Friday, March 8, 2013

Mid-Semester Update & A Glimpse Of The Future

     Well here we are, nearly two months into instrument and another three months to go in the semester. Three months. That's it. 

Flying the 10-Day Extended Cross-Country
     Since the beginning of this semester I've not only been challenged in my skills, but also in my character and my faith. I have been challenged again and again to place my confidence in God: to trust Him to equip me, to sustain me, and to improve me as I put my all into what He has set before me. This is hard work. Even harder when you are working on the side and making your family a priority. I am grateful that God has given me a love for flight, I imagine these heart lessons being driven home would be a lot more rough going if I didn't get to soak up every bit of enjoyment out of my time in the air. With the huge learning curve that the instrument rating brings there have definitely been moments that feel uncomfortably close to treading water while adrift in the ocean, and then I put my feet down, solid on God's promises, dig my heels in and study and pray, and pray and study...

    "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen." Phillipians 4:19 & 20

     He will supply. To His glory. 

     I've done a lot of simulator flying in the past weeks; this serves as a more cost effective way to practice my control of the aircraft by reading only the instrument panel until I am as adept at flying by instrument as I am at flying by sight. One of the things that proves to be most frustrating about the simulators is their extreme touchiness, they do not fly exactly like an airplane. However, I've noticed that this also gives me a bit of a confidence boost as I learn; when I do well on a simulator flight I seem to have an even better handle on it when we are in the air. 

     During instrument flights we put on visually impairing hoods to block our view of everything except our instrument panel (before you freak out- all instrument flights are done with an instructor in the other seat- no solos this time!). We've had a large focus on situational awareness, knowing where you're at, at all times and what your surroundings are: terrain, other aircraft, etc., because in flight you don't get the luxury of counting on nature to do what you expect it to. Here's a photo sequence my instructor took of one of my most recent flights, in video form. Enjoy!
     I could use some prayer for healing and for focus. In the past month and a half I have injured myself three times during basketball very important things. Without much sleep to repair and no time to give my injuries a rest from day-to-day life they are taking a pretty big toll on me, making work, school & being a dad a lot more difficult. One thing's for sure, I'm getting older! Obviously not so much with the wiser yet. ; ) I'm also being stretched in my multi-task training and have had to redo several flights before I got them down. Kellyn, as always, reminds me "Hey, more flight hours and more practice right?" Praying not to let my pride or my wallet keep me from positively taking it in stride and using it to make myself an even better pilot.

     We have been blown away by the outstanding faithfulness of so many of you to get behind what God is doing both in and through us. We are grateful to be a small part of such a big picture. To get the chance to let our story impact someone else's story.  To rejoice in opportunities to show the world who Jesus is and what He has done.

     We are spending some serious time in prayer and research of internship opportunities. Tune back in a couple of days, as we hope to have some more answers very, very soon!  It takes us aback a little every time we realize that the plans for the rest of this year are hugely different from everything we have experienced in our life together. We are growing more and more excited for the unknown adventures ahead.  

     We've known for quite some time now that all we knew for sure was God's call to be here. At school, at Moody, with the church, growing, learning, doing life. In the past few days Kellyn and I both started to feel God's call on our future narrowing down. I can't even explain the joy this has given us! 

"Two are better than one; because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm, But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. 

“ I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I want to be encouraged by yours...I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit.” Romans 1:11-12, 13b

     We have begun to notice a pattern of God drawing us toward encouraging, building up and bearing armor for His front line people.  We are still unsure as to what that looks like in an organization, but we are believing that what God has called us to,  He will lead us to!  And we are willing to go.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Praying For You A Favored 2013!

(You know, since the world didn't end and all.
"So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." Matthew 24:44)

          Welcome to our winter newsletter! We are privileged to share our family with you as we live sideways and prepare for a lifestyle of serving people and sharing the Gospel at home and around the world! Hope you enjoy our family pictures by Julia Pattee Photography!

Eden, Eders, Edes- 14 Months
          My favorite thing about my brothers is that they can always make me laugh. I'm pretty good at convincing them to help me get into boxes and wagons and let them pull me around the house while I practice my princess wave; I do this for their benefit of course.
          I'm constantly climbing stairs and ladders, unraveling toilet paper and staging exaggerated, grinning, faux attempts at mischief whenever someone is looking. To top it all off, I really do love people and enjoy making them smile, I love to blow kisses, give snuggles, and usually obey the first time because it makes Mama and Daddy happy, and that makes me happy.
I am the bubbly life in our family reminding us…
"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Zechariah, Zacket, Z-man- 2.5 Years
          If you ask me my name I will tell you "It's is Zat-kuriah!" I'm not sure yet if I want to be a big boy or a little boy. I love imaginary play with cars, capes and hunting, and am awed by the little things in life. When I'm in a good mood, nothing fazes me. When I'm upset, everything is heartbreaking (for everyone, trust me). I will be the first one to say I love you and the last one to hug and kiss you goodbye, seven times. I'm silly and live to make people laugh. I repeat nearly everything Elisha says and thrive on his approval and instruction. I always have kisses and care for my sister. I adore snuggling with Mommy. And I love my Daddy and run for the door every time I hear him come home.
I am the voice that reminds everyone…
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."
Romans 12:10 Oh and… "Jesus is Dod"
Elisha, Lishe, Bubba- 4.5 Years
          I am, as ever, full of both questions and answers. I have a thirst for learning that cannot be quenched, but often have to be reminded by Mommy (because she would know) that people learn better when they don't think they already know everything. I've hit quite a few milestones this year. I can now ride my "two-wheeler" that doesn't even have training wheels! I can read, tie my shoes and count to a hundred and nine (and then backward).
          I like to take Zacket under my wing and teach him about life and the way things work. Eden is kinda like my baby doll and she likes it when I take care of her. I am awed by the bigness of Jesus and God, and am always asking for Mommy and Daddy to read the Bible with me.
In our house I teach by reminder every day…
"For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." 1 Corinthians 1:25

 Guiding children toward adulthood is an adventure! Even from an early age you begin to see personality strengths, as well as the things they will most likely struggle with as they grow and live. Often, I am afforded glimpses into myself as well! I've found that in a day made up of moments, sometimes normal, sometimes wearying, and often joyful, frequently those moments give us a picture of the favor we so often forget we are living in.
          I continue to teach Bradley classes, which present us beautiful opportunities to build new friendships and of course meet many sweet new babies! I've also been privileged to use my love of photography by contributing to two beautiful weddings and many amazing families' memories this year.
          This year I've learned that I struggle *gasp* with gratefulness, contentment and being actively present. Our challenges this year have afforded me insights into the condition of my heart and propelled me into remembering to be grateful, content with and involved in the everyday. In all of this I am grateful for a husband who embodies James 1:19 and a God who proves Himself to me, even though He doesn't have to.
          In the past months I've finished my extended cross-country, passed my commercial written, and Kellyn and I were very blessed by our first public speaking experience with our beloved local church family! More detailed posts (which yes, have taken a long time to write!) to follow on our blog! Up next my final semester focuses first on instrument training, and then preparing for the last practical test for Commercial certification!

To pray with us toward our goals:
·         Pay off the last bit of last semester's tuition.
·         Come up with a financial plan to see us through the coming six months.
·         Keep seeking God as we plan our eight week internship!
·         GRADUATE!

          God has been working through people in amazing ways that have benefited us both in heart and in practicality; for example we were able to spend the month of December with my family while I worked for my Dad providing us with both down time and work this winter break. I then was offered a few weeks of work helping with computers at Moody until school starts! We are incredibly thankful for the unexpected financial generosity of so many of you who made a huge difference in our tuition last semester! As requested we have put information about contributing to our education and ministry @ 

I've been blessed with a wife who "speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." (Proverbs 31:26), a daughter whose smile lights up our home, and sons whose earnest thirst for God's Word and the awed significance they find reminds me again and again that His word is living and active and will not return void. Our root families, faith family, and other family by heart have sown into our lives beyond what we could have ever anticipated this year and continue to challenge, encourage and support us as we walk into the promised, yet unknown.
Thank you for being part of that family!
Nathan, Kellyn, Elisha, Zechariah & Eden

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5&6