April 2022 in Review

Hard to believe it finally May. Now that it is May, it is time to talk about its highlights of April—-now it does consist of a big one.

Charlotte Shout

This is the 2nd Charlotte Shout event I attended. It is basically an event where you come across these fun art installations in downtown. As in, installations you can interact with—-like seesaws, hammocks, etc…. Hard to explain—-below is more about it, and includes some pictures.

https://megsmagicalmusings.wordpress.com/2022/04/13/charlotte-shout-2022/

Montreat- Parish Retreat

I was looking forward to this all year- annually, my church goes on a Parish Retreat. We had to go to a different place, but at least we were still in the mountains. Montreat is a Presbyterian Conference Center—-located near Black Mountain. Just like Kanuga—–we still had the hiking, the program, some kind of craft, a blue grass Eucharist, and even a bonfire—-just some things were slightly different.

https://megsmagicalmusings.wordpress.com/2022/04/25/a-change-in-parish-retreat/

Reading

Unlike the other months so far, I didn’t finish a book. I am working on two books now—-one is physical and the other is on kindle. At least, I know I am close to finishing one of them. So, what are those two books.

  1. Deathly Hallows- physical and close to finishing (only know that thanks to seeing the movie a lot)
  2. The Paris Library- kindle (got this for Montreat for some chilling out; yes a library book—-the key to those is putting your kindle on airplane mode so it lasts longer)

Mountain or Beach- Who are You?

There are two kinds of people in life. Either we prefer the beach or we prefer the mountains. If some reason we are drawn more to one or the other. So, what kind of person am I?

Mountains

I am much more of a mountain person. More starters, I have a stronger connection to God. That is a result of being surrounded by nature especially on hikes. That all began at Kanuga, an Episcopalian Conference Center, located in Hendersonville. Due to that, I started becoming a mountain person- feeling God’s presence strongly.

That was why I was glad Gardner Webb was near hiking trails- so I signed up whenever Student Activities offered a hike.

Now, I love hiking. True, we go on an annual Parish Retreat, but this year we picked a new location. This time was Montreat, a Presbyterian Conference Center, which is located near Black Mountain. Below is a picture from the main hike- the one during the Parish Retreat. I actually own hiking boots, a hiking backpack, and actually have a hiking stick I made.

When there isn’t time for mountains, Greenway walks kinda of make up for that.

A Change in Parish Retreat

Ever since graduating from high school in 2012, a lot of changes have happened. New subjects were taught—–as in ones I loved. I learned to go past my comfort zone in more ways than one. Another change happened this weekend- The annual Parish Retreat. From the years 2003-2021, we have always gone to Kanuga, but this time the church needed a change. But, some things still needed to be similar in a way—-like feeling of fellowship and certain activities.

Montreat

Unlike Kanuga, Montreat is a Presbyterian Conference Center. But both places are still up in the mountains. Due to Montreat’s location, there still was trails to hike one—-that was good to know. Hiking is a huge part of our Parish Retreats, and one of my strongest connections to God. The only difference with the hiking is the fact that in Montreat you have to drive to the trail heads.

Program- just like with Kanuga, we still had our program- split into kids, youth, and adult. It took a while till I wanted to spend time with the adult, but soon enough opened up to them. We ended up doing an icebreaker activity- basically “That’s Me”- if the question applied to us, we took one step forward, and if it didn’t we stayed put. On that type of activity, they always make sure at least one question applied to someone- based on what they know of those who attended the Retreat.

Crafting- we ended up making prayer flags, a new kind of prayer for me. We could decorate it in any way we want. There were times in the past at Kanuga that we did some art activity, so glad to have craft

Bonfire- I always enjoy those especially if it involves smores (I always make two of them).

Hangout- this is only referring to the times I spent reading on my kindle in the main lobby; love that I could bring something to do down there. Advantage of a a kindle

Adult Socials- I even eventually learned to participate in these. Especially if I am an extrovert. The adult socials usually ended the day at Kanuga

Blue Grass Eucharist- in the past couple of years at Kanuga, we had our Sunday service at the lakeside with a Blue Grass Band. This year, we may not have had the lakeside but at least we still had the same band- fun music to listen to

Conclusion

While things may change, the memories and the importance remain. That never leaves us- it continues to live.

The New Commandment of Jesus

On Maundy Thursday, I went to my church’s service. The day of the last supper and also the day Jesus gives the strongest and most important commandment.

I give you a new commandment, that you love another.

Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.

John 13:34

As a matter of fact, this commandment refers to having unconditional love—–to love your family, friends, enemies, etc…..It reminds me of a character from Les Misérables.

The Bishop

If he didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be a story. Because Valjean was an ex-convict, no one was giving him a chance- as in giving him a job, a place to stay, or treating him well. But due to the Bishop’s unconditional job and strong love for Christ, he was willing to give Valjean food to eat and a place to sleep.

Valjean was taught the ways of the Lord through the Bishop. After stealing the Bishop’s silver, he was forgiven and was given the silver and two extra candlesticks. He was told to use the silver to become a honest man. Learned about mercy, compassion, and forgiveness.

Who is the Most meaningful Singer of my Life?

In life, there are a number of people who hold meaning to you. The ones that make an impact on your life- of course family, friends, and teachers play a role. Even the characters of books and shows play a part- as they become a part of you (a reasoning why the actors who play them can be meaningful). There are even impactful musicians and singers, but do you expect that only well-known ones are the most influential? So, who is one of my most meaningful musicians?

Someone not Expected

Fran McKendree isn’t just a Christian and Folk musician. He isn’t just someone who led the music during Parish Retreats at Kanuga. He played a BIG role in my journey with Christ and my love for Christian music. Due to singing during Parish Retreats, I was able to strongly feel God’s Presence (+ the hikes). From the years 2003-2008, Fran was our main song leader——“Lord of the Dance”, “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High”, “One Body”, “Servant Song”, and “Sanctuary” were the main songs I remember that he taught our Church. True, “Servant Song” now has double meaning, but back in the day “Servant Song” was only connected to Kanuga.

If it wasn’t for Fran, I probably NEVER would have discovered Winterlight, a high school youth conference (Dec. 27th- Jan. 1st). My family owns the Winterlight 24 CD——that was how I found out about that event. You would think the best part about high school would be connected to my school, but it isn’t. It actually was Winterlight- I went in 2010 and 2011 (we sang three times a day, did a service project, had a banquet, New Year’s Eve dance, Talent Show, etc……….).

Now that I think of it, Fran is probably just as impactful as he was in the past. He actually was my favorite musician growing up. I actually love contemporary christian music just as much as musical theatre.