Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jr. Youth Night with music...

Well last week our Jr. Youth Boys and couple of girls put together a band and played couple of songs for Jr. Youth!!! It was awesome! they did a great job! I love watching youth use their gifts and abilities, and in end they just jammed some of their own tunes and it was great to bounce around and let them rock! Here are couple of videos and couple of pics, the video quality is awful sorry, but you get the idea:

video


video


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Recent readings and thoughts...

I have recently finished reading two books, RealLivePreacher written by Gordon Atkinson and In the Name of Jesus written by Henri J. M. Nouwen. They have both been so wonderfully forming books. Both are written by ministers who daily try to figure out what it means to follow faithfully. I have enjoyed reading both very much. I had connected with the stories of these two very different leaders. RealLivePreacher's book is a blog style archive of stories fictional and real. With poetic beauty he writes about struggles, joys and everything in between that comes into contact with his life and imagination. I found my self connecting with the stories. It is a fun ride and I love the deep thoughts and reflections that are found in this book. Because RLP's book is full of short stories there are many quotes and significant thoughts in it but one that stood out with me is a quote found in the story of a pastor writing an open letter to his congregation, I guess there are obvious reasons why I like it, because I am a pastor, because I am also a person (seriously!) and I struggle and I don't have all the answers and it just connects with how I feel sometimes:
" What do you want from me? Do you want me timid and wearing little spectacles, dronnig from a dusty prayer book while people not in the pews? Do you want a gentle eunuch, tamed and kept by the church gentry? Do you want to pull my chain and watch pretty Jesus words come out?

...What if I threw a Bible at you? Would you like that? What if I glared down at you from the pulpit and hurled a huge King James into a shrieking crowd...

...How about parlor tricks? A little sleight-of-hand and a candle behind the sheet. Is that what you're looking for? An empty wheelchair rolling down the aisle and a palm pressed against a forehand while I lean in close and whisper, 'lie down now, my child, for the cameras are rolling...

...What if my breath stank of grasshoppers and my chin dripped honey?...

...And what if I was all of these things and none of these things? What if I was deeply wounded and did not know why?....

...What if all I could do was limp after a Gentle Shepherd along a very narrow and dangerous way? Would you follow me down the path?"

Of Course to get the real flavor of the story and what I am picking out you have to read it, so these excerpts may mean nothing to you, and thats ok, they mean a lot to me.

The second book finished was In the Name of Jesus, which is Henri's reflections on being a priest, professor at Harvard and leaving it all behind to serve at L'Arche a community working with mentally challenged adults. These are his reflections on Christian leadership...This book is full of depth and wisdom, a call to servant living. Nouwen again and again brings to attention the importance of being willing to be led, to be a servant, to give up the desire to be powerful and embrace authority based on prayer and forgiveness... I must admit Nouwen's honesty with his struggles was refreshing and his honest look at what following Jesus looks like today is exceptional.

Here is a taste:

"What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life."


"The long painful history of the church is the history of people ever and again tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led. Those who resisted this temptation to the end and thereby give us hope are the true saints.

This book is packed with wisdom on leadership, that models that of Jesus, a leadership that is not about popularity, about drawing numbers or having the hottest latest pulpit trends, no it is about surrendering and being led and following in the footsteps of a Savior.

These two books have given me a lot to think about, have given and encouraged me to be ever so honest in my faith in my walk and in my ministry. How cool is that?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Awesome...


Jessica emailed me this great picture from Engrish.com, for the ipod contest this being the name for our Jr. Youth...and I have to say nothing has been truer then this...not sure if we will use it in fact we wont....but sooo TRUE!



Another one, not so true, but funny:caption: "Communist playgrounds suck..."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

IPOD Give away Contest...

Ok! FOR SR. AND JR. YOUTH, WE WANT TO COME UP WITH NAMES THAT DESCRIBE WHO WE ARE!

Ex.: Some groups have called themselves, BLAZE, IGNITE, etc.

We would like to come up with a name for each of our groups that represents us, in what we do, who we are and what we are about...So we will have a competition to help us decide what name!

So this is what you do: You need to come up with the name, you have to be in Sr. Youth to come up with the Sr. Youth name, and you have to be in Jr. Youth to come up with the Jr. Youth name (If your parents or others want to help you think of something thats fine, but it will be you who needs to post it and it will be you who wins the IPod)!

When you have the name you simply comment under THIS post, you will have till December Christmas Banquets to enter as many names as you like, one name per comment, but you can comment as many times as you like! The winning name will win
AN IPOD SHUFFLE 1G. One for Sr. Youth and One for Jr. Youth. You don’t have to be a blogger to post you can do it under other or anonymous just make sure to leave your name some where in the post so I know who guessed what name! Jeff, Ryan, Chris, Donna, Devin, and I will be deciding on the best names for each youth group Sr. and Jr.! The winners will be announced at Christmas Banquets, and will receive their IPOD'S!!! Good luck all~!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

If you say so...

Personality test, I guess I am this:





Also a quote for the day:

"I have done many things in my life that conflicted with the great aims I had set myself - and something has always set me on the true path again." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What a night...

What a night, last night we had praise and worship night, and our own youth band led the music I spoke and the kids had time to sing, spend time in prayer, reflection and of course play ping-pong. There was something striking about our night. We did certain religious acts, but yet there was nothing overtly forced, there were moments of sacredness and moments of silliness, there were powerful and trivial moments. What it was, was real...we made no claims of saying the 'right' things, we were ourselves and we acknowledged something bigger then us working around us and with us. I love that there is no simply spiritual or simply secular I love that the lines are blurred and some times you can't tell which is which, and I love even more that one and the other are often the same...what a night.