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Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27th...

On April 27th, 2008 one of the best things happened to me. I got the chance to be the person I really was without judgement from others. It was the most incredible experience of my life (so far at least!).

On April 27th First United Methodist Church hosted the very first night of a week long revival. I remember the commotion of the week. There was discussions about what type of worship services we were going to include and who was going to preach. The youth group got the first day while the traditional service got the last three days. 

The youth group wanted to do something different, so we had a contemporary band, Jason Molitor speak, and a skit. This was before the church got a contemporary service so we thought that just like any other youth Sunday, people weren't going to show up. To our surprise, the church was packed. There were people sitting in folding chairs in the back and others standing in the balcony. I had never seen so many people fill the church and it was so exciting. 

The attendance of the service wasn't the reason why I celebrate this day, the skit the youth performed is. At that point, "The Everything Skit" was just coming into the scene. I knew that this was something that I wanted to perform, but I didn't think that it would ever become a reality. Well, it did and it became one of the reasons that I love ministry. 

While performing that skit, I got the chance to show people my deepest feelings and they responded with support and love. I got to show them the circumstances that helped me to understand my creator. I got to show them the love of Christ through the worship that made sense to me. I got to show them the intimate and honest relationship that I had between my creator and me. I showed them me. 

Remembering April 27th wasn't always a good thing. I started the anniversary because I wanted to remember that feeling forever and I couldn't because we didn't get it on video. We tried to record it, but it wasn't the same without the sanctuary of people. I used to tell Mike that we had to perform it one more time so we could record it so we did, at Tanako. It wasn't the same people and it was definitely different. After the skit was over, we went to the video camera and noticed that the room was so dark we couldn't even make out the people in the room. 

Some memories are best kept in the heart. I'll always remember April 27th! 



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Realizations...

It's Easter Sunday. 

It's Easter Sunday.

Has it sunk in yet? Does it still feel like "just another Sunday"? Do you feel exhausted from all the afternoon activities? Easter egg hunting... Family Meal... Fancy Pictures... Catching up with Relatives...

Let's just be honest! Easter is more of a chore than a day of remembering the incredible sacrifice of Jesus! It almost makes me think, "Why bother?" I can have an intimate conversation with God while I sleep in, right? 

My dad didn't always go to church when I was younger. He would be what preachers call a "CEO Member" (Christmas and Easter only). I used to get so angry at him all the time telling him that he wasn't a good Christian by skipping out on church. It made me feel like he didn't have a relationship with God. As I got older it went from him choosing not to go to church to him not being able to go to church because of his job. You could just imagine my reaction! I thought it was the worst thing in the whole wide world! Not only was he not going to church, but he was working on the sabbath! I couldn't help but think that it was a sin and my father wasn't up to par on his relationship with Christ. 

After I came to college, I learned a pretty big lesson about church and my dad's way of thinking. I don't know if you know this, but my dad owns a pretty big business that helps charities such as Teen Challenge of Arkansas and the Boy Scouts. Because I never looked at the big pictures, I never realized that his church was in the middle of a parking lot setting up cones and talking to recovering drug addicts, or signing off on a boy's Eagle Scout project, even when he goes for a mountain bike ride. That is HIS church. It wasn't until I started realizing that maybe I was going to church for the wrong reason that my dad had is right all along. 

If you talk to any ordained minister they'll tell you the same thing, "You have to come to church to be with a community of believers!" That was exactly what I was telling dad all those years. Church is church and that's final. What I didn't understand was that my all time favorite hymn I would sing in church was preaching the exact opposite. 

"The church is not a building;
the church is not a steeple;
the church is not a resting place;
the church is a people.


I am the church! You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we're the church together!"

- Hymn #475 

It's Easter Sunday. 

That doesn't mean that we have to dress up in fancy clothes and put on a fake smile, it means that we get to praise God for giving us all these different ways to worship! Whether it be at home, on a boat, in a hospital room, nursing home, in the middle of the woods, or in a building with your fellow believers in Christ... Just worship. 

It is indeed Easter Sunday! 

Becca

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Those Moments....

Have you ever been sitting in a class or at work and all of the sudden your brain wanders off to a memory. The whole entire story plays back through your head and it's like your practically there! All you can do is watch it happen, there's no hope of changing the story. After you snap back to reality all you want to do is bang your head on the table and hope it goes away! I can't express to you how much that has happened to me lately! 

Now, it's evident that we have all stories that we aren't proud of, but in all reality are those supposed to define our life? My freshman year was full of mistakes and craziness! I constantly think about those situations that I put myself in and all the stupid ways I acted. When I snapped back to reality in the beginning of my sophomore year, I felt like I was being haunted by these moments. I would have nights where I would cry myself to sleep because I was so upset with myself. During my Christmas break I got to visit my youth minister and we got to talking about how school was going. I remember asking him the question, "When will it all go away? Will I ever be able to move on?" He told me that one day it will seem like it's nothing, but until then it takes a little bit of time to move forward. 

It's not that I'm upset with the decisions that I made, I'm just upset with the reasoning behind them. There's no excuse for the way that I acted and I feel as if I won't be able to apologize enough to a few people. I keep telling myself, "You're so stupid Becca!" as if that's going to accomplish anything! I could just blame it on someone else, but that's not going to get me anywhere. I just have to move on... it's easy to type but it's not so easy to do. 

I think back to all the things that I dealt with in high school and how those moments don't matter anymore. Is it really going to take me graduating and leaving Ozarks to move forward? I don't want to start my life all over and kick people out just so I can move forward! 

When my dad gives me advice, it's either related to farts, poop, or movies. Lately the advice that he has given to me has been based off one particular movie. He describes a scene of the movie where two guys are in a car being chased by some other guys. The guy in the passengers seat looks at the driver pointing at the review mirror saying, "Look, their after us! What are we going to do?" The driver then takes the mirror and rips it off of the window saying, "What's behind us is of no concern."

It seems so true and so easy, but why is it that I don't want to make the step of ripping off the review mirror? Is it because I'm not ready or still have some things to resolve? It brings me back to a Bible verse that I wrote about recently...

"Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?" (Matthew 6:26)

This verse talks about worrying. We are constantly worrying about what is going to happen next in our life and if we are going to be able to survive the next day! Recently I've been looking at this verse in a different way. God is going to put the people, things, and activities in my life that I need to move forward and be happy with my life.

Things have gotten a lot better then they were awhile back. I'm now content with the path that my life is heading towards. I have a couple of unknowns that I have to face, but in the end I just know that I'm going to be able to make it and move forward! 

Here's to living life one day at a time....