Flower City Work Camp - another vid

one of the other youth pastors in the area (and a new great friend of mine) made the video below for his church to recap last week. if you're wondering what flower city work camp is, he does a great job painting a picture of it. thanks jonathan!


FCWC 2010 Quick Highlight Vid


on friday (less than a week away!) we head to the outer banks for 10 days... and we are beyond excited! one of the things i'm really looking forward to is the chance to break away from everything ministry related and do some personal "soul care" while away. i feel like i spend so much time caring for the souls of others...which is great. but these times away are absolutely critical for my own soul in order to keep me in the game.

many vacations i go with stacks of "ministry" and "leadership" books, and while that's good - for me for this vacation i'm choosing to purposefully leave those ones behind this time.

here's what i'm trying to do instead:

1. read angels: who they are and how they help by david jeremiah.

2. purchase and listen to a bunch of new worship music on the 12 hour car ride - some from hillsong, crowder, and my new favorite: tim timmons.

3. read, journal, and study through any of the following: psalms, philippians, 1 timothy, 2 timothy, titus, or philemon.

4. read some of my utmost for his highest by oswald chambers and the pursuit of God by a. w. tozer.

5. carve out moments of solitude - on the beach... or on the deck... talking to God... listening more and contemplating his words.

6. fast from email, texting, facebook, twitter, etc.; my phone will be off completely all 10 days - i may not even bring it with me. it's gonna feel weird, but it's right.

7. have lots of fun... i'm hoping to rent a segway and race it around town (and envision myself as paul blart); we'll have 2 bikes strapped to the back of the saturn so we can go biking while down there; possibly do some hang-gliding in kitty hawk; lots of sunsets on the beach with shanna; and spend lots of time with the bush's & co. before they head back to mozambique.!


stuck in newark

we recently did a series with the teens called "mood ring" and it was so fun - all about our emotions and how we can better manage them. on one of the weeks we showed the clip below. you may have seen it already... travelers were stuck in an airport due to a security lockdown after the holidays...and as you can imagine tensions were rising and people were getting frustrated. the mood in the room was getting tense.

but then one person (a christ-follower, by the way) happened to be among the crowd. he grabbed his guitar and started playing 'hey jude' while everyone else sang along. instantly changed the entire mood in the room!

this guy is actually the guy who wrote "savior please" ...pretty cool!


why there's a day of silence

i'm pretty far behind on my bible reading plan for this year, but still making progress - which for me is key. anyways, i'm at the part in numbers where moses out of the blue is in a funk, and grabs his stick and starts beating a rock. it's kinda funny when you think about it, and i think we all have been there at times. if we were in his shoes we'd probably want to beat the snot out of a rock too.

for me one of the things that always makes my blood boil is when i myself and others do a lot of "truth-talking" without a lot of "grace-walking". as a church we're wading through some of these waters right now, and all i can say is that it's getting way messier than it needs to.

one specific area where The Church could use a little less truth and a bit more grace is in the area of how she interacts with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community. this friday, thousands of schools across the country will participate in a day of silence... and i have to wonder how much of these "days" have been prompted by christians speaking too much truth without enough grace.

in preparation of the day, here's a fun little exercise that might be worth your while:
1. jot down the names of every person you personally know who currently lives within the LGBT community. again...these are people you personally know, not like "i watched american idol and i know adam lambert".
2. jot down the names of every person you know who is currently considering joining the LGBT community, but maybe not very open about it yet.
3. jot down adjectives that you would use to describe your feelings for them right now as you write down their names.

i have a theory... just a "hypothesis" if you will:

i bet the more names you have down on your paper, the more gentle, loving, and grace-filled your adjectives are.


thinking about trust...

been thinking about trust lately - from a bunch of different angles and situations.
it seems that when we enter into a new situation, people often "trust" you in one of 2 ways...

way #1
i will trust you until you prove yourself otherwise

way #2
i will start trusting you when you prove yourself trustworthy

i've been thinking for a while and wrestling with which one is right and which one is wrong. it very well may be one of those situations where there isn't one way that is right and one way that is wrong...perhaps.

if you think about it... we don't want our kids to live out way #1 too much, or else they'll trust any stranger that walks by and could make themselves vulnerable.

but at the same time, trusting someone until they prove otherwise gives them the benefit of the doubt, keeps you from judging, and prevents you from being called "grumpy gills"...

is there a right one or a wrong one?

i'm not sure... but i do know that in my experience the people who live out way #1 make it way easier and quicker for me to build a relationship with than people who live out way #2.


easter weekend

we hope you and your family had a great easter weekend... here are a couple highlights from ours:

my parents and brother were able to come up and spend the evening with us last night... we went to dinner together, had some birthday cake, and definitely lots of good times. for my birthday, my brother got me a flip video - i had been eying these powerful little things for quite some time. it's SOOOO easy and fun to use. the video below was recorded using it! i am SO excited!

today we kicked off a brand new series in ISM called "Fake ID".... shanna made the graphics for the series.

the series is all about how we so often take on fake identifications in our life, keeping us from living from our true and real identity in Jesus Christ. we talked today about how many labels get placed on us, and the video below definitely helped to drive that point home.


april fools day: a progress report

just got the following email from one of my "victims" on staff... sheer enjoyment befalls me today.