Family Posts

Enter the New Country

I woke up in Oregon today. This has happened before, but this time I’m not visiting.

Last weekend we officially said our goodbyes and got in a car to drive away. It was gut-wrenching. I’m not good in these types of situations and this one was as overwhelming as anything I’ve ever done. In the video above you can watch our formal send-off in the services (watch from the 3:33 to 13:07 mark). It even includes a video the staff made that gets to me every time.

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The Jernigans are Moving!

The Jernigans are Moving!

Back in March I wrote about our realization that God was calling my family to a new season of ministry (see: Big News for Our Family). You might recall that while I sensed God nudging us forward, I had no idea yet of where that might lead us. I’m beyond stoked to have that next detail to share now!

Beginning in August, I will serve as the Lead Pastor of Abundant Life Church. ALC has three campuses outside of Portland, Oregon. I have the incredible opportunity to become just the second Lead Pastor of the church in its three decades. Pastor George Powell and his wife Ann planted the church twenty-eight years ago and have sensed God leading them into a new season in their lives. God has given Michelle and me a great love and heart for Portland and we look forward to serving these communities with a new church family. One of the things that Pastor George shared recently describes how we have all felt through this process:

“What I’ve discovered in this process is what I have always felt would be true . . . that when the time came that Ann and I felt we should pass the baton of leadership, God would have been working way upstream of us preparing the couple that He has raised up for this ministry.”

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Big News for Our Family

Big News for Our Family

This upcoming May will be my twelfth anniversary of being on staff at Central. It has been an unbelievable journey for me and my family. When I started on staff I was finishing up my undergrad degree and was about to get married. I began as a fifteen-month intern and had no idea how long I’d be on staff here. Now we have five kids and we’ve been married more than eleven years. And now we also feel God is leading us to a new opportunity for the next season of ministry.

I realize this likely comes as a shock to many of you. I know it did to me. Yet I’ve felt God moving in my heart and it has been repeatedly confirmed in Michelle as well. We sense God nudging us away from the safety of what we know and love in order to experience a new chapter in our lives. And here’s the crazy part… we don’t know where that is yet!

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Stop “Shoulding” Yourself

Stop “Shoulding” Yourself

My wife and I are both type-A perfectionists. However, we both work full time and we are neck deep in raising five young kids. This means our desire for doing things perfectly clashes abruptly against the daily challenges we attempt to tackle. I bet you can relate. I noticed something this week in the words that we use to one another. We constantly talk about what we “should have” done differently.

As in, now that we’ve seen how this turns out, we should have done it a different way.

As in, let’s try harder to do it better next time.

As in, we failed in perfectly planning this.

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How Heavy is Your Heart?

How Heavy is Your Heart?

I decided it would be a great way to spend a morning with my kids by watching the movie The Prince of Egypt. In case you missed this gem from the 90s, it’s a cartoon version of the Exodus story from the Bible. If you need convincing of its validity, just consider that Val Kilmer is the voice of both Moses and God. Need I say more?

It was also the movie I watched on my very first date with Michelle when we were in high school. So I fully expected it to be a home run experience for my kids to watch for their first time and create a lasting memory. It was all going well until we got to the scene where the movie depicts Exodus 1:22: “Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”

The movie animates the entire story, but it cleverly depicts this scene with two-dimensional hieroglyphics coming to life on the walls of the palace. That’s when my four-year-old daughter Adelyn began to lose it.

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This is Amazing Grace

This is Amazing Grace

Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory

This is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham

Today we had the chance to change someone’s story forever. It’s one of the best stories I’ve ever been a part of personally. But here’s the thing about stories like this: there are many stories behind the stories. Today we celebrated the official arrival of Aiden Berra Jernigan into our family. C’mon, you knew he was going to get his own Yankee name. But equally as moving was looking around us at the amazing friends and family who have walked this journey with us. More than that, they have held us up in numerous different ways to allow us to play the part we did.

Our heart opened to make the orphan Aiden our son because Jesus Christ has made us His sons and daughters. We love because He first loved us. But living the Gospel like this takes a community of equally faithful people. To them, we want to say thanks.

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