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


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The Reason – How I Discovered A Life Worth Living By Lacey Sturm Book Review

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There is a reason you exist . . . 

The day Lacey Sturm planned to kill herself was the day her old life ended. As an atheist who hated Christians, she thought church was a place for hypocrites, fakers, and simpletons. After a screaming match with her grandmother, she ended up in the back of a sanctuary, hating everyone in the room. But what happened in that room is The Reason she is alive today.

With raw vulnerability, this hard rock princess tells her story of physical abuse, depression, suicidal struggles, and more–and her ultimate salvation. She asks the hard questions–Why am I here? Why am I empty? Why should I go on living?–showing that beyond the temporary highs and the soul-crushing lows is a reason each of us exists and a purpose for our lives. (Taken from Http://Bakerpublishinggroup.com.)

So, I’m just going to say this right off the bat, how many people are getting this book because they listen to Flyleaf?

To  be honest, you don’t even need to listen to Flyleaf to read this book. This is the story of one woman and how her life turned completely around, having one mind frame, and then having something completely different. It’s raw, crazy, beautiful, amazing – I could probably have a big long list of words I could use to describe this book, but I’m not sure if you would have time to finish reading this review.

The reason that I decided to get this book and review it is because I knew who Lacey was, being in Flyleaf. I only had heard a few of the songs before, but I recognized the name.

Why do I like this book so much? Because of the passion you can read in the words on the page as she’s writing them down. It’s just a beautiful and wonderful book, the ups and downs and everything in between and how God changed her life. It’s a crazy book, but that’s what makes it beautiful. She isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind and you can definitely feel the raw emotion.
I was so absolutely excited to get this book. There were parts that I was reading, and I was thinking it’s kind of like me in a way.
It’s simply an absolutely, truly amazing book and you can just feel the thought and dedication she put into writing it.

Just go buy this book and have your mind blown at how amazing is it and how much you’re life will change.
Just do it.

Lacey Sturm is a mother, wife, writer, speaker, and musician. Originally the voice behind the platinum-selling international rock band Flyleaf, she is now a solo artist. But most of all, she is one of God’s works of art, and she wants others to know and understand how special, how beautiful, how kaleidoscopically wonderful we are all made. Lacey speaks for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and its Rock the River events. She cofounded the Whosoever Movement and helped begin the RESET movement as one of their key speakers. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family. For more information, visit http://www.laceysturm.com.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Unwrapping Lazarus by Pete Carter Book Review

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You are invited by God into a life beyond imagining.

Do you wish your faith were greater? Do you suspect that bigger things are offered by a bigger God than you have dared to hope for? The destructive thoughts and behaviors that bind you can be unwrapped–just as Lazarus was unwrapped from his bindings at the mouth of his tomb–freeing you to walk into the supernatural. (Taken from Baker Publishing Group website.)

Do we want something bigger than what we have now? Do we want something, do we crave more than what we have right now in this life? It’s questions that I know I’ve been asking and you have possibly asked yourself. Something that’s holding us back from living in what God wants us to live is ourselves. We aren’t perfect, we are only human. We have pressures coming at us from the world around us and all of the influences that it holds.

It’s like Tug of War and we’re in the middle.

Pete Carter goes through some of the things in this book that can help us free ourselves from the struggles and everything else that we’re fighting with and helps us realize the potential we have and how we can live a bigger life of Faith with God. God doesn’t want us to hold back, he wants everything. We have to, we need unwrap ourselves from everything that keep ourselves closed in – the thoughts, the behaviours, everything that keeps us away from what God wants for us.

It’s like the Peanuts character Linus. He always has the same blanket that he holds onto. Now think of that as the security, the unGodly thoughts, everything that the world thinks we should have. Reading this book, it’s like unwrapping ourselves from that blue blanket, and giving ourselves totally to what God wants for us.

This book, is simple and easy to read. Also providing the real, true stories that he’s experienced helps with understanding everything a lot more, than someone whose written this book  with words that are way over everyone’s head.

Go out and read this book.
It’s one of the many tools that will help transform your life for the better.

About The Author
Pete Carter is part of the senior leadership team of North Kent Community Church in the United Kingdom. He has passion to see good medical practice and Christian healing work side by side. He is a popular speaker and part of the teaching staff of the Revival Alliance network of Bethel Church, Redding, California. He and his wife, Kim, live in New Ash Green in the southeast of England and enjoy being parents and grandparents.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

Something absolutely amazing you should check out and buy

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How many of you like t-shirts?
Honestly my sister showed me this site a while ago called Teespring, and honestly I’ve had so many ideas that I’ve put some on t-shirts. Just ideas I’ve gotten listening to music, or hearing sermons, and honestly, some of them I think will make people ask questions, which I guess you could say is a point that I had in mind while creating these. I hope you like them too, and you purchase them. They only cost $20 dollars each!

This is how Teespring works. It’s like Kickstarter in sense, but just for t-shirts. Each shirt (or campaign if you want to call it that) has a run date of 21 days! You only have 21 days to decide if you want any of theme amazing tshirts! Here’s where your help also comes in on this. Each shirt has a minimum of 50 before anything gets printed! So spread the word amongst your friends, family, just anyone! They come in different colours and all of that!Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 8.56.37 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 8.56.12 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 8.56.48 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 8.56.56 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 8.56.30 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 8.57.55 PM

Here are the links to each of the shirts –
http://teespring.com/loveneverfailst-shirt

http://teespring.com/Fourthings

http://teespring.com/whocanbeagainst

http://teespring.com/amazinggraceamazinglove

http://teespring.com/amazingday

http://teespring.com/peopleofinterest

So please, spread the word!

Who wants to buy a tshirt?

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Well, it’s not just any kind of t-shirt either. I’m a fan (Probably one of who knows how many are out there) of the show Person of Interest. I haven’t watched much of this season, definitely have to get caught up on  that. Anyways, after watching I don’t know how many episodes of it I’ve watched, (Mostly just season two, working on Season one, and a few of Season 3) I’ve been thinking of analogies that have been running through my head most of the times  I’ve watched it.

More specifically, what the show is about, the person of interest that Mr. Reese and Mr. Finch, help out. Now I don’t know how I got onto this, but even thinking about the title of the show, the analogy has come to mind about God choosing us as a people of interest.

The other day my sister told me about this site called TeeSpring, which is basically a crowd funding site like Kickstarter, but only for tshirts, which is a pretty cool idea. So, Using that idea, I created a t-shirt, using 1st Peter 2:9 – “But You are a chosen people, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, God’s Special Possession”

Here is the link if anyone is interested in purchasing it – http://teespring.com/peopleofinterest

Pass it around to your friends since if you are really interested in it, at least 50 people need to preorder the shirt for this to happen.