Altitude 2011

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Leaving for Camp!

6 June, 2011 · Filed under Uncategorized

As I write this we are on the bus on our way to camp. All 60 students
are checked in and ready for a fantastic week at Riverbend Retreat
Center.

During the week, can you stop and pray for our group throughout the
day? Worship happens in the morning and at night, rec is right after
lunch, and family group bible study is right after dinner. Basically,
there are a number of times for students to connect with God and meet
new friends.

Camp was one of the most important parts of my life as a teenager and
I am praying for the same type of experience for your student.

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12 Days of Photos – Day 3

16 December, 2010 · Filed under Uncategorized

I have read so many end-of-the-year lists (50 best albums, 10 best TV shows, 50 best music videos) that I thought it might be fun to have an Authentic Youth best of 2010 list.  Between now and Christmas day, I’ll share my Top 12 favorite photos from the past year.  Some of them are great photos, some of them capture great moments, and some of them are both.

Who doesn’t want to chase after someone with a sword once in their life?  This past May on the Senior Adventure, 11 brave souls were given the chance at the Scarborough Renaissance Faire.  The entire Senior Adventure was excellent, but this moment might have been my favorite.  (actually, the Turtle Races were the best but I don’t have a picture!)  Although the Renaissance Faire was a crazy place, this trip is definitely one of the top moments from the past year in my book.

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New kicks!

4 November, 2010 · Filed under Uncategorized

I love getting new shoes and I think I’ve passed down the quality to
my boy. He has not stopped wearing his new chucks for the past three
days.

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Meals of Kindness Tomorrow Night!

26 October, 2010 · Filed under Uncategorized

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Clenched Fists

7 September, 2010 · Filed under Uncategorized

I've never been in an actual fistfight.  My younger brother and I would wrestle and try and throw each other off of the trampoline, but actually hitting each other with our fists seemed outside the bounds of our gentleman's agreement.  I've hit a punching bag before and I can also think of a few times where I punched a wall or some other object to release whatever tension had built up inside of me.  So I have no idea what it feels like to clench your fists in preparation for a throwdown.  

All of that has been on my mind recently as God is undoing some stuff in me that has been misplaced.  I swear the thing that God has been repeating for the past few months is "Open Your Hands Chris."  At first, there were moments and small decisions but lately I have been aware of how much of my life is held so tightly.  It's probably no surprise to say that I like a certain amount of control in my life.  I like to make decisions and be in charge and hold tightly to the reins of whatever project or task I am leading.  And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

However, what God has been showing me lately is that some things will be more successful if I will let go of them a little.  Totally counterintuitive.  This is essentially the message that gets preached during any sermon on tithing. As we loosen the grip on our money, we are able to hold on to more important things.  For whatever reason, when it comes to money I am not nearly as controlling as other areas of my life.  But it's the same dilemma – am I willing to let go and give up control and believe that God will do a better job than I can?

Of course when it is phrased that way the choice seems clear.  But when the choice comes in the form of everyday life events, it's not quite so cut and dry.  This morning the dam might have broken.  I was preparing for MIDWEEK (wednesday night bible study) and I was reading and re-reading James 2.  "Faith without works is dead."  Does my faith and belief that I am utterly dependent on Jesus Christ match up with the way that I actually live each day?  When is the last time that I chose faith over my abilities?  I've been turning this question over and over in my head all day long.

The problem is that it is so hard to unclench your fists once they are wrapped around something.  It's so hard to forgive.  It's so hard to get vulnerable.  It's so hard to be as trusting as you know you should be.  It's hard to be optimistic rather than cynical.  But I know that I should live with open hands – ready to give to God and ready to receive from God.  I'm letting go – one finger at a time.

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Kindergarten Economics

9 March, 2010 · Filed under Uncategorized

Emma and I were discussing ownership tonight as I was tucking her in.  She told me to get out of "her bed" and I asked who the bed really belonged to.  "Mommy" she said.  

"Where did Mommy get the money to buy the bed?"
"The bank."
"Where did the bank get the money?"  And this is where it got interesting.
"The church."
"What?  The church?  How does that work?"
"The church gets the money and takes it to the bank," Emma explained to me.

I asked Emma who could go and get money from the bank.  "Anyone."  "Anyone?"  "Anyone."  Well that sounds simple.

I pressed her for a few more details, and this is where we landed for Emma's fiscal understanding.

The church gets money in the offering plate.
People work at the church so the money can be taken to the bank.
The bank gives the money to people.
People take the money to buy stuff and give it back to the church.

Without realizing it, Erin and I have raised a mini-Socialitst.

Posted via email from Let The Boy Stay In Your House

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