Monday, October 4, 2010

The Front Row

The front row of Church Camp. Those were the most coveted seats I have ever seen. I can see it now, people lining up 15-20 minutes before worship started. Hanging out with their friends, intent on being first in line so that they could get the "best seats." And why would they not do this at camp, they do it everywhere else. Go to any youth church service and watch the kids. I can guarantee, the same kids, week after week, will line up early so they can sit in the front row.

Our kids are a lot like the Pharisees in the Book of Luke, who jockey for the best seat at the table with Jesus. All of these holy men wanted to be at the head of the table, the place of honor. As if they believed that being first meant something important. It's sad. Thousands of years later and we still fight for the chance to be first in the church. Only now it's not just our place at the table, it's the names we drop, the places we hang out, even what we wear. As if it matters so much to anyone else. As if it says to the world "Look how holy and important I am!"

Where has our humility gone?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

OSU and Friends

Just watched the OSU game with my Lifegroup! Don't really care about the game, but the people that I got to spend time with are amazing. I look back on my life a year ago and thank God that I'm where I'm at now. He has brought me through soooo much and even thought I know I still have a lot to learn and do, I know that this is the most blessed I have ever been. My relationship with God is the best thing that ever happened in my life. That, and all the amazing people He has blessed me with.


This lovely lday is Victoria. One of the most amazing, passionate, Christ-centered young ladies that I know. I have had the pleasure to get to know her over the past year and a half and lead her in richiousness. But for as much as I have taught her, she has tought me as well. One of the most important things that she has shown me is how to submit to spiritually authority.

This girl loves to learn, and in her desire to learn she submits to the authority in her life so that she can be taught. Shes an amazing example of how one can be humble and learn from those who know more then them. I pray she never loses that ability! Love you V!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

People Will Do What You Do...

It's true. If you lead, someone will eventually follow you. I tried this theory out on the students at SWITCH one night. By the end of my experiment I had everyone on the first 4ish rows on the left side of the stage looking at the ceiling, wondering what was up there. Silly kids! I was just looking up there for fun! But they didn't know that, and the followed my example.

My point is that we need to be careful where we lead people. My little joke was harmless and got a few laughs out of those silly enough to be sucked in, but there are so many times when we don't lead people to a good place. I tell my students all the time, you wither lead people to Christ, or you don't. There is no middle ground.

So where have you lead someone lately?

1 Cor. 11:1- Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Monday, September 27, 2010

And so it begins...

So that is me. I thought this picture summed me up pretty well. I always seem to make that face in pictures, that's just my personality. And I thought it would be a good way to introduce what I'm doing...

Today I turned 25. Whoa. So much has changed since that picture was taken. So many new memories, new friends, new struggles, old wounds, old friends, life changes. My life feels huge now, better then I ever could have asked or dreamed...and I want to remember it all.

So starting today until Sep. 27 of 2011 I'm going to post a picture every day. I want to watch my year go by and take you with me on this journey that God has me on. I don't know yet what the pictures will be of, maybe something that struck my fancy at a store, maybe a friend of mine, it might just be a phrase that I fell in love with or even a picture of my dog. But a picture everyday to remind myself that God is good. All the time.

I can't wait for this year to be over so that I can see all of the amazing things that have happened!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

School Time!!!

So everything is about to change. Everything that I have worked so hard for, given up things for is about to come to fruition. I start seminary school in the morning, Lord willing.

This feels huge and scary to me. It's a fast-track program so my life, starting tomorrow, will be crazy. Work, church, and school will be my everything. And I'm kinda excited. This is a huge chapter in my life that I feel like I have been waiting for for a long time. I'm excited to see where this path goes when all is said and done.

So if your reading this please say a huge prayer for me, I;m going to need all that I can get!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Feminist Ethic and Cheap Sex

The other night I had the chance to babysit some very fun, young kids. I believe they are in elementary school. Anyway, after the kids went to bed I had nothing to do but watch tv. After some channel surfing I landed on one of the many MTV stations that just happened to be playing music videos. Random right? Anyhoo, it didn't take long for a poppy, catchy song to blast through the speakers. Thumping bass, tight cords, jarring drums, all the things needed for pop perfection. After a small intro for one of the songs a beautiful 17year old came on the screen. She sang about how she was in always rated a 10 by all the boys, how she can get crazy if she doesn't get her way and the such. She was a strong, independent female. With no pants on. In fact, she didn't wear pants for the duration on the video, at all.

The video was glossy, creative and ascetically pleasing to the eye, but, when you looked closer it was missing a feeling of authenticity. It looked cheap. It was a young girl being sold out, selling sex and the idea of independence when in reality she isn't even of any legal age to really do any of the things she was singing about. The feminist idea she was selling was cheapened because she simply isn't old enough to have any idea of what she was talking about. And another thing, SHE WASN'T WEARING PANTS! Can you really take someone, of any age, seriously if they don't have pants on?

But it made me think. This is what the media and the world is selling our youth. A cheap version of themselves that promises freedom and self-expression when in reality all it does is lead to the bondage of sin in their lives. This is the lie that our young girls see, sex=power, freedom, and control over one's own body. For boys, it's sex=pleasure, freedom to do whatever they want to a girl, and the idea that the girl wont get hurt, because she's in control.

It's cheap and it's misleading. To combat this ultra-feminist idea we need to show our kids something real. Not sell it to them, but show them. They need Jesus. We need to show them Him, break the lies of the world and show them Christ and His redeeming power. And His freedom. We need to check ourselves and make sure that we aren't guilty of selling a cheap Jesus. Our future, our kids depend on it. It's that important.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Psalms 65:3 “When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave (or, made atonement for) our transgressions.”

Since the year started I have kept coming back to this verse. I truly stumbled upon in, seemingly by accident, one day and I have received so much comfort from it.

This verse came to me in the middle of a fast. For 21 days I prayed that God would break me and make me more like Him. I prayed that I would die to myself and live more fully for Him and not for my own satisfaction or to make much of myself, but that my life would make much of Him. I specifically prayed that God would take a specific sin away from me, something that I have struggled with for years.

During the fast a dear and close friend confided in me that they to struggled with the same sin. What was so amazing about this was that I had, up until this point, never shared this part of myself with anyone. To have someone just come to me and confide in me the same thing that I had been praying to get rid of was truly the work of God. We were able to share our struggle in a way that we never had before. Not with a condemning spirit, but with understanding and both of us having the desire to change. We prayed that night for God to give us both strength and courage to be honest. It was the most amazing experience ever.

This confession of sin in myself and the accompanying accountability of my friend has truly shown me Gods unending mercy and love for all of us. That when I felt alone, or “overwhelmed by sins”, God made a way for it to be safe for me to share and it reaffirmed that He forgives my transgressions. This verse reminds me of this every time I read it and I continue to be thankful.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I. Am. Emotional.

It’s true, I am the typical girl when it comes to my emotions. If you cry, I’m crying. If your heart is breaking, mine is breaking too. If your depressed… well, you get the picture.
In my younger years this was a big problem. I couldn’t handle all of my emotions, much less anyone else’s. Sometimes it got the best of me and I suffered for it. Negative emotions would hit me like bricks and I could spend days in a vary dark place, alone with my thoughts, frustrations, and fears.
I could get so bogged down by my life and the lives of others that I would stop talking. Yes me. I could go days without having a real conversation with anyone. I would answer and ask questions, but in reality I was just trying not to feel anything. I looked like a robot, completely detached from people so that I wouldn’t have to feel them or let them know how bad I felt.

As time has gone on things have changed. I’m not the girl that wouldn’t speak, as anyone who knows me can attest to, lol. But I still feel things in the same ways. The difference now is that I know that my feelings are a gift from God, not a hindrance to my life. God has showed me that my feelings are not to be hidden, but to be embraced. They compel me to action, to love others when they are hurting, and to give Him glory in the process.

I would rather feel everything then to feel nothing but hollowness in my soul. So I see my emotions as a blessing and not a curse. Just some thought I had the other night.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Reaching Our Students

I found the following article on a website called Youth Worker( The author is Jeff Vankooten, founder of LivingYearz. I think it's an important reminder to us all that, no matter what gadgets we come up with, the most useful gadget we have in ministry is ourselves.

If you think you can reach us, don't blame yourselves when you fail. It's not your fault. We have changed dramatically since your halcyon days; and our values, attitudes and expectations are wildly different than yours. Don't let the costumes of our baggy pants or the awkward gait lull you into complacency. We are smart and dangerous, and our methods for navigating the world are far beyond your ability to comprehend. Resistance is futile.

We were socialized into a world of accelerating change. We never have seen Larry Bird play basketball; we have no clue who the Soviets are. Starbucks always has been on every corner. Atari predates us as do vinyl albums.

We are unbelievably adept at technology. We know you know this, but don't even try to keep up because we'll leave you in the haze of our digitized dust. We were born with a mouse in our hand. You wrote love notes on paper during third grade; we text them on cell phones. You passed atoms in the classroom; we passed bits. You might often hear the buzzing of our world in the background of yours—some call it white noise, others cyberspace, some the computing cloud; but everyone knows it is there even if they can't quite place it—like a silent fart.
Our information is organized across multiple channels, some of which you are not aware (ever heard of Twitter? Postulate?) and constantly is updating or expanding. We see you as just another channel from which we derive our information about your world—and your God. So there. Click.

We are wildly connected. Information and messages flow easily from one place to another; and we transport it with us on really cool, miniaturized hand-held devices. Our knowledge isn't housed in physical libraries, relegated to the confines of a classroom or accessed solely in church buildings and programs. I know you won't want to hear this, but you aren't the primary source of our knowledge on a subject, even if that subject is Jesus. You are just one tool among many, adding a bit of value to the overall linkage of our intelligence and spirituality.

We participate in the creation of content and emphasize social affiliations and active engagement. We are a swarming, heaving hive of connectional nodes and interactions. We are an ethnically heterogeneous group of consumers who are confident in our ability to read anything, buy anything and experience anything.

We have been so commercially indulged since our inception that the first words out of most of our mouths were not "Mama" or "Dada" but "Coke" and "McDonalds." We are bonded to brands. By age 10, we were visiting stores 270 times per year. It doesn't mean we're proud of that fact; deep down in the places we are less and less capable of accessing, we know there has to be more. Much more.

So if you decide to reach us, help us access that deepest place that not even technology or the market can penetrate. Don't package spiritual products for us to consume. Embody Christ in ways that are tangible and enduring. Love us from the core of your being. The more relationally significant you want to be, the less technology you should use to communicate to us. Use your vocal chords and tear ducts. If you want to create a piece-meal Christ that speaks to us on a perfunctory level, use all the technological tools and gizmos at your disposal. We'll hear about Christ, sure; but we won't truly know Him

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fear of the Future...

I’m going to admit this, I’m a little nervous. The school semester starts up next Monday and, to be clear, I’m scared. Not about the coming semester. No, it will be a breeze. I’m scared about what’s going to happen when it’s all over.

When August of ‘10 hits I hope to be starting seminary school. And seminary school is the scary part. What am I going to learn? Will I be any good at it? What if I fail out and never finish? I am hounded by these thoughts at the start of every semester. I completely believe that I am in fact not smart, that I can’t learn anything, and that any value I have does not apply to school. When it comes to college I feel completely inadequate as it is, much less going to school to learn more about God’s word.

But this would be obedience to God, that I go. And that I do well. So why am I so scared?? Because the enemy wants nothing more then to make me scared and afraid so that I can never reach my full potential, that’s why. He does it to us all of the time, in every aspect of our lives that he can. Jerk.

Just something that was on my mind today…