Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear God Get Me Out of Hell...

Newsflash...Jesus didn't just die to get us out of hell...Jesus died so we could be reconciled to God and live in a relationship with Him. Amen?

So, when was the time? When was the time - when you confessed to God - I was wrong, I'm a sinner, I need your Son? I'm not where I need to be - and I can't get to where I need to be without Jesus...

Confession - We can't get right with God until we're willing to admit we are wrong. It's not about bargaining with God - 'If You do A, then I'll do B.' "If You get me out of this, I'll never do it again." "If You help me pass this test, I'll study next time." "If You give me a date, I'll stop looking at porn." "If You help me get that job, I'll tithe." The lists go on and on.... If You...then I'll... THAT'S NOT TRUE CONFESSION! But too often that's the sound of church people..."I've got problems but it's not my fault." We have to stop and truly confess! Confess that He Is LORD!

When was the time in your life when you did that - because that's when we Come Home!

For me it was ten years ago today - Dec 31 1999-Jan 1 2000. Ten years ago I was standing in a worship service and it was like God turned on the light - flipped the switch inside of Chris Hansen. Sure, there were many things leading up to that day, that moment that helped me to realize it - but it was in that place that I really took hold of my Creator and said I need YOU!

The event I was at was called: "The Dawn...An Epiphany." And it was both a dawn and an epiphany for me...the past ten years have been filled with so many ups, downs and in-betweens...but every single one of them has been with Christ by my side...yes, there were times I turned away, fell down and just plain screwed up - but I would not have made it through without my Savior. I hope and pray that the next ten are a new dawn and a new epiphany for whatever He has in store for me.

So, rather than making some ridiculous New Years resolution this year - why don't you just take action, and get to where you need to be - Home - with your Creator. If you've walked away from God, or never even had a relationship with Him - make today the day you make a decision that will change your life for all of eternity.

As we celebrate another New Years, as I reflect back on the past ten years - and what my moment was like in the worship service - my prayers are for you - that you will find your relationship with your Creator - Jesus Christ! God is watching and waiting just for you to come back to His arms.

...and for those of you who are already right with God, in a relationship with Christ, you know that this is not a spectators sport - you need to pray that God will move in the hearts of those who are yet to come I ask, invite, beg you to pray for those you know and those you don't that need to Come Home to Christ this New Years!

Here's to hoping you Come Home,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Come Home

I was watching the Christmas Eve service from NewSpring, Perry Noble's church and saw this video...enjoy:

Christmas Opener: Just Come Home from NewSpring Production on Vimeo.

If you haven't 'come home' to your Savior I hope and pray that you will! Wherever you are, whatever you've done, whoever you've become - He's waiting with open arms - just come home!

Friday, December 18, 2009

What Would Jesus Say?

editors note: the following post is from "Getting Fired For The Glory of God" Collected Words of Mike Yaconelli for Youth Workers. I read this article this morning and thought it was timely - originally published in Jan 2000 - interesting to see where we are today, ten years later, enjoy!


Me: "Hey, Jesus!"

Jesus: "Hey."

Me: "I'm a youth worker."

Jesus: "I know. I'm Jesus - remember?"

Me: " Okay. Okay. did you make me do youth ministry?"

Jesus: "I didn't 'make' you do youth ministry; I called you."

Me: "Yeah, right. Called might as well be the same as made. I mean, you made it so I wouldn't be happy doing anything else. You ruined all the other options, Jesus."

Jesus: "You're welcome."

Me: (sigh) "Here's the deal: If you wanted me to do this youth worker thing, then you must believe youth ministry is pretty important."

Jesus: "I do."

Me: "Well, how come the adults in church don't believe it's that important? And have you looked at the pay scale lately? We're always at the bottom of the priority list."

Jesus: "I can relate to that."

Me: "And all they want me to be is a recreation director. You know...plan nice activities and keep their kids from drinking, doing drugs, and getting pregnant.

Jesus: "They believe youth ministry is about making young people nice?"

Me: "Well, yeah, I mean, they believe you're a nice guy and everything - and they want their kids to be like you.

Jesus: "Look, these parents believe I'm a nice idea. They believe I care about what they care about. They want me to be an enhancement to their lifestyles - and they don't want me making their kids uncomfortable with their lifestyles. Basically, they believe I died on a cross to help their kids get good SAT scores, be captains of football teams and cheer-leading squads, and have nice lives. They believe I want to help their children become good Americans. Yuck!"

Me: "I didn't think Jesus would say 'Yuck!'"

Jesus: "It's a Greek word."

Me: "Oh. But aren't Christian's supposed to be nice?"

Jesus: "You believe I died on a cross to make people nice? You believe I want to be relegated to the status of motivational speaker? Listen, I don't even like football, and I definitely don't like nice people. Look at my disciples! Talk about loud, obnoxious, rude, and flaky - hey, these guys were anything but nice. Remember when 'Mr. Nice Guy' John wanted me to send fire down on a little Samaritan village because they wouldn't let us stay for the night?
"Start telling parents their sons and daughters should take a year after high school and do missions work in South Africa, and see how long you last. Tell them it isn't a good decision to make their kids go to soccer camp instead of church camp, and see how supportive they'll be. Truth is, I came to ruin people's lives - just like I ruined yours. I came to turn people's lives upside down. Remember all that stuff I said about being a sword and turning parents against children? I wasn't kidding."

Me: "But if I let you start ruining kid's lives, we might lose some of them."

Jesus: "Good."

Me: "How can you say 'good'?! Look, I'm beginning to wonder if you're really Jesus."

Jesus: "Why?"

Me: "Why? Because everybody knows youth ministry is about reaching as many students as possible. We've been trying to reach every student for Christ by the year 2000! I mean, this year we're going to have rallies and crusades nationwide with more than 100,000 kids at each of them. We're going to link the entire world by satellite. We're going to have the largest crowds ever!"

Jesus: "I don't like crowds."

Me: "You don't like crowds?!? What are you talking about?!"

Jesus: "I don't like crowds. Go back and read my story. Yes, I had crowds from time to time, but most of the people in them just wanted more wine, food, and power. Then - when I didn't give them what they wanted - they killed me. Nope. I don't like crowds. Besides, my best work was done one-on-one. You know...the woman at the well, the crazy guy, the blind man, the woman caught in adultery. That's when I did my best stuff."

Me: " isn't very efficient."

Jesus: "I know. I don't believe in efficiency."

Me: "What?!?"

Jesus: "Let me put it this way: I believe in making disciples one at a time. Very slow stuff."

Me: "But Jesus, I thought you were into 'fast.'"

Jesus: "Nope, I'm about slow. And small."

Me: "Oh, man. If I keep listening to you, I'm going to be fired!"

Jesus: "Good for you."

Me: "Good for me?!? Uh, Jesus, it's not that easy!"

Jesus: "I didn't say it would be easy. I said it would be hard."

Me: "But hard is...well...hard"

Jesus: "Tell me about it."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

How will the teacher respond

Whoever did this homework was thinking on their feet!

Gotta love it!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Don't miss this...

Came across this blog this morning....had to pass it on...

15 Signs That A Church Is In Trouble!

Which is your favorite?


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hmmm, shame on Wal Mart

Came across this article about Wal Mart this morning.
I'd be curious to know if it's really true - guess I'll be checking with those I know who work at Wal Mart.


Monday, October 19, 2009

David & Goliath video

saw this video this morning and had a bit of a laugh!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents

this weeks to dos ~ RIPPLE, WAVE, several meetings, class, a handful of reading.

book I'm reading ~ Purpose Driven Church (Warren)

tunes that triggered ~ hands down the new DCB album - you must check it out (then let me know what you think!)

think about a thought ~ what if Jesus were to walk into your life (home, work, school, youth group, wherever) WWJT (What Would Jesus Tweet?) Seriously - I want to hear your thoughts on (140 characters or less) what Jesus would have to post to His Twitter about your life...

Scripture to skim ~ you pick....what are you liking this week - share with me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pass the Bacon!

This made me laugh so I had to pass it on...


Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ great weekend - Steph and I spent Saturday washing the cars and getting the garage cleaned out...finally it's clean and organized. Sunday my team and I participated in the Alzheimer's Memory Walk - good times - if you're interested in walking next year let me know. And then I had some great discussions Sunday evening at DIVE.

this weeks to dos ~ a couple meetings, some prep work on a project for this winter, things around the house and other randomness

book I'm reading ~ Purpose Driven Church (lovin' it and can't wait to see how it applies to GSPC)

tunes that triggered ~ just listening to a play list of random songs this week...I think I'm gonna go check out DCB new album that released today "Church Music."

thoughts on the coming week ~ eh, nothing too out there - it should be a good week!

Scripture to skim ~ again back to the Bible in the Year, check out the plan on the website - join in it's a blast!

Monday, September 21, 2009


So, I'm going to assume something (dangerous I know...) but if you're reading this I'm going to assume you're human!

If you're human then you face temptation!

So, what temptation is in your life?

Check out this great article on developing a plan to beat temptation in your life!


Friday, September 18, 2009

No boat....just a square!

See, good music can come with good lyrics...who needs "I'm on A Boat?" - that's right, no one!

Thought these youth workers did a great job...


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If So....then Why?

Came across this interesting piece of info from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life:

  • Congress is more Protestant (55 percent) than the U.S. general population (which is 51 percent), more Catholic (30 vs. 24 %), more Jewish (8 vs. 2 %), and more Mormon (3 vs. 2 %).
  • One in six Americans (17 percent) list no religious preference, compared to only five members of Congress (1%).
  • There are 43 Presbyterians* in Congress, or 8 percent of the total; by comparison, Presbyterians are only 3 percent of the U.S. population. Only two Protestant groups have more representation in Congress: Baptists (66) and Methodists (57).
  • There are 31 Presbyterians in the House(7 percent), 12 in the Senate (12 percent).
  • More Presbyterians in Congress are Republicans (24) than Democrats (19).
* All but one belong to the PC (USA).

So, my question is - if only 1% of Congress claims no religious preference then why do our politicians act the way they do? True, many will say 'because they are human,' but seriously, why?


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You might not finish...what?

Crazy Love - chapter 2!

You could die before you finish reading this blog post. Yes, today, you could die!
"What about driving down the road at sixty-five miles per hour, only a few feet away from cars going the opposite direction at the same speed? Someone would only have to jerk his or her arm and you would be dead. I don't think that's morbid; I think it's reality."

--okay that was just a random part pulled from the first part of chapter comes my real thoughts on this chapter.

Suppose you are an extra in an upcoming movie. You will probably scrutinize that one scene where hundreds of people are milling around, just waiting for that two-fifths of a second when you can see the back of your head. Maybe your mom and your closest friend get excited about that two-fifths of a second with you...maybe. But no one else will realize it is you. Even if you tell them, they won't care.
Let's take it a step further. What if you rent out the theater on opening night and invite all your friends and family to come see the new movie about you? People will say, "You're an idiot! How could you think this movie is about you?"

Chan goes on to say many Christians are even more delusional than this person just described. So many people think and live like the 'movie of life' is all about them.

Now if you were to really just take a small step back and think about that...take a look at Scripture and THINK! God existed outside of time and therefore long, long, long before us. And then God created the world (See Genesis) and then more stuff happened (continue to see Genesis) and we still hadn't entered the picture, and we haven't even begun with what Scripture records as, how can anyone in their right mind think this 'movie' is about them?

I know what you're thinking - the sad thing is there are folks out there who just don't get it. Sure, we've all had a momentary lapse in judgment - we're all guilty of that - but seriously how is it possible that we live as if it were about us?

We have this two-fifths of a second long scene to live. I want my scene to come from 1 Corinthians 10:31.

What does this mean for you?

What does this mean for the church?

Pointing to Him,

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ great week - first off my neighbor came over out of the blue and offered to get the final prep work done on our retaining wall (this was a blessing), I came home from work to find the entire first layer of the wall completed and level. The weekend was spent working a bit on the wall, running some errands and other tasks around the home. Sunday was the kick-off for Jr & Sr DIVE - I think all the groups had a great time.

this weeks to dos ~ more meetings, RIPPLE & WAVE, a movie screening for a film releasing in January (supposed to be a great movie for teens, parents & youth leaders). Finishing touches on the retaining wall, some reading, class and some other odds and ends!

book I'm reading ~ The Bible in a year with the church, Crazy Love, Purpose Driven Life, Purpose Driven Church (starting that one this week)

tunes that triggered ~ nothing really in particular - I'm currently stuck on a play list I've put together on my iPod.

thoughts on the coming week ~ I'm excited to see how WAVE turns out this week, to see the RIPPLE kids on the new playground and to see a special Leaders screening of the movie "To Save A Life."

Scripture to skim ~ check out and look up the Bible-in-a-year reading plan.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Teens can be good people too...

Ran across this story of a local teen who did the right thing!


Stop Praying...

Fools talk at God, the wise come to God without saying a word and stand in awe!

Which do we tend to do?

R.C. Sproul writes, "Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God."

I agree with Chan here "I sometimes struggle with how to properly respond to God's magnitude in a world bent on ignoring or merely tolerating Him. But know this: God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him."

Characteristics of God:
  • God is holy. We don't get to decide who God is (Ex3:14). We don't change that. Isn't it a comfort to worship a God we cannot exaggerate?
  • God is eternal. Everything began at a certain time, except God - God exists outside of time, and since we are within time, there, is no way we will ever totally grasp that concept.
  • God is all-knowing. Scary isn't it? You may be able to 'pull one over' on your family or friends - but never on God.
  • God is all-powerful. Don't we live instead as though God is create for us, to do our bidding, to bless us, and to take care of our loved ones?
  • God is fair and just. No question about it: God hates and must punish sin. And He is totally just and fair in doing so.
What to you think?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Crazy Love

I would like to introduce you to a friend, a Pastor, a father, an author and someone who is on a journey towards a closer and deeper relationship with his Creator; Francis Chan. Francis is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA. He spends a lot of time traveling the country speaking to students and leaders alike. For our purposes here he is the author of "Crazy Love, Overwhelmed By A Relentless God."

Over the next 11 posts or so I'm going to talk about what Chan presents in each chapter and some of my thoughts on them (in relation to me, the Church and my church.) Please join the conversation - share your thoughts and heck if you're up to it - go pick up a copy of the book and read along!

In the opening paragraph Chan says, at first he thought it was all him, until he was standing before 20 thousand college students and asked: "How many of you have read the New Testament and wondered if we in the church are missing it?" Almost every hand went up he recalls. and mine would too!

In fact, I sat in worship just last week and wondered what we were not doing as a church? I thought of the message we try to hit home with the youth every week at youth group...the message of The Great Commission - to make disciples of all nations - to get out of our chairs and invite our friends, neighbors, family, etc to youth group (& worship) with us. I asked myself why this message hasn't been presented to the general church? Why don't we talk about evangelism in big church?

Now I'm thinking of the Gospel. Yes, the kind where you get the picture in your head of someone having an altar call! Last year in youth group we presented the Gospel message in some fashion every week. So, why don't we do that in big church? Are we as adults too afraid? I heard a pastor say this last week that Jesus spoke most about not being afraid, or worried, or full fear.

So, how do we as big church (not just the youth groups, or the younger generations) increase our desire for "more God?" How do we incorporate the Gospel and the Great Commission into our weekly worship experiences? Or are we okay with where we're at? Are we 'just comfortable?' I don't know about you but God has really been pushing me recently and I'm not happy with comfortable - I want my desire for more God to go through the roof.

Are you with me?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The President, his speech and You!

I did not get a chance to listen to or see President Obama's speech to the students but I happen to see a nice article about it and wanted to share some thoughts and also hear some thoughts (from you - please share your comments here on the blog).

"Every single one of you has something that you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer," Obama told students

This is so true - everyone has a gift, everyone has a strength...what is yours? (parents; ask your kids/teens what they feel their gift/strength is/are)

"be careful what you post on Facebook. Whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life."

If only they understood this. Sometimes when people ask me if I'm on Facebook they laugh when I say yes. I think, wait, I'm not that old that it's funny that I'm on FB. In reality I'm there because of my job - it's a tool to connect with students, and it's where they're at, so as a Youth Worker we must go to where they are.

So what is the truth here? Will what kids post on Facebook really come back to haunt them someday? Chances are yes! If you're posting pictures, notes, etc about some of your behavior then colleges, future employers and oops even family may run into it. I've seen some pretty questionable material (photos, videos, links and more) from the youth of Good Shepherd. Ask yourself if that is really a true representation of who you are. Parents, are you on Facebook? If you answered NO and your child is, then I HIGHLY recommend you setup a profile today! My general advice to parents is that if you child is on a social networking site then they have to give unquestioned access to the parents at ANY TIME to their profile.

If you need help setting up a profile and your teen can't or isn't home enough to help you - ask, I'd love to give you some pointers! I've heard it said "if you wouldn't leave your front door unlocked and open overnight, then you shouldn't allow youth 'free' access to places like facebook."

"There is no excuse for not trying" he said in the speech. "Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it," Obama said. "The truth is, being successful is hard.

If you won't try, then who will do it for you? Regardless of if you voted for him or not, whether you like where his policies are taking us - you have to come together and agree the above statements ring true for our nation. America is not a nation of 'handouts,' if you want to get something or go somewhere in this life you have to try, you must put in the effort. I was once told and I still believe it today that "hard isn't easy, hard builds character." Isn't character what this country needs more of?

The only free gift we get in this life is God's gift of Salvation, and is that really free? In order to receive it we have to accept it and give Him our whole life. Last time I checked living the Christian walk was not easy - but boy is it ever worth it!

So there you have it, some thoughts on the Presidents thoughts - now what are yours?


Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ it was long...which in most cases is good - but we spent everyday over the weekend working on replacing a retaining wall in our front yard. Never again will I take on a project like this...clay + roots + un-level ground + more roots = a crappy attempt at a wall! I'm sure once it's complete it will look all nice and such - but building it sucks!

this weeks to dos ~ back to work tomorrow, some meetings to get to and probably some more work on that darn wall.

thoughts on the coming week ~ at this point I don't really have any...just a lot of random thoughts running through my head!

think about a thought ~ check out my post below (What's your FIRST) and feel free to share your thoughts in a comment or an email this week - i'm really curious what you're thinking!

Scripture to skim ~ check out the Bible in a Year reading plan on GSPC's website

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What's your FIRST?

Everyone worships?

Don't believe me, follow along. Everyone has the same amount of minutes in the day, and days in the week. God has graciously given ALL of us the choice of how and where to spend our time.

So, take a look at where you spent your time in the past week - and - where you're planning to spend it in the next.

Wherever the majority of your time is spent is what you are worshiping?

Does this mean you have to spend two hours every morning in silence reading Scripture and praying to God? Nope! But it does mean we have to put God first; this week and next and the next.

We must stop and ask ourselves are we taking time daily to talk with (& listen) to where God is calling us? I mean really take time, not just the 'after-thought' time! Are we joining others in (corporate) worship on a weekly basis? And outside of that are we joining in fellowship with other believers? (i.e. a small group, Bible Study, class, youth group, or something to help us continue to grow Spiritually)

And lastly, are we sharing all of this with those we encounter in our lives? Yes, it's the "E" word - Evangelism, and Jesus calls us all to 'go out and make disciples.'

So, what are you going to worship this week? What are you going to put First?


Thursday, September 3, 2009

NIV or not?

Check out the article posted in the USA Today:

Update of popular 'NIV' Bible due in 2011

what are your thoughts?


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ it was nice, a bit slower than the recent past (weekends). Finally got the check book caught up and then headed to camp for the annual Quilt Auction. It was great to see some old friends...and we even came home with two auction items. After worship on Sunday we went to pick up the final load of our retaining wall brick. All in all a pretty low-key weekend.

this weeks to dos ~ class, a couple of meetings, RIPPLE & WAVE have their first meetings of the year (woo hoo!) and a few other odds and ends. Then a four-day weekend - you know what that means....time to build the retaining wall....anyone who wants to help with some manual labor come on over. Oh, the Bible in a year reading starts at Good Shep today too...hoping to participate in this.

book I'm reading ~ Purpose Driven Youth Ministry - D. Fields. I've read this one before - just doing a quick review. Then I'm on to something new.

thoughts on the coming week ~ lookin' forward to it.

think about a thought ~

Scripture to skim ~ Check out the Resources page at for the Bible in a year reading plan and instead of skimming this week - join us in getting started on this exciting adventure over the coming year.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Flashback to the 80's

We spent some time this evening re-living our childhood, through the tv shows we used to watch.

Here is one of the classics!

What ever happened to good TV?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ well to sum it up it kinda sucked! I was looking forward to one of my first weekends with nothing really scheduled for the past two months. Then the phone rang. Sadly, I was called to join some students at the loss of their friend, classmate and loved one - Emily Johnson. Although the loss and death of a youth is horrible, it was a privilege to come along side so many of those grieving and be a listening ear, a presences in the crowd or a word or prayer of encouragement.

on a lighter note, I spent Sunday with my wife - we're working on getting ready to replace a retaining wall at our home - so we picked up some of the stone and still have to go back for more. Sunday evening was spent on the UNL campus for Big Red Welcome. We had a booth set up for FUEL a new young adult ministry that is just getting off the ground. It was fun to meet so many people and hand out so many air fresheners. If nothing else the college dorm rooms and cars will smell a bit fresher this semester!

this weeks to dos ~ funeral, Back-2-School BASH, class, meetings, Thirsty, FUEL, and more...

book I'm reading ~ just finishing up Strengths Based Leadership. Then I'm gonna glance back at PDYM.

tunes that triggered ~ Amazing Grace

thoughts about the coming week ~ its going to be interesting...I started back to school yesterday to work towards finishing my degree (Sociology) at NWU. I'm excited about the class I'm in this semester. I'm looking forward to some of our projects, papers, readings etc. I'm also looking forward to our first FUEL meeting on Friday and of course the Back-2-School BASH tomorrow.

Scripture to skim ~ Ecc 4:1-4

Friday, August 21, 2009

What if...

What if you walked into youth group for the first time (ever) and experienced this....

What would you think?


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ I LOVED this past weekend. I had the opportunity to spend most of it at the St. Benedict Center for our annual Student Ministry Leaders Retreat. I loved the chance to get away and spend some time in fellowship with some of the team, reading, reflecting and connecting with God.
Then we came home - 'loved' finding that our home & front yard had been vandalized. Honestly it really just disappoints me - two weekends in a row - both when we were out of town. Sad!

this weeks to dos ~ some work around the house. At the office, getting some final wraps on the Fall Kick-off stuff and Leadership teams.

book I'm reading ~ Finished reading "Your Own Jesus" by Mark Hall over the weekend...a great read - recommend! Currently reading "Strengths Based Leadership" by Tom Rath & Barry Conchie - great read, highly recommend and can't wait to see what it will do for our church leadership.

thoughts on the coming week ~ does school really have to start tomorrow? I'm not quite ready for Fall Kick-offs

Scripture to skim ~ Romans 12:4-8

Monday, August 17, 2009


Here is a video I ran across on Youth Specialties...ask yourself if you want to text & drive after watching this...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ last week was busy, hectic and frustrating...the weekend however was good. A chance to spend sometime with extended family at the wedding of my wife's cousin. The only downside was the time it took for the reception to get underway.

this weeks to dos ~ eye doctor - maybe new glasses. work - still working on Fall kick-off stuff, can't wait for the Back-2-School BASH, it's gonna be a blast. I've got a couple of meetings and hopefully a round of golf later in the week before heading out of town for our Student Ministries Leaders Retreat.

book I'm reading ~ Purpose Driven, Messy Spirituality and the new one by Mark Hall.

tunes that triggered ~ "Marvelous Light" great song!!!

Scripture to skim ~ Philemon (yes the entire book!)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A letter to those who TRIED to TP us...

Dear Attempted TPer(s),

It was very disappointing to pull into our drive after a weekend out of town to see a sad, sad attempt at TPing our home. So, allow me to offer some pointers and suggestions for the next target on your TP list.

  1. Always TP when your target is home (asleep) It really is no fun (or even a challenge) to TP someone when you know they are out of town. (Plus it looks bad to the neighbors when no one is even home to clean it up the next morning.)
  2. Do it after dark - anyone who goes to TP when the sun is still up or nearly up needs a lesson in being how to pull a prank!
  3. Never forget your supplies (this also means do not leave anything behind other than the TP).
  4. Always stick to your target - don't TP the neighbors they're likely to get upset - especially when they're not the target!
  5. CAREFUL! There are more than 340 homeowners each year that shoot the TPers with shotguns.(45 each year result in at least 1 persons death) (I found this one online - I wouldn't use a shotgun, but a paintball gun is not out of the question - just a fair warning!!)
  6. Don't use TP that will disintegrate if it rains - it makes clean up a lot easier when it disappears. :-)
  7. Plan ahead - know the neighborhood and what time it 'goes to bed.'
  8. In most cases - especially if TPing your youth leader/director/pastor you should expect at some point down the road to receive retaliation. (the general rule for YD's is x10 whatever you've done to them).
  9. Don't leave rolls behind - it's like free TP for the house you've targeted
  10. If the target knows or possibly knows you're coming - abort - reschedule for another time.
  11. Think! Don't trespass - if the target has a fenced backyard - you should probably stay out of it. Oh, and never vandalize - remember you're playing a prank, not looking to break the law.
So, there are some thoughts and pointers for those of you who tried to TP us. Thanks for loving us so much to make this attempt to pull a prank.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents (on Wed)

thoughts on the past weekend ~ had a great long weekend in K.C. Stephanie and I took a short vacation to get away for a few days. We spent quite a bit of time hanging out on the Plaza. We took part of a day and went to the Nelson-Atkins Museum (you should check it out if you're in the KC area) and another day we went to Schlitterbahn - a newly open water park in the KC area. Overall a great weekend to sit back and relax.

this weeks to dos ~ a lot back in the office - finishing touches on Leadership Teams (I hope) - I'm waiting on people to get back to me on what they have discerned and prayed about as far as serving. Also getting ready for our Leaders Retreat next weekend. Overall a busy week!

book I'm reading ~ Messy Spirituality, Purpose Driven Life

thoughts on the coming week ~ it's gonna be a ride - a busy one at that!

Scripture to skim ~ John 11

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ last week was a busy week - getting ready for Fall kick-off stuff and to be out for the weekend on a MT. Friday morning 16 of us from GS headed down to K.C. for an Inter-gen Mission Trip. The youngest was 15 and the oldest 80. Wow, what a trip. The group was great and the work was too. We spent our working time with the K.C. Rescue Mission. What a great ministry to the homeless of KC. I can't wait to go back again and help some more. Sounds like we might be making this a regular trip for our congregation. Also worshiped with our host church in KC (Gashland Pres) - heard a great sermon on Hell - still wondering what others thought about the message.

this weeks to dos ~ meetings, work and more work....and then vacation. This week and next are packed with Fall prep stuff for work - leader recruitment (still), prep for the leaders retreat, wrapping things up with my summer intern, and so much more. a handful of meetings as well. The blessing is Friday I'm out for vacation - Steph and I are headed to Kansas City for a 4-day weekend - time to relax and get a way before the Fall sneaks up on me. Can't wait!

book I'm reading ~ Purpose Driven Life; R. Warren, and Messy Spirituality; M. Yaconelli

tunes that triggered ~ a small handful of songs - each week LifeChurch puts their worship set up in a podcast and the last two have really spoken to me. great stuff - check them out on iTunes in the podcast section. sometimes I wish we could have worship sets like this as GS!

thoughts on the coming week ~ at camp we used to sing a song every Friday night about 7:30pm it went something like this "it's Friday, the campers are gone hooray for us (clap clap clap clap) - that's kind of my thoughts for the week - looking forward to Friday.

Scripture to skim ~ I'm really sticking on Phil 2:14-15 right now - I think it's what I need to focus on.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ well I can't much remember back to last week - so we'll stick with the weekend....I spent it with a bunch of teenagers and a handful of adults who sometimes act like teenagers - that's how we all get along so well! It was another TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) weekend and boy did God have a few things in store for me. I had an opportunity to work with some really great and Godly people dedicated to sharing Christ with others. I'm pretty sure I had a "light came on" moment with one of my youth....I'm tired - but it was absolutely worth it.

this weeks to dos ~ catch up on sleep, meetings, lots of them - with youth - catching up with them from all the summer activities. getting ready for a 3-day mission trip to K.C. and my favorite part of the week is tomorrow (Wed) Stephanie and I will celebrate our 3 year anniversary.

book I'm reading ~ Purpose Driven Life

tunes that triggered ~ sadly I'm trying to figure that out - I heard this really great song today and I can't figure out what it was - hopefully I'll update you on that later.

thoughts on the coming week ~ well I'm excited for dinner with Steph for our anniversary (we're taking 4 day's down to K.C. next weekend - that's kinda our celebration/vacation) - even though she already figured out what I got her - she's no fun!

Scripture to skim ~ Proverbs 3:5 & Ecclesiastes 4

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents (131)

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ a slower paced weekend than the last - got some work done around the house (cleaning, yard work etc.) Had the opportunity for our RIPPLE Summer Splash on Sunday after worship. A final training meeting for an upcoming event and then a mission trip reunion party Sunday night. Yesterday was a great day as well - VBS kicked-off and the energy was high around the church. Also had a great conversation with a young adult - I'm so glad he's getting things together and seems committed to moving on with getting his life on track! Prayin' for him.

this weeks to dos ~ more on Fall prep (kick-offs, leader recruitment/prep), getting ready for a weekend youth event (starts Thursday afternoon), also having some friends over to the house tonight.

book I'm reading ~ going through Purpose Driven with a young man

thoughts about the coming week ~ it's a long one - but should be great! looking forward to it!

Scripture to skim ~ Phil 2:14-15

Monday, July 13, 2009

Learning to Walk...

So, this made me laugh - maybe I'm a horrible person for laughing but I thought I'd be honest. Yes, the city workers should have put the cones out - but come on - the girl is at fault too...

What do you think?

Friday, July 10, 2009

United Breaks Guitars...

Apparently if you are planning air travel with your guitar (on United) you should think differently.

Here is what United had to say on their Twitter

You can Google the story for more updates and details...I just thought it was a bit funny!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents (128)

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ I had a lot of fun this past weekend - however it was a busy one. First, this last week was busy around the office with post-mission trip work and getting my Intern lined up with some projects. Friday was nice to have the day off - spent time with some friends at some 4th parties. Saturday we spent some time with family and then the evening with some friends at a comedy show. By Sunday afternoon I was dragging - but went to church, then an afternoon meeting and a lite evening.

this weeks to dos ~ lots in the on finishing up MT financials, work with my intern, a handful of meetings and work towards Fall kick-off stuff.

tunes that triggered ~ listened to some Big Daddy Weave and of course a bit of M. Jackson.

Scripture to skim ~ John 17

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Noah's (Lego) Ark

Last week I heard about a church attempting to set a LEGO world record - building a replica of Noah's Ark.

Built on a 1:37 scale the Ark was built with custom LEGO pieces shipped from the LEGO headquarters. The finished project is 12 ft long, 2 ft wide and 18 inches tall. Check out one of the pictures from the completed project.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday's Two Cents (126)

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ a bit of a down week following the mission trip. I had some time this past week to get some things caught up around the house - more unpacked and put away. I also had the opportunity to catch up with a former youth back from college. Over the weekend we had some youth over for some food and fellowship.

this weeks to dos ~ back to work! Lots to do post-mission trip, other office work, prep for fall (including leader recruitment). It's a busy one...but at least my intern is back. :-)

book I'm reading ~ Purpose Driven Life by R. Warren. Thought I'd venture back to this one that's been sitting on my bookshelf for some time.

thoughts on the coming week ~ it's a busy one - but it's also a holiday week so I'm looking forward to the weekend!

think about a thought ~ what is your favorite 4th of July memory?

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Calling 2010 ~ Seriously... (125)

Check out the promo for 2010...get signed up today!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents (124)

thoughts about the past weekend ~ it was busy - unpacking from the missions camp, prep for worship, and a training meeting. Also, had the privilege to attend the wedding of a former camper....Congrats Justin & Nikki!

this weeks to dos ~ laundry, work around the house, a small amount of time in the office this week as well.

thoughts on the coming week ~ glad to have a few days off after the mission trip. I'm hoping to get a lot done around the house (unpacking, lawn work, and more)

think about a thought ~ do you take God more seriously or yourself more seriously?

Scripture to skim ~ Matthew 25

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Seriously, next year (123)

It's time to get serious about next year. We've just wrapped on the 2009 summer missions trip "Burning Bush." I might add it was an amazing experience to watch the youth grow in relationships and serve those in need.

Now it's time to look towards 2010!

The Calling 2010; "Seriously..."

But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don't take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.
- Micah 6:8 -

Will you get serious? Registration is now open...pick up your form now!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Last Day

We're currently packing up our stuff and getting our rooms cleaned up.

In the next 90 minutes we'll be having breakfast, making lunches for the ride home, loading the bus and making a final sweep of all of our sleeping and meeting rooms. Our goal is to be on the road by 8 a.m. Colorado time. (for updates on our travel time and our ETA to GSPC's parking lot - follow me on Twitter today.)

I'm sure I'll do some further reflecting on the trip in the coming days and weeks - but overall this was an amazing experience. I think it would be pretty easy to say each youth grew in some way during this week.

Obviously this week would not have happened without God's plan, and some amazing volunteer leaders. Additionally, all those back home who have supported this week through prayer, financially and in other ways. The staff at the Y-camp, and all those who did behind-the-scenes this week. I'd like to say THANK YOU to our volunteers: Brian Obermeier, Tim Hansen, Stephanie Hansen, Maggie Horak, Holly Vance, Kelly Peate & Pastor Jeff. Also, my fellow Youth Director Jeff Vance. And we wouldn't be here in Estes if it weren't for our driver - Tony!

Okay, time to do room checks - remember follow us on Twitter today and we'll see you in Lincoln.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents (on Wed) (121)

Tuesday's Two-cents is a weekly post on Chris' Corner -
check back regularly to see what's going on.

thoughts about the past week(end) ~
well if you'd read my previous weeks blog post you'd have a bit of a clue as to how my week has gone....check 'em out!

this weeks to dos ~ finish the mission trip, pack, head home, unpack, go to a friends wedding, and help the youth lead worship and then rest!

book i'm reading ~ The Bible (a lot this week on the MT), a new (old) devo book and looking though a Giglio book again.

tunes that triggered ~ campfire songs!

thoughts on the coming week ~ I'm excited for the rest of the MT this week, I'm looking forward to my bed at home and a bit of time off after this trip. Oh, and the new devos we're starting with the mission team upon our return from CO.

think about a thought ~ So, what if you didn't answer your call from God.

Scripture to skim ~ Exodus 3

Finished (120)

Today was the final work day! In four work days our 39 youth and leadership have put in over 800 man hours. Pretty good for a group of crazy teens! During our four days we worked with the following agencies:
  • YMCA Camp of the Rockies
  • Victims Advocacy (shelter)
  • a local church's paintball ministry
  • Lost Antlers Ranch
  • Estes Lake
Now it's off to final prep on a camp fire and our evening activity (worship planning for the 21st - we hope you'll all join us for worship in the park 10am this Sunday - lunch provided afterward.)


A sea of Red (119)

This morning as I'm sitting hear waiting for all of the youth to wake up and come out of their rooms (breakfast is right around the corner) I am feeling a bit like being in Nebraska on a Husker game day. Today is t-shirt day...all of us are wearing our trip shirt - they are bright red! It seems to be a great color for the "Burning Bush" theme. Exodus 3!

Yesterday we had an awesome opportunity to work at Lost Antlers Ranch. A very secluded place back up in the mountains. This is a place owned by one of the more successful and wealthy men in our country. Fortunately, he uses his wealth and success for a positive impact in our world. A Christian, he uses some of his properties to reach out to groups. Trust me - this would be an amazing place to have a weekend retreat of any kind. Some have suggested a youth leaders retreat up here.

Today we'll be headed into the city of Estes - to the Lake. We'll be doing some clean-up work for the community. Our final project for the day and the week will be a short project on one of the Y-camp sites. The youth seem excited for the work today and for the fact that it's our last day of work.

Well, it's about time for breakfast so I must sign off - see you on the flip side.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Plus 15 cents (118)

Today cost me 15 cents more than yesterday. Why, we'll let me tell you (about a typical day in the life of a Youth Director on one of these trips) ~ (in reverse order)

late late at night (or early in the morning) - we go to bed
before bed - debrief the day
post campfire
- we usually end up having a little chat with a youth or two - something that came up from the campfire
campfire - well that's kinda self explanatory
evening act. - a large group rec option in the evening (kick ball, capture the flag, etc..)
dinner - we eat - and have a bit of a meeting with the leadership team
free time (for the youth) - means campfire planning time for us
small groups - the youth and their leaders have a bit of an afternoon Bible Study - usually the YD's are working on something admin related.
work sites - various ministry sites throughout Estes (YD's make sure the groups get where they need to be and touch base with the site point person - depending on the day we may have to be picking up food for lunches, meetings with other ministry site coordinators)
kick-off - we gather the whole group to get the morning started - discuss the work site for the day and any other announcements.
small groups - youth have SG time with their leader (we make sure the work sites are lined up for the day - any last minute prep for the day)
QT - Quiet Time
Breakfast - eat!
Wake Up - Youth are getting ready....well after we wake them up....we're usually up by 6am at the latest. Time to get ready for the day. And my 15 cents - well I've been having a can of pop each morning and today I went downstairs to buy a pop and found that the price had gone up since yesterday! :-(


Monday, June 15, 2009

Some Pics (117)

Here are a few pics from the last couple of days:

(left) This would be Hunter (aka Herman), Connor, Stephanie, Julia, Maggie & Ellen - working at a local church - they have a paint ball field they use for a local youth outreach.

(below) a few of the youth playing Wink-Em during some free time...

(below) a few of the youth outside the 'top-secret' work site we were at earlier today.

Fudge (116)

Today started off a bit rocky - first with me hitting my head on my bunk.

After that things really went up hill. Jeff and I had some "behind the scenes" admin stuff to work on - two pretty long meetings with some Y-camp staff. We had some challenges come up in the last few days (shhh, the youth don't know about all the garbage) - so we ended up sitting down to work things out. Jeff and I also have a meeting Wednesday morning with some representatives from 3 local churches a few local ministries and the volunteer coordinator from the Y-camp.

You would be amazed to see the 'bigger picture' of what God is doing with the work going on in Estes. There are now about six youth groups that are looking at the possibility of annual mission trips up to Estes. Imagine the impact of our kids coming back each summer to work with the ministries they've already built relationships, and on top of that the connections they can make with their peers in other youth groups. Needless to say - Jeff and I are excited about this opportunity.

Ummm, okay - so before I sign off I figured I should justify my title for this post. We were finishing up work at our second work site of the day and Tony, our bus driver asked me to drive him into town quick while the kids were cleaning up. We ended up at Laura's - a 'famous' homemade candy shoppe here in town. Tony wanted to buy fudge for all of the youth. So, we got back to the bus and the youth had a little sugar surprise from a great bus driver. so there you have it Fudge!

See ya later,

I'm Tired... (115)

I'm sitting on the floor of my room and I can't come up with a good title for this post?!?

Today was a different day (good though) for us to experience. As I mentioned earlier today was our Sabbath day - it was for a time of rest and reflection. We also worshiped at the chapel here at the Y-Camp.

Several of the youth got together after lunch today and had an impromptu Bible study - they just circled up in the meeting room and had at it. Another group decided they were going to hike to the top of the mountain and have a study up top.

We ended up with about 5 minutes of rain. Only a few 'administrative' complications came up today - so Jeff and I will be meeting with both the Group booking manager and the Volunteer Coordinator from the Y-Camp tomorrow morning first thing.

Sorry for the short post - but as you can see it's late and we've got a bit more to do before we can turn in.

Parents - your teens are having a great time and growing closer to each other and God. I think they'll have some good stories to share when they get home.

Good night moon,

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Fire's out... (114)

We're back in the room from a night of kick ball and an awesome campfire. Kick-ball with 39 kids is just craziness. Okay not all 39 played, some went to listen to a group perform in the auditorium. But either way the rain held off for the evening and we had a great one!

Tomorrow (Sun) is Sabbath. The youth will have a chance to take a step back and really rest. A time to leave the distractions of home (peers, school, society). We'll worship together at the chapel here at the Y-camp, but the remainder of the day is really for them to connect with God. We're really excited to see how this plays out for each of the youth.

Hopefully this will be one of those "me-opportunities." Last night at campfire we encouraged each youth to make this week an experience that they need - listen to everything that is going on and see how God is speaking specifically to them. So, pray that the youth will really take this opportunity to listen.

Oh, I almost forgot - tonight's campfire - can I just say 'wow!' A lot of God-moments (sharing, visitors, music and more) we heard a lot of hurts from the heart tonight.

Good night moon!


Day 2, Work Day 1 (113)

The alarm went off early (actually I was up before the alarm) this morning. I'm so tired and cannot wait for tomorrows Sabbath (more on that later).

We had two work sites today - one at a Habitat neighborhood and the other at a local church. Both were some clean-up type projects. I think the youth really enjoyed their time working today. Some even had the chance to visit the Estes park dump.

Today's lunch menu: PB&J, fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, cheeze-its, a dessert selection and water.

Only two minor injuries so far - both of which were took a wooden post to the leg (small cut) and the other sat on a cactus ~ I'll let you try to figure out which leader sat on the cactus!

We're off to dinner, evening activity (Kick-ball if the weather cooperates) and campfire.


Day 1, Complete

Our first day and evening is now behind us, and I have to say I'm thankful. The first day is always the hardest (bus ride, checking in, unpacking and getting settled and the newness of the week). Now I'm sure that all the minor challenges of day one are behind us so it's time to look to tomorrow.

But first a tiny bit of reflection!
I had a bit of an epiphany moment with one of the youth tonight. It wasn't even purposeful, it just happened as we chatted before they went to bed. Having known this youth for several years I think a small barrier came down - it made my night! :-)

Tony - our bus driver is amazing! His sense of humor and his compassion for the work our group is doing blows me away. I think we already want to request him as one of our drivers for next year.

Campfire - tonight we opened with our Go and See 'mini-theme' at fire. It seemed like the typical first campfire where everyone is too tired to care about anything (which is why we try to make it a short one.) However it seems already some "God moments" for a few of the teens. God's obviously calling to them for things going on in their lives.

Okay, that's the reflection - tomorrow is our first work day and I need sleep. Check back tomorrow (Sat) for more updates!

Thanks for your prayers,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hittin' the dusty trail (111)

By now we've boarded the bus and are already on our way to Colorado!

We'll be spending a week doing mission work and growing our relationships with each other and in Christ.

Our theme for the week is "Burning Bush?", based on Exodus 3 where God, Moses and a Burning Bush all start off a great story. Our hope is that through Moses' experience on that mountain with the Burning Bush that we can show the youth (while we're on the mountain) what God is saying to them.

Stay tuned this week for updates and details on what's happening during our trip. Here is a look at our Daily Themes, maybe you can join us in studying the same passages. (These themes are introduced at campfire and then talked about the next morning in small groups and quiet times)

Friday: Go and See, Ex 3:3
Saturday: Called, Ex 3:4
Sunday: Holy Ground - A 'Holy' Calling, Ex 3:5
Monday: Hiding, Ex 3:6
Tuesday: So What? Ex 3:13
Wednesday: "I AM", Ex 3:14
Thursday: There's Got To Be A Burning Bush!, Ex 3:14

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shotgun (110)

If you look in the glove box of my car you'll find a laminated "official shotgun rules" guide that was given to me as a gift. I came across this list online of Shotgun rules and found a few that were a bit different.


check out #8


RunPee (109)

This seems to be a sight that might be helpful for the movie-goer:

Hope it helps!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Goes In? (108)

With our mission trip right around the corner some have inquired as to what it takes to plan for a trip like this.

Well, 40 youth, 9 leaders, 1 drive, a bus and several thousand dollars later we're ready to go. But the planning for this trip actually began back in October.

It starts with confirming a location (Estes) and then making sure there is a place to stay (YMCA Camp, more specifically East Side Lodges). But now that you have a place to go and stay you have to figure out how many rooms you'll need - how in the world you do that is beyond me.

Once you've got that figured out you have to get the approval from the committee - and with two churches that means two committees that have to say "okay!" We got that and then it was time to launch the promotion to the youth and parents. But not before a theme was selected!

Brochures are put together and sent out with the "Burning Bush?" theme.
That's the easy part!

Now, we actually have to put the budget together, what is everything going to cost? Line up leaders, plan for meals, and then on to the biggest two components of the trip: The work sites and then the theme development (daily themes/topics, small groups, quiet times, campfires and more). Once we get all of these things fairly lined up it's on to the paperwork - creating a handbook for the youth, a Leaders edition book and so much more.

There are t-shirts to have designed and ordered, shopping lists, transportation, meetings with youth and leaders and then our all-time favorite of collecting money (& fundraising). And now it's on to packing!

There is a small look into the bigger picture of a mission trip from planning to packing. Here is a thought to chew on we've already selected a theme and dates for the 2010 trip and t-shirts are in the works. Watch for the registration packet June 20th.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents (107)

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ it was a busy few days - grad parties and work around the house...managed to find time in between the rain to get the lawn mowed. Had some friends over Friday night for dinner and then did some mini-golfing with some other friends.

this weeks to dos ~ lots to get done around the house - still a bit of un-packing but mostly just getting things put away. work related there is a few things left to do in getting ready for our mission trip - we depart on Friday! my total 'to do' list for the week is about 2 pages long right now.

book i'm reading ~ I am not, but I know I AM, by Louie Giglio - it's a re-read, but I'm enjoying it at least as much as I did the first time I read.

thoughts on the coming week ~ it makes me a bit tired - but good - I'm excited to get out to CO with this great group of youth - we should have a great week out there.

think about a thought ~ if you could pick anywhere to go for a mission trip - where do you think you would go?

Friday, June 5, 2009

A week... (106)

One week from today we will be headed to Estes Park Colorado for our 2009 Summer Missions Camp ~ "Burning Bush?"

It's kind of odd, as it seems like just yesterday we sat down to start planning this venture. I'm even more excited after Jeff and I sat down for a bit yesterday and tired to put a final wrap on our work projects. If all of our planning and thinking works out and is confirmed we should have a total of 6 works sites that will be covered over 4 work days. We should be putting in over 1000 man hours during our week.

We'll be working with the Y-camp, a food pantry, women/children's shelter, Habitat, a local church and the community at large. That is, assuming we get everything confirmed and ok'd.

Regardless - it will be a great experience. If you're going - get packing, if you're not - please pray for the team.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

A YM Video (105)

I was checking out some morning news and blogs and came across this video...although it's an ad for the National Youth Workers Convention - it pulls at my heart - as the first 95% of the video is a small look into many of the conversations I've had and continue to have in my day-to-day life as a Youth Director.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stupid, why are they? (104)

My usual morning routine includes reading the news and checking some other online sites (blogs, email, facebook) - I was both impressed and highly disappointed this morning when I signed on line. I found myself asking - why do some teens make such stupid decisions and others are trying...

This stupid part came into play when I saw one teen had linked to another teens video (on You Tube) The first young man I think just made the 'un-mature' decision to link to - saying, 'hey this is funny' - but I fear what a lot of teens are missing is that once you post things on line - it's there, for good! and if you're planning to go somewhere in life, why would you post such stupid and disgusting things that others can see. Honestly if the young man in the video came to me for a job, letter of recommendation or something similar I'd think twice about it.

I was impressed when I read a local news story about a group of local teens who are working on a community garden this summer. There seems to also be plans for them to sell what they grow at a Farmers Market to learn about entrepreneurship. They're trying and I'm impressed!

So, if you find yourself at a fork in the road; make the choice to work in a garden (or something else productive) over posting a stupid (& self-degrading) rap video to your social web sites.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents (103)

thoughts about the past weekend ~ it went by quickly - we were in Omaha Friday night to celebrate my mother-in-laws bday spent some time Saturday at a grad party then a low-key evening at home. Sunday was worship, and then two mission trip meetings.

this weeks to dos ~ a couple meetings - but most of my work week will consist of mission trip prep &/or prep for the Fall programs.

book I'm reading ~ I am not, but I know I AM. L. Giglio (great read - check it out)

thoughts on the coming week ~ it's going quick, can't believe it's already June. I just hope I can get over this little "sickness" (sore throat) business.

Scripture to skim ~ Acts 2 (in honor of Pentecost)

Monday, June 1, 2009

You (102)

The young man who usually changes our church sign recently asked me for my opinion of two choices for the next message to go up on display.

The result:
You're Not too bad to come in
You're Not too good to stay out

Now I have to say, when he first asked me I really liked this choice - but I said - will the 'church' really get it? Will they understand that it applies to all of us? His reply was that if he didn't put it up there was no chance of anyone getting it...I saw his point. So, if you drive by our church this is the message you'll ready. But I wonder - what does it mean to you?

You see, the point of the message is that we the church cannot and should not 'keep people' out of the church because they're 'too bad' - the sin in their lives is too bad to be at church. Honestly - that's like asking sick people to get better before coming into the Emergency Room...doesn't make much sense does it?

On the other hand - those of who think we've got it all together - well we need the church more than ever. When the human side gets to us we start to think more highly of ourselves than we should...we start comparing the sin in our lives to that in others - well that's not how God works. In God's eyes we're equal. So, we need to start by looking in (the plank in our own eye) at the sin in our lives and start seeking the help and guidance we are supposed to find at church.

Okay, that's my two cents on the new church sign...what about you?


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer Ideas (101)

Was doing some reading and came across some ideas for things to do this summer (as far as youth group gatherings go) read 'em and let me know what you think...

FAST FOOD FRIDAYS ~ pretty self explanatory...a different fast food joint each time and an opportunity for you to come hang out with some of your WAVE peers...

PARK DAYS ~ pack a picnic lunch and come hang out at the park

ADOPT A BLOCK ~ pick a block in the church neighborhood to adopt for the summer...check in with the neighbors and see what small tasks they have that we could help them with this summer. (weeds, mowing, washing cars, sweeping garage, etc...)

YAC ~ Youth After Church - we've done it before, an opportunity to go grab a bit to eat after worship on a Sunday.

There ya have it - maybe you've got more suggestions, if so - leave them in the comments....if not just let me know what your thoughts are on each of these.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

100th Post

Welcome to the 100th post on Chris' Corner. It was about nine months ago that I started this venture - so by my calculations that is about 11 posts per month.

Here are a few of my favorites:

To Soon, Yet Timed Just Right
~ this was a sad day, but it's given me some new perspective on a relationship with the caller, as well as on some more important things in life and in ministry.

How is your breathing?
~ although this one was written for the Oct mission team - I think it applies to each of us in our walk with Christ - something we need to be reminded of often.

your cross
~ this is probably in my top 3 - something I've reflected on many times since I wrote it - I hope you'll take a look!

Trouble ~ also in the top 3 I love reflecting on Yac's writings & thoughts.

50 things to do ~ my 50th post

Can We Go Out and Pray?
~ this was a post I wrote after a youth lock-in, made me laugh!

& there are others, but I didn't want to re-post some of the more recent ones.

In honor of the 100th post I'm going for 100 posts in 100 days - so stay tuned over the next 100 for another 100 posts (anything from our upcoming missions camp, summer prep work for a Fall kick-off, an interview with my intern and much more.)

See you soon,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ it was so great to have a long weekend...most of it was spent at home - we managed to get more unpacked and our kitchen semi-put back together...after the minor construction last week (thanks Doug & Brian). So, I've finally got the kitchen the way I want it. Spent a good amount of time outside as well - mowing, planting, and other yard work - felt good to get it done.

Saturday night Steph and I were out at Haymarket Park for the Saltdogs - sadly they lost, but still a good game. Sunday we went to the Old Cheney farmers market and picked up a few things. Monday we hung out with some friends and saw a movie (Angels & Demons) and then grilled some burgers. All in all a great weekend!

this weeks to dos ~ a very busy week - we end our Sr. DIVE for the year this Wednesday with a Pizza Party, lots of mission trip prep to get done this week (we leave in just over two weeks). This summer I'll be having an Intern working with me (Joey) he starts tomorrow and then has a few weeks off for a summer class...looking forward to his being around this summer.

I'll also likely spend some time working on leader recruitment for next Fall. With some changes in programs we'll be having some different leadership needs. As we end most of our programs for the year - this week will see the kick-off for FUEL ~ a brand new young adult ministry designed and hosted by the Big 4 (Eastridge, First, Good Shepperd, & Southern Heights Presbyterian churches) - we're excited for where this group will be going in the coming year.

book I'm reading ~ technically none right now - however I'm going to go back and re-read two favorites "I am not, but I know I AM" by Louie Giglio - I want a refresher on this one before our missions camp & "Don't Rock the Boat Capsize It; Loving the church too much to leave it the way it is" - this is one of my fav recent books and I've decided to read it and blog about it on the way. I think it will offer some tough things for the church (us) to mull over. I just hope there are some other "church lovers" who will capsize with me. :-)

think about a thought ~ what do your choices show that you value? Really?

Scripture to skim ~ I Timothy 4:12

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm Un-American

Tonight I was told that I was un-American! Here is what happened and why I think it's absolutely hilarious.

Two days ago in the mail we got one of those promotional fliers with a car key attached from a local car dealer. Normally I wouldn't have thought twice about it - but my wife, Stephanie thought what the heck we could win a free new car. Well, we like free so while we were out tonight we stopped in to the dealership.

A salesman sits us down at the table and starts to fill out this "entry form" (I'm convinced it's just so they can call us later to try and sell a car) anyway he asks what kind of cars we have. We kindly inform him that we have a Toyota Yaris and a Camry. He asked if we won the new car if we'd be trading in one of our own. Then he asked what I'd want to trade for. I told him what I 'want' (note; want not a need) and then he asked what year. Moving on - he continued to do his job - trying to sell me a car.

Stephanie pointed out to him that we really weren't interested in buying another car as we currently have NO CAR PAYMENTS (translation; NO DEBT) He laughed and said that was un-American. The American way was to have car loans, insurance bills, 3 credit cards and so many bills you could hardly keep up. He said, I suppose you're debt free.

Stephanie and I both said, happily - other than our house payment and the last student loan debt - we were debt free. And if that makes me un-American then I'm happy to be.

Thank you Dave Ramsey! :-)

Sidebar: I don't feel un-American as my financial adviser would say if Debt is normal Be weird so I guess the translation in this story is that Debt is American, be un-American?!

Almost Debt free and Loving it,

Slow moving

It's funny that it's been almost a month since Stephanie and I moved into our new house.

Our part in "stimulating the economy" has slowed down - thankfully. We have a few "big purchases" to make but those will wait until we receive our $8K tax credit.

Even with a slow down in purchases the work seems to not be getting anywhere. I know that we are - that slowly we're getting more things put away or hung up or 'just where we want them' but it's slow. Recently we got some advice from some other fairly new home owners - they said whatever you do - do not lose motivation - or you'll be 6 months down the road or a year and still not have things done.

In looking to the Fall when we move some of our Student Ministries around I think things will be a bit slow. We'll have to pause and adjust to the changes and the move. We'll have to slowly unpack things and get things 'just where we want them' for our ministries. I think it will be a time (as is every fall) where we have the usual motivation of a new school year and new programs and we'll need to continue to hold on to that as we as a family continue to adjust to the move.

So, as we continue to head into summer and let's start to pack up and get ready for our exciting new move this fall. Let's take it slow and stay motivated.

Trusting Him,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ we had our End of Year Camping Trip with the senior high youth - it was a great change to get away for a night with a great group of youth. lots of laughs! Sunday was spent taking a bit of a nap and some shopping to restock our kitchen cupboards - then we had some friends over for dinner on the grill!

this weeks to dos ~ well I have a lot to do around the house - still getting things settled - need to spend some time getting the check book caught up. A few meetings (mission trip prep, TEC, etc...), our final RIPPLE for the year on Wed and a baseball game Saturday night.

tunes that triggered ~ got the latest YLO box this week and I have to say the latest from Newsboys caught my attention - check it out.

thoughts on the coming week ~ I'd really like to break in our fire pit sometime this week - just don't know when that will fit in - plus I've gotta find some firewood. I'm looking forward to it though it's gonna go quick lots to do in a short amount of time.

Scripture to skim ~ lets try something different this week - you tell me what you're reading...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

School's Out

I was reading the news this morning and as a Youth Worker the headline caught my attention:

Proposed 2010-'11 LPS Calendar ~ go ahead check it out.

I'm kind of curious as to some of the results, why 1st Semester can't end before Christmas (er, I mean Winter) break - as other districts do. I'm excited for the possibility of LPS actually letting it's students out before Memorial day. Next up, Seniors getting out early, I've also heard from a teacher friend (in another large district) that their seniors don't have to take finals for the last semester.....

so, what are your thoughts on LPS' annual school calendar? how would you like to see things....


Ready to Move

Change is Hard....

Okay now that we have that out of the is a look at my observations and experiences on this BIG change in my life over the last several months.
It's been about six months since this journey, this change, really got underway when we talked with our Realtor (Mary) and said we wanted to buy a house!

For several months we spent many evenings and weekends with Mary looking at houses. Some of our options were, well they were pretty sad. Eventually we found ourselves having gone back to one house to walk through 3 times. This seemed to be the one - if only the seller would come down a bit in price.

Long story short the offers were exchanged and eventually we agreed on a sale price. This seemed to be the beginning of the end of this long journey and a BIG change in our lives. We were going from almost 3 years of apartment living to actually owning our own house. Wow, a BIG change for us.

So, closing and moving day comes and goes like any other day - except that this one is filled with lots of boxes and a lot of change! The point I want to drive home here is that change can be big, it can be tough to adjust to and it can be uncomfortable at times. Especially when we're used to "always doing it the old way."

As Stephanie and I continue to adjust to the changes in renting verse owning (and trust me overall I'll take the owning a house over renting an apartment any day) I hope you'll join me as we at Good Shepherd prepare to make some changes. I'm specifically talking in relation to our Student Ministries. This fall we'll see some pretty BIG changes around our church home:

  • WAVE is moving....only 71.5 hours later...our main youth group will begin meeting at 5:30 on Wednesday's on August 26th
  • With WAVE making a move we're also going to see DIVE moving...beginning this fall we'll see DIVE (both Jr. & Sr.) making a new home on Sunday evenings.
  • RIPPLE will keep the same night (Wed) but times will be adjusted to fit with other all church programming.
  • Over the past years we've seen several changes in our Young Adults (18-23) programming and we're hoping our move this Fall will be a more permanent move as we strive to figure out how to best reach and minister to this important group. Watch for details on FUEL and other young adult options coming soon.
Okay, so that's a lot of change - and sometimes change is hard. In the long run I feel it will be a great and beneficial move for our Student Ministries and for Good Shepherd as a whole. So, hang on tight cuz we're packing and getting ready to move. I hope you'll join the Christian Ed Committee, our Student Leadership teams and myself as we prepare for this exciting time in the life of our congregation.

Trusting Him,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday's Two-Cents

thoughts about the past week(end) ~ it was a busy one - spent most of the weekend out in the yard getting some old plants out, new plants in and other yard work. we also spent time with family this weekend for mothers day.

this weeks to dos ~ enjoy some time 'off' today around the house, a possible quick trip up to Omaha, some meetings and this week and in the next few getting final preparations for the June Mission Trip.

tunes that triggered ~ still listening to Coffey

thoughts on the coming week ~ it's a bit busy!

Scripture to skim ~ pick your favorite Proverbs and read it again this week!