Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spiritual Direction + Human Trafficking Week + a Conference + Holy Spirit = Time for a change...

Ya, as big as an Obama change. ;)

For the last 2 weeks (and this past weekend in particular), I haven't been really learning anything from books or lectures. This is how I usually learn, and so it's been weird. It's like all human voices have been blocked from my mind, and only God has been able to speak.

Ya, it's a good thing.

This past weekend was the Redeemed girls conference (so awesome by the way), and I found myself walking out of there being really impacted. I was telling someone this, and they asked me, "Well what did the speaker say?" I replied, "I actually have no idea what the speaker said... it was only God who was talking..."

So what was the lesson (we'll wrap it up for all of you who hate "reading long blogs")? God is showing me more and more that I am holding onto stuff, physically and emotionally, that is just disgusting.

Physically speaking - my room has been a mess for weeks now. I have so much stuff, I don't even know what to do with it. I have too many clothes to even fit in my closet! So as I have been living in my filth for the past few months, I have become utterly disgusted by it. A few months ago, I would have been dependent on it... convincing myself that I needed it... and strangely, wanting more. Stuff. I have so much stuff. But for goodness sake, I don't even need this stuff! I am disgusted with the money I have spent, and the time I put into worrying about what people think about what I am wearing. I refuse to get wrapped up into the Southern California mindset. 

Emotionally speaking - people. I rely on people to speak to me... talk with me... be with me... I convince myself that I must have it. I tell myself that I can't live without it. But I don't need it. Or at least right now, God wants some Carrie time, and I am disgusted with the way that I would put anyone before my relationship with God. 

Ya, lots of thoughts happening.

So I'm going to start to cleanse. I'm going to get rid of a lot of stuff, I'm going to fast from a lot of stuff, and I am going to spend all of my extra time with the Lord. Because I need Him... and I want Him... and I want to be solely dependent on Him... I want to talk to Him... I want Him to speak to me... I want Him to be with me... Because HE is what I can't live without. 

God, forgive me for ever thinking otherwise. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lead me on...

"I'll take off my shoes, I'm coming in,
Untie this rope, I'm staying with him,
Love of my life, I'll live and die,
Just for the moments for my king and I.

Why did you call, why did you wait,
For someone so guilty, someone so fake.
There are no words for my beautiful song,
Now I'm in the arms of my beautiful one.

Hold me, blow all the pride from my bones,
With your fire.
Hold me, breathe on this heart made of stone,
Keep it pure.

I'll take off this crown and fall at your feet,
The secret of joy are the moments we meet.
How could a man with all of your fame,
Pull me from darkness and call me by name.

So hold me today, as I carry your cross,
Into the desert to find who is lost.
Look at my hands, they're still full of faith,
God keep them clean till we finish the race.

Hold me, blow all the pride from my bones,
With your fire.
Hold me, breathe on this heart made of stone,
Keep it pure.
Hold me, saviour of heaven and earth,
King forever.
Hold me, love of my life lead me on,
Through the fire, lead me on..."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Union Line

Ya, I blog about them often, but I just HAVE to write a little tid bit about them being nominated for so many flippin' awards right now. I know that the "OC" is a small little county when compared to the whole world, but we did have a TV show based off of us, and reality TV loves it here, so it's kind of a big deal to be nominated for the "OC Music Awards"

Best Album of the Year
Best New Artist
Best Indie
Best Live Band

I want to cry. 

How awesome is that?! I am just so happy for the boys, and I just really hope they win some awards. Tonight they are battling it out for the Best Live Band award at the "Yost" in downtown Santa Ana. Be there.

Friday, March 27, 2009

iPhone Update...

What have I been up too?...

Junior High Outside on a beautiful day

Church Baptism: Look at little Elias praying, so cute

This is probably the best picture I've ever taken

Elias was baptized!

This one is to show the quality of my iPhone... look at the water on the dunk

Brook said (as well as other worship leaders) that leading worship at the baptism IS awkward
... this still baffles me

UCI scantron outreach... such a hit!

Please, in my comments, tell me what color they are wearing...

We got smarter the second day...

Skatepark outreach - every Tuesday - sooooo great

Worrell's Taco Tuesday


Roomie bonding... we hung that spoon

Normans new license plate

Lunch with friends

Little Jake's birthday

Shows and scarves

My twin sister's turned 16!

I took them out of school for lunch

Jessie, I WILL call you back... probably today...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Yes, Jesus loves me.

I am daily reminded at how God's strength is perfected in my weakness. 

I do everything I can to prepare for what I'm speaking on to the Junior Highers on Sundays, so that it's memorized... ready... and marinating in my brain. I do this because I have to work Saturday nights from 11pm - 7am (Sunday morning). I can try my hardest to sleep until 9pm on Saturday night, wake up and take a shower, trying to convince my brain it's the morning and my day is just starting, but it just doesn't work. By the time it hits 7am, my body needs sleep, and my brain is a little delirious. 

It's amazing to me how "out of it" my mind can be. The staunch difference of my whole being is shocking in comparison to someone with normal sleep and not. Even if I'm just tired after a long day, it's still different than being up all night. It's weird, and it kind of freaks me out. What it's doing to my health is a different story, and unfortunately is something I am going to have to address in the coming months. 

But what I hate about this the most is that while my heart is telling me that I'm sooo excited for Sunday mornings - so excited to see all my kids - my brain isn't registering it. I'm not fully there on Sunday mornings, and I hate every second of it. 

As I enter the Junior High room after small groups, I pray to God - "God, please be with me now. Use me as Your vessel, and speak through me with Your Holy Spirit." It's strange. It's like because I am so weak, because everything I have prepared is hanging on by a string, and because I can't mentally put together a coherent thought, God is able to lead me more easily. For the 20-25 minutes I stand before those kids, I have this increase in energy, and my heart and mind and completely aligned with God's; I am only listening to Him (because my brain isn't working...). On Sunday night's when I awake from my sleep, all I can remember about Sunday mornings was that God and I had a reeally great time. It's pretty sweet. 

Yesterday, the Spirit was moving. I preached (ya, I "preached" this one to the full extent of the word) on Saul's conversion, and I showed this awesome video of the guitarist from Korn, Brian Welch, who got saved a few years back. He spoke about how the Holy Spirit filled him and changed his heart. After the video I shared that the same exact thing happened to me, and that I remember being physically moved by the Spirit when I asked God to come into my life. I asked the students, "Do you want that same Spirit to fill your life? Do you want to have a relationship with God forever?" We had 30 students in Junior High, and there was anywhere between 7 and 10 students who shot there hands up. They just seemed to be going up everywhere, I couldn't even count fast enough! The awesome thing was that every new student who was there, rose their hand and gave their life to the Lord. It was just an awesome morning... the Spirit was moving.  

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Cor. 12:9-10

I never really could relate to this verse until now. I mean, it's great that so many kids gave their lives to the Lord yesterday, and I know that all the glory goes to God, but many would say "Hooray for the work God is doing through Carrie." But it is so apparent to me, and to many of the people around me, that I am weak. And therefore, I am truly delighting in my weakness, because in it, Christ's power is more clearly shown

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Coldplay, here we come!

I'm stoked about everyone who bought tickets for the show (Facebook makes everything so easy...)! We are going to have an awesome time! Again, we are all sitting on the lawn at the Irvine Verizon show. A bunch of us bought the presale tickets, but the real sale of tickets happens this Monday. It's not too late! You will have to feed the monopoly of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, but hey, you only live once!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Facebook Wars

So I just had to blog about this because I think it's hilarious. 

Camyron and Bethany come hang out mi casa usually about once a week. Every time they do, no matter how many times I ask them, they get onto my computer (and stay on it the whole time...) and go to my facebook and change my status. I get SO annoyed. The last time they were over, I was like, seriously, seriously, don't do it anymore. They didn't do it that night, which I appreciated, because it feels a little weird to me that I would have to "punish" them by not letting them use my computer. Because I don't care if they use my computer, I just don't want my facebook status to say things such as: "Carrie smells"... "Carrie loves Camyron and Bethany"... etc. 

So the other night after youth group, Camyron needs to use my computer for school purposes. I let her of course, but then she gets into my facebook AGAIN, and changes the status! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!

So, I find this out because I am looking at my facebook from my iPhone, and I get so frustrated. So I'm like, okay, you can't use my computer anymore, and I shut it and take it from her. She's like, "Nooo, I'm logged into MY facebook!" 


Now, FINALLY, time for some sweet revenge. I have full access to Camyron's facebook. I can do ANYTHING I WANT! I could have went on and written people funny comments or messages (like someone did on her myspace). I could have created stupid events. I could have written notes/blogs on ridiculous things... SO many things I COULD have done. But I decide it would be funny to just change her status ONLY THREE times: "Camyron thinks Carrie Allen is the best", "Camyron is thanking you all for the birthday wishes, she's having a great time in NYC!", and Camyron is soooo tired". Then I changed her profile picture to a funnier one, and then I went through and "liked" her friend's status'. 

"Carrie smells". Carrie SMELLS"! 

I was NICE to Camyron!

Now, she's upset. This is just hilarious to me. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ring of Fire No No

The Worrell's had a St. Patrick's day party last night and we all watched American Idol together (good times). This guy is just outta control... Johnny Cash has GOT to be rolling over in his grave right now...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Winter Camp 2009: After


On Friday February 27th we headed out for an adventure of a lifetime: High School and Junior High winter camp. This years theme - "Hidden: Your life is hidden with Christ in God." 

Here is Simone at the registration table. I will probably sing the praises of Simone and her husband Jono (youth pastors) throughout this whole blog, so be ready for it ;). Simone did an EXCELLENT job organizing this camp. Not only did she organize all of Kingsfield Church, but she also was the center for all FOUR churches who came with us. And the best thing about Simone, is that she has such a calm demeanor about her... I love being around her :). 

Then there is me, who makes statements like, "Put me on the bus... if it's going down with all those kids in it, I'm going down too!" I can definitely be a little more "intense" than Simone ;), but here I am (intently) just making sure that I have everyone's permission slips. 

Just in case he lost a pair of goggles...

This is all of us getting ready to leave. We prayed and then we all had some cookies!

I thought this was a great picture :) ... Blythe gets most of these photo credits by the way...

Aubree and Jordan

Jono got a GREAT deal on a bus because he is friends with the guy who owns it. On a serious note - I had an awesome conversation with the bus driver about how there were people in his church who were super mad that he painted it purple. Apparently he got right in their face (in a nice way I'm sure) about their reasons why - thinking that purple was a homosexual color. He told them they were being ridiculous, and that God loves all colors, and homosexuals. He was pretty cool.  

AJ got on the bus and immediately went to sleep... he was soooo tired

I like that his pillow is orange, just like his hair :)

Snakes on a plane?? No, kids on a bus (this was our ongoing joke somehow...did they even SEE that movie? I hope not...)

Trying to get trucks to honk, of course
This is the main chapel where we got together the first night for worship and games, and for Saturday night extended worship/Hillsong concert ;). The high school group spent their weekend in the main chapel, while the Junior Highers had the smaller chapel. 

Here is 3 out of 5 members of our Junior Worship team at Kingsfield who led the junior highers in worship through song all weekend! They are just the sweetest boys ever, led by Megan, our worship leader. They did an AMAZING job all weekend. I really can't say enough about how well they did... they were such a blessing. 

This is my girls cabin. Maritza and I had 5 girls in our cabin, all 6th graders, and we had a blast! I forgot how young 6th grade is! I have been so used to older high school girls - trying to get them out of bed in the morning... trying to get them to stop doing their makeup to get to breakfast on time, etc. These 6th graders were EASY! They popped outta bed at 630am and were playing in the snow! AND, they don't wear any makeup!!! We only had one problem - prying them away from each other! Which really isn't a problem at all ;). All of these girls were not connected AT ALL before this weekend, and now they are all BFF's! God is good!!!

Dylan broke his finger on Saturday... didn't realize it was actually broken until Sunday...

Some Junior High girlies hanging out

One of my junior high kids, Jared, celebrated his birthday up at camp. He was pretty stoked to wear the birthday hat (which I believe is still buried in the snow up there), and eat a 4x4 chicken sandwich :). Verdugo Pines is just awesome at making birthday kids feel loved. 

Maritza and I with 4 out of 5 girls from our cabin (she got cut out of the pic, bummer)

Love this shot of Camyron, and, if you look closely, Matt's dad in the right upper corner :)

Simone yelling at Jono from across the room, good times. Love the psalm in the back...

Junior high boyees at breakfast

Cute one of Maritza and AJ

So here is the Junior High chapel. We decided to make all the kids wait outside until everyone got there... it helped the vibe to have them all enter at one time (good idea Jono!!)

Aaron was the guest speaker for High School all weekend, but we were blessed to have him for Junior High on Saturday morning. Here he is having the kids participate in an analogy of how sin can hang on to you from every direction. This REALLY helped the kids (and me!) understand this idea better. Aaron did a great job, and he is really a great guy. 

During worship... trying to get a view of the whole room

Playing the noodle game... I think our best time together was on Saturday morning. The kids loved the games, and the message from Aaron was really great. Everyone was still full of energy, and we all had a great time. 

On Saturday morning Ted Worrell came up with a game idea of having the kids race around our chapel through the snow. We had alternative motives to this because there is no trail from the upper chapel to our lower chapel, and so you have to go all the way around, or you have to go through the snow. The problem with the snow was that it was so deep and soft that we would literally just go through it. Some of the kids would go down all the way to their thighs! It freaked me out as I swore there was sinking sand underneath it all. Anyway, making them run around didn't really work, but it was still really funny. 

High schoolers are a little different in the sense that they want to just "chill", and hang out and talk with you. Junior highers just want to have a good time playing. I didn't really think about this before going to camp, and next year I will definitely wear my snow pants so I can play with them more. Though I don't even want to think about next year and all the wonderful 8th graders I'm losing :(

But here are some pictures of the Junior High boys finding a great ramp in the wilderness. They had a great time climbing up the hill and coming down over this log. I must have sat out there for 2 hours watching them do this over and over again... they couldn't get enough... they are so cute!

AJ, so GQ, getting some shots

Then they came up with this idea! They are so adorable!! They had SO much fun. 

J. High Kiddos

Austin, he helped shovel all the snow for padding

If you look closely, this is me cheering on the boys to go higher so they will catch more air. I'm just lucky no one got hurt ;)


Ping pong (I was actually pretty good)

Rib night...

Ya, he's full now. :)

Ah yes, I loved having breakfast with Jono and Simone on Sunday morning because we finally had a chance to see each other! We were all pretty exhausted at this point, but were STOKED because of how well the weekend went. 

Now for my serious Knepper moment - When the Knepper's came and took over the youth ministry at Kingsfield, I was co-directing it. It was hard for me to let go, but at the same time, I really had to just leave completely because I was SO crazy busy with Biola, and just my life out there. I prayed about whether I should stay as a leader, and even went to the winter camp that year, but even after that, I felt like I needed to go. To be honest, I didn't think that they really wanted me around (which Simone and I talked about the other day, and I found out some secrets that just made me laugh about that whole situation back then, sheesh). But we were all still friends because I still did go to Kingsfield, and they were 2 out of the 0.5 young people we have at our church. ;) 

But when I came on staff, I really wondered how our relationship would develop. It started out slowly, and through me becoming involved with Junior High, has made the relationship really blossom. But this is the cool thing about the Kneppers - it's never really about Junior High... it's about us. For example, I know that if I wasn't doing J. High, or even not working at the church anymore, the Kneppers would still want to be a part of my life. I want to nickname them "lifers", because that is how they are - they just love you for you. They want to hang with you because they want too... not because the church event requires them to do so. 

I also feel blessed because I have just loved getting to know Simone better on a girly level. Simone will tell you like it is, but will be loving at the same time. It is true, you don't ever want her to be mad at you (as Frank would say), and I HAVE indeed experienced this (it scared the bees outta me), but she's a forgiver. My favorite moment with Simone happened about a month ago. We were talking about winter camp and she had to leave for class. We had all said our goodbyes, and I was still talking with Jono in the staff room. All of a sudden Simone walks backs in the room and starts to approach me. My brain is thinking, "what the heck is she doing lunging at me right now...", and then it happened - she hugged me. Out of nowhere, just felt compelled to hug me. Jono and I were sitting there both a little in shock, and then she just walked out of the room again. It was the BEST.THING.EVER. I told EVERYONE, and they were all so jealous (because Simone doesn't really initiate hugs). I love her.    

The Kneppers are truly a great encouragement in my life, and I am so blessed to be able to see them almost every day. They have done GREAT things with our youth ministry (and everything else they do!) at Kingsfield, and I will truly cherish this time that I have had with them (not that I'm going anywhere...) ;)

Lord, thank you for giving us such a wonderful time at winter camp this year. You are truly SO good to us all.