G.O.S.P.E.L

A powerful spoken word regarding the gospel. Listen to it, really listen to it…but do not just listen, take it in.

Trying to prove God is like defending a lion, it doesn’t need your help…just unlock the cage.

God

Our

Sins

Paying

Everyone

Life

Painter of the Skies

Sunrise in Bellevue

LOOK UP TO THE SKIES

Sunset in Eastern WA

AND SEE FOR YOURSELF

Sunrise at Whitworth

THE BEAUTY & MAJESTY 

Sunset over the plains of Montana

OF GOD’S GOOD CREATION

Sunrise over the mountains of Western Montana

AND GIVE HIM PRAISE

Mid-morning in Montana

These photos are all from my recent trip to and from Montana. All were taken on my IPhone, no special filters.

The beginning and end of each day illustrates God’s creative power as He uses heavenly brush strokes to paint upon our sky with vivid colors from a holy palette.

Psalm 113:3- From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!

Something….

Something about the ocean…makes me rise up and praise

Something about the heavens…makes me stand in awe again

Something about the sunrise…reminds me of your faithfulness

Something about the ocean…and I’m lost in love again

 

Creation Fest & Mud Run 2012

Well, I have been looking forward to this moment for a while now. It is the eve before I head out for what will be a great weekend, I already know it! For the first time ever, I am able to go to Creation Fest here in the Northwest! In case you do not know, Creation is a yearly music event…four days of music with some of the biggest names in Christian music today, plus countless other groups. While I will only be there for one day, I am so very excited! To be surrounded by believers all day, while worshiping and enjoying being with each other and having a fun time…it is hard to find the words to describe an opportunity like this, but I am pumped!

Then, on Saturday I get to take part in another great event, the 5 K Mud Run, sponsored by World Concern and taking place at Island Lake Camp. It’ll be 5K of mud and run, all while raising money to help bring clean water to those in need around the globe. PLUS, it is being held at the camp I used to work at so I will be able to see some of my friends too. Needless to say, it is going to be a busy but great Friday and Saturday…of that I am certain!

Here is the promo for Creation Fest 2012:

And the promo for the 5K Mud Run (my friends in a promo video= so cool!)

The next couple days will be great, but are not completely free of worry. Please join me in praying over both events…prayers for safety, hearts to be changed and new memories to be formed. I know God is going to do great things in Washington this weekend…and I cannot wait to tell you more about it when I return!

Until then, in case I do not see you…good afternoon, good evening and good night! Stay classy 🙂

Memorable Memorial Weekend

So this past weekend is definitely one for the books. I had the privilege to be a leader with my church’s high school youth group. They had planned a Memorial Day Weekend trip to eastern Washington for white water rafting and camping. And let me tell you, it was quite the weekend to be sure! I figured I would outline the weekend, so you can better get an idea of everything that we did.

Saturday Am: Our group, consisting of approximately 40 students and leaders, met at the church at 8:30 AM. Miraculously, everyone was fairly on time, and how often does that happen? We packed up cars and trucks with tents, backs, coolers and other camping paraphernalia. After some quick instructions and prayer, it was time to hit the open road. I was one of the drivers, and my friend Kasey (also one of the youth group leaders with me) rode shotgun. We had a very enjoyable drive and spent the time talking about all sorts of different things and people. From Bothell it was straight to US 2 and up an over Steven’s Pass. We had a brief stop in Leavenworth for lunch (unfortunately no brats on this trip) before continuing our trip through Wenatchee and north to our destination: Alta Lake Camp Ground.

Saturday Afternoon: Everyone rolled into the camp group around 1:00 and we started setting up camp. With so many people helping out, it did not take long at all to get all our tents up and mock-kitchen area established. Then we were all off to enjoy the afternoon. We spent some time talking about the weekend ahead, but we all really just wanted to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather…did I mention it was 75°? A group of us went down to the lake and had a good time just relaxing on the beach. Several people went swimming, and I opted for a nap on the beach. It was such a relaxing afternoon, and definitely needed. I knew it was the start of something great and refreshing. I spent some time praying over the weekend, hoping God would move in the hearts and minds of all of us, especially the students.

Saturday Evening:  A couple of us volunteered to make dinner on Saturday, and it was lots of fun. We all worked hard to prepare a taco dinner for 40 people, and I must say that it turned out great!

Serving up dinner!

so much food!

We sat around the campsite, eating and enjoying getting to hang out with new friends. After dinner we had a great devotional time with words from our youth pastor, Dawn. She is such a great leader and speaker, and I always enjoy hearing her give a good word. After she spoke, Dawn gave us an hour for personal devotional time. This was such a key component of the weekend, and one that I had been looking forward to. A couple of us went back to the beach and enjoyed the time in God’s Word while watching the sunset and nighttime fall around us. We all reconvened at the campsite and spent time sharing and praying with each other. After that, it was time to relax around camp and just enjoy camping. Several people stayed up late around the campfire, and I spent some more quiet time at the beach…it was great to be away from distractions and have a couple hours to think, pray and write.

Lovely time on the water

Sunday Morning:  I woke up to a beautiful morning on Sunday, perfect to spend a little time with Jesus and enjoy the peaceful morning. We had a great breakfast and a devotional time focused on learning about what it means to be a disciple. After a personal devotional, it was time to get ready for the central activity of the weekend: white water rafting!! 

Braving the River:  After changing into swim wear and gathering together, we drove to meet up with the rafting company at the nearby river. They were all great and helped us get the rest of our gear together before pilling us onto a bus and heading north. Once we were at the launch site, we divided up into the different boats. My team, which just happened to be the best, consisted of myself, Caroline, Elizabeth, Dane, Kevin and Andrew and was led by our guide, Michelle. Our boat was the front runner, we launched from the beach and were soon far ahead of everyone else. From there it was 13 miles of fun. From going in huge holes, getting splashed and soaked, to just having a great time with each other. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and there was always something new to see. We worked extremely well as a team and I was so proud of each of the students. At one point, I intentionally jumped in the river and floated along the raft for a bit…while the water was super cold, it was also very refreshing…Caroline managed to pull me up, back out of the water! We had fun drifting and laughing and I know we all wished it would have kept going. When we were back in sight of our cars, I jumped out again and spent the remainder of the time floating, and sometimes walking on the bottom, from boat to boat. What a grand adventure!

Sunday Evening:  By the time we got back to camp, we were too tired to do much of anything. I went down to the lake with some of the students and enjoyed getting to hang out with them and relive various parts of the rafting trip…there were so many great stories! We had a yummy dinner once again and spent the remainder of the evening having devotional time, listening to the wise words of Pat, sharing about our lives, praying for each other, and of course eating s’mores. I slept so well that night.

Monday: We were all much slower to wake up on Monday, but we all managed it and worked together to make another great meal. After I shared the morning devotional (I talked about the importance of taking retreats and showing that even Jesus did during His ministry time) we again had individual devotional time. We worked together to clean up camp, and a group of people went for a late morning hike. I opted to relax back at camp and just enjoy the last little bit of peace and quiet. Once everyone was back we had a huge lunch, consisting of everything left over, and finished packing. My car was full once again, and Kasey and I jumped in and hit the road for home. We again talked about so many different things, mainly about the weekend and different things that had happened in both of our lives over the past three days. We hit traffic but were not worried about it, aside from the desire to visit a restroom. We met up with everyone at a pizza place in Monroe and enjoyed one last meal together. Then it was the final push to the church and ultimately to home.

 

back at church!

Now that I am back to “real life” I know I will be reflecting on my time at Alta Lake. Here are a couple personal takes-a-ways from my time on a much needed retreat:

  • Retreats are not necessarily a break from what is going on in life. Rather, it is a break from the noise of life, and an opportunity to focus on God and His plan for our lives. Retreats are a great place to turn over issues and situations to God and seek out His help and guidance.
  • People of all ages have something worth saying, just take a moment to listen and do not just discount them on account of their age. While high schoolers seem inattentive or disinterested at times, give them time to think through things and formulate thoughts, the results may just surprise you! The high schoolers on this trip were just great all around.   
  • Whitewater rafting is great.

What a trip…what a weekend…one naught to be forgot.

Best Day In History

There are days throughout history that all of us know. These are days that have had a profound impact on the course of history and have altered the flow of time in ways we could never truly imagine. I would like to briefly countdown the top four Best Days in History, ending with the celebration of one of these days that is right around the calendar corner. Remember, these are my top four days in history, and matter how old you think the earth may be, that is still impressive.

Number 4- Creation. As a Christian, I believe in the Creation account set forth in Genesis. I believe that God created the world from nothing and has created each of us indivually and unique from the rest. And of course we managed to mess it up; we fell victim to the Tempter and sin was introduced into the world and into all aspects of Creation.

Number 3- Christmas. Although celebrated for different reasons, the main idea behind Christmas is the birth of Christ. This is the point in history when Jesus became both fully God and fully man and entered into our world as a baby. It was the beginning of the greatest act of undeserving love throughout history…Christ came to save us from our sin.

Number 2- Good Friday. On this particular day, Christ took the cross upon his shoulders and carried it, for all of us. He took the full weight of the world’s sin upon His own shoulders and offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice to cover the stain of our sins and wash us clean forever. It was while He hung on the cross that he spoke some of history’s most powerful words, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do…It is finished.” With that, Christ took His last breathe and died, hanging on the cross-having been rejected and beaten by the vary people He had come to save. Now, this could have been the end of the story. Christ could have died and that would have been that…history would have gone on and remembered Him, maybe, just as a guy who performed some cool miracles but in the end was just like anyother man. The good news for all of us, is that this is not the end of the story…not by a long shot.

Number 4- Easter. This is the single greatest day in all of history. Just a few days after giving Himself on the cross for the sins of the world, Christ rose from the grave. In this single act, He destroyed death’s power over humanity. No longer do we have to be afraid of dying, Christ has conquered the grave for us. He has now given us access to eternal life, with Him…and He only asks one thing in return-that we give up the sinful ways of this earth and follow Him. On this special day, we celebrate the life and hope that Christ has delivered to all of us. Easter, the day we remember Christ’s victory over death and the grip of sin, is BY FAR the single best day in all of history.

Amen.

For further reading and understanding, check out the story in the Gospels (the first four books in the New Testement of the Bible).