Thursday, September 28, 2006

Matt’s 10 steps on how to move across the country.

Get married 4 months before you leave; because it is too easy to do it by yourself.

House sit; free rent!

Stay at your parents; free rent and food!!

Don’t use your wedding presents; that way it is like Christmas when you get there.

Get a job; have some motivation to go away.

Sell a car; two is to big a number.

Get a place; but look at 18 different apartments only to settle on the first one.

Get someone else to drive your stuff; that way you can watch in terror as they cart it off

Buy a new camera; you have to document the move right?

Stay with relatives on the way; free lodging means more fun in Vegas!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

hair and mini coopers

Year after year, I've asked college students to consider what are some of the most important possessions or activities in their life. Inevitably I am met with a wall of silence as no one wants to confess what they hold strongly to, whether that is grades, money, a relationship, etc. Of course the follow up question is always to ask what it would look like for them to give that up to Jesus, or give Jesus the same focus that they would those possessions or activities.

I got to ask that same question last night at our Jr. High Youth Group and for some reason I expected them to have some of the same responses. Wrong! They gave some of the most honest answers I have ever heard. What's important to you? "Uhh, nothing.,." "Well, I don't actually own it yet...but I want to have a mini cooper some day," and my favorite, "my hair." After having a good laugh, I seriously had to think about how to explain to a Jr. Higher what it might look like to give up one's hair to Jesus in order to follow him. Ahhh the joys of junior highers!!! :)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

How do you know of Gods faithfulness?

(Written Wednesday night, September 6th)

I (matt) am sitting down, trying to scramble and get a lesson prepared for Youth Group this evening when the point of the passage hits me. I started thinking about what Sarah and I are about to do and realized that we have just been through a similar (but not as drastic) situation as Esther.

Sarah and I are leading the Youth Group for her home church here in Camarillo. We are leading the kids through a series young people in the bible who took risks. This week is about Esther. It's a fairly lengthy story about how God used her (go and read it for yourself) but the point is that she took a risk and put herself in an uncomfortable position in order for God to work through her. Perhaps the the best line is when Mordecai tells her, “and who knows but that you may have been placed in this seat of royalty for such a time as this.” I began thinking of ways that we can all put ourselves at risk for God. But more specifically God showed me how he is doing that in Sarah's and my life currently.

Sarah and I just spent several days looking at apartments and attempting to apply for one before we left. We didn’t know much about the town, or really what it will be like to live in any place other than California; the whole snow thing will be an adventure amongst itself. We debated over location, cost, what’s included and all the other things that go into house hunting. As the process went along, we continued to pray that God would show us the house that he wanted for us to live in, and therefore the people that we would live near. It became clear that there was only one place that seemed to fit. Eventually we decided to take a risk and go for it, only applying for one apartment and no backups, so we dropped off the paperwork. We were told that they would get back to us in about a week to see if we could move in. However, in less than 24 hours we got the call saying the apartment was ours.

God accepts your risk taking and rewards it more than you know; sometimes those rewards come the day after, sometimes years after. But whenever your reward comes, know that it is a most amazing God that gives it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cheese Curds and Cheese Heads

Well, we managed to get ourselves back to Wisconsin for some apartment hunting and general cow hunting. It was an interesting experience and we managed to bag a colorful cow (or ugly one depending on your fashion sense). Wisconsin has this funny tradition of having a cow parade where artists from around the nation (I think), decorate a statue of a cow and have it displayed around the city. They were everywhere!!! Crazy!!!
Funnier than the cow was our run in with the law. Our second night in Wisconsin, we decided to do what most Madisonianites do and headed for the mall. As we exited the delightful establishment of Barnes and Nobles, we were astounded by a really amazing sunset. Matt with his ever trustful camera in hand decided this moment could not go to waste. So he raced across the parking lot to capture the sunset. As he headed back to the car, he was bisected by a large burly security guard gruffly asked "Excuse me sir, what do you think you are doing?". It was quite a scary moment. Matt rather taken aback responded, "umm...taking pictures of the sunset." It was a tense moment as the guard tried to decide whether to believe this rather strange response. Honestly, I think Matt should have said, "hey, I'm from California and I'm just taking pictures of the parking lot to prove to people back home that you do really have pavement in the Midwest." We got off with a warning.

Overall, we are excited to be moving to our cute 2 bedroom apartment! We are starting to pack up and it looks like we will be moving September 27th! Cheese here we come!!!