Sunday, September 30, 2007

Our New Condo And The Dodger Game

Saturday we went out to pick up the keys to the condo we'll be renting in Valencia! Brand new carpets and fresh paint; the place looks great! Kathleen Perdisatt (I finally got her last name!) is an awesome land-lady! Here are a few pics of the place:

(This is looking in the front door)

(The living room)

(The kitchen and dining area)

(The backyard nook)

(Master bedroom)

(Bedroom #2)


Then that night we went to watch the Dodgers vs. the Giants at Dodger stadium. Greg Clark came along with us, and it was his very first professional sporting event! The "Generations" class from SGUC had put the trip together, so there were some babies there, who were almost as much fun to watch as the game itself!

(Greg and I at his first ball game! The Dodger hat is mine.)

(Matthew Papik and Micah Costine)

(Good ol' Dodger Stadium)

(The Hoovers, the Papiks, and Josh. Thanks Greg, for taking the pic!)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Farewell to Wenchel

Today I will be returning Wenchel (my iBook G4) to SGUC. He has been a great computer, and I will miss him greatly. I put together this meager video (on iMovie of course) to show my affection and appreciation for all he has been to me over the last year and a half. I hope you enjoy it, and that you'll get a small glimpse of the computer with a BIG heart.

Wenchel
video

"I Love My Mac" by Daphna Kalfon (www.ilovemymacthesong.com)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What if his people prayed...?

I think that title is a song from...Casting Crowns? Anyways, I have the opportunity to be involved in the first meeting of the year for the Campus Crusade group down at UCLA, and I'd covet your prayers for the event. It's tonight at 7:00 pm, and I've written a lot more in detail about it over on my Worship Blog.

Oh, and only one more day until the season premiere of The Office...(I haven't been keeping track officially, but WOOHOO!!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Busy Weekend! My Last Sunday at SGUC

Friday night my dad took me to a jazz club in Studio City called "La Ve Lee" to see some of his favorite musicians, including keyboardist David Garfield, bassist John Pena, drumer Chad Whackerman, and this fantastic guitarist named James Herra. We sat at a table that was 2 feet from the "stage" and we were blown away by almost three hours of unbelievable music.
(See how close we were??!!)
video

Then the next night (Saturday), Jess and I were chaperons for Village Christian's swing dance! We manned the drink table and poured lots of Shirley Temple's for the 50's themed event!

(this one is when we were on golf cart patrol for kids who were "wandering")


Then Sunday morning was my last offici
al Sunday at SGUC. I sang an offertory song by Tommy Walker called "We Will Remember" that talks about remembering God's faithfulness, and how that gives us "strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow" (to quote the great hymn). Then Pastor Steve brought Jess up, and he led the congregation in prayer for the two of us as we go to our new ministry at Crossroads.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rusty...

If you have time to spare, videos of narcoleptic dogs are always entertaining!

Last Day In The Office

Today was my last day in the office at SGUC! Technically I'm still on staff there for the remainder of the month, but as I have seven vacation days to burn for this year, next week I'll be off, preparing for my new job at Crossroads!
I had the opportunity to lead worship for Jr. High Chapel today, and Pastor Tim took a few moments to let the students know it was my last day, and to pray for me. Thanks Tim!
Anyways, as many momentous things are for me, it all seemed like a normal day, except that there will be no more of them. :0(

Here are a few pics from my last day:

Tim Costine; college roommate, fellow intern, friend, and youth pastor


(This was actually yesterday, but I had to have a picture of Micah on here right?)


Me and Timmy Dinkins(Long time friend and cubicle wall buddy)


Me and Tash (We've sung together in worship teams for a long time)


Me and Justin and Geoff (They came by for a meeting, but I pretended it was for me)


Me and Pastor Greg; he has been an incredible mentor and friend


This morning --> --> --> This afternoon

God's Providence!

I just posted an entry about God's amazing providence in giving us a place to rent out in Valencia! It's on my preparing for worship blog that I've started for the Crossroads community.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Goodbye Lunch and First Youth Group


Yesterday the church staff from SGUC took me out to a delicious goodbye lunch at Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill (which was "casually" suggested by Pastor Tim Costine). Jessica Shunkey, Steve Balentine, Greg Golden, Matt Meixell, Tim Costine, Diane Acosta, and I all piled into Diane's car and headed to lunch together.

As I remarked to Pastor Greg in our meeting later, the time leading up to a significant change, and the time after, are usually the "significant" parts; the actual change itself is rarely momentous. As I finish out this last week there, everything is so normal. Daycare kids run around the youth center outside my office, feeling like anything they say must be yelled, phones ring, emails arrive, etc.



I don't even know how to put into words the affection that I have for this church and its people. I know that I will probably not be too much of a stranger around here, simply because how can something that has been a huge part of my life cease to be a part at all?? Jess and I have many amazing relationships here that we will continue to enjoy, and my mom and brother are still here in ministry, so I hope that I'll be able to come around often.

That evening, I went out to the Youth Bible study kickoff for Crossroads. I was able to lead their group in song, and I was impressed and glad that they jumped right in and sung along with me. Kyle Ruggles is heading up their youth program, and he talked with them about the name he was giving the group: "Foundations" and what that name says about the characteristics of their group, namely that they would not be conformed to this world, nor anyone else's faith; that they would not forsake meeting together with the church body; and that they would stand up, and stand firm in the truth of the gospel in their lives. They meet every other Tuesday, and I'm looking forward to being involved with them.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Crossroads #2


This morning was my second time leading worship at Crossroads Community Church where I will be starting as Worship Director in a few weeks (October 1). It was a really great morning as Pastor Todd Smith began a series in the book of 1 Timothy. We sang some great songs that reminded us of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as the apostle Paul urges Timothy to hold fast to the doctrine of the cross. He talked about how the apostle Paul and Timothy were two unlikely people that God used to build his church, and that God empowers us to do his work through his grace, mercy, and peace. As Paul will go on to say:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength,
that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

I'm looking forward to jumping into ministry here in the next few weeks, and my thoughts echo those of the apostle, that Christ came to save sinners, of whom I'm the worst! He has seen fit to appoint me to this ministry, and I trust that he will be faithful to show his "unlimited patience" with me as I seek to help build his church.

Special thanks to Matt Gamble for helping me out by playing the drums!

Friday, September 14, 2007

My eyes, my eyes!

So I got new glasses this morning, and I like 'em and all, but I always forget that there is a few days of "break-in" period where my eyes are forced to adjust to a slightly stronger prescription. So my eyes have been hard at work all day, and they are so tired and sore...

At least Matt Garrett showed me this funny video on YouTube (it's a Linkin Park parody).

Here's my new glasses, and my poor, weak eyes behind them:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Grad School Dilemma

Currently, Jess is enrolled in the Master's of Education program at Azusa Pacific University. Her employer, Village Christian Schools, assists her with tuition costs up to $5,000. Village does, however, offer 100% tuition assistance if the graduate work is done through the online graduate program of National University, "an accredited, private, non-profit institution of higher learning based in San Diego, California," and is supposedly the "second largest private institution in California."

Technically speaking, there is no difference between the degree she will receive upon completion of her Master's work (right???), so we are wondering if it is worth the $20,000 tuition to complete the program at APU, as opposed to doing it for free via the online courses. The consensus among her colleagues at Village, who have completed the online program, is that as long as she wants to continue teaching high school, the program is perfectly satisfactory. For Jess specifically, if she were to try to get into a top-ranked PhD program, she is worried that there may be some academic bias against online degree programs in general, which may inhibit her progress in that area.

Practically speaking, usually a classroom experience with professors and other students is much more rewarding than an online course, but are these reasons worth $20,000???

If any of you have experience in this area, or know of situations that are similar, any insight/advice would be welcome!

Thanks!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Crossroads Anniversary Dinner

Jess and I just got home from a celebration dinner that Crossroads Community Church put on to celebrate their one year anniversary. They have seen God's abundant grace and faithfulness throughout this past year, and we are excited to become a part of what He will continue to do through this amazing group of people in the Santa Clarita valley.

Pastor Todd introduced me, and had me share a little of my heart and vision for worship, and it was great to see their people so excited about learning and growing in our understanding of what worship is, and how to worship each and every day in our own lives.


The actual dinner came in the form of Tommy Burgers from their traveling truck. I'd never had a burger from the Tommy's Truck, but it certainly was delicious, and (look out In-N-Out) they actually serve fries from the truck as well!


We continue to look forward to jumping into ministry at Crossroads, and anticipate God doing some really cool things, as we try to stay faithful and follow His leading! Appreciate your continued prayers

Friday, September 7, 2007

Jess' First Days of School

Jess had her first day with students on Wednesday of this past week, and all in all it was a great experience! She's also started her master's degree courses over at Azusa Pacific University. This means that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, she works from 7:30-2:55 at Village, then dashes over to APU to make her class from 4:30-9:00! She'll be extremely busy for basically the next year and a half, but if there's anyone who's got the drive and discipline to not only make it through, but to excel, then it is Jessica! That being said, doing any more "writing" type things are not really high on her priority list, hence I'm the one writing the blog!

She has 150 students spread over 5 or so classes, that range from "moody and boring" to "rambunctious and loud." She's found so far the interaction she receives from the more rowdy classes have enabled her to be more engaging from the front (even though some of the interaction is from student distraction). She said that it's kind of hard to read the kids as far as how they like the class, or like her as a teacher, but she did hear from a colleague that the kids had given her a lot of positive feedback outside of her class! The only grading she's had to do so far has been the summer homework that was required of her 10th grade honors class, so she's still getting a feel for where her students are academically.

We're still getting the hang of the morning routine so she can make it to work by 7:30, and basically I remain "on call" for her in the morning (to make tea, breakfast, pack lunch, etc.) until she leaves, and then I can get ready for work myself. We call it the "Morning Support System" and I think I'm getting pretty good at it :).

If any of you are unfamiliar with Village Christian, you can check out their website here. Jess has her own "Faculty Page" where she gives course overviews, and a short bio with a few pictures.

Here are a few pics of Jess getting ready for school, you'll notice one of our cats, Binx, has also volunteered his help for our Morning Support System.




Monday, September 3, 2007

Last Sunday Leading

It was a strange morning this past Sunday, as it was my last morning leading worship at San Gabriel. I took extra notice of everything as I went about my normal routine, but it's always kind of funny how these events that seem "epic" in our minds end up being so normal. It was a great morning, with Pastor Steve preaching from Psalm 150, and then we responded with a tremendous time of singing; it was amazing. Then we tore down the sound equipment and put it all away; then it was over, that was it, I was done.

Same thing at Pray N Praise that night. It was a great time of singing and praying, and again, I noticed all the little things I'
d been so used to doing over the years, and noticed that this was the last time I'd do them.

Anyways, in no way does this change the excitement and anticipation I have for where God is leading me, but it's just a weird conflict of emotion in me; a jumbled mess of excitement, sadness, nostalgia, and confidence in God's plan.

(Me and my brother at my last Pray N Praise)


(Me and Bethy, Conor, Josh, Daniell, & Tash)



Paul