Archives For Family

This week I’m super stoked (yep…I said stoked) to be in Austin, TX for Campus Harvest. Last year was amazing and the expectation level going into this year is nuts.

Wednesday was an air travel day for me, as I journeyed to the next Campus Harvest location. Much of it was spent waiting in long lines, observing people pretending not to observe other people, and sitting extremely close with John “Lil John” Lumpkin in seats that were not meant for “full figured” people.

At some point I will probably need to devote an entire blog series to my “Adventures with John ‘Lil John’ Lumpkin”. He is kind of like having a character from an 80’s sitcom with you at all times…if that character were an 75yr old black man…trapped in a 27yr old body…with a voice like rolling thunder…that spoke in riddles…who just happens to be the nastiest drummer you ever heard. You know…THAT guy.

Anywho, the highlights of my day were the two bookends…a baby and bacon (the whole Battlestar Galactica thing was purely for alliteration purposes and a nod to The Office…of course).

#LionO

#LionO

First of all, yesterday was my little man Judah’s (aka Cubby…aka LionO) 6 month birthday! I know it may seem kinda silly to be so amped about 6 months, but given that our baby girl Aria passed away just shy of the 6 month mark it’s made it more significant than ever. Life with Cubby has felt so surreal up to this point. I love holding him, kissing him, and making him do that unbelievably cute squeal/laugh.

However, I’ve often had the hardest time picturing him beyond Aria’s age. It was almost like I had internally constructed some kind of safety net that wouldn’t let me imagine him past a certain point in case “anything happened”.

Until yesterday.

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For the first time ever, Campus Harvest is coming to Jacksonville, FL…THIS WEEKEND!!! Students from all over the Southeast region will be gathering at Southpoint Community Church to encounter God and be forever changed. For over 20yrs Campus Harvest has served as a catalyst for transformation in the hearts of students all over the world and this year will be no exception! Already this year Campus Harvest has hosted student conferences in Calgary, Los Angeles, and Durham, NC.

I’ve had the joy of being a part of the Campus Harvest team for the last 12yrs, but every year I am reminded about the first time I attended. In 2001, I was invited to attended Campus Harvest by a friend of mine from our local church dance team who refused to take no for an answer. I was reluctant to come because I knew God was drawing me in and wanting to speak to me, but I had become quite comfortable playing the role of Jonah and pretending not to care.

I boarded the white 15 passenger van intentionally sitting shotgun because I didn’t want to have to talk to the “happy christian white kids in the back”. I now realize that the opposition and resistance I was feeling was the reeling of every oppressive circumstance and influencing lie that knew the end was coming for them.

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After watching several versions online of the viral “Harlem Shake”, Isaiah and Aaron were determined to have a little fun of their own before bedtime. At the very least, here’s a glimpse into how much fun these little guys are.

Isn’t She Lovely!

April 15, 2011 — 5 Comments

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the one and only Aria Joy Owens!!!

A few short months ago when Kelley and I were at the doctor’s office for the much anticipated “is it a boy or girl” visit, I remember looking at the ultrasound, realizing we were having a girl, and saying, “I’m not ready to be mush”. Well, ready or not…mush.

I love my boys!!! I love wrestling with them, dancing with them, kissing them, tickling them till they turn beet red. I feel so honored and excited to train up two young champions that will love God, be great husbands, and great dads (in Jesus name).

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{NEW…}

August 10, 2010 — 2 Comments

{BEHOLD…}

New is a beautifully terrifying site to behold. Filled with equal parts excitement, anticipation, and mystery. No matter how many people have experienced new before, it will hit you like none other…because they are not you; therefore, you make it…new.

{…ALL things…}

I have recently moved to a new city, for a new job, at a new church, to bring new direction to a worship team, and develop a new training program. I’m unpacking in a new house, in a new neighborhood, with new neighbors, a new yard to resurrect from the dead, and a new cable TV monopoly…DARN YOU TED TURNER!!! I feel like I’m entering a new phase of being a husband to my hot wife, a father to my cool kids, and a son to my Heavenly Father who graciously grants me mercies new on the daily and branded this whole “new” thing to begin with.

{…are MADE…}

New comes without an invitation, but does not wait around for approval. New is never complacent and always on the move. Therefore, if I desire to stay in its company I too must be “made” new. Bluntly put…I must change.  Fortunately Christ, who is ever constant, specializes in change. It is only His skillful hand that can make me into the new I need to be for the new joys, new journeys, and new challenges that wait. If fact, I’m learning more and more that new challenges are one of His favorite tools.

Next time we are rebuking our circumstances it would serve us well to remember God is more interested in seeing us change than in changing our circumstances. Like they say, “if it was easy everyone would be doing it”, but it’s not. Sometimes the comfort and familiarity of the old can seem so much more appealing when counting the cost of new. It’s the comfort of the old that caused the Israelites to reminisce about the good ole days of slavery while on the road to the Promised Land.

Though change can be a lot of work, I’m finding it’s a lot more about surrender than sweat. Change requires surrendering to the only manufacturer, who can eternally stand by His work. If you cut corners and avoid the process of change you will be left with a cheap imitation at best…which if you’re talking about a purse for your wife may not be too bad, but if you’re talking about character and integrity while your wife is away could be another conversation.

Whatever the cost, it is worth it. There is a high that comes from “new” that is sometimes hard to quantify, but is augmented when the price paid is realized. As excited as I am for this “new” season of life and ministry, I appreciate it at a whole different level when I recognized all God has done over the last 6yrs to prepare me for this time.

I will inevitably become more familiar with my “new” city, neighborhood, church, life, family, and God. However, I pray my passion to love, my hunger to grow, and my desperation to know Christ and His purposes stay fresh, alive, vibrant, and…

{…NEW.}

Live @ The Triple 5

February 19, 2010 — 2 Comments

The Triple 5 is a place of remembrance for me. As soon as I walk in I’m reminded of the many moments of conversation, conviction, and conflict experienced over a cup of coffee or a venti cup of ice water (depending on how much I had left of my full-time living on a part-time salary).

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Here we are once again. Standing at the beginning of a new year; full of hope, anticipation, and leftovers from Christmas that are only adding to our list of resolutions. If you’re anything like me you have probably set some goals for yourself that range from weight loss and organization to relationships and book reading.

Though Kelley and I have sat down and plotted out our goals spiritually, personally, and financially for the year I know that inevitably circumstances and/or God will probably challenge our plans at some point.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”(Prov. 19:21)

Though we have prayed and very much hope that our plans are lined up with God, I know he will stretch us. He will even “mess” with us; just to test our hearts and keep us relying on Him. It can be so easy to put our faith in our administrative prowess or the newest “admin software”. Yes, there is a peace and a joy that comes from planning ahead, but if Jesus is not our source of peace and joy we will crumble when our “plan” doesn’t unfold the way it was “supposed” to.

Some of my plans and resolutions may change, but two things are sure…

I WILL BE STRETCHED

and…

I MUST GROW.

Not very deep realizations, I know. However, I need to remind myself of these very simple truths. The first truth of being stretched is gonna happen whether I like it or not. The second issue of growth depends on how I respond to the stretching.