Monday, May 31, 2010

How He Loves: A Song Story by John McMillan

The song "How He Loves" has been played frequently in churches around America lately, and covers have even been done by famous Christian bands like David Crowder Band.

I, personally, love the song and did a blog post on it a little while back. It is so real. So raw. So where I'm at.

This video posted on John McMillan's vimeo page makes the song even more powerful. It speaks for itself, check it out:

How He Loves : A Song Story from john mark mcmillan on Vimeo.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Keeping Portland Weird with my Sister

God's plan is so much better then ours, don't you think?

Last weekend my sister, Meg, and I took a trip to Portland. Really, it was for no other reason then to connect and love on each other.

As most of you already know, I'm headed off to West Point in a little less then a month. This summer is going to be intense as I go through basic training and move towards cadet life at the academy.

My sister wanted to take me somewhere for us to connect. We threw around some ideas, but none of them seemed to fit the grid for a place to both have fun, and connect with my sister. Finally, I landed on Portland.

Portland? Yeah.

I think my sister thought it was a pretty odd place for me to suggest, seeing as other ideas had been Lagoon and Silverwood (both theme parks.) Why Portland? Why not? I'd heard from several people that Portland is the cat's pajamas, and I simply had to go there and see what's up.  As my sis had been there before, I figured she could lead the expedition, not to mention the fact that she is great with directions (not a strong point for me.) Still, she felt more comfortable with having my GPS enabled iPhone with us.

My sister made the plans early on (about a month ago) and we were looking forward to the trip with anticipation, and rightly so! After all, where two or more Mansfield's (or Roe's) are gathered, there incredible fun can be found.

Last Saturday at 6am the trip began. We arrived in Portland at 6am, due to the hour flight and time change that worked in our favor. Here are the highlights of the trip, and how Papa really showed up:

Click here to read the rest.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

On turning 18, fear, and trust

Turning 18 gives me mixed emotions.

I'm an adult, which is pretty cool. I get to buy lottery tickets, smoke, go to jail, and vote. More importantly: my words hold a new weight coming out of my mouth. I can be recognized as some one with an opinion, and not just merely viewed as a teenager shouting into the wind. I get to be viewed as an adult shouting into the wind!
Ok, maybe I'm being a little too snarky and sarcastic about this whole thing. I really do view it as more than a legal "coming of age". 

To tell you the truth, I have a serious conflict about this whole turning 18 thing, and it really doesn't have to do with my birthday at all. April 23rd 2010 signified that I am one huge step closer to leaving home and starting my own life. As anyone who has experienced this knows, that's both one of the best things and one of the scariest.

In a little under two months I'll head off to college. I'm going to West Point, located in New York, so there really is no transition period. I'll be living in Boise one day and be living in barracks at USMA the next.
I really am excited for this experience and lifestyle. This has been my dream since I can remember having dreams. I am excited to be bent, broken, and recast. I'm excited to truly learn what it means to lead.

None of this comes without a cost. I have to leave my family, girlfriend, friends, and home town. This is the hardest and shittiest part of the whole thing. I'm being 100% real: more fear then I've ever known rises in me when I think about it. Fear that I may not see some of my closest friends for years. Fear that my relationship and friendship with my girlfriend will change because I wont be there for her when other people are. Fear that one day I'll wake up at age 30 and wonder where the last 10 years went.

Fear isn't healthy, and I know that. I also don't know any other way to combat this fear save two things: ask Papa for a shoulder to lean on, and make every effort to be here now, at every moment. I'm striving to enjoy every moment I have left in High School.

It's almost like I'm an adult in everybody else's eyes but mine. To me, I'm just a kid who doesn't want to leave his loved ones, and no matter what I tell myself I keep coming back to that. And yet I am most definitely not a boy; I'm a man, and a peaceful, free, and stupendous man at that. I'm finding being "peaceful" and "free" is a lot harder when that's not at all how I feel.

And right now I kind of feel like this blog post is depressing. I really and honestly don't mean it to be: this is just where I'm at. I don't want it to sound like turning 18 was a bad experience and now I'm dragging my feet; that's not it at all. In fact, I'm finding that I want to be more present from moment to moment now then ever before. This whole going to college thing is starting to bring things into focus. It's hard, and I know I'll be glad for it in the long run.

It's easy for me to say that I trust Papa to take care of everything while I'm gone: my relationships, girlfriend, and family. It's a lot harder to believe that in my heart and to actually trust Him. I'm working on it, but I'm not there yet. What I do know is that Papa has a plan that's a whole lot better then mine. My hope is that that plan isn't going to be emotionally stressful and that it won't hurt. My hope is that my worst fears don't come to fruition in that plan. I'm having a hard time trusting Papa because I feel like if I do, it somehow gives Him permission to use my fears to stretch me. I know I probably need to check my heart about this stuff, and I bet most of you could show me verses that prove me wrong. Nonetheless, this is where I'm at now. I want God's help, but am having a hard time trusting Him. How's that working for me? Not very well.

For now I want to enjoy every moment, which includes (but is not limited to): staying up late and blogging, going to opening night movies, doing crazy stuff with friends, hanging with my gf as often as I can, hanging out with my friends at every opportunity, and focusing on being all there with my family when we are having fun together. A couple of those things already have a check next to them.

Prayers headed this way would be awesome,