Saturday, June 30, 2007

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Getting Poison Ivy

So, last Saturday, Beth and I decide we needed to clean up our backyard. The kids had been playing and messing it up, the grass and weeds were getting high, so we decided we would take care of it. We started out by picking all the junk up and then decided to take care of the weeds. There are several areas in our yard that weren't supposed to have weeds, and so we began pulling them up. We got to this one area that had some vines and bigger weeds, and we were just yanking them out of the way. Well, we didn't really think what we were pulling was poison ivy or anything (I can never remember 5 or 3 leaves), so we just went about our business. For Beth this wasn't a big deal, because she had gloves on. Me being me didn't. So about Sunday afternoon, I started getting little bumps on my arm, then by Monday I could really tell that something was bothering me. On Tuesday morning it had gotten worse and just spread...

On Tuesday night, I had a meeting at which there were two doctors. I asked one if she knew what poison ivy looked like, she said yep. I showed her my arm and said, "is that poison ivy" and she said, "yep, i will call you in something". Argh. I couldn't believe it. So know I have two cremes that I am lathering all of my arms to keep this deal from spreading and driving me crazy by itching. I hate poison ivy, I haven't had it since I was a kid...

Hopefully, this will go away by this weekend. I am doing my best not to scratch and cause it to spread. i have been wearing some under armor I have so that I am not sweating in long sleeves. Right now it is just contained in my arms and hopefully will stay there.

But today I was thinking about this and how this story is similar to the fall with Adam and Eve. They were told not to eat of the fruit, but "touched" the plant anyways. Their sin spread into mankind and grew more and more each day. We all sin, and our sin is like poison ivy. The more we scratch and itch at it with our own strength is like trying to wait for the poison ivy to stop itching on its own without medication. But once we allow God to "heal" us, then we begin to get better. Not always over night but in the end. I know that is a rough analogy but it still works. We really need to be careful of the things we get into because we don't always know where that is going to take us or what might happen to us. If we just trust that God will lead and guide us, He will keep us away from the poison ivy that might slow us down...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weekend Wrap-Up 06/24/2007

Attendance: Below Average (28 out of 90 active)
Lesson Topic: Joining the Story: The Flood
'Fun Factor': Average
Volunteer Involvement: Average
Music: Average (2 songs)
Lesson Quality: Average
Length of Lesson: 40 minutes
Student Response: Average

We continued our look at Joining the Story of the Bible. We took a look at the flood and what Arks God might be calling the students too. We watched some clips from Evan Almighty to get idea of what Noah might have been going through and thought when God came to him. The sin of man at that time was incredible and God saw no other way out except to destroy His creation. That wasn't His original plan and I am sure that it broke His heart to bring the flood.
The students stayed interested for most of it. I had balloons out for an activity and that seemed to cause some problems. Students wouldn't leave them alone and we had to keep dealing with that. We also did music for the first time tonight, and I think it went good for the first time. I am hoping I can get the students to take a more active interest in the music and we can get our praise band up and going. Our numbers were back up and we were still missing a few people. Hopefully we will continue to grow and students will continue to get excited.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Comic with a point...


I read this comic this morning as I was eating breakfast. I have seen it before since I love Calvin and Hobbes.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Weekend Wrap-Up


Sunday 06/17/2007

Attendance: Way, Way Below Average
Lesson Topic:
Choices: Red pill or Blue pill.
Genesis 3
'Fun Factor':
Average

Volunteer Involvement:
Below Average

Music:
None

Lesson Quality:
Better than Expected

Length of Lesson:
40 minutes

Student Response:
Average


This week was a real trial for me. I decided not to cancel service,
because of Fathers day, because I didn't want to break any momentum. Our attendance was way down as a result but I think the students really got into it. We talk about choices and how those choices effect others, even when we don't think they do. Adam and Eve made a choice that effected the rest of human history. Our first parents, like most teenagers and adults, were given boundaries in which to live. But like most of us, they decided to test those boundaries and give into the temptation of Satan. God had given them everything with minimal boundary but they decided that they knew more than God. That choice caused God to punish them and human history was changed. Like our first parents, we are given rules and choices to make but we also choose to disobey those rules for a myriad of reasons.

Genesis 3 starts out with a terrible choice but ends with the ultimate love of God. Even though Adam and Eve disobeyed God and through mankind into a sinful whirlwind, Gods love for us never faded or changed. In love He clothed Adam and Eve as they left the garden of Eden. Many years later His love would once again cloth his creation. Jesus Christ came to die for our sins.

Think about the choices you make. Think about the process that you took to make that decision. Then, think about if God was part of that decision...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

So last night my best friend of 15 years came into town. Jamie and his family flew in from Columbus for a few days. It was good to see him considering we haven't seen each other for over 5 years. We talk all the time (almost everyday) but haven't had the chance to see each other.

Anyways, he came into town and for Father's Day we decided to enjoy a game of baseball down at Kauffman stadium to watch the Royals play the Florida Marlins. The game itself was good (Royals won) but it was hot and we were in the sun on the visitor side of the stadium. The kids were miserable and were ready to go home before the first inning was even done. But we did our best to keep them cool and satisfied. Jamie took his girls and sat in some empty sheets in the shade, while we let our girls play in the sinks in the bathrooms. We decided to leave around the end of the 7th inning and then listened to the game on the radio on the way home.

It is soo weird for us to be together. As the picture above shows, we have grown with our families in the 15 years we have known each other. Amazing really. Going from college roommates to lifelong friends, then adding wives and kids, and then careers and life. I can remember the first day Jamie and I met. We were registering for freshman classes at Trevecca and I was cracking jokes about the hurricane that just hit Miami (Andrew for those who know), and we instantly hit it off. From that day forward we were together almost all the time.

But I am glad he is here. I like having the face time and spending time with him, his wife (Amber) and their two girls... Hopefully it won't be another 5 years till we see them again... (Abigail will be 14 years old then :) ).

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Getting in shape...

So before we moved to KC, Beth and I decided that we would join the YMCA and try to get back into shape. Both of us have kind of let our physical health go by the wayside for a while. Not that we are incredibly large and static, but both of us could lose a few pounds (me, a more than a few). When I got married, I weigh around 180 lbs. That is a little more than my high school weight, back in 1992. Right now I am sitting at 284. I can't believe how big I have gotten. But for me, it is a little more about the weight but about being in shape. Being able to play some basketball or run with the kids and not feel like you are going to die. Working with teenagers doesn't allow you the luxury of just sitting on your butt all day.

I am excited about this move and I think knowing that we are spending $76.00 a month for the Y will help to motivate us a little. But I am ready to get back to where I used to be. Maybe not at 180 but in shape and able to play a full game of basketball is my goal. The cool thing is, I love to swim and the Y has an indoor pool where I can swim laps. So much fun. Plus the kids love going there and hitting the pool and play area.

The only bad part is, I hate working at in a crowded gym. We went to the Y today and it was busy. I really didn't want to be there, but knew that I needed to get over it. I am going to try to get up early and go before I go to work.

I have always been amazed at people who have the time or drive to spend hours inside the gym. Or even with my teens, spend hours playing sports at all. Football, baseball, soccer, or swimming (among other extracurriclar sports), take up soo much of my students time. I know I will struggle with that here at Platte Woods. I have numerous kids who do outside activities. I know that it takes their time away from church and I would bet that it takes away their time with God.

Here is a question, what do you think would happen if our students today, spent as much time in Gods word, as they do at sports, on the phone or on the computer? What about us adults? I can imagine that world and the lives that would be changed. For me as a youth pastor, the question is, how do you make the gospel worthy of that much time to students? We all know how important God is, but students outside the church aren't that aware...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Summer Lunches

So I am doing this thing this summer where students come to the church on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we all head to lunch and other stuff... Today was my first day doing it and I think it went pretty well. I had 3 students show up and we went to Taco Bell and then got some ice cream.

I think this will work out really well. I set these up just to spend some time with the students and to learn more about them and build relationships with them before school started back in the fall. On Tuesdays I have my Jr. Highers meet me, and I know some of them can't get there because they don't drive and their parents work. I know most of my Sr. Highers drive, so I am hoping to have more of them on Thursdays.

Anyways, just thought I would share this with everyone.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up

I am taking the queue of a great Jr. High youth pastor Kurt Johnston from Saddleback. After every weekend he blogs about the previous weekend. I have always liked how he did it, so I am borrowing his format.

Attendance: Way Below Average (28 out of 90 active)
Lesson Topic: Beginnings - Joining the Story: Creation
'Fun Factor': Average
Volunteer Involvement: Below Average
Music: None
Lesson Quality: Average
Length of Lesson: 40 minutes
Student Response: Average

This was my first weekend leading Youth Group on Sunday Nights. I didn't have everything exactly as I wanted. Trash and Treasure took up most of my week so I didn't some stuff done. The service went ok. I had 3 adult leaders but know that more will come. The students like the table format and from those I talked to, they liked the direction we were going. As we began our discussion on Joining the Story, we focused on the Beginning / Creation. As we move forward as a ministry, we must know where we started in order to make sure we are heading in the right direction. Creation is the start of the Christian story and the beginning of humanity. Understanding Gods intentions for humankind can help us in our Christian walk.

You can view my sermon notes here. Click Here