22 Thanks for 2022

December 22, 2022

Family disclaimer. I don’t hate my kids. There are tons of things I am proud of them for. I want to be cautious about sharing too much about them online.

#1 The Glennville Methodist Church. I love the church I serve. We have had an amazing year of revival. The leaders, the staff, and spiritual depth continue to bless me.

#2 The enneagram. I know, I know, I was one of those people who could not stand the enneagram and people talking about it like it was the second coming of Christ. Yet, I went back the The Enneagram Type 3: The Successful Achiever by Beth McCord. Something about me was more open to what the Ennegram revealed about me. 

#3 The church I serve is aligning to a new denomination. Right now hundreds of Methodists are realigning into new denominations. I am grateful my church did the hard work of figuring out where they needed to be and took the steps to get there.

#4 Pokémon. One of my children really got into playing the card game Pokémon. I never played it growing up but I have really enjoyed learning something new. I am fairly certain we do not play it exactly right because we make up some unique house rules sometimes.

#5 The transitional leadership council of the Global Methodist Church. Until our convening conference there is a group of leaders from all over the world piloting the new denomination. We are fortunate to have Rev. Jay Hanson from South Georgia on this team. I also was able to reach out and talk to Rev. Dr. Hidde-Gregoy and Rev. Jessica LaGrone. Both were very passionate about their work on the team and gracious enough to take some time to talk with me.

#6 Recognized as an elder in the Global Methodist Church. Once my church officially became a member of the GMC I was recognized as an elder in the denomination. During worship the church recognized my new status. I even wrote a liturgy you can use if this happens to you. While I am recognized as an elder I still will be ordained by a GMC bishop in 2023

On our first day in the Global Methodist Church my church recognized our accomplishments.

#7 I ran a half marathon. Well actually I ran a 10k on New Year’s day then in March I ran a half marathon. It was even sweeter to run with my father.

#8 NYC trip for my wife’s big birthday. My wife had a milestone birthday. We took a family trip to New York City for the occasion. It also was the first time my children went flying.

#9 Mackinac Island to visit my sister. My sister has worked several summers on Mackinac Island, MI. We went on our second family flying trip to visit my sister.

#10 Last Annual Conference with my South Georgia United Methodist Friends. I will truly miss getting to see everyone in my old company each summer. It was great to have one last time for us all to be together. While I have not been perfect I hope I have modeled how to leave with grace.

#11 Deep Dive Coaching with Brian Russell. Brian’s professional coaching has continued to add a ton of value to my relationship with God, family, and career. I am excited to be hosting him in 2023 for a prayer conference at my church

#12 Doctor of Ministry Program. I am now closer to the end than the beginning. I am very grateful for Asbury Theological seminary and all my friends in the cohort with me.

#13 Birthday trip with my mom. As a child I was all about the Buccaneers. I had not been to a game since high school. For my mom’s birthday I took her to see Tom Brady before he retires.

#14 Family Cruise. We were grateful to go on a cruise over fall break. The kids loved it. I may have gotten leg cramps from trying to take the stairs only.

#15 Isle of Hope River of Life. In 2020 I was scheduled to speak at the Isle of Hope River of Life Youth conference… but something happened globally. This past summer I was finally able to speak there for four nights. It was a great time.

#16 Visits with Friends. I continue to be encouraged by a group of pastors that I meet with annually. A couple of visits that stand out were lifting weights with my buddy Ben and getting to hear my friend Jack preach at his church.

Ben and I lifting all the weight we can, in all the ways we can, for as long as we can.
Jack being hidden behind the cross

#17 Time with my wife. I love being able to get away with my wife. We had a couple of work trips that took us to Savannah and St. Simons. We also spent a couple of nights in Asheville, NC and Elberton, GA for some quick time away.

#18 Memorial Day Visit to my Grandparents grave. On Memorial Day we went to Anderson National Cemetery to visit the graves of my Granny and Grandpa. My grandpa was a WW2 B-29 tail gunner in the Pacific. It’s so meaningful to see the graves with the flags on them.

#19 Meeting Tara Beth Leach. I was so fortunate to run into one of the best preachers in North America at the New Room conference in Nashville, TN. Even better, she was very friendly and did an awesome job teaching.

#20 Spirit and Truth Weekend. I was blown away by a day of praying and learning at the Metter Methodist Church where they hosted the Spirit and Truth ministry team for several days of teaching on prayer. It once again showed me how powerful prayer is. 

#21 Sharing with others about Jesus. I am honored to serve the people in the Glennville Methodist Church. I was also blessed to be able to teach at several places outside of my church. I spoke at chapel services at two private schools, led devotion at a nursing home, the first gathering of South Georgia Global Methodists, and spoke at an FCA event. All these events were fun and I hope I added value to people’s walk with the Lord.

Hanging out with my former youth director, Wesley Marshall, at the Isaiah 43 Conference.

#22 Sandra McDowell’s 60th Birthday. This past year we celebrated my mother-in-law, Sandra Sikes, turning 60. Sadly, she died suddenly just a few weeks later. Grief is a hard and strange thing. It’s so hard to believe she is not coming back for the kids’ next performance or birthday. I am grateful we got to celebrate her milestone birthday even though we are still having a challenging holiday celebrating our first Christmas without her. 

Brandy with her mom and sisters.

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