Monday, September 27, 2010

Another Funeral.......

In the past year and a half I have lost 3 grandparents.  The third was this afternoon when my Grandpa H. passed away.  He was ready to go.  He had been without Grandma for a long time.  He was weak and tired and ready to be in heaven.  And this afternoon he went.  Of course we are sad.  I'll miss him.  I have the honor of preaching his funeral this Friday and at the moment, I have no idea what I am going to say.  I'll talk to my aunts and uncles and cousins this week to see what they would want me to say.  I'm sure i'll hear story after story after story.  But what can I really say about a man who has always been a part of my life and now is gone.  This is not the first funeral I've preached.  It's the second.  And it's the second of my grandparents funerals that I am preaching.  And I have no idea where to start.  But i guess i'll go write out some thoughts and try to find a starting place from there.  Miss you Grandpa.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chinese food....coming attractions....old feelings....

So we have several students who attend a local Christian school and can apparently get out for lunch just because they want to, so I met a couple guys for Chinese today.  I do love chinese.  One of them is preaching at chapel tomorrow at school and wanted any help I could give him.  He has a great idea that he's gonna roll with tomorrow and I'm excited to see how it goes! 

We also talked a little about CIY Move which inspired me to come back to the office and check to see if the 2011 dates were posted yet.  The answer is YES!  I immediately figured out which dates were potential choices for us and posted them on the teen bulletin board.  What I want everyone to understand is why I am so excited about this.  Move is something i did throughout high school and it was awesome.  But this summer, when we took 9 teens and 2 adults to move in Scranton, PA, it was life changing for everyone involved.  These teens came back on fire and have not lost that fire.  Move has been one of the main catalysts to propel the teen ministry in the direction it is going.  We have modified our space, spent many hours working on small improvements and have seen attendance jump.  We've seen many new faces and have seen many of those same faces return for a second week, if not more.  That's where we see God really working through our teens.  We could probably get almost anyone to come once, but when they are so welcomed and enjoy themselves so much and feel so encouraged to return that church quickly because a part of their life.  I'm excited to see what God will continue to do through the teens we have contact with, whether we've known them for their whole lives or for less than a week. 

This should explain why I'm already excited about MOVE 2011.  My hope is that it can be a yearly refresher for our core teens.  My hope is that the leaders within the youth group will keep the fire they found this year and build on it at Move next year.  They truly brought back the passion and the energy and the ideas that Move gave them this year, and I can't wait to see what CIY has in store for us in 2011.

As far as why i listed "old feelings" in the subject line; it's because I don't feel well.  Back in the spring I went through a couple weeks where every time i ate anything, no matter how much i hate, i felt sick.  It often resulted in an action I will not go into detail with on here, but I think you get my drift.  It becomes a little scary to know you'll probably not keep down much of what you eat.  I got to the point of dehydration and had to go the ER for an IV and some meds.  They decided I needed an ultrasound of my gall bladder and found that it was sludgy, but not in need of removal.  They instead suggested that I alter my diet and avoid foods with too much fat or cholesterol(something we should all do more of anyway).  I haven't exactly stayed true to that, but now that issue seems to be flaring up again.  Hopefully it's somehow related to the head cold I have developed and it goes away with the headcold, but we'll see.  It's not like it keeps me from coming to work (except on it's worst days), but it does make life very difficult and frustrating, not just for me but for Stacy as well.  I'm pretty pathetic when i'm sick.  So prayers for both of us would be appreciated.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back....New Ministry.....New Start.....Life Is Good

So i haven't blogged on this blog in a long time.  In fact the last post I made discussed how great things were going in Ironton.  I have removed all of those posts for a new start.  If you don't know me well, I'll explain the reason.  Earlier this year we were presented with an opportunity we could not pass up.  We knew that it was time to move on and find a place to settle and serve for a very long time.  We interviewed at a church in Virginia even though the thought of moving to Virginia had never crossed our minds.  We were blown away.  And several months later, we have now lived in Winchester, VA for 4 months.  I am the Youth Minister at New Life Christian Church here in Winchester and I love the way our lives are going.  We are renting a house from a very good property manager.  When we arrived to move in, the house had been painted the colors we wanted, cleaned thoroughly and really taken care of by members of the congregation.  In addition people brought food and welcome gifts the whole first week so that we could get settled more easily.  We feel at home.  We feel so welcome.  We feel like we are already a part of this wonderful family that is New Life. 

The Youth Ministry is growing, especially for the teens.  In the small modular building we use for Awaken Teen Service due to spacial issues we had 37 people between two services.  We are seriously pushing the limits of that building and will soon have to do something to find more space.  What an amazing problem to have! 

To make a long story short, God has truly blessed us and we cannot imagine being anywhere else.  We have a great home, a great church, great friends, and a great job.  The moral of the story?  God provides.