the week that was but is no more

things i did: began the house packing process; read through dozens of mortgage papers; read through mortgage papers again; had an awesome, super encouraging b-fast meeting with a youth pastor friend; re-researched the biblical roles of men and women in the church; attended a young adult ministry planning meeting; helped develop community with our young adult small group; visited a friend in the hospital; complained a lot; took pastor vince out to lunch; began reading Refuel by doug fields (bought one for each of our adult leaders); spent monday evening with a very good friend (jack bauer)

stuff i procrastinated: message prep for speaking in "big church" on 2/15; personal time with God; prayer; speaking prep for men's ministry speaking engagement; scheduling a dentist appointment

emotions i felt: confused (while reading mortgage papers); weirdly nervous (before member meeting presentation); misunderstood; discouraged; joyful; overwhelmed (from the server migration at work and the mounting to do list); pumped (about 15 quiet time journals were picked up on thursday night in response to first H.A.B.I.T.S. message); frustration; thankful

glimpses of joy: get to team teach with shanna tomorrow on sex, lust, and dating; watched our adult leaders interact and build community together in some meaningful ways; house purchase proceeding moving along well; reconnected with some teens that haven't been to ISM in a long time; some of the best commercials of all time are only a few hours away

today's accomplishments

sometimes starting a big project can be harder than the project itself. a friend once described a way around this as "swiss cheesing" it. if you can tackle a chunk of the project, it removes a small hole from the whole. then later take out another small hole...and before long the project is done. we started swiss cheesing the whole "pack everything up" project. here's our accomplishments for today:


a good step to take

so i'm sitting in staff meeting this morning and the discussion turns to the need for a fill-in teacher for the "second steps class" later in the evening. (second steps is the "second" 12 week class in a series of classes for new believers). i began inching down in my chair...hoping that my 6-foot, somewhat noticeable presence would be ignored. last week's staff meeting brought a similar situation to the table, but that one was to officiate at a memorial service of someone i'd never met and who's family i didn't know. i was under the table when that one came up. but tonight's last minute request was my turn...my schedule was pretty much clear. i think i made something up to make it sound like i had a "pending" appointment...but i had nothing. all day today in my head i was kicking and screaming about it. i don't know why but i get frustrated whenever i'm asked to do something that has nothing to do with youth ministry. it's a rough edge that i need to deal with but it comes up all the time. of all the days too, this was a tough one. didn't get much done in the office today because the church just got a new server and all the computers were messed up and needed attention all day. so i went into the class in many ways grumbling and complaining. but God, as He always does so well, reminded me that He's in charge of my schedule and He's in charge of it for a reason. it was so refreshing to be around those in this class - relatively new christians who are so fresh and vibrant and young - they ask questions in "unconventional" ways and have not be "christianized" with our native lingo. it's so refreshing, and i needed to be there for it. it was humbling how so much of what i said and how i said it didn't make sense or connect. we can get so used to talking a certain way that others don't get what we're saying because we've been so removed from their world. it was profound to see simple truths that to me i've known for years brought joy to them like the first time it clicked in my head. i had taken those basics of faith for granted. it was good for me and God knew it all along.

Quiet People...

I'm a quiet person... not all the time, but usually, I'm a pretty quiet person. Most times, I just don't have something to say. Its not like I'm bursting with all kinds of great conversation starters. My head is just empty. (I know a lot of you will get a kick out of that last sentence!) But, honestly, I like to listen and observe. I like to hear what people aren't saying. A lot of times this is NOT a good thing because I get it WAY wrong. But, I can't stop! I think that saying... "better to be silent and thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt" is my motto!

Anyways - the point of all of this rambling is - When I am with other people and the silence is dragging on... it makes people uncomfortable. So since my head is void of anything whitty or fun, I complain! We all relate to a complaint. It feels good to have someone empathize with our whining! It kinda evens the playing field... "I'm so tired of being cold!" Yes - everyone can relate. "I'm so hungry" - yep, we all can hear each other's stomach's growling. "I'm so....blah, blah, blah."

I'm completely fed up with this nasty habit. So - if you know me and I do this... please call me on it! (By the way - Do you think that the above paragraph is complaining about how I complain???)


More vacation pictures...

inaugural prayer

just saw this video promoting the purpose driven youth ministry conference. i'm not planning to go, but the first 20 seconds of the video are pretty funny.


A New House

Of course, right now - everything is buried in snow... but we're super excited. Within a month, we'll be in our new home.


Birthday Dinner

Last year at this time we were interviewing for Cory's position here at Lakeshore. We had an awesome weekend, but our focus was definitely not on birthdays. :) So, I told Cor not to worry, but next year he'd better do something really nice! As in a fancy dinner, but when my birthday rolled around yesterday I didn't really have a big desire to go out. So, Cory surprised me with a dinner that he made himself! When he walked in the door with this huge hunk of meat I was pretty nervous. :) But, our friend, Ray has been rubbing off on us! Pork wrapped in bacon and garlic and scalloped potatoes-hash brown style. Plus, some fresh bread. yum! For dessert I got a Caramel Steamer with extra caramel and whipped cream. :)


new years...hopes

i know since it's now mid january posting about new years resolutions...or in my case...'hopes'...seems a little bit on the late side. these are some of my thoughts that i jotted down a few weeks ago, and just now able to post on it. not sure i'll be able to see these all checked off in 12 months, but that's the "hope"...

1. go to the dentist - i've needed to for a long time, i've asked for good ones in the area and have a list, but i've been putting off the whole scheduling of that daunting appointment for too long. wow this is overdue.
2. get a website up for ISM - currently we have almost no web presence, but i'd rather have nothing than something shotty. we need something clear and simple, yet fun and interactive.
3. pursue ordination - i'm supposed to get ordained by february 2011, and it'd be good to make some headway in that department this year.
4. get a website up for sharing ministry resources - this would include anything that we create: graphics, series plans, videos, game ideas, ministry philosophy stuff, small group curriculum, training resources, etc. anything we can give away for free in order to benefit other ministries. i love what lifechurch.tv is doing for the church at large, and have been sensing a responsiblity that we have to follow suit.
5. ISM attendance increase by 40-50% - obviously God gives the increase, but we want to be strategic and smart...and ambitious enough to live with a sense of intense urgency.
6. lakeshore's new building with dedicated space to students - very excited about this, and we want to see the best possible youth room created...but i hope that we can also keep creating disciples and not consumers in the process.
7. buy a home - shanna and i are in the hunt right now and hoping to find and close on a purchase soon.
8. watch the eagles win the superbowl - man they're on right now and mcnabb's getting older. don't miss this opportunity!
9. get pregnant - this is a "we" goal, not a "me" goal obviously (that would be a medical wonder). we would love this, but also know and are totally cool with God's sovereignty in this process.
10. start a "friday feast" - once a month invite about 6 teens over for dinner - somewhat randomly, but also somewhat strategically to foster relationships that maybe otherwise wouldn't get started.
11. increase my "be with" factor - read the book by bo boshers on vacation and was a good reminder of the easiest and simplest way of making disciples...to simply give them opportunities to "be with" you.

here's hoping!


Ramen Noodles and Spoiled Siblings

I am almost all unpacked and my coupons are completely organized and ready to go for my grocery shopping trip today! :) I am sitting here eating Ramen Noodles. yum. Not Anna-style Ramen, though, because I do not have any eggs or lettuce... (and that is the ONLY reason I'm not eating my Ramen anna-style! really! I promise!)

Speaking of which - here's a picture from our recent trip. Anna requested one and since she is my baby-sister - I did promise I'd post it on our blog. (I don't think she knows it, but she's got me completely wrapped around her little finger!)
Anna got this amazing make-up kit for Christmas! (From my parents! I wasn't allowed to wear all that stuff until I was in high school! She's so spoiled! So is Grant. He might even be MORE spoiled than Anna! He got to be the baby for so long AND still got a little sister! Spoiled! Spoiled! Spoiled!) Anyways - here we are all make-uped up (and hair straightened a la Anna). And some more great candid shots with my parents. Who do I look like more?


sick and wrong

saw this picture at neatorama - here's the original post. those are actually eye lashes, lengthened by a new drug on the market. ugh.


I love Photoshop!!!

Isn't this a great picture of Cory?!? I had fun with some photoshop actions. I'll be posting more pics from vacation soon. :)