Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Your Life is Hidden with Christ in God"

I've been really stuck on this idea of "setting our minds on things above."
I really, really think God wants me to grab hold of this powerful concept and make it my own.
So ... by way of doing that, I've been trying to memorize Colossians 3:1-17.
If you haven't read this recently, go back and read it again - right now, if you can!
It's amazing stuff!
I've been taking one verse a week ... I'm on verse four this week.
And as I dedicate more time to memorizing and meditating on these words, I am renewed.
I've been struggling ... and ...
I am pushing.
I am pressing in.
I am striving.
I am fighting ... it's an internal battle that's been raging for what seems like forever.
But I can't give up.
And in not giving up but pressing in to Jesus, I find renewal in the promises of His word.
As I dwell on these verses more and more, I learn to come to conclusions about who God wants me to be and how He wants me to live ... for Him.
And that's where the promises come from.
And it's been so rewarding searching out these promises.

One of my heart's greatest desires is to live wholly for Jesus, to not be distracted by my pain, my trials, my worries, my sin ... I just want to live for Jesus and focus on him .... instead of worrying all the time.

Colossians 3:3 has a promise that I get excited about!
The context is needed to find the promise .... 
The previous verse says ... "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things."
There's the command.
And when we "set our mind on things above," we get the promise that comes in verse 3.
"For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
When we set our mind on things above, we are hidden in Christ.

Here are some thoughts I wrote down a few days ago ....
Colossians 3:3 - "For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
~ "You have died" - meaning, the old self has died ... been kicked out! ... so that the new self can move in and take over!  Yes!
~ "Your life is hidden with Christ in God" - meaning, you are so consumed with Jesus that you are not distracted by what happens in the world ... or in your life.
~ When we truly put on the new self, we are focused on Christ - it's like we're hidden from our worries, our problems, and our sin .... so much so that we don't get distracted by anything else.

And that's all I need to remember. :)


Monday, July 27, 2009

P.S. To: Stop Beating Yourself Up

P.S.
Whoa! Almost missed an important thought! And we don't want to miss this!

Just because we are not supposed to beat ourselves up about our sin doesn't mean that we have an excuse to go on sinning. Noooo sirrreey!

Now! Instead, we want to HONOR GOD ... and instead of condemning ourselves, we can bask in this FREEDOM:

"There is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus."
Romans 8:1

So we don't have an excuse to sin ... we have an excuse to LIVE IN FREEDOM!
FREEDOM IN JESUS!
Wow! That is better preachin' than you think!
I know I need it today!
Thank you, Lord!

So Stop Beating Yourself Up Already!

So here's a wake-up call for ya'll ... mostly for ME!

I've been really upset with myself lately because I just can't seem to get this trusting God thing down. He is perfect ... never-failing ... He never fails ME! ... He's constant, faithful ...

So why the heck do I fail to trust?
Well, I've been reading that Having a Mary Spirit book a lot lately, and it talked about a guy named Brother Lawrence ... and this guy's thoughts got me thinking about this concept of beating myself up over my sinfulness.

I realized that I need to stop beating myself over my sin because beating myself up over sin IS A SIN! Sheesh maneesh. I really can't get it right, huh? ;) Ha ha! And I can laugh about it now because of these thoughts ....
I shouldn't give so much energy to beating myself up over my sin because that way of thinking is self-centered. When I put myself down because I sin, I often fall into self-pity and selfish thoughts.

"Why do I keep messing up?"
"Why can't I get this right?"
"What do I need to do to fix my sinfulness?"

Brother Lawrence took an attitude of "I can't forsake sin without You, Lord!" When we realize that GOD is the only one who can give us the ability to overcome our sin, then we will learn to say, "Lord Jesus, I will continue sinning in these ways unless YOU step in and save me. Help me, Mighty God. I can't do this without YOU."

It's that simple. We can do NOTHING without Christ, and when we try to win the victory over sin without Him, we always fail.

So no wonder I keep failing. How 'boutcha try letting Jesus win the battle, crazy woman?

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing."
John 15:5

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One Step at a Time

I've been reading a book called Having a Mary Spirit. It's a book Joanna Weaver wrote after Having a Mary Spirit in a Martha World. Remember me talking about that one several months ago? Well, Having a Mary Spirit is an excellent book. Lots of great insight and Biblical truths. It's been both a conviction and an encouragement.

Here's a quote that really is amazing ... it comes from chapter 4 of this book. :)

"God intends this life to be a walk of faith. so, as we obey one step at a time, the next step will come into view. As we practice obedience, the voice of the Spirit becomes clearer, His instructions more definite."

Dwell on that today. It's really good stuff! Keep trusting. Keep obeying. Just one step at a time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Things Above Part 2

Again …
Colossians 3:2
Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

Christ’s Standards for Our Lives Part 2: 2 Corinthians

1:4 – Comfort others with the comfort God gives you.
1:12 – Live in holiness and Godly sincerity, not in the flesh.

2:15 – Live your life so that when people see you, talk to you, or even think about you, they are reminded of Jesus.
2:16 – Live your life for Christ, which brings life. Don’t live for yourself, which brings death.
2:17 – Do not corrupt the word of God.

3:5 – You are adequate in Christ alone. You are nothing by yourself.
3:17 – Jesus – His work in your life through the Holy Spirit – is what frees you from sin!
3:18 – God is making you more like Jesus everyday.

4:1 – We have a ministry (a life!) to live well!
4:7 – The greatness of power is from God, not us.
4:10-12 – We must live our lives to honor Jesus’ sacrifice so that His life will give life to our mortal bodies.
4:16-17 – Do not get down because these trials and heartaches – if you overcome them – will help you receive eternal life.
4:18 – Don’t get too caught up in what you can see and feel – pleasures, pains – ‘cause they are only temporary. Do put all your attention on things that you can’t see or feel – Jesus, His purposes – ‘cause they will last forever.

5:1 – Tent vs. Kingdom of Heaven … where is your real home?
5:2-4 – We must live for eternal things, not temporal things.
5:7 – Walk by faith.
5:9 – Make it your greatest aim to please the Lord.
5:11 – Fear the Lord.
5:14 – Live in such a way that the love of Christ controls you … how must you live? What must you do (let go of) to allow Christ’s love to control you?
5:15 – Do not live for yourself … live for Christ … and honor the sacrifice He made for you.
5:18-20 – What must you do to be reconciled to God?
5:21 – We are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. Honor Him!

6:1 – Do not dismiss or dishonor the greatness of the power of God’s grace.
6:14 – Do not marry or get attached to people who don’t love Jesus.
6:17 – Be separate, different, set apart from the world.

7:1 – Get rid of fleshly desires, and work on becoming more and more holy.
7:9-10 – God allows sorrow to bring us to repentance, repentance that genuinely changes our hearts. So embrace trials!

8:3 – Give freely and joyfully to everyone around you.
8:4 – Support fellow Christ-followers.
8:5&7 – Continually give yourself to God and to others.
8:21 – Value honorable things.
8:24 – Prove your love. Be genuine.

9 – Ministry --- Readiness --- Zeal --- Boasting --- Prepared --- Unprepared --- Shame
--- Sow well – reap well
--- Give cheerfully
--- Obedience --- Confession --- Contribution --- Grace

10:5 – Take every thought captive for the honor and glory of Jesus.
10:17-18 – Only boast in the Lord.

11:3 – Live a simple and pure Christian life … simply and purely devoted to Christ.

12:7 – Allow your trials to humble you.
12:9-10 – Bask in God’s grace, and wait on His power to be made known to you.

13:5 – Examine your walk. Are you taking your faith seriously?


Amazing! ..... So let's soak 'em all up! And then? What should we study next? :D

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Wanna Wait Like This!

My Surrender Sister over at Rant, Repose, and Ruminate posted some amazing thoughts on her blog not too long ago ... and I really got hit with this little snipet.

Let's really learn to wait ... to really savor God's work in our lives as we wait on Him!
Wanna keep trying with me?

"There is a kind of waiting that is good for the soul, it builds it stronger, purges it of all trifling thoughts, purifies the expectations, makes one more like Jesus Christ, and builds a mighty faith within."

Reprogrammed ... Oh Lord, let this be our prayer!

As we reprogram our hearts and our minds to operate according to God's truth .....
our lives are CHANGED.

Things Above Part 1

Colossians 3:2
Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

Christ’s Standards for Our Lives
Things Above Part 1: 1 Corinthians

1:8 – Be blameless … without sin.
1:10 – Do not be divided but of the same mind.
1:20 – Consider the wisdom of the world to be foolishness.
1:31 – Boast only in Christ.

2:1 – Be humble. Focus on Jesus.
2:5 – Put your faith in God, not men.
2:1-5 – Set an example of humility and a focus on God so that others will see you and put their faith in God rather than men.
2:7 – Speak God’s wisdom.
2:15 – Examine everything.
2:16 – Have a mind like Jesus.

3:1-4 – Do not walk as mere men – be mature in your relationship with Jesus.
3:10 – Lay a foundation … make that foundation Christ Jesus … build on that foundation of Christ … and be careful how you build.
3:16-17 – Live as God’s temple, and do not destroy His temple.
3:21-23 – Do not boast in men on account of what you have because everything you have belongs to you, but you belong to Christ … and Christ belongs to God. …. So since you belong to Christ, act like it!

4:1 – Be a servant of Christ. Be a good steward of the things of God.
4:2 – Be trustworthy.
4:5 – Do not pass judgment.
4:16 – Imitate people who live for Jesus.

5:11 – Get away from any man who proclaims Christ but doesn’t live for Him.

6:1-7 – Don’t freak out when someone wrongs you.
6:8 – Don’t sue someone or make their faults known if your faults are just as bad or worse.
6:12 – Don’t do something just to do it – be sure you have the right motives, and be sure it does not control you.

7:23 – Do not become slaves of men.
7:32-34 – Unmarried: focus on the things of God while you are undistracted.
7:35 – Secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

8:2 – Be humble.
8:9-10 – Be careful in the way that you live. God may not convict you about certain things, but you are an example. Be careful not to make someone else stumble.

9:19-23 – See things from other people’s perspectives so that you can see where they’re coming from, which gives you the opportunity to be more effective in winning them to Christ.
9:24 – Run this race of life to win! In order to win, you must work at it, train hard, and not be a slacker!
9:25 – Exercise self-control … and work toward that imperishable prize – eternity with Jesus!
9:26 – Run this race of life intentionally!

10:12 – Be careful how and what you boast about. Depending on what you’re boasting in, you will fall.
10:14 – Run away from idolatry.
10:23 – Don’t assume that just because the law says something is okay, it really is.
10:24 – Consider other’s interests before your own.
10:27-29 – Set and example. Don’t cause other people to sin.
10:31 – Do everything for Jesus!

11:1 – Imitate those who imitate Christ.
11:28 – Examine your heart before you take communion … and this is such a great rule for every area of our lives.

12:8-10 – Find out what your spiritual gifts are and grow in them.
12:15-25 – Don’t think you are more or less important than other people because God has gifts for everyone, and everyone is needed for His plans.
12:18 – God’s in charge, and He knows what He’s doing.
12:28 – Gifts again.
12:31 – Desire the gifts of the Spirit … use the gifts you have … and grow in the gifts you don’t have.

13:2 – Possess the right motives.
13:4-8 – Be patient and kind. Don’t be jealous of others. Don’t brag about yourself or about the things you have. Don’t be full of yourself. Don’t act like a fool. Don’t be selfish. Don’t hold a grudge against someone or lash out at them when you’re wronged. Don’t get excited about or tolerate sin. Get excited about the things of God. Bear with others, and bear all situations. Believe the truth, and believe that God is who He says He is. Hope in Christ. Endure through hardships. Don’t fail to live for and love Jesus first and foremost.

14:1 – Pursue a greater love for God and a greater love for His people. Desire spiritual gifts.
14:12 – Encourage others with your gifts.
14:20 – Be mature in your thinking. Do not know evil well.
14:40 – Spiritual gifts must be done for the right reasons – for the encouragement of the Body.

15:2 – Believe in the word of God – cherish it, and do what it says.
15:33 – Don’t act like or take part in the lives of those who believe the resurrection is untrue because bad company corrupts good character.


16:13 – Be alert. Stand firm in the faith. Be mature in your walk with Jesus. Be strong in your faith and character.
16:14 – Do everything in love. Love Jesus first and foremost, and then everything you do will come from the love you have for Him.
16:20 – Say hello to everyone with the love of Christ.

Stay tuned for Part 2! :D Coming soon!

Introduction to Things Above

Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2

I’ve been thinking about this verse and really dwelling on it lately …. Firstly, ‘cause God’s been layin’ it on my heart … but secondly, because so many things in my life are changing. And change is rough. Change is inevitable. And change is, like I already said, difficult. I have close friends who are getting married, moving away, taking on new ventures in their lives …. and then there’s me! I’m graduating from college in 5 months … I’m taking a dreaded test that will determine whether or not I get to live out my heart’s greatest desire a few weeks after I graduate …. I’ve recently been asked to take over my youth group, but I’m wondering if that’s really where God wants me. So many doubts have been flooding my spirit. And with all the change … and hurts over the past couple of years, I’m just worn out. God is faithful, so I’m overcoming … but it’s been a rough ride.

Alright, so there’s the back story. Back to my initial thought. I’ve been dwelling on Colossians 3:2 in the midst of all this change. And it really helps put my focus in the right place. When we set our minds on things above, that means we are dwelling on Jesus and the things He cares about. In thinking about these things (the things God cares about), I’ve come to a conclusion. Sure, there are several conclusions we can draw from this idea of setting our minds on things above …. But this is what I’ve got.

In setting our minds on things above, we are focusing on God, yes … but also His standards for our lives. When we decide to pay close attention to His commands and desires for our lives, we begin to see things from His perspective … and begin to really and truly set our minds on things above.

So … in the next couple of posts, I’d like to share with you some standards that God has set before us. After pondering Colossians 3:2 for some time, I decided to re-read 1 and 2 Corinthians and pick it apart … find all those standards God’s got in store for us. I finished reading and, in some ways, dissecting these two books 3 or 4 months ago now … but God is still pressing them upon my heart. My youth group and I are also going through these books chapter by chapter every week as well. So check these out with me, will you? Stay tuned for a look into God’s word!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

This is Mical at Heart :)

Ha Ha! I have another youtube clip for you.
I was watching Monster House last night as I was going to sleep, and the opening scene reminded me of how much I like the first 10 or so minutes of this movie. If you've ever seen Monster House, you know it's kind of weird ... and not too impressive. But I bought this movie several months ago because the first several minutes of the movie are hilarious! But anyway!

The very first scene is of a little girl on a tricycle. Go to this website (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG-shXRUXXI) or go to youtube and type in "Monster House Girl on Tricycle" to see this clip.

I love this clip so much because this little girl is ..... ME! The first time I watched this movie, my mom was in the room .... and as soon as the little girl started singing "la la la la la la!" I started laughing pretty hard .... my mom just looked at me and asked, "Are you laughing because this little girl is YOU?" And I laughed all the harder. 'Cause I didn't just think so .... my mom thought this little girl was me! Ha ha!

Once you watch the clip, maybe you'll see a little Mical Masterson is this fun little girl. :) If not ... well, this post was a waste of time. But I think it is GREAT! .... And at the end of the clip you'll hear some girls in the background laughing ... someone else thought this clip was great and recorded! Amazin'! :D .... Enjoy! It's a fun little clip. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

'Cause I'm just that S & C :D

So ... I've mentioned before that I'm fairly sappy ... and ya'll know that I'm cheesy. :) So you should watch this clip.
The movie, Enchanted, is one of my new favorites.
Besides the main character singing and dancing through half the movie, she's also a ridiculous romantic. ... I think I would describe myself as that to some degree too. ;) ... So ya'll should check out this clip to see what I'm talking about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB_Qh5TBGoc

If that doesn't work, go to youtube, and type in "Enchanted Dance Scene."
Good stuff .... if you're sappy and cheesy like me. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Colossians 3:2 Prayer

Overcoming .................

by the strength and grace of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

Gotta keep settin' my eyes on things above.

Things above.

THINGS ABOVE.

Lord Jesus, help me.

Help me overcome.

Help me keep my eyes and mind and heart and life focused ONLY on YOU.

Friday, July 3, 2009

"This may seem juevenile, but ....."

So ... can you tell that someone is unmotivated and has too much time on her hands? .... 3 posts in one day? After not posting much at all for months?! Wow! .... I'm making up for lost posts, right? ;)

Anyway ...
This'll be short and sweet ...
I was watching a movie today while I was pricing books for my mom ... Return to Me.
Very sappy.
Very girly.
Very sad.
Very happily ever after.
Therefore?
Very Mical.

I never used to be this way ... honest. But the older I get ... yes, I know I'm only 22 ... the more ridiculous I get.
But anyway ....
There was a line in the movie that made the girly .... and untouchy part of me .... come out.

Robert (Bob) and Grace were standing on a balcony, overlooking the lights of the city ... they were silent. Then ... Bob talked about how he and his late wife grew up together, got married young ... and then he said, "This may seem juevenile, but .... can I hold your hand?"

Oh! My heart melted. My butterflies were doing backflips in my stomach. My eyes teared up.
(Yes ... I warned you! I'm getting bad!)
But in all seriousness ... I'm not the most touchy girl around. If I ever find the right guy, I'm gonna have to be eased into the whole touching part of the relationship. I'm just that way. .... So I really appreciated what Bob did in this movie. He simply asked, "can I hold your hand?" ... He didn't put the move on her. He didn't assume. ..... He was just amazing.

Ahh. Yeah. :) .... Welp! That's really it. I'm done.

Except .... if you didn't think Mical Masterson was a total girl .... by now, you have no doubt! What a girly post! Ha ha ha! :D
Have a great weekend, everybody! :)

There's so much more!

Ya know .... when we let go, we can really get a glimpse of God's peace, plan, purpose, and provision for our lives.  (Like my alliteration?) :)

I was listening to a song by Lincoln Brewster yesterday, and it prompted a burst of joy in my heart because I can really sing it now.
I've let go of some things .... after long months of holding on, I finally let go.
And I am filled with all those P's I just mentioned ... all by God's grace. :)

Check out the words to this song: Today is the Day :)
And I hope you can let go of some things you've been holding on to ... and believe that there's so much more.  'Cause all that God has for us IS good!  Keep trusting!!! :D

I'm casting my cares aside

I'm leaving my fears behind

I'm setting my heart and mind on you, Jesus.

I`m reaching my hand to Yours

Believing there`s so much more

Knowing that all You have in store for me is good
Is good

Chorus:
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m trusting in what You say
Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh

I putting my fears aside

I`m leaving my doubts behind

I`m giving my hopes and dreams to You
Jesus

I`m reaching my hands to Yours

Believing there`s so much more

Knowing that all You have in store for me is good
Is good

Chorus:
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m trusting in what You say


Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh

I will stand upon Your truth.
And all my days I`ll live for You

Chorus:
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m giving you my fears and sorrows
Where you lead me I will follow
I'm trusting in what you say

Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Today is the day
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh

Being confident of this ... that HE who began a GOOD work in you, will carry it on to COMPLETION until the day of CHRIST JESUS.

Philippians 1:6

This is a MIGHTY promise!  Hold on to it! :D

Names for Guys AND Ladies :)

So I went to visit my bosom buddy at camp yesterday.
She's been working at a diabetes/autism camp for the past 5 weeks (she comes home today!!!!).
And I just wanted to share an amazing little tid bit from the day .....

This may be the best camp ever because I met 2 female counselors who have boy names.
Yes, it was amazing!

I met a girl named Austin.

I met a girl named Logan.


Oh my word ... it was amazing!

I was amazed all day long ... and I still am - obviously. :)
It just made my day.
Austin, Logan, and Mical.
Good names for guys. Amazing names for girls!!!

And that's the end of my story! :D

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bogalusa 2009, yo!

Wahoo!
Time to tell ya'll about my adventures in Bogalusa!
Bogalusa, Louisiana ... ya know the toe of the boot?  Yep, that's where we were!

Last week was my third trip to that tiny, smelly, sweaty, amazing little town. :)  We've been going down to help out with the hurricane relief.  You wouldn't believe the damage that is still left from Hurricane Katrina unless you saw it for yourself.
A group from Indiana.
A group from Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
We met at a church in Bogalusa called Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church.
One of the coolest guys in the world - Pastor Marcus Rosa.
I wanted to bottle him up and bring him back to Danville!!!!
Amazing guy!  So full of life and love and Jesus!
I'm excited to spend eternity with that guy!  Yes!!!!

Well, I was put in three different places throughout the week.
Four, if you count Sunday's activities.

Sunday ... we lead worship for Westside.
Sunday night ... we put on skits/puppet shows/the Gospel message ... good times.

Monday ... we started work.
We had groups fixing roofs in the sunny, 105 degree, high humidity weather.
And my group went to Miss Sadie's house ... where we helped her dry wall some holes in her walls and bedroom closet, mud and sand walls, paint her bedroom a nice blue color, help her organize her things, tear off her ceiling and build her a new one, and lay insulation in her attic.

Tuesday ... I helped Shelley cook in the kitchen, and we had a Southern Fish Fry!  Yeah!

Wednesday ... back to work at Miss Sadie's.

Thursday ... a new location.  I went with a group to a run down schoolhouse where we finished sanding walls and coating the walls with primer.
Thursday night ... a block party!  We had balloon animals, food, snow cones (or snowballs, as Pastor Marcus called them!), face painting, carnival games, prize giveaways ... all kinds of great stuff! .... And Dave and I got to share the Gospel message with everyone there!

Friday ... was our fun day.  We went to New Orleans ... or Nawlins.  Or!  As I said one night ... Narlins.  Yeah ... no one let go of that one until I got back to Indiana!

Saturday mornin' ... we left at 5am Louisiana time ... 6am our time ... and didn't get home until 10:30pm.  Long time in the car!

That's the short version of the trip ....
Some other highlights for me were .......
*Devotions .... everyone on the trip picked a verse/passage that God had been using in their life and shared about it.
- Frank Bennett shared about Ephesians 2:1-10 ... talked about how we are God's paintbrushes ... He uses us to do His work ... and it is amazing work!
- Sallie Smith shared about trials and how we need to have God's perspective.  Hebrews 11:10 and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.  Good stuff!
- I'll share my devo in another post.
- And it was great to hear all the young folks share ... the 7th-12th graders!  Yeah!
*Mr. Barry.
We went to Mr. Barry's "house" late in the week ... where we found no house at all.  He lived on a concrete slab.  He had a chair for sleeping in and a chair for holding his possessions.  He had a collection of Starbucks bottles and a light saber.  He had nothing.  He slept outside in the crazy hot and humid weather.  He had no food.  No shelter.  And he wasn't lucid half the time because, Pastor Marcus told us, his brain had been fried from drugs. ..... God taught me so much about thankfulness after seeing that.
*The guys singing in the shower.
The showers at the church are in a room between the guys' and girls' rooms.  Everyday, the guys sang.  And not just any songs .... hilarious songs like, Play that Funky Music White Boy ... and A Whole New World ... from Aladdin.  It was great!  I woke up from a nap, smiling, 'cause they were singing so loudly!
*Missouri teens.
Pastor Mike and Shelley brought 9 of their youth, and I got to know all of them a lot better.  I'd met them back in April when I went to visit PM and Shelley.  It was great to laugh with them, ride to Nawlins listenin' to Family Force Five, be accepted by their girls, and be black with Tori, Sarah, Rachel, Jennifer, and Sallie. .... Yes.  We were black.  Sarah brought "black woman make-up" with her to Bogalusa, and so we painted our faces black and had a ball!  Lots of strange looks from the rest of the team.  Awesome, yo!
*Seeing Pastor Mike and Shelley.
PM and Shelley brought 9 of their youth from Missouri, and it was amazing to see them!
- Pastor Mike came up to me on taco night and asked, "Do you know how I know Wes isn't here?" .... "'Cause there's still sour cream left."  (My brother loves sour cream ... eats the whole tub by himself. .... Pastor Mike walked away saying ... "Sweet memories."
- Pastor Mike called me "Junior" here and there throughout the week.  That's my nickname that he and Shelley call me .... 'cause, in case you haven't heard the story, we did a service project at the Danville rehab center several years ago, and all the old ladies thought that Pastor Mike and Shelley were my parents.  Too much fun! .... I miss hearing Pastor Mike call me Junior.
- Sunday night of the trip, I balled my eyes out during my devotional ... yes, in front of everyone.  And Shelley and I were already emotional because Pastor Mike and Jeremy were leading worship together just like they used to before PM and Shelley had to move.  So Shelley and I hugged and cried most of the night.  Shelley said, "I'm so proud of you." ... and ... "I missed you." ... in my ear while we were hugging.  Something I'll never forget.
- And Pastor Mike gave me a side hug at 5am as we were leaving and said, "I'm proud of you."
I just really miss those guys!  So it was great to see them for a whole week!

The whole trip was really great!  God was at work!  He taught me about being thankful, being faithful, and seeing things from His perspective ....

Bogalusa ... I miss that place already!!!