This time of the year people often pause to remember the things they are most thankful for in their life.  Over the next three days I want to look at the things I am most grateful for in my life and the way they are impacting me as a follower of Jesus, husband, father, son, friend, minister and student.  So today I begin with number 3 on my list.

#3: My Church

It is often said the church is not about a place or a building but it is about the people.  It is so true.  I could not be more blessed than to be a part of this community of believers.  In June of 2003 I drove to Cleburne, TX for my first real job interview.  I pulled into town and thought, good thing this is just an interview because there is no way in the world I will come to this place.  After a full day of interviewing I headed home as the new youth & family minister at Central in Cleburne.  Nine years have flown by but I could not imagine life without this family.  In 2005 Westside and Central merged and I barely remember life before that time.  In my mind I have always been a part of Westhill.

Staff:  I work with an amazing staff.  We work very well together.  We have a lot of fun together, which is so important because ministry can be very difficult at times.  I know I can talk to anyone of them about anything.  Westhill is so blessed by Jerry, Russell, Darren, Mary Jo, Lisa Jo, Nancy and Alberto.  I am so thankful for all of you.

Shepherds:  Our shepherds at Westhill are some of the Godliest men I know.  Most of my friends in ministry dread going to elder meetings.  While I have in the past dreaded the thought as well, our meetings are something I truly look forward to.  We talk about life, ministry, vision and people.  It is so refreshing.  Thank you Steve, Shultz, Charles, Gary, Don, Keith you are all a blessing to me and my family.

Leaders: I am surrounded by such an incredible group of leaders; Leaders who do so much for me and my family.  Our Life Line Leaders who have committed so much of their time and energy during the school year to loving teenagers.  Michelle and Brad who really help keep me organized and on top of things.  They are my type A personality.  Our student leaders who are so eager to learn and grow, they make my work so enjoyable.  It is amazing to see the young men and women who came into our student ministry as 6th graders, leading worship, teaching, and running the show.

Students & Parents:  I am so blessed by the parents who do so much to make this ministry work, from volunteering, to picking up food, hosting and a willingness to do anything needed so that ministry continues to happen.  I love the students in our ministry, my wife and I consider them our own.  It still amazes me how quickly they continue to grow into incredible young men and women.  This year will be the 3rd group of students I have had all the way through our program, 6th – 12th grade and the 1st group for “Westhill.”  You make ministry such a joy.

Friends:  I am surrounded by such an amazing group of people.  We have friends of all ages at Westhill who have meant so much not only to me but to my wife and children as well.  From our small group, to the guys I eat breakfast with every Tuesday morning, our young adult’s ministry and on and on.  You are all so amazing.

I love my church and I am so thankful for the people at Westhill.  This is an amazing place.

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