Saturday, December 31, 2011

Flowers family/FMG 2011 in Review

Oh 2011! It was one of the hardest years of my life and yet one of the most productive. Let's review:

Here's some pretty cool stuff that happened this year:

Family - I think my daughter, wife and I have definitely learned a lot from each other! I'm amazed at how much I've grown because they've been in my life. I also loved ministering to them at home and doing ministry with them in the field of life. (Good talks with my wife, speaking blessings over her before most meals, reading Psalms 23 and teaching Nyomi to pray before she goes to bed, having Ny in my music video...those things meant a lot to me this year.)

Ministry -

1) Youth ministry took a turn for the better with God bringing an awesome team along side my wife and I! We changed the name to Forerunner Youth and it just fits now. This year marked my two passions coming together - the youth ministry and the music. It also marked a year of reaching out. This year we reached out by ministering in a nursing home, doing a backpack drive, participating in our neighborhood's National Night Out, and ending strong with heading up a church wide outreach on Christmas day. With the new team, we're now ready to put our heads together and go into 2012 strong!

2) Music - We kept pretty busy for a little indie label. God really graced us. In 2011 we were able to put out our first music video (and sell nearly 400 white rags), raise hundreds of dollars for a nonprofit during our "Rags 2 Riches" campaign, and teach kids how to write and produce music through a 3-week arts camp called "Create 2011" (which was connected with Forerunner). We were also privileged to help make the "God Belongs in My City" anthem for SA and feature in that video. This was also the year I was privileged to perform at the ATT Center for the first time! (Hopefully, there will be more times:) And one of the highlights of this year was the opportunity to build relationships with and share the stage with so many talented people at Flavorfest in Tampa, Fla. And then to get to go to Blueprint in ATL? I learned so much from that trip that will deeply affect 2012. Overall, our small record label was privileged to partner with over 20 ministries and reached over 4500 people through concerts and countless more through TV, radio, & newspaper! God is awesome. We definitely don't deserve it but He chooses to use is still.

This year also brought along with it lots of struggles. Honestly, most of the struggles were financial. I told you a while back that I had a dream that altered everything for me and my family. That dream (which I will share next year;) resulted in us choosing to allow my wife to stay home with Ny. Well this year our pockets have felt the weight of that decision. We own a home and I have been the only one bringing in income since my wife came home. You would think that my busy music schedule and selling lots of CDs and product would compensate. For a while it did. Then I hit a season where it didn't and then it got really hard. I started questioning God and asking if I was really supposed to be doing what I was doing. "Am I supposed to be doing music? Should I stop working at the church?" At one point this year we where worried that we were going to lose our house. We dont live extravagantly. We actually don't owe on anything except for our house. But it was just one of those things were the money going out was more than the money coming in. It's been really hard trying to find places to cut in our budget only to find that we can't because if we do cut something it has to be food, water/electric bill money, etc. Then, in the face of that, we have to convince ourselves that we are exactly were God wants us to be. In the face of financial struggle we hold on to the belief that we don't need to get another job because we're convinced that it's not what God wants for us right now. Some think it's crazy and not practical. Mortgage people call. As a man, it shakes me because ultimately it's my responsibility to provide. Do I take matters into my own hands or do I trust God? How do I know when I've crossed the "faith without works" line? Am I crazy for believing I heard God through a dream...and I'm actually going with it? It's been stressful.

But through it all God has been faithful. Through the high times when I was ministering to hundreds to the low times when we've feared foreclosure...God has always come through. He's kept me humble before Him and He's kept my family taken care of.

I really hope things get better in 2012. I hope that we are able to partner with more ministries and reach more people. I hope things lighten up for us financially...more for my wife and Ny's sake then for mine. But we have decided that no matter what comes in 2012 we are going to stick together and trust God...just like we have in 2011. No matter what comes our way we're running into the battle with our little slingshot and believing that God will use us mightily for his glory!

I know I'm not the only one who had highs and lows this year. Let's resolve to go harder than ever before. Let's have an unwaivering, reckless faith. Use wisdom but understand that His ways are not our ways. God won't let us down! Here's to a passion-filled, wild, Jesus-loving, people-loving 2012!

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