Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Just wanted to say...


This break and time at home has not been at all like planned.

Due to changed travel arrangements, I am leaving before Jan 2014. Because of that, I am not able to meet with everyone I wanted to. I am trying to take advantage of time with family, so I plan to do a few video updates soon.

Keeping this short because it's Christmas and that's the BEST NEWS EVER: God loves us so much. Thankful for His Son, Jesus and the life He lived. Just as thankful for Easter which makes the birth of Jesus meaningful.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The story behind The Story

It all started with the simple invitation.

I received a text that said, "I have free tickets to see Steven Curtis Chapman in concert tomorrow. Do you want to go?"

Free concert + SCC. Yes, please. Channeling my inner middle schooler since that's when I started listening to SCC. Don't know of any recent music, but you cannot go wrong with a free concert.

I look up the concert yesterday afternoon and see Nichole Nordeman, Natalie Grant, and Casting Crowns will also be performing. Add to the middle school excitement some inner high school/college excitement. The women have powerful lyrics that I connect with. Casting Crowns is just a great band.

My friend who invited me, Becky, works for an organization that was started by Mary Beth Chapman and somehow got the hookup for this concert.

It turns out that it was music from The Story. Complete with orchestra.
It was great.
Powerful lyrics and amazing music (because all the music was written by Nichole Nordeman and Natalie's husband, Bernie Herms).

Having gone through the entire Story book with D-Groups (First Church's middle school group) last year, it was great to experience it in a musical way.
So sad. They made me put my good camera back in the car (AND empty my water bottle AND throw away my food in my purse), so this picture is as good as it gets.

Did I mention Becky had meet and greet passes, too?

Randy Frazee, author (and narrator) of The Story. Get ready -- he's writing a second book!

Steven Curtis Chapman. Enough said.

Great night. Great company. Great city.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Shoutout to my boss, Juliet

This picture was on Facebook. I did not take it.

My boss is pretty awesome. She's the event coordinator. Pictured above is Juliet with John, the guy who is leading the charge on our Berlin coffeehouse. 

Juliet is the main reason I accepted the position with NCC. I wasn't sure about the interview when I found out I could have one. Then I started talking to this down-to-earth woman who grew up in South Dakota. She's so chill and stylish. I find it a great compliment when people compare me to her (we are about the same height and often have similar hairstyles).

I have shared some of my life dreams in our weekly reflection meetings (we usually grab coffee and talk about life -- not so much about work at this one hour meeting but overall life). It's one of my favorite parts of my week, and Juliet is encouraging me to explore new things to pursue my passions.

We often find ourselves laughing about stupid stuff together. 
I am so thankful for God weaving our stories together.
So thankful that as we create safe environments for honest conversation and host different groups in our space at work, we can also share our lives with each other.

1 Thessalonians 2.8: So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Little bit more about Ebenezers

A few weeks ago, our church service was this entire film.

It's four stories of what God is up to around the world through the NCC community.

Ebenezers is one of those stories (if you don't have time to watch it all, that story is from minute markers 11:16-17:35). While Kody talks a little bit about music downstairs and how it was a church service (they used to have church services on the lower level but do not anymore), there is actually weekly concerts in that space and still music playing sometimes!

My natural love for all things music has made this job a great fit. It's amazing to me how God has prepared me for this moment. From the simple things of being detail-oriented (because keeping all these website postings straight is not for the faint of heart) to allowing me to live in a city for two months in 2006. From doing my youth ministry internship in Birmingham, England in 2006 to now, I have a soft spot in my heart for cities. Sure, I miss seeing the stars brilliantly light up the night sky. But I love where I am. I love who I am with in these moments. I love that I get to blend my love for people who don't know Jesus with the ministry of creating environments for people to experience the love of Jesus for the first time. It's a slow process of building relationships with people, but it is so worth it!

I have learned about hospitality, social media marketing, networking, audio/visual production (scariest one on the list by far). I have already experienced true community with a small group of friends God has placed in my life here.

I am looking forward to what the next year holds!