Week 6

Hello all! This week went by quickly, but had some particularly exciting events! I am blessed beyond measure to be where God has placed me and to take part in His beautiful story, serving Him.

On Tuesday in Personal Finance class, we had an assignment to create a jingle about credit scores…hence creating “Mary Had a Credit Score” with my close friend, and singing it shakily to the class. 10/10, Mary got a mortgage! A truly happy ending for her.

The middle of the week progressed as normal with marching band rehearsals and youth group (I played drums for worship this week); it is becoming easier to settle into an established routine of what my week looks like, as well as managing the (minimal) homework I have throughout the week. This is good news to me, as it gives me more time to spend in God’s Word (currently in the book of Judges), read from some of the great historical theologians (currently reading The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer), and spend time filling out college applications slowly but surely.

On Thursday, fantastic news had come: my counselor had submitted my preliminary high school transcript to Liberty University, and I got an email congratulating me on my acceptance! This is my top choice school, and the Lord has blessed me with opportunities awaiting me there to grow in Him, grow in knowledge, and grow in experience. If He is willing, I pray to be able to spend my college years there and advance His kingdom in Lynchburg, as well as prepare myself to advance His kingdom far beyond my college days.

As well, someone put a treble clef in the men’s restroom in the music hall? Not quite sure why, but it sure did make a statement.

On Friday, the band did not attend our team’s away game, but we tried on our shakos (fancy marching band hats) in class and it was great to put mine on again. Because we didn’t wear them last season, it had been nearly two years since I wore mine last. It was a cool moment to think about where I was then compared to where I am now, in each aspect of my life.

On Saturday, we had an all-day band rehearsal! It was exhausting in every aspect, but we performed the first full run of our halftime/competition show! I’m grateful to have gotten to dress up in our drumline tanktops (shoutout to Maverick), have a good rehearsal, and enjoy the time I’ve been given with these people I care about.

Today, I attended church and a student leadership meeting for youth group. Despite a really small turnout, I’m so grateful to have honest, biblical discussions about the needs of our high schoolers and how we can best serve the group of students who attend our services. Our numbers have shrunken in the past couple of years, but the Lord has constantly put it on my heart that it is He who draws us to ministry and His church, and we can use this opportunity to focus our youth group solely on Him; as we shepherd the sheep we have, the Lord will bring others with it. Continued prayers for wisdom, guidance, and being a light to others within this group of students are appreciated! It is a blessing and a privilege to get to work alongside our church’s youth group staff to help share the needs of our students, provide options, and pray for our students (and staff) collectively.

This coming week is looking to be an even busier one. After last week, my heart was overloaded at times in the burdens of my responsibilities in the world. The Lord has continually taught me how to surrender those to Him and allow His Spirit to be the driving force behind the work we do. In everything, surrender is the answer to truly let the light of the Lord shine. I pray Psalm 27 over myself, to remind myself of the Lord’s provision, care, light, and timing. I trust in His strength in each of my weaknesses, and I trust in His new mercies and joy to encourage my weary heart. Thank you for encouraging me on this journey and keeping me in your prayers, if you are reading this.

Here is to another week of seeing Jesus’s kingdom come and His will be done. Let us be obedient to Him, and “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

-Luke Wanca

Week 5: Birthday Week!

Hello all, once again! (: This past week was fantastic and it was spirit week for Homecoming! We got to dress up each day for a theme, and I got to have fun with all of my friends while doing it. The order of days (and pictures below) went pajama day, frat day, and swag day. It made me happy to have those around me look forward to the outfit of the day, as well as make people smile with my own outfit!

On Friday was our Homecoming football game! Because the Homecoming Court did their presentation at halftime, the marching band performed our performance after the game. For the first time, we played our ballad movement with the opening movement! The show is coming together quickly, and it’s incredible to see the hard work of each band member, leader, and Mrs. Gott paying off.

On Saturday, we celebrated an early birthday with my grandparents and settled in for the day before we would say our Sunday goodbyes.

Then it was Sunday! Becoming a legal adult was suddenly a very real experience as I registered to vote, registered for the Selective Service, and renewed my driver’s license to a Class D from an Intermediate (minor’s) license. I went to Dunkin’ Donuts in the morning to pick up a free birthday drink and took a nice drive on the interstate home as I sipped on my coffee. Later that day, I had 5 friends over and we all hung out, made personal pizzas, and played ping pong for a while! Thoughtful gifts, a wonderful mug, and kind, eloquent words of affirmation were all in store for me. It was a day I won’t forget, thanks to them, and I can’t overstate how blessed I am to have these people in my life; I love each of them and I can’t wait to keep doing life with them as an adult (:

I read over Psalm 37 in my quiet time this morning and it reminded me how faithful the Lord is to His children, how steadfast in all of our worldly issues and situations. It encouraged me in how God has had His hand over my life in the past 18 years, and I can’t wait to keep walking with Him and trust Him with more and more. I’m currently praying that I can become a closer disciple of Him and gain a better understanding of His heart as He impresses it on my own. David encourages us to “wait on the Lord and keep His way” in everything we do, and that is what I strive for and pray for guidance in.

Until next week, bye for now!

-Luke Wanca

Week 4

Greetings, all! We finished up this fourth week of senior year, continually trekking through what school has to offer. The week wasn’t all that eventful, but there were a few highlights!

On Wednesday, our youth group hosted a mental health question panel where we brought in three different Christian counselors/professionals and they answered anonymous questions and common concerns about mental health in high school. It was beautiful to see some of the honesty as groups form, as well as see what the Lord is doing in the hearts of others. Prayers for connection and His light to shine through were answered, and it was a fruitful night for everyone involved.

On Friday we had another home football game! This was against the #2 team in the state, so we didn’t stand a chance, but it was very fun to get to march, entertain, and drum under the Friday night lights! The drumline decided to do a small thing for our cheer and dance teams as well: when we replaced our drum heads on Friday, we signed a few of the used bass heads and gave them to the cheer and dance teams as a gift, as well as individually addressed snare and quad heads to the seniors on each team! The drumline loves getting to perform with them for the student section in the fourth quarter of each home game, and they deserved to know that! Here’s to a continued great season for our football, dance, and cheer teams (:

Saturday evening, my grandparents flew in from Alaska to spend this next week with us, as well as celebrate my brother and I’s birthday! Our family hasn’t seen them since October 2019, so it was refreshing to see them and spend time with them over this weekend, and I look forward to spending the week with them!

On Sunday, I decided to take a deeper dive into writing and write a small poem. It’s addressed to myself, in a sense, but also shares biblical truth through the lens of advice to a shepherd. It’s a small thing, but enjoy it! (You may have to zoom in on the screenshot to read it well.)

Today was Labor Day, hence why I waited to write this post until after today, and we all spent the afternoon adventuring at Fort Loudoun! I usually like to have more of a plan, but even in the changes and impromptu decisions, the Lord grew my patience and I could observe Him moving in my heart and changing what previously would have been a tough situation for me to be in. Praise be to Him, and it is amazing to see the Lord work in your heart in everyday situations! When we got home, I got to grill burgers for our family and settle down for the evening and relax. It was a good weekend with family (: Below are a few pictures from today’s excursions:

I’ll be praying for strength in this coming week, as well as small moments to take it all in…it sure will be a busy week, but I know the Lord calls us to rest in Him and not in our circumstances. My big reminders through September and especially this busy week are to be still and know that He is God (Ps. 46:10) and to let my heart take courage to wait upon the Lord (Ps. 27:14).

Next week’s post will be a special edition because it’s the week of my birthday (Sunday the 12th)! Here’s to new memories, treasured times, and further glory given to our king, Jesus, as I step into adulthood!

-Luke Wanca

Week 3

Hey there! This was the third week of school, and it’s been really nice to begin to settle into a routine. Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks to get the school year going, but things are in full swing, and are feeling comfortable!

On Tuesday, I went to our school’s varsity volleyball game and joined the student section. This was a big game against a well-known program, but we pulled off the win in 4 games! Congratulations to our team, and especially our seniors who have been faithfully leading the team for 4 years. Hoping for a great season!

Thursday, I decided to help hype everybody up for the football game the next day and for seeing the drumline for the first time this year! I made it fun and wore drumline clothes from all 3 of my previous years (shorts, shirt, and later a hoodie). Opinions differed, but it looked pretty fuego if you ask me…

Then came Friday night! It was so great to be back with the band in the stands and back to a greater sense of normalcy! The theme for our student section was “white-out” and the seniors wore togas as part of a longstanding tradition of the student section. The seniors in the marching band wore togas after our halftime show and were free to join the student section in the front row! As well, the band seniors had our senior banner pictures taken, and they are hanging in the stands near where we sit! Below are a bunch of pictures from the game, and below is also my banner picture!

Saturday, I tried pumpkin spice coffee for the first time to see what the hype was about…and I brought a friend the drink too to try it together! Our impression: it does live up to the hype, it’s tangy and sweet with a good fall flavor! I’d give it 8/10 stars, I was pretty impressed.

As well, that same friend and I decided to put into action a creative idea we’ve had for a little while…we call it a “recommen-day” where you choose certain activities, foods, drinks movies, outfit colors, and music for the other person to do throughout the day, based on your own taste! Today was our day to do that, so we took the plunge. I tried an AWESOME breakfast meal: a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a cooked egg on it (a picture is below, it was that good). Later today, I’ll be making chocolate strawberries and watching Swiss Family Robinson upon her recommendations! It’s turning out to be a great day, and I would highly recommend this to anyone, especially as a good way to get to know someone better! It’s a pretty great day with lots of personality behind it and many good times comin’. Shoutout to you, Miss Haynes (:

Praying for continued open doors this year, for grace and peace in this marching band season, and to keep being a light to those around me! It’s gonna be a good year (:

-Luke Wanca

Week 2

Greetings, all! This was the second week of school, and it was fantastic to be back! After continuing to be sick after the first few days of the week, I was glad to return to school and band rehearsal with my friends when I was feeling better and fever-free!

Some of my sick day highlights include doing crossword puzzles, watching all four Hunger Games movies in one day, and lots of napping.

Thursday and Friday were wonderful in my EPIC return to school, and I was met with my smiling friends and warm welcomes all around! Friday night, in particular, was lots of fun: I got to have a personal movie night with some popcorn and a movie recommended by one of my friends. (I’m so grateful that all of my friends have excellent movie recommendations; it makes personal movie nights much more enjoyable when you watch good movies.) I watched Tombstone until about midnight and now highly recommend that movie as well!

On Saturday, the marching band opened up a concert series in the park for our community. We marched down from the school and were supported with cheers, honks from passing cars, and friendly encouragement from those attending the concert series. The drumline played our cadence, and the band played our school song Anchors Aweigh as well as the stand tune Land of 1,000 Dances.

Today at church we prayed for the broken situation going on in Afghanistan as well as the recent earthquake in Haiti. As God has taken me deeper and deeper in this season, I’m especially reminded of the importance of not setting your hope on anything temporary in the world, but instead setting it on the one who already overcame the world. In every affliction, trial, and devastation that the world will throw at us, there is not a single thing that will satisfy except the refuge of our Father, the finished work of Christ, and the encouragement of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. May the Lord increase steadfast faith in Him in my life and in the lives of believers around me.

On the same note, I hope to glorify God in following through with the opportunity to begin a relief fundraiser at school for those affected by the Haitian earthquake; that’s something the Lord has put on my heart to press into, and I look forward to hopefully partnering with the high school to accomplish this goal! If you would partner with me in prayer in this opportunity, I would greatly appreciate that! If you would like to donate on your own accord to help the relief funds, you can do so through Samaritan’s Purse at this link.

1 Timothy 4:10-13 says “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” There is no waste in relationship with God, no unused season or mountain, and He is faithful to encourage us and provide fruit as we work in relationship with Him and through His Spirit.

This coming week, I look forward to leading worship for my peers at my youth group for the first time this year. As well, the marching band is attending and entertaining at our first home football game on Friday! I’m excited for the fun, the excitement, and the blessings that this week may bring.

I leave you this week with a quote I saw and has stuck with me from a kind, God-fearing, and encouraging Christian leader:

“Don’t magnify your problems, magnify your God…he’s got you covered.”

-Dr. Tony Evans

Here’s to a new week of growth, faith, and perseverance!

-Luke Wanca

Week 1

Hello all! This week was the start of things, and the first week of school is out of the way!

Our first day was Monday, which was only a half-length day, but it felt long nonetheless…which means that our first FULL-length day on Tuesday felt like an eternity. Thankfully I got my Costco-sized bag of coffee grounds as a little boost when I need it in the mornings.

This semester I’m enrolled in Film Studies (where you sit and watch a movie for 90 minutes, it’s fantastic), Marching Band (with me and the boyssssss), Personal Finance/Economics (a seniors-only class), and 12th grade English class. All in all, it should be an easy semester! I’m grateful to have the teachers and classmates that I have, and I know that each little thing is an open door that the Lord will use for His good.

Possibly my favorite part of school starting is getting to walk more closely alongside those around me and encourage others where we’re at. As school begins and schedules fill up, it always becomes more stressful and easier to become distracted with each of the little things going on around us. It’s an honor to get to encourage my friends, walk with them in my classes, and even share really dumb or really sweet or really encouraging pictures with them. I’ve been blessed to get to know most of my friends for a few years now, and I look forward to serving them this year how the Lord calls me to.

This week finished really well, except…on Thursday night I wasn’t feeling well after band rehearsal, and since Friday I have been at home sick with a fever ): To me, the worst part of being sick is missing out on doing all of the things I love and being around people at school. I’m doing my best to keep busy around the house, as well as keep up with people over text! If you think of it, please say a prayer or two for this sickly boy shown below…poor guy ):

On the bright side, being sick has given me a chance to try new things and find things to do at home. For instance, I baked a cake by myself for the first time! I’m fairly surprised that it turned out really tasty and that I didn’t completely mess it up! It was very tasty, 10/10.

Despite my fever, I remain confident that He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6) and that I can do all things that I need to do through Christ’s strength, apart from my own weakness (Philippians 4:13). The Lord is truly showing me what surrender looks like in this month, as I remain spiritually humbled, as well as physically humbled in my illness. Praise be to Him who has a plan!

Here’s to a great second week of school (even if it’s at home for me) and seeing what the Lord has in store during this time!

-Luke Wanca

The Prologue: Part 3

Hello all! This has been a wonderful last week until school starts to catch my breath and allow for time to settle in.

I got the opportunity to meet for coffee with a good friend and mentor of mine as well as go to the school to pick up my school-given laptop and parking pass (Hooray for parking in the senior parking lot! It’s much closer to the school.)

In addition, I added a new plant to my small collection on my dresser! It’s a Myrtle Topiary that I named Noah. My first plant is a cactus named David, and my other is a zebra plant that I named June. I like having a little bit of life in my room, so it’s always nice to add some more green to the scene (:

The highlight of the week, however, was definitely my friend’s annual waffle and ice cream breakfast before school starts! It’s a wonderful family tradition that they keep each year (this year is the 13th annual breakfast), and I’m blessed to be invited to it for another year and get to take part in such a fun day with good friends around me.

As August began this week, the Lord has put on my heart to step intentionally into a time of deep digging, surrendering, and allowing Him to mold and disciple me the right way as the year starts. He has granted me with a deep desire to know Him more and turn closer to Him in humility and deep reverence of the work of His grace. One thing God has assured me of this week is the gladness in which He works in His servants. Steadfast love, mercy, and joy reign over us as He works; what a wonder that God works day to day in us. I’m rejoicing in the fact that in merely a month, or even just a week, the Lord can reveal progress that we never would have seen just looking at the here and now. Let not the Law condemn us, friends, but instead hold onto the steadfast hope that the Holy Spirit transforms and works in us as believers.

Chapter 8 in the book of Romans comes to mind as I dig into these things in August: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh” (v. 1-3). We have the hope, the grace, and the daily presence of Jesus to guide us into the righteousness that we could never attain on our own. Continually, His Spirit will move in us, convict us, teach us, uplift us, strengthen us, and encourage us as we do this walk of life with Him. Praise be to God who saved us and chose us as His own!

While I settle into this final year of high school, along with the opportunities and obstacles presented, I would appreciate your continued prayers for a deeper faith, seeking the Lord, and strength in doing so! He is working mighty things. I have confidence that I will come out of this season more chiseled into the image of Christ by the sword of His Spirit, more ambitious to seek His face by His grace and desire alone, and nearer to the One who saved my soul.

Much love and gratitude for you all as we partner in this journey,

-Luke Wanca

The Prologue: Part 2

Hello! Only one more week until school officially starts, and this past week was the second half of band camp! This week was long and hot, as the temperature got up to 98° consistently (with a RealFeel of 106°). Thankfully we pushed through and were able to perform our opening movement of the show! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgAz5dqOVx4&pp=sAQA

The thing I am most thankful for this week is my friends. I couldn’t imagine doing this week without them, and I am beyond blessed to have such fun, caring, kind, and helpful people to do band and life with. Especially because we all play different instruments (or none at all), it is so cool to share band from our different perspectives in how we hear and experience things and lead our respective sections. Through all of the week’s ups and downs, I’m so grateful for this group of people helping me through it, and it is an honor to get to help them through it as well (:

As well, the drumline made a new friend: our beloved pet ladybug Perkins. He landed on one of us on Tuesday, and clung to us, so we kept him safe, gave him a home, and declared July 31st to be his birthday! I’ve never seen the drumline care about anything more than Perkins, and it absolutely made my week to get to take care of Perkins. We love you, buddy <3

As I head into the final week of summer vacation, I’m looking forward to spending time with my friends and some of my mentors from church who faithfully walk alongside me, care for me, and help me grow in the things that God has placed in front of me. Stepping into August, I’m praying for a fresh start to the school year, increasing fire in my faith, and open doors to what the Lord has next for me! Each school year brings a unique set of opportunities to the table, and I look forward to what those are this year.

Here’s to one last week of vacation, leaning into faith, and faithfully resting in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91).

-Luke Wanca

The Prologue: Part 1

Hello! There are two weeks before school officially starts, but this past week was the first week of marching band camp! Band camp is pretty much learning a lot of the halftime show, being introduced to the other musicians in your section, as well as learning the very basics of marching technique!

Mmm, there’s nothing quite like “flex-push-one’s” under the southern July heat. The best part of band camp is always having fun with friends during the fun events of camp! Despite it being a lot of work, it is always rewarding to spend time with those you care about and suffer under the sun and keep doing reps “one more time”.

Over this week, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet the new folks in the drumline, as well as help teach them the procedures, basics, and applications of all that we do in the marching band. As a senior especially, it is really cool to think about the legacy we are leaving behind as members of something greater than ourselves. I think back to the seniors in the band when I was a freshman in 2018, and I marvel at the fact that these freshmen see me in the same position as I saw those leaders.

Although a fun week with friends, lots of change can creep up on you and change your world as well. As old things end and new seasons begin, I can only trust what the Lord has in store for me and my future, as well as the healing he brings as we grow deeper with Him. I thank God every day for the wonderful friends I have around me to support me, grow with me, and walk with me in life and everything that comes with it. I am so grateful for them.

As that week ended and the second week of band camp starts, I look forward to making more progress and walking with those around me to help improve us as musicians, as people, and as representatives of the school we proudly represent! Go Big Blue!

d u t

-Luke Wanca


Hello! My name is Luke Wanca, and I’m a high school senior in the Class of 2022. That’s me shown above, just vibing with some of my favorite things. A pretty cool guy, right? If you said yes, I think we’ll get along great.

I love Jesus, summer, Tampa Bay Rays baseball, drums, disco and soul music, and grilling great food. I believe I have been called into vocational ministry and plan to study to become a pastor after high school. My primary goals in life right now are to play clean beats with the drumline, care deeply for those around me, share the gospel with others, and ultimately glorify Jesus Christ in everything I do.

I’m using this blog as a weekly update for my senior year of high school! (Hence the title, and what a great pun it is, may I add…thank you, thank you.) In this blog, I hope to share memories, stories, and lessons I’ve learned in wisdom and in faith along the way this year. This is something for YOU to join me in my senior year and see what’s happening, as well as something for me to look back on and remember this year after it has passed! After all, they do say your senior year of high school is often one of the best years of your life.

I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”

-C.H. Spurgeon

In this season of perseverance and seeing what the Lord does in our lives, won’t you join me in this adventure?

-Luke Wanca