It’s been a year since I’ve seen most of my Albuquerque friends, so the first question that I get asked a lot is, “How’s the church going?”

That’s a good question. It’s also a challenging question. That’s like asking an astronaut that just got back from a lunar landing, “What was the moon like?” There’s SO much to be said and so many experiences to relay.

How do I sum up the hardest 18 months of our lives?

How do I put 16 months of church-planting into words?

How do I summarize renovating 4 buildings in 16 months (one of them twice), losing everything in a flood, seeing lives changed and marriages restored, trusting God to pay our bills when it looks impossible, and so much more?

One word:


That’s the abbreviation for “abbreviate.” in case you weren’t aware.

I’ve been doing a lot of abbreviating. It comes NOWHERE close to capturing the emotions, faith, tears, and joy that have gone into the church plant, but if you’d like the abbreviated version of Awaken Church’s first 16 months, here’s what I’ve been telling people…

“It’s great. It’s keeping us super busy. I don’t know if you heard or not, but we lost the church building to the Tennessee floods 7 months into the church plant, so we relocated to a bank for 2 months, renovated the old building, moved back in, outgrew it in 3 months, renovated another building for 2 months, and opened that up on Christmas Eve. The new building is twice the size – we’ve been in it for about a month now, and we love it. God is doing some great things and we’ve seen lots of growth.”

I know, grammarians, that’s one long run-on sentence, but that’s what I’ve had to do to try to fit the highlights into an abbreviated response. It’s challenging, but that gives the Cliff’s Notes version of the last 16 months of my life. It’s been the hardest, most challenging, and most rewarding 16 months I’ve lived through…and we’re just getting started!

I’ve had a chance to share a longer version of the story with a few friends so far, and tonight, I get to do it again. My pastor, Skip Heitzig, will be interviewing me on stage during the Wednesday night service at Calvary Albuquerque at 7pm MST. We’ll show some pictures and videos from the flood as well as the old and new buildings. I’ll share briefly about some of the experiences that we’ve been though and the great things that God has done and is doing. If you’re in Albuquerque, make sure to be there, but if you miss it or you’re out of town, the service will be live at and also available afterward in the Calvary service archive.