Tag Archives: life

“your beard connects all the way to your hair!”

life is in full swing here at ball state (it has been for the past month, actually), and it’s been way too long since i’ve posted. is it weird that one of the main reasons i’ve waited so long was because i got a new camera and just hadn’t taken a whole lot of pictures yet? it’s hard to get out of the camp mindset. i never had to warn anyone that i loved taking pictures of life… it was kind of just a natural thing there.

in actuality, the main reason i haven’t been on is that this year has been a big adjustment. there are lots of new things this year, awesome things, but things that take some getting used to. but they’re all awesome. seriously.

i live in a house this year with five of the coolest guys i know—dan, austin, sam, drew, and tom. they love Jesus, they love fellowship, and they take responsibility and accountability and the pursuit of God seriously. it’s the best.

we celebrated tom’s birthday recently with applebee’s, cake, and monty python. last sunday we had our first official monthly house meal. austin, sam, and i grilled up some steaks and made some mashed potatoes and corn. it was delicious, and we got to take some time to just talk about life and encourage each other.

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last saturday drew organized a time of prayer in the morning. we got together, praised God for all He had provided, and prayed for each other and our ministries. these are the kinds of things that constantly remind me how blessed i am to live with these guys.

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even though i’m not at camp, God’s provided tons of opportunity for me to hang out with and minister to kids. i’m leading my church’s middle school boys’ bible study with matt, who i know but have never spent a whole lot of time with before, and i can already tell that it’s going to be awesome. we’re studying the book of jonah, and the guys are all really invested in legitimately growing in their relationships with Jesus, which is just super encouraging. plus, leading with matt is a total blessing—his honesty and insight are both encouraging and humbling. i’m so excited for what the year holds!

i’m also involved in two other ministries: kids hope and college mentors. both are things i’ve done before, and God’s given me the time to invest in both. through kids hope, i meet with a second-grader named isaiah. he’s the best… talkative, hilarious, and really sweet. last friday we spent his lunchtime taking funny pictures and talking about books we both like to read. he asked if next week i could try to get some pop rocks, which he’s never tried before.

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we haven’t had our first activity day for college mentors yet, but our buddy family rocks and i got to meet henry (not my buddy but one of the guys in our family for the year) on tuesday, so i’m super excited. my guy’s name is malakai, and he wants to be either a police officer or a target worker. so he’s obviously the best, even if i haven’t met him yet.

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other things are awesome. like action group and learning to make food instead of buying it at woodworth and seeing camp people everywhere! we made hobo dinners and i can always count on running into a fellow camp crazy, usually while we’re wearing our respective unit shirts. not mad about it.

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life is good, God is great, and there’s a lot more ahead this year. i’m excited to share it with you!

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“…you’re going to have to blur out that red solo cup.”

while i had two finals this week, the vast majority of work took place in the previous two weeks, so this one is kind of like the most relaxing seven-day stretch of my entire semester. this past weekend was filled with people i love and stuff i love to do.

thursday was the last cru of the year. creative team pulled off an insanely awesome mc transition experience. it parodied the parodies that mc transition videos usually pull, zipping through a variety of possible movies to use (the notebook, the dark knight rises, skyfall) and ending with a live performance of “one day more” from les mis. i got to be a part of it and it was awesome.

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it was also a night of celebration for all the amazing things God did throughout the year. there was some beautiful testimony and worship that night, and i left praising God for the way He chooses to show up in so many ways.

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friday night was the last servant team. also a time of celebration for what God had done, we got to welcome the new servant team members and talk about how each of our ministry areas had been blessed throughout the year. there were crazy games involving searching for staff team members (one of whom may or may not have wrapped himself in a trash bag and hidden in a full dumpster)…

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a bonfire, complete with s’mores, pink lemonade, and the passing of the torch from the senior class to the underclassmen…

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and general merriment and singing and picture taking…

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it ended with some a capella four-part harmonies to hymns. no big deal.

saturday was awesome because i got to hang out with these people:

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some of the cru staff parents dropped off their kids so they could have a day to relax with each other, and a bunch of us volunteered to watch them. it was basically the best thing ever. it took a little bit for some of the kids to get used to us, but by the end we were running around drawing chalk flowers, setting records for the longest amount of time we could keep a bouncy ball from hitting the ground, and being flung to the side by tyko’s “iron man hand”, which was quite the rage.

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that last one is tyko helping ben perfect his iron man hand technique. he took it pretty seriously.

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also he and hallie are inseparable, which was adorable.

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daniel and i finally got to rematch in our checkers game. he won, and i wasn’t playing easy on him. he has an eye for triple jumps, and i was slightly embarrassed. but this just means we have to play again so i can regain my dignity.

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that sunday was the final youth group. crazy shenanigans were had, naturally.

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definitely a bittersweet time, because i’ve grown to love them all so much. thankfully, i’ll be back next year, Lord willing. adam managed to find a bunch of pictures of me without a beard and strung them together in a slideshow for the kids… if it sounds weird, it’s because it was, but in an endearing way. everyone (including me) decided i look better with a beard.

and that was the last weekend i will ever experience as a junior! crazy to think about.

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well would you look at that. it’s march.

feels really good to stretch my blogging legs again. it’s been a while, and lots of my absence was due to this being the most intense semester i’ve ever experienced. there is never a time when i don’t have anything that needs to get done, including right now. sometimes i get in this mindset that it’s hard to justify something like blogging when i have two or three projects that are perpetually due the following week. which is really unfortunate, because i need to be writing way more often if i’m going to stay sane.

rather than try to cram in the last month and a half in one blog post, let me just do the highlights.

1.) youth group stuff has been great. i love those guys. this semester i’ve spent an unusual amount of time away from muncie on the weekends, but when i’m able to be there i always have a blast. we had a high school hang out night a while ago, and reule ended up getting all prettied up in order to avoid having to move back a few spaces (the game was quelf, naturally).

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my favorite part might have been the fact that the moment was immortalized by about half a dozen smart phones and devices. this is not what my youth group was like when i was in high school.

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we also had the junior high retreat in february, which was a blast. didn’t take any pictures, but that was because our focus was completely on making a brilliant (but probably misunderstood) movie parody of… a weird camp movie that adam had showed us a while back. if you watch it, don’t expect it to make sense. but it was fun. just like the high school retreat, it was so awesome getting to know some of the guys i hadn’t known that well before.

2.) spring break happened! for those of you who don’t know, i was not able to go to east asia and decided to stay home. i’ll be writing more on that later, but the good news is that the Lord totally blessed my decision to be home. got to spend some quality time with mom, dad, and emily. mom and i went on a date 🙂

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got to hang out with some of my best friends, christian, dylan, and eric when our breaks overlapped (they caught me up on some sports phrases i could use while we were at old chicago), got breakfast with craig, hung out with owen, and got some great insight on what getting a master’s in social work looks like. early on i even got to babysit with em. things got a little crazy. we had a nerf gun war. no big deal.

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it was probably the best spring break i’ve had. full of homework and deadlines, yes, but also full of people i loved and things i loved to do. God was good.

3.) camp should basically be here already. i am one of the brave coordinators for the summer, and i am beyond excited! my partner, kellie, is the perfect partner. she and i are similar enough that working with her will be easy and collaborating will be (well, has already been) ideal, but different enough that we’ll both be bringing stuff to the table. i’m stoked to be working with her and the rest of the river village leadership staff. and the rest of camp. i can already tell this summer is going to be special. expect more on this later.

4.) school. as i said, this semester has been really intense. lots of classes that demand my full attention, along with a job. it’s been crazy, but the Lord has been faithful in providing time and energy to get everything done. i have an online class that ends in two weeks, and i can’t wait. can not wait.

5.) ministry has been really cool. it’s so encouraging to see people grow and be excited about jesus. God is good, and He is totally in control. at servant team last night we were talking about how easy it is to feel like with these last six or seven weeks of school, there’s not a lot we can do in terms of ministry. but then vince opened up hebrews 11 and 12 for us, and spoke about perseverance. chapter 11 outlines a ton of biblical figures that God used to accomplish great things because of their faith, and chapter 12 starts by referencing them:

“therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God. for consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” –hebrews 12:1-3

a good reminder that our eyes should be fixed on Jesus… not on our own selves, not on our future goals. on Jesus. that’s where strength comes from. it is because of Him and what He did on the cross that we can take heart and be encouraged.

and that’s good for any day.

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“that’s the seventh time they’ve called it an inner sanctum.”

ladies and gentlemen, something awesome happened today: i finally got my books.

this is a very awesome thing. a very important thing. because only now do i finally feel like the year has officially started. i’ve been kind of swimming blindly through my classes, nodding and smiling like i know what’s going on (not the case… not the case at all). i’m not one to sit down with a cup of coffee and a good textbook before bed, but it is nice to feel like i actually have some control over my schoolwork now.

things i appreciate in a classroom:
1.) professors that i’ve had before.
2.) discussion that is captivating and challenging.
3.) chances to learn without being made to feel like an idiot.
4.) group work in which all members of the group actually work together.
5.) watching youtube videos for the first half of class. or all of it.
6.) getting to know professors and fellow students.

in other news, here are a few more updates:

i finished the last of my glass-bottled cokes! it was just as wonderful as i’d hoped. special thanks to my secret buddy from camp, erin! i have yet to use my famous moustaches mug, but trust me when i say that it will be a happy day, and i will post about it.

brandon got a job! woohoo!! look at him, all dressed up in his pizza king gear. he worked hard for it, and it paid off! all of us in the suite are proud of him and excited and hoping that this means discounted pizza (alas, not until he’s worked for a year). we’ll try to work something out.

     

     

God was doing the most beautiful thing with the clouds the other day, and so i had to try and capture it with my camera. of course, the pictures don’t do the real scene justice at all, but hopefully some of it gets across. i’m not usually one to stop at gawk at nature, but it was a panoramic view of some of the deepest pinks, yellows, and blues i’ve seen in the sky. it’s so cool that God takes the time to craft something like that, even though only a respectively small number of people would see it.

last night, i just spent some time talking with some of the guys in the suite. sometimes i hole up in my room to watch netflix or work on homework or waste time doing nothing, and i felt like i was being drawn out towards the living room, so i closed my computer and just went out. it was great; we talked about life and stuff that all of us were going through, shared stories and advice and encouragement. and then, to top it off, we finished off daniel’s cinnamon cake and watched a couple episodes of scooby doo. for the record, i called that the tar monster was actually the protagonist’s assistant, who had vanished the night earlier. didn’t call that the witch was a long-lost identical twin though. tough.

     

i mean, really, what better way is there to end the night?

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keeping busy.

the past three days have been great. lots of things to do and lots of people to hang out with.

becca’s awesome roommate, kelsey, is visiting this week. on monday, the three of us went geocaching. we spent all of sunday evening planning for it; we looked up close locations and planned out which ones we would hit first. then, monday morning, we went out into the wilderness. unfortunately, our first two attempts were not successful. however, we chalked it up to the fact that we weren’t as prepared as we should have been. we went back home to change and gather more clues.

and then we found six. in a row. that’s right.

we were on the water, digging in the underbrush, trekking through the forest, peering into drainage pipes, searching high and low and everywhere in between for these things. we risked getting eaten by giant spiders, and there were no doubt many quizzical looks thrown our way as people driving by watched us search. halfway through our journey, we stopped at vann park for a picnic lunch.

needless to say, we had a blast.

tuesday, dylan came over and we watched price is right. i need to practice getting the answers right in case, you know, we manage to get on the show. dylan was educating me on the ways to accurately predict the prices of various items. i need some work, but that’s why he and christian are coming over tomorrow to watch another episode. perhaps i’ll do better.

today mom and i went on a picnic in wesselman park. we made a green salad for lunch and fruit salad for dessert. both were delicious. wesselman park was such a beautiful place–we managed to grab a nice, quiet table in the shade, and after eating we stayed for another half hour or so and read. she’s my mom, but she’s also one of my best friends… we don’t have to be doing anything in order to enjoy our time. we just like being around each other. it was a wonderful day.

afterwards, we went to the vineyard and i got a few things. this summer i’ve decided to go through the book of hebrews. i’ve gone through romans and part of galatians using john macarthur studies, so i picked one up for hebrews. it had a great blend of commentary and application questions. plus hebrews is a great book, so i’m looking forward to it. mom bought be a pocket bible that i’ll be more easily able to take around during camp. cary suggested it, and i think it really will be easier to have with me.

finally, i got bob goff’s book love does, which i’m really excited about. it’s main message is that love should motivate action, not just feeling. the best example of this, of course, is Jesus. He didn’t just come down to earth and tell people nice things. john 3:16 tells us that because He loves us, He died for us. this is just a really cool perspective to have on life. if i love people, how am i showing it? what am i doing to tell people that i love them? what can i be doing at camp to show Jesus’ love to the campers, the counselors, and everyone else?

camp is a week away. seven days. needless to say, i’m excited.

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