- After 16 1/2 years, I resigned from my church as youth pastor. How is this on the best list? It required a genuine walk of faith because I didn't know what was coming next. This was Abraham-style faith walkin'! Had to learn total dependance on God. Scary and reassuring at the same time. Thankful for the process. Very thankful.
- Julia received the Gold President's Award in her class for the year. She adds this to her Silver from Kindergarten. Because of this and the fact that she gave all her money away to missionaries, she earned an iPod. Very well deserved. So proud of her accomplishments.
- I walked in the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in San Francisco which happened to be on my mom's birthday (who lost her battle to breast cancer in 2007). 43 miles in 2 days through the hills of San Francisco. Nobody said anything about hills! And a bonus was being able to do it with a good friend from college who became a better friend on this walk. Thanks, Schmidty.
- Marty and I started our own ministry, "Missionaries to Ministers," because we are burdened for those who serve in the church that are also struggling. We have brochures and business cards and everything (even a fax machine). Call us for an appointment in office, via telephone or through Skype or iChat.
- We created a website. Check us out at www.pornographyinthepew.com.
- During all this faith walking, I got the best Father's Day present from my 7 year old that I have ever received, a piece of original artwork worth more than any Rembrandt or Van Gogh that simply says "Happy Father's Day. Walking By Faith."
- Teaching the kids the 10 Commandments as we walked to school, for the Bible says to talk about these things as you walk along the road. Monday through Friday presented a great opportunity, so we memorized as we walked. Love hearing them recite all 10.
- Finding our "Pathway." Our new home church is Pathway Church in Redwood City. They have been just what we needed as we transitioned. Our good friends from college have poured their lives into this ministry and have welcomed us and provided a place for us to serve and enjoy tremendous fellowship. As I said, good friends in college, greater friends now. Thanks, Scott and Sue Aughtmon and Brett and Jenny Moody and all your boys! The Couch's love you all.
- I went back to seminary through Liberty University Online. Passed my pastoral counseling course with an "A." I was so nervous about doing an online course, but God very obviously helped me through and I finished with a 98% in the class! I truly give all glory to Him because I submitted every assignment with trepidation, doubting I did it correctly. Whew! And that "A" affirms my fresh calling to help people. It's what I want to do.
- Took Max to Disneyland as it was the year he turned 4 (the age each of my kids have their inaugural visit to the Happiest Place on Earth). He definitely had a friend in Buzz and Woody.
- Visioneering, Andy Stanley (1999). This fueled me to help people struggling with addiction issues and gave me the courage to tell my story. What's your passion? Read this book and run with it.
- A Resilient Life, Gordon MacDonald (2004). Were you born with a quitter's gene? Truly motivational words from someone who was and learned to run in spite of it. Very encouraged by this book.
- The Will of God as a Way of LIfe, Jerry Sittser, (2000). How can you not listen to a man who lost his wife, his mother, and one of his own children in a car accident as he talks about God's will for our lives? Very, very practical teaching on God's will that will challenge your faith and help you put your trust where it belongs.
- Telling Yourself the Truth, William Backus and Marie Chapian, (1980). This book helped me realize that when my anxiety is taking over my thoughts, I've stopped believing the Truth of God's Word in that moment. Life changing book.
- Hurt People Hurt People, Sandra Wilson, (2001). Great insights into why we hurt and thus hurt others. Lots of healing potential in this one.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do It Yourself Book, Jeff Kinny, (2008). Yeah, designed for kids, and kids at heart, I say. More of a draw your own comics, make some life lists, and fill in the journal in the back, but this book was one of my favorites in 2010 and inspired creativity in my kids which I will always promote.
Best quotes of 2010
"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety." - George Mueller
"Believe in the belief God has in you." - T.S.C
"Be thankful for the process regardless of the outcome." - T.S.C
"You can do things nobody else ever has because there has never been another combination of God and you." - T.S.C.
"We would be wise to be attentive and responsive to God along the way, even in matters that appear to have little significance... Perhaps our attention to these little things is the will of God, and our pre-occupation with the future a foolish distraction." - Jerry Sittser
"Visions make leaders passionate, thorns make them authentic." - taken from the Maxwell Leadership Bible
"Nobody other than you has the power to make you miserable. That power is yours alone." - from the book, Telling Yourself the Truth, Backus and Chapian
"One of the worst things you can die with is potential. Die with failures before you die with potential." - Henry Cloud
(and here's one to take us into 2011) "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." - Winston Churchill, 1941
No matter what comes your way, make it a joyful New Year. God bless you.