Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rachel's CIY Move Wrap Up

This year was the first year I got to go to CIY MOVE with the church and I'm glad I did. I grew a lot in my faith in just the 5 days we were there. At every session I felt like I was the only one in the room and they made the sermons just for me because they all connected to my life and what I’m going through. 

The one main thing I took away form last week was “If you feel like you’ll let down Jesus, you can’t! Jesus is holding you up and he will never let you down!” That was one of the thing I went in to CIY feeling like “I wonder if I have let Jesus down?” I know now that I can’t let him now, even if I mess up really bad. When people don’t believe God is the light of the world and he is always there, he sees them and asks himself “How can you live like that, not trusting and not letting me hold you up. I am always there just trust and you will see.”
Also another big thing that goes along with letting Jesus down is fall short of what Jesus wants us to be and how we should act. We all fall short because we’re all human!! No one is perfect and no one will ever be perfect. Jesus knows that but we should try to be as close to perfect as we can and there will be times when you mess up or fall short. So don’t beat yourself up about it Jesus will love you no matter what you do!

The Aaron Pelsue Band, the worship band for the week, was awesome. But the first night Aaron Pelsue told all 1400 students that they don’t want to be treated like celebrities but at normal people and everything they do, they do it for the Messiah. The band was so much fun to worship with and they performed some great songs. My favorite song was Beautiful Things. The song says that even though we are not perfect but God will make us Beautiful.  
Rachel Menzel

Friday, August 3, 2012

Across Five Augusts

It was nearly five years ago today that I found myself in nervous anticipation as our wedding guests arrive. I was in a little storage room near the front of the church waiting for the wedding to begin. My dad opened the door and asked me how I was doing. What he said next was one of the things I remember the most from that morning. He said "Matt, you put that girl on a pedestal and do everything you can for her. If I hear that you ever take her off of that pedestal, then you need to be ready to deal with me." No sooner had he finished his sentence, and he had left. The minister and I exchanged glances, surprised by my dad's words.

I had thought that he had come in to give me kind words of wisdom, to encourage me to stay calm, or to let me know what a great decision I was making. After he left I felt like the mob had just told me not to do anything to mess this up.  Looking back on it, my dad was giving me some incredible words of wisdom. God was blessing me with the most incredible woman on the planet. He was giving me a ministry of the utmost importance (Loving my wife).  My duty was to love, serve, and sacrifice everything for her. What a privilege.

Tomorrow is Alicia and my 5th wedding anniversary. We started dating way back in 2001. Its been an amazing decade of time getting to know her, and the past 5 years have been such a wonderful adventure. In that time we have bought a house, invested  five wonderful years at our church, had our first child, have another one on the way, and each day we sail the uncharted waters of our marriage.

As I think back to our first five years of marriage, I am struck by a few truths and things that I think are just as valuable as my dad's wedding day advice:
- No matter how much you know about your spouse there is always more to learn. I think that is so exciting to know!
- God has placed you in the life of your spouse and wants you to sacrifice everything for him/her just like Jesus loved the church. It will always be worth it too. To think otherwise is not just dangerous, it's flat out crazy.
- God will find the most amazing ways to speak to you and love you throu your spouse. It's an incredibly humbling and wonderful experience.
- Marriage is such a great adventure that will take all your talents, time and energy, but just like any great adventure,  there is treasure to be found.

My wife has made so many sacrifices for me. She is constantly a blessing to me. I hope I have held true to my father's words and have kept her on that pedestal. I hope I continue to as well.

Just yesterday she told me that she loves her job in labor and delivery at the hospital. Before she took that job we prayed and sought advice because we knew it would be a huge challenge for both of us for her to transition to a new role at the hospital. It was a dream of hers to work on labor and delivery.  So after much prayer and preparation we went for it. I learned to balance my schedule more so that I could spend more time at home with Zeke, and take on added responsibilities at the house. She learned to change her sleep schedule, get even more done in less time, and how to get ahead on things like grocery shopping. We both learned how to communicate better, how to take advantage of every moment we had as a family, and how to fight to make time to continue to grow our relationship with each other.  Our journey is far from over, but through our pursuit of one of my wife's dreams, we found some of God's treasure in our adventure.

Thanks Alicia for going on life's great adventure with me!