Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Contagious Tonight

Contagious was good fun tonight.  The ping pong table was broken so they were playing ping pong in the lobby without a table, interesting.

Lots of hanging out up on the loft.  The kitchen queens were cranking out the cookies and chips tonight as well.  The young 'uns were quite hungry.

We tackled accountability tonight and next week we look at B.  Tune in next week for more on that.  Gave out three coke and candy gift packs to students who brought guests.  Another great crowd tonight.  Volunteers need a big pat on the back.  It's exciting, we are at the point that we are ready to let the church in on fantastic ministry opportunities in the youth ministry.  Some of our table groups have grown to the point they need to divide and that means some more adults can join the team and make an impact on a teen's life.  Our middle school girls table has more than quadrupled in size.  Go Marie!

Youth ministry isn't the Bible lesson (that's part of it but not all of it).  Youth ministry happens when an adult leader is hanging out with students, playing a game, laughing with them, standing around in the parking lot waiting for parents to pick them up.  It is the "be with factor".  If you are involved in youth ministry either on staff or a volunteer I encourage you to get there early and hang out late and get to know the students you are ministering to.  Hang out with them.

Lies about Youth Pastors

If you are in youth ministry you will either get a kick out of this post or relate to the post all too well.  Josh Griffin has some great stuff on his blog www.morethandodgeball.com

I'm blessed I'm not in that situation here at NHC!

Team Player

What does a team player look like?

  • Punctual – Team players know that timing affects the whole team and has an impact on the effort
  • Respectful – Team players know that others on the team are counting on the team player to be in their place and doing their part so the rest of the team isn’t waiting.
  • Attitude – “It’s not about me.”  The team player realizes that there is a bigger picture and that life is not about them.
  • Encourager – Team players encourage others on the team and build them up.
  • Humble – Team players put other’s needs ahead of their own needs.
  • Sacrifices – Team players will do whatever is necessary to see the team succeed.
  • Excel – Team players go beyond their “job” or “position” and do what needs to be done, even when it doesn’t fit their schedule or “opinion” of what they are supposed to be doing.
  • Recruit – Team players look for others who will fit on the team.
  • Banks – Team players bank on their strengths and look to improve their weaknesses.
  • Communicates – Team players realize the importance of communication to their task.
  • Values – Team players value the team’s expectations and values of the organization.

 This is the description of a team player that flowed out of my thoughts.  How does this apply to your job?  Your ministry?  Your family?

Any additions that you can think of to add to this description?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Published!

Well, not that I consider myself a writer or an expert in any field (other than dining), I have been published. 


Might I add that Simply Youth Ministry is  huge treasure closet for youth ministry and the great folks that invest their lives into students.  If you work with youth take some time and check out all Simply has to offer.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Contagious Lesson for this Wednesday night (updated)

This week we unpack Accountability on Wednesday night.

DEVELOPING HABITS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE 

Accountability=Caring, Deep Friendships

There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

 Deeper friendships = BETTER LIFE

Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one;

they get a better return for their labor. Ecclesiastes 4:9

 ACCOUNTABILITY ADDS UP…

Accountability adds INSIGHT to your decisions                                    Result: direction

Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others. Proverbs 12:15

 

Accountability adds TRUTH to your perception                                    Result: perspective

Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. Proverbs 27:6


Accountability adds HOPE when you’re hurting                                    Result: healing

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.

James 5:16

 

Accountability adds FAITH to your journey                                    Result: spiritual growth

As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17


Deeper friends=Better Life=Greater impact=People meet Jesus=Lives are changed

MOVING FROM FRIENDSHIP TO ACCOUNTABILITY
Meet FAITHFULLY
Speak TRUTHFULLY
Admit STRUGGLES
Encourage STRENGTHS
Challenge SPIRITUALLY
 One last thought: Developing this habit will change your FRIENDSHIPS & your LIFE.

 Parent/Teen Discussion:

Mom and Dad, are you in an accountability relationship?  Why or Why not?

If yes, share with your teen the benefits of being in an accountability relationship.  If no, share why you haven't been but are going to establish one now.

Ask:  How do you think an accountability relationship could help you grow in your faith?

Ask:  Who do you think you will be entering an accountability relationship with?

Spend a few minutes in prayer with your teen for them as they enter into an accountability relationship or as they search out a friend to hold them accountable.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

C.R.E.S.T.


Just got home from CREST at NHC.  I love CREST because that is where the pulse of the body is found.  This is one of my favorite gatherings we do.  It's great to hear the different ministry teams share what is happening with their team.  Probably my favorite is the strategy time where we hear what is coming in the future of the church.  

Tonight Rick shared some of the changes that are on the horizon at NHC.  The great thing about being part of a church that is alive, healthy, growing, organic is that as the church grows there has to be change.  The great thing about growth is the growing pains.  God has a lot of guests checking us out, some are considering becoming partners of NHC.  We are quickly closing in on being 3 times the church we were when I moved here several years ago.  That means a different approach on doing ministry.

I'm enjoying the ride on the crest of the wave.  If you are a partner of NHC are you riding the crest?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Standing on the Front Line


Last Sunday I got to bring the message at church.  Getting to speak is one of my favorite things to do.  As a matter of fact I thought to myself, while I sat in the dental chair on Thursday for two hours, that is probably the least my jaws had moved in a long time (while awake).
I really enjoy speaking on topics that I am passionate about.  Last Sunday was such an occasion.  I continued the series that Rick has been doing on the spiritual armor.  The message was for dads, we need to be the ones that step up to the plate and be the spiritual leader in our homes. Suit up in the armor and stand on the front line to protect our families.  The entire series can be listened to or downloaded on our podcast page.

Here is the simple outline:

Standing on the Front Line

Ephesians 6:13

 Don’t fall asleep on your watch. 

I Peter 5:8

  Don’t Lose Control

  Ephesians 5:22-25 

Genesis 3:9

 Define to our family where we stand

Joshua 24:15

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Proverbs 22:6

 Don’t  try to stand on your own

Ephesians 6:10

Ephesians 6:11

Colossians 3:12


Family Devotion Suggestion

If you are wondering what family devotions to use and where to find them I would suggest you utilize the WWW at your fingertips.  The wide variety of families and ages would make it hard to suggest certain books or devotionals.
Find devos that are age appropriate and make it fun.

Poll Results and Response

Response to the Poll

We start off the day with prayer and Bible reading – 11%
Way to go! What better way to leave the house heading for a day at school than knowing you have been prayed for? Start the day off with God and the day seems to go much smoother.

We are busy to fit it into our schedule – 7%
If a Christian family is too busy than something has to go in the schedule. This small investment of daily time will have huge returns in the long run. Everyone go to be 15 minutes earlier and wake up 15 minutes earlier. In our culture we have so over-packed our schedules and families have become so busy. Little Susie has to be in dance, volleyball and girl scouts all at the same time. Children are so over involved in extra curricular activities and the result is more stress in the home and on the child. Let the child narrow down their choice to one activity outside of school and church and stick with it, this teaches them the art of prioritizing. When I look at my calendar it clearly tells me where, what, and who, my priorities are.

I don’t think my kids would want to – 6%
Does a parent let their child stay home from school if the child doesn’t want to go? Since when are the children supposed to call the shots? You may be surprised that they do want to. “I don’t think”, have you asked them? Maybe they would love to have their mom and dad sit down and pray with them before heading off to school. Perhaps they would like a family devotion time together. I double dog dare you to take the 6-week challenge. Spend 6 weeks of prayer with your child in the morning and then a family devotion time in the evening a few nights a week. At first they may not be enthused but they will get the hang of it, just make sure you find a devotional that is age appropriate and interesting and involves them.

Not sure where to start – 29%
This is encouraging to me. There is no sense of having given up but just not sure what to do. I think this is more than likely the boat that most parents are in. They want to but are not sure what to do. My theory is that some parents don’t know where to start because no one did this for them when they were children. More is caught than taught. If you find you don’t know where to start here are a few tips:
>Set a time with your family
>Start with prayer
>Read a chapter from Proverbs or get a devotional book or a Bible that is easy to read.
>Let the kids share their prayer request and you share yours.
>Have a time of prayer
>Most importantly let the kids be involved by letting them read or take the lead or write down the prayer requests in a family prayer journal.
>Just do it! Start today.
>Heart Connex family devotional

We follow supper with prayer and a devo – 26%
Family supper is important and in many families it is disappearing. Way to go! Keep it up. Perhaps you have some tips you could share in the comments to help the parents that aren’t sure where to start.

Other – 21%
There were several different devotion options shared. Some aren’t daily but do so a few times a week, which is great.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Whole New World


I broke out in song in my heart this afternoon, "A whole new world...."

After picking strawberries at the patch with my family we stopped at Rita's on the way back home.  Today I experienced something that made my taste buds dance with joy and celebration, it was as if a thousand flavor angels were dancing on my tongue.

A gelati!  Fat free frozen yogurt with Mango Italian ice then topped with more fat free frozen vanilla yogurt.  It was the bomb diggity!  If flavor was a school bus I was the bus driver taking the family onto funky flavor town.

Family Devo Poll (bump)

What is Your Plan? Part 3

In Part 2 we took a look at doing youth ministry events on purpose.

If we just “wing it” and plan on a whim we end up doing youth ministry without considering how the activity will impact student’s lives and their parent’s wallets.  How much planning will really go into pulling off the event successfully if we fail to plan properly we could actually do more damage than good.  I'm sure I'm not the only one that had an event or activity that was a total flop.

 Some ideas when planning an events calendar:

>Decide what purposes you want to accomplish in your events for the year.

>Gather your church’s calendar dates for events that are already on the calendar to avoid conflicting dates.

>Gather your school’s calendars, if possible, to avoid conflicting dates.

>Decide what annual event’s you will participate in (camps, mission trips, youth conferences) 

>Try, when possible, to spread out events and activities that have a higher registration fees, try to not hit the pocket book all at once.

 Sitting down and spending some time in planning and thinking about the year’s events can really take a stress or burden off of you as a youth leader.  I know what direction you are heading as a youth ministry.  I know what I need to be thinking about and planning for upcoming events, it helps to know in February what my October event is and the planning steps that need to happen between now and then.  It makes life easier in recruiting volunteers to help with an event.

 How do you accomplish all of this if you are a volunteer youth leader or a group of volunteers?  We will tackle that in Part 4.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Day that Would Have Been


Sometimes we think we know what is supposed to happen.  
Sometimes we think we know how an event will unfold.
Sometimes we look at the calendar and say, "There is the day".
Sometimes we want life to be all neat and clean and predictable.

Sometimes we need to realize God is sovereign, God is in control of all things.

Contagious Last Night

Last night at Contagious was a whole bunch of good times.  Nacho night!  Need I say more.  Cool thing is that of the students that are youth group "members" only 4 were absent.  We had 96% of our youth group there last night and then on top of that we had several guests which brought us to the percentage of 103%.  

Now I'm not about numbers and numbers don't equal health or success.  BUT healthy groups grow, each number represents a life in need of a relationship with Jesus or a life that is a follower of Christ looking to grow spiritually, or a kid required to be there by his parents ;).

I'm excited because last night we went over a pivotal attendance mark.  There are some numbers that seem to haunt you until you can get over that hump.  I remember at NHC when we were watching our church grow and just waiting to bump over 100 members.  

I'm more excited because last night and the next 5 weeks I get to teach on my favorite topic, HABITS.  The disciplines we need to do to be spiritually healthy and growing and self-feeding on God's Word.  Last night was H for hang time with God.  A bunch of students took the 6 week challenge in putting these HABITS into practice. 

Next Week - Accountability

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What is Your Plan? Part 2

In part one we looked briefly at event/activity driven youth ministry.
Our approach at NHC youth is a bit different.  Since we are a purpose driven youth ministry we focus on 5 areas of balance in our purpose (fellowship, discipleship, mission, ministry, worship).  To do an activity without a purpose is simply filling time with an event and activity with no real idea or hope of what to accomplish in the lives of the students. 

Example: We had a Laser Tag all night event.  Was the purpose to play as many games of laser tag as possible?  No.  Two purposes were accomplished in this event.  First was fellowship – students built relationships with each other as they competed in teams throughout the night.  Second purpose was mission – we had a devotion time that was focused on reaching their friends with the love of Jesus Christ, using laser tag as an illustration.  A third benefit is students got to build relationships with their adult leaders as they traveled to and from the event and spent an entire night playing games together, investing in student’s lives is primo.

Keeping this in mind here are some things I consider as I look at planning out our events and activities: 

>What is the purpose?

>What do we hope to accomplish?

>How will the event add to our weekly youth ministry?

>How will this event impact the overall vision of the ministry?

What other considerations are there in planning?  We will answer these questions in “What’s Your Plan?” Part 3

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Perception Vs. Reality

More and more over the past few years, as I get older and wiser (I got some gray), I'm realizing that we often in our humanness or even in our emotionally out of control state we get reality confused by perception.


Here is an example from my life today:


Perception - a hardy delicious meal


Reality - a small delicious mouthful of food that amounts to nothing and does nothing to curb my hunger


Now on to dessert!

Interesting and Alarming Statistics

The following is from Leadership magazine and that stats are from Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life:

Most People in the US identify themselves as Christians -78%.  Only 1.7% are Jewish and less than 1% were Muslim or Buddhist.  Overall 84% of American adults claim some kind of religious affiliation.

Protestants are still a majority (51%), but not for long, according to Pew and CBS.

The real news in the survey is that more than one-fourth of adults have left the faith of their childhood for another religion.  When swapping one brand of Protestant for another, the number rises to 44%.

Catholics have lost the most in the religion swaps - 10% of Americans are ex-Catholics.  But the declines  in Catholic church membership have been offset by Hispanic immigrants.  Nearly half of all US Catholics under 30 are Hispanic.

The largest segment claiming no religious affiliation is young adults -- 1 on 4 of those ages 18-29 identify with no religious institution.

The  last statement is what concerns me most.  What are our churches doing to run off these young people or burn them out on church?  What are our churches doing to reach this age group?


Monday, April 21, 2008

What is Your Plan?

Part 1

I get invitations often for our youth group to join another youth group or groups for a combined youth event.  I’m sure some of the events or activities are good, I’m also sure that some are not.  The reason why I say I’m sure that some are not good events is because they are thrown together at the last minute, promoted at the last minute, and there appears on the surface to be a lack of organization.  With those red flags waving in my face it is hard for me to agree to take our students to a poorly planned event.

Now here on the Outer Banks there is a “last minute” mentality.  Let’s wait till the last minute to plan, last minute to register, last minute to show up or even be at least a half hour late.  I guess this is the nature of our beach culture.

I posted last week about doing youth ministry skillfully.  Is it skillful youth ministry to plan events and activities last minute or even “on a whim”?

A few problems with this approach to youth ministry:

>Lack of organization

>Reflects a lack of professionalism

>Not enough time to promote and publicize

>Not considerate of people’s lives and already full calendars

>Usually the event ends up being lame or not affective

>Event’s purpose isn’t clear or lacks purpose

>Won’t have as much participation as a well thought-out and planned event.

Some approach youth ministry as event driven or activity driven,  “If we do more events and activities we will reach more students.”   I believe this is shallow youth ministry.  Students don’t need an activity director, as a matter of fact most students are busy enough already and they don’t need just another activity to fill their calendar.  You reach more with quality than quantity.

NHC Youth’s calendar of events is planned out, at this point, through February of 2009.  More on how we plan events in “What’s Your Plan?” Part 2

Monday is Weigh Day

Week 2 complete!
Down 14 pounds from 224.  
210 lbs
Goal for next Monday - 208

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Long but Great Day

Our worship gatherings were fantastic this morning.  There was quite a bit of energy going into singing this morning.  I enjoy hearing people worship God with all they’ve got.  I’m sure God enjoys it a whole lot more.

It was great to have my little nephew Nate back at church today.  I miss him and Tricia and Gwyneth and can’t wait till they are home in a couple of months.  That is going to be mucho good.  The best.

Interesting that the message this morning was geared to men standing on the front line I noticed a few falling asleep in church.  Point 1 – Don’t fall asleep on watch!  If only you could see what we see from the front.  At times it can be interesting and for an ADD boy it can be difficult not to point it out.   (More on the message tomorrow) 

This afternoon we had around 130 parents in the auditorium for the Understanding Your Teenage seminar.  Duffy Robbins brought us a lot of good info and tips to use as we raise our teens.  He had a great delivery and kept us all laughing.  Super helpful stuff!  I really like Duffy’s points about parents involving their teens in youth group.   For the parents, of the OBX region, that chose not to attend, you missed out BIG time.  The best $10 investment a parent of a teen could make in their child’s life. 

The beach mentality showed itself today at the seminar.  After advertising a cut off date for registration and then extending the registration to the 15th we still had parents walk in today that weren’t registered.  Lucky for them we ordered extra books.  Plus we had 15 registered that were “no shows” which freed up some books.  A Big thanks to my buds and buddettes in the Outer Banks Youth Ministry Network for helping put together a great seminar opportunity for parents of teens.  The snacks were fantastic during the break!

Today was a long day but a great day!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why Don't We?

Does your family spend time praying together (other than times of crisis) and read the Bible together?
If not, I ask that you ask yourself, "Why don't we?"
I'm sure there are many excuses.  I'm also sure that there are many questions about how to go about it and what resources to use.
Let me give you a couple of links to devotions to do with your teen:

I know with family schedules, we tend to spread ourselves to thin by getting involved in too many activities, it is hard to find a time to have a devo time with our teens.  Here are some suggestions:
>Wake everyone up 15 minutes earlier and read a chapter from Proverbs together as you eat breakfast together.  "Breakfast together?  What's that?"
>Pray with them in the car on the way to school/games/etc.
>Plan to eat at least 3 family suppers together with the understanding that after the meal there will be a time to share prayer requests and do a devo together.
>Make it interactive.  They already think you lecture them enough. :)  
>Keep a family prayer journal
>Make a family date with God and stick to it.  
>Start today.  It takes about 30 days to make something a habit.
>If you are just getting started doing a family devo time make sure to explain the "why" to your teen.  
>Talk about Sunday's sermon at Sunday lunch.  Look for a few scriptures you can read during the week to build on the message's point.

There are a few suggestions to help you get going.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mini Golf

Today I played mini golf with two 3 year olds.  You know, it was a lot like playing mini golf with 7th graders.

The cool thing is they had no clue about the rules of the game or even what they were really doing.  They may have been creating new mini golf rules and I didn't even realize it.  They just had fun.  You know, that sounds a lot like what I do.

Ain't youth ministry fun!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Growth Numerically

At The Call in February there were a few items brought up at our youth leader round table discussion that we never got around to.  I said I would blog about them.  Now I’m finally getting around to it.  (Only 2 months later)

The question came up, “How do we grow in numbers?”  (Great question and one that can’t be totally answered in this blog) There are too many variables to consider to be able to say “here is how you grow in numbers.”   If you live in a small town 15 may be a huge youth group.  If you live in a major city 500 may be small.   People have written books on the subject.

When I’m asked how many students we have in our youth ministry (it’s a bit irritating) I respond with “not enough”.  There is always one more student that needs to know Jesus Christ.

Here are a few of my thoughts:

>numbers doesn’t necessarily equal “health”

>a healthy ministry will grow

>numbers aren’t an accurate way to judge success

>make sure the youth gathering is fun and not lame

>make sure your teaching is relevant to where they are today

>don’t sugar coat things, give them the truth

>staff your volunteers ahead of the growth

>ask your self “Why?” often.  Why are we doing this event?

>don’t fill a calendar just to have activities.  Students need more than an activity director.

>love the students and build a relationship with them.

>show an interest in their lives

>show students how important it is for them to reach their peers

>don't play the comparison game, you'll lose every time

>clowns are scary and should never be used at a youth gathering

Next week:  Growth Spiritually

Down a jean size


That's right!  I got to dig down to the next layer of jeans in my closet and grab a smaller size. 
So I thought I would strike a pose to celebrate.  Please don't sell this picture on e-bay.

Coming Soon at Contagious

Starting next week at Contagious we will do a 6 week series on the HABITS we need as followers of Christ.  We do this series at least every year to year-and-a-half.  It is a good reminder and sometimes a booster shot to get us back on track.

H - hang time with God.  Personal daily devotions are important
A- accountability.  
B - Bible study.
I - involvement in church
T - tithing.  Giving back to God
S - Scripture Memory

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Idol


David Archuletta – Nailed it.  His voice is naturally pure.  I agree with Randy whatever he sings is going to be good because he can sing anything. 

Carly – It was OK but not great.  Sort of screamy.

Syesha – Great voice.  She did a good job with that song.  Best female vocal of the night.

Brooke – Nice personal touch on the song, but it was just OK. 

Kristy – it was alright.  Seemed a bit beauty pageant like to me.

David Cook – Great job rockin it.  Never heard the song before so I couldn’t compare to how Mariah did it.  David’s version was kickin.  Good thing he took a risk.

Jason –Could the dude sound any cooler.  Of course if there are congas in the song how could he go wrong?  Very relaxing sound.

My order from worst to best tonight:

6.  Kristy – could be going home

5. Carly – If Kristy isn’t going home then Carly is going

4. Brooke

3. Jason

3. Syesha

2. David A.

1. David C.

They had to do songs of Mariah Carey.  Tough for the girls to pull of since they would be compared to Mariah, the guys had a better chance.  Not easy to do the songs of a super star like that but in my opinion (and I used to play drums with Mariah) I would say they did a good job.

"You played drums with Mariah?"

Yes, I would pop the tape in the Walkman and play right along with Mariah. ;)

Interesting Statistic

Currently divorce with children involved and single parenting is costing us $112 billion per year as a nation.
So divorce injures the children involved emotionally, the husband and wife are damaged, and those of us that aren't even involved are paying a price as well both financially and as a society.

God created Adam and gave him Eve.  He didn't give Adam any backups in case Eve didn't work out.

The sad thing is that the divorce rate among Christians is just as high (50%) as among those that don't know Christ.  (Some stats actually put the Christian divorce rate higher)
This means that half of Christians sitting in your church on Sunday are either divorced, going through divorce, or heading towards a divorce.  
The church can no longer sit back and let marriage get destroyed.  
Has your church leadership ever intervened in a potential divorce among members in your church?  (this is a rhetorical question)  If not, why not?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Welcome to my blog party!

We just hit 100,000 hits!  Let the blog party begin.

I brought chili bean and beef nachos on baked tortilla chips with light sour cream.
What are you bringing to the party?

You never know who might stop by the party!

Great Newspaper Article

Here is a great article about Tricia and Nate and baby Rose.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Blog Party

Watch tomorrow for the start of the 100,000 hits blog party!

4 Things I noticed this morning

>Simpleize is a word and I plan on using it as often as possible.
>The second service has lots of pep and energy,  I guess it's cause they sleep in late.
>The view from the back of the auditorium is much different from the view up on the platform.
>No one should sit alone in the worship gathering.  Look for the one sitting alone and invite them to sit with you or move next to them.  Make a new friend!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fellowship on wheels!

Tonight I was getting dropped off at my house and Matt and I came upon these guys cruising my neighborhood on a "Go Picnic Table Cart".  Unbelievable!  It has a motor, brakes, headlight, brake lights and is completed by a set of bull horns mounted on the front.  
One of the guys said, "It's boring sitting around the yard at the picnic table so why not take the table around the neighborhood?"  I said, "Why not?"

Enjoy!

The old youth pastor ain't what he used to be

Just spent the day working on the house.  I pressure washed the house, that took 6 hours.  I then mowed the front yard and weedeated it also.

Back in the day when I had a pressure washing business and worked at a dairy farm physical labor was a daily event in my life.  I would get up at 4:30 and milk the cows and feed them and all the calves, move hay bails and then go and pressure wash in the oil field.

The youth pastor is pretty much a sedimentary lifestyle, lots of sitting.  Let's just say it is 5:30PM and I'm already sleepy and ready for bed.  I'm old, out of shape, weak, but 11 lbs. lighter than I was last week!

I need a foot massage quick!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Prom Night


Just read the review for the movie, Prom Night.  Excellent site to use to be a media savvy parent.

A Day Well Invested and Spent

Today was a great day!

It's rare I get to spend a totally uninterrupted day with my son.  Usually something pulls me way at some point, even on my days off.  Today I got my quiet time done and my Internet junk done early this morning.  The rest of the day it was just me and my boy.  We watched some Thomas videos (by the way he's 3 so Thomas is the best!) and played with trains.  

We then loaded the dog up and ran some errands while some people looked at our home (it's for sale).  We ran to Wal-Mart, we were on a mission to get cleaning supplies.  He helped me find some of the things we needed.

From there it was Home Depot.  No need to say anything else.  A father and son in a huge store full of tools and cool grills and riding mowers.  Does it get any better?

Next it was Food Lion.  We needed some groceries.  We like to eat so this was a fun trip.

Then after getting home we spent the afternoon in the backyard.  We ended up in the hammock talking.  He wanted me to tell him a story.  I told him the story of how we were at the hospital when he was born and when we brought him home, fed him from a bottle and how he cried and liked to be rocked in the rocking chair and we had to change lots of diapers.  When I finished the story he said, "tell me another story."  I asked him what story he wanted to hear, and he wanted to hear the baby story again.  So we repeated the story 3 or 4 times.  It was some excellent hammock time.

It's fun when I get to devote an entire day to my son.   He was flat wore out and ready for bed, so am I.

We are going!

I'm sure I'm the perfect husband:
>I sit in a recliner
>I use a remote control
>I make strange noises and such
>I know how to ask for a glass of iced tea
>I can point out the dust or spots that need cleaning
>I know how to belch to express that the dinner was fantastic
>I'm sure there are other qualities I'm having a hard time thinking of them

BUT I'm going to attend the Making Marriage Seminar because although I'm perfect there may be room for improvement.

Strangers in My House (Bump)

Ever have someone, a total stranger, come into your house when you aren't home and look in your closets, and drawers and behind furniture?

That happens to us.  

Only they don't break in they come in with their real estate agent.

Our home is on the market and we would really like to sell it.  This morning someone is coming to take a look at our house.  It would be soooo sweet if they made an offer.  

We got our eye on a serious fixer upper.  This would give us more room and employ several of the construction dudes in our church.  (and increase our offerings at church because I'm sure these brothers of mine would tithe ;) )

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Contagious!

Last Night At Contagious:

>it was cold and nasty out
>so we serve hot chocolate
>Pam brought us a chocolate ice cream cake
>cake consumed in a matter of minutes along with cheetos, popcorn, candy.  All good health foods.
>Lots of just hanging out and Ping Pong during Hang Time
>Excellent game of clumps.  The bigger we get the trickier it gets.
>Wrapped up Core Truth #5 - Resurrection:
Exhibit A: The Empty Tomb
Alternative Theories to the Resurrection and the flaws of those theories
Why Resurrection Matters
>Arts and Crafts time - family groups drew up the front page of the newspaper on the morning of the resurrection.
>The creative juices were flowing
>Wrapped up the night with a Power Play game
>Went home and watched Idol Gives Back

Tune in next week: Core Truth #6 - Return


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What's it worth?

Infant Car Seat - $149.88

Baby Stroller - $169.66

Baby Swing - $119.96

Diaper Champ - $26.96

Newborn  shirt and shorts - $6.96

Skills


Psalm 33:3

 

1.Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

2. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.

3. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.

4. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

 

I think verse 3 gives us a principle that applies to youth ministry, “play skillfully”. What does that mean to us in youth ministry?

 

I think there is a common pitfall for us to fall into as youth leaders.  It is so easy to get in a groove or a rut (however you want to look at it).  We get a pattern down or things are working, maybe it isn’t excellent but it at least gets us by.

 

Students are sharp enough to catch on when we aren’t approaching what we do with skill.  We have probably all sat in a Sunday school class or Bible study where the leader or teacher shows up and opens up their quarterly or leader guide and basically reads it word for word.  It soon becomes obvious that the leader isn’t prepared.  In my mind - If a leader won’t invest their time to prepare then is the message or event important enough to listen to or participate in?

 

We need to make sure that in what we don in ministry we are striving to do it skillfully.

 

Some steps to become more skillful:

1.    Spend time in preparation don’t just wing it.

2.    Look at your calendar – Your calendar says what is most important in what you do in ministry.

3.    Observe others – It is very important that we inspect other youth ministries that are successful and doing well, don’t compare but evaluate what is being doing to be successful and see how it will work in the context of your ministry. 

4.    Learn  - Learn from God by spending time with him.  Learn from reading some good practical books on youth ministry and leadership.  Learn from other youth ministries.

 

1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Sgt. Andy's Boot Camp


This summer I'm planning on inviting some of our older high school guys to participate in a Bible study with me.  A 6 week study on Respect, Responsibility and Righteousness.  They will be required to do a daily quiet time during the 6 week period and to fast from something they really like.    I'll see if they got the stuffs to take on the boot camp.

Monday is Weigh Day

Well I have finished my first week of Weight Watchers.  
I got to eat most everything I wanted to eat.  It fits me much better than the no carb or no fat diets.  If I want a biscuit on this diet I just have to decide if how many daily points I'm willing to give up for that on biscuit.  My cholesterol is probably going down because I actually went a week without eating any french fries, potato chips, pancakes smeared with butter.  (I'm getting hungry) I also ate steel cut oatmeal just about every morning.  

I started off at 224 lbs. last Monday.  Today I weighed in at 214 lbs.  Ten pounds of Andy - gone!

How much will Andy weigh next Monday?  Tune in to find out!  I hope to be around 207 lbs. next Monday.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Anonymous lives


anonymous |əˈnänəməs|

adjective

(of a person) not identified by name; of unknown name : the anonymous author of Beowulf | the donor's wish to remain anonymous | an anonymous phone call.

• having no outstanding, individual, or unusual features; unremarkable or impersonal : the anonymous black car waiting to take him to the airport | a faceless, anonymous group.

• [ postpositive ] used in names of support groups for addicts of a substance or behavior to indicate the confidentiality maintained among members of the group : Alcoholics Anonymous | Debtors Anonymous.

I especially like the second definition.  “Having no outstanding, individual, or unusual features; unremarkable or impersonal.”

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to live my life anonymously.  Maybe that’s why my hair stands straight up on top.

I don’t want to be anonymous I want to be known.  God created us to be known not live life alone. 

I don’t want to be anonymous in how I live my life.  I want others to see that I am living a life for Christ.

I don’t want to be an anonymous author of anything.  Ever wonder when you read a poem or song lyrics just  who “anonymous” might be?

I don’t want to be anonymous in my opinions.  What good is an opinion if it is shared anonymously? 

I don’t want to be anonymous in views or convictions.  People don’t take anonymous views or convictions seriously.   

I wonder what would have happened if our founding father’s had signed The Declaration of Independence with a bunch of “anonymous” signatures.  Of course how would a person have an “anonymous” signature?  The founding fathers signed their names to a document that they knew would label them as traitors with the motherland, but they signed it because they believed in  the statement they were making.   They were willing to own up in what they believed in.

So, I challenge you to not live life or do anything anonymously and if you really have guts, spike your hair.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What Amazes Me

I'm amazed at the thousands of people, the majority of which are total strangers, that have been praying for Tricia, Gwyneth and Nate.  I'm amazed how God has used Nate's blog to encourage others.  I'm amazed at the support and encouragement that these thousands are giving to Tricia and Nate.  I'm amazed that through Nate's blog God has used this event to bring others to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and to draw believers that have strayed from God back to Him.  I'm amazed that Nate's blog has caused so many to take a deep look at their own faith.

Leading in my home

Some good stuff I picked up at a men's conference this weekend from Johnny Evans:

As the husband and father in my home I have a few responsibilities in my life.

I.  I am the master of my home (don't get carried away on this, basically this means I'm the leader and the buck stops here)
A.  Identity - I'm responsible to for the identity of our home.  Our identity is a Christian    home.
B.  Security - I'm responsible for the security of my wife and son.
C.  Maturity - I'm responsible to help my son grow spiritually and to mature.

II.  Model of my home  (More is caught than taught)  I must model:
A.  Prayer
B.  Bible Study
C.  Church Life, involvement in a local church
D.  Service.  Parents should involve their children in ministry with them. 
E.  Mission (This is my addition) Parents should involve their children in mission with     them.   (Operation Inasmuch is coming up soon here at NHC)

III.  Motivate my home
A.  Exhort them - I Timothy 1:6 - "fan the flame
B.  Encourager -be a come along-sider
C.  Evangelize - It is my responsibility to share Jesus Christ with my son and teach Him the Bible.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Miracles?

We sometimes get so used to everyday life and get so busy we often miss the miracles around us.
Tricia's life is a miracle.  Gwyneth is a miracle.  Nathan marrying a pretty wife is a miracle.  Life is packed full of miracles.  Open your eyeballs and see if you can spot some miracles happening around you.  

The biggest miracle in my life is that an eternal, all powerful God, the One that created the universe, loved me, a sinner (I know that is shocking but I am a sinner, I fall short of the mark), and sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for me.  

The second miracle in my life is the fact that God saw fit to give me my beautiful bride.  Seriously look at me and then look at my wife and you will see that God is a God of miracles.

The third miracle is that God gave me a son, and he's the best.


Great Strides CF Walk

I'm on Team Patty Sue for the Dare County Great Strides walk.  We are raising money to help find a cure for CF.   I won't beat around the bush since this isn't a multi level marketing scheme .  "Want to help me meet my fundraising goal?"

Life's Journey

As we wait this morning for new on Tricia here is a thought from a devotional I read this morning:

We learn reliance, we learn dependence, and we learn to trust God in ways that would not be possible if every plan went smoothly and perfectly.  God works on our character during the journey.  He builds us up, teaches and molds us, as we trust in Him.  Sometimes, the lessons feel painful and long.  In the midst of these detours, I often pray that things would be easier.  When I look back, I would never trade for anything the lessons I have learned and the things I have been taught.
www.homeword.com is a great site for family/parenting resources you can sign up to have a daily devotion sent to your e-mail address.

Now back to the waiting.  Might I add we learn patience to the devotion above?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sleepless in KDH

Last time Tricia was in surgery we happened to be at the hospital.  It was much easier to wait in the Lawrenson/Kirschner Hole than here in my living room.

So here we sit and wait.  Hopefully catch  few winks.

I can't wait to see Tricia breathing on her own and getting full breaths.  It is going to be amazing!

God is sovereign in all things.

If you haven't registered to be an organ donor I double dog dare you to do it right now.

Contagious Tonight

Tonight Contagious was great!

>Hang Time was fun, lots of ping pong, snackin and chillin, Apples to Apples
>Great bunch of students, looking forward to continued growth.
>Started off with a Student Life Camp video, Student Life is the best. (few more kids signed up for camp)
>A great Power Play game called Randomaniacs, congrats to Ann's table for winning.
>We introduced to new youth group "members" with a thumpin, hip hop, magnet presentation.
>Each table group spent time praying for Tricia and it looked like most of the students prayed, it was cool to see them all praying for her.
>We unpacked the first half of our lesson on Core Truth #5: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

My Mission Trip Experience

I just returned last week from the island of Eleuthera.  On the island there is a Christian sports camp, Camp Bahamas.  Camp Bahamas is re...