“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”  – Isaiah 9:6

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Welcome!

We wanted to take a moment and wish you all a wonderful holiday season, and we hope it is filled with many blessings, as well as time and memories with those most dear to you.  We hope you will take a moment and say hello to us, too, and leave us a comment, so we can see who’s been by!

And for those of you who are first time visitors, we’re so glad you stopped by!  Please explore our entries and see what we’ve been up to.  And we hope you’ll be back to stay caught up on us.  We do try to update at least once a week… and that usually happens around Tuesdays.

So, we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a Christmas letter, but give it to you in a non-traditional way.  We can share so much more with you this way, especially pictures.  And we know everyone loves pictures!

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What have the Goinses been up to this year?  Well, we got married on January 12th here in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee.  It was supposed to snow, but instead it was a beautiful day in the 50s or maybe even in the 60s.  We got our winter, though, as we spent the next week honeymooning in the mountains of North Carolina.  And we are still living in that “cozy” one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of southeast Nashville.

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Jeff started out the year as Director of Marketing and Mobilization for the World Race, one of AIM’s missions programs. In this role, he was in charge of getting the word out about the World Race, recruiting applicants, and training racers in Georgia before they embarked on their 11 months, 11 countries journey.  This summer, though, AIM asked Jeff to step up as Director of Marketing for all of AIM.  It was a head-first dive right into new things and many more projects, but it has been exciting and challenging.  For both of these reasons, and many more, Jeff loves it.  He is now in charge of marketing all of AIM’s different missions programs (not just the World Race), and he is still able to train racers.  Jeff still has the “privilege” of working from home, but he does venture to Georgia, where AIM is located, about once every other month on average.  It is then when he trains the racers and/or has oodles of face time with the staff he works with on a daily basis from afar.  AIM also gave him the opportunity to lead a short term mission trip to Florida this summer, and he hopes to do more in the future.  Oh, and as most of you know, Jeff loves to write.   He is still doing plenty of this and has been published in several on-line magazines as well as the March/April issue of Relevant Magazine!

Ashley marked the completion of her first year at Provident Music Group in May.  She is now sitting on one and one-half years in Accounts Payable and as the Finance Assistant.  In this role, she “pays the bills” that help get the music and movies out to you, and she also helps out the Finance department and the COO however she can, which is where the unpredictability of her job comes into play.  In this specific part of her role, she schedules and sets up meetings and even has to kill a few trees from time to time due to copies.  But she does recycle!  This year has brought opportunities to refine processes so that tasks can be completed more efficiently, and with this has also came opportunities to train and teach others, which she has loved doing.  Sometimes it is still hard for her to believe that she is working in the Christian music business, one of her dreams.

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Life in Nashville has just really been wonderful.  We have found a home in Franklin Fellowship Church and are still serving there on the praise team (Jeff, electric guitar, and Ashley, originally vocals but now bass guitar) and in the Children’s Ministry (Children’s Church and Sunday School two times a quarter).  We have had the privilege of seeing many friends throughout the year, whether in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Georgia, or back home in Illinois.  We have celebrated life, purchases of first homes, and marriages with so many, and we look forward to doing many more of this in 2009!  God has just really blessed us with so much in our lives, and we are just so thankful that we get to live the lives we do and that we get to do it together.

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So thank you all for being a part of our lives.  Thank you to our families for their love; to our friends for their friendship, love, and support; to Provident and AIM for allowing us both to live our dreams, doing what we love as “real jobs,” and giving us great friends in coworkers; and to our church family here in Nashville for their love and their gift of family away from home.

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Blessings, Love, and Warm Wishes from the South!

-Jeff and Ashley

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”  – Isaiah 9:6

*Thank you to Joe Gomez for the photography.

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