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.

My Bad Morning (a Short Story)

writing

This is based on a true story.

I woke up today, not wanting to get out of bed. It was nothing big. I just did not want to go to work. I wanted the weekend to come a day early.

I did wake up and I did get out of bed. I got ready and decided to take part in my work’s fancy Friday. You see when you work in a company of hackers, who also have nerd tendencies, casual dress is more common than not. Most days people dress in jeans and t-shirts, but not on Friday. Friday people dress up. There is one person who appreciates fancy Fridays the most and who I believe started the tradition. It was this person’s birthday, so I thought it would be nice and cool if I dressed up. I found my dress pants and my favorite button up shirt. I did my makeup and hair. I then put my heels on and went out the door.

I got a late from my favorite cafe. My day had a later than normal start, but it was going fine. It wasn’t until I got on the highway that everything stopped being fine. I heard a load noise as if my car was drive on something. I asked myself if something could be stuck under my car. I almost didn’t pull over, but decided it would be best. I got off the highway and the sound changed a bit to more of a thud-thud sound as if my tire was flat. I thought it strange since when I was on the highway it was just really loud. I pulled into a grocery stores parking lot and got out of my car. My tire was completely blown, with holes all of it.

It was still okay. I was going to change a tire. How hard could it be? I thought I had it all under control. I started with taking the spare tire out. This should be the easiest part right? I just needed to undo the bolt and slide it out from under my car. It sounds simple, but when you are dressed up, determined to stay clean and need to pull something out from under your car things get difficult. On top of staying clean I did not want to get my clothes wet, because it had rained the night before and as soon as I started to try to get the spare tire out it started to sprinkle. I wound up doing yoga positions and weird poses just to figure out what I could do to get the tire out from under my car. Finally after a fight and a struggle I freed the dirty rescue tire from its cage.

Now, it was time to get the jack in place. Again, this should be easy, right? Don’t you just put it under you car and crank it up? Apparently the answer to both those questions was ‘no.’ After the wheel did not move, but the car frame moved I decided to look at my manual. It was inside in my glove compartment.

I went the front of my car and saw my delicious latte sitting abandoned. I thought it best to show it some love by taking a sip. It thought it best to spill all over my car. Thankfully I did not get burned, because it was lukewarm by now. Yes, I got to enjoy one, maybe two sips of hot coffee before my tire blew and now the fight over the spare tire caused my coffee to be lukewarm.

I sighed a heavy sigh and started to flip through the manual to figure out what to do with the jack. It had now started to full-out rain. Once I thought I had everything in control people started to ask my if I needed help. I was too proud and too confident to let them. I was going to finish this task. I could do it. I know I am a woman who is looking fancy, but I can do it. I can change a tire. I didn’t need any help.

I did get the jack in place and the tire ready to be taken off. I now just needed to get the nuts off. In the movies they make it seem pretty easy. Plus, this is harder than it should have been already, so now the easy part should happen. I am almost done. I just need to get the tire off.

Well, after a few minutes of trying to getting them off with increasing force a nice older man came over to should me a trick. He got on the wrench thing and jumped. Yes, I called it a wrench thing. I do not know the right name for the tool that came in the back with the jack. Also, yes, he did stand, full weight on the thing and jumped. I thought awesome I know how to do it now. I thanked him thinking that was all I needed. I just needed a tip from a stranger. He accepted the gratitude and went on his way. So, in my heels I started to hop with both feet on the wrench thing. Nothing happened. I had a thought of, “hey, I’m light.” This thought was followed by, “Oh my goodness, I am so weak I can’t even get this nut to loosen.” Thankfully after a minute of hopping on the wrench thing another man came and helped me. He told me to lower the jack and loosened the nuts for me.

After I finished taking the nuts off the wheel was easy to get off. I was almost done. I just needed to get the spare tire on and then drive  less than a mile to the tire store. By now though I knew that stupid tire wasn’t going to be easy. I just picked it up and waited until find the issue. It was aligning the holes with the bolts. I felt like I was trying to line up an ancient key with its keyhole. It took longer than it should have. Of course, the entire process took longer than it should have. Finally, after one more person asked to help me, which I refused on the fact that it was only the spare tire now, I was able to get it on.


I got up with my outfit still clean and was meant with one more nice person. It was really surprising to me how many people actually wanted to help me. I told the guy I was done, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt for him to check to make sure they were tight enough. He did and was able to tighten them a bit more.

I was now off to the tire store, where I was told that all four actually needed to be replaced. While they were pricing the tires I cleaned my hands and arms, which were the only things to get dirty. I then went and decided that I never wanted to change a tire again, so got all four new tires in hopes that it would at least postpone the tire changing nightmare.

I waited an hour in the waiting room before I was able to go to work. I got to work and after an hour I went to get a snack. I made myself peanut butter on toast. I was still proud of myself and happy that I did not get any dirt on my clothes. I tell you this because after I finished with my snack I looked down and saw that some peanut butter had dropped on my shirt along with my pants. I just had to laugh that I can change a tire while staying clean, but can not eat and stay clean.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my morning. I know I will one day when I am not frustrated with how long it took. 

Sated Song: Storybook

This week’s Stated Song is Storybook which is from the musical Scarlet Pimpernel. When I was younger I was in voice lessons to learn how to sing and this was a song I remember very fondly  doing. I really like the dreamer’s voice and attitude. Some days I feel this same way. Some days I feel like I am just a dreamer with no real love. However, I am lucky, because I do have real love. I have a wonderful family and friends who love me. Yet, since I don’t have a ‘lover’ I do feel like I am missing what is real love, which is what this song is about.

You can listen to the actual song on youtube. It is sung by Rachel York. The musical, The Scarlet Pimpernel  is a 1997 Broadway musical composed by Frank Wildhorn and written by Nan Knighton, the production starred Douglas Sills as Sir Percy Blakeney, Christine Andreas as Marguerite Blakeney, and Terrence Mann as Citizen Chauvelin. ( I simply copied and pasted all this information from The Scarlet Pimpernel’s Wikiepedia page.)

 

The lyrics that I used for this Stated song are:

Listen to me, I have beautiful dreams I can spin you
Dreams to linger within you
Close your eyes and we’ll ride my carousel
I’ll tell you stories of lovers whose love used to fill me
And the lovers who will be
For, you see, love is one thing I do well
Come, let’s believe love can be just as sweet as it seems
Let’s live on dreams!

In my dreams such beautiful lovers have found me
Storybook lovers surround me
Nothing is real, but I’m flying, sighing
Where is my storybook ending?
Why does my golden pretending
Leave me with nothing to hold but my dreams?

Oh, is it only in dreams that we find our ideal love?
Are there lovers with real love?
If you know how to feel love, show me now
but my prince, if you can’t be as sweet as you seem
I’d rather dream

Come and wake me!
Come be the love I can hold now
Storybook love leaves me cold now
Show me the way to stop dreaming
There is only one perfect storybook ending
That is the end of pretending
That is the moment I say, love me now!