Monday, March 24, 2008

My Heart Smiles...

I hope everyone had a wonderful, celebratory, reflective Easter weekend. Mine was really good (even if I'm still kinda whooped...but our church office is closed today so I can hang some today...). Friday did the annual Good Friday Six Flags pilgrimage. Jeremy Camp was excellent, and was very worshipful (a welcome departure from past Good Friday concerts, due to the magnitude of the day...). And pigs are flying: for the first time EVER, I voluntarily rode NO RIDES at an amusement park (if you know me, you realize that's pretty strange). Yet, it was a good day: great weather, good reading, music, conversation...

But, my heart is smiling so much due to the joy I have in relation to Jackson's response to our Easter gift to him: a children's Bible. Missy and I certainly drop the ball on our spiritual raising of our son more than we'd care to admit (especially since I work at a church, challenge the families I serve to be godly influences on their kids, etc.), but I have been pleasantly surprised to see Jax so excited to get a Bible. It's all he wants to read. Even can find the David and Goliath story without help. He got cars, clothes, candy, etc., as well, but it's the Bible he wants to be with (well, the candy is fighting for attention, too :-)). So happy!!!!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My NCAA 2008 Tourney Picks

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Been pretty busy. Just got back from a surprisingly restful and relaxing family spring break trip to houston. Not that we never get to relax down there, but let's just say I must have needed rest/sleep more than I realized...

Now, to the picks. I will just use one post for all this year (as opposed to my attempt at nearly daily ones last year...that petered out quickly). Not too many late surprises as far as big teams not in final four, but a few minor ones and some first round upsets...

Second Round
UNC, Indiana, G. Mason, Wash St, St Joe's, Louisville, Butler, Tennessee

Kansas, UNLV, Clemson, Vandy, Kansas St, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Georgetown

Memphis, Oregon, Michigan St, Pitt, Marquette, Stanford, St Mary's, Texas

UCLA, Texas A&M, Drake, UConn, Baylor, Georgia, West Virginia, Duke

Sweet Sixteen
UNC, G. Mason, Louisville, Tennessee

Kansas, Vandy, Kansas St, Georgetown

Memphis, Pitt, Stanford, Texas

UCLA, Drake, Baylor, Duke

Elite Eight
UNC, Tennessee

Vandy, Georgetown

Memphis, Texas

UCLA, Duke

Final Four
UNC, Georgetown, Texas, UCLA

Gerogetown, Texas

And the winner is......

(sorry Aaron): Georgetown

Let me know yours....

Monday, March 3, 2008

Planet Wisdom 2008 Recap, Parenting Ministry News

(By the way, I'm posting a bunch this morning, and this early, due to it raining all night long, and at this moment...I have been running every morning around 6 am and it feels GREAT...but alas, I am stuck inside for now...)

Well, another Planet Wisdom...another great time (maybe my favorite of the four I've been to????). We took a record (for us) number of folks, and all came back jazzed up. Not as many "responses" as in past years ("new Christians", or folks needing to recommit, etc.), but that's fine, as the overall makeup of our group this year seemed to be ones that are ready for the next "leap" in their fillowing of Jesus...and I'm excited. Really, before this weekend, I was about as excited as I've been in a LONG time about doing youth ministry...and now, even more so...

The theme was "Becoming More", using pottery-making (complete with a demonstration with a pottery wheel and everything that was a perfect visual metaphor) to show us the tension (often good) that exists between God, our creator, and ourselves, with water used to shape the clay representing grace. It was really cool.

Mark Matlock, the main teacher, was really "on". I mean, he's always been great, but man he just nailed it this did the always hilarious, thought-provoking SKIT GUYS! In fact, they won a contest for Southwest Airlines, producing a it is (love it!):

Anyways, wonderful time. On a side note, Mark, while speaking at a youth leader "only" meeting, brought up a new vision for his Generation hope parent seminars (and actually name-dropped me-hahaha, saying it was the Weatherford conference, along with other conversations he and I had, that were a big part of this new vision), involving the training of 100 youth ministry vets to actually become a team of Generation hope seminar to REALLY spread out and effect thousands of families, as he can only do a few such conferences a year. Needless to say I texted Mark "sign me up for this parenting thing",as he was speaking, and right after he left the room I got a, "U got it" return will involve training prior to a 2008 Youth Specialties Convention, and the target "launch" date is 2009... One aspect I actually liked is that the idea isn't for me to lead a seminar at my home church, but rather other churches...and focusing on "follow up coffees/discussions" at home base. I like that, as while I sense I have good relationships with most of the families I serve, I do think some would have trouble getting past the "goofy youth guy" leading a parenting seminar...but at another place? Sure...

I truly feel like this is becoming more a part of my calling: ministering to families as a whole. I still focus on teens, but increaingly am in conversation with parents, and who knows, maybe after youth min is "done", I can transistion into a more "family-wide" dynamic... We will see...

Could it be? Maybe????

....or am I jinxing it? :-)

I write because I have been unable to experience any frozen precip this year :-(

Yet, seemingly out of the blue, it is SUPPOSED TO SNOW tonight!!!!!!!

We will see...and if so, get ready for some fun!