So after I wrote my last post, Elise and I were enjoying our new found life of marriage, but I was also looking for a new job. Many of you know my passion is in youth ministry and helping students to see the love, grace, and healing that Christ brings. And because of that I had been looking for youth ministry positions for a while, and God's timing couldn't have been more perfect.
I had a great job that I was super thankful for in Clinton but it was coming to an end and I knew that I would soon be unemployed if I didn't have a new position, but God led Elise and I to Parkview Church in Iowa City. Now neither of us thought we would end up staying in Iowa. I for one was not really sold on the whole Midwest style of living. Coming from the most densely packed state in the country to a river town with not much around was a complete culture shock for a Jersey Boy like me, but Iowa City was different. It was more urban but with a small town feel. The university and hospital was bringing a ton of young people in, and the surrounding area was exploding with people moving in. It seemed like every day something new was being built.
When Elise and I visited we were a little bit skeptical because we had a packed schedule over a weekend visit, and from the moment we arrived we hit the ground running! Dinner, visiting with staff, dessert, grabbing some sleep, breakfast, contract talk, coffee, meeting more staff, lunch, touring downtown, coffee, more meetings....you get the idea it was a lot of meetings and food. And let me tell you...The food is amazing!
Anyway, we wrapped up the weekend with me teaching Sunday morning and then attending a Sunday night Youth Group program and we headed home late Sunday night. The whole way back (in fact the whole weekend) Elise and I couldn't stop talking about the church and how we felt there was something different about this position. A couple weeks later after a lot of prayer, conversation with some awesome Godly people, and talking with one another I formally accepted the position at Parkview and joined a team of two others to form a complete Student Ministries office.
Elise then transitioned to part-time with the newspaper she worked at, and as that was happening I was commuting on the weekends to Parkview to begin working with the team and the students. It was a lot for us as newlyweds to handle, but it seemed that God was giving us the strength to make it through it all. I mean I honestly wouldn't recommend to anyone to get married, switch jobs, and move with a 2-3 month period. It was a little crazy to say the least!
Our first few months in Iowa City there were crazy times. We were settling in, trying to adjust to a new pace of life, dealing with dental issues (root canals), transitioning jobs again for Elise, and just trying to live as a married couple. It was tough at some points but through it all Elise and I grew closer and our marriage continued to get stronger! We made some awesome new friends, adjusted to life in a university town (or small city depending who you ask), settled into our jobs (both now at the church), and began to see why God wants us here!
I am loving the ministry I am in, and Elise has jumped right in to help with the high school youth ministry, and has been a huge asset to what we do here. Now life is settling into a pattern, as much as it can being in ministry. We have some super busy times, but always find time to be together and just enjoy being married.
Here are a few other brief updates on my life:
- Currently our youth team is planning our first concert at Parkview through our Student Ministries office and having The Digital Age come out on March 1st. It promises to be an awesome time and the outreach will be great as the Gospel will be presented.
- I have applied to and been accepted by Liberty University and plan to pursue my masters in Biblical Counseling with a Youth and Family Emphasis in the Fall of 2015.
- I am beginning to work on two books and hope to eventually finish them. One will be on youth ministry and the different styles of leadership. The second will be semi-autobiographical with a focus on dealing with abuse in a Christian home and how to help all those involved (parents, siblings, the abused, and the abuser) as well as the church's response to it.
- And I am another year older! Bring on the thirties in less than a year.
I hope that those of you who read this are relatively caught up, and hopefully looking forward to my ramblings. If not, just pretend you are so I feel good (haha just kidding). But I do plan to write a bit more now and share some of my thoughts, passions, and understandings of life, Scripture, and a little bit of everything else. God bless all!