Thursday, October 25, 2007

Twice in one day?

Today we are having Jr. Youth Small Groups, its a time when we separate our youth into much smaller groups and have them meet in a smaller setting getting to know each other. The purpose is to create an environment where trust and relationships can be developed easier.

For Jr. Youth I have some of my Sr. Youth be sponsors, they help me lead Jr. Youth night, they help me with crowd control (believe me in Jr. Youth you really need it) they help me run games, they help me teach Bible Studies and prepare snacks and clean up. It takes a certain type to be a servant as a gr. 11ener or 12ever, to give up another night a week and serve with a bunch of rowdy Jr. Highers, takes an exceptional youth to do it.

Well today something amazing dawned on me!!! Since this is my 6th year of doing this I have had youth go with me through Jr. High to Sr. High, and one of my ex-Jr.Highers is now a Jr. High sponsor, not that amazing, all of my Jr. High sponsors were my Jr. Highers at one point, what is amazing is the turn around in this girls life! I remember her telling me how she hated youth, and how she didn't want to be there, I remember being so worried for her, and thinking so long to say the 'right' things, and be there...What is amazing, is that today we went over our Bible study with my sponsors they have had it for a few days to be ready, we went over final details and as the Jr. Youth arrived and I did my intro and separated them, this girl now took a group of young girls to lead them! Amazing...Today she is a has truly been amazing...Today has been a gift, first with Brent as I wrote previously, and now this...what gift...

Holy Ground...

Today I had a lunch meeting with one of my graduated youth. It was our usual meeting, catching up, telling stories, laughing together, sharing and encouraging, it was awesome. He has brought a lot of joy in to my life, seeing him grow and mature.

We talked about faith we talked about life and ups and downs. And then I prayed as I normally do at the end of the meeting and then something amazing happened. See I often pray with my youth after we meet, always during whether out loud or not depends. But this time an amazing thing happened, at the end of the prayer he prayed for me; I have been prayed for before I have spent a lot of time in prayer times with people. But this was different, he prayed for me, his care and love poured out, and it warmed my heart so deeply. There have been a lot of significant markers in my faith journey and today was another, I am not sure how this prayer was different then other prayers that I have heard, or been part of, but I know that his love and concern came through very clearly and it gripped my heart. It was amazing being prayed for by one of your youth, I don't know even how to explain it, it was unexpected, it was real, and God was all the sudden there, present with us and his love poured out to me through Brent...and we found ourselves on Holy Ground...I am going to treasure that moment...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hauerwas on education...

Found this on Faith and Theology blog, I wonder what some of my Bible College professor friends think of this quote:

Hauerwas on education

“As a way to challenge such a [liberal] view of freedom, I start my classes by telling my students that I do not teach in a manner that is meant to help them make up their own minds. Instead, I tell them that I do not believe they have minds worth making up until they have been trained by me. I realize such a statement is deeply offensive to students since it exhibits a complete lack of pedagogic sensitivities. Yet I cannot imagine any teacher who is serious who would allow students to make up their own minds.”

—Stanley Hauerwas, “Christian Schooling or Making Students Dysfunctional,” in Sanctify Them in the Truth: Holiness Exemplified (Nashville: Abingdon, 1998), p. 220.

ht to Faith and Theology

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekend Update with Paul Morgun...

What a weekend, the boys Sr. Soccer team that I was coaching lost in the regionals, which is ok, they played well and over all it is a developing year. Sunday was great the church honored Jeff and I for the appreciate your pastor month and have given us some nice gifts to be able to go out and have fun so thats great.

This week our Sr. and Jr. Youth Small groups start and I am pumped about that. Small groups are one of my favorite youth nights, we get to hang out in a smaller setting, talk about life and dream together, it is always a blast! So I am looking forward to that.

I have recently been given and purchased whole bunch of books, so I am reading them right now and plugging my way through them, a highlight for sure is the book which has been just amazing read, I find my self on many of the pages similar struggles and different ones too, it has just been awesome to read. I have put all the new books now on my to read pile and as I work through them you can see them on the side column of the blog if you are interested in whats keeping me busy.

(picture is of the boys building a shelf during our amazing race kick off)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Some updates, and a tribute...

Well, we are back from Abbotsford which was a good conference, the 32 hour drive was a bit much, but the conversations that occurred in the van were amazing and I would not trade that.

Monday Night Jessica and I spent hanging out with Dennis and Karen Skoworodko, who were my youth pastors when I was in high school, and man what a time! We love this couple to pieces, the input and love that they poured into my life cannot be described. The patience and sheer acceptance they had for this renegade punk is indescribable. I know one thing for sure is that apart from my parents I had never seen Jesus more clearly then in the lives of these two. They were real, they were honest, they were never pretentious they were them, and they loved and that was more then enough! There was a lot of things that we did in youth, programs, trips, outings, cokes, conferences, quakes, all were good, but the simple love that I always felt from these two clearly outlined how a Christ follower aught to live, I went through many stages as a youth as we all do, I was disrespectful, I was rude, I was mean and yet these two simply loved me, I never felt conditions on this love, if I dress right, if I say the right things, there was just this love. So as we sat there and talked and ate and looked at pictures, I could not help but be a bit nostalgic of a SIGNIFICANT marker in my life, and be so thankful for this dear couple! Dennis and Karen thank you for your love, and how honestly you live out Jesus to all that come into contact with you!
(I could not resist adding this picture of Dennis!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Week away...

Well not really a week but Wednesday to Sunday, Jessica and I are off to Abbotsford for a Study Conference on Culture, Gospel and Church, 5 of us from church are traveling together in a van which should be really fun. We dropped the boys at my parents place. We both are looking forward to this, to go to one of these together and not be apart and Jessica's good friend lives in Abbotsford so should be a lot of fun there and on the way, looking forward to lots of good conversations.

Youth this week is Gym Night and Chris and Donna will head it up at the High school, and Jr. Youth is Sponsor surprise, also there is no Sr. Youth Sunday School this Sunday since we only get back sometime Sunday.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Youth this past week...

This Sunday we had an awesome Sunday School, we decided to make sandwiches and buy some new socks and go on 2oth street in Saskatoon and hand these out. We had arrived in Saskatoon fairly early and so things began very slow, but in no time began to get busy as people were more then happy to receive a meal and some socks for the cold season. We had made lots of sandwiches and Katie made tons of cookies (over a hundred). It is amazing how really thankful people were. At the end we still had a lot of cookies left over, so we donated them to Salvation Army. It was a joy to be able to help in such a small way, with the weather turning cold so fast the socks were a huge hit. We prayerfully experienced the best Sunday School so far, giving and serving...

This past Wednesday we had also had a great time making parables videos. The Sr. Youth was divided into groups and each group had to make a video about a parable from the gospels. It was so much fun! I will upload the videos shortly and have them posted here and on facebook.

With Jr. Youth on Thursday we had photo-scavenger hunt, which was a blast here are some pics:

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hope and Love...

Hope has been on my mind a lot recently, we have been discussing our Christian hope in youth and in my personal study it has been something that has been taking a lot of my thinking space.
Hope is more the our desire for injustice to stop, hope is more then enjoying majestic beauty of nature, it is more then wanting something, it is more then simply instinct or a coping mechanism. No, hope is given to us, created in us, offered to us as a glimpse of love, a glimpse of a narrative, a story.
And this glimpse pushes us to action, to be part of the story to be part of the restoration and narrative that God invites us to join...this hope is full and rich, and we have the joy to change, to grow to be part of something revolutionary to be part of something and someone whose end goal is to restore love to be love... "Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source." - Leo Tolstoy ... and so I hope.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Worship Hymnal, Meditations 782

Lord, You are our God.
We want to realize how much we depend upon You.
You have not only given us life,
You have made us able to think about its meaning
And to choose and work for what is good.
In the world much is confusing;
Many voices strive to be heard.
Yet we have Your word to guide us,
The life and teaching of Your Son,
The example of many faithful Christians.
We have known Your hand holding us fast,
Your steps marking out the way for us:
We long to know You still.
Your presence transforms even the darker times:
With You we need not be afraid.
Nothing can separate us from Your love
Draw out from us such an answering love
That in our time of testing we may not fall away.