VBS 2012 – Amazing Wonders Aviation

This year’s VBS theme was Amazing Wonders Aviation.  We did a lot of “flying” to various natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef while we learned about missionaries in Madagascar and the Amazon Jungle.  I helped out with the older 4 yr old class (so most of them were actually 5 but hadn’t started Kindergarten yet).  It was definitely a trying week – I’m glad that Raymond and I will never have 20 4-yr olds at one time :).  But we had a great time teaching these little ones that God loves them and that Jesus died for their sins (and I was reminded that 4-yr olds are definitely sinners…).

Here are some pictures from our adventures:

Dinner, Christmas Candy, & Discipleship

Roll Tide Ray, Dr. Elieff, Jacob and Humphrey

On Monday, December 12, 2012 Meghan, Abigail, and I traveled across town to the home of my pastor and dear friend and mentor – Dr. Jeff Elieff.  We were there for the second annual Johnson-Elieff dinner and Christmas candy-making event.  We talked, laughed, ate, and made some delicious candy (the white chocolate covered pretzels are all that matter to me).

Highlights of the evening were:

1) Dr. Elieff firing off his aresol rifle, which is also his Christmas present, in the house

2) Humphrey, the dog, being scared by the loud rifle shot to the point that he would not forgive Dr. Elieff until there was food on the table

3) Jacob and Emily, the Elieff children, chastising their father for playing with his Christmas present before Christmas as well as for firing a gun in the home even though it wasn’t loaded

4) Emily checking her body to make sure that she had not been shot after she heard the rifle go off

5) Dr. Elieff saying, and I quote, “I’m gonna put so much vanilla in this fudge that I won’t be able to drive after I eat it”…he quickly replied that he was just kidding.

All jokes aside, it was a wonderful evening. No man has invested in my life so comprehensively as Jeff Elieff; few men have invested even a portion of the time he has. He recognizes that discipleship doesn’t happen in a one-hour long meeting once a week.  Rather, discipleship is teaching someone how to make their way through life, how to walk in the way of Christ wisely.  Sure, we talk ministry and do churchy things like preaching, teaching, worship, etc.  But, we also talk about family, college sports, how to manage money, politics, music, academics, insurance, our health and much more over food or some other place we’re hanging at that day.  As a result, we have become friends who help one another with home improvement projects, who pray for one another, who war against a satanic enemy together.

Dinner and making Christmas candy makes memories and provides an opportunity to hangout, but it is much more than another event — it is discipleship.  This holiday season I am thankful for Dr. Jeff Elieff.  He is a father in the ministry to me, a man I can look up to, and a man I can call if I’ve had a bad day.  I love my church.

A General Update

We have had a couple of really exciting things happen over the past couple of weeks that would be worth sharing.

First of all, Raymond was selected as the recipient of a preaching award at SBTS that has given him the opportunity to preach during chapel hour next Thursday, April 21.  This is a very high honor for us and is definitely an encouraging affirmation of Raymond’s gifts as a preacher.

If you are available to watch Raymond preach then the seminary will be livestreaming chapel, which starts at 10AM Eastern time.

Secondly, WE ARE MOVING!  We have been accepted at another apartment complex and will be moving to a new apartment on May 23.  Our new home is 1290 sq ft and has 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms.

Here are some aspects that I am most excited about:

1.  A nicely-sized laundry room

2.  A separate room for Abigail (I’m already checking out blackout curtains for her window!)

3.  Doors on all bedrooms :)

4.  Everything is on one level

5.  Grass for Abigail to play in

6.  There is a really awesome Farmer’s Market that happens within walking distance

7.  We also have a fireplace, but I’m still undecided about whether this is a good feature or not

This is the floor plan for our new place

So these are the most exciting things in our life right now, but here are some pictures from the Awana games our church had on Wednesday night.  Awana is a program for young boys and girls for evangelism and discipleship and once every year they play silly games and enjoy church-wide fellowship.

This is a new face that we are making these days :)