February Personal Update

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“Carpe Diem” means “seize the day” (or, like ripe fruit, “pluck the day”). I’ve been taking advantage of the time I have each day, filling-out my life with the things that matter to God and to me. This week is Winter Break for Valley Christian Schools and has allowed me a good balance of relaxing, starting new things, and catching up with ministry as well as personal things.

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I’ve started a new instrumental album called Instrumental Guitar Volume 2. I’m learning cool songs by contemporary guitarists such as Andy McKee (Drifting) and Larry Carlton (Smiles and Smiles to Go). Plus, I’m writing new songs with lots of advanced guitar techniques. It’s very fun creating songs and being challenged while learning other artist’s songs.

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I’m keeping in shape physically through daily exercise (like jogging, crunches, push-ups, jumping jacks, and kicking). Keeping in shape mentally through learning French (The Duo Lingo APP for iPhone). Keeping in shape spiritually through daily Bible reading (I just finished reading through the Bible again and today I’m on Genesis 10), listening to audio books (Lead Like Jesus and RC Sproul’s Systematic Theology) which is a good way to use time in the car as I travel, currently memorizing Romans 12:1-5, and lots of prayer.

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My family is doing well. The boys are enjoying majoring in Animation/Illustration at SJSU (check out one of Brandon’s paintings above). We’ve been playing some Halo 4 recently which is a fun bonding time. Sherri continues to take care of us boys and is busy creating center-pieces for Mount Hermon Conference Center’s Women’s Retreat. Earlier this week, we went out to dinner for a “date night” in Santa Cruz.

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Please, continue to pray for balance in my life, protection and health for my family, and God’s favor in all we do. May God enrich your personal life as you stay close to Him in all you do.

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Merry Christmas!

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I hope this Christmas is filled with meaningful moments with family and a strong sense of “making room” for Jesus.  As the Christmas carol Joy to the World exhorts, “Let every heart prepare Him room!”  Though times are tough and we wish things could be different, let’s turn to the One who is in control and worship Him.  This Christmas, may you have a “Mary Christmas!”

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October Personal Update

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Brandon Streched Back Yard Sunset Austin's Senior Picture

 

Our family had a wonderful summer doing day trips to places like San Francisco and Carmel.  But, the summer went by way too fast.  We’re already well into the fall and the days of sleeping in to 8:00am every day are long gone.

 

Brandon and Austin are full-on doing Animation and Illustration at San Jose State University.  The middle picture above was taken from our back yard during a sunset a few weeks ago (this photo is unedited).  I’m so grateful to have a home in Mount Hermon!

 

Personally, I am thriving.  There are three guys that regularly pray with me and hold me accountable to stay close to Christ and make sure first things are first.  Even though life is very busy, I’m doing what I enjoy and I’m staying disciplined to daily include those things that keep me on track and “sharpen the saw”  (daily Bible reading, daily exercise, eating right, time with family, and reading specific books and magazines).  I’m in the gospel of Luke right now being reminded of Jesus’ power and wisdom.  I just saw Gravity with my boys this weekend and enjoyed time with them.  Sherri and I have been working inside and outside this weekend taking care of things around the house.  Sherri empowers us boys in so many ways.  I have a song on my new album coming out soon called, Sherri, My Love. which sings how thankful I am of her, as one line says, “Through all these years, we’ve had so much fun…,” so true.

 

Thank you for your prayers and encouraging notes here and there.  Life is not always as smooth as we’d like it.  This last year has been a tremendous challenge for us financially.  But, God is sustaining us.  As I pray for students and teachers at school, my private guitar students, family, Heartfelt Music board members, those I meet at events, and special people God brings to mind, I would love to pray for you as well.  If you need that little extra prayer, let me know.

 

June Personal Update

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On this wonderful  journey of life, I am still in awe of how God is so gracious, so in control, and how He continues to work things out for good (Rom. 8:28).  I had a great year at Valley Christian Schools and it just finished up last week.  Now, summer is off to a good start with friends staying over and doing some fun things with family.  It has been such a blessing to live at Mount Hermon.  Sherri and I have always had a special care for this community.  I was the president of the Mount Hermon Community for 4 years and then took a 4 year break.  I was just voted in as the president again just a couple of weeks ago.  Brandon finished his third year at San Jose State University.  He loves to paint and draw.  Austin just graduated from Valley Christian High School.  He also loves to paint and draw.  I’m so proud of them!  Sherri continues to work at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center as the Guest Accommodations Specialist preparing the cabins for summer lodging.  I still read at least a chapter of the Bible each day (I’m in Ezekiel right now) and regularly memorize scripture and meet with prayer partners for support.  I covet your continued prayers for me, my family, and opportunities to daily share the love of Jesus with others.

January Personal Update

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January had a great kick-start with my birthday on the 3rd when we saw the movie Cirque Du Soleil and had dinner at Benihanah’s Restaurant.  Vacation was so relaxing.  We went to a number of movies, but stayed home most of the time.  Brandon just came back from snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain and had a great time with friends.  Austin and I have started back to school.  Sherri just enjoyed a Mount Hermon Staff Appreciation party at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  All of us are continuing to grow in Christ with thoughtful spiritual discussions and regular Bible reading.  What a blessing to know the God of the universe and daily experience His deep love for us.  May 2013  bring to us, and to you, a wealth of faith and abundant life as we put our trust in the Lord Jesus!

December Personal Update

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December is a mix of full-on ministry as well as extended time with family.  We started the Christmas season with tree trimming and putting lights on the house over Thanksgiving weekend which gave us an early start.  As autumn gives way to winter the tree in front of our house glowed with beautiful red leaves.  Last Friday, we took a trip to San Francisco.  The boys spent time at the De Young Museum while Sherri and I went to Pier 39 and walked around the wharf.  Finals are this coming week, but we are looking forward to vacation.

 

To keep strong in the Lord, I’m continuing to daily read and memorize Scripture.  I’m in Isaiah right now and the two most recent verses are 1 Corinthians 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.” and 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”  What an empowering truth that the Spirit of God lives in us.  We know the things God has given us so generously which inspires a genuine gratefulness especially as we reflect on Christmas.  Have a Merry Christmas as you spend time with friends and family and celebrate Jesus’ incarnation!

 

October Personal Update

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Not only is ministry keeping me busy, but family and friends fill in a big part of my life as well, as they should.  It’s taken me months to complete our new arbor which Sherri designed.  Working a few hours here and there, makes me realize persistence pays off (first photo).  The middle photo above is a picture of our newly painted bedroom completed in one day!  Three friends Sherri and I have known since college decided to come over and help us with some “home projects.”  I was amazed at what was accomplished and how truly helpful it was.  The biggest project was painting our bedroom.  What a blessing!  Not only did we get a lot done, but it was great to catch up with friends.  The third photo is of a cool lookin’ bird’s nest in Mt. Hermon with three eggs in it.  A taste of God’s beautiful handiwork!

August Ministry & Personal Update

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Hope you’ve enjoyed the summer!  It went by so fast for me.  I will be working full-time at Valley Christian School in San Jose and will not continue as the Director of Worship Ministries at Redwood Chapel after next week.  This will mean more focus, more time at home and less travel.  Please, pray for the transition to be encouraging for all.  My family and I were able to go to Southern California for vacation last week.  What a joy to spend extended time together.

 

Songwriting Intensive This Saturday

August 11 (Sat), 9:00am-12:00pm – Songwriting Intensive, Mount Hermon

I will be facilitating a three hour Songwriting Intensive this Saturday at the Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center Fireside Room, limited to 10 participants.  It is more of an intimate setting with personal interaction and attention.  Call me if you’d like to attend.  All the information is at our website under courses/camps.


Concert/Worship Night This Sunday

August 12 (Sun), 7:30pm-8:45pm – South Hills Community Church, San Jose.

I will be  leading a worship night and share some of my own songs.  It is entitled “Empower” which will inspire and encourage you to let Jesus empower you to fully live life!  It will begin at 7:30pm Sunday.  More information can be found at https://heartfeltmusic.org/calendar/ .

 

May you be empowered to live life to the full.  Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

June Personal Update

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The Coates family is doing very well.  Sherri is working at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center getting the cabins ready for the summer camps,  Brandon is working at the Boardwalk caricature drawing, and Austin is continuing to teach private guitar lessons.   In the pictures above, Austin finished the school year with a group drama presentation, Sherri’s friend took a picture of beautiful Santa Cruz at dusk, and Brandon get’s paid to do what he loves…drawing.

 

I just finished reading through the book of Job.  It’s amazing what pain he goes through and still remains upright and godly.  Though he doesn’t say much at the end, he ends up humble and blessed!  Now I’m digging into the Psalms to experience all kinds of emotion being expressed.  As I finished up this year at Valley Christian School, the memory verse for the Worship Band was “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6)

February Personal Update

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Fortunately, I’ve had a week break from teaching at Valley Christian School and feel rested and renewed.  I spent a couple of days helping Sherri fix up the gardens in the front and back yard.  It was fun watching the Oscars last night since our family saw the award winning The Artist earlier this week.  My boys both have their Driver’s License now and are taking turns driving.  It is great to watch them grow in independence.  We’ve had some good moments last week playing and praying together as a family.

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I’m continuing to read and memorize Scripture which gives me a lot of material to speak God’s thoughts as I lead others in worship and speak in front of groups.

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