Dear Ontario Liberals and the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission,

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Thank you for closing down the bus station in Englehart.
Thank you for saying that you would make the passenger bus system better when you cancelled the Passenger rail service.
Thank you for the good people that worked at the station that don’t have jobs anymore.
Thank you for allowing me to purchase my bus tickets in a multipack (so I can save money) before the station closed because at the Englehart Motel (or Olde Towne Inn) will only sell single tickets that are good only for the same day. (I don’t even know how early I should be anymore since they don’t have a waiting area and everyone’s going to fill the restaurant.)
Thank you for letting me waste more time then normal. (I get to go twice now instead of once! Why don’t I just stay there!)
Thank you for letting me try and cross Highway 11 and not kill myself especially when they are still working on the bridge and there’s going to be a lot of traffic on there. (I feel like I’m part of the game frogger.)
Thank you for making me not feel safe (see previous statement.)
Thank you for letting me able able to leave earlier for the bus now.
Thank you for closing the station in Matheson as well.
Thank you for subsidizing Go Transit in Southern Ontario, but not us. What if they weren’t subsidized by the government?
Thank you for caring about the North.
Thank you.

(I’m really trying not to be sarcastic if you weren’t getting that, but I was also trying to be nice while writing this.)

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We go big

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mount blanc

Meet the biggest photograph ever taken – capturing Mount Blanc at a height of 3500m, by Italian photographer Filippo Blengini who stitched 70.000 individual photographs into a single 365 Gigapixel image, 46 Terabytes in file size. View the image HERE and zoom in to explore the incredible detail.

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With EVERYTHING

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Photo credit: John Lear (Myself)

Our Youth Pastor had told us to write down things because you know, we might forget something tomorrow that we really  wanted to put down. So here is basically what you could call my Overflow 2015 journal.


DAY ONE

It’s been ten years.
2005 was the first year that we went to Overflow, (I still have my green rubber wristband from then!) and I’m still going 10 years later being a youth leader. I think there were four years before this year that we missed, but coming again was absolutely amazing.
Especially since the whole group (Minus one person who had gone before) had never been to this before.
Honestly, as soon as you enter the complex, you just knew something else was there with you. No, I’m not talking about everyone else (Ok, well maybe kind of. You know, around 3,000 people is a lot.) and I’m not talking about if there was a smell in there or not, but the presence of God is definitely there.
Just getting back from the first night, and it was just simply amazing.
As soon as the worship started and everyone rushed up to the front like a swarm, that’s the first thought that came to my mind, but since I’m a youth leader now, along with two others and our youth pastor, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go up. As soon as I saw some of our youth go up, I kind of knew my answer.
I even decided beforehand not to go up at all, but that went out the window completely just feeling everything up there was just beautiful.
Oh, I had my 30th birthday just over a month ago.
Oh, and I wasn’t wearing earplugs either.
Yes, I’m crazy, but it doesn’t matter.
Here’s another thing about going up front. I understand some people not going up because they don’t like crowds, etc., but going up front is like going all out and giving everything  we have to God, not sitting in the bleachers, and actually being in the game, but everyone is (Ok, maybe that wasn’t a great thought, or maybe it does work with just different wording.)
The music is always amazing, but we know that it shouldn’t be about the music, and how it’s played, or the band, but the words.
James Murray just blew minds with how he presented the word, and got everything thinking (Hopefully everyone) about how God interrupts the funeral of our lives and just radically changes everything for the BETTER.
Seeing all of those kids (Or teenagers, however you want to say it) Receiving Jesus!

Now I’m still wondering if there will be Doritos in Heaven?


DAY TWO

One day.
So much God.
So much AWESOME GOD.
Isn’t it exciting?
I still went up for the worship with the few from our group, thinking this time that I don’t want to sit on the sidelines or the bleachers again, but right  in the middle of everything, the middle of the game. (Probably another bad analogy?)
That’s where I want to be.
Todd Crews and Matt Tapley did such an incredible job at presenting Gods word, things just continue to blow my mind.
We need to live our lives for God WHOLEheartedly, and telling our friends about Jesus, and not just telling them that we go to church and everything and that we have lunch after. We need to say WHY we go to Church and WHY we come to events like Overflow.
JESUS.
I mean, if God can change a Christian killing Roman into someone who is so into the word of God and telling the world about Jesus, He can do some pretty crazy things with us. Doesn’t it say in the bible too about how we would do even greater things than him? It’s just a mind blowing experience and insane to think about it.
Not insane to God though.
And there’s the  hard times that we all have to go through, and the hard part about that? We still need to serve Him even though we don’t feel like it.
Honestly the speaking was so powerful, ( I added the part about the names of the speakers just not as I’m typing this.) both speakers today were just amazing to listen to.
And then, the last night of Overflow or just the last night of camp or any sort of even like this is just so powerful. Honestly, just seeing those youth, they are so hungry and so passionate for you God.
There is so much community.
We don’t even know everyone else, but we’re all one big family because of one thing.
JESUS.
Doors are being opened.
It’s a beautiful thing.

[Add-on]
I think Mark Colwell had mentioned there was around 300 who gave their life to Jesus during the altar call.
That’s one big party in Heaven.
I’m reminded of the line at the end of the classic Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life – “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.”
Every time someone receives Jesus in their hearts, there’s rejoicing going on. One big celebration.


DAY THREE

We’re on the bus right now to head home, but I don’t want to forget any of this.
God is so great.
Seriously.
The Holy Spirit definitely moved within everyone there, or at least I really do hope so. It was crazy though. I mean, being in church on a Sunday Morning with about 3000 other people is just something. I’m not even sure if I could describe it in one word or not, I think it was more that just simply an experience. I don’t even know what to say.
I missed putting in yesterday about my camera dying. My battery died, and I only had the one because I couldn’t find my charger before we left (Which I had moved, silly me!) so all I had was the one. Even though I could have picked one up at the mall on Saturday afternoon, I didn’t.
Talking about distractions, I kind of think my camera was one. As I love to take pictures and just creating memories, even during worship, I didn’t have to worry about dropping it, etc. Everything seemed so much better. There’s something about worshipping with thousands and thousands of people. It was definitely crazy amazing sweet.
But God is so good. We need The Spirit, that’s all.
We just need to go to God WITH EVERYTHING.
I remember Pastor Mark a number of years ago and something that he had said when it was all done and over for the weekend and we were just about to leave. (Now it’s been a number of years, and I can’t remember it exactly.)

“Now that Overflow’s over, once you get out those doors, it’s only just the beginning.”


Thank you everyone who helped out for just an incredibly weekend