Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Carving!

I have so many pictures on my camera that need to be edited and documented. It feels like this fall is just flying by and I cannot catch up! Our awesome friends had us over for a pumpkin carving party and we all had so much fun. You would think that the kids would be more involved in the process but they just wanted the end result- not the messy & hard work!! I think the pumpkins turned out super cool and it was great to relax and eat candy with friends! We LOVE fall!! (now if our Houston weather would just catch up with the season that would be great!!)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sabbatical: California Part 1

As we have said before, our amazing church blessed us with a one month Sabbatical after having been working with students at Terra Verde Community Church for 7 years. We decided to move our 10th wedding anniversary vacation up a few months (our anniversary is in January) to fit within the Sabbatical. We went to Laguna Beach in California to celebrate our anniversary. To say that it was amazing is an understatement. We both love the California beaches and Laguna is definitely our favorite spot to vacation so far. It was super relaxing. We read a lot, walked at least 5-6 miles a day through the most precious little artsy town of Laguna, ate great food and got lots of rest. Here is a small picture recap from the pictures from my Canon (now that I have an i-phone, I caught myself taking more pictures with that because it was easier to carry). I-phone pics will come later =).

Our church leaders encouraged us to visit other churches during the Sabbatical so that we could see how other churches were ministering to their communities. While in California, we visited a church called Reality LA in Los Angeles. It was phenomenal. The worship was so encouraging and the teaching was so convicting and refreshing. We both loved how humble the leadership was. While on stage leading worship there were not any bright lights spotlighting the musicians. They had enough light to read their music but worship was not a performance- it was worship. We could easily tell that the musicians were not up on stage so that they could receive praise. The whole service was about bringing glory to the name of Christ. Even after the pastor taught through Matthew 14, he just prayed and quietly left the stage, letting the Words of the bible sink in and cause change within the congregation. After the teaching, there was a time of communion where people went up when they felt led and took communion while worship continued. My favorite part was when we were leaving the building. As the congregation left the building, two church members were holding a huge banner up for people to read as they passed by and headed to their cars. It said in a very simple font with no bells and whistles,

"His Name is YESHUA."

I literally almost started crying when I saw this. To have one last reminder before heading off into the real world that life is about ONE person- Jesus! What an amazing reminder! We were so encouraged by REality LA and thankful for the opportunity to witness the ministry of another body of Christ seeking to bring the glory of Jesus to LA.

We cannot say this enough... we are so thankful to our wonderful church family for all of the love and support that we have felt continuously for these 7 years. Though no church is perfect, we are continually humbled by the encouraging and selfless community that we get to serve with. We look forward to many more years serving the body of Christ at TVCC and are hopeful that the Lord will continue to do wonderful things as we submit fully to His leading. We will surely write more of our Sabbatical experience soon so that those that were praying for us can know what the Lord has been doing...