Elevation

elevation

After my layover chat with the Mormons I realized I never write in detail about my church. I love it yet I’ve never wrote about it. It is so unique, authentic and loving that I believe our story should be told.

The story of Elevation has to start with the pastor, Chuckk (yes, spell check it has 2 k’s). I believe his openness to share his past, personality, and love is the reason everyone involved with the church feels safe to share and be themselves. It is a beautiful thing when a group of people can be authentically themselves as they journey towards a personal relationship with God the creator.

When there are no wall or barriers to break through you can then start to learn and grow with people on the same journey as you.

Chuckk’s wife, Andrea, of course needs to be spoken about. She is there every week setting up environment and loving people. She is encouraging and a strong Christian woman. She has become my mentor and one of the ladies who I look up to. She leads by example and makes sure everyone feels welcomed into our church.

I could go on about ever single person that is important to the church but that would fill a book and I am not up for that right now. I would most likely forget to mention the middle school leader or the grumpy guitarist. I’ll just leave talking about each awesome person for another post. Or maybe it would be another series.

I really want to focus on what makes Elevation, Elevation.  The people are what is important and what gives Elevation the unique feeling but that is not the only thing. People where I start when I think about Elevation.

We believe that Church is not about the building or even the weekly service. The Church is the people who make up the community of believers we hang out with. And most do hang out either after service, during the week, or at random events. It seems like lately there are a bunch of events that people are going to and inviting other members. Elevation also organizes events, because we know that there is only so much that can be learned from Chuckk and it takes community to really grow and help others grow.

We do have service each week which is important. This is where we can worship and learn about God from a smart dude who very obviously knows God and has a deep relationship with him.

We also get to express our love for God through music which, Jeremy leads. He is also a pretty great dude. I mean he was willing to leave his home in Colorado to move to an un-churched area for the worship leader position that can only pay him as a part-time position. If that isn’t trusting God I’m not positive what is. HE also has a wonderful talent for finding great musicians.

The skill of musical people and other creative people are part of the culture of Elevation. This is also one reason I fit into this church. We are weird creative people who love God.

The mission statement of Elevation is, “Elevation exists to worship God, reach the unconvinced and together grow to be more like Jesus.” The 7 guiding values are, “Scripture-centric Teaching, Cultural Relevance, Missional Living, Engaging Worship, Authentic Community, Transformed Lives, and Focused Simplicity”

Oh yeah and we must be cool because we meet at a night club/ bar. You see we believe the actual locations doesn’t matter. We just need a space to meet in regularly. Plus, more people may feel alright going to a night club and not a cathedral or other church building.

For more information about my amazing Church you can go to Elevation’s website.

Let me know if you have any questions about Elevation or church in general; and all feedback is welcomed.

After A Vacation I’m DreamWard Bound

success

I got back from my vacation this week and hit the ground running, at least or a few days. I went to a friend’s house right when I got home, partly because I wanted to see them and their family, partly because I wanted to stay awake until at least 9. I was trying to fight my jet lag. It might have helped if I didn’t wake up at 4:30 EST and went to sleep at 10 PST. It was as if I woke up at 1:30 and went to bed at 10, or woke up at 4:30 and went to bed at 1.  It didn’t help that the next day I went over another friends house then woke up the following day at 4:45 to take make roommate to the airport.

On top of sleep issues at work the first day back I had advance training to qualify for becoming a  level 3 site owner. All this week I was really focused on the process in becoming a level 3. I mean this week in work was only 3 days and I was doing a simple job when I wasn’t training or taking tests, but still I think that counts as hitting the ground running.

That is all boring stuff. I should at least give you bullet points on my fun family vacation.

First I went a couple of days early, because well it is cheaper to fly during the middle of the week. I flew into the airport closest to my sister, Ducky’s house (nickname). I stayed with her and her family for a few days then drove up to the cabin in the mountains. We did stop along the way to see Monticello, which was Thomas Jefferson’s retirement home.

We then got to the cabin in the woods where we would be staying for the week. The grand total of humans that would be staying in this 3 floor cabin was 14. We also had 1 dog come. The house was 3 floors, which was helpful. This gave us enough room to have different people doing different things.

We didn’t just stay at the cabin. We went out and did something fun every day. We went to a water park, canoeing, and took a tour of the caverns that were around there. We also went to a lavender garden, went out to eat at a smoke house, and went on an adventure course. I even took 3 out of the 5 kids on a garden maze at the caverns, which was fun.

By the end of the week our numbers started to dwindle both Ducky and Cole (another sister) had to go home early, because of work. This caused a problem, since my ride to the airport was Ducky and my flight didn’t leave until a couple of days after we had to leave the cabin. What wound up happening was a bit complicated but worked. I was driven to Cole’s house, since mom had stuff she needed to drop off for her. I then stayed at her house for a couple of days, then brought to Ducky’s house and stayed there a couple of days.

I had nothing interesting happen flying home, but I did talk to Mormons while I was heading towards my family vacation. I actually wrote something about that, because if nothing else it was an interesting conversation. That will be posted later on this week.

I will actually be publishing a lot this week and next week. I think I may have 3 weeks of stuff to publish from the trip. I also have a couple of fun videos that will be published as soon as I look at them. The videos are 2 improv videos I did before leaving for vacation. I may have a video from vacation, but not sure about that yet, since it was longer, so I would have to edit it down.

There is no list of things I did this week, since I haven’t published anything in a while. Next week there will be a good list though.

I hope you have a wonderful week and thank you for reading.

After A Vacation I'm DreamWard Bound

success

I got back from my vacation this week and hit the ground running, at least or a few days. I went to a friend’s house right when I got home, partly because I wanted to see them and their family, partly because I wanted to stay awake until at least 9. I was trying to fight my jet lag. It might have helped if I didn’t wake up at 4:30 EST and went to sleep at 10 PST. It was as if I woke up at 1:30 and went to bed at 10, or woke up at 4:30 and went to bed at 1.  It didn’t help that the next day I went over another friends house then woke up the following day at 4:45 to take make roommate to the airport.

On top of sleep issues at work the first day back I had advance training to qualify for becoming a  level 3 site owner. All this week I was really focused on the process in becoming a level 3. I mean this week in work was only 3 days and I was doing a simple job when I wasn’t training or taking tests, but still I think that counts as hitting the ground running.

That is all boring stuff. I should at least give you bullet points on my fun family vacation.

First I went a couple of days early, because well it is cheaper to fly during the middle of the week. I flew into the airport closest to my sister, Ducky’s house (nickname). I stayed with her and her family for a few days then drove up to the cabin in the mountains. We did stop along the way to see Monticello, which was Thomas Jefferson’s retirement home.

We then got to the cabin in the woods where we would be staying for the week. The grand total of humans that would be staying in this 3 floor cabin was 14. We also had 1 dog come. The house was 3 floors, which was helpful. This gave us enough room to have different people doing different things.

We didn’t just stay at the cabin. We went out and did something fun every day. We went to a water park, canoeing, and took a tour of the caverns that were around there. We also went to a lavender garden, went out to eat at a smoke house, and went on an adventure course. I even took 3 out of the 5 kids on a garden maze at the caverns, which was fun.

By the end of the week our numbers started to dwindle both Ducky and Cole (another sister) had to go home early, because of work. This caused a problem, since my ride to the airport was Ducky and my flight didn’t leave until a couple of days after we had to leave the cabin. What wound up happening was a bit complicated but worked. I was driven to Cole’s house, since mom had stuff she needed to drop off for her. I then stayed at her house for a couple of days, then brought to Ducky’s house and stayed there a couple of days.

I had nothing interesting happen flying home, but I did talk to Mormons while I was heading towards my family vacation. I actually wrote something about that, because if nothing else it was an interesting conversation. That will be posted later on this week.

I will actually be publishing a lot this week and next week. I think I may have 3 weeks of stuff to publish from the trip. I also have a couple of fun videos that will be published as soon as I look at them. The videos are 2 improv videos I did before leaving for vacation. I may have a video from vacation, but not sure about that yet, since it was longer, so I would have to edit it down.

There is no list of things I did this week, since I haven’t published anything in a while. Next week there will be a good list though.

I hope you have a wonderful week and thank you for reading.

Late fourth of July post

My first flight to North Carolina was filled with Soldiers. Like myself they got to the gate early and I was able to watch and listen to them. In serving together they had become to at least act as a large family. They joked, teased and talked like they were a loving family. One reoccurring theme in their conversations was how excited and happy they were to be going home. They were a family but it was clear that they missed their own families. One had a son that was potty training. One talked on the phone to her mom. Another talked about partying with friends when he got back to his hometown. A few others talked about their girlfriends or called them on their phone.

The conclusion I made through all of these small interaction is that these people love deeply. They love their families and friends. They love their soldier family, their battle-mates. They also love their country deeply. They must, because they would not leave the ones they loved if they didn’t. They would not risk everything or sacrifice time away from their home, from where their loved ones and life are, if they did not love their country. Soldiers are very loving, noble, and brave. I am very thankful for this fact on July fourth, and today.

Thank you, to all the men and women who served and still serve this country. I am very grateful for every soldier of this country.

Inside the Listening Tree. (Short Story)

There once was a tree that was called the listening tree. It lived in a picturesque forest with blue and purple flowers growing at its base. People would climb this tree in the beautiful forest. They would sit on the many limbs of the tree and told the tree all their problems. For years and years the tree grew and people climbed the tree to talk with it. They left all their issues with the tree and some way or another the issues and problems left with the tree would get solved.

As more and more people talked to the tree and more and more problems were solved, more people heard and came. Soon people were traveling from far away to talk to this tree. By the time this time the tree was the largest tree most has ever seen. It appeared to the people who lived closest to the tree that the more people came to the tree the larger it became.

Every day for years and years every limb was covered with people chattering about their woes. Then one day only one came. It was a little girl with tears in her eyes. She could not even reach the first branch to climb up on the tree, so she sat down by the flowers and told the tree, “I know I’m not special and I know that everyone else’s issues are more important. I’m just a little girl, but I’m all alone and no one even notices me. I would like some one to at least greet me.”

As she finished her request a little door opened and out walked a tiny old woman with wings who flew up to be near the little girl’s face.

Astonished the little girl asked, “Who are you?”

“I am the mother of this tree, every limb has one of my children listening to your people. No one has even talked to me in many years, so I know how you feel.”

The little girl smiled. “Thank you for letting me see you and thank you for noticing me.”

“My dear girl, being noticed is not your issue. What breaks your heart is that you are alone. I can see it in your eyes. Come live with us and you will never be alone.”

“I can not live in a tree or in the forest.”

The mother laughed and told her, “We are magical. I will shrink you down and give you wings. That is when you can choose to either be a listener with me or a giver with my husband.”

“What is a giver?”

Smiling the mother told the child, “A giver is one who gives the people what they need to mend their hearts or fix their problems.” She saw the confusion in the girl’s eyes and told her, with a sweet voice, “We do not fix other’s problems for them, we only open their eyes and give them the tools.”

“Are the givers ever alone?”

“When they are out helping others they may be.”

“I think I would like to stay with you then and be a listener.”

“As you wish,” The mother said and with a kiss on the girl’s head the girl was turned into a tiny winged version of herself.

 

This was a quick short story that I wrote at my day job when the internet was down. 

And just as a reminder I will be on vacation starting Thursday.

writing

Extra Stated Song: You are my sunshine

Hello since I had an extra day I figured I would do a quick video. I was planning on doing Carry on My wayward Son, but decided to do a song that I know by heart and love deeply. You are my Sunshine is a song that my mom sung to me growing up and I love it.


I hope you enjoy this video.