December 29, 2007

Hello, my name is ____.

I kind of wish that my friends would call me by name more often. I feel like we all spend so much time together that eventually we're all just running around yelling "Hey!" and waiting for the right person to respond. [Aside from all of Michael's "Kelleh!!!'s" of course]

I was thinking about this tonight when I realized that this is what I have in God. I have a Father who calls me by name every single time. Your name is the thing that your brain recognizes instantly and likes. We like hearing our names called. We like being recognized and being handed an identity. Sometimes it doesn't seem like it, but God is so personal that He's calling on every single one of us by our names. I really have a hard time of letting Him be extremely personal and close to me, but remembering that every time He calls me, He calls me by my name that He gave me helps.
I can't get enough of Him.

December 26, 2007

it would be an injustice not to see...

...that kind of love live on.

So to sort of follow up on the last blog, I'm extremely worn down by the attitude within my family this holiday break.

I know that one of the places where you really let your guard down as a Christian is around your family, particularly if your family doesn't share the same kind of faith with you. You might be able to hold it all together and watch what you say, how you react and how you treat everyone else when you're not with your family and somehow as soon as you get home you let yourself go and start to tear them down, whether you do it directly by words or indirectly by attitude. It kills me to see people treat their family like junk, so I try and make an effort not to do the same. However, I'm finding it extremely hard to have a good, positive attitude around my family lately. I keep getting discouraged by the fact that one of my stepsisters isn't sure she believes in God at all, the other has such an incredibly wicked attitude, and my brother can't seem to sacrifice the smallest thing to help me out for less than a day. [Okay, that's it. I'm done complaining, I promise].

It has been so hard for me to keep up a good attitude and positive energy, and I'll be honest and say that I've done a bad job of it this week. Satan definitely knows where to hit you. Not only does he instigate, but he helps you come up with excuses of why it's okay for you to not live like Christ for a day because your circumstance is just that bad. Which is total crap because no circumstance is bad enough that we can't keep following Christ. To follow Him means to try and live like Him which means to love unconditionally and lay down your own comfort for the comfort and safety and happiness of others. Honestly, in my family, I may be one of the only people who ever tries to show them Jesus. I may be the only person who ever prays in front of them and in doing so can show them how amazing it is to be able to talk and communicate with God. I may be the person who turns it around for them so that they wouldn't just say that they believed in God but that they would live for Him...or at least try.

It sucks and it's hard. As soon as I left Charlotte on Monday, I was pretty much in a bad mood. Today was freaking Christmas, and I was in a bad mood. The last thing I'm doing is showing my family that God has put this incredible, incessant joy inside of my heart. But especially in the past few weeks, I have prayed that God would provide, and He has. I'm confident that He will lift me out of this stupid funk I'm in and push me on to become a strong, bright, real light to the people who think that they know me best.

P.S. Aside from not ever getting that actual Christmas feeling (which I partially blame on the chaos surrounding Sarsparilla City and Cricket) and being in a bad mood most of the day, Christmas wasn't all that bad. For the first time in years, I was genuinely surprised by a present I got. Here are the highlights:

-a freaking Nikon d40 (which would be the unexpected gift)
-a nintendo DS with pokemon and mario (yes, I am a 10 year-old boy, thanks for asking)
-a North Face jacket
-$55 in itunes
-a bazillion other giftcards
-family guy, volume 5
-and I will possibly be taking the Wii to school with me as long as my brother decides to love me a little because he got an xbox 360.
Merry CHRISTmas

December 24, 2007

The Difference Between Family and Family

I'm sure there are at least a few other people who go to Elevation who would agree with what I'm about to blog about.

Why does it seem like it's so much harder for our own actual family to show us love than it is for our "family" of Elevators and friends?

I know my family loves me, but a lot of times I feel like they show me love and do things for me out of obligation rather than pure love or compassion. Example: I think this weekend was one of the most stressful I've seen at Elevation since I've been here. Actually, it wasn't really stressful for me, but everyone around me was pretty much freaking out. But the stress that we experience together from putting on a production like Winter Blast or Christmas in Sarsparilla City or whatevertheheckit'scalled doesn't tear us apart. In fact, at the end of the day, I think we're all just glad that these are the people we have to be stressed with because at this point we know each other well enough to deal with it and move on rather than kill each other.

This weekend my car broke down halfway between Greenville and Charlotte. My mom picked me up and took me to Charlotte so I could be up there for sunday, and that meant such a great deal to me but I could tell she was super frustrated by it. As soon as I got to Charlotte, to Jeremy's house, I was reminded that my family extends far beyond my parents and my brother. I spent the weekend between apartments and in more than few cars, trying to get to where I needed to go. Not once did I hear anyone I was with complain or grumble about having to drag me around all weekend. And though it was pretty stressful to go through the weekend not knowing how I was going to get 2 hours south by today, I'm realizing that God is continually teaching me to lean on Him. Three people offered to get me at least halfway there, and I know there are others who would have taken me if I had absolutely no other way. There are times where I feel like a huge inconvenience and a shadow to my family at Elevation, but I've never been stranded or temporarily homeless or hungry, and I've never had any of them roll their eyes when I need something (or when any of us need something, for that matter). So why is it that my actual family at home has a seriously problem helping me out. I don't understand how I can be around them for less than an hour and feel like a huge inconvenience. I feel like it's so much trouble to help me out.

This weekend showed me that in the past couple weeks God has seriously been teaching me how to lean on Him, and He's been reinforcing my love of the people in my life as resources. My family at Elevation has so many personalities combined into one loving, selfless, compassionate body of people. So while coming home can get really frustrating really quickly, I'm always comforted by the fact that 2 hours north I have a huge family willing to put their comfort on the line for me.

On an unrelated note: I do NOT enjoy Christmas anymore. I am in love with the story of the birth, life and death of Jesus. I am in love with my salvation and the fact that God gave up everything in Himself and His son so that we, while still completely unworthy, would be saved and made clean. I can't get enough of that. But the actual Christmas day of December 25th means nothing to me, and I'm not looking forward to opening presents tomorrow morning at ALL. It makes me feel selfish. But uh...merry Christmas?

December 21, 2007

hope that this works out alright

Resources will resume next time.
Until then:

I've been learning a lot in the past 3 and 1/2 months about the way God works through our obedience or lack thereof. I've been learning a lot about how He moves people in and out of our lives. This can be an easier, simple process, or this can be a really difficult, painful process. It all depends on:

1. How you choose to view the movement of people in and out of your life.
2. Whether or not you choose to be obedient to Him when He calls someone in our out of your life.
3. How those people choose to enter and leave your life.

1. I think most people choose to see someone leaving their life as a negative thing. A lot of times it is, but sometimes you need to cut the rope that ties you to people who bring you down. Sometimes there's just so much history between two people, that the only way to guard hearts is to separate and move on. I'm learning that even though I may be losing someone significant from my life, it's the only real way to guard my heart from what could happen.
2. Obedience is vital. Sometimes it's hard for me to understand exactly what God is calling me to do, but there's a big difference between not understanding what He's calling me to and hearing what He's calling me to and simply refusing to obey. In one situation, it's okay to make the mistake; I can only understand to the best of my ability. On the other hand, disobedience = more separation than is worth it. If God is telling you that a certain person in your life is bringing you down, then the obedient thing to do is to separate yourself from them.
3. It makes a big difference when someone chooses to peacefully bow out of your life. When someone leaves with the intention to disrupt your heart and emotions, it's dangerous. When someone leaves with the intention of guarding both of your hearts and letting each of you grow and experience life in a new way, it's magnificent and entirely helpful.

While my view of the way others move in and out of my life is important, it's also really important for me to make sure that I understand the effects I have on others when I choose to move in or out of their lives.

After all of that, I still don't think there is an easy way for someone to just walk out of your life...but it happens.

December 20, 2007

Resources (2)

Today's resource: PEOPLE!!!

I never realized until this year, in these past couple of months, how important the people in my life are. Specifically through Elevation, God has put some phenomenal people in my life who teach me, love me and serve with me. The ones that I'm closest to are anywhere from 14 to 25 years old, and every single one of them has taught me something I could not have learned on my own.

Something I've really been focusing on lately is perspective. I think it's really important to look at a situation from every angle. If you've met me, you've probably picked up on the fact that I talk a lot...a LOT. Because the more I talk about a problem I'm working through, the more likely I am to solve it quickly. And if I'm talking to you about a problem of mine, it's because I desperately need a perspective other than my own in order to solve it. And I've really found recently that getting these other perspectives gets me through the problems fast, which is a great thing. I feel like I say this a lot, but I really strongly believe it: God put us on the earth with billions of other people for a reason. The community you have around you is so imporant. The people who speak into your life have the power to teach you so many things you might not have learned on your own.

Recently, I got out of a relationship. While this guy's first response was ridiculously negative, it's been three months, and apparently he's at the point where he's okay to be friends with me. While this is fine, I'm well aware that this is the time where I need to guard my heart. I have a ton of great people who get access to me and my heart and my emotions, and I don't think that this person should all of a sudden get that same access. These people have chosen to speak love, strength and encouragement to me. They have been an amazing resource to me, teaching me about God's love and helping me understand Him and His word and His people better. I'm confident that these same people are going to continue to teach me how to protect myself so that I can grow in Him without getting distracted.

Example: I have two bibles: one NIV and one Message Remix. A lot of times, when I don't understand something in one version, I read the same passage in the other because the different wording of it helps me understand it better. The people who surround you are an incredible resource. They give different views and perspectives and teach you things that you might not have been able to see on your own.


[Next resources: leaders (kind of like people)
and experiences.

December 19, 2007


God has given us such an abundance of resources, and every day I find myself taking them for granted.
Today's point: the BIBLE!!!

I love my Bible. It's wrapped in duct tape and written on, inside and out. It was the first Bible I got after I was saved, and I plan on keeping it for the rest of my life if it doesn't completely fall apart on me. So it is physically, tangibly important to me; I literally feel comforted when I'm holding it in front of me. I almost always have it with me. Aside from that, of course it's vital to my life and relationship with God.
Somehow, I never used to think that reading it on a consistent basis was important. It has honestly taken me 2 or 3 years to understand how important the Bible is. I had finally gotten into the habit of reading it (nearly) every night before bed. But over the past two weeks with school ending and moving in with Jennica and getting ready for CHRISTmas and all of the chaos, I've fallen out of that habit. I won't act like those are valid excuses; I just let myself get distracted. And every night, wherever I am, I get into bed and at the very last minute I think "Oh dang, I probably should've just taken an extra 10 or 15 minutes to read a chapter." Over the past 2 weeks, I've probably taken the time to really read my Bible twice (finally finished Matthew tonight). That sucks. And I can physically feel the effect it has on me. I can feel a gap starting form in my relationship with God as the number of days I skip increase.

God inspired the words of the Bible, and the authors were smart enough to actually write them down and pass them on. He took the time to give us valuable, life-giving information. He gave us a weapon. One that I don't pick up and use nearly enough. There are beautiful words stored in the pages of the Bible that can win an argument so much faster than anything we could come up with on our own. There's love and grace and life. There are answers. The Bible is probably our greatest tangible resource. It's also probably the resource I take for granted the most. I know I have so much to learn from it, and I consistently push it aside and leave it behind. But I'm learning.

December 18, 2007

throw off your prison chains

When I was a junior and senior in high school, I had a core group of girls around me. Formerly known as "the Senior girls...and Kelly," even when they went to college. These are the girls that first invited me to a new church, were there with me when I was saved, and pushed me through to understand what it meant to be a Christian and how to actually live it. I loved these girls with my life, and I still love them but I'm realizing that somehow I don't know anything about them. We've all changed a lot in the past 2 or 3 years, so that might have something to do with it. In reality, I'm pretty sure that there were always things (what I consider really important things) that I just never knew about them.

People are always going to have secrets. I understand that. There are just some bits of information that probably will never be shared, but I don't understand when people you consider your best friends choose to hide the most important details of their lives from you. I really strongly believe that we are supposed to rely on God first and foremost but that He gave us friends and siblings for a reason and that we are meant to share our burdens with each other. I guess that's why I'm really open with people. Every single one of my friends has a different perspective, and I can learn something from every one of them. I can solve my problems better with your outlook on them. And if I consider you a close friend, I wouldn't want you to find out something that I had been holding back and think "Wow...that totally changes how I see her. I wish I could've known that because I'd probably understand her a little better."

I could just be bitter that I feel left out, but I'd probably understand "my girls" better if they chose to share their lives with me like I thought they had been doing. I'm not asking for what they think every second of every day; I'm just realizing that a lot of people are one way on the surface (which is fantastic), but they can also hide a lot of things that make them who they really are (who can be equally fantastic, but insanely different).

December 12, 2007

I'm too tired to make sense

For me, it seems that when I'm oblivious to something, I am really oblivious to it. But once that something is finally revealed to me, it's like a freaking elephant in the room ,and all of a sudden everything about it escalates and I'm swallowed by it (not the elephant, the problem).

Case in point: my grandma was recently diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's and all that jank. I'm sure her brain had been going through whatever process this is for a long time. She finally had to stop driving a couple months ago, and that was right before the actual diagnosis. What's weird to me is that she didn't seem to start really spiralling down until she was actually told she had Alzheimer's. So I have two theories for that. Either:

1. She didn't really understand that it was happening. So when the doctor told her she was actually suffering from a disease, she let it win and consume her and she stopped resisting whatever had been confusing her for the past months or years or whatever. or
2. My family and I didn't understand what was happening. So when the doctor told us she was actually suffering from a disease, we stopped ignoring it. So where she might have been just as bad before, we only noticed it beause it was pointed out to us.

When I slip up or do something ridiculously dumb, a lot of times I don't notice. Even if I get hurt or offended by it, I'd so much rather have someone point out my mistakes instead of letting me go making them. Unfortunately, once that mistake is pointed out, I tend to freak out because I realize how much in the past I've really committed that same sin. I may not have noticed (or I may have made a really small deal out if it and ignored it to the best of my ability), so when it's finally pointed out to me, I freak out and get really embarassed at how much in the past I've let detrimental habits form patterns.

Lately, my grandma's confusion and loss is so completely noticeable, but it wasn't until she was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's. And looking back, there were a lot of instances that should have led us to take her to the doctor a long time ago. Looking back, we wonder why we didn't take action and fix the problem so much sooner. But at this point, all we can do is keep moving and adapt to what's fallen on us.
I was listening to the "Confessions of a Pastor" series and Pastor talked about going to his counselor, and he said roughly: we look back on our lives and see our mistakes and repeated sins, and we think back dramatically on how terrible we were. What we need to focus on is that who we are now, who we've grown to be, is better than who we used to be.
My grandma herself is going to get worse, but at least we know why she's suffering and confused and we can help her adapt and be comfortable. I used to do so many horrible things; I still get a lot wrong, but I'm learning from my mistakes and moving forward.

[I also want to say that I officially started this post at 11:49pm and it is now 1:15am when I'm finally done writing it. So if it doesn't make sense...that's why]

December 10, 2007

in this world we will shine

Note: the part in itallics is what I found exciting and moving about yesterday. If you don't like posts about what happened during my day or personal things, go ahead and skip down to the plain text.

First, let me say this weekend was amazing, and it's as clear as it's ever been that God is moving in such a huge way, especially in the lives of people at Elevation. I keep receiving e-mails and letters of people's experiences at Elevation and with God because of the work being done in this church. I'm so blessed that people have chosen to share these with me, and I'm really excited to be a part of all this. And the amount of high schoolers that stood up last night and answered the call of God on their hearts was mind-blowing. I love crying and laughing at the same time because God is just that big.

That wasn't my point; that was just exciting. Yesterday morning in Motion, Jackie called while we were practicing and told me she would be showing up late...if she would even show up at all. This somehow left me in charge of running worship and acting. I felt bad that she was sick, but I have to be honest and say that it was really exciting for me that I got to step up and make sure everyone was on top of everything. And I have to agree with Jackie when she says that the actors and worship leaders really make her job easy. Everyone knows what they're supposed to know and does exactly what they need to in order to make everything come together. I really didn't have to do much at all. I'm really proud of the people I get to work with every week. And I apologize again because that wasn't my point either.

My point IS that as I was leading worship yesterday (after screwing up and missing the first song and crying a lot and then being assured that it was okay and remembering that the people I serve with are beyond amazing and if there's any environment in which it's alright to make a human mistake, it's at this church), I noticed something. During the bridge of "Always with You" there aren't any set movements; it's basically just everyone worshiping God as they want. Well I move around a lot worshiping, and I noticed that during this part, all of the kids continued to follow exactly what I did. Even though they didn't have to at that point, they had been following me up until that point, and they decided that they would continue to follow me the entire way.

Elevation's vision is so that people far from God will be filled with life in Christ. We were built so that people who don't know God can find Him. Because that's what we're made for, we're surrounded by a lot of people who are new in their faith and still finding their way through it. As the volunteers and leaders of the church, the ones who have been around for a while and who are assumed to be pretty far along in our walks with God, we are the ones who those people turn to and look at. Even if we don't feel like we are worthy of being followed, we will be. The things we do are constantly watched. I don't notice that I'm noticed until someone takes the time to tell me, and that's kind of scary beecause I don't always keep track of what I'm doing or how I'm acting. What we need to remember is that we are constantly being watched and followed, even when we don't expect it. We are always meant to be an example of Christ and His love. I didn't tell the kids to follow me through that part of the song, but they chose to because I had led them in everything else. I'm not asking anyone to follow my example, but I'm aware that what I do can leave a big impression.

December 5, 2007

if You could love me as your wife...

A month or so ago, several friends of mine went to see Derek Webb. I hadn't heard of him before, and I actually just got his album "The House Show" yesterday from Jeremy. His voice isn't the best (at least not on this album, live), but I think the songs are great. One song that I knew I would love just from the lyrics and the concept is "Wedding Dress." As an intro to the song, Derek talks about how the Gospel is beautiful and offensive and it has to be both. It's dangerous, and it's controversial. Jesus is dangerous, controversial, beautiful, offensive and scandalous. There's not much that's safe about Him.

I was having a conversation with a friend last night about this. In terms of people receiving the Gospel, I think for "newer" Christians, it can be good to present a safer, cleaner, protective Gospel. A saving Jesus, not a fighting one (for some reason, He can't be both, I guess). I think that if you force a dangerous, controversial view of God onto them, they're more likely to be turned off from it early on. But I think that safe stage should only last a really short period of time (and the more I think about it, the more I think people should just suck it up and be thankful that Jesus even wanted to fight for them in the first place). Because I don't believe that you can learn much from staying safe. I think that presenting the Gospel in a way that threatens your comfort and challenges you to look beyond the box you know you've already managed to place God in is an amazing idea. I don't feel like people can learn much unless they're challenged. I haven't learned much from the things that didn't challenge me.

When it comes to Jesus, I'm learning to like hearing the things that make people shift in their seats. It's part of why I love listening to Pastor Furtick every week. He's challenging, and he's really not afraid to say things that make people nervous. (My favorite example so far being the "I should be in hell" example). This song is something that breaks us down a little. I think it's funny how one word can throw some people off:

I am a whore, I do confess.
I put You on just like a wedding dress, and I run down the aisle to You.
I am so easily satisfied by the call of lovers less wild
that I would take a little cash over Your very flesh and blood.

I guarantee someone flinched at the word "whore." But Derek writes it and sings it and claims it to explain that we give ourselves away to so many things. We cheat on God, and we give ourselves away to "lovers less wild." Things and people who will never amount to the Love that God gives. Jesus is more beautiful than any lover we will ever find on earth, but we continue to give ourselves away to money and sex and worldly "love."

God is Love, and Love is real and wild and dangerous and comforting but still unsafe. And there's a difference between comfort and safety. God is comforting to me. He gives me peace when my brain can't comprehend how things are going to work out. But God is not safe. Sharing the word of God is not safe. People are going to get mad. People are going to reject it, and they'll reject you for sharing it [Matthew 24:9]. But then again, who's going to take notice of something that's plain and safe. Who wants to follow a God that stays inside the lines and never challenges you to grow.

I'm growing in directions I didn't even know existed.
My God is bigger than neat lines and small boxes and safe boundaries. My God has no boundaries. My God is reckless and dangerous and passionately in love with me, His daughter. He has fought for me, I'll fight for Him.

How's your work ethic?

I feel like my blogging sucks lately. I think I tend to want to write mediocre things rather than wait for some really good idea to come along, so...I'll try and fix this.

Matthew 24:42-44 says "Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But undersand this: if the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him."

You know when you were in school and you did your work while the teacher was in the room or standing near you, but as soon as the teacher left (or whenever you had a substitute, really), you stopped working? Honestly, I still do that sometimes [I don't think any of my classrooms should have computers with internet on them because facebook is ridiculously distracting]. Anyways, the good thing about those times is that your teacher wasn't God, and yea sometimes they probably knew you weren't doing any work. Most of the time, though, you're able to hide that.

I think it's funny that I act like there are times when it's okay for me to not be doing any work for God. Like He's left the room for a minute and I have some time to slack off. Like He's turned His back for a second and I can take a break. I like this part of the passage because Jesus basically says "You're never going to know when I'm coming back, so stop guessing. You'll always be wrong, so don't worry about it. Just keep working like I'm still here. Just keep doing what I've called you to do, even when you think I'm not watching."
I'm not sure how we convince ourselves that He's not constantly watching, but He is. And when we stop working for Him, He knows, and my guess would be that it hurts Him. His efforts and all of the things He's taught us get lost sometimes; we're too easily distracted, too easily satisfied by things less than Him and we stop working.

December 4, 2007

shine Your light on us

[Note: this happened on Thanksgiving, and I never went back to finish it so.. the timing is off but it will always apply for me]

My stepsister, Jackie, is 10 years old. She's in fourth grade, and she has a wicked attitude. I don't see her very often, and when I do, it's hard for me to be the best big sister she can have. It wasn't until tonight, though, that I realized how important my actions and words are to her.

My brother (Michael, 17), my other stepsister (Teisha, 14), Jackie and I were all bowling and golfing on the Wii. We're all messing around and having a good time and picking on each other and just being siblings. At one point Jackie was walking away and Michael tripped her. She didn't actually fall and she wasn't hurt, but it was funny. I had to laugh. It was just a perfect opportunity for him to move, he did, she stumbled, good times.So later she comes back into the room and sits on the couch and glares at me as I play. She keeps making really rude comments and generally being mean to me. This really isn't anything new, but I really didn't think I had done anything to her this time. Someone finally asked her why she was mad at me and she said because I laughed at her when she tripped. So I looked her in the eye and apologized for being rude and laughing at her when she was embarassed. It took me a minute to understand why I was the one getting the brunt of her anger when Michael was the one who tripped her and I'm sure my dad and Teisha laughed as well.

I could not figure it out until it hit me that I'm the oldest and I'm the one who's "always at church" or doing "crap for Jesus." It's my responsibility to be a loving older sister. It's my responsibility to be the light of Jesus for these girls and Michael (and, when it comes down to it, my mom, dad and stepmom). I'm not sure if I can feel accomplished in sharing God's love unless I can manage to share it with my family...None of them have my kind of faith (I'm not saying one's better or worse: just different). We're all just really different, and we don't share. So even if any of them did feel and live the same way I do, I wouldn't know it. Feeling like it's my responsibility to be the main source of Jesus in 6 people's lives is a good deal of weight on me. I like it, and it's teaching me. I feel like over the past year I've learned how to do a better job at it. I know because when I sincerely looked at Jackie and apologized for laughing at her, she was floored. Absolutely speechless. She just looked at me like I was stupid, but it was good. She understood that something different happened and all our fights don't have to end with tears and hateful words.
She's learning, I'm learning, it's all good.

December 2, 2007

this is heaven to no one else but me

I believe everyone connects to God in different ways.
I'm figuring out why music is so important to me. Some people read the Bible and automatically connect to God. Some people pray/talk to Him and automatically connect. I sing, and I'm there.

I think the two main gifts that God chose to bless me with are singing and loving kids (and yes, I really believe that the ability to love children is a gift, and I've seen people who don't have it). I've been singing for as long as I can remember and, I do not and never plan on having the right words to explain how much I enjoy worshiping God this way. Today it's hitting me hard, and I'm realizing exactly how grateful I am that God has placed me in this place at this time on this planet to do the things I'm doing. Leading worship for Motion and singing background vocals in church are two of the most unbelievable things I get to be a part of, and they connect me to God like nothing else does. I'm so thankful that I go to a church where it's okay for us to jump around and act ridiculous. I'm so thankful that I'm at a church that allows me to express all of the love that's in me towards my Savior. I'm so thankful that I'm at a stage in my walk where I don't really mind the weird looks people give me for doing that.

I don't even want to post this blog because nothing I can say or write can really convey the depth of what singing and worship is to my heart.
But I want to point out the amazing parts of today:

-Motion worship was the best I've seen it so far. It was so much fun, even with the glitches in the songs and the confused kids.
-I got to run around with Phillip and Katlyn all morning, screaming at kids to come to Pulse next week and jumping around for Jesus (speaking of which, Pulse is going to be amazing).
-I snuck at peak at the end of the the third service at Providence when Pastor gave the invitation. It literally brought tears to my eyes to see the number of hands go up. God is leaving me speechless more and more lately. All I could do was laugh and tell Him how awesome He is over and over.
-Several people really came through today, and we all managed to pull of Jennica's (mostly) surprise party with success. God has put together such an awesome group of people that continue to grow and laugh and serve God together every week. I'm blown away. You guys are phenomenal, and I love you so much.

November 30, 2007

I couldn't find the words

It amazes me to see the things that wear me down.
I don't feel like that was a coherent sentence, but you'll understand.
I understand being tired because of physical activities. It makes sense. Your body does work, your body gets tired, but it always amazes me when I'm physically worn down by emotional matters. I wonder what it is in our bodies that makes emotional stress break down our physical energy (or mine, at least).

I got a phone call today from one of the last people I would expect one from. She called me to tell me she was thinking of me and so was her family. She called to ask me to clear some recent events up for her. She called just to say she loved me. And by the end of the conversation I had cried for several different reasons: I cried out of frustration and the loss of a friend. I cried over the fact that I'd been lied to and could have made efforts to reconnect earlier. I cried out of extreme, intense relief. I don't believe there is another feeling like being told someone loves you when you'd previously been told they hated you. I cried over the irony of the situation.

I got that phone call at 2:35 this afternoon. It's 7:48 and I am exhausted and it's because of that. The emotion that really has me physically drained is that relief. It's the type of relief that makes me hold my breath for a minute to make sure I heard right. The type that makes you cover your face and feel physically grateful for it. The type that comes along with a strong sense of being loved again. Anyways, I don't know much about how our bodies work and what connects our physical strength to our emotions, but I'd like to figure it out.

I felt like this was important for some reason.
Sorry if you read through it and realized there's no real point and I did the annoying "this is what happened to me today" post.

P.S. if you want to understand everything I feel about music and how much weight it has to me, go freaking see August Rush. If I could play music like that, I'd never stop.

November 29, 2007

watch Your words spread hope like fire

"Don't let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don't set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let Him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of 'Father'; you have only one Father, and He's in Heaven. And don't let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them--Christ." [Matthew 23:8-10] The Message Remix

Have you ever felt like you were going insane but felt completely at peace all at once? That's my life tonight. God is moving, and I'm being prepared for big things. The peace keeps me calm regarding the edge I'm standing on, but the excitement keeps me up at 2am writing this.

[Don't set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let Him tell you what to do]
I have a habit of being pretty impressionable. When I hear ideas I like, I tend to adopt them as my own fairly quickly. I'm working on that, though. By automatically latching on to someone else's beliefs, I'm letting that person have authority over what I believe.
It's good to get advice from people. I need advice. I'm never sure about much in my life, if I'm making the right decisions, if I'm following someone's directions correctly, if I'm looking dumb, etc. I want a good deal of reassurance in my life. What I need, though, is to trust that God is getting me through my patches of insecurity so that I can complete the tasks He needs me to do. What's bad is when you rely on one person (or a couple people) all of the time for advice, because at that point, you've given them authority over your decisions. When you're at a point where you can't make a decision without some certain person's advice, they have more authority than God does.

[And don't let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them--Christ]
So here's the other side. I don't know about you, but I like feeling important. I like feeling responsible for things, I like feeling needed, I like feeling like my opinion or advice matters. It doesn't happen very often, which is probably a good thing. I'm one of the youngest in my group of friends and somehow that actually affects the amount of advice I feel like I am able to give out. Anyways--my point is that if you're one of those people that everyone goes to advice for, you've got to realize that it's good to give your perspective and advice, but when you become that person's sole support and leader, you're taking God's place in their life. Don't let that feeling of importance convince you that you know just as much as God does. The ultimate authority belongs to Him. The ultimate advice comes from Him.

I have to say that I don't know why this is the topic of my blog tonight. This really isn't something I've been dwelling on or worried about lately. I guess a part of it is dealing with the fact that I really do feel like God is about to do something huge in my life (I'm not sure if it's going to be outward or mostly an inner thing), and I'm realizing that I've given people in my life in the past a little bit more authority than they deserved.

November 27, 2007

I can feel the pressure

My friend Kathryn (among other people, I'm sure) says that she's never seen anyone come to Christ because they were threatened by the idea of hell.
Once I thought about it, I realized that I've never witnessed that either. I know I certainly didn't choose Jesus because I was afraid of going to hell if I didn't. Besides, in my mind, it doesn't make sense that we find victory in someone's choice if all they're really choosing is not to be tortured for eternity. That's not a choice, that's coercion. And what does coercion say about your ability to reason? It says that you'd rather be happy than sad, you'd rather experience joy over pain, you'd rather be human.

Doesn't it make more sense to choose based on what you think is good and right?
The brain of a 3 year old works like this: if you have two choices and one is "right" and the other will get you in trouble, you choose the one that doesn't get you in trouble. Not because the choice was "right," but simply to avoid consequence.

Do I really want to live a life knowing I made the most important choice of it just because I wanted to avoid a negative consequence?
Probably not.

There'll be more on this topic, to be sure.

November 26, 2007

the last one, i swear

The best time to remember all you’ve been blessed with is the time when you’re aware of everything that’s been taken away from you.

I apologize for the fact that my blogs are insanely redundant. Unfortunately, I can’t let go of a situation until I get it worked out in my head. My usual way of working this out is talking about it a lot. This is the same thing. Okay. I have amazing friends. You already knew that. But no amount of amazing new friends is going to replace the fact that this year I’ve lost a lot of friends. I notice this especially when I come home. I used to come home to see Javy. After that, I came home to see my friends from church. After that, I came home because I had to for the summer. Now I go home only when I absolutely have to (like right now on Thanksgiving break). Honestly, sometimes it’s hard for me to come home.

I knew that having everyone split up and go to college would be hard, but some of my friendships have stayed strong. For example, I hung out with three of my best friends from high school while I was home this week: Merkel, Ryan and Bryan. These people are my best friends, and they make my life. They amaze me. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other, our friendships pick right back up where they left off. Unfortunately, aside from those three and maybe a couple others, my friendships around here are gone. No one makes an effort. No one responds to efforts made. What do you do? What do you do when you used to have to struggle to make time to hang out with your friends, and now you can’t find friends to hang out with?

I’m sorry. Really it applies to anything: what do you do when you used to have much, and now you’re left with just a little. When you never had to worry about how much money you had, and now it feels like you have none. When you used to feel like you had all the time in the world, and now you’re stressed out because there’s not enough time to do anything. You remember everything you still have, and you remember that you don’t even deserve that much.

[I'm done with the friendship and love topics, I PROMISE]

November 24, 2007

i was meant to be taken away

Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “Dang. They LOVE me.”

It’s phenomenal. This isn’t like a cocky “I’m so amazing” kind of thing. This is a thing where you can look at the way someone looks at you and treats you and talks to you and understand how they respect and love you.

My biggest example of this in my life is my dad. I’m completely in love with my father. He has a bad temper (that he passed on to me), he’s rarely politically correct, and he’s honestly never been very much of a Christ-like example to me. With all of that, I love him more than life, and every single time I see him, I’m blown away by his love for me. I guess he’s where I got some of my touchy-feely side from. My dad and I are close (and apparently cute according to Bryan), and I’ve always wanted him around me. Especially since I’ve been at college, I’ve been able to come home, spend 5 minutes with him and see how much he loves me.
Aside from family, my biggest example is Ryan. Ryan is one of my best friends and the best example I can find of a Godly man. He’s my age, but he’s so freaking beyond it. We rarely see each other because he’s at Clemson, but when we do get the chance to hang out, we pick up where we left off. I spend 5 minutes with him, and I can feel that he loves me.
My last example is Merkel (a.k.a. Stephanie if Merk is too weird of a name for you). This girl dragged me into living life for Jesus. If she wasn’t pushing me through it, I’d be a really lukewarm kind of Christian. She woke me up 4 years ago, and even today I can feel how much she loves me.

I thank God for these people. There are more. These three have just been with me the longest and brought me through the most junk. It’s one thing to feel love for someone else, but it’s another to look at someone and know that they love you just as much.

Lately, I find myself overwhelmed by how much God loves me. I hear a really good song and feel that He’s there. I stand outside when it’s freezing cold, and I look at the stars. He’s there. He loves me. I spend time with my family, especially my brother and stepsisters, and never stop laughing, and He’s there. I look at something that I know He has placed in my life, and I can see how much He loves me.

I really hope that you have people in your life like that. I especially hope that I am that person for someone…

November 23, 2007

They Gave Up

[No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask Him any more questions]

There are so many times in the last chapters of Matthew where the Pharisees, Sadducees, leaders and teachers spend time and energy trying to trick Jesus. They ask Him about divorce (19:3-9) and about His own authority and power (21:23-27). They ask Him about money (22:15-22) and about marriage at the resurrection (22:23-33). Finally, they ask Him whose son is the Christ. After this, they gave up. Jesus just had it so together that they couldn't bring themselves to ask anymore questions. He was so on top of His game that they gave up.

I'm never going to have answers. I get nervous talking about my faith because I'm aware a lot of things don't match up. I'm always afraid someone's going to talk to me about things and think I'm completely retarded for not making sense. I'm still really young in my faith and young in general, and I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I believe. And I don't believe anything is cut in stone. I love that different people have different answers and perspectives based on who they are and where they've been. It's a comfort to hear what other people believe just because everyone is so different.

I love that Jesus knew what was going on. He had an answer (and a good one) to every single question the Pharisees could throw at Him. I highly doubt He was ever nervous about what kinds of questions they would ask Him next (and not just because He already knew they were coming). It makes me laugh that all they could do was give up.

November 21, 2007

Tofurkey, anyone?

I have a problem with Thanksgiving, and I'm sure a lot of people would agree.
The concept is great, and it's a day that reminds you to step back and look at what you have and be thankful for it. My problem is that we usually forget how to be truly thankful every other day. I love the series we're in right now at Elevation. My favorite part of Sunday (and probably a top 5 moment in my history at this church so far) was when Pastor got us all really excited with a crowd participation activity!! Haha I love these. He told us to hold our right fist in the air and repeat after him and with every finger we released, we said: I...Should...Be...In...Hell. The reason it was so good was because everyone was excited, but by the end, they realized what they were saying. It's completely true. Want to understand gratitude? Wake up every morning and repeat that to yourself and remind yourself that if Jesus had not come to die for us, we would be in Hell and we deserve to be there, and it's only by the grace of God that we're not.

Anyways, that wasn't the point of this blog. I just enjoyed that a lot. My point is that even though we forget to be thankful in everyday things sometimes and use Thanksgiving as our one day to remember, I'm still going to use this day (tomorrow) to specifically acknowledge what I'm thankful for. I'll try to keep it short:

-I'm thankful for technology. I'm sitting here with a computer in front of me and another on my lap, transferring music at ridiculous speeds. It's amazing.
-I'm thankful for music. Music gets to me in this insane way. There is so much weight in it sometimes; so many memories packed in to one 3 minute song. It blows my mind.
-I'm thankful for the ridiculous people that fill my life with love every day. God has blessed me so abundantly with leaders and peers, friends and family, protection, guidance, everything.
-For kids. I am so in love with kids. I can't wait to have my own some day (far away). I love working with them now and helping them grow and understand the love of Jesus.
-For insanely, unnaturally warm weather, 2 weeks away from December.
-For my brother who is sitting next to me, playing video games and being his weird self. And for the rest of my family. Every time I come home, I'm reminded that I'm supposed to be a witness to them and I haven't done the best job of that.
-For the Bible. I love how much it teaches me when I take the time to get into it and listen to what God has to say to me through it.
-For Jesus, who died so that I would not be in hell right now.

Happy Thanksgiving.

what's it going to be?

Jesus started another story:
"Tell me what you think about this: there was a man with two sons. He went to one and told him to get to work. His son refused, reconsidered later, and went to work. He went to his other son and also told him to go work. This son said he would go and did which son actually did what his dad wanted?"
His disciples answered that the first one did the right thing.
Jesus said, "Right. If you understand that, then listen. Theives and whores are coming into the kingdom of God before you are. John came to pave the way for righteousness, and you didn't listen. These same theives and whores did believe, and even when you saw how much their lives changed, you still chose not to believe."
matthew 21:28-32 [very, very roughly]

It's taken me a long time to understand the significance of this story. The more you read the gospels, the more you understand that we are a LOT like Jesus' disciples: kind of dumb and naive and blind and in desperate need of everything to be explained to us (at least, all of these things are true for me. No offense to you, smartypants).
The man's first son did the right thing. He chose the wrong path, but he thought it over. He saw his mistake and decided to correct it and make it up to his father by doing the work he was asked to do. The second son put on a good show by automatically agreeing to what his dad asked of him. He also decided that he'd rather just not do it.

It's just another story of how people put up facades and play the role of a good Christian and skip out on the work of it and the real living of faith. It's about dead faith. It's about saying "yea, I believe in God. He's cool" and living a life that shows the opposite.
So even though the first son came off rude and wrong by saying no, he ultimately chose the right path. He, like those same whores and crooks, repented and chose to do what was right. While we are like the disciples, and even though we should be hardcore about our faith, we only are on the surface. We think we're so righteous sometimes...

I love learning.

November 19, 2007

I'm trying to make you sing

Through all of this excitement in growth and progression, you’d think a little inspiration would show up, too.

I write.
Through the 06-07 school year, I wrote enough songs to make my own album. And at the risk of being overly-confident on the surface, they were awesome. Really that statement isn’t cocky at all because for the first time I realized that I was writing things that didn’t come from me. They were all obviously God-given. They were just too good to come from my limited imagination. Looking back on those, I read them and think “Wow. God, You totally taught me a lot through having my hand write these down on paper. These are amazing songs that You came up with. Thanks.” Many of them came from a hard time, whether it was my own or one I was helping a friend through.

So now, when I’m moving forward and experiencing tremendous growth under the protection and guidance of the Creator, I’m at a loss for my own creativity. I don’t remember the last time I wrote out an entire song, added music, finished it, and was happy with it. I have plenty of paper lying around here with sentence fragments and leftover one-liners that never turned into something complete. I know I can’t expect every single area of my life to be in a stage of ridiculous growth all the time, but I’m aching to write. I think this is why I’ve been writing so many blogs and continue to keep a regular journal-type deal, as well: because I need to get these things out some way. Last year my emotions went into songs. This year, it’s a blog, apparently.

I’m not complaining.
My life is in a phenomenal position right now. I’m growing in faith like I’ve never experienced before. I’m living a life that is moving towards something. I am living for something.
I should be in hell.
By the grace of God, I’m not.

November 17, 2007

what good does us reason if we fail to see

I wish my friends weren't always on my side.

Don't get me wrong, I love my friends and am grateful for any and all support and love I get from them, but sometimes I just need them to tell me I'm being dumb. As much as it can and will hurt my feelings, I just need someone to cut me off every now and then and say, "Look, I love you. I've got your back, but right now, you're being stupid and a little immature. Maybe you need to take a step back and look at this situation from someone else's point of view. Think it over before you keep talking about this." Because I have a hard time looking at a problem or an argument from anyone's view besides mine. So if you feel the need to tell me that, but you're afraid I'll get upset, you're right. I will get upset. But then I'll take that step back and analyze my thinking and realize that you're right: I do need to grow up.

November 16, 2007

"your sin is Mine, I'll take it to the grave"

So I guess it's my turn to freak out a little.
Up until this point, I've been cool with writing out my firstfruits check and knowing it's a chunk out of my bank account, and I've been cool with having to cut back and basically give up spending on personal desires in the future.
I love my mom and all, but if she wasn't who she is, I probably wouldn't be freaking out. I guess, if she understood the amount of faith it's taking me to trust God with my money...if she shared that kind of faith in God at all, I probably wouldn't be freaking out. Her faith isn't my faith, though. I can't expect that.

So I'm freaking out because (after an awesome night of getting to know the people I'm serving with) I got an email from my mom telling me I'm basically out of money. I think she sent it in e-mail form rather than call me to talk about it because she knew I'd cry if we actually talked (because crying is my natural reaction to talking to my mom. Don't even ask). I know she's not happy about it. I also know that I can't say to her "Mom, chill out. I'm giving my money to God, and He's going to provide for me. I just wrote out a check that apparently was equal to 1/3 of what was in my account to begin with, but don't worry, He's going to give it back some way, somehow." Because she would call that foolish. She would call it foolish no matter how small of an amount I gave to Him.

It's so frustrating. There are several points in my life, where I've made a decision that I KNOW is God, but because of something she says to me, I doubt the rightness of it. I decided to take a year and not date anyone, and I KNOW that this year is all about me falling in love with Jesus and being in a season of my life that is too focused for that kind of relationship. She doesn't understand and says I'm making things too hard on myself, and all of a sudden I slip a little bit. I decide to take a leap of faith and write a bigger check than I would've liked so that I can finally say that God will be in control of my money, and I KNOW that this will pay off for my faith in the end. She reminds me that I'm in need of money and I slip a little bit.

The thing is, I know God is going to provide for me. I keep telling myself this, reminding myself that it's true. He will provide. He has so far. He's never let me down, never will. But I've been getting nervous in the past couple days about this money situation because I knew my mom would have something to say about it and that she would be mad. So this is where the hard part comes in: having to ignore, in a sense, what my mom thinks is best, in order to make sure that God has room in my life to move. I have to respect her while essentially telling her that what she's telling me is wrong and that God is right and will provide, even if she can't see it.

I don't really know how to deal with this yet.
But I can say that there will most likely be a blog coming up soon dealing with how we're supposed to respect and honor our parents and family, but we can never let them become more important than God. And really how I'm trying to straighten that one out...

November 15, 2007

it's times like these you learn to live again

In the past month or two, I've really been noticing the growth and development of my friendships...obviously. It's comes up in almost any conversation or blog (sorry for being redundant), but it's because I'm in the middle of developing a family. I'm building friendships that are becoming my family as I spend more and more time away from home. They'll never replace my actual family, but they remind me that there is love for me wherever I turn.

Before college and Elevation, I've only ever really had two guys in my life that I could call my "brothers." They have loved me unconditionally for a couple of years now, but I never get to spend the time I want with them. So when I started getting more involved with Elevation, I realized that there are godly brothers waiting for me here, too, and I flipped out. They've been amazing thusfar, and I'm still really growing with them, even if I only see them once a week.

Girls are different. I can bond extremely easily with girls. I think this is a really good thing, but sometimes I think that takes away from the sincerity and the depth of developing real "sisters" in Christ. I mean, if you can just bond with anyone so quickly, where is the importance in a new, strong friendship? But last night I started to realize that there is a difference in being close with these girls and being sisters. Last night we had a really laid back small group, and basically all we did was run around the neighborhood, play on the playground, consider going to jail because of jumping a fence (kidding), perform Motion dances around picnic tables, and bond. And it was amazing. Being the 18-20 year old girls that we are, we're in a stage where it's really easy to be stressed out by life. We deal with work, school, money, family, friends, God, etc. I really believe that all of us (especially the girls last night: Lauren, Jennica, Michelle, Cat, Deni and myself) are in this position right now where we're changing, growing and generally standing on the edge of some huge movement of God in our lives. A lot of times, that's severely overwhelming. But last night was such a great experience for me: to see every girl let her guard down. We got a chance to just BE 19 year old girls who can act like 7 year old girls and laugh and fall down and be weird. It was so refreshing, and I honestly believe everyone walked away feeling a little bit less stressed out by life.

It's things and times like these that make me realize that these girls are more than just my friends that I see and talk to occasionally. We all enjoyed last night so much because we've been sharing our hearts and our stress in the past month of small group. We're growing as sisters because we're learning to deal with hard things together and we're learning to let go a little bit and be kids together.

One last thing. My personal winner for best quote (that I can actually remember) from the night goes to Ren:

"I think I would be depressed if I was an ant...I mean, where do they come from? Where are they going? Don't they know that they have like 50 ant miles to go before they can get anywhere?!"

November 13, 2007

may the vision of You be the death of me

My views are changing. This change is reassuring because there are so many times when I feel like I’m not growing enough and I’m too complacent with what’s surrounding me. But right now I can feel my view of the world changing. The more I read my Bible and the more I watch television, the bigger the gap between the two becomes.

The world is just terrible. Haha I really can’t think of anything else to say about it. It’s just horrible and disgusting. We’re so incredibly selfish and greedy and consuming of everything we want or think we need. We have everything we could ever hope for. We are filthy rich, and I mean filthy in every sense of the word. We squander away everything on nothing. I can’t get over it. It’s so incredibly hard for me to give things up. I love my stuff. I love my junk; everything I own. I’m so materialistic, and throughout Dominate, I’ve been thinking “what could/would I sell so that I could get more money to give to the church?” but everything I own just seems so important to me. So I’m hoping that throughout the next two years I learn to let go and get rid of some of this junk and give more than I expected to God. Anyways, this wasn’t my point.

My point is that looking at the world makes me so grateful for Jesus Christ. Because the more I see lust and sloth and greed and wastefulness and everything bad on TV and in myself and the people around me, the more I realize that Jesus came to let us know that this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. He came to turn it around. He came to make it right. He came to fight it. He came to teach us how to change, and we’re really not doing much. I don’t know…I guess we are. I feel like we as Elevators are moving because we’ve been placed in this position in this body of believers to be radical about our faith and to show people how amazing Jesus is, but on the whole, I don’t really feel like God’s word is getting out there. And I feel like this awful world has such an impact on the way people think and act.

I keep getting off track, and really the only thing I wanted to say was that seeing how damaged we can be and how corrupt the world is makes me so insanely grateful that God chose to wrap Himself up in flesh to show us the right way. I was watching the opening clip of “My Super Sweet 16” in Alli and Hillary’s room earlier, and it was so overwhelmingly...worldly that I seriously felt overcome with thankfulness that God chose to make things better than that. There's a point where you have to go “look, I hate the world, and I love my Jesus so much,” and I love realizing exactly how important He is.

November 12, 2007

One way, Jesus

I just got done watching the Hillsong Kids dvd, and I have to say it was amazing. I'm incredibly glad that Jennica let me borrow it (thank you!), and it completely gives a new outlook on what our vision within the kids' ministry at Elevation (or really anywhere) should be.
As soon as you start watching, you can see these kids are worshiping God. Yea, maybe not all of them understand, but there are so many of them that are sold out for Him already. It's one thing to know what you're supposed to do as a worship leader for kids. It's another thing completely to see someone do it so effectively that 5 year old kids are understanding that there is something so much bigger than them to live for.

We've been talking about vision and strategy for a long time now at Elevation, and some of us have been talking about e-kids, too. While we all know (as worship leaders, at least) that our goal is to tell the kids about Jesus and encourage them to worship, that's a really vague vision. If you go to "big church," on a regular basis, you constantly hear that our vision is "so that people far from God will be filled with life in Christ." I guess "people" includes children, but if that's the case, then that needs to be our vision for e-kids. If that's not the case, then we need a specific vision for the kids. Getting involved at Elevation means understanding what our vision is and working towards it. So what do you do when people are so focused on the vision of the actual church, that they forget that we should probably break it down a little bit.
We are told every week that our motions need to be big and we need to smile and enjoy what we're doing and we need to be really excited for the kids, but that's not really a specific vision. I think if there was a solid vision, thought out specifically for the kids' ministry (and maybe even as far as one for Quest and one for Motion, or however it could be broken down), there would be more people dedicated to this ministry.
I know all of this has to do with a lot of different factors that will most likely be changing as we continue to grow. It's not something I would say I'm worried about, but sometimes the lack of a written out vision seems to hinder our connection to the importance of what we're doing. Seeing the Hillsong dvd kind of opened my eyes to see that kids really can comprehend what's going on. There are always going to be kids who don't enjoy coming to church no matter what we do, but having every small group leader and worship leader and actor be on the same page could probably connect us and strengthen our strategies that are already at work.

November 9, 2007

go on and lose it

There are obviously a lot of differences between guys and girls.
Some are subtle, but some aren't.
One difference I've noticed lately is that girls can hold a freaking grudge, while guys know a little bit about how to let go. Of course, these aren't universal statements, but run with me.
This is something I'm trying to reverse in my life because in the end, I believe it comes down to forgiveness and how easily we hand it out.

[As a disclaimer, everything said from here on out is based on my own personal experience, and I'm a girl anyways. Really, I'm allowed to say these things by default.]

Girls are so unforgiving. We can hold a grudge like nobody's business, and we can send you on guilt trips and hold things over your head for eternity. We're so nasty sometimes. I'm learning lately to redirect myself away from gossip and bad-mouthing, and in that process, I'm realizing how often we actually do it. We spend so much of our time tearing each other down, instead of building each other up. In that process, we basically give guys and anyone else the right to say the exact same things about us. It's really sad that I'm about to use an example from Mean Girls, but Tina Fey says in that movie that by calling each other sluts and whores, it totally gives guys the idea that that's okay. It's a valid example, and it makes a good point. Talking crap about each other does nothing good, and it surely doesn't teach us anything about forgiveness.

I'm not saying guys never do any of that, but they're just not known for "gossip." I really don't think that guys have the same conversations when girls are around as they do when it's just them. So really I can't say what they do, but I know several guys who are much better at forgiving than I am. It's a slow process, but I'm learning that most of my good male friends are good about forgiveness, at least to me. I'm learning that if I wrong you today, tomorrow we're still friends. If we fight today, that has nothing to do with tomorrow. We're still cool. It's okay. Life is good.

Okay, so in Matthew 18:21-22, Peter is asking Jesus how many times we should forgive people who wrong us. We all know how this turns out. Peter asks if seven is a good number (like 7 is this huge, phenomenal, magic number. Can you even imagine how lonely we would all be if we only forgave each other 7 times?), and Jesus being as cool as He is, goes "Psh, yea right. Seven?! Not even close. Try seventy times that...duh" (yes, this is the way Jesus speaks in my mind). The story that follows is a good example because as I read it, the only thing I can think of is "How freaking selfish is that servant? I mean, his debt gets cleared just out of mercy and he can't even turn around and clear a much smaller debt for a brother?! How lame." And of course, halfway into this, I realize that that's who I am.

We expect so much forgiveness. For every mistake we make, we expect it to be okay. No one will die because we mess up. There is forgiveness, and yet we can't seem to turn around it give it away as freely. You mess one thing up for me, and I will hold it against you for a looooong time, friend. So a part of learning to forgive, for me, is to forget what you've done to hurt my feelings in the past and to start over. I want to give up forgiveness easily, so that we can keep moving forward.

P.S. I hope my use of correct punctation, sentence structure and capital letters can help you guys feel like you're reading the blog of someone who's actually older than 8. You're welcome.

November 7, 2007

forget about everything and run away

i should warn you that is will probably be a vague blog with little direction because i feel the need to blog, but i'm left without a real topic.

i love to laugh.
i really do. and i laugh too loud. and don't realize it until a second later when i hear it echo...haha but like some things are so funny to me that i can think about them minutes, hours, days later and they're still funny. i love it. it makes life better.

but (in some version besides the NIV) proverbs 14:13 says "laughter can conceal a heavy heart. but when laughter ends, the hurt remains."
NIV says "even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief."

they're both good.
i don't work well with situations that are heavy and deep. in a way, i do because i'll talk to you about most serious things, but there is a limit. there's a point where i start to get uncomfortable and my heart hurts and i'd rather drop it. and sometimes if i can laugh through that, it helps. laughter is something really fantastic. for some reason it's hard for me to picture God as laughing and joyful, but i'm fully aware that laughter is a beautiful gift from Him.
but sometimes that's all people know how to do. it makes me sad to see people who deal with every single serious situation in their life by laughing it off. who just will not let themselves be vulnerable enough to be sad about something. people who never cry, not because that's just their personality, but because they don't understand that it's okay. people who know the best that when the laughter ends, the hurt remains.
laughter can conceal a heavy heart.
laughter is beautiful, but maybe it's not always the answer.

November 2, 2007

if you feel lost, sing along

how could i ever be in love with a person with more intensity than i am with God?
i don't understand how i made that mistake.
i don't understand how i could ever think that a simple person is more worthwhile than the God who so carefully and beautifully created him.
it blows my mind.

i just got done reading "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris, and i'm already started with his second, "Boy Meets Girl." reading both of them along with the Bible totally opens my eyes to how corrupt we are and how evil dating can be. how harmful it can be.
like, i watch tv now and am blown away by the number of sexual innuendos i hear every single time i turn it on. and i laugh, because yea, they're funny. but i never realized how prevalent they are and how sex is such a casual thing to the world and no one really seems to value it anymore. and the phrase "we protect what we value" plays over in my head like a mantra, reminding me of what is really valuable and how i haven't protected that very well in the past.

and it's not just about sex. it's about emotions. and i've given so much of my heart away to one person, and i will never get a lot of that back. i choose not to regret a single thing in my life, but oh my word...i've been stupid.
but it's fantastic because now God has finally gotten my attention. i'm finally looking up to Him and asking what my next move. and my next move is finally truly falling in love with Him. just Him. and He's so beautiful. and i'm wondering how i ever put so much of myself into one person before i learned how to pour myself into my God. and somedays i hurt for that person and what i took from him, too. and because he still doesn't understand that the move i made was a phenomenal one that changed both of our lives, and i hope he might finally be seeing that.
and i'm realizing that he had it backwards. i was accused of acting too much on my feelings when i ended that relationship, when really i had let our feelings interfere too much when i decided to get INto the relationship. it's funny what you realize when you look back 4 months.

saturday is going to be the first time i'll be in the same vicinity as Javy since we broke up, and i'm really interested to know what God could do with this. i want to know if i'm going to see him or talk to him or just get dirty, angry stares from across the crowded, insanely loud bi-lo center. i want to know if he assumes rob is my new boyfriend (haha) and that i did not, in fact, last a year "by myself." i want to know a lot of things, and i feel like none of these will be taken care of on saturday.

but the point is that God is the only One who is worthy enough for us to fall in love with.
and i'm not sure if that sentence was complete and made sense, but i know that i'm finally feeling what i wanted to feel a year ago. i'm sure i could have felt it a year ago if i would have understood the real meaning of the word "obedient," but sometimes God has to wait and then slap you in the face because you didn't listen when He was gently whispering to you.
stupid people.

October 31, 2007

we're living for Your name

i wonder if God is anything like me...

because as hard as i try to stretch my imagination in this area, my idea of Him is always a really big, older dude hanging out in the clouds looking down at the things He made and just checking it all out. making Himself known so that everyone would try to live a good life because they just know He's watching their every move.

every now and then i'm able to stretch it a little bit farther to incorporate a little bit of tenderness. when we are weeping, He manages to stretch down His arms to embrace us for a little while. or at least He calls to us and reminds us that He's right there with us. sometimes the wind blows and He brushes our hair out of our faces to remind us that He made beautiful things. things we can see and things we can't. but He's still just reminding us that He's there.

the one that i have a really hard time with is His joy and happiness. His excitement. i mean, when i get excited about something, i REALLY get excited about it. just ask my hallmates who've had to deal with me practically knocking down their door everytime i get an email about the praise team or the people like rob who receive way too many text messages and calls just because i'm really excited about something going on. so i'm wondering if God is like me. does He get really really excited about things? i'm sure He does. like when a child decides to join His side, when someone's fate is sealed and they know they're going to Heaven to be with Him in the end. or just when He's watching us worship Him in so many different ways on sundays: whether it's e-kids, "big" church, serving through tearing down and setting up, or just loving each other. He's got to be proud of that and excited about that. He has to laugh, right?

i know He doesn't have a human shape, but that's how i have to think of Him because it's all i know; it's the only thing i can put emotions and feelings into. and if He really did, would He dance around and jump and sing like we do? like i do?
because right now my picture of Him is just so conservative and...honestly, kind of boring. that can't be how He really is though, right?
i don't why i'm putting that in question form, it's not like you can answer...

October 29, 2007

i want so badly to believe

there are a lot of situations in which i think i'm completely alone, in the sense that i might be the only one feeling this way, only to find out that there are plenty of people who feel the exact same way.
today's example: doubting.

i gotta say that i doubt a lot.
my dad has a really hard time believing things that he can't see. i told him last week that the sky here in rock hill and charlotte is bluer than it is in greenville. because i think it is. it's different. it's better. so my dad asked me how. and well, really...i don't have an answer. i can't explain why it looks different. i mean, i'm sure air pollution and the amount of people and buildings in the area and junk has something to do with it, but i can't sit down and give you a scientific answer for why that is. and he told me that he has a really hard time believing in things that he can't see. so i asked him how he believed in God, and he said that he doesn't know, he just does.

i have a hard time in believing in things i can't see.
and as much as i am completely on fire for and in love with God, sometimes it's hard for me to fully grasp the concept that there even is a God. it's just so impossible for my brain to accept that i'm following someone who, to it's knowledge, does not and will not ever physically exist. my doubts are with me every single day and they drive me crazy because i want to so badly to believe that God is alive and walking with me every day. it's just so hard.

and because i've been told that i've made too many decisions based on my "feelings," i'm not sure when i'm feeling God tug on my heart or when it's just my own personal desires. the sad thing is that i find it easier to believe in satan than i do God. i find it easier to make the excuse that satan is tempting me to do something, rather than God is calling me to do the opposite. i think this is why Dominate is so hard for me. i want SO BADLY to ask God what i'm supposed to give, to have God tell me exactly what to give, and to be obedient and just give it away. but i'm not getting that at all, and i'm still left wondering what i'm gonna give to this movement. or maybe i do know what i'm giving (i do have a number and i plan on giving it) but i'm not sure if i made the decision or if God told me so.

so what does this leave me with?
this leaves me with a cycle. a cycle of having (small) doubts in the back of my mind that there actually is an Almighty, Wonderful, Beautiful, Presence on the other side of this life, but still always following Him with my heart and trying to live a life that would make Him proud. i am consumed by something. every single day my chest and my heart is filled with a feeling that is heavy and freeing at the same time, and the only way i can explain that is to say i have my God. i have faith somehow in the middle of all of this junk.

maybe this blog was a bad idea...

October 24, 2007

why are you so dumb sometimes?

so says Jesus.

last night, like right after i had written the blog below this one, i did my quiet time and laughed out loud at the Bible for maybe the first time ever and had to do this.
sometimes Jesus' disciples were so dumb.
sometimes we are so dumb.

ok so after Jesus feeds the 4000 (see like.. 2 entries down. another part that made me laugh, thinking we're so faithless and stupid sometimes), they leave and the Pharisees and Sadducees come up to Him and ask for a sign from Heaven. He brings up a saying (which i never knew was from the Bible but i've known it for such a long time), which roughly is: red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. and tells them how they can make these predictions about the weather and interpret those but they can not interpret a sign from Heaven. He tells them they won't get one because they won't believe it anyways and will keep asking for more.

so then Jesus and the disciples go off somewhere else, and all of a sudden the disciples realize that they forgot to bring bread for them. so Jesus (still talking about what just happened earlier) says "be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees" [matt16:6]. and they think He's mad at them for forgetting to bring along bread.
i'm not even really sure why it makes me laugh. how many parables did Jesus have to use (and then explain out to them) before they could understand that what He said wasn't always exactly what He meant. that there was meaning behind it. they're freaking out because they don't have food and He's trying to teach them about who to follow and what to believe... idk maybe it's just me that finds it funny.
haha so then He starts scolding them for having such little faith in Him and His teachings. like how is it really possible for them to STILL not understand what He's saying. they just got done with these two huge miracles of feeding thousands and thousands of people with 12 loaves of bread and some fish and yet they're still focused on physical needs like the food rather than what He's spiritually trying to communicate to them.

so anyways, after He basically has to spell it out for them again, they understand that it's about not following the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees and following Him.

how many times does He have to spell it out for us and prove to us that He completely 100% knows what's going on. when are we going to stop worrying about little things like food and material things and start worrying about furthering His kingdom?

and i know that i have been forgiven

i am constantly on some sort of tangent.
i am constantly stuck on something, whether it's:
-a certain song
-a certain book
-a certain quote
-a certain person
-a certain concept
-a certain picture (see picture under "this is me" and on my facebook haha)
-a certain life lesson-type thing.

for example, a month or so ago i was stuck on obedience because i had finally jumped off a cliff to be obedient to God and it paid off big time. and i'll never forget that.
right now, i think i'm about to get stuck on forgiveness and freedom. well, really i'm always stuck on freedom. it's such an amazing thing to behold.

i've got scars. physical. emotional. whatever. everyone has them.
and they can be seriously detrimental to growth. because if all you can see is the actual scar and not the lesson it helped produce, you get nowhere.
i have the word "freedom" permanently etched into my wrist for a reason. the word itself is important. the placement of it on my arm is important. it is a constant reminder that God gives me freedom from my sin and my scars and my shame and my mistakes on a daily basis. but there are rules. i can't get to finally enjoy any kind of freedom until i accept the fact that Jesus died to forgive my sins. until i accept forgiveness, i will never have freedom. if i don't ask for forgiveness and honestly believe i'm getting it, then it means nothing to me. and does nothing for me.

when i've messed up in the past (with one thing in particular) i've asked for forgiveness, but i've never taken it. i felt bad about the issue because my friends hated it. becuase they wanted me to change it, i acted like i was changing it. and there really were times i felt bad for it and i would ask forgiveness, but because i didn't believe i could get it, i was left with the same empty, disappointed feelings i'd had before.
and this time around, it's different. and i'm learning that God is totally ready to forgive us and forget how bad we manage to screw ourselves up. He wants to help us grow from it and make us better because of it. our life lessons are not learned in vain. i have a lot to learn, but i am finally feeling the freedom of forgiveness. i'm finally asking and taking.

freedom is something that is so spectacular. so phenomenal. honestly.
i guarantee there will be a blog coming completely devoted to just that and what it means to me.

October 22, 2007

we are forming a sight to behold

how many times does God have to prove Himself to us before we have faith?

i'm reading matthew. in chapter 14, Jesus feeds 5000 (MEN. that's probably my favorite part of the whole story. that it's 5000, not counting women and children. that part, and the fact that every time i think of the actual kid that gave the bread and fish and how pastor likes to say stuff like "i mean, for all we know, they could have beat up the kid and just took his food from him"). so Jesus tells His disciples to feed the people and they whine about how there's no way for them to feed that many people, failing to remember that this is the Messiah. this is God. He can do whatever He wants and He will do it well. anyway, He does it, of course. and there are leftovers...

so in chapter 15, it happens again. except this time it's a crowd of 4000 men (plus women and children), so it should seem perfectly reasonable that if He fed 5000+ in the last chapter, surely He can feed less in this one. NOT ONLY THAT, but when they fed the 5000+ they had five loaves of bread and a two fish. when they were feeding at least 1000 less, they had SEVEN loaves of bread and a few small fish. let's see:
5000 men + women and children + five loaves of bread and some fish = a fantastic miracle that was accomplished and produced leftovers.

but for some reason:
4000 men + women and children + SEVEN loaves of bread and some fish = totally impossible.

how many times does God have to perform the same miracles in our lives. not even miracles. how many times does He have to bless us before we will realize that He will always be with us and bless us. how many times does He have to do great things in our lives before we will trust Him.

He has saved my life. i was saved when i was 15 or 16. i am covered now and for the rest of my life. i've had like 3 years to get used to that. so there, that was the biggest miracle thusfar that He has performed for me, and for some reason i still don't have the faith for some of the smaller miracles He wants to perform in my life. there are still times where i can't even come up with a "sun stand still" kind of prayer. i don't have the faith to THINK of the prayers, nevermind actually pray them.

Dominate is about being radical in our faith so that we can reach thousands of people.
i think being radical is actually having the faith that we've never allowed ourselves to have before. to let go of insecurities and inhibitions and worries in worshiping Him. to jump off a cliff in faith to Him. to recognize that He's already done so much for us, what's to stop Him from doing so. much. more.

why do You love me?

i'm basically pissed at satan and how he decides he's going to attack us hardest when we're at our best, on the top, thinking we'll be up here for such a long time, never suspecting one thing can make everything fall least, temporarily.

this weekend i screwed up my spiritual walk in a big way, and i'm incredibly angry and incredibly disappointed in myself.

i'm not sure how much i deal with blatant, flat-out, action-type sins. there are sins i deal with inadvertently, but there are few times when there is a solid action that i can choose to do (or not to) and it affects me in a major way. in my case this weekend, it was choosing to do something that i have fought against for months. something i went to counseling to fix (which, considering this post is even being written, didn't work). something that i really, honestly, truly thought i was done with. and in one second of doubt. in one second of thinking "maybe just this once," i screwed myself over.

at myself
at satan
but mostly at myself. for being weak. and stupid.

so.. not only does he choose to kick us while we're down sometimes, but he chooses to search for us on the mountain. to find us when we are triumphant and to pick at something until we break. i was doing so well. and today i just felt...empty again. and (this coming from a person struggling to stop using the word "hate" so freely) i utterly HATE that feeling. knowing that i have this cavity in me where i used to let God fill me.
don't think that just because you feel great that it will not end in 5 seconds. don't take the times that you feel great for granted. because satan is seriously looking to destroy what you love. but i'm done with that. i'm fighting.

i'm giving it up to God.
and for once, i'm going to ask forgiveness and take it.
i'm going to ask this to be taken away from me, and let it go.
i'm going to ask for help to change, and i'm going to help myself change.

October 18, 2007

you've got so much Love in you

hooray for 2 am blog posts and the rocket summer and cherry coke and a full calendar to look forward to.
yes, i said hooray.
i am in a great mood.

if you've met me or talked to me at all in the past 2 months, you'll know there's a lot going on in my life right now when it comes to relationships with people.
i just got out of a 2 year on-and-off (don't you love high school) relationship. it didn't end pretty. and then right after i felt like i was losing all of my friendships that i had built up last year at school. and i knew God would do something in my life with that. He gives and takes away. He takes away and gives.
He took a good deal away from me (at least, i thought so). He's giving me back so much more.

i am amazed. blown away. overwhelmed by the people i have in my life right now.
i missed the Entourage series because this summer i somehow got so caught up with home that i lost most of my interest in Elevation, but i plan on going back and listening to it in the near future. from what i know, it's about who you let speak into your life. who you let surround you and influence you. and i'm learning that those people are so important.and that my people are great. my entourage is powerful.

i'm honestly not sure if i've ever felt this much love in my entire life. it goes so far beyond any kind of "romantic" relationship i could be in right now. it goes far beyond surface level "hey, what's up" friends. it's honestly family. it's people who laugh together and deal with problems and stress together and love each other unconditionally and hold each other up and cover each other's weaknesses and bring out each other's amazing qualities.

some of them are people that i've known for a year or more that have been consistently building up trust and love with me. who trust me for advice. who support me. who give up their own comfort and make sacrifices to take care of me just because we're friends.
some of them are people i've met anywhere from a week ago to 2 months ago who have spoken into my life more than i could've imagined possible. who make me laugh harder than i've gotten to laugh in what feels like years. who show me God within them and their hearts and the way they love.
i'm still trying to get to know these people. because as much as they have put into my life, i honestly don't know very much about some of them. for some, this will be easy for me to do. for others, it's going to be extremely difficult, but i'm determined. i'm not going to lose this.

one of the most frustrating things to me is when i meet someone and for some reason or another we both automatically assume that each of us doesn't like the other. i assume they don't like me and they assume i don't like them. i really don't know if there has ever been a case where i met someone and just did not like them. the whole process can take off months of what could be a really strong friendship. luckily, that's been happening less lately. i keep meeting these people who are so open and welcoming that they make it really easy to love and be loved as brothers and sisters in Christ.

God puts people in our lives for a reason. and i'm finding people in mine who let me cry to them. who let me laugh at stupid things with them. who let me dance and go crazy with them. who let me worship Him with them. who put up with my annoying habits and characteristics and insist that i'm really not that bad. people who let me share what God is doing with my life with them. and who will share back. and if God hadn't begun to give me all of this right when He did, i would be falling apart right now. but i'm not. because He is good. and He sustains. and He Loves. and He is Love.
i am in a great mood. i have been for the past month and 1/2.

[oh, my soul has never had this feeling
it feels like gold
you got so much love in you]

October 15, 2007

the sun stood still

so yesterday at Elevation, we started our Dominate sermon series. but today i have a blog from Sun Stand Still.. not really sure why i didn't post this earlier.

ok so i have a friend and for the sake of this we'll call her "Jorge." haha it's a running joke with us. it's funny to me.
anyways, jorge used to not believe in God. i'm not sure if you could call her an atheist or what, but i know she didn't believe in God and didn't care. she did some messed up things and made some mistakes (and accidentally led me to make one of the same mistakes. but that's my fault, not hers. i don't think she even knows that she had any part in me dealing with this.. and it's also a different story that will never be publicly posted on the internet haha). i'm not bashing her, i loved and love her so much for going through the crap she's gone through and she's strong. to me, it's important to know what people have been through to fully understand how far they've come.

this summer she went to a yig...thing. a conference or something. it was up in the mountains. and i guess the beauty of nature and the people she was with in that place made her realize that there was more. that there had to be Someone who created it because it's just that amazing. and she gave her life to Christ.

she never actually told me flat out. but one day i sent her an IM about something i was about to do...maybe auditions. and she said: "good luck forreal. i know you're going to beast it.i'll pray k" word for word. i saved it because it meant that much to me. i love that 2 words [i'll pray] tell me her life has changed in volumes.
and we've started writing letters to each other. and in her first one to me, she wrote:
"since we're writing each other letters, can we tell each other our favorite verses for the week?! is it strange to you yet how sold out to Christ i am now? :] well this is my new favorite. [for if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgement; if He did not spare the ancient world when He brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless-if THIS is so, then the Lord knows how to RESCUE the godly from trials] 2 Peter (2:4-10)"
and she goes on to talk about how she's sad she missed out on 17 years of God, but is excited to be learning now.
[p.s. we're big supporters of the To Write Love On Her Arms movement which is why the word "rescue" and the theme of that in these verses is so important. rescue is coming. love is the movement]

God has completely turned this girl around.
from who she was to who she is is an amazing journey, and it blows my mind.
the reason this deals with "Sun Stand Still" is because her salvation is something i never thought would happen. it was definitely something that only happened because God needed it to. it was something i had prayed about and i know she has a lot of people in her life who were praying for it. and seeing her turn to Christ is what made me realize that my own family can experience the same thing and come to know Him and it's worth praying about every single day because it's not a hopeless issue. really her story to me means that anyone can be saved at any time and it will all come together in God's time. i'm saving this letter she wrote to me and every letter she will write in the future because it's solid proof to me that God can move in huge ways. He can change whoever He wants, no matter how hopeless you think that case is.

[what a beautiful Savior
what a beautiful God
who would love me for who i am not
who would lay down His life for the person i'll be]

October 14, 2007

it's only going to get better

we're only going to get crazier.
i'm only going to jump higher and dance more and smile bigger and sing louder and laugh harder and live...more.
but that's not the case for everyone.

lately in the services at Elevation, i notice people getting comfortable. people who used to get really loud and pumped about church sitting and being complacent with just showing up. people who used to get so on fire and excited for what God could do in their lives not seeming excited anymore.

so me and jeremy were talking about this today. how we go in and jump and dance and go crazy (with rob, too) while everyone else turns around and stares at us. we yell and scream and shout 'amen' because we honestly believe in the Gospel that is being preached and the words in the songs that we're singing. we believe that God is moving in us and in Elevation like He's never moved before (at least, not in my life so far). we believe it enough to become undignified. i love it. i love getting looks like we're retarded. because i'm on fire for God and i love to show Him and sometimes singing and dancing like an idiot is the best way i know how. it just so happens that i have 2 phenomenal friends who will let me stand between them to do it.

[i don't understand how you can go to church and NOT get excited about God. and i love that my excitement is finally stable. in that i have it, no matter where i am. because last year i really couldn't say that. Elevation got me pumped, but other churches did not. but now i realize that it's God that gets me pumped, not this place (even though it is super amazing).]

and i just realized this. i think the reason i'm getting more and more excited about worship is because i'm working with kids more. kids have freedom to do whatever they want. granted, some kids in Motion are just not excited about who God is. but they're young and i'm confident that they'll pick it up :] anyways, they can dance and jump and scream without shame. leading worship for Motion is one of my favorite things to do and i've only done it twice. and the more i babysit and the more i get to sing and dance and play with kids, the less i care about what other adults think of me. and i think i love worshiping with rob and jeremy specifically so much because their personalities in worship are a lot like mine.
basically completely undignified.

it's awesome.
and you should try it.

[I am gonna show you what I mean
I am gonna Love like you've never seen
you are gonna live like you used to dream
this is your new song.
don't get comfortable]