Monday, December 31, 2007

Songs from this past Sunday

Hallelujah, God is Near - Robbie Seay
Everlasting God - Brenton Brown
Better is One Day - Matt Redman
In Christ Alone - Stuart Townsend - arrangement

From the Inside Our - Hillsong United
All We Need - Charlie Hall

This week my buddy Corey taught. He did a great job focusing us on the new possibilities that are present with Jesus being born and a new Kingdom being present. What I loved most was Corey's authenticity and rawness (the rawness may have had something to do with it being the first time he ever taught in this type of setting ; - I hope hope he never loses it)

have a great week.

Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Some of you might not see the irony in this, but...

Chris Collinsworth and Gumbel are announcing the Patriots/Giants game. One of the just mentioned that since this was such a big game, Tom Brady brought his video camera to the game.

Pretty funy...


I know it's not funny if you have to explain your own joke - but - For those of you who don't keep up with sports as much as others...

I thought to myself... the last time someone in the Patriots organization had a camera at a football game they got in a lot of trouble...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


So recently I have gotten a few requests for the names of songs we are playing on Sunday mornings in our times of worship. I will attempt to keep this updated on the Monday or Tuesday after if you're interested.

Last week had these songs in our time of worship:

All Because of Jesus - Steve Fee
Famous One - Chris Tomlin
Joy to The World - Isaac Watts, The Psalms of David


Jesus Paid it All - Alex Nifong/Kristian Stanfill
Glorious One - Steve Fee

If you're looking and have trouble tracking any of these down then let me know and I can point you in the right direction.

Peace and Love,


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A good weekend

So most of this isn't world changing but.. it was a great weekend nonetheless.

1) Friday Diana and I went to a surprise Birthday party for one of her co-workers. That was alot of fun meeting some new people that are outside of the "everyday" group of people I see all the time (no offense Jeff ;) - afterwards we went to target and walmart and did some christmas shopping. We also got to buy some gift cards for some people our church is gonna share some love with over Christmas. Pretty sweet!

2) Saturday morning we held our journey group (discipleship group) info session at Visio Dei and had a great turn out. I am excited to see how God uses this to help our church become more like Jesus. I am honored to follow God with this church and the people who make it what it is.

3) We built a shelf/table in our new shed. I cut wood, drilled, hammered, leveled, measured... you know... man stuff (with diana's help ;)

4) We went and saw Beowulf at the IMAX with Brandon and Julie. Always fun watching Beowulf ripping off Grendel's arm.

5) We had an amazing worship gathering Sunday morning. Jeff's message was great and the time of worship seem very connected, exciting, and authentic.

5a) Outside of Easter last year and a time when we showed a video with Bono speaking on the crisis/s in Africa... it was our largest sunday worship gathering as a church since we started a little over a year ago. - If you know me at all then you know I am not a complete "numbers guy" when it comes to measuring ministry effectiveness (infact it bumms me out thinking of ministry in those terms)... but I will say for where we are in our life cycle as a young infant church... this is awesome! There is something captivating about the gospel at it's core and so it should draw people towards itself and it's exciting to feel apart of what God is doing.

6) I got to play football with a bunch of friends Sunday afternoon. The team I was on lost one game and won the second. I did get to play QB for the second game and had many unlce rico moments during my 5 TD no interception performance ;)

7) This week marked the end of the regular season for fantasy football. I play in two leagues and due to some random shift in the planets I won both of my divisions and will move forward to the playoffs.

So as you can see... many exciting times... lots of fun... a great weekend. I hope your was as wonderful.

love and peace,


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Big Surprise... (and a miracle)

*warning - post is a tad bit longer than normal... i do make no apologies as it is rather life changing :)

Well... it's been coming for a while. Some of you may already know about this but if not... I mentioned about a month ago I had some surprises coming over the next few weeks. I, however, have been a bit lazy in the blog world over the last few weeks so alas, here we go.

The Story:
About a month ago my mom sat myself and my brother (Brandon) down and proceeded to tell us a story. She told us with a calm yet nervous tone that when she was 16 she in fact became pregnant and had a baby boy. She then told us that due to family circumstances she was forced to give the baby over for adoption. Due to the times then and family circumstances my mother lived out her pregnancy at a "camp for unwed mothers" and due to this - no one knew other than my mom, her mom and dad (my grandma and grandpa), and my grandma's sister (my great aunt). My own mom's sister didn't even know she was ever pregnate (she was told she was going to stay with her aunt for a while). SO CRAZY RIGHT!!!!

Then she proceeded to tell us that a couple weeks ago she received note in the mail saying "I have wanted to know who my mother was for 36 yrs and I believe I have found you." He had a lot of paper work and stuff to show he was in fact her son (and our brother.) It continued to say that he had no desire to break-up her family or cause trouble to her if this was a bad idea. He did say that if it wouldn't cause any problems then he would love to meet her and any other family he may not know about.

So, she then told us that she had been in communication with him for a couple weeks and in fact met him the day before. She began to smile as she told us a little about him, his wife, and his three beautiful children.

This was (surprise) an emotional moment for my mom, me, and my brother. Brandon and I were both in tears but it wasn't sadness or anger. It was almost a sense of surreal and "wow, we have a brother... what does this mean..." and "now it makes sense why my mom loves us so hard and always has" and "mom seems as though she is free from something that she has carried around for years"

Here is where things get crazy... He (who will now be referred to as Rob - my new, older brother) and his family lives in Apex. They used to live in Cary less than a mile from where my mom and Rick live and where Brandon and I spent our high school and college years calling home.

They also attend Hope Community Church which is the church that my family and I served with for 9 years before we set-out to start Visio Dei in downtown Raleigh. Rob was not going there while I was on staff as they just started going there about 4-5 months ago but it's still crazy.

The story gets even crazier as we have some mutual friends and his adopted family is friends with some of our family... all the while we never knew.

So... I have now met Rob, his wife Kelly, and their 3 beautiful children. He seems to be an awesome guy. I am partial to think this makes him a great guy but i feel as though I can see similarities in him of both myself and Brandon in the way he carries himself and in his appearance. He has Brandon's nose and my hairline and he looks a lot like our grandpa (I really wish he could have met him Papa Gene.)

I would go on to talk more about him but I usually try and keep these posts as short as I can and this one is already relatively long. Long story short... he seems to be driven, hard working, cares about his family, and takes pride in what he does.

Here are some pics from our meeting of their family (which is really our family;):

The entire fam

Momma and her boys (mom, Brandon, me, and Rob)

Rickey and his new grand babies...

Mr. Rob Council (my new, older brother)

Rob playing photo time with his son matthew (Mathew is awesome.. wide open all the time. It's possible he is related to me ;)

Just a picture I took of my mom that night... my mom is pretty

I love this picture. In case you don't know it is my beautiful wife and sister-in-law (Brandon's wife Julie)

So the story is crazy. It honestly feels like we fell into a movie that should be coming out at Christmas time. My mom feels as though she is more free than she has felt in her entire life. I asked her if she thought about this much while we were growing up as a family. She told me "only everyday for 36 years." I am not sure how all this works from here. I am thankful God has allowed me to meet a guy who feels like he belongs in our family. I am thankful my mother can sleep at night knowing her child is alive, safe, and healthy. I am certain there is an element of deep reconciliation and redemption in all of this that I will probably not find words for. Whether or not I can explain it.. I certainly feel it and am thankful i get to experience it.

this is all for now...