Archive for April, 2006

New Game

Play Me Play Me Play Me

A pattern starts to develop, so it gets easier over time.  The Record from the Fishbowl is 23.375.  Have fun.


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What Should I Say?

Get hyped because the Middle School DNow is this weekend!  Aww Yeah!  40 Junior Highers!  Holla!

I’m trying to work through my message for Saturday night.  We’re talking about Great Love and the damaging effects of sex outside the bounds of marriage.  This is not a new topic.  I doubt anything will be said that hasn’t been said in one form or fashion at another point in the middle schoolers lives.  Which leads me to this question: What do I need to tell them?  What will work?

As I’ve been preparing, all I can think about is that life will never be satisfying unless it is lived the way Jesus said it should be.  I don’t know of any way to make that sound catchier and more appealing, but at the end of the day, there is only one way to be fulfilled.  How do you get that to stick in a 7th grader’s mind?


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Just Heard This

"I get a little weary of being perceived as a liberal when I feel like I’m the one looking at the Bible through the eyes of a fundamentalist."

–Donald Miller (on his podcast with Derek Webb)

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Warning: Addictive Game

I got a 19 after 30 seconds of playing…

how good can you do?

Play Me Play Me Play Me

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David Palmer is my President

Finished season 4 of 24 last night.  I’m definitely debating which season ranks at the top; right now it’s come down to season 1 and season 4.  I liked 2 & 3, but they just didn’t resonate with me the way 1 & 4 did.

As I flew through episodes (7 in one day) yesterday, I got to see David Palmer jump back in the mix.  Newly christened President Logan is having trouble making sense of everything and not making decisions fast enough and just generally being an idiot, so Mike Novick calls in Palmer to consult on the crisis.

Palmer is a take-charge, quick-thinking, can-do kind of guy.  He immediately makes some tough calls, some of which actually turn out to be wrong.  In fact, one of his decisions will forever change Jack Bauer’s life, but Palmer has his focus right where it needs to be at all times.  His only motive is stopping the crisis, and he makes decisions based on that.

If you were to apply the 7 Practices of Effective Ministry to Palmer, he passes every one.

  • His win is stopping the warhead
  • Every lead and piece of intelligience is a step toward that
  • His focus is limited to stopping the warhead
  • He doesn’t waste time talking about extranneous things
  • He listens to outsiders including CTU, D.O.D., and other intelligence agencies
  • Mike Novick and Charles Logan are being trained to replace David Palmer
  • He spent his few hours with the President "working on it" and trying to get better

I know this sounds cheesy, but President Palmer is really a hero of mine.  I love his character, I love the way he operates, I love how he gets mixed up in horrible situations and manages to avert disaster.


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97,98, 99…

    January 8, 2006 to April 18, 2006 is 100 days.  I’ve been employed by FBC for 100 days.  Student Minister has been my title for 100 days.  It seems like some reflection is in order, so here are some thoughts.
    I love teaching, first and foremost.  That was always one of my favorite things to do around Zephyr, and now I get to teach twice a week.  I feel like I’ve honed my teaching and dramatically improved over the past 100 days.  There have been a few lessons that really felt like homeruns.
    I can’t remember the last time that I have studied and read and reflected as much as the past 100 days.  I have torn through a few books and started other ones, and actually spent time learning.  I have tried to take time out each day to read a book / magazine / blog / commentary / something.
    The problem with all this reading is that my head has been spinning for 100 days.  For instance, I’m reading "Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry" and "7 Practices of Effective Ministry." One book is telling me to think of things like a marathon and not get bogged down in trying to remake a youth ministry, while the other is encouraging a complete paradigm shift and critically analyzing your current processes.  They are both right, but which one is more right?
    Each of the last 100 days has brought on a challenge.  Most days, and I know this sounds terrible, but I am not sure what I need to get done that day.  I am reluctant to do things.  I hesitate.  I feel like I need to get other opinions.  I don’t make decisions often enough.  I’m scared I’m going to screw up.  I really do want to work hard and do excellent things, but a lot of days I waste away doing busy work like writing PO’s and reading blogs and messing around on the internet.
    I haven’t felt like I’m qualified to do the job I’m doing.  I’m qualified education-wise, but as far as practically, I have a long road ahead of me.  I had this idea of the issues I would have to deal with at my "first church."  They were things like how am I going to make this group of 10 get to a group of 20, where will we go to camp, what are we going to do to make our youth room cooler, etc.  I figured I’d have silly stuff to deal with.  But Athens has given me "grown-up" problems.  How do I get adults invovled?  What is a student’s first impression when they come for an event?  How do I get the students to be an "inviting" group?  What am I going to do with Sunday School / Kidthink next year?
    I’ve also had to deal with grown-up problems at home like paying utilities and rent, and helping come up with a budget, and buying less clothes and movies and CD’s.  The house is warmer right now than I want it to be, but I’m paying for the electricity, so I’ll take my shirt off instead of turning down the AC.
    Side note: My golf game has gotten a ton better.  I can now beat any toddler you throw at me.
    Mostly, the last 100 days have been a roller-coaster ride.  One day will be exciting and encouraging, the next day depressing.  I’ll think a bible study is going to be terrible, then it turns out  great, and vice versa.  Some days I love being here and wouldn’t trade it for the world, and some days I wish I was back in a comfortable life at Zephyr.  The issue is a spiritual one for me.  Each day I have to come back to the fact that even though I think I’m doing a sub-par job and there are many other people better for my position, God chose me to be here.  That’s not just a feeling I have, 500 and something people confirmed it, along with a stout search-committee and a staff that was praying for God to provide.
    My objective for the next 100 days is to continue learning and trying and branching out.  We’ll see how it goes.


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Busy Week

Since last Sunday, I’ve been to Sundown Ranch to visit and help with Easter Service, Echo Creek Golf Course, Lake Athens (twice), Chicken Express (almost 10 times), Softball / Baseball game on Tuesday, Good Friday service, The Griffins house, Cinema 4, Flowering Cross stuff, Wal-Mart, Brookshire’s, The Taylors, and church every day for 6 days straight.

I’m worn out.

Today was also the first Easter I’ve spent away from my parents.  Slightly strange, but on the depress-o-meter, not too bad.

Tuesday will be 100 days on the Job at the FBC.


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