riding the struggle bus…

strugglebus1A little over a week ago I turned the big 37 and I have to admit since that time I am really riding the struggle bus.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing bad has happened and I have truly had some enjoyable times with my family during this busy Christmas season.  That being said, it’s in those times when we should be joyful and thankful for all that God is doing around us, that Satan so often wants to get us down.  Everything from loneliness, to fears about finances and our ministry support, to worrying about my kids, just keep coming out of nowhere to leave me just sort of down.

This morning as I took my daughter to school we were listening to “Don’t Bring Me Down” by ELO and she asked me what Don’t Bring Me Down means.  I explained to her that often when we are feeling really good people try to make us feel bad or hurt our feelings and take away that joy.  So the song is saying, don’t do that.  She understood and then went back to singing at the top of her lungs.  Sadly I couldn’t explain to her who “Bruce” was in the song.  The song though sorta hits where I am at currently, there are lots of things to be thankful for like the Christmas Season, my family, some great ministry opportunities, doors that I constantly see God opening.  Yet I really feel like there is this cloud that is hanging over me trying to bring me down and leave me in a funk.

It’s in this time that I am really trying to pray more and just ask God that I not be robbed of joy and that I will give fears and worries to Him.  I hate the struggle bus…

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Changing my Christmas ways…

For the longest time I have been a pre-Thanksgiving Christmas Scrooge. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and love all the things that go with Christmas. From remembering and celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, to the food and parties, to getting to see old family and friends, the music, and everything else. However, I have always been strict about not starting any of my decorating and celebrating until after Thanksgiving. Black Friday has always been a joyous day for me as I crank up the Christmas tunes and start to get excited. Anything before that seemed to rushed and forced, and even more to the materialistic side of the season.

All that being said, I am now almost 37 years old and realizing it’s time to change my ways. And I have two very good reasons for this change of heart. My sweet little girl and crazy little boy. They love Christmas and their excitement is contagious. I love that they love the Christmas for the right reasons too. Don’t get me wrong, they love presents and all the fun stuff they get to do, but they know we are celebrating the birth of Jesus and love hearing about his arrival as we set up the Nativity and go to church. We even broke down and put up the Christmas tree early this year as they couldn’t wait any longer and tonight I sat down and watched the live action “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” with them. My son especially loves Christmas and would decorate the whole house without our help if we would let him. His favorite thing for me to do is take him to Lowes so that he can look at all the decorations, especially all the inflatables!

I love my kids excitement and joy for the Christmas season. It is truly infectious and has rubbed off and turned an old Scrooge like me into a Santa hat wearing Christmas dad……….in November!

Time for another school year…

The summer has officially flown by and my baby girl is heading back to school tomorrow for her first day of the First Grade. On Facebook I received one of the throw back pictures of her when she was so very tiny, and now here she his tall, beautiful, and full of high energy starting her second year of school. Not only, does it make me feel old, but it’s depressing to realize how short the time God has given me to be a Dad really is. My constant prayer to God is that I am the type of father who reflects Christ to my kids in all that I do and say. Looking at how fast that time is going, really makes me want to be sure that I am reflecting Him well. My time as an example is short and I want to have maximum impact for Christ on my kids. I can’t imagine all the things that my daughter is going to have to face in school and life, so helping her get a Godly base now is so important. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:16 (ESV), “Making the best use of time, because the days are evil.” I have to make the best use of time with my sweet girl so that she can face all that life throws at her, both good and evil. That’s my prayer as a father and I hope that if you are a parent it’s your prayer too!

Great News!!!

JudahIt’s a day of Celebration in our family and in Heaven! After church today Maeven began talking with her brother Judah about His need for Jesus and prayed with him. I then was able to talk with Judah who very clearly told me “I want to follow Jesus!” We talked some more and prayed together and I am so excited that Judah know Jesus as his Savior and Lord! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do with my little guy. We are also so proud of Maeven for wanting to make sure her brother knew Jesus!

still working on support…

fca_logo1A couple of posts ago I shared about my transition to working full time with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  So far I have enjoyed my first month on staff.  Even though I am still not plugged into all that I am going to be doing, I have loved getting to know the other staff and making new connections in our new town as well.  My main assignment is still working on getting the rest of our needed financial support.  We are currently at a little over 60% of our needed goals, but several people have promised to start giving regularly and we are waiting to see what those commitments will be.  I would love the opportunity to come share with you about what my new role with FCA will be and also how you can partner with us.  If you want to meet please let me know and we will get together!  Also, if you know you would already like to partners with my family and I, check out our online support page .  There you can sign up to become an Automatic Monthly Partner.  More than anything though, please keep my family and I in your prayers!

getting started and raising support…

fca_logo1Yesterday was interesting…for the first time in years I was no longer on staff with Kentucky Mountain Mission.  I am so thankful for all the years that God gave me with KMM and all the great things that I was able to see God Today is my first official day of being on staff with Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  I am excited to see what God is going to do in me an through me while working with FCA.

For my first month with FCA my main responsibility is trying to raise the rest of our needed financial support.  I am busy right now calling people, emailing, and messaging them to set up support appointments where I can share about our ministry.  I am excited to share about all the cool opportunities God is giving us with FCA and hopefully see others catch the vision God has given us too and join our Home support team.

If you are interested in finding out more about what my wife and I are going to be doing with FCA please let me know and we can set up a time to get together.  If you already know you want to join our support team you can start by going to http://www.my.fca.org …..Once there just look up my name Andy Owens and you can sign up to join our support team!  No matter what, please keep us in your prayers this month!

finally home…

This week was a  big one for our family.  Even though we finally moved almost a month ago now, we finally closed on our new home.  It’s ours and we are so relieved a310Norwoodnd excited that God provided a place for our family to make many new memories and that we can use for ministry and sharing the love of Christ with others.

We had hoped to close on our house at the end of June, but our bank kept putting off the closing date.  So, we have been renting since the end of June.  Even though we were in our home, it still didn’t feel like ours yet and their was this stressful cloud hanging over us about when and if we were ever going close.  Monday at 3:30 or so when I walked out of the realtor’s office, all those stresses were gone and a wave of relief swept over me.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for our family as we sold our previous home, moved, and now finally closed on our current home.  There were tons of hoops and ups and downs, but we are finally home.  Please continue to pray that we will use our home to both raise our kids to serve the Lord and also be used to reach others!