Monday, January 26, 2009


When we first started this adventure in church planting, we were looking at going to LA. I remember visiting several times, sometimes with kids and getting crazy looks because of how many we have and sometimes without kids, noticing that there just weren't very many kids, and often when we saw families, there was only one child, sometimes two and often very spread out in age. I remember thinking that we might not need a children's ministry in our church, except for our own children, and being sad about that but trusting God.

I knew coming to Bakersfield was different than being in LA, but even here we sometime got some looks. And I remember during the first or second week of living here, we were walking through Lowes with all the kids, and some guy stopped me and asked if we had four kids. He just looked shocked. He did follow the question with, "so do we, but we never see anyone else who does." I must say that since that time I have met several people who have four children, and we have some friends with five, so it is not completely uncommon. However, I am beginning to think that people must think Kaleo means Large Families Wanted! We had 37 kids at church on Sunday, just about half of our total attendance. I still think I am in awe! 37 kids is a lot of kids!!! It was great! One other thing is almost all of them are boys. Of 17 in one room, five were girls. So that thought of not needing children's ministry is out the door!!! Now we just need more people to serve and love on these kids!!!

Exciting times!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Follow up . . .

Just wanted to let everyone know that Sunday was a wonderful day!!!! We had our best attendance ever, but more importantly than that, four (instead of three as I posted before) people were baptized. It was so wonderful to see each of them and the fruit of what we have been doing and, more importantly, praying for!!! We had a picnic after church with great attendance and watched so many people connecting and building relationships. It was fabulous!!! We also got to make the announcement that we have a worship leader now!!! Yay!!! That is the result of much prayer, and we are so excited to have CJ, Darcie and Christian as a part of our church family! They are fabulous! Then, since the kids were out of school on Monday and we have the AMAZING season passes to Disneyland, we got up early yesterday morning and made a day of it at Disney's California Adventure in order to have some family time! It was a great weekend. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and your part in our lives and in our ministry. This is all part of your doing also!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Kaleo!!!

Tomorrow we will celebrate the first birthday of Kaleo!!! Just like with a child, it is so hard to believe a year has passed. When I think back over the year to the first service last January, I am in awe of how God has carried us through so much and through so many different emotions. It has been crazy. We were in a meeting yesterday with our management team, three pastors from partner churches, and Brent was talking about how there were times that we wanted to quit. It was so hard. (I'm using the past tense loosely. Certainly, I do not think the hard is over.) There have been numerous lessons in perseverance - really the same lesson, just over and over. In the midst of it all, of course, we saw great things, but as I blogged before it is so often easy to get bogged down with the not so great things, and to forget. The last two weeks have been very encouraging, and I am so excited to go and celebrate our one year anniversary tomorrow. We will be baptizing three people, which is wonderful. After service, we are heading to a park for a picnic. The weather is supposed to be a beautiful 71 degrees. It's January, and while I live in California, it's Bakersfield, and we do have cold temperatures. It is not supposed to be this warm in January. I think it is a nice little birthday present from God!!!

I need to blog more often about the great blessings, but I have been tired and lacking time since I started my job, but I did want to post something about tomorrow. I continue to hold onto the verses in Romans 5:1-5. This has been such an encouragement to me from shortly after we began our church planting journey. There are so many things in these verses, but the thing I have to remember and to focus on is in verse 2 ". . . and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." It is easy for my joy and my hope to rest in the responses of the people around me. My hope should rest only in God.

So, as we move into year two, I pray that we will have joy that can only come from the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. And that his joy will be evident to those around us, so much so that they want to know why. Brent says that sometimes he feels that all we are doing is being faithful. We go through periods of time when we do not see a lot of fruit, and it can get us down, but our job is to be faithful to what God has called us. I pray we will continue to be faithful and that joy would be seen in that faithfulness.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Thank You God . . . "

" . . . for making me. Thank you God for making me so pretty." This was Sarah's prayer a few nights ago. I guess I don't have to worry about her self-esteem!!! It's amazing how sweet and innocent such things can sound coming from the mouth of a three year old! I love it! We must now pray for humility!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Camera

I've had a million things to blog about but not a second to write. I need to catch up, and I need to post some pictures, but right at the moment, it's impossible. Which leads me to my camera story, which is very cool!!!

We went to Disneyland on the first and second of January. It was wonderful!!! I love Disneyland, and I am so grateful for the Christmas gift of Disneyland passes. We will enjoy Disney several times this year! We had been home for a week when we realized we hadn't seen our camera since we returned. I was just certain we had it, but we searched and could not find it. I remembered that as we were leaving the park, the princesses were out for pictures. Sarah was asleep, and I mentioned to Brent that we should try to take her picture with them because she won't go near them when she is awake. She's too afraid (yes, even of the princesses!) Anyway, we didn't end up taking the picture, but I was sure we had the camera at that point in time. Today, I decided to break down and call the Disney lost and found. Can you believe it? They have our camera. We left it there and some very nice and honest person found it and turned it in. And Disneyland is mailing it to us. When I tried to give them my credit card information to pay for postage, they told me it was on Mickey!!! What a wonderful place!!