Sunday, June 28, 2009

Leaving one good thing for another - Thoughts from Rob

Looking back at 39 years of living, it seems that life, at least my life, can be categorized into chapters, much like a book. I can look back, as most of us probably can, and identify defining moments or events that have transported me from one chapter to the next. This move to Alaska seems to be one of those page turning moments that leave you with some lament over the ending of one great chapter, yet looking forward with anticipation to what you might experience in the next. And so it is with our family that we run with eyes wide open, not away from something, but rather toward something else. Having gleaned so much from this last chapter in life, the characters in this story, the events we've shared with them, the great moments that you linger in for as long as they will allow and the deep bonds that transcend any written expression. So much to be thankful for and so many to thank for it. A great portion of who we are today is because of so many of you pouring yourselves into us. I am so humbled by it, that it's hard to talk about. Still we want to express our most sincere thanks to all of our friends and family that have supported us for many years and even in this move. Our relationships certainly don't end here, it just seems like the appropriate time to pause and take stock of our lives up to this point, before the next chapter begins. We're excited and a little scared, but most of all grateful, to God and all of you, as we leave one good thing for another.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Fond Farewell

Wow! Life has been a whirlwind of activity for us! We hit the panic button last Monday! We have accomplished alot, but not enough! Miracle of all miracles, the largest item we had to sell, (not our house), the ONE thing we just KNEW would NOT sell, our Airstream, is the first item that has sold! A couple from N.C. is coming to pick it up in the next few days! I mean, who would buy such a thing the way the economy is right now? God is in the miracle making business!

Now down to business... Last night our church, Greenville First Assembly, held a farewell reception for us. What a wonderful thing! Pastor Owen surprised me by handing me the mic, so I could say a few words! Any of you that know me, I am NOT a public speaker, that is Rob's job! In retrospect, I really had soooo much more I could have said, but I wasn't prepared. Greenville First Assembly has been such a wonderful place for us to call home for the past five years! We have all grown under Pastor Owen's leadership. The people of First Assembly are so wonderful! Our family has made lifelong friendships that we will hold onto dearly, no matter where we are! Our boys have been ministered to in such a powerful way under Pastor Kenny, and the Ranger Program! In those programs, multitudes of people have ministered to them. I will NEVER forget ALL the people that have had an influence on the lives of my children, even Avery, who has just started this life journey with us. I could go on and on, but it would take up way too much space, so, to EVERYONE at Greenville First Assembly, we say THANK YOU!

Rob also got to lead worship one final time last night. I know I'm biased, but HE ROCKS!

Well, our moving date is quickly approaching, and we have much to do! We appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers!

The Ruccis

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Alaska... Are you crazy?!!

Yes, that's what I said. Our family is moving to the far north... Alaska! I can hardly believe it myself. The past few months have been a wild and incredible ride for the Rucci family! I will attempt to explain what has led us to this incredible place...

As most of you know Rob has been leading worship on a part-time basis at different churches for the past 13 years or so. After stepping down from his most recent position at Greenville First Assembly, we both felt God tugging at our hearts to "take a leap of faith" and pursue a full-time worship pastor position...WHEREVER that may be. However; before we actually started looking for a position, some dear friends of ours, the Revells, moved to Fairbanks, AK, where Chris Revells took a position as an Associate / Youth Pastor at Jubilee Worship Center. Rob and I decided to go with them and stay for a week, hoping to help ease their transition to such a faraway place. Apparently God had another plan in the works as well. While there, Rob led worship at Jubilee Worship Center, which led to the pastor wanting to introduce Rob to the pastor at First Assembly of God in Fairbanks, right across town! To make a rather long story short, we met Pastor Paul, his wife Cindy, and Pastors Jeremy and Charee' . They asked us to stay and lead worship on Easter sunday. They even paid the extra money for our hotel, car, and plane tickets. So, we stayed, Rob led worsip, then we came home.

The next week, Rob got an email from Pastor Paul asking him if we would like to join the staff of Fairbanks First Assembly! We were blown away! We did not go to Alaska looking for a job, we went to help some friends paint a house! As God would have it, He knew how hard a decision this would be to make, to leave all of our family and friends, so we were presented with a unique offer from Pastor Paul. How about an 18 month contract? That way we could go up there, and have time to figure out if that is where we are supposed to stay. If not, we go home. Plain and simple. When we got that offer, we KNEW we were supposed to take it.

So, now we are in the process of selling things, shutting down our business, and cleaning out our house. I am the last person in the world that EVER thought I'd live in Alaska! I always teased Rob about just, "sending me a paycheck", when he talked about moving up there. As you can imagine, this is a bit of a dream come true for him. He will get to do something he loves on a full-time basis, hunt a bunch of big animals, hike Denali (Mt. McKinley), and find a hundred new hobbies to take part in. Truthfully, the whole family is excited and we are looking forward to a great adventure in Alaska! More than that, we are looking forward to what God is going to do in all of us through this.

One final note... we got the idea for this blog from our dear friends, the Revells, and thought it was a fantastic way to keep our family and friends up to date with us. I will update this from time to time as we approach our moving date, which at this point will most likely be July 16th. We are actually going to Washington State with Rob's family for 10 days, and then on to Fairbanks around the 26th, if we can get everything done here. This is intended to be a family blog, so I promise I will get Rob to post his thoughts from time to time.

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers!

The Ruccis