Does America have enough dogs for all the people who want one? -Response

Original Article Here

Dear Kim,

I am so glad that the Washington Post published this article! As someone who shows, owns, and trains responsibly-bred dogs, it is refreshing to see any media piece that does not blindly follow the “Adopt Don’t Shop” (ADS) trend. I agree that statistics from organizations who push ADS like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) are not credible due to their ulterior motives.

Recapping the article, pro-ADS organizations have been found to inflate euthanasia rates by 50% in privately funded research compared to studies done by non-biased sources. They have also promoted the “Adopt Don’t Shop” mantra, creating a storyline of a shelter dog dying every time someone purchases a purebred dog. Why would pro-ADS organizations like the HSUS and ASPCA purposely inflate statistics? Is their motivation only that of saving dogs’ lives?

When most people think of the HSUS, they think of their local pet shelter. This is false, yet intentional. The HSUS does not actually run a single animal shelter, and less than 1% of it’s money goes to actual animals. Yet 85% of their marketing includes animals in shelters. Where does the rest of the money go? Possibly the known $51,000,000 of ‘investments’ in the Cayman Islands the HSUS holds. This is one reason why the Better Business Bureau gave them a “D” rating for transparency and integrity with donor’s money. Using the façade of being the largest organization that saves the millions of abused and murdered animals out there is a great marketing tool, and is why having statistics to match their story is so important to the HSUS.

These organizations need the public to believe there are millions upon millions of animals who will die if money to keep them alive isn’t found. If this is true, the title of this article, Does America have enough dogs for all the people who want one? would be irrelevant. Admitting one owns a purebred rather than a shelter dog is akin to wearing chinchilla fur coats because it is believed that for every purebred bought, a shelter dog dies. But shelters have been able to raise adoption fees to be that of what one would expect to pay for a purebred due to demand. There will always be breeds that have harder times finding homes, but for the most part shelters do not have issues adopting out young, friendly dogs. Shelters have been able to be more selective, with some shelters denying up to 70% of families looking for an addition to the family. It is okay for a shelter to wait for a perfect family, but not okay for a family to wait for the perfect dog.

If a person is going to be spending thousands of dollars and dedicating years to this new family member, they should have the right to invest in a dog that fits their every need. A dog with an unknown behavior and health history is not for everybody. The ASPCA and HSUS fight this logic by creating pathos-stuffed propaganda that has led to a dangerous groupthink with an easily chantable slogan of “Adopt Don’t Shop!” They ignore the benefits of a responsibly, intentionally bred dog, and have ways to shut down any who oppose their stance.

I believe that a person should be able to choose to adopt an animal from a shelter or find an ethical breeder who has their dogs’ best interest in mind without fearing judgement due to a storyline created by lies told by money-hungry organizations masquerading as nonprofits. There are groups like this in every sector, yet this cause is unique as it deals with living creatures that often find places in people’s heart. This makes it a complex issue, where there are often valued lives at stake. The best way to make a difference is by supporting local shelters whom are nonprofits, erasing the stigma that the only ethical dog is a rescue dog, and by understanding that this issue is more complex than the three words masquerading as a moral compass.




“Right” & “Left” are used to describe one’s political leanings, not their stance on whom within our species may be titled as a human being. 
So call racism as it is. Call social justice as it is. And above all, call out hate disguised as politics as it is. 
There is hate on both sides of the divide. There should be no question of that. 
This is important my friends, do not confuse righteous anger with blind hatred. Though they may often feel much alike in our hearts, the actions following each could not be more different. 
Peace is not always an option. 

Do not call for peace. 

Do not call for victory. 


Call for truth. 

Call for justice. 
Fight for truth. 

Fight for justice. 
And above all,



Perspective is reality. The way one writes is one way that they communicate with the world around them. Very few professionals will take another professional within their field seriously if they do not communicate in a way that portrays intelligence whether said intelligence is there or not. 
Writing is an important aspect in all areas of life.In leadership, writing is often overlooked when searching for what makes a particular leader successful in their cause. The art and craftsmanship of a well written speech can move mountains, a powerful call to action can create major social reform. As a nonprofitess (a woman within the nonprofit sector), the importance of knowing proper protocol when it comes to professional writing can be a matter of life or death for the people one serves. Grant holders, possible sponsors a volunteers may be a perfect match for an organization’s cause, but without the proper knowledge and communication being transferred, they may never get involved or pass by an invitation. This is why “a (wo)man is only as good as his(her) word.”


Anger towards God is okay. It is expected. It is wanted from Him. To fall on your knees and swear at the sky is to begin the process of healing. Don’t fight it. Don’t step away from the Father, instead cling to Him. Because He is the only place to find hope, mercy, and healing in the desert places of life.

Be Brave: An Open Letter to Her of BGSU

Contemplating writing this post, I decided to track down the original Facebook post that began the uproar that has put Bowling Green State University in the headlines over the past few days. I had heard most of the second-hand information splattered across social media platforms, and I believed that I knew what this post’s main topic would be on.

I had heard multiple people dismissing this case as “she didn’t want to take this farther,” and “she asked the University not to investigate.” I figured I would be writing a post on being brave. On sacrificing a slammed door to the incident for the sake of the rest of the female community as a whole. I figured this girl took the route I was so tempted to take. Declining an investigation allows for what happened to be put aside, it allows for the mirage of it never actually happening. I wouldn’t have blamed her if this had been the case. But it wasn’t.

The only reason she stopped fighting was because the university never began fighting for her in the first place. Yes, there are legalities and processes and other such things that I could not pretend to understand, but how hard would it be to say “I believe you. I am sorry this happened to you. Let’s work together to make sure this never happens again.” Sexual Assault victims are not looking for personal gain. They are looking for hope and security that what happened to them might not happen to others.

That is my message to you, friend. Tragedy brings a feeling of hopelessness that is seemingly impossible to fall away from. Hurting the person who hurt you will not free you from despair. Revenge is as useful as it is sweet. It is not. Fight not for justice, but for the abolition of what is happening around us in this world. I chose to pursue prosecution of my attackers because I wanted to show others that treating another human being as they did is not acceptable in today’s world. I chose to instigate due to a hope that I could play a small role in making the world a better place.

Be Brave.


Make Sure The World Knows This Isn’t Okay.

Societal Habits and Globalization: Change the World

Societal Habits and Globalization: Change the World

Savannah Hinde

Bowling Green State University


Using three articles found in Emerging by Barclay Barrios, I have come to the opinion that changing the world is incredibly possible. Usage of creating social habits in churches today is the same thing that changed the face of the nation during the civil rights movement and can be used to change the face of the world in the future.

Key Words: Aids, Civil Rights, Relationships, Connections

Societal Habits and Globalization: Change the World

When a child is small, their parents often tell them that they can do anything they set their minds to. Changing the world is “no biggie” as long as they want it enough. As this child grows, the realm of possibilities shrinks until it is nothing more than a list of majors on a college website. But what if humans kept their belief in the impossible? Is it even possible to change the world today? Certainly others have done it, but it seems today close to impossible to even cancel a gym membership let alone the suffering of humanity. Using three essays found in Barclay Barrios’ Emerging, there are things one can do to make the impossible possible, this is through changing societal habits and  unifying communities for a common friend.

In the piece From Civil Rights to Megachurches by Charles Duhigg, the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century is connected to what makes Saddleback Church of California thrive. It is believed that movements, no matter the cause, become successful when the leaders of said movement use social habits to unify otherwise secluded groups of people as well as discovering the power of connectivity between individuals. The Montgomery bus boycott held traction at first because of it’s person of interest, Rosa Parks. Many people knew this woman through her involvement of many organizations, clubs, and volunteer work. Her social connections created an outrage of her arrest, and it became a societal expectation of the black community to boycott the buses. There were those who cared passionately about this cause, but many became involved for no other reason than other around them were. Meetings for other sources of peaceful protest became the norm to attend during the weekdays, and walking to work instead of riding the bus became a daily reminder of the cause. The success of the boycott became an outline for those who wanted to change the world in different ways. Though unwittingly, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church is one of these people. He moved to California to serve those who did not know Jesus, and impacted the local area to the point that today, his church is one of the largest in the world. The church grew so fast that he was not able to care for it’s individuals and came to the solution of weekday meetings between small groups of members. In doing this, members of the church created social habits based in their faith which resulted in taking responsibility for their growth as Christians. The church went from something they did, to who they were. Both Warren and MLK Jr. found ways to create a movement that did not sputter out, that had participants who did not need to be lead, but instead became leaders.

Due to how western media depicts it, people often think of Africa as a dry desert void of technology. This is not so, and Helen Epstein’s AIDs, Inc. explores new tactics organization’s use to create awareness in South Africa’s AIDs crisis. Young people in South Africa are well versed in sexual education, yet the percentage of those with the deadly virus is steadily increasing. One organization, loveLife, is taking a new approach to public relations towards teens. It has been realized that negative ads and scare tactics do not create a significant impact when it comes to a young adult’s choice in becoming sexually active, so loveLife has put a positive spin on advertising and uses marketing techniques borrowed from soda and clothing companies. Teens have the opportunity to join a “Y center” where they can play sports and do other activities, but must go through a sex education class before gaining membership. These actions have allowed teenagers and young adults to become more comfortable with openly talking about sex, but does not actively prevent the spread of HIVs. Speaking about AIDs is still taboo and the author believes it to be because of the lax way loveLife tackles the topic.

In the essay Making Conversation by Kwame Anthony Appiah, the author explains how the world has become a single community of sorts, and how that has impacted the ease for one to change the world. Traditions, no matter how deeply ingrained into a society, can be changed relatively easily with the view of society’s judgement. This can be seen in examples of Chinese foot binding and the change in a woman’s role in American society. Humans have adapted to this, but have yet to harness it’s potential to do good in the world. It is not because different societies argue on what is “good”, but why and how it should be played out. The globalization of communities can be used in amazing ways.

All three of these diverse articles hit on one subject that when thought about can seem almost too simple. Society and the influence of one’s community on an individual is what allows a movement to become impactful. In South Africa, the AIDs epidemic is no closer to ending because the people are afraid to speak on such a taboo. Yet in the article, Epstein talks about the neighboring nation of Uganda and how their take on AIDs is successful do to its normalization in the culture. He says, “Kampala taxi drivers talked as passionately about AIDs as taxi drivers did elsewhere discuss politics or football. And they talked about it in a way that would seem foreign to many in South Africa because it was all so personal: “my sister”, “my father”, “my neighbor”, “my friend”’ (Epstein 116). Uganda has made talking about AIDs into a social habit, therefore changing society’s view on it. Many changes in society have less to do with the learning of new facts, and more with perspectival change. Appiah speaks to this as well. He argues that old and beloved traditions can be broken within a short amount of time with no more than changing society’s view on a tradition. An example of this is foot binding in China. This tradition was thousands of years old, and the first attempt at eradicating it in the 1910’s and 20’s was unsuccessful in it’s method of explaining the negative effects it had on oneself. Soon, the Chinese found themselves loosing respectability within the world’s community as other nations began to scorn the practice. Once it became known as taboo in other countries, foot binding was almost fully eradicated within a generation. Social habits do not only end malpractices, it also binds people together. This can be in many settings, from a church community to the entire black community of America. They can be used to explain the civil rights movement, “Social habits are what fill streets with protesters who may not know one another, who might be marching for different reasons, but who are all moving in the same direction. Social habits are why some initiatives become world-changing movements, while others fail to ignite” (Duhigg 85). There are many movements started, but very few become world changing.

The social movements that make an impact and flourish can seem random at times, but Duhigg believes that there is a three-part process to how a movement gather followers:

“A movement starts because of the social habits of friendships and the strong ties between close acquaintances.

It grows because of the habits of a community, and the weak ties that hold neighborhoods and clans together.

And it endures because a movement’s leaders give participants new habits that create a fresh sense of identity and a feeling of ownership.” (Duhigg 85)

A person with no investment of a cause often joins in because a friend near them is invested. Soon a large group is moving in one direction, and other members of a community fear becoming an outsider, which causes them to join the movement. Soon it become impossible to return to the previous norm, and a new normalcy in a community is created. The last worry of a leader for such movement is to avoid burnout by feeding new reasons to continue and allowing followers to find ownership and leadership in the movement, quickly making it their personal responsibility to continue growth.

This outline of success can be seen in action at Saddleback Church in California, pastored by Rick Warren. He believes that the American church as a whole is losing members because it has allowed people to be comfortable as observers and not pushing them into action. Once a person is invested in their own faith, a pastor become a guide rather than the entirety of one’s religious life. This is also true for bringing new people to Christ, “If you try to scare people into following Christ’s example, it’s not going to work for too long. The only way you get people to take responsibility for their spiritual maturity is to teach them habits of faith. Once that happens, they become self-feeders. People follow Christ not because you’ve led them there, but because it’s who they are.” (Duhigg 97) This viewpoint in churches was first seen elsewhere.

It is common knowledge that the Montgomery bus boycott was one of the first large-scale demonstration of the civil rights era. Rosa Parks was not the first African American to be arrested on public transportation in the city, yet she made all the difference. She was involved in many different social circles within the city which created a personal investment for many as their generous, meek and mild “friend” was incarcerated. These friends began the movement against the city buses, and soon it became a personal movement for so many that it became humiliating as an African American to be seen on a bus. Black preachers talked to their congregations and told them that every other black church would be doing this, essentially telling them that it would be very embarrassing to be seen on a bus that day. They would be alone, “Men were ridding mules to work, and more than one horse-drawn buggy drove over the streets of Montgomery. Spectators had gathered at the bus stops to watch what was happening” (Duhigg 95). The Montgomery bus boycott was an example of a city-wide social movement that soon became nation-wide. Today, we have the opportunity to create world-wide social movements.

Changing social habits throughout a university may seem intimidating, yet technology today gives people the opportunity to change much more than what they can simply see around them. Only in the past few centuries has humanity been drawn into a singular web rather than small societies clueless of each other, “Now, if I walk down New York’s Fifth Avenue on an ordinary day, I will have within sight more human beings than most of those prehistoric hunter-gatherers saw in a lifetime” (Appiah 44). Humanity now belongs to a new community, which is the world as a whole. The only question left is how can this community become closer? Binding friendships are needed to change societal habits, and it is not easy to become invested in lives thousands of miles away from one’s own life. Change does not occur because at once, everyone suddenly decides to face the same direction. Change relies on social patterns that begin as friendship. The answer to the question is “slowly”. Humans must begin to learn to focus on what binds them together rather than the geographic entities that separate.

The scale of what can be changed has grown to encompass all of humanity. Because of technology, the way humans communicate has changed completely. This can be used to connect people across the world through social media, putting faces to numbers and creating compassion for those who suffer. Money can be raised in a blink of an eye and with the click of a button. It is believable that the world is becoming a better and more just place to live because of the global connection we have today.



Appiah, K. A. (2010). Making Conversation. In B. Barrios (Author), Emerging (3rd ed., pp. 43). Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Epstein, H. (2010). AIDS, Inc. In B. Barrios (Author), Emerging (3rd ed., pp. 43-59). Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Duhigg, C. (2010). From Civil Rights to Megachurches. In B. Barrios (Author), Emerging (3rd ed., pp. 85). Bedford/St. Martin’s.



Mosaic Ministries 1/24/17

Savannah Hinde


Let’s begin with a well-known bible story in the book of Matthew

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a] who sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven![b]

23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars.[c] 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars.[d] He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened.32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

The King forgave the servant who owed him more money than he could pay in lifetimes of work. Yet this same servant couldn’t forgive the minute debts for his peer. The amount the servant owed the king was 10,000 talents. In today’s terms this is over 1 billion dollars, and the king just forgives him. This is amazing to think about when we put God in the king’s place and us as the servant.

His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and passion is unconditional, and he gives it to us for no other reason than his generous love. He does ask us though to show this same love and forgiveness to our brothers and sisters. The King was not happy when the servant didn’t show mercy to his peer. God also dislikes it when we are not kind to the people around us.

This is for many reasons, but on is that Unforgiveness hurts the victim, not the offender. It’s like holding a heated pipe. The person who hurt you has already let go of the incident. Now the person hurt is the only one getting burned.

Unforgiveness leads to bondage, Forgiveness leads to freedom.

And forgiveness is a choice that we all have the option to choose.

This choice is not easy, but there are steps that you can take to begin to heal from a wring done to you.

The first step in letting go and forgiving is to begin to control your thoughts. Stay away from thinkingly wrongly of the person who has hurt you. Do not wish them harm or misfortune, and if you can, begin to find joy in their happiness.

Next is watching your tongue. Bringing up things of the past is often harmful, and stops you from moving on to what the future holds. Bringing up old issues in new arguments is never a good idea.

My sisters and I fight constantly about household chores, and it often goes like this:

“You forgot to do the dishes last night so I had to do them.”

“No way! You owe me! Remember 3 years ago when we were camping and I took the garbage to the dumpsters because you were afraid of the racoons?!?!”

Needless to say, that argument stood no ground.

Leaving things in the past isn’t always forgetting them completely, but instead it is often consciously not bringing the incident up because it IS forgiven and should not be brought up again.

Lastly, forgiveness is finding it within yourself to love that person unconditionally again. To find joy in their success, to help them if you see them on the side of the road, to share with them and to minister to them like God would like us to. This is not an easy task, and can sometimes take years to achieve. But when we rely on God, it is always possible.

Let us pray.

Dear God,

You know what is on our hearts, our hurts and our happiness. You know the grudges we hold and the people we hold them against. This week allow us to ask ourselves why we hold these grudges, as they only do harm to us. Let us begin the process of forgiveness, and as we begin down that road, let us rely on You.

In Jesus Christ,


Start Anew

Mosaic 12/27

Start of the new year.

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish celebration of the new year, and takes place in September. To them, it is one of the holiest days of the year, and is very much unlike the new year’s eve we will be celebrating in a few days. One commonality the two do have though is the idea of “starting fresh” and setting resolutions for the upcoming year. This holiday celebrates God’s promise to his people, showing forgiveness for their sins and showing mercy towards their debts. Not unlike the way Jesus Christ was sent to take away our sins and seal our debts away. A tradition of Rosh Hashanah is to fill one’s pockets with bread and emptying those pockets into a river, watching the bread melt away. This symbolizes casting our sins away, starting anew, and starting fresh.

Everyone has things they wish they could just forget and let go. It doesn’t always have to be something we did wrong, but a wrong done to us that is now weighing us down, affecting our every day lives. We have a loving God who cares for us more than anyone on this Earth could care for us, and he does not want to see us suffering under the weight of our sins and the hurts of the world. The world may cast you aside, saying you are not worth much, that you will not be able to achieve your dreams, that you are not valued. These are all lies. And these lies have been told to people throughout the course of history. Including Jesus’s own disciples.

I’ll admit, I do not have all of the disciple’s names memorized, and if you gave me the quiz they give Sunday school kids in exchange for candy, I would not get much. But one disciple that stands out to me is Matthew, and what his story says about how our Father views us. Let me read to you the story of Matthew’s calling to join Jesus.


Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax booth. “Follow me,” he said to him. And he got up and followed him. 10 As Jesus was having a meal in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Jesus and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard this he said, “Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor, but those who are sick do. 13 Go and learn what this saying means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

When Jesus called Matthew to follow him, those around him did not understand.

“Matthew the tax collector?”

You see, in Jesus’s day, tax collecting was not a career to be proud of. In fact, those in this profession were treated as scum, seen as greedy traitors, and not welcome in many parts of society. Yet Jesus still wanted him.

The religious leaders around him turned up their nose at Matthew and his friends. But Jesus told them they were valued, that they matter. They did not have to live as the dregs of society anymore, but were welcomed into the arms of the King.

Jesus said to Matthew “Get up and follow me.”

He asked him to leave everything he was familiar with, and to start anew.

And Matthew did not look back.

This is the same story for Jesus’s best friend; Mary Magdalene. She was a prostitute, she had had five husbands and was living with a man she was not married to. Jesus didn’t berate her, didn’t tell her she should be ashamed, but instead said “Follow me and sin no more.” She could belong to Jesus. She didn’t have to find her worth in men or in money or anything else the world offered her. She had Jesus.

And you have Jesus. You don’t have to find your worth in this world or any of it’s shallow promises. You have the choice to place your value in Jesus and the Father, the creator of the universe.

When you live for Jesus, it’s less about how you live, but what, or whom, you live for. When you love Jesus with your entire heart, its not about the rules of religion, its about love.

We are told to first love the Father, and then love our neighbors like our brothers and sisters.

When we love others like this, it is natural to follow what God wants, when you love someone, you don’t lie to them, you don’t steal from them, and you do not become jealous of them.

There are struggles in this life though, and you will be tested. Everyone is tempted in their life, and we should not beat ourselves up against wanting to do the wrong thing as long as we fight that urge. Even Paul, the guy who wrote a huge chunk of the New Testament, struggled. In the book of Roman’s he says this “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”

Jesus does not promise easy, he does not promise that a commitment to him means no troubled waters, he does not even promise happiness. What he does promise is joy. He promises fulfillment. These are not the same as happiness, as they do not disappear in times of trial.

The beauty of starting anew in Jesus is that there is nothing that you can do to be “too dirty” or “not worthy” for him. Say yes to him, and your past is wiped clean. The greatest part about it? You don’t need a holiday to start. He wants you anytime.

Lets pray.

Oh My Jesus,

Thank you for loving us. We don’t deserve it, and we do so many things that we wish we could wash away from our past. With you, we can. Let us learn to live for you, and love you, because without you our lives will never be filled with the joy you bring. Remind us of your love daily, and let us never forget the sacrifice you made for us so that we may live fully in you.


My Faith in 300 Words

Jesus Christ is many things, there are many names for him, many ideals of how he is portrayed, and many differentiating opinions on which of these portrayals are correct. My personal belief is that he is the Messiah, a son sent by the Father to redeem and restore the relationship between God and man. He is the center of the Christian faith and without a belief in the supernatural aspects of this man one cannot truly call themselves a follower of The Way. Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

Though I was raised in a very religious home and am my family has been apart of our local church for generations I have made my faith my own. Most everyone is raised to believe in the parts of our religion that emphasize “Do not cheat. Do not steal. Do not Lie.” Those who find these rules and regulations to be the foundation of their faith are not truly set free and are living a half life compared to the potential living under God can give them. Christ is the center of my life, for his sacrifice has allowed me to have an intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe and his love has breathed life into my lungs. Christ is Love, living in him is living in love and that is what God wants for each and every human on this Earth.

I actively began pursuing my faith after a life changing event the summer before my freshman year. The year prior had been a very rough time in my life, both grandfathers dying of cancer and a friend dying in a tragic car accident. These events forced me to learn to lean on God during the hardships of life, and I grew closer to him than ever before. In June before my freshman year I embarked on a mission trip with my youth group that promised of both fun and hard work. During the week my friend Matt chose to be baptized by the local preacher and during the ceremony a voice came over me saying “ I am going to be a pastor.” That night I did not sleep and instead spent the mere hours of the night with my youth director speaking and finding understanding of this event. Today it has been over four years and I am no less convicted by the holy spirit. I have become a leader in the local church, leading classes, preaching to the homeless, working as a youth delegate for my denomination, serving in any way I can. This summer I was given the honor of carrying the stoll during the ordination of a close friend who has taken me under her wing in my exploration of this call. My faith and my God are truly the center of my life, and I do all that I can to be his good and faithful servant.