Well, it’s been a long time coming…in fact, I haven’t blogged in almost 2 years! I stopped shortly after the birth of my son in the fall of 2010. There was no reason for it other than stuff got really busy for me at that time. That’s water under the bridge though and I felt I needed to get back at it this month. After a talk with my good friend George Ortiz yesterday, I decided to resurrect this old blog from the ashes and make it a part of my life again.
I have different categories that I blog about as you can see by the categories in the navigation on this site. However, while business and fun stuff are there, this blog has traditionally focused on how I’m navigating through life and processing it’s events with regards to my faith. For those of you that know me through a business acquaintance or something like that and didn’t know I was also a pastor (there wouldn’t be very many of you) I just want to warn you to expect a lot of talk about my relationship with God here.
For my first post of this rebirth, I thought I’d just catch everyone up on what’s been happening over the last couple of years. Perhaps this time of reflection will only be beneficial for me, but you could always be nice and leave a comment saying that you read it anyway :-). Here’s a rundown of what’s happened since the fall of 2010…
New Direction for Business
On the career side of things I had just launched a new business called Storefront Themes. After successfully marketing one of the first ever WordPress eCommerce themes on a digital marketplace, I decided to create my own online shop where web developers and small business people could buy resources for powering their own online stores. The business immediately took off and became my full-time employment. It has given our family more stability and freedom than we ever had before.
Best of all, this new venture has helped a couple of other people as well. My aforementioned friend George Ortiz (who I’ve spoken of here on this blog several times before) was able to create some designs which I then sold and supported at Storefront Themes. This has provided a substantial amount of income for him and he was able to quit his hourly job and work on some of his own dreams. One of the more recent of those dreams was an idea he had called PressTrends and he is now pursuing that full-time. We still share an office from time to time just for old time’s sake and because we like each other’s company, but I’m happy that we’re now both able to do what we love.
Along the way I’ve needed help with the support end of things and that’s when I noticed an incredibly clever and helpful person hanging around the Storefront Themes forums. His name was Mark Gason, an Australian now living in Minnesota. When it got to the point that he was almost doing as much support as me, I knew I had to find a way of keeping him. That’s when I made my first real hire. Mark has been a Godsend and has upped the value of the Storefront Brand to heights that it wouldn’t have gotten to without him.
I’m proud that something I built has provided very substantial direct income for 3 people and has also helped over 4500 customers (and counting) achieve their dreams of selling their own products and running their own online shops.
New Responsibilities at the Church
Around September of 2010 we got word that my dad, Derek Jones was going to be resigning as Lead Pastor at Lakeside Church. To even list the bullet points of what has happened since then would take way too long so I’ll give you a very brief synopsis. In the end, I felt God leading me to be the Lead Pastor. After a two-month ordination process, I was ordained as the Lead Pastor of Lakeside on February 20th, 2010. I had been acting Lead Pastor since November of the previous year. One of the first things I did was to talk a couple named Britton and Brittany Lewis into moving to Utah to help us with ministry. It took 6 months, but they’ve been such a blessing to our whole church family.
Brittany writes for the Lakeside Church Blog and does an amazing job at it. Britton is now the Executive Pastor and has really grown into that role so well. Rounding out the pastoral leadership is George, who serves with his wife Becky Jo as the student pastor.
I also have Gregg and Jennifer Freeman and Roger and Sonje Beal as our two Shepherd Leader families. I am comforted to know that our Shepherd leaders are some of the people who have been with us the longest. It helps to balance out my training wheels 😉
If there is one thing that I can look back on as a real accomplishment in my short time as lead pastor so far, it’s that we have a much more active and mature leadership than 2 years ago. I’ve made it a point to trust these guys by sharing Sunday morning teaching responsibilites with them and not making any decisions without their approval. I told them from the beginning that there’s no other men I’d rather serve with and I still mean that. This is my team!
New Additions to the Family
Saving the best for last, we have several new additions to our family in the last 2 years…
Andrew was born of course on September 12, 2012. Having a son has been an amazing experience. It’s definitely different than a daughter. Ansley is my princess and I now have this responsibility of raising a prince for somebody else’s princess.
In the fall of 2010 Daniel married Rebecca Mueller so we now have 2 Becky Jones’s in the family. She already fit right in as we have known her as part of the family for a couple of years. They now have a little baby boy named Adrian who just celebrated his first birthday this week. He is so cute! I’m determined to be as good an uncle to him as Dan has been to Ansley.
Last week my sister Megan married John Wettendorf and the two now live in Ogden. We just went out to the ballgame last night and it was a lot of fun. John has been fun to get to know and I’m glad to have a new brother-in-law.
Megan’s wedding was a wonderful time for our family. So many of our aunts and cousins came down for it as well as both of my grandmothers. We all knew that we would never be together quite like that again so we made the most of it. It was a glorious week.
So what’s next? Well, I’m straight on my priorities…I want to be the best husband and father I can be. I also know that in some capacity I will be a pastor for the rest of my life. It’s just what I do. For every time that I get discouraged in the job, I am reminded that there is a calling on my life to do this, and my heart beats to introduce people to Christ.
As for work? Well, that’s the part that will have the most excitement. I’ll launch two brand-new ventures by the end of the year. I am looking forward to 2013 as I am positioning myself to have my best year yet…I just have to find a way to make it there! Pray for me to be able to finish this stuff off in a timely manner.
And of course, this blog will once again be a staple of my daily life. Expect 3 to 5 posts a week on different aspects of life. Leave comments and let me know what you think and maybe we can pick up where we left off 2 years ago!