Great question. The last month has been a blur with our move to Iowa City. Pictures tell a thousand words, so I'll go with that. But first, the timeline...
May 1/2- Commissioned at our last official Cornerstone services. Spoke on "Worship"
May 3-25- Tying up loose ends from 15 years in Ames. Most "loose ends" didn't get tied. I can't even think about all the people we didn't get to hug and say "thanks and goodbye" to.
May 25- Left Ames for the last time. Officially closed on our house in Ames June 1.
May 25-June 2- Spent some time in Omaha
June 2-early September- At our temporary home until our house is finished. On with the pics..
Aug 25- TSC in IC kicks off
Sept 12- First church service in IC
Cleaning out my office brought back a lot of memories. This is late Grandpa Bill's (click here) copy of "Pursuit of God", which he quoted all the time. It's one of the few books I've read more than a few times. It's this "pursuit of God" (my pursuit of him and more importantly his pursuit of me) that has brought this wonderful craziness upon us... a move to Iowa City.
Above: Jeff and Ashley Thune, our new partners in ministry, lived with us for 2 weeks in May. We had a blast...what an awesome couple! We put Jett on the table and let them compete over who Jett would go to first. Jeff won in this case... I think the jar of honey had something to do with it.
Below: I was hunting for a ball in the grass- a common occurrence when I golf- when I almost stepped on this huge snake. I screamed like a little school girl. Jesse Reyes manned up on the snake and pulled it out of the grass. Then Jeff took over. Notice I'm behind Jeff, a safe distance from the serpent.
Above: Recording in Minneapolis for the new Anthem album, which is going to be awesome. It should be out in late August if all goes well. I'm very pleased with how it sounds so far.
Below: One challenge with moving was that our strategies for containing our 10 month old were becoming less effective. He's escaping and going head first into the lego bin. The problem is that he doesn't think ahead of time how he's going to get out (below)
Leatha has been building some furniture for our new house (click here for link to knock-off wood.com). Dad helped us take it to the next level on our new dining room table with his finish carpenter skills.
Above: Dad playing with Jett
Below: How fitting. The very last items in our house were 3 boxes of kleenex. Leaving Ames was like losing a loved one; lots of grieving in the last days.
But we had a good time with family in Omaha after leaving Ames. I wonder how much longer Beck will see both his great-grandma's, both in their early 90's. Grandma Rena on the left, Grandma Marge on the right.
Above: All the travel and moving has been exhausting.
Below: One of the pleasures in Omaha... skating with longtime friend Curt (middle) and my brother Steven. I'm lobbying Leatha for a skate ramp in our back yard at our new house.
Above: Kids sleeping at our temporary home
Below: This is the best picture we could come up with for our support letter. The thing we realize is that the bigger our family gets, the harder it is to get a good picture.
Please pray for us. There is not a mountain ahead of us with this church plant. It's a mountain range. We covet your prayers and support ("support" is the subtle way of saying "money").
Speaking of money, I hate writing this more than you hate reading it...
But if you are interested in giving to the church plant in Iowa City (we're still deciding on a name), click here. It's easy from there (after clicking "one time gift" or "recurring gift", put in the amount and scroll down for my name). Or if you want to go old school, just write a check out to Cornerstone Church with "Iowa City- Mark Arant" in the memo and send it to Cornerstone Church, 56829 U.S. Hwy 30, Ames, IA 50010.
I'm sure I'll be doing more blogging in the days to come. Stay tuned for the adventures that lie ahead.