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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Matt Papa: This Changes Everything

If you're familiar with the Summit, you've probably heard of Matt Papa. In fact, you may have even had the opportunity to have him lead you in worship. One of my favorite things about the Summit is showing up to an event to find out Matt Papa is leading worship. If you're unfamiliar with him, Matt Papa is a short, squirrely looking man, with crazy red hair, and a big heart for the God of the Gospel. He also has the coolest jacket in the world. 
Matt Papa's new CD, This Changes Everything, is drenched in the Gospel. Every song is theologically sound and spiritually challenging.  I have listened to This Changes Everything almost every day since I got the CD this summer. It's a poignant reminder of the Gospel, which I have to immerse myself with daily. Plus, its just good music.

With songs like "Stay Away from Jesus" and "The Lord is a Warrior" you know you want to buy it.

(And if you're a college student, come to Summit College United this Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at Brier Creek South to worship with Matt Papa and fellowship with college students from around the triangle!) 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

(Kinda) Wordless Wednesday: T.I.A.

I just realized that I haven't posted pictures from Kenya. Probably because I love them all, all 647 of them. Here's a super quick snapshot of my two weeks there!
Giraffe Manor in Nairobi!
At a children's home near Limuru
She would've exceeded the 50 pound bag limit, otherwise I would've taken her home with me.
Our beast of a host mother & Sarah in the IDP camp, Jikaze, that we worked in
Nat Geo, anyone?
The most awe-inspiring, worshipful, romantic thing I've ever seen
One of the many breathtaking scenes on our safari
After we hiked Mt. Logonot, a dormant volcano. Hands down the most physically exhausting, yet rewarding, thing I've ever done.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Recipe Review: Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread

This past weekend I went home. It was wonderful, just not long enough (per ush). One of my favorite parts of going home is being able to bake ridiculous things due to a fully-stocked pantry and ample counter space. I wanted to make something fallish so I went with this pull-apart cinnamon sugar pumpkin bread. Good Lord. It was delicious. 

The icing was to die for. In fact, I'm changing my cinnamon roll icing to be more like the icing in this recipe. I think next time I make it I'll add more pumpkin and/or pumpkin pie spice to the dough to really make the pumpkin flavor stand out. And I'll for sure double the recipe because one loaf didn't last longer than 24 hours. 

You can find the recipe here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Welcome to Welcome: A Friendly Place

I'm from Welcome, North Carolina. Yes, like "welcome home." And yes, our sign does say "Welcome to Welcome: A Friendly Place." Welcome is home to Richard Childress Racing and has a legit museum complete with Dale Earnhardt paraphernalia. It's also right next to the barbeque capital of the world, Lexington. I love Welcome, North Carolina.  

In honor of the fact that I'm going home this weekend and out of my reverence for Dale and all things NASCAR, I'm sharing this gem of a song with you. It's about Welcome. It's about Dale Earnhardt. It's fabulous. You can thank me later.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why I Love 5th & 6th Graders (Part II)

6 reasons I love 5th and 6th graders: 

1) They think I'm cool even though I'm super nerdy.

2) They let me take bathroom pictures. Sans judgment.
3) They love hugs and pats on the back, just like me.
4) They can be talked into doing just about anything, like eating a doughnut off a string or consuming baby food and guessing what flavor it is.
5) They wake up at 6 a.m., alive, awake, alert, and enthusiastic.
6) They genuinely care about and for other people (even if they don't know how to express it). And they laugh at my jokes.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why I Love 5th & 6th Graders (Part I)

The most normative picture taken at the Route56 Fall Retreat
I love 5th and 6th graders. In my opinion, they comprise the most diverse age group ever. Everything about them is ALL over the place, from maturity, what they like, what vocabulary they use, their train of thought, their spiritual growth. This craziness not only varies from student to student, but from minute to minute. Seriously one minute a student will be talking about how the Gospel affects their life, then asking prayer for Peaches, their grandma's cat (and to thank God for making Peaches, both the cat and the delicious fruit). (True story.)

As far as my own experience and knowledge goes, I think the Summit is pretty unique in having a separate ministry for 5th and 6th grade students. Most churches omit this age group, leaving 5th graders in elementary ministries while 6th graders long to be a part of their church youth group but often aren't allowed to join until 7th grade. Some more progressive churches do allow 6th graders to move up to youth group, but often this fails too because they're not ready to be a part of that institution yet. This is such a sad reality in the church today. The secular world is devouring this age group while the church idly sits back and lets them sit in limbo for a few years because, if we're honest, they're awkward (or at least that's the stereotype). While the church is debating over whether 6th grade Johnny should be allowed to play on the youth group basketball team, advertising agencies and the porn industry are showing Johnny what it's like to be older, to be a "teenager." Marketers know if consumers start buying and using their products late in elementary school and early in middle school, they'll have them hooked for life. Marketing agencies aren't the only ones with this knowledge, the pornography industry knows this full well. The average age a child sees porn today is 11. Eleven. Let that sink in. If nothing else, that fact alone should scare the church into caring for this unique age group.

At the Summit, we call Route56 a "transitional ministry." We try to care for 5th and 6th grade students (and their parents) during a crazy time of transition and change in their lives. The church as a whole needs to address this age group too. If you're hesitant about working with 5th and 6th graders, I hear ya. I was skeptical too. But if the church doesn't care for these students and preach the Gospel to them in word and deed, they will find solace and purpose and identity in other things, worldly things that are seeking to devour them.