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)