a gift

as a christmas present this year, my parents bought me a flight to see anna and anete in new york! it was probably the best present (other than Jesus, of course haha) that anyone has ever given to me. here are a few of the pictures...

arriving at jfk

our wonderful hosts... mikus & grieta (anna's sister)

singing for presents

anna & anete

grand central station

going for a walk

anna's beautiful niece, jasmine

central park

metropolitan museum of art

excited about barnes & noble!


a dose of reality

stop for a few minutes and pray for our brothers and sisters in india...

(be forewarned, this video has some graphic footage)


my current jam

this guy's style is a little "out there." but i like it a lot!

"wooden heart" - listener

WOODEN HEART (sea of mist called skaidan)
We’re all born to broken people on their most honest day of living
and since that first breath... We’ll need grace that we’ve never given
I've been haunted by standard red devils and white ghosts
and it's not only when these eyes are closed
these lies are ropes that I tie down in my stomach,
but they hold this ship together tossed like leaves in this weather
and my dreams are sails that I point towards my true north,
stretched thin over my rib bones, and pray that it gets better
but it won’t won’t, at least I don’t believe it will...
so I've built a wooden heart inside this iron ship,
to sail these blood red seas and find your coasts.
don’t let these waves wash away your hopes
this war-ship is sinking, and I still believe in anchors
pulling fist fulls of rotten wood from my heart, I still believe in saviors
but I know that we are all made out of shipwrecks, every single board
washed and bound like crooked teeth on these rocky shores
so come on and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief
and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach
come on and sew us together, tattered rags stained forever
we only have what we remember

I am the barely living son of a woman and man who barely made it
but we’re making it taped together on borrowed crutches and new starts
we all have the same holes in our hearts...
everything falls apart at the exact same time
that it all comes together perfectly for the next step
but my fear is this prison... that I keep locked below the main deck
I keep a key under my pillow, it’s quiet and it’s hidden
and my hopes are weapons that I’m still learning how to use right
but they’re heavy and I’m awkward...always running out of fight
so I’ve carved a wooden heart, put it in this sinking ship
hoping it would help me float for just a few more weeks
because I am made out of shipwrecks, every twisted beam
lost and found like you and me scattered out on the sea
so come on let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief
and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach
come on and sew us together, just some tattered rags stained forever
we only have what we remember

My throat it still tastes like house fire and salt water
I wear this tide like loose skin, rock me to sea
if we hold on tight we’ll hold each other together
and not just be some fools rushing to die in our sleep
all these machines will rust I promise, but we'll still be electric
shocking each other back to life
Your hand in mine, my fingers in your veins connected
our bones grown together inside
our hands entwined, your fingers in my veins braided
our spines grown stronger in time
because are church is made out of shipwrecks
from every hull these rocks have claimed
but we pick ourselves up, and try and grow better through the change
so come on yall and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief
and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach
come on and sew us together, were just tattered rags stained forever
we only have what we remember

sabbath rest

just read finished reading an interesting article on rest here.

"nearly 90% of pastors feel overworked and 50% of those who go into full-time service drop out in 5 years." scary statistics!

this has been an area of my life that God has continued to teach me about over the past few years. we NEED rest in the Lord!



in honor of the year 2010, i made a list of 10 things (in no particular order) that i am especially thankful for today...
1) maddison ann brooks and the opportunity to be here for her birth
2) traveling around ireland and scotland with my brothers/amber
3) a fruitful summer of ministry in latvia
4) shiloh community church
5) morning star church
6) an amazing and supportive team in latvia
7) unbelievable family and friends
8) anna baštika and the tremendous blessing she is to me
9) a "home" on both sides of the ocean
10) and most importantly, my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ... thank You for all of these things! :)


giving thanks

with turkey day around the corner, i have been examining my life and thinking about what i have to be thankful for. pastor kevin gave a timely message this past sunday about being thankful. his message was based on philippians 4:1-9;

"Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."

so how can i be consistently thankful? how can i have true lasting joy?

by basing it on something that never changes!

God's goodness.

the hope that i have in Him.

the love that He demonstrates in Christ.

i can choose to be thankful because of God's presence in my life! because the Lord is near! (vs. 5) He is the one Who is good, lovely, pure, etc. (vs. 8) i just need to remind myself of that!

so besides turkey, sweet potato pie(!!!!!), football, and time with family, what do you have to be thankful for this thanksgiving?



3 year milestone

i arrived in latvia three years ago, today!

it has been both the hardest and richest three years of my life, but i wouldnt trade it for anything! i am a completely different person than the guy who arrived in riga back in 2007. God has done some wonderful work in my life over these years and i am very thankful for how He has chosen to use me. i have seen God to be faithful and how He has continually shown me His goodness over the last three years. i look forward to continuing in that for the time God has me in latvia. amen!


maddison ann brooks

born november 10th, 2010 at 16:15.

7 lbs 10 oz. 20.5 inches.

she is the most beautiful baby i have ever seen in my life!

we have all been praying for this baby for years, and to be able to hold her in my arms yesterday was something that i will never forget. she is a precious gift from God!

i couldnt be happier for rob & carly. :)

it was a VERY special day. here are a few of the 6,987 pictures...

rob & carly after a long & rough night

the visiting committee

a bit sobering... it was obviously hard on carly & but also hard for rob to watch his wife go through all that pain

after four hours of pushing with no progress, they were forced to do a c-section

"short term" as in 12 hours... i hope?

our first glimpse of maddison!

grandpa brooks

grandma brooks

grandpa grainger

uncle tim

maddie w/ her dad... this picture was worth the trip

maddie w/ her mom

happy family!

very happy grandparents :)

don & shirley grainger

3 proud brothers


welcome to the family maddison!! you are a PERFECT addition.


leavin' on a jet plane

i head to the airport in an hour... will be sad to leave... have 22 hours of travel... then the fun begins!


fusion promo vid

heres a promo video that i threw together from one of our fusion camps this past summer...



God is...

GOOD! among countless other things.

God is doing some incredible things in the lives of people in latvia. it is a blessing to hear and see how He is at work.

please keep our team in your prayers as we seek to train and disciple the next generation to follow Christ. God is moving. pray that we would continue to follow Him.

re: brooks brothers

here are a few pictures of my time with my brothers... enjoy!