September 2, 2014

A Year Later...

I know, I know.  Where have I/we been?  It's been so long since I last posted to my blog and I feel horrible about that.  Please forgive me.  I'm going to try and write a little more regularly.  I don't know how often that would be, but I am certainly going to try and post weekly, not weakly, but weekly.

So, here's what's new with us.

Kristi and I had an amazing trip to Israel in March 2012 and I want to say thank you to those of you who supported us financially to go on this trip.  It was truly an amazing experience and one that has changed my life greatly.  If you've never been to Israel, please try to make a trip there.  You'll see so many of the places that you've read about in your Bible, but they come to life in an amazing way.

Between Kristi and I, we took 1,000 pictures and it was just incredible to be there.  We went to Caesarea, stayed in Tiberias for a few days going to Chorazin, Gadera, Capernaum and had an amazing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee too.

We went to Qumran, the Dead See, Jericho, Bethlehem, Mosada and then the last few days of our trip was spent in Jerusalem, visiting the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, Caiaphas' house, the Western Wall the Old City of Jerusalem too.

The coffee there was phenomenal and had hummus for the first time there too.  I was even able to practice reading and speaking a little bit of Hebrew while there too.  Only a little.

Our guide for the trip, my Old Testament professor, Dr. R. Bryan Widbin was such a great guide for the trip.  I was blessed to have him as a teacher in seminary and he was an even greater blessing as a teacher in Israel.

Well, to start, Kristi and I welcomed our son, Kaleb Thomas into the world on June 18th and our little guy was 8 lbs. 10oz. too.  He was born via C-section because his body was upright and not upside down as the baby was supposed to be, so she had to have a C-section.

We had to be at the hospital by 9 a.m. and we thought the baby would be delivered by noon, but that didn't happen, not because of any complications on our part, but there were three other women in delivery that were experiencing complications in their natural birth and had to be moved to having a C-section performed.

It wasn't until about 3:30 p.m. when we were able to be next in line and shortly after 4 p.m., our son, Kaleb Thomas was born.

When I came to work after Kaleb was born, I saw this sign
and it just brought me to tears. I love and miss them very much.
Once my 5 year anniversary at The Home Depot occurred, I was able to use my 3 weeks of vacation to go to Cape Cod and visit some of my cousins before we moved.  It was a little bit of a family reunion too and my mother flew out from California and she would meet her grandson for the very first time, up close and personal.  I was as excited for her to meet my son as I was when my father held him for the first time too.  The joy that our son has brought into our lives and to our parents is just beyond words.
Cape Cod, August 2013

It's difficult now living in Texas where many of our friends back home are only able to watch Kaleb grow up through our pictures or videos that we share on Facebook.  What a blessing FaceTime and Skype have been for us too, to be able to have our parents see Kaleb live at any time and still keep in touch.  It's probably time for another video call soon too.

Another new thing to share with you is that we've moved from Danbury, CT to Arlington, TX and as of September 1, 2013, I have been the pastor of Central Assembly of God here in Arlington.

Central Assembly is a small church that is located less than 5 minutes from the University of Texas at Arlington and we're minutes away from both AT&T Stadium - home of the Dallas Cowboys and the newly named Globe Life Park - home of the Texas Rangers.

Make no mistake, we're going to be Yankees fans for life.  We miss going to see the Yankees play in the Bronx and in late July, we were able to get tickets to watch him play one last time as a Yankee.  I can't imagine what it's going to be like when the last game of the season comes and how emotional he may be.  I do hope they make the playoffs and even win the World Series, but the chase to make the Wild Card and the playoffs is getting tight and I do hope they make it.  What a great way for Derek to finish off his career with another World Series championship.

This past year has been an incredible learning experience for me as a pastor too.  I'm learning how important prayer is, not just once in a while, but every single day because I need it.  I need to meet with God and humbly ask him for the strength I need to do this work, but I can't do it under my own strength at all.  I could, but it wouldn't be worth it because when you forget that you need God's help in ministry, the ministry can become more about yourself than about ministering to people through the Word of God.

So, here I am now, a year later, having moved my family half way across the country, to the great state of Texas, to serve God and lead His people in a growing relationship through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ and to also win those who are without Christ, to Christ, so that they may grow to love Him for what He has done, to redeem them from the wrath of God.

There is still much work to be done here and it all must be bathed in prayer, relying upon the strength of the Holy Spirit, to enable me and equip me for the service of ministry that God has called me to.

So that's it in a nutshell.  Stay tuned as I begin to post more regularly and I appreciate your subscription to the blog and look forward to sharing more new content with you.

Have a blessed day ya'll.

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