Birthday: November 25
Hometown: Altoona, PA
Favorite Bible Passage: Romans 8:36-39
Influential Music: Metal, Jazz, Hip-hop, Worship
Favorite Movie: Hotrod, The Princess Bride, Aladdin
Favorite Book: Harry Potter
Hobbies: I enjoy going to concerts, especially metal concerts, as well as going on adventures with my friends and family back home.
Michael has lived in four different states. He can play seven instruments! He loves coffee and says he is ‘very much an extrovert.’
Michael’s Blog Posts
Hey everyone!! We’re back! 14:21 just started our spring tour and it is going great. We have been on the road for about a week now and it has been a solid week of shows. I can’t wait to see what God will do in and through our team as we go along on our final tour.
Here is a pic of our team at a stop from our winter tour!
We traveled half way across the United States in just one week! While doing so we stopped in some cool places like Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, and Columbus, Ohio. While in some of these places we met some really awesome people that have really blessed the team while we were on the road. Each stop is very different so there is always an excitement about every stop and not knowing what to expect. Road life can be difficult but these people that we meet make it a little easier everyday.
As a team we have picked up skateboarding/long-boarding, and we could not be any happier! It is such a great team bonding experience since most of us ride. We are also able to get solid exercise on the road this way. Anyway, here are some sweet shot of the team from the other week in Arizona.
Here is Brett landing a little jump on his new board!
Hannah and Phoebe take a break from the skating to pose for the camera. Also go check out their vlog they started on Youtube during tour.
The age old battle… Converse Vs. Vans.
Will channeling his inner Snoop Dogg and dropping it like it’s hot
Here I am midair questioning how much this is gonna hurt when I miss the board and fall
And here we are riding off into new adventures as a team
Have you ever just sat there and wondered why did God let me go through that? I feel that I’ve asked this question more times than I would really care to admit. No one really wants to admit that they questioned God, but if we’re honest we all have at some point.
Anyway, why? It’s a question I find myself asking a lot. Why was I bullied since I was in 4th grade? Why have I had to deal with severe ADHD? Why do I have depression? Why me? Why did God decide “sure he can handle it”?
Ok, so lets dive a little deeper into those questions and give them some context. Well in case you couldn’t tell I was bullied most of my school career. In 4th grade I was the new kid so I was already a couple of rungs behind on the social ladder. It would happen that I wasn’t the only new kid so to get ahead on said a ladder I became the target, and that lasted till about 11th grade.
Thinking back on it I was super annoying, but that was due in part to my, at that point undiagnosed, ADHD. I was always the crazy, loud, obnoxious kid who would never sit still or be quiet. I was always the “problem child”, the one who always got in trouble in both Sunday and regular school. I had about a billion things going on in my head at one time and as a kid it was overwhelming. Finally in 8th grade I was officially diagnosed with ADHD and it all started to make sense. At least that part of my brain started to.
“Depression, isn’t that just a fancy word for feeling bummed out?” – Dwight Schrute
Despite what some people like our friend Dwight here might think no depression is not a fancy word for being bummed. If I’m being honest I wish it were that simple; however, depression is such a complicated thing that is different for every person who has it. For me it is kind of like constantly wondering why I am still living, or just not wanting to exist anymore. It’s feeling extremely alone in a van with 8 other people. An loneliness that drives me to not want do anything, or talk to anyone, or really be anything anymore. When people hear the word depression they immediately think self-harm and suicide. I’ll be the first to admit that I have battled with self-harm and suicidal thoughts, but it’s not always to that extreme. Depression doesn’t just magically go away either, but through God I can overcome whatever may come my way.
So, why did God let me go through all of that? Well I found out why just this past week. My team and I were at a church in Fargo, ND and we went out for pizza afterwards where we were able to hangout with some of the youth from that church, among them was this small group of girls. I don’t remember how the conversation happened but two of them were talking about their depression and self-harm and suicide attempts and I couldn’t just sit there and say nothing. i realized that God had allowed my to go through what I did so that I would be able to have that conversation and help these girls start to overcome their own battles.
Through this entire encounter I was reminded of my absolute favorite bible verse.
Romans 8:35-39New International Version (NIV)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I love this verse because it is a reminder that no matter what life throws at us that through God we are more than conquerors. That no matter how many times we ask “Why?” God has already conquered our why’s.
Now instead of asking myself Why I am going to ask How. How can God use this situation that I’ve gone through to show his glory through me?
If the title didn’t give it away, I’m an extrovert while everyone else on the team is mostly an introvert. Basically what that means is that they mentally recharge by being alone and I mentally recharge by being with people.
See the problem here?
While an introvert needs to be alone, an extrovert needs to be with people which can cause some issues. Mainly in how each spends their downtime. Most of the time an introvert would rather go and sit by themselves and just reflect inward, and that’s great for them! On the other hand an extrovert would rather go out and be with people, which is great for them! It’s just when both are drained that they could bump heads, and when neither one is willing to help the other recharge they both end up drained. That’s not good! Especially in ministry.
The point of ministry is to pour out into other people and to show them the gospel, and it’s really hard to pour into other people when you aren’t being recharged and poured into yourself.
Now If I’m being honest, it was really hard at the beginning of this year for me to learn to deal with that. I was struggling with never feeling fully recharged and always seeking the company of people. Personally, I think it was God challenging me the whole time.
Well, our training tour wrapped up on Sunday which meant only one thing. Hong Kong training week was here. This week has been crazy! Learning 7 songs in 4 days is a rather daunting task, and add in that they are in Cantonese and Mandarin it seems impossible. Though it’s often that when we as humans say something is impossible God tends to prove us wrong. I’m not gonna lie this week has been tough on our team. The days have been long and hard, but God has been showing himself to me through the little things. Whether it’s a moment in a song that I felt his overwhelming presence, or in a Devo where I really was able to dig deeper into the faithfulness of God, He kept showing himself to me even through this crazy week.
Our training is over and all we have left to do in Willmar is pack up our gear before we fly out to Hong Kong on Saturday, and all I can do right now this thank God for the little things. And it’s in those little things that I am reminded that while God is so big and limitless, he takes the time to show me he cares using things I can understand.