Although I originally planned to do a “Top Ten” sort of list, what I discovered is that there were a couple of categories of events that repeated itself in different ways throughout the year. So this list contains ten of these categories, but under these categories there may be several different events listed. There are also some events that I have written about in more detail on different blog posts, so I will link those posts after I describe the event. This will give those of you that haven’t caught all of these stories a chance to catch up. This will also give details to a few events that I wanted to write about, but I either ran out of time or didn’t think there was enough detail to write a whole post about it. There are also not in any exact order or ranking. I hope that you are able to see how blessed this last year of my life has been. Here we go:
1) Writing and Directing The Door (An Easter Drama)
2) Summer Ministry Opportunities
The second opportunity was to be the music leader for our VBS program. For many years, it was my mom doing music with me as her assistant. But since my mom was Assistant Director this year, I was chosen to be in charge of music for the first time. I had the opportunity to work with a few junior high age girls as my helpers and we had a lot of fun. It was another great opportunity I was blessed to have.
3) Event Planning
4) Being in Mary Poppins the Musical
5) Christmas Unwrapped
6) Befriending Angela
7) Social Media Teams
Pulling Back the Shades Book Team
This team was not only to promote this book, but also to bring awareness to the issues related to the use of erotica and the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Pulling Back the Shades had been out for a few years, but Authentic Intimacy wanted to have a book team help them around the time the Fifty Shades of Grey movie came out (Valentine’s Day). I was so blessed to connect with this group of over 300 women from all over the world that united in order to declare the truth about the way that God designed intimacy. Something else that I appreciated was that it brought awareness to a social issue that I really didn’t know anything about until I read the Pulling Back the Shades, and helped me find a passion to declare the truth about God’s plan for intimacy. It also helped me get into writing more, both on this blog and in writing spoken word poetry.
[To read my review of Pulling Back the Shades, click here]
[To read my post debunking the arguments in favor of the Fifty Shades series, click here]
It’s Not What You Think Book Launch Team
This team is promoting the launch of a book from one of a favorite authors and YouTubers, Jefferson Bethke. This book is meant to help Christians view traditional understandings of our faith from a new perspective, taking much of what we understand about Christianity and turning it on its head. I found this book to be so challenging and inspiring.
Aside from the fun of connecting with Jeff (the author) on social media, it has been a blessing to connect with others on this book team. I also got to read the book before its release and review it by the day it came out. Jeff even read my review and liked it! It was pretty awesome to be involved in spreading the message of such a powerful book. Everyone should read this book if they haven't!
[To read my review of It’s Not What You Think, click here]
This team was a little different from the other ones. Our primary purpose was to support and promote the upcoming film Brennan, about the life of Brennan Manning. This film is coming from the same people that made the film Ragamuffin that I mentioned earlier. In fact, that screening was done in promotion of the next film. It has been awesome to see what God has been doing as the filmmakers have been working on the movie Brennan. I can’t wait to see what will happen when this movie releases this year.
8) Meeting/Connecting With Famous People I Admire
Bob is the author of the bestselling book, Love Does. I got to hear him speak at Parkview Christian Church on December 4, and had such a great time listening to him. He's very engaging speaker and laughs at his own stories in an amusing way. Then, I got to meet him and have him sign my book. He gave me a hug, as he does with everyone he meets. Although our meeting was brief, I found him to be one of the most joyful people I’ve ever met. I would even say his joy was contagious. He has a million stories to tell and a heart full of Christ’s love. Although I have not read his book yet, I am looking forward to doing so this year. I enjoyed meeting him so much.
Dave is the youngest brother of late Christian artist Rich Mullins. Not only has he carried on much of his brother’s work, but he was also one of the producers of the Ragamuffin film and is involved in the Brennan film too. What was so crazy about meeting him was that it was totally unexpected! I was at Christian convention in Cincinnati in June when my parents and I ended up going to a dinner on the campus of Cincinnati Christian University, where Rich Mullins attended college. As I was eating, I was looking at the crowd when I noticed him walking around. After looking at him for a minute, I was sure it was him and I told my parents, “That’s Rich Mullins little brother!” When I saw where he sat down, I took the opportunity to introduce myself and to thank for carrying on the work of his brother. It was pretty awesome.
Jeff is the author of the book It’s Not What You Think that I mentioned earlier, but he’s also one of my favorite YouTubers and spoken word poets. I initially connected with him by being on his book team. But then I got hear him speak in two chapel services at Olivet Nazarene University on his book tour. I met him after the first chapel service on October 27th. It was kind of crazy to think that he knew who I was when I told him my name. He also signed my books. He’s such a great guy whose passionate about his faith and wise beyond his years. I was so blessed to have gotten to meet him after being a fan for about three years.
[To read more about meeting Jeff, click here]
Jon is another author, YouTuber, and spoken word poet that I admire. Not only did I get to meet Jon and his wife Erin, but they came to my home church to do a show on the first tour of Jon’s YouTube channel, The Anima Series (which I mentioned earlier), on October 13th. Although I had connected online with Jon about a year and a half before, this was the first time we met in person. It was almost surreal to finally meeting him after talking with him online for so long. He’s such an awesome guy who’s real with everyone he knows, passionate about declaring God’s truth, and faithful with the opportunities he’s been given. I’ve learned so much from his example. Out of all the people I met this year, I probably enjoyed meeting Jon the most.
Although I have still not met these ladies in person, I was blessed to connect with them through the book team for their book, Pulling Back the Shades. I’ve been a huge fan of Dannah’s books for a while, but I didn’t know much about Juli until I read the book. What I love about them both is that they are passionate about declaring God’s truth about sexuality and encouraging women to pursue God’s best through His plan for their sexuality. As part of the book team, I got to participate in two Google chats with them. I also interacted with them some on social media. A few weeks after our commitment on the book team was finished, my mom when to the Hearts at Home Convention where she not only met these two ladies, but she actually got to be Dannah’s speaker assistant! Although I was kind of bummed I didn’t get to meet them in person, I did get a few autographs out of the deal.