Now Playing Tracks

I was getting really bothered by all the negativity and cynicism regarding the Kony 2012 campaign, and then I got in the car to drive and this was the first song on the radio. I’d never heard it before, but Sara Groves is on of my favorite artists, and this is a beautiful song about freedom. It was another perfectly timed reminder from God to keep going when the world tries to bring you down. No power on earth can separate us from the love of God. One day He will break all chains and free the enslaved and oppressed. We have hope.

Paul and Silas, bound in jail, 
Got no money for to go their bail, 
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on. 

Paul and Silas thought they’d lost, 
The dungeon shook and the chains fell off, 
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on. 

Freedom’s name is mighty sweet, 
and one day soon we are gonna meet. 
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on. 

Got my hand on the Gospel plow, 
Won’t take nothing for my journey now. 
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on. 

The way is slow, 
And we’ve so far to go. 
Keep your eyes on the prize… 

Hold on. 

Only chain a man can stand 
Is that chain of hand in hand, 
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on. 

Ain’t no man on earth control 
The weight of glory on a human soul. 
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on. 

Keep your eyes on the prize… 
Keep your eyes on the prize… 

When you see a man walk free, 
It makes you dream of Jubilee. 

When you see a child walk free, 
It makes you dream of Jubilee. 

When you see a family free, 
It makes you dream of Jubilee. 
Keep your eyes on the prize, 
Hold on.

Awake in Christ

I was reading in Romans 12 and 13 today from the contemporary wording of the Bible called The Message, and was really struck by these verses. All of the craziness and controversy regarding the LRA and Invisible Children has really gotten to me, so I am glad to be reminded of these biblical truths. I’ve quoted the verses here, and added bold to emphasize the ones that are particularly striking to me. 

Romans 12

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit right into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you… The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him…If you are called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated by them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face….Don’t burn out, keep yourselves fueled and aflame…cheerfully expectant…Bless your enemies….Don’t hit back….Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Romans 13

Make sure you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is over, the dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence…Get out of bed and get dressed! Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

Hit Your Knees! 24-Hour Day of Prayer for Lana

My roommate Tara recently found out that her Aunt Lana has advanced breast cancer with tumors in her lungs, liver, and spine. Tomorrow, Monday, February 27th, her family is asking for a 24-hour day of prayer. Below is from their blog:

"The day after we sent our prayer request to you, Lana noticed that the tumor in her breast had shrunk suddenly and significantly.  And by 4 o’clock in the morning, she wasn’t sure if she could even find it at all!  We began to pray hard that this would be just an indicator of what’s going on in the rest of her body, that the cancer is being driven out by the power of God, and what was once in the darkness must now flee in the light!

We’ve been praying toward that for the rest of the week, and with that in mind, I’d like to ask you to consider praying and fasting along with me and hundreds of others who have already told us they’ll be praying with us during a special 24 hour prayer vigil for my wife.  You don’t have to go anywhere special, just pray wherever you are starting tomorrow morning, Monday, February 27th at 7:00 a.m. Central Time (-6 GMT), through Tuesday morning, the 28th, at 7:00 a.m.  We’re going to be praying and fasting that God would spare Lana’s life, confessing that her life and ministry isn’t at the end, but that it’s just at the beginning in a whole new way!

We believe that even one prayer, offered in faith, has tremendous power!  As the Bible says:

“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:13-16).”

They ask that you kneel on the ground to pray as some point tomorrow “because we want Satan to feel the earth tremble as we pray for Lana.”

Thank you so much!

Hundreds of Arrests made during Superbowl - Including Trafficking Arrests

"In hotels and brothels, and via the Internet over a 10-day period ending Monday night, 314 “johns” were arrested and charged in a multi-state effort targeting sex traffickers.

“Large sporting events such as the Super Bowl bring out competitiveness in all of us — including, unfortunately, pimps and sex traffickers,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said in the release. “In the days leading up to and including Super Bowl Sunday, my office coordinated with 19 other law enforcement agencies from around the country to send a strong message that our communities refuse to tolerate the sale of human beings for sex.”

Dart and the sheriff’s office took the lead in coordinating the nationwide sweep as part of an ongoing effort to highlight the role of sex buyers as perpetrators while also providing support for prostitutes through its Human Trafficking Response Team, a sheriff’s office release said.

In total, 556 people were arrested during the sting, including 314 men for soliciting sex; 227 misdemeanor arrests including prostitution; two human trafficking arrests and five pimping arrests; three pandering arrests; four theft arrests; 10 possession/delivery of drugs arrests; 12 weapons charges.”

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - Day 6 of February Facebook Fast

Alternatively Titled - I mustache you a question.

That title is an stunningly bad pun. Thankfully I didn’t come up with it. I was in the atrium getting lunch the other day when I saw a poster with those mustache tabs. The poster said, “If you cannot grow a mustache, I mustache you to take one.” Luckily, I am fall under the category of People Who Cannot Grow Mustaches, so I did as the person mustached, and I took one. 

That is a decision I don’t foresee regretting anytime soon. 

Today was a another coffee-drinking day. I had class at 9:30, we discussed the slavery of women in 1930s Nigeria that I talked about on my blog yesterday. It was a good discussion.

During lunch I worked on my homework and then rushed to my writing class. I have found that I have the unfortunate tendency to lose my keys only when I am in an extreme hurry. 

Our class today was a workshop. The poems of five students, including me, were examined closely and discussed by the class and the professor. I was very grateful for the wonderful comments I received on my poem, entititle, “Warehouse of Stone”. The other students were quite exuberant about my writing, and it meant a lot to me. One student said that it was, “smart and literary without being pretentious,” and that I had “awesome language choices,” and that he highly approved my use of the word “Sentinel,” as that is “five-star language.” My professor had a few notes that I appreciated and will put into my next revision. I left feeling quite positive.

After class I picked up a ton of breakfast foods from a little shop on campus because I love breakfast food. I could eat breakfast food all day. In fact, its now 10 pm and I just had a waffle. Rebel With a Cause.

This afternoon I met with my Discipler and we talked about what spiritual concepts I want to learn more about this semester. I really like Discipleship. Its so great to have a spiritual mentor.

After that I met with my Hall Director to talk about the incident on Saturday where my friends and I got kicked out of the lobby for praying. She’s going to look into it and talk with her supervisor about policies and such and get back with me.

I don’t understand how its okay for a policy that is supposed to prevent people from being offended can be twisted into being able to offend me. Why should anyone be able to ask me to leave a room because they don’t want to see me praying? I think we should be promoting religious freedom, equality, tolerance, and acceptance — not telling people to hide their faith in public. My praying in a public place is not infringing on anyone’s rights, but their asking me to leave is certainly infringing on mine. Why should anyone be offended to see someone praying, to see that there is religious freedom in this country? We shouldn’t be catering to those who don’t like religious freedom, instead we should be encouraging them to be tolerant of other faiths, and allow people to practice their faith wherever they want, as long as they are not in anyone’s way. 

This evening I went to my International Justice Mission meeting and found out that a woman was rescued from sex trafficking in Indianapolis during Superbowl weekend through the S.O.A.P project. This is in addition to the two young women rescued by F.B.I. on Saturday. 

Another interesting idea that was discussed is how 99% of women involved in prostitution are not there because they want to be. Most women involved in the sex industry are forced to sell their bodies by traffickers and pimps. Unfortunately, when prostitutes are arrested, they still end up being prosecuted as the criminal, rather than the victim. If the selling of sex was made legal, while the buying of sex was made illegal, then it is very likely that the demand for the sex trafficking industry would decrease drastically. Pimps, traffickers, and those who buy sex would be prosecuted, rather than the women forced to sell their bodies to them. If the demand for trafficking is lessened, the supply will be lessened. This means less women being violated each day. I think this is an idea I will continue to support. 

After IJM, I attended a talk by an Intern expert, a woman who completed 15 internships while in college and now runs a website devoted to helping college students find internships. I learned a lot from her, and am excited to see what happens with the tips she gave me.

After that — GLEE! Loved Santana and Ricky Martin’s number. I miss Blaine. 

Its been a long day, but a good one. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many loving friends here.

Monday, February 6, 2012 - Day 6 of February Tumblr/Facebook Fast
Pictured Above - My younger brother and I during Thanksgiving break.
Alternatively Titled - Slavery Stills Exists
I worked a few hours this morning at the front desk of a residence hall here on campus. I drank coffee and read the ironically titled novel, "The Joys of Motherhood" for my World Culture class.
Its set in Nigeria in during WWII, and is basically about the poverty and mistreatment of Africans by the British, and the mistreatment of African women by…everyone. The main character, Nnu Ego, describes herself as a slave to her family, specifically to her responsibility to her children. Her culture uses her love for her children against her, twisting it to oppress her throughout her life. She is never praised for her hard work and sacrifice, but is always blamed for whatever goes wrong in her family. They compare the poverty and mistreatment of the Africans to the slavery that was recently abolished for them. At one point, when Nnu Ego’s husband, Nnaife, is forcibly drafted into the British army, he says, “We don’t have slavery anymore, so why should grown men be captured in broad daylight?”
Nnaife does not realize that such thinking is tragically erroneous. He believes that slavery no longer exists. He fails to see that his people are still enslaved, that they are still at the mercy of the British, paid hardly enough to live on, with no voice in the government, and little chance of ever gaining an improved quality of life. And, of course, the men can be snatched from their jobs and forced into the army without even the chance to say goodbye to their families.
The enslavement is worse still for the women, who have even less options in life than men. They must marry. They must produce children. And even more importantly, they must produce male children. They believe that a man is made immortal through his sons, and so women who are unable to produce male children are considered responsible for killing their husbands. If a woman is unable to have children, she is worthless, and a man will usually take on another wife to give him heirs. 
A childless woman had no value in their culture; this was such a strong belief that Nnu Ego was ready to kill herself when she was at first unable to have children. Luckily, she began having children later in life, and eventually has three sons and two sets of twin daughters. Her husband is very disappointed in her for having twin daughters, blaming her for it as soon as she gives birth and he sees that they are only girls. The only value a female has to her parents is the bride price they receive when she marries, and the only value she has to her husband is the children she is able to bear.
In this culture, women are basically sold to their husbands and used to give them children.
Perhaps the saddest thing of all is that over 60 years after the fictional Nnaife wonders why it is possible to be taken when there is no longer slavery, the harsh reality is that slavery still exists in our world today.
Over 27 million people are enslaved at this very moment. I had no idea slavery of this magnitude existed until about a month ago, when I attended the Passion 2012 conference. My eyes were opened, not only to the devastation and plight of the slaves, but to the hope and freedom that we can bring to them if we do something now. 
During lunch I managed to spend a few minutes watching Elevation Network. Amazing how five minutes with Jesus can change your outlook on your whole day. Pastor Steven said (paraphrased),
"You don’t know what God is saying behind your back, how much he brags about you, how he is using you to impact the lives of generations to come. You don’t even know the ways the things that you do impact others."
Excuse me while I store these words in my heart.
In the afternoon I worked with my film crew from my video production class. We edited the short demo video we shot last Thursday for the campus marketing department. We are pitching our idea for a new Spirit Song Video to them on Wednesday, so we are giving them an idea with the demo video. My team is all going to wear suit jackets. I am the Director, which I am loving. Apparently our Producer is planning to bring muffins for the marketing team on Wednesday, so we’ll see how that goes.
Then math class.
…yeah.
I spent the rest of the evening finishing up a short edit of a documentary I shot to add to my Portfolio on Vimeo. I then (hopefully) finished up my resume for my Internship application and finally came back home to my dorm room after a 13 hour day.
Zoom Info
Camera
Nikon COOLPIX L120
ISO
80
Aperture
f/3.1
Exposure
1/500th
Focal Length
4mm

Monday, February 6, 2012 - Day 6 of February Tumblr/Facebook Fast

Pictured Above - My younger brother and I during Thanksgiving break.

Alternatively Titled - Slavery Stills Exists

I worked a few hours this morning at the front desk of a residence hall here on campus. I drank coffee and read the ironically titled novel, "The Joys of Motherhood" for my World Culture class.

Its set in Nigeria in during WWII, and is basically about the poverty and mistreatment of Africans by the British, and the mistreatment of African women by…everyone. The main character, Nnu Ego, describes herself as a slave to her family, specifically to her responsibility to her children. Her culture uses her love for her children against her, twisting it to oppress her throughout her life. She is never praised for her hard work and sacrifice, but is always blamed for whatever goes wrong in her family. They compare the poverty and mistreatment of the Africans to the slavery that was recently abolished for them. At one point, when Nnu Ego’s husband, Nnaife, is forcibly drafted into the British army, he says, “We don’t have slavery anymore, so why should grown men be captured in broad daylight?”

Nnaife does not realize that such thinking is tragically erroneous. He believes that slavery no longer exists. He fails to see that his people are still enslaved, that they are still at the mercy of the British, paid hardly enough to live on, with no voice in the government, and little chance of ever gaining an improved quality of life. And, of course, the men can be snatched from their jobs and forced into the army without even the chance to say goodbye to their families.

The enslavement is worse still for the women, who have even less options in life than men. They must marry. They must produce children. And even more importantly, they must produce male children. They believe that a man is made immortal through his sons, and so women who are unable to produce male children are considered responsible for killing their husbands. If a woman is unable to have children, she is worthless, and a man will usually take on another wife to give him heirs. 

A childless woman had no value in their culture; this was such a strong belief that Nnu Ego was ready to kill herself when she was at first unable to have children. Luckily, she began having children later in life, and eventually has three sons and two sets of twin daughters. Her husband is very disappointed in her for having twin daughters, blaming her for it as soon as she gives birth and he sees that they are only girls. The only value a female has to her parents is the bride price they receive when she marries, and the only value she has to her husband is the children she is able to bear.

In this culture, women are basically sold to their husbands and used to give them children.

Perhaps the saddest thing of all is that over 60 years after the fictional Nnaife wonders why it is possible to be taken when there is no longer slavery, the harsh reality is that slavery still exists in our world today.

Over 27 million people are enslaved at this very moment. I had no idea slavery of this magnitude existed until about a month ago, when I attended the Passion 2012 conference. My eyes were opened, not only to the devastation and plight of the slaves, but to the hope and freedom that we can bring to them if we do something now

During lunch I managed to spend a few minutes watching Elevation Network. Amazing how five minutes with Jesus can change your outlook on your whole day. Pastor Steven said (paraphrased),

"You don’t know what God is saying behind your back, how much he brags about you, how he is using you to impact the lives of generations to come. You don’t even know the ways the things that you do impact others."

Excuse me while I store these words in my heart.

In the afternoon I worked with my film crew from my video production class. We edited the short demo video we shot last Thursday for the campus marketing department. We are pitching our idea for a new Spirit Song Video to them on Wednesday, so we are giving them an idea with the demo video. My team is all going to wear suit jackets. I am the Director, which I am loving. Apparently our Producer is planning to bring muffins for the marketing team on Wednesday, so we’ll see how that goes.

Then math class.

…yeah.

I spent the rest of the evening finishing up a short edit of a documentary I shot to add to my Portfolio on Vimeo. I then (hopefully) finished up my resume for my Internship application and finally came back home to my dorm room after a 13 hour day.

2 Women Rescued From Sex Trafficking in Indianapolis Prior to Superbowl

Yes! Lets keep praying that more women are rescued this weekend. I’ll be praying for the healing of these two women who have been raped daily since they were 16.

"The FBI and local authorities on Thursday made their first human trafficking-related apprehensions during Super Bowl week.

Two women, ages 21 and 19, were taken into custody after authorities perused websites offering escort and massage services in Indianapolis, finding similar ads with different pictures of women.

Police said the 21-year-old woman is from Cleveland and had been forced into prostitution at age 16.”

Sunday, February 5, 2012 - Day 5 of February Tumblr/Facebook Fast
Alternatively Titled: Amsterdam and the Superbowl
Look what I finally got in the mail! I bought this shirt at notforsalestore.org
“Free2Rock saw Not For Sale partner with popular Christian rockers Tenth Avenue North to create a limited edition T-shirt to help fund the organization’s work to end modern day slavery worldwide.
Only available for just over two weeks, the T-shirts proved to be a huge hit and raised an impressive $11,400 for Not For Sale.
All the proceeds from the $24 T-shirts, emblazoned with lanterns and windows representing those in forced sex slavery in Amsterdam’s red light district, will go to help Not For Sale fight slavery in Amsterdam and around the world.
All Free2Rock t-shirts are made and printed in El Salvador, where Not For Sale is working with a socially orientated factory to empower single mothers and to give jobs to people at risk to trafficking.”
I love this shirt so much! I helped end slavery by buying it, it looks awesome, its by one of my favorite bands, and it was made in El Salvador by people at risk for trafficking!
On top of that, the T-shirt is about Amsterdam, a city (though I’ve never been there) that is near and dear to my because of John Green’s amazing vlog, and his awesome book, The Fault in Our Stars. I love that I get to be a part of Nerdfighteria by wearing this T-shirt that decreases Worldsuck by being made of Awesome. And if that sentence made no sense to you, then I suggest you watch the Vlogbrothers videos and become Nerdfighters. John and Hank Green are so -you guessed it- awesome, and I love being a part of that.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me. The task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:24
I started out my morning with some good preachin’ from Pastor Steven Furtick’s message, Living a Better Story. Each Sunday (and throughout the week) I watch the fantastic free podcasts from Elevation Church. This message seemed geared specifically towards me in a way that I know cannot be mere coincidence. The theme is living a better story, and he used film to explain the message. As a film student who wants very badly to intern in the video department at Elevation, it felt as though he were speaking directly to me. Each reference to films and filmmaking had a way of striking a chord with me that is stronger because my life is so closely connected to film. 
What amazes me so much is that only yesterday I watched an entire video about story structure and what makes a good story through an online portion of a class I am taking. So everything he said about story structure resonated with me even more because it confirmed in a biblical manner what I had been learning about only the day before!
I’ve found that when God has prepared me for something, it always takes me by surprise that he has arranged it in such an intricate way. I am so overwhelmed by how involved he is in my life, proving constantly to me that he is directing my story in every way, even when I don’t realize it at the time. 
"We can spend our whole lives studying God only to scratch the surface of His wonders, His intricacies." - Pastor Steven
Some Notes from Living a Better Story
4 Reason our Stories Suck:
1. We have cast the wrong main character. 
We want to be the main character in our lives, but the story of your life is the story of God’s glory.
Jesus is the main character of our lives. I am not the main character, I am just the key grip.
2. We are working off the wrong screenplay.
We’ve been handed the wrong scripts by our culture. We get frustrated, burnt out, trying to follow these scripts.
The last scene of a screenplay is often shot first when filming a movie. The last scene of the Bible ends with us worshipping around the Throne.
3. What we want isn’t worth enough.
If what we want in life wouldn’t make a story or a film meaningful, it won’t make our lives meaningful.
Pastor Steven told his 6 year old son, Elijah, that he would give him any amount of money he asked for. Elijah, after working up his courage asked for $20. Steven gave it to him, and later Elijah came back and asked him, “If I had asked for more would you have given it to me? If I had asked for $100, would you have given it to me?” And Pastor Steven said, “I would have.” But Elijah didn’t want enough. So he missed out. 
Disappointment comes, not when we don’t get what we want, but because what we want would not have satisfied us anyways.
The point of my story is to know Christ and to make Him known. 
Maybe all the things that may seems like a disappointment are actually God building up to the climax of showing himself strong in your life, if you want it bad enough. Desire it. 
4. We try to skip the scenes that matter most.
God has predestined us to a purpose he has for us.
If what you want more than anything is God’s will for your life, that is worth wanting.
Your hardships and suffering make the end of the story matter, make the film worth watching. 
This is what I was talking about when I said that this sermon confirmed everything I had been learning yesterday. 
When they talked about story structure in the video, they said to keep in mind that the stuff that makes the script good, makes it meaningful, makes you root for the character, is all of the terrible hardships, pain, and loss that happens to the characters in the middle of the movie. The more pain, the more satisfying and amazing the payoff of the climax is at the end of the film.
All of our hardships make the ending more wonderful. Make the story of our lives worth telling. 
After I watched this podcast, I went to mybetterstory.com, a website connected with the message in the podcast, to sum up my life’s story in a sentence:
"To use the gifts of filmmaking and the love of storytelling that God has given me in order to further His glory and surrender to His will for my life."  @CapnKayla
Well, its time to get to my homework, and then to the Superbowl party with my Bstud girls tonight! I’m pretty sure the Patriots are playing the Giants (I think) and I won’t be rooting for the Patriots. I’ll be praying for all the girls being trafficked in Indy tonight, for the law enforcement officers, and for the men taking advantage of these victims, that they too will come to know the love of Christ.
I won’t really be watching the game, I’ll probably just be eating my hot wings and eagerly waiting for the new The Avengers trailer. I’ll be one of those people watching for the commercials, and pointing out the cool camera shots they use in filming the game.
What a nerd. 
NERDFIGHTERS! YEAH!
Zoom Info
Camera
Nikon COOLPIX L120
ISO
400
Aperture
f/3.1
Exposure
1/13th
Focal Length
4mm

Sunday, February 5, 2012 - Day 5 of February Tumblr/Facebook Fast

Alternatively Titled: Amsterdam and the Superbowl

Look what I finally got in the mail! I bought this shirt at notforsalestore.org

Free2Rock saw Not For Sale partner with popular Christian rockers Tenth Avenue North to create a limited edition T-shirt to help fund the organization’s work to end modern day slavery worldwide.

Only available for just over two weeks, the T-shirts proved to be a huge hit and raised an impressive $11,400 for Not For Sale.

All the proceeds from the $24 T-shirts, emblazoned with lanterns and windows representing those in forced sex slavery in Amsterdam’s red light district, will go to help Not For Sale fight slavery in Amsterdam and around the world.

All Free2Rock t-shirts are made and printed in El Salvador, where Not For Sale is working with a socially orientated factory to empower single mothers and to give jobs to people at risk to trafficking.”

I love this shirt so much! I helped end slavery by buying it, it looks awesome, its by one of my favorite bands, and it was made in El Salvador by people at risk for trafficking!

On top of that, the T-shirt is about Amsterdam, a city (though I’ve never been there) that is near and dear to my because of John Green’s amazing vlog, and his awesome book, The Fault in Our Stars. I love that I get to be a part of Nerdfighteria by wearing this T-shirt that decreases Worldsuck by being made of Awesome. And if that sentence made no sense to you, then I suggest you watch the Vlogbrothers videos and become Nerdfighters. John and Hank Green are so -you guessed it- awesome, and I love being a part of that.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me. The task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

I started out my morning with some good preachin’ from Pastor Steven Furtick’s message, Living a Better Story. Each Sunday (and throughout the week) I watch the fantastic free podcasts from Elevation Church. This message seemed geared specifically towards me in a way that I know cannot be mere coincidence. The theme is living a better story, and he used film to explain the message. As a film student who wants very badly to intern in the video department at Elevation, it felt as though he were speaking directly to me. Each reference to films and filmmaking had a way of striking a chord with me that is stronger because my life is so closely connected to film. 

What amazes me so much is that only yesterday I watched an entire video about story structure and what makes a good story through an online portion of a class I am taking. So everything he said about story structure resonated with me even more because it confirmed in a biblical manner what I had been learning about only the day before!

I’ve found that when God has prepared me for something, it always takes me by surprise that he has arranged it in such an intricate way. I am so overwhelmed by how involved he is in my life, proving constantly to me that he is directing my story in every way, even when I don’t realize it at the time. 

"We can spend our whole lives studying God only to scratch the surface of His wonders, His intricacies." - Pastor Steven

Some Notes from Living a Better Story

4 Reason our Stories Suck:

1. We have cast the wrong main character. 

  • We want to be the main character in our lives, but the story of your life is the story of God’s glory.
  • Jesus is the main character of our lives. I am not the main character, I am just the key grip.

2. We are working off the wrong screenplay.

  • We’ve been handed the wrong scripts by our culture. We get frustrated, burnt out, trying to follow these scripts.
  • The last scene of a screenplay is often shot first when filming a movie. The last scene of the Bible ends with us worshipping around the Throne.

3. What we want isn’t worth enough.

  • If what we want in life wouldn’t make a story or a film meaningful, it won’t make our lives meaningful.
  • Pastor Steven told his 6 year old son, Elijah, that he would give him any amount of money he asked for. Elijah, after working up his courage asked for $20. Steven gave it to him, and later Elijah came back and asked him, “If I had asked for more would you have given it to me? If I had asked for $100, would you have given it to me?” And Pastor Steven said, “I would have.” But Elijah didn’t want enough. So he missed out. 
  • Disappointment comes, not when we don’t get what we want, but because what we want would not have satisfied us anyways.

The point of my story is to know Christ and to make Him known. 

Maybe all the things that may seems like a disappointment are actually God building up to the climax of showing himself strong in your life, if you want it bad enough. Desire it. 

4. We try to skip the scenes that matter most.

  • God has predestined us to a purpose he has for us.
  • If what you want more than anything is God’s will for your life, that is worth wanting.
  • Your hardships and suffering make the end of the story matter, make the film worth watching. 

This is what I was talking about when I said that this sermon confirmed everything I had been learning yesterday. 

When they talked about story structure in the video, they said to keep in mind that the stuff that makes the script good, makes it meaningful, makes you root for the character, is all of the terrible hardships, pain, and loss that happens to the characters in the middle of the movie. The more pain, the more satisfying and amazing the payoff of the climax is at the end of the film.

All of our hardships make the ending more wonderful. Make the story of our lives worth telling. 

After I watched this podcast, I went to mybetterstory.com, a website connected with the message in the podcast, to sum up my life’s story in a sentence:

"To use the gifts of filmmaking and the love of storytelling that God has given me in order to further His glory and surrender to His will for my life."  @CapnKayla

Well, its time to get to my homework, and then to the Superbowl party with my Bstud girls tonight! I’m pretty sure the Patriots are playing the Giants (I think) and I won’t be rooting for the Patriots. I’ll be praying for all the girls being trafficked in Indy tonight, for the law enforcement officers, and for the men taking advantage of these victims, that they too will come to know the love of Christ.

I won’t really be watching the game, I’ll probably just be eating my hot wings and eagerly waiting for the new The Avengers trailer. I’ll be one of those people watching for the commercials, and pointing out the cool camera shots they use in filming the game.

What a nerd. 

NERDFIGHTERS! YEAH!

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