XO: Nehemiah Fest


It feels good to be in comfortable skin again.

Once upon a time, many, many years ago my favorite time of the year was the summer. It wasn’t due to school being out, pool parties, or even family vacations. As cheesy as the notion sounds, it all revolved around two events: church camp and mission trips.

Church camps were the ideal place to disappear, meet new people, remove yourself [as a teen] from the ‘real world’, and hopefully learn more about yourself in a spiritual manner. I was fortunate enough to go to camps that challenged the soul, instead of the standard ‘swim at the lake each afternoon’ mantra of the standard stereotype. Sure, I did fall in love with a girl every week, and by Thursday I was crying just like the next kid about how sick of a soul I really had. ‘Re’dedicating my life to Jesus was a yearly tradition, and we never had enough sleep. Overall though, it was a great experience and many memories that I truly cherish to this very day.

But if church camps were the classroom, mission trips were the field that my education was finally put in play. Ranging from Indian reservations of South Dakota, to inner city Omaha, Nebraska; I’ve found myself in many different adventures. Mexico, Louisiana, even…Branson, Missouri [they need Jesus too it turns out]; every summer from sixth grade through my senior year of high school there was at least one place I wound up for ten days as a ‘missionary’. Many times this resulted in vacation bible school activities, skits at night, and occasionally watching a youth member swallow a live gold fish from Wal-Mart…only to puke it back up…still alive [he did this three times with the same fish before it finally died]. However, in the end whether it was a tire jungle gym, a new house, or even just working a cotton candy machine…there is no place, and there never will be a place, that I’d rather be then on some sort of mission trip. It isn’t a vacation; it’s so much more.

Both of these routine adventures propelled me to the university that I attended; originally, I was to become a full time, overseas missionary for the International Mission Board. Granted, that was before I started dating, that was before college debt, and most certainly before a specific divorce took place. It never really generated into a full time thought, but that never meant the passion went away.

Through FilingThePapers there’s been a distinct need of rediscovery, a true ‘redidication’ needed…and found. Whether it was in the loving arms of MoVal, or found along the dirt streets of Guatemala. My spiritual life had to be rebuilt, just as my physical life did. Believe me, as a Christian who went through a divorce, your soul takes a serious beating and causes you to question the really big aspects of life. Such as everything you did or believed on a mission trip, church camp, or even in your pew on a Sunday morning.

However, like the constant change of this web series [aka blog], there too lies change in these truths as well.

A few weeks ago Darco, Jim, and myself attended a meeting for a concert tour called “Nehemiah Fest”. It’s an outdoor concert at a local lake, held in September with four stages and around forty bands. It takes a lot to pull together as you can imagine. Through the meeting everyone was talking about their positions in the event [this is Jim’s second year, he’s a driver in the parking lot], and when it came to my wife and myself we offered the only thing we really knew what to do:

Digital marketing.

So, in the past week we’ve hijacked the Facebook and Twitter feeds of the event, we’ve began construction on a Google+ page, and slowly but surely a new website is in the making. I’ve even experimented with a few cover photo and avatar pictures for the social media feeds:

Facebook Avatar

Facebook Avatar

Facebook Cover Photo...beta...

Facebook Cover Photo…beta…

Google+ Cover Photo

Google+ Cover Photo

Twitter Cover Photo

Twitter Cover Photo

I know to the standard graphic artist this doesn’t look like much, but at least it’s a beginning. More importantly, it’s an exciting opportunity. I talk to my wife at night, plotting out new social media schemes, how we’re going to move information, contact lists, etc…and you know what?

I feel like I’m in high school. I feel like I’m preparing for camp, packing for my next mission trip, or even getting ready for Wednesday night activities at church. There are several things changing in course of our lives as of late, more big things are changing in coming months, but it’s hard to describe how right this feels. It’s hard to put into words how I feel comfortable, and how I’m doing something that I could do every day of my life. I’m everything but the perfect example of a Christian; reality says I’m quite the opposite, but thankfully God is a God of redemption and grace. He gives out second, third, and fourth tries. He doesn’t give up, and He always brushes me off. I get off track, and He always guides me back.

It’s nice feeling that fire again.


One response to “XO: Nehemiah Fest

  1. Pingback: Mobile Minutes: Quick Edits | Signing On The X

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