Easter: Not All About Bunnies

Happy Easter, everyone!

I know I’ve been loading you up with video after video, but I had Blogger’s Block (trust me, it’s a real thing!).

This week has been a really cool experience for me.  Since it’s been the week leading up to Easter, the Christian organization I’m involved in has really pumped it up.  On Tuesday we read through the entire gospel of John.  That was such a cool experience for me because I had never just sat down and read through the story of Jesus.  We all read it out loud, one chapter at a time, as a community.  I heard things that I had never really realized.

Thursday we did something a little, well a lot, different from the normal church service.  We had a Jewish Seder, which is an order of celebrations…a meal.  We had different herbs, greens, breads, and juices to eat in a certain order.  There was different kinds of music, speaking, prayers…it was such a cool experience.

On Friday, a lot of us got together to have a meal with each other.  It was sort of to symbolize the Last Supper.  We then watched “The Passion” together.  I had never seen it before.  It was so good to see, especially right before Easter.  It was so real; I couldn’t stand to watch some of it.  It really wrapped this week up nicely.

I can’t wait until Sunday when we celebrate together with all of our churches everywhere.

Love,

Paige

John 13:14-“And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.”

Santa Claus is Coming To…Church?

img_0508Well, this morning was quite an adventure.  Last week, the congregation of my church was informed that a “special guest” would be in attendance this Sunday, and all the children would be upstairs.  I’ve never been at our church where it’s required for the kids to be upstairs…recommended, but not required.  Secondly, we don’t have “special guests” without knowing who they are ahead of time.

So, we came to church with all the children anticipating a guest. It was noisy and hectic, and there were so many kids! Another hint that this would be no ordinary service was that we started by singing Christmas carols…like, Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.  I love Christmas carols as much as the next musical aficionado, but it was a different dynamic.

At about 11:15, we see our pastor nod to the back of the sanctuary…and in comes Old Saint Nick! That’s right; Santa Claus was our special guest!  He had all the children go up to the front, and he told them the story of the candy cane.

If you don’t know it, it’s about a candy maker who wanted a candy that truly represents Christmas.  The white of the candy symbolizes the virgin birth and the purity and sinless nature of Jesus.  The hardness of the candy is for the foundation of the Church and the solidity of the promises of God.  He shaped it into a “J” to represent the name of Jesus.  The red stripe is for the blood Jesus shed.

The kids were so attentive and quiet throughout this whole story.  Santa then presented them with candy canes and the story he told about the candy cane.  It was so cool to see them sit there and listen, even though it was “grown-up church.”

I can’t wait for Christmas and to celebrate the great gift God gave us. Merry Christmas, everyone! Remember what a truly amazing gift we were given so long ago, and I’ll be praying for you. God bless,

Paige

Luke 1:30-31: “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”

All the Time…God is Good

So, today was the bake auction at church today. This was to help with support of my upcoming mission trip to Mexico.  I was really looking forward to it, but I was also freaking out a bit.  I didn’t know how many people were bringing anything, and so I begged people to bring things. I was expecting three or four people to bring a couple of items.  No…there was a full table of desserts and baked goods for the auction today.  I wasn’t even expecting people to bring desserts, let alone buy all of them.  I was thinking I would make around $100…well, my entire trip was paid for through the wonderful support of those who purchased the delicious baked goods, the magnificent bakers who brought all of the goods, and those who helped clean and everything else that needed to be done.  I was so shocked! It was amazing to see the support from my church family.  I mean, Matthew 17:20 says, “He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small aa mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'”  I love to see the faith move through people the way it moves through me! I have learned lately that just a little bit of faith can really do wonders.

Well, I kept it short and sweet today.  You stay faithful the working and wonderful Lord, and I will, too! God bless,

Paige

Romans 10:10-“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Giving Thanks

Well, it is the official start of Thanksgiving break for many college students across America.  Or, at least for me.  My only class today got out fifteen minutes early and started the holiday season out just right.  I can’t wait to go back home to see all my friends from high school I haven’t seen in, can it be, five months!  I’m ready to reminisce, hear tales from their experiences, and just hang out like old times.

Sunday is going to be a massive day of crazy.  I’m singing at church, there is a Thanksgiving lunch (FREE FOOD SUNDAY!), my niece’s birthday party (3 years old, I can’t believe it), plus a bake auction to help raise funds for my mission trip.  I’ll talk more about my mission trip in a later post.

So, I just want to give a little blurb about what I’m thankful for.  I’m thankful for:

  • great friends I’ve made in college
  • great friends I still have from high school
  • my Mexico mission trip (almost fully funded now!)
  • the support I see from my church and friends for the mission trip
  • college in general
  • my roommates
  • the fact that I am loved by the Lord
  • the sunshine outside the window at this very moment
  • the encouragement I see everywhere

I’m so blessed by everything around me.  I see that on a daily basis, and I absolutely love it.  Well, keep on being an encouraging person to people and I’ll keep on being encouraged! God bless,

Paige

Psalm 69:30- “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.”

Hipsters, Jesus, and, of course, Pizza

So, today I received my first taste of a, dare I say it, hipster church.  I got to go to Redeemer KC with a few friends from school.  It was so intimidating; I’m so used to 100-150 people, all of whom know my name.  But, once I broke through that weird, emotional barrier every single new person has, I found myself fitting in with these other Christians.  It was, to say the least, a fantastic and eye-opening experience.  I was so used to older (no offense) people who wanted the same hymns every Sunday.  This church broke what I had always thought church was and rearranged my thoughts about it.

Not only was the church itself pretty darn cool, the service was absolutely wonderful.  The preacher spoke on idolatry, and what that really means to Christians.  If you don’t think you have other idols besides God, good for you, but I highly doubt it.  I mean, everyone at some point in their life has chosen something above God…I know I have.  The preacher emphasized how we need to run, flee from idolatry; it is nothing but a call to the evil in this world…idolatry equals death.  When you idolize something more than you adore and worship God, you are switching teams…playing for the enemy.  The service really hit home to me because sometimes I really feel like I idolize things, even minor things, more than I adore the Lord.  If you want to listen to it, you can find it on iTunes, or redeemerkansascity.org.  Seriously, their services are amazing.

I’m just going to add to this that lunch was also amazing…no joke.  After the service, we went to a little pizza shop called dBronx.  They have this unexpectedly delicious pizza that has a zillion different toppings on it.  I am kind of a purist when it comes to pizza, but I had to try this.  It had mushrooms, olives, peppers, pepperoni, etc.  Oh, man…good stuff.  If you’re ever in the downtown KC area, try the Bronx Special pizza..well worth the money.

Well, this is goodbye for today.  Hopefully, you’ll come back tomorrow to find out other little quirks about me.

Psalm 115:1-“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”