I just wanted to give you a quick update on things that have been going on spiritually in our lives of late. We left Oak Leaf Church, not because we didn't like the worship style, but for me personally, I felt like 1) I was getting pigeonholed into a service position that I wasn't comfortable with, and 2) that the pastor wasn't exactly being straightforward with some things happening in the church. This is not to say that he isn't the right person for that church, but I find it hard to follow a person who says that you should give up a vacation to give money to the church and then turns around and goes on one to Las Vegas within two weeks of stating this in front of the church...

I think that what was happening with that church is an overreaction to a financial situation that they did not plan accordingly for. That said, I still pray for that ministry and hope that it is extraordinarily successful. In the end, we ended up being just another face in the crowd, and weren't using our spiritual gifts to the extent that they should be used.

We have been going to Cedarcrest Church of late. It is an offshoot of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, and it is much more controlled in terms of how the church is run, their beliefs (which are more transparent and concrete than a few other churches we have seen around Cartersville, not just Oak Leaf), and were more than willing to let us serve in a variety of ways. So far, we are already helping in Elevate. That is the children's material out of North Point Church (I think). (I saw that Sherwood Baptist down in Albany {the one that does the movies...see below} uses it on their Wednesday night services, too.) We had a field day today as well where families could play games together, and also where people could just congregate and get to know other people. The church is already running around 1000 people, but it still feels like a small church. This is the most difficult thing for a quickly-growing large church to do, and I think that they are accomplishing it so far.

We also have been attending a Community Group. It's pretty much a small group (same idea, different name). We were originally attracted to it because they were doing a study on marriage called "The Time Starved Marriage". Not that we really are time-starved, but we still wanted to do something on marriage. In any case, this group has been together for nearly two years, are already pretty well entrenched (but not hostile to 'outsiders'), and have formed strong bonds between one another. This said, we have fit in very well with one another already! It doesn't hurt that there is a good mix of people in there from all different walks of life, and it doesn't hurt that there are two other teachers in the group as well.

Tonight, we watched Fireproof in our Community Group. Man, what an awesome movie. It's sort of sad to realize that a lot of relationships could be saved with some simple communication, listening to one another's needs and wants (both emotionally, physically, and spiritually), and respecting one another. God's love to us was shown through sending Jesus, and it is most definitely symbolic in a marriage of how we are supposed to treat one another. As a man, I have to look and see what sort of man I am being towards my wife. Am I treating her the way that God wants me to treat her? Do I listen to her needs and wants? Sometimes, it can be very difficult to do the right thing, honestly. It takes a lot of work to make marriage work!

It is always easy to be in a marriage in the easy times, but of course of late, it's not been so easy. It seems like we've been poked and prodded every way that we can be...although I still haven't had to have an ultrasound of my 'boys', so you're still up on me, Nate. :D It has been tough on our marriage to lose a baby. We were so excited that we were already pregnant and then we lost the child. For about two weeks, our marriage was sort of in a funk, and it was mostly due to me. I didn't know how to react to Tasha in a way, and I didn't know how to deal with my emotions. I felt very close and very far away from God at the same time. I wanted to know why we couldn't be parents yet, but I fell heavily on his arms for strength at the same time. It took a lot of prayer to realize that God will give us a child in his due time, and that I have to be awfully patient and rely totally on Him. This all said, I know that our marriage is truly 'fireproof' from this experience.

I know that God gave me the ultimate mate in Tasha, and I thank Him for her every day. She filled a hole in my life that I had been searching for for so long, and I know that she was sent to me by God. I hope that my life and the way that I treat her is a reflection of God's love to us, and that we can be a shining example of how a marriage should work. I hope that it is also a reflection of how God can work in other people's relationships.

Ok, got to get to bed. I feel better now..:) More later! :D