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As the Lord is teaching us more and more about marriage and parenting, we are learning how little we know and how valuable the community of believers around us is.  There’s a reason that God calls us to train our children within the context of a church, and its absolutely because we need the wisdom and the guidance of those around us to help us train our children well.  Our friend, Kimberly, began posting a series of blogs regarding parenting, and they have been invaluable to my parenting of GTB.  If you are a parent, are about to be a parent, or think that at some point in the future you just might be a parent, you should read these blogs.

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GTB and Kimberly’s daughter, Sally

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I had the awesome opportunity to preach to almost 1000 college students about a week and a half ago.  If you would like to listen, you can go here, and you can get a good recap here.

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Family Reunion and Baptism Header

Austin Friends,

On Saturday, October 25, The Austin Stone will be hosting our Family Reunion and Baptism starting at 10:30 am.  Come and join us as we celebrate what God is doing in Austin, and rejoice with brothers and sisters who are being baptized!  Baptism will start at noon, and we’ll have some Pokejo’s BBQ immediately following.  You can sign up and find out more info at www.austinstone.org/familyreunion.

Hope to see you there!

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Update from Toodus

It’s been quite awhile since I posted something here, so I figured I should alleviate some of OTown’s burden for carrying this blog and do something to help.

I’ve been unbelievably busy with everything that is happening at The Austin Stone, but it has truly been a season of joy in the midst of the long hours.  If you’d like to know more about what is happening at the church, especially as things unfold regarding our land purchase/building development, check out this website and follow our sermon podcast.  My role in this great church has been to develop our Connections Ministry with the help of some great teammates, as well as continue to lead our College Ministry.

OTown and I have had the great privilege to take over the Nearly/Newly Married equipping class this Fall, and are very much enjoying the opportunity to shape young marriages.  Our prayer is that God would use us to shape these marriages into Christ-honoring and God-glorifying marriages that demonstate Christ’s love for His church.  In addition to this class, I’m also walking through Tim Keller’s Gospel Christianity with a class of about 30, and hopefully helping to create a class that God will use well in the coming years at The Austin Stone.

OTown has done a great job of capturing many of our pictures from our summer Turkey adventure, and I’ll try to post some of my reflections in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned…

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Over the past three years, our family has fallen in love with the city we live in.  We love Austin for the diverse people who live here, the awesome landscape of the hill country, the uniquely “weird” culture.  We love Austin for its growth and vibrance.  We love the university, the capitol, the music scene, the tech industry, the clash of people and purposes who inhabit this city.  We love it because so many other people who live here are love it.  Its hard not to love what everyone around you loves.  

Over three years, we have come to learn that, not only is Austin an incredible city, but it’s a city that God’s heart seems to be broken for.  A city in which God seems to be moving.  A city where people are stirred to see transformation and revival.  Over three years, we have run into so many people who have been brought to Austin with a burden for seeing the kingdom of God spread to the people of this city.  Our church represents a small segment of the people who have a passion for the transformation of this city, but we are blessed every day by the faithfulness of our church body who believe that God is moving in Austin.  We are blessed by a church body who desires to exalt the supremacy of the name and purpose of Jesus Christ, to proclaim Christ crucified to a city in need of a Savior, and to trust that God’s hand is mighty to save the city we have all come to love.

 This week was spring break in Austin.  Being a university town, Austin is accustomed to seeing a mass exodus of its population during spring break, winter break, and definitely during summer break.  When 55,000 people leave the city at once, it’s noticeable.  By the time spring break rolls around, most college kids are ready to peace out for fun and relaxation…who can blame them?  I was certainly bummed when I finished school last year and realized that I was no longer entitled to a “spring break” week of fun anymore.  Or so I thought.  Turns out–thanks to a group of college kids who decided to spend spring break in this city instead of elsewhere–this week was the most amazing spring break I’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing. 

This week GTB and I witnessed God’s mighty hand moving through a small (small?  is 100 people small?) group of faithful people in the city of Austin.  It started with one college student who saw a need in Austin–a city she, too, loves.  She saw that the children in the St. John’s neighborhood–an impoverished neighborhood in East Austin–would have nothing to do during their week of spring break.  They would be sitting at home, hanging out on the streets, likely to either be bored or getting into trouble.  She saw a need, and the Spirit prompted her to meet it.  What if she could provide a day camp for the kids of the neighborhood during Spring Break?  She shared her vision, and before long, she had assembled a team of college kids willing to sacrifice their spring break–their week of fun and relaxation–to provide the kids of the St. John’s neighborhood with a day camp.  As this group spent time planning–and more importantly, passionately praying–the vision became a reality, and this week, I had the privilege of watching as over 100 volunteers – college kids, high school and middle school kids, and adults – labored side by side to love the children of St. John’s and to tell and show them of the love their Savior has for them.

God has humbled my heart as I have watched him humble the hearts of the volunteers this week.  We are all learning that we are nothing but servants–slaves–to Our King, and it is a privilege to serve Him.  We are feeling the joys of proclaiming Christ crucified and the satisfaction of being a people who are merciful.  We are becoming a people who desire to see the kingdom of God on earth, and we are experiencing the power of the Church body and the community of belieivers.  We are finding that God has instilled in each of us a love for this city, but he does not intend to let us simply sit in our love.  He intends to use us to reap His harvest.  We are confessing that it is God and God alone who is mighty to save, and we are trusting that He is the God of this city. 

You’re the God of this city,
You’re the King of these people,
You’re the Lord of this nation
You are
You’re the light in this darkness,
You’re the hope to the hopeless,
You’re the peace to the restless
You are
For there is no-one like our God
There is no-one like You, God
GREATER THINGS HAVE YET TO COME,
GREATER THINGS HAVE STILL TO BE DONE
IN THIS CITY
(Copyright Bluetree 2007)
These are a few clips of the camp this week. 
Chili Baby wins “Best Song at Camp” award:
Eli sharing the Gospel:
There’s a fun video of the kids starting their easter egg hunt.  As soon as it finishes processing in YouTube, I’ll post it here:

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