Wednesday, December 31, 2008


What a year! This year I've gotten to know responsibility and transition more than any of the previous years of my life. Holly and I are so blessed. God has been so good to us. Here are my top 7 highlights of 2008.

7. Tiger Woods' US Open Victory - While Tiger Woods places this year's US Open victory as second on his incredible resume (to the '97 Masters), it is his best victory and the most incredible sports moment I have ever seen. With a double stress fracture of his left tibia, Tiger dismissed his doctor's orders, downplayed his injury to the media, and grimaced to victory in his fourteenth career major. To be honest, my biggest worry wasn't whether he would win or not. I was most interested to see if he could finish his third round, fourth round, and playoff round still walking. Incredible drama! I can't wait to see how his return goes in 2009.

6. A 30 yard addition to my golf game - Following the golf theme, my golf game improved a great deal this year. While my golf score remained a mediocre "lukewarm," I improved my distance by thirty yards. However, you might be surprised that this had nothing to do with the large size of my biceps. Instead, my thirty yards can only be attributed to the thin air found in mile-high Denver. But I still added 30 yards!

5. Graduating with my Master of Divinity - While this degree conferred on me some level of divinity, I have been upset that people haven't begun to call me master. My dad has his doctorate and people write him letters calling him Dr. Packer, but I haven't been written to as Master Packer once yet. Although, I do like my new name, Pastor Packer. It fits very well.
Graduation was a great moment. I had worked so hard for six years to get my degrees, thus it was great to finally walk across the stage knowing I had accomplished something. However, I didn't learn everything in school. In fact, my most repeated phrase so far in the office is "I didn't learn that in grad school!"

4. Moving to Colorado - Though there is much to love about Texas, the move from Abilene to Littleton was a "step up" (no offense to my Abilenian readers). Even though I haven't experienced a full winter yet, I can already tell Colorado will not take much getting used to. A strategic office facing toward the mountains doesn't hurt too much either. Though I will never outgrow my love for the Cowboys and Longhorns, Colorado is a wonderful place to live and minister.

3. Obama's Election - For anyone who knows me well, you might be surprised by how high this one made it on my list. I've always had an interest in politics, but I am continually convinced that God desires for us to work to bring change through laying down our lives in the kingdom of God rather than taking up power to influence the kingdoms of this world. But regardless of your political affiliation, I hope we can all agree that America has come a long way. We have a long ways to go, but November 4th was a historic day in our nation. Americans have gone from enslaving African Americans to electing an African American as our 44th President.

2. Joining the Littleton Church of Christ - We couldn't have asked for more out of a church family. While Holly and I have had wonderful church families over the years, we love the people at the Littleton Church of Christ so much. I love preaching. I love the people. I love the leaders. And I love that we are a church that wants to reach out to our community in relevant ways. We still feel like we're in the honeymoon phase, but there are some exciting things having to do with vision that are going to take place in 2009. I can't wait to see the incredible things that God is going to do through his church in Littleton.

1. The Pregnancy - While Holly might not put the pregnancy, itself, as our greatest moment of 2008, we would both agree on how excited we are to become parents in 2009. We're excited to find out if we are having a boy or girl in February. We are just so excited! And to share that news with our extended family and our church family was one of the most incredible moments of our year. We are so blessed and excited to be where God has placed us! We have so much to be thankful for and look forward to!

May you all have a blessed 2009!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bachin' It

Well, I'm in the middle of the my nine-day bachelor experiment. Holly is on her trip with her sisters and her mom to St. Kitts. This is the longest period I have been away from Holly since we started dating during our junior year of high school (2001).

It's interesting to gauge the responses of people to my situation. People are genuinely concerned about me. But being the analytical person I am, I'm trying to determine the reason for their concern. Some are concerned because they know how it feels to be without a spouse for a period of time. Others are concerned for my health and well-being. But I promise I won't get tired of alternating between Cheerios and Wheaties for nine days. Some are concerned for Toby, our dog, because they worry he will starve because of my forgetfulness.

But I hear the tone of others and they are genuinely concerned about if I will make it. They know Holly is my better half or 3/4's, but am I that helpless? Perhaps the answer is yes. With a church as loving and caring as mine, I feel like I'm on Survivor and people are excitedly watching my life to see if I will get through the week or bow out due to malnourishment, emotional distress, or some other treatable disease.

Thank you for your love and encouragement. I love and miss my wife dearly, but as they say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." Don't feel sorry for me. But feel free to drop by and leave a meal at the doorstep if you don't mind.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Question We've Been Asked Most

People in Colorado have been so wonderful to us. We were warned that people from Colorado are not as warm and inviting as people from Texas. That has not been our experience, though part of that might be because so many people in Colorado are originally from Texas.

It seems as though every stage of your life begs a question from people. When Holly and I got engaged, the question was "How does it feel to be ENGAGED (with emphasis and a higher pitch on engaged). Then when we were married, the question was "How does it feel to be MARRIED (same emphasis). But since we've moved, the question we've been asked most is "How is your transition going?"

To go public with our answer, the truth is it has been wonderful. There's always a concern when you move that you will be unhappy with the new location and want to move closer to home. But we haven't felt that way at all. We love Colorado. We love South Denver. We love the people at the Littleton Church of Christ. And we love our lives. But most of all, we feel called by God to live here and that is the most important feeling we could have.

We are here for a reason and we are continually reminded of that. I have always felt I was called to make the most kingdom impact by preaching for an established church that was willing to reach out to lost people. And our church is on that journey. We are currently repositioning ourselves for greater kingdom impact. We want to be a church that loves God and leaves the doors each week to love people.

So, you can ask us the question again, but our answer is "We're doing great. We've made the transition. We're ready to be considered just another couple in a church that is ready to grow and do exciting things. We are ready to be hospitable to outsiders. We are ready to be creative and innovative in our practices. We are ready to go!"

However, I'm smart enough to know another question is about to be asked of us: "Are you ready to be parents?" That one I'm not so sure about. You'll have to ask me a few more times.