Sunriver 09

Ali and I are finishing up our vacation at Sunriver with her family and what a restful time it's been! We've enjoyed the typical stay here with much biking, swimming, reading, eating and playing games. I learned how to play bridge last night but can't for the life of me fathom why there would be a game where one person doesn't get to play each round?!!! I don't think bridge is for me; I'll stick with whist.

I haven't snapped too many photos but the sky and deer have been fun to shoot. Here are a few of my favorites.


Birthday song

Now that I can take video with the phone, I thought I'd get one of
Alison bringing my birthday cup cake, but she grabbed the camera and
key shooting.

March - June Recap

What a ride! I'm beginning to wonder if life ever stops changing and settles into a routine. I don't think it does, but it's sure been good overall. Here's a snapshot of the busy & life-changing past season.

Moving on: Just as the 30 Hour Famine ended, my friend, mentor & boss, Brian Eberly, moved on from his role as youth pastor at Grace Point into the unknown of what comes next. Though I miss working closely with him, he has settled down at Rock Harbor, Pastoring students there. I look forward to getting our groups together for local events!

Taxes: Taxes are never fun, but when your wife is a tax accountant, it's a whole new level. Mostly I just don't see her for 3 I was glad when April 15th came around and my Ali returned home.

Beach Retreat: As soon as tax season finished, I entered the full swing of Retreat Season...planning games, sessions and more. What a great time we had though, exploring the theme One. Check out the pictures.

Wedding: May 17 marked a new era in the lives of the Geist family. My dad, Dan married Denise in a hot church sanctuary with a beautifully decorated reception. It was a great weekend as my mom's family was in town and we got to enjoy seeing them too.

New Job: In June, our church voted to bring myself and one other gal on staff, me as the new youth pastor. It has been a great month so far...lots to do...lots of people who need Jesus daily...and a constant reminder of my own need.

Moving on Part 2: Thank goodness for technology! Just a week and half ago, my brother Andrew moved out to South Bend to get his Masters at Notre Dame. I am bummed to see him go but am glad to see him growing and moving on in life. I'm glad for technology because it has never been easier to keep in touch with those far away.

Camp Harlow: After being away from Camp Harlow for 10 plus years, I get to return, this time with a group of high schoolers eager to counsel their first group of day-campers. Wow...I remember my first time in '94 when I took the camp name Wet Willy for a Spring Break camp. That was so long ago, but an important experience in why I love ministry today.

New Decade: On Wednesday, I entered the land of those past their 30th year on this earth. I am truly glad to be here and look forward to the added wisdom and maturity that sometimes come with age. Of course, now I'm almost 20 years older than the 6th graders that just joined our mid-school group!

Moving: After 4 great years in this apartment of ours, Alison and I will move into my dad's house this Summer. It is the house I grew up in and helped build. What fun that will be!


Meeting Moses and getting AIDS: My Famine weekend

I spent a great weekend with the students and leaders of 180 fasting, praying, serving and worshipping during the 30 Hour Famine. Thank you to those of you who donated and prayed for us! So far, and the donations are still coming in, we raised over $2,000 which meets the needs for 6 children this year. Praise God!

Here's a snapshot of our weekend:

The Rally: We met up with many other churches from the Portland area at Beaverton Christian Church. Normally the rally begins with high-energy music, but this year entered quietly while getting marked at health stations. The rally began with a funeral...yes, a funeral for 3 victims of AIDS in Africa. 

When I see stats like about the number of children dying or orphaned by AIDS daily, I fell detached. The number is too great for me to act. But attending a "funeral" for one of those kids brings it home that I can act on behalf of one...and it makes a true difference in that one life.
One of the greatest treats this year's rally was hearing from Moses (pictured), a native Kenyan who would have been a statistic if not for World Vision's work when he was a child. The letters from his sponsor, Julie, are what led Him to following Jesus. What an encouragement for us. We can make a difference around the world!
Worship: We were tired, but AJ led us in worship, reading from Matthew and Isaiah, teaching us to not go around all somber and looking like we were suffering, but to go about as normal. It was great to live out the Isaiah 58 passage in fasting & breaking the chains of injustice.
Though our music was worship, I am convinced that the suffering, fasting, serving, and caring for the oppressed were a pleasing aroma for the Lord. I know He looked down on our students and smiled!

Serving: This year, we stayed on site for our service project. This was the most physically demanding year of service in that we spent about 2 hours clearing blackberries from our church property. The students did a great job, not complaining once! All in all, it was a good couple of hours, though I'm not sure what to think about a few of them eagerly volunteering to use the deadly poison spray on the roots....hmm :)

Tribes: Dividing into 5 tribes for the weekend, we played 7 games that had basis in real life challenges that plague the poor of Latin America. They included endurance, mental, strength, balance, and a few blindfold challenges. Pictured are students crossing the Amazon to get to school. My favorite however was the Survivor style endurance challenge where students had to hold a weighted bucket straight out from their body for as long as possible. This challenge represented the long trek back from a river with water for the family to drink, but presented some of the greatest challenge viewing of the weekend!

Speakers: Steve Pringle and Brian Wiggs brought great passion, insight and challenge in how we can continue the spirit of the Famine in our daily lives.
Steve spoke on our passion, how God has uniquely shaped us and our need to remain/abide in Jesus as we live daily. Brian challenged us to be courageous and build relationships with people outside our comfort zone, which is what it takes to care for the least of these.

The Meal: Last but not least, we ended the fast with chicken burritos. But we were asked to stay in the spirit of the Famine and walk silently look through the line, thanking God for the food we have. 
We had a great time and I am so proud of the students who gave up 30 hours of eating to save children's lives. May our attitudes be changed as well. We are so blessed and are called to be a blessing to others.
Check out all of our Famine pictures here.


30 Hour Famine

In just a few short hours, the students will begin to arrive for the 30 Hour Famine. We've already fasted for 4 hours and the hunger just began. I always dread the hunger, but the anticipation is the worst part. It makes me consider those in this world who don't know when that next meal will be on their plate. 30 hours is short compared to some the time others go without food.

I'm excited to fast with so many students who are raising funds for World Vision. I invite you to participate in giving alongside our students.

It should be a great weekend. I'll let you know how it goes!


Brian's 11 Years

Today was bittersweet. On the one hand, our student worship team rocked the house and I so enjoy using my gifts alongside them in worship. I also enjoyed playing one last time on a Sunday morning with Brian.

See, that was the bitter part. It's hard to let go and move past what I've come to know. Brian has been a friend, mentor, and a wonderful co-minister at church. There are many thing's that I'll miss.

But today we had a going away party for his family. I had the pleasure of creating the video for the occasion. So check it out and look back with me on 11 years of Brian's ministry at GPCC.



We all face adversity…sometimes as inconsequential as on the playing field, sometimes it has to do with a relationship ending, or a parent, teacher or boss who you feel gives you a bit too much to do. The scale of adversity goes all the way up to sickness and when a friend or family member dies.

Adversity is tough or else we would call it a good time. 

But though it is tough it can be good, because it shows who we really are, it shows what we truly believe and it shows what is most important to us. We see who we are through our reactions. 

Take a look at what happens to these chocolate bunnies when they face adversity. 

When adversity came, they melted, fade away, showed themselves to be hollow, and even lost their head. 

But check out Job, a man faced with more adversity than many of us combined, He said that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away but blessed be the name of the Lord. Job understood that God is good and that He is in control. 

So when you face adversity what are you like? The melting bunnies? Or Job who praised God? 

A few things to remember when you face adversity: 
  • Look beyond the now: James 1:2-4
    You are going to grow. No athlete became good if they always thought about how hard practice was. Athletes persevere through tough times because they see that they are getting better and that winning down the road is the goal. 
  • Serve God: Matthew 6:33
    Don’t worry, keep on serving Jesus. Make it your first priority to be about what God is about and you won’t have to worry. 
  • Obey God (Love Him!): John 14:15
    Not just when it’s easy. Not cheating is pretty easy to do when you’ve studied for the test. But not cheating when it’s the final and your grade will determine if you pass or fail…that’s tough, but we still must obey in adversity.
Remember to the truth of Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


More to Come

In another post I said more to come... and I can't leave you hanging forever.

Pictured here is a image of joy renewed and lives that continue. I am happy to tell my blogging world of the engagement of my dad and Denise. Here they are on their trip to Arizona, stopping for the O-so-great-but-overrated In-n-Out

They are to be married on the 17th of May.


GPCC Year in review

Usually, the masterful Brian Eberly produces our church's year-in-review video for our annual celebration. But this year, due to a lack of computer resources (i.e. 6 year old macs w/ no hard drive space make for poor DVD production), I inherited the task. Fortunately, the good people of Grace Point had many pictures for me to use.

Our celebration is tonight, but for those who don't go there & those who missed the gathering and want a glimpse of this last year at Grace Point, check it out.

GPCC 2008 Year in Review from Aaron Geist on Vimeo.


Happy Birthday Mom

It's an interesting thing remembering a birthday of someone who cares not how old they are anymore. This would have been mom's 57th. It's been a hard year and a half, but a good one too. And I think she would be happy that we're moving forward, not forgetting the past, but moving on into all the new things God has for our lives while we're still here on this earth. It's nice seeing her mannerisms, traits, passions & gifting passed down to us kids and in my dad. More on the moving forward in a post to come. May you use your time to glorify God.


Mexico Missionaries

Last night was a treat. Usually, the only time we get to see Tim & Kathy Johnston is while we're in Mexico. But due to an unfortunate flight time out of Portland, they needed a place to stay. They were up visiting their son in Sweet Home and had to be at the airport at 4am! Needless to say, they didn't want to leave Sweet Home at 2am. :)

We had a wonderful time talking and finding out what is next for them. They are incredible people to be around. Such faith, such stories of the journey God continues to lead them on. It gets me all excited to return this Summer!


A Journey for This Year

Have you ever tried to read through the Bible and made it only for 2 weeks...or 2 days and then quit? Yeah, me too. It's the time of year for resolutions and though this isn't really a resolution, more just a desire for the year. I've invited our youth group in reading through the entire Bible this year. I found a cool plan from the You Version. It's a plan that has you read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in one year. It's nice because it doesn't just go straight through. It has sections from the OT & NT each day.

Follow along with that YouVersion link. iPhone users will find it in the App Store too!

Today's thought from Genesis 1: No matter how you look at it...God created it all...and it is sure good! Praise God!