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Short Blog Sabbatical – be back in September

I want to give you an apology for the unannounced lull in blogging. Some of you got my  blog posts in your email several time a week, and I have been dark for a month (maybe more??). To say the least, this season has been tumultuous, though highly enjoyable for me, my family, and my church.

For one, Britt Merrick, has taken a leave of absence as the pastor of vision and preaching at Reality.

This is so that he can completely devote his time and energy towards his daughter, Daisy Love, who is fighting through her third round of cancer in as many years. They have moved to Israel to seek temporary treatment. I love calling this man my pastor, who would put the well-being of his family above any other person, and even more proud of him for raising many people to step in to places of leadership. In this season, I will be filling in for him as the full-time interim pastor for preaching at Reality Santa Barbara. You can hear more of his announcement about this here:

Second, our beloved college ministry, Adorn, will be coming to a close at August 24.

Adorn has been an invigorating, refreshing, Christ-exalting journey, and it has changed my life for the better. You can hear the full explanation behind why we are transitioning during this move of God, and the fruitful testimony of what Christ has accomplished through Adorn in the last few years here:

In addition to these, Brianna and I will be bringing a daughter into the world on August 28!

All of this change is happening at once, and so my blog has taken a sad, but appropriate backseat. I will still continue to break from blogging due to the ongoing transitions, and until I can fully devote myself to writing, posting, researching, studying, and commenting. I am a blogging nerd, and I want to do it well, if at all. Now for the good news (depending on who you are)…

I plan on writing again in mid-September, and with a reinvigorated focus.

For the past few years, this blog has been actively engaged with and focused on Millennials—that generation born between 1980 and 2000—being on mission in Santa Barbara, CA. I have a deepening passion for my generation, and when I come back, you can expect that I will still preach, communicate, and write to them. But I will also be widening the focus of this blog to include the whole church in Santa Barbara, which aligns with my heart to see all generations maturing in their faith together, and gives me a chance to speak more about two things I also love: Christ and His church.

Until then, I am going dark, and I would love your prayers.

In addition to preparing my heart and life for my daughter, wife, Reality, and the transition from Adorn, I will also be prayerfully renewing my focus on the blog content that will again live here, so that when I return in a month, we can hit the ground running for the glory of God and the gladness of his people in him. If you subscribe to the blog, you will know when all of this happens!

Thank you for your readership, dialog, comments, and overall good spirits. I will see you very soon :-)

People fill the bleachers at Santa Barbara City College on Easter Morning

We planned for 4,000 people. Given that our church is roughly 3,000, we figured that this would cover things logistically.

But we had been praying for more! We prayed that 5,000 would come to hear the gospel. We pushed a campaign under the moniker of “each-one-reach-one” with the purpose that every church member would bring a friend who was an outsider to the Christian faith. We wanted Christ to save the whole city.

We over-prayed and under-planned.

Below is a photo I took from the stage…

It only captures *half* of the entire stadium (which was nearly filled).

We estimate that roughly 8,000 people showed up to the service, packing out the bleachers, and causing traffic standstills all down Bath Street.

Here is another close up photo from Jessica, a choir member…

But that’s not all…

Over 200 people gave their lives to Jesus Christ.

I wanted to say to any of you from my church that are listening…

Thank you for being obedient to the Gospel.

It’s as if everyone in the church ACTUALLY did reach one! And because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, His sent Holy Spirit, and your obedience… The body of Christ welcomed enough new brothers and sisters to fill a small building!

Imagine if we included God’s wonderful display of salvation today in all the other churches in the area that were doing the same thing: preaching the wonderful gospel, the great news of Jesus Christ who died, and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins to bring us to God!

The combined effects may have us all down on our knees praying for our city!

The Westcoast pastors

Before I moved to Santa Barbara, I was involved in a church in Santa Cruz called Vintage Faith Church, pastored by Dan Kimball (left). Now, I’m on staff at a church called Reality, pastored by Britt Merrick (right). They are unrelated. So I was blessed to see this picture of them at a leader-ish conference in Carmel, California. Two influential pastors in my life, kickin’ it together. Unity makes me happy these days :-)

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