The Weekend Update...

Here's a look at the weekend that was.
  • Seems like this weekend flew by? Or is that just me? Anyone? Anyone?
  • Spent some time with some great friends this weekend. I am so thankful for the people God has blessed our family with to do life together.
  • Johanna and I went and saw our first movie at the theater since Hayden's was born. We watched Angels & Demons, which was pretty good. I am suprised they let Hayden in since it was a PG-13 movie...Does that make us bad parents? :)
  • We shared several good meals with great friends this weekend. On Saturday night we went to Texas Roadhouse in South Austin for a "going away" dinner of sorts for our fantastic friend (and Hayden's godmother) Jenna Coe. Jenna leaves tomorrow to spend 2 months serving orphans in Uganda and sharing the love of God with them. Please pray for Jenna while she's in Africa. You can even check our her blog here and leave her some words of encouragement.
  • Today at TCC was good. We commissioned the PALMS Puppet Team for their upcoming mission trip to Belize and also announced a local mission project we're undertaking to share God's love by feeding hungry children right here in Kyle, TX. If you want to be involved in that incredible ministry, leave me a comment or send me an email and we'll get you connected!
  • Overall, we had a great weekend with incredible friends...too bad it just flew by!


A Little Link Love...

It's been a while since we've had any link lovin' here on the blog. Go check out these great posts and you'll be glad you did!
  • My brother is a little late, but he's finally joined bloggerdom. You can check out his new blog about the experiences in the life of two coaches over at http://www.justinburleson.blogspot.com/

  • Chris Roberts is the new worship leader at Freedom Fellowship in Greer, SC and also happens to be one of my youversion accountability friends on Twitter. He posted a great blog about lessons we can learn from a five year old.

  • Want the secret on innovative growth? Then check out what Pastor Steven Furtick has to say here.

  • In a day and age of where so much of what is done in churches is copycat ministry, Mark Batterson has an excellent post pn Finding Your Voice. Whether you lead a church, a team, a business, or a family, this is a great, quick read. Check it out here.

  • Brad Ruggles suggests that before any of us hit that publish button on our blogs, we ask ourselves this question.

  • Clayton Bell talks about the John and Kate Plus 8 marriage fiasco here. He blogged thoughts that I shared in my living room just the night before. Clayton, are you spying on my conversations? Honestly, I think John and Kate are on the road to Splitsville...I just hope other young couples can learn from their mistakes...and from the wise words Clayton shares.


Making The Most of My Summer...

Tonight at our weekly gathering with our high school students we talked about how to make the most out of your summer. With summer rapidly approaching, it's natural for our thoughts to turn to things like vacations, beaches, relaxation, and summer fun. (Insert thoughts of National Lampoons Family Vacation...) But is that all summer is about? Here are some tips to make the most of your summer and grow in your walk with God.
  1. Make the commitment to stay plugged in. - The Bible talks often about the importance of worshipping together with others, learning from God's word, and spending time with people who encourage us in our faith. Too many times, summer vacations from school or work mean long vacations from church involvement. If you want to grow in your walk with God over the summer, then make the commitment to attend your local church regularly.
  2. Take a vacation from school and work, but not God's word. - Too many times we think rest and relaxation mean doing absolutely nothing. And far too often we make the mistake of resting from God's word insted of resting in God's word. If you spend time each day readign the Bible, don't stop this summer. If you don't, use the extra time you have over a summer break to get in the habit. A great place to start a daily Bible reading would be to read a chapter of Proverbs or Psalms each day. For other Bible reading plans, check out www.youversion.com.
  3. Share, share, share. - For a lot of us, summer offers us extra time to build relationships with neighbors, meet new people as we travel, and spend time pouring into already established friendships. And that means that we have a chance to share the life-changing love and message of Jesus through our relationships and friendships. As you spend time with friends and neighbors this summer, use that time to let them know that God loves them and has a plan for their lives.

When it comes to summer, we all want and need to relax. We all need to spend time away - from work, school, the mundane, and the daily routine. But don't take time off from God. Use this summer to grow in your walk with God. And use this summer to share the love of God with those he puts in your path. As a Christ follower, our goal should be to make it hard to get to hell from wherever God has planted us. And that mission doesn't take a summer vacation!


The Weekend Update...

Here's a recap of what was Memorial Day weekend in the Burleson family:
  • Friday Johanna, Hayden and I headed to Austin so Jo & I could get our Pertussis vaccinations. That's the vaccine you get to keep from getting The Whooping Cough, which can be passed on to your infant and that would be bad news. I've had TONS of shots over the years, especially since 2001 when I had my pituitary tumor operation. None have ever had the after-effect pain that this one had. My arm is still sore!

  • While in Austin we took a risk and went out to lunch - with Hayden along with us. His first meal out was Jason's deli. But to be honest, his bottle didn't look near as good as my deli club or Jo's grilled chicken pannini.

  • Friday night we made a quick trip to Lockhart for a former student's graduation party. It was actually a little too quick, according to the Lockhart police officer that wrote me my ticket for going 41 mph in a 30 mph zone. At least the party food was good!

  • Late Friday night my parents and my brother and sister-in-law came in to spend a part of Memorial day weekend. I really think they came to see Hayden, but it was great to get to hang out with them on Saturday and through Sunday morning. We had a great time and my parents, my brother, and me even squeezed in a Cabela's trip on Saturday afternoon.

  • Sunday was a BIG day @ TCC. Our Lead Pastor Cole Phillips did a great job casting vision for the future of our church. You can watch it online here. Our executive pastor, Zak White, also made a big announcement. You can read about that here.

  • Sunday night at our SURGE, our weekly middle school gathering, we had a pool party. It was a blast but my shoulder is still sore from all the football we played in the pool...If you weren't there, you missed out!

  • I spent Monday morning through mid-afternoon with some high school guys along the banks of Lake Bastrop and the Colorado River. We took a little Memorial Day fishing trip that was a ton of fun.

  • The remainder of Monday, Johanna and I rented movies, lounged around the house, and had a great time just enjoying one anothers company.

  • On a side note, this Memorial Day took on a different meaning than it usually does. If you read this blog regularly, then you know that my Papa was a career military man serving for over 20 years and in multiple wars in the United States Army. He served his country with honor, courage, dignity, integrity, and bravery. He was a model officer, a model soldier, and a model man. He was my role model and my hero. He passed away earlier this year to cancer caused by agent orange in Vietnam. For as long as I remember, I have called my Papa every single Memorial Day and every single Veteran's day to thank him for his selfless service and sacrifice for our country and for our freedom. I'd give just about anything to have been able to make that call this year. And this year I realized this too: While I am 100% in favor of a special day to honor those who've served and those who've paid the ultimate price for our freedom, I don't need a special day in order to remember. I remember every day. And I hope that if you know someone who has served or is serving in our Armed Forces, that you remember...their sacrifice, their commitment, their willingness to serve...and that you honor them. Because it is in remembering that we give them the proper honor and respect that they so richly deserve.


The Man Moments...

This month at The Connection Church we've been in the middle of a series called Beauty Full. It's a series aimed at women and the men who pursue them. At TCC we try to be very intentional about being a church where men feel like they get something out of what we do. In that spirit, we've included a "Man Moment" each week during the Beauty Full series. Check out the first two weeks below:

Beauty Full Man Moment 1 The Connection Church from The Connection Church on Vimeo.

Beauty Full Man Moment 2 The Connection Church from The Connection Church on Vimeo.


The Weekend Update...

This weekend was Mother's Day and for our family it took on a new meaning. It was Johanna's first Mother's Day so needless to say it was a special day for us. Here's a recap of the weekend.

  • Spent Friday shopping for clothes for Hayden for his baby dedication at The Connection Church on Sunday and looking for Mother's day cards for Johanna and for our moms. It's amazing how many cards there were in Spanish...none of which helped me at all.
  • On Friday, I realized I could probably get a job writing cards for Hallmark. 97.3% of the cards I picked up and read were terrible.
  • Saturday my parents came in to see us. Ok, who am I kidding. They came to see Hayden. My dad and I made a quick trip to Austin to pick up the necklace I bought Jo for Mother's Day and then we just hung out all day.
  • Sunday was a fantastic morning at TCC. We kicked off our new series Beauty Full. We also showed a video of me hitting our executive pastor, Zak, in the face with french bread. It was our "man moment" of the day. Once this week's video is posted you can check it out here.
  • Sunday was also Baby Dedication at TCC. We dedicated Hayden and basically made the commitment to raise him in a way that honors Jesus and do our best to point him to the love of God. To me, that's the best commitment parents can make. I'm not sure if my parents ever had me "dedicated" but they raised me to have a passion for Jesus and for those who are far from Him and I'm so thankful for that!
  • On a non-weekend-update related matter - If you want to see several pictures of Hayden, you can check out his website. (Yeah, he already had his own website at two day old. He's a balla.) Check it out here.


Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner...

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I started a little contest (click here)a couple weeks ago to guess the date that Hayden would be born. Johanna also posted the contest over on her blog Life or Something Like It. We had several people take a guess at the date and time, even after Johanna was scheduled for induction on April 27th. One person even guessed April 28th. We tried to persuade her to change her guess since it obviously wouldn't be the 28th right? But she stood her ground, even when everyone joked about it. And guess what? She won. She picked April 28th and Hayden Russell was born on April 28th at 1:40 AM.

So congratulations Mackenzie! You're the winner. That's right folks. Mackenzie Phillips, one of the coolest sixth graders I know, is our winner! She'll be getting her Starbucks card this week. In the meantime, everyone can check out her blog here.


The Weekend Update...

Here's a brief look at our first weekend home with Hayden. Check it:
  • Friday we had Hayden's first appointment with his pediatrician. She said he was a healthy, happy, good looking baby and everything looked great! I was SUPER IMPRESSED with the doctors and staff at Pediatric Junction in Buda. If you need a pediatrician, this crew is top notch.
  • Friday afternoon I spent running errands. My mom and Jo hung out at the house with Hayden while I made the ultimate Target run. I was looking for some specific stuff that only Target carries so I started out heading north into Austin and was only semi-successful, so I ended up heading back south to San Marcos. We have two Target stores within ten miles of our home going in opposite directions. I put over 50 miles on my Blazer trying to buy two items from them. Crazy.
  • Saturday was a nice lazy day around the house, enjoying our new son.
  • Sunday Hayden had tons of visitors. The highlight of the day was that my brother and his wife came up from Houston to meet Hayden. So Uncle Justin & Aunt Christie got to see and hold their nephew for the first time! That was super cool.
  • The weekend was filled with lots of fun moments experiencing the new joys of parenthood. What it wasn't filled with was much sleep. But it's all good. I wouldn't change it for a thing.