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 leaders...one 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?