Best of Books – 2017

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2017 was a good year for reading for me.  By God’s grace I read 20 books this past year.  Here are my top 5 in no particular order (too hard to rank):

Trellis & Vine

1. “The Trellis & The Vine” by Colin Marshall & Tony Payne – This is a book that focuses on discipleship/discipling (helping people follow Jesus) within the community of the local church.  This will be a discipleship book that I refer back to often (starting at the top of this year).

Dangerous Calling

2. “Dangerous Calling” by Paul Tripp – Paul Tripp wrote this book to encourage pastors towards personal health – accountability, transparency, life-giving community, etc.  He wrote this from his many conversations with pastors that revealed deep struggles, wounds, etc.  This is a must read for pastors (IMHO).

Among Wolves

3. “Among Wolves” by Dhati Lewis – I think the reason this book is so impactful to me is that I know that Dhati lives this book (it isn’t just theory).  These chapters were embedded into my life when I was part of the BLVD cohort in the fall of 2015.  It is a very practical book to mobilize a church towards creating a disciple making culture.

Habits of Grace

4. “Habits of Grace” by David Mathis – This is one of the best books on spiritual disciplines that I have ever read.  I love how Mathis frames every habit within the context of the grace of the gospel.  I have already begun taking others through this book.  It is a very practical book on the disciplines, and includes discipling others, generosity, etc. – as other habits of grace.

Bury My Heart

5. “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown – This book is a history of America from the perspective of Native Americans from many different tribes.  It walks the reader through the chronological history of American settlers as they pushed from east to west.  It is a sad and sobering read as time and time again we (American govt) lied to, stole from, and ultimately wiped out (it was genocide) Native Americans from this land. I definitely want to read more books on Native American history.

Honorable Mention:  “Oneness Embraced” by Tony Evans, “Overrated” by Eugene Cho, “Gospel Fluency” by Jeff Vanderstelt,  “Finding Faithful Elders & Deacons” by Thabiti Anyabwile, “Designed To Lead” by Eric Geiger, “What The Bible Teaches About Homosexuality” by Kevin DeYoung, “The Pastor’s Ministry” by Brian Croft, “The Gospel of the Kingdom” by George Eldon Ladd

What books impacted you this year?

 

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A Hard Goodbye

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As many of you know Pastor Aaron and I have served in ministry together for 12 years (6 years in Chicago & 6 here), and have been friends for 15 years. We have grown up in ministry together so to speak. He and his wife Sugar recently made the difficult decision to relocate to Springfield, OH. Sugar’s dad is suffering from dementia, so part of the reason for the move is to care for him and Sugar’s mom. In addition to family concerns, they also feel called to plant another church in their new city. Therefore, we (LHNC) are their sending church as they launch out and begin to learn their new neighborhood and city in Ohio. We had a very emotional going away party for them on July 23rd, and then a commissioning service for them on July 30th. Please pray for them as they get settled into their new home and community, and for our church as we grieve not having them with us. Continue reading “A Hard Goodbye”

Baby Dedication of Jaye Marie

On Sunday July 30th, we dedicated Jaye Marie to the Lord.  It was important to us that we did it while Aaron was still with us so that he could oversee the dedication.  Our church family has truly been a family to us, especially for us being so far from our families in the midwest.  We apologize for the quality of the video, but thought you would appreciate getting a glimpse of the dedication.

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Love Richmond Day Camp

Shirt Love Richmond

Back in mid-January Aaron and I attended a pastor’s network luncheon where we met Andrae, the Executive Director of a non-profit organization called the 117 Project (named after Isaiah 1:17).   To make a long story short, his organization ended up running a summer day camp for K-5th graders at our church this past June/July. Praise God over 60 kids attended the 4 week camp, and heard every day the good news of Jesus! The camp was run by 25 college students and young adults who served as interns with the 117 Project over the summer.  Below is a highlight video of the Love Richmond camp experience.

Continue reading “Love Richmond Day Camp”

Eyes To See 2017

We once again partnered with Christian Layman Church (Oakland) to host a 3 day community eye screening in mid-July. It was a beautiful scene to see our two churches and other volunteers serve our community together. This year’s screening was intentionally shorter than in summers past because we wanted to be more intentional about saturating our days with prayer, and slowing down to truly listen to and love the people who would come through our doors. We served approximately 230 people over the course of those 3 days, and we once again saw God answer prayers! Continue reading “Eyes To See 2017”

Snapshots of Grace

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1st Annual LHNC Men’s Retreat (pictured above): On the last weekend in April we had our first ever (but definitely will be repeated) men’s retreat at New Life Marina. 15 of us went and stayed together in a large retreat house that sits on the water. It was such a great time for all of us. We had great times of worship together, fishing and boat rides, and some phenomenal meals. We are praying that the momentum of the retreat will mobilize our men to engage in discipleship groups and serve in ministry. Continue reading “Snapshots of Grace”

A Faith Adventure

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Josie and I got married in the fall of 2011 (November 5th).  At the top of 2012 we decided to start trying to get pregnant, as we were both 34 at the time and excited about a potential family.  2012 was a great year for us.  We dated each other, and got to know each other.  But at the end of the year there was no pregnancy.  When 2013 began, we asked people to begin  praying with us for a baby.  The year came and went, and still no baby.  As we headed into 2014 we asked more people to pray. During our Rwanda trip that year in April our brothers and sister there prayed over us, crying out to the Lord on our behalf, and asking the Lord to expand our family.  Continue reading “A Faith Adventure”