OK, so I'm in Michigan for Christmas break and the snow here, what little they have, is melting. Meanwhile back where I live, Flagstaff, AZ is getting pounded with snow. Pretty ironic I think. Somehow the other day during a conversation with my boys about snow we got on to the topic of snowflakes. They were both talking about how amazed they are at how they're designed. (This was going on while I was attempting to make some snow flakes out of paper with scissors and kept messing up.) Did you know each one is amazingly different and amazingly unique? Ever taken a look? Ethan tried this at school.... take a black piece of paper and catch a flake and examine it with a magnifying glass or even just your eyes. Check out this real pic of a close up of a snowflake.
Is that insane or what? It's just ridiculously unbelievable how something so tiny is so cool. Its not just a tiny snowball or a dot. Its actually a beautiful intricately designed piece of art. Each snowflake being different start as ice crystals that are the size of a speck of dust. When the crystals fall they join up with other crystals to form a snowflake. The size and shape actually depend on how many crystals hook together.
Crazy huh? But how did that process itself even come about? Some think these things came to be by time and chance. Some think it was a consequence or part of a chain of events from a big explosion or mistake. So my thought is that in order to make a snow flake itself would really good mistake. Or really a marvelously beautiful mistake. What kind of mistake that you know of has turned out that cool? Its really what I'm thinking more of a marvelously beautiful reminder. And proof of design.
When snow is coming down by the foot like it is right at home just think that every inch of it you plow through walk on and shovel includes hundreds, thousands, millions & billions of tiny pieces of artwork with a design that as you can see, could take your breath away. Mistakes? That's pretty insane to assume. A uniquely designed tiny creation like that only says one thing.....
There has to be some pretty awesome Designer.
And it's made bluntly obvious from even something as simple, as a snowflake.
Sledding in Buchanan
Ethan throws an attitude when his sled doesn't make it as far as he wants to go and then almost gets ran over by his brother.
Arriving in Chicago
After arriving in Chicago and getting off the train we take a short walk down the famous Michigan Avenue. (a short clip before we went back inside after almost freezing)
For some reason Corey has been on this short kick all year and is still. Short kick meaning he's wearing shorts for as long as he can into the year instead of pants like normal people. He has been wearing them into the winter supposedly in a competition with a friend at school to see who could wear them the longest. He's already won but still wears them and wore them on our trip back here to MI. Of course when arriving in Chicago he finally realized how cold it is wearing shorts in winter as I took him on a short walk down Michigan Avenue downtown. After our long wait to jump on the next train to get to Niles we went into the loading area and stood in line with hundreds of people passing through. One lady in the front checked tickets and as the travelers passed through she'd say 28 and send them on their way towards loading area #28. It went on forever 28, 28, 28, 28, 28, 28, 28 each person passing through one at a time. I was wondering how boring that job that would be and if she ever got to at least shout out a different number. 28, 28, 28, we got a little closer..... 28, 28, 28.... finally it was our turn. 28! , I go through, 28! Ethan passes, 28! Corey passes and behind me I hear stop the 28 cycle and yell out.....
I turned around and there Corey was in his shorts standing next to her. She supposedly was stunned probably even confused seeing somebody wearing shorts in the middle of winter in Chicago and took a break from #28 long enough to announce it. We got a laugh out of it. She paused for a couple seconds in shock I guess and then jumped right back into the 28 routine again for everyone behind us. Corey thought it was hilarious.
I don't really believe it but its Christmas Eve. Does anyone know where the year went? It seems like we skipped a month or three somewhere. I just got back from Walmart which is not any fun late at night especially when there are long lines and only about 3 lanes open. But my shopping is done and I actually didn't do it at the last minute. I did it the day before.
I spent the night rehearsing for Christmas eve services and am excited that I get to be a part of it. We are doing some amazing Christmas songs and versions by Chris Tomlin and Bebo Norman that have been running through my head all week. My favorite part will be Corey and I doing our own arrangement of "One Small Child" on acoustic guitar and Matt on the Djembe. Its going to be awesome!
Christmas will be great and I'm also excited about what all the boys are getting. Lots of Paper Jamz instruments , Wii games, movies, Nerf guns and other cool things. (Let's keep that a secret for them at least until they open them tomorrow ok?) Best of all I surprised them a few days ago with tickets for a train ride back east to visit fam! So after an awesome Christmas day the boys and I will be boarding a train and getting out of Dodge to visit my fam and brothers for a week in Michigan. Its gonna be good.
Most all however as Christmas arrives my focus has been reading through the nativity story in my Message Bible. Its amazing how it can has a whole new appeal reading it in a new version. This season I am trying to rediscover the gift and be reminded how this incredible gift has blessed my life and praying that as I rediscover the gift that I can continue to re- invent myself into something new to positively effect people I come in contact with. I pray the season can help you to do the same......
check back here in a few days as I will be blogging and posting pics on the train ride back to MI and adventures there!
Fall Vacation in Buchanan, MI!
Im blogging live from Buchanan, MI! woohoo. Small place yes but its my hometown! Havent been on here forever. Im taking my first vacation in 2010 and Im ready to stay another week. Rode here on a train for 36 hours which was very cool and very long. Very very long. Flying back which will be alot more enjoyable Im sure. We've been to the haunted house the Harvest parade ,which was more like bad morning traffic and doing fall stuff with the family. I was most impressed today downtown with a new coffee house called Union Coffee house. Amazing. Who would have thought a place like that would appear in downtown Buchahan. Got an awesome Pumpkin spice latte and walked through the exhibits and all in the Harvest fest with the boys, fam and nephews and nieces. Pretty cool. The weather is much colder but been very seasonal and enjoyable. Love having the boys play with all their cousins and catching up with both brothers. Its been a great Time!
Lots of new exciting things are happening for me here in 2010!!
Heres what happening!
THE NEW CD IS HERE!
First of all my new cd "One Step Closer" is finally complete and will be out here in February. This is a collection of songs that have been written over the past 5 years and recorded over the past three. This is definitely the most exciting project I have done musically and these songs are incredible. One of my favorites is the one I have done with Corey B. called "Sunset". You can check this one out on Youtube. I will be announcing the big CD release party soon and it will be available through Amazon, I-tunes and tons of other music venues including Best Buy, Target and Borders. Check out my website at Kevinearnst.com to read more about the CD and hear the music.
Ya strange but true. I have taken a new turn presently in what will be keeping me busy on a regular basis. I have been involved in worship ministry and in the "church scene" for over 12 years full time and most of the rest of my life a very busy volunteer. However I recently decided to pursue another area of my life that I have always been excited about and that is working with youth. I know a
lot of you know my passion for that population and may have been a part of that at one time even. So starting in December I began to look for a way to get more involved in that area and see what God had in store. In a very short time God blessed me with an awesome opportunity at the Arizona's Children Association. There I will be working with youth and teens from a clinical approach and out in the community meeting those needs on a daily basis. You can check out more about the organization at www.arizonaschildren.org . Its pretty amazing stuff. I have always loved the work I have been involved in even tho it can be very draining, stressful and time consuming but I'm thoroughly excited about this new opportunity.
It will definitely be a different kind of transition for me but have also found it so far to be extremely rejuvenating if you will. It's always cool to see what God has in mind for you next. (one of the songs called "More" on the new cd is my present theme song and explains that whole process of following God even when it doesn't make sense. Check out the lyrics sometime) I grew up in the church, been involved in church all my life and have worked as a volunteer and employee in 3 of the nations largest Christian Churches and it has been an honor. At the same time it has also been the cause of some of the greatest stress and frustrations I have ever had. ( who would have thought that could happen working in a church??!! jk but its true.) So with that in mind I know this will be a great time for change and using other gifts I have been blessed with. (I actually have a masters degree in counseling and had a license to practice for three years in Michigan.... I know, scarey.) I will continue to do music however and volunteer as needed in whatever place I find myself as well as write, perform and sing. Music has been and always will be a huge part of my life.
One thing I have tried to keep in mind, remember in my own personal life over the years and have taught to others, is that being a worship leader on the weekend and being a worshiper during the week is two different things. To be honest there have been many times when the second part has been lacking. I try daily to work on that but do feel I need more time to do focus on that just as much as anyone. I have talked with many people about the spiritual battle we face everyday especially in the role of a worship pastor/leader. I don’t know if you know this or not but as worship leaders we are on the front lines of the battle and face great opposition every day in more powerful ways than any other ministry. The book I wrote, "Sinking Deeper" focuses a lot on these kinds of things. Although written about four years ago I keep finding myself lately going back and reading it to remind myself of those scripture verses included, the encouragement and spiritual guidance I needed and wrote about over the years in this role. I want to encourage everyone to think about these things and find ways to continue your spiritual growth daily... even when we don’t feel we have time or think we are already "spiritual giants". We all have a lot more to learn. I know I do.
So even tho I am not employed as a worship leader, I still consider myself one as it's a lifestyle we all need to practice and role model. Through my life, my music and my writing that I will continue to do I hope to accomplish just that. Even in my new role at Arizona's children I know I will be given new opportunities to "minister" to people and reach out to them in new amazing ways firsthand. It will be great to actually worship now on a daily basis in a whole new way!!
Please pray for this transition and the new CD. I am very excited to get this out finally and hear your thoughts on these new songs!!!!!
Thanks everyone and remember that everyday no matter what new twists and turns come our way, we are "One Step Closer" to an eternity in heaven!!