July Insta-Review

Instagram photos in the month of July (follow me on instagram - @melissamonte)

To see the previous InstaReviews


Intercession and Prayer

A week ago, my friend Michael, posted on Facebook that he wanted to do intercessory prayer. He asked his Facebook friends to send him messages of their prayer requests. When I see things like, I usually take people up on their offers because - well why not. But I usually don't expect much from them. But I still sent Michael a request asking to pray for my leaders to grow in their understanding of leadership and incarnational ministry.

I had forgotten that I had shared this with him when I get a message from him later in the evening.

What was crazy is that Michael had no idea that two years ago, when we sat down to make some long term goals for our fellowship we had come up with the number of students leaders we wanted to see over the next five years. We wanted to see 30 students rise up as a leaders on campus by 2017.

(that's been posted in my apartment for the past 2 years)

I stared at his message in disbelief, knowing I had not told him that story or had told him about those goals. In fact they've been placed up in my apartment for so long that I almost forgot about them. It wasn't until I received Michael's message that I remembered we wanted to see 30 student leaders reaching CSUN and being witnesses in their communities on campus.

I was challenged by Michael to be obedient to God's calling to intercede for my friends and for the campus. I had been avoiding taking this call seriously but last week I decided it was time to set aside time to prayer in intercession. It's more than getting a cool story but it's about being obedient to the Lord and praying consistently. I'm reminded of Nehemiah and when heard about the description of Israel this was his response,

"When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven." 

Nehemiah's story reminds me that prayer is not a one time thing but a process, a pattern, a discipline. I'm learning to be more disciplined.


Nashville Adventures

My best friend and I go on a "twin" trip every year. The last three years we've visited Portland and Seattle. This year we decided to switch things up and visit the music city - Nashville. It was an amazing trip and here are six highlights:

1. The food. The food was amazing - some of the best Southern comfort food ever. Of course after every meal I needed a nap. 

2. The slower pace. This was not LA. Things moved slower here. Partly because you had to. It was too hot and sticky to walk really fast. But the first night we played a checkers game that lasted about 30 minutes. 

3. The country lifestyle. Everyone here is so friendly. At the bars downtown they have people outside trying to get you to come into their establishment. We also loved all the boots so much that Sol and I each bought a pair.  

And yes this hat! Kind of wish we would have actually bought it. 

4. The city itself. This city is influenced by music, by country living, and by artistry. We saw Hatch Show Printing which has had a huge impact on the music industry and the city. The design nerd in me was loving every moment of it. I love all the architecture because we don't get to see a lot of brick buildings in CA - because of you know, the earthquakes and stuff. 

We even made our own Hatch Show Printing poster. 

Batman building watches over the Music City. 

5. The music. There was so much music. Music everywhere, all the time. We saw 9 live show and almost 20 different performers during the 5 days that we were there. Country music has so many different styles from classic, to bluegrass, to modern, and so on. But we heard a lot of talented musicians and country music is really growing on me. It was wonderful.

Seeing the a live show at the Grand Ole Opry was one of my favorite moments.

We met a lot of different bands and musicians. 

6. The friendship. We met a lot of new people during our trip. From the serving staff at our hotel bar, to local musicians, to even seeing one of my family group members from ONS. Lots of friendship happened on this trip. 


Madison Adventures

Some highlights from my adventures to Madison:

Our ONS 14 logo. These are all the things that staff think about.

Getting tons of great training from ministry partner development, to evangelism, to multiethnicty, and much more!

Our podium stage. 

The Madison capital - amazingly beautiful and right across the street from our hotel.

The capital at night. 

Getting frozen custard with friends. Especially to see Amy who lives in Madison. 

Table 9 Family Group. We spent the whole 10 days bonding with each other. We processed the conference, prayed together, and took a lot of selfies. 

More selfies

And some more... plus ice cream. 

Our table group sign. 

The biracial, multiracial, transnational adoptee, and third culture kids lunch. Probably one of the highlights of the trip for me. 

Getting great beer at the Great Dane. Amazing beer pub.

And eating fried cheese curds from The Old Fashioned. Best cheese curds ever. 

Free swag from InterVarsity. I love free stuff! 

All the spiritual conversations we had with people during out evangelism day. We had 4 posters full of post-it notes. 

Watching some of the World Cup games. 

We have dance parties too. We like to dress up for them as well. 

Eating dinner with InterVarsity President Alec Hill. 

We made fundraising phone calls at the National Service Center. They left us candy and nice notes. We also got stuck there for about 20 minutes because of a tornado warning. 

Standing at the Urbana podium at that NSC. 

It was an amazing conference at was great time!