OOO8`````U (my cat wrote that title. no joke. he's a genius)

Well folks.. its that time again. The time where I write a blog and force you to read it.
I'd like to have 3 cheers for my lovely sisters who have written the past two blogs! I mean seriously. I'm pretty sure you were all
really done with hearing me blab my mouth all the time. So, I'm going to convince them to keep writing. No no no, I'm actually gonna force them to keep writing. They don't write, I quit the band. Its just that simple and I have just that much power. Oh and also, remember that one time I said "I'd like to have 3 cheers for...." Yeah, I hope you didn't actually give 3 cheers. Its really weird cause if you ever say that statement to a group of people and expect them to actually give 3 cheers, it gets really awkward after the first "hip hip hooray!" TRUST ME... In other news, Stride Gum totally found out that I am obsessed with their gum (yes, I'm literally obsessed) and I got a box of gum from them in the mail today. It makes me so happy. And makes me even more obsessed with them (if that's even possible). Also, you should chew their gum. Its pretty much the best gum ever invented. So, chew chew chew it up, kids.

So, this last week was absolutely incredible. I mean, fan-stinking-tastic. We went out to an amazing church in Redding, CA called Bethel for a conference they were having. We always try to take time every year to go to conferences to get "recharged." With us traveling so much and always writing and being absorbed in our work we just feel its so important for us to go somewhere and sit under teaching where we can learn more about God. And other than our church, Bethel church is my all time favorite. We listen to the podcasts from them all the time cause they are amazing and so challenging. So this week made me feel so refreshed and alive and even more in love with God then I was before I left. I would encourage you to listen to their podcasts. They are on iTunes. Kris Vallotton and Bill Johnson are the two head pastors and my gosh, I could listen to them teach all day long! Also, Kris just came out with a new book called Heavy Rain and I'm just starting to read it so if you're looking for a book to read get that one!!! Cause he's just incredible. I know I know, I keep gushing about how amazing they are but its because they have so challenged and changed my walk with God for the better. So I only have amazing things to say about them!!!

I was listening to an amazing teaching by Kris Vallotton a few weeks ago and something he said struck me to the core. He quoted Psalm 115: 16 which says, " The heavens, even the heavens, are the Lord's; but the earth He has given to the children of men." Now, I know just seeing that verse you are like "Wow Lauren, what. a. let .down." But, let me tell you why he shared it. So often we ask God at how He can just sit back and let there be poverty in this world or how can He let children starve or let there we war in the world, or let global warming happen and the list goes on and on of what we yell at God about for the things that He "lets" happen. But go back to that verse. "but the earth was given to the children of men." Do you understand what that actually means?! That means we need to stop asking God those questions and be asking ourselves those questions!!! We have been given authority over this earth. It is our job to take care of it! The people on it and the planet itself! WE are the ones who need to be feeding the hungry. WE are the ones that need to be clothing the poor and giving them food. WE need to be the ones finding shelter for the homeless. WE are the ones who can stop world hunger. WE are the ones who can stop war. WE can stop abortion. WE can take care of the planet. WE need look outside of our little lives and stop blaming God and the government for everything that's wrong in this world and actually take a little responsibility for the current state of our world and DO something about it! We are called to love! We are called to comfort! We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and we don't need to feel "called by God" to do these things. To love is who we are. Its our nature. Our DNA. Now, I know the first thing a lot of you are thinking is you don't have to money to help out. It doesn't take money to serve at a homeless shelter or at a crisis pregnancy center or at a nature center. Find what's around you and in your city and begin to love. Mother Teresa didn't need money to change the world around her but because she simply loved people this world will remember her forever. But still, even though you may not have money, if you're American you make way more money then most people in this world. WE can make a huge impact on this world and make it for the better if we actually accept that we can. I think we so often convince ourselves those things are "someone else's problem." But its nobodies problem but our own. So, what are we going to do about it? Gandhi once said, "You need to be the change you wish to see in this world." Its time we go out and BE the change. That's what we are. Don't wait till you feel "commissioned by God." Its not a calling, its a way of life. Go out and start changing this earth that God has given us. Do we realize how powerful we are because of the God we serve? Lets start loving the world we have been given. And realize that change starts with us.

Much love,