We are quite a bit behind, but it is time to catch up with all of our dear friends and prayer supporters about what has been going on in the Peterson family and Providence Reformed Church in the first quarter of 2017. Please forgive our slowness, and please take a look at what is up so that you may know best how to pray for our family and church.
Life in the Peterson household has been great over the first two months of 2017, though we cannot say it was without its little ups and downs. In February, we managed to pass around a nasty stomach bug that made its way through the family, one member at a time. On the one hand, it was nice to not have the whole family down at once. At the same time, it felt like, for a few weeks there, we were constantly replaying the same song.
At the end of February through the beginning of March, Travis had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Los Angeles with a friend to take part in the Shepherd’s Conference. This four-day event was hosted by Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA. During the event, pastors are encouraged and taught by a variety of solid Christian pastors and leaders. Some of the speakers included John MacArthur, Steven Lawson, Albert Mohler, Mark Dever, Paul Washer, Phil Johnson, Michael Reeves, Iain Murray, Conrad Mbewe, Ligon Duncan, and several others. Travis enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with some old friends at the conference and sample some cool Los Angeles dining opportunities like a sushi burrito for dinner or a Mexican café breakfast (Mexican coffee is wonderful). He’s certainly hoping to return to this event or another like it in 2018.
Our dear-hearted Josiah turned 10. It is just amazing to believe that he has gotten so big. Over the first weekend in March, Josiah participated in his first karate tournament. He and Mitzi traveled to San Francisco. They had a great time sightseeing in the city, though things at the tournament did not go as Josiah had hoped. Sadly, the difficult tournament day was capped off by Mitzi finding out that, while they were eating dinner, someone smashed the window of the rental car and stole a couple of bags that were inside. Included in that stash was an old iPhone that Josiah had been using as an iPod, and all of Josiah’s karate gear. As you might imagine, he was very sad. When we asked Josiah what he thought about the incident a week later, he said he realized that things aren’t that important and that God protected us. Even though it was disappointing to have things stolen, Josiah has seen God’s love and kindness through his people. With the help of his birthday money and kind friends we managed to replace Josiah’s stolen iPod just recently, and his karate teacher replaced his karate gear.
After everybody was home from traveling, we managed to squeeze in a belated birthday party for Josiah. Our church’s student group came and helped Josiah celebrate with a Minecraft themed party. This amazing group of students made Josiah feel so loved and he was very encouraged.
We received a nice surprise when a friend came to town. She was invited by an organization to participate in some events here and one of those events included the NASCAR race. She was kind enough to get extra tickets for our family to go! We have never been to a race before so it was a special treat! Travis’ family were NASCAR fans while he was growing up so this was especially nice for him to be able to be at an actual race. The kids enjoyed the experience as well.
The Peterson family also had our first week of vacation for the year. Travis’ brother, Jody along with his family arrived on March 14. The whole family was also joined by Travis’ mother, Janie. While in Vegas, we had to make sure that the family enjoyed some of our local favorites such as In-N-Out Burger and Gelato Messina. But, the major part of the vacation was a family road trip. The family all piled into a 12-passanger van to head to Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Though the road trip was long, the sights were something to see, and all of the kids did very well.
While we were at the Grand Canyon we saw these signs. We appreciated them so much as we observed the beauty that God created.
The first sign says: Sing to God; sing praises to His name; lift up a song to Him who rides upon the clouds; His name is the Lord, exult before Him. Psalm 68:4
The second sign says: O Lord how manifold are thy works! In wisdom has thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Psalm 104:24 “Father Almighty, wonderful Lord, wondrous Creator, be ever adored; Wonders of nature sing praises to you, Wonder of wonders I may praise too!”
Providence Reformed Church
It was nice to see life at Providence Reformed Church return to normal after the holiday season. Though our church was blessed in our Advent series and special Christmas services, there is just something special in returning to working verse-by-verse through the word of God. We have continued in our series through the Gospel According to Matthew, and have worked all the way through chapters 8 and 9 (almost 10) over these months. We’d love for you to visit our church web site and listen to any of our messages – www.provref.org/media.
One neat part of life at Providence Reformed Church is the fact that we have a group of elders who are willing to preach. About every six weeks or so, one of the elders will preach the Sunday morning message, thus allowing Travis to take time to be spiritually fed. The elders have recently begun a series through the book of James. These will be the sermons that happen at PRC when Travis is not walking the church through Matthew over the next several months. We are grateful to God for this opportunity, and we believe it is a godly thing for Travis to sit under the teaching of others in the congregation and not be the only voice the church hears.
In sort of a combination of PRC and Peterson family life, we have begun to host a young adult Bible study in our home on Wednesday evenings. We have, over the past several weeks, taken time to study a variety of topics. Some of those studies have included a look at how to discern God’s will, some basic Christian ethics, and a look at a few chapters of Leviticus.
At the end of January, our church held a very fun-filled fellowship, the Chili Bowl (and the Cornbread Cup). The fellowship, which began with a chili cook-off, had 12 chili entries to be judged along with four different corn breads. After lunch, we played an exciting game which included trivia, charades, and lots of other fun competition. Interestingly, in our competition, the team representing the Atlanta Falcons managed to pull out the win unlike the NFL’s big game the following weekend.
Our church has had other fun fellowship opportunities over the past few months. Mitzi hosted a bridal shower in the Peterson home for a friend of the church. Others hosted a baby shower for a new little arrival in our church family. A group even went out into the desert on a shooting outing in March. So, there is no lack of fun-filled activity in our midst.
We are so grateful to God for you all and for your willingness to pray for us. Please pray for us:
- That God will help us to continue to form new friendships and relationships in our city.
- That God will help us to serve him faithfully in our church.
- That God will bless the children as they continue to work on their schooling.
- That God will bless our church, allowing us to honor him and grow for his glory.