Matt, here. I was on the computer today and I realized that we haven't updated our blog since the Call!!!! It's been a while so I figured I would give all y'all a fresh update on what's been up in our lives lately.
Well, Joel has been growing and developing faster than we know how to keep up with him. Little man is working on his 3rd and 4th teeth coming in and he loves using them on mommy's shoulder. He has learned the "drop things on the ground so Mom and Dad can pick it up for me" game which never seems to grow old for him ;). Watching this kid grow up is absolutely amazing and we can't wait for the next one to show up....well..maybe we could wait until Joel hits 1 but God is in control either way!
Joel LOVES his teething cookies.....Loves putting them in his ears and all over his face!!!
This is little man in his exer-saucer. He loves playing in it with Pop Pop every morning while mommy showers and eats. It was a tremendous blessing having this given to us!
He hasn't quite figured out crawling yet, but that doesn't stop his little engine from running!
This year, I had 3 material things that I was praying for. A new car that was bigger and safe enough for my wife and new baby to drive in, a new electric guitar set up (guitar, amp and accessories...and boy is there a story behind that one!) and an Apple laptop that could help me mix and record my songs to CD. Well it's October and we have received the car and the guitar set up. God is so good and faithful!!! There is only one more request left in the list for this year and as much as I want it, I have learned to be patient for the correct timing of the Lord.
Blessing #1 - Our 89 Volvo!
Blessing #2 - Matt's Hagstrom Swede Electric Rig. He had been trying to work out a trade at a local music store for another rig and the store owner gave him this one saying it was "what God wanted him to do". What a blessing! This is now Matt's favorite guitar EVER!!!
Things in the ministry have been coming along in an amazing way. I have been playing on the worship team two Sundays out of the month with my new sweet guitar rig and I now lead worship for the youth every Friday, in addition to worship sets in the HOP. God has also opened up doors to speak into the lives of young men in a place called Eckerd Academy, which I have mentioned before. This is a place where young men who get in trouble with the law find themselves as an alternative to the typical juvenile detention facility. It is a camp-like atmosphere in the middle of nowhere and we have been receiving massive amounts of favor there. Counselors have mentioned that they really see a change taking place in these young men's lives...more so than if they had just gone through the program without chapel. Last Sunday when I went, my heart was touched to hear a spoken poem that one of the young men had written. I was holding back tears when I realized that the lessons I had been speaking on where now coming forth through his poetry. As intercessors, we don't always know the full impact we have on others around us....this was just a kiss from the Lord letting me know that I am not struggling in vain. I am fully convinced that the work we do with those young men is the most important aspect of my ministry to date. Lately, I have had them studying the sermon on the mount and have been teaching them the uncompromised gospel, as I know it. It is going really well!
Erika is doing great as well. She is still getting use to being a full time mother, but is loving the process. Please pray that Joel learns to sleep more than he has been. For the past month or so, Joel has been waking nearly every 2 hours to nurse and Erika is a bit tired, although handling it surprisingly well. I just don't want her to get too worn down now that she is wanting to do more with the ministry. She has expressed interest in learning how to sing in the Harp and Bowl model of worship that our church is learning to do and I'm eager to get her on my worship team. She has never sung in front of strangers before and is really nervous but is still willing to give it a try. A friend of ours from WHOP is willing to give her some free lessons and I think she can start this coming Tuesday.....so more on that front after she becomes Misty Edwards part 2 ;) She is also excited to be finally opening her own distribution location for a local organic co-op. Erika has always been interested in eating healthy and this is a way that we can get fresh organic foods for discounted prices and in time maybe even FREE! So if anyone is interested and lives in the central Florida area, feel free to email her to see how you can get in on this too. You can check out the co-op at http://www.getgreenorganics.com/ .
If any of you have prayer requests, praise reports, etc. feel free to send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be sure to get them. We love hearing from our support base! Blessings to all!