Monday, November 30, 2009

another Monday for ya

Yeah, the day started off with Geology. I have my fourth Exam on Wednesday, which I need to study for a lot tomorrow. Maybe not so much study, but write up my one page of notes. It will be no big thang. Ohh, and I went to Spanish today, and I got an 80% on my last Spanish test!!! I was so amazingly happy and surprised! GO ME!
I went to Snider today and talked with the wrestling team about Young Life. It was good, at least I think it was good. We will see come Wednesday. The kicker of my day was BSF. I really love going to BSF. I feel so grounded there. I really belong around that setting. I love learning about my Lord. I love being around men who love learning about my Lord. It is a really healthy atmosphere and I love everything about it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Muy bien domingo

Okay I had big goals, I wanted to knock out my Applied Leadership study guide, check the difference between Mercalli & Richter scale for Geology, continue to go over the massive amounts of Spanish I have to memorize for my Spanish Oral exam (which I haven't been diligent on at all), then meet up with Ryan to go over campaigners (Bible study) @ 6:00 for tonight. I had a lot to do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I hardly touched the Applied Leadership. No matter though. Suppose I work good under pressure. . . Yeah, suppose I do! ;o)I thought campaigners went so amazingly good tonight. These guys are being real. Both with themselves and with each other. It is so insanely encouraging to see where they are at. And where they have already come from. I am super proud of every single one of these guys. The very very end of the day ended with me at a Fantastic Mr. Fox with 4 other male YL leaders. It was super fun to be with "the guys" and the movie was amazingly good. If you love well made intelligent films, then you will love it. I did for sure!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

amazing hot coa coa

Today I had 9 high school guys come to my parents house and hang out. Around 1:30 A.M. We started making about 9-11 gallons of Hot Chocolate. We then drove it to Best Buy, Kohls, and Old Navy to pass it out to people standing in line. I got into one really good conversation with a guy. It was a God connection. And the guys I took all got a great picture for what it means to serve Christ. The kind of serving it talks about in James 2. It was really good. Really really good. I have more pictures, but I don't think i'm going to upload them right now. THANKS FOR READING!!!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

my 1,000 BLOG!!!!

This is monumental, this is earth shattering, this is a first in so many ways!! I have blogged ONE THOUSAND TIMES (1,000)!!! This really says something about how I view BLOGGing. I mean because seriously, I don’t usually stick with anything. My BLOGG is my baby though.

With that being said, I wanted to do something “special” for my 1,000th post. I did a little documentary called. . .


As I was cleaning out my car, I found a beard that belongs to one of my Young Life guys. I decided to wear it. . . the rest is history.

The beard looks and feels natural. The beard brings family together, both young and older. The beard motivates an individual to CLEAN! The beard brings supernatural strength.

The beard also likes to travel. While the beard and I were
out and about. We traveled to many different locations but
one thing stayed the same. We (the beard & I) would walk
into a location, not say a word, snap a picture, and leave. This
left many confused, but that is part of the beauty of the

First stop, Wallgreens. There was a lady in line who just started laughing. I of course said nothing and showed no emotion. I let the beard do all the talking. The woman behind the counter was very confused. Next stop was Arby's. And for fairly late at night, it was packed. I heard several individuals say, "What the he** is this guy doing?" And many snickering. This did not stop the beard though. The guy behind the counter said, "Wait, why are you trying to take my picture?" He got no response. This confused gas station clerk simply waved.
Next stop was Starbucks. Now, there was a very loud police officer in line. He immediately started asking me what I was doing, and where I got the beard from. I stayed quiet, took the picture, and left. On to a random Hotel. The guy walked up to the desk, cocked his head to the side and said, "How may I help you this evening sir?" I looked into his eyes, turned around, took the picture, and left. It was beautiful. Next I went to a roller skate rink. This old lady was the only individual who did not react at all. She simply looked at me, and kept perfectly quiet. I took the picture and left. The traveling beard went into the liquor store. As I started to pose for the picture, he made some kind of gesture. Then, just as I walked in, I started to leave. On my exit, the guy said, "Wait, are you serious? That's it? You're not going to give me any more than that? Common man!"
I took all of the above pictures on the North side of town, I wanted
to get a mix of both socioeconomic parts of town though. So, to the
South side I drove.

I jumped in front of a line, and snapped this picture. Again, complete silence. People laughed. It was hard to not smile. Then I finally got to the Wall-Mart on the very Southern most part of town. There were so many people shopping at 11:00 at night. And they were all staring at me. This was the only time I thought to myself, "Maybe this isn't such a good idea." I continued anyways. The girl check out girl gave me a pretty big smirk once I left. The last stop of the day was a BP gas station. The clerk looked at me and said, "Is that your beard, or did you take it from a friend?" I wanted to laugh pretty badly, but I kept it in, and left silently.

That is the story of the Traveling Beard. And I am proud to post it as my 1,000 BLOG!!! Horray for me!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

what a day, what a day in deed

Okay, so the evening was good. But I cannot let go of what happened in my Applied Leadership class. So I have been pretty down because of my recent reality attack of M/S and it's impacts in my life. Maybe not the physical aspect of it impacting me right now. But, I have been feeling all the emotional crap mixed up inside ever since I read the most recent news about Tysabri and what not. It made me really think about my future, and how my M/S doesn't just impact me. . . . Well, in my Applied leadership class. I need a new text book for the last 3 weeks of class. I really didn't want to get it, but knew I should probably at the very least check out the book. I looked all over the class to see if anyone with the needed text book. The only individual I could find was a lady named Jana. She is 38 years old, and has always seemed to be a really nice lady. But, probably one of the more unlikely individuals for me to speak to. Nothing personal, just nothing in common that would bring us together. . . Or so I thought. As I approached her after class, I asked if I could look through her book (which by the way I was worried I would have to purchase) to check out if I was in deed going to have to get it, or if I could get by just checking through one in the book store. As I was looking through it, Jana said to me, "Ya know, I could scan the pages you need and e-mail them to you." I was like, "Really, that'd be AWESOME!" She then told me that she really struggles with the tests, that she freezes up when taking them. I explained to her that I really understand how that is. I explained that I take my tests in the SSD (Student Services with Disabilities). She asked why I take my tests there, I said because I have M/S and have some cognitive impairment. She said, "You have M/S? I have M/S, and have had it for 18 years!" We talked about how small of a world it is, and after much more discussion, I found out that she is currently on TYSABRI and has been for the past year. Okay, reality check. There are only 60,700 people in the WORLD on Tysabri, and for sure under 15 on it in Fort Wayne. It turns out that the one lady in my Applied Leadership class that I was the least likely to talk to, just so happens to have the book I need, and not only does she have M/S and a back ground story extremely similar to mine, but she IS ON TYSABRI TOO! Not only does she have M/S and is on Tysabri, but she loves the Lord and God used M/S to bring her out of a lifestyle she needed to get out of, JUST LIKE ME! I felt God through this whole experience. You can call it a complete coincidence, but I know better.
Tonight, we had a Campus Crusades thanksgiving. It was so much fun. But, I ate a lot of Jell-O and then right before I left, I was sort of dared to drink a large amount of Orange juice. I swear there was a half a gallon of juice in there. I downed it in one solid chug. It was amazing, but I felt like I was going to puke like crazy. Worth it? I think so.

Monday, November 23, 2009

yep, you gotta take what get's thrown at ya

Today brought to my attention my m/s. It brought to my attention that not only does it impact my life, but the lives of those who are closest to me. It is interesting to think that it has almost been 2 years since I started the Tysabri (drug that has kept me completely symptom free). But, I can not be ignorant to the fact that my future ahead is unknown. Super unknown. So much so that I couldn't even try to guess what it will look like. I had some really healthy conversation with Janice about it. It is rough for both of us, but we truly love each other. God will guide us where we need to go, and will place in our lives what needs to be there in order for His will to be done. I am well on my way to being perfectly okay with that. ;-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tony and meeting

I had to drive out to Grabill to drop someone off that came to church. Since I was out there, I decided to go to my friend Tony's house. He just bought a house, and called me last weekend to see if I wanted to come out. I told him I would, and we are friends and use to be really close, so I wanted to stay close.
Tony is still Tony. Except now he has a girl friend. We talked about times of past, and just hung out. It was a good thing. Later on I went to a leader meeting. It was super good, we talked about so many awesome topics. Every time we have a leader meeting, they just get better and better. What a great and amazing team we are building. GOD IS WORKING BIG TIME!!! Lives are being transformed, and as a leadership team we just keep getting stronger and stronger. So cool to see God directly impact the lives of our friends (Young Life kids) like this. It is super encouraging.

On December 20th I will be going to California to be with Janice for 20 days. Something I am so looking forward to. I found out on Friday that I will be in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for 10 of those 20 days. Janice's family has a house down there. My trip to visit Janice has turned into a full blown winter vacation. I am extremely blessed and fortunate.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ryan's Jam

Today I woke up late and it felt really really good to get some extra ZZZzzz's. I hung out with Nick (not Nicky, but a different YL kid) and we had a good time. As the evening progressed we went to see Ryan (fellow Young Life leader) put on a show at a place inbetween Leo & Grabill. I also picked up two more kids, Dalton and Tim. We all had a really good time watching/listening to Ryan play. He is really good and has a jamming voice. After that was over, everyone came back to my parents house and we cooked up some Jack's pizza and watched a movie on my parent's T.V. It was a good time hanging out with the guys.

I got a pretty cool video to watch. I like it, and it really makes me think of the "Empires of dirt" I have in my life.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

donuts @ Snider

As I approach Snider High School, my mission is clear. To love these kids in the best way possible. To show compassion on them, and try to understand their pain. All the while being cheerful and fun as they walk into school. Yes, the donuts were stacked this morning. I love making kids smile in the morning. I do anything to get a smile. From on the spot rapping, to unique gestures like, "that scarf is so fly, I bet you could just soar through the clouds."

My day was a blur. I am patiently waiting to go see Janice. But, it is infecting my thought life. She is constantly on my mind. She is always always on my mind.

1 Corinthians 2:9, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

Dang, ya know what? In order to really experience God, you have to surrender to him. In order to be able to surrender to him, you have to have faith. You have to believe in something that does not flow with logic and sensibility. By stepping out in faith, God will prove himself time and time again. Through situations, circumstances, and in your heart. BUT, if you never take that step to do so, it won't happen. Surrender is ESSENTIAL! But, we are so stuck in our selfishness.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Talking Jesus.

If there is one topic I love talking about more than anything else, it is Jesus. I could talk about Jesus all day and all night till I run out of breath. Luckily, after CLUB tonight, I got the chance to talk about Jesus with my man Austin. Good good good time. If you have 4:46 of spare time, use it to watch and listen to this video.

John 7:38 "Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

It's SO TRUE!! -Mikey

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My mom has a great Aura

She certainly does! Both in her character that emanates from the atmosphere that surrounds her, but as of today in her CAR! Yes, my mother got a new car today. It is a Saturn Aura. And it is pretty rocking! Check it out.
This thing is super nice. It was totally God who provided it too. I mean as I watch the puzzle pieces of life fit together, I see how all things work for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).It has this amazing plush leather interior,and it is just an extremely nice car!

My evening ended on a really positive note as well.
I went to Campus Crusades, where Ryan, my friend and fellow Young Life leader gave the talk. He talked about God as our father, our dad. He related it back to his personal story of him and his father. Or lack of father. It was a clear cut story of Grace and redemption. He did a really good job. Then, as you can see in the picture above, I went to on of the Crew leader's houses and we all made a ginger bread house. I sort of just ate gummy bears, and walked around. But other people were productive.

It was a great evening, and Christ was shining through it.

2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (New International Version)

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What does a Young Life fall weekend look like?

A Young Life weekend starts off with a bus trip (5 hours with stop).
A really fun bus ride to say the least!
When we arrived, the leaders quickly went into our first meeting. They welcomed us and set up what the weekend was going to look like. We (leaders) all started getting excited for ourselves but more so for the kids we brought. Next up we got to go to the first CLUB of the weekend. Ohh man, these are so much fun. Craziness, where high school kids can really be HIGH SCHOOL KIDS! It is a thrilling atmosphere to be a part of. They just eat it up. This picture is dark, but you can get the picture. The two guys on stage were two of the main characters. They were just really fun.

The next part of "Fall Weekend" I would like to explain was my favorite part of the weekend. We refer to it as "cabin time." For some, this was the first time they had ever experienced anything like this. For others, it was a welcomed atmosphere. This is a safe place where you can be real, yourself, and try to understand and help others out of respect. Nothing is forced, and my experience with it is that it usually works out really well. What does it mean to be in a community that cares about you in a way that is not of this world? How does it impact an individual to be cared for by his or her own peers? Well, it means the world.

Here are some pictures. I will just let them speak for themselves.

What was my goal this weekend? Well, first and foremost I wanted to meet kids on their individual levels and to spend genuine time with them. What happens naturally? Well, some renewed their relationship with Christ. Some got their first picture of what it even means to connect with such an amazing and life changing power. I was so blessed to be able to hang out with my group of guys. Every single one of them belonged their, and had a great time. IT WAS AWESOME!!

God is so good and made all of this possible. I am so blessed that he chooses to include me.

P.S. I just officially sold my Tempo for $170.oo. It will get picked up tomorrow at 12:30pm

Thursday, November 12, 2009

too much

I don't really know how to condense today into a "BLOG" post. Some days are so intense, and I am so involved with so many things. . . I don't think that attempting to post about it would do them justice, so I will not BLOG today. Today was great though.

I am taking high school kids to a Fall Weekend in Michigan this weekend. I leave tomorrow at 4pm. It is going to rock.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

eye opening

Jonathon is front and center as you can see! I am so glad he is going with us on Fall weekend. It is going to be a whole lot of fun.

As for me. Well, the reality of brokenness is starting to set in. God keeps bringing people into my life, or just making me aware of the people already in my life and their brokenness. Either way, these huge issues keep getting confronted in my mind. Things I cannot answer with a simple, "Trust God and all will be okay." These issues make me step back and ask myself. "Why do I have it so good, and others have so much intense pain in their lives?" These people God keeps showing me, they are only existing in life. There is no real meaning, and the things that hold them down are so vastly out of my human conception, that I just sit confused, and ask, "why am I so lucky?" The only thing I have immediately been able to come up with is that God needs me to tell them. To show them a new way. A way filled with hope. That they can be fulfilled with a joy that doesn't leave even when the pressures of life come crashing in. Life is difficult, God is not. It is just getting over taking that first step. That is the hard part.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

campus crusades

Crew was amazing. I gave the talk about the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit was at work big time. Afterwards something even crazier happened. . .


Monday, November 09, 2009

bye bye Tempo. . . . I hope

I posted my 93 Ford Tempo on Craigs List and seriously within 3 or 4 hours I had an E-Mail requesting that I call a guy about it. I left him a voicemail, and hopefully he calls tomorrow. I could really use $350.00 bucks. Or actually, my mom could really use $350.00 bucks. I guess she is where the buck stops. . . . heh heh


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Saturday, November 07, 2009

what a day, what a day in deed

Today was really filled. I won't be able to share every bit of it, but I would like to touch on the important parts. It was a day that started good and just got better. Now, it could sound like bragging, but if you know me at all, you know that is not my style. But, today was a day driven by the Holy Spirit. I will start off by telling you about Amber. I met Amber when I was on my way to go and help a friend learn how to use his laptop. This friend is Brooks Quaye. A friend from Liberia I met not too long ago on campus. Long story short, I was on my way to his house to help out at about 4ish. When I was about to turn the corner I saw a lady walking towards me. She was just balling her eyes out. As soon as I passed her I knew, this lady needed help. So, I pulled through an parking lot, and back tracked to try to cut her off. As I waited for her to approach my car, I prayed, "God, let your will be done in this situation." And as she got close, I put down the passenger side window and asked if I could help her out. She was crying so hard I could hardly make out what she was saying. But, I gathered that she was stuck in Fort Wayne, and that her boyfriend just went into the hospital. She needed to go to North Webster which is about 45-50 minutes away from Fort Wayne. I told her to get in, and that I would help her out. What ended up happening was out of my hands. God took over, and I became a vessel to share Christ with this lady. Who happened to be an ex meth addict who just felt really lost. She connected with my testimony, and was a genuine person, who just felt lost. I got to pray for her before I dropped her off, and it was a super unique experience. I am just so happy that she didn't have to stay in that mind set of, "I am completely lost." No one deserves that.

I made my way to Brooks Home, and really enjoyed my time helping him on his lap top. But, more so, I really enjoyed playing with his little girls. They were crazy cute lil ones.
There was Hannah. and Malu. They were a lot of fun, BUT, I totally understand why Brooks can not get any studying done when he is at home. The day ended with me meeting up with some fellow brothers in Christ. We talked about life, and about what Christ is teaching us on an individual level. We expressed struggles, and really lifted each other up. It ended with us all praying for each other, and it was a very powerful and extremely encouraging time. This is what fellowship needs to look like for anyone who strives to make Christ first in their life. It is so good for me.

Friday, November 06, 2009

sleep over

Partick, Mason, Eli, Mitchell, and Ben (leader) plus myself = awesome sleep over madness!! Awesome night here we come! (9:11pm)


I needed to hear this today

"He took the cup of wrath and splashed it on my perfectly sinless and bleeding face, and what's worse is God did this to Christ with a smile. It pleased God to crush Christ for me. . . ." For me, that is a powerful statement to me.

The very first level of Christianity is complete denial of your sins and everything you have ever known!! To really understand this, your life has to change. I need challenged in this area of my life. That I may be more like Him who atones for me in every bit of my being.

"True love for God means true hatred of sin." Ouch, that one bit's at the core of my existence. It is challenging in how I interact with sooo many things. I love this, and take it as a personal challenge.

I, Mikey Riley, stand for Jesus Christ. I have all confidence in knowing that God has changed me from my most basic piece of being. I want to know the character more and more, so that my most very basic knowledge is based off of what He teaches and feels.

All you have is now. . .

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Now hear this.

This is what I have so far today. . .

Through great weakness God has made me strong. Struggle ensued this morning right from the get go. 6AM and the "emotional roof" I was standing under crumbled in on me. I was angry, I was confused, and I did not turn directly to God. With time, and patience I eventually surrendered (all happened within 1.5 hours. A quick realization to say the least. I left my house at 6:40AM with my dad, I got donuts, dropped my dad off at work, and then went to Snider. I was supposed to meet Ben (Young Life leader), but he accidentally slept in. It was good though, I needed to go at this alone. I was more alive and welcoming this morning than ever before. I got extra donuts because I felt like I would need them. It is funny, as the kids start to trust me, and know I am not just some weirdo passing out donuts, they start to take more. The first time Ben and I did this, we hardly got through 4 containers, maybe 3 at best. This morning I went through 6 containers solo. Kids talk to me more, and really like that I am there. They often ask me, "why do you do this?" I tell them, "because I love making you guys smile," or "I just love being able to love on people." It is extraordinary. I went to school, where I am at right now. It is 9:59AM, and I should be studying Religion & Culture, but I am having trouble focusing. I have had so many "God encounters" already this morning, that I am blown away YET AGAIN at the power of my God. When I am weak, if I only rely on HIM for my EVERYTHING, he always comes through. I have no earthly reason to be smiling or fulfilled, but I am. I crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, the life I live in the body, I live through faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me. Galations 2:20 baby!!! I am blessed. Amazingly blessed. It is powerful when you live by the Holy Spirit, and you allow Him to direct your every action. I'm in it, and I don't ever want to get out.

I went to school, and wrote a paper and then studied for a Religion & Culture exam.
When i was at IPFW, they were filming this thing for the new freshmen orientation. So, while I was sitting in this quiet corner thingy, they brought in all this filming equipment, and started filming. It was funny, because the girl who is sitting at the piano and I were talking, and then they wrapped her into being in the film.

I took a kid out to eat, and we had some killer conversation. Then, I went to Ben's (fellow YL leader) house to help finish up on that film I made with the guys last Friday. It was really fun, and Ben is good at that editing stuff. But, while I was at Ben's house, I decided to be helpful and started doing the dishes for him and his 2 roommates. Well, after I got the water all ready. . . . .
I dove into start cleaning the dishes. I got a couple of things cleaned, or maybe just one. And I found the knife. The extremely sharp and violent knife. It sliced the heck out of my poor right index finger. Sliced it real bad. I went to the ER and ended up having to get 5 stitches.

Today has been one of those days. The kind that would be nice to forget, but you know you won't because you have to learn from it and move forward. Life can be difficult at times. I'm okay with that. My finger sure does hurt though. So does my emotions.