12. 11. 20
We are on our last stretch of the internship and it has been such a great opportunity and experience. The last couple of days have definitely been filled with a lot of reflection of what I’ve learned and how thankful and grateful I have been for this period of my life. I’m just giving so much thanks and praise to the Lord.
Last week I was able to have a one-on-one Zoom meeting with Nick Brandt, Senior Event Director, and I soaked in every second. He was so encouraging and just loved listening to a small portion of my testimony as we talked. I left that meeting feeling so encouraged and supported.
We also had our livestream of the December Revival Nights that was recorded back in November. Although the internship itself is all online for the remainder of the semester, about half of us interns were able to gather at one of their churches. Shoutout to Robbie for opening up his home church to us so that we were able to have physical fellowship with each other!!
On Wednesday, we were able to experience a Pulse Dashboard meeting, which I really enjoyed. The meeting consisted of statistics of the nonprofit as a whole and how they have been doing this past year. I had the opportunity to lead worship for our Wednesday training session, which is always such a privilege. I was also able to make phone calls for the preaching side of my internship and was able to connect with a lot of people on an upcoming event that Pulse will be hosting called Preach! Twin Cities.
I was also finally able to go back to my church’s youth group on Wednesday night. It had been three weeks since I had been back due to some health complications and Thanksgiving break. It was so good to see the students, fellow leaders, and my youth pastors again. I love that community so much.
Finally, trickling into this week, I was able to finish up some last-standing projects, one of them being preaching my last twenty minute sermon for the Preaching + Teaching track, which was just so good. I preached on our fleshly appetites versus our spiritual appetites. The cravings of this deceitful world versus the desires of our Heavenly Father. It was such a Holy Spirit filled message. I was originally going to speak on identity, since it’s a topic I knew and was comfortable with and had a lot of talking points for, but the Holy Spirit wanted to pull me in a different direction, so I ran with Him and eventually came up with my sermon entitled “Fed or Filled.”
Wednesday, December 9, is our last Wednesday together, and although I am sad that this opportunity and time in my life is coming to a quick close, I am excited for what God has next for me in the remainder of this month and this coming year. Pulse DoorDashed lunch for us today and I was able to share it with my friend Anna, who welcomed me into her home to use her WiFi and power, since mine was out at my house today. We were able to reminisce and reflect on the past three months with one another via Zoom today and just had time to love on each other and encourage one another. We also had our final intern presentations for the staff of Pulse today, where we were able to share the things from our internship that we were truly proud of. I was able to share my photography, Gospel-centered TikToks, and my experience from preaching and being poured into by different preachers and teachers. I truly feel and believe that during this internship, God was equipping me for His plans for me next, and that this truly was a vital step for me to take in my life.
Overall, I have appreciated my time at Pulse more than words can express. I am so thankful and give God all the glory and all the praise for the people He surrounded me with in this season of my life. I am going to miss this, but I don’t want to stay where I am comfortable. I am ready and confident to step into what may be uncomfortable in this next portion of my life.
On mission together,
12. 4. 20
Hey friends!! It is beyond crazy to think that the internship is in its last few weeks of the semester. It’s crazy how time flies.
It was such a great week. There was so much that happened! It’s honestly kind of a blur, but in a good way. It was also a much more relaxed week because it was Thanksgiving! On Wednesday, we had an intern social hour for all the interns and we all got to know each other a bit better through a game of Kahoot that had answers submitted by all the interns. It was so fun! Our training session via Zoom was full of a lot of professional tips and teachings around our results from the StrengthsFinder test. I tested communication as my highest strength, woo (which stands for winning others over), then developer, positivity, and lastly, includer.
Thursday was Thanksgiving and I got to spend it with two of the other interns who are now some of the best people I’ve gotten to know within this lifetime of mine. Monique and Youapa and Youapa’s cousin Jimmy came over for a little friendsgiving and we made a ton of food and were able to just have fellowship with one another. It was so good.
I was able to go back to work this week as well, so I worked Friday-Sunday and it was just so good to be back at my little coffee shop that I get to call my espresso home. And finally, I attended church on Saturday and boy was it just amazing. It was such an anointed message. River Valley Church had guest speaker Bianca Olthoff and it was such a great service.
Overall, this week was great and I am excited, full of anticipation, and honestly, a little sadness, for these last two weeks at Pulse.
11. 26. 20
This past week was slower. A lot of the interns, myself included, got sick and had to quarantine, which put a damper on our weeks, our work, and our personal lives. I really enjoyed my preaching and teaching meeting last Tuesday. We had a speaker come in and talk about generational curses and sins, which is a topic that I absolutely love learning more and more about. Our Wednesday internship training was all via Zoom, which was a little rough to be honest. I always find it so hard to focus for long periods of time over a virtual connection, but it was still a great session and I learned a lot! I’m getting sad that we are so close to the end of the internship, but am confident that the relationships that I have built over the past nine weeks are going to last long after the internship ends.
11. 20. 20
It was a really fun week, but also kind of a tough one. We had our second Revival Nights on Tuesday, which was just such an amazing experience, and I absolutely loved the worship. Wednesday, we had loads of work to do, and it was such a fun time. I had the blessing of leading worship during our chapel time, and got to share a devotion with my friends, which I talked about distractions figuratively and how to combat them. Finally, we ended the Wednesday with our usual workout, which we ended up going to a ninja gym—truly testing my physical ability to climb a rope or swing monkey bars, let me tell ya. Overall it was such a fun week!
11. 14. 20
Heyyy friends + fam bam!! Blog post 6!!
Last week was full of accomplishment, learning, and a lot of business, sprinkled with the weight of the election as well. The week feels like a blur, mostly.
I got to learn from one of my all-time favorite photographers, Paul Weaver, which was such a great class that the Digital Media interns along with other members of the creative team got to learn from.
I shared my 60 second Gospel with the interns on Wednesday, and right before I had to share – which I was very unprepared for – I opened my Instagram to a post from my dear friend Lauren Ibach, who had posted about how to share the Gospel in 30 words, which just really reminded me of the core values and key principles of the Gospel.
I had Thursday off from my normal work, Smith Coffee + Cafe in Eden Prairie, so I got to sit in on some meetings for Pulse that I would normally have to miss. Also, Thursday was the film day for a new podcast and Youtube series that will feature Nick Hall, and so it was fun to see the process and behind-the-scenes of that whole shindig.
Thursday night, my church had a young adults event called 20+. This event was circling the topic of mental health. They had our young adults pastor interview two Christ-following licensed mental health professionals. It was such an encouraging conversation that we were able to sit in on, with a lot of words of knowledge and comforting revelations. At the end, the audience was able to ask questions, one of which I asked about mental health and its strong ties to spiritual warfare.
Friday was just a work day at the coffee shop, and I was able to bless my sister and brother-in-law as they moved into their new house, helping them move furniture and their belongings from the moving truck to their house. I loved being able to spend time with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and niece. After, I zipped on down to the south suburbs of Minneapolis to support my friend, Nehemiah, at his senior homecoming football game. I always love being able to see him and his passion for sports and people.
Saturday, I got a haircut by my friend and was able to connect with her on some really exciting upcoming future events and changes. I am so blessed to be able to call her my friend, before calling her a hair stylist. Then, in the evening, I had the honorable opportunity to capture the proposal of my lead pastor’s son to my high school friend!! HOW CRAZY??! I am beyond excited for the two of them.
Finally, Sunday was a day full of work, church, a worship night, and a bonfire with an old group of friends whom I miss and love dearly. This week was a good one. God is good!
11. 5. 20
Here we gooo! Blog post number five! Week six of the internship has been pretty busy. With all the snow, I most definitely have already started listening to Christmas music. In fact, I’m listening to it as I write this blog post. Hate me or love me, it is what it is.
Monday was a discouraging day, in all honesty. I was behind in a lot of work for both Pulse and my personal life. Overall, I felt overwhelmed! Tuesday, the Preaching + Teaching cohort got to record their ten minute sermons. Mine ended up being a bit too long, running near thirteen minutes! My sermon touched on how we are responsible for our own personal relationships with God, and that it does not fall to our parents, pastors, worship leaders, or friends, etc. It was such a fun experience, and I was able to share a story about my dad to illustrate my message.
Wednesday, as per usual, was a packed day. I had a ton of work to do before our weekly intern cohort meeting at 1PM! Some of the interns, myself included, dressed up a little early for Halloween. I dressed up as Russell from UP, and even had balloons! Youapa dressed up as Mr. Frederickson from UP. Dominique dressed up as Arthur from PBS Kids. Hayley dressed up as the Powerpuff girl, Buttercup. Monique dressed up as Clark Kent. Logan dressed up as Troy Bolton. Weston was a broke college student. Katie was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Our supervisor, Emily, dressed up as a giraffe! It was a fun time. Nick Brandt, Senior Events Director at Pulse, shared a fantastic message with us, which really dug into our identity in Christ. I literally wrote notes upon notes from our time with him. To close our Wednesday training, Abby led us in a shadow boxing workout, which I absolutely loved.
Thursday was another day of work! I just worked remotely mostly for Pulse, but then came into the office in the late afternoon to begin preparing for the October Revival Nights livestream. All the interns worked out of the conference room of the Pulse office for the livestream. I loved being able to be in fellowship with the other interns and be able to get to know them better in a more intimate setting. The livestream went amazingly well. Henry, the videography intern, produced an absolutely amazing video for the night.
Overall, the week has been full and amazing, and I am excited for the remainder of the weekend.
11. 29. 20
This past week has been full of a lot of highs and lows. On Monday, my friends and fellow interns Dominique and Monique went to one of my favorite coffee shops in Northfield, MN to work. We got a lot done, and also had a lot of fun just being in fellowship with one another. I can’t believe that it was only last Monday! Time is passing so quickly.
On Tuesday, Pulse hosted Let It Speak: Philly, which was such an amazing event to be a part of. A lot of local Philadelphia leaders tuned into the livestream, which was a success! I was able to help with monitoring the chat and capturing behind-the-scenes photographs. We also had a merchandise photoshoot for the Year of The Bible brand, and we were able to include a lot of the interns.
Wednesday was another super full day, and I was blessed to be able to lead worship for our beginning chapel portion of our weekly intern training session. We were able to hear a great message from Alex Hunter, who is on staff here at Pulse, and the message he shared resonated a lot with all of the interns, and sparked some really great discussions. After our session, I headed over to my church’s youth ministry, where I lead every Wednesday. This week in particular was just so powerful, as I got to pray over two of my small-group boys. We prayed for at least forty minutes non-stop and were able to see break-through! Praise God! It was such a supernatural experience.
Thursday night, Hayley Hartwig (go read her blog!!) and her husband Gabe were generously kind in hosting a handful of us interns for a little hangout-game-night-thingy. It was such a fun time, full of really great heart-to-hearts, conversations, laughter, and positivity. I loved being able to be in fellowship with the interns whom I now have the privilege of calling my friends.
Halfway through the week, I received some unforeseen news from my family and took both Friday and Saturday off. The low from last week has unwelcomingly passed over into this week, so that has been a battle I have been fighting for the past couple of days, so I would appreciate prayers, friends and family! I am grateful for God’s faithfulness to me through this situation, and it has been amazing to see how God has been moving already throughout this week. I’m expectant for the remainder of the week!
10. 22. 20
Boy, oh boy did week four of internship fly by.
We had a few events at Pulse this week. We had the Pulse National Fundraiser Livestream and event in North Dakota, which turned out to be such a beautiful success after some troubleshooting. Tuesday and Wednesday were days full of Zoom calls and being poured into. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time in fellowship this week with the interns, which I have absolutely loved. I feel like we have truly become a little Pulse family, constantly uplifting and supporting one another.
On Wednesday, all of us interns were in the Pulse Office in Minneapolis for a majority of the day. I had the opportunity to accompany one of the interns and my friend Youapa lead worship for the Chapel portion of our internship meeting. We got to hear from Pulse’s Vice President of Multiplication, Ebony Small. She shared her heart for Pulse and the Gospel and shared such a direct message, which I absolutely loved. I also had the opportunity to share my testimony with the intern cohort on Wednesday, which I was not expecting to do. It required so much honesty, transparency, and vulnerability. It was nerve-wracking, but truly revealed to me how much I trusted everyone in the room.
Also! Fun fact, every Wednesday, all the interns workout together, because we believe that physical health affects spiritual health. I have to admit that I was not thrilled about the commitment to a weekly workout (shocker), but I have actually been enjoying it. This last Wednesday we were challenged with running laps around the U.S. Bank Stadium. Surprisingly, I actually loved it. It made me feel energized, refreshed, and encouraged. Everyone was cheering for each other and it just created such a positive atmosphere.
Thursday night we had filming for the October Revival Nights. This is a night of worship, prayer, and sharing God’s Word. All fourteen interns were able to bring a friend or two. It was so fun. The worship team was made up of worship leaders from surrounding churches. Mark Warder shared a message on distractions. It was such a refreshing and filling night. It was such a blessing to be able to use my passion in photography to serve Pulse and the team. I was challenged to take a step back within my artform of photography and really focus on capturing worship within a digital frame. I was awakened to the various ways people worship God and it was so beautiful to witness. Also, four of my friends were WATER-BAPTIZED during the event! I am so proud of them and honored to be a part of their public declaration of their relationship with God. I am so excited to see what God does with all of our lives within the remaining weeks we have with Pulse and each other.
10. 16. 20
HEY FRIENDS!! Wow, let me tell you, it has been a week. The Lord is just so good and so faithful.
It’s my third week with Pulse and I’ve had so many little victories!
I’m going to begin by confessing my first mistake, which was trying to lean on my own strength to get me through the past couple of weeks. Now, don’t get me wrong. I was aware that I should be placing what was weighing me down in the Lord’s hands, and I kept telling myself and others that I was. In reality, I remained gripping my struggles and anxieties tighter and tighter.
I had the opportunity to give my first sermon in my Preaching + Teaching track. It had to be a five minute sermon. FIVE MINUTES! Which either felt too short or too long. I felt a tug to preach on John 15, specifically where Jesus talks about joy (in verse 11). I titled my sermon Joy Complete. However, I felt so unequipped, disqualified, unprepared, and disengaged. These were all lies from the enemy! All lies that I allowed myself to believe. As the time to present my sermon drew near and the more truth I began to speak over myself, the more I realized that I didn’t have to worry about feeling qualified by myself, because it is Jesus who qualified me. I was able to have a new understanding of what it means to cast my anxieties on the Lord, as well as, rejoicing in the Lord, always.
In addition, we had the opportunity to do street evangelism. We broke up into smaller groups, mine including fellow interns Henry and Hayley. We set out towards a park full of tents with a community of homeless people residing within them. It was such a hard truth to swallow. We walked around for maybe ten minutes before stumbling upon a tent with a man named Johnny living in it. We offered him water, an extra La Croix I had in my backpack, and an opportunity to share his story. He was so open to be transparent and receptive with us. We were able to hear some of his story, the past hurts he’s struggled with, and how he ended up where he is today. We even touched a little on his religious background, his thoughts on it today, and were able to pray for him. We also let him know about a local food drive that happens every Tuesday a few blocks away from the park.
Among other things, I also enjoyed being able to spend more time with the other interns, getting to know them more in depth, such as Gisell, who is the youngest intern (and a huge powerhouse for the Lord, let me tell ya! Go check out her blog). She came with me after our Wednesday intern meetings and accompanied me to my church’s youth ministry. The Emerging Leader Check-In was also this past Tuesday, which was full of so much knowledge, hard truth, and Christ-centered conversations. A good amount of the interns were able to gather together at the Apple Valley campus of Bethel’s Rock Church (previously Mount Olivet) during the event to work cohesively on individual responsibilities.
Overall, the week has been so full and is honestly hardly over. This week has made me feel so much more expectant to what the Lord has in store for, not only myself, but the entire cohort of interns, leaders above us, and those we will encounter within the remaining weeks.
10. 9. 20
The first couple weeks at Pulse have been so full, with a learning curve that probably looks less like a curve and more like an irregular pulse (no pun intended).
I have been a part of morning prayer Zoom calls, which Pulse does every morning as a team. They truly value the power of prayer and corporate prayer, and that is something that I admire and appreciate. I have also had the opportunity to be a part of other Zoom meetings centered around various events Pulse will be hosting in these upcoming months. It’s been such a fun experience to be behind the scenes and see the heart, passion, and effort that goes into each ministry and event Pulse hosts.
I have also been able to be poured into by leaders and pastors, learning so much about the Gospel, the character of God, and how evangelism should not be an activity, but a lifestyle. I have also been able to spend some time in community with a few of the other interns, and it has been such a joyful time getting to know them, do life with them, and share our love for Jesus together. It makes me so excited for the remaining months I have here with PULSE. Overall, the first few weeks, although being very full and stretching me in both my spiritual and personal life, has been a huge blessing.
My name is James Wolf, I am a Photography + Digital Media and a Preaching + Teaching Intern at PULSE Movement, and crazy in love with Jesus. I was introduced to PULSE in 2018 during their event in the U.S. Bank Stadium, but truly became more immersed in their community the following summer at a Revival Nights event held at First Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. I am a coffee connoisseur (although, some call me a coffee snob, poh-tay-toe, poh-taw-toe), freelance portrait + relationship photographer, a passionate musician and songwriter, and an ambassador of Christ. I am so excited to be a part of a team and an organization that is hard-working and passionate for Jesus and the Gospel. I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to be poured into at PULSE and to pour out the gifts and talents our good, good Father has given me to help further the values and mission of PULSE.