Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What do you think?

Here is an issue/article where your comments might spur a great discussion - so let's have it - check out the article on CNN and then come back and post your thoughts.


Extra Time...

What will you do with your extra time in 2008? Yes, that's right you've got more time before the New Year is rung in! So what will you do?

Whatever it is - I hope you all have a fun, safe and sober New Years (eve) - see you in 2009!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ Yum - had the chance to have a 30th Anniversary piece of cheesecake at one place that knows how to do cheesecakes! I'm also still on vacation - so it's been nice to (for the most part) relax, hang out and do whatever!

this weeks to-dos ~ finish writing my sermon for Sunday! make some food for a New Years party, finally finish cleaning the apartment.

book I'm reading ~ Acts

tunes that triggered ~ hmmm, my newest playlist on the iPod - Bless the Broken Road, Hands of the Potter, My Wish, You Carried Me - and a few others!

thoughts on the coming week ~ rushed yet relaxing...

Scripture to skim ~ Acts (yes, all of it!)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Noteworthy News

See teenagers can make a difference in their world when they put their mind too it....

Teen Helps Darfur

What are you going to do?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

An extra...

I want to share a quote with you - read it, think about it and then ask yourself - 'could I say the same thing?'

"If I died right this minute, I would be able to say, 'God, what a ride! What a ride'"
- Mike Yaconelli -

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas video to check out...

Check out the 12 Day's of Christmas LIVE!

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end): this past week and weekend were great - I finished up my work and am officially on "vacation" until Jan 4th woo hoo! Saturday we celebrated Christmas with my immediate family - great times - food was good, spoiled rotten by my parents even at 26 years old, hung out and had a great time! Sunday was the Youth Group Christmas Party - some pretty funny (Kodak) moments! :-) Oh, and I'm supper pumped for my dad he was just offered a new job!

this weeks to-do's: not much, but a whole lot - it's CHRISTMAS there is more Christmas music to listen to and more family to see and celebrate with. and maybe some cheesecake as some would say nom nom nom...

book I'm reading: well I just finished Proverbs today, outside of Biblical reading I'm going to hit up Crazy Love one more time and I've been flipping through "The Cookie Bible" (twas a Christmas gift) and "8,789 Words of Wisdom."

tunes that triggered: the 46 Christmas songs we listend to at YG last night - love them all, except #46!

thoughts on the coming week: can't wait - especially for Christmas Eve worship - it's my favorite worship service to attend all year long!

think about a thought: don't take life or death too seriously!

Scripture to skim: Proverbs 29

Friday, December 19, 2008


It's my 50th post on Chris' Corner - so we're running with the 50's theme. Take a gander at what is here - 50 things to do - maybe pick your favorite, the one your most afraid to do, or create your own and comment below....looking forward to another 50.

50 things to do...
in no particular order
  1. Watch the sun set and rise (I would love to do this at the beach and the mountains)
  2. Read the entire Bible (a handful of times...what a wonderful Love letter)
  3. Fall in Love
  4. Do something everyday that scares you (or at least something that challenges you)
  5. Give to someone who has less & then give some more - anonymously
  6. Watch the stars (leave the city - it's a better view)
  7. Go on a mission trip
  8. Watch a black & white &/or silent film (amazing)
  9. Go white water rafting
  10. Test drive a sports car (just for fun)
  11. Walk in the rain
  12. Embarrass yourself
  13. Quit your job (don't like it - don't go back) (if you do like it ask for a raise)
  14. Tip your server more than you probably should
  15. Swim in an ocean
  16. Attend the Olympics (at least once)
  17. Go to a concert you never thought you'd see
  18. Talk to an old person (if your young) talk to a young person (if your old)
  19. Be Thankful
  20. Attend a Broadway show
  21. Learn CPR & First Aid
  22. Volunteer somewhere
  23. Learn to cook something (well)
  24. Go camping (for real - no RV)
  25. Attend worship at a church (denomination) other than your own
  26. Ride along with a police officer
  27. Go on a cruise
  28. Hold indoor shopping cart races at Wal Mart
  29. Mentor someone
  30. Be mentored by someone
  31. Appear on TV
  32. Go Naked (not in public, find a quiet beach, or waterfall and reconnect with nature)
  33. Rescue a lost dog (or a cat if you must)
  34. Buy a homeless person some food
  35. Get married
  36. Have a weekend away with friends
  37. Become a parent
  38. Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru lane
  39. Be Happy!
  40. Listen (really, listen)
  41. Trace your roots
  42. Have coffee with a stranger
  43. Cut your own Christmas tree
  44. Inspire someone
  45. Read a great book & then pass it on to someone else
  46. Be the member of an audience for a TV show
  47. Write a letter to the person you look up to
  48. Get passionate about a cause and spend time helping it instead of just thinking about it
  49. Plan your funeral
  50. Accept yourself for who you are!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


"Youth Group is the perfect place for young people when their schedules permit,
and when nothing else more important is going on."

How do you feel reading that quote?

As a youth leader I tend to agree - in some cases it's a generalization - but in most i think it's dead on!

Most adults want young people to be conformed to the comfortable instead of transformed by the uncomfortable. Church is a great place, to teach young people about Jesus. But what about encountering Jesus?

Causing young people to meet Jesus face-to-face could do irreparable damage to parents' plans for their children.

What would happen if parents and adults alike in the church stopped "planing" every moment of our young peoples lives? What would happen if we let Jesus ruin their lives like we should have allowed Him to do to us? What if their lives were placed in His hands and not in ours? How would your life be impacted - can you give up control and give it back to the One who is supposed to have it in the first place?

To borrow another quote from Mike Yaconelli:
"Unfortunately, too many adults are more concerned about young people ruining the carpet than they are about Jesus ruining their lives. More worried about peer pressure than parental pressure, more upset by unpredictability than predictability, and more fearful of the loss of future income than the loss of creativity and imagination."


Where are YOU in all of this?

Are you willing to let our young people put youth group (God) back at the top of their list (ahead of school, work, sports, music, dance, other extra-curricular, and even ahead of YOU?) Are you willing to let our young people become ruined by Jesus?
Check Spelling
I hope so,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday's Two-Cents

Tue's 2-Cents on Wed...sorry, the last several days have been a bit 'off' so I'm catchin up today!

The weekend was great I had a chance to get away for a bit of a mini-vacation to Kansas City. Steph and I drove down Friday and enjoyed the time to just relax, do some shopping (window that is) and enjoy a few meals. I really enjoyed the mini-break.

Well, seeing as how it's already Wednesday - my biggest things to get accomplished are work related - I've been out of my office for about a week, so I need to get a few things caught up and finally I will need to be ready for three Student Ministry Christmas parties (one tonight, one Friday and one on Sunday.) Once that is planned it will be on to making sure WAVE for Jan 4th is ready to go.

Going through "The Air I Breath" again (still) and currently in the home stretch of Proverbs.

BUSY, but good - I'm looking forward to finishing things up this week and essentially having the rest of December off - it will be good to have time for family and friends over Christmas. I'm also looking for time to get my sermon written for January.

What is one thing you want for Christmas? & What is one thing you want to do for someone else this Christmas?

Romans 5:1-11, let me know your thoughts!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Know the Fish, Not the Boat

The catch phrase for our Student Ministry is "Out of the Boat Into His WATER." Catchy I think (no pun intended), but what does it really mean? How is it that one takes a step or leap outside of the boat anyway? And what happenes when you're out of the boat and in the water? How do you get to know the Fish?

I'm curious what some of your thoughts are to these do you (or have you) get to know the fish?

Share your comments ~


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday's Two-Cents

Thought About Past Week(end) ~
The past week was...a bit busy - yet good. Friday I had the chance to catch my first High school basketball game of the season. On Saturday I was able to celebrate my moms birthday with a wonderful dinner and a great night of fun and conversation. Sunday, was Sunday - the youth seem to be a bit "off" right now - not sure why, but I hope they're back "on" soon.

This Weeks To-Do's ~
Work - lots to do in the coming week or so to get ready for a bit of a vacation from work. I have several loose ends to get tied up. Oh, and Christmas decorations still need to come out! :-(

Book I'm Reading ~
Ummmm, right now I"m in the midst of "The Air I Breath" again...., book of Proverbs and hopefully Acts this week...

Thoughts On The Coming Week ~
I'm looking forward to the weekend. Stephanie and I are getting away for a "long" weekend out of town. Lot's of window shopping, sleeping in and RELAXING! Woo Hoo. Also, the 2nd part of a great series at WAVE for Sunday night.

Think About A Thought ~ this is for you to ponder for the week - feel free to share (comment) your thoughts here...
What would you life be like if you had one day this week where you didn't HAVE to do anything? How would your day look?

Scripture to Skim ~
Luke 19:28-40 (what's it have to say to you?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Trouble thoughts for today are spawned from my recent reading of Mike Yaconelli's article "The 'Trouble' With Youth Ministry."

It's dangerous...when you and I are trying to follow Jesus, we're going to get into trouble. In making disciples (of ourselves and others) we take on the role of introducing people (in my case, young people) to the life-ruining Jesus who causes nothing but trouble.

Often joked about in youth ministry - did you know if your church doesn't have a rule that exists just because of your ministry, then you aren't letting Jesus have first place in your ministry? What would the session say about that? I've just entered the start of my fifth year with GSPC and no rule...YET! We'll see if we can work on that one in the coming year!

So, what's with the "life-ruining Jesus" part? Isn't this church, Jesus, following business supposed to make everything orderly? Ha! take a look at Matthew 6:33 ("But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness...") - if you want to be a disciple (and don't we all?) but if you really want to be His disciple, a follower of Jesus, nothing can be more important than Jesus.

If work is more important than Jesus, then work has to go. If surfing the internet is more important than Jesus, then the internet must go. If school (or school related activities) is more important than Jesus, (yes, I'm gonna say it), then it's gotta go. If your boy/girl-friend is more important than Jesus, then he/she has to go. Are you getting the picture here? If anything in your life is more important than Jesus, then whatever 'it' is, it has to go!

I know what you're thinking "it's hard to be a disciple!"
ding ding ding - we have a winner! No one, including Jesus, himself - ever said it would be an easy task. What do you think "take up your cross daily" means?
but in the end - being a disciple is the only thing that will really matter.

Youth Ministry causes trouble -- an example: a youth worker with a heart for the lost, was ministering to gang members in her church (a job in which she was specifically hired to do) - long story short - eventually the gang members decided they wanted to go to worship - so they did! When the minister announced the giving of the peace one of the gang members stood up and said "hey, dude, you are cool!" The entire congregation turned around in shock. After the service the youth worker was told to not bring the gang members to church until they learned how to behave.

They should have given the youth worker a raise - they didn't - She was fired!

Unfortunately, many people in the church are more concerned about rules, policies, and procedures than they are about the unbelievable, miraculous, spectacular, unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime event that occurs when someone starts to get well. When people get well, it exposes the sickness of those around them.

Rather than getting mad, there should have been a celebration because a group of gang members miraculously desired to be part of the church. Who are the gang members in your church?

Sometimes I wonder if it's easier for the rocks to cry out in the presence of Jesus than for some church members to celebrate the "trouble" that genuine youth ministry causes.

Woo Hoo, (in honor of the late Mike Yaconelli)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Walk Full, Don't Run On Empty...

Is your kid "over-booked?" Chances are if you're reading this the answer is a resounding YES!

The rule of thumb according to Dr. Meg Meeker is; one extra-curricular activity per season. This means one sport or one instrument or whatever each season or semester. I tend to agree. For some of you reading this - it's probably hard to hear. Youth today are way over-extended, overbooked, too busy, and plain worn's healthy for them to have down time, time to learn how to deal with boredom. It really is okay! As well, it's becoming even more important for youth to be spending more and more time at home with their parents.

Do you really believe that you (mom & dad) have the greatest influence and impact on your kid's lives? It's not their peers, not society and surely not their youth leaders - it's you as parents. So, then why is it that a majority of parents either overbook, or allow their youth to become overbooked? Don't you want them spending the most time with those who have the most influence over them?

So, is it time for you and your family to cut back on your kids' schedule? Are you secretly saying 'yes,' knowing you're not going to do a darn thing about it? Or, will you really do what's best for them and cut down on their calendar? You know if God wants them to be a concert trombonist - God will allow them to live long enough to figure that out on their own - let them be kids for now. Your kid does not have to "out shine" the neighbor kids. They just have to shine in the way God designed them too. And youth definitely don't need to have any adults "reliving younger years through their kids' activities and lives."

Teens if you're reading this one - it's time to check yourself...are you really running yourself into the ground? How will this really help you in the long run? What do you accomplish? Do you want to run around worn out and empty? It is OK to say no to some things!

And for everyone....where is God in all of this? Why is it that a relationship with God (worship, Bible Study, Youth Group, family discussions over faith issues...) ALWAYS get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list? The next time I hear a youth being grounded from 'God', or that I see 'God is taking second seat to something else - something that doesn't have eternal matter - I think I'm going to scream!

It's time for us to shape up and do our youth a favor - cut back on the activities and really live.

What are you going to do? What are your family values?


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday's Two-Cents

So, here's is going to be my attempt at a "weekly-update post." Sure, there will be other posts throughout the week - but like other bloggers, this will be a regular format. I may toy with it in the first few weeks (I'm open to suggestions on what you'd like to see here) but it will be "regular" at some point....

Thoughts from the past week(end) ~
Obviously this past week(end) included Thanksgiving - for me we had two thanksgivings and one birthday. Thursday & Saturday saw us with family, and Friday Steph & I had dinner with my family for Grandma's 78th birthday. It was a fun, yet busy weekend. Sunday night we were out for our Leaders Christmas party and ended up at a friends house following for some card playing. I loved the end to my "time out of the office." This year's National Youth Workers Convention landed at the perfect time, I was able to attend NYWC and return home for a day off and then ran straight into the weekend.

This Weeks To-Dos ~
Personally I'm hoping to clean up our apartment and get some Christmas decorations out. Usually we move our kitchen table into our bedroom to make room for our tree. However since last Christmas we have rearranged our room with our new King bed. So, we're thinking no tree this year. Other than that I hope to get some work done on my sermon for next month.

Book I'm Reading ~
I just finished Youth Ministry 3.0, by MarkO. I'm taking a break for a few days from reading to review some of what I heard at the Convention.

Tunes that Triggered ~
In the last four days it's been Lost & Founds Christmas album....if that doesn't put you in the mood...

Thoughts on the coming week ~
This next week should be interesting. I've had a few weeks "off" as far as lesson planning for WAVE and this week I'm back "on." I'm excited about the 2-part series we're doing this month, as well as the annual Christmas party in a few weeks. I've also got a few meetings I'm looking forward to this week.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Will You Go With Me?

Okay, I'm on a journey - we're all on a journey....but I'm asking "will you go with me?"

What I mean is, will you go with me into the life that God has called us? Will you follow me even if I open up a topic that is hard to swallow? Will you stick with it?

You know a lot of people have this idea that having Jesus in your life makes everything all nice and organized. The real fact is that having Jesus in your life can ruin it! Take a look at Luke 9:57-62. Really, please go take a look. How is any of what Jesus is saying there "nice and organized?"

What about later on in Luke 14:25-27 - how do we respond to that? Are we taking up our crosses, daily? Would you be willing to never see your family again if that's what it cost to go after Jesus? Are you willing to ruin your life for your Savior, your Creator, for God?

Ask yourself - what you're willing to do...I'm taking a path where I think I'm uncovering some truths - but truths that might be hard for some of us to swallow. I'm going this way because I feel the American Church needs a change...wiling to go with me? Keep checking back here - post your comments, let's open a discussion on where we feel the Holy Spirit is leading us.

See you in a few days,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for...

Thought I'd throw together a short list of what I'm thankful for this year....
  • my wife, who loves me and supports me everyday - even when I probably don't deserve it
  • my family, who supports me through everything
  • God - for grace, mercy, forgiveness, waiting for me, and everything else...
  • Walter, my dog - who greets me at the door every time I come home
  • my friends, who put up with me and still call me friend
  • a calling to serve in Youth Ministry
  • a boss who supports me in this calling
  • the youth who challenge me on a regular basis and allow me to have some part in their lives
  • good food - to eat it and to cook/bake it
  • Oscar & Kennedy - my two 'kids' in Columbia & Kenya
  • great music
  • a roof over my head (even if it isn't quite a house)
  • the experiences (some bad, mostly good) over the past year....
  • OCM's
  • a good book
  • a good book read with someone and then discussed...
  • green tea
  • coffee (by coffee I mean mocha, right now a Seattle Mocha)
  • laughter
  • and so much more....
Take some time to list what you are thankful for (leave them in the comments if you'd like) and remember what this time of year should really be about. Have a Happy Thanksgiving - and for you "slow" folks get that Christmas music out now!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Seriously Ridiculous

Seriously Ridiculous is a small aspect of my experience at NYWC these past few days in Nashville. At this point it's really difficult to completely put into words 'where I'm at' after this weekend. It was a time of worship, reflections, healing, conversations and discussions, laughter, and so much more - on top of that just re-focusing on The seriously ridiculous God that I follow.

I'm looking forward to the coming weeks - as I can continue to process and 'chew' on what God has laid before me - what God is calling me to do with my ministry. One thing is for certain - it's time for CHANGE in the American church - so, I will honor where God is leading me in my part of that change - hang on tight - it'll be a life-ruining experience - that is if you're in it for real - in it for JESUS! Cuz my God and my Jesus can not be put into a nice little pretty box that we can open when it's convenient for us - He will ruin your life - but it's worth it - I tell ya it's really worth it!

His Child,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 4 (for me)

It's Sunday - it feels like, heck - I don't know what it feels like. I feel a bit tired - yet near-completely refreshed. Good I suppose looking at what I had hoped to get out of this weekend. I'm excited to return home and have several days to really begin to process some of what has been put in front of me.

Today's high point so far was Mike during Gen. Session - bringing greetings from the Queen he reminded us that sometimes youth might not be good at something the first time (or even the 15th) - but we must give it over to them to experience. We must do this "thing" with them - not "to" them. He spoke of the example of Jesus and His youth group - it took him 3 years with 12 "youth" and we all know how that played out - it wasn't always "good" - but the bottom line is that they learned.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

your cross

So, if Jesus walked into "this room" (insert wherever you are right now) and said - 'come on, all who want to follow me we're going out that door over there...and we'll see what happens. Some of you may never see your family (spouse, child, parents) again' - are you really okay with that?

Sure, we'd all love to say - 'yea, no problem, for Jesus I'll do anything.' Really? What if in asking you to go out that door, there were some crosses and He said - "Pick one up, we're going to walk up that hill over there, and we're going to be crucified." Would you really go? It's a tough one - give up everything - He says everything - to follow Him.

Take a look at the books of Acts - is our church today like that of Acts? That church was unstoppable - the gates of Hell couldn't touch it - what about today?

I don't think the gates of hell are even a concern - here's why:
  • We get upset with someone (maybe the pastor) and we leave
  • The worship band sucks - so we leave
  • Someone challenges us - so we leave
  • YOU don't get your way and you get mad - so you leave
The gates of Hell have nothing to worry about - we're stopping the church ourselves.

I think it's time we take a real hard look at what we're doing. I'm not trying to sound all 'high and mighty' as if I have it all together - cuz I know I don't - I know there are changes I need to make, that my wife and I need to make - in order to run after our Savior - what about you? Are you willing to make some hard change in your life? I hope so - cuz Jesus doesn't like crowds - He says his two cents and that's it - we must RUN after Him, with a desire to live more, lose it all and understand just a bit of what He has to offer.

Change is coming - are you going to be the fertile soil, the rocky soil or what?

Running to the RED Letters,

Jesus & Red Hats

It's day 2 (full, 3 if you came in on Th) here in Nashville!

Yesterday was AMAZING - two general sessions with 4 outstanding speakers. Francis Chan really gets you thinking when he takes the stage. I think I'll join him in "loving the church too much to leave it that way." Okay, well I paraphrased what he said - but that was the essence of his message. Start by taking a look at the book of Acts - we need to start modeling what we "the church" are doing by this.

Last night at session 2 we heard from three speakers - speakers who are well known for what they talked on....the bottom line (idea) I took from this was becoming a RED LETTER CHRISTIAN! What does that mean you might ask? Well, open up your Bible to the New Testament - you see all those RED letters? Well, a Red Letter Christian is essentially someone who follows what Christ said. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, I say we give it a shot.

Now, keeping with the RED theme - I came down to the hotel lobby this morning to check some email and post this blog - and to my surprise was a lobby full of two colors - PURPLE & RED - all worn by women - you guessed it - there is some Red Hat Society gathering going on - they seem to be out-numbering the youth workers staying at our hotel.....I'm not sure of the connection here - but couldn't pass up mentioning the RED SEA in our lobby.

Well, time to go see if my roommates are out of bed yet - lazy I tell ya!


Thursday, November 20, 2008


So, I'm here in Nash-vegas....really tryin to figure that one out...

Anyway - picking up in Denver (where we left off)

The next flight was not as "entertaining" and really I can't think of much to say about on to the shuttle (way to go YS - you dropped the ball on that one) how do you expect several hundred youth leaders to get into two 10-passenger vans??? We are not clowns and this is not the circus - I know it may confuse some at times - but really it's no circus we are all professionals here. I have to say I'm severely disappointed with YS on this!

Other than that bit of mess things this evening went pretty well - the YS Store had the big sale - the exhibit hall welcome session was good - lots of new connections and lastly we're finally in our room...wish us the best as things really get underway tomorrow - we're going to start walking back to the Convention center now so we can be in time for Crowder at Gen Session 1.


feng shui & potholes

Headed out early this morning to catch my flight to Nashville (or Nash-vegas to some of you). My travel experiences so far today have been interesting to say the least...

First at the ticket counter - here is a bit how the conversation went:
Both: standard early morning pleasantries
Ticket Agent (TA): Last name?
Me: Hansen (while handing him my ID)
TA: Ok, here we go - your final destination is Denver?
Me: Ummm, no! Try Nashville!
TA: Hmmm, you must be on a different airline - we don't serve Nashville.
Me: (in my head - wow this is a great start)
Me: (noticing he has printed boarding passes and baggage tickets for J. Hanson) - Ummm, that's the wrong person.
TA: Oh, do you have a copy of your itinerary - cuz you're not in the computer....

To save you the rest of this boring conversation - I was in the computer and I did get on my flight - YES! I'm still on track to get to NYWC.

Now, we actually board the flight - to Denver - (I know it's the wrong direction, get over it!) I get settled for take-off and the Flight Attendant is doing the nice little here is what to do in a water landing (where would that happen between Omaha and Denver anyway?) - so after all the instructions she informs us: "As always we try to make each flight an educational experience for our passengers and this morning will be no different. Following take off there will be a guided discussion (by someone named Meridith) in the rear galley on the feng shui of turkeys."

I kid you not - feng shui of turkeys! She then mentioned that while in our seats during the flight to keep our seat belts on as potholes can unexectantly come up.

Wow - she even went on later to talk about Barbie - but I'll save that for later - or maybe not - I'll spare you. So, here I sit in Denver with 1.5 hours to go before my next departure. It's not much, but it's been my day so far....check back later for more once I get to Nashville.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Clear as day...

Last night Stephanie and I spent some time putting up plastic - you know, that window insulation plastic they sell at the hardware store. Well, she decided we should put some on the windows in our living room - to make it a bit warmer this winter. My suggestion was to move - somewhere either warmer (think California) or to a place with better insulated windows. Guess who won?

Anyway - as I returned home from worship this morning I approached our building and you know what? You can't even tell the plastic is there. Whoever invented this stuff must be brilliant - and probably a Christian. It kind of reminds me of God, and Christ, and well the Holy Spirit too.

Let me explain...just like the plastic - that you can see is there (at least from up close) God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are always there for us - even when we cannot see or feel, or hear, or touch....One in Three they are always there to insulate us with God's Love, Mercy and Grace.

As I listened to Bart Millard (of MercyMe) talk the other night, he talked about how God was over ALL - even in the pain and hurt of our lives - cancer; God is there, financial worries; God is there, relationship troubles; God is there, feeling depressed, lonely, sad, left out; God is there. You see regardless of good or bad times - God IS! So, as mercyme puts it - Bring The Rain!

Even when you can't see the plastic insulation (God) know that It is there! Rest in that promise today!

Insulated by Him,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Good Life...

Good 'ole Nebraska has made the YSMarko blog....check it out!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Burning Bush?"

Howdy Youth!

I'm excited to let you know that for those of you who have your June calendar open - waiting for dates for our next trip - they are here! Get your pen out and block out June 12-19 for the 2009 Summer Missions Camp.

Registration information will be available THIS Sunday at WAVE.

Start working on getting your friends/peers to sign up with you. Lookin' forward to a great trip and the change God will work in each of your lives.


Missing It...

I just wanted to point you in the direction of some Spiritual Junk Food - check out this blog posted this morning....


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reflections on "The Calling"

So, it's time to look back, but more importantly to look forward!

I have to say that the one thing I hope anyone who was on the trip will remember one thing - the fact that you found a support family - a support system. I've heard it from most all of you in the past week and a half, you came into this trip all from a different place in your journey - the commonality for all of you is your FAMILY of support to help you in each step of the journey.

Please don't forget what you found on this trip.

check out Jeff's reflections on the trip over at his blog...

Now, whether you were on The Calling or not - it's time to look forward...get out your calendars and open up to June leave it there, watch in the next several days for a registration form for our 2009 Summer Missions Camp! We hope each of you will be able to attend this life-impacting and changing experience for all Jr & Sr High youth!


Tuesday Thoughts

Yes, it's been a few days....yes, I've heard the complaints that it's been a few days...

So, today - Blindness....Sunday night at YG we talked about the blind man healed by Jesus...I can help but wonder what kind of healing Christ has and is doing in the lives of our youth.

There are things that get in our way each step we take - my prayer is that each of you will stop, take a breath and take a look around. What do you see - or not see? What or who is getting in your line of sight?

As you start to look for answers to these important questions - now ask yourself what you're going to do about it. Remember only YOU can stand up - go against the flow and be the person God has Called you to be. You don't have to go it alone - but you do have to be the one to reach out and ask for the help you'll need on the journey.

So, it's up to you (youth & adults) are you reaching out and asking for the help you need at this point in your walk?


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Are YOU Serious?

As we get ready for a new series at WAVE - "He Did What?" I can't help but think back on a song I've heard (a lot) recently....

"Salt and Light" - many of you have sung it, several in the last week on the Mission I you really mean what you're singing?

You make me want to be like You
Your holiness I will pursue
I want the heart of Jesus
Show me the meaning of Your grace
I want to give the world a taste
Of the love of Jesus

So, are you serious? do you really want God to make you like Him? Are you pursuing Holiness? Do you really, I mean REALLY want The Heart of Jesus? Are you really looking for the meaning of His Grace? And lastly, do you want to give the world a taste of the love of Jesus?

If so, what are you really doing about it? Are you sharing your faith? Does that seem too much or too hard for you? Here's an idea - bring a friend, just one friend to WAVE for the next 3 weeks - let the leaders do the hard work of sharing the GOSPEL....remember I challenged you to do that and then just follow up with them after WAVE - head over to Scooters and chat with them.

If you were at WAVE last time (3 Sunday's ago) you wrote down 5 names of friends - pull that out - keep praying for them and then call one up and invite them to WAVE Sunday night - after all if you sing the song you should mean what you're singing...praying for each of you.

Your Bro In HIM,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Votes aren't even in...

We have a President and regardless of who you voted for as an American you must respect our leader.

Not that I agree with the choice - not that I would have agreed with either choice - but still...I've heard some people want to move to Mexico and some just think the country is going down the toilet.

Either way - I think it's time for reform in our election process - away with the Electoral College and in with majority vote! And when that happens we need to limit the media's coverage of the election until ALL polls have closed - so that all votes can count.


How is your breathing?

Howdy Mission Team....

It's coming upon 72 hours since we returned to Lincoln from the Mission Trip...I just wanted to remind you to pause and check your breathing - not literally, as I'm sure you've all adjusted to the lower altitude again and are physically breathing fine. Rather, how are you doing on return to "life?" How has the first two days back to classes been? Are you following through on whatever you felt Called TO or FROM?

Take some time today and tomorrow to check in with each other and maybe even your leaders to see how things are going and to share where you're at. Every time you experience a "mountain-top" trip/retreat you've got to come down sooner or later - that however doesn't mean you have to come crashing down - take it one step at a time and make the changes necessary to improve your walk with Him.

I'm praying for you and hope you'll continue to be open and excited for the One who has Called you.


Pray Vote Pray

I have to admit, I'm a bit worried about what will begin to happen as a result of today!

It's not that I don't have faith that God can do what God needs to do - I just have a smaller faith in human-kind than I do in God and I'm afraid we're going to screw it up again.

I don't think everyone will honestly stop and pray before voting and those who do - I'm not sure that those who do pray have really listened - or even given God the chance to really answer. Or maybe the answer is no answer at all - maybe both of our choices are not the choice God would have. I'm not even 100% sure that I've prayed about it enough.

I guess when it all comes to the closing polls tonight - we just have to give it up to God and pray that whoever will become our next President will be someone that will allow God to use them.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Home at last, home at last...

We're back in Lincoln - safely!

Hope you'll join us in worship at Nov 2 at 10:30 or either of the services at First Pres on Nov 9th. The youth have a great worship service put together.

Hope you get a chance to hear some stories and experience from any of our 25 youth from the Mission Team.

I'm off to do laundry and get things in order for worship tomorrow - thank you everyone for your support and prayers - I really appreciate.

His Servant,

Friday, October 31, 2008

Extra, Extra Read All About it!

We've made the paper - there is a great article in the Estes Park Trail Gazette - each youth will be coming home with a copy of the printed version - but for the rest of you and the parents who want to read it now....check out the online article.

We'll be heading out tomorrow morning for our return trip to Lincoln. Don't forget the Mission Team will be leading worship at GSPC this Sunday at 10:30 and Nov 9th at First Pres. We hope you'll join us to worship and learn about our trip.


It is finished...

Today we finished our work projects. The youth were so excited to finish what they had started - and let me tell you the leaders are proud of each of them.

Again, another great campfire tonight - the tables turned a bit and the youth had a chance to ask questions of the leaders - some great questions were asked.

Also, as I reported earlier in the week we had some reporters from the local paper our this week and a story will be running on our groups efforts here in Estes this week. We will be bringing home extra copies (one for each youth) so look for that when they get home so you can see the pictures and stories.

Tomorrow morning the youth will be having a Sabbath - a time to rest and take in what they have experienced this week. After lunch we'll be diving into more of our fun day activities. For now though I must get to finishing touches on a worship bulletin for Sunday.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Early

I'm sitting on the floor of my room - stalling to go shower and get ready for the day - as if sitting here will give me more sleep or something. It's inevitable - breakfast is at 7 regardless of how long one stalls or tries to sleep just 5 more minutes.

Today, is our last day of work (or service as we like to call it). We will be heading up to our service site one last time. On today's list (as far as we know) fire mitigation. We've already helped "mitigate" 5-6 (or maybe more) loads of firewood that will be distributed to low-income families in the area to help heat their homes this winter. I think the kids are proud of this project they've been working on.

After 3 today we'll be done - and ready to rest and have a little fun to celebrate. Pray for the team today - as even with tired muscles and minds we will stay focused - in order to get the project completed but also that we will be mindful of safety as well.

Okay, I've stalled long enough - plus my little container of Apple Jacks is almost gone - time to face another beautiful day in the mountians.


Late, Long, Love

It's Late!

It's been a Long day!

I Love what God did through everything today.

Summary - great weather, okay food (every other day it's been great - today just an off day for the kitchen), awesome opportunities to see God, more work accomplished, several minor injuries (cuts, bruises and blisters), and a way-cool (rock-your-face-off) campfire!

Ask your youth about "Called to Share."

I'm out,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Called To Worship

It's Tuesday - actually in Nebraska it's Wednesday now - but we're talking about Tuesday!

Today we focused on some hard work and we finished our day by introducing our next them of "Called To Worship."

It really started when we all sat down as a team and really hammered out the worship plans for the next two Sunday's (reminder worship at GSPC on Nov 2 and at First on Nov 9) should be proud of these youth - they put together the worship service in just one evening - and the quality is great - I can't wait for you to experience this opportunity to come before God under the leadership of your teens.

We then transitioned into our campfire - we talked a lot about worshiping God in whatever our circumstances - good times and bad God wants our worship. I think they got it - I really do, tonight was another powerful night, God was really at work in a handful of our teens tonight - several came up to leaders seeking a listening ear or help answering some of the questions we posed to them....pray that God will continue to work in their hearts and that they would be open to His Calling for them.

Time to hit the sack - until tomorrow....


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

12:24 @ Home

Just thought I'd post quick before heading to bed. We had a great evening - with a group activity and then a great campfire. It was a bit warmer this evening so campfire seemed a bit more enjoyable. Tonight we introduced our "Called From Sin" them - I have a feeling some interesting conversations will follow in Small Groups tomorrow morning. Please pray for each of the youth as they continue to open up in their small groups as well as grow in relationship with each other and their Creator. Good night Lincoln, good night Estes - we'll see you tomorrow.


Monday, October 27, 2008

4 more buses

The morning came early - too early!

Nonetheless we got out of bed and prepared for our first day of work. This is one of the views from our rooms and the admin building. After breakfast and some Quiet Time and Small Groups we headed out to our work sites. Part of our group headed to Victims Advocacy Center to spend the morning helping them finish up some projects needing completion. The others went further up the mountain to do some fire mitigation (not sure what that is Google it). This afternoon we all worked on the fire mitigation.

Up at Mountain Side Lodge we spent time helping to remove ground fuel to prevent fires. The great thing is that all the wood we gathered will be chopped down to fire wood size and distributed to residents in Estes who cannot afford basic utilities this winter.

Here is some of the group walking down to part of the work site. Although it was a bit windy at lunch the youth seem to have had a great time. We are expecting media coverage on Wednesday from both a TV station and the local paper. We'll post details on when that coverage might be available online.

We are happy to have greeted 4 bus loads of Jr. High youth who are here on an Outdoor Ed trip. Word has it they leave Wed...then another group comes in. We're so glad to have these new neighbors living in our building. Pray for us & them!

We're off to dinner - more later!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

more thoughts before bed...

a few things I just learned....

One, the cups here are compostable (which is not a word, but Colorado makes up what they want!) Don't throw them away, don't recycle them - just pitch it in the compost pile.

Art is expensive - one of our youth just completed a $15 piece of poster sized art with Captain Planet. I can't figure out which is worse, that he's been charged $15 or that it's Captain Planet...

Water costs $1/8 ounces, or $2 downstairs, or FREE out of the faucet....but not here just at the Hyatt.

Lastly, got a question for our youth? Comment on this post and we'll see about getting some answers from the group.

From the mountains,

Eagle Cliff

It's been a LOOOOOOOOOOONG day!

So many hours on a bus - so much fun. Within 30 minutes of pulling out of Lincoln the entire bus was peacefully was so beautiful. :-) Then they woke up.....

Anyway we're here - we've moved into our Eagle Cliff lodge - our home for the week. We've also unloaded in our meeting room. Dinner was AMAZING - great food and all you can eat, great for the hungry teens.

The youth all met for the first time in their small groups and then headed to a COLD campfire. We talked about being Called to Live and how we each have a gift to be used. The cold has worn off and we're back at the Cliff, getting ready for bed and looking towards our first day of work projects.

Well, for this tired youth worker - I'm singing off - tomorrow holds a full day of work and so much more. see ya on the other side!


The wheels on the bus...

"The Calling" is under way...

The wheels on the bus are going round and round...all the way to Colorado

Okay, so it doesn't fit as well in the song - but that's where we're at....on the bus headed to Colorado for a week of Mission work and so much more. This morning we were up and at the church by 6am - on the bus by 7 and headed West.

We hope as we embark on "the Calling" that you will continue to check in with us here and keep us in your thoughts and prayers. See you soon!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Going to the Polls

It's about time for all voting Americans to head to the polls to place our votes for the next President. I've had a number of people ask me "who are you voting for?" And as I think I'm getting closer to figuring that out - I'm not quite sure yet.

You see there are many options, McCain, Obama, Mickey Mouse, Dave Ramsey, or any number of other possible write-in candidates. If I were 35 years old, my decision would be easy - I'd run! Why? Well, cuz I think I'd do a better job, even without any political background, running this country than either of our two likely candidates.

So, since I'm not 35, Mickey Mouse is not really an option and last I heard Dave Ramsey doesn't want to run where does one turn. Well, the first place - especially for Christians should be to PRAYER. We should earnestly seek God's guidance in selecting our leaders. After much prayer - we should turn to our own discernment and leading of our hearts.

It's things like our economy and this fun little 2012 Letter that make me wonder about the future state of our nation. Like my financial planner says, the economy is in the hands of us - the individuals - anyone waiting for the government to fix our economy has along wait ahead. So, I can put that "fear" to rest - as I don't really fear where our economy is going - if I take care of my own financial state then I have nothing more to worry about.

So, what about the thoughts of many that one candidate is going to "ruin our country?" We've heard these comments said about each parties candidate and I think it's worth paying attention too. If there is an accusation out there - then we owe it to ourselves to research it (ourselves) before we vote.

What worries me most is not who is put into office but the voters, I've heard countless people make statements like "I'm voting for Obama - because we're ready for a black president," or "I'm voting for McCain, because he won't live through his term and then we'll have our female president." Honestly, both are flat out stupid comments to make. Just because he's black does not mean you should vote for him - don't let it be a reason to NOT vote for him - but vote because you feel God's led you to that candidate. And don't assume you know when someone is going to die!

Bottom line - you have a right to vote - so if you're old enough vote - if you can and you don't then no complaining from you. Vote for who God has led you to vote for!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Today I've got three missions on my mind, well maybe four! This seems to be a running theme for the month of October.

This Sunday at WAVE we're going to talk about "being made for a mission" and unpacking what that really means for each of us. So, in putting my finishing touches on my talk for WAVE I'm also thinking about my own individual mission - what is mine?

Then the other two come down to actual mission trips. One leaving tomorrow for Calvin Crest. Our Young Adults will spend their Fall break giving back to the camp that many of them grew up at. Then in about a week our Jr & Sr High youth will board a bus bound for Estes Park - where they will spend their fall break (a full week) serving in the community of Estes.

I would ask for your help with this - simply PRAY! Pray for those trying to find their "mission." Knowing all of us have the same overall mission - but for finding their specific piece of that puzzle. Then, pray for those going to serve on these two trips. Lastly, I'd ask that you pray for the three young people I've encountered in the last week or so that are discerning a call to Full Time ministry - wow what a mission!

Striving To Serve,

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I think too many people in this world have become lazy and apathetic. Allow me to explain.

There are so many things going on in the world around us, and I'm not saying "the world" necessarily - but our world - the one God has placed us in. Why are people not willing to stand up for their beliefs and make time to make a difference.

Why are people suffering? Why do we allow people to go hungry - when it's obvious that some have too much?

I think it's time that we all take the focus off of ourselves, truly stop thinking about "me me me" and move to make a difference in our world. It may seem too big to change the entire world - but if we all do our part we can change the world.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Too Soon, Yet Timed Just Right...

At 6:06 am my phone rang - it woke me from a deep sleep. I rolled over, looked at the caller ID and said to myself "just a few more minutes of sleep, then I'll call him back." It's a phone call I wish I would have taken when it came. It was from someone in need - a fellow brother - I'm sorry buddy that it took me another 20 minutes to roll out of bed and call you back - I should have been there.

The phone call marked the end of a life - Zach Cech - in our eyes way too soon, but in God's I'm sure it was timed just right. It was Zach's time - and as much as it hurts and as much as his friends and family don't want to let go - it's a must - when God calls - one must listen.

I didn't know you that well - just from when you were a camper and as a design team member - but the times I knew you, the times spent with you - one learned quickly that you were full of joy and passion. You loved life! My prayer Zach is that through your Call to come home - many others will remember and relive that joy and passion that you carried with you. I know that is what you would want. I know you're up there watching down on your loved ones - they need you right now.

To the one who called - at 6:06 - know that you are loved and that He will guide you during this difficult time. Don't bottle it up - God is there for you and will see you through! I love you buddy!

In Time Zach, I'll see you again!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I just finished reading a great book; "Me, Myself, & Bob" by Phil Visher. If you've ever had a dream, (no, not the type you have while sleeping) a dream of achieving something, doing something, making a difference in the world....

....if so, this is a book for you to read. noted as "A true story about dreams, God and Talking Vegetables."

Check it out - there's a lot to learn from the failed broken dream of Phil Visher, check it out for yourself.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's Simple...

Today it's simple - no profound thoughts, no wonderful new ideas, or woeful comments - just a simple request to pray. Pray for those who are in harms way in the Gulf Coast area. Pray for our emergency response personnel and those who will help with the emergency response and rebuilding efforts. It's simple - just PRAY!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm A Barbie Girl....

No, not me - it's a song - if you know it - you're kinda old - if you don't, be thankful.

Tonight as I sat here in my "God chair" getting some work (that needed to be done) done - I had the pleasure of listening to some old-time wife was working on putting some of her old CD's onto iTunes.

It's always great to have a "fun-flashback" soundtrack to a rough night (end of day) of work.

So, tonight - a short post - see ya tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day Off

So I had a day off - my intentions for spending my day went out the window I spent most of the day hanging out with my dog. I spent some time debating (really in my head) in the spray paint aisle at Mendards today - the debate is still going on, which color and should I really do it? It's only 9 squares!

I've been toying with the idea of a regular appearance on the blog (borrowing an idea from Marko and some from Griff) for a Monday Morning Update - but I like the sound of Monday Morning Mix-Up - or something - maybe you can help name it. I like the idea of sharing some ideas of how the last week went, what's coming up this week, what music influenced me this past week, etc. So, for ALL my blog readers - I'm taking suggestions - what are some things that could fit into a regular Monday Morning Mix type of post? Leave you're suggestions and we'll see what happens.


Monday, August 25, 2008

God chair

I sit here and wonder what does God want? I usually take it beyond just the wondering stage and ask The One in charge to give me a clue. much to my surprise I've been getting quite a few clues lately. Some think - one "clue" you can ignore or it might just be you're own motives sneaking in on you - or a really bad idea. When a second (really the first one coming for round 2) comes at you - i just have to think 'I'd be dumb not to pay attention.' So I try!

So now I sit here and ask again "give me a clue" and it's like the reply was right there - you can't do it all! So, I said okay - I'm going with it!

That's it,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Boxers & more...

Well, the morning started early for a few dedicated leaders - Operation Boxer Shorts III had been put into play and completed this morning. The operation was very successful - in all 7 youth were kidnapped from their homes/beds/sleep - we took them on a short adventure before feeding them breakfast and taking them to worship. So, my day started with boxers....

Then the "more" entered the picture - a busy day was a head....why on earth do we do things like Op Boxer Shorts on the same day as the B2SB? Anyway - the rest of the day was filled with lots of air and water....a dunk tanks (that's the water) and an inflatable obstacle course (that's the air) mix that in with several dozen youth and leaders and it's a recipe for a night of fun. A lot of work - but it's worth it.

So, not much of an intellectual post - but I'm fried - and my hand is in pain - from a jambed finger to a burn from my quick attempts to come to the aid of an injured youth. Prayers for you injured youth - i hope things get better soon. For now, I sign off - and head to my bed if I listen intently I think i can hear it calling my name......nope, wait - that's just the voices starting to talk in my head! Night.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ice Cream, Boxers & Fire trucks...

In a nut shell that has been my day. Sadly I didn't get to eat any ice cream - but I did have the chance to make some "Ice cream cone cupcakes" for our Sunday School kick-off tomorrow. Kind of reminds me of the laid-back days of childhood summers. don't know why - just what it makes me think of.

The boxers, well - that's a better story for tomorrow - but trust me you'll want to check back for this story. It'll really be a good one. Fire trucks - well, they're kind of self explanatory - big, red, flashy lights and fun. I'm not sure why but I have this buried passion for fire trucks. But only when they're lights and sirens are on. I think this also goes back to my childhood - my next door neighbor and good friend growing up was obsessed (in a good way) with these elaborate emergency vehicles.

So, today my thoughts were riddled with weird ice cream cones, boxers (stay tuned) and the fire trucks paying a visit to our apartment complex. it really was a fun-filled day. all reminding me of my childhood and the reason I'm so happy to be called to work in a field where I can live many days in the likeliness of a child-like-faith.

Until later,

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's ruining the world

Okay, maybe that's not entirely true....

Well, first you probably need to know what "it" is - well you know, it's that one thing we can't talk about - if we do, we must whisper the word - or blush at the mere thought of it. So, there "it" is - and it's ruining the world.

back to my original response - maybe it's not entirely true - but I believe that somehow, somewhere along the line something went terribly wrong. Where in the world did we get the idea (and I mean world, cuz it's sure not God's thinking) that it is okay to just throw it around like it doesn't even matter - I mean, where's the respect?

Respect for yourself, each other, what it stands for - and bottom line respect for God! Where did it go?

I'm not sure - why, but God has blessed me with several conversations with those around me (several of which have been uncomfortable - oh, not for me, for the other party) as we talk about "it" this week. I've come out of these conversations with mixed emotions - some of them "ended well," others "I think they're on the right track" and yet others "I'm not sure what they're thinking."

So, I guess I just hope that we can all open our eyes, and start listening to God - after all God made the rules - not to keep us from having fun - but to keep us safe and closer to Him - and isn't that what we all want? To be closer to God? And to enjoy "it"



Welcome to Chris' Corner - my little corner on the web and maybe in the world to share my thoughts, ideas, reflections and whatever else comes to mind. So, check it out - agree or disagree, want my specific thoughts on something - ask - or just wait to see whats running around inside my head.