this is the new year

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Ok…so that was so like a month ago but at least it’s still January. As Natalie and I look back on 2007 we’re both amazed at all that took place. So much happened over the course of such a small amount of time. We moved for starters…away from our families and closest friends. We left a church and staff that we considered family…we also lost a dear friend on Christmas day. All that to say that I’m sure 2008 will hold and unleash more than we can imagine. I shared with Natalie tonight about a few things going on a work. We’re both still amazed at all God has done here and continues to do through this body of believers. I’ve felt so challenged and feel as though Natalie and I both are taking major ground in our marriage and in our walk with Christ. We’ve both been encouraged as we’ve poured into the community around us. Last weekend we had over 15 kids in the house…we had a great time! I came up with a treasure hunt for everyone that kept the kids busy for close to an hour. When all was said and done, we ended up having a big popcorn and coke party. Natalie has come alonside an older women who lived next door to us for a few months. Our community group pulled together and was able to help move her down to south Dallas. Natalie has stayed in touch with her and has even taken the girls down to have lunch with her…it’s been amazing to see God at work! Another recent change of pace for us has been that Natalie and I have started attending CR (celebrate recovery). We’re three weeks in and can already see Gods hand at work in us. We’ve had close to 200 newcomers start attending CR this month…WOW! It’s been such a ride and we continue to look forward to what the year holds for us here and all our friends and family in Arkansas…our prayers and thoughts are with you all…
In Him,
Josh

Christmas Tree

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One of my favoite things growing up was decorating our family Christmas tree. I can remember looking at the tree for hours after it was finished. My dad would always play the same music every year while my brothers and I would tear through the boxes filled with lights and decorations from the years past. I can remember watching the “Christmas Story” and reading “The Polar Express” as I imagined myself getting a motorcycle on Christmas day. Although the motorcycle never came with Santa’s sleigh, I always felt blessed and loved on Christmas day…something I know some kids will never feel. Today, I feel blessed beyond measure as I celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with my own little family and share in the hope Christ brings to the world. On Sunday I had the opportunity to watch my little girls pull out lights and add their touches to our tree. I don’t decorate much anymore, I just watch and remember…I love our tree! It doesn’t really have a specific look…it just feels like us. We have everything from “the rocking horse” that some old lady gave me back in 1977 to the “green frog” that represents no other than “Bubs” a.k.a. “Bubba/Bubbe.” It’s madness every year as I find myself digging through old boxes and climbing into tight places to find that “one lost item” that I somehow seemed to have misplaced. In the end, Natalie and I always come back to sitting and smiling together as we remember…our kids, ourselves, our stories and the story that God Himself wrote for all of us. May your Christmas be filled with the Joy that only Christ can bring…
In Him,
The Carr’s
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The Carr’s Crazy Camping Adventure

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It’s that time of year again…when things get cool and chili seems to taste better than ever. Yes, fall has officially come and Christmas is soon to be around the corner. I’m always reminded when the seasons change of the creativeness of our great God! While some find joy in heading to the beach when it get’s hot and others venture into mountains and freeze to death…I like to say that I most enjoy camping in the fall. At any rate I’m not a true “camper” (i.e. Craig Loibner, Taido Chino, Annette Avery) like others I know but I do enjoy it. This year Natalie and I took the girls up to Arkansas to meet up with some great friends to go camping. Kindell and Corinne had so much fun playing with friends and enjoyed staying cool in the river close by. All in all, we had a great time connecting with friends and taking in the great outdoors. Like every trip, this one had it’s moments. Kyah for instance decided she wanted to wake everyone up a few times each night. Jonathan Jones took a tumble into the lake and the Hall boys felt the need to jump into the lake…I think it topped in at about 40 degrees. Craig managed to find some odd conversation with some locals while Taido found himself cooking for 25. I’ll close with saying thanks so all who made our trip back home one filled with fun, food and adventure. We love you all and hope to see you soon…
In Him,
The Carr’s

Common Heart

Hey Guys,
I wanted to write and share about an opportunity I had over this past weekend to play at an event called “Common Heart.” The idea behind the evening was to get together different worship leaders and artist from around the area for a night of worship. All ticket sales went to benefit a charity here in Dallas. The thing I enjoyed most was meeting everyone else involved. I had the chance to visit with Jon Able quite a bit and look forward to having more time with him soon. For those of you who don’t know who Jon Able is…he wrote “Awesome Is The Lord Most High” and a few others that CHris Tomlin also helped write. I also had the chance to meet Bill Mallonee who wrote for and played with a band called the “Vigilanties of Love.” He has been noted as one of the top 50 songwriters of our time. His performance was amazing…a true songwriter for sure. He carried himself with his voice and a harmonica. Other highlights included playing with the “House of Blues Band” at the House of Blues…it was really neat to be a part of something like this. I’ll do my best to plug in a picture from the evening…I hope everyone is doing well back home. Natalie and the girls are doing great! We hope to head into town somewhere around the first part of November…we love you guys!!!
In Him
Josh

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crazy corinne

For those of you who know Corinne, the word crazy comes as no surprise. Here within the past few weeks Corinne has really had some sweet moments. She has recently taken up soccer and absolutly loves to play. It’s been so fun to watch her games. Right now her team is 4-0…they ROCK! If I’m not mistaken they’re called the “dragonflies.” It’s been hard not to laugh at the dads who get alittle carried away with cheering on their girls…it gets pretty intense. On another quick note she has really embraced Christ in a real way. We spent close to 20 minutes praying together last night and I loved to hear from her heart. She prayed that “all the world would know the love of God so that they would be safe.” I think safe translates as saved for the older audience reading this blog. I’ve found myself being so blessed by hearing what’s important to the heart of a 5 year old. God calls us to a “childlike” faith and I think Corinne models this well for me. In closing I’ll leave you with a picture of her wearing her latest creation. These glasses are made of grade “A” construction paper. For some reason she had a hard time centering them for the shot…otherwise they seem to be helping with her vision. I hope all is well for everyone…
In Him,
Josh

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papa

It’s been rare for the doorbell to ring at our new place here in Dallas…so when we do get a knock or a ring at the door the girls go crazy! Well Wednesday was one of those days. The girls got a knock at the door and the first question for everyone was “who is it?” So…they proceeded to open the door only to find “papa” standing with his shirt tucked in, camo hat on, and a camera at his side. The girls were so excited! Apparently he and a friend traveled down to repair a broken ac unit for his friends daughter. The agreement was that if “papa” came down to help out his friend…his friend would drop him off at our place in the evenings after they were done working. Papa has to be the strongest, sweetest man in the world. I think he’s in his upper 70’s and still has the energy to keep up with the likes of Taido Chino. Those who know Taido will understand. Both men could take Chuck Norris anyday. Papa tops in at about 150lbs and works like a horse. He can do ANYTHING with his hands. Oh well, the weekend has been full of surprises and things are slowing down. I’ll leave everyone with a snap shot of what happens to “papa” when he actually sits for a moment…enjoy!!! We miss everyone back home and hope to see you soon…
In Him,
Josh
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brave

I’ve enjoyed Dallas more than I thought I would. I feel brave here. I know that’s an odd way to start this blog, but it’s what’s on my heart. I’ve found myself in so many conversations with so many people of diversity. It was hard for me to imagine why God wouldn’t want to place us in downtown NLR…but now I see that He had something bigger than we had confined Him to doing in us. We have gay neighbors, neighbors from India, Asia, Mexico, and even the young engaged couple that lives together. I’ve found myslf driving home with complete strangers in the back seat of my car. And yes, I’ve even found my donut stop here. Believe it or not, I’ve lost my appetite for donuts but I still find joy in taking the girls every now and then. I stopped into a shop the other day that offers bagels and donuts and soon found myself visiting with an Asian women who was struggling in her marriage. Before I left…she shared how she and her husband have been married 25 years and how they have one son who they both seem close with. God reminded in my conversation with her that time can be the most precious gift you can give someone. I felt like I might be late for work and began to worry for a moment in the midst of our conversation…then God reminded me that THIS is what being the church looks like…taking time to listen and talk with broken people. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to face life without Christ. I just thank God that He somehow still chooses to use us to be salt and light to the world. Be brave guys…
In Him,
Josh