Gathering News with Mandy Mills

Trip Start Jun 30, 2013
Trip End Jul 08, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hey! Happy Fourth of July...This is Mandy Mills with Gathering News. I'm going to tell you what went down today. Starting out, we woke up way too early to be up! Haha! Breakfast was really yummy. Today was a little different though, we went to worship with communion. Everyone at the Gathering was exhausted, but we all still had joy in our hearts full of God's love.  Communion was so crowded and yet it was amazing seeing all us Lutherans come together as one. 
After all this morning's activities, all of us went to lunch. We were hungry! We grabbed things to-go at this really nice walk-in cafe. Walking straight to our "Light In a Darkened World" session, we sat down to eat. Waiting an hour was sure worth it as we had a cool band from a college and amazing speakers who were siblings. They spoke about how we need to light up our world with joy for the Lord. After first session Evelyn, Jessica, Carie, Katie, and I had our giggles and jokes. I mean, hey, that's what we girls do. Of course you guys know me, always hungry, *giggles*, we stopped for a yummy snack. We headed off to our second session  on friendship.  
Elizabeth and Lois attended Transformed Transformers for their first session led by pastor, President of Concordia Alabama, and Ethiopian with a God-given dream for a bigger presence of the Prince of Peace in the world. There are 2.2 million Lutherans in the U.S.A and over 6.5 million in Ethiopia. America loses 50,000 Lutherans a year. We are to be Lutheran lights and be God's presence of the God of Amazing Grace. He encouraged American Lutherans to live out their faith and transform lives by Living Loved. (Hey, that's also our Amazing Grace "thing:" transform lives!) See the connection? Their second session was on missionaries in short term and long term callings. Miss Lois was so excited when one boy, Noah, from Tian Peak Mission Society and a family she sponsored shared his story on missions as being the child of missionaries. With this Elizabeth only saw connecting points of living out God's mission right here in America. The Fourth of July gives us freedom to share the Savior's story with the whole world. :) 
In the evening we went to our FL-GA District dinner. Exciting, right? We wore our FL-GA District shirts. The room was so snazzy with hand-clappers and of course some UF/UGA rivalry. Sitting at our table were two guys because there was "no room in the inn" anywhere else. Their names were Chandler and Garrett and it was great to get to know them. After we ate dinner, we watched 321  Improv. Let me just say, Hi-lar-rious! :D
Woop! Woop! Let's just say this next thing is my favorite part of the day. Even though we were all exhausted from walking the whole day. Trust me, you'd understand if you were here. This next thing is the Mass Event. Finally, after pushing and shoving to get a seat, we get inside and it's A-MAZING! Millions of people filling up the Alamodome. The worship was quite inspiring with "pickley." My definition of "pickley" is  lovely or amazing times two! (Just go with it! :P)  The speakers were inspiring. And this girl who spoke, brought me to tears. I'm not joking. Her story was just...WOW! I had goose bumps. (More on that and about my friend below...her story was one of death and dying and yet God gave her life.) After it ended, we headed to the fireworks! We were in great view at first, but then the crowd brought us toward the back of the building. It was still awesome to see the skies fill with lights and enjoyed it with 25,000 people of God.
Throughout the day, listening to everyone speak and things, Psalms 139: 18 stood out to me. How it says, "Were I to count them (the thoughts), they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you." God says He's with us always. It makes you feel less lonely, doesn't it? Him being there through it all and knowing all! 
I'm just putting this out there for you guys, my very best friend found out he has lung cancer as of last month. His lungs have collapsed. Last night he was feeling even worse so he headed to the hospital. Today, he found out his lung cancer has become Stage 3. After the Mass Event, it broke my heart and I cried. His lungs collapsed just as in the girl's story of her inability to breathe and constant pain...yet Christ gave her healing and God got her through and she's now alive to tell the tale of the Father's love and mercy. Will you LIVE LOVE and please, please pray for him? It would mean a lot to him and to me. 
Thank you so much! This has been Mandy Mills with Gathering News! 
From a One Strong Silly Cookie, Mandy
Here's a funny Christian joke, "How does Mosses make his tea?" ....
HEbrews it! Haha! 
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srockey on

Thank you for sharing, Mandy. I am glad you are "experiencing" the joy of Christ!

Pastor Rockey on

What great posts or should I say "Gathering News" each of you have blessed us with! I rejoice that you have all grown closer to one another, closer to the Lord and assured that you are His precious daughters - loved and made to love all the days of your lives. Enjoy this last day of the NYG and then may you have an excellent experience of service, witness and fun with Can-Do Missions in your Servant Event.

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