Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another Wednesday Morning Thoughts and Ramblings

If you want to waste 2 hours of your life

Here is something cool to check out on youtube. Pick out one of your favorite youtube videos and then take watch out of the url and replace it with warp.swf and then hit enter. Its pretty cool what happens. Let me know if you try it.

Work, Life , Parenting: The Ultimate Juggling Act

I went to the Anderson Town Center for the first time last night. It is an incredibly beautiful building. The theatre is gorgeous. The Area Chamber of Commerce held a seminar on parenting. I thought it was a tremendous and even courageous effort on their part. I have it said that Parents just don’t go to things like this (its hard because their so busy). I know its true, because in Student Ministry we have to make a really big effort to get a good parent turnout for a seminar or a panel. All that to say I really applaud the Township for putting something on like this. The speakers, Sharon Guard (Anderson Hills UMC), Dave Brewer (Beech Acres Parenting Center), and Sherry Gibson (Fifth Third Bank) all had good things to say. Alicia asked me afterwards what I took way from it. My first response was that parents don’t have time for things like this (Sadly the event was poorly attended). This morning though I went back and looked at my notes and here are the nuggets I came away with:

  • Take every opportunity to point out your child’s strengths
  • Don’t miss life’s wake up calls.
  • Children and Student Ministers get 40-50 hrs a year with the average child. Parents get 3000 with their child.
  • You have got to make sure your family is having regular meals together

Thanks again to the Anderson Town Center for putting this together. I really appreciated them putting the emphasis on Families.

Yankees vs. Phillies

The World Series starts tonight! I am excited. As much as I detest the Yankees, I am not super upset they are in it either. I will only get upset if they when. There are a couple things I am really looking forward too. First I am looking forward to the former Cleveland Indian’s Aces Matching Up. How did the Indians not win a Series with Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia as their 1 and 2? Also, I am hoping that A-Rod gets into like a 1 for 25 rut (Am I bad person?). Finally, I am looking forward to seeing two incredibly potent offenses facing off against 2 pitching staffs that are good but not great. It should make for a great series with close games. I am calling Phillies in 6 games.

1 Peter 2:1-3 (NLT)

1 So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

I read this today during my devotions. I talked with my guys this morning at breakfast of how being grateful affects your life. Its easy when you have all your physical needs being continually met to feel like you really don’t need or crave anything. It’s a simple thought, but we can not let the taste of God’s Kindness fade in our memories. If we do we will slide back into old habits and behaviors and forget just how much we crave spiritual nourishment.

Check out Clayton’s Blog

Our Children’s Minister Clayton Hershner is great guy. He has been sharing some pretty heartfelt stuff and cool stories on his blog. Check it out.

Middle School Retreat

The retreat was a blast and it was amazing to watch our students connect to God and each other. Look for a blog entry with photos and stories sometime in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Morning Thoughts and Ramblings

On Wednesday mornings I get into the office pretty early from a regular breakfast meeting I have with some students. I tend to get into the office before everybody else does on Wednesdays. It can be pretty boring here during that time frame. So this morning I figured I would just ramble for a while. This will probably be pretty disjointed, but maybe there will be some good stuff in here somewhere.

Angels vs. Yankees
Did anybody else see the awful call the 3rd base umpire made last night? The Yankees blew out the Angels 10-1 so it didn't end up mattering, but it was honestly the worst call I have ever seen an umpire make. I didn't think we needed instant replay in MLB but now I am not so sure.

Middle School Retreat
We are going to be recording a podcast later today that will talk some about the Middle School Retreat and some other things we have going on. I am so excited the Retreat is finally here. We have spent so much time planning and getting ready. Pretty soon the students will be showing up, getting on the charter bus and heading off to Butler Springs Christian Camp.

The Present Future by Reggie McNeal
We have been going through this book as a staff. It is an excellent book talking about the current predicament we are facing in the North American Church. Simply put, not many of our churches are relevant any more. Its a scary thought, and a challenging one. Here is a quote from the book that jumped out at me from the fourth chapter entitled, "New Reality #4: The Return to Spiritual Formation." Reggie McNeal is talking about how we have gotten things mixed up. We teach people how to be a good church member instead of having a real relationship with Jesus. Here is what he says, "Instead of dumping a packet of church club member stuff on them(new visitor/believer), why not interview them about what they would like to see happen in their lives in terms of their spiritual development and personal growth."

I agree with him. Sometimes when somebody asks the right question we give them the wrong right answer. Does that make sense? Let me explain. From time to time someone will come up to me or somebody else on staff and say I want to become a member or I want to start a relationship with Jesus. All to often my response is more about the process than it is the relationship. My response will include something about a new member packet etc etc etc instead of telling the person that they way to join Parkside's family is to get involved and connected to other believers, and the way to get to know Jesus is by talking to Him often and reading the letters He has written us. Good Stuff. Challenging Stuff.

Child Abuse and Neglect
I read an article this morning in the USA Today that talked about a report on Deaths caused from Child Abuse and Neglect between 2001-2007. That number is 10,440. That number overwhelmed me. That number is over twice the amount of US casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan COMBINED. The US death rate is also more than double the rates of France, Canada, Japan, Germany, Great Britain and Italy. The sad thing is that most people don't notice when kids die this way.

We can't forget that a huge war is going on within our own borders, and even within our own neighborhoods. Abuse and Neglect don't discriminate. They affect every type of family rich and poor. The tighter knit a community is, the less likely something is going to go unnoticed.

Andrew Osenga
Growing up one of my favorite bands that nobody had really heard of was a band called the Normals. They were great. I loved their musical style (maybe you would call it acoustic rock, or edgy folk???), and it just seemed like their lyrics matched things I was going through stride for stride. Well, yesterday I accidentally discovered that their front man is still putting out music. In fact he has two EP's that you can download absolutely free. They are great too. I have been listening to them nonstop. They are so good I might just buy his other albums too. Who knew I guess people still buy albums.

Quote of the Day
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Middle School Retreat

Before I talk a little about the Middle School Retreat. I have to hold true to my word and update all of you on our 'Office' Fantasy Football League. I lost again this week. Dixie Hazelbaker beat me which is bad enough, but her team name is the Tinkerbells. Yeah that makes it hurt even worse. Anyways she has 2 wide recievers combine for 60 points. That makes it kind of difficult. Now I have gone from 2nd place all the way down to 5th. Yeah not a good week in Fantasy Football for me. Oh Well.

Now to talk about something I am really excited about. This year's Middle School Retreat is going to be special. We are going to Butler Springs Camp with 3 other Youth Groups October 23-25. This is the last week to register for it too. I am not trying to make a blog advertisement about the Retreat. I just want to communicate the passion all of the churches have put into it and our hopes for the impact it will have.

The focus of the retreat is pretty simple. The idea is that your direction determines your destination. We kind of stole the idea from Andy Stanley and a book he wrote recently. In Middle School identity and autonomy are a big deal for students. They are really deciding who they are, and what groups of people they feel connected to. That is a stressful and turbulent process. As we planned the retreat we felt like the circumstances of Daniel were a great example of that truth. Daniel and his friends were taken captive by the Babylonians as youths. Their circumstances determined where they lived, their jobs, and they were even given new names. The thing that was exceptional about Daniel and his friends, was the way they didn't allow those circumstances to seperate them from their faith or from God. They stayed focused, kept their faith in God.

Besides digging into some awesome Biblical truth we have some awesome things planned for the students. The late night games we will be playing on Friday night will be memorable. Saturday promises to bring even more fun during the afternoon sessions. The closing session on Saturday night will be an awesome time where each student gets to take all the knowledge and truth they have heard and get involved. I am pretty excited to see what that will look like.

I am going to go try and make my fantasy football team better so we don't lose to a Disney Character again. If you have any thoughts or questions about the Middle School Retreat let me know. Don't forget to be praying about the retreat too. We need to spend a lot of time praying that it will be relevant to our guys and gals.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fantasy Football Update: I Got Schooled

Chad Johnson would say that my fantasy football team, "Kissed the Baby" this weekend. Frankly we just got outplayed. Here is the scoop:

I went up against Brian Bruemmer this week our graphics/website guy. I was favored by 10 points but ended up losing by ten. My players consistently underperformed and his consistently overperformed. Hopefully I fair better this week (I am playing a team named Tinkerbells. If I lose to them, there is no coming back). Well, congrats Brian.

Here is how the rest of the league did:

Jim Wood def. Andy Sims
Todd Hazelbaker def. Dixie Hazelbaker
John Reeves def. Matt Beighle
Gregg Maloney def. Randy Shivers

Here are the current standings

1. Todd Hazelbaker 2-1
2. Matt Robinson 2-1
3. Andy Sims 2-1
4. Gregg Maloney 2-1
5. Jim Wood 2-1
6. Dixie Hazelbaker 2-1
7. Matt Beighle 1-2
8. John Reeves 1-2
9. Brian Bruemmer 1-2
10. Randy Shivers 0-3