Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy "Everything New" Year!

Hopefully you have had a blessed Christmas and an exciting New Year! I know I have been blessed beyond what I could have hoped for this last year. Thank you for partnering with me in support and prayer to make that possible.

We just returned from our FOCUS staff retreat on Saturday and I wish you could have been there!  You would have enjoyed a front row seat to the beauty of God's creation.  Garrett, one of our Collin College ministers, was able to allow us the use of his uncle's lake house in Scroggins,Texas this weekend.  It's just hard to deny God's majesty when you are staring out at the nature He created.  What a joy to have three days in beautiful place with 12 radical disciples for Christ sharing their visions for the new year. One of the things you would have enjoyed the most was a short video we watched from Bill Hybels, pastor at Willow Creek, about sowing more seed.  Based on the parable of the sower, and taking into account that of the four types of soil only one produces fruit...he suggests we have a lot more sowing to do to overcome that ratio.  We spent discussion time brainstorming new ideas, evaluating old practices and encouraging one another. New year--new seeds to sow.

 As you know our theme for this school year has been "Everything New" out of Revelation 21:5
     He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new."
You have heard our staff share about the sermons challenging our ministry to think like new creations. You've seen new lives dedicated to Christ in baptism.  What will this next semester hold?

Classes will begin shortly and students have already started trickling back into Denton to get settled back into their apartments and routines. You might be surprised at how many students come back excited to start the new semester. No complaining about new classes or schedules, but instead eager to encounter new opportunities. The fact that FOCUS winter camp is the way they get to finish their first week back probably doesn't hurt either. :) As a student at winter camp you get to fellowship with not only your own campus but all four FOCUS ministries! What better way to see in person the way God is moving across the campuses. It is always a highlight of the year. You can bet this year will be no exception.To give you an idea of how much our students are impacted by camp I wanted to share a quick story. One of our students just recently celebrated a birthday complete with fun, cake, and friends as birthdays should be.  The only thing missing was presents.  Instead of presents this student requested that people donate money towards helping students who can't afford to attend camp. She didn't want any student to miss this amazing opportunity. This year Guest speaker Geoff Mummley is visiting from a ministry in Washington state to share with us the message of the new kingdom--a six part series focusing on Jesus and reminding us the kingdom of God is here! That is just a little taste of what is to come :)

Please check out the other staff blogs this month!  I know you will want to see and  hear about all the exciting baptisms going on throughout the ministry!

Personally I want to thank you for all your prayers for me and the little ones.  So far everyone is healthy and doing fine. Here is a little holiday entertainment for you :)

My dog had to find a new place to sit due to the twins being in his way.



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