Moving to Georgia

So I twittered about it and it’s now on facebook and on the right hand side of this blog (until it scrolls off), but I can go more in depth here. My family is moving back to Georgia. Heather’s grandfather passed away a week and a half ago and, in traveling down for the funeral, we saw a need that we fell called to help with. We’re going to move in with Heather’s grandmother (who’s in her 80s) and aunt (who has special needs) and Heather will take care of them (with help from me) while I find a job and finish up school online.

We’re totally going to miss all of our friends here in NC but are insanely excited about seeing all our old friends in GA!

Blogging and Baby

So, it’s hard to blog often. I know people who are shutting their blogs down in favor of Twitter or just hanging on Facebook. I’m not doing that with mine. However, I definitely don’t post here as often. That is partly because of my two jobs and this semester’s classes and partly because our baby is due in less than two weeks.

Speaking of that, if you’d like to follow labor, delivery, and such, just follow babycheat on twitter. If you don’t want to sign up for twitter, just text “follow babycheat” to 40404 from your cell phone. Questions about that? Contact me.

A Faith Lived Out

As some of you know, my father-in-law passed away September 4th. We spent a week in Georgia with the family doing all the stuff one does at a time like that. I’m not going to blog about that. Instead, I’m going to blog about the life of Paul Samuel Kitchen, father of my wife.

One of the pastors at the funeral said something that really struck me. He said Paul lived out his faith practically. That definitely is what I remember most about him. To illustrate this, I’ll give some examples.

Heather and I bought a house together right before we got married. She lived in it while I lived at my mom’s. We were determined to finish the master bedroom before we got married (we bought it unfinished). Paul spent many long days working (along with my family and friends) to make that a reality. After Heather and I married and I moved in, we wanted to redo the bathroom. We set our ambitions high and even wanted to move walls, redo wiring, add a jetted tub, remove the tile floor, and more. Well, about halfway through that project, I shattered the bottom third of my kneecap in a kayaking accident (sit on top kayaks and Class 3 rapids don’t always mix). Paul came up nearly daily for as long as it took to finish the project, often working by himself all day as I watched from the adjacent bedroom, highly doped up on Hydrocodone.

In case you’re thinking “Who wouldn’t do that for family?”, that was the norm for him. He would often help people with yard work (he went to his brother’s house every other week), fix plumbing leaks, even help building houses. That was who he was and how he lived his faith. Heck, he spent 26 years pulling people out of burning buildings and wrecked cars and driving firetrucks and ambulances as a Gwinnett County, GA Fireman. He was the first to propose fitness standards for that county’s firemen and after his retirement, he continued to teach children and adults in first aid, fire safety, CPR, and AED.

The reason I’m writing this post is not to build up a man. I’m writing to point out how a man lived out his faith. He didn’t talk about it much, but he didn’t need to. One could sum up his life with a quote often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (though probably not his): “Preach the Gospel. Use words when necessary.”

Even more fitting (and definitely more biblical) is what James 2:14-26 (especially 2:18) says:

(14) What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, (16) and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (17) So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (18) But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (19) You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! (20) Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? (21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? (22) You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; (23) and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. (24) You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. (25) And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? (26) For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

The Fall (Season)

So, classes have started back (although I’m doing them online), work is more hours, and I don’t really have any free time. That’s why this blog appears to be abandoned. I really just need to figure out a topic to blog on, and then just do it. Maybe suggestions would be helpful. I’ve been working a lot at Southeastern doing video production stuff. I’ve also been work a lot at Journey on HD upgrades (blu-ray specifically) and getting our new NW campus location up to spec before the grand opening on September 13th. So, questions or comments? Or maybe I should just post more ramblings and musings like this.

Christmas

So, this has been a fun Christmas so far. We went to church on the 21st then headed down straight from there to Georgia to see both my family and my wife’s family. We took the roundabout way of going through Asheville, since its so much prettier than I-85 the whole way. Our first stop: my mom’s house in Dahlonega.

We had some relaxing time at my mom’s. My wife and I got to visit Kyle and his fiancée Amanda (in whose wedding I’ll be in April). We played them and Kyle’s dad and Brenda in Trivial Pursuit (the brand new version) and stomped them! Heh. We also went to the Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre with my mom, brother, and aunt for my mom’s birthday. Afterwards we went to the Varsity and hung out with Phil. Then Christmas Eve morning hit – I woke up with a stomach virus. The rest of that day and Christmas were a painful blur, but by Christmas evening I was feeling much better. My wife, my mom, and even my aunt (who’s a registered nurse) took care of me during my sickness. They rock! At this Christmas, I got to hang out with family and got some good presents as well: Dante’s Divine Comedy from my brother and a nice Ecuadorian wallet from my mom to name just two. We postponed our travel day until the day after Christmas because of me being sick, but headed down the morning of the 26th the Heather’s parents house in Lawrenceville.

Our second stop started a day late, so we missed hanging out with Heather’s extended family for Christmas dinner, but got to see her parents and brothers for a few days. They postponed opening gifts a day for us. I got some laptop upgrades from her parents and a surprise gift from my wife and her parents: an amazingly awesome mountain bike! My father-in-law and wife went with me to a local park to test it out and we did 4.5 miles of crazy mountain trails. Good times. I also built the computer I helped my mother-in-law order for my brother-in-law Adam. Its fun to build computers – especially when someone else pays for it! Sunday morning we went to church at Cross Pointe Church in Duluth to listen to Dr. James Merritt preach, but were pleasantly surprised when his son Jonathan was announced to be preaching that day. Jonathan had just graduated from the school I go to, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. After hanging at my In-law’s for a few days, we headed down to Cumming to spend some time with my dad.

We arrived at my dad’s house the evening of the 29th. The next day, we met up with Kyle and Amanda again – this time to get measured for my tux. That evening, we headed to a party at the apartment of Matt and Taryn Temples. The next day, we opened presents with my dad, Connie, and brothers. I got a 22″ monitor and laser pointer to annoy animals with. Yay! We’ll be heading back to NC this Friday after hanging out with just a few more people here in GA. Overall, I must say this has been a great Christmas trip.