Saturday, May 31, 2008

thoughts from the mind of an ADD youth pastor

Why if we pronounce knee as "nee" is there a k before the nee?  Why is a Knight of the round table a knight instead of a night if both are pronounced the same way?  Why slap a K on the beginning of a word if you aren't going to use it verbally or audibly?  

I don't grasp the english language well, you have noticed this if you read my blog on a regular basis, so these are the questions that roll through my mind.  Who decided that nee needed a k at the front end?  In that case how come the word I just used, "needed", isn't spelled kneeded?

I think it is time we re-evaluate the english language.  Which also leads me to think we need to re-evaluate our whole system of voting in a president in the US.  See, I told you I'm ADD.

Stimulation Check

Here is the deal.  I got my letter this week from Uncle Sam informing me that my stimulus check will be arriving soon.  I think I would have enjoyed it more if the check just showed up in the mail without an information letter informing me it is on the way.  The surprise would have been great!  I also would have liked if my check had the extra .42 cents that Uncle Sam spent to send me that letter.  Think about that.  How much was spent in tax payers hard earned money to send us money back?

So it is a stimulus check.  I'm assuming, because I'm not an economist I'm a youth pastor, the purpose of the check is to get us all to spend our money to stimulate the economy.  With gasoline prices as they are I think I know where our check is going.  So basically we won't be participating in stimulating the economy.  Plus what we don't spend is going into the savings account for various reasons.

If Uncle Sam wants to stimulate me to spend he is going to have to send me at least $10,000.00, but I would also settle for a cool million.

So spend your check wisely.



Thursday, May 29, 2008

No More Contagious . . .

on Wednesday nights.

Last night we had our last Wednesday night youth group gathering, at least for a while, we are going to experiment with youth group on Sunday night.  Why?
1.  Lots of scheduling conflicts that interrupted our momentum.
2.  To relieve already stressful week with parents having to rush home from work, feed the kids, run the teen to the church, all within an hour's time.
So now we move onto Sunday nights.  It's always fun to try something new and at NHC change is a part of our normal routine.

Last night we had a bunch of students here building relationships with each other.  We were pretty much stuck indoors because the weather was quite nasty.  We downed 45 hot dogs (I hear one guy ate 6, I'm sure he had to get sick, we will have to impose a limit when we get tot he beach on amount of hot dogs consumed by one individual), and a few gallons of ice cream.  All the baptists out there said, "hey, that's fellowship!"

We wrapped up our six week series on HABITS with Studying Scripture.
Here's the outline:

DEVELOPING HABITS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Part 6: Studying Scripture

******************

Opposing views of the Bible

 

World’s view:

 

Christian view:

  • a book about a bunch of dead guys and irrelevant information that has nothing to do with life in the 21st century
  • it’s a history book
  • it’s a book of rules

 

  • it’s the history of God’s power and his route for salvation, peace, & happiness
  • it’s God’s love letter
  • it’s a road map for living life to its fullest

Why study the Bible?

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life. Psalm 19:7-8

1. To understand God’s CHARACTER

[Jesus speaking] The Father and I are one." I and the Father are one . . . If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. John 10:30

2. To know God’s WAYS

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

3. To hear God’s VOICE

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

4. To deepen your FAITH

And we are confident in the Lord that you are practicing the things we commanded you, and that you always will. May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and the endurance that comes from Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:4-5

5. To change your LIFE

For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. Hebrews 4:12

How studying the Bible can change your life

But if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law—the law that sets you free—and if youdo what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:25

…looking steadily  STUDY  +  do what it says OBEY  =  God will bless you  REWARD

But those who obey God's word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him. 1 John 2:5

 One Last Thought: Mark Twain said, “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.” When you develop habits that will change your life, you’ll have the discipline and power to make God’s Word VISIBLE in your life…and you’ll never be the same again.

Thanks to Doug Fields and the good folks at Simply Youth Ministry. 

I've been using Simply as a resource for years, always good stuff there to be found and used.

Parents:  Look for some good Bible study resources for your teen.  We gave out, to students that wanted, a study on I John last night.  We have also made available to our youth the One Minute Bible (which we will use to tie into our devos on the beach this summer) and launching June 1st,studentdevo.com a few of my youth pastor friends and I have been working on a daily devotional blog site.  We have provided all the materials to go along with the HABITS for our students keeping in mind that you can take a horse to water but you can't make them drink.  Developing HABITS is something that students have to do on their own.  Watching their parents and other adults model these HABITS helps them, more is caught than taught.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Little Philosphizing

Aristotle said,
“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

Do we strive for excellence in ministry?  Repeatedly?  Is excellence habitual?

How would the ministries I'm involved (areas of service in the local body of believers) change if excellence were a habit of mine?

What about you?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Team Purpose


 

Right now I’m taking a class about building an effective ministry team.  The following are some good thoughts from today’s lecture:

 “A long-time seminary president was asked what he considered the greatest challenge in team-building for churches and church ministry teams. His response - most teams are ineffective because they lack a common purpose.

 Too many team leaders are complacent about a foggy, uninspiring, ill-defined purpose. They wrongly assume that because the purpose is clear and important to them, it must appear that way to their team members as well.

 ‘Alignment is the link between the individual team member's goals and the team purpose. Individual team members agree that the task of the team is important. It is important because it lines up with their individual goals and interests. They want the team to succeed because if it succeeds, they succeed. When a team is in alignment every member is highly committed to the team purpose. They are in the same boat, heading in the same direction, pulling together.’

Pat MacMillan’s The Performance Factor: Unlocking the Secrets of Teamwork”

 

What is your ministry team’s purpose?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Contagious Tonight

Youth group was great tonight.  Two of our table groups multiplied tonight.  We had to set up two more tables.  It is great that we have such a great team of adults investing into the lives of the students.  We are growing so it will be cool to see how God grows the team.

I'll just go ahead and apologize to the parents for the sugar rush your kid may have had tonight when you picked him/her up.  We move to the beach next week so we cleaned out the snack shack cabinet.  Everyone got candy bars tonight.

DEVELOPING HABITS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Part 5: Money, Tithing, God & me

The truth about money 

The world’s way says …

God’s way says…

Money is important

Loving God is most important

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Luke 16:13 

Money gives me power

Loving money makes me powerless

For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. 1 Tim. 6:10a

Money gives me happiness

Loving money leads to pain

For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:10b

Money gives me security

Loving money makes me insecure

Don't weary yourself trying to get rich. Why waste your time? For riches can disappear as though they had the wings of a bird! Proverbs 23:4-5


The truth about giving

1. Giving proves that I recognize God as the rightful owner

When you have eaten your fill, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Deuteronomy 8:10

2. Giving proves that I put God First in my life

"Well, then," Jesus said, "give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God." This reply completely amazed them. Mark 12:17

and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. Matthew 6:33

3. Giving proves I trust God to provide for me

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with the finest wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 (See also Malachi 3:10)

                                                                       
                                                                        
When you give… 

1. Inspect your Heart (give cheerfully)

You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. 2 Corinthians 9:7

2. Reject Recognition (give in secret)

Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you. Matthew 6:4

3. Expect God’s blessing (get beyond expectations)

If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you." Luke 6:38

 One Last Thought: Giving back to God is a constant reminder that he is first in my life.


Parent/Teen discussion starter:

Have you talked with your teen about your expectations of them and their finances and when and if they will be expected to get a job?  With summer fast upon us now would be a great time to come up with a plan and discuss it with your teen.

Here is one to ponder

Weather.com has a tab for yesterday's weather.  
Think about that for a while.  Does yesterday's weather even matter right now?
It is sort of like churches that vote to approve a budget report from the previous quarter.  The quarter has past, what can be done about it now?

I'm sure there are other strange things like that to ponder but I have to get set for youth group tonight.

Big Announcement. Please Don't Freak Out or Panic!

I just ate a bowl of organic healthy cereal.

And it was good!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dunkin Donuts

This morning as I drove by the brand new Dunkin Donuts I turned in, went through the drive through and got an XL coffee.  It was good, very good.  Now we have the double D and Starbucks both opened within a day of each other.  Both kicking into the wide variety of coffee establishments on the beach.  I haven't been buying coffee much lately because the cost of gas.  But it is nice to have so many coffee joints to choose from should the urge hit and the wallet allow.

Is Your Ministry Drudgery? Part 3

"A vision without a task is but a dream;

a task without a vision is drudgery;

a vision and a task are the hope of the world."

- seen at a 17th century church in Sussex, England

“A Vision without a task is but a dream”
There are many churches that state they have vision statement but no one does anything about it.   When a church is at this stage then what is the point of a vision statement?  Many have a vision but expect the paid staff to get it done, after all that’s what they are there for. 
What is the vision of your church and what are you doing to accomplish it?
Many pastors sit in their studies dreaming, the look forward to the day when…
But that day won’t come if the church won’t roll up her sleeves and serve.

Some have a vision but no one to point them in the right direction.  No one to lead and say, “Here is the task before us.  Who will join me in accomplishing this task so we can see our vision become reality?”  I don’t know about you but there are times that I’m pretty much clueless about certain tasks and it always helps to have someone show me how to accomplish the task.

“a task without a vision is drudgery;”

Some churches have lots of tasks but there is no end point.  There is no picture of “this is where we are going”.  This is when ministry becomes a headache rather than a joy.  You might be able to relate to what I’m saying if you have ever seen a member of the Committee on Committees walking your direction and you have a sense of panic and the need to flee come over you.  There are actually, this may be hard to believe, committees out there that people get enlisted to join that don’t ever accomplish a thing, and some of them meet every month.  I could see where that would become drudgery.  Anyone ever been in a meeting like that and ask, “Why are we here?”  How churches would change if we just started asking “Why?”

What God is letting me do at NHC is so much fun to me because at NHC there is vision.

“a vision and a task are the hope of the world.”

So when the two meet. . .

“Hey, you got your ministry in my vision.”

“Hey, you got your vision in my ministry.”

At NHC our purpose statement is “Reaching people to discover life in Christ.”  There is no way the incredible vision before us will happen if we don’t get involved and serve.  We are the hands and feet.  We have the opportunity before us to impact the lives of others.  I don’t know about you but I think that is incredible. God wants to use us to reach others, to serve others, to build relationships with others and worship with others and this should be plenty of motivation to accomplish the task, to do ministry, and to do whatever it takes in our local church.

How are you involved in the hope of the world?

Part 1

Part 2


Monday is Weigh Day

205
19 pounds down.  18 pounds to go
I'm feeling lots of salad coming on this week.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

ADD Wonderings

Today we were needing a sound tech so as the utility player I stepped in to help out, sometimes that has to be done in ministry.  It was fun getting to serve in a different capacity today.
As I sat in the back of the auditorium (it's not "the sanctuary", uh, that would be you and me) I had some ADD wonderings. . . .

Ever wonder why parents don't take advantage of a fantastic, secure nursery with loving, caring staff?  Ever wonder if they think "this will be the Sunday that my _____ month old will remain quiet the entire service?  Ever wonder if parents realize the distraction caused and that they themselves may be distracted from hearing what God has for them or experiencing God in worship?

Ever wonder why some parents think that their kids will enjoy the adult service?  Ever wonder why some parents don't take their kids to kids' church where the child can hear the Word of God on their own level and learn about God in a fun, exciting atmosphere, with other children?  Ever wonder why parents that believe they should worship together as a family don't go and worship in kids' church as a family instead?

Ever wonder why some people can't seem to make it through an hour long service without having to take a potty break?  Ever wonder if perhaps they drank too much free coffee before the service?  Ever wonder if they think that the song is the "potty break" cue?  Ever wonder why some Baptist churches only have cold water in their restrooms?

Ever wonder why some people take a nap at church?  Ever wonder if they go to bed early enough the night before so as to not bring God their leftovers on Sunday morning?  Ever wonder if their sleep would be more comfortable if they had just slept in on Sunday morning instead of getting up, getting dressed, driving to church, walking in, taking their seat, then taking their nap, with their head slumped over and slobber coming out of the corner of their mouth, occasionally waking up to realize that they were napping and then pretending to be in deep thought, mediation or prayer?  Ever wonder why they just don't stay home and sleep if they are that sleep deprived?  Ever wonder why it is we can stay awake during an hour long television show or 3 hour ball game but not during an hour long service?  Ever wonder if they didn't get a cup of coffee before the service and then wonder if they had if they would have left during a song for a potty break?

Ever wonder why some people don't have enough self control to not constantly click the pen during the sermon?  Ever wonder if they have lost all control of their finger and just can't stop?  Ever wonder how they would react if you snatched the pen out of their hand?  Ever wonder why they don't invest in a pencil, a number two pencil, that won't click?  Ever wonder if they are even aware that their hand is clicking a pen?  Ever wonder what they would do if you held your pen next to their ear and clicked it about 1,000 times?

Ever wonder why someone would wonder about all these things?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Thoughts from a Youth Car Wash

Today we had a car wash to help students raise money for Student Life Camp in June.  I've done car washes for a long time and I've noticed a few things:

>no matter how many times you say, "You wash the doors on the driver's side on every car." that student ends up washing the car everywhere else but the driver's side doors.
>no matter how many times you say, "It is a lot less work and you do a better job if you carry the bucket of soap to the car instead of walking 20 feet to dip your sponge in the soap.
>some students believe they can wash an entire car with one sponge dip into the suds.
>they all want to hold the "car wash" sign at first then later you can't get anyone to hold the sign.
>girls, in general, don't wash cars as well as boys.  Not a sexist statement just the truth from a professional.
>if a kid is a talker they will miss half of what they were supposed to wash because some people can't talk and wash at the same time.
>something about nailing someone with a wet soapy sponge is fun to some people.
>someone always comes back and starts washing the car after it has been washed and rinsed.
>"Let's dump all the buckets out and start with fresh water and soap."
>"Andy, do you want to dump this bucket too?

Car washes are so much fun and a great way to bond with students and yell at them the same time.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Is Your Ministry Drudgery? Part 2

"A vision without a task is but a dream;

a task without a vision is drudgery;

a vision and a task are the hope of the world."

seen at a 17th century church in Sussex, England

 Why do you do the ministry you do?Have you thought about this?  

Why do you count the offering each Sunday for your church?  "Cause someone has to do it."  Or is it because you realize that you are an important step in your churches ministry and mission as that money is used to impact others with the good news of Jesus Christ?

Why do you stand at the door each Sunday and hand someone a sermon outline?  "I need to be doing something."   Or is it because you realize that your friendly smile and warm welcome may be the key factor that causes a "seeker" to return again and ultimately hear how God's Word can radically change their lives? 

Why do you teach little children every week?  "If I don't nobody else will."  Or is it because you realize that you are having a major spiritual impact in the life of a child, you are helping to teach children who God is and that they can have a relationship with him?

Why do you change diapers and hold babies each week in the nursery?  "Someone has to do it, and I have baby sitting skills."  Or is it because you realize the importance you play in ministry as you take care of these little ones, keeping them safe and secure, their parents and other adults can worship God and hear the message without distraction.  You realize that as you hold that crying baby that someone may be hearing and responding to God moving in their life.

Why do you minister in your church?  Do you serve in your church?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lesson I've learned from Nate, Tricia and baby Rose (Bump)


Gwyneth is home!
This the post I wrote when I returned home from Duke after Gwyneth, "baby Rose" around our house, made her entrance into the world.  Gwyneth's birth and the circumstances around the events of that day was pretty much one of the most intense situations I've been around in my life.  Watching God's plan unfold in the life of Tricia, Gwyneth and Nathan has had an impact on my life.  I pray you will know that God has a plan for your life and that every day miracles happen around us.

I'm sure I speak for everyone in the world that has been following this story that I'm am truly amazed and blown away.  This morning I'm trying to unpack my thoughts on all of this.  Understand I have ADD so my thoughts are super sporatic.  I've learned or have been reminded of some important lessons from watching the lives of Tricia and Nathan and now baby Rose.

>Obedience to God comes first even when life is in the balance.
>We don't know how strong our faith is until it is truly tested
>My problems and worries in life aren't jack squat compared to what others in this world are going through.
>I whine and complain too much
>A mother's love for her baby is truly an amazing thing to watch 
>Even more amazing is God's love for that little baby, even before the baby enters our world
>My prayer life has pretty much stunk.  I prayed everyday but like most people I think prayer became more important in my life when the stakes were high
>Why don't I pray like that everyday?
>God uses the weak to confuse the "strong"
>Even though someone is young they could very well be more spiritually mature than someone that has been around a long time.  (we've got  a lot of Christians living the same first year over and over and over, time to grow up boys and girls)
>Emotions and feelings are from God
>Emotions and feelings need to be under the control of the Holy Spirit.
>God uses our lives to impact other lives
>The Ripple Effect can be felt around the world.
>Life, no matter how small and tiny, is powerful and amazing
>God is doing miracles all around us and most of the time we don't even recognize it.

So those are some of my thoughts this morning as I think about the amazing lives of my nephew, niece and great-niece.

Now I will attempt to get through the day without being glued to a blog. :)

Pray without ceasing!  My eyes saw a miracle.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tonight at Contagious

The Gas Station Tacos were a smash.  I cut one boy off at 7!

Now to Contagious lesson:


DEVELOPING HABITS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Part 4: Involving yourself in the church

THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH

They stood there amazed and perplexed. "What can this mean?" they asked each other. But others in the crowd were mocking. "They're drunk, that's all!" they said. Acts 2:12-13

WHAT’S YOUR RESPONSE?

GETTING INVOLVED IN THE CHURCH BODY

 1. Commit to God’s plan for the CHURCH

[Jesus said] "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Jesus said] "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family-- calling him "Father, dear Father." Romans 8:15

2. Refuse to confuse ATTENDANCE for spiritual growth

3. Find your ROLE in the Church Body

Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4: 15-16

One last thought:             The church isn’t PERFECT… but, God’s power is AMAZING. Will you mock and walk or be in awe and be drawn to Christ’s Body?

Parent/Teen Discussion:

Do any of your friends have a pre-concieved idea of what church is like?

What do they think Church is?

What about the  lesson tonight changed any of your ideas about church? 

Do you go to church on Sunday mornings?  Why? Or  Why not?

Why is it important to have this HABIT in your life?

What could you be doing in service at church?

Is Your Ministry Drudgery? Part 1

"A vision without a task is but a dream;
a task without a vision is drudgery;
a vision and a task are the hope of the world."
- seen at a 17th century church in Sussex, England

"A task without vision is drudgery"
Why do you do what you do in ministry?  Is there a vision for why you do what you do?  I think many get burnt out in ministry because they don't see the big picture or ultimately that what they are doing as a ministry team member in their church as vital or important.  Perhaps they have never had the vision set before them.

First of all do you consider yourself a "volunteer" in your church or do you consider yourself as a minister?  If you are doing ministry you are a minister.  You shouldn't be a "volunteer".  Sure you are giving of your time, but isn't that what all of us as believers should be doing?  Shouldn't every believer be serving in their church?  If this is what God expects from us then is it "volunteering" or is it obediently following as a believer?   We are called to be ministers.  God has placed each of us in the body of Christ.  Our churches are full of "body parts" that have a function which is part of God's plan and purpose.

So back to the question of "Why?".  Have you thought about this?  


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

American Idol

This is from a blog I posted weeks ago:

"4. Brooke

3. Jason

3. Syesha

2. David A.

1. David C."

I wonder if American Idol should hire me to be a producer?

Building a Youth Ministry Network

I'm part of a group of youth leaders/pastors that meet the second Tuesday each month.  We usually have a short devotional from one of the leaders.  We eat lunch, I like that,  it's a bring your own lunch event.   We share ideas and discuss youth ministry.  We also share prayer requests.   Every youth leader should be part of some sort of network with other youth leaders. The support and encouragement is great as well as getting good ideas.

Barriers to forming a network:
1.  Territorial or turf wars
2.  Disagreements in theology or doctrine
3.  "too busy"
4.  Don't know where to start

How the Outer Banks Youth Ministry Network formed:   A few of us got together and said, "hey, let's get together every month and do lunch".  From there the network has grown, we are always inviting churches to join us.  We are a mix of paid staff and volunteers.   Our purpose is not to plan youth group events together.  Our purpose is mainly to encourage each other and help each other with ideas.  We don't get wrapped up in debate (at the table today there were 5 denominations represented).  NHC is going to reach students that another church won't reach and they will reach students we won't reach.  

How to start a network:
1.  Contact youth workers from other churches
2.  Plan a time to meet
3.  Come up with a purpose for your network
4.  Brainstorm on some topics to discuss at your meetings
5.  Stick to your purpose and topics
6.  Don't let the network become a whining session



Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday is Weigh Day

I have been hovering around 207 and 208 for about two weeks.  I'm going to buckle down on my portions this week and try to be at 205 next Monday.  I have lost a total of 16 pounds so far.
Goal by the end of May 199lbs.

Today I ate a weight watchers recipe, leftovers I put in the food saver bag and reheated, chili beef tacos.  Very good, 6 points for two tacos, then I threw in a half cup of spanish rice and a half cup of refried beans.  Let me just say that meal is about half of what I would have eaten about a month ago.  

Tomorrow I'm going lite as possible, shredded wheat for breakfast, veggie wrap for lunch, salad for dinner.  Time to buckle down and drop some pounds.

Good Book on Teams

If you are on a team,  at work or on a ministry team in your church, I suggest you read,  The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team, written by Patrick Lencioni.
Here are the 5 Dysfunctions:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Three Favorite Moms

If it had not been for my mom I would not be here today.

My mom makes the best biscuits in the world.  Let me run with this one:
>Mom would bake me biscuits in the morning and then melt cheddar cheese on them
>Mom's biscuits are perfect for sopping up gravy
>Mom's biscuits are incredible with apple butter on them, especially real apple butter
>Mom's biscuits are not dinner rolls.  How do people confuse dinner rolls with biscuits?  Ain't they have been in the south? Great time a day!
>Mom's biscuits are great piping hot, sliced in half, butter melted all over them
>Grape jelly is the bomb diggity on my mom's biscuits
>Mom's biscuits are great with roast beef, especially with the gravy poured all over them
>Did I mention that mom's biscuits are great with gravy
Finally let me say this:
My momma's biscuits are so good that if you put a plate of them on top of your head your tongue would slap your brains out trying to get them.
  
And I love my mom for more than just her biscuits (those are just a side bonus).

My niece, Tricia, makes my favorite mom list.  She's the toughest mom on the face of the planet and she fought hard to bring baby Rose into this world.  Her faith and strength are incredible.  

My favorite mom is my wife.  Misha is the best mom on the face of the planet.  She is the momma bear.  Don't believe me?  Better think twice before going near her cub.  One of the favorite words I hear in my house is my 3 year old genius saying, "Momma".   I bet he says "Momma" 457 times a day.  He loves his momma, and so do I.  Just a few years ago we wondered if we would ever hear a little voice say, "Momma!"  God gave us a blessing and I think we were waiting  until the perfect time for the perfect son.  Misha, she's the best in the world!

Happy Mother's Day to all you fantastic mommas out there.  Let's keep the biscuits rollin'.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Growth Spiritually

Growth Numerically  - this year at The Call's youth worker round table we weren't able to tackle all the issues we wanted to talk about the first issue was numerical growth.  The second issue was...

Growth Spiritually is something that every youth leader wants to see in the students they lead.  How do we help students grow spiritually?

1.  Supply  - Give parents access to resources, web sites, family devotionals.  Parental involvement in their teenager's faith walk is a key factor to the student's spiritual growth.

2.  Teach - Each year at Contagious we go through the HABITS that students will need to grow spiritually and feed themselves.  Teach on discipleship annually, a 7th grader will have heard a discipleship series on the tools they need to feed themselves from the Bible 6 years in a row by the time they graduate.  Provide the opportunity for them to put these HABITS into practice.

3.  Model - Students need to see us as leaders modeling spiritual growth for them.  Are we spending time daily in God's Word (beside preparing for a lesson)?  Are we memorizing scripture?  Are we involved in our church?  Do we give back to God by tithing?  Do we share with the students what we are learning in our own personal quiet time with God?

4.  Pray - Don't ever underestimate the power of prayer.   Pray that God will draw our students into a deep faith walk with Him.

Remember, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.  You can do all of the above but ultimately it is up to the student to take the steps necessary for their own spiritual growth.  If you are supplying, teaching, modeling and praying you are doing all you can do, the rest is up to them.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Contagious Last Night

Last night at Contagious....

>much weeping over the broken ping pong table

>missing students who were at school functions

>football on the front lawn (I think I saw Ramon out there playing, some lessons are never learned)

>some girls who started two weeks ago have now been three weeks straight.  I feel a magnet dance comin on.

>new girl showed up even though she knew her two friends would not be there.  Super cool!

>22 students took key tag verses home, committing to memorize a verse a week.

>adult leaders must memorize a verse this week or a students can challenge the leader and if the leader can't quote the verse they owe the kid $5.  Zoiks!

Here is our outline from last night:

DEVELOPING HABITS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Part 3: Planting God’s Word in your life

Question:  What do you have committed to memory?

What occupies the most space in your memory?

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:11

Some promises from God’s Word…

·      God’s Word GUIDES me                       

Key word: direction

 Colossians 3:16

·      God’s Word FEEDS me                        

Key word: growth

Jeremiah 15:16 (NIV)

·      God’s Word STRENGTHENS me                  

Key word: temptation

 Psalm 119:9-11

Some goals for a growing Christian and God’s Word…

DESIRE it ►►► DELIGHT in it ►►► DEVOUR it ►►► DISPLAY it

Jesus said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:17

Some ideas for developing the habit of Bible memorization…

1. Determine if the benefits are worth the EFFORT

2. Gather some verses to MEMORIZE

Verses that: challenge/protect/guide/promise/encourage/instruct

3. Commit to a plan to develop the HABIT of memorizing Scriptures

 Joshua 1:8

If you want to use HABITS in your youth group check out Simply Youth Ministry  for this series and the tools to give students to help them establish the necessary HABITS in their lives.

So we have tackled H - hang time with God; A - accountability, B - Bible memorization.  Next week is I.

Parent/Teen Discussion:

Why is it important to memorize scripture verses?

How can scripture memorization help your life?  Change your life?

Tell your teen your favorite memory verse.

Take the $5 challenge with your teen.  Give yourselves a week and if you don't memorize a verse you owe them $5 and if your teen doesn't memorize a verse they owe you an hour worth of hard labor around the house. ;)

Next Week:

 

New Site is up and Running

My new web site which now hosts my blog posts is up and fully functional. You can check it out at andylawrenson.com . There is also a mon...