I found myself at the end of the year with quite a bit of unused vacation days which I would forfeit if not used, so I've been enjoying some extended family time since around the 20th of December or so. I made a quick trip down to Texas (Dec. 16-18) to see my second son before his overseas deployment and had a great time with him and his wife and our newest grandson, Jonah. Since then, it's been hanging around the house with my wife and youngest as well as our second son who is home from law school at Ohio State Univ. We've also had our oldest and his wife over with their three children on two occasions. Throw into the mix my mom who lives with us permanently, my wife's mom who has been staying with us for a week, and my wife's sister who also spent a few days here and we've had a houseful of company.
It's almost Guatemala travel time again for me as I'll be heading down there the second week of January for another round of leadership training conferences. The day after I return, our church is hosting a "free garage sale" for the community. It's something that we've done in the past and this year we're linking it to a bunch of other civic and non-profit organizations' efforts in conjunction with a week of service for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In mid-February, it will be back to Guatemala again for a missions trip with our church.
Beginning this Sunday, we're also totally revamping our Sunday morning worship and Bible Fellowship schedules. We've had two identical blended services to this point (at 9:30 and 10:45). Our new schedule will begin with a traditional service at 8:00, the blended service at 9:30, and a contemporary service at 11:00. We're beginning a number of new Bible Fellowship classes to accommodate the worship schedule changes. I'm looking forward to teaching a coed class of 60-somethings during the 9:30 hour. We'll be using the Smyth and Helwys Formation curriculum.
There's a certain amount of apprehension on the part of some with the new scheduling (change is always threatening), but there's a great deal of excitement as well about the chance to reach some new people we're currently not impacting with the gospel. Life is good!