the account of my journey from being a college student to youth pastor... and beyond

Monday, December 26, 2005

post-Christmas update

Notice the paper all over the floor? Being the neat-freak that I am, it didn't bother me that the floor was covered in wrapping paper. It was actually a nice feeling; knowing that we could have so many presents for the kids. We got our presents before our move, so it was tight financially, but God provided.

We celebrated our Christmas on Saturday, because we had church at 10 am. We like to take it easy on Christmas morning and take time to enjoy our gifts.

Speaking of church, it went well. It was only an hour long, but it was nice to worship with everyone - and I didn't mess up! Everyone has been so welcoming of us this week (our first week). They love us like we've been there forever. They've been so generous; from the groceries to the financial gifts, we feel like we don't deserve it, but that's like God's love for us: we don't deserve it, but He freely gives it.

This is our church's alternative to TP-ing: flamingo-ing. They had a lock-in during our first night in the house (we didn't have to be there), but we got to meet the youth. Before they flamingoed our yard, they came to the door and caroled for us. They did a good job, but there were more at the lock-in than were there for our first night of youth group; I'll have to ask about that. :-)

We canceled youth for tonight since it's the day after Christmas, I hope everybody enjoys the extra time with family and enjoying their new gifts. I was actually kind of worried that people would show up tonight, or worse yet that the lady who drives the van would run the route, pick up kids and show up only to return them home and having wasted all that time.

We spent most of the day today hanging pictures in the house. We still have to paint, but having our own pictures up personalizes it for us until we get the gumption to start the painting process. Tomorrow we're planning on spending the day shopping and checking out any good after Christmas sales (I know that it will be two days after Christmas, but we couldn't go out today, so it's really just about spending time together as a family).

Here's a flyer for our first activity. I'll tell you how it goes afterwards.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

finally a little break!

Man, we've just been going and going since we've gotten here! This morning I had my weekly meeting with Pastor and we talked about how everything went Sunday and Monday. In short, everything went really well. We had 12 kids at youth group, not a whole lot, but it gave me the chance to get to know the ones that showed up a lot more than if everyone showed up who is on the roster.

I'm really impressed with some of the kids. Others have a ways to go, but we all have our own things to work on. It seemed like the kids that showed up Monday night were fairly dedicated. After all, they stuck with it when there was no youth pastor, so that shows some dedication! BTW, the interium youth leader is so awesome. I hope he and his wife can continue to be leaders, but I know that they're both really active in other ministries of the church as well; and he personally is a really busy guy! I've met with the other leaders and they all have said that they are willing to continue to do all the things that they are doing; which I am very grateful for!

So after my meeting with Pastor I did some things in the office and me and the fam. headed out towards one of the local malls (across the river). It was pretty cool and we were out pretty late, which probably wasn't the smartest thing to do since we're all still struggling with coughs and sore throats. And now it's like 12:30 and the kids are going to be up at around 6:45 (don't ask me why - maybe it's that we don't have curtains for their windows yet, only mini blinds), so I'm going to call it a night. Later.

Monday, December 19, 2005

first Sunday

Our first Sunday went as well as I could have hoped for! (Well, I actually messed up "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" a couple of times). Everyone was sooo supportive! The lunch went really well; they had a crazy amount of food there for everyone and they gave us so many groceries that we don't have room in the kitchen for it! Anna has to have one of our three-shelf book shelves dedicated to holding canned goods!

I didn't have to lead worship for the PM service because it was the kids' Christmas program. Eli had a line, which he didn't remember even though we worked on it all day! AND he worked his way into the youth Christmas skit -- as baby Jesus! It was funny because when the narrator said that Mary had delivered the baby, Eli walked out - and he's almost five years old! Everyone thought that was funny; they already know that he's very outgoing and loves all the attention of being the youth pastor's kid.

Tonight is our first night of youth group. I'm wanting everything about the service to be the same as what they've been doing and I'll just preach. From everything I've heard, they do exactly what I would want to do for a youth service, but I just want to see how they do things before I start making changes. Kids like changes, but I don't want to do a lot too soon.

Adults are different in that they tend to resist change. It seems like the older people get, the more set in their ways they are and the more reluctant they are to change. I'm glad that they have already been exposed to blended worship and that I don't have to fight them to sing a couple of choruses as well as some hymns. I'm going to take it really slow with the adults!

I'll write later to let you know how our first youth service went. In "Hymn" (because it sounds like "him" and I capitalized the "H" because I'm referring to God/Jesus, "Him"), anyway, later.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

new office

I finally got the chance to go to my new office and get a feel for how I want things. I rearranged the furniture so the desk, filing cabinets and book cases are all along the wall; that way, when students come in and hang out or want to talk, my desk isn't creating a barrier between me and them. I don't have enough book cases/shelves. One of the good things about Bible College is that they make you buy a lot of books. Even though I sold back some of them, I still have most of them for reference. I want to paint in there, but I still have to move a lot more stuff in, so it's not a major priority for me right now.

Tomorrow the church is having a soup and sandwich dinner for us to welcome us to the church as well as a food shower. That will be nice to get a chance to meet everyone.

I've been struggling with a sore throat, so I hope I can sing for worship; we'll see.

Friday, December 16, 2005

we made it

Well, after 6 hours of packing yesterday and 3 hours of unloading today, we made it to our new home! We had several men from the church help us move and even a few ladies; it was so nice! One of the ladies brought over several bags of groceries for us! MAN we have a lot of boxes and Rubbermaid tubs!! We had to put the tubs in the basement just so we can work on the boxes and get around on the main floor and upstairs. Well, I haven't been over to my new office, but I'll probably do that tomorrow.

Monday, December 12, 2005

well, hello there

Long time no update, oh well, you know I'm busy!

We spent this past weekend at my mom's to celebrate Christmas and her birthday. It was an early Christmas indeed, but we are moving in 3 days and we will be much further away than we are now. The kids got kind of sick and I was fighting not getting sick when we got there. In fact, on our way home we made a doctor's appointment and found out that one of our kids has RSV and the other has a bronchial infection.

I have four final exams left this week, but one is a take-home, so I'm not too concerned about that - and it's a class that I have been getting an A in.

Well, there's a lot to do this week, I don't know if I'll be able to write until we move, but I'll see.

Oh, here's a picture for you, it snowed a little here. It wasn't around for long, so I'm glad the kids could go out and experience the "white stuff."

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Christmas Party & 2 weeks left

Today was my school's Christmas party for the children of married students. It was a good time, but it made for a long day. We are all wasted!

Eli got a 1,000 piece Lego bucket and Sarah got a little vacuume cleaner. There were also smaller prizes that they got and Eli's name was drawn to win one of 20 big stuffed Pooh bears.

In two weeks we will be in our new ministry position! I feel excited and nervous at the same time. I am a perfectionist, so I want my first Sunday leading worship to be perfect and I'm afraid that I will be discouraged when my expectations are unmet. So I must simply refuse to feel down no matter how the music sounds. I'm also nervous about youth group; my first meeting with the students is Monday the 19th, so there's no time to get ready - I just have to be ready! I don't know what I'm going to speak on and I have no clear idea what to expect that night. What's the youth worship like? Do they do youth worship? Are the kids roudy? Uggh, I hate new situations, but it will be ok. I'm really thankful for the Senior Pastor I will be working with/for. We've mostly communicated via email, but I can tell that he and the entire church are going to take care of us.

Well, that's enough for now.

my biggest paper

Over Fall Break, I worked on the most important paper I have written thus far (as far as Hermeneutics is concerned). This past week I had to refine it and turn in the final draft. It is about 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 and I was going to copy and past it in this post, but it was kind of messy and I didn't want to mess with reformatting it for this post. That's what I've been busy on lately.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Paternal Visit

My Dad called this afternoon and said he would like to come visit. Rather short notice, but I (we) will not turn our parents away. I know that I'm about all my dad has; besides his three grandchildren. I hope everything's ok, I thought he had a steady job, but I guess he got some time off to go visit his mom. I'm glad I'm taking Crisis Counseling, I feel like I've not only learned about myself and how I've not handled crisis the best way, but also in helping counsel people through their own crises. My dad really is going through a crisis and I hope that I can help him. I don't expect my words to be life changing, but I know that just being a loving listener is something that he doesn't even have. "Lord, I pray that you would be more real to my dad than ever before. I know he's made an effort in his relationship with You and has grown closer to You, but he really needs You right now. Please protect him as he travels. Protect him on the road and in his mind as he tries to sort through things. Please give him hope for a brighter tomorrow. I ask all these things in Jesus' name."

Monday, November 28, 2005

sickness and stuff

Being sick really stinks; sometimes quite literally! I spent my Thanksgiving on the toilet. I finally felt better on Sat., but Eli and Sarah were still not feeling well. Anna is sick again (hers is more like a cold) - so life is not really fun around here right now.

In two weeks we will be in the home stretch of preparing for our move - and finishing my finals. We are so looking forward to moving! Money has been tight for us since I quit my job a while back, but it looks like we're going to make it. We already got the kids' Christmas presents, but Anna and I may have to hold off for each other until I start getting paid after we move.

Good news on the school-front: I'm almost done reading one of my books for a class! That leaves about 3 more books that I have to read.

(BTW, the pic above is not of me sick, it's of me wrestling with Eli last week.)

Well, that's it for me today; tomorrow's a busy day full of studying and classes, so I'll probably be back after a while.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Hey, it's my first post, obviously. One of the first things that you'll find out about me is that I'm a bad speller. I try, but anyway.

My plan for this blog is to be an account of my countdown toward college graduation and the process of adapting to the real world.

There's about three weeks left of my last semester. I have a ton of reading to do. I don't think I'll get it all done, but it won't keep me from graduating. I know I'm going to be busy, but maybe I'll have a chance to catch up on my reading later. ;-)