Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Pastor

I probably owe everyone a Colorado Christmas post, but I'm not gonna. Because, I just had to share this.

As you all know we are here to start a church. Refuge Community Church, to be exact. We plan to open the doors on Easter 2010. Things are just beginning for us, there is nothing but possibilities and God's incredible guidance in leading us in the right direction. There will be lots of things to do and plan and such. But, what I want to focus on is the pastor of Refuge.

His name is Christopher Richardson, but we just call him Chris. He was born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK, home of the Sooners and I'm not sure if there is a bigger OU fan out there. Chris has two sisters, one older and one younger. His dad left him and his family when he was just a young boy, leaving his mother to raise all three kids by herself.

Chris has always had deep sense of adventure. Growing up he was known to fall into fountains, out of trees and into trouble. He certainly has the scars to prove it. He loves to overcome the dangerous, challenging and seemingly impossible. It's just how he is, probably how he will always be. He was always surrounded by church and school friends. I like to think of Chris as the ring leader in coming up with all kinds of shenanigans, whether it was streaking through the neighborhood or planning the Senior prank. Chris also has an incredible sense of humor and being very quick witted himself, always had his friends laughing. Those friends to this day love and admire Chris.

Someone else that knew Chris as a kid and has watched him grow is Glenn Underhill. When Chris was just a teenager, this guy started spending time with Chris, encouraging him and believing in him. Pretty much became the Dad, Chris missed out on. I fully believe that Glenn has helped shape Chris into man that he is now. Chris says over and over again, that he wants to be the kind of dad that Glenn is to his kids. I know that he will.

When Chris graduated from high school, he went on to Howard Payne University, in little old Brownwood, Texas. The Alma mater of Glenn Underhill, who also was the only person who helped Chris move into his dorm. He made friends instantly and those friends are still some of his closest friends to this day. Chris majored in Christian Studies, while making a quite a splash. He came up with the "Anti-Frat" and distributed t-shirts to anyone who wanted them. It didn't go over too great with administration, but the masses loved him.(Again, with the shenanigans.) He also made some waves with the girls at HPU. And swept one particular girl off her feet. Wink, Wink.

After college, he served in a couple of churches. All different and crazy in their own way. Chris married his college sweetheart and moved a couple of times. He attended Truett Theological Seminary and began to grow in his preaching, theology and ministry. He felt the strong calling to church planting and decided on Denver, Colorado for his next stop.

After much saving, preparation and praying, he and his wife loaded their cars with everything that would fit and said good-bye to Texas and all their friends. Things were tough for Chris. His wife and him were having a hard time finding jobs, loneliness was setting in and a little fear. But, God continued to stregthen Chris and he did his best to encourage his wife. He wiped away her tears, prayed for her and remained steadfast in his faith that he was here to change the world.

After plenty of job interviews, he finally accepted a position at Denver Rescue Mission. A wonderful non-profit organization that serves as a homeless shelter for men in Denver and as an alcoholic and drug rehab center for men. Chris drives a big fan all over the city and picks up donations for the mission. He also mentors and has befriended many of the men that work and live there. One in particular, named Craig. Spending about 8 hours in a van with someone and you get to know them pretty well. Chris might just know Craig's whole life story and shares it with his wife who looks forward to all of Chris's stories at the end of each day.

One day last week, Chris learned that his friend and co-worker Craig really loves video games and misses playing them. Chris, also being quite the fan of video games and owning a couple of systems and games thought he would like to do sometime nice for Craig. Yesterday, Chris gave Craig a wrapped Christmas gift with a big red bow. What was inside was Nintendo DS and with several games and a charger to go along with it. You see, Chris saved his fun money last summer for our big trip to Colorado and bought it to play with in the car. He would even play it when we weren't on road trips, but he just thought Craig needed it more. But, that's just who Chris is.

Chris works at a job that pays very little and is not glamorous at all. I have yet to hear him complain, except to say that he wishes he could do more. Help more. Everyday, he is praying for the people who are coming to Denver to be apart of our church. He is always thinking and planning on how we can help them most when they move here. He talks over and over about how he wishes we could pay for their move or lessen the financial burden that may have when they get here. He is constantly updating the Denver blog and asking for prayer requests. But, that is just who Chris is. He is the pastor of Refuge Community Church. I can not think of a better pastor than him. Chris is the most loyal person I've ever met. He deeply cares for his friends and family and so wants to ease burdens for them. Chris is the only person I would want to ever pastor Refuge, the only person I would want to lead our church. He is selfless and giving. A strong leader and someone who truly wants show people what it's like to have God's grace and love.
This is our pastor.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Big 26!

In honor of Chris's birthday today.... Twenty-Six Reasons

26.You love me even though I forgot how old you are!
25. The funny faces you make
24. You new found love for Banana Republic
23. Your spontaneity
22. Your ridiculously good memory
21. The way you make me laugh every time.
20. Your love for "the least of these"
19. Your loyalty for everything from friends to OU football to Weezer
18. Mad basketball skills
17. Your baby blue eyes
16. Your sense of adventure
15. The way you inspire and lead those around you.
14. The delicious burgers you make.
13. Your "D" personality
12. Your love for ice cream
11. Your inner strength
10. The way my heart still melts when you smile at me.
9. Your organizational skills
8. Your laugh when something is really funny
7. Your brilliance
6. How you can read me like a book
5. Your singing voice
4. The way you love
3. How darn funny you are
2. Your creativity
1. What an incredible man of God you are.

Feel free to include your own!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day to day events

Nothing exciting or new to post. Christmas is next week and I'm getting my apartment ready for my parent's and sister visit. I applied for a job at a nursing home today as a marketer. I've recently decided to look into what it would take to become a nursing home Administrator. One of my goals for the new year is to get going on that.

Chris is really enjoying his job. He is getting to know a lot of the guys there and getting to know Denver better, since he drives all over the city picking up donations, food and such. My job is going fine. I'm getting in the routine of working Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and having days off in the middle of the week. It's been colder than cold here and I never thought it could be that cold anywhere but in Alaska or Antarctica. But, I am learning to layer my clothes and drink as much hot beverages as I can get!

I am also eating my words on a fashion decision. I got a pair of Ugg boots last night. My Christmas gift from Chris. They come highly recommended from the girls of Denver when the weather is absolutely awful. And that is exactly what the weather has been. I gotta say they are super comfortable and I'm excited about how warm they are going to be. Chris is also getting some Ugg boots. Not like mine, but some manly and water proff ones.

My family is coming to our house for the first Christmas ever! I am feeling a little anxious about it, because my mom can be very critical and very fussy. So, I'm feeling a little a little anxious about it all. There is a lot of cooking, cleaning and self preservation to be done.

Denver really is feeling more and more like home. I think it's going to work out after all.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Richardson Update

Praise the Lord! Chris got a job! It's been a long, hard and very discouraging road, but my smart, talented and fabulous husband got a job! And one that he wanted, which is oh so important. We all want to do something that matters and help people. And this job does just that. He will be working at Denver Rescue Mission. He'll be a driver picking up donations and mentoring homeless men. He'll be great at it and he's so excited. And here's another thing. He talked to Air National Guard Reserve recruiter and he's getting everything together to be a chaplain. It's a great opportunity to minister, an excellent sign-on bonus and student loan forgiveness. Nothing will finalized until March and we're very excited and hopeful that it will work out great. So, that's the news here in the Richardson house.