Jon Arnold is just one of those guys you need to know. I’ve known Jon since he and his roommates in college kept a small museum of empty pizza boxes. He’s one of those guys everyone has always wanted to be around. He’s a handsome, laidback, easy on life kind of person. I remember when his now wife, Michele told our girls bible study that she and Jon were going out on their first date. At that moment you just knew all was right with the world, it was a perfect match. Jon has been a major cheerleader for Sparrow and I hope you as blessed as I was to read his guest blog. Oh, and be sure to ask him how he got the nickname “Unctor.” You can blessed to follow him on twitter @unctor and be sure to read more of his blog at
Another moment just passed.
Our lives are full of moments…one after another
Many of them just slip by unnoticed.
A few years ago while I was living out my college career there was a moment in which I met Carissa Figgins. Honestly, I don’t remember the details of that moment. Don’t get me wrong, Carissa made an impression. She wasn’t like my other college aged friends. She was a little quirky (in a great and awesome way) and, unlike all my other friends who were still in school, she was already married. Looking back that seems like no big deal, but at the time that was just different enough for me to half-heartedly engage this wonderful person. That was when I was introduced to The Sparrows Nest…the idea wasn’t even on Carissa’s radar yet, but God was starting something.
Fast forward a few years (ok, maybe more than a few…wow, I am getting old). My wife, Michele, and I have taken up residence in the Cornhusker state and become what others might call ‘runners’. Since we both are from large cities in Texas, rural western Nebraska is a big cultural change. There is nothing here. As a result, we begin to travel more (seriously, there is nothing here). Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, we begin to post comments on our weekend trips and the races we run. As we spend time on Facebook we begin to connect with more and more friends. Many of them from our time at Texas A&M. You’ll never guess who we reconnected with… 🙂 We soon discovered that Carissa was also a bit of a runner and began conversing with her occasionally.
A little more time passed and our small group here in Scottsbluff had this idea to load up in an old church van and drive to California for a little Christian Leadership conference known as Catalyst. It seemed a little crazy. After all, there were 10 of us and we had kids and jobs that were not easy to break from for the better part of a week. After thinking about the idea for a few days, surprisingly all 10 of us were committed to going.
As we were planning to make this trip to Catalyst, Michele mentioned it to Carissa via Facebook. The next thing we knew Carissa was meeting us in California.
Our group of 11 spent the week together in California worshiping, listening to God speak to us through the leaders speaking at Catalyst, and getting to know one another better. All 11 of us left there connected to each other and to God in fantastic new ways…and no, I am not just talking about Twitter and Facebook. 😉
Another moment…this one hard to miss.
We dropped Carissa at the airport in California and headed home. It wasn’t long and we started hearing from Carissa about this idea she had for The Sparrow’s Nest. It was a good idea. Her passion for the idea was palpable and you could sense God’s Spirit moving. It didn’t take any thought at all for Michele and I to decide to support Sparrow…we were in.
Six moments. Individually they are just a small sample of days, hours, and minutes. Grouped together they reveal the glory of our creator. The moments I have detailed here all came together for Michele and me as we learned about Carissa’s plan for Sparrow. While we didn’t place significant value on each of these moments over the years, I believe God was always active in fledging The Sparrow.
Over the last couple of years Carissa has been kind enough to keep us posted on the big moments for Sparrow. For that I am grateful. We enter and exit so many moments every single day. We need to notice more of them and acknowledge their divine value. God does have a plan and, despite our blindness, each moment we experience is part of His plan. God has reached out to us through Jesus and is calling us to truly live each moment…not just let them escape unnoticed.
God is continuing to care for Sparrow and ready it for flight in St. Charles, MO. I am praying for and rejoicing with Carissa and Sparrow. I anxiously await the next moment that I can take hold of to help Sparrow fly.
This, right now, is a moment.
You are here right now, reading this blog, perhaps hearing about The Sparrow’s Nest for the first time.
Don’t let this moment escape.
Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone— as though we had never been here. But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments! The LORD has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything. – Psalm 103:15-19 NLT
* fledging - caring for and rearing a young bird for flight