Week 15

Hello! This past week was Thanksgiving, so there isn’t too much to report.

On Monday, I attended a senior class of 2022 bingo night hosted by our senior board! Shoutout to my friends on the board who made it happen and provided some great prizes (including this great map).

Tuesday was our English class’s Poetry Out Loud competition where I dressed up for it and received the second place prize! It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to participate.

The rest of the week off was kind of a blur, but here are a lot of pictures from the past few days and the things I did! Drumsticks, turkey and wooden, were highlights of the break.

Here is to a great week of rehearsals and winding down the semester, counting down until Christmas!

-Luke Wanca

Week 14

Hello all! This was a good week with pretty smooth sailing, and I’m really grateful to all of the people in my life who have come alongside me; I’m even more grateful for the Lord my God for strengthening me in all things and equipping me to live for Him through His grace.

On Monday, nothing too eventful happened at school, but I got coffee with one of my church leaders who is a good friend of mine. It’s always so encouraging to share my life with her and share back and forth about the things God is doing in our lives and what He is teaching us each day. I’m so blessed to get to grab coffee with her and that she comes alongside me to do life. Shoutout to you, “Grace”! (:

Tuesday, I had pit band rehearsal for the school musical coming up. I remembered that the cast, crew, and band all get Starbucks and Noodles & Co. for the tech week and dress rehearsal days. Those are some fANTASTIC bonuses to being involved with an already fun production…I’m looking forward to it!

Wednesday was our Student Worship Night at youth group, and I am so blessed to be a part of our worship band. It was a powerful and wonderful night to take intentional time to worship our great God, and it was an honor to serve and play keys for the night! One of my new favorite hymns was included in the night, “Jesus Paid It All”, and it has been in my mind and heart ever since. What a great reminder of how God came in flesh to take on our burdens, our sins, and our grievances and brought us to righteousness with God through Him. I’ve been learning more and more about the significance of Jesus coming in the flesh and how we can call Him Lord, and how His atonement and resurrection are so clearly marked as the total payment for our transgressions. Praise God for loving us enough to send His precious Son as our righteous, permanent sacrifice!

Thursday was another pit band rehearsal! Despite not having a lot of our usual pit that day, it was a lot of fun to stay in the back with a relaxed rehearsal, fill out the extra parts, and get to play some cowbell. It was even better because earlier we had performed the musical numbers with the vocal ensemble and we figured out what all of our cues were for entrances and exits. It was very encouraging to perform it with them and see it all come together.

On Friday was (finally) our last football game. Our team kept advancing in the playoffs, but their road ended on Friday with a close loss against Maryville. I got Sprite Cranberries for the drumline before the game because IT DO BE THAT TIME OF YEAR. HYPE. It was also a really fun game because one of my close friends got to play snare drum with me! Our other snare drums could not make it to the game, so she volunteered to play snare because she knew some of the music and technique from rehearsing. It was a lot of fun, and it was a good way to close out the season with a smile! (:

Saturday, I attended the FHS boys’ and girls’ basketball home openers in the morning! I got a free t-shirt from it and got to see some amazing basketball being played. I’m so excited that basketball season is back and that I know so many of the talented players on each team. After that, I played drums for our Saturday evening service.

Today, I played drums for our Live Sunday services in the morning and got to spend some time in worship with close staff members I know. It’s so clear to me that the Lord knew what He was doing in bringing those people around me and allowing them to encourage me in what He has for me in the coming seasons of my life. Later today, I decorated my room for Christmas and watched Home Alone to get in the Christmas mood!

Here is to another good week, and for Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday! By God’s grace, His grace alone, I move forward.

-Luke Wanca

Week 13

Hello all! This was another good, albeit hard, week of November and it is starting to get colder! I don’t like it! At least I get to wear my hoodies and blankets and socks and all of the good things now.

Monday was an average day, and I got to start memorizing my poem for our English class’s Poetry Out Loud competition. I’m reciting “Battle-Hymn of the Republic” and am hoping to win my class’s competition and move on to the school competition!

Tuesday was another normal day that I decided to dress up a little bit for school! Because marching band is over, I enjoy getting to not bring 3 changes of clothes each day. I had a rehearsal for our Student Worship Night coming up, and I am grateful to get to play keys for it! That will be this coming Wednesday, the 17th, and I look forward to having a night of dedicated worship to our Heavenly Father.

Wednesday was signing day for our high school student-athletes, and I was proud to go support them in the morning during their ceremony! It was emotional to think about the upcoming changes in our lives, but also it was a wonderful opportunity to praise God for the changes He is placing in our lives to move forward with His plans. That night, I led worship for our youth group and got to hear our worship resident speak on the importance and role of worship in the lives of Christians.

Thursday, Veterans Day, was a nice off-day for me as the band participated in the Knoxville Veterans Day parade. Afterward, we all headed to the West Town Mall for lunch and some shopping. It was a good day and a fitting close to wearing our uniforms and being all together as a band one last time.

On Friday, a small group of the band went to the second playoff game, where we won 27-24! I initially did not want to go to the game and was quite insistent on being smug and having a poor attitude for the night…but the Lord reached out to me, dawned kindness on me, and allowed me to enjoy the night in His presence. Joy is one of the true marks of a Christian, and it is not our own joy, but the joy of He who gives it to us.

Saturday, I relaxed, made my Christmas playlist, and allowed myself to enjoy warmth and comfort on a day off. In my up and down days, I am further relying on the Lord for my comfort and strength, and it is beautiful to see Him further take me out of my own feelings and despair. I find myself coming out of my own heart and ways and turning with a desperate sinner’s heart towards Christ my Lord. The Lord has been teaching me further about sanctification and the strength He gives us to walk with Him. It is not the strength from our own flesh, but strength from His grace in mercifully calling us to be His restored children. As I write this, I feel the Lord’s peace over me in a culmination of what He has taught me over this hard week and how reliance on Him is truly the only way to true life. Despite our emotions, our God is so much greater than anything our flesh could do or not do. He is greater than our self-inflicted wounds of despair and hate. Most of all, He is so much greater than our sinful flesh, and He is so faithful to keep us in His hands: the hands of the everlasting.

Today I attended church and a student leadership meeting to plan our Christmas party! I am taking today to rest in the Lord and allow His grace to wash over me in all ways. My growth and my deeds in this season and life are attributed to Him always; glory be to God and His Son who set me free.

-Luke Wanca

Week 12

Hello! This was a pretty uneventful week, once again, but the Lord is faithful to show up even in those weeks.

On Wednesday, we had a deep cleaning day of the band room because marching band season is over. I found an entire, intact clarinet in one of the percussion cubbies…so naturally, I took a picture of it and asked whose it was. I still don’t know who it belonged to, but it was bizarre to find it there in the first place.

As well, I played drums for youth group worship and helped lead! The topic of the day was prayer, and I am so thankful it was shared with honesty, delicacy, and reverence for God. Prayer is something the Lord is continually showing me the importance of in good and in bad days, in anxious and in peaceful days,  in easy and in hard days. It is refreshing to know that we can have communication with God our Father through prayer and the Holy Spirit within us. Thanks be to Jesus who restored us back to Him!

Thursday and Friday both ran together, but all I know is they were extremely cold. Thankfully this next week will warm up, but pHEW welcome to November.

Saturday was our annual marching band fundraiser: the fruit sale. It was 35° and windy, but nonetheless, our group of 4 raised $641 in sales for our band! Not too shabby. As well, the neighborhood we were assigned was uphill with long spaces in between each house, meaning we were exhausted by the end of it. The 3.5 hours of selling proved to be worth it, though, with this gorgeous view and with a treat of going out to lunch after it was over.

Today, we set back the clocks one hour and gained some sleep back! I was up and refreshed at 7:30 and spent some time in the Bible, finishing up 1 Samuel today. The more I read the narratives of the Old Testament, the more I see God’s faithful hand over His people then and now. The same character and steady justice were shown thousands of years ago and today. At church, we discussed rejoicing and the importance of relationship with God through His Word as our hope. The Lord is faithful to us time and time again, and we can trust that whatever season we are in, He will be there with us.

As I go into November, I’m praying that I can continually be a light to others and serve faithfully where the Lord has called me to serve. The emotions of upcoming change and finality keep hitting me as senior year flies by us, but I know that the Lord has been my rock, allowing me to enjoy it, find purpose in it, and serve Him and His people in it. Words can’t express the comfort and peace I feel in knowing that when things keep changing, our God does not and He is faithful to be with us in it all. Everything may not go the way we want it to, but God is present with us in all things. I leave you with a quote from Spurgeon:

“You always need divine protection, and, believer in Christ, you shall always have it.”

-C.H. Spurgeon

-Luke Wanca

Week 11

Week 11 was a really good final week of our marching band season. I decided to include this past Monday of week 12 because that’s the real end to the marching season.

On Monday we had band rehearsal as usual, except there was one big surprise: a practice fighter jet had flown over our practice field, roaring like thunder for a couple of minutes. It was very Top Gun-esque and made everyone feel really cool, of course.

On Wednesday, I had a day off of band and church, so I decided to start working on my Halloween costume: an X-Wing fighter plane. One of my friends was dressing up as the fighter pilot. so we came up with the idea that I could be the plane itself. Here’s the plane in the works:

Throughout all of this, I’m watching World Series games and keeping up with the highs and lows of the Braves as they seek to beat the Astros. Rooting for the Braves is an easy choice because of the Astros cheating scandal only a couple of years back.

Thursday I also had band off and decided to continue my project of writing individual notes to people in my percussion section. Words are a way I express love well, and I wanted to make sure all of them felt loved as this marching band season ended and made sure they knew how awesome and an honor it was to drum with them my senior year.

Friday was our final home football game! Senior Night! We had our final performance in front of the home crowd, and we got to recognize our wonderful Class of 2022 seniors after it. I couldn’t be more blessed and thankful to have the group of seniors around me that I did this year, and I can’t wait to see where we all go in life after high school is over.

Through ups and downs in this whole month, the Lord has been teaching me how to steadfastly love others around me and the friends He has given me. As I continue to pray for gospel-centered friendships and relationships to blossom, God has given me more direction on how to love others around me, show the marks of a Christian through my life (not on my own, but through His grace), and He has allowed me to have fruitful conversations with those around me to help strengthen these friendships. I tend to get in my own head when thinking about people’s intentions and actions towards me, but I have learned to simply love and take them in with grace and truth and sincerity like Jesus did. I don’t have to fake being friendly or nice just because the Bible says to, but instead, Jesus has shown me mercy and allows me HIS righteousness in fruitfully displaying such love and kindness. It’s not an effort of my own heart whatsoever, but the effort of our loving Christ who rescued us from the depths of our sin. Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.

Saturday was our final band competition! Per tradition, I brought a fun hat for one last time (my best hat, of course) and was ready to rock ‘n’ roll with the last show. We sat through a few hours of A and AA Class bands before we had to go warm up on our own, but it was cold, rainy, and windy the entire day. ): Thankfully, it had slowed down quite a bit for our performance! We finished 2nd overall and 2nd in percussion in our class for the day, so a fitting end to our final competition.

Sunday was Halloween! I finished my costume that day and went to a party with many of my friends, getting to show off my EPIC Star Wars pair costume. It was a good day filled with food, laughter, friendship, and photos! I’m glad to have gone and grown in relationship with others and with God through even everyday events like friend gatherings.

Monday (yesterday) was our Knox County Schools marching band exhibition, where we performed our show for all of the other Knox County bands and got to watch the other bands as well. It’s always a fun evening to perform our show a final time and get all the love and support from other KCS bands. Could not be happier with our last performance as a band together. Although it was an emotional night, it was needed and cathartic for all of our seniors to be able to say “it is well with my soul” and get to share a moment together.

Here’s to open doors in the coming months of new free time, and may Christ use me and grow me further in ways I couldn’t see or even imagine before. His sanctification is a work of art, an ongoing masterpiece, and a road that ultimately leads us to forever with God.

Week 10

Hello all! This was our first week back to school after fall break, so it felt longer than ever, but it went well nonetheless!

Monday was a pretty standard day with band rehearsal and getting back into the swing of things after our break. It was rough at first to come back after a relaxing week, but thankfully there was grace for the transition back to school. Our senior class went down to the football field to form a big “22” for an overhead picture that will go in the yearbook! For the band kids, making the 22 was easy with knowing how to mark drill and adjust the lines and curves accordingly. I had fun with my friends down there and hanging out in our spots as everyone posed for our picture!

Wednesday was a chill day because we didn’t have band practice and we just rehearsed our show music outside during 2nd period. The only thing is, the grounds maintenance crew was fertilizing the mulch and plants behind our rehearsal awning, so it rEEKED of manure for the rest of the week. The good news is, it was a good source of lighthearted jokes and comparison to some of our playing early in the week.

Thursday was a slow day at first, but the school brought a soft-serve ice cream truck during lunch, so my friends and I bought some pick-me-up ice cream to push through the rest of the day! I’m grateful to have the friends that God has placed in my life.

Despite changes this year in friendships, relationships, and feelings, God is my steady rock when myself and others aren’t always steady. Things in this world are fluid, changing, and dynamic, while God is our firm foundation. Love in the world sometimes may be fleeting, shallow, emotional, or conditional, but the love of Christ is truthful, unwavering, faithful, and richer than gold. Despite the waves tossing me around each day and new situations uprooting my thoughts, feelings, and former convictions, the Lord is my shepherd and He leads me to His goodness each day.

On Friday was our final pep band football game, where we just took a small group of the band and drumline with us. Saturday we had our third competition! Overall, the band placed second with our show and first in music for the day. I’m proud of us, and excited to continue with our final week of marching band this coming week!

Today I served on one of our worship teams at church, which I am thankful to get back in the routine of as marching band ends. This following week may be a reflective and emotional one as we conclude my final season of marching band. I don’t plan on marching in college, so this will be bittersweet for me as I thank God for these past 4 years and say goodbye to this season of life. I’m praying for strengthened relationships and friendships this week, that God may be my support in the world and in my feelings. Despite changes and up and down feelings, the Lord is my shepherd and He leads me beside still waters.

“I have learned to kiss the waves that throw me against the Rock of Ages.”

-C.H. Spurgeon

-Luke Wanca

Fall Break

Hello all!

It’s been a relaxing, restful week during fall break and I am so thankful to have that opportunity to unwind, take a seat, and do things I enjoy. On Monday, I watched the Rays’ struggle to take on the Red Sox in the ALDS and fall in four games. It was hard to see their record-breaking season end so quickly, but I hand it to the Red Sox for beating us with an outstanding showing by Kike Hernandez.

Tuesday, I began filling out my FAFSA and had some fun catching up on some of the more recent James Bond movies! Skyfall and Spectre were very well done and I enjoyed getting immersed in the films so I could see the newest one, No Time to Die, on Wednesday. The film was a fitting ending to Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond, and it was wonderful to see it in the theater for the full experience.

the name’s Bonk. Jimmy Bonk.

On Thursday, my discount Rays jersey came in the mail! I didn’t think it would end up coming, but it paid off as I tried it on and wore it around the house on one of my relaxing days this week. 11/10, would order again.

Friday, we had a home football game! It wasn’t a full band game, due to many being out of town for fall break, but we got to play some stand tunes, hang out, and have fun with a smaller group of the band! It was stressful at times, but I’m grateful to have gotten a home game to play tunes during before our final home game (senior night!) on the 29th.

On Saturday, I heard the wonderful news that stores began selling eggnog for the holiday season. Of course, I rushed out that afternoon and got my own half-gallon to celebrate early! If only they sold eggnog year-round…

Today, I attended church and a youth group leadership meeting to help determine details of our final stretch of the semester and pray over what we can do as students to reach out with the gospel in our schools.

But even bigger…

I shaved my beard.

My face was really really cold today and it was strange to feel it for the first few hours too, but I like the look and I’m glad that I stepped out and took the plunge! It was even more fun to see my friends’ reactions and encouragement after nine months of having a beard.

In these final two weeks of marching band season, I’m praying for a new closeness with God as I continue in obedience to Him and as we grind out the final details of our marching band show. May God in His kindness continue to work in me, sanctify me, set me apart from the world, and invite me to continually submit myself to Him. I look forward to seeing God’s transformation in me in this new season of life, of faith, and of trust in His sovereignty and perfect ways.

May the Lord bless and keep you, may He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift his countenance towards you and give you unspeakable peace.

-Luke Wanca

Week 9

Hello! This week was uneventful for the most part, as it was the final week before fall break. There are a few fun memories and pictures from it, however!

On Tuesday was the in-school ACT for seniors, but because I already scored a 35 on my last ACT, I decided to opt-out of this one and take the day off! I got myself some coffee with a gift card and showed up at 4 o’clock for after-school band rehearsal. There was a good chance of rain, so I wore a poncho, not wanting to get poured on like our last rainy rehearsal.

Wednesday was youth group and another week of worship! On Thursday, the MLB Postseason started for the Rays. With the Rays in the #1 American League spot, I was excited to watch them make their way to the World Series again this year! However, it’s not looking so good for them right now. Down 2-1 against the Red Sox in the ALDS, I’m hoping they can turn it around this week in order to advance and not get eliminated. Here are a few pictures from the last few days of the baseball playoffs.

Saturday morning, I got to grab coffee with a church mentor/friend of mine! It was wonderful to get to talk about how God is growing us over this season and continue to pray for one another where we are at in life and in ministry. Saturday evening I played for our evening church service and had dinner with my family at my cousins’ house. Sunday was a good, relaxing day where I could worship and be spiritually fed at church, and then take it easy at home and take a day of rest (:

This coming week is fall break for students! I’m looking forward to an easy week with good memories, relaxation, and fun activities!

I’m so grateful to the Lord for continually making His wisdom known to me and allowing me to commit more of myself to Him each day. Philippians 3:9 came to mind when discussing this on Saturday, and I couldn’t be happier with the direction the Lord is leading my life in. Despite the trials and worldly situations we face, I have increasing confidence in God’s ability to overtake those situations and stand by us each day. Praise be to Him and to Jesus for providing us with His life and sacrifice so we could be united with Him. There is no greater love than His.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christand be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith

Philippians 3:8-9

Here’s to a week of relaxation and communion with the Lord! I’m looking forward to what this week brings (:


Week 8

Happy Sunday! This has been a really fruitful week, as there’s been a lot happening in and outside of school. I’m thankful to have grown in faith this week and in trusting each and every obstacle to the Lord who gives me strength.

On Tuesday, we came back to school after a mask mandate was ordered for our county over the weekend. While this was a hot topic of the day with many protesters and plenty of tension among students, I saw it as an opportunity to share the light of Jesus and set up a prayer group amongst our school’s students before the day started! A small group of us gathered to pray and encourage each other at 8:00 A.M., and I was glad to see participation and enthusiasm about being a model of Christ to our school despite the evident division. As well, our marching band had a “give-back night” at Chipotle, where if you specified you were with the marching band, they would give 25% of the profit from your meal back to the band funds! Always gotta go with the solid chicken bowl, a classic option indeed.

Wednesday was a nice, easy day with little to do! After school ended, I had some time before youth group where I made muffins for my family. (Blueberry is the best muffin). As well, I got to listen to history being made: the Tampa Bay Rays set a new franchise record of wins by breaking 98 wins on Wednesday night! I listened to the radio broadcast with my rally cap on and enjoyed some evening baseball.

Thursday was a fun band rehearsal day! We wore our shakos (fancy hats) with plumes (fancy feathers) for the first time while playing our instruments, in preparation for our competition on Saturday. It always is a strange adjustment to march with a foot-tall hat and feather on your head, but it was exciting to have a taste of the full uniform again.

On Friday, about 50 members from the band went to another away game as a pep band! We won 49-3, so clearly, we did something right. The bus ride back to school was so hyped up, and I had the “honor” of DJing with my Bluetooth speaker and playing some of our favorite songs to all sing along to. 11/10, would sing again.

Saturday was competition day! We arrived at school at 8:00 A.M. for a short two-hour rehearsal before we had to get lunch and change into our uniforms. Our prelims round performance was okay, but we all hoped to perform better in the final round of the competition. After a few hours of waiting for our 8:15 P.M. performance time, we were fired up and ready to have a better run. It turns out we had a much better run, as we got 3rd place for the night (even including bands in a higher class than us) and we overtook the high school that had a better percussion score in prelims to take home the Best Percussion Award! That was a thrilling and emotional moment for me, as I’ve worked tirelessly all season to help our young group be able to compete and do well. To go up and receive the award was a surreal moment. I’m so thankful for everyone in our percussion section for working as hard as they have, and I pray for continued guidance in leading them well for the rest of the season.

If all else fails and we don’t receive any awards the rest of the year, my goal is simply to make an impact in each of their lives and exalt Christ and His character in my leadership. No moment or time of our lives goes to waste when we serve Him, and it’s an honor to serve in the spots He has put me in to lead and pray for others around me!

Earlier today I went to church and attended a worship team lunch, hosted to thank the volunteers for their efforts over the past year and a half of adjusting and serving during the COVID changes. It was wonderful to get to eat some fantastic barbeque with people I care about, as well as celebrate the service we have all shared for the past seasons of our lives! The rest of today, I plan on enjoying a chill rainy day at home and listening to some baseball. It’s the final day of the MLB season, meaning that the AL wildcard spot is still in play for 4 different teams!

I’m grateful for each open door that God has opened for me, and I continue to pray for more opportunities to serve Him! Here’s to this next week.

-Luke Wanca

Week 7

Hello! This week was busy, but much more manageable than the previous week. I’m continually learning to lean on the Lord, and I am so grateful for His strength, His joy, and His patience being with me and ever sanctifying me until His return.

Monday was a dreary, rainy day that made the rest of the week seem wonderful. Throughout the day it was cloudy and glum, however, right at the start of our band rehearsal is when it started to rain. It wasn’t too heavy of rain, but when you stand out in the rain for an hour and a half straight, it gets you pretty wet. By the end of rehearsal, everyone was giving each other wet hugs and flicking more water onto each other; it was a good time and a great rehearsal, despite being waterlogged. (Shoutout to Kara for helping make sure I didn’t slip and die walking back up to the school with my wet glasses.) I got a welcome box from Liberty University including a t-shirt, a poster, and my official acceptance letter from the school! That was an excellent surprise to come home to after being drenched, and I safely stored away my acceptance letter for safekeeping and hung my t-shirt with my two other Liberty shirts.

On Tuesday, I spent my third period in a guidance counselor visit where they showed us how to request transcripts and recommendation letters. Because I already took part in a previous guidance visit, the counselor said I could do work for another class and just hang out for the rest of the class period! That’s when I decided to buy this Rays jersey for only $32, I’m hoping it comes fairly soon in time for the playoffs! It’s almost October baseball time, there’s nothing like it.

Wednesday consisted of me singing for my youth group and dressing up a little bit nicer because we didn’t have marching band rehearsal after school! Just a nice picture of me with one of my favorite mugs.

On Friday, the competitive members of the marching band followed the tradition of dressing up nicely at school the day before a competition. Below is a picture of me and my snazzy friends, I love them. Also, about 50 members of the band attended our first away game as a pep band! I love pep bands because they are more relaxed and call for a smaller group environment; plus you can get some amazing pictures and have a blast. Perhaps the best part, though, is the bus rides before and after the game where everyone is excited and pumped up for the game, and then we’re all tired and have the leftover adrenaline crash after we finish the game. Our team won 28-21 and now has a 2-3 record. (We’re improving slowly, but surely!)

On Saturday was our first band competition! We had a 9:00-12:00 rehearsal that morning to prepare one final time and load the trucks, and then we headed out for the competition later that afternoon. For rehearsal, I decided to dress up in a ridiculous(ly handsome) outfit and help galvanize the ensemble with my look and share the excitement of a show day! We passed around my wizard hat to a different person on the drumline for each repetition we did, and that helped boost the mood during our long rehearsal.

After the rehearsal, we arrived at the competition in our summer uniforms (because we’re waiting on a small shipment of the remaining full uniforms…) and we began to warm up, finding our rhythm before our performance. Soon enough, it was 6:45 and time to compete for the first time! We had a good run-through, despite being a small group. I do wish that we would encourage more of a competitive spirit like in previous years and that we would think about how we want to do better and better each competition, not just “having fun” or “taking in the experience”. To me, that shows little faith in our band and limits the scope of what we believe we are capable of achieving. While having fun is absolutely important, and we should strive to do so, we should also remember that we are a competitive marching band who remembers from our rich tradition of excellence that winning is fun. We received second place in our class and look to keep improving for our next three competitions!

Today was a relaxing day as I mowed a neighbor’s lawn as a quick odd job, and I look forward to going roller-skating this evening to celebrate a friend’s birthday! It’s been 4 years since I last roller-skated, so I’m hoping that I don’t make too big a fool out of myself. I’m blessed to have a close group of friends, all with different personalities, traits, and relationships, and I can’t wait to continually grow closer with them as I move forward this year.

One thing the Lord has taught me this last week, and I will continue to dig into this coming week, is to not sacrifice Him for anything in the world or any situation you’re in. In fact, He calls us to be the light and salt of the earth, allowing the Holy Spirit to work and move in us as we submit ourselves to Him. Change in your faith isn’t always a radical, instantaneous thing that a single “sinner’s prayer” can achieve; changes in faith are measured over time and in worldly situations where God calls you to be an ambassador of Him and His character. His uncompromising justice is matched only by His boundless love, in which He gave His son for us to turn to as our present help in trouble. While God hears our prayers and our pleas for better situations, He often will work through those situations and build our faith and character. So in the world and in your God-given roles, I encourage you (and myself) to keep communicating with our Lord, to rely on Him, and to thank Him for his mercy and grace, which leads us to repentance and saving faith in Him. What a friend we have in Jesus.

My favorite hymn over this past week has been “His Mercy is More” and I continue to keep that song and message in my heart as this next week continues. Despite our failures, shortcomings, or worldly limitations, His mercy is more, and He is faithful to work in us as we submit ourselves and seek His face! I encourage you to take even 5 minutes this week to pray and thank God for the things He has done for you and for His son who saves us from ourselves and our sins! Gloria in excelsis Deo! Glory to God in the highest!

-Luke Wanca