25.

Well, today was my 25th birthday.

I ended up having the day off of work so it was a pretty relaxing and quiet day…just what was needed. Then this evening I met up with some of my closest friends for dinner, always a good time.

Here we are, at the start of another year and this idea got me thinking. It is not the year that ends of being good or bad. I mean, a year is simply the time it takes the earth to travel around the sun. Rather, the year will be what we make of the time we have ahead of us.

So…rather than hoping the year is good, I know it will be good because I am going to take action into my own hands. With guidance from Christ and the support of my friends/family I look forward to seeing what the year holds in store…ironically, I will end by saying it will be a good year!

Cheers and stay tuned for stories of my 25th year!

12 Years…Where Were You?

Today marks 12 years since the September 11th terrorist attacks.

12 years…

It is astonishing how quickly the time has gone by, but I have never forgotten what it was like that morning. I was in the 7th grade, and I remember it like it was just yesterday. I never thought I would remember a single day so clearly, but I do.

My parents woke me up early and told me to go look at the tv. This was weird for two reasons: both of my parents were in my room and they told me watch tv…I spent the next few hours glued to the tv, watching attack after attack. Those new stories and images are forever burned into my mind’s eye.

I was at home with my family, before going to school and being with my friends…where were you?

Let’s Go Deeper…Camp 2013

Just a couple days ago I got back from an amazing week. I recently started going to a new church (more on that later, but it is a great place!) and was able to go to camp with the students. I was unsure I would be able to get five days off of work since it is our busy season, so I put it in God’s hands…well, long story short I got the time off and was able to go!

Our church rented a large group campsite at Alder Lake, near Mount Rainier here in Washington. Unlike most church groups who go to an established camp with cabins and the like, our church does everything on our own. We met up a few days before camp to load a U-Haul with tents, grills, refrigerators, bleachers and the like. Then we met up at the church on Monday, loaded into cars and bus, and headed south.

So there we were, 100 students and leaders at a giant camp group site with a week before us…and let me tell you, it was awesome! The week was full, we went non-stop, the way camp should be. From group games (geezerball, capture the flag, four-way volleyball, etc…) to afternoon activities (swim time at the beach, canoeing, inter-tubing/powerboats, rock jumping, etc…) the days were packed. The best thing was, there was still so much more to the day than that.

While the activities and games were a large part of camp, perhaps the most impactful times were when we were gathered as a group listening to testimonies, worshiping together, and learning from our lead pastor about how to go deeper in areas of commitment, love and more. It can often be difficult to put into words times like these. The best way I can put it: God moved. One of the students put it best, he said, “The Holy Spirit was there and was moving during worship.” Students and leaders alike felt God there, each experiencing something different but equally special.

For the week I was a counselor for 7th and 8th grade boys. I shared a tent with 5 guys and we spent the day doing activities and having good conversations. It is slightly ironic, but for the two summers I worked at a camp, I was never a counselor. Heading into the week I was a bit nervous to be in this role, but my nerves were quickly dissipated. The guys were lots of fun and full of energy. We had good conversations, random/goofy conversations and everything in between.

Now that I have been back for a couple days, I have had time to reflect about my time at Alder Lake with North View Church. It has been difficult to answer people when they ask “How was camping?” I guess the best answer would be that it was amazing. For me, I now know many of the students, leaders and parents from North View, the church I have decided to start attending on a regular basis. Not only that, but God did speak to me and I now desire to know Him more…but most of that I am keeping for myself, for now.

In short, it was an amazing week. Students came to Christ and many others recommitted their lives to Him. We had lots of fun with games, activities and skits. I made new friends and had a great week. I look forward to more great times ahead with these people.

Pictures to come…eventually 😉

#letsgodeeper

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10 Minutes

I meant to write about this a few weeks ago, but time as escaped from me. However, I still find it worthwhile so here you go!

A number of weeks ago, the forest fire season began in earnest across the country. Perhaps the most noted was the large fires in Colorado. These fires appeared relatively quickly and ravaged the land, destroying homes and changing people’s way of life. I do not remember the final number, but the fire left behind hundreds of destroyed homes and will cost well into the millions.

Due to the proximity to the fire, many people had to be evacuated and did not know if they would have a home to return to when the fire had passed. During this time of evacuation, I heard stories of families who had 10 minutes to evacuate their homes…that is 10 minutes from the time there is a knock on the door to when they had to be driving away…10 minutes.

This got me thinking: what would I do with only 10 minutes to pack and leave. 

Honestly, it was difficult to think at first what I would grab and what would I leave behind, knowing full well that I may never be returning to my home. So after some thought and walking through my house, here is a rough idea of what I would grab:

  • My dog would be the first “thing” I would grab, she would go in the car right away to reduce the chance of her getting in the way
  • Photos. Many of my families photos are in albums and in one place in our home, I would grab all I could and get them in a car. Many of our photos do not have digital backups and could never be replaced.
  • Irreplaceables. There are a couple things in my house that could never be replaced and things I would hate to loose…jewelry from past generations, couple of books (first editions/autographed and my Bible) and a couple random trinkets (Ken Griffey Junior signed ball, Eagle Scout medal). I would only go for the small ones that I could quickly grab, toss in a box and put in the car.
  • Electronics. I would not grab my x-box or tv, but would make an effort to grab my laptop, external hard-drive and the tower component to our family computer.
  • Anything else. Time depending I would make an effort to grab anything else that would be hard to part with or replace…quilts my mom made, awards, etc…

Now I know it is one thing to think of these things when just sitting at home and looking around, but during an emergency it would be entirely different. Above all, and above myself, I would make sure my family was safe and out of harm. We do have several cars and actually talked about who would take which car and what would be in each, based on the amount of time we would have to pack and leave. Each of us have different ideas of what is important, it would be interesting to see what we ended up with. In all honesty, I would want to pack up the rest of the family and get them on their way before I left.

So there are just a couple thoughts I had regarding having to pack and leave with only a few moments notice. It is a good reminder to remember that overall stuff is just stuff and nearly everything can be replaced, but chances are there are some things that would be difficult to replace and may be worth grabbing as you head out the door.

Now here is my question for you…there is a knock on the door, someone tells you it is time to go and you have 10 minutes to pack and leave: What do you grab?

You have 10 minutes.

Go.

Just Some Advice

Hey everyone!

I was just perusing through various websites and came across the below picture. I know it is a bit out of focus but there are some great bits of advice on it! It is mainly for guys but it works for nearly anyone. Check it out and feel feel free to comment with any pieces of advice you may have too.

Advice

Good Friday…an account

The following is another video produced by the Skit Guys and depicts several accounts of Good Friday.

Good Friday is one of the most significant days in human history. In fact, I would say it is the second most important day in history (with Easter being the first and Christmas the third). This is the day that Christ gave Himself, His life, for us. He surrendered Himself to death on the Cross. By the end of the day, He was dead…dead for the sins of the world…for you and for me. The good news is that the story does not end there, not by far, but today it is important to sit in the power and meaning of the day, the implications this day has for all of us.

 

As you go forward into this Easter weekend, think about today…think about the sacrifice that was made for you.

Palm Sunday- Skit Version

Today is Palm Sunday, a pretty important day within the Christian faith, the day He entered into Jerusalem on a donkey, less than one week before He would die on the Cross.

The Skit Guys put together a video explaining various aspects of the day for us in a fun way with a great message! Check it out…

This week…let’s cover the road to the Cross with our hearts, our souls and our minds as we reflect on the final week of Jesus’ life. And let’s celebrate in anticipation of the return of the King of Kings.