Sunday, December 11, 2005

two jobs

Well, it happened last week (Thursday to be exact). I now have two part time jobs. Though it will in no way be close to what we were used to income wise - it is a huge blessing.

The first job came out of nowhere. A friend offered my a shortterm job at her office (she's a dentist) as a way to help us out. She didn't have to do it and I didn't ask. So it was great to have that happen. God providing.

The second job I did apply for. Ah, now I am a proud member of the Target family :) I start work tomorrow morning at 5am (I never got up that early for a youth event!) It will be a very tiring job, but I think I will enjoy it. I mean, come on, I get to be in the store before it even opens :)

I pray these two jobs don't last forever, but I am very thankful for them.

Lately, both my wife and I have really been desiring to get back involved with a church family. We miss the interaction and fellowship and long to get back into ministry.

(stay tuned for more updates on God's faithfulness during our transition)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Pick of the week

Wes sucking his finger
Originally uploaded by lilkup.

Here is a picture of my little guy. He has since forgotten how to suck his finger and relies on us to help him. But at a month and a half, what else can you expect?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Ramen Noodles and God

Well, today marks the end of the first week without my severence. It has begun to be more and more real that we are not going to be able to live within the same means we did a month ago. We have been not looking forward to this, but we know God is still in control.

God has shown Himself in a number of ways over the last few days. I wish that I could explain better than I am about to just how awesome and amazing God is. Allow me to try to share some of the amazing things God has done:

1. we are continually amazed at the generousity of others. We have recieved a number of checks or cash from people who wanted to help us out (and they have).

2. A friend of ours went and bought us some groceries. Well, I should say a lot of groceries. When they told us they wanted to buy us some groceries, we expected a bag full. What we got was 6 bags of groceries (including one full of meat). Wow, how amazing to have friends basically buy us almost a month's worth of groceries.

3. A family member gave us a gift card for a grocery store. So we were able to buy even more of the stuff we need.

4. The biggest help came in the form of an unexpected visit from some friends that we hadn't seen in a while. Through a series of events, including an email from a friend asking for prayer for us, these friends heard that we were still in the area and had not found a new ministry yet. They prayed about our situation and felt led to give us some money to help with our move (backed by a reassurance because they heard we had to get some brake work done on my car) or with our stay in town. Well, they wrote us a check from almost 2 months worth of my salary. I can't tell you how much I was humbled and touched. I think I cried for about 10 minutes, just being thankful to God for all He has done.

There is more that I could write about, but there are the biggest. God listens to prayer. God provides. God is faithful

Never forget why you work in ministry. Never forget the God you serve.

Monday, November 28, 2005

God's providing

Well, today was a huge day for me. No, it wasn't because I started a new ministry. No, it wasn't because I was offered a new ministry. In fact it had nothing to do with ministry.

Yesterday, during a call with some friends something (from God) about a job came up. This particular friend of ours has her own dental practice. She was looking about needing to fill a certain position and asked if I would be interested in working there until I found something. Now, I won't be making near as much as I would in a ministry. but it is a good bit more than I would be making without it.

God has opened this door to help sustain us through some difficult time. This job will cover less than half of what our current budget is per month. But what a blessing it is to have it at all!

Today I also got some encouragement in the form of an email. What makes this email so special is that it came from a sr. minister at a church in which I had applied for and did not get the job. He was thinking about me and the situation I am in and had been praying for me and wanted to see how things were going. What an encouragement to hear those thoughts/prayers from someone who could have easily thrown my information in the trash and forgotten about me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

the boys on the floor

the boys on the floor, originally uploaded by lilkup.

A fun picture of my two little guys. This is the reason I love to be able to stay home all the time (them and my wife :))

Nathan loves his little brother. Wes doesn't really know what is going on :)

I love spending time with them.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The end of the search...

well, the first phase. I just got a letter from the last church from the first phase of searching. They are going to be going with someone else.

I really don't know what to say. I have so many emotions running through my head.

I do know that we are trusting God to provide and even with my severence coming to an end, I know He is providing. All I can ask for is continued prayer. I have struggled with the fear that maybe something won't come up. Am I still supposed to be a ym? (it has only been 4 years).

Thanks for the prayers.

ps. if you know of any churches looking, please if you could pass it on :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

trust and the job front

Still nothing on the job front. Well, I can't say nothing. I am waiting to hear from one church (after I visited and interviewed a couple weeks ago). And I just heard back from another church. Not sure how I feel about their reasoning for not moving forward with me, but hey I don't agree with the reasoning of those that let me go of my last job.

There are a few other opportunities out there and plenty of God taking care of my family. I know, based on how things have gone so far this Sabbatical, that God is here with me through this entire situation.

I just wish I could say there was a new job lined up. But then again, that is my timeframe :)

It is weird that with being home, I don't feel like doing a lot of typing or writing. I miss parts of work and then again I am really able to enjoy this time at home with my family (not going to get this opportunity again until I retire).

If you have been praying for the job hunt - thanks!

one fear I have - when I do go back to work, will it take me a long time to get back in the swing of things? Or will my passion and desire for ministry kick in again (not that it's gone now)?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Nathan the Elephant

Nathan the Elephant
Originally uploaded by lilkup.
Here is a picture of my oldest (wow, that's the first time writing that - since my youngest is just over a week old now) son on Halloween. He was the cutest elephant on the block. It was fun going around with him. I can't wait to do it every year (said tongue in cheek).

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Proud new daddy Pic

Proud new daddy
Originally uploaded by lilkup.
Here is a picture of me with my new little son, Wes. He's the one in the blanket. :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Going Trick or Treating again

How fun it was to go trick or treating with my son for the first time. He looked so cute in his elephant costume.

Monday, October 31, 2005

What the chuch can learn from Halloween...

I will probably expand on this later, but I wanted to get some thoughts in before I went to bed.

Tonight I went trick-or-treating with my oldest son (18 months) and a few friends. We didn't go to too many houses and we didn't stay out more than 30 minutes. I did make some conclusions on what I think the Church can learn (or be reminded of) during Halloween.

1. A lot of "little things" can add up to a lot
2. Most people walk around with "masks" on every day
3. We should be welcoming of our neighbors
4. If it involves candy/food, then people will show up :) (this is more for the youth workers)

just a few thoughts...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Proud new papa

What a day (or was it two). Yesterday morning my wife and I went to the hospital to have our second child. She was induced and things were moving smoothly, until she hit the 1/2way mark. Then she didn't go any farther. So after 16 hours of contractions and not seeing any progress the last 5 or 6 hours, we went in to have a c-section.

The good news is that our little boy (Wesley) was born this morning at 1:14 am. The bad news is that I don't have a picture to share b/c I left the camera at the hospital. Thankfully, everyone is doing great. Still trying to recover and rest, but overall doing great.

It is a huge praise that Wes is here. Throughout the labor nothing went the way we had planned. But (because God knows that is better) everything went well and turned out the best.

many many many pictures to come :) (oh, I am so proud to be a dad of two)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Baby arrival

In less than 12 hours we will be going to the hospital to have our second son enter the world. :) I am so happy.

I will try to update when I am back to normal - yeah, like that's going to happen.

I cannot put into words how excited I am for this new little guy to show up in this world.

I have to try to get some sleep...

Stay-At-Home Dad

I have been able to due so much with my 18 month old son since I've been able to stay at home. I consider myself blessed to have this time at home. Now, I have really begun to miss being a full-time youth minister. I don't miss going to the office and doing paperwork. But I do miss teaching, spending time with the students and just being a part of a church body.

I have been able to spend some time with a few of the students and a few families, so that has helped us both. It is more difficult to not be at a church than I thought it would be. I am beginning to really be ready to get back to work. I love to be at home (and will surely miss the time with my family), but I know I have to go back to work sometime.

Why is it not possible to stay at home and yet have a full time job? But I could try to work from home, but then again I would probably never get anything done. I don't see how people can work from home and still get a lot of work done. I would never be able to take the time to do work, I would want to spend time with my boys (when #2 gets here any day) that I would never work.

Speaking of boys - we are hoping that anyday Wes will come (that is our baby to be). I am very thankful that God has allowed me the opportunity to be at home for the first "who knows how long" weeks of my second sons life.

Back to playing with my son :)

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Its been just over three weeks now that I've been on my Sabbatical. It has been very refreshing.

I have been able to enjoy a lot of time with my wife and son. We've done a lot of work on our house, so it is ready to sell (whenever we get to that point - more on that later). We continue to wait and prepare for the birth of our second son. Our search goes on. I have been learning a lot about trust and reliance.

It has been almost 4 months since we began the search for a new ministry and we are still waiting to find out where we are going. It seems like it has been forever, but as I have been reading through Genesis I am constantly reminded that it is no where close to forever. Throughout Genesis people wait for years to hear or know what to do. I have been able to know God's blessings firsthand as He has taken care of us throughout this process. He is everywhere. He is in the timing of things happening, in our finances, our health. Everywhere we turn we see God at work - taking care of us even though we don't know what is going to happen next.

More update to come, after some sleep...

Saturday, October 08, 2005


I'm in week 2 of my Sabbatical :)

It is great to have the time to rest and relax. This past week has been a great chance to draw closer to God and to my family.

We are still waiting on final word on where we will be going next, but we trust God in it all.

Less than a month til baby #2 is here :) Now things are starting to get really interesting - so much to do and so little facts. (where will we go? what will it be like to have two kids? and on and on)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

time of silence

Today is a the day! Finally after 3 months today is the final day for me at my current ministry. It seems like forever ago I was told to start looking for a new ministry.

We do not know where our next ministry will be. So, tomorrow starts our period of trust and faith. We know God is in control and has things worked. The church has offered my two months severence, so we have income til the end of Nov. Which is good since we have a baby due Nov. 1.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us (please continue :))

Due to not coming into the office and our home computer being in the shop, there will be a time of silence for this blog (hopefully only a few days).

And now I must get to work on my last day...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

fun name generator

Got this link off Marko's blog.

Here is my cyborg name:

width="240" height="180"
alt="Lifeform Intended for Logical Killing and Ultimate Peacekeeping"

I am not how I feel about being a paradox. I am supposed to kill and make peace???

Tuesday is the new Thursday

For those who have read any post on this page, you know I am almost done with my current ministry position. I feel like its all I blog about, but it has been going on for 3 months now - and it takes a lot of my time and focus. Well, today is my second to last day (hence the post title).

Anyway, I wanted to pass on a funny thing that happened today in the office. Keep in mind tomorrow is my last day at this church, there are only like 3 things left in my office that I own. I am only working on stuff for tomorrow night. I am doing no planning, no mailings, no calendars, nothing.

(I don't know whether to laugh or cry...) On his way out of the office my boss (the sr. minister - a good part of the reason I was fired) stopped by my office to say he was going to run some errands and would be back. Well, he proceeded to ask if I needed anything from the office store. What? Why would I need anything from the office store? I only have one day left in this office.

I am not really sure what to think about that. Does he just not want to realize this is happening or was he just trying to be nice/make small talk? Anyway, I find it really funny and have been chuckling about it for the last few hours.

Just thought I'd share

Monday, September 26, 2005

final sunday

Well, we had our final Sunday yesterday. What a day. I taught the hs class (my wife got to sit in and enjoy). Then I got to be upstairs during the service (I ended up serving communion and offering because someone did not show up). We had a "farewell dinner" yesterday after church. Funny thing, though. They prayed and started before either of us got over there. Not a word mentioned publically about saying farewell. It was almost as if it was just another after church dinner. Kinda sad, but understandable at the same time. If I fired a minister who was very loved by the congregation and who did not yet know where they were going next, I don't know if I would make a mention of it either. Not that I liked it, but I understand.

We feel like we are just sorta leaving unnoticed. Which is not a bad thing. And we have not had parties during the classes either, so we aren't promoting the leave. It just feels really weird to be leaving and not have anything said about it on our last Sunday. Nothing was mentioned in church about it or anything.

I am not sure that the leaders who asked me to leave think it is a big deal (though most of them avoid me on Sunday). It just feels weird today. We are leaving and I am glad to be leaving this situation but at the same time I am sad to leave.

This was my first ministry after college and I will take so much away. The hardest thing today is knowing I will not be able to watch some of the teens grow and mature and become what God wants them to be. There are a few who I know I have "finally" started to build that relationship with and now I am leaving.

Sad times.

But on the other hand, I know I can still stay in contact and will hear from them again.

I feel reassured that I am not wanting to leave the ministry.

(thanks for reading the randomness of this post and thoughts)

Friday, September 23, 2005

volunteer banquet

Last night was a first. My wife and I (along with our son) went to a volunteer banquet that we didn't organize. I don't think I have been to a function like this without doing the planning/organizing since I started fulltime ministry. It was really, really nice to be able to go to a banquet and be recognized for the volunteering.

It was a reminder of the importance of showing appreciation for all the work people do within the youth ministry.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Fun pics from the carnival

Who wouldn't want to come to a carnival with darts and balloons?

We gave away tickets at the games and they had the choice of getting prizes or throwing pies in two of the teens faces. The two teens got a lot of pie.

This is me after sliding down a 24 foot inflatable slide (not to mention the fact that I was worn out)

Is that Scooby-Doo at our carnival? You bet it is (and he was hot)!

Goings on & God's peace

I am in my last full week at Westside (with 10 days left) and a lot of "junk" has been going on lately. Over this past week we have found out that some lies are being spread that make our leaving sound that much more needed. People are asking questions about why we were asked to leave and they are being given lies - man that hurts so bad. (esp. when some of the lies are that I would not talk to a kid about baptism or return a concerned parent's repeated phone calls, not to mention that I was trying to control the youth ministry by not allowing anyone else to help) ugggghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the middle of all this is God, reminding me of His love and plan. He has shown me through a friend (who recently came through a 6 month search period) who reminded that when God takes you away from something it is because He has something better in store. He has reminded me that I am not called to make the staff happy, but rather to bring glory and honor to God.

Thankfully, despite all the "junk" going on, I am able to sleep at night knowing that God knows the truth and God is there with us taking us through it all and leading us to the place He has in store for us.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Carnival for our children's ministry

Tomorrow is our Fall Carnival for our Children's Ministry. This will be our last "non class" event while at WCC. We are looking forward to it, as tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day. And we always have a blast at our carnivals. I am looking forward to it and pray it is a great day. The best part is going to be the kids, as they don't have a clue as to what is going on "behind the scenes" and will just want to have a fun day and get a lot of prizes.

It will be a nice break.

I will try to post some pics next week if I can.

less than 2 weeks left

It is finally here! The final two weeks of my ministry at WCC. Not that I am glad to be leaving, but the last 2 1/2 months have been rather long. Now I get to experience what it is like to only have 2 weeks left in a job (though it not anything like what would happen if I really was only given two weeks).

My goal is to "pretend/act" like I just found out and use the last two weeks like I would have. The advantage is that I have been through all the emotional roller coasters that go along with being fired (or should I say "asked to leave" since it sounds so much better for me?)

For those who are praying for us, we still do not know where we are going to be ministering next. Please pray for this transition.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

still hearing things about the baptism

A few posts ago I wrote about the "controversy" around a recent baptism. Well, I have yet to be approached about this. No one has come to me and asked me what I know or don't know about the young lady or her recent decision. But I did hear more yesterday about some discussion/talk about the whole event.

This is what frustrates me the most... One of the comments I heard was that this girl was "unrepentant." HOW in the world does this person know that? They have never even talked to this girl and they don't know where she is at. And anyway, who are we to judge whether someone is unrepentent or not - just because she struggles with a "bad sin" in some people's eyes.

It is just a little upsetting that after I leave I don't know what is going to be said to her. I "think" that one of the people who will be heading up the youth department is one of the people who has been making comments about her unrepentedness. Please pray for this situation.

Again, thankfully none of this has been said on any level but 1-on-1 or a very small group. So most people in the congregation have no idea that all this is going on.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


(Now, I know this is not a new movie and this might be an old discussion, but bear with me)

Last night, my wife and I watched "Thirteen." I picked it up from the library because I had heard some good reviews of it from other youth workers. I heard it was a good movie when it comes to the youth culture and how it showed the family dynamic.


It was not at all what I expected. I did not even watch all of it. After a while I just left and did some other things. It was very intense. (Plus, what kind of ending is that - yeah, I was curious as to what happened at the end)

I have not ran into that in my youth ministry. I am not saying it is not out there, but I have not seen it that extreme. It did cause my wife and I to talk about the fact that change can happen very quickly in middle school.

Have any of you see something like that in a family? As a youth worker, what is the best way to work with a student going through that?

my timeframe

If you have read this blog before you know I am in the process of ending my current YM position and moving to another one (just don't know what or where that is yet). I found out back in June that I was done here. My last day is Sept. 28 (a little over two weeks). These past 2 1/2 months have gone by so slowly.

I do not think I would ever recommend someone stay this long at a job once they have been told they are not "effective" anymore. I don't think I would ever want to go through this situation again - it has been less than fun (to say the least).

But lately I have been reading in Genesis and have been amazed at the length of time people waited. In the OT one verse can be like 40 years. We read the stories and do not stop to realize how long these people waited. Did they have it easier than we do? Most of them had to wait far longer than I have. Just today I was reading about Jacob's adventure in finding a wife. He sees Rachel and knows she is the one he wants to marry. And for some reason, he decides to agree to 7 years of work for her hand in marriage. And then, the old switcharoo, he ends up with Leah "the weaked eye".

His 7 years, plus a week, plus 7 more years. That makes my 3 months seem pretty short.

Why do we always want a short timeframe for things when throughout Scripture we see people waiting longer than I think I would (7 years, 40 years, an entire lifetime and then not even getting to see the end result).

I wish the Bible gave us a little insight into what went on in those "waiting years" more often. I would like to see how many nights Jacob went to bed just frustrated and annoyed with the situation.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Good books

Some good books I've read recently...

Searching for God knows what by Donald Miller

Curious Incident of the dog at Nightime by Mark Haddon

Soul Survivor by Mike Pilavachi

Good books I'm currently reading...

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Not Much Just Chillin by (I can't remember)

Toddler Play by (I don't know) (hey, I'm still a dad first :))

Thursday, September 08, 2005

controversial baptism

Sunday was a great day! As I posted before, I was able to take part in a baptism for one of our teens. She has been coming to our youth group for about a year now. She came to me a week or so ago and said she was wanting to be baptized. We talked about baptism, about what it means to give your life to Christ. We talked about how once you are a "believer" you are called to live a higher lifestyle.

So, I've had these comments from a few people about her baptism. Apparently, people are hearing rumors that she is a lesbian. Some people are a little concerned that she can't be baptized because of this fact. I am a bit frustrated because it seems like this particular "sin" (though I am not sure she is actually sinning in this area - based on conversations I've had with her and the fact that I don't think she is actually participating in the act of homosexuality) constitutes a higher level of criticism.

The sad part is that because we are leaving in 3 weeks, I don't know what will happen after we leave. I pray she won't be bombbarded by people's criticisms.

just wanted to share. Any of you dealt this type of situation before? If so, please share some ideas and thoughts.


Monday, September 05, 2005

Whose ministry?

As we continue to get closer to our last day at WCC, we continue to minister to the students. Last Sunday, I got the chance to baptize one of the seniors in our group. She has been coming to our group for about 5 or 6 months. It was pretty exciting to get to be a part of it as I am leaving this position.

I think that is also one of the toughest parts about leaving a ministry. I will not be able to see this person (and many others) grow in their faith. I am going to miss out on watching God work in their lives.

This Wednesday we are starting a new service for our teenagers. I am excited to be a part of it for at least 4 weeks before we leave. This is the first time I've been a part of something like this starting and I won't be able to watch it grow and watch God use it to reach more teenagers.

I guess most of all I am learning that it doesn't matter who does the ministry, its God who does the growing! I just need to get over myself and allow Him to do His thing.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The final month

Yesterday started the final month for us here at our church. It is weird to know we are in the final weeks (since we have known for over 2 months now). The fact that we have known for so long, makes this final stretch seem that much harder. I feel like we have continued strong over the last two months, but I can't seem to find the energy to stay as strong this final month. Is this normal? Is it right/wrong? How can I stay strong for one more month?

I would love to hear from others on this. I want to finish strong and not just "make it through" the final weeks. My prayer is for the passion/energy to minister like I did before I was asked to leave.

(I would never tell anyone to stay this long after being fired - it is just too awkward)

Monday, August 29, 2005

other weekend stuff

Well, this weekend was full. I wanted to share some pics that tell how the weekend went outside of church.

Here is Nathan at lunch on Sunday. He fell asleep at the table after eating an orange and some bread. You don't know how many times I've wanted to do just this. How much trouble would I get in if I fell asleep at the dinner table?

The top dog is Sticky (our dog). She decided to sit on the edge of our pool when we had it set up inside. I don't know why she liked it, but as you can see, she was enjoying herself.
The other dog is Baxter. We watched him for a friend this weekend. He was a great dog to have, brought us much needed laughter this weekend.

Another picture of Nathan... Here he is trying to fill up his pool with water. He knows enough to know that you have to put the hose in the pool to fill it up. Thankfully, he has not figured out how to turn the nozzle yet.

These are the types of things that help me forget about the "drama" that is my current ministry.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Yesterday was the day

Yesterday, the entire congregation found out that we were asked to leave our ministry. What a day it was... (I am still pretty unsettled by things that have been said and done).

I had a talk with some of the elders before SS. Not the way I wanted to start my day, but it was inevitable. It was one of those talks where you leave the room the same way you left, with the same feelings and with not much changing. The basis of our discussion was on what was going to be said about our being asked to leave. Not much to say.

All throughout my Sunday School class it was just weird. Now that they know we are leaving, it is going to be that much more difficult to teach them. But overall, it was a good class.

We told the kids during Jr. Church. They were upset. Didn't know what to expect from them and got a lot more verbal response than from the ms/hs. So, with that group told we headed up to the service. Yeah, we weren't looking forward to this.

We stopped and prayed again before we went in. We got in part way through the sermon, so we wanted to sit down quietly without much distraction. It is def. getting more and more difficult to listen to a sermon and take something from it. So after the invitation, offering and a few announcements - we were up. One of the elders read a statement explaining some things and then I got up to read our statement.

I was not sure what to say/do. I read a motified version of what I had originally written. Not an easy thing to do. Amy said she had to tell some people behind her to allow me to speak. (They were "voicing" some opinions about us being fired, as in not wanting us to go) So after I read my letter and started to walk back to my seat, some people began to stand. They stood and clapped for Amy and myself and our ministry here at WCC. It was touching to see the support we have here.

Got to talk to a lot of people after the service. Some of them I had not met before, some I had only met a few times and others I have known for 4 years. It was actually quite interesting to see the support from people who are fairly new to our congregation. People expressed concern about the situation and assured us that they did not agree with us being asked to leave.

Not that we want to have people on our side - it is just nice to know we are not alone.

We are glad to be on this side of it. Now we are less than a month away from our exit (seems like forever ago we were told). It is going to be a long 3 months (dont' think i want to do it that way again).

Yesterday had at least one bright spot: the youth put together a surprise party for Amy for her birthday (which was Friday, see posts about me being a bad husband). It was encouraging to see the support and love from them (the ones we are here to minister to).

As we do enter the last month of our stay at this church, we know it has the potential to become even more difficult to be here. I ask for prayer. thanks.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Wife's birthday

Today is my wife's birthday. Happy birthday Amy!

Though I haven't thought of any great idea, I did take the day off. We have had a great day just spending time together as a family. And tonight we are getting to go on a date (without Nathan). Ah, I hope we remember what's its like without a child with us. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

More new people...

on such a bad night.

Last week, I posted about one student making a comment about the new faces in our class. Well, last night we had 2 brand new faces at class and a few that haven't been in a while. And what a night to come to a new youth group. What better timing than to show up for the first time the night that the youth minister announces he is leaving? I felt for them, knowing they felt awkward.

But one cool thing did happen. Part way through the night, one of the visitors asked what kinds of things had happened in the past to make it so hard for this news to be talked about. I was touched that she was able to see the connection between the youth and my family. She noticed something that the elders don't see.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Bearer of Bad News

Tonight was one of the hardest nights. Tonight was the night we told the youth that we are leaving our ministry. (actually asked to leave - not because of something I'd done)

We've know for 2 months that we were on our way out. So it has been tough to keep up the ministry and be honest with the teens about the future without telling them. There were a variety of responses we got from them. Some cried, some just sat there, others got up and left. Though no one asked a question, we know they are out there. We did get a few after class, so we know they are thinking through what is going on.

Now, we just wait and see how the next month goes.

I will post more later about details, but I wanted to write this (now that I can). This has been a burden on my heart and a stress for my family for two months and we are not even sure the hardest part is over.

Time to get some sleep - its back to the office tomorrow. :)

"life" size Goliath

I am currently able to minister to all kids from birth to high school. This month the elementary and toddlers are talking about David and Goliath. Learning how they can make a big difference even though they are "small". I wanted to do something to show what they would look like compared to a 9 foot man. The best I could find was to take a picture and raster it and make it 8 feet tall. So this week, the younger elementary got to color each page and then we put them up on the wall. Here is how it turned out, rather cool if you ask me:

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Wife's birthday

So, I am feeling a little overwhelmed with stuff going on at church. I say that because I have neglected to make it a point to make my wife's birthday special. Now, its not until Friday - so I still have a chance. It's just that I was not even thinking about taking the day off to spend it with her. How sad is that? I can take almost any day off I want and I don't even think about taking this special day off.

Hopefully, I will think of something to make it special. I would welcome any suggestions or thoughts on how to make up for the "almost screwed up" birthday.

Help a brother out....

Monday, August 22, 2005

kids' birthdays

Yesterday, we went to Jeremy's birthday party. Jeremy turned 8 yesterday. He is one of the kids involved in our ministry. It was a good party. Over the past week I had seen/read a lot about peopel spending an enormous amount of money on their kids' parties. I think that is a big waste. And after yesterday I am convinvced even more that you don't need to spend a lot of money for your children to enjoy their birthday.

This brings me hope for when Nathan (my 16 month old) begins to want lots of stuff for his party. I will just need to show him that you can have fun without all the spending of money :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I would like to ask for prayer from anyone who might be reading this blog. There are a lot of changes taking place in my little world and some decisions will be coming up.

If you are curious as to more details, they'll be coming in about a week and a half. Thanks

"What's up with all the new people"

Last night was a good night. We have been having a strange assortment of teens at our Wed. night service lately. We have some deep Christians, some people who could care less about God. We have skaters, cheerleaders, and a slew of others.

Last night, one of the teens (who hasn't been to class in a few weeks) came up to me before class and asked "What's up with all the new people?" I responded with "I don't know what you mean." and said it was good to have new people he didn't know. Not too much more was said.

I think it is cool that we have been having that many new people coming.

How do you respond to the question?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cookout with Middle Schoolers

Last night we had our annual "beginning of school year" cookout for the middle school. It was a great night. Its always fun to watch the interaction and connecting that takes place when you get teens together in your house for no reason but to eat :)

The funniest part of the evening came at the beginning. Before we were supposed to start, it began to look like it would rain. So being the thoughtful youth minister I am, I thought I would start the burgers and dogs early and finish before the rain hit. Oh, boy was I wrong. I did not even get all the burgers on the grill before it started to rain. But I knew it wasn't going to rain hard or for that long. So I started grilling and went inside. Well, it started raining a little harder, so I had to start using an umbrella to protect the grill from all the rain. I was doing pretty good. Then it happened...downpour. It was so bad that I had to ask one of the teens to come hold the umbrella for me so that I could get the burgers off the grill and into the house. I got wet (even to have to change), but he got soaked. I think when he left 2 hours later he was still wet. It was so crazy. (not to mention the fact it stopped raining just minutes after we got inside).

Another great story to use during some lesson.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

raising of Lazarus and my life

The other day I was reading John 11 where Lazarus dies. I began to talk to God about my faith. What would I have said to Jesus? What would I have been thinking/feeling?

In the story, Lazarus becomes sick and Jesus finds out, but He does nothing. In fact, Jesus waits for 4 days before going to see him. When Jesus arrives, both Mary and Martha (Lazarus’ sisters) tell Jesus that if He had been there their brother would still be alive. Jesus says that He is glad He was not there, so that through the raising of Lazarus the people would believe.

How many times have I said “if only…” or “oh great, now its too late.” Jesus could have healed Lazarus without even going to see him (see John 4). Mary and Martha knew that Jesus could do miraculous things, but they were not confident once the events seemed final. I think I am quick to want God to fix things or work in my life before the “end” comes. Maybe the “end” is a divorce in your family, death of a loved one, losing a job, not being able to pay a bill, having students graduate without accepting Jesus as Savior.

In my life, I want God to work before things get real hard. I sometimes think that if I have faith then I won’t have to go through the tough situation. Well, you know what – it does not always work that way.

As we see in the resurrection of Lazarus, God knows the best timing. He knows the answer before we even know we have a problem. Who am I to request of God an answer before I am ready for it.

Maybe, just maybe, we all need to experience the “end” before we truly appreciate the “afterward.”

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Lighthouse Effect

This past week, I went with my family to Tybee Island, GA. During our trip we visited the lighthouse (one of GA's oldest). During our trip, Amy noticed the light bulb they used to light the lighthouse - 1,000 watts. (Try putting that in the bathroom light and see what you really look like). The information said that this lighthouse could be seen 18 miles away.

As we were talking, I began to think about the comparisons between lighthouses and followers of Jesus...

(Allow me to share a few quick thoughts)

light house vs follower of Jesus
light source: 1,000 watt bulb vs. Jesus Christ
way to get light out: mirrors vs. our life
distance: seen 18 miles away vs. seen by those around us
effect: guides ships safely to shore vs. guides people safely to God
most effective: in the dark vs. in the dark/lost world
guarantee?: not if the light bulb breaks vs. not unless we are truly living for God

Each of us has a chance to be a lighthouse. We have opportunities every day to reflect the light of Jesus to the lost. Maybe it happens at school, at work, in your neighborhood or the store. One other quick note about lighthouses that I think we need to be reminded of - they never know how is out in the ocean looking for a way home. We never know how is searching for God and is looking for a way to find Him - therefore we should never take an off day.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


This morning, around midnight, my brother and sister got to the house. They will be here for a week. We live over 8 hours apart, so when we get to be together it is a great time. I am excited about having them in town. We are going to go the beach and enjoy some sand and sun (something I don't get to do on a normal basis).

On the topic of family, I wanted to share a few pics from recent days.

You will notice that each picture has Nathan in it. Amy is trying to get as much one on one time with him before the baby is born.

I'm not sure why I like this picture (obviously that's me on the floor being sat on) but I do. Nathan is really starting to like to wrestle and I'm not sure there is anything better than wrestling with your son.

We just like this picture because the shirt makes us laugh. Who first came up with the idea of having a t-shirt look like a uniform :) (they need to be commended)

Monday, August 08, 2005


This weekend was very refreshing. It was not without its memorable moments, some good and some bad. I'm not sure what I expected from Promise Keepers, but I know what I took away.

5 things that I will remember:
1. Reggie Dabbs (emcee for the weekend) told a story about something that happened at a recent conference. He said he was talking to this man and the man called his wife and asked Reggie to tell her that he (the husband) loved her. Reggie did and also asked the wife if the husband could come home (I guess he hadn't been home for awhile). The best part was that Reggie said the wife said "yes." God was working in the man's life and was allowing his wife to do the same.

2. Seeing all the men come forward to make a commitment to changing their lives to be better husbands, dads, workers... It is a great site to see men accept God's call on their life.

3. It was cool to see the boys singing and participating with the older men.

4. Along those same lines... it was awesome to watch a few older men (grandpas?) up front on the floor singing and dancing with the younger men.

5. I was convicted that I have not been the best leader in my home. I want to be a better leader for my family.

I'll take away a midnight dinner at Chili's. Now, that is fun (get to see a different side of men at midnight in a restaurant). I was able to laugh a lot and build on my relationships with other men. God used the two days to refresh my soul and recharge my batteries.

Plus I got PK wristband (oh, I mean commemmoritive wristband celebrating their 15th year)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Time away

This weekend and some next week, I am going to be getting some time away from work. This weekend I am going to be going to a Promise Keepers conference in Charleston. I have not been to a PK conference in over 10 years. I am excited about the chance to be at a conference and not be "in charge" and thus having no responsibility.

Next week, my brother and sister are coming in town for a few days. This is something we look forward to, since we live 8 hours away from each other. We are planning on going to the beach for a few days, too. Again another chance to relax and refresh.

I think it is so sad that we (as youth ministers) do not take enough time away. In order to be as effective as we can in ministry we have to take care of our own spiritual walk. It is times like this upcoming week when I have to step back and ask myself who is taking care of my relationship with Christ. It has to be me.

If you have not taken a break in a while - go take one. Even if its just for an hour or so today.

Take some time away and allow God to speak to you and refresh you.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

wonderful wife

Today has been a long day at the house. For more, check out "yet another first" on our family blog for more info on the start of our day.

As I sit at the end of the day, I look back on everything that happens in a day and I am amazed at all my wife does. She never stops supporting and encouraging me in my ministry. Even though she has so much going on in her own life, she never stops loving me and being patient with me.

I just thought I would make a "blog note" saying I have a wonderful wife. Best wife this side of the Mississippi :)

Monday, August 01, 2005

Applause for a video

Yesterday was a first for me. Over the years, I have done many videos that get shown in church to let people get a taste of a certain event. Yesterday, we showed a video about our week at CIY. During CIY we had 1 baptism and 1 rebaptism. At the end of the video I put in the video of the baptisms and a little about them.

As I sat in the back of the auditorium watching the video, I began to hear this clapping. It was so cool! People were celebrating the baptisms even though they took place almost 3 weeks ago and they were watching them on a video. It was very encouraging to see the support and hear the excitement over a changed life.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

what makes ministry?

I know that is not a great question, but it is one I have to ask myself. The question is not "what makes good ministry?" or "what makes effective ministry?". I think that this is a tough question to answer. Not because it is a deep question or a tricky question, but because it is a big question. I think the answer is fluctuating every day.

Some days ministry is getting up early so the rest of the dorm room can get 20 more minutes of sleep. Some days it is talking about a topic you know nothing about (because it is of interest to a student). It could be playing video games or chess.

Since it can be difficult to know what ministry is at all times, how can we decide when it is effective? Is it possible for someone not involved to know how effective a ministry is?

what makes ministry?

Monday, July 25, 2005


Two weeks ago I left on a trip with teenagers and my wife. We were headed for Savannah, GA for a Christ In Youth Conference. I was very excited about the trip and so were most of the others. What we didn't know was what would take place during the week.

One of the greatest events came on Tuesday night, one of the students got up and decided he wanted to give his life to Christ!! :) :) I got the privilege of baptizing him in the school's swimming pool. (almost got to baptize him in a fountain, maybe next time).

What a great feeling! On top of the baptism, 2 other youth decided they wanted to stop doing what they have been and begin again in the life for Christ. I got to meet a handful of great people, see some old friends and make new ones. Above all, the group changed for the better.

I think one of the great things about weeklong trips is that you get to drive home with a "new group". I am very blessed to have such a great group of teens to work with.

One more thing...
Though I was unable to be in the van to experience this, I have heard rumors and was able to hear a little over the walkie talkie... On the way home one of the teens talked for 48 minutes straight about Power Rangers. Nothing but Power Rangers for almost an hour - where else can you experience that sort of phenonenom.

Gotta love this job :)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Six Flags

Next week, I am going to Six Flags with the youth. Am I looking forward to it? Yeah, but not for the reasons you think. I am not looking forward to the rides (I don't llike roller coasters), the lines (why wait for an hour for a 2 minute ride), the food (not good, but expensive), the amount of people (is it good to have that many people in that small a space). But I am looking forward to the ride up (hanging in a small space with tired/cranky teens), walking around the park with people, watching people (weird habit I have).

I enjoy trips like this, but I would not venture one on my own - it has to be done with a group.

Might I come back with a roller coaster story - I bet I will. Will I take the plunge and ride something new - doubt it.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

new blog

Well, here it is. A new blog. One of thousands that go up each day.