Thursday, July 28, 2011

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Michael McCullough

Warning:  This is going to be long and there's a lot of pictures... : )

A Crazy Fun Month
Sorry that it has been over a month since the last blog post!  All my intentions were there, but you can imagine it has been a sort of busy few weeks.  For those of you just now joining us, here's what has happened in the last few weeks (and this isn't even the whole list)...
- Mike wrapped up ministry with the Senior High at Woodcreek (hard but encouraging)
- Mike said good-bye to the staff I have served with for 5 years (and some I have known for much, much longer)
- Erin had family and friends coming in from out of town that she was trying to give good time to.
- Erin's Bachelorette Party
- Mike's Bachelor Party
- Moving some more of Erin's things to the house
- Rehearsal Dinner
- Wedding (that's a big one!)
- Woodcreek Reception
- Heading off to Cancun! (Whoo-hoo!)
- Coming home and getting the house settled together
- Erin starting her new commute from McKinney to Dallas and back each day (and getting up EARLY!)
- Mike still searching and praying for a job in McKinney
- God bringing friends (old and new) to us here in our new hometown

Yup.  Just a little bit has been going on! : )  So let's take this in somewhat of a chronological order.

Stepping Away, Praising God, Leaving in Great Hands
It's been hard to walk away from the people in senior high that I have grown to love over the years.  My fellow staff members, the adult partners in the gospel, and of course the students who are so dear to my heart.  I don't have time to unpack all the feelings of gratitude and love, but I can say that God is good to me - and was gracious to me in the hour-long presentation that the students put on for me to say good-bye.  There were skits, songs, dances, and times of sharing that were precious to me.  I also received a book of notes and cards from students that was incredibly meaningful.  Some former students even made the trek in from college and other places for the evening.  I am thankful to Jesus for precious moments and dear friends.

Good-byes to my Friends, Partners and Fellow Soldiers
I went to pre-school at Richland Bible Fellowship, grew up there through high school, and returned after college to be on staff at Woodcreek for the last 5 years.  There are people here who have been fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters and friends to me and I am so grateful to Jesus for the time I was able to share with them all.  I'll miss being with them everyday, cracking jokes around the conference room table, praying together and grabbing lunches.  But, as good as all those things are, they are not the goal.  The goal, like the apostle Paul, is to press into Jesus and fulfill His call on our lives.  So I will be grateful for those things, enjoy those things, and even miss those things - but I will not worship those things.  So, as I step away, I am reminded that I am still working alongside those men and women, just in a different role in a different place - but all for the same purpose.  Glory to the Father by proclaiming and living the gospel of His Son.

Bachelorette Party
Erin might have to fill in more detail on this part, but I'll try to put in what I can.  Her Bridal party ladies took her out for a fun day and one of the highlights was going to Painting with a Twist in which all the girls were given lessons in painting and walked away with a masterpiece.  Erin looks especially cute in this picture and her painting turned out great.  Come to the Gallery at the McCullough's in McKinney and you can see it on display!! : )  I know Erin is so grateful to the Lord for the dear friends she has in her life and to be able to spend some fun time with them that week was a blessing!

Bachelor Party
Getting together all the men in my life that have poured into me and having them under one roof was something that I was looking forward to since Erin and I were engaged.  And this party did not disappoint.  Jon and Bryan took the lead on getting us food grilled, drinks serves, games played and words of encouragement and prayer.  It was a great evening of fun and laughter and I won't forget the feeling of being able to see men from all over the country and different stages in my life that God used to push me towards Himself.  It was a great evening.
* One of the highlights was this 'Shock Game' that rewarded slow reflexes with a shock through a hand-help paddle.  Here is us testing it out at the going away lunch my last day at Woodcreek

Rehearsal Dinner
And the blessings and encouragements keep rolling along...

This was a sweet evening of close family and friends spending time catching up, laughing, reminiscing and encouraging one another.  After some delicious food from Schiano's, we had an open time where our friends and family got to speak into our lives.  It was great for me to hear some many wonderful people say so many amazing and true things about Erin and the woman of God she is.  Friends spoke of her faithfulness, love and commitment to them.  Parents and grandparents shared how proud they were of her and what an incredible daughter and granddaughter she is.  It was a sweet time.  Literally.  My sister and Haley Christensen made us this AMAZING Mavs (and maybe there were some Spurs stuff on there - I can't remember) cake.  Not only was it gorgeous but it tasted amazing (4 different types of cakes in one!)  After gifts were passed out to the Wedding Party we headed home in anticipation for the BIG DAY!

It's Finally Here
(first things first, we don't have our wedding pictures yet - but we'll get there)

Simply put:  Jesus was honored, Erin was beautiful, the time was fun, and the memories will last a lifetime.

It was a longtime coming, but I finally got to see my beautiful bride, join in the lifelong promise of marriage together, share in worship with God and then party with friends and family.  Thank God for a beautiful day, a beautiful wedding and a beautiful Bride.  (Did I mention that Erin was GORGEOUS that day - and every day!)

Here are just a few snapshots.

Woodcreek Reception
The day after the wedding we had one last 'Hurrah' at partied it up with some friends and youth kids at Woodcreek.  There was dancing, food and fun.  Big thanks to my mom, Susan McCullough, for pulling that off.  It was a blast partying with everyone and then heading out for the honeymoon.  But before we left we were greeted with a group of Mike clones : )

Yes We Cancun
I'm already getting tired of hearing from myself so we'll make this short.  Cancun was amazing.  Great weather, met some new friends, beach, pool, snorkeling, swam with dolphins, zip line over the ocean, great food, more beach, more pool, more food, sleeping late, taking naps, jet-skis, more beach - pretty much all around awesome!

Life in McKinney

So here we go.  We are the McCullough's now.  And we live in McKinney.

It's so fun playing house and learning each other.  Sometimes things get stressful (when we have to building furniture we buy from Target and the instructions seem to require an advanced degree in engineering, or as our sweet but vocal dog is adjusting to a new home) but mainly it is a wonderful experience.  Erin is definitely taking one for the cause as she gets up super early to beat traffic on the way to work.  She is such an amazing woman.  But she believes the sacrifice is worth it to follow God on His call to spread the gospel in McKinney.

Speaking of that, we have already been connected with people here who are encouraging us and affirming God's calling on us here.  Through crazy stories of word of mouth and people sharing about what's happening, strangers in McKinney are contacting us to get together to talk about the church planting movement.  I was overwhelmed yesterday after an impromptu coffee with a passionate man here who wants to see this community infused with the gospel message of Christ.  He contacted me - after he was in east Texas visiting family and someone who had visited Woodcreek heard about what God was doing with me and Erin, took a bulletin from the church with them to east Texas and gave it to him out there.  When he came back to McKinney he emailed me and we got together and it was just a reminder of Who is really in control with all of these things.  God is so good!

Prayer Request
Please be lifting up some of these things as we begin life in McKinney:

- the neighbors we are meeting would come to know Christ through our relationship and sharing of our faith
- God would grant Erin extra energy and health with getting up so early for work
- that God would provide me a place to work (specifically some teaching jobs I am applying for that I think would be great)

Work Update:  I have a couple people who are trying to work their contacts and networks to find me some employment and I am applying at some places around the city.  Please pray for God's wisdom and guidance in this.

Praise God!
All praise to the God and Father or Our Lord Jesus Christ for all the good things He has done for us.  Erin and I are so thankful to Him for our friends, family, relationships and the provisions He has given us.  But more importantly than all those we are thankful for the gospel of Christ - that by the cross our debts have been paid and by the resurrection we've been shown the promise of a new hope!!  Praise God.


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  2. Great to hear that y'all have settled in to McKinney! I'll be praying for you and your work situations. :) -Chris

  3. Good speaking to you today - awesome blog Mike and Erin - we look forward to reading more from McKinney in the months to come - Peter and Naomi