Friday, May 23, 2008

A Trip to the Zoo

Last night around 10:30 Stacie got up from bed with a soar throat and a slight fever. We had already planned to go to the Columbia Zoo this morning, so I kept the plan and allowed Stacie to get some rest while Caedmon, C.C. (Grandma Cloud) and I went to hang out with the animals.

It is fun to see how Caedmon is now beginning to interact with his surroundings. For example, while we were walking through the aquarium he kept showing CC and I his best imitation of a fish noise. While in the gorilla compound he pounded his chest and showed us his very best impersonation of the large primates!

So, here is what I can't help but notice as I am walking through the zoo... The majesty of God displayed in his creation. The beauties of the colors displayed on a toucan's beak, the myriad of tropical fish creating candy for the human eye, the strength of a crocodile's jaws, the elegance of the tiger, and much more. At the end of the day, as majestic as all of these animals I find none of them more captivating and beautiful than my 20 month old son. It is much like the description of God's hand in created in Genesis 1:26, "so God created man in his own image, male and female he created them."

I cannot help to see the hand of God as I look into the eyes of my child. To see his handy work and think that this child was knit together in his mother's womb. To know that this being has the capacity and connect with and intimately know God in ways that no other creature under creation can experience. Today I am amazed at the breadth of God's creation and am reminded that we are his prized "creation" with whom he desires a dynamic relationship. Something to ponder for the day!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Saying Goodbye

About 10 days ago Stacie, Caedmon and I said good bye to my favorite church in the world, Breakthrough Church. Over the last 4 years we have diligently given our lives to building a church that reached students who are far from God. As I reflect back on the transition out of Breakthrough Church I cannot have a deeper sense of gratitude for how God worked in the process of our "going" from Breakthrough... So here is what I am most thankful for!

1. Changed Lives... as I look back on our time in Texas I will always remember the countless number of students who lives were radically changed with the message of Christ. I think of students who were buddhists, athiests, and nominal Christians who caught a glimpse of God's love and responded by giving their lives to Him!!

2. The Support of Breakthrough... Stacie and I met with various students and leaders from our church to share the vision of how God is leading us to start a church in San Francisco, explaining that we would be transitioning out of Breakthrough and would need them to step up in the process. In the midst of their pain and sadnesss many of our key leaders rallied around us, prayed for us and even contributed significantly towards helping transition the church. We could not have gotten a better response from our Breakthrough Leadership team and staff. I am so proud of you guys! You stepped up!!

3. Christian and Sarah Williams... As of May 18 Christian assumed the position of Breakthrough's Lead Pastor. He and Sarah are a tremendous couple with a great heart for college students. They are going to do a fabulous job leading Breakthrough into the future.

4. Hope Church... Hope Church assumed oversight of Breakthrough so that it would be more viable from a leadership and finanical standpoint. Due to the fact that Breakthrough is a "student church" we knew it needed some outside leadership to move into the future. Harold Bullock and Hope stepped up and responded to God's prompting
to lead Breakthrough into phase II! I cannot say thank you enough to the staff and leaders at Hope for their willingness to step up to the challenge!

I have heard it said by many that you can discover alot more about a leader by the way he or she leaves than how he or she arrives. I believe God blessed our leaving tremendously. Stacie and I have said a number of times, "it went about as well as it could have gone." I am looking forward to not having to go through that again. Our vision is to go to the San Francisco Bay Area for the rest of our lives! It feels great to "go" with a clear conscience!