Quote of the Day

This is a great prayer in any situation, but especially in light of the worlds current social and economic chaos:

O Lord, open my eyes that I may see the needs of others; open my ears that I may hear their cries; open my heart so that they need not be without succor; let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong, nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich … And so open my eyes and my ears that I may this coming day be able to do some work of peace for thee.

-- Alan Paton

Traveling in Old Cars

So, I have been waiting to post this blog until I downloaded some pics from our recent road trip, but I never seem to have the camera and my computer in the same spot at the same time. Oh well…

If there is a problem that could happen to a car, it happens to our cars. Janny and I(thankfully!) have AAA roadside assistance and between the two of us we get 8 calls a year. Our policy is about 8 months into the year and we have used 7 of our 8 calls. Anyway, most of the issues are with my old beater truck(we we were sharing for environmental, financial reasons), so we thought we would buy an old beater car that would complement the truck. We now have a 19 year old Honda Accord. It got in an accident about 10 years ago, so it is missing the side paneling and the keys often get stuck in the ignition, but this baby is running like a champ!

A couple weeks ago Jan and I decided to go on a road trip to have a couple days by ourselves and then head down south to visit a bunch of family and friends. It was a great trip…We got to sit under a tree for a couple days and read, just the two of us. Then we got to see new babies, Grandma’s, friends and other fam. Good stuff. We drove over a 1000 miles in our 19 year old friend…other than one dead battery, no issues…amazing.

2 days after we got home we had to drive out to Sacramento for a speaking opportunity I had at the National Youth Workers Convention for a few days. It also was a sweet trip and full of insightful perspective and conversation. And yes…the car drove like a stallion.

Cheers to 19 year old beaters!!

Life Transitions






Pic From Our High School Rafting Trip Last Month

I know quite a few you that read this blog are part of our community at Harbor Chapel, so in case you didn’t get this letter that we sent out, I have included it here. This is a snapshot into our current thinking and future…



Dear Harbor Chapel Family,


A couple of months ago I was telling our students a story about Jan and I going up to San Francisco to watch a Giants game. Barry Zito was pitching and the fans were going nuts with every pitch. If he did well everyone would cheer. If he did badly, everyone would boo. There was great passion in each one of these fans (myself included!).


As I began to think more about that, I couldn’t help but think about how each one of us is called to participate in the mission of God. Looking at the beautiful, often confusing and extremely engaging story of God that is told through the Bible, it quickly becomes evident that each of us is part of the story whether we like it or not. What is amazing about God’s story is that it is told through the lives of His people. God doesn’t just write out long lectures or essays about how to live in connection with Him, He uses people all through history to show that looks like. There are over 1,000 first names in the Bible. God’s story is told through His people. Everyone is part of God’s story, but He wants more…He is inviting each one of us to be participants in His story. The story didn’t end with the last word in Revelation. It continues to be told through our lives today. God is inviting each one of us out of the bleachers and onto the field. We were not designed to simply read, watch or applaud God’s story of redemption and reconciliation, we are to jump right into the middle of it. That is where God can best use us to advance His Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”


More than ever before in our lives, Jan and I have been able to participate in God’s story through our time here at Harbor Chapel. As we quickly approach 4 years of being part of this community, we can’t help but reflect on all the ways we have been able to see, feel and experience the God of this Biblical story that is continuing to unfold today. We have seen, felt and experienced God through our relationships with each one of you. As most of us know, the church is not something we do. It is who we are. This is why we have loved to serve here at Harbor Chapel. It is not about “doing” church perfectly by playing all the right songs, or playing the best games, or having the best looking wall paper. It is about wrestling with life’s good and bad, sad and hopeful, confusing and assuring experiences that we run into everyday as a community of Jesus followers. We are not called to go to church, we are called to be the church and I have been able to see evidence of the people of Harbor Chapel “being” the church through encountering the reality of God in and through our people. Whether pounding nails with our students on the roof of a home in Mexico, seeing the huge grin of our men after catching a big trout at Hume Lake or encouraging a parent who is begging for advice on how in the world to raise their teenager, the face of God has continually been revealed to us in these years.


When Jan and I first started here at Harbor Chapel, we committed to the role of Youth Pastor for the next 3 years of our lives. This was a great decision. In fact, it was such a great decision that we were offered and accepted the opportunity to continue in this role for another year. That brings us to December 31 of this year. We were again honored with the opportunity to continue in this role for a few more years, but knew that we had a lot of praying, thinking and conversation ahead of us before we could make that decision. Our number one priority in this decision was evaluating how we can best participate in God’s mission for the world based on our God given heart and desires individually and ultimately on our partnership as husband and wife. After MUCH soul searching and vision casting for the future, we have decided not to renew our commitment as Youth Pastor. Although it was one of the hardest decisions of our young marriage, we both have great peace about this decision.


Since I was 19 years old, I have been employed full time as a youth minister. It is less of a job and much more of a lifestyle. While it has been great, as well as very difficult at times, it is a role that we need to step away from for a time. We see this as less of a resignation and more of a passing of the leadership baton. Jan and I may be leading the youth ministry, but more than that, we are two of the partners who have chosen to serve and love our students. Our youth staff is a dynamic and committed group of individuals who have taken on the responsibility of inviting our students into partnership with God in His mission through their being a daily example of Jesus. This youth ministry wasn’t designed to revolve around Jon and Jan, it was designed to revolve around Jesus and around a shared commitment to follow Jesus, while inviting our students to do the same. Our prayer is for that to continue and we are confident that it will.


Jan and I have been offered the opportunity to partner in starting a church and non-profit organization in inner city Oakland that would serve the poor and marginalized of that community. It would be in partnership with two couples whose friendships we greatly value. With that being said, we have decided to pass on that opportunity as well (at least for the immediate future) with our main priority being one that focuses on getting me through school. In January I will go back to school full time to finish my Master’s Degree. I will also work part time and continue to accept speaking engagements at youth camps and conferences. In addition, I am going to spend an extended time working on getting my recently written book published. All the while Jan is planning to work full time in her current role as an esthetician (Skin care for those of you that don’t know what that word means!! I didn’t!!). She has excelled in this career and become well known in her field throughout Monterey County. Jan loves to serve and care for people in this setting.


More than anything, Jan and I hope to model lives that are centered in the Way of Jesus. We hope to be the church with those around us and be willing to serve and love ALL of God’s people in new and creative ways. We are thrilled at this life vocation of following Jesus in ALL of life. Jan and I believe that this affects every aspect of our lives from how we treat others, to where we spend our money, to what we eat, to how we treat God’s creation. God wants everything and we hope to do our best to offer it to Him.


While we don’t know the exact physical location we will end up at this point, we know that Harbor Chapel is our family and it always will be. We are profoundly connected to this community and hope to continue to share and partner in life together with you even if we are not physically present very often. We look forward to sharing our stories and insights and hearing yours!


This is not an “ugly break-up” because of some in-house issue or disagreement. In fact, I consider Pastor Jim one of my closest friends and the board, specifically Doyle Fikes and Keith Barber, have been nothing but supportive through this whole process. We are very grateful that these relationships are so healthy, so we can spend these next few months in celebration of a great partnership and in preparation for the future of our student ministries. Jan and I are greatly looking forward to welcoming and partnering with the Youth Pastor God has in store for this AMAZING group of students!!


Your Family and Friends,


Jon and Jan Huckins

"O’Doyle Rules!"

If anyone has seen the movie Billy Madison with Adam Sandler, they understand the title of this post. My time up at Mt. Hermon these past couple weeks was a great experience. Although at times very tiring (A few different sessions I was teaching with a fever and snot filled nose) and mentally/spiritually draining, it was a very fulfilling experience.

Back to the “O’Doyle Rules” quote from Billy Madison…In the movie the O’Doyle boys are the bullies of the local school who are about twice of the size of the other kids and whose faces are filled with zits. I tried to hang out with the students as much as possible in my time up there. One of the kids was the exact personification of an O’Doyle boy. All week long he would sock me in the shoulder or dig his chin into my back. At one poing when we were all playing water polo he nearly drown me…he was just screwing around and always had a smile on his face, but I was getting pretty annoyed. It was obvious he was a really insecure kid that was just extremely socially awkward.

The last day of the week that he was up there, I saw him in tears sitting on a bench with his counselor. I was later able to hook up with his couselor and hear a bit more of his story. It was a pretty tough one, but he was now sharing it people that cared. The “meat head/bully” front he was putting on was being broken down.

Although I often have different philosophical thoughts and opinions in regards to summer camps, I couldn’t help but acknowledge some of the ways God was made evident in my time up there. The counselors modeled service and humility like I had rarely seen in my life. I was the “speaker” who was supposed to have it all together, but in alot of ways I feel that God did most of the speaking to me.

Coffee, Junior Highers and Parking

I will soon be in my third local coffee shop of the morning.

This next week I have the opportunity to participate in one my favorite and most fulfilling aspects of my “job.” I will be once again speaking at a week long Junior High camp up at Mount Hermon. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I am a bit disenchanted by most traditional summer camp structures, but my partnership with Mt. Hermon over the years has brought about great hope and encouragement. I really appreciate their understanding of the Gospel and the importance they put on sharing a faith that is more about a daily decision to be an active participate in the Mission of God and less about a one time, decision that can often be lacking authenticity(often because of the setting we create around that decision time).

Anyway, this is the point in my preparation where I have a million ideas, but very little idea of how they are going to all fit together. On top of that, my parking limit runs out every two hours, hence my coming arrival at my third coffee shop. I think I will stick with a water and lemon at the next one…

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