7 Quick Takes: 3/28/14

Another Friday means another installment of Quick Takes…I just finished up an exam for my online class and only have one left to do! This semester is finally coming to an end, and I honestly can’t wait! I have today off, and plan on relaxing, doing a bit of writing, and watching movies with my mom, so if you don’t mind I’m just going to get right to the takes….

1.) Last week I didn’t post because I was extremely tired. I would have written the post Thursday and then published, but I didn’t….then I could have posted live on Friday but I didn’t do that either. You see, I spent all day Thursday painting. First thing Thursday morning I gutted my room, and over the course of 12-15 hours I painted two coats of paint above and below the awful horrible kill-it-with-fire bane-of-my-existence  chair rail, painted the chair rail, and painted all the trim…then I had the joy of putting everything back together. By the end of the night I was sore, tired, and so not in the mood to write. I only wish that I had gotten better pictures to share, but here is what I can show you….

2.) The NCAA Basketball tournament began on Thursday and our church is having a little friendly bracket competition…I spent most of the first weekend tied for first place in a field heavily dominated by the men I work with….I was extremely proud of myself…until Sunday….the wheels fell off the wagon Sunday when the Kansas Jayhawks lost……..and busted my poor little bracket…..
3.) Sunday night my Bible Quizzing kids had their last practice before the big District Quiz Meet on Saturday. Dad wrote a stellar Jeopardy style game for them, and they are all ready for the meet. This season they were studying the book of Genesis, and next year we’ll move on to Exodus….I still have a trophy on my shelf from when I was a quizzer….The last time I quizzed we were in the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel….I loved being a quizzer, and I feel like I’ve come full circle now that I’m one of the coaches. 
4.) Tuesday night I went out with a group of great ladies from church; we went to dinner and then headed to the cinema to see God’s Not Dead. I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you go see this movie! It was phenomenal. I will try to summarize without spoiling…
Josh is a college Freshman who has to fulfill a humanities credit, so he takes an intro to philosophy class. On the first day in class the professor tells his students that he wants to “get the argument out of the way” so he has them write God is Dead on a piece of paper, sign their name, and turn it in for full credit as an assignment. Josh refuses, stating that he is a Christian and he could never renounce his faith in that way. The professor then tells him that over the course of three classes Josh is to make his argument to the class….prove to the class that God’s NOT dead…..The class could then decide; is Josh right or the professor. Josh makes his case, citing arguments from both sides of the issue, and ultimately the class decides that…………………………. 
(you thought I’d spoil it didn’t you? I told you I wouldn’t) 
There are several other story lines mixed in with the main story, but they all revolve around the main premise that God’s Not Dead…it was a very well done film, and I would very much recommend everyone see this movie. 
5.) I’m going to jump back to Sunday for a moment…
The Good Wife….Will….no……but……why…..really?……there was no other option………Will?! No!
Okay, but really….and fans of The Good Wife out there?? I’d love to hear your thoughts about Sunday night’s episode…are you as grief-stricken as me….
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman, and only my favorite TV show host) tweeted about the episode on Sunday, and by Monday after I’d finally watched it, I responded to her on a whim….and this just made my day!!
Seriously though….DAY. MADE!!
6.) I have had serious writer’s block this past week….or two….I am so stuck in fact that my character has been left sitting on a bench for the last week….or two….because I can’t figure out where she needs to go next!! I am however working on what I hope will be the concluding book in the series. I am in the process of writing the turning point scene. I hesitate to call it the climax because that’s not really what it is; it’s the scene that changes the lives of my characters, and ultimately changes the direction of the story. That’s why I hesitate to call it the climax, because calling it that suggests a resolution to that scene, which wouldn’t necessarily involve my characters. I have to admit that through this process I’ve gained so much more respect for authors of historical fiction…really authors in general. I’ve had such fun walking this path, and learning my style, and technique, and really working on honing this skill….but let me tell you, it is hard! It gives me  a much greater appreciation for the books that I love! 
7.) I’m about to head out and run some errands, so this is it for me today! OH! Good news for my fellow Michiganders….the snow is melting! 
LOOK!!! GRASS!!!!
As always, I’m linking up with Jen and the others over at Conversion Diary. Make sure to head over there and check out the rest of this week’s Quick Takes!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings, 

Megan 

7 Quick Takes: VBS Hangover

Happy Saturday everyone! I’m a day late with my post but I’m recovering from VBS! It was a fantastic week, I had a great time with the kids, and am already planning for next year, but here are a few highlights from the week…..

1.) I was in charge of Bible Memory for the week. The kids learned 5 verses over the course of four days.

                a.) “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God.”
                       1 John 3:1a

                 b.) “Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.”  Jeremiah 7:23a

                 c.) “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come.”
                     2 Corinthians 5:17

                  d.) “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5

                   e.) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him
                        will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Each child got a card like this to take home at the end of each night so that they could work on memorizing their verses for the week. 
2.) If they could come back the next night and tell me their Bible verse they got…….
CANDY!! Wow, could these kids just devour the candy….but they were learning the Bible verses, and  retaining it! Did I bribe them….technically yes…..were they learning?? Absolutely! By the end of the week each of the hundred and twenty children went home with at least one piece of candy because they learned a Bible verse! I was so proud of those kids! 
3.) Bible memory was done in the same time frame as snack, so of course Miss Megan just had to indulge on the night of root beer floats. 
The kids you see in this picture? This was our (kindergartners going into the) first grade group. As far as memorization goes, they did the best job. Every child in this group was able to recite EVERY verse to me by the end of the week! My heart soared when I finished up with this group on the last night!
4.) 
The theme for the week was Tumbleweed Gulch….it was a western theme. No western would be complete without a campfire right? So we employed the use of the inflatable campfire! 
5.) VBS was over on Thursday night, dad had the day off on Friday so mom decided to go blueberry picking! We went out as a family, and came home with close to eight pounds of berries. 
6.) The bushes were just absolutely loaded down with berries, peaches are coming in, and apples will be ready to pick by the first of September! I love the orchards here in Michigan, and can’t wait to go out apple picking in just a few short weeks…..
7.) As always I will be adding my link with everyone else’s over at Conversion Diary so make sure to head on over and check them out! 
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 
Blessings, 
Megan 

7 Quick Takes: One Louder Edition

Joining Jen and the rest at Conversion Diary for a little Friday Fun, be sure to check it out.

So, last week I told you all about Disciple Now, and I promised you a recap; here it is:

1.) We kicked off the weekend with a leadership meeting, and prayer for all of the kids that would be participating. We went over rules and expectations, and got ready to welcome them for the weekend.

Handbook/Note Keeping Journal
2.) Usually a rule on weekends like this is that (for the students) cell phones, i-devices, tablets, etc., etc, are not allowed. This one was different however. We literally wanted to be One Louder for the whole weekend. So, we allowed the students to keep their electronics. We blew up Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all weekend using the hashtag #OneLouder. 
2a.) On Sunday, to wrap up, we were told that our tweets were seen by a possible 140K people! How awesome, that our message went viral! At one point in the weekend we were “Trending”. 
3.) The theme of the weekend was One Louder. Andrew, our Sr. High Pastor said it best in his blog this week:

One Louder is buzz language for living out of ones own comfort zone and reaching outside to those who don’t yet know the love of Christ. One Louder is the acceptance of the outcast, the defense of the oppressed, the standing up for the bullied, and the love for the unlovable. Ultimately One Louder is a life lived for the other.

 You can find him at Arpology... he was the creative genius behind this weekend.

Our speaker for the weekend was our College Pastor, in one of his messages he said that we need to live our lives as an 11-out-of-10, One Louder, one more than normal. He also said that  we need to think outside the “soap”box. One louder isn’t necessarily street corner preaching, but that it could be Shiva…the Jewish mourning tradition of just being present. One Louder could be just listening to someone talk, when someone asks you to pray for them instead of adding it to your list take the time right then to pray WITH them.

4.) I had the most amazing group of girls to spend the weekend with. They are all struggling with issues that I dealt with at that age, and in one of them I see so much of myself. I could tell that she (more than the others) was really struggling to fit in, and that reminded me so much of my eighth grade self. I was able to have some great talks with her, and just be a friend for all of them this weekend. We started with small groups on Friday night, and right off the bat got into some pretty deep spiritual discussions, and I could tell right then what we were in store for, for the rest of the retreat. We did some get to know you stuff where the girls introduced themselves, and then got to ask me any question that they wanted to. I highly recommend this to anyone in a youth leadership position: I had them write on a slip of paper (anonymously) any question they wanted to…spiritual, fashion, relationships, nothing was off limits….and then I had to answer. Let me tell you, things got emotional. We talked about our spiritual journeys, friendship troubles, the importance of knowing that no matter how you feel about what you see in the mirror, GOD sees beauty! I got emotional, and so did my girls.

Then when we had gathered ourselves together we settled in with popcorn, and homemade peanut butter fudge and watched The Princess Bride. Which up until this point in my life I had never seen…..Holy Twoo Wuv Batman! It was AWESOME! I didn’t know what I was missing until now…..Loved it!

5.) Saturday was a day of service. We were sent all over the community to do a day of service projects. I went with my girls over to a local clothing closet, and food distribution center. We painted, vacuumed, sorted through bags of donated items, cleaned windows inside and out, and scrubbed floors. We did all that in two hours, and still had two more to go. We headed back for the church where we joined in on the folding of 4,000 plastic grocery bags for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan…yes, we folded 4,000 plastic bags! It was fun!

6.) I had a wonderful weekend, hanging out with the teens, seeing old friends, and remembering my time as a student on these retreats. These kids have committed themselves to living One Louder! They have said that they are not ashamed of the Gospel! I saw the power of God working in them! How amazing it was to see prayers answered this weekend!

7.)   Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” 

 One Louder. Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel, don’t be ashamed of your faith, of who you are in Christ! Live your life as and 11-out-of-10! Let your actions, your unyielding faith, your love speak One Louder! I know that in this society it isn’t always easy, God never promised that your cross wouldn’t be heavy, but he did promise to bring you through. Living One Louder may sound impossible, but not with God on your side. I can’t wait to see where he takes this. We can be One Louder here at home, or on an international mission field. We can be One Louder as a pastor, or as a psychologist. God can use you wherever you are, whatever your circumstance he can use you to be One Louder!

Thank you so much for your prayers for this weekend! I would like to ask that you keep praying for our teens, as they return back to “normal” life. Being back at school, and at home for some is not always easy. Please continue to pray.

Allow me to leave you with this….here is a picture of me (on the right) and my best friend.

The two of us met seven years ago as students at Disciple Now, and were back this year as leaders! I trust this girl with my life. We keep each other accountable, we keep each other in line, and we confide in each other…thanks to a Disciple Now seven years ago….I got to witness friendships like ours formed this weekend. Thanks be to God for putting these people in our lives!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Blessings,

Megan  

7 Quick Takes:12/21/12

Go check out Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes, and while you’re act it check out Jen’s show Minor Revisions….I caught the first episode, it was great!

Okay, now for some takes…..

1.) Exams are finally over, and didn’t go so bad this term! I passed all of my classes and I’m looking forward to a much needed Christmas break!

2.) When I got home from my last exam I came home to find my acceptance letter from UofM Flint….boy was I excited to see that!!!

3.) Sunday’s concert was fabulous!! I was so impressed with our music ministry, and how well everyone did! Next up: Christmas Celebration on the 23rd, and a Christmas Eve Service….I love this time of year!

4.) My shopping, and crafting is officially DONE!!!

Just a small sample of what I’ve made this year

5.) I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland! We got a couple inches of snow over night, and this Midwestern girl is loving it! I have been wanting snow for a while, and we’d get s pome and it would be gone an hour later, but this….this is Christmas snow!

6.) In keeping with tradition, dad and I will be going out on Christmas Eve for coffee and people watching! Every year for as long as I can remember, dad and I go out early on Christmas Eve and walk the mall. As a young girl he would buy me a hot chocolate, and himself a coffee, and we would walk the mall and just watch people. Men in a hurry for that one last thing, women looking frazzled, kids getting their wishes to Santa right at the last minute. I love it! Now we go, and each of us get a coffee, and we walk, and talk, and laugh with each other. Lots of good memories of Christmas Eve morning with dad!

7.) then, at night, mom will do lasagna, a big salad, and Italian bread for dinner! We have dinner as a family, and then (as a family) we go to the Christmas Eve service where mom and dad sing in the choir and I play in the orchestra, it really is a family affair for us! We have this beautiful candlelit service, and it’s one that I look forward too all year!

What Christmas traditions dose YOUR family have? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Tell me about any special family recipes that only come put this time of year, any crazy family traditions, or some really special ones?

Christmas Blessings,

Megan

Phone Dump: 12/9/12

It’s phone dump time!! Here are the gems from my Instagram feed this week…..

1.) I brought my work home with me this week….1,400 communication cards to put into the computer following a concert at church.

Getting ready to sing the Messiah! 
Cupcakes for the Choir and Orchestra Lunch Rehearsal this afternoon! Yum!!
This weeks phone dump was honestly, quite pathetic….if I’m only going to get three or four a week I might rethink a weekly phone dump, and just wait until I have a bunch…We’ll see.
Finals start this week and carry on into the next so you may not here from me for a while. I’m crawling into my finals week cave and not coming out ’til they’re done! I might try to sneak in a quick “Quick Takes” post, and possibly a commentary on the cruelty of two weeks of finals….I’ll also keep you posted on the transfer process (so far so good!)…it’s going to be a long two weeks, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and Christmas break is calling my name!!

Blessings, 

Megan 

Phone Dump: 12/2/12

I decided today, that on Sundays I will be doing an Instagram Phone Dump. I don’t feel like this really needs much explanation….so now, I will let the pictures do the talking….

1. One of many towels that I will be cross stitching for Christmas this year….this one (as you can see) is a work in progress.

     2. A shot of my desk at work. This week I was preparing music for two upcoming Advent services, and   a Christmas concert,

3. Mom and I in Frankenmuth (dad took the pic). We did a little Christmas shopping in Frankenmuth Michigan this week, and if you haven’t been there, or don’t know what I’m talking about Click Here!
We got LOTS of shopping done!

4. My favorite store! Yankee Candle! Mom was on a mission to find a Jelly Donut Candle. This is a scent that we got her for Christmas last year and she LOVED it….this trip we ended up with Maple Pancakes, needless to say, the house smells AMAZING!!

5. This is a Chocolate Turtle Cupcake from Sugar High Bakery in Frankenmuth. They are winners of Food Network’s Cupcake wars! This was an awesome cupcake!

6. Me with my cousin. Sweet girl was so excited to be a part of her very first Children’s Christmas pageant today! I’m so proud of her!
I hope you are enjoying this first Sunday of Advent!

Blessings to all,

Megan