Monday, July 19, 2010


Today I got the chance to spend time with friends at Panera and have a nice talk....It really got me thinking how blessed I am to have all the friends God has given me. I know I don't let them know how special they are to me as much as I should so here I go!

Jenna McCollum- My first impression of you was "Who is this girl and why is she laughing so obnoxiously???" Little did I know that the girl I was introduced to a few weeks later at a pool party (this girl was wearing an American Flag print swimsuit, by the way) would later become my best friend. When I started High School we were good friends, but not near as close as we are now. As I type this I'm sitting here laughing to myself about all of our good memories, almost too many to type. Such as Stargazing, Going Ape-S, Questing, Late night drives, the many cheese sticks and 49 cent drinks purchased from QT, all the Thursdays at Buffalo Wild wings, all the heart to hearts in the lazy river. I just always have a good time with you and we're always laughing. But I also know that you'll always be there for me. I'll never forget the time when I was upset at 1:30am and you came over to my house with comfort food and watched movies with me for forever. I'm so glad that we've gotten rid of the things that were hindering our friendship and now we're closer than ever. I love you, so so much. and I'm dreading when you go off to College. And even though I won't see you every day like I do now, and even though that will hurt- I know we'll make it. Skype dates and a life-sized poster of me in your dorm room will be a must :) I love you Jenna Lynn, and I can't wait to own a lake house with you when we're adults. :)

 Alena Logan- You're the closest thing I have to a sister. We don't see each other all that often since we have different groups of friends and everything, but each time we do get to hang out things are right where we left them. I can trust you with anything, and we always have a great time. I love looking back at pictures of us when we were little, I almost like them more than the ones of us now because it reminds me that friendships really can last a lifetime, considering ours is already 14 (almost 15) years old and still going strong. I think back to when we used to sneakily eat Play-Doh when my Grandma wasn't looking, and how we loved to eat Schwann man icecream in the barney bean bag chair while watching Zoom at 4:00, then when our Mom's came to get us we'd race to the back room and hide so we wouldn't have to go home :) Even though sometimes we might go a few months without hanging out, I know you're always there for me and that you love me. Thanks for everything, there's no way I could ever explain with words how much your friendship means to me. I love you, sister :)

Robbie McKinney- Oh, Rob! Looking back I'm not sure when we became best friends, but we're here now! You're one of those genuine guy friends who doesn't try to date me and cherishes me as a friend and nothing more. Even though we get on each others nerves sometimes, I know you'll always be here for me and I hope you know I'll always be here for you. My life wouldn't be the same without having ridden in your spaceship...uh, I mean truck, while bumpin to some tunes. Love ya bud!

Sarah Huyett- My Mom tells me that the first time we played together, you shyly invited me to come play with your Wizard Of Oz set and I shyly agreed. Little did we know that flinging the evil witch off the toy castle would spark a life long friendship. We both have insanely messy bedrooms, LOVE N'Sync and Backstreet boys, watch Dog the Bounty Hunter, Burp like crazy (you more than me though- you're the champ!) and many other things. You're always there for me, and I'll never forget the time we stayed up at a sleepover for 5 extra hours to just talk. There's too many inside jokes too list, and too many memories to write out. I can't wait to make even more with you since we're both going to Wichita State. I love you forever Sarah Huy!

Michelle Simmons- I first met you when I was in 7th grade at Cross Country practice, but if someone would have told me that we would be best friends when we got to High School I probably wouldn't have believed it! I have loved being friends with you, and getting to know you way better this summer! Some of my favorite times were staking out, riding in NOTORIOUSSSSS, getting assaulted by cavemen (well, that was just me but you were there), Challenge, and everything else. Can't wait to keep getting to know you better and better. Love you girl!!
 Hannah Yowell- The first thing that comes to mind when I think of you is laughter. I can recall so many times that we've hung out where you are laughing so hard that you're literally rolling on the floor, can't breathe, or your nostrils are flaring. and I absolutely love it! I so wish you went to Heights so I could see you more often, but I know God placed you at Andover for a reason. I love all the talks we've had at the Donut Hole and Froz, all the "laugh attacks" we've had together, and all the memories. I really see God in you in the way you interact with people and I am so happy to say that you are one of my very best friends. I'm sad to see you go off to College after this school year but I know our friendship can survive it- and I'm happy for you because I know how excited you are to go to K-State! I love you and am so thankful for you!
Andrea Moyer- I'm so happy I've gotten to know you better through High School, and that you became one of my very best friends! We both love Wichita State sports, Matt Braeuer (haha, I had to mention him in this), and roaming the halls until the last minute during school. We've had so many good times and I can't wait for the many more we'll have later on. I'm thankful for you and I love you girl!
 Dylan Seley- Oh how you make me laugh :) I'm so happy to have you back in my life and I'm so proud of the recent decision you made! I can never explain how much I missed you in those few months where we didn't talk, or how happy I was when I got that text from you saying you missed me. I always have the best time with you and I really enjoy seeing God work in you. You're the best Dyl, and I can't wait for us to become close again.
 My 2012ers!! JACQUELINE- I love how close we've become lately, you're amazingly talented in the music department, thats for sure! You're so fun to be around and someone I can trust. I can't wait to become even closer. I love you! MONICA- I always have so much fun with you! I never knew how hilarious you were until we got to spend time together at Challenge, and I'm so glad we did! You're very special to me and I love your insight on life. I love you! EMMA & ABBI- I loved rooming with you guys at Challenge and getting to know you better.  You both crack me up. Love you!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Challenge 2010 Recap

Today I returned home from my second Challenge experience. It was just as amazing as I remembered it to be. Every evening at 5:42, a group called the Prayer Army would meet and spend time praying for the conference, the students, and really just anything and everything. This year I decided to be a part of that group and it was truly a blessing. Not only did I discover new different ways to pray, but on the last night of it God put on my heart what he wants me to use my spiritual gifts for. So there I was, last night of Challenge, sitting in the Prayer Army room. The speaker says "Take just a few minutes of silence to sit and listen to what God has to say to you." So, I sat. Immediately my sweet cousin Ethan's face popped into my head. At that very moment I knew what God was trying to tell me. I don't know when, where, or for how long, but I'm going to be working with kids just like my cousin Ethan who suffer from Autism. This was the first time I've ever felt God putting something that strongly on my heart and it was an awesome moment.
I wish I could sit here and type out every single thing I did at Challenge. All the inside jokes, laughter, tears, stories from the bus ride. But instead, I'm going to post some of the notes I took on the sermons, followed by some pictures.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven."

-The first step to a new heart is to not keep anything, but surrender it all to God.
-If you're not willing to let go of ALL your stuff, you won't life a full and blessed life.
-Let God UNDO what's keeping you from him.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."

- Mercy must be EXPERIENCED before it can be given!
-Mercy is at the heart of God

1) Awareness
-of those around you
-am I moved emotionally by others pain?
-am I moved to help?
-am I willing to love my enemies?
-have I ever cried out for mercy? 

*When we PRAY God MOVES! 

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
-has nothing to do with the sadness of this life.
-God is trying to say that those who morn over the horror of what sin does will be blessed.
-It takes COMPLETE repentance of all sin in our lives to receive God's comfort and live a radical life.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."
-Purity doesn't come naturally, we must hate sin so much that purity invades every part of our life.
-A new heart = new life.
-Stop going by emotion and go back to scripture.

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth."
-A meek person has all the qualities of being a leader but these qualities are controlled by someone else.
-Meekness is about understanding WHO'S you are.

What it means to have a meek spirit:
1)A meek spirit commits its cause to Gods hand.
2)A meek spirit accepts person injury without resentment.
3)A meek spirit is patient with others.
4)A meek spirit understands what God has given to you and uses it with confidence, not arrogance.
5)A meek spirit NEVER gives up!

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God."

-If we have peace with God we need to demonstrate this peace toward others.
-Personify reconciliation with our lips and our lives.
-A peacemaker is one who brings unity.
-It starts with a pure heart, then we can personify peace.

Tips from D.A. Horton on sharing the gospel with others:
1)Gospel message transcends all ethnicities
2)Don't try to be someone you're not


This wasn't a normal session. We had the opportunity to pray through different stations set up in the room. I didn't have a chance to go through them because an old friend from my youth group wanted to talk and pray with me. It was still a very powerful time, and God spoke to many in the room that night.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."
-righteousness= moral and spiritual perfection
-sanctification= process of the holy spirit working in us and making us more Christ like
-Worship is a way of life.
-Question to ask yourself: Will you worship your savior NO MATTER WHAT??

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
 -The "Undone" life guarantees the blessing of persecution.
-We're blessed when we're persecuted for acting like Jesus.

What Jesus is NOT saying:
1)All persecution will receive blessing
2)Blessed are the self-righteous

Why persecution for Jesus is to be blessed:
1)Persecution is a compliment
-2 Timothy 3:12
2)Persecution is an opportunity to witness
3)Persecution is a mark of the saints.
-Matthew 5:12
-Hebrews 11
4)To know persecution is to know Jesus
-Phillipians 3:10
-1 Peter 2:12-14
-John 15:18-19