, and strife. In fact, it is more appropriate to say that the Christian walk comes with the promise of trials, suffering, and hardship. In John 16:33, Jesus clearly told his disciples that they will have trouble in this life. His encouragement to them was to take heart, however, because He had overcome to the world and He later tells them that He would be with them.

As much as I have read this passage, journeyed through the study in I Peter, and read a number of other passages in the Bible, I find that I keep buying the lie that says everything should be going great if I simply follow Christ. Then, my faith falters when something goes wrong. “Where are you, God? I thought everything was going to be peaches and cream!”

The primary purpose of this string of thoughts lies with some experiences that we have seen here in Michigan. The first is with our daughter, Adelina. She has not slept well since we have moved to our apartment. Jessica and I are always wary of apartments for two reasons. One, you never know who or what kind of people lived in the place you now live. Two, you are surrounded by people whom you don’t really know and you share a wall, a ceiling, or a floor with several of them. All of this to say, Adelina has woken up twice in the last week crying hysterically. She usually wakes up in the night and makes a noise or two, but then settles herself back down. Not these nights! I know that this seems like a small thing and that we have been blessed with a daughter who sleeps great (for the most part), but it is something that can creep in and cause us to ask, “Why would God let her wake up and cry so hard? We pray for her when she goes to sleep.”

I heard a missionary tell of how a friend of his once asked, “Are you really going to take your children to live out in the jungle. I love my children too much to take them on the mission field.” The missionary thought about this for a second and realized that God loved his kids way more than he ever could. And, since God is good and loving, he could trust in God no matter what may happen to his family. Nothing that happens in this life can change the goodness and faithfulness of God.

The second scenario that led to my string of thoughts was the time that we spent last week with the pastor of the church we are attending and his family. Jason and Heidi Holdridge have been serving at Impact Church for 7 years and, as of August 2011, Jason is now the lead pastor of the church. The church is a vibrant, growing community that reminds us a lot of Summit. The new position for Jason has come with more challenges and stresses as he is learning to adapt. Jason knows that Jessica and I have worked in ministry and it gave us a unique opportunity to serve him as he opened up about the things he is working through. We are so thankful for our time at Summit and the experiences that God has brought us through, because it allowed Jason to feel safe to unload some baggage in a safe environment to some people who can relate to what he is dealing with. It was a reminder to us of the importance of praying for those in leadership; for those men and women who are serving and sacrificing for the Kingdom of God.

Which leads me to…

Will you please make it a point to do two things this week?

1. Pray for our family. Pray that God would protect us from the schemes of the enemy and keep us safe. Pray that we would place our trust in God, not just in the good times but when life gets hard.

2. Pray for the leaders of your church. It may seem like they have it all together but they don’t. They need your prayers to stay strong and complete the work that God has commissioned them to do.

PS: Sorry that this was a little bit longer and that there weren’t as many pictures. I won’t make it a habit, but I will be making a video for you to see some of the projects I have been working on and some areas of the school 🙂

We'll let you out when your face goes back to normal