Big Transitions Ahead…

Jesus never lets us get too comfortable. He’s always drawing us closer to Himself. This process OFTEN involves the removal of certain comforts, or things that have allowed complacency during our short stay on this earth. This seems to happen a lot with us. It is usually painful, and involves a chunk of our flesh to be burned away. We are so pumped about this latest shift in life, both for our family, and for Intentional Gatherings as an organization. Over the next few weeks I will be blogging in detail about the events leading up to this transition, but in the meantime I recorded a short video for those of you who keep up with what goes on in the lives of the Snow family & I.G. as an organization. It’s about 5 minutes long. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you have any questions or comments, and stay tuned for future blogs about “why in the world the director of a non-profit would give himself a complete & permanent pay cut…”

If you’re in the Austin area and know of any job openings shoot me the leads! =)

My Daughter Is One…

It has been an incredible ride so far. Eliza has quickly become one of my best friends. She brings MUCH joy to mine and Morgan’s life. We had a little birthday shindig at gigi and g-daddy’s house yesterday to celebrate her life. We have been so blessed by Jesus to have such incredible people be a part of our/her life over the past year. Many of them haven’t gotten to see her much in the past year, but got to come spend some time with her yesterday. It was a blast. I put together a little photo slide show of her first year. Enjoy…

“Super-wife/mommy”

That is what I call Morgan these days. She is so incredible in so many ways. She definitely wins “wife/mommy of the year” award. (Sorry guys, my wife beat yours in the “competition”=) Haha! She went to DFW this past weekend with Eliza to help throw a baby shower for one of our friends while I stayed in Austin, and went on a solo camping/sabbath adventure in the woods. We both had wonderful weekends, but were ready to see each other when we all arrived back in Austin. I got the house all ready for her, and made her a little “Happy 1st mommy’s day” slide show. (Yes, it’s a little late, but we were out of town over Mother’s Day, so the video ad to wait=) Check out my girls…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Happy 1st Momma’s Day!“, posted with vodpod

A Few Things…

I have been working on an article to be posted on the homepage of www.shapevine.com in the next couple weeks as they push through a “new look”, so I haven’t had a ton of time to post here. Shortly after the article comes through on shapevine I will be posting it here. In the meantime I wanted to share a few random things with you all…

My incredible wife recently started a blog. You can access it HERE. Morgan is an extremely passionate wife, mother, and follower of Jesus. Her blog will encompass everything from following Jesus as a natural outflow of everyday life to natural child birth, and  organic/healthy eating. She has yet to post anything from this past Easter weekend when we got some sweet photos of Eliza taken, and went to the Zoo. So, I’m gonna beat her to it…

And from the Zoo…

And she’s OUT.

CLICK HERE to go to the facebook album & see all of the Easter photos taken by Keri Duckett – www.keriduckett.com

On a last note, I NEVER talk about politics or anything like that on this blog. However, I received one of those forward emails today from my aunt and HAD to share it. It’s a mixture of funny & REAL. It’ll get ya thinkin’. Disclaimer: this does not in any way reflect my personal views on politics or healthcare…does it?

Private Enterprise Vs. Government, you decide…

1 . Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.
2.. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th)
than Target sells all year.
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco +
K-Mart combined.
5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private Employer,
and most speak English.
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the World.
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined, and keep in
mind they did this in only 15 years.
8. During this same period, 31 supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.
9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super
Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 Years ago.
11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur At a
Wal-Mart store. (Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
12. 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart.
You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work
for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to Fix
the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans Democrats, Republicans,
EVERYONE!!

To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature, It is now
official you are ALL corrupt morons:

*   The US. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to
get it right and it is broke.
*   Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it
right and it is broke.
*   Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it
right and it is broke.
*   War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right;
$1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the
poor” and they only want more.
*   Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to
get it right and they are broke.
*   Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it
right and it is broke.
*   The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on
foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24
billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to
get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every “government service” you have shoved down our
throats while overspending our tax dollars
AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM??

=/ Don’t get mad… =) I couldn’t help myself. Stay tuned for when I get “back to my regularly scheduled broadcast”.

Fruit.

Back in August we hosted a Student CPx Training in Austin. Since that training we have seen God use the students who “graduated” from SCPx to do some incredible things for His Kingdom. From praying healing over broken bones to Baptizing new believers into new student-led churches these students are really “doin’ the stuff”! Morgan and I have the privilege of walking alongside of these students in discipleship relationships now that we live here in Austin. It is so incredible to watch God use them as they obey His voice. Four students got Baptized by other students this past Friday. Another student who had just come to Christ last week was also Baptized by her discipler in the bath tub in her apartment the Thursday night before these Baptisms…People’s lives are being transformed, and it is happening at the hands of ordinary followers of Christ – these are not religious professionals, church/campus staff members, or people who get paid to do the works of ministry. These are broke students who have been wrecked by the Gospel, and can’t help but introduce others to their king…

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Town Lake Baptisms!”, posted with vodpod

The kingdom of God is expanding…that is, new believers are being transformed by the Gospel as they encounter ordinary people who have been transformed by the Gospel. Last night 12 people came over to our house to talk about and discuss desires and passions God has placed in each of their hearts. The stories revolved around starting community discipleship houses in the city that would lead to a network of house churches. We got to share with them a bit of our story with IG in Ft. Worth, then Vegas, and now here. We were all equally edified, and can’t wait to see what God does. We had a powerful time of communion together as well.

God is moving in Austin in some powerful ways. We are loving every second of it. From events in our apartment complex pursuing community to discipling students one on one we are easing into a beautiful rhythm of life here in Austin. Stay tuned…

Austin+IG+Snow=adventure

The Snow family is finally settled in Austin! As many of you know this is the third city for IG to extend to through long-term, physical presence. While here we have a two-fold purpose on local level:

1) To make new disciples in our apartment community, and watch as the Holy Spirit births a new faith community (Simple Church) right out of the harvest!

2) To continue mentoring, discipling, and pouring into the students here in Austin who went through Student CPx back in August. They are continually seeing God move in powerful ways as they seek to make disciples & birth new faith communities on campus at UT. We’ve already had a chance to re-connect with them and begin discussing what this relationship will look like…

Of course, we will continue pursuing everything that God is doing through IG on a national level as well…

At our National Gathering of Student Church Planter’s in St. Louis in January…

Where we saw a student Baptize another student in the hotel pool!

This is a busy time for us as a family, and IG as an organization. Along with the SCPx National Elder team we are doing “iSCPx” in 13 cities nation-wide in the Spring. I have already been to San Diego, Los Angeles, & am in Orlando right now.

(Brain Orme, Aaron Snow, & Brad Mckoy in San Diego for iSPCx)

(The Orme’s – part of the team in SD where we’re hosting a SCPx this summer!)

We’ll host one more “iSCPx” in Austin next weekend to conclude our 4 cities. (The rest of the team will cover the other cities). This is an exciting time for our organization as God is building His Church in fresh/new ways. We are blessed to be a part of it, and grateful for those of you who support us on this journey.

Las Vegas iPhoto Library…

After looking back through my iPhoto library I couldn’t help but throw together a little slide show of pics from our two year journey in Las Vegas. To those of you who came to our going away party this past Friday, thanks!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Going Away Party… on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

Dearest Eliza…

editA few days ago I posted the letter I wrote to Morgan as she began her adventure as a mommy. I also wrote a letter to Eliza a few weeks before the birth. After she was born Morgan and I spent some time alone together with her. It was a beautiful time of worship as I prayed, and spoke these words over them in Jesus’ name…

7.12.2009

“Dearest Eliza,

I am humbled that the Lord has chosen your mommy and I to be the first two people who get to welcome you into this new world. We do so in the name of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ who did for us what we could not do ourselves, become sinless & Holy that we may commune with the living God. It was God who formed you inside of your mother, and allowed us to be blessed with you. We have committed to a life centered on the Gospel, and kingdom of God. We realize that first and foremost this means we get to raise you as a disciple of Jesus. Aside from each other, we now commit to placing you before anyone else. It is upon this foundation that you enter into our lives. May this become a reality as you grow into the woman of God that He created you to be.

We begin this first conversation with you by confessing our weakness, and brokenness. We admit that we do not have the ability to accomplish this task of raising you that has been laid before us. We humbly confess that we will not always know the right answers, and will likely make decisions that disappoint you. Due to the sin nature that battles inside of us we will probably be responsible, at some point, for pain in your life. It will be these times that we must ask you, as our daughter, for grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Our need for, and dependency upon Christ must be made known now, and we must all be reminded of this reality from this day forward. We are daily begging God for the power of His Holy Spirit to empower us to be equipped for a task such as this. We claim victory over your life right now in Jesus’ name. That victory covers our task as parents, and we are believing by faith that it covers your future decision to follow Christ as Savior with your life.

Eliza, we chose this as your first name that we may be reminded daily to declare these words over you. Your name means “worshiper of God”, or “consecrated to God”. We have a deep desire for you to grow to learn and understand what it means to be a true worshiper of God. We, as your parents, consecrate you, or “dedicate you”, and “declare you as sacred” in Jesus’ name. We declare, by giving you this name, a life devoted to God as your Heavenly Father.

With your middle name, Sage, which means “wise one”, we declare a life of divine wisdom over you in Jesus’ name. This wisdom will allow you to understand the very nature of God, and His Kingdom. It will also give you the ability to make decisions that line up with those Kingdom principles.

As your earthly father I commit to you a lifetime of love. I, once again, admit that my love is conditional due to the sin nature that lives in me. However, I commit to constantly pointing you to your Heavenly Father who’s love is UNCONDITIONAL. I can only pray that as I point you to Him, and you experience His grace and love that you might be able to extend that same forgiveness and grace to me during the times that I fail you. I commit to striving for these characteristics as your daddy:

Humility/Honesty: I will never lie to you, or take advantage of the Spiritual authority I have in your life. I will not deceive you into thinking that I always know the right answers to everything. Patience: I will not expect you to know things, and be able to do everything right all the time. I will patiently wait for you to grow, and mature in God’s perfect timing for you. I commit to teaching you slowly, and throughout your life what it means to follow Christ, and put others before yourself. When you mess up I will patiently help you learn more. Throughout this entire process I promise to pursue being in control of myself, my emotions, anger, and temper. I will need the power of the Holy Spirit for this one, and much grace from you when I fail to live up to this commitment. When the above things do not go as planned I am striving to be slow to anger, and quick to love. Of course, the foundation for all of these is Love. Love, Integrity, and Character, are the foundation in which I commit to building everything else upon.

Eliza, you are a precious gift to your mother and I from our Father in heaven. We are extremely grateful for you, and commit to spending the rest of our lives loving you and showing you how to love. Our purpose in life, which will hopefully become your purpose, is to know God, and make Him known. We are trusting that one way we can do that is to pour our lives, and love into you and your future siblings. We love you very much. We declare these things over you in the name of Jesus, our Savior. Amen.”

We ask that you, as our brothers and sisters in Christ, would hold us accountable to these commitments we have made to our baby girl. Thank you.

Eliza Sage Snow

IMG_9081The birth of our daughter was a powerful event to say the least. Many tears, thoughts, and prayers were involved in the birth of this little girl. We have watched the video of the birth several times over now; it is extremely powerful, and I wish I could show it to the world. (However, my wife might not appreciate that too much =) I am still processing my experience with the 12 long hours of labor followed by me catching my baby when she came out. I then gently placed her on her mother’s chest as she took her first gasp of air, and began crying. Morgan and I both exploded with tears of joy. I will be journaling the events of the entire evening over the next few days, but wanted to share this brief update with you now…

Eliza was born on July 12th, 2009 at 7:46 in the morning at Gentle Beginnings Birth Center in Hurst, Texas. She weighed 10 lbs. 3 oz. and was 20 inches long. Morgan delivered her naturally; both baby and mommy are doing very well. We owe that to our Lord Jesus who heard our desperate prayers throughout evening, and to our close friend, Ann Crowell, who delivered Eliza. Ann’s birth assistant, Cindy Haggerton, who is also our friend and chiropractor, also played a huge role during the evening.

We had the pleasure of having one of our best friends, Keri Duckett, shoot photos the entire evening. Keri is an extremely talented photographer. You can check out a blog she wrote about Eliza with more pics, as well as some of her other photography HERE. She is available to do maternity photos, births, engagements, weddings, etc. and can be contacted at: keriduckett@gmail.com. Keri put together this wonderful slide show of the birth for us…

Thank you all for your prayers and support throughout this entire process. You have been wonderful. From Target gift cards, and baby gifts, to pregnancy/parenting advice you have all blessed us tremendously. Thank you from the Snow’s; all THREE of us.

Morgan’s Belly…

I just wanted to share some quick pictures of Morgan’s belly as of last week. It has started to shoot out lately! We’ve started doing goofy things like:

1) Me singing to Morgan’s belly…(Nothing makes you feel more silly…)

2) Turning all the lights off, and holding a flashlight to her belly to get the baby to move…

3) Me holding my hand on her belly forever, but still not feeling anything…she keeps saying, “Did you feel that!? How about that!?” me: “No” = (

Haha. Anyhow, we’re at 5 months, and here’s a couple belly shots!

photo-2516 weeks…

photo-5718 weeks…we think…

photo-7519 weeks…

photo-8120 weeks….

photo-9320 weeks….

Please feel free to share any goofy ideas you’ve tried in attempts to “feel the baby kick”, etc.