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Just wanted to let everyone know that our church has released another album and it’s now available for download on iTunes.  Kalliope is on it singing with the Elevation Children’s Choir at the end of We Unite.  She even has an album credit!  It’s all original songs written by our worship leaders and it’s an amazing album.

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It’s been a few weeks, but this was so powerful!  I need to watch this every morning to start me day.

Elevation Church Easter Opener from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

Here are a few pictures from Christmas Eve through yesterday.  I’m not as dedicated as those who got pics of their kids opening presents up on their blogs on Christmas.  I did want to add that I plan to blog more as another resolution for the year.  Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

Miles with Elmo Live, his big gift this year.  Do you think he likes it?  I’ve also got a video of Kalliope singing at church but I’m having trouble uploading it.  I’ll post it if I can get it to work!

The past 2 years we haven’t let our kids go trick or treating and take part of general Halloween festivities.  I couldn’t sit here and quote scripture for you to back up our decision, but it’s been more of a feeling and a choice made by our conscience.  At the same time, I didn’t feel like I would be a good Christian by just turning off my lights and acting like we weren’t home.  How is that showing brotherly love to my neighbors?  I certainly don’t think we’re better than anyone, saved or not, and didn’t want anyone to think that we feel that way.  So we made sure to open our doors, lights on, and hand out candy.  I bagged up our candy and included a scripture in it and felt really good about spreading the gospel to all that came to our door.  This year, however, I made the last minute decision to let Kalliope go out trick or treating with her friends.  She dressed up as Mulan (a costume that she already had!).

With her being home schooled, I didn’t want her to feel any more left out than she already does because she doesn’t ride the bus with all her friends.  It’s hard sometimes because we took Kalliope out of school halfway through first grade, so her memory of school was still lots of fun with not very much work.  I try to tell her that as you get older, school isn’t all fun and there’s a lot more work, but she still remembers how it was.  Anyway, Kalliope did have a great time with one of her best friends and got a ton of loot!

At church today, we are in the midst of “The Real Change Campaign” series and pastor’s message today really hit home on so many levels, but I’ll try to stay on topic here. 

He talked about how real change doesn’t come from thinking “outside the box”, but changing things from inside box.  Even though he was talking about our countries current economic state and personal finances, I thought this really applied to Halloween or anything that a Christian might not agree with.  Rather than excluding yourself or start something different, infiltrate, and shine your light from the inside out.  Something like this:

(Is my sci-fi side showing?  I know, I’m a dork.)

Over the past few weeks our church has been doing a series titled “Visionary Love, Dream Sex”.  (I’ll give you one guess what it was about.)  One of the points Pastor Furtick has really been stressing is that men need to still be romantic and take their wives out for dates.  So this past Sunday, the church decided to put their money where their mouths are.  Elevation gave out vouchers for $30/married couple for restaurants around the Charlotte area as well as cards to send in to have 3 hours of babysitting reimbursed!  That is so cool!  Tonight we have sitter and to celebrate our anniversary that was on Wednesday, we going to PF Chang’s tonight.  I’m really looking forward to it since I’ve heard how great their food is.  I’ll let you all know how it goes!

This school year is proving to be a busy one.  I’m really trying to get a good routine with home schooling this year, which means sticking to my schedule, and that doesn’t leave much free time.  I try to schedule things for Kalliope to do all day, so that she doesn’t get bored and we don’t slack off.  As a rule, she isn’t allowed free time to just play video games or watch TV until her brother gets home from school (unless it’s an educational game or TV show).  School for Zane has been going well and he loves it.  Miles is walking now (when he wants to) and saying several words.  He points a lot, eye contact is great, and responds when you call his name.  My autism parents out there can appreciate that.  Some of the words he’s saying are:

  • Thank you
  • da-da
  • ma-ma
  • that (while he’s pointing to whatever he wants)
  • shoe

I’ve been pretty good about going to the gym, however I haven’t seen any big changes yet.  Our weekends are full with karate, serving at church, birthday parties, and chores around the house.  Singing at church has been a lot of fun and a great outlet for me.  I get a weekly break from the kids to do something positive and productive.  Jason has started gigging out and in the past month done 2 gigs, both playing kids music.  He really enjoys that and wants to pursue that more.  So if anyone out there is in need of a singer/guitar player to perform at festivals or kids birthdays, he’s the man to call!!!

Well, unless something exciting happens or until bloggers block goes away, I’ll be posting some pictures and videos of the family.

I truly believe in the power of prayer.  I’ve seen it work in my life and in the lives of people close to me.  My husband and I have been going to Elevation Church now for about 3 months and have been really moved by the circumstances surrounding our worship pastor.  More than just the circumstances, their faithfulness in God is so encouraging.  It gives me a vision of how I want to be.  Check out his blog and pray for his little girls!

On Saturday we had over old friend I went to high school with and his family.  We saw them I about 4 years ago and before that, not since high school (it’s been about 15 years!).  Anyway, as I was laying in bed the night before and running down the list of things to do the next day to prepare, it dawned on me that my old friend is now a pastor.  A little bit of panic went through me as I thought, “we have a pastor  coming over and what if they think we’re not Christian enough?”.  I know it sounds dumb, but it’s like if the Beckhams were coming over and you’re worried how you’re house isn’t sophisticated enough.  As I laid in bed sorting out my thoughts, it came to me how stupid I was being.  They are people just like us and love God the same as us.  Besides, all that matters is how I love God, not how others perceive how I love Him.  I guess as a fairly new believer it’s still hard to let go of the world mentality and of what other people think of me.  Now don’t get me wrong, these people are the coolest laid back folk and I really had nothing to worry about.  My old friend’s wife will probably read this and laugh as they are such a humble and down to earth couple and here I am comparing them to the Beckhams. 

I just had a thought about Sunday’s sermon at Elevation that’s the opposite of what I’ve been talking about but still somewhat connected.  We had guest speaker, Pastor Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv.  During the sermon he talked about how people living in America would never be persecuted for our beliefs like those in so many other countries, like China, India, etc.  I think about the times I’ve been too timid to say the name Jesus to a stranger or a close friend who’s a non-believer and realized… I am persecuting myself!  That is absolutely ridiculous!  Why should I create obstacles for myself?!?!?!?!  So as I struggle to keep the judgements of the world (and myself!) out of my mind and heart, I’ll say this prayer:

Lord, help to me to always keep my eyes on You.  Keep my mind clear of thoughts that are not of You and of the world.  Keep my heart and motives pure in all that I do and let my actions always reflect Your glory.  Amen.