Friday, November 20, 2009

Character...

I enjoy reading. Although I rarely find the time that I would like, to indulge in some sort of reading. My reading usually consists of one chapter every night before I go to sleep. But sometimes I will come across a section in a book or magazine that I don't want to put down. It speaks to me more so than other sections and chapters that I have read. I find myself making extra time during the day to continue on in the story or dig deeper into the subject that I was reading. My most recent occurrence of this happened earlier this week. I just finished a book called "Next Generation Leader" by Andy Stanley. He divides this book up into five sections, the last of which is on the topic of character.

This topic is one in particular that has been hammer home to me over and over again during my time and Nebraska Christian College. I learned that effective ministries will only thrive if they are operating out of an abundance of good character. This also is directly related to your personal relationship with God. The ultimate goal is to strive to become so close to God and spend so much time in prayer and in His word, that you have no choice but to operate out of your overflow or abundance of Him. (I also want to make the point that since the word "plethora" means to have "too much" of something or an "excess", that it should not be a word that is associated with God...because I don't think its a possible to have too much of Him rather we are always trying to get more)

This topic of character, has been something that I have been thinking a lot about lately. In his book, Stanley encourages his readers to live a live of constant integrity and really sit down and think through your values and beliefs. His theory is that there will be one time in your life where you will encounter something that will be a major test to your character. You will have to choose to do what is right, or choose the opposite and suffer a major blow to your ministry and also to your integrity and character. This may seem to be the case when I think back to the various stories that I have heard of people in ministry positions that have compromised their integrity and because of that, have ruined their ministry and how people view their character.

I would like to take this one step further. While I agree with the statement that each person will have to deal with one large scale happening that will be a true test of character, I also think that it is something that we have to deal with on a smaller scale and on a daily basis. While there may be that one monumental event that you look back on saying that was the true test of your character which you either passed or failed, I believe that there are smaller battles that if you don't fight, you will face the same outcome over time. You see, I believe that the choices we make on a day to day basis shape the way we will handle that one large happening. I believe that Satan is trying everything he can to attack our character. He is crafty and will try to start habits in you by attacking the small areas of your life and then desensitize you when that large happening occurs. Choosing to tell a lie, or swearing, or lust, or something else that we might deal with daily could be just as important for us to watch out for as something huge.

What I have been challenged with over the past week, is to strive to not give the devil a foothold in any area of my life. Whether it be telling a lie, or cheating, or lust...anything. I don't want to give him the opportunity to smash my integrity or character. All it takes is one event to ruin your ministry forever.

At the end of his book, Stanley tells a story of his kids. Every night before bed, Stanley would pray with his children that God would them the wisdom to know the truth and the character to always follow it, even when its tough. (This is my paraphrase because I don't have the book next to me for direct quote purposes) That has become a constant prayer in my life, that God would give me wisdom to know the truth and character to always follow it, even when its tough.

How about you?

James 1:5 and Proverbs 11:3

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Awkward...

Quick shout out to all my friends in Omaha...you know who you are.

When I was younger, I was considered to be a little bit of a creeper. I would like to think that I was not. There were some times, however, that due to my shy personality some people could have thought that I was a little creepy. (Because I didn't talk a whole lot and would sit in the back of the room so I didn't draw attention to myself) As the years have gone on, those people would say that I have come out of my shell a little bit and "outgrown" my creepiness...I hope. Here is a story of a recent situation that happened in my life that was very awkward and I hope that no one ever has to go through something like this...but Beth probably will.

Working with a youth group, I get the opportunity to hang out with a lot of kids. Naturally there are some kids that open up to you more than others do. There are the high school boys that are your best buds and like to come to you for advise. There are the high school girls that come to you when they are having boy problems, thinking that you will be able to help. (I mean a guy should know other guys right???) There are the junior high boys that just want attention and look up to you somewhat. And then there are the junior high girls...how can I explain them...they are all about drama and want to be best friends with everyone.

This is the story of one particular junior high girl and the misunderstanding that took place. Enjoy. On Friday nights, I hang out with around 60 junior high kids at the youth center here in town. I get to see all the junior high drama first hand. Seriously, it seems like these kids are dating someone new every week. Oh the drama. There are a few girls that always make sure to get a hug from me, and always let me know that I am their "best friend." I am completely OK with that and don't think that is anything out of the ordinary.

If you have known a junior high girl, you know that they are the champions of Facebook. The queens of status updates. It is the fuel for the drama that they love so much. They fear confrontation, so they use their Facebook to fight their battles...calling out other girls through their status updates, etc. This time in particular, one girl decided to let everyone know that she had a new boyfriend. This boyfriend was the popular theme for her status updates for the next few days, as she never failed to mention that she "loved" him, and how sad she was that she didn't get to see him cause he was out of town or sick. Now by this point you might think that the reason this situation was so awkward was because I am a Facebook stalker and someone called me out on it. That is not the case. All the Facebook information was given to me via a very reliable source. Did I mention that this girls new boyfriend was named Cody? The plot thickens...

This is where the awkwardness begins. I went out of town to meet my new nephew, Malachi James Matteson. While I was gone, I was told that this girl updated her status saying..."I'm so mad that I don't get to see my boyfriend, Cody, cause he is out of town for the weekend"...and later..."I miss Cody, wish he was here. I "heart" you Cody!" When I came back to Norton, I had two different people confront me to ask if there was anything going on with me and this girl. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Who seriously thinks that me (22) would even consider any type of relationship with a 13 year old. THIS WAS RIDICULOUS! By far the most awkward experience of my life. I kinda told them that I was in no way in a relationship with her and that there was probably a junior high boy named Cody that she was dating. I have since talked to the girl and kindly asked her to stop the status updates and explained why.

This will hopefully be one of those situation where I can look back and say..."remember that one time when..." I hope that everyone gets a good laugh out of this. And Beth, I hope that this makes your day and that you sleep well tonight knowing that you aren't the only one that encounters awkward situations like this...just the one that it happens to more than others.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Randomness...

I realize that it has been a month since my last post...I just haven't really had the urge to blog. In fact, I have been very content in simply reading the blogs of my friends and family. I love it when someone post a new blog. It brightens my day. So when my sister posted on my blog that she was ready for me to make another post, I knew exactly how she felt. It is because of this, that I am going to make a compilation of posts...all together in one. This is my randomness...

I was able to take a few days off to see my family this past weekend. It was great! My oldest sister Miranda gave birth to a baby boy. They named him Malachi James (which is my middle name) Matteson. He is perfectly healthy and I am very thankful for that. I held my new nephew for about 30 seconds...just long enough for my sister to take a few pictures...for those of you who don't know, I really don't like holding small babies. I was also able to see my parents and little brother Austin. It was really good to be able to spend some time with them too. It had been a while. Since I know my family reads this...I LOVE YOU ALL!

I love my friends! This is probably an understatement. It never fails that every day I will receive a text message or message via Facebook from one of my friends telling me that they miss me or sending me a random message remembering how great "the old times" were. Not a day goes by that I don't feel the same way about them. For all of my friends reading this...I Love You All and Miss You All! Being away from friends and family has probably been the hardest thing about my whole internship experience.

My favorite animal is a Polar Bear. One reason why is because they are super smart. Polar bears like to eat seals. And when a seal hunts, they usually sit by a hole in the ice and wait for a fish to come to the surface, which makes a scratching sound on the ice. They sit and wait for that sound, then dive through the hole and catch some lunch. Now Polar Bears figured that out and found a seal hole that was somewhat close to the edge of an ice cap. They will take a deep breath, dive into the water, and swim under the ice to the seal hole. They then proceed to scratch the ice with their claw, and when the seal dives in to catch its food...the polar bear grabs it. Pretty smart huh? Another fun fact about polar bears is that they are the only animal known to hunt humans. Now there are other animals that will attack a human for being in their territory or getting too close to its cubs...but polar bears with actually hunt a human for the sole purpose of eating them.

What do you call cheese that isn't yours???
Someone else's cheese, that's what!

I am in the worst shape of my life. It is getting to the point when I make them lame joke that I am in great shape...if round counts. I have been working a job that requires a large amount of office work. Sitting at a desk. The only exercise that I get is when we play sponsors vs. kids basketball at youth group once a week. And on top of that, I get spoiled here. The church has a sign up sheet for families to feed me, and they feed me well. I need some motivation to work out...and extra time to as well.

It was my birthday today...and I came to the realization that the older you get, the less meaningful birthdays are. I miss the days of hitting those milestone birthdays where you could do cool things like drive and buy scratch tickets. About the only milestone birthdays I have left are the ones that no one looks forward to....like 30 and 40. Although I would like to take this time to thank everyone for their birthday wishes. Don't get me wrong, today was a good day...I just think that we should invent more milestone birthdays. Maybe one that celebrates turning 22 because you are one year more awesome or something like that.

A lot of things have happened in the last month, and I don't really have the time to write about any of them. And my memory sucks so I don't remember half of them. But I just want to say thanks to everyone who has stuck by me through thick and thin. You are all a blessing to me in more ways than you could ever imagine! Be thankful for the life you have been given and remember that it is just that...a gift...live it accordingly.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Codyism...

My good friend Beth has a blog called Bethism. Check it out here! On this blog she keeps a record of all the random awkward things that happen in her life. (And they are awkward!) One of my greatest joys in life is reading this blog and getting a good laugh...and being very thankful that none of those things have happened to me. Today however, one of those things happened to me...kinda. It wasn't really an awkward happening, more a series of unfortunate events.

So here is the story. Today I was painting a door. It was the door that we are going to put on the back wall of the stage at The Rock, to make it easier to load and unload sound gear and things like that. I was painting it that same color as the wall, a rich, dark, blue. Now just so you know, it's a Husker game day so I was wearing my favorite RED Husker shirt and one of my nicer pairs of khaki shorts. (I wasn't really planning on painting today...) The door was on the ground, so I was kinda squatting over it and painting it. My legs we getting kinda tired, so I decided to sit down and paint it that way. Maybe you can guess what happened next. I sat down...right on the lid of the paint can. And now I have a sweet, dark blue paint spot on my nice shorts...

I proceeded to run into the men's restroom to try and wash all the paint off my shorts. So I emptied my pockets, put my wallet and keys on the floor and put my phone in the front pocket on the hooded sweatshirt that I was wearing. I washed as much paint off as I could, but it was a lost cause. HUGE BLUE MARK RIGHT ON THE BUTT! No bueno...

I decided since I was already covered in paint to go and finish the first coat of blue on the door. So I continued to paint but this time instead of sitting down, I just bent at the waist to prevent myself from sitting in the paint again. So I was just about finished with this coat of paint, I had just dipped my brush into the paint can and leaned over the door to paint the last section when I heard a *sploosh* *plop* *splash* *gloop* or any other sound like that...and yes...my phone had dropped into the paint can and was slowly sinking to the bottom. I was in shock...what are the odds of my phone jumping out of my pocket into the paint can of doom?

I reached in and grabbed my phone out of the paint can. It was completely covered...and now so was my hand. I grabbed the paint can lid and hovered over it so I didn't drip paint all over the floor on the way back to the bathroom. When I got back into the bathroom, I grabbed the paper towel roll and unwound most of it, then proceeded to clean off my phone. There was paint EVERYWHERE on it, the earhole, the speaker, in between the keys, everywhere. I cleaned it off really well and was really pleased with how clean it actually was. I turned it on and to my surprise, it worked...until I pressed the buttons...then it freaked out on me. Needless to say it no longer works, so I'm down one phone, one pair of shorts, and probably about $50 to cover the insurance claim on my phone.

This was one of those days where lots of things decide to go wrong. All I can say is that if the Huskers lose tonight then I might scream! When all was said and done, I was really really frustrated, by all I could do was laugh about the whole situation and how it panned out. I hope that everyone can use this post to have a little laugh themselves. Huge props to Beth, I feel your pain, hang in there!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reflections...

The past few weeks I have been "fasting." As you might remember from my Practice What You Preach...post, Facebook was taking away from my time with God. So I gave it up for a few weeks and really focused on daily Bible reading, prayer, and tithing (because I do a really bad job with this). I also tried to indulge in some other reading material, mainly my stack of books that I have either bought over the years or have received from someone else. Here is how I have been doing in each area and how God has blessed me also.

1. I just recently started meeting with my boss (Mike Sander) and some teachers at the high school here in Norton. We meet together every Tuesday over lunch to pray and talk about what we have read in the past week. We set a goal of reading one chapter a day or seven chapters each week. We started reading in Hebrews and have just recently moved into James. This has been great for me because it is a way for people to keep me accountable and also a time where I can take in what other people noticed in the verses that we read each week.

Through the first couple weeks, one constant theme has been sticking with me. Faith. In Hebrews 11, the author lists what has become known as the faith hall of fame. Given are various accounts of times when men and women showed great faith. Names like Abraham, Noah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and the list goes on. The thing that strikes me here is the things that God was asking these people to do. He was asking them to do things like sacrifice their only son, build a huge boat that will take the majority of your life while being criticized by all your friends, standing up to a Pharaoh...etc. The amount of faith that each one of these different people had amazes me.

This got me thinking...how is my faith? Because the truth is, its not that great. So many times in my life I don't put my faith in God and trust that He will work in situations. I like to rely on my own strength and do things on my own without even asking God to help. I don't have the faith to trust that God is going to take care of the little things in my life, much less have the faith to sacrifice my only son to Him. This is something that I need to work on. So many times, when I pray I ask hoping that God will provide or hoping that God will work in certain situations. I need to pray in faith, believing that God will provide and knowing that He is working in my life. My goal right now is to get better at trusting God and believing that He will work through me instead of hoping that He will.

2. I have recently been setting aside specific times during the day just to pray. One of those times is right before I do my daily Bible reading. I ask God to speak to me through His word, help me to find something new that I didn't notice before, and help me to apply those things to my life. I can't explain to you the difference this has made. It's like verses are just jumping off the pages and God is saying..."This is what you need to hear today, take it with you."

It seems like God has been making things easy on me throughout this journey too. Usually when I give up things to give more time to God, it is really hard to do and I have trouble sticking with it. These last few weeks, however, different things keep happening to help me keep with it. For example, as our youth group activity last week we developed a prayer labyrinth. This is simply different stations of prayer, each with a specific area to pray about. We set up stages like giving adoration to God, praying for your future, praying for your friends, confession, etc. Just focusing on prayer while preparing for that activity helped me to stick with my goal of spending more time in prayer. It was a constant reminder that I needed to spend time with God.

3. I am really bad with my money...and this is probably an understatement. I spend impulsively and usually on things of little importance, like fast food or many cubes of Mt. Dew. Because I am so bad with my money, I rarely have anything left to tithe with. Therein lies my problem. I have spent all my days so far giving what I have left back to God after serving myself first. I need to focus on giving to God first.

It was always hard for me to tithe because I liked to see what my money was going towards. I would find creative ways to tithe, like giving to missionaries or helping friends who are raising money for an internship. I don't think doing that is a bad thing, but it points back to my lack of faith. I need to trust that God will use the money I give to help further the Kingdom.

In the past few weeks, I gave to God first. Not spending money on myself even though there are things I need to pay for. I gave in faith knowing that God would bless me if I offered my gift to Him. And bless me He did. He gave me multiple opportunities to make some extra money through doing some odd jobs. He also blessed me through an anonymous gift of $100 from someone in the church here for no apparent reason. If you give in faith offering your gifts to God from the "first fruits of your labor," he will look on you with favor! If you don't believe me, read about it here; then here.

4. I have a stack of books that I have accumulated over the years, but still have yet to read. This pile keep growing for some reason and I have no clue why. Most of the books in this pile are books by Christian authors on leadership, Christian living, etc. So I decided that this would be a great time for me to grow closer to God and grow in my leadership skills at the same time. I just finished a book called Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz. Miller offers unique insight into many aspects of Christianity. Painting pictures of Biblical truths in a new light.

In his books, Miller really challenges his readers to get away from the cookie cutter, do these 5 steps to get into Heaven thought process on Christianity. His thoughts are that this way of thinking takes away from the relational aspect of Christianity and feeds the compartmentalized culture. The thing that really stuck with me after reading this book though was this: As Christians , we spend so much time looking at the sins of people and what is keeping them from a relationship with God that we forget to love them. We spend our time trying to "convert" non-Christians and feeding the notions that Christians are all hypocrites instead of reaching out to people and meeting them where they are at. We need to focus on the relational aspect of our relationship with God and show people that we are Christians by loving them and showing them that we genuinely care about them. Jesus spent the majority of His time during His ministry reaching out to the homeless and sick and poor and hurting. He ate with tax collectors and conversed with prostitutes. He loved people and met them where they were at. We need to strive to be more like Jesus in these ways.

These past few weeks have been a journey for me. A great adventure. A time when I have really started to dig deeper into who Christ is and what His plan for my life is. My prayer is that I will continue to grow in Christ daily and be more like Christ as I grow. I also pray that you will be able to do the same.

Acts 2:42
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My top ten...

Well, its been a while. A busy couple of weeks filled with youth group pirate parties, giant garage sales, and thankfully more sleep than normal. These last couple of weeks have been good for me though, good both mentally and spiritually. (this is a whole other blog so keep your eyes peeled...whatever that means)

I was having some trouble thinking of a topic to blog on and was kinda going through blog withdrawals, so I asked for some help. And the winner of the blog topic lottery was none other than my great friend JOSHLAUGHLIN. (HA HA HA) And the topic is...my top ten college moments with Josh Laughlin!

Number 10
-Hot & Ready Pizza + Movies/TV series

Every so often, when the need for food became more than we could handle, Josh and I would take the 15 minutes drive down to Little Caesar's. Usually accompanied by a number of our great friends, this was always a great trip! Being the cheap college students we were, we always tried to get the most out of our money. Even if it meant going in right before they close and ask if we can have their leftover crazy bread...or playing theSimon says game in hopes to win a medium drink which we traded for crazy bread. (which I did multiple times) After grabbing our food and heading back to the college, we would sit and watch either a movie or one of our favoriteTV series. This time was great for me to fill my stomach and also to spend time with great friends. You know who you are!

Number 9-Pumpkin Extravaganza

So in the weeks after Halloween when all the pumpkins that people place in front of their houses are starting to rot, Josh, Alex Hall, and I would do a great public service. We would go around the neighborhood and have a great time racing up to a person's porch and taking as many pumpkins as we could physically muster, then race back to Al's car and place the pumpkin in his trunk. Now contrary to popular belief, we would NEVER smash any pumpkins on the driveways of anyone! Instead, we found alternate uses for them. One time as I recall, we used them to decorate the driveway leading up from the college's main parking lot to the faculty parking lot. I must say that we did a bang up job and could probably pursue careers in exterior decorating. When we were on our way to gather more rotting pumpkins, we were ever so rudely stopped by a police man who claimed that we were out causing trouble in the community. We politely exclaimed that we were up to no trouble and were actually on our way to indulge in someMcDonald's. So we did...

Number 8-Talks behind the shed and feelin' good

Whenever either Josh or I would have a tough day or just needed some time away from the dorm life, we would find a way to get away. This usually consisted of us traveling all the way...out to the other side of the vehicle shed. Day or Night, Hot or Cold, Rain or Snow, Hell or High Water, A Nazi Invasion, or even a Forest Fire that covers us in a could of smoke, whatever the circumstances we would head out behind the shed to talk about things that were bothering us, or just shoot the breeze as great friends often do. And when the shed was out of the question, many times we would find an alternate place to go...this varied from time to time, but no matter where we went...we always returned to the collegefeelin' good.

Number 7-The Broseph Encounters

The once was a man named Broseph. Who became very uncomfortable when in the presence of myself, Alex Hall, Nate Frew, and Josh. Various times throughout our nights at college we would venture into Broseph's room, which in turn caused him to become rather uncomfortable, for he was a people-a-phob. This was a great time for my group of friends...Broseph in hilarious! On one night in particular...we decided to film our ordeal with Broseph. Al, Nate, and I called him into Al's room where we proceeded into a makeshift workout video with Broseph as our special guest...needless to say this was epic! One of the best nights ever! Thanks to everyone who was involved!

Number 6-The Tale of Wilbur the Raccoon

It was a super cold night in the middle of winter. Deep into pranking season. And this one was a great experience. We were looking for opportunities to get even with a couple girls at the school who had started apranking war. So while driving down the road after embarking on one of a great pumpkin adventures, we knew a great opportunity when we saw it. There he was...in all his glory...waiting for us...calling to us...so we answered that call. Wilbur was once the proud father of a family of 27, until that darn Camry ended his life. But his glory days were not over, no they were just beginning. We scooped Wilbur up out of the gravel and placed him on a pedestal of glory! He rode back to the campus in style with Josh by his side, his entrails hanging out of his battered body. We took him off the back end of Al's car and placed him on his throne, right above the driver side door looking at anyone who tried to enter Carissa's car. After placing him on the glory seat, we then realized how disgusting the dead and rotting raccoon actually was and proceeded to dry heave while pacing back and forth across the lot...all the while, Al had his camera rolling. Needless to say this was an epic adventure worth remembering.

Number 5-Scamper the Penguin

On certain night, when there was nothing going on at the school, Josh, Alex, Justin Carlson and I would go for a drive. Most times we would just drive around and talk until we thought of something to do. This night was one of those nights. We were driving around talking and trying to stay out of trouble...not an easy accomplishment for us. We were driving in a local neighborhood when we noticed a rather intriguing sight. There was a little penguin that was lit up and smiling at me...now this was not your normal smile at all...this was a beckoning for me to come and save him. NowI'm not the kind of person to ever turn down a bet, so I got out of the car and swiped Scamper. We took him back to the college where he stayed with us for a few nights. He was a great night light! I then sold him to a friend whose wife was obsessed with penguins. Easiest $50 I ever made...

Number 4-The Beerfest Chronicles

My friends and I love to watch movies. Comedies, Dramas, anything really. I had recently rented Beerfest cause I had heard that it was a funny movie worth watching...it sucked! Anyways...my friend Stephen Mizell had just recently bought the movie American History X, which I had mentioned to him that I wanted to borrow and watch. Now his movie had gone missing and his first thought was to blame me, being the person that had just recently wanted to borrow it. I had not borrowed it, however, but he had just misplaced it. He was not able to find it for a few weeks and blamed me for stealing it the whole time. When he finally did find it, realizing that I really didn't have it, him and Josh placed it in my room when I was at work along withBeerfest which I was going to return to the movie store. While I was sitting at my desk, Stephen, Rob Aitcheson , and Josh busted into my room again blaming me for stealing the movie...I again denied it and proceeded to say..."Stephen for the last time, I didn't take your movie...all I have isBeerfest and......AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH " (this was the moment when I had seen that the movie was planted on my desk) I then looked at Josh and yelled..."YOU!!!" Then chased Rob and Josh and beat the crap out of them. This was another great night! So many of them!

Number 3-That Night at Beth's

One of my favorite things to do was hang out with my best friends at one of my great friends apartment. This friend is Beth Cavender. Her apartment quickly became one of our favorite hangout destinations. We loved yelling at drunk people from her roof, sitting watching movies, or just hanging out. This night was possibly my most favorite night of all the nights that we ever spent at Beth's, and became known simply as...That Night at Beth's. We were all just hanging out and having a great time with great friends. Then out of nowhere, it seemed like all of us were hyped up on energy drinks, cause we all went crazy. This night was filled with me climbing up to get to the ceiling of Beth'sapartment, Alex chasing Josh and I around pretending to be a wizard while wearing Beth's snuggie, and us all falling asleep from exhaustion. (me on the couch and Josh half in the hallway and half in the bathroom) LEGEN................DARY!!!

Number 2-Mario Kart Battles

These were just that...BATTLES. Epic battles. Like gladiators fighting for their lives in the Coliseum...we fought. Like an antelope racing across a field trying to exceed the grasp of the deadly cheetah...we raced. Mario Kart became a sport in our room and we played multiple times throughout the day. Josh raced as Donkey Kong, Justin raced as
Bowser, Alex raced as Yoshi and sometimes Peach, and I raced as Toad the magnificent. We would play for hours and each person having their fair share of victories. Without fail though, one person would have a bad day....every single day. The day would consist of us racing, there being great celebration by the winners, and MANY MANY blowups by the losers. One day, I was that loser. I blew up and overreacted. I went hog wild. I stood up and threw down my controller, grabbed the side of the couch closest to me (which was occupied by a few of my friends) and flipped it end over end. Don't ask me how...probably a fit of rage...or something like that. Needless to say, we took some anger management classes as a room. It is hilarious to look back at those times though. At the end of the day, win or lose, we were all great friends.

Number 1-Taco Bell Run Shirtless/Red Robed

Many times throughout the school year, set off by extreme study and the constant barrage of homework, we found ourselves rather hungry. Taco Bell runs were a regular occurrence. This one time, Josh, Justin and I thought that it would be fun to jump in Dud's car and head down to Taco Bell...the only difference this time was that we were all shirtless...and josh was wearing a red silk robe that was WAY TOO SMALL! We drove through and ordered the usual then proceeded on up to the window to pay. There was a girl there to take our money and looked very awkwardly at us...which we expected. We then asked her if there was any way for her to give us some free drinks and she graciously did give us each a medium drink...which we didn't expect. Long story short...Dud got her phone number somehow...and every time we went back, she gave us free tacos or free drinks. Until the day when we found out she didn't work there anymore...worst day ever. But it was absolutely AWESOME that we got all that free stuff, all because of that one night when we used our masculine physique...aka Dud...to impress the drive through girl.

Well I hope that you enjoyed this post...it did take me about 4 hours to finish. Let me know what you think...and feel free to let me know what your favorite moment with the great Josh
Laughlin is!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Practice what you preach...

For those of you who haven't heard, or who are just starting to read this blog, I am currently interning at Norton Christian Church in Norton, Kansas. This has been a great experience for me so far and I am looking forward to gaining more ministry experience as I continue. Some of my responsibilities here are:

1. Teaching Sunday school for Jr high and high school students.
2. Teaching counsel time for the AWANA program here, both the TNT age group and SPARKS.
3. Heading up a Jr High outreach event on Friday nights and the youth center here.
4. Being heavily involved in TREK (Jr high youth ministry) and IGNITE (high school youth ministry), both in planning and teaching.

These are just SOME of the things that I am involved with here in Norton. I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to get involved in the different ministries that this church and community have to offer. I can honestly say that I have been stretched quite a bit and have grown quite a bit as well throughout this whole process. I am so thankful that I can continue to learn more about the calling and the profession of student ministry that I am hoping to be involved in full time here very soon.

Here recently, we have challenged our students to really strive to grow deeper in their personal relationship with God. We are doing a series in our high school youth ministry called SPAM (study, pray, and memorize) with the hopes that our students will be challenged to use the resources that God has given them to reach out to Him and really grow closer to Him everyday. We are also doing a series in our Sunday school class called TRUTH OR DARE, which deals with finding your identity in The Truth instead of the world.

This last week I have been really convicted that I am not "practicing what I preach." I keep telling our students that they need to spend less time digging into the material things that the world has to offer (such as Facebook, video games, texting, etc.) and spend more time digging deeper into who God is (through daily Bible reading, study, and prayer). I challenged my students to make a sacrifice in their lives to give up something that is hindering them from spending time with God.

Then I thought to myself, (inner monologue) "How can I expect my students to sacrifice something to make more time for God if I haven't been doing it myself?" From their perspective, if the very leader that challenged them to make more room for God isn't doing it himself then why should they? So I have decided to make a conscious effort to spend less time in pointless things that will hinder my growth in Christ and spend more time in His word, prayer, and memorization. There is an old Reliant K song that is called "Actions Speak Louder Than Words" which I think is so true in life. I need to strive to live out the words that I am speaking to my students on a regular basis...stop thinking that I am on a higher pedestal when it comes to my relationship with God...and start doing one thing...practice what I preach.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who Needs Air...

The Classic Crime, over the past year or so, has slowly been working its way into the play list of bands that I listen to on a regular basis. I usually go through cycles where I listen to a specific genre of music for an extended period of time until I "get sick" of it, then I switch to another genre. I usually rotate from heavy metal, to acoustic singer/songwriters, to hardcore/screamo, to emo/alternative rock...etc. But for the last year, I have listened to The Classic Crime over and over again. I never get sick of them.

When I listen to music, the things that tickle my fancy on a tickle-o-meter (if such a thing existed) would look like this:
1. Cohesion as a group. This to me is what all great bands possess, and what all up and coming bands are looking for. One band that come to mind is the Dave Matthews Band. (On the tickle-o-meter, this would be like someone rubbing their finger nails gently across your back to the point that you get chills)
2. Lyrics. I have never been good and writing poetry or great lyrics that will move everyone that reads them. I suck at it actually. So I have come to appreciate when someone is good at stuff like that. (This would be like laughing so hard that you start to tear up a little)
3. Instruments. This is the one thing that will make or break a band. If a band is sub-par lyrically, they can still be one of my favorites if they are good musically. I love listening to the harmonizing of guitars, and the smooth walking of the bass lines, and how a drummer can be so precise and creative. (Remember when you were little, and your uncle would hold you down and tickle you until you peed your pants? Well that's what this is on the tickle-o-meter)

So back to the reason I am writing this post. The Classic Crime has tickled my fancy so much that it has has exploded off the tickle-o-meter. The band is absolutely amazing! The are ultra cohesive, have excellent and relevant lyrics, and their musicianship is a force to be reckoned with. There isn't a song that I don't like. I actually find it hard to listen to other bands because I find myself trying to compare them to The Classic Crime. And for this reason, I wanted to post the lyrics of one of their songs and the music via a YouTube video. (you will also probably need to pause my music play list)

Who Needs Air:


I long to taste adventure like the nature of the sea,
Always moving, always hiding all the creatures from beneath.
Singing silent songs of sadness my heart waits for its chance,
To dance upon the ashes of my burned up little plans.

And I stand alone before the night.
My nakedness is so clear in the glow of the moonlight.
Life is old but so short.
We are young we want more.

I'm drowning, but I don't care,
Because when you got what I got, what I got, what I got
Who needs air?

I don't need air.

My addiction to danger like the rush of the sea,
Like a wave on the rocks the lessons crash down on me.
I don't need to prove the world to you only to myself.
So step back and look away as I dive into the swell.

I'm drowning, but I don't care,
Because when you got what I got, what I got, what I got
Who needs air?

Take me down to the river like a little child,
Take my hand and tell me its okay to be wild.
I never knew the world until I saw through your eyes,
I never knew my self until I ripped off my disguise.

I'm drowning, but I don't care,
Because when you've got what I got, what I got, what I got
Who needs air?
I'm drowning, but I don't care,
Because when you got what I got, what I got, what I got
You don't need air.


I have come to the realization that life is more than what I have accomplished.
And life is more then the realization that we have accomplished nothing at all.
True success is so selfless so drown in the lyrics of your life and give up the air that you breathe.
You don't need anything.

I don't need air.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Here it comes...

I am a sports fan. I love watching sports. I love playing sports. I love sports. There is a time, however, that comes once a year. Its called summer. Sure the beginning is great, there is still playoff basketball on. But when the NBA season has officially closed, a new champion is crowned, and the draft is over, the natural order of things takes a turn for the worst.

There are 2 things that happen every summer that just make me cringe. One is baseball season and the second is all news about Brett Favre. Now don't get me wrong. I love baseball. But there is just something about a 162 games season that doesn't appeal to me. Sure there are some sweet plays, like an unassisted triple play, awesome diving catches, and no hitters. But it seems like every night, half of Sportscenter's Top Plays are home runs of some sort. And Favre...what a guy! I am a Green Bay Packers fan. I thank Favre for all the great seasons and for a Superbowl win. But I almost stopped watching ESPN these past 2 years because every single show was talking about Favre...is he retired?...will he play again?...if so, for what team?...etc. I'm not saying that he shouldn't play. If he is still able, and a team will take him, then I think he should play. But do us all a favor Favre and be decisive please...you are worse than a Jr High girl choosing between which guy she likes.

OK, enough venting. Back to what I really wanted to talk about. Just like there is a time when the natural order of sports takes a turn for the worse, there is also a time every year when the natural order of things is restored and things are once again as they should be. A time when Sportscenter can stop showing 5 different home runs in their Top Plays even though they always look EXACTLY the same. A time when bipolar Favre actually makes a decision and sticks to it. (this is why i think he throws so many interceptions...indecisiveness/bipolar disorder) That time is now...

Yes, football season is here. Time to sign up for a Fantasy League or twelve. Time to clear your Monday night schedule. Time for fall weather and FOOTBALL! Husker football in 4 days! And 9 days until the start of NFL regular season! Finally there will be some balance to Sportscenter's Top Plays and the only Favre news I will hear is when he is actually playing a game. So, in light of my recent celebration, I thought I would post some of my most favorite football highlights of all time. (in no particular order)

1. Tommie Frazier's 75-yard TD run in the 1995 National Championship Game against Florida.

2. Black 41 Flash Reverse

3. Matt Davison's Missouri Miracle

4. The Blackshirts

5. Tunnel Walk


I know these are all Husker highlights. But I am a Husker fan above all other teams! Hope you enjoyed...let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If only...

Its that time of year again. Yes, that's right. Time to stock up on pencils and notebooks. Time to start a new group of folders on Microsoft Word. Time to show off your new wardrobe that you/your parents bought. Time to get back in the routine of waking up early but not really go to bed any earlier. Time for school!

I have attended school for the last 16 years of my life. (K-Jr in college) That's a long time! I have gone through the routine over and over again. For 16 years of my life, the summer has always ended...the school year has always started...and I listed by occupation as student on most surveys that I filled out. Until now...

For those of you who don't know, I have been attending Nebraska Christian College for the past 3 years. I love NCC very much and some of my closest friends are people that I met there. I love the professors and the love they have (and show) for the students. I love the students. I love living in the dorms. I love late night Taco Bell runs to satisfy my never ending hunger. I love college!

Sometimes though, I think that I loved some things a little too much, and some things I didn't love enough. Long story short...I am on Academic Suspension right now...due to poor time management skills and extreme laziness. I found out that I was not able to return to NCC for a semester towards the end of last year. This crushed me...it meant more than JUST have to be away from NCC. It meant not being able to be a part of the NCC Camp Team with some of my best friends. It meant being dismissed from my current major. It meant having to spend a long period of time away from the majority of my friends. It meant losing my job. It meant losing a lot of money. It meant leaving Omaha. It meant leaving the church that I had been leading worship at. It meant disappointing my parents/closest friends/professors.

I walked away from school angry at myself. Furious that I had screwed everything up that bad. Not wanting to look at myself in the mirror because I was so disappointed in myself. But one thing that I found, in the midst of all that was going wrong in my life, was that God seems to work in mysterious and rather weird ways sometimes. When all I could think about was how much I screwed up...God was whispering to me that I wasn't a failure. When I didn't think there was any way to salvage my future ministry...God provided.

God provided...me with a loving family to support me even though they were somewhat disappointed with the way things panned out.
God provided...me with friends that keep in touch even though I'm multiple hours and hundreds of miles away.
God provided...professors that still see potential even though I haven't lived up to it yet.
God provided...with an internship opportunity that is preparing me for ministry better than I could have ever imagined.
God provided...a great body of believers in Norton, KS that have welcomed me into their community with open arms.
God provided...a youth group that could help me to see what my true calling is and the passion that God has placed in my life to reach out to students.
God provided...me with a mentor and growing friend.
God provided...Godly examples to show me how He intended for people to live.
God provided...grace and healing.
God provided...a second/third/fourth/etc...chance.
God provided...hope.
God provided...just like He promised.

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." ~1 Timothy 6:17~

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~Deuteronomy 31:8~

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Life According To...

Ok, so I did this a while back on Facebook...and thoroughly enjoyed it. (Sometimes little quizzes and questionnaires can be fun) I also noticed that one of my friends did one and placed it on their blog. I thought it was great and decided to share mine with everyone that wants to read it in the blogging world as well...so here it is. Take a journey into...MY LIFE ACCORDING TO EMERY!

Pick your Artist:
Emery

Are you a male or female:
What Makes a Man a Man

Describe yourself:
In a Win Win Situation

How do you feel:
It Always Depends

Describe where you currently live:
In Between 4th And 2nd Street

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
In Shallow Seas We Sail

Your favorite form of transportation:
The Ponytail Parade

Your best friend is:
Anne Marie

You and your best friends are:
Playing With Fire

What's the weather like:
So Cold I Could See My Breath

Favorite time of day:
Curbside Goodbye

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
By All Accounts Today Was A Disaster

What is life to you:
From Crib To Coffin

Your relationship:
Untitled

Your fear:
Fractions

What is the best advice you have to give:
You Think Youre Nickel Slick But I Got Your Penny Change

Thought for the Day:
The Last Christmas

How I would like to die:
In A Lose Lose Situation

My soul's present condition:
While Broken Hearts Prevail

My motto:
To Whom It May Concern


This was fun, but I also learned something from it too. Music is a huge part of my life! The thing about music is that it relates to everyone...there is some form of music out there that you LOVE listening to because it is YOU! When I was filling this out with random and funny song titles, I realized that some of these songs have spoken to me in some way. I then thought about all the songs that have spoken to me in some way or another...and all the times that I was feeling down and out, but some lyrics gave me hope. Music has the power to change lives! God has a way of using the little things in life to speak volumes to a person. Listen to what God is trying to say to you through the little things. Pay attention to the music...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My First Communion Meditation...

One of the elders was gone from church last Sunday and asked me if I would cover the communion meditation for him. The way that I look at my internship here at the church, I am here to learn as much as possible and gain as much experience as possible. So I told him yes, another thing to learn while I am here. So here it is...

Contrary to what my parents and teachers might think, I would like to believe that I have learned some things throughout my life so far. One thing that has become evident to me throughout the years, is that there are really only two times a year that my whole family can get together under one roof. With my younger sister heading off to college, me already at college, and my two older sisters married and raising children of their own, it gets harder and harder to meet together as a family. So when we finally have the opportunity to get everyone together, usually around Thanksgiving or Christmas time, it ends up being a big deal. The days usually consist of my niece and nephew's being the center of attention playing with everyone around the house. But some of my fondest memories have come when we gather together around the table and share a meal together. Growing up (I'm sure that my mom would confirm this too) I was always a fan of eating. I loved to eat anything and everything that my mom could cook up for me. And holiday meals were my favorite, not only because I was able to get my fill food-wise, but because I was able to get my fill fellowship-wise too. The holidays have become a time that I look forward to every year. I long for that fellowship. I need that fellowship to function. And I think the same thing applies in our Christian walk woo. When we gather together to celebrate communion, it is a special time. A time when we are all focused on the same goal. A time when we are filled up again. A time that we should look forward to. A time that we should long for. A time that we need. So as we gather together today, think about how much this meal means to you...about how much Jesus' sacrifice means to you.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Favorites...

Here are my top 5 favorite Youtube videos of all time!!! Let me know what you think.

#5-Derek Fisher lays out Houston's Luis Scola

I love this...mainly because I love Derek Fisher and the Lakers. But also because its a 6'1" point guard taking out a 6'9" power forward! Mark one up for the little guy!

#4-Chick-fil-a performed by Tim Hawkins

This is awesome for obvious reasons...I can so relate to him. I have tried to go to Chick-fil-a restaurants multiple times on Sunday only to be disappointed and have to settle for something else.

#3-Youth miniStarZ

This is just hilarious! I think that it a a very solid description of some of the work that a Youth Minister does. THIS JOB IS BOMB!!!

#2-Singing Worms

This is one of my fondest memories of college so far. Sitting in my dorm room with one of my suitemates watching this video over and over and over and over...HILARIOUS!

#1-NCC is the Place for You

This was the promo video for NCC's camp team this summer. I was lucky enough to help in the making, playing Arnold and rewriting/singing/recording the theme song. It was great fun and I miss all my NCC friends very much!

Let me know what you think of my favorites. What are your favorite Youtube videos?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Outreach Article...

Just like the other pastors thought it would be good for me to write the article for the local newspaper, they also told me that I would be writing another article for the outreach calendar that the church sends out every month. So here is the article that I wrote for that. I thought that some people might want me to post some of the work that I am doing at my internship so that they could kinda see the things that I am doing down here in Kansas.

Last week, as you probably already know, the high school youth group went on a mission trip to work with the Salvation Army in the Denver area and attend a conference called Nationwide Youth Roundup. The trip was a great experience for the youth as well as myself and I think that our eyes were all opened up to the idea of serving people and more importantly, serving Christ. One of the highlights of the trip for the students was serving at the Salvation Army, where they ran a day camp for some elementary school students. Our students spent a good majority of their days playing games and loving on a group of kids that they had never met before in their lives. They would play games like soccer, four square, and baseball with the children and had a great time. It was such a blessing to me to see the smiling faces of the children everyday when we would pull up in our vans. The way that their faces lit up when they saw our students and when they were playing the various games was an awesome sight.

At one of the evening sessions at NYR, we were challenged by the speaker to never miss an opportunity to grow in your spiritual life. He said that God gives you multiple opportunities on a daily basis to reach out to people around you that you may or may not know. He encouraged our students not to miss those opportunities that God has given them to be a witness to those around them. I was reflecting back to that today and I realized something. It was really easy to take advantage of every opportunity to reach out to people like the children and employees of the Salvation Army, because we were on a trip where that was our primary goal. The hard part is reaching out to the people that we come in contact with in our daily lives and never missing an opportunity to reach out to the people that we come in contact with in the Norton County area.

So many times, we go about our lives without even realizing that God is placing people in our lives that need a touch from Him. How are you doing at never missing an opportunity to reach out to the people of your community? Are you making a point to seek out people that need a touch from God? Are you allowing God to grow you by serving Him and the people in your community?

Hopefully these words can encourage you as much as they have encouraged me. Thank you to everyone who has supported this ministry, whether it was with your prayers or with your financial support. You have really invested in the lives of your students, and for that, I am grateful. God Bless! Philippians 2:12-13

Telegram Devotion...

Last month, I was informed that every once in a while one of our pastors at the church in Norton, KS is asked to write a short devotion to be printed in the local paper here. It was apparently our turn, so the other pastors decided that it was my turn. So here is the article that I wrote.

I read the other day about a Romanian teenager who torched his new car because he was angry after failing his driving test. Adrian Mocsani, 17, had been given the Volkswagen Polo by his family as a birthday present. But he was so disappointed at failing his test that he poured gasoline on the car and set it on fire in his front yard. He told police officials, “When I cam home I thought I saw the car laughing at me. So I put gas on it and lit it up. Who needs it anyways?”

My immediate thought was that this kid doesn’t seem like the sharpest tool in the shed- would you agree? I for one would love to get a new car for my birthday (are you reading this Mom and Dad?), and if I did, torching my car not be on my list of ‘things to do’. But before we judge this pyromaniac pubescent too harshly, we should consider for a moment whether or not there are parallels between his life and ours. In order to do that, let’s read a passage written by James, the brother of Jesus:

The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3:6 NIV)

James doesn’t mess around here. He is drawing a perfect analogy between the damage we do with our tongue and the destructive force of fire. Basically, he is warning us to keep a holy fire extinguisher very nearby, because at any moment hell itself might strike a match that wreaks serious harm on ourselves and others. You know who really wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed? The person who wrote that ridiculous ‘sticks and stones’ thing. Words can and do hurt, and our tongues can light up our lives faster then you can say ‘stop-drop-and roll’!

God has given us beautiful gifts called relationships. Yet like our Romanian friend, we oftentimes fail and feel like were being laughed at. So what do we do? Torch them! Not literally of course. But we burn down folks with little jabs of sarcasm, raised voices, gossip, insincere praise, and even silence. So what is that holy fire extinguisher? Well, it starts with self-control. Here is what Solomon said:

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. (Proverbs 17:28 NIV)

It’s nothing more than the age old advice to think before you speak, especially when you are angry! It’s always a good idea to consider how your words will affect people. After self-control comes examination of your motives. Ask yourself, why am I about to share this information? Is it helpful or hurtful? What if God held me accountable for what I’m talking about? So next time you are about to turn into a flame thrower, think of our car burning compatriot, and when you do...ask yourself if there’s any possibility that you’re related.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Advertising Slogans...

This last week I took a trip into the Denver area for a mission trip with the youth group that I am interning at. We went to an event in the mountains outside of Denver, CO called Nationwide Youth Roundup. (insert sound bite of whip cracking...long story) We attended the morning session at NYR (whip crack) then ventured into Denver to serve along side of a local Salvation Army there. We helped out organizing office spaces and storage rooms and also played and loved on all of the kids that they had there attending a day camp. After our time at the Salvation Army, we headed back up the mountain and attended the evening session at the conference and camped out there.

On our drives back and forth from our campsite to Denver, I noticed some very awkward billboard advertising. One sign read..."Getting married and looking for a wedding singer? Call so-and-so at some number." Another sign read..."Meet the man who urinated over a liter every day!" Reading these weird slogans got me thinking about some other slogans that were once popular in our society. Here is a list of 10 of the top 25 slogans of all time as voted by Marketing Hackz. After each slogan...I am going to comment about what I think.

1. Just Do It- Nike--- What exactly is IT??? Might as well be JUST DO________!!!
2. Wotalotigot! - Smarties--- I don't even know where to start here. First off if you are going to put something on a billboard, you might want to make it so people can actually pronounce it. Second, you can't just make up words to promote your product...now to promote my new sock design...Shabobitalot!!! Ya, you want one don't you!
3. All the news that’s fit to print. - The New York Times--- This should read..."All the news that's fit to print, and most of the news that isn't!"
4. Let Your Fingers Do The Walking. - Yellow Pages--- I don't think that my fingers can support my weight. And also, I'm pretty sure that I flip through the yellow pages and pretty much all other books with my thumbs.
5. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking. - Timex--- First, you might want to define exactly what a licking is. All I can picture is someone licking my watch...of course it will keep on ticking! I have never heard of anyone or anything that has molten lava or acid for spit and therefore my watch will probably withstand a "licking."
6. Where’s the beef? - Wendy’s--- Everyone who is anyone knows that beef is in Nebraska...more specifically Omaha...they named their indoor football the Omaha Beef! Sorry Wendy's...FAIL!!!
7. The Citi Never Sleeps - Citi Bank--- Who do they think they are??? Gotham City???
8. Hand built by robots. - Fiat Strada--- Does this one creep anyone else out?
9. When you care enough to send the very best. - Hallmark--- Since when is the very best a Hallmark card? I bet that if you ask any mom out there, they will say that they actually prefer their child's homemade cards...maybe Hallmark should come out with a line of cards like that...
10. It is. Are you? - The Independent--- I am. What exactly am I? There is a long list of things that I could be. I know that they are getting at people being independent...but this is really vague. What ever happened to the advertisements that actually made sense?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Random Thoughts...

This is the first of many random thoughts blogs. Ever since I was in high school, some of my friends and I used to try to have as random of conversations as possible. This consisted of piecing together the most random words and even creating some new words. Most of the time, the sentences made little to no sense at all. We had a ton of fun with this though! This is going to be a little different...I am just going to put some random things that have popped into my head lately. I think that I am going to limit myself to 15 things...Enjoy! (many of these things have no meaning at all...but some do so if you are confused as to what some of these things mean or want to hear the story behind it...just ask)

1. Do mountain lions really like trail mix?
2. Why does every small town carnival ride go in some kind of a circle?
3. Does clams has heads?
4. Does milk really do a body good?
5. I will one day have a pet Polar Bear!
6. Is there really a pot of gold guarded by a slippery little leprechaun at the end of a rainbow?
7. Running downhill like Mario+little girl flashing a flashlight in your eyes=momentary blindness and an almost imminent crash.
8. No roadtrip is complete without a roadtrip mix! (American Love by Haste the Day is a must for any mix)
9. I wonder what all my friends are doing right now?
10. Couldn't PBR actually stand for Polar Bear Racing?
11. Yard gnomes are worthless but are also a must for any yard!
12. If a person were to snorkel in a pool full of Hawaiian Punch, what kind of treasures would lie beneath?
13. Are scary movies these days actually for scaring people, or for people to make fun of?
14. Toothpicks are one of the greatest inventions ever!
15. Usually when aardvarks are unleashed into a room full of unnaturally speckled checker boards, you will see the spontaneous generation of obstacle courses designed specifically for Northern Pike...

That was a trip into the mind of me, Cody Petersen. Hope you enjoyed your journey. See you in the next installment of...Random Thoughts...

Monday, July 20, 2009

And so it begins...

My first blog...

Not going to lie, I'm pretty excited about this. I have tried keeping journals or recording the various events that are happening in my life, but never had the motivation to write things down freehand. So for my first blog I'm going to give some major props to technology!

Welcome to the information age people! We have been blessed (or cursed as some might think) to have a plethora of technological advances right at our fingertips. From laptop computers to MP3 players to cell phones to Facebook, it has never been easier to keep in touch with your many loved ones. I must admit that without any of these things, my life would be much different.

For starters, I probably wouldn't have landed this great internship and would still be torn between two different majors at school. I would have missed seeing my niece and nephews grow up. I probably wouldn't communicate at all with my immediate family, because I rarely find time to call them as it is. (sorry mom) I wouldn't be able to talk to many of my closest friends. I would miss out on the infinite resources that the internet has for youth ministers. I would pretty much die in class, as I HATE taking notes on anything other than my laptop. (I am much faster at typing than writing) And I would never have been able to start this blog.

Thinking of how different my WHOLE LIFE would be without technology really makes me thankful for the things that God has provided and the way that He has working in my life. I want to encourage you to think about the ways that God has blessed you and thank Him. Often times I find myself taking for granted the little things that God does in my life...like the everyday usage of technology. I am so thankful for the technology that we have today and for the many ways that it allows me to keep in touch with the people I love!