Code Orange, Growing Church, And Omg, What Did I Do?

First thing’s first: Mom and I finally saw Pastor Steven at the home church last Saturday (third time’s the charm, right?)  It was a great message.  I loved the chill vibe he was giving off.  Saturday service is awesome.

This month, my church’s second campus opened!  Second campus here, where I live that is.  We had a little get together, everyone who moved from the first campus.  We talked about the vision and how volunteering was going to look (like, where we were going to set up, how things were going to run, all that jazz).IMG_3155

Then, it was time for Code Orange Revival.  The last one was back in 2012 (which, fun fact, was where the people who started the campus got the idea to actually start one).  Code Orange Revival is ten days of different speakers/pastors.  This year, we had Joyce Meyer, Christine Cane, John Gray, Levi Lusco, and a few others I can’t remember.  It was a very heavy, exhausting ten days.  Ten days of hearing back to back preaching, with hardly any time to process what you heard the night before.  But it was good.  At least you can go on YouTube and listen to them, after you’ve had a nice, week long nap.IMG_3214

A lady that Mom volunteers with asked if we wanted to go to the live recording of the church’s new worship album (which happened one of the ten days).  So, the four of us (including the lady’s son), drove down to North Carolina.  I have to be honest, though, it wasn’t what we expected.  We waited in line, outside, for eight or so hours, and towards the end of waiting, people kept cutting in front of us (since we got there early, we were at the front of the line).  “My friend was holding my spot,” they would say.  No, they weren’t, but if that makes you feel better, be my guest.

We got pretty good seats, a few rows up from where the pastor sits.  We could see the stage perfectly.  But, the downside was the atmosphere.  Instead of it feeling like a worship setting, it felt like a concert.  Instead of feeling like people were worshiping, it felt like people were there just to say they were there.  I felt like the band was just going through the motions, playing the same songs, the same way they played every Sunday, the same way (you have a CD with twelve songs, and yet you only play the same three every other week, rotating in which order you play them).IMG_3314

I wasn’t the only one who felt like that.  Mom and the other lady felt it too.  Her son loved it though, and that made me happy.  I don’tregret going.  I went once, I don’t have to do it again.IMG_3362

With the new campus opening, I figured this would be a great chance to do something I had been wanting to do forever: I got my hair cut.  I met a girl at church who works in a salon, so I just decided to take the plunge.  I also did something else new: I got it cut short.  I mean, it’s short.  To be honest, I didn’t like it, mostly because it was a big change. But, it’s growing on me (ba dum chh- get it?  Hair?  Growing?  On my head?).





So, that’s it for this month.  Gee, a lot went on!  At least I had something to talk about.


Book Review: ‘Forgiveness’ by Matthew West


Matthew West has always been a story-teller, through music though.  “Next Thing You Know,” off of his History album, is a story about himself.  But for his Into The Light album, he decided to go a different route.

He had to have surgery that kept him silent for a year.  A singer who had to keep quiet…that’s rough.  But after that year, he got right back on the saddle.  It never brought him down, and out of it, came his album, “Something To Say.”  I’m sure that sitting quiet for a year puts a new perspective on things, makes you sit with yourself and think.  A lot.

I missed Matthew the first chance I got to see him.  As I walked into the venue, he was finishing up his last song, and he walked off stage.  I was quite bummed.  But, many years later, I got the chance to see him at TBN in Nashville (Hendersonville), all by himself.  Boy was I overjoyed.  I was finally going to see him in concert.  I didn’t know what to expect at first, but then I found out that this “concert” was for his newest album, which was not out yet.

Matthew decided to get other people’s stories.  He looked through countless e-mails, and the stories that touched him the most, he made songs about them.  And he put them on his album.  Yes, his whole Into The Light album is full of true stories, in song form.  In comes the book.

This book tells those stories.  “Behind the songs” type of thing.  “Forgiveness” is the name of a song on the album, but it is also his first single, and the first chapter of the book.  The story behind that song is about a drunk driver who killed this mother’s daughter. While the drunk driver is on his way to jail, the mom asks that he get a shorter sentence.  Wow, talk about forgiveness!

Matthew tells the true story, sent in by the person, then he talks about the story, his thoughts and what the Bible says in relation to the story, and then at the end he writes about how he wrote the song that goes along with it.  So, you can see the process he went through as he wrote for the album.  At the end of the book, he writes about his own story, the story that goes along with “Next Thing You Know.”  He is a preacher’s kid, but he never accepted Jesus until he was thirteen, sitting in the den flipping through the channels on the t.v.  Looking for a baseball game, he stopped to watch Billy Graham.

This isn’t the only book he’s written.  He another one, “The Story of Your Life” that goes along with his album of the same name.  That album is also filled with true stories from people who have e-mailed him.

It’s a very short, small book.  But it’s packed with humor (Matthew is quite the funny guy), lessons to be learned, and chains to be broken.  There is a story in there for everyone: those who have lost, those who are alone, those who are addicts, those who feel unloved.  I’d give it five stars just for those reasons alone.

If you want to learn how others have received and given forgiveness, or you just like true stories, sign up for BookSneeze and get it for free.  It’s well worth reading.