10 Things in 2013 to Thank God For

Last year proved to be full of trials for Kaitlin and I; but too often we dwell on what went wrong and not on what went right. The list of reasons to praise God in 2013 goes far beyond ten items, but it’s a good start (though it is not in any particular order, as always):

10. We have an amazing, loving church to lean on and grow with.
West Rome Baptist Church has become for us the family that every church needs to be, especially within our Growth Group (our fancy word for Sunday School Class). All we feel from the moment we enter the doors is love, and the friendships we have gained are true blessings. Whether we need to be sharpened and reminded of God’s truth or simply need to let it all out in the open and be completely transparent and honest, God has used our church and church family to strengthen our faith and help us feel His love. When I broke my leg in the accident and was out of work for over two months, our Growth Group all pitched in to help us, cooking us meals and even raising money to help pay hospital bills (they didn’t hold back any love either, they raised over $2000).
9. Monk (Also, Netflix (until they stopped streaming Monk (which was too soon, so not Netflix, actually))), Ducks, Reba, and George Lopez.

These guys kept me company for months while I was bedridden and bored out of my mind. I probably would have lost that mind I was bored out of, if not for their help. I’m thankful for clean, funny shows. Why is it so hard these days to find them?
8. Our God, the Provider
I cannot tell you how many times I looked at our bank account in shock because the numbers just didn’t add up. In our favor. The only explanation was that God was providing as He promised. He was not letting us go down like that. There is no other way I could have been without work for 3 months, up to our knees in debt to hospitals, and still be able to afford to care for ourselves. God was in control and provided all our needs, putting money in the account that literally could not have been there, helping our Sunday School class raise over $2000 to help pay costs, etc. Our God was true to His promises to us, though we were undeserving. To say I am thankful is an extreme understatement, for sure.
7. Toyota (because nothing beats Toyota (besides maybe BMW)
We came into 2013 without a car in our name. Both of our vehicles were totaled during the previous month, so we were either using rentals or borrowing from family. In February, we found a Toyota Avalon XLS at an unbelievably great price from the original owners, who took great care of it. In the fall we found a Toyota Tundra Limited (Access Cab), which is also in great shape and an incredible deal. It sounds weird and I hesitate to say that material things can be associated with God’s glory, but I do know this: God knew a need we had and was faithful to provide that need for us through these two awesome Toyota’s.
6. Creation (and our dear park ranger friends who make enjoying State Parks a reality)
 

 

Most of our bestest dates happen while camping. Being totally immersed in God’s creation never fails to bring us a sense of tranquility and awe. God created this Earth and the life upon it and called it good! Why do we spend so much of our life inside buildings and in cities, completely shut off from the beauty in nature? As soon as my leg was healed from my wreck, we took as many opportunities as we could afford to go camping. Black Rock Mountain has been our favorite so far. If you’ve never been, go!
5. Weekends (and jobs that don’t require us to work on the weekends)
I may have to set my alarm for 3:50am every morning, and it isn’t always easy being responsible for teaching Spanish to every child at school, but it only makes the weekends more glorious and special to us. Being able to leave work Friday and know we will have a few days to rest is a blessing that not everyone is able to enjoy, and I am very grateful for that.
4. The love of our families
I thank God for families we can depend on and lean on in times of need. I also thank God that we both have parents who love each other and everyone around them. It’s hard to find marriages that last as long as our parents’ have, and it is a great blessing to have such loving examples to follow. 
3. Owl City
Who can listen to Owl City and not feel good inside? If you find them, tell them to call me. I don’t believe them.
2. The Mustard Seed Mission and our many missionary friends in Nicaragua

 

Not only did Kaitlin and I have the amazing opportunity to serve Christ in Nicaragua, but we did so in the company of a God-centered host family that housed us, cared for us, and prayed for us. I am so thankful for that experience and for the opportunity to return! Visit SendZackandKaitlin.com for more information on our next missionary journey and how you can help us get there!
1. Jesus
Jesus dies for my sins and saves me every single day. Being saved isn’t a one time event, it’s a sanctification process and I’m thankful for every moment of it. I’m thankful for being able to constantly walk in His grace, covered by His blood. I’m thankful He calls me friend and that God calls me son. I’m thankful that no matter what, I have His Spirit in me so that I can do great things through Him and never be far from His guidance or comfort. 2013 (and every year before and every after) was made possible by Jesus.
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It’s Been a While

It’s been far too long. Here’s an update on things:

I got married!
I started working at the Boys & Girls Club
We got a Lionhead rabbit and named her Hannah! She’s sweet, but she’s also mischievous.
Kaitlin and I went camping! The hurricane came through and we almost floated away! It was my first time camping, and we had a blast!
My hunt for Dr. Pepper 10 came to an end when it was introduced at our Wal-mart. I soon after got addicted! I was already addicted to soda. But still!
I started geocaching more. This is me with my 50th find! Photo courtesy my beautiful wife, Kaitlin!
I attended my first NCAA college football game, where the Jackets CRUSHED the Tigers! If you look closely, you might find my brother-in-law rushing the field.
I went to my last David Crowder*Band concert during the 7 Tour when they came to Atlanta at the Tabernacle! That’s us with Matt Ames after they melted our faces off.
I guess that’s about it in a nutshell. I might add more later, and I’ll try to do this more often!
in Christ,
Zack

Friday Favorites!

I saw this Friday Favorites idea on Joanne’s blog, who got it somewhere else. I liked it, so I’m going to try it. But I’m not a girl, so I will either replace or remove some of the items! I hope no offense is taken by my few loyal readers.

Favorite Time of Day: Probably the evening time because it’s quiet and peaceful and I can rest and relax and do things I like to do. Unless I’m working the evening shift. In which case my favorite time is sleepy time.

Favorite Season: Spring! It used to be Fall, but now there is no Fall. There is just Winter. Winter is too cold. I love the snow very much, but I absolutely cannot stand freezing weather. A phenomenon of weather perfection could be achieved, in my book, if it could snow on a warm, clear, sunny day.

Favorite Month: Either April (my dating anniversary), June (my future wedding month), or December (because I love Christmas time)

Favorite Holiday: Christmas! Easter is a close second.

Favorite Color: Blue and green. Especially blue.

Favorite Movie: I love so many! Here are just a few:

This movie never  gets old! Not a lot of people I know have seen it.
Enough said.
I watch this movie a lot. It reminds me of how amazing my Savior is
and helps me through tough times.
All around great movie! And not just because Kaitlin loves it. =]
It’s similar to Frequency, but different too.

Favorite Celebrity: Uh. I don’t really know. My favorite actor is probably Tom Hanks, but I don’t really keep up with celebrities.

Favorite Place to Shop:

The iTunes store! I love music.

Favorite Kind of Music: Just about everything Christian, and some secular pop/rock/country. I’ve recently been introduced to Christian Hip/Hop & rap and it is amazing! My current favorite bands/artists are: Lecrae, David Crowder Band, and Owl City.

Favorite TV Show: I don’t really watch a lot of TV, but I do like Storage Wars. I used to watch LOST religiously before the disappointing finale. I just don’t watch a whole lot of TV.

Favorite Thing to Do: This is hard. Obviously, I want to make everything in my life glorify God. I want my life to be a constant state of worship (in some way, shape or form). I know that isn’t always the case with my life, but I try! Hopefully my life and the things I do come close to bringing Him glory. I’ve recently become addicted to geocaching. It’s really fun. Other than that, I love to find new ways to make Kaitlin smile and surprise her and show her how much I love her. Really. I’m not trying to be cheesy. It’s really fun!

Favorite Place in the World: Probably in Kaitlin’s arms. Too cheesy? Deal with it! It’s the truth. Want like an actual public place? Probably Camp Pinnacle at the moment because I am getting married to Kaitlin there in 97 days!

Favorite Hobby: How is this not the same as my favorite thing to do? Well. I love to geocache. Thats probably my current favorite. I also love to draw, paint, read, and play soccer.

Favorite Animal:

That is a wolf. It’s a silly band my beautiful fiance, Kaitlin
got me from camp. This also doubles as my favorite
silly band
Hawks are my second favorite animals! I just so happen to
BE a hawk, too! Neat!

Favorite Place to Live: Probably Georgia since I’ve only ever lived here, but I would like to live in the country when I get older.

Favorite Place to Vacation: Anywhere peaceful, where I don’t have to worry about any of the burdens of the world. I’ve been to Jekyll Island a lot with my family. So I like it for sentimental reasons. I also love St Augustine. It’s so pretty and fun. I’ve been with Kaitlin like four times (with her family, of course!) and I love it. But I also love love love love the mountains! Probably the most. I haven’t been a lot, but that’s were Kaitlin and I are going on our honeymoon so that should be great.

Favorite Restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory. Hands down. Great food and great portions. I also like the Melting Pot, but it is really expensive.

Favorite Thing to Cook: I love cooking! My favorite thing to cook is probably chicken parmigiana. I also love to cook chicken francese. Italian recipes are always keepers. I think crab rangoons are fun to make too. And anything with eggs.

Favorite Drink:

Hands Down

Favorite Cologne: Abercrobe Fierce. $50+ a bottle, I know. And it’s kinda fading in quality. But it’s all I’ve ever used! I don’t like the slutty pictures of half-naked men, though. I peel them off.

Favorite Books: The Bible goes without saying! Anything by C.S.Lewis. My lovely fiancee got me The Quotable Lewis for Valentines Day! I’m getting into Ted Dekker too. Also, David Platt’s Radical is pretty sweet. OH! And John Eldridge’s Wild at Heart. And the Shack.

Favorite Bible Verse: This is the hardest question ever. I love so many verses. Here are just a few.

“The LORD is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him. For He knows how weak we are; He remembers that we are only dust.”  – Psalm 103:13,14

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 3:1-4

“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” – Luke 10:18-20

Okay, looks like I’ve covered it! That was pretty fun.

in His grip,

Zack