Happy New Year! | Elevation Praise Party '14
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome to 2015, everybody. 2014 was quite a year. Chad and I have SO many important moments to look back on... I'm sure you can relate—some were very high points that included tears of joy or triumph while others seemed quite low that included tears of sadness or challenge, but all of them contributed to our overall growth and development this year in one way or another.
Over the last couple of weeks, we've been doing a great deal of praying, brainstorming, dreaming and goal-setting for our future. We take intentional time to do this every year as we look over the state of our personal lives and our business. We'll be sharing more about some of this later, but for now, we are brimming with excitement from the New Year's party we attended last night and can't wait to share the highlights!
In Raleigh, Chad and I are a part of the Elevation RDU family—a campus of Elevation Church, which is based in Charlotte, NC. Last night, a whole bunch of us piled into a coach bus and took a 3-hour drive (complete with karaoke, glow stick dance party) over to our Blakeney campus for the Elevation Praise Party! There were three campuses with the live Praise Party happening, (Blakeney being the main site) streaming back and forth between each other, seamlessly, and also broadcasting online.
FUN SIDE NOTE: Last year before New Year's Eve, Chad and I stumbled across the Elevation Praise Party and thought it sounded like the coolest thing ever. We brainstormed ways to make a small-scale version in our area and told each other it would be amazing to drive down to NC one year soon and attend. ...At that point we had NO idea that we'd be LIVING here within the following year and actually attending Elevation Church!
It was honestly the best New Year celebration I have ever been a part of... We spent the beginning praising God for all that he did in/around/through our lives in 2014, reminisced the church highlights of the year, had some goofy fun, and sang our hearts out in praise of our Creator. Pastor Stephen then preached a great message from Genesis 26 that challenged all of us to correct our perspective as we began 2015. We all counted down to midnight together, celebrated, and as you can guess—praised the Lord through some more music. I loved all of the passion and energy in the room! There was a true sense of family as many campuses of our church gathered together to end the year in praise and begin the next in praise as well.
I want to share two of the points that Pastor Stephen made in his message last night that particularly resonated with me regarding growth and challenges. Maybe they will be great reminders to you as well as you being 2015 on the right foot.
- He talked about how you'll never be able to fulfill God's calling on your life from within your "comfort zone." When we grow, we become too big for the places/habits/relationships we've already settled in and become comfortable with. Therefore, we must move forward or make some modifications to accommodate for an increase in capacity. This increase will require us to confront challenges, and that's on purpose, for our growth.
- He spoke a lot about "finding your flow" in life. Everything's easier when you're in a good flow—creative flow, blood flow, even cash flow. In Genesis 26, Scripture talks about Isaac's well. In years past, it had good flow of water, but it had since been blocked and plugged up by his enemies and he needed to dig them out to fix them. Pastor Stephen challenged us to ask, "What's blocking your flow?" He challenged us not necessarily to start something new in 2015, but to revisit old wells that have already been built in our lives (whether lessons we learned, relationships we've had, habits/lifestyles, etc.) and symbolically dig them out to find our flow again. We need to get rid of complaints, regrets, excuses and complacency (among other things) that are clogging and contaminating the wells in our lives so that we can again tap into the flow of God's Spirit and blessing on our lives.
Good stuff! We're certainly feeling more prepared to tackle this year. We hope you enjoy these photo highlights from our night. You can view the full gallery here in you're interested.