Being given the opportunity by my church to take a 3-month sabbatical.
Being gifted additional financial resources from my church to enjoy during the sabbatical.
Resisting the temptation to be pulled back into certain ministry situations which I became aware of.
Watching the Pastoral Team lead the church well (especially in the adversity) in my absence.
Receiving encouraging emails/texts from the pastors and leaders of the church.
Being free (for the most part) of the emotional weight and responsibility of shepherding people’s souls.
Being free of the responsibility of/for the “results” and “success” of the church.
Having six different preachers fill our pulpit in my absence—four from our church and two church planters in Oakland.
Seeing giving increase in my absence!
Seeing Jesus build His church without me!
Seeing our next church plant Core Team gain momentum.
Receiving several future preaching invitations.
Enjoying many moments of feeling the tangible presence of God during private praise and worship unto him.
Realizing early on into the sabbatical that even a sabbatical is not “the answer.”
Letting go of the guilt that comes along with being blessed with a sabbatical of this nature.
Vegging out on multiple movies/series/documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Being available to assist as an assessor for the Acts 29 US West Network.
Finishing the final draft of Only God.
Receiving endorsements for Only God from leaders I respect and admire.
Making tremendous progress towards the publishing of Only God.
Hearing that Only God will be available for pre-order in January 2020 and will be officially released in February!
Thinking of, creating, and designing several ebooks to be given as free pre-order bonuses for Only God.
Having the time to invest in working on my creative ideas, especially for the book launch.
Being able to sleep in…often.
Enjoying nice, quiet, long walks with my wife and Merritt.
Receiving a Playstation 4 from JR so I could play video games.
Playing video games for hours and hours and hours without any condemnation from my wife!
Enjoying many uninterrupted hours of reading multiple fiction and non-fiction books.
Building our friendship with the Huang’s through our trip to Disneyland.
Watching and investing time with the Huang kids so Chris and Cori could go on a getaway.
Eating Brazilian BBQ with my entire immediate family.
Enjoying Xiao Long Bao with the Yim’s.
Enjoying Korean BBQ with the Kim’s.
Enjoying Peruvian with the Stites.
Catching up with the Hung’s over Chicken and Waffles in their new home.
Making shoe deals at Sole Supremacy with JR and enjoying a Japanese lunch together.
Purchasing and selling several Air Jordans.
Getting approval to sell shoes on the GOAT app.
Enjoying yet another Warriors run in the NBA Finals.
Going to a Giants game with Spencer and Peyton.
Going to my first Giants/Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium with my siblings.
Re-connecting with Chris Jensen—a great leadership coach with the Table Group.
Rest, Relaxation, and Refreshment at the Acts 29 Global Gathering.
Worshipping God with 1000+ church planters from around the world.
Watching my wife thrive in her work for Acts 29 US West and Acts 29 Global.
Hearing from God, very clearly, about emphasizing His worthiness as an enduring motivation for living righteously during my next season of ministry.
Having Christopher and Brittany advocate for Rebekah and I to extend our trip in Italy through our wedding anniversary.
Attending/supporting a church service at Inspire Church.
Attending/supporting a church service at Bay City Church.
Buying our first house!
Receiving miraculous financial provision from God to go towards the down payment.
Being financially supported by friends and family members to help make the purchase of our home possible.
Working together with my wife to move out of our home in Oakland.
Receiving our full deposit back from our landlords and maintaining a relationship with them beyond the move.
Getting our July rent back, not having to pay rent or our mortgage in August or September!
Working together with my wife to move into our home in San Leandro.
Working together with my wife to paint the rooms in our new home.
Enjoying the Patty Melt at Whataburger in Texas.
Having a great experience at the shooting range with Rebekah’s family in Texas!
Going on runs in 3 different cities in Italy.
PIZZA IN NAPLES.
And the many other great eating experiences we had while in Italy.
Enjoying many reflective conversations with my wife about our life and marriage.
Enjoying times of reading the Scripture and praying together with my wife.
Celebrating our birthdays and 15-year wedding anniversary in Italy.
Having the financial resources to purchase Louis Vuitton Italian leather dress shoes for myself and a purse for my wife.
Finding the perfect gifts in Italy to bring back to some of the important people in our lives.
Being in town to see my nephew get baptized.
Being in town to see my brother-in-law get married.
Seeing my wife deeply grateful for these 3 months that we’ve been able to spend together in this way.
Praise be to God for His grace and kindness in my life. “I’m so unworthy, but still you love me. Forever my heart will sing of how great you are!” To Him be all the glory, honor, and praise!
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.
You don’t need to have been on a sabbatical to create a list like this. What are the experiences, moments, blessings, difficulties, and relationships from God that you are thankful for from the Summer of 2019? I encourage you to invest at least 30 minutes thinking though and writing them down. Come up with at least 25. Or, feel free to share a few of God’s blessings towards you in the comments below. I’d love to celebrate with you.
God is worthy of the gratitude and praise that will be stirred up within you as a result of your remembering!
Please, don’t neglect doing this. God is worthy!